• Simone Penn

Healthcare Hacks

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

I love tracking my progress and documenting my achievements. I think we all do. I actually think that’s the true reason why social media sites and apps are so popular. They mimic that journaling experience that allows us to chronicle our lives. Tracking our progress is also proven to increase and maintain success in the tracked endeavor.

In any event I love it.


When it comes to healthcare I have a lot of thoughts…

Sometimes I get despondent because I’m not where I want to be. Then I remind myself there’s no such place as there and move on!

Then again sometimes I also need to create a blog with my healthcare hacks. So here we go…


I genuinely don’t know how to rank these as I find each one so valuable and so simple to maintain; plus I also love them all so much. As such, in no particular order, here are my all-time favourite, tried and tested, healthcare hacks for the modern mama in 2019:


1. Detox. I speak a lot about detoxing my house and personal care routine of chemicals and I cannot endorse this move enough. As highly allergic, anxious Jews this change has made an enormously positive impact for me and my family. I find I have less aches and pains in my body, less headaches, less allergic reactions, I sleep better, my skin is softer and clearer and, most importantly, I’m more in tune with my body and its subtle queues and messages. If you want a small change to begin with here, I would highly recommend ditching deodorant as your step one.


2. Yoga. I’ve spent so much time wishing I was one of those super organised woman in my active wear, zipping off to the yoga studio – mat in hand. When I was about 23 I also discovered Bikram Yoga which is totally sensational. However I was never able to fully achieve and commit the requisite 90 odd minutes in my day to this end. However I have managed to create my own, personal yoga routine. It’s a combination of some of my favourite bikram poses, stretches that help me tremendously, and a bit of ad hoc movement according to what my body is needing in the given moment. In my twenties I used to practice this before leaving the house in the morning, but since having children I actually spend most of my late nights with awake-children and yoga. I call it ‘midnight yoga’ and it is my absolute joy and salvation. The point is, though, that it’s my own routine. It helps my body specifically and I can do it anywhere and anytime (clearly).


3. Water. The truth is I used to drink much, much, more water than I do now. Before I had kids you would never find me without a water bottle glued into my hand. Now I spend a lot of time taking sips of half-eaten-cracker-infused-water out of my kids’ juice bottles when they’re not looking. However, one hack I highly recommend is to start the day with a glass of infused water. Anything will do: lemon juice, cucumber, carrots, orange slices, strawberries… The list goes on and on. It’s so refreshing and it’s also a “soft detox”. I drink about 3 cups of coffee a day so when I start my day with a full 250ml glass of ice cold infused water I feel like I’m kick-starting my hydration efforts before inserting the IV caffeine. Also it’s delicious.




4. Mindlessness. Yes, that is correct. I really feel like everything in this world has its place and that all things must exists in balance. For all my time spent focussing on consciousness and mindfulness I also spend a portion of time devoted to mindlessness. Total zone-out and switch off. I do this with, and for, my children too. It usually manifests in the afternoon in the form of (half) a Disney movie, curled up together on the couch. I find it is so, so, nutritious. I spend the morning running around like a lunatic trying to fit 10 hours of tasks into 4, and my children spend that time growing their brains. Both are equally intense and exhausting. We all need to unwind on every level; it’s like brain-health. Mindlessness FTW!


5. Prayer. I spend a lot of time connecting to G-d during my day. I find myself thinking of, learning about and, talking to my Creator quite a few times a day – usually in the car. But, I also have learned to include a tiny portion of formal Davening (prayer) into my routine. As a woman my obligations in davening are (thankfully) very little; but they aren’t nothing, and so to this end I make sure I connect with something/one higher than myself and on a daily basis. Prayer, here, is not to be confused with meditation. I use meditation in my life as well, as a health tool, but I cannot filly commit it here to my list just yet as I use this tool on a very ad hoc basis.


6. Essential Oils. I started using essential oils intensely at the start of 2019. I’ve gone from full jungle madness to a highly refined routine that works for me. Without boring you with lengthy explanations, here is my can’t-live-without list:


a. Peppermint which I use for: homemade cleaning products, homemade toothpaste powder, onto my scalp for headaches, onto my throat and ears for pain, and into the diffuser with lemon because I freaking love the smell.


b. Lemongrass in the diffuser because it is HEAVEN.


c. OCO ‘peace and tranquility’ blend in the bath for myself and my kids before bed.


d. Soil ‘de-stress’ blend in the bath for myself and my kids before bed.


e. Soil ‘sleep’ blend in the diffuser, for my kids, at night.


f. Patchouli instead of perfume or in the diffuser around my home.


g. Tea Tree for any wounds, pimples, and in my homemade deodorant.


h. Soil ‘immunity’ blend on my kids (and on my own) feet when they are snotty (magic).



7. Nutrition. This is always going to be a big, obvious, difficult and contentious one. I try my best to keep it simple and operate on an 80:20 scale. Inside my home I work hard to keep everything really natural and “healthy”. We snack on A LOT of: cucumber, avocado, pistachio nuts, cranberries, walnuts, apples, oranges, bananas, homemade (non-GMO) popcorn, homemade (regular and sweet potato) fries, and good, old-fashioned wheat-bix with xylitol. There’s also a fair amount of (organic and/or sugar-free/salt-free) peanut butter on toast and scrambled (free-range and organic) eggs. I do my best to buy organic vegetables from a local co-op when I can and we have recently planted our spring vegetable patch which I am simply weeping over. I don’t buy fizzy or colddrinks at all, for multiple reasons, and I try to keep at least one homemade, sugar-free dessert option in the house per week. My current favourite is my very own banana loaf. With all that being said we do eat chocolate (emotional nutrition in my opinion) and I drink a half a glass of red wine every night, on average (also emotional nutrition). And then for the rest of the time it’s a bit of a free for all. When we’re not inside our own home I allow my kids to make their own choices. That’s the 20% of the 80:20-balance. I really just want everyone to have an emotionally-neutral relationship to food. Food is for nutrition, satiation and enjoyment. It is not for filling up emotional black-holes.


8. Walking. I’ve tried walking on treadmills at home and in the gym and it just doesn’t compare to walking outside, in the fresh air, absorbing the sounds and moods of the town. I try walking at least twice a week. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s far less!


9. Sleep. Sleep in my drug of choice. Last week Friday I took a two hour nap while my kids were at school it was like seeing a world renowned physician, but better. I cannot function without adequate sleep, on any level at all; and im of no use to anyone, least of all myself, if I’m dysfunctional. I could write seven pages on this one but really, just prioritise sleep. The rule in our house is: ‘sleep above all else’.


10. Positivity. The above 9 points are all very well and good but if they’re causing you stress and tension then they’re about as healthy and nutritious as a paper envelope. I genuinely try to only do things (that are within my control) that I have a good and positive feeling about. If schlepping to the organic vegetable farm is going to traumatise me this week then the healthier choice (holistically) is actually to just order regular old vegetables from Woolworths and Zulzi them to myself. And so on. I find when I do something with genuine positivity and joy, that that is the real heath.


This list looks pretty impressive, even to me. So let me just add that this is a very, very magnified picture. There’s is also a very decent amount of: toxicity and stagnation and dehydration and anxiety and road rage and 30 second showers and refined sugars and exhaustion and good old fashioned complaining in my life.

We’re all just doing the very best we can do with the resources available to us.

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©2019 by Mothers’ Nature.