Food for the Soul!

croatia weddingHello everyone…. I have just returned from my cousins wedding on the island of Hvar in Croatia!  Over 130 family and friends from all over the globe attended for a week long celebration.  Was truly one of the best weeks of my life!  I’m half Croatian, but had never visited the country.  After a strong desire for about 20 years, I finally made it to my homeland and certainly felt at home there.

Its important not to underestimate the significance of our emotional health and the importance of feeling spiritually connected.  We are driven by our emotions, which directly affects our physical health.  Its important to regularly take time out and have a break.  I was fortunate to visit where my nana and didda grew up in Croatia…. This was food for my soul and I certainly returned to Perth feeling refreshed.

We also went to Paris as my 7 year old son Beau had wanted to go there since he was 4 years old… asking if he could have his 5th Birthday party at The Louvre!  Lol!  Beau especially wanted to see the Mona Lisa and the Notre Dame.  We were first in line for the Notre Dame climb and certainly weren’t disappointed.  Wonderful memories were shared.

It was joyful trying local cuisine whilst we were away!  Some of my favourites were calamari, tomatoes, oranges, olive oil, krostule (Croatian pastries) and also the croissants in Paris were magic!  Perth croissants don’t quite taste the same anymore.  Fortunately, they are only a special occasion/sometimes food for me.  I enjoy them when I have one, however, I don’t feel good if I eat that type of food too often.  Eating mostly locally grown organic fruit and veg in Hvar was a treat as the flavours were intense and inviting!  The cleaner I eat, the better I feel, and this is the best motivator for me to continue to eat real clean food mostly!

It can be challenging to stay on top of our exercise routines when we are travelling, depending upon the climate and destination.  I love travelling and always try to incorporate a jog with sight seeing.  Its like music for my soul!  Beau and I went for a run and bike ride in Paris to The Louvre.  Couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces.  I also went for an 8km run on my own and ended up at the Champs Elysees.  Mixed it up there with a spot of shopping and then ran back!  Multi-tasking as I like it!

I was also fortunate to go to an Xtend Barre class in Paris with Brenda.  She was an excellent instructor and I really enjoyed her class.  She did the class in English and French. Very talented lady.

In Hvar I went on some picturesque runs.  There are plenty of hills and steps there, so interval training took care of itself.  A morning run through Hvar, finished off with a dip in the Adriatic Sea was blissful.  Plenty of Vitamin D from the sun and Magnesium from the ocean for me to soak in.  Heaven!

I’m grateful to have had a trip of a lifetime.  Time out exploring new places and connecting with my heritage, together with plenty of sunshine, laughs and great company made for an epic holiday!  I came home feeling refreshed, happy, calm, clear and spiritually connected.  I encourage you when you’re on holidays to combine sight seeing with movement and exercise and enjoy trying the local cuisine!

If you’d like to stay on top of my health tips and travelling adventures, follow me on Instagram @andrea_zencich and FB Zen Nutrition Pilates Yoga

In Health and Happiness x


 During the cooler months we may feel the winter blues, which might distract us from maintaining our health and wellness routine.  This brings me to discuss “Mood Intolerance” and how we manage our emotions.  What is Mood Intolerance?  Its difficulty in managing negative emotions and moods (hurt, fear, anger, disappointment, sadness) and using short term relief to avoid or get rid of the feeling.  People may use various vices to relieve them of their discomfort, such as excessive eating and exercise.   Unfortunately, in the long term these vices do not prevent the unwanted negative experience and they can in turn cause additional health problems.

Negative moods are a universal human experience.  Generally, they dissipate over time of their own accord.  Studies show that while people tend to give comfort foods credit for helping them feel better, eating such foods has no measurable impact on mood.  The individual learns to associate the “behaviour” with an improved mood, it’s actually not the food itself!

So how do we learn to move through our negative emotions and mood without heading to the fridge or pantry?  Firstly, it’s important to recognize and acknowledge the negative emotion or mood, then engage in an activity that may be helpful, such as: doing a relaxation exercise, diaphragmatic breathing, listening to music, calling a friend, taking a walk, exercise class (Thai Chi, Yoga, Pilates) or doing something creative like craft, painting or colouring.

So if you have food cravings or feel like you engage in emotional eating at times, try these out!  Personally I’m a big lover of diaphragmatic breathing (meditation), yoga, pilates or sometimes a run, depending upon what’s going on and my time limitations.  Two minutes of diaphragmatic breathing can be really helpful in a short period of time.  Acknowledge your feelings and before heading to the pantry, fridge or vending machine, feel what activity would best serve you.

Also ensure you are eating a balanced healthy diet that includes all the macronutrients and regular exercise.   Eating a balanced diet is important for managing your food cravings and energy levels.

If you feel like you’ve fallen off the wagon and can’t get back on, feel free to contact me for nutritional advice at The Rose or  For motivation and tips follow me on Instagram (andrea_zencich) and Facebook (Zen Nutrition Pilates Yoga)

Keep up the good work during the cooler days!… and remember “Its what we do mostly that matters!”

In Health and Happiness

A x

zen pilates


How to Manage your Health when Life doesn’t go according to Plan!

As many of you are aware I had a nasty ankle injury, which turned my world upside down mid 2014.  I simply couldn’t walk!  Crutches became my life for 2 months and I wore a moon boot for weeks with several months’ rehabilitation.  It was a very challenging time for me emotionally and physically, as medical professionals (all with good intentions) couldn’t seem to specifically diagnose my injury.  I had my 5 year old son to take care of and a business to run.  It was very tough!

During that time, I didn’t exercise for a few weeks as I adjusted to life with crutches.  This was very difficult to say the least.  After 2 weeks, I recommenced pilates and light weights as my body would allow.  I also started regular swimming to keep my cardiovascular fitness up and continued to practice short meditations. Its most important during difficult times to stay committed with exercise and movement as your body will allow.  This is not only important for physical health and rehabilitation but also equally as important for our mental and emotional wellbeing.  This was crucial for me!  I continued exercising to within my ability most days whilst allowing my ankle and body to heal.  Despite missing running, I was starting to feel better!

I noticed my body had several signs of inflammation over that period of time.  My rings didn’t fit the correct fingers and my skin showed gentle signs of dermatitis.  The sports medical specialists observed inflammation in all of my injured ankle joints and considered it a diagnostical challenge.  I considered my diet, as dairy and gluten may cause inflammation in some individuals.  I believe gluten was at play in my body.  I now continue to eat some gluten in my diet, but considerably less than previously.

As with all experiences in life, we grow and gain strength from the journey.  I’m a big believer in being in the moment and breathe is one of my best friends!  Whenever I feel stressed or upset, I try to return to conscious deep diaphragmatic breathe as often as possible, as this is the only way to consciously talk to our autonomic nervous system to tell our bodies we are safe.  I’m not always brilliant at it, but I try.  Despite the difficult time, I knew deep down in my heart I would grow in many ways from the experience.  Regular short meditations helped me to remain calm and return to this grounded perspective during a very challenging time.  I have definitely gained strength and am now even grateful for the experience.  That’s a peaceful and healing place to arrive at!

The positive news is that with considered rest, rehabilitation and rejuvenation, my ankle and I recovered and healed.  I’m grateful now that all of my inflammatory symptoms have long gone and my ankle and I are completely healed and feel fit and strong!

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Wonderful Wellness Workshop

Join me on Saturday, June 7 from 1 – 4pm for an afternoon discussing Stress Hormones, Sex Hormones, Food, Holistic Nutrition and how these affect our health, weight and wellbeing!

We’ll break with Healthy High Tea provided by Super Natural Food and finish off the afternoon with Stretch & Release Pilates and Meditation.

Venue: Zen Pilates – 73 Fifth Avenue, Mount Lawley

$99.00 – Bookings Essential.

Please contact Andrea to pre-pay & confirm your place.
EFTPOS available, or via bank transfer:
Westpac Account name: Zen Pilates
BSB: 036 024  Account: 202541

Download the flyer: ZenPilates_WomensWellnessWorkshop.pdf


What’s Piloxing?

Piloxing is the brainchild of Swedish dancer and trainer Viveca Jensen (based in Los Angeles, California) and the culmination of her mission to physically and mentally empower through fitness!  Andrea attended Piloxing training with Viveca in Los Angeles California August 2013 and is excited to introduce this cutting edge program to Perth.

Zen Pilates holds Piloxing classes on Mondays and Thursdays – we’d love to see you there!

Check out the video to see Piloxing in action: