"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

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stockxpertcom_id248989_jpg_d8d5ad9f3a2a763ef3a45103003f66061Many of us will experience an adverse reaction to a particular food or substance at some point in our lives.

Allergies and food sensitivities appear to be on the increase. Is there really an increase in incidence or is there merely an increased awareness?

With modern diets what they are, it is quite probable there is an increase, many people are taking in substances that are foreign to the body, e.g. artificial additives, preservatives, colorants, moulds and fungi, these chemical toxins and poisins wreak havoc in the body and can compromise the body’s immunity, in addition to this many people do not eat a balanced diet which means they are missing key essential nutrients (eg. amino acids, vitamins) so may not be able to synthesize the necessary enzymes for digesting particular foods. Both of these factors can contribute to allergies and food sensitivities or intolerances.

How serious are they? Food allergies tend to be very serious and can be life threatening, food intolerances can lead to malnutrition and dramatically affect the quality of life of the individual.

Here is a short article that looks at the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance
Allergies and Food intolerances

Where can you get help?
Booking an appointment with a nutritionist, dietitian or even a naturapath can be a great place to start. They can advise you on what tests you need to have done, if any, and some of them will even perform their own tests. They will help you to isolate possible suspect foods or substances and can also help you to manage your allergies and food sensitivites and still maintain a balanced diet, once you know what they are.

You can go directly to your GP and request allergy or food intolerance tests first, they will write a referral for you to have tests at a local lab (These are covered by medicare). Once you have your results you could book in with a nutritionist or dietitain who can then offer further guidance and support.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore allergies or food intolerances, the symptoms and destruction on the body only tend to get worse. It is best to seek professional help so that you are supported as you explore whether the foods you are eating are making you ill.

This is what people who have eliminated their trigger foods have said:
“I do not know myself now, I feel great, I have lost weight, I have more energy, and it was just a matter of creating some new habits. At the time it felt like hard work, but I would never go back now, it was worth the effort and I just love feeling this great, I didn’t know what I was missing.”

How can you find out more?

For more help or guidance on allergies or food sensitivities Contact Us

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Jul
01

Five Immune Boosting Tips this Winter!

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 Well, it’s that time of year again, when colds, flu, the sniffles and “getting sick” becomes the trend.  And now that swine flu is on everyone’s lips there is additional concern.

The great news is that there is no need for you to sing that song!  There are lots of things you can be doing to keep your immune system strong and your body in tip top health all through winter (and in fact all year long). 

Here are 5 things you can do to keep your immune system strong this winter:

  1. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day. This may sound too simple and obvious, but it is the easiest way to get a cocktail of key vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients that work as little immunity soldiers defending your territory against invaders.  Enjoy seasonal fruits: so some examplesof winter options are oranges (and citrus fruits), avocados, pumpkin and butternut.  
    Eat plenty fresh fruit and vegetables

    Eat plenty fresh fruit and vegetables

     

  2. Spend a little time in the sun everyday if you can.  Vitamin D is vital for your immune system… and for feeling good through the sometimes gloomy winter.  To be most beneficial, you need to expose at least your face, hands and arms (at least 3/4 of your arm, so beyond your elbows) and you want to be in the morning or afternoon sun… between 10 and 11am or between 2 and 3pm, for about 20 minutes, without sunblock!  (And no, this is not irresponsible exposure.)  So enjoy your morning or afternoon teabreak outside, or make an excuse to go for a quick walk at that time.
  3. Keep your home and office well ventilated.  It can be tempting to keep doors and windows shut to try and keep out the cold out and the warmth in… but the problem is you also create a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria, moulds and keep a lot of the “undesirables” in. 
  4. Supplement 1000mg of Vitamin C everyday (take it in the Ester C or non-acidic form). You can increase this dose safely anytime you feel stressed or a tickle or sniffle.  (1000mg every hour or two, 2000mg to 8000mg over the day or until bowel tolerance-  you get a runny tummy). 
  5. Manage your stress levels, take time out and get enough sleep!  Stress wreaks havoc with your immune system, it not only weakens your immune system, but also delays your ability to heal. 

Here is a yummy pumpkin soup recipe for you.

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100 % Health With 10 % Effort

100 % Health With 10 % Effort

Imagine! You wake up in the morning without your alarm clock, as the sun comes up, feeling perfectly rested. You jump out of bed straight away and actually look forward to your routinely morning exercise, which you perform with a bounce in your step. You are excited about the day ahead, you’re organized, effective, you get results, you excel. When you get home in the evening you don’t need a glass of wine or a stiffer drink to unwind, you are easily able to relax. You settle in for a nice evening, in good cheer with good food, which you have the energy and inclination to prepare. You are at peace with the world and in control of your life, nothing feels like a burden or too much effort. After an enjoyable evening you get into bed, your mind is at ease and you fall straight to sleep.

Wow! Imagine the possibilities of feeling this GREAT!

Only a select few of you have ever felt this good, really enjoy your life and get a buzz each day with the level of excellence and desire you hold. Many of you don’t believe it’s even possible to live life like this, to feel energised and be productive and in good cheer all day!

What if I told you I had the magic recipe?

Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, eat whole grain foods, avoid saturated fats and eat more plant oils, eat less red meat and more chicken and fish, drink enough water, drink less alcohol and avoid stimulants, breath properly, maintain a positive attitude, be true to your self and exercise. Voila, healthy happy you!

(Now like any good recipe, it looks pretty simple, don’t be fooled by the simplicity, remember the magic is in the technique, not the ingredients!)

The magic:

The biggest reason for failing in health is usually procrastination, and the primary reason for procrastination is usually overwhelm. We don’t know where to start. So here’s a thought and a guaranteed method for success.

It’s called the 10 % Principle. The 10 % Principle is a philosophy or way of life. Simply it involves doing 10 % more of the things you know are good for you and move you towards your health and life goals and 10% less of the things that you know don’t serve you. Every day. If you just do 10% more today than you did yesterday, that’s an improvement. Keep that up and you have changed your life, in a habit forming sustainable way.

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Who would have believed scoring 1/10 could save your life?

Let’s look at some examples of where you could get started:

If you are relying on coffee to get you through the day, everyday. Then start by reducing coffee in your diet by 10%. Initially this could simply be, having one day without coffee every 10 days. Straight away that’s a 10% improvement, yet it is not incredibly difficult to implement. (You could apply this to alcohol too!)

If you don’t get enough exercise, start by including just 10% more physical activity into your day. Get up to change the channel, walk up the escalator instead of standing still. Choose a parking spot a little further away from the entrance.

If you battle with personal discipline, choose just one thing at the start of the day to achieve, and don’t go to bed until you have achieved it.

If chocolate is your weakness, start by not finishing the bar, make it your principle to only ever eat 90% of the chocolate bar, give a bite to a friend!

The 10 % Principle also works really well in reverse, you can plan to only eat junk or convenience foods 10 % of the time, but the rest of the time you take your own lunch to work or university. Keep “takeout” as an emergency or convenience option or a personal treat, but not a way of life.

If you keep taking small steps everyday, you can not help but move towards your goals, and it’s contagious, success breeds success, so as you start to achieve these small milestones on a day to day or weekly basis, you will feel more empowered to keep going.

”Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.” Samuel Smiles

Get started today, what will you do 10 % more or less of today to improve your life and empower yourself?

Here’s to health worth celebrating in 2009!

Love Your Heart!

I went for a full medical check up last week and got my blood tests back from the doctor yesterday, and “you are very healthy” she said, everything is normal and good, but, she said: “Your cholesterol is a bit low!”
My total cholesterol is 2.9! Normal range is 3.1 – 6.5!

Conclusion is my cholesterol lowering diet works TOO well!

My family has a history of heart disease and high cholesterol, so I must be doing something right if mine is so low!

Best I go get myself a big piece of cheesecake! ☺

Sign up for my Free Report:
7 Tips to Lower Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart

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Mar
30

Detox!

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To Detox or not to Detox that is the question!

The body is designed to detoxify itself, in fact it does this constantly, through excretion, secretion, urination, exhalation and defecation.
Some of the organs that are particularly vital for “cleansing” your system are your kidneys, your liver, your lungs, your lymphatic system, your colon. Sometimes the body can become overwhelmed with toxins due to our toxic lifestyles. Why not give your body a chance to detoxify itself by simplifying its work load and supporting it with these 7 easy steps over seven days. Follow these 7 steps to detox, and live simply for a week! You will feel great afterwards!

Here is a Simple 7 day “detox” plan

Step 1: Start by cleaning out the waste! Let’s start with the colon!
Cut out the junk and simplify your digestion… Start your day with a glass of water and freshly squeezed lemon (room temperature at least or warm, not ice water!).
Enjoy only fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, (soups or salads are fine), brown rice, lentils, beans, pulses, flavoured with fresh herbs and spices (ginger, garlic, chili, turmeric, chives, basil, coriander, thyme, cloves) and flaxseeds. Eat mostly raw food, and don’t have any preservatives, colourants, artificial additives, tea, coffee, sugar, yeast containing products, alcohol, drugs, or over the counter medication like pain killers, head ache tablets, no wheat, and no animal products (dairy, meat, eggs, butter included) for 7 days. You may experience headaches or nausea as a result of your system detoxing.

Step 2: Assisting colon cleansing: Add a teaspoon of psyllium husk into a ¼ cup of water and drink it down (you could add a teaspoon of bentonite clay to this as well.) Do this first thing in the morning and last thing at night for the 7 days. Have a big glass of water or freshly pressed fruit juice afterwards.

Step 3: Drink between 2 and 3 litres of water everyday. Drink parsley tea (bunches of fresh parsley infused in hot water), 1 per day for days 4 to 7 to help cleanse the kidneys.

Step 4: If you are very toxic you may wish to supplement milk thistle and vitamin C and MSM to help support the liver and the immune system through the detox process. You could also consider taking a deworming course, if you have pets (remember to deworm the whole family at the same time.)

Step 5: Walk or jog for 30 minutes at least once a day, twice a day is better, do 20 star jumps on the spot morning and evening and do dry skin brushing in long strokes towards the heart on your limbs and in circular motions on the rest of your body to assist elimination from your lymphatic system. If you can lie with your bum against the wall and your feet up for at least 5 minutes in the evening to help with lymphatic drainage.

Step 6: Get rid of toxic emotions. First thing in the morning, write down a list of everything you can think of to be grateful for 5 minutes, set a timer and don’t stop.
Last thing at night, dump down any grumpy or unpleasant thoughts onto paper for 5 minutes, be willing to let them go, then tear up the pages and burn them or flush them down the toilet or throw them in the rubbish bin. Meditate or sit quietly for a few minutes every day.

Step 7: Have a candlelit Epsom salt bath, (either Epsom salts or sea salt in hot water) every evening. Don’t use any moisturizers or skin care products for the week, if you can only use natural shampoo, skincare etc. for at least the week of your detox).

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Mar
03

Are You Addicted to Chocolate?

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Why does chocolate make us feel SOOO good and seem to have so much power over us?

 

If you are the type of person who thinks about chocolate all the time and can’t live without it, and if you just can’t even think about saying no or resisting it, then you are probably addicted to it!

You can be both physiologically and psychologically or emotionally addicted to a substance or behaviour and that is what makes it harder to control or give up. 

What is it in chocolate that makes it so “addictive”?

The taste, the texture and the way it makes you feel! 

The main ingredients in chocolate are: cocoa, milk and sugar.

If we break each of these down, we can start to understand the effect each of these has on the body. 

 

Cocoa:

  • Contains compounds that act as stimulants for the central nervous system, so we feel more alert (for example caffeine and theobromine). Theobromine triggers the release of endorphins in the brain and works as a natural antidepressant.   
  • Contains phenylethylamine, which is know for causing emotional highs and lows associated with mood swings, love, pleasure and indulgence.  
  • It also contains important minerals like iron which is needed for blood formation and magnesium which the body needs for muscle movement (contraction and relaxation) and also for the nervous system, so it can help us feel a little relaxed.
  • The heavenly texture can be attributed to the fat.  This pleasurable “mouth feel” associated with fat is probably an evolutionary consequence of the high energy fat could provide in times of famine.
  • Cocoa is also a rich source of antioxidants (protective in the body)

Milk:

  • Contains tryptophan which is converted to serotonin (one of our “happy hormones”) in the brain
  • Interestingly a sensitivity to milk can give rise to cravings for milk.  (You may not be lactose intolerant but you could still be sensitive to milk!  Some partially-digested proteins for example casein in milk or gluten in wheat will form opium like peptides (chains of amino acids) which can bind to special receptors in the brain and are capable of producing a drug-like effect, leaving us wanting more of the very thing that is causing us harm!) (I will cover more on the topic of allergies in future newsletters).

Sugar:

  • (Carbohydrate) aids the transport and absorption of tryptophan into the brain
  • Will provide an increase in blood sugar, which will periodically alleviate the symptoms of low blood sugar (low energy and low mood).

Therefore you can see there is a host of explanations for why chocolate has such an effect on us and it would be so hard to give up.

 

The downside of chocolate:

  • Processed, mainstream chocolate is high in sugar and contains all sorts of other additives to keep it “fresh”.  Anything that causes a rapid increase in blood sugar will inevitably result in a rapid drop in blood sugar, which will affect your energy and your mood short term but has more serious long-term consequences (e.g. diabetes)
  • Caffeine is a stimulant so acts increases stress in the body
  • There are better ways to achieve higher levels of these important nutrients:  e.g. iron (meat, chicken thighs).  Milk hinders iron absorption.  Tryptophan is found in protein rich food like chicken, pumpkin seeds, turkey, tuna, rolled oats is a particularly good option, because of the combined carbohydrate content.
  • Some people are sensitive to certain foods, continuing to eat these foods can have undesirable consequences for the body, for example it causes inflammation which can appear with the following symptoms:  bloating, mucous production, diarrhea, cramping, leaky gut. 

The million-dollar question: So is chocolate bad for me?

  • It’s a treat!  It is definitely acceptable and possibly even beneficial to enjoy good quality chocolate in moderation.  “Good” options are 1-2 pieces 75-90% Cocoa, and preferably Organic Chocolate.  If you can’t stand dark chocolate, choose a good quality milk chocolate with nuts in it, (hazelnuts or almonds). 
  • Always make sure you are enjoying it while you eat and never eat it mindlessly (while you are doing something else!), it just isn’t worth it!
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Taking Responsibility: 

 What does Responsibility mean to you?  To me, it has always had connotations of obligation, accountability, ownership, and being loaded with a generous pinch of judgment and self-blame or liability. It conjures up images of my childhood with my mother saying:  “You need to take responsibility for your actions, Lisa”.   It was a good thing to learn: to not blame others and to realize how much control we have over our actions and our lives, even if I didn’t want to own that responsibility all the time. 

“You take responsibility for your life and a terrible thing happens… no one to blame!”

It was at a seminar (Success and You) a couple of weekends ago, that I fully grasped the absolute power behind what taking responsibility can mean.   They referred to responsibility as your ‘ability to respond”.  WOW!  That’s a pretty cool way of looking at it!  So by taking responsibility, you are acknowledging your ability to respond.  You are not a passive recipient in the world but an active entity!  Up until then I had always taken responsibility (or tried to) but did it somewhat begrudgingly!  I loved the freedom and power that came with seeing it in this new light: responsibility: your “response ability” or “ability to respond”. 

So how does it apply to real life?

I was chatting to a friend about it and he shared a wonderful story that perfectly illustrated the concept.  He attended a talk, in which Alan Pease (the body language guy) revealed that he had had cancer and was now in remission.  Alan was talking about his experience of cancer and shared with the group his empowering yet somewhat confronting view on it.  He said he believed that he got cancer because he did something wrong.  He was really clear on this and really empowered by this belief explaining that by acknowledging that, he could learn from it and change it.  If he accepted that he had done something wrong, and he could find out what it was, he was embracing that he had control over what happened next and he was giving himself the power to change and heal, in his case, recover fully and prevent relapse (pretty important goals for cancer sufferers).  He was acknowledging that he could do something differently, that he still had an ability to respond.  By taking responsibility for his condition, he regained some control of the situation, the ball was back in his court.  By taking responsibility for your health, your life, your actions, you take back your power, you are free to respond and move forward in any way you choose immediately thereafter.  You are claiming just how much power you have over what happened or what happens next.  By not taking responsibility or holding others responsible, you give your power away, you are effectively saying I have no control over that, which leaves you powerless to change and grow or influence others and circumstances. 

It would appear that taking responsibility takes you to the point for maximum growth.  It is so rich with potential and so powerful!  Here’s to taking back your power!

 

 

 

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Start with Breakfast!

If you would like to have energy throughout the day, then the best way to start is by providing your body with energy at the start of the day!

The ‘clever’ way to enjoy coffee
Many people clamber for the kettle first thing after entering the kitchen and quickly suck down that initial caffeine dose as quickly as possible to rev their engines. 

Coffee only serves to ‘wake you up’ because it contains the stimulant, caffeine.  It doesn’t sustain or energise you for longer than an hour, if that, and it certainly doesn’t feed you!   So before reaching for your beloved coffee, try to give your body the fuel it is really after… nutrients, your brain and body are asking for some energy!  Eat breakfast first, if you still want the coffee, have it later.  You may even find you stop needing the coffee “wake me up”!

(Who’s the Boss?!!!  Are you managing your coffee intake or is it managing you?  Something you need to know about caffeine is: it will affect your stress hormones, it will affect your blood sugar, it will affect your blood pressure, it will affect your digestive system and it will affect your brain.  So moderate it’s use, have it as a “treat” not a drug that you can’t live without!)

Fight the fuzzies?  Feed your brain!
Doubtless, you’ve heard it all before.  Cereal companies love to give us the fear factor and tell us that you must eat your cereal or you’ll experience “the fuzzies”, lose the bounce in your step, put on weight, have no fun or not look your best.  That’s because breakfast really is that important… it doesn’t have to be cereal, cereal is not the only way to go for breakfast (and often it is not the healthiest breakfast).  If cereal’s not your thing don’t be put off! There are plenty of alternatives: a piece of fruit and some nuts, a piece of toast, a boiled egg, a smoothie to name some obvious choices.  Eat something, make it healthy.

What did I have for breakfast?

Most mornings I enjoy fruit and muesli for breakfast.  This morning, my breakfast consisted of a bowl of raw oats and puffed millet, a small apple chopped into pieces, natural yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of seeds and a teaspoon of honey.  I know I’ve lost you, because that sounds a little too complicated!  I am not saying you have to eat like this or even suggesting you do, but there is obviously a reason why I do… oats are great for providing a steady stream of energy, they keep me feeling full or satisfied for longer, so I am not starving by 9am, they keep my bowels regular, they also help to manage cholesterol and have something in them that is great for the nervous system, apples have all sorts of nutrients but also have weight managing benefits, the seeds are essential for my skin, brain and hormonal health, the yoghurt was a treat, it has some good benefits but it is dairy- so I tend to keep my intake low.  In fact, I wasn’t even going to tell you what I eat,  in the interests of considering a realistic approach to most people’s diet choices.  However, a client asked me “what do you eat for breakfast Lisa?”  When I told them they commented: “Wow, Lisa, you really walk the walk, don’t you?” So I decided to ”come clean” about my healthy diet.  At least you can see that I try to set a good example and I am prepared to practice what I preach.  I will say though, everything in moderation, I also enjoy the occasional “cheat” which I call “treat food”, but it’s what you do most of the time that counts.  Besides if you give in to your desires all the time, they become less desirable.  Trust me, when I do eat chocolate cake and drink a cup of coffee, I get a REAL KICK AND BUZZ out of it.  Please feel free, to omit the millet if you choose, and you don’t have to eat like a “health nut” to be healthy, but eat something for breakfast, whatever you can manage, and make it as healthy as you can enjoy!

Why breakfast?
Purely and simply, your body needs the fuel.  It has experienced a few hours without food while you have been resting and all your previous food has been digested and processed into its appropriate end products: nutrients, energy, fat stores, muscle … and waste.  You need to replenish what you’ve already processed by reloading with good quality foods.  If you don’t eat breakfast, your body starts to break itself down to access the fuel it needs… and it starts with muscles (not your fat)!

The top 4 reasons why you should eat breakfast:

1.    Breakfast provides your body with the nutrients and energy required to concentrate and perform at your best during the morning, whether at work, in the classroom or wherever you need to be.

2.    Studies show that breakfast is a vital element in maintaining a healthy body weight.

3.    You are less likely to binge eat or reach for that unhealthy snack and you will have better control of your blood sugar levels (which means more energy and more weight control!)  If you skip breakfast, you will become hungry before lunch time rolls around and for many people, the urgency to put some food in their belly results in grabbing the nearest and most convenient snack.  Donut full of fat and sugar, anyone?

4.    You are more likely to receive your daily requirement of essential vitamins and minerals which means a healthier happier you!

 

 

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