To be empowered is to be happy – Day 1 at Gaia

She indicated right and with that single motion turned off the busy highway and pulled on to a rougher road with no markings. Another few kilometers and she would reach her destination, Gaia.

As she drove around the first bend, the most magnificent trees towered over her pearl coloured car to the right. An antique shop appeared seemingly from nowhere to her left on the edge of a tiny town that almost looked out of place; like time had forgotten it. Considering Newrybar was founded in 1881, I suppose in ways it had been. As she continued on, the fauna became more diverse – fig trees, palms, gums –a few scattered frangipanis lined the old wooden fences by the roadside boasting bursts of pink from their creamy centers. Then she was there.

Gaia Retreat and Spa is perched beautifully on the edge of what seems like a hundred rolling hills in all directions flanked by a myriad of plant life, some native, others there for effect. She could smell the change in the air, literally, the scent from the trees was strong and with a deep breath she filled her nose with it. Ahhh, she exhaled. This was the smell of peace.

Tyres squelched on a rocky ground at the top of the steep driveway. She parked the car and took another breath. This was home for the next five nights.

Welcome to Gaia

Welcome to Gaia

A man named Tim dressed in what looked like the most comfortable brown pants and olive shirt she had ever seen greeted her as she entered the Kukura House. He offered her a seat, some delicious chicken kofta’s and salad with a lemongrass iced tea. It felt good if not a little odd sitting in the dining area at a table by herself looking around at the décor, so perfectly suited for where she was. Natural hues of brown and green made up the bulk of the design with muted whites and black stripes here and there. There were peach coloured curtains adorning the wooden beams and bamboo standing tall in the centre of the space. The restaurant was at the far end of the room, the library, a gift shop and Indian inspired nook closer to the entrance. It was really quite beautiful, like a very fancy version of someone’s expensive home.

At the heart of Gaia - a meeting place

At the heart of Gaia – a meeting place

It was Tim who showed her to her room when her plate was cleared and check-in process completed. Lucky number 13, a Sura Terrace room entered through a big brown wooden door with intricate detailing. The room was complete with day bed, beautifully striped in the most calming yet energizing colours of maroon, lime green, lemon yellow, black and watermelon.

Outdoor reading and relaxation

Outdoor reading and relaxation

Next to the daybed was a wrought iron table with two chairs. A hedge and other green plants offered privacy. The bed inside the room was large, perfect for spreading out head to toe and adorned with squishy pillows. Hidden inside the wardrobe was the ‘restore’ section of the room, a little fridge and herbal tea station complimented with a plate of fruit. The bathroom boasted a sunken tub and a view to an outside reading table. There were plenty of options inside the room for reading too; a chair here, one there with a foot rest. She was glad because reading was something she had come here to do.

A place to rest

A place to rest

She had also came here to find herself again. To reconnect to that deep spiritual center of herself and ease the stresses of modern day life. She had come to learn how to enjoy her own company, revel in doing things only for herself and to simply sit back, shut out the outside world and breathe again. The anxiety that had crept up on her like a disease was lurking behind her forehead, her heart and she wanted to push it out. So what better place to come than here?

A few hours, a brief run and bath later she ventured to the Gaia Day Spa for a wellness consultation; a half hour meeting with Naturopath Grace to chat about her goals and treatments for the week. When Grace asked her what she hoped to achieve in these five days the girl had to choke back tears. An overwhelming sense of purpose hit her hard. The walk back to her room was one of raw beauty, an unusual and rare experience in a life as busy as hers. She saw the same palms again that towered over her on the way to the spa, but this time their fronds danced in the breeze, the grass was a little greener and at the exact moment she smiled the heavens opened and sent down the most beautiful sun shower. The cool water on her cheeks, her lips made her smile even harder.

By the time the clocked clicked over to 5pm she had herself a berry and green tea, pen and paper in hand awaiting the talk by Naturopath Grace on stress and nutrition. One and a half hours of realisations as she scribbled notes and drank in the information that seemed so simple. She learned how the digestive and endocrine system is intertwined and connected with the immune system as well. All these questions about her own inner workings seemed to be answered in some small way. Gratitude was what she felt toward the woman with a glowing smile, long slim legs and a mess of beautiful brown hair wearing the female version of Tim’s comfy attire.

At dinner that night she sat by herself at a beautifully set table with three candles and a single white lily. It was a strange feeling sitting down to a three course meal by herself, but at the same time it didn’t feel wrong. Like most other women in the room she grabbed a magazine and flicked through its glossy pages in between the courses – asparagus salad, swordfish, poached peach in jelly – but just sitting staring at the surroundings almost felt more natural.

She put into practice what she had learned that afternoon, chewing 20 times for protein, 10 for carbs and sipped slowly on a glass of bubbles as the sun sank out of sight and the candles flickered brighter.

After dinner and a short wander back to her room dodging cane toads that had positioned themselves on the red brick path, she sunk deep in a warm tub, book in hand and sprinkled the sea salts and rose petals around her. Dark had arrived but instead of feeling homesick she felt empowered.She heard her husband’s words in her head ‘you deserve it, make the most of it’ and so she did.

sunset1 lr

(chapter 1 in a 6 part series – my time at Gaia by Lahnee Pavlovich)

Nutrition rollercoaster

Increased saliva, nausea, fatigue, moodiness, increased gas.

Hmm, I’m either preggers or having an odd reaction to the metagenics supplements.

Now Jess did warn there may be side effects, so I’m figuring this is what I’m experiencing.

But, I’m curious to hear from others who have been on these types of supps. What side effects did you have? How did you feel? How did they help you?

Another weird thing that’s been happening this week is my appetite roller-coaster.

Some days, I’ve been ravenous! Other days, I’ve not been hungry at all….

confused face

And my diet has not changed. I’m still no wheat, no dairy. In fact, if anything my diet is getting better every day.

The only ‘new’ thing is the supps. But then again maybe that’s how these things work?

Anyone who is going through the process of changing their diet and lifestyle would probably feel the same as I am right now. It’s all a bit new and uncertain. Things are changing slowly inside you and your body, and mind, is adapting.

I think the thing I’ve learnt from this week of ups and downs is that it really is a process, and even though I’ve felt better already, it’s a long road ahead to being ‘fixed’. There is a whole journey in front of me and I’m only just beginning.

So, I’ll keep chugging along, and when I catch up with Jess in 2 more weeks, we will have plenty to talk about!

Feel free to get in touch either in the comments section or on facebook –

Parex, Metagenics, what the?

Well the days have come and gone and the post I’d hoped to get on here last Thursday is now finally making an appearance.

Last Wednesday I had my first follow-up appointment with Jessica Cox.

I was actually really excited about it! I wanted to tell her all about how I’d been going and I wanted to see what her feedback was, and the results of the tests were to be discussed. Anyone would have thought I was going for a job interview… for a job I really wanted that is. Nerves, butterflies, excitement, curiosity! All wrapped up (in a wheat free wrap of course).

So throughout the hour session, we chatted and I talked poor Jess’s ear off about what I had been eating, how I was finding it, how I felt.

I had actually been away on a work trip the weekend prior to Spicers Clovelly (a whole post in itself! OMG that place is heaven) and I was served up a few slices of fresh cooked bread straight from the over (drool!), so not wanting to be rude, I ate them. Yes you can cue the hand slaps and tisk tisk but it turned out to be a good thing, because I confirmed the fact that wheat does upset me. So I was able to tell Jess about this too and she seemed really happy with the progress we were making on breaking down the food groups and seeing what things were good for me, and what things were not.

The jury is still out on dairy so after 2 more weeks, I’ll be slowly reintroducing sheep and goat dairy only in the form of hard cheeses for 3 consecutive days. I’ll see how I feel and if I feel ok, we then reintroduce the softer stuff, then all going well, we bring back the cow dairy. Although, just quietly, I’m hoping I’m no good with cows dairy because it’s a good excuse for me to cut things like chocolate, cappuccinos, cheese – all the things I liked to munch on a little too much! I’ve actually lost 1.5kg JUST from the change in diet!!!

Now to the test results. I mentioned it before; I’m not allergic to gluten. No coeliac disease which is great news. I have low iron (no surprises there) so I’m taking Essential Nutrients Iron Plus daily for that. I do however also have bad bacteria in my gut. So the goal over the next 3 weeks before Jess and I meet again is to flush these bad bacteria out with the use of 2 different Metagenics supplements. Parex, which I take twice daily, 1 tab in the am and 2 tabs in the pm, is a potent anti-parasitic herbal combination which will rid the body of intestinal worms and parasites and provide anti parasitic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal activity. Gastro AG, a powder that provides fuel for beneficial bacteria, I’m having in water 2 x daily. I won’t lie, it kind of tastes kind of like what chalk might taste like but sweeter.


So that’s all folks and I’ll touch base again very soon when I take you all on a journey into my pantry…. Oooohhhhh, aaaahhhhhh J

To get in touch with Jess, visit

Get up, get down with the sickness

Yes that’s right, the words of this Disturbed song formed the motto for last week.

Despite already having the flu twice this year, I managed to get it a third time, right in the middle of my Insanity challenge. Damn!

So, needless to say I was out for the count most of last week. Which is a real shame because after a tough week 3 I was actually pumped for week 4.

Monday and Tuesday workouts were on fire. Then that fire fizzled out til there was nothing left but ash.

So, I will be redoing week 4 starting today! And next week I will have something a little more inspirational to post.

My advice for the week though is to rest when you need to. It is very important to learn to understand your body and give it what it needs. I could have tried to power on this last week but I would have done more harm then good and my workouts would have only been half assed anyway because I didn’t have the strength to go hard. So I went home instead. And now, I have recovered and am ready to get back on the horse so to speak!

Until next time… yours in INSANITY!



Insanity check in – week 3

Hey hey followers, so this is a little late but you know what they say.. better late than never!

Here is my latest video checking in for Insanity. I’ve just started week 4 and am really enjoying the challenge.

Some days are harder than others but I’m determined to finish this and not just cross the line but sprint to the finish, skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out loudly proclaiming WOW what a ride…

Hope you enjoy the video!



Did you see the last video?


Bondi Vet – A hero to animals across the globe

vet1 The 5th season of Channel Ten’s Bondi Vet is on air now, so I caught up with Dr Chris Brown in between his busy schedule to chat animals and the show.

What made you want to become a vet?

It’s a funny thing; I guess you could say I was born into it. My dad was a vet and so when I was young I was always brining home injured birds and asking pet questions from John in the third   grade or my teachers. So my Dad would clock off at about 8pm and then clock back on at home answering all of my questions.  As a kid we had all kinds of animals around the house all the time. Dad would bring home possums, koalas, cows, dogs, even a penguin. My brothers and I would care for them. The penguin was actually attacked by a dog I think and needed extra care and rehabilitation which is why he was brought back to our house. It was quite special really being surrounded by all of the animals all the time and learning early how to care for them.

Did you ever image when you started out that you would be a celebrity vet with your own tv show?

Um, no, not at all. It’s actually funny how it all happened. I was in a pub after work one day in Sydney and chatting to a female friend at the bar. I was telling her all about the work I was doing and some of the interesting cases I got and a media agent overheard the conversation. When she left he came up to me and sort of laughed and thought I was telling stories and pretending to be a vet just to pick her up. He walked away but came back later and said; look if you were telling the truth then I have an idea. That’s how Bondi Vet came about. Before that my only stint in the media was in a school production where I was Dairy Springer. It was a spinoff of Jerry Springer.

Can you describe a typical day in the ‘office’?

I actually alternate between three typical days now. Sometimes I will just be working as a vet in the Bondi clinic and because of the show I get all sorts of cases come through the door now. I start my day off with a swim or a run to wake up and head in for the day. Other days I’ll be filming for Bondi Vet either in the clinic or on the road, mostly on the road these days, and either domestically or overseas.  The third day is filming for The Living Room where I’m out and about doing travel pieces. I could be doing anything like running down the streets of Japan half naked, the days are really mixed up.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

I love being able to help the animals I meet and to see that special bond between animal and owner.  And I enjoy the fact that by treating one animal on screen, we can actually help many more animals. One lady actually phoned the clinic and told us about her cat who had a litter of kittens and none of them were breathing. She remembered the episode where a similar situation occurred with a litter of puppies and we brought them all back with mouth to mouth resuscitation. She went back to the episode, watched how we did it and saved all the kittens. That’s quite incredible.

What can viewers expect from the 5th season of Bondi Vet which is airing on channel 10 now?

They can expect more compassion and seeing that special bond with animal and human. The show is pretty well known now and so people are bringing in all sorts of cases so I think this season the challenges are bigger but so are the rewards. We are also getting more requests for help from overseas. I’m actually heading to Kenya for something pretty special so keep an eye out for that. We are actually going to an area very isolated, I don’t think any other TV show has ever been there, and we will be working with a lot of zebras and rhinos but that’s really all I can say for now. I guess as far as cases go, we are helping a 6m salt water croc, some pretty special dogs, and so many more amazing animals.

Featuring charismatic vets Dr Chris Brown Dr Lisa Chimes, Bondi Vet is an unscripted 30 part, one hour television series set against the breathtaking backdrop of Bondi in Sydney. Bondi Vet airs on Channel Ten, Saturdays at 7.30pm. Visit


HELP! I need a change

Does anyone else have those moments where you just NEED a change! Not want one, but feel deep in your bones, your soul that you really, really need one and your head may just explode if you don’t get one?

Ok perhaps it’s not quite that bad but lately I have been feeling as though it is time for a change. I’m happy in my job, so I don’t want to change that, I love my little charmer of a home, I don’t have the money for a new wardrobe (dam!) so hair change it is!

Let me give you a bit of a history condensed into a few lines about me and my hair.

First of all, it kinda resembles a lion’s mane. My hair is big, buffy with a natural wave and it’s been some shade of blonde most of my life. I have dyed it brown twice before and black once (this was an accident and a whoooolllleeee other story). But that’s about it. It has also been mostly long. Although a few years ago I did chop it all off with a bit of a concave do that fell under my ears.

Me now (with beautiful grammy)

I have decided I don’t want to cut my hair this time… I’m really loving it being long again, except for maybe a really cute fringe (bring on the bangs!!!!) and some layers. I do possibly want to colour it but like many women out there I’m fickle and well quite frankly scared to make a drastic change.

I think this all comes down to identity. I know it shouldn’t, and in my next blog I’m going to get a bit more in depth about this, but let’s face it, we do see our hair as part of our identity and we are afraid to make too much of a change in case it somehow changes the person we are… although deep down I’m sure we all know this wouldn’t actually happen.

Anyways, let’s leave the deep stuff for next time. This post is really just to throw some ideas out there and see what you all think? So… what do you think????

Til next time…

(post comments here below or on FB (

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