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    On Sri Lanka, feeling like a failure and the best remedy for a cold

    On Sri Lanka, feeling like a failure and the best remedy for a cold

    sri lanka better raw travels

    Today marks one week since we returned from our Sri Lankan adventures.

    This destination has been on our list of places to visit for a long time (anything with tropical fruit for me and surfing for Elliot is on that list), but there was always something- either wedding planning, opening of Tanya’s, retreat in Ecuador or The Uncook Book deadline- which made it impossible for us to get away for more than 3 consecutive days.

    The baby wasn’t going to be a reason though.

    We decided early on that we’d have a travelling family and that our children would grow up learning about different cultures, foods and adventure. Why not start when they are still inside you, right?

    So at six months of pregnancy, a big growing bump and really the final month I’d be covered by insurance while flying, we finally took off for the honeymoon that was 18 months overdue. I learned a new word: babymoon!

    tanya maher pregnancy

    [Sri Lanka was magical and there is soooo much I can write about it, but I’ve already posted a daily highlight on Better Raw social channels and if you are on Instagram, I even tagged all the locations we stopped at. Just look up the hashtag #BetterRawTravels to follow along].

    Then after 10 blissful days of swimming, tanning, eating and relaxing like champions, I wake up aching all over, throat too sore to speak, nose too blocked up to breathe and eyes so watery, we had to head for the airport with my sarong instead of a hanky.

    In complete denial that I may have my first cold after 7 whole years of doing the proud raw food walk and intuitive eating, we landed back in London and I headed straight for my speaking appearance at a NZ Business Women’s Network event held at Tanya’s.

    That was last Monday and then on Tuesday I attended a bunch of meetings regarding the cafe and our recent pop-up in Selfridges, a preggie hospital check-up and even a magazine interview.

    By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was well and truly lacking all sense of desire, getting out of bed was suddenly the most tedious chore and worst of all, I was feeling so deeply sad and down, I couldn’t recognise the person experiencing any of this.

    Could this be post-holiday blues?

    Surely not, I felt so satisfied with this much-needed break and I truly looked forward to getting back to work and applying all the awesome ideas to my business which came up in Sri Lanka. And I’m also one of those super lucky/weird people that doesn’t experience jet lag.

    Could this be pregnancy blues?

    I doubt that, I’m loving every single day of being pregnant, the tiny ninja-turtle-alien dancing and bouncing inside me, observing how she reacts to various voices, the light and the positions I’m sitting or laying in, I’m loving how good my skin feels, how rarely my hair gets oily these days, how fast I tan, how full my breasts feel, how much energy I have, how peaceful I am and how natural it feels to be feeding and growing a happy little miracle.

    Then what could be making me so deeply sad?

    I couldn’t make sense of my own feelings and after various attempts to cheer myself up either with an uplifting film, feel-good-quotes, a cup of hot melted raw chocolate, switching off all wifi devices, bonding with the cutest little reptile, going for a walk to breathe in my favourite time of the year or taking a bath full of healing oils and herbs, it wasn’t until I sat down to meditate, when the answer landed on my head like a brick!

    I didn’t like the answer, but at the end of the day ‘the truth will set you free’ and my truth was simple: I am sick. I used to proudly stand up in my classes, demos or talks and tell everyone that if they ate like me, they too will stay immunised. And now I am sick. I failed.

    Ouch. That brick is going to leave a bruise.

    It’s a pretty shitty realisation to be feeling like a complete failure at what you supposedly do best.

    But I know better. I know that the toughest job of getting out of your slump is to work out what the cause is, because a problem well defined is a problem half solved. Then once you work it out, the next step is not to turn your back on it but to acknowledge your feelings and to properly ‘feel’ them out, to let yourself get as low as those feelings will take you and to stay in that space until you have no more tears to cry and nothing else left to feel.

    That’s the power of release.

    No bottling anything in, because it’s when you hold on to negativity that it might eat at you like slow-releasing poison, breaking you down like acid.

    It’s the most liberating experience that will stretch beyond your own imagination. It’s also the moment, you will know what to do next. It’s not the step to be missed because the process itself is a divine intervention and only when you surrender to the truth, that you are able to hear guidance so clearly, your whole world becomes an effortless playground.

    In my case, when the time was right, I got up, walked into the kitchen, opened up the cupboards and after going through stashes of herbs and remedies which I’ve been saving up for a ‘rainy day’ like this, I was guided to the only thing that my body must’ve been needing at the time: Cinnamon oil.

    The very next day I was well again.

    cinnamon tree and bark

    So I wanted to share with you my top 3 remedies and how to apply them next time you have a nasty cold or a flu, but hopefully before they even get a chance to develop, because…



    What helped me rid of my full blown cold also happens to be something I bought in Sri Lanka, as if the angels told me I’m going to need it in a few days. There are many places you can buy it online, just make sure it’s top quality, for example Young Living brand. Cinnamon oil promotes healthy cardiovascular and immune function, relieves symptoms of sore throats, colds and congestion and is an excellent antibacterial and anti fungal agent, great for treating infections or supporting you during detox. It’s very very strong to taste and may cause irritation for some, so I’d urge you to use it with caution, however what worked for me was putting a drop into my hot herbal tea, adding slices of ginger and dried cinnamon bark to this infusion, then deeply breathing in the aromatic steam before taking each sip.


    This remedy has been a favourite of my entire family’s and something I would’ve definitely gone for this time to help with my cold if I only had it at home. As you’ve heard, I haven’t been ill for many years so I stopped buying it a while back. What it is is a pure extraction from olive leaves and you just swallow it by the dessert spoonful straight up or diluted in cooled down herbal tea or freshly made juice. It’s a potent liquid tonic, absolutely packed with antioxidants and contains 5 times the antioxidant activity of Vitamin C and 30 times the polyphonic content of extra virgin olive oil, which fight free radicals and help destroy bad bacteria. My trusted brand is a New Zealand company called Comvita, but you can find Olive Leaf Extract is produced by many others.


    These two key superfoods, particularly when taken together, are truly a God-send. We always tend to have them at home, because whenever I feel that my body is working hard to fight something or Elliot feels a bit under the weather, we mix a heaping tablespoon of Bee Pollen with a tablespoon of Camu Camu and chew this powdery mix with a cup of herbal tea. Usually once or twice is enough to wake up the next day feeling back to normal. Bee Pollen is a complete superfood, packed with amino acids and trace minerals, while Camu Camu is a sour berry containing the highest amount of vitamin C in comparison to any natural plant food. You can find both on DetoxYourWorld.com or many other online superfood stores and physical health shops.


    Have the best healthiest week!