Friday, January 28, 2011

Beauty sleep.

I heard a patient say one day that the difference between a nana nap and a cat nap was that during a nana nap you use a blanket. So there you go... We all know what sleep deprivation does to our quality of life (and those around us who get snapped at), so lets look at a little concept called Sleep Hygiene... (No it doesn't have anything to do with crumbs in the bed).

Sleep hygiene refers to positive habits that promote a restful sleep. It's about developing a bedtime routine so that your body can prepare itself for a good night's sleep. You can't go straight from watching a hectic crime show or doing an assignment to lying in bed and expect an awesome sleep.

*The old wives tale of a glass of warm milk is true to it's word. Milk contains tryptophan which is the body needs to make melatonin, a hormone which regulates your body clock and promotes sleepiness. Other tryptophan-rich foods include turkey, bananas and cottage cheese. Melatonin increases with darkness so avoid bright lights before bed and get all romantic with candle light.

*If you're more of a worry wart, keep a notebook/journal next to your bed to release constant thoughts, consider seeing a counsellor or kinesiologist to handle unresolved worries or try a flower essence like Rescue Remedy.

*I used to think my nutrition lecturer was a nut when she'd talk about zinc being her "favourite nutrient"...? But you know what, I'd like to tell you about MY favourite nutrient who's name is magnesium. This little puppy relaxes all your muscles, nourishes your nervous system and promotes quality shut eye. You want to aim for about 300 mg after dinner.

Other little gems include creating a clutter-free environment in your bedroom, gentle stretches, listening to guided meditation CDs, sprinkling a couple of drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow and herbal teas like Planet Organics Calming blend (lemon balm, chamomile and spearmint). One cup of epsom salts and 6 drops of lavender oil in a hot bath also works a treat.

Sweet dreams kids…

Monday, January 17, 2011

Got the guilts?

Detox season is upon us! Essential Health customers seem to have the guilts and are having flashbacks of Christmas party cocktails, plum pudding with brandy custard, beers and snags, Ferrero Rochers, then the greasy hangover fry ups… Eek! Hopefully you enjoyed all of these at the time, but let’s look at counteracting your naughty ways.


*Avoid dairy, wheat, excessive red meat, caffeine, fried foods, soft drinks, white rice, processed foods like biscuits or peanut butter, excessive sugar like cakes.

*Eat lots of fresh, seasonal fruit and veg, legumes like chickpeas, fish, free range chicken and eggs, unsalted nuts and seeds and wholegrains like oats, quinoa and brown rice.

*Avoid coffee and black tea such as English Breakfast or Earl Grey. However drink as much herbal tea (especially dandelion or green tea), freshly squeezed fruit and vegie juices and water as possible to help flush out any toxins you’re releasing from your body and make your skin glow!

*The length of the detox should be at least 2 weeks. The longer you do it, the more amazing you’ll feel and the better your results will be.

*Before every meal add half the juice of a fresh lemon to warm water and sip slowly 10-15 minutes before a meal. This stimulates the bitter taste buds on your tongue which tell your stomach to start producing gastric juices so you can digest your food more efficiently.

*“You-time” (relaxation) is a priority during a detox! Take extra time to relax (lying on the beach, yoga, reading a book, gentle walks, going to the movies) to allow your body a chance to properly cleanse.

*Always follow your detox with a course of probiotics.


*Use a dry skin brush before your shower or bath to make sure your lymphatics are draining efficiently

*Once a week, (after exfoliating) apply a green clay mask with one drop (not two, trust me..) of lavender essential oil to you face, neck and chest to draw out impurities

*Relax in a hot bath with one cup of epsom salts and essential oils

*Read ‘You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay’, ‘Succulent Wild Woman by Sark’ or ‘Eat Mangoes Naked And Dance With The Pips by Sark’ to detox your mind

*Release any negative people who aren’t contributing to your life in a positive way

*Yoga helps the body to release any emotions that have been stored in the body. So does a good deep tissue massage.

*Get your sauna on!

Aim to maintain this level of health. Don’t just return to negative eating habits. Be positive as detoxing is a perfect way to step outside your comfort zone and try new foods like quinoa. So be open to new things and enjoy the experience because the withdrawal headaches don't last forever.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How big is your eco?

“Water? Hate the stuff!” This is what a customer exclaimed the other day when I asked her how much she was drinking. She then continued to recount her headaches, muscle cramps, foggy mind and dry skin…

For everyone else out there, stay hydrated with EarthLust water bottles! They are made from high quality food grade stainless steel, are decorated with non-toxic paints and have BPA-free polypropylene caps. Sizes include 380ml ($17.95), 600ml ($19.95) and 1L ($22.95).

Stainless steel bottles help to preserve the environment by eliminating waste and protect your health as they don’t allow xenoestrogens to be leached into your water from the plastic.

Oh and did I mention that they look ridiculously good?

Click here for more Essential Health goodness on h20!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dear diary...

Bloating, reflux, flatulence, pain, constipation, diarrhoea, nausea... Hello random digestive upsets. There could be any number of reasons why these symptoms happen, so I'll show you how to be your own detective.

Diet diaries are a super easy way to become more in tune with your body. Grab a piece of paper and take note of what you eat and drink, what symptoms you experience and when. eg. Breakfast: bowl of cornflakes with skim milk and half a banana with a cup of black tea with two sugars. Bloating half an hour afterwards.

Do this for a minimum of 3 days so you (or your naturopath) can start to see patterns forming between what foods might not be agreeing with you. Then some diet modifications can be made and maybe supplementation with any necessary products such as digestive enzymes or probiotics. It's also a good reality check to get an overview of your diet. You might realise that you're only eating green vegies twice a week, or that you're having dairy three times a day.

So grab some paper and a pen and get scribing. Drawings are optional...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Get well soon Wendy.

Essential Health is currently without it's resident herbalist Miss Wendy Russell :(
Dear Wendy, may your bowl be overflowing with chicken soup and your bloodstream be filled with leukocytes. (eww...).
P.S. You don't really look like a skunk. It was either this picture or a naughty nurse... :)