2023’s mission was to find enchantment in daily life. Nothing grand, just be aware of and acknowledge the small pockets of joy. January found me following this intention, and house sitting two adorable Burmese cats in Canberra. While the reality of having a location independent business is often less glamorous than it appears, it’s a great way to work while being open to new experiences. In this case catching the Cressida Campbell exhibition truly captured the enchantment in daily life.
The most important health issue I explored this year was Lynch Syndrome. This is a collection of seemingly unrelated cancers connected by a genetic inheritance. Naturopaths are passionate about prevention, and being aware of potential risks can mean detecting and treating life-challenging illnesses early. The problem with Lynch Syndrome is so few people know they have it. This post could save your (or a loved one’s) life!
In February I took a break from the news, which has been timely as the year comes to an end with even more cataclysmic horror. Pausing, or limiting exposure to, the news cycle can be an act of self-compassion.
Did you know there are around 150 original recipes on my website?
With the archive bulging at the seams, there’s only been a couple of additions this year. But they’re great ones!
Amidst the waffle craze I got a bit addicted to making okonomiyaki this way. Savoury waffles were my go-to for quick lunches this winter and any easy way to sneak more vegetables into the day. Of course you can still make Japanese pancakes the traditional way without a waffle iron but they will take longer.
It’s also been a year of minimising food waste. Veggie scraps saved in the freezer to make stock and off cuts like chard stems turned into pickles were already on the menu. However Use it All, a cookbook with a difference, has revolutionised my aim for zero waste with inventive ways to use up any odds and ends languishing in the fridge. The first tip I tried was a game changer for my stock making!
While on the subject of food, I’ve noticed more clients skipping breakfast. Intermittent fasting is more popular than ever ten years on but does the evidence live up to the claims?
Learning and volunteering
With in-person conferences back on the agenda, I spent eight days this year learning more about herbal medicine, naturopathy and cancer. The latter was often in relation to my mostly voluntary role as a research collaborator and advocate.
Volunteering has been ingrained since childhood and it’s a privilege to give back. Currently, there’s almost an even split between working in my clinical practice, mentoring health practitioners and using my lived experience to collaborate with researchers to improve outcomes in gynaecological cancers.
When I chose naturopathy as a career, it was a commitment to continue learning for life. While I continue to grow my knowledge, it’s also about sharing what I’ve distilled over decades of clinical practice. Over the years I’ve taught herbal medicine in one of the first naturopathic degree courses, guest-lectured in universities and hospitals and created my own mentoring programs and retreats.
2023 has been another year bulging at the seams, personally and professionally. I’m curious about what the new year will bring, and uncover my intention for 2024. Thanks for being with me on the journey.