Debbie Carr Agency

Keynote speaking, motivation, personal development

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The benefits of meditation

wellnessThere are many things in my life that I am truly grateful for. One of those is meeting Tom Cronin.  Tom and I met on LinkedIn actually and since meeting, Tom has become a speaker on my books, Vox Presenters and my meditation teacher.  I cannot stress enough how I am benefiting from my meditation.  I feel more relaxed, I seem to have more time, I feel peaceful.

Here is a short 15 minute interview I recorded with Tom, along with some slides.  Interview with Tom Cronin

Visit Tom’s website


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So what’s the big deal about going to hospital?

This is a post for fellow Crohn’s Suffers, I’m sure you can relate to this story.

For the last 8 weeks or so I’ve steadily noticed that my Crohn’s Disease was playing up, but as I’m always too busy to be sick so I just ignored it. That was until the last few weeks when it became difficult to ignore as the pain would grip my stomach so badly it would make me scream, take my breath away and turn me temporarily insane – for a minute!  I’m talking pain that travels like a wave from stomach, around to my back, up to my shoulder blades and  is so intense I can only describe as being like a labour contraction.  Seriously bad pain with one good feature – it’s not constant, it comes in waves and at any time when I’m least expecting it, so at least it’s not continuous.

I gave in last week and went to the doctor. Of course she starts to send me on the medical merry-go-round of blood tests, scans etc and doesn’t give me anything for the pain.  Two days ago I rang her and told her I was at home alone and was in agony and she said ‘ring an ambulance’ as she could clearly hear it in my voice that I wasn’t well.  I decided against that, because I hate being in hospital so hung in there, hoping if I cut out eating solid food for a few days I’ll get better.

Yesterday, I couldn’t hang in there any more so I took myself down to the doctor and to ask for some pain relief. Of course I got a telling off for not going to the hospital and she said she’s writing me a letter and I have to go to Emergency. Here’s the scenario: I’m sitting in her surgery in tears and the pain grips me again and I’m withering around in agony when she takes a phone call!  It’s another patient and to my absolute disbelief she says to this patient “I’ve faxed all your scans and tests to the emergency department at the hospital, they are waiting for you as it looks like you have bone cancer!”  OMG…she tells her that on the phone as if it was like telling her she had a cold!  Meanwhile I’m crying in agony and her other patient is literally screaming at her hysterically on the phone in disbelief, I could hear her! The patient ends up slamming the phone up on the doctor! Doctor proceeds to give me my letter for the hospital when the phone rings again.  It’s the poor patient ringing back.  So I get pushed out and sent to hospital grateful I’m not the one with the suspected bone cancer!

I always try to look at the bright side and have appreciation.  If I had a choice between Crohn’s and Bone Cancer, Crohn’s is the winner for sure. So I feel very grateful I’m not in the dire situation the other patient is in and I can’t stop thinking about how awful it must be for her.

Fast-forward to the emergency room.  It’s my lucky day!  There is hardly anyone there and no line up at Triage. Nurse greats me with a grunt, I give her my papers and she indicates with a nod of her head to come to the door.  She’s a mean one this one!  She finishes her assessment and sends me back out to the waiting room.  I notice all the doctors in the background, some very young good looking ones and pray I don’t end up with any of them….this is a private matter after all and I don’t want some hunky young good looking doctor treating me for my Crohn’s!

I was lucky only about half an hour wait and the doctor comes to get me.  Of course he’s one of the good looking hunks.

6 hours later they decide I’m going home because I really need to see a specialist as they have ruled out I don’t have a rupture just a nasty flare up!  So whilst the doctor goes to get my letter for my doctor, who had sent me there in the first place, and to get me some strong pain killers to take home, I have another vicious attack.

The doctor returns to the room and I’m standing up as if I’m in labour having a contraction, half bent over his chair, clenching my teeth with tears streaming down my face, obviously I’m in agony. Actually I was sobbing with the pain.

He looks at me with empathy and tells me he can see I’m in a lot of pain so gets me a cup of water and gives me two of my strong painkillers and ……Yep, sent me home!

At least I don’t have bone cancer and I’m truly grateful for that, it really puts everything into perspective.

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It’s not as bad as it seems really

Janine is a keynote speaker who I have known for many years and her story is incredible.  To find out why Janine received a standing ovation in front of 1600 people just watch the video below. If you would like to know how to book Janine to speak at your conference email

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Anita Moorjani’s incredible recovery from cancer

Since I can remember I have always wondered what my purpose on this planet is.  I still don’t know and I continue on my quest to find out why I am here, who AM I, am I contributing anything worthwhile and what is the meaning of life? It’s the driver behind everything that I do. My curiosity about the meaning of life has resulted in me studying Near Death Experiences for nearly 25 years! In fact, I actually contribute a lot of the way I live my life today due to my studies and the messages the NDE’rs have brought back with them.  I do think that we are all on this planet for a purpose and especially we are here to live a life of unconditional love. Now that’s not easy…loving someone unconditionally! Believe me, I’m no spiritual angel loving everyone who crosses my path. In fact growing up I was as feisty as they come, I still am in a way but working on it!  I have a deep belief that there is a lot more to life than just working, stressing, trying to outdo the Jones’ and following religions that are based on fear.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been worrying about my health and in searching the internet I stumbled across a woman called Anita Moorjani. Anita’s near death experience is the most incredible I’ve come across and the medical records back up her claim that she should be dead from cancer. In fact, Anita who was in a coma and riddled with cancer did die, well her body did but her consciousness did not!

The story is far too incredible for me to write about, so I have posted a recent video where Anita tells her story in an interview with Lilou on the Juicy Living Tour. I have bought Anita’s book, I have watched hours of her being interviewed and I truly believe this lady has a message for us all. Anita’s book was written by the backing of Dr Wayne Dyer, who encouraged her to write the book which is published by Hay House. Anita is currently touring with Dr Wayne Dyer spreading her message.

Hope you can make the time to investigate for yourself.


Living with Chronic Pain

As I sit here typing this post, I’m doing everything in my power to stop feeling sorry for myself. You see I’m in chronic pain, my whole abdomen and lower back are giving me a great deal of grief as a result of a Crohn’s Disease flare up. I’m used to the pain, I have lived with it for weeks now as I have (on and off) for many years.  Over the last 13 years I’ve had a few flare ups, a couple putting me in the hospital, and I know from past experience I’m probably going to end up there again any day.  I’m doing everything in my power to avoid that though. I give myself a 3/10 chance of winning this round.

I know from past experience what gives me a flare up. It’s usually caused by stress which takes my focus off sticking to my strict diet + me focusing on the disease = flare up!

For those who have never suffered from a serious illness like Crohn’s, or experienced the debilitating pain, it’s probably hard to understand what we go through. A sign that I’m not well is I go very quiet. You can place a bet that if I’m not blogging, Tweeting, on Facebook and especially not out socialising you can put it down to me not being well.

It’s difficult to explain what it feels like to be in constant pain, but I can relate this story to you. When I was first diagnosed, I was put on a medication which I tolerated for four years.  Unfortunately I developed a severe allergic reaction to it, causing parts of my body to become swollen, itching and swelling on the lips….luckily I was able to get help before it turned really nasty.  I haven’t taken medication since then, and I wish I could still take that tablet because I will always remember one day, a few weeks after taking it,  I realised that I wasn’t in pain anymore. I actually wasn’t in pain and I felt so wonderful! I will always remember that moment and actually saying to a friend “I don’t have any pain, it feels really good”.

At time of writing this blog, I have decided that it’s time to put “Debbie First”. Time to look after myself and do what I want, not what other people are expecting of me.  Time to de-stress and stop worrying about  the day-to-day trials and just ‘be’.  I’m spending far more time now thinking about how beautiful the world is, how grateful I am for what I do have, living in the moment and making some drastic changes to my business. Other changes I have made is scheduling my week to be more productive in less time, brutally going through the 400+ emails that were in my inbox and culling them down to no more than 10! Meditating, yoga, back on my strict anti inflammatory diet, absolutely flipping any worrying thoughts over to the opposite, visualising and being kind to me! I’m also reading the most amazing book, written by Anita Moorjani –  Anita’s story is nothing short of a miracle.  Anita had a near death experience as a result of cancer and returned to miraculously recover from terminal lymphoma in a matter of days. It’s all medically recorded.  I’m devouring her words and relating a lot of what she says to me resulting in some drastic changes to the life story of Deb Carr.

Hopefully I can write another post in a week or so saying that I’m pain-free again and I’ve avoided another trip to hospital. Cheers to that!

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Healthy Gluten Free Food by Mayver’s

As a person with Crohn’s Disease and who blogs about Gluten Free benefits I was contacted by Mayver’s to try their delicious new range of Peanut Spread and Tahini. A few days ago a lovely package arrived with a jar of Tahini and Peanut Spread. Before we go further I do have a confession here, a third of the peanut paste has already gone because I’m enjoying it so much!  My other favourite is to spread the Mayver’s tahini paste with some honey on a gluten free corn crispbread. Delicious!
Why I am loving the products is because they taste fabulous, 100% organic, gluten free, dairy free, cholesterol free, low salt, nothing artificial and additives! Here is a receipe below from the Mayver’s Facebook page and below that a free receipe book.

Spring Vegetable Rolls with Spicy Peanut Lime Sauce

The best part about this recipe is that what you put inside is completely up to you! Another combination we love is mango and prawns in summer – delish!


For the filling:

  • Spring Roll Wrappers (at least 8-10)
  • 1 Avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 Cucumber, julienned
  • 1 Kiwi Fruit, sliced and julienned
  • 2 Spring onions
  • 3-4 Iceberg lettuce leaves, julienned
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves, fresh – minced
  • 1/4 cup Coriander, thick stems removed and minced
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
  • Herbamare or sea salt, to season

For the peanut lime sauce:

  • 1-2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup Mayver’s Crunchy Peanut Spread
  • 1/2-1 Tbsp peeled & roughly chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1-3 tsp water, to thin out as needed


  1. For the filling: Julienne the fruit and vegetables (slice into long thin strips). Set aside, along with peanuts.
  2. For the sauce: In a mini processor, process the sauce ingredients until smooth. Adjust to taste. You may prefer more sweetener, tamari, oil, or lime juice. Or mince everything by hand and whisk.
  3. Set up a roll making station and gather all of your ingredients in one area. Place a tea towel on the counter and fill a very large bowl with hot tap water. Dip one rice paper wrapper into the water and carefully submerge it once it gets soft. Hold it under water for about 10 seconds, or until soft, and remove from water carefully. Place it onto the tea towel and unfold any corners that may have rolled up.
  4. Add the filling ingredients in the centre of the wrapper but be careful not to overfill or the wrappers will tear. Sprinkle with toasted peanuts.
  5. Roll the two sides of the rice wrapper inward and then flip the bottom over top the filling and roll forward. Place roll on a plate and cover with damp paper towels. Repeat for the rest.
  6. Serve the rolls immediately with the peanut dipping sauce. If you have any leftover vegetables enjoy them dipped in the sauce on the side. Sauce should keep for at least a week in a sealed container in the fridge.
  7. Rolls will keep for 1-2 days in the fridge.



A very personal story about suicide

One of the last paintings by my late brother. The Angel is rescuing the little boy from his hell (my brother). The Demon represents the Priest who molested him and the Castle is the Catholic Church.

I belong to an exclusive club called ‘Those of us left behind after a suicide.’  Though exclusive, it’s not a pleasant club. There are no leisure activities, no dream vacations. No one ever applies for this club membership. Many members do not even want you to know they are in the club. In this club, members deal with grief. They must also take on two different types of grief; one for their own life, left bereft and empty because their loved one is gone, and another one, a deep mourning for the sad life of that loved one.

Unless you have experienced losing someone to suicide, you can never understand what it’s like. You may know members of this club, and they may tell you about their experiences — they may even stand before you and cry, thrash, and scream. Others may be stoic, offering tight little smiles, assuring you that “Everything’s OK, thanks for asking.” But unless it has happened to you, you can never fully understand the depths of their pain, and as much as you may want to help them, you can’t be part of The Club.

My brother Gary and I were very close. I helped him to cope with his depression as best as I could; I was his rock. He had attempted suicide twice before and failed. I had always suspected he would die by his own hand one day, and I thought I had accepted it and would be prepared for it. I wasn’t. I was not prepared at all. I was not prepared for the phone call that informed me of his death.

I never imagined I would lose control like I did, running and screaming up and down the hallway, out the front door and throwing myself on the grass, pounding it and sobbing, “No! No! No!” I never wanted my 3-year-old daughter to see something like this, her mother totally out of control, utterly devastated and inconsolable beyond words. I didn’t want my neighbours to come running over and drag me inside the house screaming. This was not in the plan of my Perfect Life. I didn’t plan to be a pallbearer at my brother’s funeral or deliver his eulogy in perfect composure to make him proud of me. No, I was not prepared. Nothing could have steeled me against this news. It hit me hard, and then it knocked me down. I could barely get up. I knew everything had changed, from that moment forward.  There was no turning back.

When Gary died, my whole life changed dramatically. My marriage failed, and I had to go back to work on a full-time basis. Then I was dealt another blow to test me that little bit further. Only a few months after Gary’s death, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, a debilitating, painful disease.

Naturally, I did not cope with things very well at all right after Gary’s death. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, knocking all the breath out of me. When I woke up every morning, all I wanted to do was turn over and go back to sleep, never leaving the relative safety and peace of unconsciousness. I wanted the world to stop and take notice of my brother’s death; there were times that I wanted to talk about this to someone and everyone. I couldn’t understand how the world kept turning, how people in the shops and at work kept smiling, going about their days. My brother had just died! “Wait a minute! Just stop for a moment!” I kept thinking. “How can anyone, even strangers, go out for drinks and dinner tonight? My brother is dead!” I felt raw, as though every nerve were exposed. I felt transparent, as though everyone looked at me and could see my pain.

This kind of thought process went on for some time. But once I accepted that this change in my life was “forever,” I very slowly started to put the pieces of my life back together. There was some pretty significant building blocks to attend to, and once in a while, a few would come toppling down, even despite my best efforts. So I would return, again and again, to hoist them back up.

Yet, Gary’s death brought about many more changes in my life; changes that ironically propelled me forward in life. If he had not died, I truly doubt that I would have become a blogger and become part of the professional speaking circuit.

Because I grieved so heavily for my brother, I lost all interest in food, and I began to experience stomach ailments that I was sure stemmed from the stress of his death. My weight plummeted to 47kg, and I became even more depressed.

One day I was walking the dog and one of my neighbours said to me, “Deb, you look dreadful. Don’t put your brother behind you — put him beside you and walk on.” Those few words changed everything, and to this day, I am sure my neighbour Patrick does not know to what extent his words reached me and how powerfully they resonated within me.

I made a decision that day. I knew I had to accept that Gary was no longer with me. I had to adjust to this and gather inner strength from somewhere.  I thought, Well, his death is just one of the challenges I have to face. There have been other challenges, and I had overcome them. But I did not know that this would rock me to my core, measuring and testing my strength to the extent it did. I did not know how much it would take out of me to accept his death – mentally, physically, and emotionally. It was an easy thing to say, but it was not going to be easy to do. Thankfully, I didn’t know that then. I look back to that time now and wonder, “How on earth did I ever cope with this?”

I would do anything to have Gary back, but I also admit that if it were not for his death, I would not be who and where I am today. I accepted the change in my life slowly, and today I am doing things that I would never have thought I was capable of. Even as devastating as this experience was, I taught myself to gather strength that I never knew I even had — and that’s why you are reading these words right now.

RIP Gary Stephen “Gaz” Doran – You left  this world far too early. x


The simplest things that can bring happiness

English: Sunflower fileds of Šumadija, central...

English: Sunflower fileds of Šumadija, central Serbia. Српски / Srpski: Поља сунцокрета у Шумадији, Србија. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week-end I was visiting my parents at their country property, something I am trying to do at least once a week now. Dad, who is 80 next year is now the full time carer of my mother, following her stroke. Mum has lost the ability to use her left hand and she can’t care for herself anymore. Dad refuses to let anyone else look after mum, he says he married her to look after her for his life. They were married for 50 years this week.

Being nearly 80 and someone’s full time carer is pretty impressive and to top it off, dad has a severe case of carpel tunnel syndrome requiring surgery soon.  His fingers are bent  and he can’t actually feel anything in the tips of his fingers.  Here is the point of this post…he never complains.  Dad believes that you have to ‘go with the flow’ in life and ride the waves as they come in.  He is always happy and despite the drastic changes in my parents lives since mum’s stroke last year, and subsequently another stroke a couple of months ago making things even worse, dad keeps on smiling and joking.

Last week-end I have kept a memory that I will never forget.  It’s of my mother and I sitting in their lounge room and hearing my dad on the ride on mower singing at the top of his voice.  He was in heaven, having a little break from being a carer doing what he loves best, chooking around the property doing maintenance.  Dad was singing so loud we could hear it over the noise of the mower. Mum and I went to the window to see what this commotion was all about and that’s when I saw my dad, oblivious to his audience, riding his mower, his beer can on one of the fence posts,  and singing at the top of his voice.  I’ll never forget it – a picture of pure happiness.

It makes me reflect on what a waste of time it is to get annoyed at trivial things and put so much pressure on ourselves. We need to cherish every moment because stroke or any other illness can change lives in a second.

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A quick and yummy gluten free snack

Here is a gluten-free snack (or even good enough for lunch)


Avocados (Photo credit: barron)


1 avocado
1/4 tsp of Wasabi Paste (or to taste I like mine quite strong so add less or more)
1 tsp gluten-free soy sauce
Gluten free rice cakes or corn crispbread
1 truss tomato
Fresh Coriander


Mix the Soy and Wasabi to form a smooth paste, mash the avocado and mix with the soy/wasabi mixture,  spread on to crispbread with thinly sliced tomato and garnished with coriander.

Say thanks to the Universe for providing you with a delicious snack to eat despite the fact you are gluten-free! 🙂


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Maintaining a healthy immune system

Having an autoimmune disease means that I need to take special care of myself. Especially when it come to my stress levels, diet and exercise.  I chose many years ago that I would not take the medication for my illness because of the side-effects and because the medicine won’t cure my Crohn’s Disease it will only help with the symptoms.  Unfortunately the side effects of the medicine can cause problems in itself.

There a mornings when I would love to woof down a bacon and egg roll for breakfast, instead I usually make a salad of rocket, semi dried tomatoes, grilled red capsicum,  smoked trout, sprouts, drizzle with lemon olive oil and a bit of balsamic.

This may sound like a weird breakfast to some. I can assure you I feel fabulous for it and I’m used to it.  You can form any new habit in 30 days and it becomes the norm including changing your diet.


Bilberry (Photo credit: dronir)

Prior to eating my salad,  I drink a glass of Aloe Vera Juice (I don’t normally like the taste) but this one I love!  Ultimate Aloe.

Then I have 3 servings of Isotonix because know these vitamins and minerals are going to be absorbed immediately due to the way they are ingested in a soluble form rather than tablets that have fillers. That’s another issue for people with Crohn’s Disease we sometimes can’t absorb our nutrients.

The benefits of this lifestyle is keeping well, feeling fantastic, keeping slim and glowing skin. Try it yourself!

Primary Benefits of Isotonix OPC-3®:

  • Contains antioxidants that protect the cells and tissues from damages by free radicals. Free radicals are small, highly reactive molecules which can be formed in cigarette smoke, processed, fried or microwaved foods, environmental chemical pollution, radiation, and essentially normal metabolism
  • Bilberry, grape seed and pine bark contain bioflavonoids known as anthocyanosides and proanthocyanidins. These antioxidant compounds are known to be 20 times more powerful than vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than vitamin E in quenching free radicals
  • Helps maintain healthy blood vessels and joints
  • Helps maintain healthy eyes
  • Helps maintain healthy immune function
  • For symptomatic relief of allergies*
  • For temporary relief of the pain and inflammation of arthritis and rheumatism*

*If symptoms persist, consult your health care professional.  I have to mention here that I’m not a health professional and what works for me may not for you so please do talk to your doctor first.


Aloe Vera beneficial for people with Crohn’s Disease

Spotted forms of Aloe vera are sometimes known...

Spotted forms of Aloe vera are sometimes known as Aloe vera var. chinensis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crohn’s Disease can be a debilitating and embarrassing illness. There is no cure and many people suffer from horrendous symptoms.  I was diagnosed in 1999, six months after my brother committed suicide.  I am relatively lucky, that I have never had too many serious flare ups and have only been hospitalised twice.  I refuse to take steroids due to the side effects and I also refuse to take other medications for similar reasons.  Only twice have I been admitted to hospital in the last few years, and both times I came out blown up like a balloon thanks to the steroids they forced me to have intravenously. Both times I was admitted because I stopped being so vigilant with my diet.

I manage my illness by keeping a positive mindset about it, avoiding gluten and choosing to keep to an anti inflammatory diet.  I hydrate myself by drinking a mixture of Lemon Juice, Fresh Ginger, Cucumber and Mint leaves that I leave to infuse overnight, this is a recipe that I discovered when I read the book, The Flat Belly Diet.  I find it to be the most refreshing drink, it makes my cells come alive!

The other methods I use to keep well Omega 3 and Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera  juice isn’t the nicest tasting and luckily I have found a juice that not only tastes good it’s made under the highest possible standards and its 150% of that found in ordinary aloe juice making it one of the most concentrated aloe product on the market.  Ultimate Aloe is a soothing tonic for the digestive tract which approximately 75% of the body’s immune cells reside in the digestive track.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. It is a chronic condition occurring when the immune system overreacts, causing inflammation of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease and usually affects the intestines and can lead to thickening of the intestinal wall and even ulcers or holes in the intestines.

A study published in the medical journal “Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics” notes that up to 50 percent of patients with IBD such as Crohn’s Disease will experiment with alternative methods and Aloe Vera is one of the most popular.

Aloe Vera is beneficial for anyone, whether they have a disease or not as the digestive tract plays a key role in our wellbeing.  Taking a small drink of Aloe Vera daily will helps promote a healthy immune system and proper nutrient absorption.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner and what works for me may not work for you so please consult your doctor before making any decisions on your treatment.

The product that I use is Ultimate Aloe

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Can diet prevent cancer?

Can diet prevent cancer? I know when it comes to Crohn’s Disease my diet has helped me enormously and I have not had to take the medications most people do. When I’m not looking after my diet properly, problems will surface so I certainly contribute my wellness to my diet. According to a report in the Medical Journal of Australia, a QUARTER of cancers could be prevented by 2025 through diet and exercise,  saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the cost of treatment. READ MORE in this article from the Sydney Morning Herald

Unfortunately, it seems healthier food is more expensive than junk food. I often take a trip to the country to visit my parents and at the ‘services’ where I stop between the Central Coast and Newcastle, I have a choice of McDonalds and a restaurant called Oliver’s Real Food. Oliver’s is a health restaurant with delicious food and drinks as well as educators on healthy eating. Sadly, most young families seem to visit the Golden Arches when they  could be giving their kids a healthy option.

The first time I stopped at Oliver’s I fell in love with the vegetarian breakfast wrap and it’s the one time I break out of my gluten free diet! Other favourites are the coconut water, yogurt, gluten free snacks and the coffee!

I only wish there were Oliver’s stores everywhere!