When exercise can make you FAT - Part Two


What is the rest of the story? Continued from Part 1...

Women are MOST at risk because of our huge vulnerabilities when it comes to our hormonal balance. Once one hormone shoots up to any extremity, our entire hormonal cascade gets put off balance.

This could be a reason why you KILL it at work, KILL it in the gym but still hold a frustrating amount of stubborn fat even though you’re a seriously strong bitch underneath the fat. 

IF you’re a woman (men are usually a lot more resistant to hormonal imbalance lucky bastards), who turns up to knock out a cross-fit, HIIT class with a balanced hormonal profile - GREAT!! 

But if you’re not, you need to listen to your body and heal it before you can jump back on the bandwagon.

So fear not if you love vigorous exercise! You CAN have it in your life again, but only after a period of healing by choosing gentler forms of exercise along the lines of most forms of yoga (not bikram which is a whole other article in itself), pilates and walking. For how long, depends on how severe your cortisol issues are.

I tell my high cortisol health and wellbeing clients now to add up all the hours they spend each day under physical and emotional stress, and to match it with completely enjoyable, relaxing activities like meditation, reading, baths, cooking, walking, sitting in nature to counteract the extremity and reset their hormones to their baseline. 

It is the ONLY way to heal them, and sadly if you know this is you, and you still DON’T prioritise your health and healing, you WILL pay the price at some point. The NIH in 2009 released the BioCycle study that deserves WAY more attention that found untreated hormonal imbalances SEVERELY increase the main inflammatory diseases; i.e.

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • diabetes (and even the government recognises these are PREVENTABLE diseases)


You have one life and live in one body. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you end up in and out of the doctor 24/7 and the rest of your friends are retired and travelling or the holidays come around and your family comes to see you with your grandchildren...because then you’ll REALLY be missing out.

Dee x

When exercise can make you FAT - Part ONE


High intensity or endurance training becomes a problem depending on who is doing it.

How can that be? Haven’t we always been told that exercising is good for us? 

Well yes…and no. From years of being a Personal Trainer both in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and in the City of London - the home of the overachiever/workaholic - it became apparent the issue here was much more than what my clients were doing inside (and outside) of the gym, but was in fact what they were doing that wasn’t related to exercise. They may have eaten clean and done what they were told and gotten the big tick from me for their 5 day workout week but what dumbfounded me for a long time was, why were some clients who were theoretically doing all the right things, still not getting the results we wanted for them in the way of weight loss?


How come almost all of them were my females?

Let’s start here. 

We have to be realistic. What worked 50 years ago i.e. a simple prescription of "eat less, exercise more" is probably not going to work today. This is because of the incredibly DIFFERENT lifestyle we lead TODAY. Being alive today means we are not only producing different chemicals in our own bodies, but also are exposed to strong foreign chemicals also, which is creating an epidemic of PREVENTABLE DISEASE AND ILLNESS.

And the particular chemical that can REALLY push our results in the opposite direction that we produce (particularly when it comes to moderate - high intensity exercise) is cortisol. This is not the case for everyone though, so read on...

Cortisol is the hormone that your body produces when feeling threatened, panicked but also amped up and over-excited (e.g. the feeling before adrenaline pumping activities like sky-diving). Unfortunately those of us who mentally stress and worry constantly  get a chronic cortisol issue, and like any kind of inflammation of a muscle, doing MORE exercise using that muscle until it heals is going to mean a compounded worsening of the problem. What sucks more is that when cortisol is too high it holds onto our fat like crazy! If the more you’re doing, the more stubborn your love handles are, this could be you.

Studies have shown HIIT (high intensity interval training) over an hour but also SSC (steady state cardio) over a period of about 30 minutes starts to steadily increase our cortisol levels - it’s merely a by-product of putting physical stress on our bodies, which might have been perfect for you in the past, but if you're honest how do you REALLY feel after intense or prolonged exercise?

Stay tuned for Part 2 which exposes the secrets to beat high cortisol...

Dee x

Would you eat your foundation?

The percentage of cancers and HORMONAL DISORDERS that are caused by toxic chemicals in our environment are GROSSLY underestimated. If you wouldn't eat your foundation for example, shouldn't we think twice about putting it on our skin....?

Of course we all know the basis of a chemical reaction, so mightn't it be true that the chemicals in your makeup (and other lotions and potions) are interfering with the chemicals in your body?

Did you know EVERY chemical you put on your skin is transdermal? This means it enters your bloodstream - you may think your skin is impenetrable nearly all molecules penetrate it to some degree. Your poor liver tried to metabolise all of it. So while you may "eat clean" you could still be facing fatty liver, leaky gut, and hormone imbalance symptoms like PMS, cramps, or even PCOS and Diabetes.

Endocrine disruptors (sometimes referred to as Xenoestrogens) is the name given to a large group of the potentially harmful chemicals we use in our makeup and body products. "Endocrine disruptor" simply means any foreign substance that disrupts the body's natural hormonal system (including the function of the thyroid, pituitary gland, adrenal glands, kidneys and ovaries - all of which has VITAL daily functions.

Click HERE is an amazing little BuzzFeed clip that sums up just a few of these endocrine disruptors and in which products you can find them. It's important we limit the amount of toxins we are exposed to every day to avoid toxic overload, so the next time you go to purchase a new lipstick from Mecca... maybe think first about where those chemicals will end up... and ESPECIALLY if you're pregnant... who they may also be affecting!!!

Dee x

Thought Leadership - what it means and why it is so important.


I heard a really great term that I wanted to share with you all today. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

I love the idea that the word suggests thoughts have the ability to lead and create domino effects of goodness. This is SO TRUE. What we truly believe (and by "believe" I mean merely repeating a habitual thought so much so that it becomes and automatic thought) influences the decisions we make every single day and therefore the results we get. The thoughts we lead with are the beliefs engrained deep within us.

That's what businesses like us are. We are thought leaders - leading you to think better thoughts and consequently propel more action and more success for you. Cell to Soul have pooled together information we have heard, learnt, experienced and congregated into a schools of thought that have become a way of life that we encourage our client family to live out day to day. Finding leaders of thought in your world creates a road map for you to a new pattern of thinking and living, meaning a new pattern of results. The great thing about all of our plans is that by using a blueprint like ours, you'll notice all decisions in all areas of your life can progress you to one unified goal - and how fast would you attain that goal if that were the case!!

The fact that you read these blogs means you are a thought leader too. 

So if you know you are an influential person will you please do the world a favour and HELP THEM UNDERSTAND these concepts?! You may change a life... in fact you WILL change a life if you can change the habitual thoughts. It really IS your mind that leads the MATTER in your world. It starts with your thoughts. 

Some easy ways to be a thought leader;

1. Model a good lifestyle - have enough sleep, be active, try new things - your friends and family will follow

2. Lead in the kitchen - FOOD = MOOD (refer to our previous blog post on this!)

3. Share your positive thoughts - particularly in negative situations, and help people choose to notice what is GOOD about that situation as opposed to what is BAD, this quickly becomes a habit for all cirumstances

4. Deal with issues without emotion - a hot head cannot work through problems or think as logically as a sensible one. Breathe deeply until the emotion subsides and clarity returns, that way you can refer to your bigger goals and focus on long-term achievements rather than short-term fixes for problems. If you have anyone in your life who seems to kick goals constantly, it's not because they don't have problems, it's this strategy (which is contagious!)

5. Refer them to us - and let us help them help themselves. We do it because we love it


Dee x

5 Top Tips for staying healthy while travelling

Going on an overseas trip can be tough when you're trying to stay healthy and 'eat clean'.

Sleep gets disrupted, airlines feed us cardboard and we become exposed to pathogens, germs and radiation from the transit, especially in crowds of strangers.

We know you still have to LIVE in this world and you can't carry around snap lock bags of organic vegetables everywhere you go so let's be realistic. When on holiday we usually want to splurge and indulge - after all, it's your holiday!! PLUS don't you want to ENJOY it?! If you make ALL bad choices you will feel horrible :(

So let's get to the tips that will minimise the not-so-perfect health choices we all make when on vacation, giving us the best chance possible to maintain our health!!

1. Pack a vegan protein powder with pre and probiotics Specifically a powder that has as many servings left as you have days away so by the last day (when your suitcase overflows with new purchases) you have a teensy bit more room as they usually occupy a fair bit of space! On my most recent trip I took the Beauty Chef's Inner Body Powder. FYI the caffeine content is not suitable for everyday use for all people, and can reverse hormone balance so know WHEN to use it.

2. Bring Green powder tablets My go-to were my SevenPoint2 Greens Tablets. I took 4 a day. I'm so glad I had them with me because I felt like no matter how many sides of vegetables I asked for it was nowhere near how much I'd eat normally. It's hard when you're not choosing your own food so these come in so handy!!



3. Add sides of vegetables and eat them first Not only does this help with digestion but if you eat them last you might be full before you even get to them. Nothing is worse than trekking around another country with no fuel in the tank while feeling fatigued and tired. You want to make the MOST of your trip.

4. Take a filtered water bottle everywhere you go You never know where you'll be. To stay hydrated and avoid getting sick from foreign water, a water bottle with a filter (try Bobble water bottles available in selected Woolworths). The best thing about this tip? You save $$$$ on purchasing bottled water.

5. Read an uplifting book Chances are you'll be out of wifi/don't want to use international roaming data to entertain yourself/or have to pay a third party to access these normal services while waiting at airports and train stations, for cabs or for friends. So choosing a book that you feel 'grounds you' will not only be a reliable, free source of entertainment, it can also offer a small peaceful inner sanctuary if feeling flustered and overwhelmed by schedules, crowds and foreign cultures. I chose "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle and picked it up whenever I could. Everytime I read it I felt a sense of calm, like it was home to me, and was able to really appreciate my time away and live in the moment.

Dee x

Snacking: What it means and why you shouldn't

Ladies if you're a snacker, there could be an issue...

When the body craves food between meals it's basically telling you that you haven't regulated your insulin well enough and your blood sugar is now too low to go without food until your next mealtime.

For some, this is not an issue, but for plenty of women, the imbalance of insulin poses quite a big issue. It can be the hormone that spirals all the others out of control and we do NOT like the idea of that!

To ensure the body is kept in its optimal balance, it is important to have meals high in PROTEIN. This could mean including 2 eggs for breakfast, chicken OR for my vegos out there tofu, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. You could add a few scoops of vegan protein to water to up your morning protein especially, as getting this ratio right earlier in the day gets the best results. My 3 shake favourites; 'NoWay' by ATP Science, 'Raw' fermented paleo protein by Amazonia & 'Body' Inner Beauty Powder by the Beauty Chef. 

           ATP Science

          ATP Science

A mazonia


       The Beauty Chef

      The Beauty Chef


A meal high enough in protein should mean you last until the next mealtime, where you're starting to feel "peckish" and not "ravenous". This should mean about 4-6 hour breaks where water and herbal tea should be consumed.

The most important thing to take away here is to listen to your body. Wait the 4-6 hours and see how you REALLY feel. Is your brain expecting food or is it honestly time to fuel up again? Chances are, you don't need the snack, so try to stick to big meals particularly while you're healing the body.

Dee x

Food for Mood


Now this might seem a little far fetched but did you know the food you eat directly influences your mood? Don't believe us? Google it - it's a thing!! You'll find articles upon articles about this idea, which is backed by science (as ALL our information is here at Cell to Soul is).

To give you a hand to help you smile, we've listed our top 5 GOOD FOOD = GOOD MOOD foods;

1. Organic 85%+ Dark Chocolate: The Cacao (raw, unprocessed version of Cocoa) lowers high cortisol (the "overstressed" hormone) and other chemical byproducts related to stress. 2 squares is enough and Green & Blacks Dark 85% is an easy one to pick up around the supermarket, otherwise health food stores have much better quality.

2. Sesame seeds: Full of tryptophan and if you're not a vegetarian you will also find this in large amounts in Turkey. Why tryptophan? Serotonin is a brain messenger that talks to the brain and gives us a relaxed sense of happiness. Tryptophan must be available in the body first in order to make Serotonin.

3. Pumpkin seeds: Again with the tryptophan but also high in magnesium which is required for over 300 chemical reactions in the body. A large handful of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) makes a really great snack between large meals if you need it (which you shouldn't - stay tuned for our next installment about snacking and why you shouldn't need to!)

4. Chia seeds: This teensy seed is so nutritious but we'll mention it's high fibre content here. The world we live in means we are polluted all day through our pores, so even if you eat clean, it's important to increase your fibre to get rid of the unavoidable toxic buildup in the body. With less toxins recirculating, your body can return to a more balanced, natural, HAPPY state on it's own.

5. Spinach: High in Iron which gives us a sense of strength - que Popeye's theme song. Ensure your spinach is consumed both raw and cooked (not necessarily in the same meal unless that makes you happy - who are we to judge?!) as you'll get different nutrient compilations with cooked vs uncooked versions.

Dee x

Welcome to our virtual health clinic

Our founder Dee Zibara wishes to welcome you with open arms to our site. We are so happy to have you visit because your visit indicates you are thirsty for more knowledge. Whether it's more information on your own health, a family member or friends, or the wider female population within your community you can see suffering now more than ever before in history.

We do not wish to dwell on the negative so what we would rather do is educate all women of all ages out there about the lifecycle that goes on within their bodies every month. This permeates everything we do - how we feel, how we THINK (yes this is the science-y part that we love teaching!), and how we interact with others.

The human body is an incredibly powerful machine, and what is more breathtaking is experiencing ourselves and others unlocking the potential of the FEMALE body.

Strong feminine energy is a beautiful thing. It is even more beautiful in the presence of other feminine energy, and so perfectly complementary to our masculine counterparts. Striving for balance and harmony becomes effortless when the foundations we create for ourselves are built thoughtfully and intelligently. This self-awareness and self-education is rapidly becoming a norm in society (finally!) as we see more and more amazing women speaking out in the media about being a supermum, running a business, feeling fulfilled spiritually and/or religiously, and keeping herself feeling and looking her very best.

All this CAN be done... and nothing would bring me more happiness than to see you do it too.

It would be our pleasure help you.

Dee Zibara