Connection Through Touch: The Art of Couples Massage

Why not bring ancient benefits into your marriage with a ritual sharing in couples massage?  Whether it is offering a massage to your husband, doing a massage course together or booking in a regular couples massage, this practice can have immeasurable benefits for your health and marriage. Convince your husband it’s not girly and he’ll undoubtedly fall in love with this new pampering.

One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. This occurs because massage prompts the release of endorphins, the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of happiness and well-being. Levels of stress hormones are also reduced.

couples massageMassage is perhaps one of the oldest healing traditions. Many cultures – including the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians – were convinced of the therapeutic benefits of massage and used it to treat a variety of ailments.

Partner massages offer more than just a physical relief, but they also offer a deep sense of connection to your husband. Some of the physical benefits of massage include: reduced muscle tension, improved circulation, reduced stress, improved skin tone, improved injury rehabilitation, increased flexibility, heightened alertness and reduced anxiety and depression.

Do yourself and your marriage a favour by embracing couples massage. Go shopping together for massage lotions or oils. Incorporating aroma therapy into the massage experience will only heighten the senses. Find scents that you both love that will help induce relaxation, stress reduction, or even scents that might trigger a little foreplay!

Transformation Task

Book a couples massage date – at home, at a salon or look into a short massage course together.

If you’re after more LOVE & PAMPER stuff, not just the food and fitness stuff, then consider Bridalicious Bootcamp to get you wedding AND marriage ready. Join our team today.

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Why Gratitude is Crucial for Your Marriage

“Then we sat on the edge of the earth, feet dangling over the side, and marvelled that we’d found each other” – Unknown

The LOVE experience cycles through many different phases. After the butterflies settle down, LOVE is said to be more of a verb than a feeling.  Going into marriage, LOVE needs to be a verb, or action, with each partner accepting 100% responsibility for making the marriage work and thrive. Today, we will discuss the important ingredient in any healthy marriage: a spirit of gratitude.

Count Your Joys

gratitudeWe all lead busy lives and often get caught up in the day to day challenges and negative thinking which can rob us of our joy. Awesome things are happening to you, all the time, every day, even in between all the bad and stressful things that happen. Yet, when explaining your day, you often come home and tell your husband about how someone cut you off in traffic, how terrible your coffee was, or how payroll stuffed up this week’s pay! It’s natural to gravitate towards negative thoughts because, of the 60,000 thoughts a day we have, 80% of them are negative. And what’s worse is that 80% of the thoughts we have each day are thoughts we’ve had before; meaning only 20% of them are new thoughts. So as human beings, we’re hard-wired to have automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) and the same problems over and over.

Keeping a Gratitude Diary or Jar

Write down 3 awesome things that happened to you each day in your diary or place them into a glass jar. It may be as simple as: getting all the green lights when driving home from work, really enjoying the lunch you had today, or that your husband cooked you dinner. Be sure to include lots of things about your husband Gratitude makes sense of our pastwhat you’re grateful for because it will begin to cultivate appreciation in your relationship. And as much as we fall in love with Mr Perfect, we sometimes learn of his idiosyncrasies and faults in marriage that we were previously blind too. Rather than amplifying all of his flaws, instead amplify his strengths and attributes by writing these things down in your gratitude diary. Remember, your thoughts become your actions.

Note: Make a tradition at Christmas or New Years to look back on all of the good things that have happened to you by reading your gratitude diary or your gratitude jar. And, when times seem hopeless, these can help you remember WHY you love him. Believe me, you’ll feel loads of warm fuzzies.

Transformation Task

Start a gratitude diary or jar. Even invite your husband to contribute.

If you’re after more of this LOVE stuff, not just the food and fitness stuff, then consider Bridalicious Bootcamp to get you wedding AND marriage ready. Try the program out for a risk-free 7 days.

“Falling in love requires a pulse, staying in love requires a plan” – Andy Stanley

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PLAY in the Sheets: Overcoming Sexual Issues in your Marriage

“Couples who play together, stay together!”

As a married couple living together, you are now officially each others life-long PLAY mates. How cool is that! Set PLAY goals early on and create a culture of PLAY that becomes the norm rather than the exception. Have PLAY dates, adventure weekends, try each others hobbies and set a physical challenge to conquer together. This will ensure that together you thrive at your health as individuals and also nurture your marriage. Have FUN with it.

Sex Begins in the Kitchen

sexualFirst, while men focus on sex, women focus on relationship. In fact, women often find it very difficult to be interested in sex after an argument. Ironically, men often think that sex will solve whatever relationship problems exist. Realistically, after an argument, apologies and forgiveness should come before the experience of ‘making love’. Another reality for many women is that sex begins in the kitchen, not in the bedroom.

In other words, if you’ve taken the time to understand and speak each others love languages and your husband speaks your love language of acts of service by washing the dishes and taking out the garbage, this may be a sexual turn-on for you. Similarly, if words of affirmation are your love language, complimenting you on a meal or on how beautiful you look will stir the desire for intimacy. Communicate with your husband about whatever makes you feel special and bedroom-ready since it’s all a learning experience for both parties who genuinely desire to please each other.

Fabulous Foreplay

The second difference is that, to most women, the warm up is more important than the act of intercourse itself. It is the tender touches and kisses of foreplay that bring her to the point of desiring sex.

It’s Not Meant to be Like the Movies

Third, mutual sexual satisfaction does not require simultaneous climax. Contrary to modern movies, couples rarely have a simultaneous climax.

More Than Just Physical

What a happy and holy fashion it isFourth, sex is more than intercourse. It is the union of male and female in body, soul, and spirit. Sex is so much more than just a physical act. It is designed to be an exclusive bonding experience that unites a lifelong intimate relationship. Cultivate an emotionally healthy marriage and you’ll cultivate a healthy physical marriage too. Bring on the horizontal PLAY.

Communication is Key

Fifth, communication is the key that unlocks sexual fulfillment. Listening to your husband with empathy helps you to discover what he’s thinking and feeling and how to best serve him in the act of horizontal PLAY.

Name The Past

The sixth thing that’s important to know is that the past never remains in the past. As much as rehashing ‘old territory’ is not advisable on a regular basis, I believe it’s important to share your sexual history with your fiancé or husband. If knowing the truth about past sexual experiences is difficult for either party, then work through these issues together until you come to a place of healing and acceptance. Don’t hesitate to seek the support of a counselor.

Transformation Task

Discuss the six areas listed above with your partner and consider how it affects your horizontal PLAY. If you’re after quality resources on the topic check out: ‘Sheet Music: Uncovering the secrets of sexual intimacy in marriage’ – Kevin Leman or ‘The Gift of Sex: A guide to sexual fulfilment’ by Clifford and Joyce Penner.

If you’re after more of this juicy LOVE stuff, not just the food and fitness stuff, then consider Bridalicious Bootcamp to get you wedding AND marriage ready. Join our team today.

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Which diet camp is the best?

Paleo, vegan, intermittent fasting … what’s the best diet?

I am asked this question more than anything else. Do I endorse paleo, vegan, low carb, intermittent fasting, or whatever other diet is on trend?

I don’t actually believe there’s a single, absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt best diet for every person to follow, always, and forever. Everyone is different when it comes to body type, age, budget, dietary preferences, traditions, knowledge, experience and time pressures. The best diet is the DIET THAT WORKS FOR YOU RIGHT NOW IN YOUR LIFE. The key to any ‘diet’ is sustainability. Ask yourself, “can I easily adhere to this way of eating 90% of the time?”

dietPhysiologically, the human body can thrive under all sorts of different nutritional conditions. This is demonstrated by observing the traditional diets of various tribes and ethnic groups throughout the world. This goes to show that it is possible to be healthy and fit whether you eat mostly meat or mostly veggies, mostly fat or mostly carbs, many times a day or just a few times, and so on.
Typically, all these diet options all accomplish the same things:

  1. They raise nutrition awareness and attention

I know, everyone wants to talk about the food itself — the proteins, carbs, and fats. Research is now showing that simply paying better attention to what you eat is a key factor in whether you’ll lose fat, get lean, and improve your health.

  1. They focus on food quality

Very few diets recommend you eat more processed, chemical-laden “junk” food (thank goodness). Instead, nearly every diet recommends eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods and that may be one of the most important nutrition interventions of all, regardless of the protein, carb, and fat breakdowns.

  1. They help eliminate nutrient deficiencies

In keeping with the last point, the best nutritional advocates help us shift away from highly processed foods, which are often low in nutrients, and focus on more whole, natural foods which often have their nutrients intact. Often because the transformation is so dramatic, that’s when we can become diet obsessed.

  1. They help control appetite and food intake

Always thinking about sugarWhen we’re more aware of what we’re eating, we choose more satisfying, higher quality foods, and eliminate nutrient deficiencies. We almost always end up eating less total food. We feel more satisfied. We lose fat, gain lean muscle, and perform better. Note that you don’t need calorie counting here, nor does Bridalicious Bootcamp endorse it. Focusing on food awareness and food quality is usually enough for people to tune into their own hunger and appetite.

  1. They promote regular exercise

When people start paying attention to their eating, they usually start thinking about physical activity too. In fact, many of the diet camps recommend regular exercise.

So, the best diet to follow actually is the one that can become a sustainable way of life for YOU.

With many dietary approaches, fresh knowledge and personal experience under your belt, choose the NUTRITION PLAN which will work BEST for you NOW and long into your marriage.

Transformation Task

Make a decision with your new husband about what nutrition approach you will embrace as a couple. If you can’t decide which one you both may like, try different meal plans and see if you can agree on one!

If you want to embrace a program that offers you the chance to explore a variety of different nutrition approaches, then check out Bridalicious Bootcamp. Start your $1 trial today.

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Are Wedding Day Nerves Turning You into Bridezilla? Take 10 to Stay Bridechilla

One of the most common things women say after their wedding day is ‘it went so quickly!’ All of those months of planning and preparing will be over in, well… a single day! Most women get nervous at some stage of their engagement and with all of the pressure it’s easy to see how easy it is for the Bridezilla to emerge! Your wedding day is going to be one of the BEST days of your life but, the fact remains, your wedding is just one, short day so to make sure you soak up all of the beauty, joy and love of your big day, take 10 minutes to mentally prepare yourself for your wedding, calm those nerves and make sure you stay a beautiful Bridechilla.

Wedding Day Nerves

wedding day nervesSurveys have shown that as many as 92% of brides get nervous on their wedding day. It’s perfectly normal to feel stressed, anxious and excited and it doesn’t mean you’re making a mistake. The best thing you can do to calm your wedding nerves and stay a Bridechilla is to expect to have these feelings and take a bit of time to focus on the LOVE!

If you’re worried about all eyes being on you then remember that you’re surrounded by people who love you and are here to celebrate your happiness! Little things will go wrong on your wedding day so stay focused on the big picture – you’re getting married! – and let the little things slide.

Take 10

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or nervous in the lead up to your wedding day or on the day itself, take 10 minutes for yourself! Find a quiet spot to sit and reflect on your vision for the day. Start by taking 4-5 deep breaths and then imagine standing at the aisle, looking at your husband-to-be. Imagine how you’ll feel and Anti-bridezilla tip #7the love you’ll be feeling for yourself, your man, your family and your friends. See yourself getting your photos taken, entering the reception and basking in the celebration of your LOVE!

Reflect on how far you’ve come, individually and in your relationship, and if you’re not exactly where you want to be, remember, health and love is a journey, not a destination. Be kind to yourself and remind yourself that your wedding day is the START of a whole new adventure!

Pamper Project!

Schedule 10 minutes from your day to sit down and practice this calming technique. Notice how different it makes to how you feel and come back to it any time you need to calm those perfectly normal, wedding day nerves!

A great way to create the wedding and marriage that you love is through creating a Vision Board. Download my FREE Vision Board How-to guide here

‘In-to-me-see’: The Secret to Creating an Intimate Marriage

In order to create an exciting, active and healthy sex life in marriage, the first key ingredient is intimacy! During the Bridalicious Bootcamp, you’re encouraged to fall in love with yourself which is essential for you to create a true feeling of closeness and affection with your husband-to-be. As part of your marriage preparation, read this blog to learn about the definition of intimacy and how you can build a truly intimate marriage.

What is Intimacy?

intimacyAccording to intimacy is defined as “showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture. A close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group”.

A friend once shared with me a memorable phrase that intimacy truly means ‘in-to-me-see’. It’s a marriage of your heart with someone else’s heart so you can see into who they really are and so they can see who you really are.

“Intimacy means in-to-me-see”

Intimacy is so much more than just sex and can also involve connecting with someone in an emotional, intellectual and/or spiritual way. As husband and wife, the sexual part of your relationship is only way one to express intimacy and if you foster these other types of intimacy in your relationship, sex will be a natural expression of that.

Real Intimacy Begins with You

With your wedding day nearing it’s only natural to wonder how you’re going to build a truly intimate relationship with your soon-to-be husband. Real intimacy can only begin once you really know yourself. Your engagement period is the perfect opportunity to learn more about who you are, your fears, dreams, hopes and desires. Once you’ve connected with your own heart, you’ll be able to let your husband in to see who you really are too.

Connecting with someone in anMarital intimacy involves being honest and vulnerable with your spouse. It involves giving yourself fully to your partner, trusting them not to hurt you and sharing your happiness, frustrations, sadness and even anger with one another. The new level of intimacy that’s available to you on the other side of your wedding vows is such a beautiful thing! Foster it and enjoy the special relationship that only you and your husband can enjoy.

Transformation Task

Remember that intimacy means ‘in-to-me-see’ and let your new husband look at and experience the REAL you on your honeymoon and into your marriage.

If you’re after more of this juicy LOVE stuff, not just a program with the food and fitness stuff, then give Bridalicious Bootcamp a try for just $1

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Kick Off Your Marriage with A Healthy Honeymoon!

Research has proven that couples who play together are happier together! People who regularly exercise together found that they feel closer and experience more positive emotions. In the lead up to your wedding, it’s worth thinking about your newly married life and how you can simply shift the healthy lifestyle habits you’re creating in the Bridalicious Bootcamp across to become a fit wife for life. Most new wives gain around 3kgs on their honeymoon and 1 in 4 go on to gain 10kgs by their first wedding anniversary. If you don’t want to undo all the hard work you’ve put in to get your wedding dress body, then read on to see how you can sustain your healthy habits beyond your wedding day.

Option One: YOHO (You Only Honeymoon Once)

It’s your honeymoon and the plan is that you’ll only be doing this once so let your hair loose! Have a blast! Sit on your bum! Drink cocktails! Master the art of buffet eating!

There is nothing wrong with this option but be aware that you could start your marriage 3kgs heavier! It is totally up to you!

Option 2: Keep Rocking That Bridalicious Bod!

For true weight lossAt Bridalicious Bootcamp I want you to find your flow with a healthy lifestyle that’s easy to sustain after your wedding day. You should be totally equipped to stick to your guns and EAT, PLAY, LOVE and PAMPER like you’ve been doing leading up to your wedding.

You’ll keep feeling good, looking hot and have heaps of energy to burn outdoors and indoors 😉

Option 3: EAT, PLAY, LOVE, PAMPER and Treat!

The third option is that you take option 2 and mix it with a bit of option 1. You EAT loads of the good stuff, treat yourself with some special foods, enjoy PLAY time, rest and rejuvenation, LOVE yourself and your new husband and find some PAMPER time in there too!

By maintaining your habits on your healthy honeymoon, you’ll still feel great and your PLAY sessions should help you to maintain your wedding dress body.

Honeymoon PLAY time

healthy honeymoonIt’s completely your choice which of these three options will work for you on your honeymoon and into your marriage!

If you want to keep up your regular PLAY while you’re honeymooning, think ahead and research some fun PLAY-grounds or activities at your holiday destination. Guys really do love going on adventures with their girl so how about paddle boarding? Kayaking around a tropical island? Going for a hike? Or play some tennis together? Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much easier if it’s fun!

Transformation Task

Research and think of 3-5 PLAY activities you and your new husband could enjoy together on your healthy honeymoon!

Look and feel AMAZING in your honeymoon bikini with my 4 week Express or 12 week Bridalicious Bootcamp. Join today

“Couples who play together, stay together!”

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4 Reasons Why Water Is Your Bridal Makeover Medicine

There is a Slovakian proverb that says, ‘pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine’ and I’m sure you already know you should be drinking more of it! With your wedding day approaching here are four reminders of why drinking water is one of the best things that you can do for your bridal makeover.

  1. Picture Perfect Skin and Hair

Drinking lots of water is the best way to make your skin truly glow from the inside out. It helps to flush waste and toxins from your body and plump up your cells, making your skin and hair look fuller, clearer and more radiant!

  1. Water Helps You to Lose Weight

We often mistake the feeling of being thirsty for hunger which can lead you to eat more than you really needed. Drinking water makes your stomach physically fuller which sends a signal to your brain telling it to turn off appetite hormones like grelin to make you naturally eat less because you are full.

Inflammation in the body makes weight loss harder and it’s often caused by built up toxins. By flushing these out, water helps the weight to fall off more easily. It’ll also help to boost your resting metabolic rate so that you burn more calories throughout the day.

  1. Water Can Reduce Stress

bridal makeoverYour body needs water to function properly and when you’re dehydrated your cortisol levels increase. If you struggle to drink enough water each day, add a twist of lemon to it! Not only will it make it tastier, it’ll help to balance your blood pH levels, boost your energy, improve your immunity and lower your stress levels.

What an easy way to say goodbye to Bridezilla and hello to Bridechilla!

  1. Drinking Water is Easy!

Adapting to a healthier lifestyle is difficult for most people. You need to push yourself physically, get into a new routine of moving more in everyday life and learn how to cook delicious foods that are also healthy. Compared to all of that, drinking more water is easy! It’s also free and always available out or at home so why wouldn’t you?

How Much Water Do You Need?

The common rule of drinking 2 litres of water a day isn’t right for everyone. The amount of water you need every day depends on your body weight. You need about 30mL of water for every kilogram of body weight so:

Your Daily Water Intake (mL) = 30mL x ___(kg)

Honeymoon or Watermoon?

Pure water is the world's first and foremost medicineThe average bride puts on 3kgs on her honeymoon alone! How do you feel about undoing all of your hard, bridal makeover weight loss work so quickly?

Of course it’s your honeymoon so let your hair down! But that doesn’t mean you need to transform into garbage disposal and eat everything that’s in sight! If you want to become a fit wife for life take the first step by trying to keep your water intake up on your honeymoon! Especially if you’re heading away to a hot tropical island where you’re likely to get dehydrated, reach for a glass of water first when you’re hungry. This habit alone will help you to stay luminous and irresistible!

Transformation Task

As part of your bridal makeover, drink PLENTY of water! Aim for 30mL x body weight (kg) and keep it up during your honeymoon too.

To learn more cool wedding weight loss tips get your hands on my FREE eBook – 5 top tips to lose 5 kilos for your wedding. Download it here

“Drink more water! Your skin, your hair, your mind and your body will thank you”

6 Tips for Glowing Bridal Skin

Weddings take preparation and your bridal skin is no exception! Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to creating naturally radiant skin but taking the time to prepare your skin leading up to your wedding will ensure a long-lasting and perfect application of your make-up and spray tan. Caring for your skin is a great, relaxing pamper session and these 6 tips will set you up to create healthy, smooth skin that’ll have you shining on your wedding day!

  1. Exfoliate

bridal skinExfoliation is one, if not the most important step to achieving radiant skin on your wedding day. Without regular exfoliation, even the most flawless skin is covered by a thin layer of dead skin cells that dull your glow. It’ll also help to clear clogged pores, minimise ingrown hairs and reduce breakouts. To reveal fresh and radiant skin exfoliate once or twice a week with a scrub, loofa or a face and body mask.

Your skin is delicate so use a gentle, circular motion to polish your skin and don’t over-exfoliate (more than twice a week) as this can damage your skin. Your lips need exfoliating too and to do this, apply lip balm and use an old toothbrush in a circular motion to gently polish away rough skin.

While it’s easy to remember to do a weekly face mask and/or scrub, don’t forget the rest of your body. Take a relaxing bath or shower and scrub from head to toe to bring out that all-over bridal shine!

  1. Hydrate

In the lead up to your wedding make sure that you drink at least 2 litres of water every day to help your body filter out toxins that can lead to dull skin and breakouts. Your skin is made up of cells and not drinking enough water leads to dry and flaky skin.

  1. Moisturise

Soap, hot water, the sun and wind can all dry your skin out so for beautifully hydrated bridal skin make sure that you moisturise daily! The type of moisturiser that you use should be matched to your skin type i.e. a lighter, oil free moisturiser for oily skin or a thick, nourishing moisturiser for very dry skin. You might even need to mix and match as different parts of your body will have different moisture levels.

For the best absorption, apply your moisturiser straight after a shower or washing your face. This will also form a protective layer to stop your skin from drying out.

  1. Hot showers dry out your skin and hairUse Cold Water

Hot water dries your skin out and can make skin red and aggravated. Try having cooler or cold showers and always wash your face in cold water to tighten your pores, keeping natural oils in, dirt out and reduce breakouts.

  1. Avoid Using New Products

Even if your skin isn’t usually sensitive, it takes a few weeks for your skin to get used to using new facial products. Find body and face care products that you like and stick to them to avoid any unnecessary breakouts or reactions to using new products as your wedding date nears.

  1. Get Your Sleep!

Your skin does almost all of its healing while you’re asleep so don’t skimp on your beauty sleep! It’s also important to keep dark circles at bay and reduce stress that causes breakouts.

Pamper Project!

Set 30 minutes aside this week for a head-to-toe bridal exfoliation treatment! Put a candle on, take a bath and enjoy the relaxing feeling of bringing your radiant bridal skin to the surface.

To get your complete 30 day bridal beauty regime to have you glowing for your big day, download it here

The Secret to Creating a Happy Marriage: Unconditional Love!

No man is an island! As humans, our happiness and well-being flourish from loving and being loved. The relationships and support networks that we’re part of hugely impact our health and quality of life! A healthy, happy marriage is built by two individuals with healthy minds, bodies, hearts and spirits. If you’re about to walk down the aisle, you might be thinking about how you’re going to do this whole marriage thing when so many seem to end in divorce. If so, it’s an awesome first step and in this blog I’m going to share with you how giving unconditional love will prepare you for a long-lasting and fulfilling marriage.

happy marriageUnconditional Love

All too often these days, we’re used to the idea of doing something to get something in return. Unconditional giving, without thinking about what’s in it for you, has the power to transform your heart and put more love, kindness and gratitude out into the world! We’re wired to be happier when we have fulfilling relationships and giving without the promise of receiving anything back is key to creating that. Have you ever been SO excited to give a present to someone you’ve carefully picked out? Have you randomly helped a stranger out and had the ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling follow you around for the rest of the day? That is the power of giving!

The relationships that you and your husband have with your friends and family have the power to positively influence your life as a married couple. Taking time to foster these relationships and give to the people you love will keep your mind, heart and spirit healthy, while nurturing a strong, lasting and happy marriage.

Anything that promotes a sense of love and intimacyThe 80:10:10 Rule

You’ve heard of the 80:20 principle, but the 80:10:10 rule is a great way to foster a heart of generosity when it comes to your finances. 80% of your income is used to live off of, 10% is a minimum target to save and the other 10% can be given to those in need or used for you to help others. Not only will you make a significant impact on the causes you support, but it’ll create a feeling of kindness, purpose and love in you.

Transformation Task

Perform one random act of kindness this week and watch this TED talk about how happiness can make you work better.

If you’re after some more of this juicy LOVE stuff, not just the food and fitness stuff, then try out Bridalicious Bootcamp for 7 days for just $1. Dive in…

“Anything that promotes a sense of isolation often leads to illness and suffering. Anything that promotes a sense of love and intimacy, connection and community, is healing” – Dr Dean Ornish