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Extra Healthy-Ish podcast: mums carrying mental load and domestic load

Is your mental load out of control? You’re not alone. Tech entrepreneur and mum of three Kate Morgan discusses the mental load, her learnings and how it led her to launch an app, Eggy. 


Find out more about Kate’s app Eggy or via their site here


Online: Head to for your daily digital dose of health and wellness.

On social: Via Instagram at @bodyandsoul_au or Facebook. Or, TikTok here. Got an idea for an episode? DM host Felicity Harley on Instagram @felicityharley

In print: Each Sunday, grab Body+Soul inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), the Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria), The Sunday Mail (Queensland), Sunday Mail (SA) and Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania). 

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Healthy-Ish podcast: how to stay on top of life admin

To-do lists, life admin, Christmas lists – it’s all bananas at this time of year. Tech entrepreneur and mum of three Kate Morgan shares tips on how to take control of…life right now.  


To hear today’s full interview, where she discusses how to manage the mental load…search for Extra Healthy-ish wherever you get your pods.

Find out more about Kate’s app Eggy or via their site here


Online: Head to for your daily digital dose of health and wellness.

On social: Via Instagram at @bodyandsoul_au or Facebook. Or, TikTok here. Got an idea for an episode? DM host Felicity Harley on Instagram @felicityharley

In print: Each Sunday, grab Body+Soul inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), the Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria), The Sunday Mail (Queensland), Sunday Mail (SA) and Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania). 

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Olive oil could be the cure for constipation

Experiencing a bit of a blockage? Rather than turning to coffee, studies show olive oil could be the key to reducing constipation. 

For anyone who’s ever experienced it, constipation is no doubt one of the most uncomfortable feelings. 

Characterised by fewer than three stools passed per week, abdominal pain and hardened stools, constipation is often caused by a lack of fibre, not drinking enough fluids or a sedentary lifestyle. 

Research shows that it can be strongly correlated with your diet too, particularly when it changes in a way that unbalances the delicate equilibrium in your gut. 

Unsurprisingly then, changing it in other ways is often the cure to these poo predicaments. 

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For years, research has shown that a Mediterranean diet is one of the best in the world, and is rich with “healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds,” per the Mayo Clinic

Aside from the fact that a diet à la Med is a well-balanced one that includes lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, there’s also a lot of healthy oils, particularly extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). 

It’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and for improving heart health, cholesterol and blood pressure, but a lesser-known benefit of EVOO is softened stool, which can help ease constipation. 

After Starbucks started selling olive oil lattes in the US earlier this year, dubbed Oleato drinks, which led to a high volume of pooping, TikTok caught wind of the secondary properties of EVOO. 

Now, it’s taken flight online, with people shilling olive oil as a natural constipation remedy you can take at home. And apparently, there’s actually some fact to back it up. 

Does olive oil reduce constipation?

Ingesting enough healthy fat, i.e. olive oil, has a two-part effect on your health, which can lead to decreased constipation. 

For one, when you’re eating a healthy diet, you will need to poo a healthy amount, which is once or twice a day. 

“Good quality EVOO has unique properties that improve the health of your microbiome,” performance dietitian Peta Carige tells Body+Soul. And “a healthy gut equals healthy poo.

But on the other hand, olive oil itself can also have a “mild laxative effect on the colon,” says gastroenterologist Dr Priyanka Singh, in conversation with Well+Good.

“It lubricates the colon walls and holds water within stools, helping to soften them. This helps stool move more easily through the colon and promotes bowel movements.”

In one study, per Well+Good, “One study found that olive oil relieved symptoms of constipation just as well as mineral oil—a known laxative—in patients on dialysis when it was taken daily for four weeks.” 

How much olive oil reduces constipation?

To reap the benefits of softened stool and a regular cadence in trips to the toilet, Carige tells Body+Soul that ingesting 30g of olive oil per day (1.5 tablespoons) is a good way to go. 

“This can be achieved by a drizzle on your avocado toast, a touch in your salad dressing and using it in your cooking at dinner easily,” she says. 

Not only will this make the most of its laxative properties, and soften the stool so it can actually, you know, pass, but it will “improve your microbiome,” says Carige, which promotes a healthy pooping routine. 

According to Medical News Today, „One tablespoon of olive oil, taken on an empty stomach in the morning, may relieve constipation for many healthy adults.“ 

They also note that babies and children with constipation should not take olive oil, and as per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), should try apple or pear juice, Karo syrup, or pureed prunes for relief instead. 

Too much of a good thing 

A word of warning – you don’t want to overdo it on the olive oil. 

For one, while your diet may be suffering from a lack of olive oil if you’re constipated, you can send things in the other direction if you consume too much. Think far too regular trips to the bathroom and a very upset stomach – as many buyers of the Starbucks latte discovered. 

But it will also send your diet out of balance, particularly if you’re still getting your dose of healthy fats from other sources too. 

“If you are consuming your healthy fats from EVOO and quality food sources such as nuts and fish, it’s important to not exceed your energy requirements by also consuming other fat sources such as pastries and biscuits,” says Carige. 

In short, add a tablespoon of olive oil to your diet if you’re not ingesting any already, but aim to reduce other sources of fat so you don’t overdo it.

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What is the optimal time to stop birth control for pregnancy planning

Whether you’re taking the contraceptive pill or have an IUD or implant, this is when you should stop using it to maximise your chances of falling pregnant.

If you’re thinking about having a baby but you’re using birth control, you’ve no doubt also wondered about when to stop using it.

Sure, we’ve all heard the stories of people falling pregnant as soon as they stopped taking contraception, but is it really that simple? 

To better understand this, we asked Dr Kirsty Wallace-Hor, a GP at Kin Fertility, about when is the best time to come off birth control if you’re trying to get pregnant.

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First, make sure you’re ready

“Many people assume that it takes a while for their fertility to return to normal after stopping a hormone-based contraceptive. While it’s true that it can take a few months for your body’s hormones to go back to what’s normal for you, you can potentially fall pregnant very quickly,” Dr Wallace-Hor tells Body+Soul.

“I therefore don’t recommend that you stop your contraceptive until you’re prepared to fall pregnant. I’ve had more than a few patients fall pregnant earlier than planned because they assumed it would take a long time for their body to adjust to being off contraception.

“Waiting until you’re ready to fall pregnant before you stop your contraceptive is helpful for a few reasons. For example, it gives you adequate time to start a prenatal multivitamin. For most people, it is recommended to take a 0.4-0.5mg/day supplement of folic acid for at least one month before falling pregnant, as well as an iodine supplement of 150μg each day. 

“It also gives you a chance to see your GP before falling pregnant to see whether you would benefit from other supplements (for example, if you’re iron or vitamin D deficient, or are vegan or vegetarian), ensure you have adequate insurance cover if you’d like private obstetric care, optimise your lifestyle and consider genetic carrier screening.”

When does fertility return?

The answer to this question will vary from woman to woman and it will depend on the type of birth control you’re using.

  • Contraceptive pill: “It usually takes about two months for someone’s usual level of fertility to return after stopping the combined pill, some people may ovulate and fall pregnant before their next period.”
  • Shot. “It can take up to 18 months for your fertility to return to your usual level.”
  • IUDs. With hormonal IUDs, fertility usually returns shortly after removal and with copper IUDs, it often returns within the first menstrual cycle.
  • Vaginal ring and contraceptive implant. Some women resume regular ovulation soon after removal, while others may experience a delay.

Things to consider when going off birth control

“If you’d like to track your natural cycles before you actively start trying for a baby, you can stop your hormonal contraceptive and switch to condoms until you’re ready. Tracking your cycle can help identify when you’re ovulating and help you time intercourse to optimise your chances of falling pregnant,” Dr Wallace-Hor explains.

“Even if you plan to start trying straight away, it can be helpful to track your period as this will help estimate your due date if you do fall pregnant and confirm whether your periods are regular.”

Your diet is another important piece of the puzzle and you want to make sure you’re consuming key nutrients for reproductive health – think folic acid, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. A good prenatal vitamin can be beneficial here.

Improving your diet, keeping your stress levels under check, exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine intake, are all simple, yet effective ways of leading a fertility-friendly lifestyle.

Finally, having the right people by your side can make a huge difference – and one of those people should be your doctor. Booking a preconception check-up and getting your fertility tested can be a good idea, as you’ll get access to personalised insights about your reproductive health, so you can manage your expectations and make informed decisions that are right for your body.

When to seek professional help

“If your periods are regular and you haven’t fallen pregnant despite having regular intercourse, you should see your GP after 12 months if you’re 35 years or younger, after 6 months if you’re over 35, or earlier if you’re concerned,” Dr Wallace-Hor recommends.

Additionally, consider booking an appointment if:

  • You’re experiencing irregular menstrual cycles months after stopping birth control
  • You’re not experiencing signs of ovulation, like changes in cervical mucus or breast tenderness
  • You have a history of gynecological issues, like PCOS or endometriosis
  • Your partner has known fertility concerns

Most importantly, be patient and kind to yourself and prioritise your wellbeing during this time. While it is natural to feel overwhelmed, stress and fertility are not a good mix. So, try to find healthy ways to deal with potential stressors and, if needed, seek support from a healthcare professional.

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How to deal with Christmas stress

With the year many of us have had, it’s little wonder that some of us are not exactly decking the halls with holly. Here’s how to get in to the swing of Christmas without adding more stress.

It’s been a big year. Actually, given what we’ve collectively been through it’s been a big few years, for all of us. So it may well be that you’re trudging towards December 25th, running on fumes with your proverbial ‘check engine’ light flashing and no petrol station in sight.

December often feels like a mad rush to an invisible finish line. Each week opening your diary to find a wedding on Friday, a Christmas party on Saturday, end-of-year drinks on Sunday afternoon and about three weeks’ worth of work to smash through come Monday morning.

Add the usual mayhem to the emotional toll of an ongoing pandemic and global unrest, and for many of us, perhaps for the first time, getting into the party spirit just feels like too much this year.

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So, if you’re tempted to climb under the bed and stay there until January 1, you’re not alone. We spoke with two experts about how best to navigate our end-of-year overwhelm.

Recognising end-of-year burnout

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’, sang Andy Williams all those years ago, and for some of us it will be. A chance to let our hair down at celebrations, see our much-loved friends and family, and finally, finally, take a break and get some breathing room. But for many of us, the opposite can be true. 

“We all know what happens at this time of the year,” says Sally McGrath, founder of Health that Heals specialising in burnout awareness treatment. “There are a multitude of party invitations, the people that all need to catch up because all of a sudden, it’s urgent to see every person you know. There’s the pending anxiety of catering for Christmas Day and mixing with family, some you may or may not want to see. And consider split families – it can be a time of dread because it highlights what has not worked out for people,” she says.

“People can also feel quite lonely and alone, vulnerable and depressed during this time. While for many, Christmas is a wonderful time, for others it is a challenging and emotional time, so it’s important to be aware.”

Just talking about it makes me want to nope out of my commitments and curl up in my Oodie with a hot drink, but McGrath says there’s an important difference between true burnout and simply exhaustion.

“Burnout is not something that just happens because the end of the year is in sight,” she explains. “Burnout builds over months and years through a series of unconscious habits and behaviours.” The main difference is that unlike relatively straightforward end-of-year exhaustion, burnout doesn’t resolve when we simply take a break, so it’s important to be able to spot the signs.

So yes, end-of-year exhaustion is a thing, and this year, it’s apparently on steroids. 

Why this year was especially taxing

Dr Rebecca Ray, clinical psychologist and bestselling author says that we’re facing a unique set of challenges as we close out 2023. “This year is especially trying because it occurs on the back of a once-in-a-generation pandemic, in the middle of another symptomatic wave of Covid, while we’re facing a cost-of-living crisis and observing global warfare – all simultaneously.”

Dr Beck explains that this potent mix of emotional and psychological stressors can be what takes us from the early stages of burnout and seasonal exhaustion to what she terms ‘clinically severe burnout’. “This manifests as anxiety, the energy of which has nowhere to go, and whole-person depletion where you struggle to find an area of your life in which you’re not exhausted,” she says. 

Your guide to a happy, healthy silly season

With all of this fatigue, wouldn’t it be brilliant to find a roadmap to guide us through the next month? Well, you’re in luck, because both of our experts have developed sets of easy-to-follow guidelines. 

Firstly, McGrath encourages us to implement the following:

  1. Get comfortable saying ‘No, thank you, just not right now’.
  2. Choose quality over quantity – Do a review of what is coming up and cherry-pick where you choose to show up.
  3. Ditch the FOMO – It will exhaust you and the only person that will lose will be yourself.
  4. Hold firm on boundaries – Boundaries are important for your own well-being, including your mental and physical health. 

Next, she suggests we ask some big questions:

  1. How do I want and choose to spend my time socialising with work, with neighbours, with family?
  2. What work priorities are really essential to be completed before Christmas? Can anything wait?
  3. How do I want to spend the time off, if I have any? 

And finally, her favourite – How will I feel when all this is over? *Hint: If the answer is ‘more exhausted’, it’s a no. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling calmer already. Now, what if you’re overwhelmed with a pile of event invitations? Stop. Breathe. And read on… 

Dr Beck has developed a quick and easy checklist we can refer to when we just can’t decide whether to tick ‘attending’ or send our apologies. 

Say yes if:

  • There are people attending who are good for your mental health.
  • There’s a part of you that really wants to go.
  • The consequences of saying ‘no’ are bigger than the effort of saying ‘yes’ (e.g. attending your workplace Christmas party puts you in good stead for promotion rather than being judged as ’not a team player‘ if you don’t go). 

Say no if:

  • Your ‘giving’ tanks are empty and rusting.
  • You would only be going because you think you ’should‘.
  • There is no identifiable benefit to you attending other than avoiding your own self-imposed guilt.

When it might be something deeper

While exhaustion, depression and even burnout are common experiences, especially this year, Dr Beck explains how to tell when it’s time to seek help from a mental health professional.

“Burnout tends to be something that is externalised, while depression has internalised features,” she explains. “With burnout, it’s common to identify things outside yourself that make you feel ‘over it’ (work, invitations, kids‘ events, school events, the world burning, etc). Depression tends to have a set of internalised features that don’t usually occur in burnout including high levels of self-criticism and a sense of self-loathing.” 

A great shortcut is to consider whether removing yourself from the circumstances that are causing you stress alleviates your symptoms. If they remain or become deeper even with rest and self-care, it’s time to enlist the help of a psychologist or counsellor. 

Honour your needs first

Both of our experts advocate for maximum self-love when it comes to navigating this time of year.

“Remove the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary, says McGrath. “As I like to tell clients, there is no need to ‘should’ on yourself, now or anytime. Should raises the expectations of self and others and before you know it you are in the cycle of being a people pleaser – making everyone else happy while you end up sick and or resentful, exhausted or burnt-out.”

And if you’re struggling to suppress that inner critic, Dr Beck says, “Leading with self-kindness is the best way forward here. Speak to yourself as you would a friend. Remember that you are only one person, and your resources (time, energy, care, attention, money, love) are not infinite. Check-in on the levels of your giving tanks before saying yes or no.” 

Dr Beck encourages us to remember that only we know how much is left in our own tanks, “if they are low, saying ’no‘ right now is a gift for your future self.”

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