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Author: juliazahav

2018

So! I’ve been on holidays from study for the last couple months, and been busy with the kids and work and farm life etc.
Happy to report i passed my first two design subjects by the skin of my nose haha.
I really need to devote more energy to the course this time around, especially considering how expensive it is!!!
Finally bought myself some paints and canvas and have started painting again.
I’m looking forward to the new semester of my design course which starts in 2 weeks!
Although I was seriously considering homeschooling for real this time, the boys were keen to go back to school. I guess the fact they had about 2 playdates the whole 6 week holiday (and that was only cause I’m friends with the kids mum) may have influenced their decision. It can get pretty lonely up here with no family or many friends.
All in all i can safely say 2018 has been way better than last year and its shaping up to be an amazing year all round.
right now I’m focused on manifesting a new laptop and desktop and tools for graphic design and continued heath for my family.

Learning new tricks

Guess who has started a Diploma of Design???
Me!!!
Scared and excited to be studying something thats always been a passion.
I’ve decided to post my visual diary on here, so here is my very first self portrait fast sketch in pencil. I think its a great way to start posting more often with a purpose to break through that feeling of being… i don’t know, narcissistic with posts. I know i am literally the worst procrastinator there has ever been so THIS time heres hoping I stick with my plan!!

Winter

When the threat of fire looms eternal and the earth is scorched and parched and bare, the feeling of cold is almost a rebellion. An exhilaration, a rush upon slipping naked into the air, the icy sea. When you’ve been burnt so many times by the flames, the cold feels like home.

Sydney will always have my heart

Last time in Sydney.
Our quick trips are never long enough..
Don’t you just love when the boys dress in a bit of pink. A soft dusky pink is my fave colour at the moment, and this gorgeous pink jumper Reuben is wearing looks amazing with anything! Scroll down for the details.
Jordans jumper with the biggie print is one of my long time faves, sadly the label that put that out is no longer around.

boys in the big city

Reubens outfit by Milk and Masuki available from Hey Little Store

Giving up the contraceptive pill.


The more I read and the more I knew, the less I could reason why I should take the contraceptive pill. From reading recent studies proving that the hormonal contraceptive causes depression and mood disorder, to information that the chemical that causes you to stop ovulating alters the hormones in your body, leaving your estrogen and progesterone levels that of a child. The whole science behind the pill is to trick your body into not ovulating. The bleeding you have every 3 weeks is not a real period, it’s a trick that as designed by the men who invented the pill to make women feel ‘normal’.
So I’ve been feeling like a bit of a fraud taking the pill, as I know all the negatives and really the only positive is that you are less likely to fall pregnant. Well that’s pretty much not going to happen these days anyway! So I’ve taken the plunge and stopped it!
I stopped taking it in the start of March, so its been nearly 3 months now. My skin was actually fine until last week, I thought i had gotten away with it!
Unfortunately my skin has broken out worse then ever before! So I’ve dug out my books and looked up some things online and discovered a few things that I didn’t already know.
Firstly I had forgotten that the hormonal contraceptive depletes your body of zinc. Zinc is essential for clear skin as it reduces keratin production, so it keeps pores open, and also kills bacteria and reduces testosterone. Post-pill acne is a result of the withdrawal from birth control’s strong sebum-suppressing drugs. The skin is also affected by a natural surge in androgens when going off the hormonal birth control.
Two of the other biggest causes of acne are dairy and refined sugar, which I already avoid for the most part but I will be trying to cut out completely for now.
Probiotics are super important to have in your daily routine, and especially fermented foods like kombucha, kefir and fermented veggies. Sadly for me I have a histamine allergy so I can only have minimal of these foods, so I take a probiotic powder.
I’ve ordered online a mushroom blend that has 8 of the most potent medicinal mushrooms and also a tonic that has goji extract, shizandra extract. longan berry extract and micro ground pearl powder. Ive also ordered diinodolymethane capsules, which have been shown to help balance androgens. Im already taking lamb pituitary capsules and thyroid energy support and I try to drink maca every day or two. Its a lot to take but I dont take anything else as I don’t believing taking vitamins.
So wish me luck and stay tuned for updates on how my skin goes over the next couple months.
Its an awful feeling having acne, especially in your 30’s and probably even more so when you know you have a good heathy diet and use organic skincare and makeup and really make an effort to have a nice presentation. I’m struggling already with it, but I’m trying to think of the positives and remind myself that it more important to have balance inside and once my hormones are all settled my skin will rebalance. Luckily I have amazing mineral makeup from jane ordeal so that will help with my confidence a bit I hope!

5 daily habits of healthy children

People often express surprise when I tell them my kids have never really been sick. Neither of them has ever taken antibiotics and aside from an early sensitivity to lactose in my oldest, they are both very strong and have excellent immune systems. Neither has ever had any type of ear infection, high temps or any virus that lasted longer then a day or two.
Sure they get snotty noses throughout the year, a cough here and there, and have had mild gastro a couple of times, but nothing has been bad enough to stop them from running around for even a minute. They have also picked up staph from kids at preschool, which is probably the worst illness they have had just because it looks yucky, but I was able to treat it without antibiotics. I’m not advising against using antibiotics, they definately have their place, but I think due to all the issues from mass overuse they should be the last option.
Even a few weeks in Bali staying in basic village accommodation didn’t affect their health in any negative way, not even a hint of bali belly. They have also played in close contact with kids who soon after had chickenpox and measles, and been around a sick adult who we later found out had whooping cough (who had been vaccinated) and had no signs of either illness.
I attribute their great health to several factors, these being mainly lifestyle and nutrition.
Here I will share with you my top 5 simple practices that I incorporate into our daily lives.

#1
Kombucha
By now you probably have heard of kombucha, though you may not be fully aware of its truly amazing properties. Kombucha is made from fermenting tea and sugar and once through the fermentation process contains an array of vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid. These combine to create colony of good bacteria in the gut thereby assisting immune function. Aside from the probiotic benefits there are numerous others, but I definately believe that the fact my boys drink kombucha nearly every day greatly aid their strong immune systems. The bonus is that they actually love to drink it, and they just think its a fizzy soft drink!
Although now they are older they know there is soft drink, which we have always called beer because the only soft drink they are allowed to have is ginger beer (which I also make full of probiotics) and the kombucha which we call medicine beer!
Its very easy to make at home and will cost you less then a dollar for a litre or so. If you aren’t so keen on making it or want to try it out first, it’s also readily available at health stores and I’ve even seen one brand at woolworths recently, though it is a lot more expensive store bought. If you live in Australia and are interested in making your own, send me a message if you need a scoby, which is what you need to get started making your own batch and are being given away to new homes all the time.

#2
Kefir
In our home we alternate between coconut kefir and dairy kefir, here I will just focus on the benefits of the dairy kefir.
Kefir is similar to yogurt in many ways, yet provides vastly different and superior health benefits.
It originated in Turkey thousands of years ago, and is basically a fermented milk drink/yoghurt.
The fermentation of the sugars and lactic acid result in a liquid full of probiotic enzymes. When the boys were younger I had a supply of raw goats milk that i used to make my kefir, but recently I use fresh pasteurised cows or buffalo milk.
Whatever milk you use, the Kefir grains that will be your starter will contain about 30 strains of bacteria and yeasts, making it a very rich and diverse probiotic source. Lactobacillus kefiri is a strain only found in kefir and has been proven to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria, such as Salmonella, Helicobacter Pylori and E. coli. Kefir also has been found to have antibacterial properties, as it contains kefiran.
Although kefir is super easy to make, it is also quite easy to kill, but definitely worth the effort of keeping it alive! You can also buy kefir in health food stores and supermarkets, though store bought is a little bit more expensive then making your own, depending on where you source your milk.

#3
Grassfed Gelatin
We aren’t vegan, although if I lived in a city I would be more likely to be one. I am totally against animals suffering and dying to be a commodity for humans. However I believe that all of life has positive and negative, yin and yang, give and receive. For me, if I know the animal has been raised to its full potential and has enjoyed life and is killed as painlessly as possible and that the receivers acknowledge and give thanks for the animals life and its role in sustaining them, then I am not averse to the consuming of them in small quantites. I also believe that every part of the animal should be consumed, nothing left to waste. For this reason when we do get an animal, I use the bones to make bone broth and make gelatine, or acquire some from a trusted source.
Gelatine protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and aids in digestion of nutrients, which has been demonstrated to assist in immune function.
Gelatine is amazing because you can make yummy treats that kids will love to eat.
I make gummy lollies and the kids don’t even taste a difference from sugar laden processed store bought ones, and you can also add it to other foods, like porridge and soups.
It is a bit complicated and time consuming to make at home, and it is readily available these days in powder form at most health food stores.

#4
Exposure to germs
Playing outside in the healthy dirt in excellent for building immune systems. The exposure to a variety of microbes help develop a healthy microbiome for children. There is nothing wrong and everything right with a bit of sand eating, licking rocks and generally getting their mouth into anything they can find.
The germ hypothesis has been used to explain how children growing up in modern sterile environments are more prone to allergies and asthma. Inside the house I don’t use bleach or any abrasive cleaning products. I use Enjo products to wash the floor and surfaces and occasionally baking soda, vinegar and eucalyptus oil. Also I don’t believe in showering or bathing kids every day, unless they are exceptionally grubby. You would be surprised at how clean you can get with a flannel and a sink of hotwater! I also use tea tree products for washing them in the bath and shower as its one of the best ways to keep staph at bay.
Great news is germs are totally free, sick kids cost a lot more then healthy ones!

#5
Vitamin D
Following on from above, playing outside in the yard can also enable Vitamin D absorption. This essential nutrient is particularly vital to growing children, and there is also evidence that its provide immune support and assists immune function. Ideally I get my kids running around in the nude every sunny day for at least 20 minutes. I guess I’m lucky that we live on a big property, I can imagine that would be harder to achieve if you live in an apartment. We also spend about 8 months of the year at the beach every other day and always have some sun exposure with out sun protection during the mornings or later afternoons. If its not a possibility for your lifestyle, there are Vitamin D supplements specifically formulated for children, but regardless of where you live, getting the kids outdoors as much as possible has numerous other benefits as well!
Sunshine is for the moment free to us mere mortals, but if you need to supplement the benefits will well outweigh the costs n the long run.

So there you have it!
Next time I will discuss what we do at the start of any symptoms of illness to aid in healing and recovery.

Small steps

School holidays are over, and its time to get back on my game. After quitting my Law degree I decided to give myself a few weeks downtime, with the date of return to school being my deadline. The past few weeks have been wonderful in many ways and awful in many others. Bills have been piling up as I haven’t been working and I’ve been in states of various degrees of depression. Its difficult to acknowledge that, as I am a person who has never struggled with depression before. Recently I read an article that links hormonal contraception to depression, and I believe that my contraceptive use may be contributing. That combined with winters effects on my moods, lack of exercise since my soccor season finished and straying from my usual healthy eating. Its interesting that these contributing factors are actually cause and effect of low mood. the worse I feel, the less inclined I am to exercise and prepare healthy food. The lower I feel, the less I feel like reaching out to anyone around me, which is made worse by living in relative isolation with only a handful of friends in cup of tea distance.
Procrastination has always been my weakness, and until now I always felt I had more time, I could justify having breaks, hitting the snooze button, giving myself time. I’m 33 now and I know that its now or never. No more downloading fitness apps and half heartedly attempting a few exercises, no more eating all the ice cream because its sad to leave a little tiny bit in the container and no more putting off doing all the shit I need to do because its all too hard.
The problem has always been I actually do have so much shit to do, really.
I live in a 120 year old farmhouse thats falling down around me, I have 160 acres of trees and grass and fences that needs maintaining. I have gardens and plants to care for, I have chickens, dogs i dont even want, cats, horses, ponies, cows getting into trouble, two wild kids, a mother who can be like another child sometimes, study (which has been dropped for now) and trying to find meaningful work while fitting in having to read books form cover to cover in a short amount of time as possible, read magazines, read blogs, read every single thing on the internet, cook nearly every meal we eat, try to keep a tidy house with feral children who break shit every second and occasionally binge watch series son netflix (how good was luke cage!)
Small steps, I tell myself. Small steps.

I’m not

pain is the only way I feel these days
bruises on my skin color purple and yellow
remind me of you
so many years numbing the pain
now I’m numb to the caress of any who cares
I need to be hurt to feel like there’s someone there
love is a 4 letter word and I run from it
they think I’m just pretending
I’m not
I just want the pain without having to give anything back

These children may be wild

It’s the relentless intensity and monotony.
Its the constant flow of broken things, destroyed things, melted things, lost things.
Every day a battle to clean and tidy, always losing.
They say you cant have a happy family and a clean home, but its hard to settle for a messy home and only infrequently pleasant humans who reach their peak pleasantness when they are sleeping.
Yelling. Screaming. Crying like your life depends on it. Fighting reality at every turn.
Remain calm, remind yourself these moments will soon be a distant memory.
Though true, the thought offers scant comfort.
So I reread the mindful parenting tips, stick the A4 print on the wall of all the positive reinforcements to use instead of yelling stop’s and don’ts and put my head between my knees instead of shaking the kitchen knife I’m using to make salad with in the direction of a jelly crystal covered pantless 4 year old retaliating with projectiles at his brother who just smacked him in the head with the mop.

Raising wilful children comes with a cost.
Accept this, I try. I try my best not to break their spirits while teaching them to be respectful human beings.

My grandmother believed children should be outside from morning to twilight. Outside was the domain of the children of the past. The home was kept clean by being childfree, the home was to sleep, to cook and to eat. The kitchen was no place for children, the dining table was practically a religious alter.
These days I send my children outside, go I say, the yard is yours, kids are supposed to want to be outside.
Inevitably despite my best attempt at prevention, they will come back covered head to toe in mud or dirt. They will come back spray paint on their grubby hands from graffiting the walls. I will find them having raided the recycling bin smashing glass jars with a hammer in the driveway. The laundry is pulled off the line and turned into a fort. The bath tub is filled with every single bottle of liquid they could find.
They are wild when they are in their domain.
Wild children, wilful children, my children.

Sometimes I lose my shit, and I look around at the lego covered carpet, the skirting boards that haven’t been scrubbed and the walls that need painting and I wish I had a magazine worthy home, obedient grateful kids.

Then I remember who I am, where I came from.
Everything is perfectly in its place.

When murder isn’t murder

Yesterday in a regional area of remote western Australia, a 14 year old boy riding a motorbike was run down by a 55 year old man driving a 4 WD vehicle.
This child was run down, allegedly run over and left to die alone on dusty bush track.
The boys name was Elijah and he was Aboriginal and local to the area Kalgoorlie.
The tensions between Aboriginal people and non Aboriginal people have been high for some time now in Kalgoorlie, with some citizens openly calling for culling of Aborginals and self proclaimed white supremacists holding meetings where non whites are denigrated and ridiculed.
After the discovery of the dead boy and his injured friends, the alleged defendant who left scene of the crime, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter.
As a result of this charge, the aboriginal community decided to protest. To get together in the streets and make it known that they are angry and tired of the inherent and systemic racism that brings charges of manslaughter when the crime is a perpetrated by a white man against a black.
The protest soon turned to a riot, as police in riot gear were called, presumably because a sea of angry black faces is automatically cause for a heavy handed and violent response.
When a peaceful protest is met by a riot squad, its easy to see how things can turn violent.
People who want their voices to be heard can become aggressive when met with hostility and heavy handedness.
According to the media statements a courthouse window was smashed, police were injured.
White australis response has been to condemn the protesters actions. Worried about who will pay of the broken window, people saying that its the boys fault for allegedly stealing the motorbike, there are closed Facebook groups where commenters call for aboriginals to be run down, for the mine shafts to be filled with dead bodies.
Still white Australia are upset at the protesters, why cant they just leave it in the hands of the justice system they ask. Why do those aboriginals have to riot they ask, don’t they have jobs they should be at.
White Australia doesn’t know why because white Australia has no reason they can see to protest anything.
White Australia is on the receiving end of justice every second of every day, while black Australia is left to die in police in cells ( https://newmatilda.com/2016/03/30/ms-dhus-pain-how-to-hurt-an-aboriginal-family-without-even-really-trying/).
Their white murderers are let off lightly because even the judge provides character references for defendants that they are “good blokes”(https://overland.org.au/2010/05/top-blokes-totally-out-of-character-when-five-white-men-beat-an-aboriginal-man-to-death/comment-page-1/ )
Drug affected hit and run drivers that kill 8 year old boys are given 6 month home detention sentences (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-21/man-gets-home-detention-after-fatal-hit-run-of-eight-year-old/6636102).

This why I stand in solidarity with my aboriginal brothers and sisters. There is no end in sight for the abolishment of the racist justice system that continues to create this divide based on the level of melanin in a persons skin, based on where they are from and who their family is.
The judges, the juries, the media, the people at home in their armchairs, they all continually tell a story that everything matters more then black lives.