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Be Baby Ready…

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Did you know that you can make a really impactful difference to your fertility health in just 3 months for both men and women.

With this in mind it’s an excellent idea to take some time to boost your hormonal and overall health within this time before trying to conceive. Giving you and your partners body what it needs to flourish and feel great may increase the likelihood of a smooth  pregnancy and healthy baby.
What about nutrition?
Most of us know the importance of taking folate prior to conception and then maintaining that into pregnancy as well.
However, there are other nutrients which are also vitally important to consider. Such as protein, choline, minerals like zinc, iron, iodine (from good quality seaweed), B vitamins, vitamin D and antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin C & E. So eating a diet rich in nutrition with an abundance of colourful veggies, berries, good fats and quality protein sources is an excellent start. If you are vegetarian it’s a good idea to be particularly ‘nutrient conscious’ with ensuring you eat enough protein, choline and minerals. Avoiding foods which can lead to inflammation and congestion such as processed and deep fried foods and an excess of dairy may also be very beneficial.
What else can really make a Difference?
Studies have also shown that making some lifestyle changes may also prove to be really beneficial. The following suggestions may seem simple and obvious (however may feel a bit overwhelming to incorporate) but they can make a positive impact on fertility health for both prospective Mum and Dad.
Stress management…
Stress really has the ability to overrule our reproductive health as our hormones can be thrown off balance when we are really exhausted, too busy, not resting enough and or experiencing emotional stress. Reducing stress where possible is ideal. While also incorporating techniques to manage stress on a regular basis (that work for you) is the way to go. For example doing a 20-30 minute walk everyday, using daily guided meditations or having a regular yoga practice can all assist in reducing stress hormones and support sex hormone balance.
Caffeine and alcohol…
Ideally preconception care involves avoiding any addictive substances for at least 3 months where possible for both partners. This includes coffee, alcohol, cigarettes etc – Be brave and seek the professional help you need if this is proving to be a difficult task.
Encourage a healthy weight for fertilty, healthy pregnancy and bub….
Making a conscious effort to shift excess weight also increases chances of conception. Some helpful tips to do this include reducing unnecessary processed carbs in the diet, increase fibre to encourage healthy elimination of toxins, keeping well hydrated and finding ways to exercise incidentally throughout your day.
So if the aim is to have a healthy bub it’s a great idea to consider incorporating some of these suggestions into your life for at least three months before trying to conceive. Come and chat to Carolyn if you would like more Naturopathic support regarding preconception care.
Love and Healing

Carolyn x

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs.

How to have a more emotionally stable day

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Here are just a few simple and general tips you can begin to incorporate into your morning which can greatly help to support mental and emotional health on a daily basis. Of course there are many things that you can do but keeping it simple is the key to creating new and healthy life lasting habits. With anything it’s a practice and it takes persistence. Be patient with yourself and if you intuitively know you need to apply a bit of tough love to get these habits going DO IT – You’ve got your back!
Get up and get going at a regular time preferably before 8am (don’t lie in bed overthinking and getting stressed). We are cyclical beings – we operate best when we have a daily routine (just the same as little kids cope better when they have a set routine). Having a regular wake up & get out of bed time helps our body clock, hormonal balance and mental & emotional health. If you need to trick yourself into this new habit – make appointments early, commit to an earlier yoga/gym class to get you going.
Hydrate yourself – Start the day with 2 or 3 glasses of filtered water first thing to flush out toxins, encourage your bowels to move and give you energy to operate at your best. Have your water warm if you prefer and add lemon juice to aid absorption.
Do some exercise – even a 15-20 minute walk around the block – this will get you breathing deeply, reduce your cortisol, stimulate your metabolism and release endophins. If the weather’s not great get creative & exercise inside – Dance to some happy, cheesy tunes, find a yoga youtube channel or dust off the old cross trainer. Just get your heart rate up and move for 10 to 30 minutes.
Balance your mood and blood sugar by having a good breakfast within the first couple of hours of rising. When we wait longer than this to eat the body releases extra cortisol (one of our stress hormones) as it thinks you’re in starvation mode. Make sure this meal includes protein, good fats and healthy carbs such as eggs/ sardines/ tuna/ turkey/ chicken/ feta with a piece of organic Sourdough or a healthy Gluten free bread plus veggies like tomato, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms etc. Or enjoy a low sugar nut & seed based muesli mix with natural dairy or coconut yogurt, berries & cinnamon. If you are time poor make a dairy-free protein super food smoothie. Give yourself time to sit down, eat, chew properly and enjoy your breakky. I have clients come back and tell me all the time that they can’t believe how much better they feel when they have a proper breakfast in the morning.
And if you are prone to feeling anxious, irritable, jumpy or on edge BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND and avoid or greatly reduce your caffeine intake including coffee and regular tea – especially first thing on an empty stomach. This will give your nervous system, adrenal glands and blood sugar spiking (which triggers anxiety) a break. I know it can be a tough habit to break but the rewards are huge when you can experience a smooth and gentle day coping better with stress and feeling more calm, focused and grounded. Try it for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. Find some delicious caffeine alternatives that you enjoy and stick with it.

Love and Healing

Carolyn x

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs.

 

Do you feel like your hormones rule your world?

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Here are 5 simple & natural ways you can help to support your hormonal balance…

  1. Keep your Bowels Moving by staying hydrated & making sure your diet is full of fibre. Eating plenty of veggies, adding LSA (ground linseeds, sunflowers & almonds) to your berries & yogurt, psyllium to your oats or even taking a natural fibre supplement if you need. Fibre helps to support blood sugar balance & liver function. It helps the body eliminate toxins and unwanted hormones (like excess oestrogens). Try to drink at least 6 glasses of filtered water a day to keep your bowels moving. It’s great to aim for 1-2 complete bowel motions a day – try some of these ideas if you are feeling sluggish.
  2. Nourish the body with caffeine free Herbal Teas – Look out for combinations that might include – calendula, ginger, dandelion, st mary’s thistle, licorice, chamomile, turmeric, cinnamon & nettle (to name a few). These nutritious herbs can help digestion, liver health, the nervous system and sleep. They can also assist with blood sugar balance, reducing mood swings & irritability, inflammation and period pain. Brew them strong, drink them regularly and feel your body love you for it.
  3. Eating healthy fats. We have many types of hormones but our sex hormones oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone are all made from cholesterol. Therefore it’s important that we consume a variety of healthy fats (including saturated) to support their production – Throughout the week enjoy a variety of oily fish (such as sardines, anchovies & wild caught salmon), coconut oil, organic Ghee, extra virgin olive oil, pasture fed eggs, avocado, fresh almonds, walnuts, Brazil’s, hemp, pumpkin and flax seeds.
  4. Reduce the plastic –I think people often miss the importance of this point but plastics unfortunately do leach harmful chemicals into our food and beverages which then act as hormone disruptors in our bodies. Thus can wreak havoc with our normal and natural hormone balance and if planning a pregnancy can also negatively impact fertility. It may seem like an impossible task to get rid of plastic but we can certainly reduce our exposure by making some small changes. For example, using glass jars and containers to store food, avoiding cling wrap directly touching your food, using a glass water bottle, avoiding heating and freezing food in plastic and replacing plastic cooking utensils. Plus it’s a good idea to look for BPA free when buying canned food.
  5. Support those healthy Zzzs. Good sleep not only reduces our stress hormone cortisol – helping with stress and weight loss it also helps to balance our sex hormones including oestrogen, progesterone, LH and FSH. When these guys are balanced ovulation is more likely to occur and we can experience a smoother menstrual cycle. Support your sleep with intentional wind down time in the evening, having a dark bedroom, reducing screen time, avoiding caffeine after 2pm and choosing a realistic and regular bedtime can all be useful. There are also many natural sleep aids such as herbs, magnesium and melatonin if you are needing some extra support.

All these little things can add up and have a positive impact on your hormonal health. Incorporate these ideas slowly at a pace that’s doable for you and before you know it, time has gone by and you’ve made some great changes.

Love and Healing

Carolyn x

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs.

Three things you can do to support your ticker!

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You can start implementing these suggestions at any stage of your life and your body and heart will LOVE you for it! None of this information is rocket science but it includes good reminders for everyone whether you’re a kid or in your 90s or somewhere in between.

Cardiovascular and heart health is a big umbrella and relies upon many components. Our blood pressure, healthy cholesterol levels (yep we need cholesterol – we use it to make other important hormones), triglycerides (fats in our blood), liver health, abdominal weight and our ability to regulate blood sugar are all pieces of the puzzle that need to be considered when it comes to a healthy heart.

More recent research has also shown that inflammation and issues with gut health are super important to address when it comes to looking after your cardiovascular system. These are all things that may be helped with naturopathic suggestions.
But here are the 3 things you can start right here and now…
1. Movement and exercise…..

Only until recently, (in the scheme of things), we have become such stagnant creatures, sitting on our bottoms a lot more than in the past.

But we are designed to move…

Exercise (especially first thing in the morning) helps us to burn unwanted fat and stimulates metabolism helping us be our ideal weight.

Exercise also helps us to balance our blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 Diabetes.

It is also essential for us to process stress hormones that we naturally release everyday as a result of busyness/ life/ work/ relationship stress etc.

If these hormones, adrenalin and cortisol, hang around they have the potential to increase inflammation, make us feel anxious and moody and upset our sleep quality.

Our modern lifestyle no longer involves us walking for miles on a daily basis (fortunately), so we really need to consciously incorporate regular exercise and movement into our week that is right for us.
2. Food Glorious Food….
Yep, you guessed it.. food plays a very important part of this equation because the fuel we put into our body will actually either help US TO HEAL OR cause more trouble, inflammation and disease!
Good fats are a great place to start including essential fats from small oily fish such as sardines, anchovies, grass fed meats, poultry & eggs (which are much higher in Omega 3), avocado & extra virgin olive oil.
A good variety of colourful veggies with ample greens can be enjoyed everyday fresh in salads, steamed or baked – add lemon & extra virgin olive oil to your veggies after cooking to make them even more tastier and help your body absorb and use their protective nutrients.
Fresh unsalted nuts especially walnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts and almonds have been shown to help regulate blood sugar, support healthy cholesterol levels, reduce hunger and reduce inflammation.
Enjoy other antioxidant foods such as organic berries, dark organic chocolate and even the occasional glass of dry red wine. Spice up your meals with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich herbs such as turmeric with pepper, ginger, garlic, onions, cinnamon, nutmeg & parsley.

Mmm Mmmmmm……These are all delicious healing foods.

Ok, let’s just get the stuff to keep to a minimum out of the way…..

DO YOUR TEMPLE A FAVOUR and avoid refined sugars & other carbie foods like pasta, noodles, bread, pastries, sweets and even potatoes which can lead to inflammation. Remember that inflammation is bad news for the whole cardiovascular system. Also avoiding processed deli meats, processed fats (like margarine), deep fried foods (hot chips and fried chicken) plus refined seed & vegetable oils is VERY HEART SMART!

3. Take a break…..

From the phone, TV, work, household chores and the things to do list!

Squeeze it in and MAKE IT HAPPEN.

It could be just 10 minutes a day, one, two or three times. Do something purely FOR YOU!
This is not for luxury or laziness, this is to help your body REGAIN BALANCE & HEALTH. Stress is a huge component to heart health. The stress response releases adrenalin and cortisol – leading to more inflammation.
So what is it you LOVE TO DO? Something just for the joy and peace of it.

What literally HEALS YOUR HEART or makes your heart sing?
Perhaps it’s reading, colouring, singing, power napping, dancing, lying on the lawn, meditating, playing with the cat. It’s totally up to you. Create space for this gentle relax and chillax time in your day and know that if taking time out is a new thing for you, you may have to REMIND YOURSELF to make it happen until it becomes a new healthy habit.

Be the healthy YOU!

Carolyn x

 

Tradie Health Month

Working as a Tradie… https://pixabay.com/en/boots-blundstone-work-boots-shoes-3283686/Working as a Tradie can be demanding and stressful, even if it is something you’ve always wanted to do and it’s your dream job. It can be easy to get stuck in the same daily routines and habits that don’t always give you the best results health wise.

Three things that I’ve generally seen in my Naturopathic practice that can really effect people working within the trade industry include: firstly, struggling to maintain good energy levels and getting run down. Secondly, experiencing aches, pains and injuries and thirdly, sometimes dealing with work stress, pressures and tight time schedules.
ENERGY
If you’re feeling tired all the time, relying on coffee and energy drinks, it could be due to a few things.
It’s very important (and probably obvious) to ask yourself – “Are you well Hydrated?” Especially if your work is very physical, you are out in the heat and you perspire a lot. Our blood, bones, muscles and cartilage are all made up of water – they all need hydration to function well. Not enough water can lead to poor concentration, constipation, irritability, headaches and even blood pressure problems.
Make sure you are drinking water regularly throughout the day. When it comes to how much water everyone is different and there are variables to consider. However, a general rule of thumb is to consume 30ml of water per kilo of body weight and increasing that if you’re physically active, perspiring a lot and in the heat. It’s also important to mention that having too much water may also cause issues.
Listen to your body – feeling thirsty, having dry lips, mouth & eyes, dark urine or not urinating much (on average we urinate about 7 or 8 times a day) could be signs to increase your water intake. It’s a great idea to get yourself a couple of large reuseable water bottles (not plastic) and keep them fresh and filled up daily in the car or with you.
Hydration is not just about drinking water, it’s also about ensuring you are absorbing the water into your cells for energy production. This can be improved by using a good quality electrolyte every day, making sure you are eating enough fibre and reducing EMF (Electro Magnetic Frequency) exposure. More information about this topic can be found in this Dr Mercola link here.
EATING WELL can also dramatically effect energy levels, support good immunity and improve overall welbeing. It can be tricky when you’re always out and about and grabbing food from different places. It’s awesome if you can actually take meals, snacks and smoothies from home to avoid the roller coaster of deep fried takeaway and sugary drinks. If you are out, you can definitely make better choices by avoiding carb heavy foods such as bread, pastries, muffins and hot chips. Instead choose more sustaining things such as quality meats, salads, hearty soups, nuts & trail mixes, eggs, avocado, salmon, small amounts of fruit, cheese & quality protein balls/ bars etc
And last but not least get enough SLEEP – aim for 7 to 8 hours a night, allowing your body to restore and repair from the busy and probably strenuous day you’ve had.
BODY SUPPORT
If you experience musculo-skeletal issues find yourself a great body-worker such as an Osteopath, Remedial massage therapist, Acupuncturist or Bowen therapist. It is also a really good idea to have regular maintenance “Tune up” treatments when you have a physically demanding job. Discuss this with your practitioner.
It also must be said that you can have all the treatments in the world, but if you are still doing the same bad postural habits everyday, for example lifting things incorrectly, sitting slouched in your vehicle for hours, not looking after old injuries, you may always have recurring issues. Working on core strength and balance with a great Personal trainer, Pilates instructor or Yoga teacher can make a huge difference to your strength and your body awareness, hopefully preventing future injuries.
General muscle soreness & tension can also be helped by having regular baths, using homeopathic Arnica and a herbal anti-inflammatory cream such as fisiocream. Magnesium supplementation may also be supportive as this mineral acts as an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant. These products are available at Autumn Retreat, pharmacies & health stores.
STRESS SUPPORT
As a tradie, work pressure can be a big thing. Whether it’s about meeting the demands of a client or boss, work inconsistency from contract work, having a huge workload that seems unmanageable and or providing for a family. Also not knowing when to stop or how to have work-life balance if you’re your own boss. Discussing these matters with a great practitioner such as a Psychologist or Counsellor may provide a huge support. Potentially providing you with some good ways to manage your daily or your larger stresses too.

Love and Healing

Carolyn x

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs.

Image taken from google images labelled for reuse https://pixabay.com/en/boots-blundstone-work-boots-shoes-3283686/

Balance your Blood Sugar and feel AMAZING!

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Balance Blood Sugar and feel Amazing!

All day, everyday, our amazing bodies strive for balance to ensure we keep functioning as optimally as possible. This includes regulation of our hormones, our minerals, our blood pressure, our temperature, the pH of our blood and of course our blood sugar.
When our blood sugar is maintained and stabilized we have good amounts of energy throughout the whole day, our moods are generally calm and stable, our brain functions well and we feel good. Awesome huh?
Our blood sugar levels can go up and down like a yoyo, negatively effecting our energy and emotions when we are inconsistent with our eating habits and we eat too many carbohydrate rich foods. Stress can also interfere with our blood sugar balance. Let me explain. When we experience a “flight or fight” moment the body releases cortisol, a stress hormone from the adrenal glands, and glucagon, a hormone released by the pancreas. These hormones stimulate the release of glucose so our body can either run away very fast from or punch up that very annoying boss/ sister/ friend/foe (I’m being cheeky – Please do not do this!). These days, for most people, our stresses are not so physical and more emotional and we do not need this excess of glucose in the blood. Unfortunately, what happens next is we release a big flood of insulin to mop up the excess glucose in order to balance our blood sugar levels again. When this happens over and over (if someone is under a lot of stress) it can contribute to the development of insulin resistance. It’s kind of like you can consider that being stressed has a very similar effect on the body as eating a piece of chocolate cake however, it is a lot less fun!
What is insulin resistance anyway?
The body releases insulin as a response to us eating carbohydrates. Insulin’s job is to initiate the shift of glucose from carbohydrates into our cells to be stored as glycogen, as an energy source for later. However, when glycogen stores are full, excess glucose gets taken to the liver and is stored as fat. This fat only gets utilised when insulin levels drop, which doesn’t happen that often if we are continually eating carbohydrate rich meals and snacks throughout the day. This can obviously be a problem over time.
The other problem is our body’s tissues become resistant to this excess insulin making it less effective and our body becomes “insulin resistant”. And so very simply, a diet full of carbohydrates (from sugar to grains), can lead to this insulin resistant state predisposing us to Diabetes type 2 and with the excess of stored fat, obesity.
The thing that needs to be noted is that insulin resistance unfortunately also makes us more prone to developing other serious conditions such as high blood pressure, heat disease, PCOS in women and even some cancers. More information can be found in Dr Peter Brukner’s book “A Fat lot of GOOD” in which he also mentions that it’s important to note that insulin resistance can already be occurring in people who are a healthy body shape and weight.

Please note that my message is to not completely cut out carbohydrates – just take a good look at the ones you are choosing – There are good quality carbs that provide us with many phyto-nutrients and fibre. They are super important for our health, some of these include loads of veggies and small amounts of fruits.
There are many simple lifestyle choices that can improve insulin resistance issues. Here are just a few, they may seem obvious but they can also make all the difference when addressed:
1. Doing regular and consistent EXERCISE that’s right for you and your body. (Please discuss this with your GP first if you are unsure.)
2. Replace the high carbohydrate meals and snacks you eat with better choices (ie reduce the bread, pasta, noodles, pizza, jam, honey, sugary drinks, muffins, cereals, pastry, potatoes, crackers, cake, slices, sweeteners). Be honest with yourself about this. Replace that toast and jam breakky with a protein coconut smoothie or eggs and avocado (with foods rich in good quality protein and fats).
3. Learn to manage your stress better – Find out what really helps you stay centered and grounded so you can practice your real “calm and collected” version of yourself. It might be going for a walk around the block before dinner every night, learn and practice meditation, Qigong, start going to dance classes, go rock climbing on Sundays, do a mindfulness course. And if you can do something about reducing any stress triggers in your life – even better!
4. Get support from more place than one – find a practitioner, a mentor, a gym, a group of friends that are supportive of these positive changes. This also will create accountability and you will have someone to celebrate with when you kick your health goals!
As a naturopath, I like to let people know that it doesn’t have to be too dramatic to start incorporating small changes into your routine consistently. And this can be done with the intension of making these tweaks into new awesome long term habits. Just as it can be painful to teach a little kid the importance of cleaning teeth every day – most of us would not dream of going to bed without doing this now right? It’s just automatic. But initially we had to make this a habit to stick. It is never too late to begin make positive changes.
The other thing is, many of us already know that consistent cake eating plus a lack of regular exercise is asking for health trouble in the long term. However for some, even with this knowledge, making better choices can still feel tricky and even impossible. Why is that?
You may have a limiting and subconscious belief that is getting in the way of you reaching your optimal health. You may be creating all sorts of reasons to believe things can’t improve just to keep this belief intact. For example;

– Your health issues are just age related
– Making changes hasn’t worked in the past
– You’ve just got too much on your plate and any change seems overwhelming
– Or you can’t imagine life without sugary treats everyday

Be brave and look at this, seek a practitioner who can help with these road blocks to health. It is extremely difficult to enjoy life when bad health gets in the way so now is a good time.
With the desire, support and knowing that it’s really just making one good choice at a time you can become the healthier version of yourself and realise it’s quite doable, liberating, and exciting.

Love and Healing

Carolyn x

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs.

Image taken from google images labelled for reuse jellybeans by Adrian van Leen | jellybeans,sweets,lollies,colours …

Where are you going this winter?

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Winter is coming! Eeek. It was here last week in full force with rain and hail and days that didn’t reach over 10 Degrees. People are booking holidays left, right and centre. Fleeing to tropical waters, to places where coconut shakes and fresh pineapple are the norm for breakky and where one can throw on one or two pieces of clothing and you are ready to go. As much as I like to embrace the variety of weather Melbourne has to offer, I am certainly dreaming about a little escapade too!

In the last week I’ve had a couple of friends ask me about what to take on their holiday adventures to stay well. They have been off to the travel doctor and want to compliment that with natural remedies. There are a couple of gems I would like to share with you.

As far as Bali belly goes, there are some amazing anti-parasitic herbs which may really take the punch off some cases of gastro and may even prevent it from occurring in the first place. These herbs have rescued me many times in many countries. My sister took them everyday on African Safari, over ten years ago, in which every one of the 20 people on her tour got sick with diarrhoea after sharing a communal meal, except her. Sounds far fetched I know, but true story. These herbs are also suitable for kids over the age of two.

Immune wise, we are pretty vulnerable when we travel with the excitement and anticipation of the lead up to a trip and then being encapsulated on a plane for up to 20 hours. Taking immune supporting herbs and good old vitamin C can really save your holiday. Of course taking these things prior, as a preventative, is the best and most effective way to do it. Remember herbal remedies are available in tablet and capsule form too, so you don’t need to worry about measuring cups or having extra liquids in your hand luggage.

There are many great natural remedies to help with other things which may pop up on holidays like:

  • Neem oil insect repellent to keep mozzies at bay
  • Tissue salts for blocked sinuses whilst flying
  • Australian bush flower essences for jet lag & resetting your body clock
  • Herbs to knock yourself out during a flight
  • Digestive remedies for sluggish bowels due to eating too many rich and delicious unfamiliar foods

Sometimes using one or two of these natural measures can make a holiday a lot more fun! Tummy aches and viruses can really take the edge off having a good time.

So if you’re going away and you’d like some tips regarding these things contact me so I can help you with your natural remedy packing. Always take into consideration your own personal health requirements and discuss with your health care practitioner before following general suggestions.

Happy holidays! Love and healing

Carolyn x

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs. 

 

 

Chew Food Dude!

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I think people have forgotten why we have these pearly whites – are they really just something to flash when you’re in a good mood and having a laugh? They are for MASTICATION!! You heard me, mastication. The word that sounds a bit rude…… but it’s not! It is actually incredibly important.

Did you know that digestion begins in the mouth? Well actually, it gets stimulated prior to that as we smell, touch and prepare our food. This allows salivation to get going and also stimulates the release of our digestive juices such as stomach acid, bile and digestive enzymes.

So…… why do we vitamise food for babies? Why do we vitamise food for the elderly? Generally, it’s because they both have no teeth to do it for them selves!

There are a couple of other reasons too like bubs have sensitive little developing digestive systems that do better with simple mushed up foods and as we age our digestive function can become way less efficient.

If we miss this vital step of chewing (AKA mastication) food thoroughly, the rest our digestive system is put under a lot of unnecessary pressure making it work harder than need be.

Think about this; there are no teeth further down the tract! The mouth is where mechanical break down occurs and the rest is chemical break down with acid, enzymes and bile plus a little bit of encouragement with peristalsis (the muscle contractions that keep food moving on its way through the digestive tract).

Food lower down that has not been digested properly can sit in the bowels fermenting making us feel bloated, uncomfortable and gassy! Yikes! That’s not good at work or on a first, second or third date.

And even more worrisome this undigested food can look quite foreign to the immune system and may trigger an inflammatory response potentially leading to food intolerances and other inflammatory conditions. Ohh No!

None of these are great outcomes!

And so here is your challenge for the week. Chew chew chew. Take your time when eating. Smell, touch and look at your food! Try and chew each mouthful at least 20 times. Chew your food into a paste before you send it on it’s merry way. Try and eat uninterrupted and without multitasking, be peaceful and relaxed. Don’t shove it in, chomp twice, swallow and run off to do the next thing and wonder why you feel a little sick in the tummy 20 minutes later.

I don’t care if you were one of 10 kids and learnt to eat like a speed demon at age of 2 just to survive. There aren’t exceptions to this rule. It’s really important to change your ways or at least try!

And if you are still feeling bloating, uncomfortable or sluggish in the guts after really trying a bit of thorough mastication there are some great natural remedies to improve & support good digestion that you can discuss with any good Naturopath including myself!
But until then Chew Food Dude!

Love and Healing

Carolyn x

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs. 

The Power of HERBS…

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I am a herbalist. I love herbs and their medicine. They are such an awesome gift to us that can provide such amazing healing potential. Herbs are powerful, they must be respected and understood.

Herbs can raise our vibration with their own vibration. Think about the energy of a plant, how it can make you feel when you see different plants. How strong and proud they are. A plant never questions it’s purpose, it does all that it can to grow and be it’s fullest potential.

Using herbs as medicine can strengthen and support different aspects our physical body. They are usually always multi-tasking, for example, some herbs which have a relaxing effect on the nerves can also be taken to support digestion like Chamomile, Melissa and Vervain.

Some herbs are loaded with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and are natural “multivitamins” which our bodies easily recognise to absorb and assimilate making us feel great – raising our vitality.

They often work best in their whole form or at least a part of their whole form like the whole root, the flowers or the berries. Nature is so clever and perfect in this way. It is in fact all the constituents working together in synergy which can make them so medicinal.

Creating healing herbal tonics and tea mixes is something that is unique to naturopaths and herbalists. Herbs can be chosen and put together for someone’s specific health needs. I love making herbal tonics, it allows me to get my witch on, to be an artist and create healing intention for my client.

A healing tonic may be great for you if you are feeling exhausted and run down, if you are having digestive problems such as bloating, sluggishness and wind, if you are not experiencing quality sleep, if your immune system is struggling, if you’re grumpy and premenstrual, if you have skin problems such as pimples, eczema or itchiness. Or you may just want a tonic to keep you feeling well and healthy so your body can function at its optimal best. :-)

Contact me if you are intrigued about herbs as medicine, to chat about whether a herbal tonic may be appropriate for you at this time or perhaps if you already know how amazing herbs are and would like to have them again.

Love & Healing
Carolyn x

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs. 

The joy of Cold Sores…

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The joy of cold sores…

So festival camping over Easter was amazing. I had such a beautiful time in the bush surrounded by my gorgeous like minded friends and people, checking out yoga, dance, chanting and other hippy workshops and swimming in a muddy picturesque creek that runs into the Murray. I was pretty at home.

Everything was close to perfect as were the conditions for cold sores to arise.

Sun-burnt lips, munching nuts and chocolate all day, not getting proper sleep due to excitement and too much other good stuff to do and I was struck. Even naturopaths get sick sometimes.

So it’s good to know, if you are cold sore prone, that there are certain times when you are definitely going to be more susceptible, often it’s a few things combined. This may vary from person to person but these are some things to be conscious of:

  • Big changes in temperatures/ change of season
  • Physical Stress to the vulnerable area like sunburn
  • Post cold or flu (lowered immunity)
  • For ladies just before your period
  • Eating a lot of foods rich in arganine (an amino acid which feeds the Herpes simplex cold sore virus) this includes foods such as chocolate, nuts & seeds especially almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sesame seeds & lamb.
  • Stress (Perhaps the most obvious one – this can also be too much excitement!)
  • Exhausting yourself, lack of sleep, burning the candle at both ends
  • During pregnancy

 

With all that physical stuff aside, on an emotional level cold sores can be triggered when we are feeling irritated, pissed off, angry about something like someone or something is ‘under our skin’ – then it may manifest literally. Can you relate to this? Cold sores may also be linked with feelings of shame as we can’t really hide the fact we are displaying a contagious kissing disease on our face. :( It’s good to make peace with this. This is when bush flowers essences can be amazing to help work through the emotional stuff which is coming up.

So I must say, this cold sore for me was a doozy and the Herpes simplex virus did knock my nervous system and vanity around making me feel a bit vulnerable and out of sorts. I got onto it as soon as I got home by taking antiviral herbs, nutrients and tissue salts, getting some good sleep and avoiding nuts & chocolate all week and it has been healing pretty fast. Thank goodness.

If you suffer from cold sores once in a while or more frequently and you would like to know more about cold sore prevention and speedy recovery contact me to make an appointment because I would love to share with you the natural weaponry against them! :-)

Love and healing

Carolyn xx

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs.