Life, Loss, Love with Liv.

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Liv is a stunner. Not just because she has the longest legs, beautiful blue eyes and unique features . . . . but because she is one of the most gorgeous, radiant people to be around. She’s a stunner inside and out (so corny but it’s true!).

We talk the ups and downs of life, the way food, quality of air and lifestyle can affect things like your hair and skin and why working from the inside out is always the best way.

If you didn’t know Liv you could be mistaken by thinking she has been blessed in all areas of life and has never gone through many hardships. She’s obviously beautiful she has style, she’s happy, she owns a house in Fairlight, she has her own business, she’s a pilates teacher. She’s had a blessed life. And of course anyone that lives in Australia is blessed in many ways but Liv is happy and radiant despite going through many hardships and this is what makes her so beautifully unique.

Thing is, Liv lost both her parents to cancer within 18 months and at around the same time her husband had a heart transplant.

During this time, my husband was diagnosed with degenerative disease that lead to hypertrophic cardio myopathy, his only option was heart transplant – his health was on the edge while waiting for a transplant.

Penelope:    What sparked your interest to study nutrition?

I used to be a fashion brand manager and while I did enjoy elements of the career path, I always had a deep urge to be in a career where I was helping people. After losing both my parents to cancer within 18 months I became even more determined to fulfil this desire. I first started a nursing degree however quickly realised this role didn’t suit my passions and desired lifestyle. When you grieve, what is a positive is the clarify of life that is to be optimally enjoyed, I have always been passionate about wholesome eating and fitness, the choice was under my nose my entire life!

 

Penelope:    What’s been the most intensely upsetting time in your life and how did you recover? 

I had a rough patch in my mid – late 20’s. I cared for, and lost both my treasured and inspirational parents and although I believe I handled it quite well it was honestly horrific. During this time, my husband was diagnosed with degenerative disease that lead to hypertrophic cardio myopathy, his only option was heart transplant – his health was on the edge while waiting for a transplant. We deeply treasure & respect the difficulty of the donor families decision every day. The donor match and transplant was a complete success – we are so incredibly thankful and lucky. 

This entire period was very tough on my sensitive yet resilient soul. When I love someone/something, its wholeheartedly. It’s hard to watch the suffering in the eyes of those people but I am eternally grateful for these soulmates (yes, I believe you can have more then one!). I know it sounds ultra-cliche, but I am definitely a more open appreciative and stronger person. Your life experiences certainly have the power to mould you for the better if you allow them. 

Liv 4

Penelope: You touched lightly on a miscarriage through the time you were dealing with great grief. Could you possibly elaborate more here on what you were going through at the time of the miscarriage?

It wasn't actually a miscarriage & was completely heart wrenching. It’s such a deep and long winded story, I honestly can't think where its time and mentally appropriate to start. You don't have a whole week free do you .. LOL.

Penelope: What was happening to your husband when you were dealing with the loss of your parents

After his heart transplant we decided to do some family planning so we went through some intense genetic counselling, where we discovered the need for a heart transplant was actually as a result of a spontaneous dominant genetic mutation causative of muscular dystrophy. Little is known about his specific mutation, we have no idea how fast it will progress. His strength is incredible & our bond is unbreakable.

Penelope: When you were at the very lowest of the low what was it that got you through? What picked you up and made you get off that couch?

My complete love and appreciation for my life. The thought of being depressed on the couch seems a complete time void in this short life. No time to waste!

Penelope: Is there anything you could say to someone else who has lost someone special to them? Any hints or quotes or something that helped you that might help someone else?

If I'm honest I'm not really one for quotes or positive affirmations. I strongly believe everyone heals differently, different ways and in a different amount of time.

The only thing I would share is to surround yourself with people who make you laugh and bring light to your life.

Penelope: Do you know you were so strong to come out smiling and seeing the positive side of life?

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Hahaha actually, this takes me back to a memory from primary school. I've always laughed A-LOT! Like tell me any bad dad joke and I'll make you feel funny / also laugh when I'm nervous and at times inappropriately... so this guy friend in year 6ish once said to me. 'you would even laugh at your own parents funeral' .. and you know what ... he was totally right! I laughed about memories of them and smiled with loved ones all day long.

Penelope: Who has been your rock and your best friend through all of this?

Husband 100%. I'm not very good at letting my guard down to my friends. My husband is pretty much the only one who see's tears and holds me up through it all. I do have the most amazing bunch of friends though who would do anything for me and who have all been so incredibly supportive, I just prefer to talk silly with them and laugh all the time.

Penelope: So you found nutrition and are now a Nutrition and Dietetic Clinician BHSc (Nut). What area do you think you’ll specialise in? 

Good question! As I am a pilates instructor + I am a women, I do have a particular interest in female health … but in saying that, I would hate to close myself off. I find all area’s/people completely interesting. 

Penelope: How do you feel about our health system?

From what I have experienced we are a very fortunate country. Our medical professionals and hospitals are incredible. However, the private health care system grinds my gears with the constant threat to take away cover for aspects of natural health…I feel they see the huge movement and don’t want to fork out the rebates (jerks). Personally, I pay a bucket-load and feel I get bugger all for it… but it’s the mind game - for sure if I stopped paying it something major would happen to me. 

Penelope: What makes you the all time happiest?

Being busy and mentally challenged + nourishment with the best possible food and physical activity to some degree every single day.

Penelope: What motivates you on a daily basis?

Coffee, sunshine and the positive vibe of home town surroundings gets me moving. Oh and my little husband and fur baby family of course ..

What’s the recommended amount of exercise one should do daily? Do you do this? 

Movement and exercise are an essential pillar of health. Nobody can experience daily elation without it. I recommend & yes I absolutely do this.

·      Moderate activity for at least 30minutes every day. Brisk walk to work, at lunch or yoga. Work towards 10,000 steps a day – walk everywhere you can. 

·      Vigorous activity for 30minutes 3 times a week. This could be a 30minute run (not jog) or 2 x 45minute classes or gym sessions/week. 

My advice to this who feel they can’t’ achieve this, I say this, you absolutely can. Start small, set goals, build and grow your regime. This will also keep you motivated. I will also say this, don’t let it control your mind and be kind to your body if you feel like you are overdoing it. Only you can measure your true potential. Truth - today I have only done 1000 steps and I feel like ass. Nobody should get used to feeling this way. 

Penelope:  How much sleep would you recommend?

Everyone needs to aim for 7-8 ‘good’ hours to adequately restore and regenerate and to give our immune and digestive system to get in balance. Limit screen time leading up to bed, read, listen to chill music or chat to your loved ones, animals, plants whatever! The key is find your best brain massage method and unwind. New mums, don’t stress…your sleep debt isn’t for life but do try to work on this area where possible.

Penelope: What’s your daily routine these days?

This is a full day, it's not always this maxed! Some days are more nutrition focused and less pilates focused. Weekends are mostly long walks, casual wines, epic food and lots of home pottering.

5:30 - 7:30 teach pilates

COFFEE

Walk the fur babies

9am: I take the time to sit down to a long breakfast most days. I cannot start desk/office work without having this time myself in the AM.

10am: Go to KX pilates for my own sweat out

11- 4: Nutrition work with a half hour lunch break for some quality no rush eating.

4-8: Teach pilates eat a yummy home prepped dinner.

8-9: Sit on the couch and SFA or read.

Penelope:  What’s your fave ’time out’ thing to do 

Swim at Bower with the husband + pooches, read, yoga, coffee date, lunch date, dinner date and drink prosecco!            

Penelope: Fave alcoholic bev?

Prosecco and dry martini's

Penelope: Fave non-alcoholic bev?

Water (yawn I know)

Penelope: How do I counter-act my loving to have a gin and tonic every night? In terms of health?

Haha.. love this. Put your liver before your taste buds. OK, not that simple? Set goals…..have say 2 week nights off, start form there. When I was trying to cut back a few years back I kept myself busy in the evenings with activity and sports. Daily alcohol intake affects so many aspects of your life/health i.e. hormones, neurotransmitters > sleep, digestion, mental health, skin yadadada……. so even though you may be only having 1 or 2 each night the knock effects are endless.. so by starting with 2 nights off in a row (liver regeneration needs at least 48hours) I guarantee you will start to notice a general improvement in yourself. Once you start to feel the improvement you will only want to work your way up with increased days off the booze from there.

Penelope:  What would you recommend for women who have really oily and pimply skin? 

Oh gosh, that’s a massive can of worms. As a holistic nutritionist, we uncover & treat the internal drivers that are causative to problematic skin. My general advice would be;

* Do your research and find a holistic practitioner who can work with you from the inside out. It may take time, change and perseverance but you will be eternally better for it.

* Avoid resorting to taking the pill or using Accutane as commonly recommended by GP’s (Not dissing their advice, they are incredible people!). These options may clear you up fast however have long term ramifications and are mostly a Band-Aid method meaning you will most likely break out again. 

* Lastly, oily skin is a blessing! You will age like a charm! There are pro’s to everything. 

Penelope: Do you have any tips and tricks for women with really dry skin?

There are many different reasons for dry skin but if I'm to appropriately blanket the issue then... Absolutely drink more purified water (at least 2.5L) + have wild caught salmon at least 2 x a week + other top quality sources of omega 3 + take a good quality practitioner approved EPA/DHA supplement, you need to start from with in and work your way to the outer.

Penelope: Do you know of any natural hair products that really help with dry hair?

Again, you need to start from with in and work your way to the outer. There are many different drivers for dry, brittle hair, but if I was to blanket it.. just like skin, drink more purified water.. have a nutrient rich diet with plenty of top quality omega 3's + a quality practitioner EPA/DHA fish oil supplement.

Forever Smiling.

Forever Smiling.

Penelope: Do you believe that you are what you eat?

ALL DAY LONG + also what drink + what you breath!

Penelope: Where’s the best coffee spot on the Northern Beaches?

Ora for their coco cashew latte!

Penelope: Fave clothing label? Fave store on the Northern Beaches? 

I deeply love treasures/brands I find overseas (France you have my heart) and vintage bits that nobody else can have. But I also love so many Australian labels that are easy to wear yet lush… Estilio Emporio, POSSE and Kinga Csilla. Fav stores, Splice Boutique … the owners are the most beautiful women & I swear they buy for me! Bow & Arrow Manly & The Independent store also completely incredible. Yep, I’m a massive shopaholic but believe in purchasing out of thought, undying love and appreciation. 

Penelope: Final question…. Are you spiritual? If yes, what does that look like for you?

I'm actually not really, which in contrary to what most people think .. throw you? I guess though I like to think my lost loved ones are floating around but I think that's more of a coping mechanism that me actually believing that they spiritually are.

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Thanks Liv xxxx