There is a time to provide advice and offer an opinion – especially if asked – and there is a time not to. Don’t be too quick to offer unsolicited advice, as it can cause offence or upset. If on the receiving end, reacting harshly to it can equally cause friction in your relationship with the “advisor”, whether a family member, friend or colleague. How to navigate giving and receiving advice.

We all have those moments in life when we are placed in a situation where family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and even strangers will provide you with unwelcome advice. 

People who repeatedly give unwanted advice can be well-meaning … nonetheless, there are times where a deeper, more personal issue of validation or power might be a factor. 

I feel I’ve had my fair share of that over the years – how to have a baby, how to raise a child, where to send them to school, how to provide the best nutrition, where I should invest money, how to treat illnesses or how to cope when you are “just having a bad day?”. 

It can be tempting to react harshly [to unwanted advice] but you may find yourself being classified as the “damager” of relationships. Self-control and a clear script can lead to the best and most graceful response.

People who repeatedly give unwanted advice can be well-meaning and genuinely want to help. Nonetheless there are times where a deeper, more personal issue of validation or power might be a factor. 

It can be tempting to react harshly [to unwanted advice] but you may find yourself being classified as the “damager” of relationships. Self-control and a clear script can lead to the best and most graceful response.

At times, learned childhood behaviour when people were at their loudest to gain attention can cause an eternal need for it. Further, a chronically stressful or unsupportive environment where a person may have felt unheard can cultivate a sense of self-worth around the ability to influence the actions of others. 

I’ve always found it interesting to explore a) what motivates people to provide advice and b) how the recipient responds. Many times I have seen a split or change in certain conversations if part of the family/friend group continually provides unwanted advice. As a consequence, this can cause relationship breakdowns.

Nonetheless, there is hope for both parties involved. It’s all about a touch of awareness and empathy towards each other.

To the person who loves giving advice – do you notice that at times, because you have gone through a similar situation before that you might be able to add valuable insight? Great!

Responding to unsolicited advice is an art form. However, learning how to master it is imperative to protect your self-esteem and overall emotional wellbeing. Take a step back from the situation and consider how you can respond from a thoughtful versus reactive place, you can turn unwanted advice into a learning and growth experience.


  1. How is my friend/family presenting emotionally? Are they angry, upset, irritated, anxious? Make sure the recipient is in the right headspace to process the advice or advice can be misconstrued. 
  2. Is this the right time to provide advice? Might I be best to just sit and listen today? Sometimes the best advice to give is a good ear. It’s amazing how much cognitive processing and solutions are found through listening along with fostering a culture of respect.
  3. What is the best way I can deliver my advice?  How has it been perceived in the past? 
  4. Why do I feel I need to give advice? It’s important to take stock over the intention of why you want to share; or are you just providing an opinion? Are you yourself feeling vulnerable or not being heard in your own life?  When life gets tough, it can become easy to project our unhappiness or personal dissatisfaction on those close around us.


  1. Take time to assess the situation both from a physical sense and an emotional one. Stand up straight, take 10 deep breathes and try to collect yourself. You can even nod to the advisor while you are trying to process the words and regulate your body and heart rate.
  2. Provide some empathy and put yourself in their shoes – why do they continually give advice? Are they lonely? Are they not being heard in their own lives? Building a good defence against this is realising that everyone has an opinion – you can’t take their ideas about your life personally. 
  3. Create an honest, firm and assertive response strategy which highlights how you feel about the advice: “I’ll think about that”, “good idea”, “I’ll consider if that’s right for me”, “that’s an interesting opinion, but I prefer to do it this way”, “Thanks. I’ll try to look into it.” If your words don’t seem to send a strong enough message, you may need to limit your contact with such people. Proactively communicating a boundary around further advice can let them know that you’ve heard them and appreciate their input without using a potentially damaging narrative around not valuing their help.
  4. If you feel really stuck about how to act gracefully in these situations or find yourself feeling very stressed out, ask others how they respond gracefully when those situations arise.
  5. If all else fails, stay silent. If you can’t respond with grace, then just don’t respond.
  6. Be sure that you don’t reject all the advice you hear. Just because you weren’t looking for help doesn’t mean someone’s suggestions aren’t useful. Further, be thankful and open. You never know – they may have a good point you haven’t considered. 

Dr Natalie Flatt, co-founder of Connect Psych Services, is a Doctor of Psychology and passionate about making a shift towards positive mental health. Natalie has extensive experience in both academia and solution-focused intervention to assist with anxiety, stress management, relationships, and workplace conflict.



Is the key to weight and fat reduction not calorie restriction but when and how often you eat (as well as, of course, what you eat and drink)? A look at intermittent fasting (IF).

It’s a relatively modern phenomenon in Western society (let’s say the past 60 years) that many of us eat throughout the day and well into the evening, including “midnight snacking”. 

Throw in a pandemic, which has disrupted pretty much everyone’s life patterns, and there’s a lot of disordered eating going on. 

For centuries – indeed, eons – before us, most people just didn’t have access to that much food. They ate frugally, if and when it – and what – was available. No supermarkets, no refrigerators.

The term “breakfast”, traditionally the first meal of the day, literally means “break the fast”. It came into use in written English around the 15th century to describe the first meal since a person went to sleep the night before. 

Eating more than needed for the level of energy we expend, and foods that aren’t recommended for optimal health and wellbeing, as well as “grazing” between meals has become endemic. A spike in weight and health issues has accompanied it exponentially.

It’s a combination of so many factors: easy availability of fresh food and the proliferation of the pre-packaged/convenience/fast kind backed by glossy advertising and marketing campaigns.

Then there’s the lifestyle equation. People so stressed, or bored, that they eat too much at meals and in between meals, or skip meals then overdo the snacks to fill gaps, mentally and physically, whether consciously or not.

Add to this equation not enough exercise and we have a recipe for health and weight crises. 

The diet industry became one of the biggest hype and revenue spinners of the 20th century and continues to this day.

As multi millions of dieters have found, “starvation” is not the key. Ditto, diets consisting of nothing but replacement meals, such as shakes. Weight drops off quickly at first but such a lifestyle can’t be sustained over the longterm. 

The weight usually bounces back, often more than before and potentially with health complications.

A growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make IF a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.

Intermittent fasting (IF) has been around for, well, a long time. Also known as intermittent energy restriction, it’s an umbrella term for various meal-timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period. 

In basic terms, it definitely doesn’t mean eating nothing for days or weeks – just not eating all the time. 

It was highly popularised as a weight loss and health enhancement approach in 2012 by UK BBC broadcast journalist Dr Michael Mosley’s TV documentary Eat Fast, Live Longer and book The Fast Diet.

This was followed by British journalist and former yo-yo dieter Kate Harrison’s book The 5:2 Diet based on her own experience – www.kate-harrison.com/52-health – and subsequently by Canadian nephrologist (with a special interest in treating Type 2 diabetes) Dr Jason Fung’s 2016 bestseller The Obesity Code. It all served to generate massive global interest in IF. 

Dr Mosley explained that IF works by burning fat by flipping the metabolic switch: “Your body is like a hybrid car; it runs on two different fuels – sugar and fat. 

“When your body needs a quick burst of energy, the first fuel source it turns to is the glucose (sugar) in your blood. Next it will draw on the sugar stored in your liver and muscle (glycogen). 

Only when this starts to run low does the body turn to its fat stores. Your body can’t just burn fat. Instead, it turns some of your fat stores into ketone bodies, which its uses as energy. The build-up of ketones in your blood is called ketosis.

Dr Monique Tello is a practising physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the US, director of research and academic affairs for the MGH DGM Healthy Lifestyle Program, and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School.

She has done extensive research on the benefits and effectiveness of intermittent fasting.

“Why does simply changing the timing of our meals to allow for fasting make a difference in our body?”, Dr Tello writes for Harvard Health Publishing.

We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.

“In [Dr Jason Fung’s] clinical experience, and sensible nutrition advice [in The Obesity Code] … he is very clear that we should eat more fruits and veggies, fibre, healthy protein, and fats, and avoid sugar [including alcohol], refined grains, processed foods.

And for God’s sake, stop snacking. We have evolved to be in synch with the day/night cycle; that is, a circadian rhythm.

“I asked the opinion of metabolic expert Dr Deborah Wexler, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Centre and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Here is what she told me: `There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective.’ Though generally she recommends that people `use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them’.”

Following the phenomenal success of Dr Michael Mosley’s 2012 TV documentary, he and other medicos went on to establish The Fast 800 program and website: www.thefast800.com.

“We are a group of doctors and health professionals who grew frustrated with the increasing gap between what has long been widely accepted as `healthy eating’ and the latest evidence on what actually works,” the site says.

Its program is largely based on Dr Mosley’s best-selling books, The Fast 800, The Fast Diet, Fast Exercise, The Clever Gut Diet and The Blood Sugar Diet: “All our recipes are based on a moderately low carb Mediterranean style diet – regularly cited by health professionals as the healthiest diet in the world.”


“We are often told that we should snack between meals to avoid getting hungry,” The Fast 800 team points out. “There are two serious problems with this advice. Firstly, the more often people eat, the more they eat overall. 

“Secondly, if you are snacking all the time that means you constantly have lots of sugar circulating in your blood. Constantly topping up your blood sugars is a really bad idea.

“The reason you don’t want to keep you blood sugars topped up is that having high levels of sugar in your blood damages your arteries and nerves. 

“Sugar, in high concentrations, is toxic to the cells. So, after a sugary, carby meal your pancreas produces lots of insulin to bring your blood sugar levels down. Unless you go for a run, to use that sugar up, most of those excess calories will get stored as fat.

“The same is true of your body; over time you become insulin resistant. When the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin to keep your blood sugars in check then you will be on the downward journey to pre-diabetes and eventually diabetes (where the pancreas just packs up).”


Like everything in life, intermittent fasting is not meant for everyone (see Caution). 

There are also multiple approaches, that can be incredibly confusing, or daunting, to someone wanting to try it, especially as some IF plans advocate a hardcore approach of forgoing all food for at least 12 hours, and possibly for as long as 14-16 hours overnight. 

You may benefit from consuming most of your calories earlier in the day, when your metabolism is at its most efficient. Research has shown that it’s not only consistency in the timing of meals, but in the amount of food eaten at each meal that seems to be important.

The body’s metabolism slows throughout the day, meaning that late-night eating may be especially bad for people trying to maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight.

To start, consider a simple form of intermittent fasting. Limit the hours of the day when you eat, and for best effect, make it earlier in the day (between 7am-3pm, or even 10am-6pm, but definitely not in the evening before bed). 


Interest in the Mediterranean diet began in the 1960s with the observation that coronary heart disease caused fewer deaths in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy, than in the US and northern Europe. 

It is largely plant-based, with moderate amounts of lean proteins.

A daily intake is typically high in vegetables, fruits, herbs, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and healthy fats, such as olive oil, as opposed to saturated and trans fats, which contribute to heart disease.

Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat, which has been found to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels. 

Fatty fish — such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and lake trout — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that may reduce inflammation in the body.

Omega-3 fatty acids also help decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure.


  • 7-9am was the time of the stomach, when the biggest meal of the day should be consumed
  • 9-11am centred on the pancreas and spleen
  • 11am-1pm was the time of the heart, and so on
  • Dinner, they believed, should be a light affair, consumed between 5-7pm, which was when kidney function predominated


As everything in life, intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone, and it’s always recommended to consult your doctor before beginning any new health program. 

People who should NOT fast include those who are underweight or have eating disorders like anorexia, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people under the age of 18, and those with health/medical conditions unless pre-approved by their doctor. 


It’s fair to say the pandemic has made us more conscious of life and death issues. While death is an inevitable part of life, it’s often a “taboo”, or at least avoided, subject in day-to-day conversation. That is, until someone meaningful to us dies.

Funerals are not what we’d generally call “fun” but they, too, cannot be avoided. They also serve an important purpose for those left behind. However, they don’t have to be morbid, stark affairs. 

In another life – not so long ago – Yasemin Trollope was a high-flying beauty editor.

As media identity Zoe Foster-Blake’s right hand woman on then-website Primped, and later the editor herself, Yaz (apart from working her butt off!) lived a pretty glamorous life of attending 5-star events and trialling the best in beauty products, trends and treatments.

That began to change in 2015 when she was faced with her mother’s possible death. Today she is the much sought-after founder and director of bespoke Rite of Passage Funerals, on the Gold Coast, and now in Sydney.

“Rite of Passage Funerals are independent, modern funeral planners dedicated to arranging personalised funerals and unique end-of-life events,” she says. “Our fresh perspectives on funerals is the centerpiece of our operations.

“We don’t bind ourselves to tradition, etiquette or overhead ‘rules’ that would otherwise get in the way of delivering a unique and tailored end-of-life event. Instead, we work in partnership with our families to rethink the paradigm of funerals, in tandem with trusted suppliers and vendors.”

In 2015, Yasemin’s mother had a near-death experience after an allergic reaction to chemotherapy treatment and spent 10 days in intensive care.

“The doctor told us that Mum “could go either way” and in those moments of shock and fear, among many other things, I started to think how the traditional funerals I’d been to didn’t fit my Mum at all,” she says.

“In Western society we tend not to talk about death. It’s largely kept in the shadows, which often means that when the time comes people have no idea what to do and look to big-name brands to help them navigate the process of planning a funeral. 

“Thankfully, she pulled through and I wasn’t required to plan her funeral then. But the seed was planted for Rite of Passage Funerals while she was in ICU.”

There was a gap in the market for a really modern, progressive funeral director. I wanted to create a more personalised approach to funerals

“I recognised that the way funerals are planned and executed could be updated.”

Later, while on a sabbatical in the US with her husband and young sons, Yasemin started to research the funeral industry, do her funeral celebrant training, find mentors and generally educate herself on the processes and planning involved in helping families experiencing loss. Slowly, the pieces came together to bring Rite of Passage Funerals to life.

“There was a gap in the market for a really modern, progressive funeral director. I wanted to create a more personalised approach to funerals and end-of-life events, which means educating my clients on all their options and guiding them through the process with love and compassion,” Yasemin says.

“I also use stunning venues usually reserved for events like weddings, engagement parties or 21st birthdays, and beautiful outdoor public spaces, none of which have time restraints – my biggest bugbear of all. 

“Most funerals don’t that take place in a church are at a memorial park or funeral home, where you have 45 minutes to complete the service in a sterile environment. I wanted to change that.

“I add styling, catering and personal touches, and use the best celebrants available. My aim is to elevate the standard of funerals and bring more heart, empathy and compassion to these important events. 

“There’s price transparency throughout, giving clients an itemised quotation to approve and sign off on beforehand. I oversee every step and work with the team on every project.

“I knew early on that my energy was best spent working with families and planning/executing the funeral services, as well as the marketing and business side of things. For that, I used my many years of experience in media, communications, marketing and PR. 

“For the mortuary work, that requires a high level of specialised training, I utilise the skills of the best in the business to ensure my clients have the very best of care in all areas of the process. 

“I’m proud to say that while our funerals look more expensive, they’re around 20-30 percent cheaper than big-name brands. 

“I’ve had the pleasure of arranging some truly special send-offs. They’re all beautiful in their own way.

“For instance, baby Elke was born still and her family wanted a ceremony at their special place in Byron Bay – Little Wategos Beach. Access is by foot only, with hundreds of steps and a 10-15 minute walk from the parking area to the ceremony space. 

“I worked with the family to create an incredible ceremony space, filled with floor rugs and cushions (that I carried!) and a beautiful table for Elke’s urn and pictures, and her mobile hanging over it, overlooking the ocean (pictured lead). 

“The florist created the most incredible flower mandala that was placed in front of the table, and the celebrant, Susie Figgis, curated a ceremony for Elke and her family that was truly moving. 

“Following the ceremony family and friends shared food from the grazing table and sat on the cushions, crying and laughing and sharing stories and endless hugs. It was truly healing for all involved and something very, very special.”




For two decades, PR and marketing guru Tory Archbold has nurtured some of the world’s top-performing retail brands and celebrities. Now she’s asking women entrepreneurs, CEOs and influencers to share their secrets to success, their highs and lows and game changing moments, with her Powerful Steps online platform and Powerful Stories podcasts on the Nova radio network. 

Recently Tory conducted a podcast with Alison Daddo (nee Brahe) who was a much sought-after covergirl and international supermodel in the 1980s and 90s, and married actor Cameron Daddo in 1991, becoming Australia’s fairytale couple and producing three gorgeous children – daughter Lotus (1996), son River (2000) and daughter Bodhi (2006).

Tory and Ali shared stories about their respective health challenges that proved wake-up calls in their lives, with which they’re seeking to help other women. Notably about perimenopause – something most women will experience but, they believe, is too little discussed:

Tory: I don’t think there was a magazine cover when I was growing up that you didn’t appear on. You married the man of your dreams and moved to Los Angeles to pursue what everyone calls the American Dream. What was this time in your life like?

Ali: The first two years, I just hated [America]. But I adore it now. It’s where my children were born and raised and I have so many friends there. 

Tory: How did you make it work with three kids and a husband in the limelight?

Ali: My dream since I was a little girl was to be a stay-at-home mum. Unfortunately in LA, I was doing a lot of it on my own [for instance, Cameron was away for long periods filming F/X: The Series in Canada]. It wasn’t until my children started getting older that I realised there was something else I wanted for myself. That’s when we started trying to work out how I could get back in the workforce.

Tory: What was the workforce for you?

Like a lot of women, I started having these crazy symptoms and thought, “What on earth is this?”. Then I heard the term perimenopause floating around. I’d never come across it before.

Ali: Working with children. At first I was a birth assistant, working with couples about how they wanted their birth to go. 

Tory: What we’re moving on to is how the human body adjusts to trauma. I’d like to share an experience I had in 2013. I was wearing two masks in my life. One was this jet-setting businesswoman, living what a lot of people thought was a glamorous life. But behind the scenes, I was dealing with a lot of trauma. Then my appendix burst and it was literally the live or die moment. I lost eight kilos in five days and was told I had a six-month recovery. In reality, it was three to four years until my body fully recovered because I developed chronic adrenal fatigue.

Ali: Burnout is real and research I’ve read indicates it can lead to perimenopause.

Tory: I’m now in my mid-40s and going through it. When I started getting symptoms I had no idea what they were. Then I saw you at a function and we started chatting. I realised “this is the woman who needs to tell me about my future”. Now you’ve written a book about it [release date to be confirmed].

Ali: Like a lot of women, I started having these crazy symptoms and thought, “What on earth is this?”. Then I heard the term perimenopause floating around. I’d never come across it before. Menopause, yes, which to me was something where your period stopped and life went on. That was it. But there is so much more to it; to understand and prepare for. 

Tory: I always thought menopause was for women in their 60s. The reason I shared my story with you, and why I pinpointed adrenal and chronic fatigue, was because we run at such a rapid pace. This adrenal, this chronic fatigue, this running on empty, what does it do to us? 

Ali: When your adrenal system is taxed, it sends your hormones nuts. The symptoms can be alarming … loss of libido, lack of mental focus, things like intolerance to cold, craving salt and/or sugar, low blood pressure, mood swings and hot flushes. 

Tory: I have noticed in the last year I have put on five kilos and it won’t go anywhere although I’m sure I burn a lot of calories with my husband! I’ve been blaming it on COVID, but I can’t blame that anymore.

Ali: Again, it’s the hormones shifting. And if our adrenals are also shot, we’re too often too exhausted to exercise. The worst thing you actually can do is attempt to push yourself to exercise really hard when your adrenals are weakened. You need to build up really slowly, such as a little walk here and there. 

The more the adrenals get shot, the more the hormones fluctuate. That’s where the belly fat begins, and around the bum. 

Tory: Now, you’re a woman in business and you’re in a meeting and all of a sudden redness creeps up your neck or face. I’ve been on Zoom calls where I can see it happening to other women. Where does that come from?

Ali: It’s the hot flush. Again, it’s the hormones attempting to find balance. It’s like this internal combustion – you can be just sitting there doing nothing and it just whirls up from inside. I would sweat buckets and buckets and I thought there was nothing I could do. But there are a lot of amazing herbal remedies on the market – I personally go that route and see a naturopath. A lot of people find great relief through HRT prescribed by a doctor. 

Tory: What would you say are the biggest challenges for women recognising the triggers that say: “Slow down”?

Ali: I think it’s taking stock of how you’re feeling physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. If you’re noticing that your patience is really short, you’re not sleeping well, are beginning to crave certain foods.

Tory: How long did that go on for?

Ali: Probably about two years. I was so busy doing other things that I kept on ignoring the symptoms, thinking it would just be fine, it’ll get normal again. Then it would be normal and have a period once a month. I’d go “Oh, now I’m back on track”. Slowly but surely it would go crazy again.

Tory: So tell us about the book.

Ali: I’ve called it Miserable Magical Menopause because there’s miserable and there’s magical. There are a lot of interviews and I talk about my experience from when I first discovered I was in perimenopause. Similar to you, I was in chronic adrenal fatigue. Mine really hit from when I moved our family from America to Australia and I left behind my closest friends, home and career. I was absolutely, utterly exhausted. And so of course my symptoms went sky high. I wanted to tell women to look after themselves, to have a balanced life, and then you can care for others. I didn’t do that. My life was all about caring for others and I really paid the price for it. That’s been a huge shift for me.

Tory:  Last question. Most powerful step you ever took in your life?

Ali: There’s been a few, but I think the first one that really set my entire life on a different course was going to a therapist. I spent years with this therapist and she completely changed my life in such a powerful way and that’s why I’m a huge proponent of therapy.

Alison Brahe burst on the Australian modelling scene as a 16-year-old in the mid-1980s, a regular covergirl on the popular women’s magazines of the day and a favourite with big-name advertisers.

TV came calling, such as the daily afternoon children’s show Guess What and she was a popular guest host of the iconic Here’s Humphrey.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1992 Cameron, Alison’s life took a new path. She initially worked in TV, on commercials and in shows, but this was not her passion. Teaching/taking care of children and, indeed, having her own children were her heart’s desire.

She began studying with the Bodyfulmind Institute, founded by LA 80s health expert Doreen Rivera (the driving force behind Jane Fonda’s Workout). There she trained and taught Bodyfulmind exercise classes and headed up the Pregnancy Program which readied couples for birth, labor support and post-partum support. While doing this she studied massage therapy and in 1999 received her degree. 

From 2009, Alison’s passion for teaching moved into another phase – school teacher. For three years she worked close to south central Los Angeles at Windsor Hills Elementary School (LAUSD) teaching third graders expression of emotions and anti-violence through nature-based arts.

In 2013, she achieved her teaching degree from UCLA in Early Childhood, and began full-time teaching at Under the Oaks, Malibu, with the pre-school class. She continued her own studies and training in Rudolph Steiner Education at Highland Hall Waldorf School. 

Alison has always been active in charity work, sponsoring children of World Vision for three decades. From 2007-12 she was involved with Gulu Walkand, The Invisible Children, a charity that works with rehabilitating child soldiers in Uganda. She continues to look for and support worthwhile charitable organisations.

Though her life in front of cameras ended, she’s continued to work on her screen writing, having written and produced the US web series Polly G. Today she’s working on several feature film scripts.