The word Alchemy means the magical process of transforming something ordinary into a special substance. In the Middle Ages, alchemists who were like today’s chemists were obsessed with turning a base metal into gold. They were also trying to liberate humans from the ‘Cosmic dust’ and for this they needed the Elixer of Eternal Youth. Sadly they never found it! On second thoughts that was probably fortunate for us otherwise the world would have been totally overcrowded by now!

I have given up on the eternal youth part and am comfortably settled in middle age. But that doesnt stop me from transforming an ordinary day into a magical one!

I learnt somewhere that doing just one thing different to the normal routine keeps our brain in tip top shape. So today I choose to ride my bike to Alchemy Cafe for breakfast. By the time I get there I can feel my blood coursing through my body even though the ride is less than 1km! Time to chill out with some freshly ground organic coffee and a delicious breakfast of smashed pumpkin and poached eggs on house made sourdough!

By now my brain feels well and truly abuzz and that is good, because I am preventing Alzheimers. Breaking free from your daily routine can be as simple as remembering your phone number backwards, taking a different route to work, calling your husband by an unusual name (that will make him sit up!), reading the dictionary on the toilet or even remembering your children’s birthdays! Every small change causes an explosion of new neural pathways in the brain. That way the brain never stops expanding and renewing.

However what damages the neural networks is the stress hormone Cortisol, which is produced by the body under prolonged stress. It literally kills off 100000’s of neurons in your body and causes your brain to shrivel up. If you cant remember what you did 5 minutes ago and have trouble finishing your sentences you are most likely running on adrenaline and cortisol, the body’s stress hormones.

You know what happens when you use your credit card without putting money back in… you get to a point where the banks refuse any further transactions! Like wise your body may refuse to get out of bed one morning when there is nothing left in your gas bottles!

NOW is the perfect time to STOP and take time out. When it comes to the body, every little bit helps. Small changes are often the most beneficial, like drinking more water, adding Himalayan Salt to your diet, taking Iodine every day and booking in for a regular massage. Do you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body and that there is such a thing called skin hunger? Underneath our behaviours we are all starved for touch and nothing is more healing to the nervous system than a simple massage. Once your body relaxes your digestion will become healthier and your brain will thank you for this by creating lots of new neural pathways. Suddenly you can smell the roses and enjoy the little things in life. Like my granddaughter Bobbi who plonked herself on the deck chair after breakfast. When I asked her what she was doing she beamed: “looking at the clouds!”

Children are great teachers. They live fully in the moment, get over their little hurts in no time, and they brim over with curiosity for the world they are born into. Not only that, their brains thrive on new experiences and the tiniest things give them the biggest thrill!

Our amazing chefs have come up with so many delicious menu options catering for all diets from vegan, vegetarian, paleo and of course everything is gluten free and free from nasty preservatives and additives! Like these Zucchini Fritters, topped with crispy bacon and a poached egg!