I’m so excited to introduce Roxanne Parker as this weeks “Wellness Wednesday” guest. I’ve known Roxanne for years as she is ones of Ireland’s top fashion stylists and over the next 7 months she will be styling the celebrity judges Una Foden, Rachel Stevens and presenter Kathryn Thomas on RTE’s The Voice TV show over the next 7 months.
Roxanne is 36 has a background in journalism, runs her own styling business, regularly appears on TV shows like Xpose, and works both in Ireland and abroad for magazine and advertising clients. She is currently studying for a Diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition in CNM and will qualify as a nutritional therapist in 2017.
I find it incredibly inspirational how she has turned her life around as you will read below
How would you describe your lifestyle?
Consciously health conscious! I suffered from adrenal fatigue a couple of years ago and was hospitalized with bladder problems after multiple courses of antibiotics and it absolutely knocked me out and forced me to reconsider the way I was living and working on every level. I changed my diet, cut out sugar, wheat, diary, caffeine and alcohol and I also went vegan for a year to try bring my body back to balance. I also started to meditate daily and I quit the job I was in as my stress levels were through the roof. I brought myself back to wellness with sleep, whole foods, water, and meditation. I avoided negativity focused on positivity and went for energy healing. My health is still quite fragile and I really have to be mindful and eat wholesome organic nutrient dense foods and make sure I get enough sleep and water. I’m not one of those girls who can drink, party and eat crap it affects me severely and immediately.
What’s your favorite food? Naughty or nice.
Black & Green Organic 80% Dark chocolate. Some people can take a square to quell their chocolate cravings but the intense flavor never stops me from reaching for more!
Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?
Yes I work out with a personal trainer, Robin O’Sullivan, at No17 Personal Training on Merrion Square for 30 minutes three times a week. This was an essential component to my path to wellness as you have to ease you’re self back into exercise very gently after adrenal fatigue so as not to over stress the body so I really needed a professional to guide me through this transition. For me working out with a trainer is key to keeping in shape as I treat it like an important business meeting that I would never miss and I work much harder training with Robin then I ever would on my own. We do HIIT style workouts intragrating intervals of cardio with kettle bells, TRX style moves, weights, lunges and squats. I really look forward to me sessions and always leave with a smile on my face!
How do you find balance in your day-to-day life?
Healthy food, good meals, cooking and being prepared with my food really empowers me and makes me feel in control of my moods and my cognitive function. When I am well fed and nourished I have razor sharp concentration, physical stamina and my moods are even as my blood sugar levels and hormonal balance is in check. This really is my secret to feeling balanced.
How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate? Have you ever tried it?
Yes I started meditating on the advice of an acupuncturist I was seeing when I first became ill.
I also went to Abby Wynne a physiotherapist, shamanic healer and reiki master and she really got me into meditation. I downloaded her guided meditations from her website on to my phone and listened to them morning and night. She has free mini meditations on her Sound cloud account and if I ever feel over-whelmed I take 5 minutes out and listen to one to bring me back to centre. I also really like Doreen Virtues Angel Therapy meditations. I listen to one every night they help me sleep and make me feel safe and protected.
People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?
Yes for the past couple of years I have made a list on the first of January of what I want to achieve throughout the year. Invariably by the end of the year everything is crossed off. If something is left it is usually something that with time I have come to realize wasn’t right for me or that I no longer desire. More recently I have discovered Louise Hay’s positive affirmations and I find them incredible! They leave you feeling so positive and full of joy and gratitude! For me regularly practicing positive affirmations has been a game changer in my outlook on life.
How do you unwind after a busy day?
I sit in the garden and potter around the plants, and pick some herbs or vegetables for dinner. It’s so soothing being in nature, seeing the changes of the seasons, If I’m feeling particularly wired I will take off my sock and and shoes and walk bare foot on the grass, this always soothes me instantly and makes me feel grounded.
It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?
Hit the hills and go hiking with friends in Co Wicklow. I’m really blessed to have like minded friends who love the great out-doors just as much as I do and who are into chilling out and getting as much fresh air and exercise as possible over the weekend. Glendalough, The Devils Glen, the trails around Powerscourt Waterfalls are all favorite walks. We usually meet early at one of our houses and car pool so we are not all driving and we swing by Avoca on route for some delicious fresh salads and organic chicken to have for lunch out on the hills. I spend so much of my time in the city I literally crave the fresh air and the expanse of the countryside when the weekend roles around. Also my friends and I often get together to cook healthy meals over the weekend. We all do the prep, bring different ingredients, try new recipes and share and enjoy the food together- it’s a really pleasurable, social way of cooking, eating and enjoying food.
What’s your top health tip for our readers?
Drink more water! Its so basic but this one small, simple, cheap change can have a massive effect on you’re over all health. Most of us are dehydrated and this can make us feel excessively tired, falsely hungry, constipated and can cause headaches, dry skin, fine lines and skin breakouts. I have a morning routine where I drink two pints of water first thing in the morning followed by a mug of hot water with either lemon slices or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. It’s a ritual that rehydrates me after a night’s sleep and wakes me up without the need for caffeine. As I exercise I aim to drink 3-4 litres of water throughout the day, it makes a massive difference to the clarity of my skin. For those who don’t like drinking water, try throwing mint leaves and cucumber or lemon and lime slices into a 2 litre bottle of water and sipping it throughout the day to hit you’re daily quota. This will gently flavor the water naturally without any chemicals, sugar or artificial sweetener so you get a delicious, refreshing, hydrating drink without the empty calories or tooth decaying effects of a sugary cordial.
Finish the sentence – Being complete for me means… an alignment of the body, mind and spirit. If one of these elements is out of balance, unhappiness, un-rest, and dis-ease can set in. It is a constant balancing act to try keep all in balance. But the more you become aware of yourself the easier it is to check in and become in tune with which area of you’re being is off kilter and work at bringing it back to center through exercise, healthy eating, meditation and a loving attitude towards you’re self and others. My biggest learning curve over the past few years has been that happiness comes from inside you and no one person or external thing can make you happy. I have finally learnt to love myself- it only took me 36 years but hey! Better late then never!