Australia's largest charity provider of health education for school children, Life Education is urging Australians to sign up now for Ocsober, and Lose the Booze for Aussie Kids this October.
Life Education and its much-loved giraffe, Healthy Harold visit more than 2,500 schools each year, teaching over 700,000 children the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition and physical activity as well as building children's resilience and knowledge around smoking, alcohol and drugs.
Supporting this year's key message: Lose the Booze for Aussie Kids is 2017 Ocsober Ambassador and Associate Professor Martin Wullschleger – Director of Trauma Services at the Gold Coast University Hospital, who sees first-hand consequences of the misuse of alcohol.
'I'm very passionate to inform and teach our kids sensible and healthy life choices! In my job in the hospital, I experience far too often the bad consequences and outcomes; therefore, get involved in Ocsober to support Life Education and our next generation!" urges Associate Professor Martin Wullschleger.
This year, Life Education is asking Australians to sign up to Ocsober and help them raise $500,000, which will support the charity'spreventative health education programs. And they need your help!
Raising just $67 provides student workbooks for a small school in regional or remote Australia, $246 will help 24 disadvantaged children to stay safe and healthy, and $588 will support Life Education to deliver health and drug education to a small school in regional Australia for one whole year.
Well-known Australians supporting this year's Ocsober campaign include Olympic Rugby Sevens Champion (2016 Rio Olympics) Sharni Williams, SBS Pop Asia presenter Andy Trieu, X-Factor Finalist Amalia Foy, Australian 100 metre sprint hurdle champion Michelle Jenneke, NBL Brisbane Bullets' Reuben Te Rangi, Olympic Sailing Champion (2016 Rio Olympics) Tom Burton, Nutritionist Stephanie Lowe and the Urban Warriors fitness duo - Shelley Gorman and Kylie Jackes.
As the danger around binge drinking and alcohol abuse increases, it is important to play a role in educating our next generation. To register for Ocsober, please visit www.ocsober.com.au.
Question: Why did you decide to sign up for Ocsober, this year?
Stephanie Lowe: It's so important for your health to take a break for alcohol and I am very proud to be a part of helping to raise money for Life Education in Australia.
Question: Why should we join and support you during Ocsober?
Stephanie Lowe: Taking part in Ocsober is important to support Life Education and to educate Australia on the health benefits of an alcohol-free month, and decreasing their alcohol intake longer-term.
Question: How can signing up for Ocsober help us with our health and fitness goals?
Stephanie Lowe: Removing alcohol creates a huge health catalyst as it improves your gut health, liver function, metabolism, sleep and so much more. Instead of feeling sluggish and hitting the snooze button in the morning, you are far more likely to get up early and go for a walk or run, or hit the gym, so your fitness can accelerate as well.
Question: What (other than water) can we have instead of alcohol whilst participating in Ocsober?
Stephanie Lowe: Learn to love soda water and lime! You can still go out and be social during this time, but it helps to have a non-alcoholic beverage on hand. You're also less likely to be peer pressured to drink, as your friends will just think you're drinking vodka.
Another great day-to-day optional is kombucha, which is a fermented beverage that does wonders for your gut health.
Question: Can you share a recipe, with us for a delicious smoothie?
Stephanie Lowe: My Green Machine Smoothie is the perfect start to your day.
Green Machine Smoothie
Ingredients (Serves 1)
250ml unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 handful spinach
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons Bare Blends vanilla bean WPI
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 tray ice
Add almond milk and chia seeds to the blender and let sit for 15 minutes for the chia seeds to go to work.
Add remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth or your desired consistency.
Question: What inspired your passion for nutrition?
Stephanie Lowe: What started as a personal health struggle turned into a passion to educate the world on how to Just Eat Real Food (JERF). You can read my full story here: https://www.thenaturalnutritionist.com.au/my-story-finally/
Question: Do you remember Harold teaching you about nutrition during Life Education visits?
Stephanie Lowe: I remember Harold fondly, and especially the education around the dangers of alcohol and drug misuse. These are such important messages and a conversation that needs to be had with all primary school aged children.
Question: Which five ingredients could you not live without?
Stephanie Lowe: Avocado, raspberries, eggs, coconut milk and cashew butter.
Question: Can you tell us about the Natural Nutritionist and what inspired the concept?
Stephanie Lowe: The Natural Nutritionist (www.thenaturalnutritionist.com.au) came about due to a distinct lack of education as to how simple good nutrition really can be. By simply bringing your nutrition back to nature, you can take a giant step towards better health. I specialise real food education, high performance fat loss, and metabolic efficiency for athletes.
Question: How can we find you, online?
Stephanie Lowe: w thenaturalnutritionist.com.au f /thenaturalnutritionist i @thenaturalnutritionist t @natnutritionist
Interview by Brooke Hunter