The Block Aus­tralia’s Shaynna Blaze on her well­be­ing must-haves

THE BLOCK AUS­TRALIA STAR SHAYNNA BLAZE OPENS UP TO PAUL EWART ABOUT BE­ING A LONG-TIME VEG­E­TAR­IAN, HER AT-HOME MEN­TAL HEALTH RIT­U­ALS AND HOW YOGA CHANGED HER LIFE

Good Health Choices - - Content -

She’s forged a ca­reer as Aus­tralia’s in­te­ri­ors queen. Through her roles as res­i­dent judge on The Block and pre­sen­ter on Sell­ing Houses Aus­tralia, Shaynna Blaze is a fix­ture on TV screens here and over­seas. But out­side of the me­dia spot­light, this tal­ented all-rounder has penned sev­eral books on in­te­ri­ors, and helmed an award-win­ning de­sign com­pany for the last 20-plus years, a business she started as a sin­gle mum while strug­gling to raise two young kids. Want to know the se­cret to her suc­cess? Yoga.

“I first started yoga when I was 18, and it has been a huge part of my life ever since,” the 55-year-old tells Good Health. “For 20 years, I did it every day – I’d wake up and be on my mat for a good 45 min­utes to an hour, or I’d fit it in when my kids were at school. For me, it wasn’t just phys­i­cal fit­ness, it was about my peace of mind too.

“Like my yoga, I also worked on a lot of my business stuff when my chil­dren were at school or asleep. My at­ti­tude was, ‘You’ve just got to do what you have to do!’ It didn’t al­ways go to plan, but yoga def­i­nitely helped me cope.”

These days, she has a varied fit­ness rou­tine, courtesy of her per­sonal trainer hus­band, Steve.

“Yes, he comes in handy,” she says. “But we’re quite dif­fer­ent in our ap­proaches to fit­ness. He’s al­ways done Iron­man events and triathlons, which isn’t my bag. I do a lot more car­dio and weights with him, which is great, es­pe­cially when com­bined with yoga, as I feel they com­ple­ment one an­other well. He’s not an ag­gres­sive trainer,

which is good as I prob­a­bly wouldn’t lis­ten to him.”

Shaynna has re­mained pretty con­sis­tent with her work­out regime over the decades. “I haven’t stopped do­ing any­thing re­ally,” she says. “For ex­am­ple, four years ago I did a half marathon that I never thought I’d do. Yoga takes you through all the decades of your life, and I think the older you get, the stronger you should be.”

The role of diet

An­other key fac­tor in Shaynna’s good health is diet. A veg­e­tar­ian since the age of 18, she’s also cut out a lot of sugar and pro­cessed foods, though she still ad­vo­cates in­dulging in the oc­ca­sional treat.

“I’m a big snacker,” she says. “Lots of dips with car­rot, cel­ery and cap­sicum… I pre­fer cleaner foods rather than lots of sauces – beau­ti­ful sal­ads with min­i­mal dress­ing, so I can re­ally taste the in­gre­di­ents.

“Say­ing that, like ev­ery­one, I don’t al­ways do the right thing. For ex­am­ple, I love my wine and cham­pagne.

Be­ing stick thin isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; you’re much bet­ter off be­ing happy and healthy and see­ing what shape your body is nat­u­rally.”

De­spite be­ing very health-con­scious, main­tain­ing bal­ance and learning to lis­ten to her body are skills that the mum-of-two is still try­ing to mas­ter.

“I travel every week and it re­ally af­fects your di­ges­tive and im­mune sys­tem,” she be­moans. “I’m in and out of planes, not eat­ing reg­u­larly, get­ting up at ridicu­lous hours to film, and fin­ish­ing late. The last few years in par­tic­u­lar have been re­ally chal­leng­ing for me, and my im­mune sys­tem has taken a ham­mer­ing.

“I’ve learned – and am still learning – to be more aware of what my body is re­act­ing to, and I try to re­spond ap­pro­pri­ately. I’m tak­ing a lot more sup­ple­ments, and I get vi­ta­min B in­jec­tions when I need to. I’ve also re­ally got into Elle Macpher­son’s Su­per Greens pow­der, which is in­cred­i­ble.”

Cre­at­ing a re­treat

Shaynna’s tac­tics also came in handy for the gru­elling travel sched­ule in­volved on her prop­erty se­ries, Buy­ing Blind, which sees the TV host bringing her in­te­rior-trans­for­ma­tion skills to clue­less prop­erty buy­ers across Aus­tralia.

Thank­fully, they were in safe hands; Shaynna knows more than any­one the im­por­tance of cre­at­ing a home that dou­bles as a sanc­tu­ary and of­fers places in which to re­cu­per­ate.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant that a home has lit­tle pock­ets you can re­treat to so you can get some down­time,” she says. “Ar­eas that are kit­ted out with

‘i’m still learning to be more aware of what it is that my body is re­act­ing

to’

plants and can­dles – things that help calm you. No mat­ter the house, you need spa­ces that have a sense of peace and quiet to them so you can re­treat.”

Self-sooth­ing

“Ev­ery­one has low mo­ments, and I think mak­ing sure that you have that time for yourself re­ally helps – we don’t hon­our this enough,” says Shanna. “Even if it’s only five min­utes or an hour each day, it’s re­ally how you can cen­tre yourself.

“For me, rit­u­als at home are a re­ally good way to do this. Mak­ing a cup of tea but tak­ing the time to do it – even stand­ing by the ket­tle while it boils is enough time to breathe and take stock. Or light­ing a can­dle, but in­stead of just light­ing it and walk­ing away, light­ing it and wait­ing for the scent to hit you. It’s a bit like stop­ping to smell the roses – a few min­utes out of your day can make a big difference.”

Ac­cen­tu­ate the pos­i­tive

These sim­ple cop­ing mech­a­nisms re­ally came into play when Shaynna lost her par­ents. Her fa­ther, Basil, died sud­denly of a heart at­tack in 1998, and her mother, Annette, was di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s five years later, even­tu­ally suc­cumb­ing to the dis­ease in 2016.

“When my mum passed, it was a re­lief, be­cause she had been sick for so long,” she says, misty-eyed. “It was a trau­matic pe­riod of my life. I felt happy that she could fi­nally move on af­ter be­ing trapped in her body for so long. At her fu­neral there was so much joy – we sang show tunes, peo­ple were laugh­ing and clap­ping, it was a real cel­e­bra­tion. Whereas my dad was com­pletely dif­fer­ent. It was so sud­den – he went to work one day and just never came home, so it took a lot longer to get over.

“Ev­ery­one copes very dif­fer­ently with tragedy. Whether it’s the loss of a re­la­tion­ship or a loved one, you need to give yourself per­mis­sion to grieve. If you have to lock yourself away and bawl your eyes out for two days, then do it. You’ll heal a lot quicker.”

The corner­stone of Shaynna’s suc­cess and at­ti­tude to life is pos­i­tiv­ity. Al­though she’s suf­fered through these tragedies, rather than wal­low, the go-get­ter has turned sad­ness into strength.

“I’ve been through a lot and it ei­ther makes you shrink, or it makes you stronger,” she says. “I know that to­mor­row is an­other day and things will get bet­ter. I’ve learned that noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble – there’ll al­ways be some­thing bad com­ing your way to try to stop you, but if you have the right at­ti­tude and look for the pos­i­tive, you can do any­thing, you re­ally can.”

‘i’ve been through a lot and it ei­ther makes you shrink or it makes you

stronger’

Shaynna and co-host Mar­shal Keen film­ing Buy­ing Blind

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