Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

Hope you found a little patch of sunshine this weekend to warm your soul...

Just like our feline friend Tootsie the cat :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Have a domestic.

Bought vegies and fresh flowers from the Jetty markets
Dried the laundry in the sunshine
Vacuumed the floors
Cleaned the bathroom
Hung up some new art
Washed the car
Bought a new kitchen appliance
Went to Bunnings
Re-potted pot plants
Watered the garden
Cooked a roast vegie spelt lasagna
Baked a batch of gluten-free cupcakes
Then made a soy chai and sat back and appreciated it all.

Sometimes it’s nice to not make any plans and just potter around the house and garden doing some nesting so you can start the week feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed. Your home is your sanctuary. So treat it like one.

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body”. -Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Silly yak.

How many people do you know with Coeliac (seel-ee-yack) disease? Coeliacs are unable to digest gluten with differing tolerance levels and symptoms. Some people feel a bit tired or get mouth ulcers after a sandwich and then I know others who cannot even use the same toaster that has had regular bread in it because even a few crumbs will cause them to start vomiting violently!! When people are diagnosed via a blood test or gut biopsy they are sent out into the big wide world instructed to never touch gluten again. So what the heck is there left to eat, you ask? "Plenty!!" I answer with triumph!

Here are a tonne and a half of gluten free meal ideas for all the silly yaks out there!


Breakfast ideas
Gluten-free muesli with rice/soy/oat milk, fresh fruit, yoghurt and cinnamon
Bircher muesli: soak rolled rice flakes with enough water to just cover it and add ¼ cup of sultanas, a sprinkle of shredded coconut and 8 almonds. Then in the morning add a grated granny smith apple, some honey and yoghurt to make it creamy
Hot bircher muesli (follow above recipe but in the morning add some extra milk and heat through on the stove before eating). Add stewed apple and cinnamon
Boiled/scrambled/poached or fried eggs on gluten-free toast with avocado and sprinled with Celtic sea salt or cracked pepper
Breakfast stirfry: sauté mushrooms, capsicums, onions and bok choy in some tamari sauce (wheat-free soy sauce) then serve on toast with an egg
Homemade baked beans and avo on toast
The Essential Health Super smoothie: fruit, milk, yoghurt, protein powder, LSA, honey
Mashed steamed veg (such as a combination of sweet potato, broccoli and carrot) with some cooked brown rice mixed in with a soft boiled egg on top and sprinkled with Celtic sea salt
Make an omelette with mushrooms, baby spinach, onion and halved cherry tomatoes with fresh herbs from the garden
Fruit salad with a spoonful of yoghurt and sprinkled with sunflower seeds, pepitas and cinnamon drizzled with maple syrup

Lunch/Dinners ideas
Miso soup with tofu, brown rice or vermicelli rice noodles, broccolini, bok choy, snow peas and mushrooms. Cut up ½ a nori sheet (what they make sushi out of) into 1cm squares with scissors. You can poach, steam or grill a chicken breast, then place it on a chopping board and shred it with a fork then add it to the soup
Vietnamese rice paper rolls
Vegetable minestrone with canellini or borlotti beans
Chicken and vegetable soup. Add 2 cups of cooked brown rice or quinoa
Spiced pumpkin soup
Orgran buckwheat pasta spirals with pesto, green beans, asparagus and chicken or tuna
Chicken/tuna/egg/felefel/lentil patty and salad in gluten-free wraps
Omelette and salad
Vegetable frittata
Mexican beef or bean nacho’s (unsalted corn chips) with lots of salad and fresh guacamole
Zucchini slice
Turkey meat balls with pasta or rice
Felafel wraps: buy a box of felafel mix from the health food aisle in the supermarket, soak mix in water for 20 mins and shallow fry in a frypan til golden. Sit the felafels on some paper towel to absorb the excess oil then put in a wrap with hommus, sweet chilli and salad
Grilled fish with freshly squeezed lemon and fresh parsley or basil with vegies on the side
Pesto grilled chicken salad with rocket and cherry tomatoes
Fried brown rice: add free range chicken breast, grated carrot and zucchini, corn spears, snow peas, mushies, fresh pineapple and fresh coriander, tamari and sweet chilli sauce. Make a little omelette of two free range eggs and shallots, then slice up and mix through the rice. Leftovers? Yummy for breakfast with a poached egg on top (Nasi Goreng style) or rolled up in rice paper rolls with some baby spinach.
Zucchini slice make with gluten-free flour served with salad. They’re great for school or work when baked in a muffin tin!
Fish cakes with a lime and chilli dipping sauce
Pizzas made with Orgran dough mixes

Snacks and treats
The Essential Health Super smoothie
Juice up some pineapple, pear, apple with fresh mint then pour into a shaker and mix in one teaspoon of barley grass
Juice an apple then blend it up with ½ a cup of berries and spirulina
Pack a little lunchbox with sticks of carrots, cucumber, capsicum, snow peas, mushroom cups, cherry tomatoes with a source of protein: felafels, a boiled egg or tin of tuna
Make your own dips to have on veggie sticks, corn thins or Vita Wheat “Rice Crackers”. Salsa: dice tomatoes, capsicum, red onion and fresh parsley with chopped coriander. Guacamole: mash an avo, squeeze of lemon, some cracked pepper and sweet chilli. Homemade hummus.
Baked granny smith apple with sultanas and cinnamon
Fig and almond bliss balls (finely chop 2 cups of dried fruit and 1 cup of nuts/seeds then combine with 2 Tbs of coconut cream, a big spoonful of peanut butter and roll into balls and cover with coconut, sesame seeds or LSA). You can add spirulina, protein powder, carob powder, cinnamon. Store in a container in the fridge.
Tamari roasted nuts and seeds (lightly coat 2 cups of nuts and seeds with 1 Tbs of tamari. Spread over lined baking tray and bake in 180 degrees over for 15mins or until dry).
Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and honey

Great cookbooks
Wheat and gluten free by Jody Vassallo
Allergy-friendly Cookbook by Alice Sherwood

Monday, July 18, 2011

Whip your thumbs out!

It takes 7 seconds for food to pass from mouth to stomach.
A human hair can hold 3kg.
The length of a penis is 3 times the length of the thumb.
The femur is as hard as concrete.
A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.
Women blink twice as much as men.
We use 300 muscles just to keep our balance when we stand.
A woman has read this entire blog post.
The man is still looking at his thumb.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beating a cold... Bear Grylls style!!

Guess who is at home today with a cold? Yes that’s right. Even naturopaths get sick!

However because I couldn’t remember the last time I was sick I’d donated my Ethical Nutrients Zinc Fix (tastes like orange sherbet) and Fusion Cold Cough Flu liquid (tastes like death) to my other half. Then I woke up this morning with glands the size of golf balls and my head felt like I was hungover –without the awesome night out.

Going down to the shop to pick up some supplies was asking more than I could give so I decided to treat my cold naturally using my own defences with what I had at home. Bear Grylls style!

Rug up!! As I sit and write I am currently sporting socks, uggies, trackies, two long sleeve tops, a hoodie, knitted scarf and nursing a hot water bottle. Yes I look like a homeless bag lady, but I am as warm as gluten-free toast. I also made a chai on the stove with a cinnamon stick, extra ground spices and grated ginger. Joy.

To add insult to injury, not only are my muscles aching from being sick, but I also have delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from my run yesterday and pilates on Monday night. Triple ouch! So I ran a hot bath with one cup of Epsom salts and six drops of lavender. Make sure you make it a hot one to get your sweat on! You want to ENCOURAGE a fever because when your temperature goes up it burns all the bugs rather than suppressing it with pharmaceutical medications.

This time of year I tell customers on a daily basis that they could take every supplement in the shop but the most valuable thing they can do is to take the day off and rest. I often feel like I’m too honest to work in retail…This is called convalescing! Don’t try and be a hero.

I had no vitamin C powder in the cupboard so I’ve been hooking into strawberries, tomatoes, freshly squeezed vegie juice and countless mugs of rosehip tea with fresh lemon and lime slices. Ahhh, you gotta love food as medicine!

Other awesome immune boosters:
*Acupuncture, acupuncture, acupuncture! Beg your pardon? ACUPUNCTURE!
* Sunshine! The latest scientific research proves that vitamin D is 800% more effective at preventing the flu than the actual flu vaccine. Oh… my… goodness!
*Miso soup is rich in good bacteria that colonise your gut. 80% of your immune system resides in your gut. See what I’m getting at?
*Burn grapefruit oil in an oil burner to blitz air borne bugs.

*Astragalus and Korean ginseng are herbs that can prolong an acute infection.
*No sugar! Sugar feeds the bad bacteria and helps it grow! Say “bugger off” to Butter Menthols! Greenridge and Olive Leaf both do really great throat sprays.
*No dairy or “damp” foods like bananas or spirulina which encourage mucous production.
*Get that snot moving! Charming… Bacteria LOVE the warm, moist environment of mucous. When mucous stagnates, bugs breed. So get into the ear candles, chilli, wasabi, turmeric, garlic, onions, ginger, pepper, hot baths and saunas!
*Get a new toothbrush after you’ve had a cold. Makes sense right?

Lesson of the day:
Figure out why are you sick right now. It’s an excuse to say there must have been a lot of germs around or to blame someone you talked to that day who had a cold. Germs are everywhere, so why was YOUR immune system weakened? Stress from work or a relationship? Recently been on antibiotics and didn’t take a probiotic afterwards? Haven’t been eating enough fresh foods? Been burning the candle at both ends? Hmmmm...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A bit extra on ECZEMA.

Hands up anyone who has eczema.... Hands up anyone who knows anyone with eczema.... Eczema would have to be one of the top 3 reasons people come into the shop. They are always looking for a new cream to try. That is, until we enlighten them with the REAL cause of eczema!

Treat the cause…
Even though eczema is seen on the skin, it is actually an INTERNAL problem because the skin is a reflection of our immune system and digestion. Over 70% of our immune system is located in the gut so we need to heal the gut to improve the reaction of our immune system. This means that you can try all the creams in the world but this only has a “band-aid” effect until you treat the cause. Psoriasis is different to eczema as it is an autoimmune disorder.

What happens…
1. Our body is exposed to an allergen eg. food, dust particles
2. Our mucous membranes that line the gut becomes inflamed causing the tight lining to become “leaky”
3. The allergen proteins wrongly enter the bloodstream rather than staying in the digestive tract
4. Our body’s immune system does not recognise these foreign objects and sets off an immune reaction
Result: eczema (dry, itchy, irritated skin), headaches, tiredness, moodiness

Can be aggravated by…
stress, seasons (Winter or Summer), heat, unnatural skincare products, unnatural cleaning products (washing powders), smoking, alcohol consumption.

We’ve found that the products with the most positive feedback are:
© Billy Goat soap
© Massage coconut oil straight onto the skin
© Moogoo’s Eczema and Psoriasis Balm (or MSM Soothing Cream for babies/kiddies)
© Moogoo and Warbotanicals “Itchy and Scratchy” are wonderful shampoo and conditioners

A very soothing bath…
Cut off the foot from a pair of stockings, add one cup of rolled oats and 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers and tie up the end. Let this soak in the bath water and gently rub over the body like a sponge. Add one tablespoon of almond oil or coconut oil to the bath water. You can also massage those oils into the skin as a moisturiser once you get out too.

© Fish oil: Most people take fish oil but aren’t nearly taking enough. Start with 5 capsules twice a day until symptoms clear up and then just maintain with 5 a day. Or consider a concentrated liquid like BioCeuticals Omega Sure liquid $29.95) where one tsp is equivalent to 6 standard capsules.
© Probiotics: to decrease inflammation, improve digestion, modulate the immune system and heal the gut lining. The strain of probiotics specific to eczema is Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG which is found in Ethical Nutrients Eczema Shield, Ethical Nutrients Inner Health Plus Powder For Kids and BioCeuticals Baby Biotic.

© Eat lots of anti-inflammatory foods like fruit and vegies, brown rice, quinoa, ginger, garlic and turmeric.
© Eliminate allergens like dairy and wheat from the diet (one at a time) for a minimum of 4 weeks to observe any differences.
© Drink 2 litres of water every day to hydrate the skin and flush out any toxins.
© 70% OF PEOPLE WITH PSORIASIS ARE COELIACS!!! Have an allergy test at the immunologist or ask your GP for a blood test to see if you’re coeliac (gluten intolerant). If you continue eating foods that you’re intolerant to, your gut lining will constantly be inflamed and leaky.
© Fresh is best! Limit processed food such as boxed cereals, muesli bars, chips, cake, lollies and chocolate, icecream, biscuits and soft drink.
© Take as much stress off of your liver as possible such as limiting coffee, alcohol, fatty foods and smoking.

© Adapt to stress and anxiety better by doing at least one thing you enjoy on a daily basis such as walking on the beach, reading, getting a massage, having a bath or doing yoga. Stress will always be there but the way you manage it can change.
© Dry skin brushing before you jump in the shower or bath can help to exfoliate away old, dead skin cells.
© Get daily sun exposure to increase your vitamin D levels.
© Try wearing natural fibres like cotton or bamboo.
© Swap to natural cleaning products and laundry powders.

Don’t put up with being itchy!! It’s not something you have to live with! Pass this on to any itchy people you may know.

How big is your eco?

Being eco is a lifestyle, not a trend.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My "Peanut Butter" Theory.

Have you heard of the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none”?

Last year I was speaking to an acupuncturist about how some people spend years and years at uni doing multiple degrees. Although it’s a wonderful thing to have a yearning for knowledge my acupuncturist turned to me and said “Yes, but which one do they do well?”

I think some people’s lives can be like that too. Women are meant to be the experts in multitasking –although I seem to be the exception to that rule… However it amazes me when I hear about ladies who work 70 hour weeks, have two kids under 7, try to maintain a successful marriage, a social life, time to themselves and try to stay on top of their health. Usually in that order too. Super mum or adrenal exhaustion?

Much like running a business, a clinic, maintaining a long-distance relationship, doing two advanced pilates classes, catching up with friends and family while looking after everyone else's health but my own.... Hmmm... Time to down size!

I regularly explain this to an overcommitted friend of mine as my “Peanut Butter Theory”. Don’t spread yourself too thin!

Conserve your precious energy. Do things whole heartedly or not at all. Be present in every situation. Love what you do. Know your limits and drop down a gear. Most importantly, learn that sometimes the most positive thing for your health and head space is to say ‘no’. xxx

Sunday, July 3, 2011

When my baby, when my baby smiles at me...

I just got back from a practitioner seminar on fertility and preconception care where I wildly wrote seven pages of notes.

Here’s a handful of interesting facts:

*65% of miscarriages are due to poor sperm quality which is why it is super important for BOTH partners to see a naturopath for a proper pre-conception care program.

*Sperm’s biggest enemy is oxidative stress such as smoking, drinking, excessive exercise and stress. This can be neutralised by a diet high in brightly coloured fruit and vegies like blueberries, spinach, red capsicum and carrots.

*Men: take your mobile phones out of your pockets!! It’s affecting your sperm quality.

*A miscarriage can deplete a woman’s body as much as one and a half pregnancies would. So it’s necessary to wait for at least 6 months until trying again.

*The rate of miscarriage without pre-conception care is 22% as opposed to 6% when pre-conception care was preformed for at least 3 months.

*3 months of pre-conception care can make the health of a woman’s eggs 2 years younger which is incredibly valuable in older women.

*Iron levels should be tested 2-3 times throughout the pregnancy to avoid anaemia. This will ensure you have plenty of energy when you need it most.

*The healthy amount of weight to gain during pregnancy is between 10 to 15 kilos. It is not the time to be eating Mars Bars and doughnuts.

*Morning sickness is most rampant in the morning because blood sugar levels are at their absolute lowest. Snack on small regular protein-rich meals to ease this.

*Some basic pre-conception care tips include eating EIGHT vegies and THREE pieces of fruit each day, daily exercise and sun exposure, practising positive stress management techniques and taking a good quality multivitamin and high strength fish oil.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Share the love.

"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."

-Mother Teresa