All posts by Trish Powell

Trish has been writing articles about health and lifestyle for her website which she runs together with her husband of 45 years. After undergoing and operation for breast cancer whilst in her forties Trish became a Life Coach and has been an advocate of healthy living. Trish and her husband Chris along with their two children have spent many years aboard sailing boats. Now their family is grown they are living permanently aboard their yacht “Reliance” and are cruising the waters of Queensland in Australia. Drawing on her lifestyle choices and experience as a life coach she feels that some of the lessons she has learned, her knowledge and ideas can be helpful to others reaching retirement.

Tweaking Our Diet

It occurred to me recently that we should think about tweaking our diet in light of the fact that our lifestyle has changed since we moved off our yacht “Reliance”. Chris and I have noticed that we aren’t as fit as we used to be and it seems harder now to keep the weight off.

tweaking our diet by cutting down on calories

Cut down on your calories. Just eat the fruit from the top!

Cut down on the Calories

We have already modified our diet so that we don’t eat as much bread and we have cut out the wine and cheese habit that we had at 5 pm every day! This is a habit that is easily formed when entertaining and being entertained on cruising boats.

Tweaking our diet has made a difference but we aren’t burning enough calories with physical exercise as we used to.

wellbeeing information benefits of exercise

Keep Up The Exercise

Our houseboat is all on one level so there are no steps to climb. On board Reliance we had 6 steps down into the saloon which we ran up and down all day.

We needed to haul the dinghy up and down in the davits every time we went ashore, then, haul it up the beach if there was an incoming tide.

We didn’t have a car and walked everywhere.  It probably isn’t surprising then that without all that exercise, we feel a bit sluggish and out of shape.


Recently I wrote a blog about thinning hair and although I am still massaging oil into my scalp I have also started taking cod liver oil as a supplement.

fish oil capsules

I take a teaspoon a day and although it is pretty disgusting it is a pure product without any additives so I prefer it to capsules.

We have always maintained that you should only take supplements if your diet is deficient. As we don’t eat enough fish then a fish supplement is right for us.

Most fish is expensive and pretty bland, plus we worry about the environmental issues such as all the plastic and waste in the oceans.


The Japanese have very thick hair because they eat so much fish and seaweed. I have thought about seaweed supplements but have never got around to trying it. I know that you can actually eat seaweed but I think that is a bit too much like mushrooms, dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. A bit too adventurous for me I”m afraid!

drying seaweed

Drying Seaweed

Fruit & Vegetables

We have plenty of fruit and vegetables in our diet but I have to admit it is pretty much the same most of the time. We  have fresh fruit with our breakfast. Apple, grapes and a date with cheese and nuts lunch.

veggies for a winter warmer soup

Tweaking Our Diet

After deciding that tweaking our diet might be a good idea, we have made a few changes.

Having read good things about coconut oil, I have now started taking a teaspoon a day for my skin and nails. Our daughter Beccy says it is great and uses it on her skin regularly.

Chris and I have started eating two savory biscuits spread with Vegemite every day. We used to eat Vegemite on toast regularly until we gave up eating so much bread. Since we walk every morning before breakfast, we have the biscuits just before we go for our walk.

Yeast Extract

Vegemite is a yeast extract and a very good source of brewers yeast.  This contains the B vitamins as well as Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin.

According to the “ National Institutes of Health” the recommended dose increases with age. We could take B supplements but a couple of Vegemite biscuits a day seems a simple solution.

tweaking our diet with Vegimite

The benefits of Brewers Yeast are extensive and include.

  • Supporting brain function
  • Maintaining healthy blood vessels
  • Promotes a healthy nervous system
  • Lowers stress levels
  • Vitamin B6 also maintains healthy hair and nails which is a big plus as far as I’m concerned.

Of course Chris doesn’t worry about this hair thing, he still has most of his and since his mother died at 95 with a thick head of hair it is likely he will be the same. Alright for some!!

stopping hair loss


We still have gelatin every day. Gelatin is almost the same as collagen and a great deal less expensive.  I wrote about this in “The Benefits of Collagen.” Collagen is taken to help our joints, build cartilage and is good for hair, nails and skin.


Although we use eggs in cooking we now make an effort to have eggs for breakfast at least twice a week; usually boiled or poached.

 Eggs are very nutritious, they contain:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Phosphorus
  • Selenium
  • Calcium
  •  Zinc.

Eggs are rich in nutrients

Being retired means we have the time to sit down and enjoy our food, especially breakfast. When we were working meals were always rushed affairs.

Tweaking our diet has reminded me how important it is to make sure that the food we eat is providing us with the right nutrition.

Embrace Change

It is a truth universally acknowledged that people don’t like change, let alone to embrace change. For many people fear of the unknown is what makes change scary.

Chris and I have always liked change.  We love the excitement of new challenges and a new environment. It always amazes us that people will actually do a job they hate or live in a place they don’t like because the idea of change is too hard.

Doing a job you hate? embrace change

Doing a job you hate? Embrace Change.

Good health and happiness are linked so if you aren’t happy with your life, embrace change and live life on your terms.

House Sitting, Our Latest Change

A few months ago we decided we needed a change of scenery. We did think about selling the houseboat but since we have only had it a couple of years and would like to finish renovating it that wasn’t an option. What to do?

Our son suggested house-sitting, he said friends were doing it and loving it. We went on-line and registered with a house-sitting site and stipulated South Australia as our preferred option. We haven’t seen much of S.A. and thought this would be a good way to do it.

Embrace change, house sitting a cat

House-sitting usually involves pets and right now we are looking after two cats. We are close to the ocean and are able to walk by the water every day. It is also hilly so plenty of cardiovascular exercise which is all good. After this we head off to Port Lincoln for three weeks, a big property with dogs and cats so should be fun.

We are now booked for the rest of the year and have had to turn people down. We have met some lovely people and seen lots of places we would never have visited. Pets are a bit like grandchildren you just enjoy them and hand them back when you leave.

Change The Small Stuff

Of course change isn’t always about the big stuff, sometimes small changes can make a difference. It could be something simple like changing your diet or daily exercise routine.

Healthy eating to avoid high pulse rate at rest

Healthy Eating

Most of the time life is pretty much the same old, same old and that goes for everyone. It is important not to get bogged down in routine so life becomes stale and boring.

Being open to change also means you can cope better with all those speed bumps that life throws in to upset the best laid plans.

Chris and I tend to do things on the spur of the moment and sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t.  Our attitude is though, if you never go, you will never know.

Embrace Change Check List

However that doesn’t work for everyone, so if you feel like making a change but are feeling unsure ask yourself these questions.

  •  Where will I be in five years time if I don’t do anything?
  • What would I really like to do?
  • Am I happy with my life?  If you are asking these questions, then you are not!
  • What would I like to change?
  • Who else do I have to consider?
  •  What can I do to improve my quality of life?
  • Am I prepared to make changes?

check list to embrace change

Take the time to think things through so that you can minimise the risk and maximise the chances of everything working out the way you would like it to.

Making changes might mean stepping out of your comfort zone. To overcome this, focus on the benefits and positive effects to strengthen your resolve.

Common Fears

Some of the most common fears related to change are.

  • Changing jobs.
  • Moving House.
  • Starting a relationship.
  • Promotion at work.

fear of moving house

The key to making major change is planning, if you are organised and take care of the details everything will go smoothly.

Don’t let fear of change inhibit your potential, if it is a choice between stagnating or moving forward, embrace change with open arms.

How To Lift Your Mood

How can you lift your mood?  Right now I am in the enviable position of being able to instantly lift my mood by gazing out over a panorama of hills and ocean.

However it occurred to me that not everyone is so lucky and wondered just what you can do when you are feeling a little bit sad or down in the dumps. With that in mind I have put together a few strategies that may help to blow the blues away and lift your mood.

This isn’t about clinical depression, that is for the specialists, but everyone gets a bit down at times and if it happens too often it might be an idea to nip it in the bud.

Happy Nuts

As part of our regular diet Chris and I eat what we refer to as “Happy Nuts” more commonly known as Brazil nuts.  Brazil nuts contain Selenium and research has pretty well proved that depression or negativity is linked to low Selenium levels in the body.

Lift your mood with Brazil nuts

Happy Nuts

The required level of Selenium is a fine balance and one or two Brazil nuts a day is all you require. . A good diet that includes foods that contain Selenium is a safe way to maintain the correct level.

According to Dr Josh Axe the top ten foods that contain Selenium are.

1. Brazil Nuts
2. Yellow fin tuna
3. Halibut
4. Sardines
5. Grass fed Beef
6. Turkey
7. Beef Liver
8. Chicken
9. Eggs
10. Spinach


The body produces a chemical called Serotonin which is linked to depression when the level becomes too low.  One of the key ingredients needed for making serotonin is Tryptophan.  By eating foods that contain Tryptophan you can produce more Serotonin. It may sound a bit like a chemistry lesson but it is further proof that good health and a good diet are linked.

Some foods that contain Tryptophan are.

1. Eggs
2. Cheese
3. Salmon
4. Tofu
5. Nuts
6. Turkey
7. Lamb
8. Pumpkin Seeds


Incorporating more of these foods into your diet may help you to feel happier and more positive.
Many people will be aware that Tryptophan helps to induce sleep, which is probably why it is easy to become comatose after eating Thanksgiving dinner. Nothing to do with the wine at all!!

Lift your mood with sound sleep

This may not be a bad thing since sleep plays a big part in how we feel. Lack of sleep has been linked to depression and mood swings. Going without sleep for short periods of time won’t have a noticeable effect on your health but over time it can cause major problems. Deep restful sleep is when the body heals and rejuvenates itself so it is crucial for health and well being.


If a good night’s sleep eludes you try to nap during the day. Instead of watching television put on some headphones and listen to soothing music, meditation or hypnosis tracks. If noise and distractions are a problem, invest in a set of noise cancelling headphones, they are amazing.  When we lived aboard “Reliance’ our sailing boat, we used them to do away with the noise and stress of howling winds. We just pretended it wasn’t happening!!


Regular exercise can also have a positive effect on your mood. Exercising helps the body to release endorphins which make you feel good. It also releases happy chemicals such as Dopamine into your brain which also lifts your mood. Many athletes talk about a natural high after a bout of training and its not hard to see why.

lift your mood by walking

Exercise can take many forms but at the end of the day a good brisk walk in fresh air will suffice and if you can do it in a clean environment so much the better.


Colour and environment will also affect your mood. There isn’t much you can do about your workplace but you can make sure your home makes you feel good especially if you have a stressful job.

Get rid of clutter and surround yourself with things that bring you joy. Some colours are naturally depressing while others are soothing and tranquil. Don’t underestimate the impact of colour in your life, experiment and see what has a positive effect.

Add color to lift your mood

Lastly add a little colour to your wardrobe, avoid too much black or dark and sombre shades. A splash of colour can help to lift your mood and gives off positive vibes which attracts others.

Smile and Lift Your Mood 🙂

Remember life is not a dress rehearsal, so smile and be happy. Smiling is the easiest and quickest way to lift your mood.

Stopping Hair Loss

Last June I got serious about stopping hair loss and now ten months later I am more than happy with the results of my treatment.

Don’t Stress

Hair loss is a major concern for many people. Having had thick healthy hair all my life I had never given it much thought. Things changed pretty quickly when I started to see more hair than usual in my hairbrush. Of course the first thing most people do when they realize they are losing their hair istopping hair losss stress about it. This is a bad move since stress will make it worse. However as much as I tried not to, I still worried about it.

After having ruled out most of the obvious causes; lifestyle, diet, medication etc. I decided there was nothing untoward. I then went to the internet for more help. There was plenty of information and discussion about hair loss and several remedies. Massaging the scalp with oils and leaving it in to be absorbed seemed to be the common thread. Quite a few people said they had had success with this method. The oil of choice for this was castor oil.

Caster Oil

Castor oil comes from the castor bean and was used a lot at one time for all sorts of things, the most common being as a laxative.  It is rich in vitamin E which is very good for the hair.  As a by the by, just in case you have moles in your garden, they dislike it intensely and will move away if you put it near their holes!!

A major drawback for castor oil is its thick gluggy texture, probably why moles don’t like it, which makes it less than ideal for massage. The best way to use it is to cut it with another oil  such as almond oil or coconut oil which is what I have been doing. I have also recently tried Argan oil which is now considered to be very good for hair care.

A Bad Hair Day

The other issue is leaving it on long enough to do some good. The most common suggestion was to leave it in overnight; however the idea of all that gunk on the pillow put me off. Luckily for me being retired means time isn’t an issue so I do it during the day. I apply it in the morning and leave it in for six or seven hours. Warm sunny days help with absorption and on cold days I wear a shower cap to keep the warmth in.stopping hair loss with massage

Well as I said, I got serious about stopping hair loss last year and I knew when I started the treatment that I couldn’t expect results for at least 3 months. There are no instant results with hair regrowth, it’s a slow process and patience is the key. After the first couple of months of twice weekly treatment, the hair fall was greatly reduced then ceased altogether. My hair looked good and my hairdresser said the hair was strong and well attached, to say I was relieved was an understatement.

The Stopping Hair Loss Method I use.

You will need two bowls, a small one and one about the size of a serial bowl. Pour a small amount of castor oil in the small bowl, add coconut oil and mix together. Put boiling water in the cereal bowl and stand the small bowl in it to warm the oil. Massage it into the scalp and leave as long as possible. I generally sit down with an old towel on my lap, lean forward and start from the back and work forward. Any oil I have over I use for the backs of my hands and if there is still some over I use it on Chris.

Cod Liver Oil Supplement

fish oil capsulesAfter my success with the oils I decided to supplement my diet with cod liver oil. We don’t eat as much fish as we should and although cod liver oil isn’t as trendy or well known as omega 3 capsules it works just as well. I take a teaspoon a day and yes it’s pretty gross but I reckon it is worth it. The only downside is I spend more at the hairdressers getting my hair cut.

Thickening Hair

I’m happy with the results of the oil treatment but now I would like a bit more thickness. Dr H. C. A. Vogel who wrote,  “The Nature Handbook” suggests an old fashioned remedy for thickening hair. Apparently rubbing half a raw onion into the scalp prior to washing works wonders.

I haven’t tried it yet but I am thinking about it, after all after my success with stopping hair loss,  why wouldn’t I?

Compromise In A Relationship

Here is a little news flash. Compromise in a relationship, is normal. Some people get very upset about making a compromise but unless you get exactly what you want all the time, compromise is just a fact of life.

Someone once said “Life is a compromise” and in a way it is true. Think about it, how often do things work out exactly as you planned? If you end up getting most of what you want most of the time you are doing ok.

That’s Life!

Get over the disappointment and move on. However being in a relationship means you have someone else to consider other than yourself. This is sometimes where things can get sticky.

When two people live together all the time, it is impossible to agree all the time, learning to compromise so that you are both happy is a real skill. Give and take is the key component in any discussion where there is friction or a clash of views over the outcome.

In many cases a compromise in a relationship is no big deal. So yes, you really wanted “this” but at the end of the day you ended up with “that” and it’s not so bad. The problems really begin when you are both set on something and each is convinced that their idea or solution is the best one.


Compromise in a relationshipWhen this happens, the only way forward is to sit down and talk it through. Of course this is easier said than done, tempers and emotions run high and underlying this is the disappointment because things aren’t going to work out the way you planned.

The next step is to discuss and negotiate. Businesses and government agencies do it all the time, it is a tried and tested formula. A stalemate doesn’t help anyone and in extreme cases no-one ends up with anything. A relationship isn’t a business or government department but you still have two people with conflicting ideas who need to resolve an issue so that it benefits both of them.

Compromise is when you come up with a solution that may not be exactly what you hoped for but is absolutely the best you can do in the circumstances. The key to compromise is to work out the best outcome so that each partner walks away with something.


This is not easy, so here are some tips that may help.
1) Wait until you are calm before you sit down to discuss the issue.
2) Make sure there are no distractions .
3) Set aside ample time for discussion.
4) Consider all the options and look at the big picture.
5) Don’t limit yourselves to ideas and options.
6) Play the “What if game” and come up with new scenarios
7) Don’t be frightened to try something different.
8) Keep it amicable
9) Write notes so that if you don’t get it sorted out in one go, you can keep track of what you have discussed.

All this may sound like good old fashioned common sense but when tension is running high, common sense flies out of the window. The good news is that once you have learned to discuss and negotiate, you can bring these skills to bear at any time and avoid conflict in the future.

Compromise In A Relationship

Compromise in a relationship

This is an ongoing thing. Mostly compromise is about things that aren’t that important but when it is, knowing how to work things out could save a lot of angst.