Healthy Breakfast for Busy People

June 3rd, 2012 by tracey






Egg and Fruit Platter

Serves 1

This is a great breakfast for busy mornings as the boiled eggs can be cooked in bulk and the fruit can be pre-prepared and stored in airtight containers in the fridge. For additional versatility, this breakfast can also be packed into a lunch box for a breakfast on the go!

1.Boil two eggs

2.Cut boiled eggs into quarters

 3.Lay eggs and fruit of your choice onto a platter

4.Season eggs to taste with salt and pepper.


Try the following fruit combinations for your

Egg and Fruit Platter:

  •1 diced plum, 12 blueberries, 6 cherries

•1 diced nectarine, ½ cup diced mango, ½ cup diced pawpaw

•1 quartered fig, 1 quartered kiwi fruit, 8 grapes

 •½ sliced pear, ½ sliced apple, 1 diced apricot

 •½ cup diced pineapple, ½ cup diced paw paw, 1 halved passionfruit.

Find more delicious recipes and food combinations to stabilise your blood sugar levels in Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Well Being





Spicy Pumpkin and Capsicum Bake

May 27th, 2012 by tracey

YUM, YUM, YUM!!!!!!! That is all I can say about this one. I prepared it over the weekend and served it with a grilled chicken breast for dinner and then recycled the rest of it the next day and served it cold as a delicious salad. Enjoy this weeks Happy Mind Meal!!!




1 large butternut pumpkin

1 large red capsicum

25og green beans

1 cup pecan nuts

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2-3 teaspoons Cajun spice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup crumbled Feta


1. Preheat the oven to 200’C

2. Roughly chop pumpkin into 2cm cubes leaving the skin on

3. Seed and slice the capsicum into 2cm slices

4. Place pumpkin and capsicum into a baking dish and sprinkle with cajun spice and vegetable oil and toss

5. Cover the baking dish with al foil and bake for 30 minutes

6. Trim the beans. cut in half and lightly blanch, set aside

7. Roughly chop the pecan nuts and set aside

8. After 30 minutes remove the vegetables from the oven and toss

9. Return them to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes or until they are golden and tender

10. Remove the vegetables and toss through pecan nuts, fresh basil and beans and cook for a further 5-10 minutes

11. Serve with a protein portion of your choice and top the vegetable bake with crumble feta

RECYCLE this recipe by tossing the left over vegetable bake with rocket and baby spinach, top with feta cheese and serve with lemon juice.


Find more delicious recipes and food combinations to stabilise your blood sugar levels in Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Wellbeing









How to Reduce Stress and Overwhelm

May 27th, 2012 by tracey

I know this one all too well. I spent a huge part of my life being the “Yes” girl.

When a request was made of me, I would automatically blurt out YES. I didn’t take time to consider the request or the consequences it would have on me or my family. In hindsight I feel the catalyst for this behaviour was low self esteem. I was so desperate to “fit in” and be accepted that my only focus was not letting the other person down.

I demonstrated this behaviour in my personal and professional life.

I was like a mouse on a wheel; working full time, juggling a family and pandering to every whim. I lived in a constant state of anxiety; sometimes so bad I found it difficult to breath or swallow food due to my throat and chest being so constricted. I felt trapped, burnt out and exhausted.

Actually, I remember going to see a healer when I first began my journey to mental and physical well being and I recall him asking me what I did when I felt my body responding this way. He was referring to constriction in the throat and chest.

Talk about lack of awareness back then.

This was my answer “I just keep pushing through it; hoping it will go away”

Although this fellow was a bit out there and not someone I would recommend my clients to today;  he did  give me my first lesson in Awareness.

I became aware that day that I was not listening to my body at all.

The constriction in my throat and chest (anxiety) was my body screaming out  “give me break”.  I left his house feeling so much lighter; I now had permission to listen to my body and give myself a break.

Old habits die hard and it took me a long time to break the YES habit, however I can happily say that I now have it down pat. It is very liberating  to set boundaries with people and commitments that do not serve you.

I read a book many years ago called “First Things First” by Stephen Covey and he explained how to use the “gap” which I found to be a very useful tool in reducing stress and overwhelm in my life.

Using the gap allows us to identify the difference between what is urgent in our lives and what is important.

Urgency refers to how quickly action is required. Urgent tasks may include a ringing phone, a drop-in visitor or a text message. Important things in life are those that do not have a deadline but are crucial to balance, happiness and well being. Important focuses include family, finances, relationships, exercise, diet, personal development and relaxation.

We often confuse urgency with importance because of the high energy that is attached to urgency. We become extremely busy doing the things that jump out to grab our attention and seem important at the time. It is this confusion between what is urgent and what is important that can leave us feeling trapped, stressed and overwhelmed.

How do we break this cycle?

We start by implementing the use of the “gap” into our lives. The gap is simply that; a gap in between action and reaction, ensuring that you never compromise on what is important to you with someone else’s urgency. Using the gap eliminates the possibility of saying “yes” when you should have said “no”.

When an urgent request is made of you that clashes with what you consider important in your life, consider using one of these responses

  • I am not sure what I have on. I will check my diary and give you a call tomorrow
  • Yes I can help you, but not at that particular time. I will get back to you with a time that suits

There is no need to feel as though you are doing an injustice to a loved one, shirking a responsibility or being selfish. It is necessary to take care of yourself to prevent becoming mentally and physically exhausted. You may even find that as you  learn to set boundaries with people and commitments that do not serve you, your circle of friends and social engagements may change and this should not be met with feelings of guilt.

Here are some Happy Mind Tips that may help you set boundaries and experience more time for you

  • Use the “Gap” between action and reaction before making any decisions
  • Make a commitment to stop being the “Yes” person
  • Turn off your mobile phone during quality family time and “me” time
  • Return phone calls and emails in block times rather than sporadically throughout the day
  • Make a commitment to only check your emails, face book and twitter once or twice daily
  • Ask your friends to stop sending you junk email or block sender if you do not know them
  • Unsubscribe to newsletters via emails that are no longer relevant
  • Leave work at the time you are meant to
  • Delegate tasks at work where necessary 
  • Do not take work home
  • Delegate tasks to others in the house – particularly if they are teenagers or adult children
  • If you are struggling; ask for help

I love this quote from Richard Carlson and it is one that I have used for many years to remind myself to back off; I hope it helps you too.

“When you die; your in tray still won’t be empty”

Are You suffering from Urgency Addiction? – Click here to find out

If you have a story you would like to share; I would love to hear from. You can comment below.

Health and Happiness Tracey Carmichael

Author of Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Wellbeing








Self Love Muffins

May 21st, 2012 by tracey

To love yourself is to love and respect your body and what you put into it. This does not mean that we deprive ourselves.

This recipe is by Sarah Wilson author of “I Quit Sugar”

These gluten -free rhubarb muffins are by no means pretty but nevertheless make a lovely breakfast or snack treat. Rhubarb has a low fructose content but is perfectly sweet when baked and the beautiful spices make these muffins complete. The addition of hazelnut meal and almonds provides the perfect balance to stabilise blood sugar levels and maintain a Happy Mind. Enjoy them with lovely cup of herbal tea!!!

MAKES 8-10

175g hazelnut meal

85g almonds chopped

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

2 large eggs beaten

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tbsp milk, nut milk, coconut milk

200g rhubarb chopped in 1cm pieces


1. Preheat the oven to 170’C and prepare a 10 cup muffin tin

2. Combine the hazelnut meal, almonds, baking powder and soda, salt and spices in a bowl

3. Whisk together eggs, oil and milk and add this to the dry ingredients

4. Fold through rhubarb

5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups and bake for 2-30 minutes or until the muffins feel firm to touch

6. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving

7. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze




Who Presses Your Buttons?

May 11th, 2012 by tracey

If we believe that someone has the power to upset us or we have the power to upset others then we must believe in…..

Cause and Effect which is the belief that others have the power to cause us to feel unhappy and the belief that we have the power to cause unhappiness in others.

How does this one sit with you? Do you believe this to be true and correct?

I think most of us would, however I would like to share a different way for you to look at cause and effect.

In order for someone to makes us feel unhappy or for us to cause pain and unhappiness in others we must have access to their emotional buttons.


We must be able to press or stimulate these buttons to get a reaction?

Cause – pressing the button/ saying or doing something

Effect – emotional reaction to the words or actions

So where are your buttons? Do we have buttons on the outside of our bodies that read

 “Press here for Anger”

“Press here for Sadness”

“Press here for Happiness”

Of course not! We all have full control of our emotions and how we react to situations.

The key to changing this pattern is to have “awareness” of these emotions and make a conscious choice to react differently.

If you have someone in your life who is constantly causing you pain and unhappiness, try looking at the situation from this new perspective.

 You now know that only you can press your emotional buttons

Make a conscious choice to react differently to the same behaviour and watch your relationships change.





Moroccan Chicken and Lentil Curry

May 11th, 2012 by tracey

Winter is on it’s way and it is a great time to pre-prepare delicious meals. One of the best investments I have ever made in the kitchen is purchasing a slow cooker. You can prepare a delicious meal in about 20 minutes and then leave it to cook while you get on with something else. There are so many more fun things to do in life than slave in the kitchen all day.

I am into efficiency and I hate mess; so I hope you find this recipe that I prepared on the weekend as easy as I did.

The Moroccan Chicken Curry is packed with protein, is high in fibre; and is also gluten and sugar free. 

 Cook this dish in a slow cooker or large pot and serve with a green vegetable of your choice. I find green beans are great with a curry.

HOT TIP – freeze extra portions for future meals

Vegetarian version; swap chicken for sweet potato


1 cup dry red lentils

2 brown onions

3 cloves garlic

2 cups Campbell’s chicken stock

3 teaspoons sweet paprika

3 teaspoons cumin

3 teaspoons turmeric

3 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried chillies

4 ripe tomatoes

1 x 140g tub tomato paste

1 kg chicken thigh fillets

1 cup fresh chopped basil

salt and pepper to season

vegetable oil for frying


1. Rinse and drain red lentils and place in the slow cooker with the  chicken stock on high before starting to prepare the other ingredients

2. Peel and roughly chop the onions and mince the garlic.

3. In a lightly oiled large fry pan, fry off onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes and place in the  slow cooker with the lentils

4. Roughly chop the tomatoes and lightly fry in the same fry pan (for flavour, efficiency and less dishes to wash) and then add to the slow cooker

5. Add paprika, cumin, turmeric, bay leaves, dried chillies and tomato paste to the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper

6. Trim and roughly chop the chicken thigh fillets and lightly brown in the same fry pan and then add to the slow cooker

7. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and then add the chopped basil

8. Turn the slow cooker down to low and cook for 4 hours

9. Serve with green vegetables of your choice 

10. Enjoy!!!


Find more delicious recipes and food combinations to stabilise your blood sugar levels in Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Wellbeing









Grilled Salmon with Thai Salad

May 6th, 2012 by tracey

This quick, delicious gluten free meal provides protein, complex carbohydrates and essential fatty acids to stabilise your blood sugar levels and mood.


2 x 200g (approx) Atlantic Salmon Fillets

2 cups rocket

1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves

1 avocado

1 cup bean sprouts

2 spring onions finely sliced

1/2 capsicum finely sliced

Juice of one lime


2 Tbsp Gluten Free Soy Sauce

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon grated palm sugar/brown sugar

1/2 Teaspoon dried chillies

1 teaspoon grated ginger



1. Preheat oven to 180’C

2. Light spray  frying pan with oil, season salmon with salt and pepper, drizzle with lime juice and lightly sear on both sides 

3. Place the salmon on baking paper and bake for 10 – 15 minutes in the oven; depending on how you like your salmon cooked.

4. While the salmon is cooking prepare your salad

4. Finely slice capsicum and spring onions.

5. In a bowl mix rocket, basil, mint, coriander, bean sprouts, spring onions and capsicum.

6. In a jar combine soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, grated ginger, palm sugar and dried chillies and shake to combine.

7. Allow salmon to rest for 3-5 minutes before serving on a plate with salad.

8. Drizzle the salad with dressing to serve


Find more delicious recipes and food combinations to stabilise your blood sugar levels in Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Wellbeing





Are You a Mind Reader?

April 28th, 2012 by tracey


Do you have someone in your life that causes you to feel upset, angry or worthless just by the way they look at you, the tone of voice they use or the mood they appear to be in? 


 This used to happen to me all the time too. It was like I had a big sign on my forehead that read  Press My Buttons. Often I would feel angry, upset or humiliated by looks, comments, tones of voice and moods from other people. 

I knew what they meant, I knew what the under current was.

Or so I thought.

Then I read about Mind Reading which is – the concept that a person can know what other people are feeling or thinking – what their internal experiences are – without verifying it with them.

Another AHA moment for me. Through learned behaviours, patterns and of course the good old low self esteem; what I thought were negative and nasty gestures toward me, actually were not. 

For many years I put myself through lots of unnecessary pain and agony. Fortunately I was able to change this pattern very easily by simply asking a few questions each time I was in this emotional state?

Awareness is so powerful, isn’t it?

I was now aware that when someone was “making” me feel bad, I  had absolute control over my internal state. All I had to do was ask a few basic questions such as …

Is everything OK?

Have I done something to upset you?

 Is there anything you want to share with me? 

HOT TIP – don’t say “what’s up YOUR bum?” (that won’t help)

Nine times out of ten, the look, the tone, the mood had nothing to with me at all. I have shortened my times of pain and anxiety dramatically by implementing this strategy.

I hope it helps you too!!

BUT………….. what if it was directed at me?

Then that is great too. The lines of communication are now open and you can discuss the issue or problem and come to some resolve.

Have you had any experiences of mind reading that you would like to share?






Self Esteem Check In

April 20th, 2012 by tracey

Self esteem means so much more than a high sense of self. It is recognition that you are worthy and deserve to be happy and successful. It means you have confidence in your ability to think and to cope with challenges in life.

Take the self esteem Questionnaire from Marilyn J Sorenson to check your level of self esteem.


If your self esteem is low to moderate there is no need for concern. Self esteem is a motivator that inspires behaviour and behaviour in turn inspires self esteem.This continuous feedback loop between the way you act and your level of self esteem means that you have the power within you to change. At any time in your life, you can begin the process of a new way of being.

If you are not satisfied with the way you think and feel, you can change your beliefs and the actions you take to create a better outcome. The skills you learned as a child are only a starting point. As an adult you can now choose to improve your mind and take your life in the direction you desire.

When you take the time to change yourself and the way you react to others, your relationships and self esteem also improve. You become aware of a deeper and more meaningful connection with other people and the world around you.

My Ten Top Tips to Build Self Esteem

Self respect – you must respect yourself before others will respect you

Eat to be healthy not to be skinny – when you adopt this attitude to food you will find it easier to maintain a healthy weight for you

Love the skin you’re in –  it is only the packaging carrying around the real you

Fun – have fun, do something that makes you feel good every day

Exercise to release happy hormones and empower yourself

Smile at a stranger; just because you can

Trust yourself – seek approval internally rather than externally

Embrace a challenge – feel the fear and do it anyway

Embrace learning – learn something new every day

Make a difference to someone else’s life no matter how large or small each and every day



How to Improve Your Coping Mechanisms?

April 5th, 2012 by tracey

Many things happen in life that catch you off guard and literally knock the wind out of your sails. It could be a marriage breakdown, loss of financial security, death of a loved one, problems with children, an accident or illness or ongoing stress. These events can destroy your emotional platform that once provided you with balance and security. You feel gutted, devastated or betrayed causing you to fall into the black hole of despair.

The black hole is a very frightening and debilitating place to be. You feel heavy, dark and anxious. Your thought patterns can be erratic and disconnected making it extremely difficult to make the decision to move forward from this place let alone know how.

You feel paralysed.

Rebuilding your emotional platform does not make the pain from these events go away, however it does help you to manage the pain or stress more efficiently. A strong emotional platform will also help you be better prepared in the future for more unexpected or stressful events.

Moving forward starts with awareness. It is important to “check in” with yourself and find out where you are right now, what needs to change and how to fit these changes into your lifestyle in order to get back into your life.

  1. Awareness of where you are – this is how you feel right now. Do you feel stripped of your emotional security, lost, betrayed, angry or perhaps disconnected from life and love?
  2. Awareness of what needs to change – this is where you own where you are right now and take responsibility for this place. You explore the resources available to you and have a clear understanding that only you can make these changes.
  3. Awareness of how to move forward – is where you identify the strategies that you need to implement and how to fit these strategies into your lifestyle and commit to create change. 


Top Ten tips to Rebuild your Emotional Platform

1.   Take 100% responsibility for your life – when you lay blame you give away your power making yourself redundant in your own life.

2.   Seek Help – if you feel that the trauma and emotions are bigger than you can handle then it is important to seek professional help. You will be amazed at how much lighter you will feel just by sharing your emotions and working through the pain.

3.   Move – Research shows that exercise can just as effective as medication in treating depression. Movement is a must; commit to some form of exercise for 30 minutes per day.

4.   Routine – is essential to moving forward from depression. Setting small achievable goals and structuring your day helps you to gain some control over your life.

5.    Meditation – Medical professionals all over the world are using meditation to treat depression. Quieten and reprogram the mind with positive thoughts in quiet contemplation for 10 minutes each.

6.   Yoga – unlocks trapped emotions in the body having a direct affect on the consciousness, allowing you to move from stress to de-stress, depression to lightness and anxiousness to calm. Research shows that Yoga is just as effective in treating depression as Prozac.

7.   Alcohol – is a depressant and using alcohol to treat depression is the equivalent of putting petrol on a fire to put it out. Eliminate alcohol altogether for best results.

8.   Diet – research shows that wheat, gluten and sugar affect the body and brain chemistry. Swap a diet high in simple carbohydrates for one that consists of lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.

9.   Set boundaries – lay down limits with people or commitments that are holding you back or causing you to feel overwhelmed. Create some space to work on your mental and physical wellbeing to rebuild your emotional platform.

10.       Personal development – swap your fictional books and magazines for personal development reading, DVDs or audios. Empower yourself with positive thoughts and information daily. Swap time in front of the television for time to work on your mental and physical wellbeing.