Bernadine Oliver-Kerby ‘HOW I GOT THROUGH MY TOUGHEST YEAR EVER’
EASY LOW-C FAMILARB RECIP Y ES
BODY AFTER BABY
MUMS GET HONEST
THE FUTURE OF WEIGHT LOSS: YOU’LL NEVER MAKE A DIET MISTAKE AGAIN
M A G A Z I N E
NE XT FERTILITY UPDATE WHY IT’S OK TO WAIT
NEW WAYS TO TURN BACK THE CLOCK DRESSES THAT FLATTER YOUR SHAPE
choose comfort & take on the world
WHANGAREI | ALBANY | BOTANY | EASTRIDGE | LYNNMALL | MANGERE BRIDGE | NEWMARKET | ST LUKES | HAMILTON | HAVELOCK NORTH | NEW PLYMOUTH | TAURANGA | OTAKI | LAMBTON QUAY | NAPIER | RICCARTON | MERIVALE | DUNEDIN
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“This gorgeous floral dress is right up my alley. I can see myself dressing it up for a night out or going casual for lunch with friends”
“I love this chic update of staple pieces - they’ll definitely be on my jewellery stand”
“Who can say no to delish low-carb meals – and it’s a bonus when they’re easy to make too”
Editor picks ’s Wha t I’m lo our mag ving in az this mo ine nth
“Caitlyn Cook’s take on tantra is refreshing, and its body positivity message can only be a good thing!”
One Monday morning many years ago I bounded into work feeling on top of the world. It was summer, the weather was great, and I’d been at one of New Zealand’s most spectacular beaches trying to catch some waves on a surfboard. But when I regaled a colleague about my weekend I was stopped short by her reply: “Surfing? With your skin? Are you mad?!?!” You see, I have freckles. Lots of them. Hundreds, maybe thousands. When I was a kid I tried to remove them with Superfade cream, but it didn’t work, so I learned to live with them. But when this colleague reacted the way she did, I started to doubt myself again. Maybe I wasn’t entitled to a day at the beach, for beauty’s sake. So I put ‘laser off all my freckles’ on the to-do list, became conscious of not staying in the sea too long, and generally started to lament my skin. Then, one awful day, I fainted and split my face open. I knew my injury was bad when I came to and the strangers bending over me wouldn’t let my husband look. There was a lot of blood. The ambulance drivers discussed the situation and said ‘we’ll take her to the hospital with the best plastic surgery
| MARCH 2017
ward’. I tried not to panic. A young doctor who looked like Clark Kent sewed my face back together and covered me in bandages. After several weeks trying to adjust to the idea I would spend the rest of my life with a jagged scar down the middle of my nose and across my chin, I took the bandages off and saw the scars were barely visible. A little makeup and I’m good to go. To say that moment was a relief would be a massive understatement. It put everything else into perspective. Freckles… who cares! I’ve decided they’re beautiful, and I hope every other girl out there with them thinks that too. Let’s stop being so hard on ourselves when it comes to the bodies we’re born with. There’s a difference between looking our best, and letting insecurities rule us. One can lead to better health and confidence; the other can stop us enjoying our lives. And as fabulous as ‘Clark Kent’ was, it shouldn’t take an accident to make us realise that.
EDITOR Rachael Russell
EDITOR’S PHOTOGRAPH MICHAEL JAMES ROOKE ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS SUPPLIED STYLING SONIA GREENSLADE RACHAEL’S HAIR AND MAKEUP CHAY ROBERTS JACKET AND CAMI PORTMANS
A bit of perspective…
Contents MARCH 2017
On the cover
24 BERNADINE OLIVER-KERBY The broadcaster on love, loss and why she’s happy not slowing down
4 EDITOR’S LETTER 8 BEHIND THE SCENES
44 THE SHAPE OF MOTHERHOOD How mums feel about their postbaby bodies
14 NEXT IN FOCUS TEDx goes to Antarctica
50 ALL IN GOOD TIME The pros and cons of postponing pregnancy 98 GO FIGURE Get the best dress for your shape
18 WE LOVE 22 QUESTION TIME Antonia Prebble 23 SOAP BOX Why women should prioritise their health
122 THE END OF AGEING How to achieve a younger you
30 STRAIGHT TALK We host a lively round table on the topics women should be talking about
126 CRACKING THE CODE The new frontier in weight loss
38 TAKING IT BACK A lawyer’s crusade against revenge porn
54 MEET THE MOTIVATORS The women who overcame the odds 60 LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX Caitlyn Cook is bringing tantra to the masses 64 BIG SPENDER Three women and their radically different beauty budgets 68 ARE YOU GOOD FOR YOUR AGE? Meet the doctor who can tell you how your body’s ageing 76 DOWN TO EARTH Swapping a high-powered career to become a Maori healer 82 EXPRESS YOURSELF Dr Neha Sangwan talks about listening to your inner voice
UPFRONT: We’ve covered all the bases in this issue, with everything you need to look after your body and mind – no matter what your life stage
go to: F ac Next M ebook agazin e NZ
Living 88 WILD THING Floral prints get a bold update
116 IN THE FAMILY A modern family home
96 FASHION NEWS
130 BODY NEWS
132 BOOKS 100 TWICE AS NICE Bags and shoes to top off your outfit 134 GREEN GOODNESS Low-carb meals you’ll love 101 SHAPE UP Shapewear that works 140 FULL OF FLAVOUR 104 FACE VS BODY How to lose weight without looking older
Dishes that put veges centre stage 145 FOOD NEWS
108 PRIME TIME Our top picks to ace your base
146 SILVER LININGS An action-packed weekend in Rotorua
110 DAWN TO DUSK Get all-day wear from your makeup
151 TRAVEL NEWS
112 BEAUTY NEWS
115 TRESSES TO IMPRESS Hair stylists on the latest looks
152 PUZZLES AND STOCKISTS 153 HOROSCOPES
157 DIVORCE DIARIES 159 LAST LAUGH 160 BACKCHAT When mess is best
Bernadine Oliver-Kerby ‘HOW I GOT THROUGH MY TOUGHEST YEAR EVER’
EA LOW-CSY FAMILARB RECIP Y ES
BODY AFTER BABY
MUMS GET HONEST
M A G A Z I N E
FERTILITY UPDATE WHY IT’S OK TO WAIT
NEW WAYS TO TURN BACK THE CLOCK DRESSES THAT FLATTER YOUR SHAPE
THE FUTURE OF WEIGHT LOSS: YOU’LL NEVER MAKE A DIET MISTAKE AGAIN
MARCH Cover.indd 1
1/02/2017 4:48:41 p.m.
LIFESTYLE: Outfits to flatter every figure, healthy eating made easy and delicious, plus we’ve got the top beauty picks for the month
PHOTOGRAPHS GUY COOMBES STYLING SONIA GREENSLADE ART DIRECTION LOUISE THOMSON HAIR AND MAKEUP LISA MATSON
162 THE LIST 15 times we wanted a sequel
behind the scenes
The bubbly broadcaster reveals her star quality
Anyone who walked in on our cover shoot with Kiwi TV and radio host Bernadine Oliver-Kerby would find it hard to believe the busy mum gets by on just four hours’ sleep a night. Her boundless energy and cheerful enthusiasm made her a joy to have in the studio, and she was a dream to dress, loving all the options stylist Sonia picked out for her. We’ll have what she’s having. Recreate this look: 1 Lancôme Teint Miracle 02, $72. 2 YSL Couture Brow Mascara No.2, $63. 3 Lancôme La Rôse a Poudrer, $120. 4 YSL The Street And I Face Palette Collector, $100. 5 YSL Le Teint Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Foundation BR20, $100. 6 Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara, $61. 7 Lancôme Juicy Shaker in Apricute, $39.
Editor Rachael Russell Editorial Director Sarah Henry Creative Director Louise Thomson Deputy Editor Emma Clifton Chief Sub-Editor Maria Hoyle Sub-Editor Julia Braybrook Writer Sara Bunny Designers Cara Hall, Sara Wilk Fashion Editor Sonia Greenslade Beauty Editor Elise Wilson Editorial Assistant Sophie McEwen Publisher Bauer Media Group (NZ) LP. Street address: Bauer Media Centre, 90 Wellesley Street, Auckland Postal address NEXT, Private Bag 92512, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141 Chief Executive Officer Paul Dykzeul Publisher Brendon Hill Commercial Director Paul Gardiner Commercial Brand Manager Claudia Plowman Production Manager Lisa Sloane Production/Advert Co-ordinator Raewynn Cowie Printer Webstar Distribution Gordon & Gotch EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES Phone (09) 308 2773, email firstname.lastname@example.org. SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES Auckland subscribers phone (09) 308 2721. If outside Auckland, please call toll free on 0800 MAGSHOP (0800 624 746), email email@example.com or visit www.magshop.co.nz. ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Auckland: Direct Account Manager Bruna Licata, ph (09) 366 5311, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Commercial Brand Manager Charlotte Slebos, ph (09) 308 7426, email email@example.com. Australia: Advertising Sales Manager Rachel McLean, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Classified Sales Manager Kim Chapman, ph (07) 578 3646, email email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Kylie Bailey, Rachael Bernstone, Louise Bickle, Hazel Brooke, Emily Chalk, Deborah Hill Cone, Guy Coombes, Nicola Feeney, Antonia Hoyle, Angie Humphreys, Nikki Kaye, Sarah Lang, Sharon Laurence-Anderson, Tamsin Marshall, Lisa Matson, Megan McChesney, Tony Nyberg, Eimear O’Hagan, Desiree Osterman, Will Pavia, Sarah Quigley, Chay Roberts, Claudia Rodrigues, Michael James Rooke, Lisa Scott, Julia Llewellyn Smith, John Paul Urizar, Maree Wilkinson, Elise Wilson, Olivia Wimsett
This magazine is subject to NZ Press Council procedures. A complaint must first be directed in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re not satisfied with the response, the complaint may be referred to the Press Council, PO Box 10-879, The Terrace, Wellington 6143. Or use the online complaint form at www.presscouncil. org.nz. Please include copies of the article and all correspondence with the publication.
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NEXT (ISSN 1170-3121) is subject to copyright in its entirety. The contents may not be reproduced in any form, either whole or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved in material accepted for publication, unless initially specified otherwise. All letters and other material forwarded to the magazine will be assumed intended for publication unless clearly labelled ‘Not for publication’. Opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Bauer Media Group (NZ) LP. No responsibility is accepted for unsolicited material. Total NZ net circulation 38,265.
RAND IN N TB
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GOOD ON PAULA
You loved the morsels of wisdom from MasterChef winner Elena Duggan and you had a lot to say about rules around school uniforms. Plus you were divided over an online survey showing that 52% of Brits would rather see Prince William ascend to the throne than his dad Charles.
. What you had to say about..
I loved your article ‘The Mums are Alright’. When my kids were ol scho to s pant ring Girls wea little I asked myself 24/7 – ‘Am I doing this right?’. Now my eldest is leaving home and I wonder why I didn’t live more in the moment and worry less. I’m Prince William becoming king far from the perfect mum, We love to but my daughters have turned out wonderfully. ur yo e iv rece Thanks for reminding us feedback we’re all ‘good enough’. Rebecca email us at next@
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bauermedia.co.nz or Facebook Next Magazine NZ
@valerie.kopittke This month our favourite Ali Pugh and Victoria Beckham cover grams will receive a Karen Murrell Gift Set; a Linden Leaves Aromatherapy Synergy Memories Body Oil, 250ml, Moisturising Lotion, 200ml, and Hand Cream, 60ml. Total value $180. To enter, snap the cover, and tag us on Instagram @
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The hot topics online this month
It was refreshing to learn more about Deputy PM Paula Bennett, in her own words, without the media bias we’re often subjected to. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself having new-found respect for who she is. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in, especially when faced with as much flak as she must receive. Thank you for continuing to provide women with encouragement to keep striving for more, especially in the face of naysayers. S Arnold
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To be in to win this Michael Kors bag, plus its luxury contents, simply send an envelope marked ‘Michael Kors’ with your name, address and phone number to: Your NEXT Bag, Response Bag 500273, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142, or go to womensweekly.co.nz, click on the ‘win’ tab and enter your unique code: NXTBG0317. All entries must be received by March 31, 2017. TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Information on how to enter forms part of these terms and conditions. Entry into this competition is deemed acceptance of these terms and conditions. Entry is open only to New Zealand residents. Employees of Bauer Media Group, all prize suppliers, and their affiliates, agencies and immediate families are ineligible to enter. All entries must be received by March 31, 2017. The prize is: Michael Kors Ava Small Studded Leather Satchel from T Galleria by DFS Auckland, www.dfs.co.nz, and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skincare Collection: Skin Protectant, Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist, All-Over Miracle Oil, Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer, Intensive Daily Moisturizer for Face SPF 15, Sun Defense for Face SPF 50 Sunscreen, Targeted Sun Defense Stick SPF 50, Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment, Intensive Moisturizing Body Treatment, Nourishing Lip Balm SPF 20, Lip Protectant Stick Sheer Tint SPF 15 Berry. No responsibility is taken for lost, misdirected or incomplete entries. One entry per person. The prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. By accepting the prize, the winner consents to the promoter using the winner’s details and photographs for promotional purposes. The promoter is Bauer Media Group, 90 Wellesley Street West, Auckland 1010.
ART DIRECTION SARA WILK PHOTOGRAPH ANGIE HUMPHREYS / BAUER MEDIA STUDIOS
THE BAG: Michael Kors Ava small studded leather satchel, $540, by T Galleria DFS
IS THIS NEW ZEALAND’S
BEST O P E R AT I O N ? The patients we’ve cared for over the years say so. In fact our latest patient satisfaction surveys tell us, again, that Southern Cross Hospitals is up with the best in Australasia. They rate us highly for our level of care, our modern facilities, medical technology, and of course our people. It’s why we’ve become NZ’s largest not-forprofit private hospital network with hospitals throughout New Zealand. Our objective has always been, and always will be, to offer high quality surgical care at the lowest price we can. So, when you’re considering where to have your operation, ask your doctor if one of ours is an option. If you’re looking for the best.
Edge of the world
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Scott Base, TEDx brought its first event to Antarctica. And the hand-picked line-up of adventurers, astronauts and entrepreneurs didn’t just bring ‘ideas worth spreading’ to the far-flung continent – they also took some time out to explore the area
Entrepreneur and 2015 NEXT Woman of the Year Claudia Batten on stage during her talk on non-linear futures.
Very happy TEDx ScottBase speakers land in Antarctica.
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next in focus
Kiwi singer Gin Wigmore kitting out in her extreme cold weather clothing at Antarctica New Zealand. TEDx speakers are visited by a local Weddell seal in front of Scott Base. Scott Base with Mt Erebus in the background.
Adventurer Ashlan Cousteau joined New Zealand photographer Jane Ussher in documenting the historic Discovery Hut.
Gin Wigmore, guitarist Dave Goodison and Antarctica NZâ€™s communications general manager Jeanine Foster.
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next in focus Speakers begin their walking tour of local surroundings at Scott Base.
Scott Base seen from the pressure ridges.
Entrepreneur Claudia Batten. To see the TEDxScottBase talks go to www. antarcticanz.govt. nz/scott-base/ tedxscottbase/
PHOTOGRAPHS ANTHONY POWELL © ANTARCTICA NEW ZEALAND (2017), JEANINE FOSTER © ANTARCTICA NEW ZEALAND (2017) AND TEDXSCOTTBASE
Gin Wigmore speaks with LC130 pilots as they fly over the continent.
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
We love BY MARIA HOYLE
Out of the shadows
Hidden Figures is one of those films where you see the trailer and go, ‘how did we not know this happened?’. Set in 1960s Virginia, it’s about three African American women – Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan – whose calculations for NASA were key for several historic space missions. Yet these brilliant minds were also victims of segregation at work and at home. It’s great to see a movie whose leads are women, and black women at that. Despite the serious subject matter, it’s a real crowd pleaser, with an often humorous script. But as Lenika Cruz writes in The Atlantic, “it’s hard not to think of how many more movies and books could be made about … talented women shut out of promotions and meetings and elite programs and institutions and, thus history, because they weren’t white”. In an age where, incredibly, we’re still having to insist Black Lives Matter, this film is timely indeed. Out now.
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What really lies beneath
It’s hard not to be intimidated by images of women’s bodies in advertising or social media, even though we suspect the model in question is still in high school. Now Canadian Emily Lauren is out to give a more honest picture. She’s shot over 40 ordinary women in their underwear for her book Average Girl: A Guide to Loving Your Body, which she’s publishing via Kickstarter. Expect cellulite, rolls and wrinkles: and to breathe a big sigh of relief.
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Men have long dominated the world of public monuments – with female statues consisting mainly of dead queens or frolicking nudes. But this is about to change in the UK, with plans to unveil three tributes to pioneering women. A statue of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst will be erected in Moss Side, the working class area of Manchester where she grew up. Astonishingly, it will be the first female statue in the city that isn’t of Queen Victoria. A statue of Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson, a social justice campaigner who introduced free milk and school dinners in the 1940s, is to go up in Middlesbrough, and comedian Victoria Wood will be immortalised in bronze in her native town of Bury after a crowdfunding campaign launched by her brother. Any late, great Kiwi women you’d like to see a statue of here?
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Feminism quick on the draw
Always take your sweater with you Sam Barsky is adorable. Sam Barsky knits sweaters of landmarks on his travels. And now the Baltimore man is an internet sensation after he featured his cheesy but charming creations on his Facebook page. He bases his designs on where he will travel next – from the White House to Stonehenge. “Anything that crosses my eyes is a potential sweater.” We love you Sam.
Misogyny is alive and well (and currently rearranging furniture in the White House), but we women are pretty smart at outfoxing sexism. Take Women Who Draw (WWD) for example, an online directory allowing ‘female*’ artists to find each other and get hired around the globe (WWD puts in the asterisk to denote they welcome women, trans, and gender nonconforming artists). The database launched in December with a huge number of submissions (it counts Lena Dunham among its supporters). One of the founders, artist Julia Rothman, says “We counted a certain magazine that often has illustrated covers, and noticed that in the past 55 covers, only four were by women.” To find out more see www. womenwhodraw.com.
SAVING NEMO: IN 3D So enamoured were we with 3D printing on these pages that our editor decreed a moratorium on 3D-printing-related stories. So, just quietly… we’ve slipped out of hiding to tell you about the awesomeness that is a new project to save our oceans using the you-know-what technology. Aussie company Reef Design Lab, in partnership with Sydney architect James Gardiner, is using a 3D printing barge to mine local sand from which to create new coral reefs – and it’s already shown signs of success in Bahrain and Monaco. Rebuilding the reefs protects against rising sea levels and reduces coastal erosion. The hope is that the 3D printed coral structures can provide an alternative environment to protect reef marine life, and to keep the other species alive despite the coral itself dying. Now wasn’t that worth a mention? >
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MARCH 2017 | NEXT
The reads on the bus go round and round Sometimes you wait ages for a great book to get stuck into, then several come along at once. We’re talking about Books on the Bus, an initiative that’s just launched in New Zealand where you leave books on public transport for others to read. Inspired by London’s Books on the Underground, the idea is when you’ve read the book you return it to a bus/train/ferry seat. The initiator of the NZ movement is Jade-Ceres Dolor, and she and her helpers kicked off the scheme by scattering more than 100 books around our commuting landscape. Whatever next: a Book Club on the Bus? For updates, see the Books on the Bus NZ Facebook page.
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Throw in one architectural designer with a bunch of baking ingredients and you get confections that will blow your mind. Ukranian pastry chef Dinara Kasko approaches her desserts as if they were architecture to create the most amazing geometrical structures. To view her creations and to purchase a silicone mould, go to www.dinarakasko.com.
The age of independence
Ageless warrior If you needed proof yoga is good for you, look no further than New Yorker Tao PorchonLynch. At 98, she’s the world’s oldest yoga teacher and one of the faces of fitness gear maker Athleta’s Power of She campaign. Growing up in India, she was told by her aunt at age eight that yoga was ‘unladylike’ – to which she replied “If boys can do it, so can I”. We love that 90 years on, she’s the same spirited individual. Her mantra? “When you wake up every morning, say, ‘this is going to be the best day of my life’, and it will be”. Tao, we salute you.
A group of women in London decided facing a future old, sick and alone wasn’t really their cup of tea. So they set up Older Women Co-Housing, where they can support one another through whatever ageing throws at them. The women, aged from 50 to 87, began work on the idea 20 years ago. The result: a new, purpose-built apartment block in north London offering 17 flats for sale on 250-year leases and eight for social rent. One resident says, “I have 25 doors I can knock on and say ‘I desperately need a hug’”. One of the founding members says they wanted to show that, “You don’t have to be a pathetic old creature. There’s life beyond 70, beyond 80 – if you learn to use your faculties”. Given that, by 2036, it’s expected between 21 and 24% of New Zealanders will be aged 65+, this could be a great community-based solution for those twilight years. For more about the project see www.owch.org.uk.
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PHOTOGRAPHS HIDDEN FIGURES -© 20TH CENTURY FOX/MOVIESTILLSDB.COM REAL WOMEN IN UNDERWEAR WWW.LOVEAVERAGE.COM SAM BARSKY INSTAGRAM.COM SHYLO CONCRETE PRODUCTS SHYLO.BIGCARTEL.COM DINARA KASKO CAKE WWW.DINARAKASKO.COM TAO PORCHON-LYNCH INSTAGRAM.COM OLDER WOMEN CO-HOUSING WWW.OWCH.ORG.UK WERK FOR PEACE INSTAGRAM.COM KENYA DANCE CLASS WWW.ANNOSAFRICA.ORG.UK
Shake that sass… Last year’s tragic massacre of 49 people at a gay bar in Florida shocked the world. Now an LGBT movement called Werk for Peace is reclaiming the dance floor. Werk decribes itself as a grassroots movement that uses dance to promote peace. “The queer community has always been at the forefront of promoting change... dance is integral to our movement and to our healing”. They’ve already held a dance party with biodegradable glitter outside the home of US vice-president Mike Pence – a supporter of ‘gay conversion’ therapy – to send the message that transphobia and homophobia won’t be tolerated. Their message? ‘We are here. We will dance.’ Turn up the music, we’re shimmying with you.
It pays to boogie In further ‘dancing activism’ news, a New Zealand campaign called Treat Her Right has been encouraging women to get their groove on in the cause of pay equality. In December the group invited women to join them in dancing as a group to Donna Summer’s ‘She Works Hard for the Money’ for a video campaign. Among the many women who rocked up to the event were Labour’s Jacinda Ardern, journalist and recent Auckland mayoral candidate Chloe Swarbrick and members of our own team. The film will be just one part of a Council of Trade Unions drive for equal pay; currently New Zealand women earn on average 13% less than their male counterparts for work of the same value. Head along to www. womensweeklyco.nz.
Pointing the way “Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.” This beautiful quote by author Doris Lessing appears on the website of charity Anno’s Africa, and sums up what’s at the heart of its work . The UK-based organisation runs education arts projects for Kenya’s poor, including a dance academy in Kibera, a slum area of Nairobi housing 700,000 people. The academy is a schoolroom with the chairs and tables pushed aside after class, and the concrete wall serves as the barre. Almost 40 students take the class with teacher Mike Wamaya, an ex-ballet dancer and choreographer, thanks to charity funds. More advanced dancers also receive shoes. Some of the children have even been accepted to the national dance academy. To find out more, or to donate, go to www.annosafrica.org.uk.
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The star of T V series Westside and movie remake Pork Pie gives us a close-up on her world
The city I’d love to live in is… New York .
Craz y in Love 22 NEXT
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The three things I’d take to a desert island are… Sunscreen, hat and umbrella… are you sensing a theme? I’m super sun-conscious as I burn quickly. My friends call me Casper because I always stay in the shade with an enormous hat on my head. My favourite day of the week is… Sunday; even writing the word makes me feel relaxed. My advice to my younger self is… Be gentler and kinder to yourself. My best birthday ever was… my 21st. I had a big party and the theme was ‘Come as someone you’d love to be for just one day’. I wanted to go as Beyoncé but thought that was too ambitious so settled on Cleopatra. The person I’d cast in a movie of my life would be… Thora Birch.
PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCK IMAGES, GETTY IMAGES, MICHAEL JAMES ROOKE AND SUPPLIED
Top of my bucket list is… to see the Northern Lights. The movie I’ve watched the most in my life is…The Railway Children. It was my favourite as a child and I’d watch it whenever I went to my best friend’s house (at least once a month). I’m sure I’ve seen it over 20 times. We caught up recently and decided we should watch it again to see what we make of it now; I’m a bit scared it won’t quite live up to my memories… The song that always makes me want to dance is… Crazy in Love by Beyoncé. If I could raid one person’s wardrobe it would be… Alexa Chung’s. My No 1 heroine is… my mother. She’s the wisest and kindest person I have ever met. My hidden talent is… I make a really good fish face; I practised all through kindergarten until I could do it. My favourite quote or poem is… ‘Your next step is the one in front of you.’ It can simplify decisions that seem complex and confusing.
Priority Cancer changed cabinet minister Nikki Kaye’s relationship with her body, and now she thinks women should take a better look at their health
PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCK IMAGES AND SUPPLIED
t’s still pretty painful for me to remember the weeks after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt lost and broken, but my family were amazing. Like clockwork, they stepped in to drive me to medical appointments, cook for me, make me laugh or just be there if I fell apart. I was also humbled and moved by the huge number of people who contacted me, many of whom have had or have cancer. People I knew and people I didn’t know. They gave me health tips and referred me to books, websites, diets, and therapies. I tried lots of things, even if occasionally I was told or read somewhere else that what I was trying was the worst thing possible! However, there were some real lessons I learned, and regardless of what was a terrible time early on, positive things have come out of my breast cancer. A big thing I’ve learned is to look after myself better. I think a lot of people don’t invest enough in their mental and physical health. Women especially often tend to look after others first, then think about themselves if they’re lucky. When I was younger I watched my mum work several jobs to support my family, always putting the needs of my brother, sister and I ahead of her own. I know some of that is just part of being a mum. However, I think now that if many mums took the same care with their own health as they do with their children, they’d be a lot healthier. Simple lessons I’ve learned are to drink more water, eat at least five to seven portions of fruit and vegetables each day, eat less
meat and more superfoods like berries and nuts, cut back on caffeine and alcohol and sleep more. I also urge women not to put off that mammogram. We lose so many beautiful Kiwi women and some men to this disease. Investing in that half an hour could literally save your life. Also, if you feel unwell don’t wait until things are really bad before you get checked out. We are fortunate to have such capable and sensitive medical professionals in New Zealand. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, then you’re probably right. I’m now back at work as a cabinet minister and MP for Auckland Central. My life will be busy but I’m determined to stick to my new, healthier life. While I will still wear heels, I’ll more often be found wandering the Beehive in my comfy sneakers and ugg boots! If people say Do you “do you want a wine?” I plan to pour t h i n k wome myself a soda water and lime. And if n should someone says “come for a run” and I’m s p en d feeling tired, I might ask them to come more ti m for a walk instead. their he e on alth? Last year taught me that sometimes, life knocks us down when we least email u bauerms at: next@ expect it. But it also taught me to make or Fac edia .co.nz time to invest in my health, and focus Magaz ebook Next ine NZ on the things that matter. #
If many mums took the same care with their own health as they do with their children, they’d be a lot healthier
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
There’s busy, and then there’s Bernadine Oliver-Kerby. She rarely gets more than five hours’ sleep, she doesn’t believe in ‘me time’ and yet she might be the most enthusiastic person you’ll ever meet, despite a rough couple of years. She talks to NEXT about love, loss and why slowing down is the last thing on her mind BY EMMA CLIFTON
ernadine Oliver-Kerby speaks in capital letters. Her enthusiasm is big. Every single sentence is punctuated with at least one emphasised word. She LOVES her job. Her family is her PASSION. Her alarm clock has been going off at 4.30am for TWELVE years. She worked over the summer holidays filling in for the weekend shifts, which was FABULOUS. Back in 1991, when she got her first TV role opposite Oscar Kightley on a teenage news show called Life, she couldn’t believe her luck: To land a PAID JOB at TVNZ as a TV PRESENTER? It was a DREAM. There are people who are cheerful because they have led relatively untouched lives and there are people who are cheerful because they have lived through dark times and they know how to value the good. Oliver-Kerby is the latter category. She is so upbeat it feels like you could probably set her feet on fire and she wouldn’t complain, apart from to tell you it is WARM in here. And you would be forgiven for thinking no-one can truly be that resolutely positive, until you see it in person and realise it is legitimate. Oliver-Kerby has been a broadcaster in New Zealand, not to mention a household name, for
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more than 20 years but she still seems to be someone who pinches herself at how her life has turned out. This is a good thing for all of us to aim for – but particularly when you keep in mind it has not been an easy couple of years for the 45-year-old. A TVNZ reshuffle saw her long-term One News job made redundant last year, but before that she had already suffered a far more devastating loss: her beloved father died of motor neurone disease in 2015, an illness as cruel as it can be swift. Her mother died when Oliver-Kerby was 24 and now she is in that weird position where she is the mother to young daughters, but is now the oldest generation of her family. Getting older, as she jokes, is “better than the alternative”. But it’s a conscious choice to decide how you take on the challenges ageing will bring. Do you await the bad, or focus on the good?
Whether she has been on the screens for One News or behind the microphone on the radio for Newstalk ZB, Oliver-Kerby has been in the business of news for a long time, and it’s still a career choice that gives her great energy. Which is good, because >
An observation she often receives from friends is that she walks really fast and talks even faster. ‘That’s me. It’s in the DNA’
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with “survive on four hours, happy on five” as her sleep motto, you’d imagine energy would be in short supply. Life at home sounds like very controlled chaos. Her husband Mark Lendrum, a police officer, takes the morning shift with her two girls Scarlett, seven, and Maisey, eight, and then Oliver-Kerby takes the afternoon/evening shift after she finishes at work. She describes her broadcasting career as “horrible hours for me, great hours for the kids”. And no – you never get used to waking up at 4.30am, she laughs. “Pippa Wetzell once described it as being constantly jetlagged and she’s correct. You’re always in catch-up mode – I feel like my brain isn’t as sharp, isn’t as quick as it could be. But I think every mother goes through that – our kids are put on this planet to torture us and make us feel old.” The trade for getting four hours of sleep a night is that she has always been able to be the mum who can go to the school activities and coach the team sports, as well as working a full day. “It’s been an absolute blessing and triumph. I’m pretty tired at the end of the day, but I’m always there to pick them up at the end of school. I’m able to be very present, very hands on – which is a real gift, as a mum. But… yeah. I’m actually 25, I just look 45.” So when your day starts at 4.30am and you often don’t get home until 12 hours later, how do you keep from burning out? Easy, says Oliver Kerby. You only burn out when you stop. “And I don’t stop.” She jokes that an observation she often receives from friends is that she walks really fast and talks even faster. “That’s me. It’s in the DNA.” “You know that saying, ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person?’ It’s so true. There are times when you think you can’t throw another ball in the air, and then you do and you juggle it quite successfully.”
LIVING WITH LOSS
One ball that Oliver Kerby has added to the mix is her charity work. She has been involved with Child Cancer Foundation and Westpac Rescue Helicopter for years and is now raising awareness for motor neurone disease. It’s been a little over a year and a half since her beloved father Grant died at age 67, and the grief is still very raw for Oliver-Kerby. It’s hard, she says quietly. That enthusiastic voice has briefly disappeared, the exhaustion of loss still very present. “It doesn’t matter how busy you are, you can’t escape what’s in your head.” There’s a long pause, and then an even quieter voice. “You’re never too old to stop needing your mum and dad.”
Oliver-Kerby and her father Grant on her wedding day.
‘You’re never too old to stop needing your mum and dad’
The pain of losing a parent is an inevitability for us all, but Oliver-Kerby has lived it twice, in two very different circumstances. Her mother Diane died suddenly of an aneurysm when Oliver-Kerby was just 24, leaving behind a shell-shocked family. And then 20 years later, her and her older brother Brendan had to watch their remaining parent die slowly. Motor neurone disease is the worst of the worst, a diagnosis that comes with no hope. Those with it, and those watching it happen, mourn in stages as the disease kills off muscle by muscle. Her father’s death was 14 months of torture. “The hard thing is you see them battle. And you think ‘No matter how hard it is for you, it’s not a patch on what they’re going through.’ Because you can never escape the fact you’re not going to win. And people need hope. “You do get in a fog,” she says. “I don’t know if it ever lifts. I just think you learn to live with it. And you have good days and bad days… you just learn to motor through. There will be some things that remind you and it can be a good memory… or it can turn and make you upset.” Becoming part of the MND community has helped, she says. “You realise you’re not alone. It’s a tiny little community, but it’s your best support mechanism.” She participated in last year’s Walk to Defeat > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
‘Some women think they’re better mothers when they get more time to themselves, and that’s great. I’m a better mum when I’m ensconced in all roles’
When Oliver-Kerby was younger, her mother drilled into her that if you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything. “I used to say, ‘Okay well you run with that, I’d rather have a bike or clothes,’” she says. “I was just an arrogant little 13-year-old who knew nothing; it was probably razor blades to my mother’s ears. And then I lost her when I was 24, and then my dad at 44. It puts it in perspective what is important. It’s family.” She says she’s lucky her husband feels the same way – there is no alone time, no weekends away without the kids. Their greatest joy is hanging out together. Oliver-Kerby counts family bike rides, walks and trips to the library as her favourite ways to take time for herself. “I know that doesn’t work for everyone – I know some women think they’re better mothers when they get more time to themselves, and that’s great. I’m a better mum when I’m happily ensconced in all roles.” The reality of being a parent with no parents yourself to ask for input is now her life. She remembers a lot of what her mother was like when she was growing up and says that’s still a big influence on her. “You absorb a certain amount. Because I haven’t had her around as a grandma, it’s automatically kicked in. She’s not here now to give me advice, I’ve only got how she did it with me,” she says. She remembers her mum as “not a helicopter mum, but a woman of strong values and morals”. And having children at a later stage has been another aspect of Oliver-Kerby’s life that’s seen her look on the sunny side. “I do wonder if part of it is being an older mum. You’ve got more maturity. And there’s a lovely interaction where you’re a little team together.”
THE DAILY NEWS
When your daily bread and butter also involves reporting on the series of unfortunate events that make up the news, a sense of perspective is acquired. Of the topics we discuss, however – election, earthquakes – one in particular gets Oliver-Kerby fired up. “When you’re reading the news about death and destruction… and then you have to read something about Kim Kardashian,” she scoffs. “I know we need
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light relief, but that’s just comic. I could start an ‘I hate Kim Kardashian’ campaign. How could you be that self-centred that your main priority for every day is yourself?” As the mum of two young girls, Oliver-Kerby is hyper-aware of what they’re exposed to – both at home and out in the world. “Kids these days are already talking about their bodies and who’s wearing what. You have to always be aware that little ears are listening… they only have to hear one or two things that will give them a bad perspective on things, or impact their own image.” She’s aware she’s in the golden age of parenting where her girls still want to hang out with her. “It’s going to be like that” – she snaps her fingers – “and they’ll be like, ‘Can you drop me off around the corner?’” she laughs. “It’ll just bring a new set of challenges. It’s like when you’re having a baby and everyone tells you their horror stories! You never hear the nice parts. Although I do expect a lot of door slamming.” Her girls are already showing signs of the kind of women they’re going to grow into. Scarlett, at seven, has developed a fashion eye and is Oliver-Kerby’s chief stylist when they go out shopping. Maisey wants to follow in her dad’s footsteps and become a police officer, but Oliver-Kerby jokes she’s so sweetnatured she’s more likely to wind up giving criminals a cup of tea than chasing them down the street. Whatever they end up picking, she hopes they’re as lucky with their career choices as she’s been. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t really know what you want to do, just work towards it and it’ll morph into something at the right time. I really believe in doors opening and closing… even if sometimes they feel like they’re slamming in your face,” she breaks off laughing. “You just have to play to your strengths and if you find what you love and what you enjoy, then it’s not work. That’s something you gotta stress to your kids.” With that, our interview comes to a close and Oliver-Kerby, like all working mums, starts planning the second shift of the day. “I’ve got half an hour to go home, grab the touch gear and be at the park. And there’s nothing for dinner!” And off she goes, in the daily race against time, moving from one good part of her life to the next. #
HARMAN GRUBISA RING ZARA BOYD AT WORLD PAGE 26 DRESS GLAMOUR BOUTIQUE NECKLACE WITCHERY
NO NEED FOR ME-TIME
ART DIRECTION LOUISE THOMSON PHOTOGRAPHY GUY COOMBES STYLING SONIA GREENSLADE HAIR AND MAKEUP LISA MATSON BERNADINE WEARS PAGE 25 AND 29 SILK WRAP DRESS
MND, where they raised $100,000 for research. Raising awareness of the disease is important she says, because people can’t support the cause if they don’t know about it.
‘I really believe in doors opening and closing, even if sometimes they feel like they’re slamming in your face’
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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Women have a lot on our plate, and a lot to navigate as we grow older. From climbing the career ladder to facing menopause, NEXT hosts a lively chat about the topics women should be talking about, but aren’t BY SARA BUNNY AND EMMA CLIFTON
hether it’s a family issue, a health concern or a career crisis, women are experts at brushing off all manner of worries with two little words: ‘I’m fine’. So NEXT deputy editor Emma Clifton invited a group of women to gather for lunch, laughter and candid chatter on the sort of topics we all think about but often sweep aside. Over rosé and platters at a central Auckland restaurant,
NEXT writers Nicky Pellegrino, Kylie Bailey, Deborah Hill Cone and lifestyle coach Sarah Laurie covered everything from social media and parenting pressures, to navigating menopause and negotiating a pay rise. While the opinions sometimes differed, the consensus was the same: these are issues all modern women face, and usually keep to ourselves – but we shouldn’t be afraid of starting a conversation.
Deborah Hill Cone
A best-selling author, Nicky has written nine novels. The 52-year-old is a long-time contributor to NEXT and lives with her husband in Auckland.
Kylie, 36, is the co-founder of health and wellness platform Good For You TV, a content strategist and freelance writer. She lives in Auckland with her husband.
NEXT’s acting deputy editor, 31-year-old Emma has been a magazine journalist for 10 years. She lives in Auckland with two flatmates and a recently adopted cat.
Author, speaker and personal coach, Sarah Laurie, 45, works with individuals and companies on stress management. She lives in Auckland with her husband and four children.
An award-winning journalist and Filthy Rich screenwriter, Deborah, 49, is the columnist behind NEXT’s monthly feature Backchat. She lives in Auckland with her two children. > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
RISING ABOVE IT
Emma: What do you think women worry too much about? Nicky: I used to spend an enormous amount of mental energy worrying about my weight. I think about the amount of time my head was filled with ‘If I just ate this’ or ‘If I just did this and got a bit thinner’, and if I’d used all that time for something better I could probably have run the world! If I could change one thing I thought about a lot as a young woman, it would be weight. Nothing ever changed; I didn’t get thin from all that worrying! Kylie: It’s that comparison experience. You know you shouldn’t compare yourself, but it’s so hard not to do that. Especially with social media, and all these pictures of amazing looking people in bikinis, looking really hot with all these filters. Deborah: The thing I wish I had known earlier was to stop thinking about stuff all the time, and to feel things more; we’re not just a brain on a stick. I would rather be in my body a bit more, even if it’s a wobbly old thing! Emma: Is social media adding pressure to our lives? Kylie: Think about all the information we are bombarded with, that amount of imagery has to impact on the way we approach things. We’re losing that ability to connect, we’ve got our faces in our phones and we’re comparing notes about our cushions and our holidays and our kale. I love kale in my social media feed and I’m not going to lie, I probably do style
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‘Everyone edits and curates. Just how we would with a magazine, we are now able to do it with our lives’ my kale before it goes on social media! That’s the reality of it. Nicky: ‘I’m Kylie, and I style my kale!’ I can see a T-shirt! Kylie: I have styled my kale before and I will style it again! Nicky: I posted a picture of my kitchen after we had people over for dinner and my husband was like “You can’t put that up on Instagram!” And I said “But this is what it looks like!” Sarah: I want to start an Instagram that’s called ‘real’. I would post photos of my chaotic wardrobe in the morning, and my laundry full of dust and fluff. I should do it. Kylie: Everyone edits and curates. Just how we would with a magazine, we are now able to do to it with our lives. Deborah: Everyone’s able to do it, but I think if you put something up on social media that’s more like how it actually is, that’s when people respond to you. Nicky: We all do it – whenever I have people to my house I run around in a frenzy with the Spray n’ Wipe. Sarah: When people pop in, I want to stop myself from going ‘oh sorry it’s such a
mess’, but I can’t! I’ve never been able to not say anything! It’s ridiculous, all these things we worry about. Deborah: We have to be real, someone has to come out and say, ‘I yell at my children sometimes’. Nicky: Mummy blogs do that don’t they? The problem is you get trolled quite badly if you say anything people disapprove of; we’re all so judgemental.
THE GENDER DIVIDE
Emma: Do you think it’s harder to be a woman in this generation? Nicky: I think it’s harder because I think feminism has only partly worked. I think it’s stalled slightly. Although, seeing all those women in Washington and having that dialogue happening again, I wonder
if it might restart because of that. Maybe the upside of Trump is people will galvanise. I feel as though, yes we all have jobs, but how many of us are still expected to do everything else, and are those jobs well paid? And are we still supposed to be teetering in our high heels? Deborah: Can I put in a word for men? I think men get a terrible deal actually. Nicky: (to Deborah) No they don’t! Deborah: I think they do. I have a son so I’m very aware of what messages he’s getting. As a man, you’re still supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to be really successful, you’re not really allowed to show your feelings at all. I think men have a terribly hard time, and I worry for boys growing up. Sarah: I once saw a family at the airport saying goodbye; the father hugged his little girls and when the son reached out to get his hug, the dad shook his hand. It
‘Yes we all have jobs, but how many of us are still expected to do everything else, and are those jobs well paid?’ broke my heart. He would have only been about six. Nicky: But to succeed, women have had to become more like men. Deborah: That’s not good either, I agree with you. Kylie: It’s true, being a woman in business or to climb that ladder, you very much have to put on a testosterone suit with a pair of heels. And how is that working out for us? Emma: Are men also discouraged from showing vulnerability?
Nicky: I think nobody’s meant to be vulnerable. I don’t think it’s acceptable for women to be vulnerable either. Kylie: As a society, we don’t hold that as a value, do we? Deborah: Our society now values independence. If you go back 4.4 million years, it was the opposite. We needed each other, we needed our family. These days you get approval for being totally independent – it’s like ‘look at you, you’re so independent.’ Our society has changed so much in the past 50 years, we’re not really made for the world we live in now. Nicky: I think you can find a man who enjoys your independence, but he won’t necessarily be the same man who enjoys your vulnerability! My husband likes that I’m independent and have my own life, but he doesn’t like it when I break, in any way shape or form. He doesn’t deal with >
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
it – he needs me to be that person he thinks I am. Sarah: My husband struggles when I’m not coping. It’s like he just wants to stick his head in the sand and then peep out and say ‘are you okay now?’ One of the things women are supposedly good at, whether this is a good thing or not, is that we endure. Men are physically strong, women have endurance. We just never stop, it’s always go go go.
Emma: Is parenting becoming more of a minefield? Sarah: When I had young children, I remember being at work and talking about being the best mum I could be when I was working, and this guy who didn’t have children said to me: “When I was growing up, my mum washed everything by hand, she cooked, she baked, she cleaned. She wasn’t concerned
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‘This generation is probably the first where it’s acceptable for parents to say ‘I’m sorry’ to your kid, or ‘I got it wrong’ with taking me to sports events, she was just my mum and that was enough. She wasn’t trying to be the best.” I think we do put too much pressure on ourselves around quality time with the children, how we speak to the children, what kids should or shouldn’t be doing; I think that’s making it hard. Nicky: Nowadays everyone has much higher expectations. There is so much more pressure and it’s like people are unforgiving of anyone who doesn’t meet the standards. You’re not meant to fail
ever, at anything. And that’s a really unhealthy way to live. Sarah: It’s not real. People are so scared of failing, and I don’t know if it’s only women who think this. Nicky: I have noticed with a lot of my friends who have 16-year-old kids doing exams – the pressure around it! I don’t think my mum even knew when my exams were on. Now all of a sudden mum is doing test papers with the kids, and it’s like ‘what can I feed them for breakfast for maximum brain power?’ Sarah: I don’t know whether, with all this trying to help our children be better, this is why we end up with anxious children. We’re actually feeding those issues to our kids by putting so much pressure on. Deborah: There’s this psychologist who talks about how we only have to be the ‘good enough’ mother, not perfect. In fact being perfect can be damaging as it teaches kids people are all perfect and
they’re not. We’re all going to make mistakes, but it’s all about the repair. This generation is probably the first where it’s acceptable for parents to say ‘I’m sorry’ to your kid, or ‘I got it wrong, I shouldn’t have done it that way’. Generations before, I don’t think parents were thinking like that. I don’t think my parents were thinking ‘I hope I’m a good parent’. They just got on with it, went to work, made dinner and watched Coronation Street.
Emma: Parenting is hard, but choosing not to become a mother must be a difficult decision too? Kylie: I don’t know at what point I decided I didn’t want children, but I knew really early on, and thankfully my husband doesn’t want them either, so we’re in a happy union. Nicky: (to Kylie) Do you get pressure from friends with kids, and family though? Kylie: Our families have never said anything about it. Thankfully my brother has had children and that’s got me off the hook, but people you meet in the street often have an opinion. I don’t have a problem with that, I’m actually more than happy to engage with people on the subject because I feel really confident in my choice, but people ask you so many things. Someone actually said to me, “Well that’s the decision you’ll regret on your death bed.”
‘It’s a hard thing to say as you’re meant to be completely 100% adoring of your children, which is bollocks’ Nicky: When I was in my late 30s, I got lots of questions, and my biggest worry was that I would regret not doing it. I was thinking, ‘What if I hit my late 40s or early 50s and I really regret it?’ And there’s no way of knowing. I don’t regret it, but that might just be luck. I think it was the hardest thing, trying to look forward to the future and thinking, ‘I might regret it when there’s no one to look after me.’ Deborah: Don’t worry, I don’t think many people’s kids are going to be there to look after them! Nicky: In the end I started telling people we couldn’t have children, because I just got sick of the questions and that was easier than trying to justify myself. It wasn’t just one simple reason, it was a whole bunch of things. When I said, “Well actually we can’t”, then people shut up. Kylie: It’s an interesting one; people do feel like they have open slather. I do get a lot of people saying, “Don’t you want to just see what it would be like?” Nicky: But what if you don’t like it?! Kylie: Then they say, “But aren’t you just kind of intrigued to see what it would be like to have a little human that is you and your husband?” I’m actually not. Deborah: That could be the worst possible reason to have a child! The narcissistic idea of ‘I want a little me’. I’m sorry but whoever said that I suggest they get some help!
Nicky: I did meet a couple of older women at the time who said, “I love my kids but I could have not had them.” And they were fantastic and so honest. It’s a hard thing to say as you’re meant to be completely 100% adoring of your children, which is bollocks. That was refreshing for me when I was panicking about it, to hear that from these women.
WOMEN AT WORK
Emma: Do you think women give up on getting to the top of their careers, as the sacrifice becomes too much? Deborah: I know women who could be on boards, who have got to a certain point, and given up so much to get there, and then it’s like, ‘I’m really not prepared to frustrate myself.’ I have friends who have said, “I can’t be dealing with it anymore.” They still want to do it, but the price is too high. It’s not even about having kids, it’s about having elderly relatives, or health issues, or family issues. Kylie: I talked to a lady recently who has a business based around getting women into powerful positions through equity funding. It’s a crowd-funding business she has developed because venture capital doesn’t flow to women, so this model is women funding women basically. She was saying you’ll be at a dinner party with women with lots of power and lots of money, and all they have to do is put in > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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‘I think that has to be a lesson that’s instilled in young girls that money and self-worth need to go hand in hand’ to believe that you actually are worth that much. Sarah: My daughter was asked to do some tutoring and payment wasn’t mentioned, and she asked me, “What should I say about money?” I was really mindful of myself as I feel uncomfortable about money, but I wanted it to be a lesson for her around feeling confident about that topic, not feeling bad about it, and recognising that she had value and was worthwhile. We sat down and worked out some figures and she did it, she had the conversation, and she got the money. And I think that has to be a lesson that’s instilled in young girls that money and self-worth need to go hand in hand. Kylie: The other thing I have learned is just to shut up – don’t try to justify it. Just put something on the table and think ‘This is it’. In the past I’ve twittered on because I’m nervous about even asking. The big thing is having the confidence to ask. Sarah: Sometimes it’s around separating yourself from it and just dealing with the facts, not making it personal. It’s a classic women thing; we overanalyse.
OLDER AND WISER
Emma: Do you think we talk enough about menopause? Nicky: I have been talking to lots of
women about menopause recently, as even though I knew it was going to happen, it took me by surprise. I rang my mum and asked her when her period stopped, and she went, “Oh, somewhere in my 50s.” I’m like “How can you not remember that?!” My mother’s generation didn’t really talk about it. I feel like my generation does a bit, but I think if you admit that you’re not in charge of your own moods and having these terrible hot flushes, it’s not really a good thing to do. We’re all meant to be young and strong, and mentally and physically on our game all the time. Kylie: I have been reading about perimenopause, as what happened to me was early onset menopause. Six months ago, I just started crying and getting really angry, to the degree where my husband was like, “You need to do something about this, it’s not normal.” I ended up going to a naturopath. She gave me some tablets and it just helped me reset. Sarah: (to Nicky) Would you do hormone treatment? Nicky: It depends on how horrible I get! Recently someone approached me about a job, but one of the cons was ‘When I’m in a tearful rage, how is everyone going to cope with me?!’ This is not the point in my life where I would be a good manager! Sarah: That’s a really good point; I do
PHOTOGRAPHS TONY NYBERG HAIR AND MAKEUP CHAY ROBERTS AND CLAUDIA RODRIGUES THANKS TO ORPHANS KITCHEN, PONSONBY.
$1000 towards [the cause], but it’s harder to get the money from those types of people than from millennials, who will put the $1000 on their credit cards to help. Deborah: Being a millennial seems like a label that is freighted with all these critical things. Women of my age bitch about millennials, because often, if I’m really honest, it’s that they are jealous of them. There is quite a negativity towards younger women that I think is a shame. It would be really good if we had ways of women connecting with younger women. Emma: Women don’t ever talk about money; is this holding us back? Kylie: I was talking about this the other day with somebody, and we both have independent companies and it turns out we were on exactly the same hourly rate. This was a person I had spent about 10 years working with in a corporate environment, but it took us a while to get to that place where the topic was comfortable. Nicky: You’re always worried that if you ask for too much money, people will just say no and move on. You do think ‘Am I being greedy?’ Sarah: It is uncomfortable, that constant comparison between men and women, but I don’t think men sit around and say, ‘How will I ask for what I’m worth in that role?’ They just name it. Kylie: I’m interested in this website called the Daily Worth, which talks about finances from a feminine perspective, and to believe what you are worth and get what you want. One thing it taught me was to ask for a range, so if you’re uncomfortable to say ‘This is how much I charge’, then do a range, knowing that the range is actually an extra $1000 more than you would have had the guts to ask for in the past. The other thing is the self-talk
think women can underestimate the emotional aspects of menopause, or only recognise them in hindsight. One friend of mine, at the end of a huge year at work, realised that menopause had potentially played a large part in how challenging it had been. I wonder whether if we were a bit more aware earlier on, we would be a little kinder to ourselves throughout the process? Emma: Do you think we feel differently about ageing than our mothers did in their day? Kylie: What’s interesting for me is I’m 36 and recently, for the first time ever, I’ve felt older. I was at a dance party and these kids who were 18-20 were walking past looking at me like ‘you bloody old hippy’! At what point does that happen? There’s a point because I’m there and I can feel it taking place. Nicky: My mother at my age was much
more settled into being older. I think we feel younger than our parents’ generation did. I have some younger friends and we can go out for dinner and have a great time; I just don’t feel that different to them – I know I am when I look at their smooth skin and flat stomachs though. Deborah: It’s very simple, just dress like Stevie Nicks. She always knew what to do! Kylie: I tried to colour my hair for today and it hasn’t worked. Nicky: I have to do the hair dust to cover the grey. Sarah: My friend has grey pubes and she takes them all off, I’m like, ‘Just leave some!’ Deborah: I feel okay about turning 50 – I’m mainly interested in having a big party. I never had a wedding – we just went to the registry office – so I’m having a fancy thing for myself, turning 50.
Nicky: The thing that has surprised me since I turned 50 is that you suddenly start to panic about running out of time to do all the stuff you want to do. You think ‘I’ve never been to India; what if I never write a television drama?’ It’s kind of like, ‘What am I going to do first? How will I cram it all in?’ because there’s a limit to your time, but also your money of course. That’s the thing that most surprised me. I can see these doors are going to start slamming on the experiences that you are going to have and the things you are going to achieve. I didn’t realise that would happen. Sarah: You hear so many people say ‘I don’t want to get old because I’m going to get wrinkly and fat’, and it’s all very much about what their body looks like and how it might not work like it did, but I think it’s cool to look at it from the angle of wanting to pack more into life. #
‘I do think women can underestimate the emotional aspects of menopause, or only recognise them in hindsight’ MARCH 2017 | NEXT
TAKING it back
Lawyer Carrie Goldberg knows all about the life-ruining impact of revenge porn. She talks about empowering her clients and why she wants to change the legal landscape BY JULIA LLEWELLYN SMITH
mong Carrie Goldberg's recent clients is a fashion student called Norma. Aged 17, Norma first met 19-year-old Christopher Morcos in a Starbucks, near her home in New Jersey, US. They started going out and, like many teenage boys today, he asked her to send him explicit selfies. Like many teenage girls, Norma agreed, but only after Morcos promised never to share them. But a few months after she ended the two-year relationship, Norma received a text from a stranger saying he'd seen her picture on Pornhub, the largest pornography site on the internet. Online, Norma found eight explicit pictures of herself, accompanied by her
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first and last name. “It was basically soliciting people to contact me for oral sex,” she recalls. “It had my phone number – that's how that stranger had found me. It had my street name. My town was there. It said, ‘Find me on Facebook.’ My bra size was there. And then the photos.” Norma had no idea how to fight this. Googling desperately, she came across Carrie Goldberg, a 39-year-old lawyer based in Brooklyn, whose practice is one of very few in the world to specialise in sexual privacy, a brand new area of law seeking to tackle one of the internet’s worst bequests. Goldberg told her she was a victim of ‘revenge porn’, a fast-growing but little understood crime, whereby angry exes, >
â€˜In my first year, I was only taking cases for free. What I do is a crusade. I found my calling during my hellâ€™
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LAWSUITS AND LIPPY
Eventually her ex was issued with a restraining order and the pictures never published. “So then I resolved to start a law firm to deal with these issues.” Had she spotted a lucrative gap in the market? Goldberg laughs. “Oh my God, no. I didn’t see any money in it. In my first year I was only taking cases for free. What I do is a crusade. I found my calling during my hell.” With long wavy brown hair, oversized designer glasses, bright lips and nails and wearing a red vest top and black trousers that emphasise her slight figure, Goldberg is nothing like the dour lawyer stereotype. In the tatty courtrooms and police stations she frequents, she favours colourblock mini-dresses and 12cm heels. She has a chihuahua called Meshugenneh [Yiddish for ‘crazy fool’], who has “been known to sneak into the office at weekends”, and she drives a 1966 Pontiac GTO.
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or, increasingly, hackers, post sexual photos and videos online without the subjects’ permission. In New Zealand, the Harmful Digital Communications Act was passed in 2015, partly to tackle the ‘revenge porn loophole’, where ex-partners could distribute intimate photos or videos without breaking the Privacy Act. But because this crime is so new, few lawyers or police worldwide have the necessary knowledge or skills to tackle it. Goldberg knew this because, a few years previously, an ex-boyfriend began harassing her online, threatening to send intimate pictures she’d given him to her colleagues in a non-profit criminal justice organisation in Manhattan, where there are no revenge porn laws (revenge porn is only illegal in 34 out of 50 US states). “When I went to the police, they told me it was not a criminal issue,” she recalls. “I was someone’s target and needed a lawyer and couldn't find someone who had knowledge of domestic violence, internet law, criminal law and free speech – these crimes are the intersection of so many different disciplines. I was at a loss.”
Female celebrities had private videos and photos hacked from iCloud and posted online She carries a pepper spray in selfdefence (“A lot of our victims are being stalked online and offline by uncontrollably angry sociopaths and we sometimes find ourselves the proxy of their rages,” she explains), but one that comes in a sparkly canister with the brand name Bling Sting. “Someone described me as ‘squiggly’ and my friends and family confirmed that captured my gestalt,” she laughs. Amicably divorced from an English professor and declining to say if she’s now in a relationship, for breakfast Goldberg – who burns calories boxing at the gym – consumes a protein bar, two mini Charleston Chews (a nougat-flavoured bar) and a small Tootsie Roll (a chocolate
bar). Until dinner, she eats nothing but more protein bars and drinks blueberry juice. “It’s one less factor and decision in what inevitably will be a day of variability and decisions,” she says. Such kookiness could come across as twee, but actually it’s a mark of Goldberg's determination to be her own unapologetic person, in the face of constant sexism, as well as attacks on her Jewishness. Online, she says, she’s subject to “run-of-the-mill anti-Semitic misogyny. But not nearly as bad as in court where opposing counsel once called me a ‘titless freak’,” she adds blithely. “My shirt was Photoshopped off on Twitter last week. And I was mildly impressed by the similarities between my boobs and those enhancing me.” Recently, she sent a female US law professor who was besieged by internet trolls a MAC Lady Danger lipstick and the message: “This is what I wear when I want to feel like a warrior.” Before Morcos’ sentencing, she geed up a terrified Norma, telling her, “You’re a warrior goddess, holding him accountable.” CA Goldberg PLLC was founded three years ago, shortly before revenge porn first made headlines worldwide after female celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, had private videos and photos hacked from iCloud and posted online, an incident Lawrence described as a “sex crime”, adding that people who looked at them were perpetuating a “sexual offence”. The Chicago-based man who hacked the photos of Lawrence, Upton and over 25 other celebrities was recently sentenced to nine months in jail and to pay $7.8k in counselling services to one of his unnamed victims. Today, dozens of websites like myex.com exist for people to post naked pictures of former spouses or lovers. Goldberg’s firm is currently handling 35 cases, several pro bono, often involving girls as young as 13. “It’s difficult for me to say no to certain cases, particularly when the victims are young girls,” she says. She’s also hoping, she says – with sexual privacy law so uncharted – that these pioneering cases will “change the landscape”. Her company homepage features a black and white photo of her and four colleagues – one male – striding along a Brooklyn street, Reservoir Dogs-style.
‘So much shame is associated with what’s occurred, and clients experience it in isolation because they don’t want to tell their parents’ Her offices boast ultra-tight security but retain a “boutique-hotel vibe”, with blue and gold wallpaper, a blue velvet sofa and ornamentation in the shape of a glittery plastic axe retrieved from an abandoned art exhibit, which symbolises Goldberg’s fierceness on her clients’ behalf and appeals to their teenage sensibilities. “We try to keep our office cool and interesting, to have toys clients can fiddle with, because it’s important to us we’re on their wavelength,” she says. “I have one who's like, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to live here.’” Similarly, Goldberg is at pains to communicate with her clients in a way they understand. “We text or direct message; they don’t want to talk to us on the phone. A lot of them follow me on Twitter. It’s a new age of lawyering.”
Goldberg says every young client she’s worked with has been “suicidal” with misery. “So much shame is associated with what’s occurred, and clients experience it in isolation because they don’t want to tell their parents.” As Norma, who still lives with her parents, put it: “I felt shame talking about [my experience] before, never knowing if the person you’re confiding in is judging you. I felt so worn out when I met [Carrie].” Norma was lucky to live in New Jersey, the first US state to pass revenge porn laws in 2004, meaning Morcos was given a maximum sentence of five years’ probation, 100 hours’ community service and an order never to contact her again. “I cannot get back my privacy that was invaded when those pictures were online,” she told the court in a statement. “Every single day I think about the fact other people have seen me in my most private state.” Other clients see less satisfactory conclusions. Connie, 35, who formerly had a good job in luxury advertising, became a virtual recluse after her ex set up porn sites juxtaposing shots of her head next to random images of vaginas (she’d never sent him nude pictures), captioned “Asian black
widow” who “enjoys gang bangs”. Her full contact details were listed. Even though she managed to remove the images, attempts to nail the perpetrator on criminal charges related to his restraining order failed, in Goldberg’s opinion because the prosecutor was “more interested in getting this case off his caseload than in challenging the court”, something that’s not uncommon. Today, she says, Connie “is keeping a very low profile. Her life is substantially more restrictive than what it was.” Many revenge porn victims feel obliged to quit social media, and so lose contact with friends. Employers are suspicious about their lack of online presence. “It can be liferuining,” Goldberg says. “Their reputations are really damaged: these days no one can get a job or a relationship or an apartment without being googled. If you’re not there, people wonder what you’re hiding.” Revenge-porn victims are usually young and female (80% are women) and Goldberg believes lawmakers often don’t take crimes against them sufficiently seriously. While stringent copyright and anti-piracy laws abound protecting big businesses’ profits, there are far fewer laws to protect vulnerable individuals. “If I film a Justin Bieber concert and send that to another person’s phone, that would be illegal, but there’s nothing to stop you sharing non-commercial, sexually graphic content of another person.”
The other reason, Goldberg says, is legislators often struggle to understand why anyone would be so rash as to send a naked selfie. “They tend to be white males, much older than the victim, who think anyone who would take a naked picture and share it is stupid or perverted, or at best should know better. They just cannot put themselves in the victims’ shoes.” She also points out not all images were taken consensually. “I have victims who were photographed without their knowledge, by someone peeping through a door. I have a client who was raped;
she was 13. The rapist took a video of him penetrating her and that went viral throughout the whole school.” To make matters worse, the school then asked the girl to stay at home, saying she was “a distraction”. Goldberg has now filed claims against three other schools over similar cases, claiming they didn’t investigate claims of assault quickly enough or take sufficient steps to stop them happening again. “Those cases are why I get up in the morning. They give me nourishment because I am going after them at a systemic level,” she exclaims. But whatever the circumstances in which the images were taken, Goldberg is at pains to stress to victims they are not to blame for the fallout. “If I give the waiter my credit card to pay for dinner, I’m not consenting for him to charge me for the entire restaurant’s steaks.” Another big part of her work is the growing crime of ‘sextortion’, where – in many cases – organised criminal gangs, based in countries like Morocco, the Philippines and the Ivory Coast, use social media to entice victims – usually teenagers – to perform sexual acts on screen and then blackmail them. In 2016, 900 such cases were reported in the UK, more than double the previous year, with four young men committing suicide as a result of their shame. The National Crime Agency believes the true scale of the phenomenon is much greater, with many victims too embarrassed to go to the police. In one of Goldberg’s recent cases, a 17-year-old girl met a stranger in a forum for teenagers questioning their sexuality – a goldmine for those looking to prey on the vulnerable. “After months of really supportive and open chatting he persuaded her to strip and masturbate on camera,” says Goldberg. “Immediately afterwards, he said, ‘I'm now going to send this to everyone on your Facebook friends list. The only way you can stop me is if you agree to three more videos of you masturbating.’ Of course, if she had done that, it would just have raised the stakes.” Goldberg set up a sting online. “But then the guy vanished.” Two and a half years on, she adds, the woman is still “very shaken”. Goldberg is the second of four children. Her father ran a furniture store; her mother was an obituary writer at the local paper, > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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who left work to bring up her family. Goldberg was hugely influenced by the Riot Grrrl underground feminist punk movement that emerged there in the 90s, making bras out of baby doll-heads that she sold on the nearby university campus. At school, she and a friend used to amuse themselves by writing erotica about the boys’ sports teams. When a teacher found the stories and confronted their parents, Goldberg was furious, pointing out that in searching their lockers he had violated their privacy. The internet was in its infancy, and Goldberg was frequently “getting my family kicked off Prodigy [the now defunct internet service provider], because I’d be having conversations with strangers.” In those days, ISPs were responsible for what was said on their platforms and constantly being sued. But in 1996, laws were passed making ISPs not liable for third-party conduct. “That’s what made them these untouchable behemoths,” she says. She was still at school when she dropped off a friend at a party, who subsequently passed out from alcohol and was sexually assaulted by the host and his friends. “Back then, it didn’t occur to her or me to tell the police or even to call it rape,” she says. “But, as I think about it now, that was a pivotal moment for me.”
PHOTOGRAPHS THE TIMES MAGAZINE/NEWS SYNDICATION AND GETTY IMAGES
MEN ARE VICTIMS TOO
While around 70% of Goldberg’s clients are female and young, the other 30% are male and much older. “They tend to be well into their late 60s, highly successful men who’ve had some sensual indiscretion or dalliance. The woman is coming back and extorting them, with text messages or emails showing logistics about meeting at a hotel, threatening to out them to the board of their company or their wife.” Again, it’s easy to shrug, ‘Serves them right’, but Goldberg warns these men may not have done anything wrong, that anyone who wants to harm anyone can now do so with just a few clicks on a keyboard. “In the palm of our hands we have true weapons we can use against anybody.” One of her clients has a stalker who’s set up a site featuring her selling free sex, meaning men are constantly turning up at the shop where she works, undeterred if she ignores them, since the site assures
‘The problem is not so much with the images; it’s with the distribution. There need to be criminal laws to deter that kind of behaviour’ them that’s part of the game. “Every single one of us is moments away from meeting someone who is going to maliciously want to take you down. It doesn’t require you to have even done anything bad or what they’re accusing you of. The internet has such a variety of ways to humiliate another person.”
THE END OF TRUTH
“There are STD registries, registries where you can claim someone is a homewrecker or has been unfaithful. If you said something that annoyed me, I could go to a paedophile registry and claim you’re a paedophile and send that to everyone you’re Facebook friends with. It happens. Truth doesn’t matter; we certainly saw that played out during the presidential election. It’s a new age.” Since Donald Trump was voted in, Goldberg says she’s seen a “drastic uptick” in people seeking her help. “Our country has elected to our highest office someone with a history of bullying, sexual assault and harassment and I guess there’s a modelling of behaviour, a trickle-down effect of maliciousness,” she sighs. What worries Goldberg most isn’t that people are humiliating each other with revenge porn, but that other people are helping, disseminating photos and videos on social media without a thought to the victim, as seen in her school rape cases. “We no longer have individual experiences. No one can look at their phone and just delete something any more; they have to share it. People have to be taught to think before they click: if you get an image of someone being raped, reflect how it’s going to affect the other person before you send it to 40 of your friends on Facebook.” In the UK, health secretary Jeremy Hunt recently suggested tech companies should ban sexting and cyberbullying among schoolchildren, employing software to detect and delete sexually explicit images and cruel words used by under-18s on their sites. Some decried this as censorship,
others as merely impractical. Goldberg is cautiously approving. “The problem isn’t so much with the images; it’s with the distribution. We shouldn't be stifling any form of self-expression. We should be teaching people to respect one another’s privacy. There need to be criminal laws to deter that kind of behaviour.” Goldberg is slowly helping to change the culture. She’s on the board of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, which in 2015 worked to have revenge porn links banned on search engines. “It’s gamechanging, because one of the most ruinous consequences of revenge porn was search engine results: if the first few pages of your results are all naked pictures and defamatory sexual promiscuity, it has a true impact on your life.” At home, she urges us to discuss such issues with our children. “It’s important for girls and boys to know from a young age what the worst case scenarios of sharing intimate images can be, to know if there is ever an incident where they have shared and are being threatened on the internet or at school, they can always talk to you. The most important thing you can do is escalate it, so any links come down fast.” I say I hope an etiquette will evolve to curtail some of our more reckless online behaviour. “I think as long as technology keeps evolving there are going to be new crimes and new ways to harm people,” Goldberg retorts, bleakly. But she’s anything but downbeat about her work. “Oh my God, I have the best job in the entire universe! People come to me in the middle of a tornado, in this isolating, emotionally draining state of trauma, this hopeless feeling that no one can understand what the problem is. But it brings me so much joy, because there’s so much satisfaction to be had in solving their problems and delivering people from this state of hopeless misery to a place where they can say, ‘Okay, problem solved. I can go about my life again. This isn’t going to keep me from my grand plan.’” # MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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The shape of
MOTHERHOOD Do exercise and diet help shift those post-baby kilos? Or does genetics come into play? We ask three mums how they arrived at, and feel about, their post-baby bodies BY EIMEAR O’HAGAN
‘Getting mobile again was key’ Amie Crewes, 36, is a full-time mum. She lives with her husband Dan, 36, a senior enforcement officer and their son Cameron, 12 months. She says: “When I reflect on what my body has been through over the past year, I feel so proud of it. Cameron was born weighing 3.7kg after a 48-hour labour, which ended in an emergency C-section. When the epidural wore off, my left leg was numb and the doctors realised my labour had caused nerve damage. I had
to use a wheelchair then crutches for my first seven weeks as a mum, which was scary, as we didn’t know how long it would take to recover, if at all. Before getting pregnant, I loved running and would do up to 56km a week, but all my plans to be out jogging within weeks of giving birth went out the window. Instead I was having physio and trying to get mobile again. When Dan and I first started trying for a baby a couple of years ago, I was in the best shape of >
Amie’s post-pregnancy journey
39 weeks pregnant
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‘By the time Cameron was six months old, I was still having physio but was finally able to walk normally and gently jog’
my life. At 1.6m, I was 62kg, a size 10 and had just run a marathon. Desperate not to let pregnancy undo all my hard work, I was conscious of what I ate and ran until I was 20 weeks. After that, my muscle tone soon went and my bum and thighs got wobbly quickly. By 36 weeks, I weighed almost 76kg. I loved my bump, but couldn’t help feeling self-conscious about my swollen ankles. Within two weeks of having Cameron, I’d naturally dropped 6kg, but after that my weight stayed at 69kg for almost three months because I was so inactive. I felt flabby, with an apron of loose skin on my stomach and I became anxious that if my mobility didn’t return, it could take a long time to get back into shape. I was still wearing some of my maternity clothes and being a toned size 10 was a distant memory. Dan assured me I looked great and suggested I focus on enjoying these precious first months as a mum, so that’s exactly what I decided to do. I was never self-conscious about my body in front of Dan – he knew better than anyone what my body had been through and was proud of it. He didn't care if I was a bit wobbly! By the time Cameron was six months old, I was still having physio but was finally able to walk normally and gently jog short distances. My weight slowly dropped, too, as I ate healthily, avoided
junk food and was still exclusively breastfeeding. Although I was down to 66kg and a size 12, my boobs were still massive, having gone from a 32DD to 32GG. My tummy was pretty much flat again by November, which I put down to keeping it really toned before pregnancy, but I couldn’t say the same for my arms and bum. However, even though I was itching to tone them up again, my physio advised me to wait a little bit longer before properly exercising. When Cameron was nine months old, I weighed 62kg and was wearing a size 10 as I was able to part-run, part-walk 5km once a week, and go for shorter jogs with the buggy. It was so great to be active again – I had taken it for granted and had never thought it could be such an issue with a new baby. A year on, I weigh 61kg and I’m back in the jeans I bought after the marathon. I run 5km a week and walk for an hour every day with the pram. I’m still breastfeeding, so my boobs have remained a 32GG. I hope they won’t end up looking too saggy. I’m surprised at how my body has recovered. I felt so flabby after having Cameron, but my muscles were still there, so it hasn’t taken too much effort to re-engage them. I’m just thankful I was so fit prepregnancy, otherwise I’m sure I would be in much worse shape now.”
‘Within days I was out walking with the pram but that’s all the exercise I was prepared to do’ Vee Da Palma Gias, 38, is a full-time mum and lives with her husband Fernando, 49, a security guard, and their son Benjamin, 12 months. Vee says: “Although I’m originally from Brazil, where many women are very body-conscious, I was raised to be confident irrespective of how I looked. That’s why I was determined to enjoy my pregnancy and first year of motherhood, and not worry about any effects it might have on my shape. I’ve seen too many women stress about their bodies and tear themselves away from their new babies to go to the gym. That was never going to be me. Plus, I’m not a big fan of exercise – apart from the odd yoga class – and I’m lucky I’ve never put on much weight. Although I was aware pregnancy might change that. It took ages for my bump to appear. At some of my pregnancy yoga classes and antenatal appointments, I could see other women wondering what I was doing there as it wasn’t until I was 20
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weeks that my belly popped out. By 33 weeks, I weighed 74kg – 8kg heavier than pre-pregnancy – and adored my new shape. I’d stare at it in the mirror and post photos on social media, feeling so proud of the curves on my 1.65m frame. Benjamin was born 10 days overdue, weighing 3.2kg. Within days, I was out walking with the pram, but that’s all the exercise I was prepared to do. I only breastfed for two weeks because Benjamin wasn’t feeding properly. He lost a lot of weight and when he was five days old he ended up in hospital for three days. It was agony trying to express for him, so I made the decision to stop and my 38C boobs soon went back down to their original size of 36B and didn’t look or feel any different from before. By the time Benjamin was three months old, my weight was down to 68kg. I did feel I ought to have been lighter by then, but I’d had a contraceptive implant inserted, which made me gain a little weight. It also made me feel sick, so I had it
Vee’s post-pregnancy journey
33 weeks pregnant
removed in September and the weight slowly began to come off. Even though the saying is ‘nine months on, nine months off’, I still wasn’t back to my pre-pregnancy weight nine months after the birth and had excess weight on my bum and hips. I couldn’t complain, though, as I hadn’t done anything to shift it. For the first time ever I was craving fizzy drinks and chocolate, probably to help give me the energy to cope with the sleepless nights and all the running around a new mum has to do. Even so, I was still surprised pregnancy fat could stick around for so long. Fernando constantly reassured me I looked good, so even though I wasn’t as slim as I used to be, I never worried about being naked around him. A year on from Benjamin’s birth, I weigh 66.5kg – just a tad heavier than I was before I conceived. Aside from some loose skin on my stomach and my hips being slightly wider than they used to be, I look almost the same as I did pre-pregnancy. Friends tell me I’m lucky, and I agree. I feel guilty because I’ve done nothing to get my shape back and I know some women have to work really hard. But I put my body’s recovery down to good genes; my mother says her body bounced back quickly after childbirth, too. Of course, under my clothes I’m not quite as slim and toned as I look, but I don’t mind. My body’s done an amazing thing, and that’s what’s really important.”
‘I exercised throughout my pregnancy’ Liz Griffiths, 35, is a PR senior account director. She lives with her husband Dan, 34, who works in insurance, and their son Isaac, 13 months. She says: “Exercise is a huge part of my lifestyle and I always knew having a baby wouldn’t change that. I was never going to be someone who spent their maternity leave on the sofa watching box sets. When I first found out I was pregnant, the prospect of losing control of my 1.6m body shape was a bit scary. I was worried at the thought of waddling around and feeling unattractive, but in reality it was so gradual I found myself embracing my new figure. I exercised throughout my pregnancy, swapping my usual spinning and Body Combat classes for swimming at seven months pregnant when my bump became too big for me to bend over. No one ever criticised me for working out with a bump; in fact lots of people congratulated me on staying so active. > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
‘I saw exercise as “me time”. I always felt refreshed after my workout, which made me a happier mum’
Having always eaten healthily, with lots of salads, fish and fruit in my diet, I wasn’t overly strict and when I wanted a takeaway, I had it. But I refused to buy into the ‘eating for two’ theory – I think it’s nonsense! At 39 weeks, I weighed 65kg, my boobs were a 34D (from 32C) and the skin on my stomach was so stretched I worried I would be left with a post-baby sag. When I was two weeks overdue, I was induced. After a 27-hour labour, Isaac was delivered via forceps weighing a whopping 4.5kg. It’s probably why I was already down to 55kg – almost 1kg lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight – within a fortnight of his birth, and back in size-8 jeans. Although I was happy with that, my stomach was still squishy and loose-skinned, which felt really alien. By the time Isaac was eight weeks old, I was in the gym doing a weekly spin class followed by a 40-lengths swim, and when he was three months old I upped my exercise to two classes – spinning and combat – and a swim on a Saturday morning. By then I was 51.5kg but still keen to tone up my stomach. Plus, I saw it as ‘me time’. Even when I was tired from being up in the night, I always felt refreshed after my workout, which made me a happier mum. Thankfully Dan was really supportive and encouraged me to have a few hours to myself.
He’s been so impressed that I have stayed fit and healthy while looking after Isaac, and couldn’t believe how quickly my body has recovered given how massive I was. I couldn’t have done it without his help. As the weight has dropped off, it’s affected my boobs. I combination-fed Isaac until he was three months old, then switched to bottles only. Once my milk dried up, I noticed my boobs felt smaller and emptier than they used to. When he was nine months old, I had a bra fitting and discovered I had dropped a cup size to a 32B. I have accepted they’ll probably never regain their fullness, but being able to feed him myself was worth it. A year after Isaac’s birth, I’m reaping the rewards of all the exercise I did while on maternity leave, and I now weigh 50.5kg and wear a size 6. I’m lighter than I was before I became pregnant, and have dropped a dress size, too. Although my body is testament to my healthy lifestyle, I have had to work hard to help it recover. There are a lot of body politics among new mums, but it’s not a competition – each woman should do what’s right for her after giving birth. No one should feel pressured into losing weight or, equally, into hanging on to the baby kilos if they don’t want to. I have done what felt right for me, and I’m delighted with the results.” #
Liz’s post-pregnancy journey
33 weeks pregnant
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WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS FABULOUS MAGAZINE / NEWS SYNDICATION
best call we ever made. Baby in the future? Understanding your fertility is the best thing you can do – whether you are 30, 35 or 40, single or in a relationship. “The Free Nurse Consultation helped me to understand our fertility options, and time frames. It really was the best call we ever made – and now we have our lovely baby boy!”
The sooner you take the first step – the better your chances.
Fertility Associates offers free nurse consultations. Talk to an expert today. Book your free phone consultation at 0800 255 522 or fertilityassociates.co.nz
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The biological alarm clock may be sounding, but many women are opting to ‘hit snooze’ on pregnancy until they’re good and ready – increasingly after age 35. Kylie Bailey asks four older Kiwi mums and a fertility expert about the pros and cons of sitting it out
ue* was just 22 when she was treated for endometriosis and mild polycystic ovaries. She always knew the condition might impact on her desire to have children but she wasn’t prepared to rush into having a baby. Fast-forward five years and she was undergoing a routine check-up at Family Planning. “I was shocked to be told if I wanted a child, I needed to start thinking about getting pregnant as soon as possible,” recalls Sue. “That’s when I first experienced the kind of societal pressure around the whole idea of ‘make sure you have a baby early and don’t get too old.’” Instead, Sue waited until 35 to begin her family as she wanted to ensure she and her partner had time to focus on their careers. “When I was told by Family Planning I should be getting pregnant, I felt we weren’t at all ready. We were travelling a lot for work. That’s when I decided if I waited and I wasn’t able to get pregnant later on then it just wasn’t meant to be our journey.” Today Sue and David have been together for more than a decade and are proud parents to a beautiful oneyear-old girl. Neither has any regrets about waiting until they were settled and financially ready. “We talked about children quite a lot but we waited until it was the right time for us. I had no expectations and got pregnant quite quickly. I know I’m lucky,” Sue says. “Career is a massive reason why many of my friends waited and now a couple of them are struggling to conceive.”
There’s no doubt about it; New Zealand women are part of a trend. UK statistics confirm for the first time since records began that the number of mothers having their first babies over the age of 35 has overtaken the number of women having their first babies under the age of 25. The population data proves what has been known anecdotally for far longer – in the Western world, particularly, women are waiting far longer to start their families. The National Women’s Health Annual Clinical Report confirms there’s been a sharp increase in the number of older mothers giving birth at the National Women’s Hospital between 2000 and 2013. Meanwhile, the most recently released Perinatal Report detailing all births in New Zealand confirms the average age of mothers in 2013 was 29.32 years. Also of interest are figures showing the proportion of births to mothers under 20 years has been falling steadily since 2008, while the proportion of births to mothers aged 40 and older increased significantly from 3.76% in 2007 to 4.41% in 2013. So what’s driving this change? And what are the benefits and risks of having a child at the age of 35 or over? Obstetrics and gynaecology expert Professor Cindy Farquhar – co-chair of the international research body Cochrane Steering Group and co-ordinating editor of Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility at Auckland University – stresses older women simply need to be aware of the overall higher risk of pregnancy complications over the age of 30, versus the lifestyle considerations regarding the best time to first conceive.
‘We talked about children quite a lot but we waited until it was the right time for us. I know I’m luck y’ “As you get older, you put on more weight and there are problems associated with being overweight during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.” But even with the biological factors and complications that may occur for women who have babies later in life, Farquhar is clear – a woman must make the best decision for her personal situation. “The right time to have a baby is when you’re really ready,” she says. “There’s no point in getting anxiety if you’re 26 and not in the right life situation.” From Farquhar’s experience in clinical practice, she says one of the most common anecdotal reasons women give for starting a family later in life is that they need to find a partner they feel will genuinely support them. “There are a number of advantages in waiting longer, such as job security and relationship stability,” explains Farquhar. “But from a biological view, you do need to think about the size of the family you want. If having a baby is one of your big life goals then you should be trying by 34-35. > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
However, some people would disagree and say this is too late.” Yet among the New Zealand women we spoke to who have waited until 35 or over to have their first child, they all agreed they made the right choice for their circumstance. Sophie Elworthy became pregnant with her first child at 40 and just like Sue had also suffered from endometriosis. But it wasn’t her health condition that caused her to delay conception; she wanted to find the right partner first. “I just didn't want to have a baby without being in a relationship with someone who wanted the same, and my partner and I were ready when I was 40,” explains Elworthy. Waiting to find the right guy and then being ready to start a family meant Elworthy was well aware of the impact age could have on their ability to conceive. To help herself be in the best shape possible, she exercised regularly and used other natural therapies to support her body in the lead-up to and during pregnancy. “I had a lot of acupuncture and also used herbs,” she says. “I’m definitely into more natural or alternative methods of healing and ate very well during pregnancy too, choosing organic foods. It was worth trying to be as good as possible to my body and to exercise. My pregnancy seemed like that of someone much younger.” Rachael Easterbrook was also keen to ensure she had met the right man before getting pregnant with her first child at the age of 36. However, she admits she definitely faced some pressures from acquaintances, who weighed in on when they thought the time was right for her. “The most important thing I’ve learned is to trust your instincts,” says Easterbrook. “Don’t listen to others’ opinions on when they think you should have children. It just hadn’t been the right time in my life up until that point,” she continues. “I had been studying, working and then travelling so had different priorities. I hadn’t found anyone to settle down with until then.” However, when she met and fell in love with partner Anthony Rawlinson she knew she was ready to have kids. Today, they are proud parents to two young, rambunctious girls. “I possibly would have had them earlier if I’d found the right
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‘I just didn’t want to have a baby without being with someone who wanted the same’ person to have them with but I’m of the mindset that whatever will be will be.” Like Elworthy, she was aware age could affect her fertility and advises other women over 35 to “know and respect what you and your body need”. “We did approach my doctor prior to getting pregnant to make sure I was taking the right supplements and to go off medication for my epilepsy prior to conceiving,” she explains. “For me it was all about being as healthy and active as possible. My best advice is to ensure your body is ready to carry a child… and be kind to yourself.” It’s a sentiment Gina* shares. She held off her pregnancy until she felt wellestablished in her career. As the higher earner in her relationship, both wanted to ensure Gina had gained enough experience in her industry to make workforce re-entry easier should she wish to return at the same senior level. Highly engaged in her work prior to
having a baby, it wasn’t a decision Gina and her partner took lightly. Both knew if they waited until she was 35, it could take her longer to get pregnant. She says what made things easier was discussing the challenges they could face in-depth before she became pregnant and making an action plan for each possible variable. “We decided we’d try for a year before starting to research fertility treatments,” she says. “We knew the longer we left it, the chances of conceiving would naturally decrease. And then any help with fertility can increase the chances of multiple births so we made a plan that 35 was the age to give it a go. We both wanted kids but until then we weren’t ready. It was important I didn’t put any pressure on myself to get pregnant straightaway and understood that because I was coming off the pill after a long period, my body needed time to adjust.” Farquhar agrees even though we’re waiting for both financial and emotional reasons, as women age, it’s important to make a plan about when is best to start your family. “Having a baby is the hardest thing most women will do in their lives so don’t do it until you are ready,” she says. She also stresses it’s important to realise mental health plays a key role. “Mental health problems are most likely to happen
around the time of pregnancy,” says Farquhar. “That’s why you want to look after yourself and have a baby when the time is right.” Elworthy, Sue, Easterbrook and Gina all agree. While they all had different reasons for having babies age 35 or over, all say trusting their instincts about knowing
when the time was right for them to have their first babies was important for building happy, healthy families. Although Elworthy jokes that women waiting until they’re older to have their first babies means you’ve had a lot more time to enjoy long sleep-ins. “You possibly get more physically tired when you’re older
but younger mothers I know seem just as tired. I think they probably just question it less,” she smiles. “When you’re older, you know your body better and you’ve had a lot of time to sleep in so you know what you’re missing out on!” # *Names have been changed to protect privacy
SO YOU WANT KIDS, BUT YOU’RE SINGLE & IN YOUR 30S
– Emma Clifton reviews the options
As a 31-year-old single woman, I’m well aware I need to be paying attention to the state of my ovaries but don’t know where to start. Dr Mary Birdsall, from Fertility Associates, sees between two and three 30-something women a day in the same boat. “Knowledge is power,” she says. “There are choices you can make outside of sitting back and waiting for Mr Right to come along.” Amen!
After ticking off my overall good health, we look at other fertility factors. I’ve never smoked, which is good, as this can send you into menopause 18 months earlier than normal. My parents never smoked; also good, as if your dad smoked, it can bring your menopause on two years earlier. My mum went into menopause in her mid-50s, another positive sign as roughly 70% of your menopausal age is determined by your mother’s.
PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES AND ISTOCK IMAGES
A scanning wand is inserted into the vagina to look at the uterus and ovaries, to make sure everything looks structurally sound. Birdsall assures me: “It doesn’t hurt, it’s just undignified.” Agreed! I’m told I have a ‘beautiful uterus’ and two ‘nice-looking ovaries’. I’ve had ovarian cysts in the past but haven’t had surgery on them, which is another tick as that can damage the tissue.
THE AMH TEST
The anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) test, Birdsall says, is the best guide to what your egg supply is like and when you’re predicted to go into menopause. You find out from a blood test and if you
don’t want to see a fertility specialist, your GP can do the AMH test. However, a specialist is the best person to interpret these results. My fertility is slightly below average for my age bracket; the average reading would be menopause at 51, last baby ideally at 41. Mine is menopause at 48 to 49, so last baby by 39. This seems doable!
I’d been paranoid my results would say I’d have to have my final kid by 35, so I feel happier knowing I have a few more years to play with. Birdsall does say I should be on the ‘active hunt’ for Mr Right (as if my mother hasn’t been telling me the same thing for the past decade). I’ve told all my friends who are in the same position as me to get the AMH test because it gives you a timeline to work with, as opposed to shifting between panic/blind optimism for the next few years.
So you know your timeline, you know your uterus… now what? 1. Find a partner, have a baby the oldfashioned way. 2. Freeze your eggs. Results from Spain – who lead the world in egg freezing – have reported the exact same pregnancy rates with frozen eggs as with fresh eggs. It costs around $9k to freeze your eggs and another $5k to thaw and inseminate your eggs when you need them. 3. Join the donor sperm programme: If this is your plan B, be advised there can be a two-year waiting list. If using insemination only, called IUI, you’ll be allocated enough sperm for 10 inseminations. The cost is around $2300 per insemination cycle. Or if you go for donor sperm with IVF, the quality of the sperm is the same as the IUI scheme, but there’s less needed of it. The waiting list for this is around a year. It costs some $14k, including the IVF cycle plus access to a clinic sperm donor. 4. A quicker option is to find your own sperm donor. If you involve Fertility Associates, your chosen donor will go through the same process as those on the donor sperm programme do over a threemonth waiting period: counselling, blood test, sperm screening. For an insemination (IUI) cycle, it costs around $2600, or for IVF with your own donor around $13k. Counselling is also required with donor sperm treatment, approximately $310 for the two appointments required. The best way to know your own options though is to have a first consultation, as I did. It costs around $270 and you’ll get a good understanding of your own fertility.
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ABOVE Some ordeals are so crippling, like losing a child, you wonder how youâ€™ll survive. Others are so unrelenting, like weight issues or poverty, it seems you might never escape. We meet three women whoâ€™ve overcome each of these struggles, and are now reaching out to help others BY SARA BUNNY
Joelene Ranby WELLNESS AND WEIGHT LOSS EXPERT, FOUNDER OF RESOLUTION RETREATS
After discovering a new-found interest in health and fitness, Joelene Ranby not only dropped 20kg, she ditched her corporate career and turned her ‘passion project’ into a thriving business. “I come from a family of gorgeous voluptuous ladies, and I was becoming more and more that way myself. I used to struggle with body confidence, which was quite a contrast to the confidence I displayed in other areas of my life. I was an extrovert, but I hid myself under shapeless clothes. I was two opposites in one. I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror and that was exacerbated when some well-meaning but terribly out-of-line person asked me if I was pregnant – I wasn’t – and I was so embarrassed. It reinforced my own insecurities and cut me deep. I thought to myself, shit Joelene, you’re better than this, you need to sort this out. After that revelation, I made a commitment to myself. I didn’t have the skills to change overnight; I couldn’t cook and hated exercise. I had to learn the basics first, then try to implement the things that could fit my lifestyle. I think the single biggest contributor to me keeping the weight off long term was that I focused on one thing at a time – I chose the low-hanging fruit, and referred to each small change as ‘my new normal’. If I’d tried to do everything at once, I don’t think I would have succeeded. Food was my biggest downfall, so changing what I ate for dinner was the first step. I started learning to cook by watching cooking shows to learn what flavours went well together. I was a complete cooking novice, and dinner for me was a bowl of cereal, a pie, or two pork and apple schnitzels with mashed potato in-between! I was working as a financial accountant at a large New Zealand company at the time, and I was increasingly feeling something was missing. It just didn’t inspire me and I knew I needed something outside of that role which made my heart happy. Through my own health journey, I started passing on my knowledge to others and holding women’s weight loss and health retreats as a hobby. Soon I was trying to
juggle a demanding corporate role, while developing a personal business and studying nutrition. I couldn’t do justice to everything so, as clichéd as it sounds, I had to follow my heart.
MAKING THE LEAP
Leaving my job to start Resolution Retreats four years ago was a massive step, and I often struggled with self-doubt. I was giving up everything to pursue this, and leaving the security of a six-figure salary was frightening, but I had done it as a hobby so I had some faith it was going to work out. My fiancé was a much-utilised sounding board when I needed someone to challenge my thinking, a bit of reassurance, or a reminder of how far I’d come. I’m also lucky to have a solid support network, including people in the wellness industry.
People come to us for weight loss, but soon realise there is so much more to it than that This year, we’re doing 24 retreats, ranging from three days to three weeks, and we’ve had to double the number from last year to keep up with the demand. People come to us because of the promise of weight loss, but they soon realise there is so much more to it than that. We see a huge range of people: some have struggled with weight issues throughout their life, others are stressed and want a break, or have noticed some health changes and are looking for ways to nip things in the bud before it becomes a problem. It’s really inspiring hearing stories of how women’s lives have changed after the retreats and it blows my mind how easy it can be once people get to the bottom of
what is really fuelling their health issues. One of our strongest messages to people is don’t be so hard on yourself. We put so much pressure on ourselves to get everything right, and if we don’t succeed the guilt comes in and we go ‘bugger this, I’m going to eat a block of chocolate’. We tell people to be realistic – don’t set goals that don’t fit in with your lifestyle or who you are. Choose one small change that will have a positive effect on your health and happiness, and do it. Once you have that change nailed, then take on the next one. It’s about letting go of the guilt, and learning we don’t have to be perfect. >
Joelene’s tips Most women who struggle with their weight and health fit within two distinct groups: they either don’t have the knowledge to enable them to improve their health; or they know what they should be doing, but for some reason they just cannot make it stick. The first group needs education. The second group needs to speak with someone who can help them work out what is holding them back – there is something; you just need to find what it is. Weight loss is 80% about the food you eat and 20% about movement – you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. Keep it simple, don’t count calories – be aware of portion sizes, use your hand and your fist to measure your portion size. Aim for progress, not perfection. You don’t have to be perfect to be healthier than you were yesterday, last week, last month or last year. Think of ‘health’ as a doing word. Do some ‘health’ every day. MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Robyn Pearce TIME MANAGEMENT EXPERT, AUTHOR AND MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER A career path full of twists and turns led Robyn Pearce to discover her niche in time management and motivational speaking. Now an author of seven books, she says finding the courage to back her own ability was a turning point to getting off the benefit and out of the poverty trap.
STUCK IN A RUT
I had been a farmer’s wife for 15 years, living in the remote Hokianga, when my marriage broke up. Soon I was left surviving on a benefit, looking after six children including an intellectually handicapped foster son. I had always seen myself as this ‘worthy citizen’, then all of a sudden I was in the dole queue, making a bit of extra money doing some housekeeping, and always just scraping by. It really knocked me around. I had formerly trained as a librarian, so when I finally got a job as an assistant librarian at the local school, I was so excited I would have paid them to let me work there! By that stage I hadn’t worked in 11 years, and the fact somebody actually wanted me and thought I had something of value to offer was a major step forward for my badly dented self-esteem. I had been there for a couple of years when I overheard another librarian say to a visiting principal, ‘That’s Robyn, she comes in to do some typing’. I was so angry, and it was a real wake-up call. I thought, I’m worth more than just ‘Robyn who does a bit of typing!’
A NEW LIFE
I think that’s been a big thing for me, if somebody says I can’t do something, I think, just watch me. The fire in the belly kicks in. I always had a sense of my own worth, but the circumstances around me were not supporting that. I was looking for that thing that would get me out of the poverty trap, when a girlfriend loaned me a book on selfdevelopment using positive affirmations and visualisation. The book really gave me a sense of something I could do. I had no money, but I could at least exercise the power of my brain. I decided to make a major change, and within a year, I had moved to Auckland. My daughter was to come and live with me after the school holidays, while my sons would stay on the farm with their father. I cried the whole way as I drove south, but I had to stay focused so I could find a way to make a home for myself
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and my daughter. I eventually landed a job in real estate, and I was working long hours, winning awards, and often making more money in a month than what I would make in a year on the domestic purposes benefit up north, but after three years I was completely burned out and I knew I had to make a change. A friend of mine was running a public speaking business, and she asked me to assist one of her trainers with a presentation on time management. I didn’t feel like I was any good at it at the time, and I wasn’t, but my friend reassured me by saying, “I’ve watched you, and I know you understand the principles” –
I believe that we have all the time we need, and it’s about prioritising
and in actual fact I did, as I had been reading up on the topic for a couple of years. Soon other people started asking me for talks, one thing grew into another, and I have been doing it for 24 years now. These days, I write a column for a newspaper and I’m a regular contributor for a radio station. I work with local clients three days a week, and do regular work in the UK, running training programmes and workshops. I don’t like buying into the idea that I’m too busy; a significant part of my belief system is that we have all the time we need, and it’s about prioritising. When it comes to making a big lifestyle change, it helps to think about the thing that you hold in your heart as something you really want to do, dream big, and don’t be afraid. Be prepared to take that one step that takes you in a new direction. Somehow there is always something better around the next corner.
Robyn’s tips ‘No’ is your most powerful time management tool When we know what our values are, and when we have a clear set of goals in all areas of our lives, we’re in a much stronger position to politely say ‘no’ to potential time stealers and activities that are less relevant. Make an appointment with yourself It’s too easy to get caught up in everlasting deadlines. Change that emphasis by making appointments with yourself, written into your diary or organiser, to work on one or two activities per week of long-term and long-lasting value. Think of the big tasks you always put off until you ‘have time’. Almost certainly they can be broken down into small chunks. Constantly ask, ‘What is my highest priority right now?’ (And do it!) This question is great for giving focus, and it can make it easier to stay on task with activities that really make a difference. We’re also less likely at the end of the day to find we’ve not dealt with our most urgent priorities. Manage your energy well and time looks after itself. Around the world I’m hearing the phrase ‘energy management’ more and more. Think of your energy levels as your filter or indicator as to whether you’re doing the right things. Sluggish energy is a powerful clue – if something isn’t flowing smoothly there are almost always ways to either change activity or improve things. Don’t make emails the first thing you do in the morning. If you get hooked into email first thing, it takes over. In fact, it’s an addictive medium. Instead, you take control of your day. Spend time on the most important tasks for the day, and (unless it’s truly vital) don’t look at email until at least mid-morning, and then only for a defined chunk of time. Have two or three email slots throughout the day.
Prue Jamieson PERSONAL TRAINER AND FITNESS INSTRUCTOR Following the tragic loss of her teenage son to cancer eight years ago, personal trainer Prue Jamieson developed a new outlook on health and fitness. Once a fan of intense exercise, she’s now following a more holistic approach to wellness, while supporting others to live life to the fullest. For me, being fit and healthy is the foundation of being confident in life. I’ve taught various group fitness classes at Les Mills gym for more than 30 years, including aerobics, resistance training, core conditioning and more recently, yoga. I’m also a personal trainer, and love being involved in leading and motivating people to make changes in their lives. The classes I teach and the clients I work with always make me feel energised. I can be completely exhausted, then I step on the stage to teach and it’s like ‘wow, let’s do this!’ With the personal training, often people start because they want to lose weight, but it moves into something far greater. It can be like a kind of counselling, with a lot of time spent encouraging and looking at deeper underlying issues like ‘why am I not motivated?’ and ‘why am I overweight
in the first place?’ I see a real change in my clients over the years, and I see them have dips as well; which could be linked to problems at work or family issues causing a lack of drive. They know what to do but they need me to help them refocus, and that’s all part of my job, to work with the ebbs and flows of life.
A WORLD SHATTERED
I remember watching something on television once about a parent who had lost a child, and saying to my two sons Juke and Jordy, “That would be the worst thing that could ever happen to someone.” I never thought for a moment that one day, I would be that parent, struggling with the desperate sadness, devastation and hurt, and the massive hole that just never fills after a young person dies. Juke’s illness was horrendous; it was 11 > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
months of a 16-year-old boy being tortured. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Burkitt lymphoma, and from start to finish, everything went wrong. His bowel perforated, he got infections, he was bedridden for months, there were tubes galore, it just got worse and worse. Our world fell apart. Throughout it all I tried to keep up with work, as I had made the decision it would give me some extra energy to keep going. I would run down from Starship Hospital to teach a class, or work with my early morning clients at 5.30am, often after being up all night with Juke. It was like I was in a bubble. When Juke passed away it was a matter of ‘how do I keep going with life?’ For me, I had to go straight back to work, I needed to have a purpose, but it was like everything now felt foreign. With friends, I didn’t know how I was expected to be; was I allowed to ever laugh? If I cried or talked about it too
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much was everyone going to get sick of me? When someone dies you can often look back at all the positive things that have happened in their life. But there is no positive when a young person dies, there’s just nothingness. Half my future has gone. It’s the worst thing anybody can experience. For a while I was running around like a mouse on a wheel, filling every gap you could imagine with ways to manage my sadness. I would bake so much and give it all away, rush around the house cleaning, it didn’t matter what it was as long as I was busy. I was always going so fast, there was no balance and I was getting out of control.
I eventually did a leadership course, and while most people were there for business reasons, I went because my life was spiralling. It taught me a lot about why I had become that person since my son died, and I learned I needed to step back and slow down. From there I started looking at yoga and I now teach a class at Les Mills called Body Balance. My whole personal training and group teaching style has changed. I used to be in ‘rip shit and bust mode’ where it was all about going hard, and now I’m more into
the flexibility, focus and meditative side of exercise. It has been so positive, people in my classes have told me they can tell I love it. I think the experience with Juke has given me a broadness of understanding of life, and an understanding of hardships and tragedies. I know how hard it is for people who have suffered a loss, and I feel I can help them through that. We just can’t allow adversity to pull us down to the point where we don’t get up. We have to keep going. Over the next few years I want to delve deeper into the holistic side of things; I’m focusing on longevity, not just the here and now. It’s not just being fit; health is our future, and our coping mechanism for life. #
Prue’s tips Find something fun. It’s important to find an exercise you enjoy doing. Get an exercise buddy or join a group, seek out like-minded people who have the same purpose – that way you can encourage each other. Incorporate exercise into socialising; instead of meeting a friend for a coffee, meet up for a walk. Make exercise a routine Block out appointments for yourself for exercise, and treat it just as importantly as you would a work meeting or business commitment. When you get back to work you’ll feel more energised, focused and productive. Do something every day – it doesn’t have to be intensive; even if it’s a simple stroll in the park, you’ll still benefit from the fresh air and endorphins. Look honestly at what you are eating and drinking Too much alcohol, coffee or sugar all impact on our energy and motivation, and it only takes simple changes to feel better. Stick to the perimeter of the supermarket and forget about packaged food. I like to put sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and chopped almonds on an oven tray, and dry roast them for about 15 minutes at 180°C. I sprinkle the mixture on salads, toss them in stir fries or have it on hand as a snack. It’s natural, tasty, has a great texture and fills the gap when you’re tempted to reach for lollies.
PHOTOGRAPHS MAREE WILKINSON AND EMILY CHALK HAIR AND MAKEUP DESIREE OSTERMAN AND SHARON LAURENCE-ANDERSON
We just can’t allow adversity to pull us down to the point where we don’t get up
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LET’S TALK ABOUT
It’s more associated with Sting than mindfulness, but Tantra is something sexuality coach Caitlyn Cook wants to bring to the masses, and make women feel good about their bodies along the way BY SARAH LANG
’ve always been a bit prudirsh. Not prissy, not puritanical – I’m no Victorian lady – but just a little restrained. Certainly I’m not an obvious candidate for a Tantra workshop. But as a member of the Ace Lady Network, a women’s discussion group that holds monthly events, I sign up for ‘Touch that feels like WOW: a Tantra-inspired workshop’. I don’t know much about Tantra beyond biomechanically improbable sexual contortions, and rumoured salacious accounts of Sting’s seven-hour Tantric-sex sessions, but this has been advertised as a ‘PG, non-seedy’ workshop. And as the tired mother of a toddler, I could probably do with some inspiration in this department. Arriving at the workshop, I find facilitator Caitlyn Cook sitting crosslegged in a maxi dress, legs unshaved, exuding calmness. The 28-year-old Kiwi, now based in Melbourne, has flown into her former haunt Wellington especially for the occasion. Twenty women trickle in, many looking a little alternative, and some looking a little nervous. We each claim a spot in a circle of cushions. As I glance around the room, I start to think twice about signing up for this. Will it be weird?
you want, what you really, really want’. Forming different pairs, we ask our partner how she’d like to be touched between her elbow and hand. Most of us opt for arm or hand massages, following Cook’s prompts to ask and answer how it could feel even better. Then, forming another pair, we do an exercise called Expand Your Touch Repertoire, where we change our massage technique according to Captain Planet’s five elements: air, water, fire, earth and heart. Most of us opt for shoulder massages (less uncomfortable eye contact). Cook creates a calming space throughout, clarifying everything while never intruding too much, making sure people feel comfortable, and cracking the occasional joke. Over the two hours I feel progressively less awkward, and my inner critic quietens down. By the end, many women are smiling, and each chooses a word for how she feels now. ‘Nervous’ and ‘anxious’ have given way to ‘playful’, ‘experimental’, ‘hopeful’, ‘aware’, ‘confident’, and ‘inspired’. Cook visibly glows on hearing this. “I’m in awe of you women.”
WHAT EXACTLY IS TANTRA? Uncomfortable? Embarrassing? When we start, Cook asks us to each say our name, how we’re feeling right now, and what we want to get out of the evening. Some women admit to nerves, and Cook reassures us. “Sometimes people are afraid of things they might have to do, but this is far more simple and relaxing.” It is, she says, as much about verbal and non-verbal communication as it is the power of touch. The first exercise is about connecting with your authentic desire. After leading a meditation, Cook asks us to form pairs, lock eyes with the other person, and ask whether we can touch her in some way: for example, massage her hand or brush her hair. It’s all hypothetical (if she says yes, you don’t actually do it). “We’re tuning into our inner no and our inner ‘F**k yes’,” Cook says. “Or heck yes, if you prefer that.” I’m surprisingly self-conscious, even though my partner must know I don’t really want to stroke her leg. As usual, I feel compelled to defuse my awkwardness with humour. “Can I trim your toenails? Can we waltz?” The next exercise is called ‘Tell me what
This ancient Eastern spiritual practice is difficult to define, but Tantra is often described as a way of life and a spiritual path that can lead to personal transformation and enlightenment. “Everything is an opportunity to connect deeply, lovingly and authentically with the sacredness of existence through avenues including yoga, prayer, sexuality, service and communication,” explains Cook, who considers herself spiritual, not religious. “That Tantra includes sexuality as a sacred path to deeper connection with yourself, others and the universe is pretty revolutionary, especially in the West where typically sexuality and spirituality don’t mix. For this reason, and others, the sexuality side of Tantra has been emphasised in the West.” When it comes to sex, Tantra is less about the destination and more about the journey: mindful breathing, touching, and giving and receiving pleasure. It’s also about communicating more often and more clearly. “Like having the guts to say ‘a bit to the left’ or ‘a bit harder’,” Cook says. But Tantra extends well beyond the bedroom. “It’s really about unlearning the > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
unhelpful things that keep you contained, and connecting with your authenticity, not operating on ‘should’ principles. It’s about becoming more yourself – and letting go of what’s not you – in your body, bedroom, and life.” And Cook helps people do just that. The former Ministry of Justice policy analyst and occasional actor juggles a part-time marketing job with running introductory, Tantra-inspired mindfulness and sexuality workshops around Australia and New Zealand. As well as the ‘Touch like WOW’ workshop I attended, there’s ‘WTF is Tantra? An Introduction to Mindfulness and Sexuality’; ‘Tantric Touch Meditation’;
‘It’s about letting go of what’s not you – in your body, bedroom, and life’ ‘Expanding Your Repertoire: More Play, Fun and Dynamism’; and ‘Giving & Receiving Real Good’. And no, none involves anything sexual. Known for their inclusiveness, her workshops usually draw as many men as women; some attend as individuals, some in couples, some with friends. Cook, who blogs at caitlyncook.com, also holds personalised sessions with both individuals and couples, mainly in person and also over Skype. “These sessions are a bit like the workshops but designed around what you want to explore, at your pace and comfort levels. Sessions involve lots of discussion, and practices like visualisation, breath work, sound and movement, emotionalrelease practices, and sense-based meditation.” There might be sexual energy, but there’s never any sex or intimate touching. “That’s homework. Or better said, homeplay.” Cook’s very open about her life, but careful not to disclose too much about her boyfriend of two years – and careful about how her work is portrayed. “I’ve been wrongly described as a sex practitioner. To be clear, I don’t practise sex with people.” That misconception is why she considered not using the word Tantra to describe what she does.
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“But Tantra’s such a big part of my work – and it’s about much more than just sex and intimacy.” When she talks to her Christian family about her work, she focuses on its personal-development aspects.
A HEALING JOURNEY At age nine, Cook moved from South Africa to Auckland’s North Shore with her family. “In my early teens, I went a bit wild. I wanted to do things I had seen grown-ups do in movies: look cool, drive cars, go to parties, have romances. I was young, a bit clueless and adventurous. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the guidance, tools or awareness to genuinely enjoy myself and look after myself.” After getting in trouble at school, she joined C3 church for three years in her late teens. “I knew I could find love and acceptance in religion.” Following high school and one semester of university, she spent six months as an au pair in London. “I was questioning and assessing my
place in Christianity, and discovered I could follow my own internal knowledge rather than a book [The Bible] with rules I was finding increasingly restrictive and not ‘me’. I swung from very Christian to super-atheist, which also didn’t work for me. The moment I stopped being Christian was the moment I started disordered eating, like I broke up with God and tried to find some control.” Between ages 19 and 23, she experienced snowballing anxiety, depression and disordered eating, which included aspects of anorexia and bulimia but didn’t fit neatly into a box. “I was 45kg and had strict KPIs [key performance indicators] on my thighs, arms and belly, and to be anywhere outside that was very scary because people wouldn’t find me attractive, exceptional, whatever. Now I feel very comfortable with however my body is, but back then looking like this would have freaked me completely out. This much mass just wasn’t okay. I also felt
embarrassed because I was too feminist to fall into the disordered-eating trap.” Her anxiety spiralled. “I started having anxiety about having anxiety, and beating myself up about it. Sometimes I was too anxious to go to work or socialise, because I didn’t want my body seen in public, even around my friends.”
PHOTOGRAPHS TONY NYBERG HAIR AND MAKEUP SHARON LAURENCE-ANDERSON
MOMENT OF TRUTH She also had intimacy issues. “With my body shame and performance anxiety, intimacy was such an awkward area of my life. Once my boyfriend at the time stopped us halfway through [sex] and said ‘This feels weird, like you’re not really there.’ I realised I was almost watching myself do this stuff, doing the right things, making the right sounds and making sure I looked good, because my body wasn’t perfect yet.” All in all, she was desperate to get better. “I was so sick of being anxious, depressed and uncomfortable in my body that I would try almost anything to support my healing.” She began seeing a mindfulness therapist and practising mindfulness meditation, which involves letting thoughts, sensations and emotions come and go without judging them, and returning attention to the breath and the present moment. She found the practice very helpful, and especially enjoyed dance or moving meditations. “Then I thought ‘how can I bring mindfulness to my intimacy?” Attending Tantra workshops, then a week-long Tantra retreat, was life-changing. (She also stopped doing part-time modelling, mainly for magazines, because it fuelled eating issues.) Over two years, she recovered her physical and mental health. “Tantra helped me tune into my body and what mattered to me, rather than focusing on the ‘shoulds’. The self-pleasure practices have been massive because they’re such an expression of self-love.” This doesn’t necessarily involve orgasm but touching yourself in genuinely pleasurable ways. “I began feeling in love with my body and myself. And Tantra taught me to have sex in a way that wasn’t in my head or performanceoriented, but had authenticity, connection, energy and rhythm.” In 2014, by now single, she left her Wellington policy-analyst job to move to Melbourne for a post-graduate fine-arts qualification. Her performance art and installation art with their themes of
intimacy were a natural fit with more Tantra courses. “My friends were intrigued and talked about going to a Tantra course, but they never actually did it. They found the idea scary or off-putting.” Then she had a brainwave: why not create and run more mainstream and inclusive workshops that might be less intimidating? Cook trained as a Tantra facilitator through international non-profit International School of Temple Arts (ISTA), which involved personal development then ongoing work with mentors. In 2015, she did her first, small workshop in her friend’s living room, and demand kept growing. She’s now an ISTA faculty apprentice, training to teach other Tantra trainers. This year she plans to create some online six-week courses. She’s also developed a new workshop called Sex, Love & Cellulite, and would like to do more body-image work, like talking to high school students
about body confidence and sexuality. “Rather than just ‘how to not get pregnant or get an STD’, I’d talk about pleasure and intimacy. It’s weird: culturally, we’re obsessed with sex, while also not comfortable talking about it.” She doesn’t have that problem. “Sometimes I catch myself at cafés talking too loudly about labia.” Cook, who has a Bachelor of Science (BSC) in biology, a BSC Honours in human geography and a Bachelor of Arts in English/philosophy, has always felt pulled in different career directions. For now, she works three days handling marketing for a design agency, and the other four days – plus weekends and evenings – on her passion project. Eventually she’d like to do it full-time – and to see Tantra practised as much as meditation or yoga. “That positive relationship with your body and yourself is the key to so many adventures. And I’m all about adventures.” #
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WHICH WOMAN SPENDS
$31k on her face? One of them cleanses with olive oil and turmeric paste, while another has laser therapy and â€˜vampireâ€™ facials. Here, three women tell Antonia Hoyle about their radically different beauty budgets
SallyAnne Stevens, age 39
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Mary Radenkovic age 40
Naomi Isted age 37
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Naomi’s beauty bill Tear-trough injections (for under-eye bags)
Fillers in temples, brow, mid-face, jawline, chin, nose and lips $4800 Non-surgical facelift
Two sessions of Fractora (anti-ageing radio frequency treatment) $2300 10 Botox treatments ($620 per session)
Six sessions of hyaluronic acid lip fillers ($530 per session) TOTAL (over 15 years)
Naomi, 37, is a fashion blogger and presenter. She lives with husband Haydn, 43, a company director, and their two children: Fleur, seven; and Rocco, 18 months. I can’t pretend it didn’t hurt, but it was worth the few seconds of agony. Having filler injected into the top and tip of my nose altered the illusion of its proportions. Suddenly my least favourite feature, which I had always regarded as too long and too thin, looked straighter and smaller. I was thrilled. When you work in the fashion and beauty industry, good looks definitely help, which is why I’ve come to rely on fillers and Botox. Since my 20s, I’ve had hyaluronic acid
When you work in fashion and beauty, good looks help, which is why I’ve come to rely on fillers and Botox injected into my upper lip to make it the same size as the lower one every couple of years, and Botox. At first, it was a purely preventative measure to help slow the onset of wrinkles. But after I stopped breastfeeding Rocco a year ago, Botox became a necessity. A 3km run each day and a demanding schedule meant I was back to my size 8 figure, but my face suddenly looked grey and every line showed. I felt self-conscious and my confidence plummeted. Expensive creams
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had no real effect, so I embarked on a series of five procedures over four months. The first was more Botox, injected into my forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet at the eyes. It’s something I now do three times a year. As soon as I see the effects wear off, I want more – it’s definitely addictive. I then had fillers injected into my cheeks to restore volume, and into the lines running between my nose and lips. I also had filler put under my eyes to get rid of the bags caused by the 5am starts. No concealer had worked, but this made them vanish instantly, and it lasts for about 18 months. I’ve also had two sessions of collagenstimulating facials and a non-surgical facelift, in which thread was pulled from my chin through a point on my cheeks to hoik my skin gently upwards. I was worried about looking jowly and knew doing this now could prevent me having to have a full surgical facelift down the line. My plan was to restore youthfulness without looking fake. I have had about $18,000-worth of procedures since my 20s. Fortunately, as a blogger, top treatments are more accessible to me – but even if that wasn’t the case I’d still consider them worth spending my money on. My youthful appearance has helped not only my career but also my marriage. Looking better makes me happier, which means I am nicer to be around.
Mary, 40, is the founder of the swimwear brand Lavishly Appointed. She is divorced with two daughters aged 20 and 18. “Surely you’ve had something done?” This is a question I’m constantly asked, especially by women who can’t believe I haven’t succumbed to the surgeon’s scalpel. I tell them they’re welcome to inspect my face at close quarters – the truth is, it’s entirely natural. I make my own organic products, and I’m convinced this is the key to my youthful looks. As a former model, five years of having makeup, cleansers and moisturisers slathered over my face took their toll. By the age of 23, my skin was prone to horrible red breakouts and dry patches. I moaned about it to my mother, who still has preternaturally youthful skin in her 60s and has only ever used natural products. She told me to ditch the synthetic creams. On her advice, I started cleansing and removing makeup with olive oil applied with cotton wool, and toning with chamomile water, a natural brightening agent. As the months passed, my initial scepticism gave way to relief as my skin looked softer and clearer. I carried products to modelling assignments in plastic bottles – I got curious looks from other models, but they were impressed and wanted to try them. My favourite product is honey. It has
Mary’s beauty bill Almonds
Vitamin E oil
TOTAL (over a year)
WORDS ANTONIA HOYLE AND PHOTOGRAPHS ANNA HULX / © TELEGRAPH MEDIA GROUP LIMITED
I make my own organic products and I’m convinced this is the key to my youthful looks anti-inflammatory effects and, as a humectant, helps the skin to attract and trap moisture. Once a week, I leave a layer on my face for 20 minutes. To exfoliate, I mill two cups of almonds in a blender then mix the pulverised pieces with olive oil and brown sugar to form a paste. The vitamin E the nuts contain is known for its anti-ageing effects, and I swear it softens lines and brightens my skin. Twice a week I put vitamin E oil on my neck overnight, and once a week I steam my face over a bowl of boiling water with lavender oil in it. As well as making my skin glow, it is very relaxing. I treat spots and blotches with turmeric – a plant known for its antiseptic properties. As unconventional as it might sound, a dab of turmeric powder mixed with water zaps them. Of course, the low cost is a bonus. I rarely spend more than $35 a month on products as I bulk buy from chemists, supermarkets and health-food shops. Yes, my home-made concoctions take a few minutes to prepare, but it’s worth it. I do have lines on my forehead, but I’d never treat them with Botox. Having healthy self-esteem and confidence is far more attractive than interfering with nature.
Sally-Anne’s beauty bill
VIP stem-cell facials
Vampire facial course
LED light facial course
Carbon laser therapy
TOTAL (over three years)
Sally-Anne, 39, owns a PR company. She lives with her husband Leon, 44, the global vice president of sales for a software firm, and their two children, Alexander, four; and Mia, 10 months. I might be a stickler for all manner of obscure and expensive treatments, but none involve Botox or going under the knife. I think my non-invasive approach to anti-ageing helps me to look like a better, more youthful version of myself, rather than a woman I no longer recognise. That’s not to say I didn’t despair at those first lines. I noticed my face losing its youthful glow after becoming a mum four years ago. Pregnancy seemed to have depleted my skin of nutrients; it suddenly lacked plumpness. Almost overnight, I felt every one of my 35 years.
Non-invasive treatments give me a rare chance to take a break from working motherhood So when Alexander was a newborn I went to have a VIP Facial. Stem cells taken from a sheep’s placenta were rubbed into my face as a gel to stimulate the production of collagen. It sounds bizarre, but straightaway my skin looked fresher. Six months later, worried my cheeks were beginning to sag, I had a course of four Exilis Elite treatments, where my face
was heated with an ultrasound wand to further stimulate collagen production. Afterwards, my skin felt even tighter. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted, but seeing a visible difference afterwards makes me want to carry on, and most months I have something done. Non-invasive treatments also give me a rare chance to relax and take a break from working motherhood. Over the past couple of years I’ve had a course of ‘vampire’ facials, in which blood was taken from my arm and the skinstimulating plasma reinjected into my face. As gruesome as it sounds, it didn’t hurt. Nor did mesotherapy (injections of vitamins and minerals into the layer of fat below the skin) or LED light facials, where coloured rays of light penetrate the skin to boost collagen production. The only treatment I have been disappointed by is a carbon laser peel. I didn’t notice much improvement. Of course, I’m lucky to have the disposable income to be able to afford all this, and fortunate, too, to have an accommodating husband! Having younger-looking, brighter skin has definitely bolstered my confidence. And while I would never say never to surgery or Botox, hopefully this approach will make it unnecessary. # MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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Are you good for
YOUR AGE? Have a 30-year-old brain but a 60-year-old metabolism? Will Pavia meets the New York doctor who can tell you how well your body’s ageing
our lungs are very big,” says Dr Joseph Raffaele. “You really have very large lungs for your height and they have not aged much.” I blush, and try to say something self-deprecating. This is the first time anyone has noticed. I have a huge pair, according to Raffaele. The doctor, 56, is tall, tanned and elegantly dressed, in a dark suit and a cream shirt. His hair is dark and glossy. He has very white teeth. We’re sitting in his office, which looks over the tops of the trees of Central Park, and Raffaele is giving me the results of a series of physical and cognitive tests that are supposed to reveal my ‘physiological age’: the rate at which my organs are ageing, the speed with which my body is sliding towards death. You might be 54, for instance, but have the heart and lungs of a 65-year-old. I’m 37, but apparently, I have the lungs of a millennial. “You have a really, really good pulmonary and arterial system,” says Raffaele. “Your arteries are like a 20-year-old’s.” I am practically melting at this point. In New York, my arteries couldn’t even buy alcohol. Then comes the shocker, the headline figure. According to Raffaele’s tests, I have the brain of a 49-year-old. I am young at heart, quite literally, but in my head I am already a middle-aged man. Raffaele usually treats well-to-do New Yorkers who wish to remain youthful in their later years. Plastic surgery can only achieve so much. It won’t keep you competitive on the squash court; it might not even keep you out of the nursing home. He tells them how they’re ageing, and offers treatments designed to set back the clock.
Plastic surgery can only achieve so much. It won’t keep you competitive on the squash court “A lot of them don’t necessarily care about living for ever,” he says. But they do not want to go quietly into that good night. “They want to maintain great health and go, boom! Like that,” he says. Their average age is 50, he says. Quite a bit older than me then, I think, until I discover the dispiriting news about my brain. Now I wonder if I should have a few of my fellow patients round for dinner. I’m sure we’d get on. I went to see Raffaele one afternoon recently, hurrying to make my appointment. His clinic, the HQ of the PhysioAge Medical Group, is in a fine old building on
Central Park South, wedged between grand hotels and otherwise occupied by a great many dentists. Several fit-looking 50-somethings get into the lift, but they must be getting their teeth done because none of them steps out with me at the eighth floor, through a small creamcoloured door. On the other side of it, a young woman named Amanda takes my details. She’s wearing a sleeveless black top and her long black hair cascades over her smooth shoulders. She can’t be much older than 22, but I start to wonder if she is really in her late 60s and has been hired as an advertisement for the doctor’s rejuvenating abilities. It’s enough to bring spring into the thoughts of a middle-aged man. Perhaps this is the beginning of my mid-life crisis. Another woman, also very young and dark-haired and also named Amanda, sits tapping at a computer along the corridor from the check-in desk. Amanda 2 wears a black dress with a white patterned top. >
Are you strong enough for your age?
Men should use the ‘military-style’ push-up position; women can use the ‘bent knee’ one. To do this, kneel on the floor, hands either side of the chest and your back straight. Lower chest always to the same level, either till your elbows are at right angles or your chest touches the ground. Do as many as possible until exhaustion. Use the chart, right, to compare your total with the ideal number next to your age group.
17 - 19 20 - 29 30 - 39 40 - 49 50 - 59 60 - 69
19 - 34 push-ups 17 - 29 13 - 24 11 - 20 9 - 17 6 - 16
11 - 20 push ups 12 - 22 10 - 21 8 - 17 7 - 14 5 - 12
Source: adapted from Golding et at, Y’s Way to Physical Fitness (3rd edition, 1989) MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Memory test This is an abbreviated version of a cognitive impairment assessment used by health professionals and you need to get someone else to quiz you. You score no points for the first memory section, but this question repeats at the end, when five points are on offer depending on your powers of recall. An average score for the full test is around the 85% mark, so you should be looking to score a total of 12 or more here (Source: adapted from Montreal Cognitive Assessment.)
The tester reads a list of words and you must repeat them. This is done twice in succession (remember, no points at stake here), then repeated after the other exercises are done.
ATTENTION You’ll be read two lists of digits (one digit a second)
1st attempt 2nd attempt
You have to repeat the first in the forward order (1pt) You have to repeat the second backwards (1pt)
2 1 8 5 4 7 4 2
__ / 2
The tester reads a list of letters. You must tap your hand at each letter A. You get no point if you make more than two mistakes F B A C M N A A J K L B A F A K D E A A A J A M O F A A B Count down in 7s, starting at 100
100 93 86 79 72 65 4 or 5 correct subtractions: 3pt; 2 or 3 correct: 2pt; 1 correct: 1pt; 0 correct: 0pt
__ / 1
__ / 3
You’ll be read two sentences to repeat. Each correct sequence: 1pt
__ / 2
“I only know that John is the one to help today.” “The cat always hid under the couch when dogs were in the room.” __ / 1
A fluency test in which you say as many words beginning with the letter F as possible (11 words or more :1pt).
How many words from question 1 can you recall?
Raffaele steps out of his office and looks me up and down. He is tall - 186cm - and tieless, in an immaculate suit. “Did you run here?” he asks. I shake my head. “Is it hot outside?” I walked fast, I say. What must I look like to these gorgeous, neat, tanned people? I dress, let me say right now, like a man trapped in the 90s. Perhaps this is because my body has not aged since then, and I can still fit into all of the same clothes. Or perhaps it is because my brain has aged so terribly that I am unable to keep up with fashion. In any case, I must seem slightly haggard. Raffaele looks over my shoulder at Amanda 2. “Allow him to rest before the arterial testing,” he says. Amanda 2 escorts me into a small grey cubicle of a room. There’s a brown medical
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couch against the far wall. Beside it is a desk with a computer and a white machine with foot plates and spindly black arms that looks like a piece of gymnasium equipment. “Take off all your clothes apart from your undergarments and I will do the testing, okay?” she says, handing me a papery blue gown. Amanda 2 is a medical student. She says she took a job here because it offered lots of exposure to patients.
LEFT IN THE DARK
“Can you tell how old someone is now just by looking at them?” I ask. She shakes her head. She doesn’t even try to guess any more, she says. She measures my height then has me stand on the white machine, placing my bare feet on the metal footplates and gripping the
__ / 5
I’d read lack of sleep makes your brain age: if this is correct then mine is surely shrivelling up like a walnut metal electrodes on its two lever-like arms. It turns out to be a more evolved version of your bathroom scales. The display screen in front of me lights up with an outline of the body: beside it a bar chart slowly forms, showing my weight, my skeletal muscle mass, and the percentage of me that is body fat. The bars fluctuate and settle. After this Amanda 2 tells me to lie still on the couch and straps a blood pressure
Are you strong enough for your age?
Lie on a carpeted or cushioned floor with your knees bent at approximately right angles, with feet flat on the ground. Your hands should be resting on your thighs. Squeeze your stomach, push your back flat and raise high enough for your hands to slide along your thighs to touch the tops of your knees. Don’t pull with your neck or head and keep your lower back on the floor. Then return to the starting position. Count how many you can do in 1 minute. The chart shows how many sit-ups a healthy person at each age should be able to do.
18 - 25 26 - 35 36 - 45 46 - 55 56 - 65 65+
35 - 38 sit-ups 30 - 34 26 - 29 22 - 25 19 - 21 15 - 18
29 - 32 sit-ups 24 - 28 19 - 23 14 - 18 12 - 13 10 - 11
How old are you heart and lungs?
Step on and off a 30cm step or box for 3 minutes. Immediately take your pulse (ie how many beats in 1 minute) to reveal how your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems are doing, with a healthy/average range for each age group charted below.
18 - 25 26 - 35 36 - 45 46 - 55 56 - 65 65+
100-105 bpm 100 - 107 104 - 112 106 - 116 104 - 112 104 - 113
109 - 117 bpm 112 - 119 111 - 118 116 - 120 113- 118 116 - 122
Source: adapted from the Canadian Home Fitness Test
monitor around my right arm, above the elbow. “I’m going to leave you in the dark for a while,” she says, and steps out. I lie there looking up at the perforated grey tiles on the ceiling. There’s a dark spot on one just above my head. Here’s what I thought, lying innocently on that couch, before the bombshell about my 49-year-old brain. I thought: I’m still in relatively good shape. I’ve been on the road a lot lately, eating badly and not doing any exercise. But I have exercised in the past. There’s a gym across the road from my apartment and I’ve gone there occasionally, and lifted weights, while listening to news radio - a fact that now seems dreadfully significant. I also think I am very tired. I’ve two small children at home and for the past year or so I’ve been sleeping like Donald Trump’s wife - in short bursts, interrupted by bouts of completely irrational screaming. I’d read that lack of sleep makes your brain age: if this is correct, then mine is surely shrivelling up like a walnut. Lying on the sofa with my progeny at 5.30 in the morning, blinking at the sunrise, I sometimes feel like the husk of a seed pod. My reproductive purpose is fulfilled and all that remains is for me to decompose slowly around them. On the other hand, I think, young children can be quite invigorating, when they aren’t screaming. You have to keep getting up and down off the floor, which must count for something. And there have been some quite promising experiments with mice, showing they live longer if you introduce joy into their lives. A mouse that researchers named Charlie, which might have hoped to live to two and a half, survived to the grand old age of four. The only treatment Charlie received was that his keeper would talk
with him and play with him and put a new toy in his living space every week. Well, my living space is absolutely covered with toys. They turn up beneath your feet in the kitchen and in the lavatory bowl. It’s a very stimulating environment. I think all of this, lying on the couch in the half-darkness of the doctor’s cubicle. Then I begin to fall asleep.
AFFAIRS OF THE HEART
An unknown period of time later, Amanda 2 wakes me up and takes my blood pressure in the usual way, from the brachial artery in my upper arm. Then she holds a small probe on my wrist, apologising that her hands are cold. The results of the two tests are used to provide a measurement for the ‘arterial pressure wave’. “The heart squeezes,” Raffaele tells me later. “It squeezes the blood out. It goes out in a bolus. Your aorta has to expand to accept that blood. If it doesn’t expand, when it hits the small-calibre vessels there is a reflected wave that comes back. Most people don’t understand that.” I must admit I was one of them. Even as he tells me it, I’m still not sure I understand it, although of course it is not my fault. My brain is nearly 50, for goodness’ sake. “They just think the arterial system is a bunch of pipes,” he continues. “What it is, is a conduit system, which is the pipes, but it’s also a cushioning system. It has to be elastic to cushion that pulsation. Otherwise those big pulsations will hit these very fine capillary beds in the brain and kidneys and age them more rapidly.” But as we age, our arteries stiffen. “By about 0.5-1% a year, starting in your 20s,” says Raffaele. The wave gathers strength. And we are steadily more at risk of strokes, heart > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
How old is your brain?
Cognitive processing test
A trail-making test is a neuropsychological measurement of how fast you can process data. Don’t look at the diagram on the right before doing the test. Ideally, someone else will administer the test but you can do it yourself. The test consists of 24 circles distributed over a sheet of paper. The circles include numbers (1-12) and letters (A-L). The aim is to draw lines to connect the circles in an ascending pattern, alternating between numbers and letters (ie 1-A-2-B-3-C, etc). Try to connect the circles as quickly as possible, without lifting the pen or pencil from the paper. If you make an error, correct it at once and continue. This affects your score only in that the correction of errors add to your total time. Results come in the form of the number of seconds required to finish the task so higher scores reveal greater impairment.
Below 50 seconds 50 - 54 55 - 60 61 - 65 66 - 80 81 and above
COGNITIVE AGE 20 30 40 50 60 70
L 6 F
Source: adapted from an Alaska Department of Administration trail-making test
failure, heart attacks, all those things that might bring our chronological age to an abrupt conclusion. In the little box-shaped room, Amanda 2 removes her frosty fingers from my wrist and has me blow into a tube, to measure how much air I can expel from my lungs in a single huff. This also declines steadily with age: the decline of the lungs and the heart after our 20s explains why there are so few middle-aged Olympic champions. No one over the age of 30 has ever broken the record for the 100m and no one over the age of 35 has managed it in the marathon. I’ve no desire to run a marathon, but learning this fact still makes me rather sad, the way you feel when you think that Mozart died at 35. Gosh, you think. I’m older than that and I’ve not written a single major opera.
GOATS AND COATS
The only consolation for me at this point is that it turns out I am really excellent at blowing into tubes. Amanda 2 seems impressed. Then, after a test to measure the elasticity of the skin on the undersides of my arms, all that remains is my brain.
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Amanda 2 tells me I can put my clothes on and leaves me to complete a series of cognitive tests on the computer beside the couch. First, a series of words flashes up on the screen, one by one. You have to remember them. Fish, water, farm, house, forest: I think that’s how it began. Then you get a second sequence of words and you have to bash the space bar if you recognise any of the words from the first sequence. Sometimes the programme plays tricks: words in the second sequence flash up once, and then again a little later, and I find myself thinking, Did I have a goat in that original farmhouse by the forest? I think there might have been one. Or was it a coat? And then I think, God, I miss that old place. Everything was so simple back then. The memory games are followed by a sort of data entry test. You must contemplate a series of squiggles, like Egyptian hieroglyphics, arrayed beneath the numbers 1-9. Using this panel as a sort of key, you must then fill in a never-ending series of panels, in which you are given the hieroglyph and have to enter the number it corresponds to on the panel. I say never-ending because
I never get to the end of it. New lines of hieroglyphics keep appearing.
NO GOING BACK
I feel like an ancient Egyptian accountant, tallying up the expenses of a pyramid. And I keep making mistakes. “Bugger!” I say, when I make a mistake. But as with the farmhouse by the forest, you can never go back. I wonder if Amanda 2 can hear me swearing. I think I must sound the way my father did, when I first tried to introduce him to computer games. First he would swear. Then he would say, “This whole bloody game is rigged.” I feel the same way. I feel as if the computer has it in for me, with its goats and coats. I keep making mistakes. Then it is over and I am sitting with Raffaele, in his office with its huge, walllength window looking out over Central Park. On the wall opposite the window are glass-panelled shelves holding various pieces of his life. There’s a black and white photograph of his father, who was an economics professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and another of his mother, who taught Spanish and Italian at a Catholic
university almost 50km west of the city. The family lived in a pleasant suburb on the edge of Philly. Raffaele was the youngest of two - his elder sister is now an art teacher - and he was quite athletic. On the shelves, besides his Princeton University tankard and some of his sister’s sculptures, are trophies for tennis and pole vaulting. He played striker for his high-school soccer team and wanted to be a professional footballer until he was 15, when he broke both his ankles. “They just didn’t end up working as well after that. It turns out that maybe it was a good thing in some ways,” he says. “Here’s a little fun fact for you,” he says, and launches into a discussion of the possibility that heading the ball repeatedly can bring on the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
SWIM OR SINK
I must say that, as fun facts go, this one is not very fun. Raffaele continues, in an even less enjoyable vein, about a genetic polymorphism called the apolipoprotein E4. When James Watson, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, had his own genome sequenced, this was the one thing he did not wish to know if he had. If you have it “you don’t repair damage to the brain as well,” says Raffaele, and it increases your risk of getting Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. Raffaele, who subjects himself and his patients to extensive genetic testing, knows he has it. “If I had become a soccer player, I might have gotten dopey earlier in life,” he concludes, cheerfully. I still play football, I say. “Do you head the ball?” Raffaele asks, his eyes narrowing. I do. I hope this doesn’t explain why I spent the previous 20 minutes shouting at a computer. Instead of risking his brain on the football pitch, Raffaele became a doctor, practising internal medicine at a hospital in Philadelphia. In the 90s, his parents began to show signs of Alzheimer’s. “It’s not exactly the end stage of brain ageing, but it is pretty close to the end,” he says. He felt ill-equipped to help them. But he read of a new field of anti-ageing medicine, whose practitioners sought to delay the onset of ageing. He took them to see one of its practitioners, who put his father on a hormone treatment. “He did a little better,” he says. But it was
‘Baby boomers want to play three sets of tennis. They don’t want to go into that gradual decline from 50 to 85. They want great health’ more or less too late for both of them. “I got really fascinated by just the general concept of not waiting until the patient comes into my office with a complaint or a disease.” He wanted to be able to track the progress of healthy patients towards the point where they’d develop degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or heart failure. And that process was better known as ageing. “The drugs we have to treat Alzheimer’s are terrible,” he says. “Really, prevention is the best thing to do.” Raffaele thinks his father’s swimming habit - five days a week, for 40 years - may have initially helped to stave off the Alzheimer’s. “That has instilled in me a lifelong exercise habit.” He’s also been taking human growth hormone and another hormone treatment for the past 20 years, as well as a testosterone supplement. “I’m ageing pretty well and that’s why,” he says. The weekend after we meet he is due to take on a triathlon. He thinks he is steadily getting better, as his competitors get older. “My overall physiological age is about 41 right now,” he says, proudly. I feel a strange sense of envy creeping over me. I remember when my brain was 41. It must have been somewhere around my 29th birthday. Initially, Raffaele expected to treat pensioners battling the onset of dementia and the general seizing up of their internal systems. At the time, “the mindset of the 65 and older [person] was that ageing is inevitable,” he says. “They were like, ‘I’m okay with my gradual decline as long as I can still go to the movies,’” says Raffaele. But then came the baby boomers. “They wanted to continue to play three sets of tennis. They’re replacing joints; they’re going to stem cell therapy clinics. They don’t want to go into that gradual decline from 50 to 85. They want to maintain great health.”
The practice of divining their ‘physiological age’ became his special selling point. He got the idea from Robert Butler, the founding director of the government
Dr Raffaele and Will Pavia
How f lexible are you?
You’ll need a ruler to complete this test. If you’ve performed the earlier fitness tests, you will be warmed up enough to do this sit-and-reach test. Otherwise, do some gentle exercise before carrying this out. Remove your shoes and sit on a flat surface, legs extended in front of the body, toes pointing up and feet slightly apart, with the soles of the feet against the base of a step. Place the ruler on top of the step in between your legs. Place one hand on top of the other then reach slowly forward. At the point of your greatest reach, take a measurement. If you have trouble straightening your legs, get a friend to help by holding your knees against the ground. The measurement is based on how many centimetres you have reached beyond the soles of your feet, or, if you did not reach your toes, how far from your feet you were (a negative measurement score). Compare your results to the table below.
Excellent Good Average Fair Poor
17 - 27cm 6 - 16cm 0 - 5cm -1 to -8cm -9 to -20cm
21 - 30cm 11 - 20cm 1 - 10cm 0 to -7cm -8 to -15cm
Source: adapted from topendsports.com
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
How old is your metabolism? Take
your waist test Measure your waist. Be sure to take the measurement at your true waist, level to your belly button rather than at your belt line. And don’t hold your breath, either. Your score will give you an insight into your metabolic age.
research institute, the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Butler had invited him to a panel discussion that starred various gerontologists and geriatricians. They represented mainstream medicine - the respectable side of lifespan management, as it was sometimes called. “They were going to tell me I was a snake oil salesman,” he says. “They didn’t think I knew much about the evolutionary theory of ageing, and why it makes sense to intervene in the ageing process.” Yet Butler did offer one critique that stuck with Raffaele. “Bob said, ‘Well, you’re a smart Princeton guy. What are you doing to show you’re actually an anti-ageing doctor? If you’re a hypertension specialist, you measure blood pressure against something, and you see it go down. You’re an anti-ageing specialist: what are you using to measure that your therapies are working in these otherwise basically healthy people?’ I said, ‘I don’t know.’ So I went on a search for the biomarkers of ageing.” The product of that search is the series of test results in the white folder on the desk between us. Raffaele opens it and begins with the news about my gorgeous lungs. “Are you a runner?” he asks. Only when I’m late. But I ran a bit at school, I say. “Do you have a mile time?” he asks. I can’t remember, I say. And no wonder. “I bet it was under five minutes,” he says. Maybe, I say, blandly, like an elderly soldier being told of the things he must have done during the war. “Because you have a really, really good pulmonary and arterial system,” says Raffaele. “Probably genetically endowed.” According to the tests, I have the lungs and arteries of a 20-year-old. I have the
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Raffaele tells me I have the body of an endurance athlete. “You surely missed your calling,” skin of a 31-year-old, according to the instrument Amanda 2 applied beneath my arm, which sucks up and releases the skin. The machine expresses skin elasticity as a percentage: mine is 81%. “It ranges somewhere between about 35% in a really wrinkly 85-year-old, to 90 or 95% in a really, really youthful 18-year-old African-American, because they have no sun exposure.” They have the best skin.
We move on to my body composition, as measured on the fancy scales. “Your body fat is crazy,” says Raffaele. “Seven per cent.” Is that good? “Yeah, that’s good!” he exclaims. “In the US population, normal is going to be like 25-30% in a male and 30-35% in a female.” Raffaele tells me I have the body of an endurance athlete. “You surely missed your calling,” he says, warming to his theme. “You should have been an endurance runner. Or do you like swimming? You could have been like the Brownlees, Alistair and Jonny. Do you know them?” No. Raffaele, who is himself a keen triathlete, is outraged I have never heard of them. “They’re two of the top triathletes in the world!” he says. All of this is fine and dandy, and flattering in a ‘you could have been a contender’ sort of way. But then, of course, we come to my 49-year-old brain. “Congratulations!” says the photographer’s assistant who was helping to shoot Raffaele
25 35 45 55 65
89cm or less 90 - 93cm 94 - 97cm 98 - 100cm 100cm or above
70cm or less 71 - 79cm 80- 86cm 87 - 94cm 95cm or above
How old is your skin?
Pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold it for 5 seconds. Let go and time how long it takes for the skin to flatten out. The shorter the time, the younger the ‘functional age’ of your skin.
1 - 2 seconds 3-4 5-9 10 - 15
FUNCTIONAL AGE Under 30 30 - 44 45 - 50 51 - 60
As you approach your 70s and beyond, the time your skin will take to flatten is likely to be around 35+ seconds. Source: Dr Alexis Abramson (alexisabramson.com)
for these pages. He thought it must mean I am wise beyond my years. It does not mean this. It means I am slow for my age. I get the feeling that everyone at the clinic is slightly embarrassed about this. “It’s just because you’re tired,” Raffaele says. He keeps saying so. It’s true I haven’t had much sleep this week. But I feel we are grasping slightly for straws, to avoid the awful conclusion that the man sent to profile Raffaele and write the story of his life has a really excellent body, but is slightly thick. “Your verbal memory was quite good,” says Raffaele. But let’s be honest, not that good. He gestures at the other figures on the cognitive test results chart.
WORDS WILL PAVIA PHOTOGRAPHS M SHARKEY/THE TIMES MAGAZINE/NEWS SYNDICATION AND GETTY IMAGES
“This is all not so good because you’re tired and it’s the first time you took the test,” he says, brightly. “I’m sure, I mean, just talking to you, you’re probably at least average.” He notes my stricken look. “Or better than average,” he adds. Oh God, I must be really dumb. The test where you have to match colours and shapes, you really have to be awake for that, he says. Yes, colours and shapes. I was not very good at matching them. “That [test] is fast and you can’t be sleepy,” he says. “Or, you have a little ADD [attention deficit disorder].” Or perhaps I’ve headed one too many footballs. It looks particularly embarrassing when set against the other results. Towards the end of my file, there’s a bar chart that lays them all out. All the bars are green and stretch downward, placing me in my 20s or early 30s, except for ‘NeuroAge’, which is red, and stretches upwards, by 12 years. My body could still be in a boy band, but my brain is only three years younger than Nigel Farage. My body would probably have voted to remain in the EU, but I suppose my brain would be Brexit. Needless to say, all this causes great hilarity when I get home that evening. “If your body and your brain went on a date, the other people in the restaurant would be disgusted,” my wife says. “They would think, ‘What’s going on there?’” My in-laws are staying; they all pile in, too. “I remember when I hit 40,” says my father-in-law. “I felt like I suddenly dropped 20 IQ points. I had to stop doing the crossword. I couldn’t do it any more.” I’ve never been able to do crosswords, I say. I find them really difficult. The in-laws all look at me, and it is as if they are finally seeing past my gorgeous, endurance athlete’s body, to the dimly lit realm within. The truth is I’ve never been the sharpest tool in the box. A few years ago, at a funeral, I met my old primaryschool teacher. “What are you doing with your life?” she asked. I told her I was a reporter. “Oh, that’s good,” she replied. “You’ve got a proper job.” I laughed, but she pressed on. “I mean, you were perfectly capable. But you were a rather dreamy child.” Of course, I know plenty of people, including some of my editors, who are older than 49 and still have minds like steel traps, and initially I found this
‘Walking speeds in humans is one of the best predictors of longevity’ consoling. It took my 49-year-old brain a little while to come up with another possibility: perhaps they all have 25-yearold brains. Raffaele says I ought to take the test again, one morning when I’m better rested. I haven’t quite got round to it. I could perhaps make a joke about ADD here, although the truth is I’m a little worried about having my slowness officially confirmed and published.
UP FOR DEBATE
One consolation is Raffaele’s biomarkers are supposed to be alterable, to some extent. The other is that their entire use, as markers of ageing, remains somewhat controversial. Raffaele himself notes that the National Institute on Aging spent a decade trying to establish biomarkers that could be studied in humans and other species before concluding that no “scientifically validated” biomarkers had been established. He thinks they set an unrealistically high standard. When I ask the NIA about this, they are a little more equivocal. They did indeed support a research initiative in the 90s, “related to biomarkers of ageing”, the institute says in an emailed statement. “The effort was ultimately unsuccessful because the ageing biology field was not developed to a point where meaningful results could be obtained. Technology in this area has advanced significantly since then and there is renewed interest in this field, which the NIA is pursuing through a number of means.” At the University of Florida’s Institute on Aging, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh says there are certain simple biomarkers, such as core body temperature (which drops gradually) and glucose levels (which rise) that do correlate with age. “Walking speeds in humans is one of the best predictors of longevity,” he says. “There are cognitive tests that can also be predictive,” he adds, worryingly, from my perspective. But he was sceptical of Raffaele’s biomarkers. They’re not backed up by clinical trials, he says. Raffaele does
keep a growing database of the patients he has tested and treated - and his technology is now used in 30 other clinics across America. But Leeuwenburgh says the patients paying for this treatment would not be a representative sample: all of them, just by pitching up to take the test, had shown they are preoccupied with their health and keen to adopt measures that would make them live longer. As a group, therefore, they probably will live longer, regardless of whether they’re given hormones. Of course, as Raffaele says, the trouble with insisting on a true long-term, doubleblind clinical trial for a new anti-ageing medicine is you have to wait until every man and woman in the study has died. And many people, not least the impatient baby boomers, literally do not have the time to hang around for that. Since Raffaele’s clinic has been in business, the idea that human beings might challenge the signs of ageing has moved out of the preserve of moisturiser adverts. As recently as 2003, “people were terrified to say it out loud”, says Dave Gobel, the bio-tech entrepreneur who co-founded the Methuselah Foundation with the Cambridge geneticist Aubrey de Grey, to encourage research into how to extend the lives of healthy people. They offered a prize for research that extended the life of mice: one of the first recipients of the prize was the rodent breeder whose mouse, Charlie, got extra toys in his cage.
A SPARE BRAIN
Gobel went about Silicon Valley, too, talking to the new generation of tech billionaires, who still hoped to achieve something grander than an extremely efficient search engine or online payment mechanism. They seemed to look on death as a software glitch for which humanity should soon possess a solution, or at least, a decent workaround. Many of those involved, at Google’s anti-ageing laboratory, Calico, and at the biotech company Human Longevity, Inc in San Diego, believe it will eventually be possible to recreate one’s mind on a computer, and keep a spare copy in the cloud, should we ever have the misfortune of losing it. By that time my brain will probably have retired. But perhaps some nice young man will show me how to upload it. I doubt it will take up much space. # MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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Once a workaholic running her own business, Donna Kerridge made a dramatic change, leaving her hectic lifestyle behind to become a Maori healer. She tells Rachael Russell why we have so much to gain by paying heed to tradition
or a brief moment, I think I’m being tested. I’ve asked Donna Kerridge where she’s holding her workshop on Māori medicine, and her reply is “the place where the tuataras are”. Which sounds wonderfully mystic and esoteric but, um, I don’t know where tuataras live. I just figured they were in the bush somewhere. Then she clarifies, “There are tuataras painted on the sign, outside the hall, in Piha…” Gotcha. As health woes like anxiety and obesity continue to plague our modern lifestyles, many people are turning to complementary medicine for answers. From wellness weekends to meditation apps, business is booming. But most of us know next to nothing about indigenous medicine, despite some of the remedies being under our very noses (if we’re going for a bush walk, that is). Māori medicine – known as rongoā Māori – takes us beyond manuka to the veritable medicine cabinet hidden within our native flora: kohekohe for period pain, karamū to help manage type II diabetes, mingimingi to soothe children’s coughs... It also incorporates physical techniques such as massage, spiritual healing, and a communityminded approach to health. Kerridge – a naturopath and medical herbalist – is seeing a growing interest from Kiwis keen to > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
‘After 15 years ‘I felt I was reaching my use-by date’
learn about this traditional way of healing. The 55-year-old believes we could all use a little more ancient wisdom in our lives, and she’s dedicated herself to meeting that need. To do that she’s stepped away from a high-pressure career running an IT company, rented out her Auckland house, and has taken her wellbeing message to the road. I meet Kerridge at the large campervan that is now her home. The number plate reads Ora NZ – the name of her natural therapy clinic. Dressed in a koru-printed kaftan, the grandmother of seven
ushers me inside, brandishing a plate of avocado and chilli crackers, while simultaneously shooing her husband Paul out the door. It’s raining, but he doesn’t complain. They have the relaxed manner you would expect of people who can wake up in the morning and decide to drive to whichever picturesque part of the country takes their fancy. “Me practising rongoā Māori, Paul fishing,” Kerridge explains. Today she is parked at Auckland’s Ardmore Airport, in view of the small planes taking off on practice flights. Tomorrow the outlook will be the black sand of Auckland surf beach Piha, where 15 people have paid $300 each for a two-day workshop. Over the weekend the group, ranging from primary school-aged to retired, will learn how to recognise native plants (even in the dark), hear some of the stories – good and bad – about their use, and eventually mix up some of their own remedies. Knowledge of the Māori language is not remotely necessarily – Kerridge doesn’t speak it fluently herself, much to her chagrin. “I just use a little bit in my workshops, so that to everyone else it looks like I can,” she deadpans.
Kerridge never intended to work in health, Māori or otherwise. In fact, if you’d told her 15 years ago this would be her life today, she would probably have laughed heartily on her way to catch an early flight for a business meeting. She clearly remembers her first moment of professional aspiration: 22 years old, sitting on the front porch of her Air Force Married Quarter home, her babies, aged one and two, napping, and her husband away on an overseas deployment. Flicking through the newspaper, Kerridge decided she was “going to have one of the big jobs advertised in the Wednesday section of the Herald”. By 30, armed with a marketing and public relations diploma, she had achieved that, working her way up the corporate ladder before starting her own IT project management business in her 40s. Kerridge’s schedule back then was, by anyone’s standards, pretty insane. For three years straight her alarm sounded at 3am on Monday to catch the first flight to Sydney; returning at 1am Saturday – enough time to watch her kids play sport before hitting repeat. One time she was in such a rush she arrived in Sydney only to discover she had not packed a single item of clothing, just computers. Unfazed, she bought five outfits on the way to the office. She loved the lifestyle, the teamwork, and the satisfaction of solving problems, but after 15 years “I felt I was reaching my use-by date”. For Kerridge, the signs weren’t burnout, but feeling she had lost touch with her practical side.
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Kerridge not only makes her own plant-based remedies, she also teaches her students how to ‘read’ the earth so they can work out for themselves which plants do what.
There was one incident in particular that bothered her. She was baking and didn’t have a rolling pin. “I thought ‘The shop’s shut; now what am I going to do?’ I was about to bin it when somebody said ‘use a wine bottle you fool!’ “When you’re living that kind of lifestyle there isn’t anything that money can’t solve, and so I think you lose a little bit of your common sense.” Her madcap routine came to a halt when a muchloved aunt was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Kerridge took her turn caring for her, spending up to eight hours a day giving her gentle massages. “I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew I couldn’t hurt her,” Kerridge remembers. Soon there came to be a pattern: “Every time I visited, my aunt would be better for a couple of days; sleep through the night, eat, take herself to the bathroom. Then she would go back to being bedridden and miserable. It made me start to think about what the difference was. “When someone is sick there’s always the one who does the housework, the one who takes care of the finances, and then there are the ones who take care of the emotions, and I just fell into that. Which was really weird, because all those times in my job there was no room for emotion. My aunt being sick, it was all emotion, and there was no getting away from it.” By the time her aunt passed away, Kerridge’s
interest in health had been piqued and her life of hotel rooms and fancy restaurants had lost its appeal. She started taking leave and using the time to study, completing a NZ Diploma of Naturopathy and a NZ Diploma of Herbal Medicine. Funded by her IT work, she travelled to Australia and the US to learn different massage techniques. Then terminal illness struck again. This time it was her mother-in-law, who Kerridge freely admits she had a difficult relationship with. Her husband, overseas on deployment again, told her not to bring his mother home. “He said it wouldn’t be good for me. But she was terrified; I couldn’t turn her away. I handed over all my work to my second-in-command and said ‘I don’t know when I’ll be back; ring me any time’, and walked out the door. And I never walked back in.”
‘When someone is sick there are the ones who take care of the emotions, and I just fell into that’
A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
Kerridge nursed her mother-in-law for four months. She died the day her son returned home from duty. “We had some amazing times – not all of them good, as was typical of our relationship. When she left this world I had nothing but respect for her strength and determination, and gratitude for all I’d learned caring for her. I had no intention of returning to my old life.” Instead, she enrolled in a Bachelor of Health > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Left: Kerridge and her campervan. The Maori healer traded in her hectic career to teach Kiwis about traditional medicine.
‘Many of the things we perceive as illness, I perceive as symptoms of living in a modern world’
| MARCH 2017
Science (Complementary Medicine) from Charles Sturt University in Australia. In her final year, her class were asked to write a treatment plan for the following case study: a woman with young children, low energy, poor sleep patterns and some nutritional and hormonal deficiencies. Kerridge dutifully wrote down her list of remedies, and listened while others in the class stood up to read out their answers. “When it came time to stand up I said ‘actually, I’ve got my treatment plan here but having listened to the rest of us, I wouldn’t do that anymore. I would just get her a babysitter!’ “I knew then there was more to good health than lotions, potions, medical interventions and supplements. We’re not seeing these people as people; we’re seeing them as diseases. Many of the things we perceive as illness, I perceive as symptoms of living in a modern world.” Kerridge finished her degree, but knew then she was better suited to the community-minded approach of Māori medicine. “I’d say 99% of people who come to my workshops come for the lotions and potions. Then they realise that’s just a small part of it. One of the biggest problems we face today is we’re lonely; we don’t have that connection to home, and to each other.”
For that reason, connection is a big part of the workshops. She describes her approach as “tactfully going through the Māori way of gathering”. The day begins with a karakia – often thought of as a prayer, but Kerridge likens it more to meditation. “It’s a way of saying ‘we’re going to leave everything that’s worrying us at the door and focus on what we’re here to learn.’” The group then spends an hour finding out how they’re linked, either through who they know, where they have lived, what they do for a job… anything that finds common ground.
BACK TO THE EARTH
This is something Kerridge didn’t pay much attention to until a woman in one of her groups spent the entire weekend connecting everyone in as many ways as she could – including an American woman who’d just run away from a bad marriage and was living in a rural part of New Zealand (the connection, it turned out, was she lived down the road from Kerridge’s bridesmaid from 37 years ago). “That group learned in one weekend what we usually teach in three workshops. So now I put a different emphasis on it; students at the workshops start working as a team from the get-go, they’re not just 10 individuals with their pen and paper.”
Her students are also taught how to ‘read’ the earth, using knowledge Māori traditionally passed down from one generation to the next. That knowledge has been diminished through contact with western culture, but Kerridge sought out Rob McGowan, a former priest who is one of the leading authorities on rongoā Māori, to fill in the gaps. “For example, when the ground has been burnt from bush fires, the kūmarahou tree is one of the first plants to reappear; its job is to heal the burned earth. That plant is what we use to heal burns and respiratory conditions, the kind of things you would get from inhaling smoke. “When you see a hillside that has slipped, one of the first plants to come up is the mamaku. Its job is to soothe the earth when it’s ripped apart and help hold that soil, so we use the mamaku to help soothe our pipes internally, the digestive system. When you teach people the role of the plants on the earth then you don’t need teachers like me, because you can actually work it out.” And it’s not just enough to be able to visually identify plants: at night the group is tasked with figuring it all out using just touch and words. And at the end of the course they will, of course, make those ‘lotions and potions’. As well as running small community workshops, Kerridge presents at
mainstream medical conferences and training institutions to try to help bring the benefits of modern and traditional medicine together.
A CHALLENGE AHEAD
But her new life isn’t all birdsong and bubbling brooks. The Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill, currently before Parliament, has wide-ranging effects on anyone who works with natural medicines. Kerridge, who has her own product range, has ended up putting her business skills to work encouraging the government to support and recognise the economic, as well as cultural, benefit of supporting traditional Māori health. “I thought ‘Oh god, do I really want to go there?’ But I have the skills to have that conversation with the Ministry of Health, so it’s best that I do it. That’s my contribution, I can’t speak Māori, but this I can do, and I can do it well.” Despite the brief return to boardrooms and bureaucracy, Kerridge is happy to have chosen her semi-nomadic lifestyle. “Unfortunately the financial rewards aren’t the same,” she laughs, “but every day is inspiring and rewarding. We have no regrets and are ready to settle into this adventure together.” #
‘When you teach people the role of the plants on the earth you don’t need teachers like me, you can work it out’
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
| MARCH 2017
For Dr Neha Sangwan, clear communication – not least with yourself – is key to avoiding burnout, a topic she knows about all too well. The speaker and author – here for the Worldwomen17 conference – explains how listening to your inner voice can help you take action towards creating the life you want BY KYLIE BAILEY
r Neha Sangwan is animatedly sharing her latest leap of faith – leaving behind family, friends and a well-established medical practice in San Francisco to follow her gut instinct and move to Boston. Where, incidentally, she hardly knows anyone. “I had been to a great conference, met some inspiring people and was really interested in what was going on here,” she recalls. As she was leaving the conference, she noticed a beautiful, turn-of-the-century apartment block across the street. A ‘For Lease’ sign in the window caught Sangwan’s eye. “I went to look at the apartment and, as soon as I stepped inside, my heart said, ‘This is home and you will be living here’. The rent was more than I could afford but somehow I just knew I had to find a way to be here,” she smiles. Within a few weeks, the globally recognised physician and corporate communications consultant had packed up and is now to chatting to NEXT via Skype from the kitchen of her new Boston apartment on the eve of her visit to New Zealand to speak at the World Women NZ Conference.
TOOLS FOR HAPPINESS
While up-ending life on a whim may seem brave, bold and a little bit radical, Sangwan is an expert at following universal signs. “This move to Boston has been about listening to my heart,” she says. “The first half of my life I trusted in data and knowledge. The second half of my life is about trusting intuition and being guided to a higher purpose.” That higher purpose is the message she and her
team now share with the world through her fastgrowing global following at www.doctorneha.com. Simply put, Sangwan’s unique prescription for modern medicine is that ‘self care is health care’. A well-known speaker on integrative medicine, holistic health and communication, Sangwan runs a private practice called Intuitive Intelligence – consulting one-on-one with patients and via Skype – and offering support programmes and advice to subscribers through her website and social media. To reach even more people, she recently released a book, Talk RX: Five Steps To Honest Conversations That Create Happiness, Health And Connection. Sangwan’s unique approach blends her background in traditional modern medicine with the knowledge she’s gathered while studying with the best in integrative medicine, including Dr Mark Hyman, and spirituality, such as the late, great author Wayne Dyer. Her work focuses on empowering people toward better health by teaching them practical tools to strengthen their relationships, decrease their stress levels and create the life they want. Sangwan has also been instrumental in changing the way hospitals, operating theatres and businesses communicate by introducing a comprehensive employee accountability programme called the i-Five Experience that connects the dots between job satisfaction, health and performance, and she speaks at and runs >
‘The first half of my life I trusted data and knowledge. The second half of my life is about trusting intuition’
‘It wasn’t being a physician that was making me unhappy; it was my inability to communicate clearly with myself and others’
corporate programmes for Facebook, eBay, American Express and Google. Of course, much research suggests better communication and enjoying balance has a host of health benefits for us, our families, communities and even the places we work. “Communicating effectively helps us better cope with stress, nurtures our relationships and enhances our health and self esteem,” says Sangwan. “For me, it’s about aligning and finding a new path in medicine. Modern medicine is phenomenal when you’re in a crisis and provides tools that can help immensely. But when it comes to anything chronic, we have to start to look at the root cause of these diseases. Stress exacerbates 95% of illnesses. In our modern world we know it, but we don’t do anything about it until we undermine our immune systems and get physically ill.”
SUPERWOMAN IN PERIL
Sangwan knows all too well what it feels like to ignore what your body is saying and instead burn out. She will never forget the day her world stopped – June 17, 2004. Lying in a hospital bed, exhausted, depleted and unable to care for herself, the young doctor was suffering from total physical and emotional burnout. “It was such a shocking thing – I was so surprised I didn’t see the first signs earlier,” she says. “But then I realised I didn’t know how to listen to my body.” Home from hospital and Sangwan started asking the right questions: “Why this? Why now? What signals might I have missed? What else in my life needs to be healed? If I spoke from the heart, what would I say?” That’s when she realised she wasn’t being true to herself. As a young doctor, 36-hour shifts were the norm and she was so focused on her patients and career that she never stopped to think about herself. “I was like a superwoman – always rushing in and saving the day,” she smiles. “I’d volunteer for extra shifts, even when I knew I needed rest, because I wanted to look like a team player. But the love and care I was showing for my patients was to the detriment of myself.” She jokes she could get through back-toback shifts with “two 470g cans of Mountain Dew and a king-sized Snickers bar”. But behind the scenes, she was exhausted yet too determined to admit it. It wasn’t until she was hospitalised and forced to stop
| MARCH 2017
that she realised she wanted to use her skills to create positive change, not just for herself but for people the world over. “When I was in hospital and on medical leave, I had this realisation that, as a doctor, I had the trust, honour and connection for people to reveal to me their greatest desires and fears. I wanted to use that connection to help them engage more fully with themselves.” That’s why, while on medical leave, Sangwan started listening. To herself. Sharing her most intimate thoughts in a journal. “It was through this writing and selfreflection that I finally heard the voice of my own heart. I discovered it wasn’t being a physician that was making me unhappy, it was my inability to communicate clearly with myself and others that had created the
stress that led to my burnout,” she says. She also identified that her physical symptoms (headaches, throat constriction and insomnia) were directly linked to her inability to communicate. “I love using the science of medicine to help people, but I’ve come to realise it is the art of medicine that transforms a physician into a healer,” she says. Following her gut, Sangwan began researching the mind-body connection. She trained in communication, learned more about food and nutrition and began studying with leading integrative medicine expert Hyman. “I wanted answers to questions I didn’t learn in medical school: How does the food I eat, the stress I put myself under, the way I communicate all feed into my health?
“I wanted to understand how we could harness our ability to take insights and awareness from ourselves and create outcomes and actions out of that. I took programmes from medicine and looked at toxic world cultures that make people ill. These are things nobody else thinks they can change because they’re part of our corporate and cultural environment. But I decided to change them.” It was at this point she took another bold step. She left behind her partnership at the hospital and started her own company. “For some people, being a partner is the ultimate security because you have a job for life and can never be fired,” she says. “But for me, it was like golden handcuffs. I knew to create the life I wanted and not burn out again, I had to leave.” Since founding her business in 2008, Sangwan has never looked back. “Working for myself gives me the space and time for self-care because I only say ‘yes’ to clients I want to work with. My work brings me so much joy and running my own business has been a learning curve. If I’d never left my partnership at the hospital, I’d never have learned how to run a business or have had the chance to connect with so many people around the world.” Her message about using tools such as mindfulness and meditation to gain insights that create action for a better life is resonating loud and clear. “What I’ve found
as I’ve worked in corporations and large companies is the way to inspire and engage people is start them with mindfulness to help them get insight. Then I take them into considering how that insight can create action in their life. For example, if I’m running fast and going through my day, do I snap at the people I love?” Her first TEDx talk, The Communication Cure, was so well received, Sangwan was offered the book deal and a TV show. “The first two years were painful. The book wrote me,” she laughs. “I didn’t know the process of how to write. I realised when I talked things through – those were the
‘What I’ve found as I’ve worked in large companies is the way to inspire and engage people is start them with mindfulness to help them get insight’ times I had great ideas.” The premise of the book – based on how to pay attention to your body and pick up information from the outside world, but be really in tune with your inside world – is also what Sangwan used to heal herself. She says, for example, in the eight more months it took to finish the book, she turned to comfort eating to get through, gaining between seven and nine kilograms. But rather than judging herself, she took a
5 steps to your happiness triggers: Want to discover what makes you happy and introduce more of it into your life? Dr Neha Sangwan shares her top five tips for finding the things you love that make you smile. She says the more of those things you can bring into your life, the more you’ll step into the power of being your true, authentic self.
Write a list of all the things you loved doing as a child. What brought you joy just for the joy of it? For me, it was gymnastics, and yoga is like gymnastics for big kids so I do yoga now. Spend seven days keeping track on your phone of the people, places and interactions that GIVE you energy and the
ones that DEPLETE your energy. At the end of the week, take a look at the patterns you’re following. How many things are you doing that are on the draining list? Write one experience where you feel valued, appreciated and heard. Distill out of that why it was so important. That’s the little nugget that will help you understand what drives you. Do work that is meaningful to you and reflects what matters most to you so it is deeply personal. Get your me/we/world aligned. Discover more about yourself, master the way to heal your wounds and then share what you love in a way that makes a difference to the world.
different approach; turning to spiritual teachers, guided imagery, meditation and other support tools each time she reached “a new level of discomfort” during the writing process. “It was like holding up a mirror and reflecting that back on myself. That’s how I knew I had to be kind to my body – often what we say to other people is the information we need to tell ourselves. Instead of judging myself, I felt very grateful towards my body and thanked it for absorbing the stress that I couldn’t. “Mindfulness is amazing – and it’s a practice. Then we have to link it to our thoughts, our emotions, what we want, and then how we end up taking action in the world. If we can do that, mindfulness takes insight and translates it into action.” It’s no real surprise then that as soon as she saw that ‘For Lease’ sign she followed her gut and moved to Boston. And while the art of self-trust is something she’s still working hard every day to master, if her track record is anything to go by, she’ll pass with flying colours. “I’ve learned you just take the next step, especially when you can’t see the next three that follow,” she grins. # Worldwomen17 runs from March 17-19 at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland. For further details and to buy tickets, visit www.worldwomen.org.nz MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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88 Wild flower
Floral prints get an adult update
100 Top to toe
We’ve got the best bags and boots to complete your look
112 Beauty news
Tropical hues, lush lashes and Karen Walker’s exciting new scent
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A family home that gives space and privacy top billing
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Eye-catching outfits, clean eating and hot accessories - we’ve got the must-haves for March
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New Zealand’s adventure paradise has some unexpected gems
Floral sheer bodysuit, $52, Topshop. Essence cami (worn underneath), $30, Farmers. Alexis skirt , $399, Kate Sylvester. Bangles, $4 for the set, Kmart.
Florals are loud and proud this season; not a shrinking violet in sight. Hereâ€™s our pick
thing PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL JAMES ROOKE FASHION EDITOR SONIA GREENSLADE
Just For Frills blouse by Cooper, $349, Trelise Cooper. Culottes, $65, The Third Eye.
Florabunda dress, $699, Trelise Cooper.
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Flower Dance shirt, $359, Andrea Moore. Hanya dress by Liam, $299, Ruby. Skinny D-Ring belt, $179, Kate Sylvester. All bracelets (gold, silver and beaded), $15 each, The Third Eye. Blair ankle boots, $330, Mi Piaci. Flower duvet, $159 (queen size), Farmers.
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
fashion Bonnie top, $299, Kate Sylvester. Floral cigarette pants, $65, Topshop. Malibu necklace, $145, Day Birger et Mikkelsen. Salvador loafers, $415, Karen Walker.
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fashion Chester blouse, $299, Leon & Harper. All You Can Pleat skirt by Cooper, $495, Trelise Cooper. Ardi boots, $350, Mi Piaci.
fashion Roseweb dress, $595, Andrea Moore. Clockwork floral scarf, $25, Farmers. All bracelets, $15 each, The Third Eye. Rocco boots, $350, Mi Piaci.
| MARCH 2017
ART DIRECTION LOUISE THOMSON HAIR AND MAKEUP LISA MATSON MODEL POLLY @ UNIQUE
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 152
Olivia dress, $299, Isaac + Lulu. Beaded bracelet, $5; and tassel bracelet, $16; both The Third Eye.
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Fashion news BY EMMA CLIFTON
UNSTOPPABLE WOMEN Ziera loves helping ladies feel great about themselves and now they’re on the hunt for five unstoppable women. Whether it’s standing up for women’s rights, looking after their community or working in a high-pressure job, the five winners will each receive $2500 to help them pursue their dreams – plus five pairs of Ziera shoes! Visit www.zierashoes.com or Facebook to nominate an unstoppable woman in your life. Entries close April 17.
Louis Vuitton has teamed up with Unicef to create a campaign called #MakeAPromise. The designer has created a special edition pendant and bracelet for the campaign, and $272 of each one sold will go to the charity, which aims to help 2.2 million refugee children. See eu.louisvuitton.com for more.
Iconic magazine Vogue has revealed its top 10 wardrobe basics for 2017, and it’s quite the mixed – but stylish – bag. Trends we know and love feature, like leopard everything and luxe sweats. Then it gets more avant garde: guitar straps for your bag, pyjamas for day and – the pièce de résistance – a dog chain. Good luck adding those to your work outfits!
| MARCH 2017
Spin a great yarn
Massive ‘ghost fishing nets’ are discarded at the bottom of the ocean, and are believed to be responsible for some 170,000 sea-life deaths each year. So what’s the fashionable solution? Spin them into yarn for clothes, of course! Italian company Aquafil teamed up with Volcom to create swimwear line Simply Solid, which is both earth-friendly and superattractive. www.volcom.com
Popular mobile fashion game Covet gives players clothing challenges where they have to dress online mannequins in different outfits. But the many people using this game were getting tired of how the mannequins looked – there was just one option, your standard tall, thin, white model. The company listened and now they are offering 50 different models with various body types and skin colours.
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Pear Bangles, $18, Colette by Colette Hayman.
Play up your assets in a dress thatâ€™s perfect for your shape. We showcase four of the best, and how to style them Lena dress, $159, Random.
Vicarious maxi dress by Liam, $369, Ruby.
Go for nipped-in tops, sweaters and jackets and create interest with prints
Paris necklace, $279, Jasmin Sparrow.
Choker, $13, Colette by Colette Hayman.
Bag by Annabel Ingall, $629, Workshop.
Rosebud earrings, $219, Jasmin Sparrow.
A dress with a waist balances out your top and bottom half, and a statement necklace draws the eyes up Heels by Isabella Anselmi, $200, Merchant for Overland.
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Gabe ankle boots, $300, Mi Piaci.
Stella bag, $549, Harry & Co.
Bardot earrings, $199, Jasmin Sparrow.
Freya dress, $459, Ingrid Starnes. Bar hoop earrings, $11, Colette by Colette Hayman.
Chiara dress, $629, Helen Cherry.
Coco bracelet, $419, Jasmin Sparrow.
Clever tailoring teamed with an A-line cut will balance the figure
STYLING SONIA GREENSLADE PHOTOGRAPHS BAUER MEDIA STUDIOS, ISTOCK IMAGES AND SUPPLIED
Flatter curves with scoop necks and define your waist to create an hourglass shape
Ring bag, $450, 2nd Day.
Minnie bag, $419, Harry & Co.
Jordan boots, $369, Kathryn Wilson
Bar bangle, $16, Colette by Colette Hayman.
Scala scarf, $125, 2nd Day.
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 152
Heels, $489, Harman GrubiÅ¡a.
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Myra boots, $449, Kathryn Wilson Bruno boots, $299, Sol Sana.
Make bright colours pop with neutral accessories.
Mr Bamboo clutch, $350, Deadly Ponies Suzi crossbody bag, $435, Karen Walker.
Macaroon handbag by Isabella Anselmi, $260, Merchant for Overland.
Filo ankle boots, $350, Mi Piaci.
TWICE AS NICE Jackson boots, $349, Kathryn Wilson.
Rocco ankle boots, $350, Mi Piaci. Sophia bag, $435, Isaac + Lulu
Bag, $160, Melie Bianco.
Parody ankle boots, $290, Mi Piaci. Nadia bag, $190, Merchant for Overland.
| MARCH 2017
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 152
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Pair together or mix it up – we’ve got the best accessories to top off your look
fashion Harlow mesh flutter sleeve top, $80, Farmers.
Skater sweater, $288, Standard Issue. Artisan scarf, $145, Smith & Caughey’s.
Gene jeans, $160, Huffer.
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Top Model full shaper, $140, Simone Pérèle.
Get sleek silhouettes with shapewear that works and pieces that flatter your body Sweeping Curves lace briefs, $45, Nancy Ganz.
Cotton tulle V-neck, $156, Standard Issue.
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Panelled classic body suit, $185, Van + Zen.
Alina jeans, $299, NYDJ. Dylan dress, $245, Julian Danger.
Sheer Decadence underbust bodysuit, $140, Nancy Ganz.
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 152
A-line skirt, $329, Eugénie. MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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| MARCH 2017
Do you really have to sacrifice one for the sake of the other? Maria Lally asks the experts how to lose weight without adding years to your face
‘Find a weight and keep to it. The worst thing you can do to your face at this age is to yo-yo diet’
here’s a saying that goes, ‘At a certain age, you have to choose between your face and your ass.’ Often attributed to the French actress Catherine Deneuve, it rings true for us all. Indeed Jane Fonda has admitted she’s 4.5kg heavier than she’d like to be for the sake of her face and, when asked about dieting, Nigella Lawson once said, “If I lost 18kg, I’d age 10 years straight away.” While I don’t want to lose anywhere near 18kg, I could do with losing six. I’m a health writer, so I know a lot about weight loss. But I’m also a working mum of two young children with a weakness for lattes, kids’ leftovers and sugar fixes when I’m stressed (which is often). I’ve always been fairly slim – at 178cm, I hover around a size 12 – and after my first daughter was born in 2010, I dropped to my wedding-day weight, thanks to living in a hilly part of the city where I walked everywhere. But in 2013 I moved to the suburbs, had another baby and ended up with an extra 6kg. I’ve also started to worry about ageing, as the passing of time and years of night feeds and 5am wake-up calls from small children have begun to take their toll. My eyes are crinklier than ever, my skin duller and more lined. So, like a lot of women, I find myself approaching 40 wanting to lose weight and look younger. But I was recently chatting to Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh, the cosmetic doctor who works with Cindy Crawford, when he said: “After you have children, find a weight that’s easy to maintain and keep to it. The worst thing you can do to your face at this age is to yo-yo diet.” With that in mind, here’s how to lose weight without gaining wrinkles as a result…
WHY IT HAPPENS “When you lose weight, you can’t ‘spot reduce’ and just lose it from your tummy,” says anti-ageing expert Dr Daniel Sister. “You lose it from everywhere, so it goes from your body and face, and the latter is ageing. You also carry less fat on your face, so if you lose 2% body fat, it will show up more on your face than on your stomach. When older women diet, it shows first in their face, then their body.” Sister says rapid weight loss at my age would show mainly around the temples, which become hollow (an age giveaway, apparently), the cheeks, which slowly slip down and become jowllike, deeper nose-to-mouth lines and an overall drawn look to the skin.
AIM TO MAINTAIN “The beauty tip that really made me think is ‘pick the weight you can maintain’,” says Sebagh, which is what Cindy Crawford said when asked about ageing. “So it’s not your skinniest weight, it’s your doable weight, and stay there. When you yo-yo – you lose 2kg, you gain 2kg – that’s really bad for your skin because of the elasticity. Your skin stretches and then it goes back and then it stretches.” Sebagh’s other tip is to take a slow and steady approach to weight loss. This is something nutritional therapist, Amelia Freer, agrees with. “I have this chat with my clients often,” she says. “As well as being unsustainable (so more likely to lead to yo-yo dieting), rapid weight loss from crash dieting can be very ageing. If you want to lose weight, aim for around 1kg a week.” > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
EXERCISE SMARTER After a certain age, excessive exercise can be very ageing, according to trainer Lee Mullins from Workshop Gymnasium, who works with model/actresses Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Cressida Bonas. He explains that activities such as excessive running (when combined with dieting) can cause you to lose lean muscle as well as fat. “While rapid fat loss is ageing, lean muscle loss is even more so,” he says. That’s because from our 30s onwards we start to lose muscle mass, which causes our metabolism to slow (muscle burns more calories than fat). Hence, waists get wider and diets get harder. “Running is a great exercise at any age, but from your 30s onwards, do it alongside things such as yoga and weight training,” advises Mullins. And if you don’t exercise at all, start now. Scientists from McMaster University in Ontario recently found that all types of regular moderate exercise slow down skin ageing.
YOU COULD TRY TREATMENTS Obviously, there is the more drastic – and expensive – approach, but one taken by thousands of women for a ‘quick-fix’ result. “Dermal fillers help to replace lost fat in the face and restore lost volume,” says cosmetic doctor Dr Ravi Jain. “Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers mimic the skin’s production of collagen and help to achieve natural-looking plumping.” Jain adds that the new filler Profhilo hydrates skin, delivers pure HA and “increases your collagen and elastin production like nothing else I know.” He adds, “Radiofrequency treatments, such as Elixis Elite, are also effective for tightening skin on the neck and jowls.” Dr Daniel Sister often recommends fillers to clients who have lost weight and look older as a result, and says, “There are lots of very good machines and treatments around that help you lose fat from areas such as your stomach. Which, unlike dieting, can ‘spot reduce’ fat from your figure but spare your face.” Freer also recommends feeding your face. “Your skin consists of billions of cells that are constantly regenerating, so it’s vital to eat in a way to protect them,” says Freer. “The best things are fat and water.” Drink plenty of fluids and include good fats such as avocado, oily fish, coconut oil, nuts and seeds in your diet. “Certain foods can also improve the production of collagen – the ‘glue’ that holds skin together and keeps it firm,” adds Freer. Collagen production declines with age, hastened by smoking, sugar, processed foods and too little sleep. Some foods, however, help to slow this decline, such as dark green vegetables and colourful fruits and vegetables. So it could be that the key to younger skin is the diet-friendly food in your fridge. Win-win. #
| MARCH 2017
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate,
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Lancôme Absolue Precious Cells Intense Revitalising Eye Cream, $224, has rose centifolia extract with pro-xylane to combat fine lines and make this delicate area appear more youthful.
Environ is launching its new Skin EssentiA range, from $69, which includes its step-up system of moisturisers that get progressively higher in vitamin A. They’re also formulated with vitamin C, peptides and antioxidants to really feed skin cells with important nutrients to maintain healthy turnover and renewal.
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Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask, $92, for a pack of four masks. In just 10 minutes, the mask delivers a potent dose of Advanced Night Repair. The result is plumper and more hydrated skin. There’s nothing better than a moisturiser with an SPF for keeping skin looking supple and youthful while also providing protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Clinique’s Pep Start Hydro Rush, $58, has a combination of peptides, hyaluronic acid, plankton and algae extracts and antioxidants.
With ingredients of natural or organic origin, Atzen’s Balance DNA Repair Serum, $123, helps repair scars and sun damage while also restoring elasticity and adding
PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCK IMAGES AND BAUER MEDIA STUDIOS ADDITIONAL TEXT TAMSIN MARSHALL
‘Our skin consists of billions of cells, so it’s vital to eat in a way to protect them’
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Sold exclusively through Professional Skin Care Centres
Some see a primer as an unnecessary extra step, but makeup experts would tend to disagree. “A primer is so important,” says freelance makeup artist Seb Tomlinson. “It creates the perfect base by smoothing the skin and evening out the texture as well as acting as a barrier to stop your makeup from being absorbed,” she says. Other great benefits include your foundation looking flawless for longer and the fact it can be tailored to your skin type – more moisture for drier skin types or more of a matte finish for oilier skin.
SPRAY & WALK AWAY
Think of a setting spray like the topcoat to your makeup. Like hairspray for the face, a mist of this should be your last step before leaving the house. Depending on the formula you choose, some help to hydrate skin while others will even keep you cool on balmy days.
Try: Urban Decay Chill Cooling and Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray, $54.
For longevity, always seal your makeup with powder to help it stay put. Nude by Nature’s Clint Dowdell suggests using a mineral veil as your very last step before a setting spray. “It creates a very subtle smoothing of the skin and has lightreflecting minerals that give a soft focus, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” he says. “It not only extends your makeup wear, it helps to absorbs excess oil and shine too.”
Try: Nude by Nature Mineral
Try: Bourjois Happy Light Matte Serum Primer, $25; and Maybelline New York Superstay Primer, $25.
Finishing Veil, $50.
MADE TO LAST Enjoy all-day wear for your hair and makeup with these tips and tricks BY ELISE WILSON
THE FINISHING TOUCH
Try: Benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer, $50.
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hair. “Any closer than that and the product could feel too wet and sticky,” she says.
Try: Joico Flip Turn Volumizing Finishing Spray, $27.
CARE FOR LONG-WEAR
When looking for your next foundation consider a long-wear formula. Depending on your skin needs, you can look for ones that are fuller coverage, have a matte, dewy or satin finish and that can seamlessly blend to your skin tone. “For me a perfect base needs three things – an even skin tone, flawless cover/texture and subtle luminosity,” says L’Oréal Paris NZ makeup director Lisa Matson.
Try: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation, $38.
PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES
THE EYES HAVE IT
Not only does an eye primer make your eyeshadow go on smooth and vibrant, it also helps it last all day. Our eyelids can get quite oily so a primer helps prevent creasing and your shadow from fading throughout the day or night. It can even be used underneath the eyes to help prevent your concealer from creasing!
Finishing sprays are used to hold a hair style in place, smooth the hair and block out humidity, says Joico expert Amiee Marie. “You can get light-medium hold or a firmer hold depending on how much movement you want to your style,” she says. When it comes to application, she suggests spraying from about 30cm away from the
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Call 0800 SKIN DR (754 637) or visit skininstitute.co.nz/injectables to book a free Appearance Medicine consultation and to discuss your treatment options.
It feels like a balm but it’s pigment-packed like a lippy – the new Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolour, $27, keeps lips hydrated and kissable, thanks to the gel base and hyaluronic acid. Available from March 1.
is so good for ME! Four things you need to know about Clinique’s new Fresh Pressed 7 Day System with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant powerhouse. The best form for your skin is ascorbic acid – the key ingredient in Fresh Pressed. When applied topically, vitamin C is absorbed into the dermal layer, counteracting free radicals. Vitamin C degrades when exposed to oxygen. The Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% isolates the vitamin C in a sealed chamber, so it’s only released into the soothing emulsion when ready to use, ensuring it’s at maximum potency for seven days. Start with cleansing. The Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C is the first step to achieving great skin. Mix the powder in your hand with a little water, massage over your face, leave it on for one minute, then rinse off. You become the chemist. Activate the moisturiser by mixing two drops of Booster with water. Add to your favourite moisturiser or use on its own. Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C, $60; Daily Booster, $130; and Renewing Powder Cleanser, $70.
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Beauty news BY TAMSIN MARSHALL
Inspired by makeup artists, YSL’s Top Secrets have a new addition to take radiant skin to the next level. Top Secrets CC Creme SPF35, $99, has three colour correcting options depending on what your skin concern is. Choose Rose for pale and dull skin, Apricot for uneven skin tone and Lavender for sallow skin. Apply after moisturiser and before foundation.
The island of Antigua, Guatemala, is the inspiration for these bold shades from Essie, $23 each. They’ll offset a tan and look pretty against all summer clothes.
Karen Walker The Kiwi designer on her latest perfume
Just in time for her alluring new winter scent, Runaway, to hit stores we asked New Zealand icon Karen Walker to let us in on the inspiration behind the perfume.
Define what perfume is to you?
The latest mascara from Maybelline is sure to become a musthave, especially as it will nourish and enhance lashes with argan, safflower seed and rose fruit oil. Available in Black, Black Waterproof, and Brownish Black. Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara, $25.
Karen Murrell is launching Natural Lip Pencils, $27, in five gorgeous colours that match her lipsticks. Wear underneath your lipstick to provide longer lasting colour and sharp definition, especially for brighter, bolder colours. Like the Karen Murrell lippies, these are made with natural ingredients including jojoba seed oil, candelilla, carnauba wax and vitamin E. Available in Violet Mousse, Cordovan Natural, Camellia Morning, Coral Dawn and True Love, from March 1.
It’s an expression of my mood. I designed my ABC range to fit with different moods. A is my happiness potion; it lifts my spirits and makes any tension drop away. B is for my mental energy and for evening I can’t go past C as it’s rich and feminine. Lately I’ve been wearing my new fragrance, Runaway, most days. I love its woodiness, complexity and masculinity.
What does your Runaway fragrance express?
A sense of adventure. Runaway is a midnight journey deep into the forest; you can sense the pine needles crushing underfoot, a smoky bonfire, jasmine blooming as the moon rises. It’s a dangerous adventure where anything could happen.
Runaway r e lk a W n Kare l, $159. EDP 60m Do you switch up your perfume from day to night?
It depends what I’m doing. If I’m going out I’ll sometimes switch to my B or C fragrances for the evening after wearing A or Hi There during the day. While I love the crispness of citrus, especially in summer, I find the warmer, richer fragrances more suited for an evening out.
What are your favourite ingredients in Runaway?
PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCK IMAGES AND SUPPLIED
Bye bye dirt As well as harmful rays from the sun and fighting free radicals, our skin has to battle the effects of pollution too. Luckily, Dermalogica has us covered with its latest Daily Superfoiliant, $109. The exfoliator is finely grained in texture; boasts the pollutant-absorbing ingredient activated binchotan charcoal powder, which extracts dirt and oil; niacinamide as an anti-inflammatory; and lactic acid to slough off dead skin cells. Available from March 3.
Runaway introduces several new ingredients, including cardamom, elemi, black pepper, cinnamon leaf, and bourbon vetiver. I love the guaiac wood, a standout note in many of our favourite men’s fragrances; traditionally it’s called the tree of life. Elemi is considered sacred, like frankincense, and is reminiscent of pine needles and incense which transports me to that forest adventure.
How is this different from your other fragrances?
My A, B, C and Hi There fragrances share a mood of pure optimism. Runaway stands alone, with a totally new mood, completely different ingredients and a new direction to the bottle design. # MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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Weleda - In harmony with nature and the human being
Forget the geometric bob... this season perfection is out, natural is in. Two top stylists talk us through the latest looks BY TAMSIN MARSHALL
f you’ve been flirting with the idea of cutting a fringe, now is the time to do it. The fringe is in and it’s not just one type that’s in favour. Make it work to suit your face shape, but if you’re not ready to fully commit, consider the gringe (grown-out fringe) as a great starting point. The longer lengths blend in with hair framing the face, plus it’s easy to clip back. Danny Pato, creative director of D&M salon in Auckland, says you don’t need to change your whole haircut to add a fringe. “Long, short, sweepy or wispy – fringes are making a comeback.” Jen Morgan, owner of Morgan & Morgan, Auckland, agrees. “There’s a bit of a 70s inspiration, particularly with long hair. Think Pamela Courson or Jane Birkin with a strong fringe detail. Don’t be surprised to see shorter and shorter fringes, too. “If you want to keep your hair long, a fringe is a great way to make long hair Rehydrate sun-frazzled hair with look cool; it adds shape and changes a nourishing mask. Pureology your look while still keeping length.” Colour Fanatic Instant DeepThis season, hair is more relaxed rather Conditioning Mask, $44, makes than styled into a sleek, straight look or hair softer and stronger. perfect curls. “When styling long hair, go for the Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo, $25, imperfect,” says Pato. “Twist your hair into now comes in handbag size and is a bun, sleep in it and shake it out the next perfect for touching up flat roots. day. For a quick cheat in the morning, very The unique gel-wax formula of lightly mist the mid-lengths of your hair Oribe Star Glow Styling Wax, $72, with a spritz or two of water so it’s not creates texture with shine. Use it to damp but cool to touch. Then braid. When slick back hair, smooth a fringe and you get to work, take the braids out and add gloss to piecey waves. blast with Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – perfectly imperfect, instant waves.” Create perfect just-out-of-the-surf Shorter styles are similarly relaxed. The waves with Oribe Matte Waves ‘lob’ (long bob) has been superseded by Texture Lotion, $72. the ‘wob’ (wavy bob). Scrunch Kevin Murphy Killer Curls, “A great looking wob is a hot mess of $70, into wet or towel-dried hair for effortlessly tousled waves, falling elegantly naturally defined waves. to the chin,” explains Pato. “Wobs can be cut shorter to the cheekbone and look Kevin Murphy Motion Lotion, $46, super-sexy and chic.” controls frizz with flexible hold In terms of colour, think more naturally when applied to long or fine hair.
PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES AND BAUER MEDIA STUDIOS
Products to use:
enhanced than outrageous. “Whether cool or warm, from the lightest of blonds through to rich chocolates and gothic blacks, go for a colour that suits your natural skin tone,” advises Pato. “As for ombre, ensure you ask your colourist to make the transition from root to tip a gorgeous continuation, getting lighter from root to tip, rather than a stark contrast.” Morgan agrees and suggests asking your colourist for two or three slightly lighter complementary colours to highlight the lengths of your hair. “Think of it as ombre but with deeper shades blended through the middle and slightly lighter ones on the ends and around the face, which keeps colour away from new growth to minimise upkeep.” As for winter’s pastel hair tones, they’re here to stay, says Morgan. “Mint, lilac, pink, peach and even blue are now mainstream and a common sight even in the most conservative areas of society. But for summer, the tones are more muted and dusty or low-key.” The key to these subtle changes is to work with your natural hair texture and colour. “Everyone is unique, with their own face shapes, sense of style, natural colouring, personality and lifestyle,” says Pato. “So embrace your hair’s natural texture and absolutely rock what you’ve got!” MARCH 2017 | NEXT
KEEPING IT IN the family
CHEF’S HABITAT The kitchen benchtop is made from a water-resistant and VOC-free recycled-paper and resin composite. “It’s affordable and ultra-practical – you can put hot pots directly on it and scratches don’t pose a problem,” says architect Nick.
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Taking a risk paid off for one architect who built a compound to suit his nearest and dearest while maximising space
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
AIRY AND LIGHT Low-level windows on the south-west facing living room wall allow for cross-ventilation without loss of privacy. “We’ve planted rosemary and lavender under these windows, which infuse the house with a lovely scent,” says Nick.
‘Nick said: “Why don’t we look at blocks of land together?” I wasn’t keen – building from scratch seemed very daunting’
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ften when a couple embarks on a building project, one partner is the risk-taker, while the other plays devil’s advocate, throwing up ‘what ifs’, ‘buts’ and ‘maybes’. Owner Ruth Ritcher says she was the latter when her husband Nick, an architect, outlined his grand plan to build their own home. “My brother and sister-in-law were in a similar situation to us”, says Ruth. “They wanted to move out of their unit, so Nick said: ‘Why don’t we look at blocks of land together?’ I wasn’t keen – the idea of building from scratch seemed very daunting.” The costs were a concern too, but Nick had it covered. “I proved we could make it work financially,” he says. “By spending a little more capital and building granny flats on each block, we could earn significant additional income.” Having convinced his family to take the plunge, Nick found the right site, managed the legalities of sub-dividing the block and designed the homes.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS This home combines the openness of a holiday house with the best aspects of suburban living. To maintain privacy, Nick positioned the living areas and garden on the opposite end of the plot from the granny flat.
â€˜I proved we could make it work financially, by building granny flats on each blockâ€™
‘I’m really happy with how functional the house is. There’s nothing we don’t use. It’s just exactly what we need’
SLEEP TIGHT In the bedroom, sheer white linen curtains are paired with block-out curtains for an uninterrupted night’s rest.
The result is a micro-community of four dwellings, with family living in close proximity, yet enjoying plenty of privacy thanks to clever spatial planning. The four buildings are arranged in a C shape; Nick and Ruth’s home, which they share with their children Hugh, six, and Eva, four, is at the centre of the block. The ground floor is given over to communal living: a television room by the entrance and a vast open-plan kitchen/dining/living area. A striking steel staircase separates the kitchen/ dining space from the living zone, where a window seat is the perfect perch to supervise the children in the garden. Upstairs are the home’s three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a study nook. Nick had free rein with the design, aside from two requests from Ruth. “I wanted a wood-burning fireplace and a TV room, but they were the only specs I gave him,” she says. “We all trusted Nick in terms of the design and finishes,” she says. “Nick would bring home two options and I’d choose my favourite – I would much rather do that than spend hours looking at different
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FREE RANGE LIFE “There’s a sense of freedom here,” says Ruth, “because we can open the gates and the children can go between the houses and play in one another’s backyards.”
For more interior inspiration go to
products. Nick’s the designer and we have similar taste, so I knew it would be fine.” F o r m took o r e slightly t a s t y r longer e c i p e sthan anticipated The process s e a rsplit c h s was o u p the o n main culprit – but – the land-title despite that hiccup, the project came together smoothly. The end product is a testament to the confidence and trust invested in Nick. “It’s like a gift to my family. And people come for o r m oI rsee e t r athem v e l i n really s p i r a t i enjoying o n f r o m this house, dinnerF and your favourite magazines visit which is also rewarding for me.” Ruth admits that her initial scepticism has been replaced by a sense of gratitude about her family’s good fortune. “I’m really happy with how practical and functional the house is. There’s nothing we don’t use,” she says. “It’s a simple house, not fancy or expensive, just exactly what we need. “The thing I love the most, though, is that we live next door to family,” she says. “It’s really special for the kids to have that close relationship with their cousins.”
WORDS RACHAEL BERNSTONE PHOTOGRAPHS JOHN PAUL URIZAR STYLING LOUISE BICKLE PRODUCT STYLING CARA HALL
Get the look
Give rooms a modern, open vibe with cool hues and statement pieces
Home Republic Malmo Indigo linen cushion, $70, Adairs.
Foliage Flocked Sage Bush, $16.95, Freedom Furniture
Robert Gordon Swatch Mug in Pistachio, $32, Allium Interiors.
Nolan framed painting, $799, Freedom.
Radial dining chair with leather seat, $640, Citta. Black natural large basket, $45, Crave Home.
Eternity throw in Teal, $149, Freedom. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 152
Living & Co bowl in Mint, $12, The Warehouse. MARCH 2017 | NEXT
THE END OF
AGEING From yoga to positive thinking, there are a host of ways you can achieve a younger you â€“ inside and out. We share some expert tips
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Eat younger TRY FASTING
Cutting calories for a few days a week could help protect your body against ageing. Last year, researchers at the University of Florida found fasting on alternate days boosted the human cells related to anti-ageing. Dr Michelle Harvie, f r o m t h e G e n e s i s B r e a s t Ca n c e r Prevention Centre, says “Eating more than your body needs ages you prematurely, as overfed cells become dysfunctional. There’s evidence that restricting calories helps to reverse the cycle of damage and regenerate healthy cells.”
A diet based around fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, beans and olive oil may do more than help to protect your heart and reduce cancer risk. A Mediterranean diet may also slow the rate at which the brain shrinks and help you to live longer. In a study involving more than 4500 people, US researchers found those who ate a Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres – the protective DNA caps on the end of chromosomes thought to be the biological markers of ageing. Shorter telomeres have been associated with lower life expectancy and an increased risk of age-related disease; longer ones have been linked to longevity.
ENJOY SOME DARK CHOCOLATE AND WINE
In very small amounts, they can be surprisingly good for you. They belong to a group of foods (Sirtfoods) that enhance the activity of sirtuins – proteins that control your body’s ability to burn fat, reduce inflammation and boost muscle. They also help to protect heart, brain and bone health, and may even play a part in suppressing cancer growth. Other potent Sirtfoods are extra virgin
olive oil, red onions, parsley, rocket, bird’s eye chilli, kale, strawberries, capers, celery, tofu, red chicory, cocoa, green tea, Medjool dates, buckwheat, turmeric, walnuts, lovage and coffee.
SAY NO TO FIZZ
Unsurprisingly, sugary, fizzy drinks have had some bad press. US research on more than 5000 people found those who drank the most sweetened fizzy drinks h a d sh o r t e r t e l o m e r e s , l i n k e d t o accelerated ageing. Those who drank a 350ml bottle of fizzy drink daily had DNA changes typical of cells more than four years older.
EAT BEANS AND WHOLEGRAINS
As well as helping you feel fuller for longer, they may fight inflammation – a major cause of ageing. One study found overweight people who ate these foods reduced their levels of inflammatory markers, whether they lost weight or not.
against cataracts and slow down macular degeneration.
DRINK, DRINK, DRINK Dietician Helen Bond says you need about two litres of fluid a day, but your thirst sensation decreases as you get older. It doesn’t have to be water – tea and coffee count, too. Drinking more may even help you cut calories. A University of Illinois study found those who increased their daily fluid intake by three cups of water ate up to 200 fewer calories.
CUT BACK ON CALORIES
Animal studies have shown clearly that eating less means a longer life – and not just because it prevents weight gain (though we need to eat less as we get older and our metabolisms slow down). The two-year Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study found cutting calories to 75% of your normal intake lowered blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin resistance and levels of the inflammatory marker C reactive protein, strongly linked with many of the diseases of ageing.
CUT DOWN ON SUGAR ADD ALMONDS
In a six-week trial, those who ate almonds daily improved their blood cholesterol levels and lost dangerous tummy fat, which is linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
There’s evidence cutting down could save thousands of deaths from stroke and coronary heart disease.
EAT FOR YOUR EYES
Potent antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are crucial for healthy vision. They’re found in high concentrations in your eye and there’s evidence eating plenty of foods high in these nutrients, like broccoli, spinach and kale, can protect
It’s a baddie when it comes to skin ageing because excess sugar can lead to glycation – where sugar molecules attach themselves to collagen fibres – which in turn can mean saggy, wrinkled skin. Eating too much sugar has been linked with a higher risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and may also be linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, some cancers and liver disease.
SPICE THINGS UP
In a seven-year study of almost half a million Chinese people, those who ate spicy foods up to two days a week reduced their risk of death by 10% compared with those who ate them less than once.
TAKE VITAMIN D
It’s vital for immunity and healthy bones, and low levels have been linked with a >
range of diseases from diabetes and multiple sclerosis to cancer. When you can’t get your 15 minutes in the sun, have a daily 10mcg top-up, recommends dietician Helen Bond.
COPY THE OKINAWANS
LOVE YOUR AGE
The inhabitants of Japan’s Okinawa island are some of the world’s longest living people. Their secret? Healthy diet, exercise and practising hara hachi bu – eating until you’re just 80% full.
ADD FISH OILS
We only eat a third of our recommended oily fish intake. Omega 3 supplements can fill that gap, and the fatty acids they contain are good for your heart and brain health.
How you feel about ageing affects the way you experience it – those who feel good about getting older have fewer illnesses and a longer life than those who see it negatively. Yale University’s Dr Becca Levy found people who embraced ageing lived an average 7.5 years longer than those who saw it negatively.
Forget the stereotype of the grumpy old man (and woman). A study of more than 10,000 people in the UK and US found happiness is a U-shaped curve. So while we hit a low point in our mid-40s, it gets better as we age.
Just one bad night’s sleep can make you age faster. The UCLA Centre for Psychoneuroimmunology found sleep deprivation activates pathways that promote biological ageing. As well as leaving you looking and feeling worn out, poor sleep can lower levels of human g row t h ho r mo ne, t he a n t i - ag e i ng hormone that stimulates growth and cell reproduction.
STAND WHEN YOU CAN
CHALLENGE YOUR BRAIN
Have at least 30g a day. You need fibre to balance the good bacteria in your gut that play an important role in weight control and maintaining a healthy immune system.
It will cut your risk of diabetes. “Standing for five minutes every half hour lowers blood sugar levels by 30% – and the effects are almost instant,” says Melanie Davies of Leicester University. A 2014 study from Sweden confirmed the less time a person spends sitting, the greater their chances of living longer.
Fire up those neurons by learning a second language, taking on the cryptic crossword or acquiring a new skill.
GO FOR DIVERSITY
BOOST YOUR SEX LIFE
BE GOOD TO YOUR GUT
“Look after the microbes in your gut and you can reduce the chances of accelerated ageing,” says Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and author of The Diet Myth.
DOUBLE YOUR FIBRE
Variety is key to building a healthy population of microbes. Cut out processed food and aim for more veges, fruit, nuts and pulses.
EAT FERMENTED FOOD
“These foods contain live microbes that can augment the bacteria in your gut and may be one reason why the Japanese and Koreans live so much longer than we do,” Spector says. Opt for foods such as naturally produced cheese, full-fat plain yoghurt, tofu, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi or tempeh – and avoid anything pickled with vinegar.
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KNOW THAT HAPPINESS GROWS
An active sex life is one of the keys to looking and feeling younger, and may keep your brain young, says psychologist Dr David Weeks. Dutch researchers found the more sexually active older people were, the better their memories and brain function. Some research has found sex can even stimulate the growth of brain cells.
STAY CALM Impatient people may be ageing prematurely, say scientists from the National University of Singapore. Tests found impatient students had shorter telomeres than those with a more relaxed approach.
THINK POSITIVELY If your glass is half full and you believe in good times even during the bad, you’re already halfway there – studies worldwide show that optimists live longer.
RECAPTURE YOUR YOUTH
Ageing could be all in your mind. In a ground-breaking experiment, Harvard social psychologist Professor Ellen Langer enabled a group of 70-year-olds to live as if it were 20 years earlier. After a week, their mental health, physical strength, cognitive
Exercise younger physiotherapist Sammy Margo. Stay active and practise these stretches: Lift your arms as high as you can up to the ceiling, then push each arm up alternately, holding for five seconds. Repeat three times on each side. Stand up and hold on to a chair with your left hand. Raise your right knee, hold your foot with your right hand and bring your heel to your bottom. Hold for five seconds; repeat three times on each leg.
abilities and appearance of youth had all improved.
GET CLOSER TO NATURE The Japanese think it’s so beneficial for health they even have a forest bathing therapy. They found just a single day in the woods can boost immune function and increase the number of anti-cancer proteins for a week. Studies from North America and the Netherlands found just living near greenery boosted longevity.
GO FOR INTENSITY
SAY OMMMM… It may turn back your biological clock. In a recent study from Harvard Medical School, researchers found people who meditated daily for four years not only had greater blood flow to the brain, they also had longer telomeres.
FIND WAYS TO DE-STRESS It’s no surprise chronic stress is ageing – it affects your sleep, your immunity and your digestive system, as well as increasing your risk of heart disease. Now neuroscientists at the University of California have found chronic stress can damage brain structure and connectivity.
BE KIND Showing kindness stimulates the release of oxytocin – the so-called love hormone released during childbirth and breastfeeding, which can also lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE
PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES AND ISTOCK
Experts say a strong social network could be as important for health as exercise. People who maintain good friendships have stronger immune systems, stay mentally alert and live longer than those who are more isolated.
GET BRUSHING Don’t cut down on your two minutes of tooth brushing. Gum disease has already been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Now scientists have discovered the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment increases as people lose teeth.
JUST DO IT That’s the overwhelming message. If there’s one thing that can help you hold back the years for your brain and body, it’s staying active. Studies show active older people resemble much younger people in their health and physiology.
START SQUATTING Regular squats and lunges won’t just strengthen your muscles; they could also help keep your brain young. By tracking a group of identical twins over 10 years, scientists found their leg strength was a better predictor of cognitive change than any other lifestyle factor.
POWER UP Strength training becomes more important as you age. From your mid30s, muscle mass starts to decline. Post menopause that accelerates, affecting your metabolism, strength, balance, bone health and even your diabetes risk.
WALK EVERY DAY Just 25 minutes could give you an extra seve n yea r s o f l i fe, say G e r ma n researchers. They put a group of nonexercisers aged 30 to 60 on a daily walking programme and within six months blood markers showed changes in the body that help to repair DNA.
“Do it throughout your lifetime and you won’t lose your flexibility,” says
Just a few minutes of HIIT – high intensity interval training – can build strength and fitness in one go – improving insulin sensitivity, aerobic fitness and muscle strength after just a few weeks. Dr John Babraj from Abertay University got a group of overweight older adults to do 10 six-second bursts of intense running twice a week, with 90 seconds of recovery time between sprints – just two minutes’ exercise a week. After six weeks, all had improved muscle function, blood pressure and glucose control. “It makes it possible for anyone to do it; you don’t have to be Usain Bolt, just put in the maximum effort for you,” says Babraj.
STAND ON ONE LEG Balancing is a complex operation involving your muscles, eyes, inner ear and receptors in the nerves of your joints. “Good balance is vital, but it declines as we get older, so if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it,” says Sammy Margo. Tai chi ticks all the boxes for balance, but if you don’t fancy it, try these: Rise on to your toes as far as you can, then lower your heels. Repeat 10-20 times. Go from sitting to standing without using your hands. Try getting up from a chair and sitting down 10-20 times.
REMIND YOURSELF IT’S NEVER TOO LATE University of Texas scientists proved this when they put five unfit, overweight 50-year-olds on a six-month regime of walking, jogging and cycling. The training reversed 100% of their age-related decline in aerobic fitness and took men back to their baseline fitness at age 20. # MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Personalised exercise and diet plans, based on your genes, are the new frontier in wellness trends. Emma Clifton puts her DNA blueprint to the test
s the health and wellness industry gets bigger and bigger, and the trends start arriving thick and fast, it can be almost impossible to know what solutions will work for you. What if there was a way to find out exactly which exercise and diet suit your body? No more guesswork, no more trial and error, no more feeling overwhelmed in the face of so many options. Welcome to the future of health: where you can now test your DNA and obtain your own personalised wellness plan. The idea behind these DNA tests is simple: there are 45 genes that are believed to have an effect on how we respond to diet and exercise. The science is still relatively new – and scientists are still divided on whether or not the tests can be effective – but it is definitely a growing market. Up until now, it’s really only been the domain for professional athletes who are looking to ‘hack’ their body to get smarter workouts and faster results. But by making the tests available to anyone willing to shell out $599 for the full process, it’s a whole new world for the health-curious who are looking to find out more about what foods and workouts work for and against their bodies. Brendon Tod is a Kiwi clinical exercise physiologist and the creator of the rehabilitation and wellbeing company Proactive, which has brought DNAFit to New Zealand. Tod believes getting a scientific
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approach to wellness is the way of the future – quicker, easier and less dispiriting than making your way through a raft of contradictory expert opinions. “This is a shortcut. It gives you more information about how your physiology will respond so you can use that to inform the choices you have. We’ve had a lot of athletes do this; we’ve also had a lot of people who just want to become healthier.” Tod also believes because the advice you receive about your body is so personalised, the people who go through the DNAFit process see results faster than those who embark on a new lifestyle without the inside scoop. But he argues against seeing it as a quick fix. “You’re after long-term effects, really. Your genes don’t change, but your choices around how you eat and exercise can.” By bringing some science into the mix and finding out your body’s preferences, you’re basically delivered a Wellbeing for Dummies guide to your own health.
‘You’re after long-term effects. Your genes don’t change, but choices around how you eat and exercise can’
PUTTING IT TO THE TEST
One of my greatest and most irrational fears has been that one day I’ll have to run a marathon, so you can probably at this stage tell I’m not actually a professional athlete. So what do I, a humble, moderately active journalist whose main health goal is staving off obesity, have to gain from this serious sports-person test? Well, now that I’m in my 30s I’ve found food is becoming more of a foe than a friend. My digestion is all over the place, my eczema flares up for no reason, I feel sluggish after some foods and just plain sick after others. Also, there’s something fascinating and narcissistic about being given a blueprint to your body’s inner workings so you can become Your Best Self. So I get the kit, do a swab around my mouth, which gets sent to the UK for analysis, and await my fitness future. In order to get the most from the test, Tod cautions that those involved must already be ‘eating clean’ by avoiding processed foods and have a good base level of exercise in their lives. I had been quietly smug about this – as someone who also used to write for Good Health Choices, I was well informed on my wholefoods and wellness. I had already made the switch from rice to quinoa, toast to porridge and exercise three times a week with a combination of yoga, dancing and walking. I was ready to get a gold star next to my name. But it was not to be. Athletic types may find the workout results more interesting, but for me and my weird, unexplained intolerances, it was the food section that was a total game changer. You find out if you have low, medium or high fat sensitivity and carb sensitivity. I am the first person Tod has seen who has medium sensitivity to both carbohydrates and fats, which means I fall into the ‘poor bastards’ (his words) category of the diet section where I have to reduce my intake of both. I’m also medium on the coeliac predisposition scale, which means even my healthy carbohydrate choices of quinoa and oats are too much on a daily basis. Oh, and I have a version of the FTO gene (nicknamed ‘the fat gene’), which carries some risk of obesity. “You’ll see those skinny people that can always stay fit and healthy without doing exercise,” Tod says. “They’re probably different to this. It just means that exercise needs to be a part of your life for the rest of your life.” I knew I wasn’t a naturally thin person but it’s really something to have that confirmed by science. Tod drives home the point with my diet choices, saying it’s crucial to managing my weight. “For some people it’s not so much about calorie intake… but for you it is.” It’s hard to argue that
cheese is an important part of your overall value system when you have it printed in black and white that your present and future thighs are at the mercy of your malevolent fat gene. That’s not all. It’s almost like Tod has looked deep into my soul and sensed my innermost fear when he delivers this fitness bombshell: my body is suited to long-distance running. And when he talks me through my VO2 levels – how much oxygen capacity your body has – the fact I have a low risk of injury and that my body doesn’t get inflamed easily, an interesting picture begins to develop. Could I secretly be harbouring an athletic body underneath layers of mostly decorative muscle? “Everyone has that potential,” Tod explains. “When you look at the research, your genes will account for between 30 and 50% of who you are. The rest of it is lifestyle. The more we know about our genetic makeup, the more we can make informed lifestyle choices.” In order to work to my full potential, he recommends I step up my thrice-weekly workouts and aim >
‘Your genes will account for between 30 and 50% of who you are. The rest of it is lifestyle’
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
So no carbohydrates, limited fat, and working out four times a week. When will there be good news? Well, turns out I process alcohol and coffee well, which is not to be sneezed at. The week after my meeting with Tod, I kiss goodbye to my quinoa and start putting all this into practice. I go straight to the heart of the beast – the Les Mills across from my work – and sign up. They talk me through the options that best suit my body preferences for medium intensity, hour-long classes and suggest Body Jam (energetic dancing) and Body Combat (energetic fighting the air). I cut all carbs out of my normal daily meals, switching out quinoa for more vegetables, and oats for eggs. I am basically a lady Rocky montage, in brightly coloured tights, for the next three months. And it works. My stomach starts feeling happier within days, I have more energy and I – a hardened anti-gym person – click immediately with my Les Mills classes because they play to my strengths. There is no trial and error, everything works. This fits with Tod’s other clients, he says. “You get responses a little bit faster and you stick to it longer. You’ll probably notice improvements faster than anything else.” It is possibly – probably – psychosomatic, but
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when the Body Combat instructor belts out “ENDURANCE! ENDURANCE!”, part of my brain perks up and goes, “That’s me, I have that!” which is a new feeling for someone who used to get lapped in school cross-country. Because my carbohydrate intake is limited, I don’t waste my time with quinoa anymore. I’d much rather have the occasional delicious sandwich or hot fries than bother with boring ‘healthy carb’ quinoa, if it’s not going to be great for me anyway. Before long, I have to buy a smaller size of brightly coloured tights and become so impressed by my new biceps that I get caught staring at them by my colleagues.
When you have started a new eating regime, lost some weight or begin a new fitness class, there can often be a dark part of your brain that thinks: what happens when this ends? You lose interest in the class, you get sick of the eating plan, the weight creeps back on. And three months into my New Best Self, I fall off a step, bust my foot and have to skip all exercise for a month – which coincides with the summer holidays, and a lot of wine and bread and cheese. But for the first time in my adult life, I don’t feel the falling-off-the-wagon fear. I know now exactly what I need to do and eat to keep my body fighting fit and it feels like I’m equipped with a fool-proof set of tools I can use for the rest of my life. So while it may never be my DNA destiny to run a marathon, the knowledge that I could be – and now am – a fit person is enough for me. #
For the first time in my adult life, I don’t feel the falling-offthe-wagon fear. I know exactly what I need to do
PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES AND ISTOCK IMAGES
for four to five times a week instead. Luckily running doesn’t have to be a part of it – he drily comments that my overwhelming hatred of jogging is more powerful than my genetics – but my exercises must be medium-to-hard intensity for longer, as short workouts won’t work for me.
FROM THE INSIDE OUT A CAPSULE A DAY KEEPS THE UV RAYS AT BAY gohealthy.co.nz IMPORTANT: Always use a SPF sunscreen and cover up during the highest UV times of the day.
Body news BY JULIA BRAYBROOK
I’m kinda busy
Tempted to text or take a call during your workout? Don’t; wait until afterwards. Bloomberg University researchers found texting during a workout can decrease postural stability by 45%, and talking on the phone reduces it by 19%. Lead researcher Michael Rebold says when you’re on the phone, your attention is divided, upsetting your balance and increasing the risk of injury. On the up side, listening to music while exercising has no notable impact on stability, so no need to ditch that workout playlist.
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Colicky babies can be a challenge for parents, but a new study offers some hope. In a study of 147 babies from two to 10 weeks’ old who cried for over three hours a day, those who received acupuncture were almost 50% more likely to have ceased crying in the second week of treatment than those who didn’t. Researchers say fussing and crying is normal communication for a baby, so a reduction to normal levels, rather than silence, is the goal of treatment.
We’ll drink to that Good news: those after-work drinks down at the local pub may be good for you. An Oxford University study looked at whether the frequency of alcohol consumption or the type of venue affected participants’ social experiences and wellbeing. The research discovered people with a ‘local’ they visit regularly feel more socially engaged and contented, are more likely to trust their local community, and have an average of almost eight close friends, compared to six for non-drinkers.
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A BON idea
With Diva cups and cloth pads, the ‘natural period’ movement is taking off. Now BON Tampons are joining the trend. The New Zealand-designed tampons are 100% certified organic, claim to significantly reduce the risk of toxic shock syndrome, and contain no potentially harmful chemicals, fragrances or pesticides. Plus, for every box bought, BON donates one to Women’s Refuge. Organic and socially-conscious – win-win. Available in light, regular and super packs, $7.50.
nicorn Year of the U s set to n food trend look
A WORSE TIME OF MONTH
If you’re one of the 2-5% of women who suffers from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a breakthrough find promises to bring relief. On top of PMStype symptoms like bloating and fatigue, PMDD also mimics the symptoms of anxiety and depression. But researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found the key to this disorder lies in the genes. The discovery is important as, in the words of researcher Peter Schmidt, “learning more about the role of this gene complex holds hope for improved treatment of such prevalent reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders.”
PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCK IMAGES, GETTY IMAGES AND SUPPLIED
LET ME CHECK MY DIARY… Having unlimited leisure time used to indicate high social status, but not any more. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found volunteers who read two stories – one about a man who led a life of leisure, the other about a man who was overworked and time-poor – rated the busier man as higher social status. Researchers say this shift may because work itself has changed; now workers who are competent and ambitious are expected to be in high demand. “By telling others we are busy and working all the time,” they say, “we are implicitly suggesting we’re sought after, which enhances our perceived status.”
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THE HOT TOPIC
Did you know? One in 100 women hit menopause before the age of 40.
When it comes to living with menopause, many New Zealand women may be suffering unnecessarily due to misleading info around treatment, says a Christchurch-based specialist. Dr Anna Fenton says that while some women have negative perceptions about hormone replacement therapy (HRT), recent studies have shown it to be one of the best ways to alleviate the hot flushes, sleep problems and other symptoms that go along with menopause. “I think unfortunately the public have become more anxious than they need to be about HRT,” says Fenton. “For women in their 30s, 40s or 50s who have menopause symptoms, every major scientific society now accepts the benefits exceed the risk in that group.” Fenton says women over 65 may have an increased risk of blood clots and stroke associated with taking HRT, and those who are taking a combination of oestrogen and an old-fashioned form of progesterone may have an increased breast cancer risk. “It’s important to put it into context,” she says. “Most of us feel comfortable having a couple of glasses of wine after a bad day at work, and that’s at least as bad if not worse for our health than the worst possible HRT you could take. “For women who are taking oestrogen
by itself and have had a hysterectomy, there are studies that show it can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 20-25%. Other research has found in certain age groups, HRT reduces the risk of early heart disease by 50%, and lowers the risk of bowel cancer by 40%.” Some women can find natural therapies such as hypnotherapy and mindfulness help to alleviate symptoms, while others find a form of antihistamine or antidepressant, used under their doctor’s guidance, provides some relief. “For the average woman it takes four to eight years to make their way through the menopause process, so symptoms can be there for a long period of time,” says Fenton. “At the 10-year point, 15-20% of women are still getting symptoms, and after 15 years, 10% are still getting hot flushes, sweats and sleep disturbances. “The important thing is for women to realise that they don’t have to put up with the symptoms, and there are a range of therapies available.” MARCH 2017 | NEXT
BY MEGAN MCCHESNEY
BOOK OF THE MONTH
HOT OFF THE PRESS Prick With A Fork, Larissa Dubecki Allen & Unwin, $25 If I order medium-rare steak at a restaurant and it comes out well done, I never send it back. A friend who worked as a waitress once told me exactly what kitchen staff are tempted to do to food returned by diners. Dubecki’s account of her 10 years as the world’s worst waitress has done nothing to change my mind. A tale containing everything from psychopathic chefs to hostile customers who arrive like The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Someone Is Watching, Joy Fielding Bonnier, $33 A successful private detective becomes the victim of a vicious rape while she is running surveillance on a case. She takes time off from work to deal with the aftermath and soon finds herself investigating her own case. Paranoia, mystery and intrigue – with a Hitchcockian Rear Window element thrown in – combine for a gripping page-turner.
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This Is How It Always Is, Laurie Frankel Hachette, $35 The Walsh-Adams are a sprawling family, with five sons and a huge farmhouse to tear about in. And then there are four – four sons, that is, and one daughter. Claude, the youngest, is just three years old when he announces he wants to be a girl when he grows up. Is it just a phase? Maybe. At first his doctor mum, Rosie, and novelist dad, Penn, aren’t bothered when he insists on always wearing the old dress in the family dress-up bag – and the tights to match. But when he insists on wearing it to kindergarten, everything changes. Claude simply doesn’t understand why his parents won’t let him. And when they finally do let him, things get even worse. First they have to contend with the rigid rules enforced by Claude’s principal and teacher. Then comes the damning judgement and frightening behaviour of other parents. It comes down to one central question. Is Claude a boy? And if he’s not a little boy, what is he? It’s a great comfort that Claude is surrounded by love. His grandmother assures him, “I will love you even if you wear a hat made out of toe cheese” and his parents will do anything in their power to help their son find his place in the world – even if it means moving the family 3000km to Seattle to start afresh. Claude disappears in the move. In his new city, he is a she and she is Poppy. For the first time in her life, how she feels on the inside is reflected by what she is on the outside. Rosie and Penn choose not to disclose Poppy’s secret in Seattle. It works a treat until Poppy reaches puberty. Author Frankel is, herself, the mother of a transgender child. Her deep understanding and compassion flow through into the pages of this thoughtprovoking – albeit sometimes a little preachy – novel.
PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES AND SUPPLIED AUTHOR PORTRAIT MARAMA SHEARER
MEET THE AUTHOR The Pretty Delicious Café (HarperCollins, $35) is Danielle Hawkins’ quirky new novel set in small-town New Zealand. How would you sum up The Pretty Delicious Café? It’s the story of Lia Leslie, who runs a café in Northland with her best friend. She has a psychic link to her twin brother, a flaky but charming mother, too much work to do, an ex-boyfriend who won’t go away and a nice new one who probably will. This is your third novel. What’s the most memorable thing someone has said about your books? One of my very favourite comments, which a nice man sent me on Facebook, was: “At times I thought of a modern-day James Herriot, at others a sophisticated Barry Crump...” Just what I was aiming for. But then this review, seen on Goodreads in the days when I was a brand-new author and hadn’t toughened up yet, was pretty memorable too – only for different reasons: “...It’s chick lit (horrors), the humour consists entirely of exaggeration, and most of the characters are complete caricatures of occupants of rural small town NZ...” Bummer. You work as a large animal vet. Have
win WITH NEXT We have five copies of This Is How It Always Is to give away. To enter, go to our website womensweekly.co.nz and click on the ‘win’ tab. State the reason you should win, plus your details and your unique code NXTB0317. Competition closes March 30.
you got any great stories? One of my all-time favourite patients was an old Rhodesian ridgeback dog as big as a miniature horse. He was very arthritic and his quality of life was deteriorating, and his frail, elderly owners decided to dig his grave. It was a fairly long-term project, because they could only manage a little bit of digging at a time. And then he fell into his grave, and his owners both got stuck in it too, trying to get him out... What book are you reading right now? Anne of Avonlea, to my daughter at bedtimes. I’d forgotten how much I liked it. What’s the last truly great book you read? Nation, by Terry Pratchett. It’s funny, touching and thought-provoking – like pretty much everything Pratchett wrote. What book are you embarrassed not to have read yet? None, actually. I used to feel ashamed of not having read the latest Man Booker Prize winner or a decent amount of Dickens, but honestly, who cares? I didn’t finish The Luminaries and I did finish Fifty Shades of Grey. Judge me if you will. Food is prominent in The Pretty Delicious Café. Are you a good cook yourself? I’m a pretty good cook, although I do have the odd spectacular fail, due to the persistent belief that measuring the ingredients only holds you back. Mini doughnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar are my signature dish. I don’t make them too often, though, because there’s a limit to the amount of deep-fried bread you can eat and still fit into your clothes. What’s your next writing project? I’m writing a book about a woman whose life is a bit like mine – small children, parttime job, family farm – except that she, poor girl, married a dickhead. #
FROM PARIS WITH LOVE
The Slow Waltz of Turtles, Katherine Pancol Allen & Unwin, $33 Joséphine Cortès’ husband has run off to Kenya to start a crocodile farm with his mistress. Now, she’s getting on with life and has moved into a new Paris apartment with her two kids. But things aren’t getting any less complicated. Not only is she entangled in a lie orchestrated by her sister, but people are starting to turn up dead in her neighbourhood! To Capture What We Cannot Keep, Beatrice Colin Allen & Unwin, $33 The attraction between Émile, a French engineer, and Cait, a Glaswegian widow, is instant – but the societal constraints of the Belle Époque era conspire to keep them apart. A risky romance encompassing everything from Parisian café society to the French Impressionists – and all with the dramatic backdrop of the construction of the Eiffel Tower.
Friendship is born at e that moment when on r: person says to anothe ght What! You too? I thou I was the only one. C S Lewis
Need a break from carb-heavy meals? These light, low-carb recipes are just the ticket, packed with veges and plenty of flavour 134 NEXT
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Chicken with courgettes & salsa verde 4 chicken breast fillets (680g), halved lengthways 1 Tbsp olive oil 5 courgettes (500g) ¹⁄³ cup flaked almonds, toasted 100g goat’s milk feta, crumbled ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves Salsa verde ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped ¼ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 2 tsp baby capers, drained, rinsed 1 tsp Dijon mustard ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil 2 tsp red wine vinegar 1 Season chicken. Heat oil in a large
frying pan over medium-high heat; cook chicken, in batches, for 4 minutes each side or until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan; cover to keep warm. 2 Using a vegetable spiraliser, cut courgettes into spirals. 3 To make salsa verde, combine herbs, garlic and capers in a small bowl; whisk in mustard, oil and vinegar until thickened. 4 Serve chicken and courgettes topped with salsa verde, almonds, feta cheese and parsley. Serves 4. Tip: If you don’t have a spiraliser, you can use a mandoline or a V-slicer to cut your courgettes instead.
Turkish haloumi & pomegranate salad 1 Tbsp lemon juice 2 Tbsp light olive oil 1 medium bulb fennel (300g), trimmed, sliced very thinly 500g baby ‘target’ beetroot, sliced very thinly (see tip) 4 red radishes (140g), trimmed, sliced very thinly 2 spring onions, thinly sliced ¹⁄³ cup (80ml) pomegranate seeds ¼ cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves 125g mizuna (if unavailable, use rocket) ¾ cup (120g) whole dry
roasted almonds 360g haloumi, thickly sliced 1 Combine lemon juice and oil in a large bowl. Add fennel, beetroot, radish, spring onions, pomegranate, mint, mizuna and almonds; toss gently to combine. 2 Cook haloumi in a large oiled frying pan until browned on both sides. 3 Serve salad topped with haloumi. Serves 4.
Tip: Use a mandoline or V-slicer to cut the fennel, radishes and beetroot into very thin slices. You can use golden or red beetroot instead of target beetroot. > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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Grilled vegetable & ricotta stack 2 baby eggplants (120g), sliced thickly lengthways 1 medium green capsicum, sliced thickly lengthways 1 medium red capsicum, sliced thickly lengthways 2 large courgettes, sliced thickly lengthways 4 x 175g flat mushrooms 2 cups (400g) firm ricotta 2 cloves garlic, crushed ½ cup finely chopped fresh basil 1 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 1 Tbsp lemon rind, finely grated 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts 2 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, extra 2 Tbsp small fresh basil leaves, extra Tomato pesto ½ cup semi-dried tomatoes, drained ¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 small clove garlic, crushed 2 Tbsp water 1 Cook eggplant, capsicums, courgettes
and mushrooms, in batches, on a heated oiled grill plate (or grill or barbecue) over medium-high heat until vegetables are browned and tender. 2 Meanwhile, combine ricotta, garlic, basil, parsley and rind in a medium bowl; season to taste. 3 To make tomato pesto, place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender; pulse until just combined. Season to taste. 4 Divide mushrooms, stem-side up, among serving plates; top with layers of ricotta mixture, eggplant, courgettes and capsicum. Drizzle stack with pesto; sprinkle with pine nuts, extra parsley and basil. Serves 4.
Quinoa, courgettes & feta salad Use a julienne peeler, mandoline or V-slicer to cut the courgettes into long thin strips, or coarsely grate it instead, if you prefer. ¾ cup (150g) quinoa 1½ cups (375ml) water ½ cup hazelnuts 2 medium courgettes cut into long, thin strips 250g heirloom or mixed cherry tomatoes, halved ½ small red onion, thinly sliced 100g feta, crumbled 1 cup loosely packed fresh small basil leaves 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 Rinse quinoa under cold water; drain well. Place in a medium saucepan with the water; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or
until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool. 2 Meanwhile, roast hazelnuts in a medium frying pan over medium heat for 4 minutes or until golden. Rub hot hazelnuts in a clean tea towel to remove most of the skin; discard skin. Coarsely chop nuts. 3 Add nuts to quinoa in bowl with courgettes, tomatoes, onion, half the feta and half the basil. Drizzle with combined oil and vinegar; toss gently to combine. Season to taste. Serve topped with remaining feta and remaining basil, sprinkled with pepper. Serving suggestion Serve with steamed asparagus and crusty bread. Serves 4. > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Patties can be made up to one day ahead; store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use a mandoline or V-slicer to slice the fennel very thinly.
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Find all your home ideas and inspiration on
For more light vegetable recipes visit
Pea F o r& m oprawn r e s t o r i e s tpatties o s h a r e f r owith mNZ’s favourite magazines visit watercress salad 1½ cups (180g) frozen peas 1 clove garlic, peeled 250g peeled uncooked medium king prawns, coarsely chopped 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped ½ tsp finely grated lemon rind 1 Tbsp ground almonds 2 cups firmly packed watercress, trimmed 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced 1 stalk celery, trimmed, sliced thinly on the diagonal ¼ cup (40g) roasted whole blanched almonds, coarsely chopped 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, extra 2 Tbsp dill sprigs 2 Tbsp olive oil Mustard & lemon dressing 1½ Tbsp Dijon mustard
Broad bean & Brussels sprout salad with poached eggs
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 eggs 200g frozen broad beans, thawed, peeled
1 Boil, steam or microwave peas and garlic together until peas are tender; drain. 2 Blend or process garlic and 1 cup of the peas with prawns, chopped tarragon, rind and ground almonds until combined; season. Using oiled hands, roll level tablespoons of mixture into 16 balls and flatten slightly. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. (The patties are quite sticky; however they won’t fall apart during cooking.) 3 Meanwhile, make mustard and lemon dressing. Whisk ingredients in a small bowl until combined; season to taste. 4 Place watercress, fennel, celery, blanched almonds, extra tarragon, dill and remaining peas in a large bowl with half the dressing; toss to combine. 5 Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat; cook patties, in batches, for 2 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Remove from pan; cover to keep warm. 6 Serve patties with watercress salad, drizzled with remaining dressing. Serves 4.
400g Brussels sprouts, outer leaves separated, remaining shredded ½ cup (50g) walnuts, roasted ½ cup lightly packed fresh dill leaves ¹⁄³ cup (25g) shaved parmesan 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp white vinegar, extra 1 Add vinegar to a deep frying pan of simmering
water. Break eggs, one at a time, into a cup; slide each egg into the water. Gently poach eggs for 3 minutes or until whites are set. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towel. 2 Meanwhile, add broad beans to a medium saucepan of boiling water; boil for 30 seconds. Add shredded sprouts and outer leaves; boil a further 5 seconds. Drain. Place beans and sprouts in a large bowl of iced water; stand until cold. Drain well. 3 Place beans and sprouts in a medium bowl with walnuts, half the dill and half the parmesan; season to taste, toss gently to combine. 4 Serve salad topped with eggs, and remaining dill and parmesan. Drizzle with combined oil and extra vinegar. Season. Serves 4. #
Recipes from Low Carb by the Australian Women’s Weekly. AWW Cookbooks, $35.
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Viva las veges Get your five plus a day in with these reinvented salads from Living the Healthy Life
Cauliflower & walnut tabbouleh Prep time: 20 minutes
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets 2 roma tomatoes, diced 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced 2 spring onions, thinly sliced 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped 3 Tbsp chopped mint 1 cup walnuts, chopped Sea salt and ground pepper Dressing 3 Tbsp olive oil Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon Sea salt 1 Steam the cauliflower florets for 10 minutes, or until tender but still a little crisp. Cool the cauliflower completely. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor to the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. 2 Tip the cauliflower into a mixing bowl. Add the tomato, cucumber, spring onion, parsley, mint and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 3 To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl. 4 Add the dressing to the tabbouleh and gently toss to coat. Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side.
Cauliflower, labneh & harissa salad Prep time: 40 minutes, including cooking 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets 2 Tbsp harissa paste 3 Tbsp olive oil Celtic sea salt and ground pepper 250g cherry tomatoes, halved 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 cup rocket leaves 80g labneh (alternatively, use Greek yoghurt) Lemony Tahini Dressing (see page 142), for drizzling Small handful of mint leaves (optional) 1 Preheat the oven to 180Â°C (160Â°C fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2 Place the cauliflower, harissa and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix so the cauliflower is well coated in the harissa and oil. 3 Spread out the cauliflower on the prepared tray and roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender. 4 Meanwhile, line a second baking tray. Scatter the tomatoes and chickpeas over the tray, drizzle over the remaining olive oil and season with a good pinch of salt. 5 Transfer to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until lightly roasted. 6 Put the rocket leaves in a salad bowl or scatter over a platter and top with the roasted chickpeas, tomatoes and cauliflower. Scatter over some clumps of labneh. 7 Drizzle over the dressing and garnish with a handful of mint leaves, if you like. Serves 4. > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Lemony tahini dressing Prep time: 10 minutes Juice of ½ lemon 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest 3 Tbsp hulled tahini 1 tsp raw honey (optional) Pinch of chilli flakes (optional) ½ tsp ground cumin ½ garlic clove, crushed Himalayan pink rock salt and ground pepper 3 Tbsp water 1 Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. 2 Serve straight away or pour into a mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Makes about ½ cup.
Miso salad dressing Prep time: 10 minutes
2 Tbsp white miso paste 1 Tbsp organic Dijon mustard
Cucumber & carrot salad with crunchy seeds Prep time: 15 minutes, including cooking
3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
4 Lebanese cucumbers
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 avocado, sliced
Himalayan pink rock salt
3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
Miso Salad Dressing (see right)
1 Place the rocket leaves in a large salad bowl. Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, peel the carrots and cucumbers lengthways to create ribbons. 2 Scatter the carrot, cucumber and avocado over the rocket in the bowl. 3 Lightly roast all the seeds in a dry frying pan over medium–low heat for 3 minutes or until just lightly golden. 4 Drizzle over a little olive oil and toss salt through the seeds, then continue to dry-fry until crunchy and golden. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. 5 Sprinkle the cooled seeds over the salad, then drizzle over the miso dressing and serve. Serves 4. | MARCH 2017
3 Tbsp sesame oil 1 tsp grated ginger (optional)
2-3 cups rocket leaves
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp raw honey (or stevia granules for a sugar-free version) 1 tsp tamari 1 tsp sesame seeds 1-2 Tbsp water (optional) 1 Place the miso, mustard, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger (if using), honey, tamari and sesame seeds in a bowl and whisk until smooth and well combined. Whisk in a little water if you want to thin the dressing down. 2 Serve straight away or pour into a mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Makes about 1 cup.
Za’atar carrot chips salad with cinnamon seeds Prep time: 35 minutes, including cooking
3 large carrots, cut into long strips with a vegetable peeler or mandoline 250g cherry tomatoes, halved 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into short lengths 1 red onion, thinly sliced (optional) Olive oil or coconut oil spray ½ tsp chilli flakes 1 tsp za’atar Sea salt and ground pepper
Recipes extracted from Living the Healthy Life by Jessica Sepel, MacMillan, $40.
3 Tbsp mixed seeds (such as sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
asparagus and onion (if using) between the prepared trays. 1 tsp ground cinnamon 3 Spray with oil, then sprinkle over the chilli flakes, za’atar and some salt and pepper. 2-3 cups rocket leaves or mixed 4 Bake for 15–20 minutes. Meanwhile, roast lettuce leaves the seeds and cinnamon in a dry frying pan 2 Tbsp labneh over medium-low heat until golden and wonderfully fragrant. Transfer the roasted 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and line two large baking trays vegetables to a large bowl and combine with the salad leaves. Top with the labneh with baking paper. and cinnamon seeds. Serves 4. # 2 Divide the carrot, tomato halves,
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FOOD TO LOVE
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Only in America would there be a restaurant chain with a menu made up of fries. Get Fried is pushing the boundaries with dishes like the Cheese Burglar (fries, ground beef, cheese and pickles) and the Sweet Tooth (sweet potato fries with maple syrup and sugar). Delicious or just a carb overload?
Wine and dine
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Enjoy the Queenstown Gardens for a day of food and wine tasting at the SkyCity Queenstown Gibbston Wine and Food Festival. Sample wine and artisanal food from local producers and attend Master Classes held by Gibbston’s winemakers. Saturday March 18. Tickets $25. www.gibbstonwineandfood.co.nz
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Goodies galore If you’re looking for a gift basket to give to a special someone, Giftbox Boutique will arrange one that will taste as good as it looks. With baskets catering for all tastes, from simple pleasures to luxury indulgences, this is the perfect gift for any occasion. www.giftboxboutique.co.nz
Encouraging healthy eating can be hard, especially with children, so the Scenic Hotel Group is trying to do its bit. It is moving away from the typical fried food and sugary treats on littlies’ menus with the Heart Foundation’s Kids’ Choice programme. Kids can try pork and vege dumplings or the chicken skewers. The initiative will see the healthier menus introduced across their 16 NZ hotels. MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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SILVER LININGS You don’t have to travel far – or need great weather – to enjoy adrenaline-fuelled fun, world-class pampering and breathtaking natural beauty. Maria Hoyle enjoys a mum-and-daughters weekend in Rotorua, our very own eco and adventure paradise
| MARCH 2017
From left: Looking out over Lake Rotorua to Mokoia Island; a bird’s eye view from one of the swingbridges; Maria strikes a pose.
One of the platforms is 22 metres up a 1000-year-old rimu tree
ell I did say I wanted to hang out with the girls. So here I am, 12 metres above the forest floor, dangling from a flying fox like a forgotten sock on a clothesline. Waiting to be rescued. Yes, rescued. Oh no it’s fine... I’m in safe hands – plus the view is awesome. So you can leave me here while I explain. Myself and my two daughters are enjoying an eco adventure with Rotorua’s Canopy Tours, a threehour jaunt that takes us – via six ziplines of breathtaking length – through and over the beautiful canopy of Dansey Scenic Reserve Forest. This experience – which deservedly took out Supreme Winner at the NZ Tourism Awards – is hands down (and legs dangling) one of the most fun activities I’ve ever undertaken. And judging by the grins and delighted shrieks from our fellow zipliners – including my daughters Lucy, 19; and Susanna, 17 – they’d agree. The course increases in height as you advance along the 1.2km network of ziplines, swingbridges and treetop platforms in the upper foliage of this ancient native forest. One of the platforms is 22 metres up a 1000-year-old rimu tree. (Yes, I did hug it.) If at this point you are thinking, ‘I’m sorry but this sounds like hell’, let me reassure you. I am no lover of heights but the sheer exhilaration of being
not just in nature but virtually a part of it, not to mention the fact the guides clip you on and thoroughly check your harness a zillion times throughout the afternoon, means I feel infinitely safer than I do driving to work in Auckland.
TWEETING GOOD NEWS
There’s an educational aspect to this tour too. As we hopped down from the tour van that brought us here from central Rotorua and first entered the trail, guide and Canopy Tours conservation manager Gary took out a small blue tin. “Oh, good, a mint,” I thought, but no. From the tin he produced a worm, and down swooped a North Island robin to take it from his hand. I’ll say that again. Down swooped a North Island robin. Because you see this is quite something… this tiny, cheeky bird is one of the native species that has only recently begun to reclaim the forest as its home. Gary explained that just four years ago, Dansey Road Scenic Reserve was quiet, virtually no birdsong. But at night it would come alive with the creatures responsible for the eerie silence – hundreds of rats and possums were gobbling up all the native birds’ eggs. Now, thanks to a dedicated trapping programme (funded largely by the tours), birds like the coquettish little robin, the long tailed cuckoo, bellbirds, kaka and the bush parrot – plus other rare species like the Pacific > MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Get up close (but not too close) to the geysers for which Rotorua is famous or, right, take in the lakes and geothermal areas from a Skyline gondola. Below: The thermal wonderland of Wai-o-Tapu.
zipline with his gloved hands, and grapple his way along so he can haul me to the platform. At the final zipline, Gary urges us to go upside down. This sounds like a death wish but actually, as I watch both my daughters do it and survive, I decide to give it a go. By tipping your head back as instructed, it’s amazingly easy to invert yourself like a bat. By now I feel about 10 years old. Wet, tired, face prickling with cold, but zinging with happiness.
By now I feel about 10 years old. Wet, tired, face prickling with cold, but zinging with happiness
| MARCH 2017
gecko – are beginning to return. Most of the species here, by the way, are found nowhere else in the world. So like, what… we’re having fun and funding conservation work? Exactly. Well, if dangling above a forest floor is allowing some rare eggs to hatch, who am I to argue? Well yes, back to that. At the start of the tour our guides Gary, Chris and Alex explained several times that when they yell “grab the rope!” at us as we’re swooshing towards the arrival platform we, well, grab the rope. This is because you might start to slow down so much that you don’t make it to platform. How dumb would you have to be, I wondered during the safety drill, to not grab the rope if that’s what they’re yelling at you? So anyway. Having failed to grab the rope on the last-but-one zipline – the Plight of the Kakapo – I have just whizzed all the way back to the middle of the 170m-long wire and am now suspended high in the air. The rain is lashing my face and as I peer down, everything is just so green and shiny it makes me very happy indeed. I’m almost disappointed to see Gary step down from the arrival platform, clasp the
DOG IN A RAINCOAT
We’re in Rotorua for just two days, and even though it’s only Saturday afternoon, we’ve already packed in quite a bit. We arrived last night at Rydges, a 4.5 star hotel in the central city with a large heated swimming pool on the roof and a view over the racecourse. Our two double rooms are so huge, I feel guilty at the extravagance, realising we only really needed one. “Oh this is so wasteful!” I exclaim on arrival. A statement Susanna reminds me of on Saturday morning as I waft between the two suites declaring “I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having all this space!!!”. As big horse lovers, we’re very excited about our first activity on Saturday morning: a ride with Horse Trekking Lake Okareka. The trip takes about 15-minutes by car from the central city and, five minutes in, the wipers are working full pelt as rain bombards the windscreen. I worry the ride might be cancelled. But no, as the website promises, they really do go out in all weathers. And Horse Trekking owner Lucy Playne is well prepared. Friendly and with the kind of briskness that lets you know you are in extremely capable hands, she
hands out long raincoats and helmets. In her downto-the-ground coat and white domed helmet, Susanna looks every inch the Storm Trooper. I hop onto my horse Punga, and spread my raincoat out over Punga’s hind-part (there is probably a more horsey name for that) to protect both myself and the saddle.
MIST AND MIX-UPS
Can I just say that if you think riding through a downpour sounds about as much fun as root canal work, you couldn’t be more mistaken. As with the canopy tours, if anything the rain just adds a whole new richness to the experience. We are warm in our gear and the landscape has taken on a mystical, romantic aspect. Kathy, a high school teacher who works here at weekends and is riding just ahead of me, recalls how one day she rode here in a mist so thick, it was like trotting through Middle Earth. As we clop over the undulating terrain, occasionally ducking branches and yanking the horses’ heads away as they try to chomp on every overhanging leaf, there is plenty of ‘ooh and aah’ material. Fluffy ivory lambs; Lucy’s little dog Katie (also in wet weather gear) in a stand-off with a platoon of sassy cows; scampering rabbits; a wild black pig. Actually it’s owner Lucy who spots the pig. It’s already vanished into the trees so we have to take her word for it. As we do when she points to an empty, mist-cloaked horizon and alleges “Mount Tarawera”. When we finally clamber down, a full two hours later, we are a little achy around the haunches but feeling on top of the world. Being on horseback is reassuringly meditative, the gentle swaying and the
beautiful landscape a massage for the senses. By the end of Saturday, we are seriously in need of good food. Incidentally, if you’re thinking of inviting us to dinner one day, don’t. We’re the guests from hell. Lucy, 19, is coeliac and both her and her sister are vegan. I am vegetarian. However, riding tutor Kathy has recommended a restaurant called Abracadabra. And Kathy, if you are reading this; bless you. Abracadabra is indeed magic. On our first night we ate a delicious Thai meal on trendy Eat Streat which, as the name suggests, is a rather buzzy little lane with a host of al fresco eating options (plus the excellent and always lively Ponsonby Road bar, where you’ll catch the owner – politician and ex-TV host Tamati Coffey – working behind the bar). Away from there, I assume the options for vegetarians will be limited. But if Abracadabra is any indication of how the city is evolving, it’s great news for the noncarniverous indeed. Owing to a big mix-up, which I’ll convey in telegram form – misplaced ID (Lucy’s). Tension. Arguing. Wrong room keys. Coachload of foreign tourists – we miss our 8.30pm reservation. However, on seeing our crestfallen faces, the maitre d’ ushers us into our own little private room, decked out in Turkish style with turquoise walls, richly coloured cushions and soft, low lighting. This is the first reason to love Abracadabra. Other reasons include cocktails – pomegranate margarita for me; >
The rain adds a new richness to the experience. We are warm in our gear and the landscape has taken on a mystical, romantic aspect
Below, from left: Maria, Susanna and Lucy saddled up and covered up at Horse Trekking Lake Okareka.
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
Left: One of the hot mineral water pools at the world-leading Polynesian Spa. Below, from left: Lucy, Susanna... and Maria’s hair in happier times.
BYE BYE BLOWDRY coconut and pineapple margarita for Lucy, a similar mocktail for Susanna; a waiter who actually shifts furniture and repositions lamps to get our photo lighting just right; and an all-embracing menu that means carnivores can chomp cheerfully on spare ribs etc while their co-diner enjoys vegan and vegetarian fajitas to die for.
WHAT A GIRL WANTS
A little stiff the next morning from our extensive saddle time, our next appointment couldn’t be more perfect: a massage at the Polynesian spa. On the shores of Lake Rotorua, this geothermal bathing retreat has drawn people to dip a toe in its healing waters since the 1800s. We enjoy an hour-long relaxation massage that starts with a gentle pressure on my back not unlike when the family moggy uses my spine for a catwalk in the middle of the night. This progresses to a firmer, but still pleasant kneading of the entire body with Polynesian Spa Mud Body Polish, Pure Fiji Coconut Body Lotion and Pure Fiji Mango Exotic Oil. We take our post-pummelled bodies for a soak in the pools, and in the natural lakeside setting, all rocks and native plants, it’s like some sort of Garden of Eden – if Adam and Eve had had fluffy bathrobes and towels. After a revitalising green juice in the spa cafeteria, my body is indeed a temple as opposed to a Two-Dollar Shop, which is how it feels much of the time. For lunch we’ve been recommended café Be Rude Not To for vegetarian options, and are glad to find, in our woozy post-spa state, that it’s a short amble away. Un-woozed and revived by a wholesome
| MARCH 2017
As our jovial guide Cam hands us each a lifejacket and wet weather gear with hoods, I’m quietly relieved I’m not going to get my hair wet. What part of me, I wonder later, imagined that being swished through water at speeds of up to 80km per hour would keep my hair dry? Every now and then Cam does a little twirl in the air with his finger; a camped-up gesture that on a dance floor would be amusing; in the boat it’s a warning – we’re about to do a 360 degree turn at high speed. This manoeuvre produces a curtain of water that soaks us thoroughly. Lake: 1, Blow-wave: 0. Susanna laughs so hard I worry she’ll fall out of the boat. Cam talks us through the history of Lake Rotorua and points out the different landmarks: among them Kawaha Point, Sulphur Island and Mokoia Island, in the middle of the lake. Mokoia is now a wildlife sanctuary that’s home to around 25 kiwi. It’s also the scene of a famous love story. It was the home of Tutanekai, a young warrior in love with the beautiful and noble Hinemoa, who lived on Owhata on the opposite lake shore. So besotted was she with her guy, she would swim the some 3km across the freezing lake night after night (clearly not fussy about her hair). As we head out of the city for our drive back north, we reflect on what an awesome time we’ve had. True, I look like Kylie Minogue circa 1984 (frizzy damp hair and in bad double denim; I didn’t pack well); we have never spent more time outside in the rain; we’re still slightly achy from our adventures; and we didn’t leave a huge amount of time for lolling around our luxury suite. But radio turned up loud, singing along cheerfully to the Bee Gees, not even the Auckland traffic can kill our happy Rotovegas vibe. #
What part of me imagined being swished through water at speeds of up to 80km per hour would keep my hair dry?
PHOTOGRAPHS ROTORUANZ.COM, GETTY IMAGES AND ONE SHOT IMAGES
lunch, we saunter down to the lakefront for 30 minutes of adrenaline with Kawarau Jet boats.
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The love affair with Harry Potter goes on and on... now a café has opened in Singapore dedicated to our favourite wizarding world. At Platform 1094, the menu and decor will instantly transport you to Hogwarts. Sit at tables which will remind you of the Great Hall and try the Goblet of Fire cocktail or a Witch’s Cup pumpkin cupcake.
Bleisure PHOTOGRAPHS © INSTAGRAM, GETTY IMAGES AND SUPPLIED
BOOK LOVERS’ DREAM
2017’s top travel trends If you’re daydreaming about your next holiday, take inspiration from Forbes’ list of travel trends for 2017. ‘Bleisure’ travelling (extended travel after your business trip); low-budget travel focusing on experiences rather than extravagance; and solo travel, particularly for women.
If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting a 24-hour library, a hostel in Japan is pretty close to it. Book and Bed, in Tokyo and Kyoto, lets you read yourself to sleep in a bunk inside a bookshelf. For $60 per night and with more than 1000 Japanese and English books, this will be a whole different kind of reading experience. www.bookandbedtokyo.com.
KEEP YOUR KIT Nothing spoils a holiday vibe like losing your luggage, and this is where the Luggage Leash comes in. It’s a coin-sized Bluetooth GPS device which you put into your bag. Then download the Leash It app and you can track your bag’s every move. You’ll be alerted when your bags are at the carousel, and if your bag is misplaced you can report it on the app and your mobile device will start to search for it - one less thing to worry about on your next holiday! $60. MARCH 2017 | NEXT
puzzle & stockists e kes place outsid ‘All progress ta ohn Bobak J el a h ic M – .’ e the comfort zon
19 21 23
20 22 24
ACROSS 1. Sharply inclined (5) 4. Highest points, pinnacles (7) 8. Shack (3) 9. Seaport in southern Japan (5) 10. Guaranteed against risk of
20. Greek and Roman god of light, healing, poetry, etc (6) 21. Continuous feuding between groups of criminals, … warfare (4) 23. Ireland (poetic) (4) 24. Ardently, avidly (7) 27. Portending evil, threatening (7) 28. Russian alcoholic drink (5) 30. John Keats poem, … on a Grecian Urn (3) 31. Betrayal of one’s country (7) 32. Fortunate (5)
loss or harm (7) 11. Californian city which is the home of Disneyland (7) 14. Ancient Roman garment (4) 15. Wise, prudent (4) 18. Infuse slowly into the mind (6)
1. Intermittent, occurring irregularly (8) 2. Historical period (3) 3. Stage of change or development (5) 4. Mark of disgrace (6) 5. Error or slip in conduct (7) 6. Haphazard, not even or balanced (9) 7. 2009 sports biopic starring Sandra Bullock, The Blind … (4) 12. Positively self-assured (9) 13. Grimsby actress, … Fisher (4) 16. Born This Way singer, Lady … (4)
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FASHION, PAGE 101
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17. Practice of having more than one spouse at one time (8) 19. Volcanic (rock) (7) 22. New Zealand’s secondoldest settled city (6) 25. Judge’s mallet (5) 26. Verse writer, bard (4) 29. Medical practitioner (colloq) (3)
Complete the crossword – the letters in the shaded squares will spell out a mystery word. Find the solution in the April issue of NEXT. T R E S P A I A O T U R I N A N D N E E D G S C R I T U A L H N O B S I D I M T O B O U Q U E U N R S A S H U
S S O D D S O I E T R E G A L I A B U H M E R A N I U M T N E B A Z A A R C S V A N M A R C C D R H T O L I V E U U C S S U R P E R S
Solution from February NEXT Word to the wise: Detour
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PHOTOGRAPHS BAUER MEDIA STUDIOS AND SUPPLIED
PISCES FEB 20 – MAR 20 RELATIONSHIPS The Gemini Moon on March 5th, linked to sensitive Venus, will encourage you to share your innermost feelings. Don’t be afraid to let your needs show; you’ll find a new level of intimacy. There’s an intriguing change in your attitude this month – let’s call it a deepening, or perhaps a renewal of a search that never fully goes away. Blockages that have held you back will now ease and you’ll rediscover the knack of relating well to most people.
ARIES MAR 21 – APR 20
Your ruler, Mars, in your birth sign adds energy to the start of the month. Recent life changes continue and you can expect the ripples to spread for a while. There’s a power struggle going on, in the family or at work. You’ll be okay but you’ll need to get the right message across.
WORDS HAZEL BROOKE ILLUSTRATION KATARIINA WILHELM / SEASONS.AGENCY / SNAPPER MEDIA
TAURUS APR 21 – MAY 21
Mars adds extra zing to your love life mid-month. A change of scene on the weekend of the 11th-12th will go a long way towards injecting fresh life into your relationship. You’ll be asked to help someone later in March. Open your heart – from your generosity good things will flow.
GEMINI MAY 22 – JUN 21
The Gemini moon on Sunday March 5 brings an event that will surprise you. Financially, this month is a good time to tidy up a problem. Tackle it now – the week commencing the 13th is favourable. Someone important comes into your life on the 24th.
CANCER JUN 22 – JUL 23
MONEY You’re in the process of laying foundations that will need to last, so do it well. Allocate time in the first half of the month to planning. It’s a chance to update and consolidate your financial arrangements, including a review of savings and investments. If you feel daunted, seek advice and share your thoughts. With Neptune, your thoughtful ruling planet, continuing its presence in your birth sign, you can look forward to reliable progress in your financial affairs.
LIBRA SEP 24 – OCT 23
Take care what you say and how you say it. A casual aside on the weekend of the 11th-12th could be misunderstood and leave you with some explaining to do. Retrograde Venus provides a helpful dose of good humour. Pay extra attention to your health at the end of the month.
Romance is on the agenda for singles, starting on the first weekend of the month. A new player enters your life; a stranger. If a getaway is proposed there will be no better time. The continuing retrograde movement of Jupiter indicates caution on the financial front.
LEO JUL 24 – AUG 23
SCORPIO OCT 24 – NOV 22
In a matter of the heart, you will be determined to get what you want. Like most Leos, you will resist any attempts to limit what you can and can’t do. Look out for a possible clash of wills on the weekend of the 18th-19th. After the 24th the situation will start to ease up.
A couple of key planets in retrograde will put obstacles in your path early in March. But don’t lose heart – there’s a real upside on the 6th when a bright idea changes your expectations. The autumn equinox on the 21st prompts you to look into something you’ve always longed to know more about.
VIRGO AUG 24 – SEP 23
Brace yourself for conflicting signals from someone you care about. Put off dealing with it until the Virgo full moon on the 12th. At work, a job becomes urgent, so you’ll need to shuffle priorities. Friday the 24th is the start of a happening weekend, especially if you’re unattached.
NOV 23 – DEC 22
You’re at your best when things are happening – and this month you’ll have more than enough to deal with. An encounter on the 3rd is likely to have significant consequences so keep your plans open. At work, an
CAREER A clash of wills could complicate your working life early in March. Restraint isn’t exactly your strong suit, so you’ll need to tread carefully. You’ll enjoy a lift in your energy levels, thanks to Mercury in Pisces, along with quite a few demands on your time. It may be time to make a tough decision that you’ve been putting off – perhaps a matter of impossible demands that really can’t go on. Once the load is off your shoulders, you’ll feel so much happier facing each new day.
ambition comes within reach on March 10. In romance, your Sagittarius charm will move into overdrive.
CAPRICORN DEC 23 – JAN 20
The outlook for all your key relationships right now is promising, with rich rewards coming from inside the family or from a long-standing friendship. This is a month when it will pay to let your feelings show. The only foreseeable risk is you may underestimate an obstacle. Check the details before embarking on a venture.
AQUARIUS JAN 21 – FEB 19
Times of enrichment are very much what you’re about. Uranus, your ruling planet, will help you to form important connections. There’s a changing of the guard at work on or around the time of the new moon on March 28th. Use your detective skills to find out what’s going on behind the scenes. MARCH 2017 | NEXT
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Nood’s Boulevard collection is magnificently modern, yet brings the retro to your home. Featuring a blend of walnut veneer, powder coated metal and high-gloss lacquer, its distinct style and architectural lines will exceed your expectations. The range features, dining table, coffee table, sideboard, media unit and console table. RRP from $1,299. Visit www.nood.co.nz
Wendy Hill Cosmetics is New Zealand’s own professional makeup brand, trusted by beauty professionals for more than 15 years, and it’s family owned and cruelty free. One of the topselling products, Velvet Veil Primer is packed with healthy ingredients such as vitamin E, vitamin C and liquorice. This primer helps your foundation perform and its smooth texture makes skin feel like silk. RRP $62.30.
Lifestream Natural B complex is sourced from organically grown high-quality quinoa sprouts. This nutty flavoured superfood complex provides the full spectrum of B vitamins in an easy to absorb form. Great for sustained energy throughout the day, for those with stressful lives, or growing children needing a boost. RRP $49.90 for 60g powder. Visit www.lifestream.co.nz.
An essential handbag and travel accessory, the Tangle Teezer Compact Styler detangles and styles hair in seconds. This brush features a removable cover to protect the innovative flexi teeth from fluff and dirt, giving you fussfree, knot-free hair on the move. Available in a range of colours and prints from selected pharmacies, salons and department stores or call 0508 734 466 for stockists. RRP $34.
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Products to fall in love with – and to have you looking and feeling fab
The SKINS DNAmic Compression Vest Crop top is designed to enhance comfort and coverage without restricting your movement. With a stylish high neck, mesh inserts to maximise airflow, wide shoulder straps for comfort and a cute keyhole back design, the Vest Crop Top is the ultimate top for warm weather workouts. RRP $89.99. Visit www.skins.net
Time Bomb Trouble Shooter Neck & Jaw Cream addresses the serious tell-tale signs of ageing: jowls, ‘turkey neck’ and ‘crepe-y’ skin. The deeply moisturising formula inhibits pigmentation to help diminish the look of age spots – the result is a more lifted neck and jaw and a more even-toned, wrinkle-resistant décolleté. Available from pharmacies and beauty stores or call 0508 734 466 for stockists. RRP $90.
As fashion merges activewear with everyday wear, the sporty white sole has become a key look. These fashionable, flexible, lightweight soles are combined with classic uppers to create the perfect blend of versatility, comfort and style. Lexi loafers by Ziera, RRP $239.95. Shop at www.zierashoes.com.
No need for breakfast negotiating and label scrutiny with the new range of children’s cereals from Blue Frog. These refined sugarfree and organic buckwheat cereals are as nutritious as they are delicious. You’ll find Blue Frog’s Banana Choc Crunch, Mixed Berry Crunch and Peanut Butter Crunch in Farro, Nosh, most supermarkets and online at www.bluefrogbreakfast.co.nz. RRP $9.95.
ATZEN DNA Repair Serum is a powerful cocktail of active remedies to restore elasticity and tighten pores for radiant, wrinkle-free skin. ATZEN is the only range to use antioxidant support from INTACT DNA®, and Argireline® peptide, a botanical alternative to Botox. The formula contains green tea and Resveratrol to help repair sun damage. RRP $172-$253. Visit www.atzen.nz.
Almond Breeze, the world’s number oneselling almond milk, is a delicious, low-fat milk alternative. Made from almonds, it’s free from dairy, eggs, lactose, casein, peanuts and gluten. Substitute it for milk in recipes or enjoy it straight from the carton on cereal, in hot drinks or in a smoothie. Available from supermarkets in Original, Unsweetened, Vanilla and Chocolate. RRP $3.99.
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and you’re only on your way to the airport
BY SARAH QUIGLEY
GRIN & BARE IT
The opening of a lingerie store in Sarah’s building poses a new challenge to her love life
PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCK IMAGES AND SUPPLIED
he ground floor of my building has been empty for a year. Twenty years ago, this was the neighbourhood where underground clubs sprang up and artists hung their work on peeling walls. Now it’s the stomping ground of the rich. Retail space is at a premium, and my neighbours and I – relics from rentcontrolled days – have been waiting curiously to see what will happen next. Monday afternoon, and I arrive home to see clothes rails being unloaded from a removal van. Hooray! At least it won’t be yet another Scandinavian concept store selling eye-wateringly expensive handknitted socks and spinning ironic ABBA remixes on a retro turntable while serving latte macchiatos out of jam jars. “Guess what?” My neighbour Brownie Girl turns up at my door with a cheesecake deemed too lopsided for the hipsters who lunch at her deli. “It’s going to be a lingerie shop!” We hang out my window eating crooked cake and watching the architects in the glass building opposite eyeing up the curvaceous women unpacking underwear. “D’you know what ‘good’ is in Swedish?” I ask Brownie. ‘“Bra!”’ Brownie Girl laughs so much that she almost chokes on her cheesecake. “Let’s go down and check out the stuff!” Having emerged from her own post-divorce blues, she has a new boyfriend, so is in the market for some new underwear. “Bra!” I agree, though the thought of peeling all my clothes off in a changingroom the size of a locker makes me feel tired – as does the knowledge that you
have to try on at least a hundred bras to find just one that gives you uplift while not making you feel as if you’re being slowly pinched to death in a giant pair of tongs. My uneasiness increases when I remember the Elle Macpherson interview in which she asserted that she would never leave the house if not in matching underwear – essentially meaning, if she were me, she’d have stayed in most of her adult life. Reluctantly, in my unmatching splendour, I follow Brownie Girl downstairs. “Your birthday’s coming up, right?” she
My longer-divorced self wants to warn Brownie that the PerfectLingerie-Buying Male is an urban myth chirps. “Now you know where to send your boyfriend for present-shopping! How Bra is that!” My longer-divorced, more cynical self wants to warn Brownie that the PerfectLingerie-Buying Male is an urban myth. I’ve never known any man able to pick out any undergarment that any woman wants to wear. In fact, most men don’t register lingerie full stop unless it’s featured in porn. “We don’t notice it much,” an ex-boyfriend helpfully explained. “I mean, by the time we get to that point in proceedings, we’re not about to stop and
admire the thong.” Brownie is taking two steps at a time in her eagerness to explore satin, lace and all things dainty. She flies out onto the street and screeches to a halt at the sight of a busty woman on a ladder, hanging up a sign. Germans are renowned for calling a spade a spade, and particularly so when it comes to clothing. Take the strapless top, which has seen a recent resurgence on the catwalk; Germans have given it the odd, seemingly Englishified name of the ‘Cold Shoulder Top’. A bra is a ‘Büstenhalter’: literally, ‘a holder for busts’. And now – Brownie’s face falls as she reads the name of the shop. “BIG CUPS?” She stumbles back onto my foot. ‘Specialising in Double D and above!’ The woman dismisses us with a glance, realising she’ll never get a pfennig from either one of us. Brownie frowns down at her chest and then at mine. “This isn’t very Bra, is it, Sarah. Not very Bra at all.” I gaze across the road at the row of male architects’ eager faces, pressed to the window. “One woman’s famine is another man’s feast,” I nod philosophically. But the prospect of our street being invaded by massive-breasted Amazonians, all parading under Glove Boy’s roving eye, makes me feel horribly small, pale and flat-chested. “It had better not be a feast for my man,” glowers Brownie, echoing my thoughts. Next month: Till tomorrow do us part… there’s nothing quite so liberating as the realisation that your romance can’t last, discovers Sarah. MARCH 2017 | NEXT
MODERN CLASSICS MODERN CLASSICS
Forgotten NZ masterpieces from 1965 to 1990 John Scott’s Aniwaniwa: what now? Maurice Mahoney’s family home 1970s utopia in the Arizona desert Luxurious bathrooms Rejuvenating Hastings’ modernist art gallery
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR Canon Media Awards 2016
BY LISA SCOTT
When you’ve faced the worst, there’s nothing left to fear. Enter the reckless phase...
elling tickets on the Titanic? I’ll take one. Invade Russia during winter? Sounds awesome. Import possums, stoats and ferrets to a country with abundant birdlife and no natural predators? What could possibly go wrong? There’s a Trojan horse outside? Hang on, I’ll open the gates. I am a one-woman calamity, a human disaster ray right now. I couldn’t make a good decision to save my life, have more bad ideas than hot dinners – although that’s probably because I don’t actually have a proper kitchen, or a shower. I almost have a toilet and I’m very excited about it: so excited, when Roy from Bioloo drove all the way down from Rotorua to deliver it, I hugged him like I’d never let him go. “Toilets sometimes have this effect on people,” he said. Anyway, turns out that after the angry phase and the crying phase and the thinking-about-having-sexwith-your-ex phase comes the part where you realise you’re alone. I mean really by yourself, literally independent, in that if you get sick no one cares (newly single shock #657) and you have to make ALL the decisions from now on. Social, financial, material. I know this will sound fabulous to those of you currently fantasising, as you do, about your spouse dying − quickly and painlessly while doing what they love, of course − thus enabling the buying of whatever without all the tedious negotiation and explaining and lies about half price sales that go with coupledom. However, the truth is not having someone to bounce ideas off (even just to decide what not to do) can be paralysing. I tried to buy a new phone yesterday and, overwhelmed by the plethora of choices, had to give up. On any given day you can find me in the pasta aisle, racked with indecision. Spirals versus penne? Ravioli? Macaroni? It’s all too much. Worse, I’m living in the middle of a major building project that involves installing a composting toilet, a kitchen, gas hot water, a new water tank and pump. As with any renovation, there are hundreds of individual decisions to be made − and if I get any of them wrong, the house will fall down. The look of utter hopelessness and bewilderment I sometimes give the builder freaks him
out completely and more than once I’ve found myself sobbing against his high-vis clad chest after he made the mistake of looking sympathetic. It’s the job from hell. Things having gone the proverbial pear shape, it can initially seem impossible to mould them into any other form. Life becomes a messy swirl, a downward spiral; you’re emotionally all over the place. It’s like being in a pinball machine, caroming hither and yon at the whim of a malevolent child. Perhaps because you’re transitioning into someone new, a lot of weird, out-of-character behaviour is only natural at this nebulous ‘who am I now?’ stage. Before, I used to be a bit of a scaredy-cat, extremely risk-adverse. Now, everything burnt to the ground, the most awful already happened, there doesn’t seem to be much left for me to fear. And so it is, without the safety net of a stable relationship and the conventions and expectations of normality associated with it, all rational thought has evaporated and a new reckless streak emerged, a fearlessness I never knew I possessed, a brave stupidity that, strangest and most dangerous of all, manifests in night surfing. In the pitch dark, on a moonless night, I float, legs dangling above the mouths of invisible monsters, waves slapping against the cliff, shags grumbling in their nests above. Sometimes unable to tell the shore from the inky ocean stretching into the shipping lane − nothing but albatrosses till South America − you don’t know which way is up when you fall into the cold blackness, yet I couldn’t give a buggering cluck. This thoughtless lack of health and safety planning, this Evel Knievel bus jumping is just a symptom of these most confusing of times and will, according to friends who have been here, go on for a while yet and (I have it on good authority) may include, but not be limited to: unprotected sex with absolutely the wrong man, smoking at Olympic level, eating pies and wearing mini-skirts. Eventually, though, even this wayward stuff will fall away, and I’ll find a new normal, a new way to be myself. I might be drowning, not waving, at the moment but soon, hopefully, I’ll remember that I do know how to swim. #
PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES AND SUPPLIED
In the pitch dark , on a moonless night, I float, legs dangling above the mouths of invisible monsters
MARCH 2017 | NEXT
s o a Ch THEORY
Marie Kondo can colour-code her socks all she likes, but the new thinking is that mess is your friend...
| MARCH 2017
BY DEBORAH HILL CONE
f I glance around, where I am sitting right now on my shabby purple velvet couch, this is what I see: A wobbly pile of 27 books, with brainier looking ones on the top to impress visitors, then there is Sidney the Burmese cat, his collar frayed, a Lego dragon, a pair of discarded Star Wars pyjama bottoms, a strawberryflavoured Smiggle pen, a lump of Blu-Tac, Mum’s swear jar (full), a candle which says “If you’re going to get in trouble do it at the Chateau Marmont”, a purple blanket crocheted by (now departed) mum, an ugg boot, a glittery sandal. Clutter is my natural habitat. I suppose some of these things around me are ‘bringing me joy’ – the candle smells like aviation fuel – but I’m hardly Marie Kondoing it (Japanese magic art of tidying up). I’m not even ‘hyggeing’ it either (Danish art of cosiness); I’m just a bit of a shambles. It seems I was gifted the genes for bad handeye coordination but missed out on the DNA for alphabeticising your spice rack. And yet: good news! It’s suddenly becoming okay to be messy. In fact, it could even be beneficial. It seems we’ve gone as far as we can go into the rigorous business of decluttering and being minimalist and the pendulum is swinging back to embrace a bit of muddle.
A TIDY-UP TOO FAR In his book Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, economist Tim Harford argues the forces of tidiness have marched too far. The rigid thinking around tidiness and control disempowers us, so in being messy we are “recapturing our autonomy”. Who knew? And there I was
Being in very tidy places – Japan was weird – makes me want to go hog-wild and muck everything up. I exult in a certain level of chaos systematising everything, being proud of your sock drawer, is worth it.
ARTISTS, NOT SLOBS Cognitive scientists study ‘neats’ and ‘scruffies’ – also known as ‘filers’ and ‘pilers’ – that is, people who establish a formal organisational structure for documents and those who let piles of paperwork accumulate. They found filers had bloated archives full of documents they never used. Whereas pilers just kept documents on their desks for a while and sooner or later picked them up, realised they were useless and biffed them out. It seems a messy desk is instead a ‘pragmatic system of organisation’ where the most recently used things get placed on the top. Given most scientists are by definition neat freaks, this is quite a radical admission. “Disorderliness is no bar to success,” Harford says. I could kiss that man. The artistic process is by its nature, messy. Originality demands saying yes to whatever comes up, not just whatever fits neatly into a pre-conceived category, and that means there will be mess. It might get loud, and dirty. Mess is sexy. Kate Moss will always be hotter than the Duchess of Cambridge: a hot mess, sometimes. The thing is, it’s not just that I’m too lazy to be neat. I find tidiness oppressive. I don’t like the way neatness makes me feel I have to be on my best behaviour. Being in very
PHOTOGRAPH ISTOCK IMAGES
Mess is sexy. Kate Moss will always be hotter than the Duchess of Cambridge just thinking I was a bit of a sloth. But in the age of big data and algorithms where everything is measurable, it makes sense that some forward thinkers are starting to ask whether there are some parts of life that are not improved by technology, efficiency and organisation. Not only that, they’re asking whether the effort we put into
tidy places – Japan was weird – makes me want to go hog-wild and muck everything up. I exult in, rather than endure, a certain level of chaos. It is life affirming. “Open your eyes. This horrible mess is your life. There is no sense in waiting for it to get better. Stop putting it off and live it,” as fantasy writer Robin Hobb said.
I’m not sure I entirely trust people who always have clean cars. I always suspect they’re the kind of people who get up and wash themselves after sex. But it’s not surprising. There’s more and more pressure to be engaging in improving endeavours, being healthy and balanced and sober. No wonder mess can feel so liberating. Because mess isn’t just about hanging up your clothes or stacking the dishwasher, it’s a state of mind. Haven’t you ever noticed a high-powered career woman occasionally sneaking out for a cheeky fag? You can’t be virtuous all the time – all those spin classes and lowfat smoothies – without needing to break out occasionally.
MADLY GLAMOROUS In her essay The Perverse Allure of Messy Lives, Katie Roiphe says it’s precisely because we’ve all become so conservative that we are fascinated by the retrograde glamour of programmes like Mad Men in which people led messy lives, drinking too much, smoking too much, falling into bed with people they weren’t married to. Roiphe advocates a ramshackle personal life: “I have two children, with two different fathers, neither of whom I am living with. It did take me a little while to achieve quite this level of messiness but I did it in the end.” This isn’t new. The Bloomsbury Set – including writers like Virginia Woolf – styled themselves as an “experiment in living” with (for the time) loose morals and shoddy habits, all in the pursuit of living a free, creative life. Being bohemian looked fabulously louche, although children of some of those rule-breakers say amid the panache were sadder stories of alcoholism, breakdowns and suicides. I guess there is mess, and then there is MESS. Because I confess while I’ve been writing this column, I had to take a break to get up to make all the beds. That brought me joy. # MARCH 2017 | NEXT
50 Shades Darker is all very well, but here’s what we really want to see a sequel to…
Does Laura Linney’s character ever stop answering her damned cell phone? Does Emma Thompson ever forgive Alan Rickman and get her revenge on the secretary homewrecker?
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Where we find out how long Elizabeth Bennet puts up with cranky but handsome Mr Darcy.
Vivian realises she doesn’t need to be rescued and that Edward is actually a bit of a creep, goes to university and helps get other sex workers off the street.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
What was it like when Monday morning rolled around?
| MARCH 2017
Do Chandler’s jokes eventually get on Monica’s nerves?
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
What happens when Mark Zuckerberg realises that his invention was partly responsible for Donald Trump becoming president?
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE Can a long-term relationship be sustained off one meet-cute?
THE TRUMAN SHOW
Can he cope outside the dome?
ROMEO AND JULIET
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
Where we find out how that ‘new best buddies’ Capulet and Montague thing is going.
THELMA & LOUISE
You can say that again. Just tell us what he whispered in her ear.
Does Inigo Montoya take over from Westley as the Dread Pirate Roberts? They’re back from the canyon, and they’re out for revenge.
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
It dawns on Andrea that Miranda was in fact a really good mentor and it was her deadbeat, unsupportive boyfriend who was the real villain.
LOST IN TRANSLATION FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL
In which Charles realises Carrie is actually annoying, and so begin all the divorces.
PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCK IMAGES
Yes the boat sank, but let’s find out more about Rose’s life as a single gal in New York City!
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