GUEST POST | Ange Simson The Gratitude Project

This is the first ever guest post here on peppahart.com and it's a post I am over the moon to share with you, say H E Y to Ange Simson! This beautiful soul is incredable for many reasons, not only because she is fricking gorgeous on the outside and has the best hair you have ever laid eyes on but it's the inside that radiates. Ange has an outlook on life that I wish everyone had, it's pretty simple... Ange is grateful for everything and doesn't take a minute for granted, Ange is living a healthy and happy life with her loving family and you can feel the love and happiness from not only these photos but from her lovely and thoughtful words. 

I was so drawn to Ange without even properly knowing her that I had to get in contact and along the way have been inspired so much by her thought process. I am sure you will feel just the same after reading this post. If you are loving Ange's approach to life and her delightful recipes, make sure you check out her site the-gratitude-project.com and follow her killer Instagram @gratitude_project - warning you will fall in LOVE with her darling daughter Bo! 

The photos of Ange with her husband Hugh and daughter Bo are shot by Jenna Agius, you can read more about her work here


A N G E L A  S I M S O N

My life isn’t a journey.  I know, everyone is on this “journey of life” but I’m just not into it.  I’m not on a journey.  A journey implies an end and I have no desired destination.  I used to think that I was going through life and trying to get to this perfect place, where my home looked like my pinterest boards, my body rivalled Miranda Kerr’s and my weekends were spent on the beach with my family, just laughing and running around with no care in the world.  Isn’t that sort of everyones goal?  So what happens when you get there, you’re done?  Do you happily die after that moment of perfection has passed?  

So now I think of my life as a flow.  There have been times when I’ve been riding high near the surface of my flow and then there have been times when I’m down below, hitting rocks and scraping my knees.  Sometimes things are good and sometimes they’re bad.  The goal is to just keep going and keep improving.  Literally go with the flow.  

Lets start with food.  Remember continuously being told “you are what you eat” as a child.  So what are you?  Are you processed, full of chemicals and additives?  Or are you fresh, ripe and full of nutrients?  It may seem so blatantly obvious but I used to think I was healthy.  I would eat sausages and broccoli for dinner and think I was being good for having some greens and no carbs.  I wasn’t overweight so I figured that I was just someone who could get away with having ice-cream for dessert every night.  I didn’t like milk so that was my dairy fix for the day, right? Wrong!  Did I mention that I was suffering from monthly migraines, so debilitating that I would be shut up in my dark cold room for at least 24 hours, leaving only to throw up.  I tried all types of pain relief, only to find there is no relief for a migraine.  Had tests and studies done.  Saw specialists.  Nothing.  

Then I read an article in a Women's Health magazine about cutting out certain foods to help with headaches and it hit me.  I was eating foods filled with chemicals.  Pre packaged “healthy” frozen meals, ice-cream topping that somehow went hard once it hit the Sara Lee.  Very little of my diet was natural whole foods.  Even my broccoli was from a frozen bag.  

My husband proposed and that was another big reality hit for me.  Next up, baby town.  I knew in my heart that if I was bringing a child into the world, I want to give him or her the best start possible.  I want to know that I did everything I could to make sure they got all the opportunity in the world.  For some people, this means financial ease, but for me, it meant health and happiness.  That’s where it all started.  My love affair with my best life possible.  

Doesn’t it just make sense that a healthy body will create a healthy baby?  

I wish it was that simple.  There are all types of issues which we have no say over, but something I am sure of, is that being healthy, positive and taking care of yourself before, during and after pregnancy will give you a much better chance of a happy, blissful pregnancy and birth.. Ultimately leading to a beautiful natured little baby!

So that was my goal.  Fill my body with nutrient rich whole foods so that when it became time to conceive, that little foetus would have the perfect place to grow and thrive!  Get rid of the processed foods, things from packets and laden with sugar and chemicals.  It didn’t happen overnight.  It happened over about 2 years and I’m still learning, growing and improving.  

The main thing I’ve learnt is to listen to my body. You can find anything online and be scared off a certain type of food.  I recently started eating yogurt again, because I felt my body needed it.  I’m currently not a big fan of gluten but sometimes I go back to bread.  Never say never.  Don’t cut out a food group FOREVER because someone says it’s bad for you, unless you have an allergy or your body really can’t handle it.  Go with YOUR flow.  

Being happy is nourishment to your soul.  I’ve been brought up to always be grateful for everything I have.  I’ve been incredibly blessed.  I’ve also had some extremely hard lows, but I was raised to always see the light in a situation, the silver lining as they say.  Once a bad period in my life is over I refuse to give it any more energy and I move on from it.  Every experience is an opportunity to grow & learn and I think that can be extremely helpful to remember when times are tough.  

Some people disagree with me, but I believe that being happy is a choice.  Not in the way that you just wake up and say “today, I’ll be happy” even though you just got fired or lost a loved one.  More so that you can choose to do what makes you happy.  Be in relationships with people who see your inner light, work in an industry that you’re passionate about, do things that feed your soul and eat foods to nourish your body.  Don’t allow any part of yourself to take in any junk.  

I have a challenge for you.  Is there something you want to change in your life?  Is there an area you want to improve or something making you unhappy?  Take an active step to change this, starting right now.  I want to know about it!  Drop me a line or touch base via Facebook.  As big as making a career changing decision or just trying to make your beauty cabinet chemical free.  Let. Me. Know.

Love & luck
Ange

{ Don't forget to check out Ange's site over at the-gratitude-project.com }

ANGE WAS FEATURED ON THE LORNA JANE BLOG THIS WEEK YOU CAN SEE IT HERE  


RECIPE GOODNESS FROM THE GRATITUDE PROJECT

RAW CHOP SALAD WITH CRANBERRIES

INGREDIENTS

1 small head broccoli
1/4 cauliflower
1 carrot - grated
1 stalk kale - finely chopped
1/3 cup pepitas
1 cup dried cranberries
Olive oil
Lemon

Cut off the leafy end of the broccoli, I keep the stalks for puree for my baby but you can also throw it in a stir fry or soup. 

Chop the broccoli and cauliflower finely and scrape into your salad bowl. 

Add grated carrot, kale, pepitas and cranberries and stir to combine. 

Drizzle over olive oil and squeeze juice of half a lemon over. 

This is about 4 servings and keeps well in the fridge for 2 days! 


DIY SKIN TREATS FROM THE GRATITUDE PROJECT

coffee scrub

DIY SUGAR COFFEE BODY SCRUB

Lets talk about the benefits of using coffee to scrub your skin..

- Cellulite reduction
- Can help prevent or eradicate small varicose veins
- Increases blood flow
- Smells nice

So instead of wasting your money paying for shipping, packaging and marketing of an expensive body scrub filled with ingredients you cannot pronounce, MAKE YOUR OWN!

I used to make this scrub loose (like sand), using equal amounts of ORGANIC INSTANT COFFEE, RAW SUGAR AND COCONUT OIL. But it got messy. Like all over the shower floor, inbetween the tiles kind of messy. Then I had an AH HA moment and thought "how great would it be if this body scrub was condensed, like a bar of soap? Genius, right?

Here's what you should do - 

Mix together in a bowl 1/2 a cup of instant coffee and 1/2 a cup of raw sugar.

Use a muffin tray (I used a mini muffin tray for these) and scoop a heaped tablespoon into each mound.

Cover each mound with coconut oil and place in the freezer for at least an hour.

Pop them out and store in Glad Bags or Tupperware containers, use as needed.

To use - rub them over your body before or during your shower. You could even add a few drops of your favorite essential oil in lieu of perfume that day!

oatmeal

DIY OATMEAL FACE MASK

I have this big jar of oats, sitting on my kitchen counter waiting to be transformed into Anzac cookies.

The day has come and passed too quickly and those poor oats, haven’t served their purpose. Mostly due to my laziness and also far too many recipes to choose from promising a healthy version of this Aussie delight.

So I’m making an Anzac face mask.. Also known as an Oatmeal Face Mask!

What you’ll need -

1 tablespoon ground oatmeal*
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon yogurt

Mix all ingredients together and let sit for 5 minutes. Apply the paste to clean skin using your fingertips. Have a chill out for 15 minutes while it works its magic. Wash off and moisturise with coconut oil to avoid that tight and dry feeling afterwards.

Why these ingredients?

Firstly, oatmeal is soothing to your skin and a great base for any face mask. Yogurt is full of probiotic enzymes that will nourish your skin and honey is antibacterial, to help with those little breakouts!

For more recipes just like this visit the Gratitude Project.