Activities for Kids, Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas

Helping Your Children Crave Healthy Real Food Tomorrow

As an author of children’s book Dusty’s Wonder Bug, which encourages eating whole food and calling real food grown in nature “treats”, people chat to me and say that their kids would NOT eat vegetables in the past. If this is you now, it doesn’t make you a bad parent!!! It’s simply the times we live in, what our bodies have been taught to crave, and what’s available as far as nutrition goes.

Yet here I have just walked into the kitchen to see my 4yo mixing up a tall glass of water with 17 different varieties from dehydrated powders for no other reason than MUMMY I FELT LIKE HAVING MY CHEWIES. 

He dropped his green and red CHEWIES in the already nutrient-laden water to use as ice cubes. CUTE. 

If you have kids, you know that what you give your kids’ bodies today they will CRAVE MORE of tomorrow. 

More than 70% of illness is widely preventable by 7-13 servings of fruit/veg/berries/sprouts/legumes every day. 

Another EASY WAY to make it happen, along with leading by example and following the techniques in my book Teaching Our Kids How To Eat Real Food is this: 

If you encourage they have fun with these chews, what you might see happen is kids rummage through the fridge to eat cucumber, carrots, spinach, and load up their smoothies with avocado, and start filling up their own lunchboxes with cold broccoli and even zoodles (zuchini noodles) with pesto, just like I’ve seen in my home and in the home of many friends around the globe. 

While I’m not an active distributor for anything other than my books, I will more than happily refer these food products to you. I’d love to invite you to use my virtual office to get your order in quickly and securely. Below thumbs up this post and I’ll message you the link where you can get your questions answered and place your order with a click. 

I ❤️ helping you all.


Mammalian Meat Allergy (Alpha-Gal) – aligning yourself with the right tribe – and live with it successfully and happily

For a couple of years now I’ve had what I suspected was a “red-meat allergy”, from a paralysis tick bite. This is a growing concern especially on the coastal areas of NSW and QLD. There are new cases diagnosed every day, children included, so I wanted to share with you a little of what I’ve learned, so you can help yourself, or others, access good information should they ever be affected.

Firstly – if you’re ever bitten by a paralysis tick (and please teach your kids this!) – don’t try to remove it – don’t even touch it! Keep a “wart-off” product in your handbag/backpack and freeze it off so the paralysis tick cannot inject you with the “alpha-gal” protein, which it could have picked up by a recent feed (a cow, for example). If you don’t have access to the wart-off product, leave the tick in place until you can get to a chemist. Essential Oils are a little more risky as they can take a bit longer to work and the tick can still get irritated and inject you – I used essential oils and I still got the allergy – so please consider getting wart-off.

Secondly – if you are bitten by a paralysis tick, it’s not guaranteed you will become allergic to mammal meat products. This is just one form of a paralysis tick bite side-effect. So book a doctor appointment and have a blood test to check for “alpha-gal allergy”. You will also know if you suddenly start getting sick after eating. For me the symptoms were full-body tingles, tremors, heart palpitations, nausea like food-poisoning, urge to vomit but difficulty vomiting, sleepless nights with high anxiety, drop in blood pressure, urge to cry etc, pacing hallways etc. I mistook these symptoms for panic attacks. What I found worked for my “panic attacks” was vitamin C (4 mandarins did the trick!) or a vitamin C supplement, and an anti-histamine over time as the symptoms worsened. As they became worse again – I didn’t realise the foods I was eating were triggering allergy – I started using an asthma puffer occasionally to open my airways and calm me down, along with essential oils Sage, Lemon Grass, Frankincense, and Peppermint. I’ll always keep these first-aid tools with me now, but generally a state of calm, yoga, and deep diaphragmatic breathing is a really good preventative for the worse symptoms.

Thirdly – if you or someone else has alpha-gal allergy, don’t despair! It just takes time to get your mindset organised, for a change in diet and more diligence when eating out. I also recommend going to see an Allergy Specialist and checking the extent of the allergy. It can range from beef, to include all mammals, to even include milk and even milk-chocolate.

Fortunately for me during this time I was taking a whole-food powder in vegan-capsule, and vegan-shake. Juice Plus+ is all vegan. When I was first affected 2 years ago, as you might have heard me say on our recordings, Juice Plus+ “saved my life” when I didn’t know what was making me sick, because Juice Plus+ smoothies filled my belly up when I was both confused and weak! It was over 6 months before I was told by a friend about paralysis ticks. I hope that by writing this, you can possibly save time for a friend who is bitten and becomes sick.

Here are some practical solutions for shopping:

Alpha-gal is not “red-meat”. This is not “red-meat allergy” – and naming it that means you can make the same mistake I did and keep eating prosciutto and cheese for the next 2 years!  Alpha-gal is all mammals, even including kangaroo, pork, lamb – any animal born with live young. That means the occasional bacon for Sunday breakfast, or ham sandwiches on the run, or pork gyoza, are out. It may even include vegetarian spring-rolls, if they are cooked in the same deep-fried pan as meat spring rolls.

It is also a little tricky if you already follow a vegetarian diet – vegetarianism is ommitting meat and is definitely the closet diet to meat allergy – but sometimes vegetarian foods are cooked with meat (spring roll example above). Just take a little bit of extra caution – take a look at the cooking areas, or read labels. I used to eat mostly vegetarian, but simply didn’t realise some ingredients included mammal products, such as cheese “rennet”.

These are the products to look out for:

  • Cheese (rennet): buy the vegetarian option, which is made with animal-free rennet.
  • Lollies (many different kinds): only eat vegetarian because a lot of lollies are made with gelatine.
  • Thickened Cream, Sour Cream, and some Yoghurts: they often have gelatine. Read ingredients and buy pure cream and pot-set yoghurt. Be careful when eating out at parties or restaurants, as the cakes on offer probably have cream or jelly.
  • Flavoured meals, sauces and condiments: Beef stocks may be used in packaged foods. Choose vegetarian, and just make sure to read the ingredients.
  • Bakery foods: Pizza breads, for example, have bacon, and ham.
  • Cheesecakes: save the experience for when you can buy or make a beautiful raw-vegan!  I have a great recipe.

If you have kids? Don’t be like me and eat their left-overs! Or lick your fingers after preparing their meals. That too, was triggering mild reactions for me.

Restaurants & Cafes: You can have a quick chat with the chef when you arrive to check that vegetarian options on the menu definitely haven’t come into contact with beef stock or cooked in the same grill-pan as bacon, for example. Also you can ask to omit cheese. I find chefs and staff so helpful and willing to accommodate – sometimes I ring ahead and let them know and talk about the menu options.

Platters being served at big events: know what you’re eating before you eat it. Take your own foods as a precaution. At our recent conference I made myself unwell eating these delicious parcels that had pork in them …  I’d say it was worth it – but it really wasn’t, as I had to leave and missed the event!

The other thing to be weary of, which snuck up on me, is Iron Deficiency. I became iron deficient – and that was not a pleasant 2-3 months. Iron supplementation is often recommended for women, and I recommend it for mammalian meat allergy. Especially while you learn a new vegetarian diet. Especially if you are in child-birthing years with extra blood loss, from birth or miscarriage. I have continued to have my JP+ shakes, which have a good amount of iron. And I know that later on, when the diet becomes more normal and my health is strong and resilient, and my immune system is strong again, the extra supplementation can be taken out.

Supplementation from the chemist. Watch out for gelatine capsules and other mammal ingredients. Ring the company and ask if their vitamins, probiotics are vegetarian. I have found that most of Ethical Nutrients is vegetarian, which is great for probiotics and iron and vitamin B, and have found a favourite list of “safe” supplements. My Naturopath, and my Chemist, are more than willing to call the companies before they sell me their products. Propolis was a favourite supplement of mine. However my brand had gelatine – so it’s worth ringing the company for a quick chat, they are always helpful. I have previously not recommended supplementation from the chemist, but with an allergy, the body can get very run down and the immune system weak. So supplementation and chinese herbs have helped me get back on my feet, along with a varied and heathy diet.

This is why I love our Real Food Tribe community. It is already for the healthy-minded person – but when something totally weird and unexpected pops up, this community is simply a God-Send because pretty-much EVERYTHING in our pages, is safe. I’ve always loved the vegetarian options in this program, and even more so now.

As I think of more examples that may be helpful, I’ll add them to this list over time. I just wanted to raise a little awareness for you, in case a child you know, or an adult you know, is affected – you can easily support them and give them the encouragement that they need. Anxiety, and stress, is often more debilitating than any condition so calming language, hugs and peaceful time together is key.

Please also don’t underestimate the effect of taking meat out of your diet, if you are not used to being a vegetarian. Your body will adapt over time, but it feels the change. I know my body is missing certain foods and I make sure, nowadays, that everyday, I plan ahead to balance each and every meal. It’s NOT ok to be on the run and forget to plan your meals. And it’s NOT ok to gulp your food down in a hurry and create other digestive issues! Don’t we all do that? 🙂 I feel like this is a precious time to pay extra attention to yourself, because it takes a certain level of discipline and focus to manage an allergy, meal-by-meal, on a daily basis. The last thing we need is other digestive issues or stress placing extra pressures on the beautiful body.

Between salmon, seafood and fish, beans, grains, and the list goes on, there are plenty of ways to keep the body nourished. I’ve added foods back in, that I took out – such as bread, and sugar, to fill me up and ensure I eat. It’s better to eat something than not at all! But I do feel like my body does miss meat, and that’s why I chose to eat it (albeit sparingly) for all my adult years. Often times people associate a tick-bite with Lymes Disease. I can’t comment too much except to say that, in my case, mammalian meat allergy triggered a whole stream of health challenges, not Lymes related, but related to  having taken meat out of my diet. Personally, I liked to eat a little meat and it gave me energy and strength. I know it’s not the same for many people and they feel better without meat – on the whole, I do. But a little bit every now and then was good too.

Stress Relief techniques and associating with like-minded people, such as what we have here in our tribe, and watching healthy videos such as Overfed and UnderNourished (and many more, check out the Gaia app) are fantastic. They will give you the heart-felt support you need that vegetarianism is going to be ok, if you weren’t in that full mindset before.

Copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness

Honesty and lessons in humility through parenting

img_4717‘It’s ok, mum. You’re learning. So am I.’  – My Little One, 4 years old.

I tell my little boy that I’m learning how to be the most beautiful happy version of me, in the same way that he is learning how to be his best, most beautiful version of himself, and that we are both learning how to be caring, kind and helpful to one another. ‘We are both learning how to live happily with each other,’ I say.

Like most other people I know, as a child I was taught to do everything adults told me without question. Not only did this teach me to become the adult that must always be right, but I lived years of insecurity, compromised self-identity and self-confidence. I learned that by doing what an adult told me and repeating what an adult taught me, or by copying the behavior of the respected adults around me, I was good, acceptable, loveable and worthy. Weren’t we all?

Adults rarely admit they have made a mistake. That would jeopardize their authority status.

I’ve never been comfortable with an authority role in my own parent-child relationship. I have chosen to live truthfully. The truth is: I have never experienced any particular moment before. My moments aren’t any more special, or superior, than my children’s moments. Every moment is unique and wonderful and is an experience that can’t be repeated exactly. I am grateful for every single moment. I am a learning parent, and I will be for every future moment.

To act like I’m not learning, and to think I’m unable to change my position on a parenting issue, is contrary to nature. We are all learning every day, and we are all the scientists of our own lives. We are here to explore, learn, experience and reach full empowerment, and to (bit-by-bit) discover how to live the happiest, most fulfilling life that we can possibly create with our very own power.

So to act like I am always right and that my children must do as I say … without ever thinking I was ever learning myself … flies in the face of living the truth. I am learning every day, along with my children.

It made me smile when my son said to me last week that he knows everything. When I replied that he has lots to learn, he said, ‘well, YOU know everything. You can teach me everything.’ I questioned him on that, too! To my baffled little boy, I explained that I’m learning along with him, and the whole fun in living life is to keep on learning, and that some philosophers have said that ‘when we stop learning, we die.’ His reply to me was, ‘yup. I already knew that.’ Bless!

One of our favourite tv series to watch together is Dinotopia, and a scene I personally love is where the people ride on the back of the Brachiosaurus as a mode of transport. When a leading character says that, actually the dinosaurs deserve no better than to be ordered around by the humans, he is corrected by the future Matriarch. She says, ‘on the contrary, humans can learn a lot from the dinosaurs – for example, we can learn humility‘. Putting aside our own pride, status, priorities, personal intentions and our own personal need to succeed, to help another travel their own personal path, no matter how self-deprecating it is, is true humility. And I feel it is something we are not generally taught to do in our modern society.

Instead many of us have been taught (and continue to be taught by each other, not at all deliberately but perhaps a tiny bit naively), to be defensive, ‘right’, critical of each other, labeling, unapologetic, power-seeking and proud. In typical daily life, we can be intolerant of each other, impatient, and we can really lack sensitivity and empathy in our daily quest to be ‘human doings’. Do, do and do some more, don’t let another person’s emotional needs slow us down, and give praise to ourselves time and time again for how much we accomplish by doing, doing, and doing some more. Feel eeeky? For me I feel stirred on the inside just reading this last paragraph – and yet it is the context of life for many people isn’t it.

Now I’ll tell a story of my own humility in the hope of sharing a lesson I learned. Once, when  my son started reflecting on a few incidents that had hurt him, and started crying while thinking about it, I immediately sighed and thought,’why does he do this? Why does he bring up things from the past and make himself cry?’ It was mood-dampening and I didn’t feel like having a teary conversation, seeing we were having a good day and on our way to the park to have more fun with friends. Thoughts ran through my head like, ‘he has such highs and lows, when he is high he is bursting with excitement and physically jiggles and wiggles, and then he has lows where he cries, maybe I should be worried, maybe he is wrong to do that, maybe I’m over evaluating, but maybe a health specialist would call it bipolar or anxiety or something…’ All the while I was admiring him for his honesty and in awe of his childhood innocence and expressiveness. Such conflicting feelings in a 10-minute space in time!

I urged him to cheer up and stop making himself sad thinking about it. He kept sobbing. Eventually I got cross and told him to cheer up. ‘Stop thinking about things that make you sad!’ I ordered. It was then, because he quickly went quiet and meekly said, ‘ok mummy’, that I realised my massive mistake.

Now I knew myself at this time. I was always thinking and reflecting on what happened to me yesterday, ten minutes ago, one year ago, twenty years ago, as a way to build my senses for what I like and don’t like in this world. I revisited events in my imagination and validated my feelings on the experience, and came to conclusions about how I’d deal with similar situations in future. We all do. As an adult I learned to do this in my mind or in civil conversations with others – and to control child-like expressive emotions like crying out loud – but I definitely do exactly the same thing in the ‘grown up way’. And yet I ordered my son to stop because as a parent, it was frustrating to not be able to control his mood.

It is very normal that when a child reaches age 4, and can communicate freely, that he starts to repeat what he has heard, seen, experienced, to validate what has happened and to learn (and validate his intuition) on whether it’s good or bad.

I felt uneasy with the way I had shut him down. I had just taught him to suppress his emotions, to ignore his need to validate the world and his place in it. I had taught him to follow my orders, and I had missed an opportunity to teach him that he is, actually, safe in his world. It was quiet in the car, but I pepped up. ‘I’m sorry,’ I said, with a quivery voice. I noticed how hard it can be to say sorry to a small child who depended on me being right. ‘It was wrong of me to tell you to stop feeling sad. You are entitled to feel sad, to talk and to cry. I’m here for you, and I’m listening.’ (This is, in fact, what I wish I had heard many times in my life – and this is how I would like to be spoken to now when I’m unsure if my feelings.) ‘I’m learning too,’ I said.

He was so grateful. He finished explaining what had upset him, I validated his experience and repeated his feelings back to him, and he cheered up.

And the lesson for both of us was that it’s ok to say ‘I’m learning, too,’ and to be honest, humble, even humiliated, because sometimes it’s the way to better connection, happiness, and love.

We are taught to say we are learning in schools, however schools focus on the left side (intellectual) side of the brain. We are taught less – if at all – to openly say we are learning emotionally… and to allow ourselves to study, test, review and develop concepts relating to our creativity, intuition, energetic connections, and heart-based thinking. This is why I am now passionately writing material for my books, specifically for increasing vibrational energies, and for claiming your power in your life. Stay tuned and please visit my pages often.

“When you are in power of your life, you  have no need to seek order and control over another’s life. Simple enjoyment and fulfillment is all that you seek.”  (Joanna Becker)

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.


Life Creativity, Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness

The strength to be ‘individual’

img_4722If you have ever had one of those moments where you questioned yourself and your decisions surrounding your children’s wellbeing, I’ve been there before, too.

Mine was on the homeschooling subject, and not because I was thinking I should change my choice – I could see that my boys were thriving and were physically, intelligently and emotionally flourishing. Staying together everyday worked so fabulously well for us, and we were 100% happy without pre-school or daycare settings. The reason I questioned myself was because I remembered that I wasn’t not doing what most others were doing, and sometimes that fact alone really made me insecure, and question how I could possibly fit in within my social environment.

My whole perception of pre-school, along with many other accepted social norms, was objective and challenging. At the end of the day – research, facts and statistics aside – my perception on “pre-school and my family” was in support of my own intuition, which told me that (a) I was doing the right thing observing and responding to my children’s personal needs – their active and passive verbal and non-verbal requests – and (b) I was doing the right thing providing alternative (I’ll say superior just because I can 🙂 ) social and educational opportunities within our comfortable environment.

(Here is Master 4 who is free to run and play in the rain in our beautiful rainforest garden on weekdays)

So in conversation with others, our words could be limited and even, at times, fragile and uncomfortable. We knew our differences and loved each other regardless. Parenting is such an important role and no matter what, we respected each other, absolutely.

It’s tempting – in one of these hours of feeling insecure (and like a social misfit) – to give in to anxiety and get caught up in snow-ball thinking.

“I could start researching pre-schools. But, I won’t, because my intuition tells me we are happy, healthy, and where we are meant to be.”

“I could try to make new friends. But, I won’t, because my intuition tells me we are happy, healthy, and where we are meant to be.”

“I could debate with my ‘significant others’ to try to prove my points and get them on my side. (Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all on the same side, sometimes!) But, I won’t, because my intuition tells me we are happy, healthy, and where we are meant to be.”

“I could think about this topic all day, continually question myself, and let it take me away from the joys of the present. But, I won’t, because my intuition tells me we are happy, healthy, and where we are meant to be.”

(And who would want to be distracted from this present moment? Just look at Master 1 sloshing in the muddy puddles as the fog glides over us.)

If you want to refresh your techniques on handling mini-crisis events (and we have so many, as parents) and developing your ability to follow your intuition with confidence, that’s what I am here for. Feel free to contact me anytime.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Parenting Ideas

I have a weekly ‘Recovery day’ – and that’s ok!


What do I do all week? I guide myself and my little loves, (two boys, aged 4 and 1 respectively), through many important socialisation, stimulation and natural learning activities…

– Silkwood School’s Steiner-inspired playgroup
– KinderEnergy Musical playgroup
– Greystone Farm Steiner family daycare
– Hinze Dam Catchment Kids class
– Sunrise beach visit and
– Sunday outing with ‘daddy’
– plenty of home time with reading, puzzles, talking, gardening, crafting, cooking and PLAYING of course.

… All of which involve high levels of energy from the kids, and me! 🙂

In between this I attempt to regain order in the house (yes, very funny) and create new things for myself.

My two active little boys keep me on my toes every minute they are awake!

Sound similar to your week?

So what’s this Recovery Day business? Read on …

It’s week 4 of the first term. I am so happy with our weekly rhythm and I can see that my little loves are also happy; I can just tell because they’re showing that they feel safe and their moods are improving every day.

I was so excited to start term 1 and get the rhythm and flow started again.

Importantly, we include in our weekly rhythm a ‘Recovery Day’. What is it? Simply, a day lounging around inside the house, playing on the floor, napping in bed, reading or watching a movie together, enjoying regular snacky-meals together as a family (many outside on the grass), as well as some peaceful relaxation outside in the garden with nothing to do except cuddle and watch the birds fly overhead.

Our recovery day is, in my opinion, the best day of our week. 6 days of the week are busy and energetic, and the Recovery Day is just what we need to replenish and appreciate the small, simplest things in life.

We don’t all share the same Recovery Day.

My 4yo has his Recovery Day on Monday, whilst I tidy and clean the house, work a little on the computer, and occupy our toddler. Master 4 enjoys a blissful day of ‘no scheduled anything whatsoever’. That is, cruising at his own pace, following his own instinctual needs for the day (lounging around or playing in sandpit solo) and just letting his day flow and move with the breeze.

My toddler and I have our Recovery Day on Wednesday, when Master 4 is having the time-of-his-little-life at Greystone Farm family daycare. I schedule nothing for this day. After I drop him off I return home and make Breastfeeding and cuddling – without any distractions – my priority. Master 1 loves our day together of nursing, reading, snacking and napping. It completely reinvigorates me, gives me time to meditate or practice mindfulness, and let’s me think about our family’s health – and get in touch with my intuition – without much interruption.

I am certain our Recovery Day helps prevent us getting rundown. If we are coming down with a bug, this special day gives the best natural cure – rest- before influenza or injury can begin.

Do you deliberately set aside one day of the week for recovery?

A Recovery Day is different to a regular home day. It is a day of rest for the person receiving the Recovery Day. You could do it for yourself on the day your child is in daycare, or you could all have your Recovery Day together by lounging around quietly, blowing with the breeze, quietly reading, using soft voices and lower-than-usual energy levels. You could stay in your pajamas to symbolism the day’s ‘uniqueness’ to your older children and just hang out in the bedroom doing crafts and having a picnic on the floor.

Term Recovery

Even though my children are too young for school and we are fans of natural learning and homeschooling these early childhood years anyway, school terms still impact our lifestyle – and I like that. Despite our freedom from school, our kinder activities and my work need to be switched off – just like any other family – during the year. By planning with school term dates, I can make sure we have clear holiday and celebratory breaks throughout the year.

Holidays are important but also have a use-by date. The restlessness and anxiety that children and mums can feel after a few weeks of holidays can highlight how important rhythm and repetitiveness is for the whole family. (While my personal experience doesn’t stretch to older children, I believe rhythm and repetition benefits ALL ages including us parents).

Everyone feels safer with routine and everyone finds comfort with purpose and rituals. It’s human nature.

Recovery Day is a ritual I’m proud to include in our schedule, and proud to share this personal information with you. I hope many mums can feel comfortable taking the same kind of break knowing it’s healthy and safe to stop and replenish every 7 days. It’s ok.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness

Stories and ideas for raising ‘healthy eaters’

I was with Master 4 in the kitchen and he pretended to pass me imaginary lollies and cookies out of a tin.
‘Read the ingredients, Jo’, he said.
‘Mm,’ I said. ‘Sugar, glucose syrup, colours, flavours.’
He piped up, ‘food acid.’
‘Yes, probably that too. Not real food hey?’
‘No. No real food at all…’

As usual, he was proud that he was validating what he already knew about RED-LIGHT-FOOD (as we call it, you may know of this term that I’ve written about before).

It’s tempting to jump to conclusions and assume he wants to eat lollies and cookies. And yet I’ve seen many times now that he prefers for me to stay consistent, and say no. He is happier that I prove my love over and over by saying no to unhealthy foods. (I never would have guessed this could happen!)

Master 4 and I (unusually) visited the supermarket together, twice in the last week. Both times he went bezerk at the check-outs with the crazy (yes, CRAZY!) display of confectionary. He fingered and grabbed and begged and negotiated diplomatically until I was simply over the drama. I bent down to him and did what I never do.

I said, ‘That stuff is shit. It’s shit. And I don’t buy SHIT.’ (You thought I was going to say I relented and bought the tic-tacs, didn’t you?)

You should have seen how thrilled Master 4 was! Not only had I validated what he already knew, which is what he was actually baiting me for, but I empowered him to ‘adult status’ by swearing in conversation with him. Officially a big boy. He told the people in the queue behind us, ‘we don’t buy that because it’s SHIT. I’m 4.’

Well done, son 🙂

Have you ever noticed that when you DON’T RELENT to begging, your kids are happier? Mine certainly is. He tests me out to see if I’m consistent with my truth. He is always happy when I stay passionately with my truth and show him that I’m faithful to my beliefs.

Kids love consistency. And he loves knowing that because I love him I only buy him foods that will help him feel happy.

I was starving and thinking about lunch. I was thinking about heavy, hot foods. Then I walked past my climbing snow-pea vine, grabbed about 10, and loved eating the crunchy juicy mini-harvest with my bare feet on the grass. 3 hours later I realised I hadn’t been hungry afterwards. I had been NOURISHED.

It is the LIFE-FORCE of food that fuels us. Life force = ENERGY. The greater the energy in the food, the more nourished we are. The more life in the food, the greater the energy. Whole, fresh foods nourish.

Energy in food is important. Breaking down, refining, processing and cooking whole foods (as done for most packet food) destroys the energy.

We need to eat food fresh and whole – and in fact, the more spiritually sensitive we are, the more we feel nourished merely from connecting with the energy within life foods.

Taste and the sensations of eating are blessings, they are wonder experiences. A part of the experience of being here. Even more satisfying is the experience of eating WHOLE ENERGY that our bodies are built to receive.

There was an article floating around Facebook recently about the components of each whole food and the long ‘label’ description if we ever labeled an apple, for example.

The writer was very clever, but missed an essential point. Whole fresh foods are consumed together in one energetic movement. Additives, (ingredients added after processing) do not contain the whole-food energy that we need to be nourished and live well.

Yes, we pick up all sorts of natural chemical compounds from whole foods.

It’s the togetherness of this whole food that completes us and keeps our body in working order.

Additives put things out of order. They complicate diet by blending random bits of different foods and non-foods (lab compounds). How can we possibly know that our bodies are getting what they need with all this breaking, chopping, changing?

Processing food turns something very simple – the act of nourishing our body – into a thousand-piece puzzle.

Whole foods are simple. Simple. Makes SENSE. And so does a simple, sensible approach.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Life Creativity, Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness, Uncategorized

The mum who had a fault and shared it.

Healthy_new_yearThousands of children around Australia are returning to school this week. It’s a time of fresh beginnings, of anxiety, excitement, new friendships and relationships – and not only for the children, because parents are equally feeling the mixed bag of emotions.

Parents worry about their children, mostly. But what about ourselves? Do we ever think about the learning experiences we will have publicly, outside of our comfort zones, that will shape us and create our futures?

I became a mum four years ago. I’ve since learned how to be accountable for my faults, my  reality, and ultimately – my happiness. I’m sharing the lot.

Overcoming chronic anxiety two years ago opened my eyes to hidden signs and symptoms of unhappy and UN-empowered mums, who were brushing off bad moods or poor health as just ‘bad days’. With my inspired hand, I started writing day and night about the responsibility we have to ourselves to heal from the inside out, and be free of anxiety and stress (even if we don’t believe anxiety or stress is present in our life).

Now I’m aware that I only have to ask for help, or visualise the outcome that I want, to bring myself back to an empowered mindset. I can recognise when my manifestations turn into reality. I know every moment is perfect and is paving the way for the next perfect moment. I know how powerful I am.

I’m not one of those people that brushes bad moods off as ‘just a bad day’. I know, through my experiences over the past few years, that little thoughts can reveal big emotions that are impacting on life in big ways. And I enjoy exploring.

I want to share what I am learning, and have learned, with you.

I’m a learning mum. I’m a learning wife. I’m a learning house-keeper. I’m a learning woman. I’m a learning human being.

Via this blog and my books, I’m posting what I’m learning every day to connect with other parents, and to validate that they are not alone if they feel or experience the same range of emotions that I do, as a natural and intuitive person and parent, and as someone who possibly (just putting it out there) experiences anxiety as an early parent.

I blog and share my experiences with you, at the same time exposing myself as an everyday, time-pressed, exhausted, house-wife and mum who has fairly high expectations of myself (expectations that, like many, have their roots in anxiety about control and safety). I want to relate and learn from other mums and I want to convert unhelpful, negative energy to powerful, rewarding, positive energy.

How my writing can help.

I choose to see all of my experiences that frustrate, challenge, sadden, infuriate, or weaken me, as opportunities to learn and grow and improve my perception of life, the way I live, and my experience as a parent.

2014 is a year for being real.

I’m going to start the year by being ok with being me … the inspired part as well as the very human part that needs nurturing from the inside-out. I wonder how many other parents can be REAL WITH ME this year?

Will you accept yourself – with all your faults – as perfect and perfectly lovable? Will you recognise that ‘bad days’ are a great opportunity to do some digging and reflection on emotions making big impacts on your life? Will you stop worrying about what other people think, and do some inner work to change for a better life experience?

As usual I feel just like a child that is starting first day at school, who will make mistakes in front of the school room many times throughout the year. And I feel good about it because by now I know the lessons are well worth the experience.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Parenting Ideas, Uncategorized

Steiner, Montessori and Your Child

Montessori_educationI’m certainly not an expert when it comes to describing methods of teaching various education philosophies. But it’s an area that interests me and I’m learning quickly … so many people are asking me what the difference is between Montessori and Steiner. If you don’t know anything and are looking for a basic parent’s-view explanation, this blog is for you.

I’ll start by saying that Montessori seems to be quite serious in focus, in comparison to Steiner’s Waldorf (if you hear of Waldorf, it is the education philosophy and technique taught by Rudolf Steiner). Steiner is for the whole child with an emphasis on earth and imagination, where Montessori is for little minds who want to be empowered – to learn and develop useful skills, and even mimic adult activities in a smaller setting.

Montessori and Steiner have their similarities in that they are both child-led, individualised, gentle experiences. They both encourage natural learning and are perfect for Natural Learners.

Rudolf Steiner believed that children can be left to be children, up until the age of 7. He encouraged that they be free to use their imagination and make-believe, play, explore physically, emotionally and spiritually, and most of all, creatively. His schooling program involved rhythm and routine, group activities in 20-30 minute blocks, singing and gentle movements, ceremonies, celebrations of the seasons, and gross-motor and creative (hand making) activities and interactions with the real world, i.e., earth and its creations.

Embracing that the foundations for reading and learning begin with listening and interacting in everyday life, Steiner schools don’t introduce formal curriculum for learning to read and write until age seven. This is on the premise that learning to read and write on paper will distract the child from developing their gross motor skills fully, and will also affect their development emotionally, spiritually and creatively, which are the most essential skills to develop before age 7. At age 7, some Steiner schools have a concentrated 6-week literacy program that children respond exceptionally well, and usually the children can read/write even better than their non-Steiner peers. This is because they have developed so completely in all other areas, that the words, sounds and visual characters, and ability to write and draw, comes easily and naturally.

Maria Montessori developed her schooling system for children who had difficulties learning in a large group, and found that most young minds were yearning to learn and be challenged. She felt that children must learn for the sake of ‘now’ and for fully exploring and enjoying the present day – not learning for the sake of the future and what is next to come (I love this aspect).

Montessori schools focus on taking advantage of the child’s early years because the mind learns so readily and productively in this time. By allowing the child to work at their own height with materials created for their special little size, we can stimulate their current psychological and physiological abilities, and the child can easily learn and grow and advance to more difficult challenges – when they are interested and ready to advance.

I personally found that my son started to need the challenges that Montessori presented at age 3. Without the focus, individualised activities and the challenging tasks, he resorts to hyperactivity and detachment from his environment, and he started to use his energy in other obstructive ways, such as jumping on furniture and snatching from me to get attention.

But I only give him the Montessori experience 1-2 days per week for small periods – that is, as long as he is clear in focus and is interested. I feel it is extremely important to put imagination, creativity, music, candle-type ceremonies, bread-making, nature-walks, crafts, outside play and story-times, with my company, guidance and friendship, first. So Steiner influences 70% of our week – Montessori the remaining 30%.

I hope this has helped you! For those who know more than I do (I’m sure there are thousands of practised Steiner and Montessori parents around Australia) please give me feedback on how you have liked Steiner and Montessori and what you have loved most.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Parenting Ideas

Little adults and their parents

When little toddlers mature into little boys and girls it becomes easier to expect more of them and we find ourselves speaking to them in ways we never used to.

We might expect them to:
– understand consequences
– recognize hazards and dangers
– always be kind and gentle, courteous and polite to others
– be decisive, capable, reasonable, and sensible
– understand the difference between strangers and friends
– read relationships and personalities and know what is appropriate behaviour and language
– respect the order and cleanliness of the house

If the above sounds too theoretical and like it doesn’t apply – think about these questions:

1. Have you become frustrated with your son for changing his mind about what he wants for breakfast?
2. Did you impulsively yell at your daughter when she snatched a toy off a friend?
3. Did you get angry at your son when he did something after you told him it wasn’t safe?
4. Did you raise your voice or yell when your daughter started pulling Tupperware out of the cupboard in a mess?

All of these situations sound fair and like good cause for a parent to get frustrated.

Staying in a calm frame of mind and parenting gently can be hard, particularly when there is tense energy in the environment.

Our idea for you – the parent – is to TRANSFORM the energy into a positive energy you can work with.

This takes a little bit of sacrifice, as you will need to slow down a bit.

You might be a busy person, be mentally tired after work, be physically exhausted. You might have a million things on your mind.

We are all these things at least 2-4 times per day. The easy thing to do when you feel this way is to leave your young children alone and call out to them (scold, discipline) from a distance.

When you do this, your child does NOT feel a change in energy. The energy becomes more agitated and the tension is amplified. They may stop for a moment when they hear your voice – and then carry on to do the same thing seconds later. The same energy is still in motion. You may resort to being rough (verbally or physically) to ‘make your child stop and listen’.

The way you handle the situation, and your relationship with your youngster, is defined in these little moments. Memories are created at these times just as much (if not more) as the moments you:

1. Cuddle up to read a story together before bed
2. Give a piggy-back ride while making silly sounds and laughing together
3. Work together in the kitchen to make a special meal
4. Kiss and soothe a sore spot after a little accident

For little children who do something ‘wrong’ (in our eyes, not theirs), a lecture or hard discipline can overpower the lesson in the event. For example, you may be worried because your son has choked on food after eating too fast and you immediately lecture and get cross. Because children are highly emotional little beings, your anger will stay in their memory more than the message about eating food slowly to prevent further choking. If this kind of parenting response happens regularly – your child will remember your anger and disapproval more than many important lessons.

You need to make a choice about whether you want to take a few extra minutes, several times per day to create and maintain your beautiful relationship. It is worth the effort to slow down and practice transforming energy and educating your child in every opportunity.

In each of the above situations, you could try the following:

1. Have you become frustrated with your son for changing his mind about what he wants for breakfast?
Move closer to him, sit down and calmly acknowledge what he is saying. Transform the energy to a calm, quiet, discussion. Ask him to help you prepare the breakfast he wants. ‘I understand that you don’t feel like eating this. I’d like to hear your idea and to help you, sweetheart. Can you tell me what healthy food you are thinking of?’
2. Did you impulsively yell at your daughter when she snatched a toy off a friend?
Move into your child’s environment and get down on your knees. Transform the energy by gently taking her hand and saying her name, establishing eye contact, and waiting. Explain calmly how the incident is not ok and what your child can do instead. Ask her to practice the better alternative.
3. Did you get angry at your son when he did something after you told him it wasn’t safe?
Move into your child’s environment and transform the busy energy to a waiting energy. Relax and stay with him until the hazard is gone, or the urge to act dangerously has passed. Explain the situation, and tell him that you are there to help him be safe. Help him with the safe alternative.
4. Did you raise your voice or yell when your daughter started pulling Tupperware out of the cupboard in a mess?
Move into your child’s environment, get down on your knees, and be silent. Make a point of calmly looking at the mess that is being created. Be friendly and smile. When your child’s energy has transformed and she is calm and curious, ask gently what she is wanting to do. Then offer to help her, and discuss how you will do it, starting with packing away the Tupperware together. Ask her to talk about her ideas with you first in future.

A little bit of patience and transforming energy to calm, helpful, gentle and friendly energy will improve your day as well as your child’s. It can take a little practice and it helps if both parents have the same approach and support each other – when one parent is weak, the other can be strong and step in to help (because we all need a break at times).

Many wonderful parents already practice the above techniques. To meet like-minded parents, visit our and Like us on Facebook.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Parenting Ideas

A little bit of trickery

A little bit of trickery can go a long, long way, when it comes to parenting young children. All the way into your future. Trickery that you use now can create years of happiness.

But first – a question.

Have you noticed that the way you speak to your toddler or little boy/girl has been changing?

Take a moment to imagine the future of your relationship. Do you want to see your son/daughter getting along with you, respecting you, sharing ideas with you, working happily with you, playing sports (other recreational activities) with you as an older child, as a teenager, and as an adult? Your relationship starts now, and the way you speak to your child and interact with them – with your verbal language and body language – will determine how your child feels about you (and how you feel about them, too).

These 5 tricks may help you identify the kind of relationship you have now and whether your relationship can be any different. We all want a long, beautiful future ahead.

Trick 1: The Children Name-Swap
If you have more than one child, play a game of swapping names. For example, spend a day calling Ben ‘Jamie’, and calling Jamie ‘Ben’. Sounds silly – and is fun for the kids. What goes on beneath this game, however, is a whole lot of realization. You may realize that you tend to speak differently to your children. It might sound strange to talk in a gentle, sweet voice to the older child’s name, and conversely you are shocked to hear the innocent baby’s name tacked onto the end of a yell. Swapping the name of your children highlights how you have grown accustomed to treating them differently and that your expectations of your child have changed as he/she has grown older.

Trick 2: Down-age versus Up-age
This trick is another mind-game for you. It is simply about recognizing how far your little one has come already. It’s about seeing them from 0 years to 3 years old, and recognising how remarkable their development has been.

After our children have been around for a little while, it’s easy to take them for granted. Especially when they are trying so hard to be little boys and girls and
all grown-up.

Remember – they are not 30 going on 3. They are 2 going on 3.

There’s a (for example) 27 year gap in life education between what we have and what they have. Think about what they have learned in 3 years and how remarkable their achievements are, as compared to how far they are falling short.

More patience, more admiration, more compliments, more positive feedback, more help and guidance, and more gentle language from you will go a long way.

Trick 3: Parent and child Name-swap
Similar to Trick 1, this trick involves swapping names. But this time you will call your children the parents’ names, and visa versa. This will also highlight how you speak to your child (and your spouse) and you may find that you are a touch too aggressive or impatient and treating different family members with pre-set ideas about how they will respond.

Think about why you talk to your spouse, or son, the way you do. Do you expect them to react a certain way? Why? Try to change your expectation by visualizing the outcome you want. Talk to your spouse, or your child, with a positive expectation in mind. You will find it easier to show respect, patience and love.

Trick 4: Pretend your child is a stranger
This is actually very hard to do. Can you be very aware of everything you say to your child and reflect on whether you would have spoken the same way to a stranger, or to another person’s child?

Why we believe it’s ok to speak unkindly to our own children but must speak kindly to friend’s children’s baffles me.

I believe in speaking nicely to ALL children.

Pretending your child is a stranger – by likening the way you speak to them to how you speak to a stranger at the shops – is a great tool to seeing how you might be seen from the other person’s viewpoint.

Trick 5. Playing grown-ups
This is the greatest trick of all time, and it’s not for the parent. And in fact, it’s already happening.

Your little one has tricked you already and may trick you again.

He or she is pretending to be grown up everyday. They do this by mimicking you, copying your behaviour, vocabulary and reciting your ideas. (But you can’t always see it because you are too close, and it is normal every day life.)

Your child doesn’t yet understand the reasons behind many things you do during the day. They roll along and join in, and even try doing most of it on their own.

We start to believe they are capable of being left alone.

He is only a little boy. She is only a little girl. They need our constant help, guidance, support and direction. They don’t yet know enough to make decisions and to be doing things alone.

On the upside, they are at a perfect age for learning HOW this is done.

So spend as much time with your little adult as you possibly can and move through the day and all their big decisions together. It is so important that they have your help to see how to approach situations and solve problems, to make and keep friends, and to have a fun day.

You only need to see the smile on your child’s face to know this is all worth the effort.

Happy Tricking, and Happy Treating!

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.