3 natural sleep remedies you need to try

The Beauty Chef - 4 natural sleep remedies you need to try


by Courtenay Turner


For those of us who suffer from sleeplessness, finding a sleep remedy that is both effective and natural can be just as hard as getting some shut-eye itself.


While fretful, disrupted or inadequate sleep might seem all too common these days, it’s certainly not something to dismiss. A 2016 report published showed that sleeping less than six or seven hours a night may increase a person’s risk of chronic health issues. Sleep deprivation may also negatively impact the body’s metabolism and may leave the skin looking dull and lacklustre. In short, sleeplessness is something that needs to be overcome for the sake of your inner and outer health!

While you wouldn’t necessarily know it, your body does incredible things while you snooze, and it’s far more active than most of us realise. Every night, a process of restoration and repair takes place – your breathing slows, blood flows to the muscles and cellular repair and regeneration begins. This is great news for our skin – as sleep helps combat the effects of stress and support skin integrity. So the importance of getting your ‘beauty sleep’ is certainly no myth!

As expected though, beauty sleep is more than skin deep. 
Sleeping is also thought to suppress ghrelin, a hunger hormone, and stimulate leptin, which controls appetite. What’s more, your gut benefits from the overnight ‘fast’ that comes with a restful night of sleep – extended periods ‘sans food’ allow your body to rest from the energy-intensive process that is digestion!

Enjoy the deep and restorative sleep that your body deserves with the help of these three totally natural sleep remedies…

Try essential oils

As far as herbal sleep remedies go, you can’t get much more herbal than essential oils. Oils like bergamot and lavender are both known for their relaxing properties. Diffuse them, pop a few drops in a warm bath, or rub them directly onto your wrists and the bottoms of your feet. There is no sebum (the oily barrier that protects the skin) on these two parts of the body, which makes it easier for the oils to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Essentials oils don’t work for everyone, but in combination with other powerful natural remedies, they can be a beautiful addition to your nighttime routine.


Eat for sleep

Yes, what you eat absolutely impacts upon the quality of your sleep! What you nibble on – both before bed and throughout the day – can affect your circadian rhythm, also known as your body clock. Evidence suggests that consuming foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan – such as sweet potato, poultry and seafood – may aid sleep as tryptophan is able to be converted to melatonin, the hormone linked to our sleep and wake cycle. Avoid large doses of caffeine after midday, as well as heavy meals and sugar before bed. If gnawing hunger is keeping you awake, try having as banana, some yoghurt, a handful of cashews, some cherries or some warm nut milk.



Practice mindfulness or meditation

You’re likely familiar with these two concepts; both buzzwords in the wellness world, and both invaluable natural sleep aids that promote good sleep hygiene. Meditation, deep-belly breathing and mindfulness practices all help to ‘switch on’ the parasympathetic nervous system, the division of the nervous system that is responsible for resting and digesting. Of course, you can’t command your body into action, you can only encourage this shift to take place by convincing your body that there’s no danger about – whether real or perceived. The best way to do this? Slow, steady, diaphragmatic breaths. And ditch your device, it’s almost impossible to practice mindfulness when you’ve got the world at your fingertips!



Have you got a natural sleep remedy that you swear by? Let us know in the comments below.

Forbes June 2018


Ask Carla | Do The Beauty Chef products replace my probiotic?

The Beauty Chef - Does The Beauty Chef replace my probiotic?


The Beauty Chef’s range of Inner Beauty Powders and Boosts are created using Flora Culture™, our unique bio-fermentation process. This helps to boost the nutritional value of our ingredients and creates a broad-spectrum natural probiotic to help improve digestive health and promote glowing skin.

For many people, our products are their only probiotic supplement, but without a more in-depth health history, it’s difficult to determine whether The Beauty Chef products are the only supplementation you need. If you’ve been prescribed other supplements by your healthcare practitioner then it’s important to chat with them about the best course of action to take, especially as for those of you with more specific digestive issues, you may require more specific or concentrated strains of probiotics.

On the other hand, if your current supplementation regime has been self-prescribed, you may discover that your daily dose of GLOW Inner Beauty Powder provides you with all the nutrients and probiotics you need to feel your best.

Inner Beauty Is… with Julia Ashwood

The Beauty Chef - Inner Beauty Is... with Julia Ashwood


As the creative mind behind one of Australia’s most popular travel sites, The Vista, Julia Ashwood has a passion for wanderlust, sharing her adventures, family life and inspiration with her army of loyal followers.


Having recently moved from Sydney to Byron Bay after the birth of her daughter, Delilah Bee, Julia is dedicated to living a beautiful, memorable life…


You are the editor and founder of a successful travel website. How has your role changed in your business since becoming a mum?

Having a bub has certainly influenced our direction with THE VISTA. We will still teleport our audiences to adventurous, romantic and wild girls getaways – however there is a lot more information about family-centric travel to be found on the site these days too.


You have previously mentioned that you meditate as often as you can. How do you believe this helps to shape the success of your business?

Meditating for 20 minutes twice a day is great, if you can. However, I am honestly in a far better state of mind if I can just fit in 20 minutes when I wake up. My teacher, Jasson Salisbury, lives locally so it’s great to take part in roundings and refresher courses with him here in Byron Bay. In terms of it shaping business, I feel it’s more about creating a clarity of mind which allows you to focus on the most important parts of your day and therefore makes way for more room for the “sweet stuff”.


You are very well travelled. How has experiencing different cultures changed or impacted your perception of beauty?

We do meet a lot of wonderful people from all different cultures. For me, the same theme remains across continents – beauty certainly comes from within. It’s an approach to life and listening to what your body and mind really needs.


How do you maintain your beauty and wellness routines while traveling?

Meditation is an easy one to take on the road. I always pack my joggers for a morning walk and when I can roll out a yoga mat for morning stretches with a cup of herbal tea. I do tend to wear less makeup when I travel, however I always carry a cleanser and a hydrating moisturiser for the plane.


What does inner beauty mean to you?

The ability to love and to be yourself. This knowing confidence in a woman is so attractive.


Can you give us an example of a time you’ve listened to your gut instinct?

I was offered a huge creative role in the US just two and a half years ago which I was honoured to receive – however I turned it down as something was “missing”. Turns out, I had just fallen pregnant with Delilah Bee – so I’m not sure if it was my gut or my biological clock in this instance!


What do you do to get your daily GLOW on?

I love Mukti organic skincare, it’s been a favourite for years. A combination of an ocean swim, a quick exfoliant and some Vital C serum and I am out the door (hopefully glowing!)


I just need some time to… have a massage at ‘Comma’ every week!


It’s my party and if I want to,  I’ll… got to bed at 7:30pm and watch Netflix


Honk if you love… tequila!


What does inner beauty mean to you? Join the conversation by heading to @TheBeautyChef

Inner Beauty Is… with Caroline Walls

The Beauty Chef - Inner Beauty Is... Caroline Walls


Caroline Walls is an Australian artist, working across a number of media, including painting, drawing, soft sculpture and print-making. With a strong sense of colour and graphic form, Caroline Walls is a visual artist who creates work with a skilled and fluid approach to aesthetics.


In her own words, she is “inspired by everyday human experiences and the fluidity and movement of the human body”, and in every sense, her work embodies these sentiments. Prepare to be inspired…


You said you wanted creative autonomy after years within an agency environment. Is this liberating or terrifying?

The leap into art-making full-time was not as terrifying as you might imagine – I was able to balance my fears with the comfort that I could always pick up freelance design work if I needed to. But I strongly believe once you make a decision for yourself to begin something new that feels true and you set an intention for it, doors open and opportunities tend to present themselves to make it a reality. Liberating is absolutely the word.


You were quoted saying ” …I’m also interested in what lies beneath the surface, I guess it’s the unseen aspect of a woman that’s so easy to overlook.” Would you say this is your interpretation of the inner beauty of women, and how do you aim to capture this?

I love the intricacies and layers of being a woman that we often try to mask in some way to conform to societal norms and expectations – but I think when people allow their authentic selves to bubble to the surface and let their individualism shine through, that’s where the magic is. My work is reductive in nature,  with its very minimalist use of form and colour, which aims to imply the feminine, rather than transcribe it – stripping away all outer excess and revel in womanhood in its purest sense.


Why do you think that until recently the female form has been mostly captured by male artists? What do you think this says about women, and society?

Unfortunately, there have always been women artists throughout time keenly focused on depicting the female form in their art practice but, for ingrained societal reasons, women artists have  been deeply underrepresented and marginalised in the history books – not to mention in major galleries around the world. This goes for not only women artists interested in the female form but women artists and their practice generally. Certainly there have been gains for women artists since the feminist movement really kicked off in the 70s but there is still  a long way to go to reach true gender equality in the arts.


You’ve said that you like to have an idea of what you will paint, but that you allow room for movement, which is a beautiful term. Do you feel your paintings develop their own sense of self, or energy? And if yes, can you give an example of when a painting has become something you didn’t expect?

Yes, absolutely. When creating a new work I tend to begin with a composition I’ve sketched on paper in basic pencil line work so it is not until I begin to build the fine layers of paint onto the canvas surface that these bodily forms come into their own. The forms start as these very gentle, shadowy silhouettes and as I build more and more layers of paint they begin to take life and become ‘whole’.


What does inner beauty mean to you?

Love  for your authentic self –  listening to and respecting your inner voice.


Can you give us an example of a time you’ve listened to your gut instinct?

I use my intuition, or my gut instinct, so often it has become second nature. I use it for both day-to-day decision making in my business, as well as much larger life decisions like choosing to live in other countries or leaving the security of full-time employment to practice art. I always follow my gut over being too pragmatic, I think your gut instinct  always looks out for you and has your best interest at heart.


What do you do to get your daily GLOW on?

I keep a very simple routine involving a morning walk, a freshly made leafy green juice, cleanser, moisturiser, a little bronzing powder and mascara.

Sometimes you just need to… step away from your life and explore new places.


Start each day like it’s your… day to create something beautiful, whatever that idea of beautiful may mean to you.


Wednesday’s make me feel… as good as the next. Working for myself means a Wednesday could feel like a weekend or a heavy duty work day.


What does inner beauty mean to you? Join the conversation by heading to @TheBeautyChef

Inner Beauty Is… with Rachael Finch

The Beauty Chef - Inner Beauty Is... with Rachael Finch


Australian beauty, Rachael Finch, is one of those women who continues to inspire us on a daily basis. The busy mum-of-two has not only enjoyed an incredibly successful career in fashion, but her business, Body by Finch, is a breath of fresh air in the world of health and fitness.

Her positive outlook and energy are contagious, so get set to be inspired…


What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self, just as you embarked on Miss Australia and then Miss Universe?


Have confidence in who you are and where you’re at in life, even if things don’t feel 100% aligned. Speak from the heart and always be kind to yourself. You’ll look back on these memories forever so make the most of every second and focus on just ‘being’.


How has your concept of beauty changed over the last few years?

Beauty is so much more about the actions I deliver day-to-day and how I speak to myself internally. It used to be about what was visible on the surface and what other people thought but I have found such magic in looking within – it’s allowed me to see life differently and create more happiness.   


And how would you like your children to define ‘beauty’?

I want Violet and Dominic to find their own definitions of beauty, whatever that may be. I think that’s the real beauty about us as individuals, we each have a unique point of view and way of expressing ourselves. I’ll be there to open doors to experiences and opportunities and hopefully this will allow their minds and souls develop!


With two children and two businesses, you have become a role model for many young women in Australia, what are a couple of great pieces of advice you’ve been given that you have turned to more than once?

Having your own business does not mean you can start work late and finish early. It requires so much more time, love, patience and commitment when it’s your own. But when you find something you absolutely adore and you make your passion your work, it won’t feel like long, tiresome hours. The other piece of advice that I tune into every day is to simply trust my intuition and listen to my body. When we take time to stop, breathe and focus on being present daily, we are more inclined to be able to listen to what our body is saying – 90% of the time we have the answer within!


What does inner beauty mean to you?

Inner beauty for me is a feeling of confidence, love and respect for myself. It’s about having gratitude for what my body has taken me through already in life, and knowing that it’s constantly working to keep me well.


Can you give us an example of a time you’ve listened to your gut instinct?

Pregnancy is a great example for me! I think our sensitivity and intuition is elevated when we’re pregnant and I definitely noticed my body sending me more signals than usual on what to eat, do and say.


What do you do to get your daily GLOW on?

I eat gut-friendly foods and fermented ingredients, stay hydrated with plenty of fresh filtered water, move my body with the plan from my program – Body by Finch – stay calm with meditation and ensure I get a good night’s sleep.   


When I’m not sure how to deal with a high pressure situation… I always breathe first.


I’d rather be… poor and happy than rich and miserable.


I’ll never be too old… for dancing with my husband.


What does inner beauty mean to you? Join the conversation by heading to @TheBeautyChef

4 simple ways to winter-proof your skin

The Beauty Chef - 4 simple ways to winter-proof your skin

By The Beauty Chef, Carla Oates



Your skin can suffer from the impact of viral assault on the body’s immune function in winter, so staying strong and healthy is more important than ever.


Your immune system is a complex network, working hard to defend  you against invaders that can make you sick, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and some types of fungus. When an unwelcome visitor enters your body, your immune system identifies it then produces white blood cells and other substances to attack and destroy it – and it works harder than ever in winter. Here are a few ways you can help support it…



To do its job well, your immune system needs plenty of phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, iron, zinc, calcium, selenium, vitamin A and vitamin E. Antioxidants hunt down free radicals that damage your cells, cause inflammation and tax your immune system – so eat plenty of colourful, antioxidant-rich fresh fruit and veg plus lean protein, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Where possible, avoid fried foods, processed meats, sugars and refined carbohydrates.

Onions, leeks and garlic contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which is antibiotic and antiviral and survives the cooking process while garlic also contains immune-boosting compounds. Ginger, turmeric, extra-virgin olive oil and green tea are also powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.



It’s estimated that 70–80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, meaning a healthy gut is essential for strong immunity.

Eating probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi or natural yoghurt with each meal can help foster good gut bacteria, as does taking a quality probiotic supplement. Also, consume at least 20g of resistant starch, such as legumes, daily. This feeds beneficial bacteria in your colon, prompting them to make immunity-boosting short-chain fatty acids and do other good things for your health.



A good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6s is vital as healthy fats help to keep inflammation in check, which in turn contributes to a healthy immune system. Saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil also play a key role in immune health. Inadequate saturated fatty acids in blood cells may hamper their ability to recognise and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.



The immune-dampening effects of the stress hormone cortisol have been well documented. Resting, good sleep, taking regular time out and meditating daily all reduce stress in the body.

Sleep deprivation, in particular, can elevate cortisol levels. Studies have also shown that lack of sleep can turn on genes linked to inflammation, which taxes the immune system, and suppresses immune function. And research has shown that sleep-deprived people get less protection from cold and flu vaccines. Aim for 7–8 hours a night.


How do you look after your skin during winter? To help you nourish your skin on the inside and out, we’ve created the perfect Winter Replenish Kit, to refresh tired, dry or dull skin.

A variation of this article was originally published in Wellbeing Magazine.

What are the benefits of probiotic skincare?

The Beauty Chef - What are the benefits of probiotic skincare?

by Ashley Cameron.

Beautiful, glowing skin is intimately linked to the state of our gut microbiome.

And as we know, our bacteria play a key role in not only the state of our gut, but that of our skin, hair, nails, immunity and overall wellbeing too.

While there are a myriad of ways to take care of our gut bacteria – including eating a diet rich in nutrient-dense wholefoods and reducing our stress levels – a key way we can support our gut bacteria is by including probiotic-rich foods and supplements in our daily routine. But did you know that when applied topically, probiotics can also help to boost the health of our skin too?

What are probiotics?

Put simply, probiotics are the “good” bacteria that keep our gut microbiome happy, healthy and in balance. While there are many different species of bacteria, two of the most studied and beneficial are lactobacillus and bifidobacterium and their associated strains. You can find them in lacto-fermented foods including sauerkraut, miso and kimchi as well as yoghurts and yoghurt drinks, but be wary as these products can be loaded with sugar – which may reduce or even eliminate their benefits. Lacto-fermentation is a process that creates a broad-spectrum of healthy bacteria and this is what you’ll find in all The Beauty Chef products. Probiotic supplements are also beneficial.

The benefits of probiotic skincare

While we undoubtedly believe that beauty begins in the belly and you should implement an inner beauty routine, probiotics, when applied to the skin directly, can also contribute to healthy, radiant skin.

Our skin, like our gut, is a complex ecosystem, home to a colony of bacteria with its very own microbiome. Products like The Beauty Chef’s Probiotic Skin Refiner are designed to replenish, feed and fortify your skin’s microbiome, effectively strengthening your immune system’s first line of defence thanks to the presence of bio-fermented lactobacillus. There’s even research to show how the microbes on our skin can affect our immune system.

But aside from populating our skin’s microbiome with beneficial bacteria, our Probiotic Skin Refiner boasts other beauty benefits…

It smooths and brightens. 
Thanks to the presence of naturally-occurring alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s), The Beauty Chef’s Probiotic Skin Refiner, acts as a natural exfoliant, encouraging cell turnover to smooth the skin.

It fights ageing. 
When it comes to fighting premature ageing, AHA’s will soon become your new best friend. In fact, research has shown AHA’s to be effective in fading wrinkles, helping to ease symptoms of blemished skin, fading age-related pigmentation and encouraging collagen synthesis – essential considering our natural production of collagen slows as we age.

It hydrates.
 Interestingly, lactic acid also helps with hydration by balancing the skin’s natural moisture levels. It works by protecting the skin’s natural barrier, upping the skin’s own natural defences and preventing moisture loss.

Have you added probiotic skincare to your beauty routine?