Recipes sdasdasdsad

Ginger, Lemon and Honey Tea

ginger-tea-ginger

Ginger Lemon and Honey Tea

This is a good morning or end of the day tea. It is cleansing, boosting and healing. Use good quality ingredients and you will get the best out of it. Using raw or Manuka (at least 10+) Honey for the best benefits, but add honey after water has cooled somewhat to prevent scalding and killing the enzymes.

 

Thumbnail of ginger, grated or finely chopped skin on,

Whole lemon cut into quarters,

1tbs raw or Manuka honey.

 

Add to teapot (except honey) and add hot water. Add the honey once the water has cooled

(Can also add Calendula flowers, camomile flowers, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, raw garlic crushed, cloves, turmeric- powdered or root grated and cloves as necessary and to taste)

 

read more

A life lived in fear is a life half lived

Whilst at a book club for Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani (Inspiring book) we were talking about how simple her message is. Love yourself. I have thought about it a lot mentioned it now several times. Although a simple concept, why is it so hard to practice? Fear? Someone at the book club said his favourite acronym is

Future

Events

Appear

Real

It struck me that that was very true. They appear real but it is our choice to make them actually become real. Fear is in built in us for many reasons- on a physical level it can keep us safe, on a metal level it is somewhat manipulated to get us to buy things, aspire to man-made ideals, to keep us under control. Cynical maybe but once past those boundaries freedom from fear of our own mind can be achieved. This is my affirmation for the week;

ID-100140127

read more

Toothpaste

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have made countless batchs of this home-made toothpaste now. I started making it because buying fluoride , paraben and other nasty free toothpaste is difficult over here (I bought Aloedent in the UK) and really really expensive.  Store bought toothpaste and mouth wash will kill even the good germs and enzymes in your mouth. Making your own is easy. I have to say my teeth definitely feel different and I can see my gums improving. I have very fine chips on the back of my two front teeth I was starting to worry about (it was a ‘Hey Big Spender moment swinging a caribou on a string at Drama School- another story!) They were starting to feel very thin- It feels completely different and the best way to describe it is stronger. 3 weeks on and I can hand on heart say I love this tooth paste!

My 3 year old was also spending a lot of time eating and sucking the toothbrush- now she just gets in there and cleans and spits which makes me happier. She also only complains about it to her Dad who also is wary of it- she just sees me get on with it- and there is no alternative which is sometimes a brilliant way to get kids to just get on with it!! Now she loves it and helps me makes it. Better yet I have no worries giving it to my 15 month old as he is at sucking toothbrush stage now!

I took my inspiration from these blogs;

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2012/04/rethinking-oral-health-care-a-homemade-toothpaste-recipe-for-tooth-remineralization.html

http://familysponge.com/health/coconut-oil/homemade-toothpaste-coconut-oil/

and Ramiel Nagal’s book  Cure Tooth Decay

I use;

In a glass Jar

2tbs calcium and magnesium powder (I use this)- optional

2tbs baking powder (aluminium free)

1tsp salt (I use Pink Himalayan Salt)

8 drops Raspberry Medicine Flowers

10 drops of Mint Medicine Flowers

2tbs Coconut oil

Mix it all together (adding the coconut oil right at the end)with a chopstick and put the lid on the jar!

Done and it lasts ages! (beware it is grey if you use the cal/mag powder) It also leaves a really nice clean and minty taste behind!

I also love oil pulling instead of mouthwash and flossing.

Enjoy- let me know how you get on…

Here are 12 more ways to make natural alternatives to toothpaste from The Nourished Life

Here are some more tips to improve oral health naturally from Real Nutritious Living

read more

Spring into Health

Spring bloom

 

Why does a change of season suddenly bring with it so many symptoms of illness? What can we do to recognise our body’s reaction and how can we boost immunity naturally?

A change of season, especially in Hong Kong, not only brings about a change in temperature but also a change in humidity, daylight hours and atmospheric pressure. Your body will have to adapt to these changes in a number of ways. The key to doing this is using foods and nutrients to strengthen and boost our immune system.

Illnesses during change of seasons are natural and integral to the body developing and reacting to the changing atmospheres around us. They are a way of purging the body (of mucous and waste products for example) and are normally signals to rest and recuperate. For example the lungs have to massively change to compensate for the added water levels in the air with the change of humidity and temperature. The little hairs in our lungs (Cila) are affected. Getting muck (mucous) out of our system is the body’s way of adapting and spring cleaning. So children and adults alike may sneeze, get runny noses or coughs. These symptoms can be likened to a cold, but may very well have no bacteria or virus involved. It is important to know the difference and seeing a professional (whether a doctor, naturopath or homeopath) to help you to do that. To interrupt this can then lead to more serious symptoms, but supporting it you can adapt and allow the season to change with little disruption.

From winter to spring we get lighter mornings, we wake easier and seem to have more energy. We are programmed to operate at full function in daylight. Sunlight on our skin will also provide us vital vitamin D (but only by not wearing sunscreen, try and go 10 mins with 40% of your body in full sunlight a day. As soon as you feel the heat starting to get a bit intense on your skin, cover up or return to the shade see here) Vitamin D is vital for a healthy immune system.  Our body clocks react to daylight. We are supposed to slow down and stock up in the winter ready for spring’s re-awakening. However daily hum drum does not change through the seasons anymore and the toll on our body is seen with more winter colds/ illnesses as the immune system is dampened in the cold weather and if we do let our bodies rest, then we start to become deficient in vital nutrients used up by the will to keep going.

Stress is a major factor in immunity – take time to relax when you start to feel run down. Illness is generally a signal to slow down and rest. Pushing through an illness is another way of suppressing signals and may also cause future long term damage. Viruses and bacteria are around us all the time; they are in our homes and outside. They are necessary for human existence. They are opportunistic so when you are run down, going through a change (in pregnancy or environmental change of season), stressed, malnourished, or tired you are at your most prone to illness. By adding foods and nutrients like vitamin D, C, E, zinc, magnesium and antioxidants daily; you can help prevent illness by providing your body with the means to heal and strengthen from within.

Foods in season are around to help support this change of season and boost the immune system. Foods in season right now are all your leafy greens, beetroot, strawberries, pumpkin, papaya – foods bursting with Iron, Beta carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Papaya also has vital enzymes to help us absorb our food so is great to have at meal times. All perfect to help boost immunity and rid and protect our body from toxins. Another great reason to eat local organic produce and go strawberry picking in the New Territories!

Here are some Natural remedy recipes to allow you to keep the Spring in your step!

Ginger tea

Ginger, lemon and orange curd

Honey and onion Elixor

Drinking Greens

read more

5 Ways To cleanse and detox your daily life (not just after Christmas)

5 Ways to cleanse and detox your daily life Loula Natural

5 ways to cleanse and detox your daily life

(not just after Christmas)

Detoxing is a January Trend. However your body will deal up to 4000 substances on a daily basis regardless of what month it is or how much you may have indulged the week before.

Stress produces toxins, eating, drinking and breathing in our polluted air alone creates products natural and unnatural that the body’s detoxification pathways have to deal with. Here are some ways to help support your body and reduce the toxic load on a daily basis.  Much gentler and easier to do; thereby helping you towards a healthier 2014.

1.Every morning, begin the day with a boost. Try my Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar in my Yummy Wake Up drink with Cinnamon and Raw honey. Otherwise why not try hot water and the juice of a lemon + a pinch of cayenne pepper. These are both cleansing and alkalinizing, and the cayenne boosts metabolism/burns fat. They stimulates gastric juices and wake you up- ready to start the day. Water is absolutely essential to the cleansing process. So cutting down on caffeine and alcohol and increasing water will really help support the body. The Yummy Wake up will give you a great buzz- way better than coffee!

2. Epsom salt baths. They work by helping to draw out toxins &  absorb magnesium which may help you relax and sleep. 2 handfuls of Epsom salts in the bath can have a big effect. Magnesium can also help to relax muscles which may help relieve constipation. Going at least once a day is vital to remove toxins and prevent them from recirculation in the body. Fermented foods also help support healthy elimination.

Here are 10 Ways to take a Detox Bath from the The Healthy Honeys and How to take and Epsom salt detox bath from Holistic Health Herbalist

3. Make sure you are getting liver friendly foods: whole eggs, leafy greens (kale, chard, collards, beet greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens), artichoke, beetroot, carrots, avocados, broccoli, cauliflower, legumes on a daily basis. Milk thistle as a tea or in your smoothie is a wonderful herb to heal, protect and stimulate the liver. Try a green smoothieEven better why not make it your resolution to get fermented products into your life. Not just a support to the body by healing and strengthening the immune system and digestive system, Bacteria plays an essential role in the supporting the liver. They help break down and reduce the impact of chemical substances and harmful toxins from reaching the blood stream and from re-circulating around the body. This reduction thus relieves the congestion found at the liver. Bacteria are also essential for energy production along with the liver- bonus energy production should be reason enough to get started. Check out my ebook- Culture Your Life- Kefir and Kombucha for daily nourishment for easy ways to get started and loads of recipes. If you need more convincing read 5 Reasons to brew Kombucha and 5 Reasons to make Kefir or Kefir FAQ

4. Exercise will make you sweat. Sweating removes toxins from the body. Most heavy metals are stored in fat reserves- remove the fat cells and remove the toxins. Moving your body (from walking, dancing, running, yoga,) everyday for at least 20 mins will make a big difference see here, here, and here for inspiration! Remember if you are Pre or Post Natal consult someone before exercising- see here

5. Fibre may also help draw toxins out of the body. Increasing your raw fruit and veg will automatically increase fibre intake as will adding flax seeds, psyillum husk, oats, chia seeds to your daily diet in salads or breakfast. See Chia Porridge and Almond and Flax Crackers

 

th 

 

Bath Scrub and soak

Can be used on dry skin standing in the shower without water. Scrub all over your body in a circular motion towards the heart, and then just shower off or- can be thrown straight in the bath for a wonderful soak. You can also use any scent you like. (For a bigger batch just multiply each value)

1 cup Epsom salts, 1cup of sea salt Enough olive and sweet almond oil to bind them (maybe 1/2 cup) Essential oils- I used vanilla, cinnamon, ylang ylang and lavender. (can also use chamomile, Rose, Frankincense, Juniper berry, Marjoram, Clary sage- If you are pregnant please check which scents are safe to use first, best to stick to lavender or scentless) Mix and I store them in ziplock bags I recycle but  glass jars would look nicer in the bathroom- jam jars would work just as well too!!

Chia PorridgeGood way to add fibre and essential fats to your diet. Also help with hydration levels

Rainbow meditation– how to stop and breathe a little every day!

Heres a diagram on how your body detox’s to help you understand the amazing process your body does Every Single Day!

liver processes Liver-detox-chart

 

heal and strengthen digestive system Loula Naturaland

5 nutrients digestive banner

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor. Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

5 ways to cleanse and detox your daily life Loula Natural pin

read more

Beauty is only skin deep- so look after that skin!

human skin cell

I have had many of you ask me about skin issues. What to use on the skin, how to soothe skin, protect skin, replenish skin and how to heal skin. So here are some insights into nutrients to nourish skin from the inside and some ways to keep it healthy on the outside. Of course everyone is different, this is generalised information. If you want a more personal plan please contact me. Also if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a chronic issue or a condition getting worse, please contact your professional.

Naturopath’s work with Herrings Law of Cure. This essentially means the following;

  • Symptoms of a chronic disease disappear in definite order, going in reverse and taking about one month for every year the symptoms have been present.
  • Symptoms move from the more vital organs to the less vital organs; from the interior of the body towards the skin.
  • Symptoms move from the top of the body downward.

This means that sometimes in order to ‘cure’ something the symptoms will sometimes come back, or it may need to get worse to get better. If it is a skin problem then you have to promote skin cell and oil production and reduce the external factors potentially affecting the skins environment. So I will be taking about supporting the digestive system in order to acquire the necessary nutrients and excrete toxins, the immune system to help support the skins barrier response to germs and bacteria. and finally the nervous system to help the body’s messages from the skin nerve cells get through to the brain.

The Skin is your largest organ. If laid out flat it is about 1.5-2.0 square metres.. It has many jobs, from temperature regulation; it is sensory organ relaying information to the brain through its massive number of nerves in the dermis layer, synthesises Vitamin D, repels water and  forms an integral barrier between your body and the outside world. It’s health reflects your inner health and is also responsible for maintaining inner health. Environmental, behavioural, emotional and physical factors can largely benefit or disadvantage the Skin’s health. It has protective, absorbing and excretory functions. It excretes sweat and oils. It is very closely linked to the gut and the lungs, other excretory organs.

For Example; Suppression of symptoms in the case of Eczema may then become Asthma. It is a common following condition. Steroids and steroidal creams thin the skin and suppress the actions of the body’s immune system to create inflammation which is crucial to the healing process. Thus making the body more susceptible to further allergies and the skin less able to renew making the next bout of eczema worse and possibly spread to other areas (the body’s way of giving you a sign that the treatment is not working). It also creates a further toxic environment in the body disrupting the liver’s functions and thus creating a vicious circle within the body.

All the Body’s systems work simultaneously.  If something is not being excreted through the gut, it will try to excrete it through the skin. if the Skins functions are somewhat suppressed it then becomes the lungs turn. The body is excreting toxins and by products of the immune system as well as general waste products. If these products are not excreted  by the digestive system they continue to circulate in the body putting excess stress on the liver and immune system making the body’s environment more toxic. Fibre is essential, food such as legumes and fruit and vegetables help to cleanse the colon and prevent re-circulation of toxins therefore reducing tissue toxicity and clearer, brighter skin. A daily green juice can help to add fibre and nutrients such as b vitamins and anti-oxidants (here).

skin pic

Skin is made up of two layers. The surface Epidermis containing nerves, Melatin pigment for skin colour and is regularly replaced. The layer underneath is the Dermis containing closely woven connective tissue, nerve glands, blood vessels, lymph vessels and hair follicles. Health of both layers is paramount. The body needs to be able to excrete oil to keep the hairs (on your head and body) healthy and helps form a barrier to water, suns rays, bacteria, parasites and to protect the glands below. Sweat helps the body maintain body temperature as well as excreting waste. Hence why an anti-perspirant can contribute to the body’s toxic environment. As well as absorbing products from our environment to communicate messages to the body, for example sunlight to communicate the increase of pigment formation to help change the skin colour to protect from the sun’s rays. The Ph of skin is also very important, to help promote the life of the bacteria on the skin providing a service to the body and preventing the proliferation of the bacteria that is threatening the body’s health. Becoming a barrier to germs both physically and Chemically. Several thing can upset this balance.

Environmental such as chemicals in the air or products that we use both skin and cleaning to the addition of chemicals in our foods that can be avoided that then need to be processed and excreted (here to read about reducing chemical overload). Behavioural such as number of times we bathe (too much or too little), how we apply moisturiser (needs to be massaged in) to how hard we scrub out skin (making it too oily or too dry) to the products that we use. Lastly Emotional. We have seen in previous posts, the affect stress has on the digestive system and other systems to absorb and assimilate the nutrients necessary for skin production, oil production and even sweat production. Also those people who let things ‘get under their skin’ also can help remove physical issues by addressing those emotional ones. In particular; repressed anger creating a ‘hot’ environment thus potentially resulting in dry skin. Whatever the issue, you need to repair all of the factors from these areas. Reducing Environmental factors but not addressing the emotional ones may result in a reduction of symptoms, but never a real cure and indeed may push the problem deeper.

Nutrients essential for Skin cell production.

A diet dense in nutrients and water content is necessary for skin healthy. Good fats and Proteins are also integral to this.

Fats are essential for skin health. Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) help to naturally reduce inflammation and are necessary for cell production. They form the cell wall along with protein which gives each cell a strong protective layer. When producing skin cells in the case of eczema this is paramount. Fats also help form a barrier on the skin to stop outside stresses such as detergents, cosmetics, dust etc from crossing into the bloodstream adding further stress to the immune system. Oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), Flax seed oil, borage oil and olive oil are key oils along with coconut oil for skin health. Dont forget sea vegetables.

Coconut or Medium chain fatty acids also help by providing a protective layer (coconut oil used frequently on the skin may help protect from the sun’s harmful rays- but also stay in the shade and use layers for protection so to never get burnt). They also strengthen skin cells and can help speed up healing. It also has an antibacterial and anti microbial effect to help the skin protect from germs. 1 tsp massaged in from top to bottom every day should suffice. 1tbs Taken internally will also have an effect on skin cell production. It can also be massaged into moles, bruises and dry parts including cuticles.

Proteins. Having a diet rich in protein will help provide a strong cell wall. Protein provides the body’s building blocks.    

Probiotics are essential to balance gut health and to promote the colonisation of good bacteria to help with digestion and to kill off the over proliferation of ‘bad’ bacteria. This will boost the immune system. Kefir is a great source of beneficial bacteria. Also adding prebiotic’s into the diet daily

Vit A and Betacarotene:  Absolutely necessary for skin production and a powerful antioxidant necessary for skin cell health.apricots, barley grass, butter, carrots, fish liver oils, green leafy veg, egg yolk and liver (soak the apricots and either add to porridge or give as a finger food- also add liver to mince and make burgers. Use organic lambs liver if possible (most nutrient dense as sheep are still able to graze and eat grass)

Vit D:  Also helps the immune system to differentiate cells. Sources include synthesis through sunlight on skin (10 mins of 40% of body naturally exposed to sunlight without burn-before applying sunscreen). Good sources are fish liver oils, butter, egg yolk and sprouted seeds- good finger foods look into sprouting chickpeas, lentils and can use alfalfa also

Vit E: stops cell proliferation by stabilising normal growth maintenance. Also improves blood flow. Sources include almonds, apricot oil, beef, egg yolk, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and wheat germ.. Otherwise you can also use almond oil either topically or in porridge. Vit E can be absorbed through the skin and can be bought in capsules.

Zinc: Absolutely necessary for skin health. In cell production to enzyme production in the digestive system to the immune system.Found in beef, egg yolk, ginger, lamb, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, seafood, whole grains.

Mag: Sources include: Almonds, cashews, cocoa, cod, eggs, seeds, parsnips, molasses, kelp and figs .

Bioflavenoids: Build connective tissues Sources; apricots, apples, blue, red and black berries, cherries, citrus fruits, green growing shoots of veg, onions, garlic, rosehips.

Cabbage, cabbage juice and the pith from oranges and grapefruit are really good for maintaining skin structure and elasticity.

Watermelon is great for added vitamins and essential water content.

Herbal teas work well both as nourishing and soothing tonics but also boost hydration levels. Oat Straw teaHigh in Silicon which is essential for skin tone. Comfrey tea is also very soothing and nourishing for skin, particularly during outbreaks. Nettle tea good for irritated conditions especially children’s eczema (breastfeeding mothers can drink it or children over 6 months can have a little diluted in some water or milk), Alfalfa tea, Burdook root is excellent for dry scaly eruptions, Chamomile tea, Tulsi tea both for soothing emotions in stressful times and Rosehip tea. Calendula is one of my top 5 healing, calming and nourishing teas.

Some Skin conditions and their potential origins:

Dry Skin; may result from dehydration, poor nourishment (diet low in efa’s or the ability to digest and absorb them), change in weather/humidity, soap or chemical exposure, hormonal unbalance.

Dandruff; can be bacterial or a form of dermatitis. Diet high in saturated fats and low in efa’s, dehydration, food allergies, bacterial imbalance in the gut and chemical irritant from shampoos etc.

Acne; Various reasons for acne include poor nutrient profile, hormonal disruptions, allergies, bacterial dysbiosis, dehydration, poor fat intake.

Eczema and psoriasis; allergies, poor nutrient intake and absorption, hormone disruption (particularly in stressful situations) bacteria dysbiosis

see here for what to use on the outside…

skin

read more

Skin Treatments

women-body-back_300

I have had many of you ask me about skin issues. What to use on the skin, how to soothe skin, protect skin, replenish skin and how to heal skin. So here are some insights into nutrients to nourish skin from the outside and some ways to keep it healthy on the outside. Of course everyone is different, this is generalised information. If you want a more personal plan please contact me. Also if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a chronic issue or a condition getting worse, please contact your professional.

The previous post (here) mentioned nutrients necessary to build and repair skin from the inside. This post is about nutrients that can soothe, nourish, moisturise and balance skin from the outside.

oats

DRY SKIN (If you are pregnant or breastfeeding please be aware that some of these recommendations may not be suitable for you- please check before using them)

Essential oils: Carrot seed, Jasmine, Frankincense, Neroli, Geranium, Sandalwood, Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary.

These oils must be diluted in a carrier oil first before added to the bath or to the skin. Good oils for dry skin are Sweet Almond, Avocado, Wheatgerm, Rose Hip, Peach or Apricot Kernal and Coconut.

Coconut oil used externally can help to strengthen skin and can speed up healing whislt helping to repel germs and bacteria from entering the body. 1 tsp a day should be enough to cover the whole body. Massage into the skin, especially into the dry areas. Some areas may need a little more until they even out.

Cocoa butter; a rich nourishing moisturiser again used sparingly

Baking soda in the bath can help detox the body through the skin but can also help adjust the ph of the skin and makes it feel really soft afterwards.

Oats equally are very soothing when used as a scrub (dry oats mixed with some oil and essential oils mentioned above scrubbed on dry skin) or in the bath (add to the foot of a pair of tights or in a pop sock with a knot in the end. Use it like a sponge in the shower direct on the skin or hang over the taps when filling the bath). Oats are very mucilaginous so the gel will help calm and soothe any irritations and can form a protective layer on the skin making it feel soft and smooth afterwards. Both are good in dry red irritated skin .

Scrubs; As a scrub the oats help to stimulate oil production and help to gently ex foliate dead skin cells. You can also add ground sesame seeds or sunflower seeds, mixed with water, yoghurt or honey or puréed banana or avocado or egg yolks can be used on the (damp) face and body. You can also use salt/sugar scrubs. In dry skin conditions use equal part sugar to oil (see here for some ideas) and add a couple of drops of the above essential oils. Use extremely gentle, circular motions for ex-foliation and move towards the heart.

Dry skin Brushing; use a skin brush or a dry towel/flannel on dry skin gently brush skin towards the heart. Again ex-foliating and promoting oil productions and the elimination of toxins

Raw apple cider vinegar applied topically diluted in the bath can relieve itchiness and flakiness of dry and irritated skin. 2 cups in your bath water will have great effect.

calendula flower

IRRITATED SKIN; (If you are pregnant or breastfeeding please be aware that some of these recommendations may not be suitable for you- please check before using them)

Calendula tincture and balm applied topically can be anti-bacterial, anti microbial, soothing and restorative, nourishing and strengthening. (see here to buy some ready made)

Chamomile; Both the tea and the essential oil (diluted) used topically can soothe and replenish. Use either with a little cotton wool to the area or in the bath. 2 cups of tea in bath water should be good.

Apple cider vinegar and oats as above

Try this hair tonic- brew some nettle tea mix with a teaspoon cider vinegar and a couple of drops of chamomile and add to a spray bottle. Spray or mix into scalp leave for 10 mins and then rinse out.

Lavender; in the bath or used directly on the skin, especially burns, cuts, scars, weeping eczema or psoriasis.

Comfry root cream

Olive oil can calm down and allergic skin rash

All of the above plus aloe vera gel are great on burns esp sun burn. My after sun consists of Sweet almond, avocado and wheatgerm oil, chamomile, lavender, geranium and neroli , Calendula tincture and Bach Rescue remedy.

bentonite clay mask

OILY SKIN; (If you are pregnant or breastfeeding please be aware that some of these recommendations may not be suitable for you- please check before using them)

Essential oils; Citrus oils, lemongrass, sage, basil, ylang ylang

Clay masks can draw out excess oil

Corn meal and oat meal scrubs (gentle as you do not want to over stimulate oil glands)

Aloe vera is very toning

Rose water.

Try not to think that oil produces oil. Using an oil as a moisturiser can allow the body to moderate oil production and help protect the outer layer. Coconut oil used in sparingly can help the skin balance oil production.

Some recipes;

  • Herbal Hair rinse;

3-5 drops of your choice of essential oil depending on skin condition

1 pint of herbal tea (calendula, calmomile, oat straw and peppermint for example)

4 tbs vinegar or lemon juice.

After shampooing mix in water bottle and pour through hair. Leave for 5 mins before rinsing.

  • For dark hair add 2 drops of rosemary essential oil to your hair brush and brush through for glossy look to your hair
  • Pregnancy stretch marks oil (for pre and post natal);

1/2 once of cocoa butter or coconut oil

4 ounces of sweet almond or olive oil

15 drops lavender

5 drops neroli

5 drops frankinscense

5 drops camomile essential oil

1600iu Vitamin E Capsules

Rescue remedy and Crab apple Bach Flower Remedies

Use daily

  • Massage Coconut oil onto moles, bruises and cuticles to protect and heal.

Let me know what works for you….

read more

It’s not easy being green, till you know how!

green drink

I love smoothies and juices (as long as the fibre remains) . I have a smoothie with a protein powder and milk kefir in the morning and I make a green juice in the afternoon to wake me up till dinner! Its a fine line between juice and cold soup sometimes! Coincidently I make mine in my Cuisinart Soup Maker as it has a pretty powerful motor and blade needed to cut through the greens and so I don’t have to peel my apples and pears. I have also made great green drinks with a normal smoothie maker like a Kenwood Smoothie to Go. I just used my green powder. So there really is no excuse! Updated- I now use a German Pool but Ice needs to be added as the motor will heat things up!

You need a liquid base.

Anything goes really here- coconut water ( I have been using coconut Kefir too), Water, cooled herbal teas of your choice (rooibos has a lot of antioxidants in it) or even green tea or tulsi tea (for a calming feel). I have also bought fresh juices (without sugar added) like carrot, watermelon, kiwi, mango when I have been out and not finished them so have thrown them in the juice too. This is helpful when you don’t have a super powerful juicer but want carrots in your juice. You can also use nut milks (here for almond), oat milks or any other liquid not mentioned.

Then you need your greens.

The less full on flavours are spinach, pea shoots, bean sprouts, bok choi, lettuce and frozen peas,. The more earthy or spicy flavours are kale, Swiss chard, rocket, mustard leaves. Try them see what you like. Give them a wash first and greens are more likely to be heavily sprayed so buy organic where possible. I also love broccoli in my juices. A handful should do (40% green to 60% fruit is a popular ratio)

Then your fruits.

I find the juicer fruits better as there can be a lot of fibre in the greens so mixing with a fruit that is going to add some more liquid works well for consistency I like watermelon, honeydew melon, apples, pears and Kiwis. However berries pack a great punch to the juice. Banana’s, mangoes add a lovely sweetness (and smoothness) and pineapples add a great tropical tone! You can go sweet or savoury depending on what you prefer. You could add tomatoes peppers, lemons, herbs (coriander and sweet basil are my favs), radishes any salad ingredient really! Experiment!  I find cutting up fruit and throwing them into bags and in the freezer makes the whole process easier quicker and more like a shake.

Your fats

Chia (soaked in a little water before hand makes the juices a little more jelly like), sesame seeds, ground nuts or nut butter, flax oil, or coconut oil can give your juice an added dimension

Added extras.

If you really want it to pack a punch then adding a green powder (spirulina chorella) Maca powder, cacao (although this doesn’t really temp me with the greens  apparently it is nice!) Protein powder (hemp, pumpkin seed, pea), camu powder (for some extra vit c), goji berries, manuka honey, oats (will really bulk it up!) ginger also gives it real zing both health and taste wise!

;

And Voila!! Let me know your favourite…

read more

Gluten: Friend or Foe

are you gluten free

Gluten: Friend or Foe

‘Gluten free’ seems to be the new buzz. Leaving grains out of the diet is a big part of the Paleo diet that you may have heard people talk about. There are those of us who may be Celiac (5-10% of the population are) and those who may just be a little sensitive to it and by largely avoiding it can see numerous health benefits. People with sensitivity can range from feeling very ill to completely symptom free. What is it and why should we get caught up in the buzz?

Golden-waves-of-grain_1920x1200

Gluten is found in grains (wheat, rye, spelt, barley, kamut, semolina, durum) and can be present in oats through cross contamination. It largely adds texture and chewiness to foods (like a glue!). It is also a thickener and in some cases a flavour enhancer so is found in a multitude of products. In susceptible people the Gliagin (secalin in rye or hordein in barley) portion of gluten (a chain of amino acids essentially the protein part) can damage the lining of the small intestine where most of your food absorption takes place and create an immune response.

It is this immune response and inflammation that is what causes the damage rather than an action actually done by the Gliagin.  These individuals may find absorbing vital minerals (iron and calcium), vitamins (mostly b vitamins like niacin and folate), proteins (essential amino acids) and essential fats (mostly fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K) difficult.   This may cause malnourishment which can then lead to a whole host of symptoms you may not have associated with gluten insensitivity such as iron (anaemia) or Vitamin D deficiency. Gluten can also contain opiod-like proteins making gluten products such as bread addictive to some people.

Most individuals who do have an intolerance will also have an intolerance to dairy products (70% of the population cannot digest lactase in milk). This is mainly due to the damage to the small intestine which produces the necessary enzymes to break down the components in milk that people are intolerant to. So generally it is recommended to reduce these products at the same time – this can make some people’s lives even more difficult. Other food intolerances may also be experienced because of gluten’s resulting inflammation increasing the permeability of the gut which results in a greater opening of food into the blood, which in turns triggers an immune response.

Celiac disease  is genetic and so if a child is diagnosed it is possible one of the parents is also and vice versa. It is difficult to test for as in order for the marker to show up, gluten must have been eaten recently. An elimination diet is where I would start. Normally when eliminating it from the diet obvious changes should be noticed within days. However it could take up to 4-6 weeks for the digestive tract to heal before any real change can be experienced.   Changes you may experience are less abdominal bloating, less pain in the abdominal area after eating, less urgency in needing to go to the toilet, less gas and firmer stool. However increased energy, better skin, a reduction in psoriasis or eczema, less headaches, improved sinus’, enhanced breathing (asthma may be reduced), enhanced sleep and mood is also reported by those with either celiac or an intolerance to gluten.

Gluten is found in many products you may eat everyday such as sausages, seasoning mixes, gravy powders, soy sauce, ketchup, instant coffee, salad dressings, processed meats (including vegetarian imitation meat), cheese and ice-cream. Of course it is also in the obvious breads, pastas, cakes, beer and cereals. So going completely Gluten-free can be a massive change to a family’s lifestyle. This is especially the case when it is a child who is experiencing these symptoms.

Gluten free recipes Loula Natural

However replacements are easy to find. Try to stay focused on what you can eat and with a little creativity and patience, it can be easy to make little changes here and there to greatly reduce if not remove Gluten from your diet.

All nuts, rice and beans can still be eaten as can seeds like quinoa, amaranth and millet; also fresh fruit and vegetables as well as all fresh meat, fish and eggs.  Flours like rice, tapioca, quinoa, chickpea, coconut and almond are a big favourite in my house! Gluten free All Purpose flour can replace normal flour in almost all recipes and you can also buy Biscuit and Baking gluten free mixes, pancake mixes and pizza base mixes around Hong Kong. Gluten free pasta is readily available and almost indistinguishable from wheaten pasta. Bread can be hard to replace but I have found adding a vegetable such as courgette, banana or pumpkin can have a big effect on the graininess and crumbliness you normally find in readymade and homemade gluten free breads.

We’ve put together some great gluten free recipes to help you to create food that tastes great and is good for you.  Check them out here.

Pumpkin bread

Quinoa Flatbreads

Chia porridge

Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten Free Bread

Banana Flax Crackers

Lentil Burgers

Cookies

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Pumpkin donuts

Beetroot brownies

gingerbread

Mince Pies

Soda Bread

Eating out can be a challenge but many places if you call ahead can make changes for you. Join Gluten Free in HK if you are on facebook for some great advice and support. Also Healthy Living HK has great tips from people making the same changes. Personally I am 80-90% Gluten free and feel 100% better for it, as does my waistline as my body shape has completely changed. Contact me for any further tips and recipes.

Article written for The Hub

read more

Placenta Encapsulation saved my sanity!

Does that look so bad!

I had a tough time adjusting after my daughter was born. I felt weepy, resentful, confused, out of control and I had no idea what mothers instinct felt like. All I felt was very overwhelmed and under-slept! I thought ‘no wonder people are labelled with Post Natal Depression’.  The immediate change in your life, so completely, is very difficult to adjust to. Your body is still not yours. You are breastfeeding and your needs are very low down on the list of things to do. It was not until a year had past that I started to feel like myself again. My blood sugar levels were all over the place, my moods were awful, I was constantly confused, groggy and I had zero energy. I was on fish oils, calcium, zinc, pro-biotic capsules and magnesium and I felt like these nutrients were keeping me together.  I had heard of Placenta Encapsulation whilst studying to be a Naturopath; however children were off of my radar then, so it was one of those things that came and went.

When I became pregnant with my second baby I was watching a programme (in the UK) on alternative parenting and one of the women was a Placenta Encapsulation specialist. A friend of mine had said she had contacted her local one and that she was going to do it. I looked into it and was very interested. Thinking about how I felt the first time round, I knew with a toddler and a baby I was worried I would not have the time or energy again to be able to look after them and nurture them both. When I was moving to Hong Kong in the middle of my pregnancy, I was so relieved to find someone did it here. When I met Lizzie I was convinced it was for me.

However I was still undecided whether I would have the smoothie. I was happy taking a powder in a capsule, however knowing the fresh one was in the drink I was worried it would taste like blood, metal, liver… I remember reading someone saying that right up to their birth the thought of drinking their placenta in a smoothie was too much to think about. The minute her child was born she craved it. I was sceptical. However the very same thing happened. I had a home birth here, so when my husband asked me what I would like to eat/drink after labour- it was the first thing that came to mind.  Bless my husband he was going to have a go but it completely eluded him so when Lizzie arrived I had had no sleep and was still on an adrenaline rush! She made me two smoothies, I drank one straight away (promise you taste nothing but fruit) it was actually the most delicious thing- I had the other one a few hours later. My pills arrived a few days later and I started taking them. The energy, combined with calm is truly remarkable. It was so completely different. I felt like me, I felt whole again.

I unreservedly recommend it. It makes sense. The nutrient deficiencies I see on a regular basis post partum (especially post partum hypothyroid/hyperthyroid) alone recommend it. There is no easier way to replenish what your body has lost, than to put it straight back in again. I also have the homoeopathic pills which I have given my daughter when she has started to feel the pressure of the change for her. Her reaction after taking them was also obvious, calmer and back to her loving self. She felt part of it again and it has helped us to grow into being a family of four from 3. I wish I had done it the first time, but having felt how I did, it might not have been so obvious feeling the opposite?

Benefits:

Everything it is suggested it is good for has been and still is experienced by me;

Increased energy

Balance (both mood and hormones)

Very fast milk supply (the next day and even through mastitis and feeding from 1 boob for months, I met demand)

Lighter post bleeding (only heavy for a couple of days and gone completely much quicker)

Quick healing (from tearing and abdominal muscle tone and separation was back before 6 weeks- That was also due to exercises!)

I took them 2-3 times a day for the first 6 weeks and now I take my pills every now and then, when I feel run down, like everyone wants a piece of me, stressed and angry. They do calm me down. I took them with me on my recent trip to the UK at Christmas and took one a day and my milk supply did not suffer from the jet lag at all. My friend I mentioned at the beginning is saving hers for her menopause, so is not taking them any more  However I believe that by taking them all when needed  post-partum  you will replenish your body and not need them during menopause (a time hopefully too far away for me to consider freezing them for that long). If not I will still always have the homoeopathic potency to use and the mother tincture. I use the mother tincture also at times of need and also put a little in the bath. Again I fell nourished and energised, generally nicer and calmer!

Nutrient Value of a placenta useful post-partum:

Gonadotrophin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone,
Prolactin: promotes lactation,
Oxytocin: for pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant. In pharmaceutical form this is a very addictive drug because it promotes a feeling of connectedness with others,
Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events,
Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores,
Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections,
Prostaglandins: anti-inflammatory,
Hemoglobin: replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, a common post-partum condition,
Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing,
Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against post-partum infections.

(source)

Benefits that attracted me as a nutritional therapist that you can’t get from any other supplement or food!

The best thing I have read about placenta encapsulation and echo here is-

What’s the harm!

In my opinion, it’s ‘Why wouldn’t you?’

To see how contact IPEN or in Hong Kong see here

read more

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread Loula Natural

Pumpkin Bread

Works best when making mini loafs as they stay moist and not too dense.

4 tbs coconut sugar,

2 tbs coconut nectar

2tbs Olive oil,

2tbs coconut oil

1tbs Kefir (any-optional but makes it lighter)

400g Pureed pumpkin

¼ lemon squeezed

Thumbnail size of grated ginger.

1 cup Almond Flour,

½ cup Quinoa Flour

¼ coconut flour

1 cup All purpose gluten free flour/buckwheat flour.

1tbs poppy seeds

1 ½ tsp cinnamon,

½ tsp grated nutmeg,

1 tsp Xanthum gum (or Chia gel- 1 tsp chia to 3tsp water let it sit for 10-20 mins till gel consistency)

1 ½ tsp baking soda,

½ tsp Salt

Mix all wet ingredients (everything on list till grated ginger) in the Kenwood or with a hand mixer.  Mix dry ingredients together in another bowl. Slowly fold in dry ingredient to wet ingredients. Meanwhile grease some mini loaf tins. When fully mixed, put into loaf tins. Pre-heat oven to 200C and cook for 15-20 mins. Turn out onto cooling rack when finished.

Pumpkin Bread Loula Natural Pin

read more

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Baked Pumpkin Donuts Loula Natural

I have been finding out about my home country in the past few month, my new and old friends have made me aware of places I have never been before. Recently my great friend Angela took me to one of her favourite places and now also one of mine!!! I saw this recipe before and so needed the donut pan to make it. I found them in Shanghai St- Thanks Angela xx

I have adapted this recipe to make it Gluten/dairy free. The pumpkin makes it incredibly moist unlike some of the really dense gluten free bread I have been making previously. You could probably also use sweet potato, but I like pumpkin as it is now in season. I have used canned but its even more tasty when you cook up the pumpkin yourself and puree it. Let it cool and its ready for the recipe.

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour/buckwheat flour

3/4 cup almond flour (optional I have also substituted coconut flour for when Eva takes them to School

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1tsp milk/water kefir

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon

1/3 cup coconut oil Pumpkin spice mix

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup oatmilk (any milk)

Preheat oven to 200c. Butter a donut pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together, and set aside.

In a large bowl, or a the bowl of a kenwood mixer, fitted with the beater, whisk oil, coconut sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and oat milk until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixture- I did it spoon by spoon and stir until just combined, do not over mix batter. Using a pastry bag, fill each donut cup with the batter. Pipe out a nice circle, not too full as they will rise up a bit. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until donuts spring back when gently pressed.

Turn donuts onto a wire each and allow to cool for a few minutes- if you can!

Baked Pumpkin Donuts Loula Natural Pin

 

for coating: 2 tbs coconut oil 1/3 cup coconut sugar 1/2  tablespoon cinnamon While the donuts are cooling, put the coconut oil in one bowl, and combine the sugar and cinnamon in anther. While donuts are still warm, brush each donut with oil and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

I refilled the piping bag and clamp both ends and put in the fridge to make another 6 tomorrow and the next day!!

I have also made these as ‘donut holes’ and they are just as yummy- if you dont have the donut pans!

 

**You can bake these a day ahead of time, and store in an airtight container. Do not coat them in the butter/ cinnamon-sugar mixture until just before served or they will get soggy- but if you are anything like me- if they are made they are eaten!! I like them warm and fresh**

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

read more

Honey and onion immune booster and cough elixir

Onions are amazing at drawing out bacteria and microbes.  They also have anti-inflammatory and congestion-relieving properties. Also onions are recognised as being able to relieve symptoms of the flu such as coughs, congestion, respiratory infections and bronchitis, as they contain anti-viral elements.

They are also high in sulfuric compounds such as thiosulfinates, Research shows that the thiosulfinates in onions are responsible for their antimicrobial properties and have even been shown to kill off salmonella and E. coli. Sulfuric compounds also play a role in cancer and heart disease prevention, and therefore act as a great immune-boosting food for general disease prevention.

Onions are also extremely high in the anti-oxidant Quercetin which helps the body fight free-radicals, and boosts the immune system

Honey is soothing but also sticks to the bad guys and gives the body some help mopping up and excreting waste products. Honey contains antibiotic enzymes- Manuka is the highest in them which is why Manuka is touted to be the best. The different numbers are the different grades of honey 16+ and above are the most potent apparently.

Here’s my multi purpose age old natural way if alleviating sore throats, dry coughs, tonsillitis, chesty coughs and any general immune boosting needs. It’s also great for funny tummies and diarrhea.

20121107-171831.jpg

Cut up a whole onion and place in a bowl (you can also use thyme/rosemary which are great expectorants)

20121107-172052.jpg

Pour honey over to cover (use raw, Manuka honey, plain honey will also work if its all you have to hand)

Leave for 1-2 hours.

Drain liquid- I use a funnel into a glass jar

20121107-172249.jpg

Put in the fridge and dose a tsp at a time. Will keep in the fridge for about a month.

Another way of using honey is to cut an onion in half and keep it by your bedside (raw onion would absorb germs in the air, preventing them from entering the body.-t hey must be removed as soon as they lose their odour and become discoloured, and be replaced by fresh ones).

read more

Reading list

dream bookshelves

Many of you have asked me for some book recommendations here are some if my absolute favourites. This is by no means a definitive list there are many more amazing books- please help me by letting me know if I have missed any of yours!

Enlightening:
The Gentle Art of Blessing- Pierre Pradervand

Ask and it is Given- Esther and Jerry Hicks

Think and Grow Rich- Napoleon Hill

The Journey- Brandon Bays (also comes with an audio cd)

You Can Heal Your Life- Louise Hays (Louise has loads of great books and audio cd’s- she also has an inspiring website and facebook page)

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life- Byron Katie

The Power of Now- Eckhart Tolle

Dying to be me- Anita Moorjani

Nutrition
The Nutrient Bible- Henry Osiecki

Staying Healthy with Nutrition- Elson M. Haas

Healing with Whole Foods- Paul Pitchford

Nurturing Traditions- Sally Fallon

Coconut Cures- Bruce Fife

Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: A Revolutionary Natural Way to Prevent Illness and Restore Good Health by F. Batmanghelidj

The PH Miracle- Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health- Dr Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young

Cure Tooth Decay: Remineralize Cavities and Repair Your Teeth Naturally with Good Food [Second Edition] by D.D.S. Timothy Gallagher and Ramiel Nagel

Fast Food Nation- Eric Schlosser

Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser

Naturopathic books

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom- Dr Christiane Northrup

Dr Schussler’s Biochemic Tissue Salts- A Gateway to Physical and Psychological Health-  Richard Kellenberger and Friedrich Kopsche

Cancer is Not a Disease- Andreas Moritz

Emperor of All Maladies- Siddhartha Mukherjee

An Introduction and Guide to Flower Remedies- Wigmore

Bach Flower Therapy The Complete Approach- Scheffer

Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth and Your Baby’s First Year- Miranda Castro

Natural Healing Wisdom and Know How- Useful Practices, Recipes and Formula’s for a Lifetime of Health- Compiled by Amy Rost

The Secret Teachings of Plants- Stephen Harrod Buhner

Women Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle R Trickey

Natural Fertility Management- Francesca  Nash

Birth and Beyond- Gordon Yehudi

The Encyclopaedia of Essential Oils-  Julia Lawless

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy- Valarie Ann Wormwood

Parenting Books;

The Wonder Weeks- Hetty van de Rijt Ph.D. and Frans Plooij Ph.D

The no-cry sleep solution and

The no-cry potty training solution- Both by Elizabeth Pantley

Baby Led Weaning-Gill Rapely and Tracey Murkett

Baby Bliss (The happiest Baby on the Block) Dr Harvey Karp

Mother-Daughter Wisdom- Dr Christiane Northrup

Raising Happy Brothers and Sisters- Jan Parker and Jan Stimpson

Raising Boys- Steve Biddulph

Unconditional Parenting- Alfie Kohn

How To Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk- Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Healing Our Children- Ramiel Nagel

Let me know your favourites- there are also loads of blogs, podcasts, websites, you tube videos etc. but I still always return to my books.

read more

A topic very close to my heart- Cancer what is it?

Cancer, a word that holds so much fear, for those who have been diagnosed, their family and friends who help them through it and for everyone in the world who fears they may get it. Like so many other chronic conditions there are many ways of defining it and there are many ways of treating it. For your information firstly, by law your health provider is your primary care giver (for cancer and HIV) so if you are looking for alternative treatments you do have the choice but your nutritional therapist or anyone else should seek permission and be in touch with your oncologist.

Like any condition without knowing why these changes in your body are taking place, it’s very difficult to then know how to treat it. In this series of 3 blog posts I will try to help you understand; 1. What cancer actually is, 2. How you can best try to prevent it and 3.  Ideas on how to help heal yourself, either alongside conventional treatment or things to consider if you choose to forego traditional treatment. I am not a scientist or a doctor so my advice is as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and not specific to any type of cancer or any specific case. Please contact a professional if considering any form of treatment.

Now that’s been said, this is how I understand what cancer is, from Andres Moritz – “Cancer is a general term that describes a group of 100 unique diseases that share a common factor: uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cell”. Its why this mutation of cells happens, and what the body is trying to do with this spread and change, that I will try and explain today.

The body’s singular function is to survive. Each cell is designed with a specific purpose and when its lifespan is up, there are ‘death cells’ that come and take it away to make room for the new ones. Each cell has a purpose and each cell needs an energy source. To obtain, utilise and transfer this energy each cell needs certain nutrients, to feed, break down, catalyse reactions with enzymes and utilise  metabolic pathways. Without this our cells will die and therefore eventually we will too. There are many reasons as to why any of these factors for healthy cell growth and renewal can end up in mutation. Believe me it happens every day to every single one of us. It’s when it happens over a prolonged period of time without any change in the circumstances, that we find chronic disease, cancer being the one everyone fears the most.

To have good cell renewal you need DNA that will make sure the integrity of the cell information is kept intact. A healthy digestive system that procures all the nutrients needed to build a healthy strong cell are available (fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals necessary) and the environment that has the right pH for all of these chemical reactions to happen. Combine that with a well circulated, oxygenated and fully hydrated blood supply to feed it and to take away the waste, a healthy immune system to mop up all the rogue bacteria and to dispose of the cells that have served their purpose, a healthy liver to process any toxins produced and a well functioning elimination system to remove all the toxins and waste out of your body, you can see that there are many places where this could potentially go wrong!

Conventional medicine has identified Cancer as an ‘autoimmune disease’ in some cases. The body is not attacking itself; the ideal environment and circumstances as outlined above has been compromised forcing the cell to mutate in order to continue to survive. Normally the body gives you signs of imbalance and the need to slow down and clear out. A cold is a good example. You get hot eyes, sore throat, and fever to indicate to you that there has been an infiltration. Fever is necessary to increase the body temperature to kill off the bacteria, inflammation is necessary to try and contain the bug so the body can fight it and then the mucous produced is the body’s way of then eliminating it. We are very efficient machines. So why would you then want to reduce a fever and inflammation in order to ‘feel better’? Sometimes you have to stop, feel like crap and let the body do its job; rest, feed it immune boosting nutrients and keep hydrated. By then encouraging the purge you are successfully strengthening your immune system, and getting rid of anything left over. So decongestants, supposedly helping you to breathe, are also not the answer as it just gets broken down and redistributed. Such is the case against Vaccinations and prolonged use of antibiotics. Not only to they upset the body’s natural defences they also contain many toxins and can contribute to the ticking time bomb that may be in your body for years and years. The only way to get an immune system is to get sick and the only way to strengthen it is to provide the nutrients necessary to do its job and to keep the body in tip top condition. This is true for body, mind and spirit.

Without good nutrition, adequate exercise (for both circulation and oxygen content of blood) and the ability to express emotions and release stress your body will suffer. You have to listen to your body’s signals. Each illness is an opportunity to cleanse and heal, even the childhood illnesses are integral to this. There is that great quote from the Dali Lama that illustrates this perfectly

After you take a day off work when you are feeling awful, take the next day too. In the long run you do yourself and your work a favour as by properly convalescence you are less likely to get sick again as quickly as you may if you continue to plough your way through it. Suppressing symptoms is a dangerous game. Excessive stress (whether mental, physical or emotional) is detrimental to your immune system and therefore your overall health. Stress affects you by drawing away your life blood to the organs and supplying the skeletal muscles in the fight or flight mode. Whether you perceive stress or not, stress is a reaction to stimulus, whether that be walking down the road in a city with everything going on around you, to being overworked and underfed in a job situation, to constantly worrying about anything. Even watching TV is a stressful situation as the constant flicker and movement is incredibly stimulating. By diverting the blood supply you are taking away nutrients, oxygen and life source away from the cells in your vital organs breaking the essential environment for cellular health. Any stagnation, mental, physical and emotional will also contribute to this. Cancer cell mutation is a last survival mechanism built in when all other protective measures have failed. It’s actually an ingenious way to survive. A cancerous cell is anaerobic so it can continue to function until the environment changes and it can change back to producing a healthy cell.

A cell cannot have malicious purpose or ability, their only function is to survive. Organ failure happens when the constant deprivation of nutrients causes the cell wastage and mutation to continue. Combine that with a highly invasive and destructive poison and toxin that comes in the form of conventional treatment and in my opinion it is a miracle anyone survives such an onslaught from every angle.

In my next blog I will go into the various nutrients necessary for good DNA cell replication, healthy and strong cell formation and immune system; How to minimise toxicity and maximise the body’s detoxification pathways on an everyday level rather than a ‘New Year’s resolution quick fix’. Until then any comments and questions are encouraged and welcomed.

I leave you with this quote again from Andreas Moritz

“Destructive microorganisms have no business in a clean, well-circulated and oxygen rich environment”

Awesome links (and my sources) to follow up with:

http://www.canceractive.com/ a holistic cancer charity.

credence.org a great resource with more online videos to sign up to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgJKaP0Sj5U&feature=plcp&context=C47cd81eVDvjVQa1PpcFP8RDvM10YWoAEwubj3bxD5l703FZVfLDA%3D An awesome video watching the natural immune system dealing with cancer

http://search.mercola.com/search/Pages/results.aspx?k=cancer All the videos and articles from Dr Mercola

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvzDHGLEUyw a video about the history of cancer treatment and its dubious takeover by modern medicine

http://www.cancerlaw.net/treatments.htm Some of the Law behind conventional cancer treatment and its failings.

Books:

Caner is not a Disease: Andreas Moritz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Is-Not-Disease-Mechanism/dp/097679442X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339483303&sr=8-1

Staying healthy with Nutrition: Elson M. Haas

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staying-Healthy-Nutrition-Nutritional-Twenty-First/dp/1587611791/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339484253&sr=8-1-spell

The Transformed Cell Steven A Rosenberg.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Transformed-Cell-Unlocking-Mysteries/dp/0399137491/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339484314&sr=1-1

 

read more

Not a happy hour with a chemical cocktail

We all know chemicals are bad for our health. They create oxidative damage to our cells and create roaming free radicals – words we are used to hearing, but what do they mean, how does it happen and how is it linked to most chronic conditions? For example we know that there is a link between Asbestos and Lung Cancer, but what about the small amounts of chemicals we are exposed to everyday, and not just their individual toxicity, but in their interactions and their potential lethal combination. The cocktails we create, little and often and whether willingly or not, will play a massive role in our cellular, and therefore overall, health.

;

Chemicals are in our Food, Air and Water. Things we can presumably try to control somewhat. Eat organic and as unprocessed as possible, use an air purifier in our homes or wear a mask while out and about (not my personal choice but a choice all the same) and using a water filter or buying bottled, mineral water. But say you buy all organic food, but then use a chemical detergent to wash your dishes and utensils, or a heavy duty surface cleaner or bleach for the floors. Not to mention bug killers sprayed in the kitchen. What about when you use plastic containers to store food or the cling film that wraps our organic vegetables? Look in your bathroom, shampoos, cleansers, toothpaste, nail polish, soap, moisturiser’s make-up, sun cream, insect repellent. The list is endless, that’s before you go to put on your clothes washed in chemical cleaners and softeners, or gone through chemical processes in their manufacture. The skin has an enormous surface area that excretes and also absorbs. However I think the most pointless combination is an air purifier used with chemical air fresheners, especially those automatic dispensers! Even without my usual rant on vaccinations and their chemical content.

So the list is endless and very daunting. When we look at our health and the health of those around us, most things can be helped by cleaning-up what we use and how we use it. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. For example, my husband has very mild asthma; he thought it was the air-conditioning, then the dust in the carpets, then the pollution or the humidity, that was making him need his inhaler more frequently whenever we came to Hong Kong. When we moved we were able to experiment. I chucked out the automatic air freshener in the bathroom and hey presto, complete turn around.

Chemicals react with your body and with each other. Slowly start to replace things as you have finished with them e.g. replace the surface cleaners with the same spray bottle rinsed out completely and filled with water, tea tree, lavender and a squeeze of lemon. You will find that this works at removing grease, and it is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and completely non-toxic. Changing to more earth friendly products will reduce your toxic output for the environment but they will still contain chemicals; try using eco balls or soap flakes in the wash, and don’t forget the numerous uses for the amazingly simple – bicarbonate of soda!

Clean up your cosmetics. Your hair and skin will change, but that’s because they are not constantly being stripped of their natural oils (sodium laurel sulphate is the main culprit for this) and goodness, and being replaced with a coating of chemicals which makes your skin appear duller when you don’t use it, give it time and it will be a million times better than it ever was. I have only used blends of oils such as Almond, avocado, jojoba, wheat germ and rosehip with various aromatherapy oils depending on my mood, part of the body I want to use it for, and for what purpose. For example a great blend for a facial oil is rose, frankincense and lavender; an amazing after-sun blend is chamomile, neroli, lavender and geranium, which also doubles as a very good insect repellent, as does lemongrass, grapefruit and geranium. Use the blended oils directly on skin, in the bath, as a makeup remover, as a hair-mask, or on your hands, nails and feet before you go to bed. Save an absolute fortune and have something completely unique and bespoke for you. Parabens may be a hormone disrupter and may have an impact on ‘bad’ oestrogen production that can lead to pcos, fibroids, painful periods and other oestrogen dominant conditions including prostate, breast, cervical and uterine cancer. It’s not about what and how much oestrogen comes into our body; it’s more about what happens to it afterwards and how the body then excretes it. But that is a whole other blog I will get to very soon as it is a big passion of mine!

One of the major players in chemicals and chronic disease is beginning to come to light. Humble sun cream and its connection to skin cancer. There is research to suggest that completely blocking UVA and UVB rays may be the answer. Australia is one of the countries with an increasing number of people with Vitamin D deficiency (foods containing Vitamin D include egg yolk, fish liver oils, butter and sprouted seeds) an important component which holds vital anti-cancer and general health properties by being a very powerful anti-oxidant. They are even starting to suggest that Australia’s high skin cancer rate has very little to do with the hole in the ozone layer but with the sun creams everyone is using and their chemical effect, combined with vitamin D deficiency. Personally I rarely use sun cream, but I am sensible about my sun exposure at the same time. No more than 20 minutes, during the hottest part of the day, with 40% skin exposure may be enough. If I am sunbathing the first 20 mins will be in part shade (I always wear a hat or have my face in the shade) and then I will generally use a factor 20-30. Burning is obviously not an option and will of course produce a lot of damage; I am not condoning that in any way.

If you start in the spring your body builds up its natural defences to the sun, melatonin, and so by the summer when the sun is at its strongest you will have a good degree of natural sun block. After the 20 mins, sleeves, shade, hats etc and obviously keeping well hydrated and your diet packed full of antioxidants in the form of Selenium (Alfalfa, broccoli, eggs, fish, organ meats, onion, garlic), Vitamin A (apricots, barley grass, carrots, fish liver oils, green leafy veg, eggs), Beta Carotene (broccoli, carrots, yellow veg, papaya, spinach, sweet potato, tomatoes- as uncooked as possible), C (Ascorbic acid- Blackcurrants, broccoli, brussel sprouts, guava, parsley, pineapple, raw cabbage, strawberries, sweet potatoes and citrus fruits), E (almonds, apricot oil, beef, egg yolk, hazelnuts, sunflowers, wheat germ) and glutathione (asparagus, avocado, eggs, garlic, plant and animal tissue, whey protein) should also massively help in the prevention of skin cancer and of course cancer in general. Seek out the most natural sun creams. Also the iris in your eyes is a major player in vitamin D production so try and hold off putting on those shades, for as long as possible, and if you wear glasses with UVA and UVB protection, have a sit down and take them off for a bit.

Chemicals are largely stored in your fat tissue. Chlorella can help to chelate them out of your body. Be careful if you go down this route and always add greens gradually as they can play havoc with your digestive system. Also always consult a professional nutritionist before adding any supplement to your lifestyle, contact me for more personal recomendation.

A last footnote, those chemicals in disposable nappies (in the gels and the materials), are being absorbed into your little babies skin. Use natural ones or re-usable ones.

Here are some links to back up some of what I have said, let me know if you have any questions or information to add.

http://www.thelosthaven.co.uk/BSoda.htm uses for baking soda

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/sunlight.html

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/melanoma/

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=509 A truly brilliant cancer charity

http://products.mercola.com/chlorella/ You can skip the video if you want!

Books used:

Staying Healthy with Nutrition (2006)Elson Hass

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (1991) V.A. Worwood

read more

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure (Henry de Bracton)

“The superior doctor prevents sickness; the mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; the inferior doctor treats actual sickness” – Chinese proverb.

“It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them” – Benjamin Franklin

I reiterate; I am not a scientist or a doctor so my advice is given as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and it is not specific to any type of cancer or any particular case. Please contact a professional if considering any form of treatment or supplementation.

As mentioned in my previous post ‘what is cancer’, everyone has cancer in their body every day. It is a necessary cell mutation which ensures the bodies survival. What we are talking about now is the medical ‘blanket term’ for cancer when there is uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. This is then diagnosed by the medical community and you are labelled as ‘having cancer’. The plan for prevention of cancer and indeed most chronic conditions is the promotion of health, balance and well-being concentrating on 3 main areas:

1. Strengthen and support the Immune system (the focus of today’s post)

2. Avoiding or neutralising carcinogens (touched on in my post about chemical cocktails)

3. Preventing DNA and cellular damage (I will go into greater detail in a follow up post)

This section is immense and to cover everything in one post would be impossible! I will be touching again on various parts and anything you would like to know about in more detail please let me know. I will be focusing on each nutrient separately in future posts so please let me know what you want to read about.

It can take 1-2 years to get to ‘cancer’ or it can take 30-40. What cannot be denied is the psychological influence, labelled Psychoneuroimmunology or behavioural immunology. It has been identified that there are certain personality types that are more likely to be more at risk for cancer. It may be more prevalent in individuals who may not easily form close bonds or may not easily express their emotions and therefore who internalise their every feeling. Or in those who appear passive and overly nice to everyone. They may put everyone else’s needs above their own and may be low in self esteem. Those who have experienced stress and trauma or unresolved loss from the death of a loved one, divorce or have a sense of hopelessness. This is of course very generalised and only useful if we understand why. Natural killer cell activity has been seen to be significantly reduced in those grieving, stressed or depressed. It is not set in stone that if you recognise this trait in yourself that you will get cancer. It may not be that you feel like this all of the time. It is useful to identify that perhaps these traits can be damaging to your immune system and that you seek help in changing these areas of your life so you can become stronger and more in balance with your body, mind and spirit.

Excessive stress and psychological trauma has a major role on the immune system. Nutrition, exercise, positive thoughts and attitude, release of emotions of anger and blame are really important factors in health and well-being. Identifying childhood patterns and self-image is the key to change, happiness and consequently good health. Listen to what you tell yourself and others and see if changing any one of those sentences makes you physically feel any different? The Journey by Brandon Bays is one of many books that can help guide you through processing your emotions and looking at yourself and others in a very different way. Louise Hay is another great author and guide. You Can Heal Your Life outlines many different chronic conditions and the potential emotional stagnation behind it. The connection to moods, hormones, and therefore the body’s physical being are intrinsically linked and should never be ignored.

“The power of thoughts, feelings and emotions is many times stronger than any physical influence can be” – Andreas Moritz (Cancer is NOT a Disease)

So before we talk about nutrition, without dealing with emotion blocks or stagnation you cannot truly prevent anything. Yoga, meditation, gentle exercise, music, Bach Flower Remedies, homoeopathy, reflexology, acupuncture, walking in the sunshine, swimming; there are various ways of allowing you some emotional release and positive self esteem and happiness. Find it, use it, and make it a priority no matter how busy you are. You will be made to stop if you do get sick or run down, by taking the time now to deal with your stress it will be much easier to turn your health around. Whatever happens to us physically is a direct result of how we feel mentally and emotionally.

Immune Boosting nutrients: nutrient deficiency (including protein), stress, too much sugar in the diet (which suppresses white blood cell ability to destroy foreign particles), obesity and high alcohol intake all serve to depress immune function. Addressing each of these factors is essential. This can be done through:

Vitamin A – Maintains the surface of the skin, gastrointestinal tract (essential for absorption of nutrients and stopping the breakthrough of foreign particles mounting an immune response) induction of anti-tumour activity, enhances white blood cell function and increased antibody response. Those with Vit A deficiency are more likely to be susceptible to viral infections. Sources include apricots, barley grass, butter, carrots, fish liver oils, green leafy veg, egg yolk and liver

Beta Carotene– Seen to be the better form of Vit A to take as it’s the precursor so therefore may be safer. It protects the skin against sunburn, activates macrophages and lymphocytes so can reduce the size of cancer cells, enhances T cell function and is a great antioxidant as it prevents damage. It also protects mucous membranes in the mouth, nose and throat, our first line of defence. It is found in mostly red and yellow foods; broccoli, carrots, yellow and greenish yellow veg, papaya, sweet potatoes, spinach and tomatoes.

Vitamin B6 – Has antibody and cell- mediated immunity functions playing a role in the quality and quantity of antibodies produced. It is vital in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism (excessive intakes of coffee, tea, alcohol and protein may cause a deficiency as will taking oral contraceptive pill). It improves the oxygenation of tissues. Sources include avocados, bananas, carrot, egg yolk, legumes, lentils, oatmeal, salmon, sunflower seeds and walnuts.

Vitamin B 12 and Folic Acid – A reduction in either of these vitamins results in significantly lower white blood cell production and response to antibodies. It has also been seen to reduce the size of the thalamus and lymph nodes vital to a healthy immune response. This has also been seen in those with low levels of B1, B5 and B2. Main sources are egg yolks, whole grains, nuts, organ meats. Also found in, salmon, sardines (B12 is also synthesised by bacteria in the gut so good gut health is imperative), asparagus, spirulina, wheat germ (B1), avocados almonds (B2), lentils, peas, sweet potatoes (B5), green leafy veg, sprouts, beans (folic acid).

Vitamin C– Plays a vital role in immune enhancement. It is anti-bacterial and anti-viral but it also increases white blood cell response and function and importantly for cancer, increases interferon. It reduces inflammatory conditions and helps to reduce heavy metal intoxication. It also plays a role in the maintenance of your cell membrane protecting it from damage. Found in coloured veg; pineapple, peppers, raspberries, rose hips, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, raw cabbage. Only take in supplement form as Sodium Ascorbate.

Vitamin D– It activates lymphocytes and T-cells from the thalamus. It has a strong anti-proliferate effect on bone, skin, colon and breast cancer cells. Induces the natural programmed cell death and increases macrophages to then clear them up. Also helps the immune system to differentiate cells. Sources include synthesis through sunlight on skin (20 mins of 40% of body naturally exposed to sunlight without burn). Good sources are fish liver oils, butter, egg yolk and sprouted seeds; or in the form of D3 as a supplement.

Vitamin E– Affects both cell immunity and antibody related immune response. It is also an important intracellular antioxidant and stabilises cell membranes, reducing cell damage. Increases T-cell synthesis and stops cell proliferation by stabilising normal growth maintenance. Also improves blood flow. Sources include almonds, apricot oil, beef, egg yolk, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and wheat germ.

Iron– Carries oxygen in the blood and is therefore necessary for healthy blood circulation and for cellular use. It is also very important for DNA synthesis. Its immune function enhances white blood cell and T-cell production and quality. A deficiency has also shown reduction in size of the thalamus and lymph nodes. Sources include almonds, apricots, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, sea vegetables (especially chorella), avocado, nettles, clams, liver and meat; as a supplement Spatone or Floradix taken with vitamin C.

Zinc– Is a key catalyst to over 200 different enzymes in the body. It activates a tumour suppressor called endostatin, which prevents the tumour from growing its own blood vessels to help support it, which is a key point in turning a tumour from benign to malignant. It helps absorption of B vitamins and also is the key to forming and secreting gastric acid which in turn helps to break down food and assimilate nutrients. It also has many functions at a cellular level improving immunity. One of its main benefits, to be touched on later, is its ability to maintain the integrity of DNA synthesis. Found in beef, egg yolk, ginger, lamb, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, seafood, whole grains and brewer’s yeast. There has been a deficiency seen in the soil in recent years so it can be taken in the form of Zinc Citrate or Zinc Policanate as a supplement.

Selenium– Has strong antioxidant and anti-tumour effects. Its role as a co-factor in Glutathione peroxidase (the enzyme responsible for most antioxidant activity) is vital. Therefore its benefits affect the entire immune system. As such it enhances resistance to infection, increases white blood cell and thalamus function and increases efficiency of lymphocytes to kill tumour cells. Selenium also assists in the detoxification of chemicals and spares Vitamin E. It has also been seen to be deficient in the soil in recent years. Sources include alfalfa, barley, broccoli, butter, cashews, eggs, fish, garlic, organ meats, onions, whole grains and meat.

Probiotics– Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium being the two key probiotic bacteria. Acidopholus has a mild antibacterial activity in that it balances the body’s bacteria colonies. All bacteria are necessary for human life and they perform so many functions, in cleaning up, in building, aiding digestion, in manufacturing and in destroying. It is really important to remember that each course of antibiotics taken kills all bacteria, not just the ones causing the infection. Repopulating the body with the beneficial bacteria is essential for balance and healthy digestion. Beneficial bacterial thrives in a more alkaline environment, something I will talk about in more detail in a future post. Prebiotics which feed the healthy bacterial environment are also important. Sources include Jerusalem artichoke (it is no coincidence that these are in season in spring and autumn where catching colds are most likely), onions, garlic and chicory root.

This is by no means the only list. There are many more aspects to healthy immune system. The body constantly strives for balance and needs to constantly ebb and shift to balance all of the bodies systems. For example, in order to really gain strength in immunity you need a healthy digestive system to supply the nutrients necessary and have a healthy bacterial environment, a good hormonal system to pass on the relevant messages to the body and as immune resultants; together with a healthy nervous system to maintain balance of emotions and stress levels. Nothing can be used in isolation; life change is exactly that – life changing.

This post has been about positive inclusions to your diet and lifestyle. The next post will be centred around what to minimise including sugar, neurotoxins like sweeteners and msg and xenoestrogens.

Interesting links and of course my sources:

You Can Heal Your Life or I Can do it- Louise Hay

http://www.louisehay.com/

Daily Affirmations:

http://www.healyourlife.com/affirmations

The Journey (book and CD) Brandon Bays

http://www.thejourney.com/

Cancer is not a Disease: Andreas Moritz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Is-Not-Disease-Mechanism/dp/097679442X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339483303&sr=8-1

Staying healthy with Nutrition: Elson M. Haas

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staying-Healthy-Nutrition-Nutritional-Twenty-First/dp/1587611791/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339484253&sr=8-1-spell

Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine: Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encyclopedia-Natural-Medicine-Third-Edition/dp/1451663005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340245753&sr=8-1

The Nutrient Bible: Henry Osiecki

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Nutrient-Bible-Henry-Osiecki/dp/1875239537/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340245813&sr=1-1

Links:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3298082/ interesting article about the role of the gut and the immune system.

http://www.canceractive.com/ a holistic cancer charity.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/opinion/lets-add-a-little-dirt-to-our-diet.html?smid=fb-share great article on

read more

Drink from the Fountain of Youth

I reiterate; I am not a scientist or a doctor so my advice is given as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and it is not specific to any type of cancer or any particular case. Please contact a professional if considering any form of treatment or supplementation. If you are using any of this advice whilst undergoing Cancer treatment please let your Oncologist know of any changes to your diet or supplements.

Today I want to talk about maintaining cell health and renewal. Regulating cellular lifespan and maintaining DNA integrity to re-create healthy cells is the corner stone of Life Extension and the answer to reversing ageing – the Holy Grail!

Only a short time ago, cancer was something seen mainly in the elderly, with a few cases of early onset and children’s cancer; in fact in the 1900’s 1 in 8000 people got it. Today’s statistics of children and young people being diagnosed and sadly even dying of cancer are alarming. If conventional medicines approach to cancer is so evolved and advanced from and lifestyle is supposedly better than 50-60 years ago, why are we now being quoted as 1 in 3 people will now be diagnosed with Cancer? It is also the number one killer in the US.

As discussed in the post ‘A topic very close to my heart- Cancer what is it?‘, everyone has cancer cells at some point in their body. It is how the body reacts to these cells which determine how far the cells mutate and replicate. The cells oxygen supply, energy manufacturing processes, programmed cell life, damage to cells or DNA integrity to replicate cells are all key factors in cellular health and therefore overall life extension. Most chronic illnesses follow this same path. As ageing occurs cell death and renewal slows down and is not as efficient as in our developmental stages. So how do we optimise our ageing process?

Telomere health is the key. They are at one end of a stretch of DNA. They are important because they protect our genetic data making it possible for cell division and are likened to both the fuse on a ticking time bomb and also the plastic ends of laces that protect them from fraying.

Each time a cell replicates and divides the DNA strand gets shorter. We have a limited number of DNA strands in our body. When they get too short they can no longer divide and become inactive. The result of this is cellular ageing and causes less collagen in our skin, grey hair, pigmentation changes, reduction in reproduction, reduced brain development, subsequent memory loss, reduced muscle and bone mass and all the other symptoms we attach to the ageing process. DNA plays the fundamental role in all the bodies cell replication, the organisation of chromosomes and, of course, controls our gene expression. Since cancer is based on cell mutation, keeping the health and integrity of our DNA is the lynch pin of prevention and indeed should be considered when looking for a cure.

So how do we slow down our Telomere shortening and reducing the damage caused to DNA, in turn protecting and prolonging life but also for looking and feeling younger for longer? I can tell you now it is not in a beauty cream!

There are a few main causes of cellular and in turn DNA damage. One is oxidative stress or free radical damage. The other is Glycation. I will address each in turn;

Free radicals can cause damage to our cell membranes, proteins and DNA strands. They are of course derived from the environment but are also naturally occurring in the body through a number of different essential chemical reactions. X-rays, sunlight, chemicals in our foods, drinks, cosmetics, cleaning products, clothes, even exercise and digestion causes free radicals. The body has a very efficient way of dealing, mopping up and excreting these free radicals. However when the body is either overloaded with toxins or deficient in the raw materials necessary to deal with them, the body has to respond with cell mutation to buy time for survival.

See the post Not a happy hour with a chemical cocktail‘ for some ways to reduce your chemical input. Carcinogens bind to DNA in the cell nucleus or mitochondria (the brain and energy power house of the cell) altering its structure and its potential for normal replication. Also consider alcohol, coffee, cigarette smoking, sweeteners and other neurotoxins such as MSG and E numbers. Plastics are also a number one reason for breaks in DNA. They can lessen energy production in cells, increase number of free radicals but also increase the need for detoxification thus depleting the nutrient reserves further. Reducing all of these will go a long way towards preventing unnecessary mutations.

I am by no means saying that you should cut out everything, I follow the 80/20 rule (be virtuous 80% of the time and the other 20% will look after itself). Below is a list of ways to also increase your ability to cope with the excess load. So reduce the above and increase the information below and try and find balance. Be aware and responsible for your health.

Glycosylsation is another very damaging reaction in your body. It occurs when excess glucose in our blood binds to our DNA, proteins and fats rendering them unable to fulfil their function. Glucose is of course sugar. It reduces enzymes ability by deactivating them and damages proteins and fats necessary for providing cell membrane structure and therefore protection and regulation. It also impairs the immune system responsible for programming cell death and mopping up dead and mutated cells. In short, balance your blood sugar levels- it is about way more than what dress size you are.

Dehydration- Consider your fluid intake. Thickened blood due to lack of fluid, increased diuretics from caffeine or pharmaceuticals, sugar, cigarette smoking, stress, excessive meat intake or excessive exercise will cause the cell membrane to thicken to hold onto water within the cell. Thicker walls mean that it also reduces the cells ability to absorb water and nutrients essential for cellular health and function. This in turn causes water retention and inflammation all contributing to cell mutation as the cell will need to become anaerobic (supply energy without oxygen- a key factor of a cancer cell). It is also essential to eliminate toxins from the body through bowel, bladder and sweat! So drink up that water.

Nutrients necessary for DNA integrity and cellular health;

Alpha Lipoic Acid– Very powerful antioxidant  by seeking and mopping up free radicals in both a fat soluble and water soluble environment, helps to recycle and protect other antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, Co Q10 and works alongside Glutathione by elevating levels. Improves energy synthesis (essential in cancer cells to be able to stop mutating), immune system, reduces insulin resistance (seen in pre-diabetes type 2, PCOS, Metabolic syndrome- those with excess tummy weight) and increases glucose metabolism. This in turn will reduce both free radical damage and Glycosylsation. It is a sulphur containing amino acid which contributes to phase 2 detoxification. It binds and eliminates toxins from the body and to protect the liver. It also detoxifies heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium. Sources include: broccoli, liver, potato, spinach, tomato. Good in supplement form.

Bioflavonoid (citrin, hesperidin, quercetin, rutin)- Antioxidant which may strengthen and protect blood vessels and improve enzyme activity. Should be found in vitamin C supplements. Unlike Vitamin C they are easily obtainable from our foods. Decreases inflammation and protects vitamin C from oxidation. Stimulates phase 2 detoxification process. Quercetin especially stimulates the immune system, modulates gene expression, and also causes cell death in tumour cells. Sources include: apricots, apples, blue, red and black berries, cherries, citrus fruits, green growing shoots of veg, onions, garlic, rosehips. Can be lost through cooking and processing.

Calcium– really important for energy production and to support bone health. Helps to regulate cell division by decreasing the cellular proliferation that is seen in fast reproduction of cancer cells. Activates insulin so also reduces Glycosylsation by utilising excess sugar in blood. It is used to alkaline the blood and cancer thrives in an acidic environment. Sources include- almonds, broccoli, egg yolk, molasses, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables

L Carnitine– Amino acid (protein). Can be made in the body in the liver. Plays a major role in energy production within the cell and muscles by transferring fatty acids through cell membrane. It also helps burn body fat thus reducing excess body weight decreasing the need for cell reproduction and excess oxidation of fat cells. Sources include: Avocados, beef, chicken, fish, liver. Supplement with advice from a professional.

Chromium– Mainly supports the body by reducing balancing blood sugar. It can reduce sugar cravings and enhances insulin receptors in the cells to help remove glucose from the blood whereby thinning it and also reducing Glycosylsation. Sources include: asparagus, apples, egg yolk, liver, mushrooms, nuts, prunes, raisins, liver, molasses and potatoes.

Cysteine– Essential for Glutathione and lipoic acid production. Sulphur containing amino acid and aids detoxification by supporting  the liver and storing glutathione. Required for making insulin so will help protect against glycosylsation. Helps to transport amino acids through cell membranes to support energy production and regulation within the cell itself. Also may protect cells against radiation and pollution. Is another nutrient seeking and mopping up free radicals and should be taken with vitamin C to help protect the kidneys. It is good to take with a complete essential amino acid combination. Sources – beef, chicken, eggs, fish, garlic, whey protein, beans.

Glutathione– (Made up of Cysteine, Glutamic acid and Glycine). Not normally supplemented itself but worth mentioning as its fundamental role as a powerful intra-cellular antioxidant and anti-toxin. It maintains DNA synthesis and protects the cells ability to make energy. Helps detoxify DDT and other carcinogens. Recycles and thus maintains Vitamin E and C to be used again. As mentioned in ‘An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure ‘. Sources include: asparagus, avocado, eggs, garlic, plant and animal tissue, whey protein.

Magnesium-Necessary for energy production within the cells. It also facilitates water being pulled into the cells. Balances calcium. An important role in the immune system is that it may help to remove cells that have been transformed. Improves insulin sensitivity therefore reducing Glycosylsation. Protects DNA replication. Sources include: Almonds, cashews, cocoa, cod, eggs, seeds, parsnips, molasses, cod, kelp and figs.

Methionine– Sulphur containing essential amino acid. Antioxidant by creating Cysteine and helps in phase 2 detoxification (sulphur) in the liver. It seeks and mops up free radicals and is the pre-cursor to Cysteine (see above). Involved in creating antibodies and Carnitine (see above). Therefore by helping to create Carnitine and Creatine it has a role in energy production. It is low in vegetable proteins and is the least abundant in many foods. It prevents fatty build up in the liver and body. Sources include- high levels in eggs, meat and fish with lower levels in soy, peanuts and legumes, nuts and seeds.

Omega 3– regulates inflammation and reduces blood thickness. Flaxseed also helps to regulate oestrogen levels responsible for cellular growth and replication in some cancers. Important role in energy production facilitating fat burn and in return reducing body fat. Sources include: cod liver oil (fermented preferably), mustard seed oil, walnut oil, flax seed oil (do not expose these oils to heat), tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, cod.

(The following are mainly useful for immune support but have protective properties too. Sources found were mentioned in  An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure ‘)

Beta Carotene– Antioxidant roles. Reduces size of cancers. Protects DNA, cellular membranes and proteins against oxidation

B12– Important for energy production within the cells and is necessary for the production of DNA. It is involved in most rebuilding processes in the body.

Vitamin C– As an antioxidant. Also prevents nitrates (found in the soil, wine, processed meats, water and is in some pharmaceuticals) from converting to carcinogens. Ascorbic acid specifically prevents cell membranes and has been seen to reduce damage caused by cigarette smoke and air pollution.

Vitamin D– Stops over proliferation of cells (division and replication) especially in colon, bone cancer and melanoma. Helps to absorb Calcium. Increases glutathione levels. May create cellular death in breast and prostate cancer.

Vitamin E– antioxidant also protects cell membranes by reducing fat breakdown (an important component of the cell membrane). May also reduce impact of air pollutants.

Folic Acid-Helps in DNA production.

Selenium– Essential for antioxidant balance. It recycles glutathione after its done its job  back to its reduced form ready to be used again.

Zinc– Has an important anti-oxidant role as it seeks and mops up free radicals. as well as its immune support function

Resources:

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/traits/telomeres/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/09/the-nutrients-most-likely-to-let-you-live-to-be-much-older-than-100.aspx

http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-027.shtml

Cancer is not a Disease: Andreas Moritz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Is-Not-Disease-Mechanism/dp/097679442X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339483303&sr=8-1

Staying healthy with Nutrition: Elson M. Haas

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staying-Healthy-Nutrition-Nutritional-Twenty-First/dp/1587611791/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339484253&sr=8-1-spell

Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine: Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encyclopedia-Natural-Medicine-Third-Edition/dp/1451663005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340245753&sr=8-1

The Nutrient Bible: Henry Osiecki

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Nutrient-Bible-Henry-Osiecki/dp/1875239537/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340245813&sr=1-1

read more

Rocky Road Coconut Ice-cream

I will never go back to dairy ice cream- coconut ice-cream all the way.

You may have noticed a trend with my recipes! Chocolate. Combine that with coconut ice-cream and I am very happy! I love Chocolate- there’s nothing wrong with it. In the right form and the right amount it’s really good for you- a very good anti- oxidant. Full of healthy fats (when cocoa butter/coconut oil is used), magnesium, vitamins and minerals

I have raw organic cacao powder and I use it in my baking and for hot chocolate and my  2 kids like it way better than the sickly sweet, poor quality, addictive garbage that is generally billed for kids. “That’s not chocolate” she says about the mass produced stuff and reaches for the 85% I always have in the fridge! Guess what, she’s happy with one square.

Anyway, I love ice cream- it doesn’t love me- until now. My husband is a great cook and he too loves his sweet stuff although he has a lot more will power than me- not difficult. He also is not great with dairy and the only stuff we have is kefir and cheese (although mainly goats and Sheeps cheese and only occasionally). So dairy free coconut ice cream has always been something we have tried. Most products out there are either soy (something else we avoid unless it’s fermented) or very sweet and the chocolate flavour is usually lacking. We have developed our own little favourite flavour from checking out some blogs (see below) and have already started to brainstorm other flavours.

Here’s Niall’s winning recipe-

700mls coconut milk (organic preferably)
1 mashed banana
100ml Coconut nectar
100ml Maple syrup
3 tbs Cacao powder (I may have added 1 or 2 more to make it really chocolaty!)

Whisked in the kenwood (without banana). Stirred in banana at end. Then either use an ice cream machine or put in container and in the freezer- use a hand blender to break up the ice crystals at intervals when frozen. Yum yum!!! Seriously like it better than dairy chocolate.

Here is our Rocky Road version;

1 ½ cups of Coconut yoghurt or 1 cup coconut meat

1 cup  Fresh coconut milk (you could also use any nut,oat or dairy milk)

1 Banana (mashed) Optional

1tbs Raw Cacao powder

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

3 drops Vanilla essence

1tbs Honey or Maple syrup (optional)

Rocky bits (marshmallows, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, soaked seeds, toasted coconut…)

Just made it again and added a tablespoon of peanut butter yum yum!

The third adjustment comes from Miranda, I was struggling because it keeps freezing really solid- she suggested a little salt. Have tried it and it has made a difference. It also definitely brings out the taste of the chocolate- just add it slowly and taste along the way- the first time I did it I added too much salt! Thanks Miranda x

Here is a winning chocolate syrup recipe too from A Happy Health Nut- using honey to sweeten, yum!

 

read more

Spring into Health

Spring bloom

 

Why does a change of season suddenly bring with it so many symptoms of illness? What can we do to recognise our body’s reaction and how can we boost immunity naturally?

A change of season, especially in Hong Kong, not only brings about a change in temperature but also a change in humidity, daylight hours and atmospheric pressure. Your body will have to adapt to these changes in a number of ways. The key to doing this is using foods and nutrients to strengthen and boost our immune system.

Illnesses during change of seasons are natural and integral to the body developing and reacting to the changing atmospheres around us. They are a way of purging the body (of mucous and waste products for example) and are normally signals to rest and recuperate. For example the lungs have to massively change to compensate for the added water levels in the air with the change of humidity and temperature. The little hairs in our lungs (Cila) are affected. Getting muck (mucous) out of our system is the body’s way of adapting and spring cleaning. So children and adults alike may sneeze, get runny noses or coughs. These symptoms can be likened to a cold, but may very well have no bacteria or virus involved. It is important to know the difference and seeing a professional (whether a doctor, naturopath or homeopath) to help you to do that. To interrupt this can then lead to more serious symptoms, but supporting it you can adapt and allow the season to change with little disruption.

From winter to spring we get lighter mornings, we wake easier and seem to have more energy. We are programmed to operate at full function in daylight. Sunlight on our skin will also provide us vital vitamin D (but only by not wearing sunscreen, try and go 10 mins with 40% of your body in full sunlight a day. As soon as you feel the heat starting to get a bit intense on your skin, cover up or return to the shade see here) Vitamin D is vital for a healthy immune system.  Our body clocks react to daylight. We are supposed to slow down and stock up in the winter ready for spring’s re-awakening. However daily hum drum does not change through the seasons anymore and the toll on our body is seen with more winter colds/ illnesses as the immune system is dampened in the cold weather and if we do let our bodies rest, then we start to become deficient in vital nutrients used up by the will to keep going.

Stress is a major factor in immunity – take time to relax when you start to feel run down. Illness is generally a signal to slow down and rest. Pushing through an illness is another way of suppressing signals and may also cause future long term damage. Viruses and bacteria are around us all the time; they are in our homes and outside. They are necessary for human existence. They are opportunistic so when you are run down, going through a change (in pregnancy or environmental change of season), stressed, malnourished, or tired you are at your most prone to illness. By adding foods and nutrients like vitamin D, C, E, zinc, magnesium and antioxidants daily; you can help prevent illness by providing your body with the means to heal and strengthen from within.

Foods in season are around to help support this change of season and boost the immune system. Foods in season right now are all your leafy greens, beetroot, strawberries, pumpkin, papaya – foods bursting with Iron, Beta carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Papaya also has vital enzymes to help us absorb our food so is great to have at meal times. All perfect to help boost immunity and rid and protect our body from toxins. Another great reason to eat local organic produce and go strawberry picking in the New Territories!

Here are some Natural remedy recipes to allow you to keep the Spring in your step!

Ginger tea

Ginger, lemon and orange curd

Honey and onion Elixor

Drinking Greens

read more

Rocky Road Coconut Ice-cream

I will never go back to dairy ice cream- coconut ice-cream all the way.

You may have noticed a trend with my recipes! Chocolate. Combine that with coconut ice-cream and I am very happy! I love Chocolate- there’s nothing wrong with it. In the right form and the right amount it’s really good for you- a very good anti- oxidant. Full of healthy fats (when cocoa butter/coconut oil is used), magnesium, vitamins and minerals

I have raw organic cacao powder and I use it in my baking and for hot chocolate and my  2 kids like it way better than the sickly sweet, poor quality, addictive garbage that is generally billed for kids. “That’s not chocolate” she says about the mass produced stuff and reaches for the 85% I always have in the fridge! Guess what, she’s happy with one square.

Anyway, I love ice cream- it doesn’t love me- until now. My husband is a great cook and he too loves his sweet stuff although he has a lot more will power than me- not difficult. He also is not great with dairy and the only stuff we have is kefir and cheese (although mainly goats and Sheeps cheese and only occasionally). So dairy free coconut ice cream has always been something we have tried. Most products out there are either soy (something else we avoid unless it’s fermented) or very sweet and the chocolate flavour is usually lacking. We have developed our own little favourite flavour from checking out some blogs (see below) and have already started to brainstorm other flavours.

Here’s Niall’s winning recipe-

700mls coconut milk (organic preferably)
1 mashed banana
100ml Coconut nectar
100ml Maple syrup
3 tbs Cacao powder (I may have added 1 or 2 more to make it really chocolaty!)

Whisked in the kenwood (without banana). Stirred in banana at end. Then either use an ice cream machine or put in container and in the freezer- use a hand blender to break up the ice crystals at intervals when frozen. Yum yum!!! Seriously like it better than dairy chocolate.

Here is our Rocky Road version;

1 ½ cups of Coconut yoghurt or 1 cup coconut meat

1 cup  Fresh coconut milk (you could also use any nut,oat or dairy milk)

1 Banana (mashed) Optional

1tbs Raw Cacao powder

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

3 drops Vanilla essence

1tbs Honey or Maple syrup (optional)

Rocky bits (marshmallows, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, soaked seeds, toasted coconut…)

Just made it again and added a tablespoon of peanut butter yum yum!

The third adjustment comes from Miranda, I was struggling because it keeps freezing really solid- she suggested a little salt. Have tried it and it has made a difference. It also definitely brings out the taste of the chocolate- just add it slowly and taste along the way- the first time I did it I added too much salt! Thanks Miranda x

Here is a winning chocolate syrup recipe too from A Happy Health Nut- using honey to sweeten, yum!

 

read more

Drink from the Fountain of Youth

I reiterate; I am not a scientist or a doctor so my advice is given as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and it is not specific to any type of cancer or any particular case. Please contact a professional if considering any form of treatment or supplementation. If you are using any of this advice whilst undergoing Cancer treatment please let your Oncologist know of any changes to your diet or supplements.

Today I want to talk about maintaining cell health and renewal. Regulating cellular lifespan and maintaining DNA integrity to re-create healthy cells is the corner stone of Life Extension and the answer to reversing ageing – the Holy Grail!

Only a short time ago, cancer was something seen mainly in the elderly, with a few cases of early onset and children’s cancer; in fact in the 1900’s 1 in 8000 people got it. Today’s statistics of children and young people being diagnosed and sadly even dying of cancer are alarming. If conventional medicines approach to cancer is so evolved and advanced from and lifestyle is supposedly better than 50-60 years ago, why are we now being quoted as 1 in 3 people will now be diagnosed with Cancer? It is also the number one killer in the US.

As discussed in the post ‘A topic very close to my heart- Cancer what is it?‘, everyone has cancer cells at some point in their body. It is how the body reacts to these cells which determine how far the cells mutate and replicate. The cells oxygen supply, energy manufacturing processes, programmed cell life, damage to cells or DNA integrity to replicate cells are all key factors in cellular health and therefore overall life extension. Most chronic illnesses follow this same path. As ageing occurs cell death and renewal slows down and is not as efficient as in our developmental stages. So how do we optimise our ageing process?

Telomere health is the key. They are at one end of a stretch of DNA. They are important because they protect our genetic data making it possible for cell division and are likened to both the fuse on a ticking time bomb and also the plastic ends of laces that protect them from fraying.

Each time a cell replicates and divides the DNA strand gets shorter. We have a limited number of DNA strands in our body. When they get too short they can no longer divide and become inactive. The result of this is cellular ageing and causes less collagen in our skin, grey hair, pigmentation changes, reduction in reproduction, reduced brain development, subsequent memory loss, reduced muscle and bone mass and all the other symptoms we attach to the ageing process. DNA plays the fundamental role in all the bodies cell replication, the organisation of chromosomes and, of course, controls our gene expression. Since cancer is based on cell mutation, keeping the health and integrity of our DNA is the lynch pin of prevention and indeed should be considered when looking for a cure.

So how do we slow down our Telomere shortening and reducing the damage caused to DNA, in turn protecting and prolonging life but also for looking and feeling younger for longer? I can tell you now it is not in a beauty cream!

There are a few main causes of cellular and in turn DNA damage. One is oxidative stress or free radical damage. The other is Glycation. I will address each in turn;

Free radicals can cause damage to our cell membranes, proteins and DNA strands. They are of course derived from the environment but are also naturally occurring in the body through a number of different essential chemical reactions. X-rays, sunlight, chemicals in our foods, drinks, cosmetics, cleaning products, clothes, even exercise and digestion causes free radicals. The body has a very efficient way of dealing, mopping up and excreting these free radicals. However when the body is either overloaded with toxins or deficient in the raw materials necessary to deal with them, the body has to respond with cell mutation to buy time for survival.

See the post Not a happy hour with a chemical cocktail‘ for some ways to reduce your chemical input. Carcinogens bind to DNA in the cell nucleus or mitochondria (the brain and energy power house of the cell) altering its structure and its potential for normal replication. Also consider alcohol, coffee, cigarette smoking, sweeteners and other neurotoxins such as MSG and E numbers. Plastics are also a number one reason for breaks in DNA. They can lessen energy production in cells, increase number of free radicals but also increase the need for detoxification thus depleting the nutrient reserves further. Reducing all of these will go a long way towards preventing unnecessary mutations.

I am by no means saying that you should cut out everything, I follow the 80/20 rule (be virtuous 80% of the time and the other 20% will look after itself). Below is a list of ways to also increase your ability to cope with the excess load. So reduce the above and increase the information below and try and find balance. Be aware and responsible for your health.

Glycosylsation is another very damaging reaction in your body. It occurs when excess glucose in our blood binds to our DNA, proteins and fats rendering them unable to fulfil their function. Glucose is of course sugar. It reduces enzymes ability by deactivating them and damages proteins and fats necessary for providing cell membrane structure and therefore protection and regulation. It also impairs the immune system responsible for programming cell death and mopping up dead and mutated cells. In short, balance your blood sugar levels- it is about way more than what dress size you are.

Dehydration- Consider your fluid intake. Thickened blood due to lack of fluid, increased diuretics from caffeine or pharmaceuticals, sugar, cigarette smoking, stress, excessive meat intake or excessive exercise will cause the cell membrane to thicken to hold onto water within the cell. Thicker walls mean that it also reduces the cells ability to absorb water and nutrients essential for cellular health and function. This in turn causes water retention and inflammation all contributing to cell mutation as the cell will need to become anaerobic (supply energy without oxygen- a key factor of a cancer cell). It is also essential to eliminate toxins from the body through bowel, bladder and sweat! So drink up that water.

Nutrients necessary for DNA integrity and cellular health;

Alpha Lipoic Acid– Very powerful antioxidant  by seeking and mopping up free radicals in both a fat soluble and water soluble environment, helps to recycle and protect other antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, Co Q10 and works alongside Glutathione by elevating levels. Improves energy synthesis (essential in cancer cells to be able to stop mutating), immune system, reduces insulin resistance (seen in pre-diabetes type 2, PCOS, Metabolic syndrome- those with excess tummy weight) and increases glucose metabolism. This in turn will reduce both free radical damage and Glycosylsation. It is a sulphur containing amino acid which contributes to phase 2 detoxification. It binds and eliminates toxins from the body and to protect the liver. It also detoxifies heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium. Sources include: broccoli, liver, potato, spinach, tomato. Good in supplement form.

Bioflavonoid (citrin, hesperidin, quercetin, rutin)- Antioxidant which may strengthen and protect blood vessels and improve enzyme activity. Should be found in vitamin C supplements. Unlike Vitamin C they are easily obtainable from our foods. Decreases inflammation and protects vitamin C from oxidation. Stimulates phase 2 detoxification process. Quercetin especially stimulates the immune system, modulates gene expression, and also causes cell death in tumour cells. Sources include: apricots, apples, blue, red and black berries, cherries, citrus fruits, green growing shoots of veg, onions, garlic, rosehips. Can be lost through cooking and processing.

Calcium– really important for energy production and to support bone health. Helps to regulate cell division by decreasing the cellular proliferation that is seen in fast reproduction of cancer cells. Activates insulin so also reduces Glycosylsation by utilising excess sugar in blood. It is used to alkaline the blood and cancer thrives in an acidic environment. Sources include- almonds, broccoli, egg yolk, molasses, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables

L Carnitine– Amino acid (protein). Can be made in the body in the liver. Plays a major role in energy production within the cell and muscles by transferring fatty acids through cell membrane. It also helps burn body fat thus reducing excess body weight decreasing the need for cell reproduction and excess oxidation of fat cells. Sources include: Avocados, beef, chicken, fish, liver. Supplement with advice from a professional.

Chromium– Mainly supports the body by reducing balancing blood sugar. It can reduce sugar cravings and enhances insulin receptors in the cells to help remove glucose from the blood whereby thinning it and also reducing Glycosylsation. Sources include: asparagus, apples, egg yolk, liver, mushrooms, nuts, prunes, raisins, liver, molasses and potatoes.

Cysteine– Essential for Glutathione and lipoic acid production. Sulphur containing amino acid and aids detoxification by supporting  the liver and storing glutathione. Required for making insulin so will help protect against glycosylsation. Helps to transport amino acids through cell membranes to support energy production and regulation within the cell itself. Also may protect cells against radiation and pollution. Is another nutrient seeking and mopping up free radicals and should be taken with vitamin C to help protect the kidneys. It is good to take with a complete essential amino acid combination. Sources – beef, chicken, eggs, fish, garlic, whey protein, beans.

Glutathione– (Made up of Cysteine, Glutamic acid and Glycine). Not normally supplemented itself but worth mentioning as its fundamental role as a powerful intra-cellular antioxidant and anti-toxin. It maintains DNA synthesis and protects the cells ability to make energy. Helps detoxify DDT and other carcinogens. Recycles and thus maintains Vitamin E and C to be used again. As mentioned in ‘An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure ‘. Sources include: asparagus, avocado, eggs, garlic, plant and animal tissue, whey protein.

Magnesium-Necessary for energy production within the cells. It also facilitates water being pulled into the cells. Balances calcium. An important role in the immune system is that it may help to remove cells that have been transformed. Improves insulin sensitivity therefore reducing Glycosylsation. Protects DNA replication. Sources include: Almonds, cashews, cocoa, cod, eggs, seeds, parsnips, molasses, cod, kelp and figs.

Methionine– Sulphur containing essential amino acid. Antioxidant by creating Cysteine and helps in phase 2 detoxification (sulphur) in the liver. It seeks and mops up free radicals and is the pre-cursor to Cysteine (see above). Involved in creating antibodies and Carnitine (see above). Therefore by helping to create Carnitine and Creatine it has a role in energy production. It is low in vegetable proteins and is the least abundant in many foods. It prevents fatty build up in the liver and body. Sources include- high levels in eggs, meat and fish with lower levels in soy, peanuts and legumes, nuts and seeds.

Omega 3– regulates inflammation and reduces blood thickness. Flaxseed also helps to regulate oestrogen levels responsible for cellular growth and replication in some cancers. Important role in energy production facilitating fat burn and in return reducing body fat. Sources include: cod liver oil (fermented preferably), mustard seed oil, walnut oil, flax seed oil (do not expose these oils to heat), tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, cod.

(The following are mainly useful for immune support but have protective properties too. Sources found were mentioned in  An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure ‘)

Beta Carotene– Antioxidant roles. Reduces size of cancers. Protects DNA, cellular membranes and proteins against oxidation

B12– Important for energy production within the cells and is necessary for the production of DNA. It is involved in most rebuilding processes in the body.

Vitamin C– As an antioxidant. Also prevents nitrates (found in the soil, wine, processed meats, water and is in some pharmaceuticals) from converting to carcinogens. Ascorbic acid specifically prevents cell membranes and has been seen to reduce damage caused by cigarette smoke and air pollution.

Vitamin D– Stops over proliferation of cells (division and replication) especially in colon, bone cancer and melanoma. Helps to absorb Calcium. Increases glutathione levels. May create cellular death in breast and prostate cancer.

Vitamin E– antioxidant also protects cell membranes by reducing fat breakdown (an important component of the cell membrane). May also reduce impact of air pollutants.

Folic Acid-Helps in DNA production.

Selenium– Essential for antioxidant balance. It recycles glutathione after its done its job  back to its reduced form ready to be used again.

Zinc– Has an important anti-oxidant role as it seeks and mops up free radicals. as well as its immune support function

Resources:

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/traits/telomeres/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/09/the-nutrients-most-likely-to-let-you-live-to-be-much-older-than-100.aspx

http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-027.shtml

Cancer is not a Disease: Andreas Moritz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Is-Not-Disease-Mechanism/dp/097679442X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339483303&sr=8-1

Staying healthy with Nutrition: Elson M. Haas

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staying-Healthy-Nutrition-Nutritional-Twenty-First/dp/1587611791/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339484253&sr=8-1-spell

Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine: Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encyclopedia-Natural-Medicine-Third-Edition/dp/1451663005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340245753&sr=8-1

The Nutrient Bible: Henry Osiecki

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Nutrient-Bible-Henry-Osiecki/dp/1875239537/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340245813&sr=1-1

read more

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure (Henry de Bracton)

“The superior doctor prevents sickness; the mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; the inferior doctor treats actual sickness” – Chinese proverb.

“It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them” – Benjamin Franklin

I reiterate; I am not a scientist or a doctor so my advice is given as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and it is not specific to any type of cancer or any particular case. Please contact a professional if considering any form of treatment or supplementation.

As mentioned in my previous post ‘what is cancer’, everyone has cancer in their body every day. It is a necessary cell mutation which ensures the bodies survival. What we are talking about now is the medical ‘blanket term’ for cancer when there is uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. This is then diagnosed by the medical community and you are labelled as ‘having cancer’. The plan for prevention of cancer and indeed most chronic conditions is the promotion of health, balance and well-being concentrating on 3 main areas:

1. Strengthen and support the Immune system (the focus of today’s post)

2. Avoiding or neutralising carcinogens (touched on in my post about chemical cocktails)

3. Preventing DNA and cellular damage (I will go into greater detail in a follow up post)

This section is immense and to cover everything in one post would be impossible! I will be touching again on various parts and anything you would like to know about in more detail please let me know. I will be focusing on each nutrient separately in future posts so please let me know what you want to read about.

It can take 1-2 years to get to ‘cancer’ or it can take 30-40. What cannot be denied is the psychological influence, labelled Psychoneuroimmunology or behavioural immunology. It has been identified that there are certain personality types that are more likely to be more at risk for cancer. It may be more prevalent in individuals who may not easily form close bonds or may not easily express their emotions and therefore who internalise their every feeling. Or in those who appear passive and overly nice to everyone. They may put everyone else’s needs above their own and may be low in self esteem. Those who have experienced stress and trauma or unresolved loss from the death of a loved one, divorce or have a sense of hopelessness. This is of course very generalised and only useful if we understand why. Natural killer cell activity has been seen to be significantly reduced in those grieving, stressed or depressed. It is not set in stone that if you recognise this trait in yourself that you will get cancer. It may not be that you feel like this all of the time. It is useful to identify that perhaps these traits can be damaging to your immune system and that you seek help in changing these areas of your life so you can become stronger and more in balance with your body, mind and spirit.

Excessive stress and psychological trauma has a major role on the immune system. Nutrition, exercise, positive thoughts and attitude, release of emotions of anger and blame are really important factors in health and well-being. Identifying childhood patterns and self-image is the key to change, happiness and consequently good health. Listen to what you tell yourself and others and see if changing any one of those sentences makes you physically feel any different? The Journey by Brandon Bays is one of many books that can help guide you through processing your emotions and looking at yourself and others in a very different way. Louise Hay is another great author and guide. You Can Heal Your Life outlines many different chronic conditions and the potential emotional stagnation behind it. The connection to moods, hormones, and therefore the body’s physical being are intrinsically linked and should never be ignored.

“The power of thoughts, feelings and emotions is many times stronger than any physical influence can be” – Andreas Moritz (Cancer is NOT a Disease)

So before we talk about nutrition, without dealing with emotion blocks or stagnation you cannot truly prevent anything. Yoga, meditation, gentle exercise, music, Bach Flower Remedies, homoeopathy, reflexology, acupuncture, walking in the sunshine, swimming; there are various ways of allowing you some emotional release and positive self esteem and happiness. Find it, use it, and make it a priority no matter how busy you are. You will be made to stop if you do get sick or run down, by taking the time now to deal with your stress it will be much easier to turn your health around. Whatever happens to us physically is a direct result of how we feel mentally and emotionally.

Immune Boosting nutrients: nutrient deficiency (including protein), stress, too much sugar in the diet (which suppresses white blood cell ability to destroy foreign particles), obesity and high alcohol intake all serve to depress immune function. Addressing each of these factors is essential. This can be done through:

Vitamin A – Maintains the surface of the skin, gastrointestinal tract (essential for absorption of nutrients and stopping the breakthrough of foreign particles mounting an immune response) induction of anti-tumour activity, enhances white blood cell function and increased antibody response. Those with Vit A deficiency are more likely to be susceptible to viral infections. Sources include apricots, barley grass, butter, carrots, fish liver oils, green leafy veg, egg yolk and liver

Beta Carotene– Seen to be the better form of Vit A to take as it’s the precursor so therefore may be safer. It protects the skin against sunburn, activates macrophages and lymphocytes so can reduce the size of cancer cells, enhances T cell function and is a great antioxidant as it prevents damage. It also protects mucous membranes in the mouth, nose and throat, our first line of defence. It is found in mostly red and yellow foods; broccoli, carrots, yellow and greenish yellow veg, papaya, sweet potatoes, spinach and tomatoes.

Vitamin B6 – Has antibody and cell- mediated immunity functions playing a role in the quality and quantity of antibodies produced. It is vital in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism (excessive intakes of coffee, tea, alcohol and protein may cause a deficiency as will taking oral contraceptive pill). It improves the oxygenation of tissues. Sources include avocados, bananas, carrot, egg yolk, legumes, lentils, oatmeal, salmon, sunflower seeds and walnuts.

Vitamin B 12 and Folic Acid – A reduction in either of these vitamins results in significantly lower white blood cell production and response to antibodies. It has also been seen to reduce the size of the thalamus and lymph nodes vital to a healthy immune response. This has also been seen in those with low levels of B1, B5 and B2. Main sources are egg yolks, whole grains, nuts, organ meats. Also found in, salmon, sardines (B12 is also synthesised by bacteria in the gut so good gut health is imperative), asparagus, spirulina, wheat germ (B1), avocados almonds (B2), lentils, peas, sweet potatoes (B5), green leafy veg, sprouts, beans (folic acid).

Vitamin C– Plays a vital role in immune enhancement. It is anti-bacterial and anti-viral but it also increases white blood cell response and function and importantly for cancer, increases interferon. It reduces inflammatory conditions and helps to reduce heavy metal intoxication. It also plays a role in the maintenance of your cell membrane protecting it from damage. Found in coloured veg; pineapple, peppers, raspberries, rose hips, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, raw cabbage. Only take in supplement form as Sodium Ascorbate.

Vitamin D– It activates lymphocytes and T-cells from the thalamus. It has a strong anti-proliferate effect on bone, skin, colon and breast cancer cells. Induces the natural programmed cell death and increases macrophages to then clear them up. Also helps the immune system to differentiate cells. Sources include synthesis through sunlight on skin (20 mins of 40% of body naturally exposed to sunlight without burn). Good sources are fish liver oils, butter, egg yolk and sprouted seeds; or in the form of D3 as a supplement.

Vitamin E– Affects both cell immunity and antibody related immune response. It is also an important intracellular antioxidant and stabilises cell membranes, reducing cell damage. Increases T-cell synthesis and stops cell proliferation by stabilising normal growth maintenance. Also improves blood flow. Sources include almonds, apricot oil, beef, egg yolk, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and wheat germ.

Iron– Carries oxygen in the blood and is therefore necessary for healthy blood circulation and for cellular use. It is also very important for DNA synthesis. Its immune function enhances white blood cell and T-cell production and quality. A deficiency has also shown reduction in size of the thalamus and lymph nodes. Sources include almonds, apricots, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, sea vegetables (especially chorella), avocado, nettles, clams, liver and meat; as a supplement Spatone or Floradix taken with vitamin C.

Zinc– Is a key catalyst to over 200 different enzymes in the body. It activates a tumour suppressor called endostatin, which prevents the tumour from growing its own blood vessels to help support it, which is a key point in turning a tumour from benign to malignant. It helps absorption of B vitamins and also is the key to forming and secreting gastric acid which in turn helps to break down food and assimilate nutrients. It also has many functions at a cellular level improving immunity. One of its main benefits, to be touched on later, is its ability to maintain the integrity of DNA synthesis. Found in beef, egg yolk, ginger, lamb, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, seafood, whole grains and brewer’s yeast. There has been a deficiency seen in the soil in recent years so it can be taken in the form of Zinc Citrate or Zinc Policanate as a supplement.

Selenium– Has strong antioxidant and anti-tumour effects. Its role as a co-factor in Glutathione peroxidase (the enzyme responsible for most antioxidant activity) is vital. Therefore its benefits affect the entire immune system. As such it enhances resistance to infection, increases white blood cell and thalamus function and increases efficiency of lymphocytes to kill tumour cells. Selenium also assists in the detoxification of chemicals and spares Vitamin E. It has also been seen to be deficient in the soil in recent years. Sources include alfalfa, barley, broccoli, butter, cashews, eggs, fish, garlic, organ meats, onions, whole grains and meat.

Probiotics– Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium being the two key probiotic bacteria. Acidopholus has a mild antibacterial activity in that it balances the body’s bacteria colonies. All bacteria are necessary for human life and they perform so many functions, in cleaning up, in building, aiding digestion, in manufacturing and in destroying. It is really important to remember that each course of antibiotics taken kills all bacteria, not just the ones causing the infection. Repopulating the body with the beneficial bacteria is essential for balance and healthy digestion. Beneficial bacterial thrives in a more alkaline environment, something I will talk about in more detail in a future post. Prebiotics which feed the healthy bacterial environment are also important. Sources include Jerusalem artichoke (it is no coincidence that these are in season in spring and autumn where catching colds are most likely), onions, garlic and chicory root.

This is by no means the only list. There are many more aspects to healthy immune system. The body constantly strives for balance and needs to constantly ebb and shift to balance all of the bodies systems. For example, in order to really gain strength in immunity you need a healthy digestive system to supply the nutrients necessary and have a healthy bacterial environment, a good hormonal system to pass on the relevant messages to the body and as immune resultants; together with a healthy nervous system to maintain balance of emotions and stress levels. Nothing can be used in isolation; life change is exactly that – life changing.

This post has been about positive inclusions to your diet and lifestyle. The next post will be centred around what to minimise including sugar, neurotoxins like sweeteners and msg and xenoestrogens.

Interesting links and of course my sources:

You Can Heal Your Life or I Can do it- Louise Hay

http://www.louisehay.com/

Daily Affirmations:

http://www.healyourlife.com/affirmations

The Journey (book and CD) Brandon Bays

http://www.thejourney.com/

Cancer is not a Disease: Andreas Moritz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Is-Not-Disease-Mechanism/dp/097679442X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339483303&sr=8-1

Staying healthy with Nutrition: Elson M. Haas

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staying-Healthy-Nutrition-Nutritional-Twenty-First/dp/1587611791/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339484253&sr=8-1-spell

Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine: Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encyclopedia-Natural-Medicine-Third-Edition/dp/1451663005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340245753&sr=8-1

The Nutrient Bible: Henry Osiecki

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Nutrient-Bible-Henry-Osiecki/dp/1875239537/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340245813&sr=1-1

Links:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3298082/ interesting article about the role of the gut and the immune system.

http://www.canceractive.com/ a holistic cancer charity.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/opinion/lets-add-a-little-dirt-to-our-diet.html?smid=fb-share great article on

read more

Not a happy hour with a chemical cocktail

We all know chemicals are bad for our health. They create oxidative damage to our cells and create roaming free radicals – words we are used to hearing, but what do they mean, how does it happen and how is it linked to most chronic conditions? For example we know that there is a link between Asbestos and Lung Cancer, but what about the small amounts of chemicals we are exposed to everyday, and not just their individual toxicity, but in their interactions and their potential lethal combination. The cocktails we create, little and often and whether willingly or not, will play a massive role in our cellular, and therefore overall, health.

;

Chemicals are in our Food, Air and Water. Things we can presumably try to control somewhat. Eat organic and as unprocessed as possible, use an air purifier in our homes or wear a mask while out and about (not my personal choice but a choice all the same) and using a water filter or buying bottled, mineral water. But say you buy all organic food, but then use a chemical detergent to wash your dishes and utensils, or a heavy duty surface cleaner or bleach for the floors. Not to mention bug killers sprayed in the kitchen. What about when you use plastic containers to store food or the cling film that wraps our organic vegetables? Look in your bathroom, shampoos, cleansers, toothpaste, nail polish, soap, moisturiser’s make-up, sun cream, insect repellent. The list is endless, that’s before you go to put on your clothes washed in chemical cleaners and softeners, or gone through chemical processes in their manufacture. The skin has an enormous surface area that excretes and also absorbs. However I think the most pointless combination is an air purifier used with chemical air fresheners, especially those automatic dispensers! Even without my usual rant on vaccinations and their chemical content.

So the list is endless and very daunting. When we look at our health and the health of those around us, most things can be helped by cleaning-up what we use and how we use it. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. For example, my husband has very mild asthma; he thought it was the air-conditioning, then the dust in the carpets, then the pollution or the humidity, that was making him need his inhaler more frequently whenever we came to Hong Kong. When we moved we were able to experiment. I chucked out the automatic air freshener in the bathroom and hey presto, complete turn around.

Chemicals react with your body and with each other. Slowly start to replace things as you have finished with them e.g. replace the surface cleaners with the same spray bottle rinsed out completely and filled with water, tea tree, lavender and a squeeze of lemon. You will find that this works at removing grease, and it is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and completely non-toxic. Changing to more earth friendly products will reduce your toxic output for the environment but they will still contain chemicals; try using eco balls or soap flakes in the wash, and don’t forget the numerous uses for the amazingly simple – bicarbonate of soda!

Clean up your cosmetics. Your hair and skin will change, but that’s because they are not constantly being stripped of their natural oils (sodium laurel sulphate is the main culprit for this) and goodness, and being replaced with a coating of chemicals which makes your skin appear duller when you don’t use it, give it time and it will be a million times better than it ever was. I have only used blends of oils such as Almond, avocado, jojoba, wheat germ and rosehip with various aromatherapy oils depending on my mood, part of the body I want to use it for, and for what purpose. For example a great blend for a facial oil is rose, frankincense and lavender; an amazing after-sun blend is chamomile, neroli, lavender and geranium, which also doubles as a very good insect repellent, as does lemongrass, grapefruit and geranium. Use the blended oils directly on skin, in the bath, as a makeup remover, as a hair-mask, or on your hands, nails and feet before you go to bed. Save an absolute fortune and have something completely unique and bespoke for you. Parabens may be a hormone disrupter and may have an impact on ‘bad’ oestrogen production that can lead to pcos, fibroids, painful periods and other oestrogen dominant conditions including prostate, breast, cervical and uterine cancer. It’s not about what and how much oestrogen comes into our body; it’s more about what happens to it afterwards and how the body then excretes it. But that is a whole other blog I will get to very soon as it is a big passion of mine!

One of the major players in chemicals and chronic disease is beginning to come to light. Humble sun cream and its connection to skin cancer. There is research to suggest that completely blocking UVA and UVB rays may be the answer. Australia is one of the countries with an increasing number of people with Vitamin D deficiency (foods containing Vitamin D include egg yolk, fish liver oils, butter and sprouted seeds) an important component which holds vital anti-cancer and general health properties by being a very powerful anti-oxidant. They are even starting to suggest that Australia’s high skin cancer rate has very little to do with the hole in the ozone layer but with the sun creams everyone is using and their chemical effect, combined with vitamin D deficiency. Personally I rarely use sun cream, but I am sensible about my sun exposure at the same time. No more than 20 minutes, during the hottest part of the day, with 40% skin exposure may be enough. If I am sunbathing the first 20 mins will be in part shade (I always wear a hat or have my face in the shade) and then I will generally use a factor 20-30. Burning is obviously not an option and will of course produce a lot of damage; I am not condoning that in any way.

If you start in the spring your body builds up its natural defences to the sun, melatonin, and so by the summer when the sun is at its strongest you will have a good degree of natural sun block. After the 20 mins, sleeves, shade, hats etc and obviously keeping well hydrated and your diet packed full of antioxidants in the form of Selenium (Alfalfa, broccoli, eggs, fish, organ meats, onion, garlic), Vitamin A (apricots, barley grass, carrots, fish liver oils, green leafy veg, eggs), Beta Carotene (broccoli, carrots, yellow veg, papaya, spinach, sweet potato, tomatoes- as uncooked as possible), C (Ascorbic acid- Blackcurrants, broccoli, brussel sprouts, guava, parsley, pineapple, raw cabbage, strawberries, sweet potatoes and citrus fruits), E (almonds, apricot oil, beef, egg yolk, hazelnuts, sunflowers, wheat germ) and glutathione (asparagus, avocado, eggs, garlic, plant and animal tissue, whey protein) should also massively help in the prevention of skin cancer and of course cancer in general. Seek out the most natural sun creams. Also the iris in your eyes is a major player in vitamin D production so try and hold off putting on those shades, for as long as possible, and if you wear glasses with UVA and UVB protection, have a sit down and take them off for a bit.

Chemicals are largely stored in your fat tissue. Chlorella can help to chelate them out of your body. Be careful if you go down this route and always add greens gradually as they can play havoc with your digestive system. Also always consult a professional nutritionist before adding any supplement to your lifestyle, contact me for more personal recomendation.

A last footnote, those chemicals in disposable nappies (in the gels and the materials), are being absorbed into your little babies skin. Use natural ones or re-usable ones.

Here are some links to back up some of what I have said, let me know if you have any questions or information to add.

http://www.thelosthaven.co.uk/BSoda.htm uses for baking soda

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/sunlight.html

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/melanoma/

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=509 A truly brilliant cancer charity

http://products.mercola.com/chlorella/ You can skip the video if you want!

Books used:

Staying Healthy with Nutrition (2006)Elson Hass

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (1991) V.A. Worwood

read more

A topic very close to my heart- Cancer what is it?

Cancer, a word that holds so much fear, for those who have been diagnosed, their family and friends who help them through it and for everyone in the world who fears they may get it. Like so many other chronic conditions there are many ways of defining it and there are many ways of treating it. For your information firstly, by law your health provider is your primary care giver (for cancer and HIV) so if you are looking for alternative treatments you do have the choice but your nutritional therapist or anyone else should seek permission and be in touch with your oncologist.

Like any condition without knowing why these changes in your body are taking place, it’s very difficult to then know how to treat it. In this series of 3 blog posts I will try to help you understand; 1. What cancer actually is, 2. How you can best try to prevent it and 3.  Ideas on how to help heal yourself, either alongside conventional treatment or things to consider if you choose to forego traditional treatment. I am not a scientist or a doctor so my advice is as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and not specific to any type of cancer or any specific case. Please contact a professional if considering any form of treatment.

Now that’s been said, this is how I understand what cancer is, from Andres Moritz – “Cancer is a general term that describes a group of 100 unique diseases that share a common factor: uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cell”. Its why this mutation of cells happens, and what the body is trying to do with this spread and change, that I will try and explain today.

The body’s singular function is to survive. Each cell is designed with a specific purpose and when its lifespan is up, there are ‘death cells’ that come and take it away to make room for the new ones. Each cell has a purpose and each cell needs an energy source. To obtain, utilise and transfer this energy each cell needs certain nutrients, to feed, break down, catalyse reactions with enzymes and utilise  metabolic pathways. Without this our cells will die and therefore eventually we will too. There are many reasons as to why any of these factors for healthy cell growth and renewal can end up in mutation. Believe me it happens every day to every single one of us. It’s when it happens over a prolonged period of time without any change in the circumstances, that we find chronic disease, cancer being the one everyone fears the most.

To have good cell renewal you need DNA that will make sure the integrity of the cell information is kept intact. A healthy digestive system that procures all the nutrients needed to build a healthy strong cell are available (fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals necessary) and the environment that has the right pH for all of these chemical reactions to happen. Combine that with a well circulated, oxygenated and fully hydrated blood supply to feed it and to take away the waste, a healthy immune system to mop up all the rogue bacteria and to dispose of the cells that have served their purpose, a healthy liver to process any toxins produced and a well functioning elimination system to remove all the toxins and waste out of your body, you can see that there are many places where this could potentially go wrong!

Conventional medicine has identified Cancer as an ‘autoimmune disease’ in some cases. The body is not attacking itself; the ideal environment and circumstances as outlined above has been compromised forcing the cell to mutate in order to continue to survive. Normally the body gives you signs of imbalance and the need to slow down and clear out. A cold is a good example. You get hot eyes, sore throat, and fever to indicate to you that there has been an infiltration. Fever is necessary to increase the body temperature to kill off the bacteria, inflammation is necessary to try and contain the bug so the body can fight it and then the mucous produced is the body’s way of then eliminating it. We are very efficient machines. So why would you then want to reduce a fever and inflammation in order to ‘feel better’? Sometimes you have to stop, feel like crap and let the body do its job; rest, feed it immune boosting nutrients and keep hydrated. By then encouraging the purge you are successfully strengthening your immune system, and getting rid of anything left over. So decongestants, supposedly helping you to breathe, are also not the answer as it just gets broken down and redistributed. Such is the case against Vaccinations and prolonged use of antibiotics. Not only to they upset the body’s natural defences they also contain many toxins and can contribute to the ticking time bomb that may be in your body for years and years. The only way to get an immune system is to get sick and the only way to strengthen it is to provide the nutrients necessary to do its job and to keep the body in tip top condition. This is true for body, mind and spirit.

Without good nutrition, adequate exercise (for both circulation and oxygen content of blood) and the ability to express emotions and release stress your body will suffer. You have to listen to your body’s signals. Each illness is an opportunity to cleanse and heal, even the childhood illnesses are integral to this. There is that great quote from the Dali Lama that illustrates this perfectly

After you take a day off work when you are feeling awful, take the next day too. In the long run you do yourself and your work a favour as by properly convalescence you are less likely to get sick again as quickly as you may if you continue to plough your way through it. Suppressing symptoms is a dangerous game. Excessive stress (whether mental, physical or emotional) is detrimental to your immune system and therefore your overall health. Stress affects you by drawing away your life blood to the organs and supplying the skeletal muscles in the fight or flight mode. Whether you perceive stress or not, stress is a reaction to stimulus, whether that be walking down the road in a city with everything going on around you, to being overworked and underfed in a job situation, to constantly worrying about anything. Even watching TV is a stressful situation as the constant flicker and movement is incredibly stimulating. By diverting the blood supply you are taking away nutrients, oxygen and life source away from the cells in your vital organs breaking the essential environment for cellular health. Any stagnation, mental, physical and emotional will also contribute to this. Cancer cell mutation is a last survival mechanism built in when all other protective measures have failed. It’s actually an ingenious way to survive. A cancerous cell is anaerobic so it can continue to function until the environment changes and it can change back to producing a healthy cell.

A cell cannot have malicious purpose or ability, their only function is to survive. Organ failure happens when the constant deprivation of nutrients causes the cell wastage and mutation to continue. Combine that with a highly invasive and destructive poison and toxin that comes in the form of conventional treatment and in my opinion it is a miracle anyone survives such an onslaught from every angle.

In my next blog I will go into the various nutrients necessary for good DNA cell replication, healthy and strong cell formation and immune system; How to minimise toxicity and maximise the body’s detoxification pathways on an everyday level rather than a ‘New Year’s resolution quick fix’. Until then any comments and questions are encouraged and welcomed.

I leave you with this quote again from Andreas Moritz

“Destructive microorganisms have no business in a clean, well-circulated and oxygen rich environment”

Awesome links (and my sources) to follow up with:

http://www.canceractive.com/ a holistic cancer charity.

credence.org a great resource with more online videos to sign up to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgJKaP0Sj5U&feature=plcp&context=C47cd81eVDvjVQa1PpcFP8RDvM10YWoAEwubj3bxD5l703FZVfLDA%3D An awesome video watching the natural immune system dealing with cancer

http://search.mercola.com/search/Pages/results.aspx?k=cancer All the videos and articles from Dr Mercola

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvzDHGLEUyw a video about the history of cancer treatment and its dubious takeover by modern medicine

http://www.cancerlaw.net/treatments.htm Some of the Law behind conventional cancer treatment and its failings.

Books:

Caner is not a Disease: Andreas Moritz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Is-Not-Disease-Mechanism/dp/097679442X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339483303&sr=8-1

Staying healthy with Nutrition: Elson M. Haas

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staying-Healthy-Nutrition-Nutritional-Twenty-First/dp/1587611791/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339484253&sr=8-1-spell

The Transformed Cell Steven A Rosenberg.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Transformed-Cell-Unlocking-Mysteries/dp/0399137491/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339484314&sr=1-1

 

read more

Natural Family Health Classes with Baby Massage



Click here to register for classes

I found parenting for the first time was one of the hardest and quickest changes I have ever had to do. Correction, I find parenting really hard. I still have no idea what I am doing…However I have learnt a lot since those first days, weeks and months. The main thing that saved me was the community I found who I am still in contact with to this day. I did baby massage with both of my kids and I found the teachers and the other mothers (and there was a Dad too!) so helpful as I navigated the unknown.

While I am not going to be teaching the actual massage section of the class (I leave that in the very capable and experienced hands of Tracy McCarthy of Head to Toe Therapies), I really love supporting families to heal and grow, alongside the benefits of massage.

Massage is a great way for you and your partner to bond with your baby, and you may find it benefiting for you too!

I am providing support and education on the following areas:


Click here to register for classes

Postpartum recovery: We spend so much time and energy on monitoring the babys development and growth. However as the new mum, your healing has also just begun. I want to support your emotional and physical healing as you begin a new phase in your life. This is especially true if you have had more than one child. I have seen lots of mums 5/10/15 years down the line still recovering physically and emotionally from growing, birthing, feeding and nurturing their children. You deserve time and attention too! In this first session, I offer nutrition guidance to help repair and rebuild your own body, abdominal repair and strengthening advice and support and also emotional healing too

EFT for Peaceful Parenting: Learn how to quickly and simply manage your reactions to help you to become the parent you want to be.

When it comes to parenting, today’s world does not offer parents a clear path. Children do not come with a manual and just like us as adults; every child is unique in their developments, growth, moods, reactions and methods of communication. It can be confusing to have so much input into how, why, what and when you should parent. This is especially true if this is your first time as a parent.

EFT uses the mapped energy meridians from traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture points, combined with breathing and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Pathways) principles. You simply use your fingertips to tap the points, while you breath and speak all your thoughts and beliefs. EFT is very effective in calming your body and mind the more often you use it, like any other mindfulnes

Once you see how effective EFT is in helping you to manage and alter your moods, thoughts and reactions, you’ll probably want to try it with your child. It’s a quick and effective way to calm kids of all ages when they’re upset, help them release stuck emotions or trauma, and help them relax to fall asleep and gain a better quality of sleep at night.

Sleep Remedies: High quality sleep is just as important for overall heath as what you eat and how you move. Nevertheless, many people have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently or fail to wake up feeling rested. Some people have no problem falling asleep and yet still awake feeling tired. Many others have severe difficulty falling and staying asleep through the night.This makes optimal health and well-being a challenge.

Sleep affects your hormone balance affecting your weight, cravings, menstrual cycle and fight or flight mechanism. It may also affect your memory and cognition, your mood and motivation and your ambition for your own life. However sleep also has links to cardiovascular system dysfunctions, immune system regulation, blood glucose maintenance, depression and even athletic performance. All of these symptoms are commonly found across most parents, adults and even children!

We have all heard about the benefits of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, however sometimes we cannot control the amount of sleep we get in a night and these guidelines cause more stress for parents. However we can work on the quality of your sleep rather than quantity. An hour of well rested sleep can sometimes be more beneficial than more sleep that is light, fitful and interrupted. For you and your baby!

Natural Remedies for Teething and Colic: Teething and colic are two common baby woes you will definitely come across as a parent. Typical symptoms are fussing and crying. Colic is not a disease, but rather a collection of symptoms with an unknown cause. Specific diagnosis is based on the following “unexplained crying lasting more than at least 3 hours a day, on at least 3 days (per week), of at least 3 weeks”. Helpful, I know! Babies who display these symptoms are said to be colicky, a term that refers to intestinal pain, even if this may not necessarily be the case. Caring for a colicky baby can be a trying experience for parents. No matter what you try, your baby may still remain inconsolable. The important thing is to stay calm and relaxed.

Some babies are born with one or more teeth, while others do not get their first tooth until the age of 1. In general, however, primary teeth start coming in between 6 months and 3 years of age, a process that can be with or without pain. Both of my children got their first tooth at 9 months, however teething symptoms began at 3months. Another unknown and frustrating time for babies and parents alike!

In recent decades the use of natural remedies for colic and teething has increased significantly. There are even studies confirming that there is even a high interest of physicians in natural remedies and homeopathy for these ailments. We will discuss several of these options and help you to begin to build a tool kit of remedies to try for the physical and emotional sides for parent and child.

Real Food Weaning: By weaning your child onto real foods with confidence and excitement we are giving our babies a great start in their relationship to food. Good nutrition is vital for your child’s healthy development. I can certainly vouch for it being a confusing time. I aim to help you to understand how a baby’s digestive system works and what nutrients your child needs to grow and develop. Hopefully make this part of parenting more fun for you both.

Food provides nutrients for new cell formation and therefore supports the baby’s fast growth and development. Good nutrition therefore is of vital importance for their present and future health. Foods rich in proteins and fats are paramount to their developmental needs. This is when your child begins to develop their relationship to food. Nourishing this relationship in a positive and fun way can provide them with a healthy understanding of how great real food is.

Key lessons given to our babies continue when they are toddlers. Allowing them to use their senses around food (especially sight, touch and smell) and play becomes fundamental to how they will view nourishing themselves for the rest of their lives. This is how we can, as parents, help them to make good lifestyle choices from the very beginning. It may also reduce any fussy eating habits later.


Click here to register for classes


Facebook


Instagram


Youtube


Pinterest


Twitter

read more

The benefits of sea salt

Sea salt has been used therapeutically, by our ancestors, for thousands of years. The word salary came from the word for salt as it was used as currency for years.  Seen as a precious commodity to season food, preserve food and boost health. Salt like Celtic sea salt, volcanic salt and Himalayan sea salt that are generally grey, black, or pink in colour. People need to eat salt for normal cell function and to maintain the acid balance of the blood. These salts are actually very helpful in balancing the body, the  concentration of minerals and nutrients in seawater, matches the concentration of minerals in our blood. Using salt may help to provide the body the nutrients lacking from our soils and therefore some of our foods. Of course it enhances the flavour notes in our food!

Sea salt comes from evaporating seawater, Himalayan Pink Salt comes from mining ancient sea salt deposits from the mountains in the himalayan mountains. To be impressed at the number of minerals you may find in salt, have a look at the analysis of minerals found in Himalayan Pink Salt here

Here are some of the benefits of salt:

1. Keeps you hydrated

Sea salt is extremely beneficial in keeping us hydrated, which may surprise us as we know if we were stranded at sea and only had sea water to drink we would suffer. The amount of electrolytes in sea salt help our cells to absorb the water. Therefore a little salt in our water may also satisfy our thirst for a longer period of time and allow us to absorb fluids, rehydrating us.

Because of this comprehensive mineral content, sea salt is a great source of electrolytes like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium. These electrolytes are also vital for muscle, brain and heart health and cellular function.

Try making your own effective electrolyte drink; adding a pinch of sea salt to a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon or orange.

2. Reduces fluid retention

 
Eating real food (instead of processed foods) and season your cooking with sea salt may to help eliminate bloat and water retention.

3. A great source of minerals 

So most sea salts have been shown to contain up to 84 trace minerals that we can absorb. These may help us to redress any micronutrient deficiencies we may have to nourish and strengthen our body. Our soil has shown to be been depleted of these essential minerals because of over farming, mono cropping and chemical pesticides used. This is showing a potential deficit in essential minerals that used to be prevalent in our food produce. Sea salt also has a more complete symbiosis of minerals in the right ratios, this makes those nutrients more absorbable and useable in the body, far better than single nutrient supplements and even some multi nutrient recipes.

Use a pinch of sea salt each day can really add up that extra nutrient profile.

When your electrolytes are low, you can experience muscle soreness, cramps, low energy levels, and even restless leg syndrome. The lack of minerals (especially magnesium) may keep the muscles from relaxing and cause muscle tension that is not necessarily due to workload on the muscles. Salt baths can be recommended for any kind for muscle fatigue or excessive cramping.  With the osmosis process, toxins will be drawn out of the body in a salt bath and the mineral profile will be absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup of sea salt to your bath water and use any of your favourite essential oils for a relaxing and replenishing bath

5. May  help balance bacteria levels. (see here)

Salt may help to balance some types of bacteria levels on the skin, in wounds and in the intestines by using the osmosis process. The water in the bacterial cells is effectively sucked out of them. Without water, bacterial cannot function and eventually the cell collapses in on itself and dies. Some bacteria have a built in system to resist this process. Others seem to consume the salt. Studies on salt and bacterial balance are still being done to understand this. Brines in preserved and fermented foods help to maintain an acidic environment which also prevents mould to thrive.
 
Consume salt fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.

6. Great for skin health

Have you ever noticed that your skin feels softer and smoother after some time spent at the sea? You may have even noticed cuts, grazes, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis heal faster. Many people notice skin improvements after a holiday where they will go for a swim in the sea. As discussed before, our bodies contain the same concentration of minerals and nutrients as seawater does.  Salt water is full of with skin-necessary minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are then are easily absorbed into your body through the skin. These nutrients also may play a role in anti-inflammatory effects beneficial for skin and whole body health. It is no surprise that there are many beauty products that use sea salt, like salt scrubs that while exfoliating skin, also help to increase circulation, and providing the skin with nutrients. 

Use salt with coconut oil as a drawing out salve for acne, or as a scrub or cleanser.

7. Improves digestion

Sea salt is necessary for the digestion system, which begins in the mouth. Salivary amylase, which is an enzyme which helps break down carbohydrates found in your saliva, is activated by the flavour of salt on the tastebuds on the tongue. The nutrients in salt play a stimulating role in the making of hydrochloric acid, which is secreted and necessary in the stomach for the breakdown of food, especially proteins and fats. Many people are insufficient in quality and quantity hydrochloric acid, and this may in turn, lead to  numerous digestive issues like bloating, gas, heartburn, indigestion.

Season your food whilst cooking or on your plate. Or make the replenishing electrolyte drink seen above.

8. Nourishes the adrenal glands

Adrenal fatigue may occur from prolonged stress (fight or flight mechanism) and poor diet. With adrenal hormone level insufficiency, one of the main symptoms you may experience is salt cravings. This is because the body is craving the nutrients it finds in sea salt. Among their numerous demanding functions, our adrenal glands release hormones that target the kidneys to regulate sodium and potassium levels. To make  this particular job easier, the adrenals favour a balance of these minerals through the consumption of high quality sea salt. By giving the body the nutrients the body’s cells need for optimum function, the nervous system is also calmed and rest and recovery becomes more possible.

Instead of eating a salty packet of crisps or processed food, try having a pinch of salt in a glass of water or a salt bath to satisfy the body’s cravings.

9. Regulates blood pressure

It may be surprising, but sea salt is even greatly beneficial for regulating blood pressure. If the nutrient profile in the blood is the right ratio of water to nutrients, the blood can flow easier and inflammation may become reduced. The rise in blood pressure may often the result of inflammation in the body, potentially caused by a high sugar, processed food diet devoid of most nutrients. This may create a deficient in blood nutrient ratios. With all of the benefits as above, balancing bacteria levels, improving the immune system, increasing hydration levels, removing toxins and calming the nervous system we may also seen a benefit to the circulatory system, in particular blood pressure.

So there you have it, salt still remains as a precious commodity. One that needs a presence for the interior and exterior of your body…

 

read more

The benefits of using clay in cosmetics

The Benefits of Using Clay in Cosmetics

For centuries mineral-rich clay has been used as a natural agent to beautify the skin. Clay minerals may comprise 15% of the volume of the earth’s crust. In soil, clays are generally the most important adsorbents for inorganic metals and organic solutes as well, this gives them their mineral content. Their presence in our soils is imperative for plants growth and nutrient density. They are an extremely important natural resource and have many uses. 

“it (the clay) absorbs all of those properties of nature. It takes on the energy, so when you look at it as a substance, you can say that it’s the sum of the pull of nature’s energy.”

Different powdered clays are used as the basis for facial body masks popular in many spas, think mud baths! They are largely used for their ability to absorb excess oils, dead skin cells and potential toxins from the skin. They are often paired with powdered herbs and nutrients to enhance their abilities to heal, tone, soften and detoxify the skin. Applying clay to cosmetics may help to exfoliate, clean and invigorate the skin whilst improving blood circulation (you can often feel some heat and see redness after a clay mask for this reason. When the effect softens down the skin normally looks glowing).

As well as being in masks, clays are added to natural scrubs (for their natural exfoliating properties, natural vegetable soaps (as they can enhance their lather capabilities), some clays are used in toothpaste, deodorant and also shampoo or face cleansing bars. We use clay in the bath with essential oils and as a ‘talc’, I also add clay to my dry shampoo recipe.

TOP TIPS:

  • Wet your face at night, apply your clay, and just begin to lightly massage the clay in for about two or three minutes for a soft, natural exfoliation. Apply a nutritious oil infused with essential oils afterwards for a real treat for the skin.
  • Mix clay with a liquid to make a paste:
  • You can add ground coffee, salt, oats, almond flour or desiccated coconut to increase the exfoliant properties.
  • Add herbal teas like chamomile, calendula, rooibos or rosewater to the clay for a calming and nutrient dense combination.
  • Add apple cider vinegar, kombucha or kefir to the clay to increase detoxification and to make your skin tighter, brighter and simply glowing!
  • Rinse off your mask using just water. You may have to gently scrub a little with your fingers to get it off. It tends to try to stick to your skin.
  • I mix raw cacao and red clay with arrowroot flour for my dry shampoo!
  • Avoid getting clay in mouth, eyes, ears, nose.
  • After a clay mask tone the skin with a little rose water or kefir/water spray
  • Moisturiser will be soaked into the skin with greater effect after a clay mask.
  • Clays mix nicely with activated charcoal.
  • Clay infused sponges work really nicely and gently on the skin.
  • Traditionally clays have been taken externally or internally. Consider contacting a practitioner like myself for advice with this.

Different clays have different properties and are ideal for different skin types and also different needs. The clays come from all over the world and different locations will have different mineral constituents. The mineral content and physical structure of each clay will help to determine the desired effect for the skin.

Different clays for different reasons:

Bentonite clay:

Bentonite clay is a generic term made of rocks that come from volcanic ash beds. Settled on the ground the ash has immersed itself into the soil, Bentonite is found wherever volcanic eruptions have occurred and where the ash beds have not been destroyed by erosion. Today most of the clay available to buy is harvested in western U.S. (mostly Wyoming), Greece, France, India, Australia and Italy. You may see it as Bentonite or Montmorillonite clay, the two names are interchangeable.

Bentonite is a very popular clay with many for skin benefits. With its strong negative electrical charge, it is seen to draw out positively charged toxins like a magnet. Also as one of the most absorbable clays bentonite is also helpful for oily skin. Normally used for tightening, brightening, acne-clearing and toxin reducing, bentonite is also very good for first aid.

Bentonite clay swells when mixed with liquid, making it a highly porous and absorbing substance. It can actually absorb more than its initial mass, including any swelling from excess fluid anywhere in the body. It is also great to add to scars, stretch marks and red skin.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May reduce scars, stretch marks, rosacea or liver spots.
  • Softens and detoxifies the skin
  • Soothes dermatitis.
  • Hydrates the hair.
  • Decreases eye puffiness: Moisten the under-eye area (be careful to be away from the eye itself) and apply quite a thick paste application of clay/apple cider vinegar or water around the eyes. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes, then wash it off. 
  • For a first aid paste good for cuts, bruises, sores or blisters: Mix bentonite clay powder with baking soda, water and turmeric. You can also add cooled thyme or calendula tea to maximize the effect it has on your skin.

Red Clay:

Used for its beauty benefits since the dawn of time, also known as Rhassoul clay, this ancient clay is mined from Morocco. It is considered more rare and pure than other clays, it was reserved for Egyptian royalty in the past. Extremely high in minerals and trace elements it owes its colour to a high concentration of iron oxide. This clay is used to stimulate microcirculation in the blood vessels helping to improve circulation to the skin and remove toxins and impurities.

Like Bentonite clay the minerals cause a negative charge, most toxins in your skin are positively charged, so this clay is also the perfect magnet. However, this clay is excellent for more sensitive and drier skins as it also has elasticity and texture-improving effects. Gentle enough for daily use in small doses like in soap, makes a great exfoliator and in a hair mask or shampoo may absorb excess build-up on hair, restoring volume, and shine. It is also very good on sensitive scalps.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Gentle and effective exfoliant
  • improves dryness and scaliness of skin
  • clarifies skins texture and firmness.
  • Mattifies and unifies the complexion
  • absorbs impurities and detoxifies skin to revive and brighten the complexion
  • Reduces redness and soothes discomfort caused by irritations
  • Acts as a natural colour in makeup or dry shampoo
  • Absorbs excess sebum from the skin and hair
  • Restores body, silkiness and shine to hair

Pink clay:

A mix of red and white clay, pink clay enjoys the benefits of both. It is great for sensitive and mature skin and has the benefits of both bentonite and rhassoul clay. Considered to be the mildest of all the clays, Pink Clay masks do not remove the skin’s natural oils, making it perfect for tight, dry and dehydrated skin.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Restores radiance to the skin.
  • Reduces irritation and inflammation.
  • Treats damaged skin by promoting healthy cell renewal.
  • Good to use on scars and stretch marks
  • May help to reduce wrinkles
  • Softens and hydrates the skin.
  • Cleanses and refreshes dull, tired and dry skin.
  • Eliminates redness.
  • Smoothens the skin’s texture.
  • Revitalizes the scalp and hair.

Green Clay:

Green clay, also referred to as green illite, sea clay or Montmorillonite clay. Found in abundant deposits in France (also extracted from other places in the world including China and the U.S.), it is mined several thousand feet below the earth’s crust (up to two thousand feet below the surface). A naturally occurring material rich in nutrients, it gets its greenish hue from the presence of blue-green algae and chlorophyll left by decomposed plant life mixed with Iron oxides. Once the clay is mined it is brought out into the sun to remove excess water and moisture and to make it the powder we can use. 

The clay’s amazing detoxifying quality of this material is best demonstrated by its use in 1986, when it was used in a massive quantity to cover and neutralise the nuclear reactor site at Chernobyl. It was also added to chocolate to help people to detoxify it from their body. Green clay has also been used for centuries in a poultice and Arizona State University reports their researchers have found French green clay effective in inhibiting Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium marinum. These bacteria can play a part in serious skin infections.

French green clay is also excellent for exfoliation and pore-tightening. It is another very absorbent clay that especially drinks up oil from the skin and hair, it also encourages blood towards the surface of your skin, giving you a bit of a tingling sensation as it boosts circulation. Extremely nutrient-rich, green clay also contains dolomite, manganese, silica, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and calcium.

THE BENEFITS:

  • Helps hair that is oily, shiny or dull.
  • Softens dry or rough skin.
  • removes dirt from the skin and scalp.
  • Great used in deodorant.
  • Daily mask can help regulate your skin’s sebum production to reduce oiliness.
  • Clears acne and reduces blackheads
  • Calms and soothes eczema, rashes, psoriasis.
  • Improves skin condition and appearance.
  • Purifies and balances the scalp and clears dandruff.
  • Detoxifys body.
  • Great used in first aid and in poltices.
  • Good to use in toothpaste especially with gum issues.

Get in contact below for some recommendations for brands and how to use them….

read more

Warming, healing and delicious Turmeric Tea

Turmeric tea

This time of year and every change of season our body needs help to adjust. The healing spices in this turmeric tea have been used for centuries. We need to maintain our body temperature every day and when the outside environment is up and down that can be a stressful task for the body (cue fever!).

Spices have a long tradition in every culture to help support the body by providing essential nutrients as building blocks. Turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, black pepper, cloves, cacao and nutmeg all have a rich tradition as healing herbs. Any combination of these is going to help to support, boost, calm and restore the body during any up and down period (stress included).

I love to make this at the beginning or end of the day. Especially when I am feeling run down, cold, stressed or pre-menstrual. The combination of the herbs gives a big dose of nutrients and healing power. I sometimes make it with milk (I tend to use this coconut cream or cashew milk), I also make it with hot water and a dash of coconut cream.

Simply make up a jar of this mix and add what you like. I especially like to add it to my hot chocolate recipe! The kids like it too….

I normally get big bags of herbs from my favourite brands on iherb, here are my links here (I get a bonus if you buy through these links) however you can find them elsewhere too.

Turmeric

Coconut Sugar

Ginger

Cinnamon

Cardamon

Black Pepper

Raw Cacao

Nutmeg

Star anise

Cloves

read more

What are the Chakras?

What are the Chakras?

Why do we use them?

How do they help in mindfulness?

You may be aware of the mindfulness course Inner Rainbow Mindfulness. The basic structure of the course is based on the 7 colours of the rainbow, connected to 7 themes and runs over 7 weeks. Many have asked us why we do this and many have heard the word ‘chakra’ and felt uncomfortable or intrigued. Here is what this structure looks like, why we have them, and how it helps mindfulness…

The entire universe is made of energy, and your body is no exception.

Have a look at this post on using frequencies to heal our body. Long before modern medicines, technology and science, ancient cultures (from East to West) held their own concept and understanding of mind, spirit or soul as distinct from the physical body. We all know that all living things carry a life force, energy, chi or soul with them. It separates us from alive and dead. Once that energy leaves, we are only a physical body that can no longer function. Our living matrix is a complex network connecting all body systems, organs and cells together.

Always considered ‘woo’ by the modern scientific community, energy medicine has been often looked at as quackery, fraud or witchcraft! However our bodies are electromagnetic in nature, on this we all agree, and science has measured these frequencies with machines, like X-ray, EKG, thermography, PET and MRI for many years. Also the scientific community have been interested in  using technological research, ranging from holographic patterning (3D images) to Kirlian photography, to observe the human energy field (HEF) and been even been able to begin to demonstrate it’s existence. They are able to recognise networks of complex energy fields which interact with our physical and cellular systems. They have even noted DNA’s positive and negative response to pulsing magnetic fields (see here, here and here).

All healing, natural and pharmaceutical is rooted in science.

There are vibrations from everything in the universe, physical and emotional. Conditions that influence you, consciously or subconsciously will be reflected in your physical and emotional self. They are intrinsically connected. Your inner energy body as well as your external environment influence these reflections. Your upbringing, culture, and geography, for instance, all affect your perception of health and how you should/could be.

Children are more aware of their energy systems and react to them with less consciousness baggage.

They may lack the intellectual capacity and maturity to use words to describe and explain how their body feels. However they can be very true to themselves and react very well to colour, textures, smells, tastes and gut instinct. They are able to use their senses without too much attachment to other things and this can give an amazing opportunity to help them consciously connect their body and mind to achieve true balance and health. 

The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC. The map of the chakras connects with various TCM Meridian points flowing along the spine and even the modern images of the autonomic nervous system. They have have been the main means of accessing non-physical areas of your body before surgery. There are thought to be over 110 chakras in the body,  seven are considered major. These seven line up vertically on key points along the middle of the physical body. They each have a corresponding colour from red through to violet.

Within your body you have an Inner Rainbow. 

By learning about the 7 chakras, you can become more in tune with the natural energy cycles of your body and mind. By removing the spiritual belief system of the chakras, we can use them energetically to open up themes and areas of the body. Each chakra has a colour and core issues attached to it.

Using the colours and themes we can link the Bach Flower Remedies and affirmations we use each week, the aromatherapy oils used in the room spray, the different Brain Gym exercise goals and areas they support, the acupressure points used to help reduce the intensity of emotions to the potential core issues. 

By doing this, those on the course are able to approach each weeks issue and theme through a non-threatening or confusing way. The language can become simpler and more accessible. We can all sit and think about a colour entering and exiting your body, however when asked to confront or release a big emotion can have much conscious trauma attached to it.

Here is an overview of each Chakra or Colour and what we aim to work through in that weeks class:

RED/ BROWN

THEMES: “I Have”

Survival, safety, grounding, connected to the earth, family, right to live, who am I? 

ELEMENT: Earth

SENSE: Smell

CORE ISSUES: Security, trust, identity, family, society/school, health, prosperity.

The first week resonates with grounding and feeling stability and security. Many of us feel consciously safe, however the body may resonate subconsciously as unsafe.  You may even feel afraid to change, be unwilling to accept habits, thought patterns or transition is even possible. This can be because of our childhood, c-sections have been seen to possibly re-wire primal instincts and the nervous system response. Relearning new habits and reactions can take time, change can only happen when we feel safe and we trust.

We explore and discuss who we are, our names, feeling safe in the strangeness and perceptions of the course ahead. Introduce the concept of mindfulness as being, “Just noticing”.  Feeling safe in the knowledge that there is no wrong or right, only opinion. We discuss the sense of smell and explore what that opens up. We discuss red foods and what a ‘real’food actually is. Explore smells and how smells make us feel. We try a simple meditation and brain gym exercise. We use an Emotion Stress Release point (acupressure points) to release any fear or nerves.

OUTCOMES: Feel comfortable and safe in change and a new routine. Be open to your environment and begin to feel connection to breath and the body through the sense of smell. 

 

ORANGE

THEMES: “I Feel”

Relationships, how we feel, identity, passion

ELEMENT: Water

SENSE: Taste

CORE ISSUES: Pleasure, creativity, imagination, what we like, reactions, impulses, movement & connection, emotions

We discuss anger and fear being connected. How we react and why, most importantly strategies to help us to change our reactions. By feeling safe, warm, connected and protected we can come out of fight or flight mode and have more flow in life. We talk about how we can work on being present and aware and mindful in your interactions with others

We discuss identity, what that means, also that we are not our emotions, that we feel them and they can come and go. Every emotion is important and noticing, without judgement, about how we feel is key. When we know how we feel we can begin to make decisions about if we want to continue to feel that way.

We are introduced to more tools and we start to move our body to feel more flow in our surroundings. We discuss the sense of taste and explore what that opens up. We discuss orange foods.

OUTCOMES: Feel more open and relaxed to begin to notice how we feel. We do not need to be perfect, everyone makes mistakes.

 

YELLOW

THEMES: “I Am Me”

Self-confidence, identity, personal power, respect, ego, concern about outward appearance

ELEMENTFire

SENSESight

CORE ISSUESPersonal power, respect, humility, will, energy

We learn about our personal fire, how it can be too weak and too strong. Life can be hard and we can still be strong for ourselves. We can take responsibility for our decisions and look inside to know the answer for ourselves. Mistakes can be learnt from and there is great strength in humility and compassion.

Our physical energy is linked to how we feel and we explore how we speak and move can change how we feel. Personal power is important and our beliefs and feelings are important. I am responsible for my happiness.

OUTCOMES: Feel confident in different situations. Feel free to make own decisions for your benefit. To release past issues and begin each day new and with confidence and strength. 

GREEN

THEMES: “I Love”

Love, acceptance of self and others, unconditional love, balance, forgiveness and compassion 

ELEMENT: Air

SENSE: Touch

CORE ISSUES: Respect for self and world around you, intimacy, acceptance, empathy and compassion.

It is really important to feel and give kindness towards yourself and/or others. To create peace and harmony we must first look in the mirror and be kind. We play trust games and communicate to feel safe. We talk about green food and how important food is to nourish and heal.

We explore and discuss love, why we are the most important person to love. We can only feel empathy and compassion when we love ourselves enough to give more love out. We discuss the sense of touch, how that creates trust and when is it ok to touch and when is it ok to have boundaries. To have confidence and love for ourselves to say no to ideas and experiences that do not resonate with our body and mind.

OUTCOMES: Feel comfortable saying “I love me, I am special” in the mirror. Know that love is something to give and to receive.

BLUE

THEMES: “I Hear”

Personal truth communication, Creative identity, self expression, choice, communication and listening, balance of logic and emotion

SENSE: Listening

CORE ISSUES: Be comfortable with change and making decisions, communicate truth, courage, forgiveness, finding one’s own voice

Communication to yourself and the world around you is so important. Many of us struggle to say what we think through fear of being wrong or upsetting the other person. We learn different ways of communicating our feelings by drawing them and acting them out. We discuss whole body listening and how to deal with distractions. Focus can be really hard, trying to notice something different every day or using a listening meditation to hear all the different sounds can help you maintain focus by keeping interest there. 

Practising gratitude can be really simple. Using our journals, we stay in the present moment to list what we are grateful for. It can make a big difference.

OUTCOMES:Be able to communicate effectively through a variety of mediums, write, draw, speak, move and act. Know when to use each one to be an effective communicator. Help others to have space to communicate and be a good listener.

PURPLE

THEMES: “I Perceive”

Intuition, insight, sensory perception, imagination, visualisation

SENSE: Intuition (Sixth sense, gut instinct- connects all the other senses)

CORE ISSUES: Wisdom, experience, intuition, imagination, manifesting abundance, dreams, 

 

The pineal gland in the brain is in the shape of an eye, hence the term Third Eye. The Egyptians and other ancient cultures knew about this and understood that it took in information from the world around them and sometimes believed even information beyond the stars could come through. The pineal gland lets the brain know when it is night and day, it is responsible for melatonin (sleep hormone) and serotonin (happy hormone).

We discuss screens and over stimulation. Also we put together a sleep tool kit in class and make goals to reduce screen time, especially when eating or before bed. We empower with knowledge to set the goals by themselves. To give back responsibility of body and mind to the individual.

The meditation is all about feeling the magic, joy and excitement about life. About being able to manifest what you want from life. This helps to provide energy and motivation in the present to go after their dreams. A valuable feeling to be able to tap into.

OUTCOMES: To feel grater control over their lives, to find something they want and to have the energy and motivation to go after it. To trust their instinct and make choices in the present moment free from fear.

PINK

THEMES: “I Know”

the way you express who you are and your connection to the universe, ability to trust life, values, ethics, courage, faith and inspiration

CORE ISSUES: Belief systems, awareness and consciousness.

The Crown chakra is a sum of all the pieces. We review and repeat our favourite games, journal activity or exercise. We goal set for the future based on how we feel at the end. We get ready to come back and go a bit deeper into each colour to find more understanding about ourselves. We learn how we are all connected and how to use our tools in real life.

OUTCOMES: Round up and set goals for the future. Connect all the work we have done and trouble shoot some scenarios to help integrate new tools. 

 

 

read more

Navigate and support your cycle like the wonder woman you are

If you want to talk about any of the parts of your cycle I am happy to answer your questions or book a session… 

Navigate and Support Your Cycle

How the menstrual cycle keeps turning and how you can make it work for your life.

Getting to know how you feel during the contrasting times of your menstrual cycle is imperative to whole body health and happiness! All women need to understand their body, having 4 seasons every month means accepting change. Trying to continue with the same exercise, eating habits and social life every day as if it is the same can cause physical and emotional turmoil within us all. It is a huge governing force on how we see and feel the world around us. It should not be suppressed or ignored. Life would also be better if we stopped calling it a curse or a pain.

Being able to navigate and support your cycle can really lead the way to whole body health.

Healthy fats are essential to a healthy cycle. Low fat/ high carbohydrate diets may disrupt the normal flow and may also contribute to symptoms of PMS, cramps and clots. A diet rich in dense protein, eggs, green vegetables, fruit, fermented foods and drinks and lots of healing fats can contribute to smooth sailing through the ebbs and flows of life! Support your menstrual cycle by reducing refined sugar and starch in your diet, they give zero nutrition and zero comfort!

Never follow an exercise or diet plan that does not take your hormones into consideration. Women and men do need to train differently to be able to remain balanced. Men have cycles too!

Instead nourish your body, mind and soul with the following tips…

To help you to even know where you are in your cycle have a look at clue charting app, there is another good one for apple users called My Moontime. Also teas like this Moon cycle tea are great all around balance throughout the month. This is my favourite image to help you to understand how it all fits together. You can see how it builds and wanes.

menstrual_periods

1

Menstruation 

(week 1: New beginnings as we prepare for new potential)

Day one of your menstrual cycle begins with your bleed. I always feel a sense of renewal and energy when my period begins hopefully you should also begin to feel better. After the possible ups and downs and dull aches of your last cycle, you begin to feel renewed and refreshed. After winter, comes spring. You may become increasingly optimistic, and your energy begins to be able turn outward towards the world again.

A healthy period may last between 3-7 days. There should be maybe a little cramping on day one but largely it should be pain free, maybe light spotting at the beginning and end. Using a menstrual cup can hugely benefit both your body and the environment. It can also give you a huge amount of information about the colour, consistency and volume of your bleed. This is information that is very important to chart and notice.

Many people tend to want to ignore and have as little to do with their bleed as possible. This is undermining a huge part of what it is to be a woman. Menstrual blood is being investigated for all its profound properties and nutrient value (i.e stem cells not for consuming!!!!). It is not just blood! Make sure you are aware of how you speak about your menstrual cycle to yourself and others, changing your viewpoint can have an enormous impact on your body and those of our daughters, sisters, mothers and friends.

The cramping during your period is not unlike Braxton hicks. Your cervix is firm and low and must slightly open to allow menstrual blood to pass through. the cramping occurs when the muscles in your uterus contract to release the menstrual lining and the cervix to open. If you are also tight in that area because you sit down too much or hold stress in our abdomen area, you may feel more pain.

High blood sugar levels can also use up much needed magnesisum, this is responsible for relaxing muscles which is a possibility why we get those chocolate cravings during this time. By reducing your refined sugar intake, you almost always see a reduction in period cramps. Also try some teas like raspberry leaf (not just for when you are pregnant!) which strengthens your uterine muscles and nettle which gives us a good mineral profile to help our body do what it needs to more efficiently and to better effect.

During your bleed, you may feel introverted and introspective. Just like a seedling needs nourishment and space to grow, so does our body. Some quietness and deliberate rest time can be tremendously helpful. I often like to get into nature, a short walk during your day can feel great. If not why not try a simple breathing technique, see here for some easy ones to try.

Being Mindful about

Things to consider:

  • Make a date with yourself, preferably in or near nature. If not, have a look at some pictures of nature, maybe from your last holiday or bucket list destinations. This is not an ideal time to begin something new or be meeting new people, however you are warming to the idea.

  • Goal setting works well at this time. Make lists of things to do and places to visit. Find inspiration and start to take steps forward.

  • Take hot baths with dead sea salt and feel good essential oils like bergamot, lavender and clary sage and maybe try to go to bed an hour earlier than normal.

  • Warm compresses (hot water bottle or cherry stones) or light exercise may ease cramps. You could also try this homeopathic blend.

  • Try to resist cravings of simple sugars and processed foods. In the long term, they are not what the body is actually looking for. Try to comfort the body in alternative ways. Eat real chocolate or raw cacao. Consume lots of healthy fats like eggs, avocado, coconut and nut butters instead.

  • Write in your journal (see here), and reflect on the events and happenings of the past month. By charting you can see how you feel today compared to other days in the cycle and in other cycles. By truly getting to know our cycle we can have greater care and attention towards our emotional selves.

  • Be kind to your body and speak to yourself in a positive manner

  • Although it may be the last thing you want to do, sex can be very enjoyable at this time, take time to explore each other’s bodies and pay homage to how wonderful they are.

  • Exercise can be gentle movement and stretching like yoga and walking. At this time, your hips and abdominal area are doing a lot and may be tight. You may add stress to ligaments that are attached to your uterus.

  • Drink blood building teas like nettle, raspberry leaf, chai, turmeric milk and try adding collagen to your drinks for extra protein and energy.

  • Try and use a menstrual cup, reusable pads or underwear, if not use biodegradable and organic tampons or pads during your menstrual phase. This is for the good of your body and the environment

  • Bach Flower Remedies can help to remove any mood swings or physical cramps. Have a look at using Crab Apple, Cherry Plum, Clematis, Rock Water, Holly and Mustard. Rescue remedy can also help.

Summer

Follicular Phase

(week 2- Lots of energy for new growth)

The summer is normally when we all feel our best. Full of energy, motivation and of course beautiful and sexy.  You are able to look outward at the world around you as you are able to tackle projects and relationships.

This is when you feel like being life of the party, people are also attracted towards you and you feel like interactions are easier and more fun. Not necessarily connected to the menstrual cycle, this is when you feel full of optimism and hope, energy is high and open

This phase follows just after menstruation. It’s called the Follicular phase because your pituitary gland (in your brain) releases a hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), which stimulates the follicles in your ovaries to mature and ultimately release an egg in a few days. 

During this time in your menstrual cycle you may notice that your cervical fluid takes on a wetter consistency. It can sometimes also look creamy. Your skin may look and feel better and you begin to pay more attention to your outward appearance. 

Your appetite may also change, you may feel lighter and less weighed down. We also rarely connect this to being in our menstrual cycle.

Your sex drive begins to become ignited and you may find yourself feeling flirtier or playful and start window shopping at the men around you. You may become more impulsive and more likely to strike up conversations with strangers.

You may feel a boost of energy during this time of the month, and often see improvement of your mood and brain function. You may feel clearer, more motivated and have more stamina. You may even feel more assertive and willing to take risks. This is a wonderful time to plan what it is that you want and set future intentions.

Exercise will be more fun and you will be able to push yourself and have set harder and faster goals in this week. You may feel stronger and more likely to hit new PB’s

 

Summer

Things to consider:

  • This is a valuable time to initiate new projects at work or at home and make important decisions. If you are a writer you may have a promising idea of the outline and direction of what you want to write at this time.

  • Write all your ideas down, in the next couple of weeks you will be able to go deeper into those ideas and fill them with substance.

  • Brainstorming and problem solving will be become easier and more fun during this phase. Managing things and being organised will help you to stay on top of things and not get carried away with all the energy you have.

  • Start being social – This is the time to schedule time to meet with friends, be out with the kids, start networking, go and experience new things, like an art class or a language class you’ve never tried. You are also more likely to want to go on a date night or to a party now.

  • Smile and talk to people. You may feel confident and adventurous, you never know where an opening may take you.

  • Your body becomes better able to handle strenuous exercise during this time too, This is when you may find you are able to hit some PB’s. Try Olympic lifting and other weighted challenges during this time. You will also enjoy circuits and run sprints.

  • You may really like the essential oils Thyme and Ylang Ylang at this point. 

  • Bach Flower Remedies can help have a look at Wild Rose, Sclerathus, Cerato, Honeysuckle, White Chestnut, Elm and Beech

Spring (1)

 Ovulatory Phase

(week 3 Harvest the rewards of all that hard work and bank some points)

Ovulation is the culmination of all the hard work your hormones and body has been building up in your menstrual cycle for the last couple of weeks. It is also the shortest phase of your menstrual cycle and may last for 2-3 days. After your egg gets released from its follicle into your fallopian tube it may survive for 12-24 hours travelling down towards your uterus. Some people can feel ovulation, others have very vivid dreams during this time.

At this point your sex drive may well be at its highest! The eggs main aim is to be fertilised or it will die. All the hormones come together to rise to their peak levels (see the first image), stimulating the effects of this phase.

You may feel that you look better and feel more confident. You may find it easier to communicate your thoughts and emotions. Our base instincts kick in at this point, to find a mate. If you do not want to become pregnant, this is the time in your menstrual cycle to be very cautious about safe sex.

You may even feel like you look more attractive during this time, skin may be clearer, hair glossier and generally and you may feel more confident about your appearance. You may find yourself dressing in brighter more revealing clothing subconsciously during this time. Your senses may become heightened, your sense of sight, smell, taste and touch feeling more obvious.

You may notice that Your cervical fluid is very clear or viscous egg-white fluid, with lots of elasticity, this is to help sperm to reach the egg and to also ensure the right environment for egg fertilisation. Your cervix will also become softer, and may move higher and open, this is helpful for orgasm.

After ovulation (about day 3-4 of this part of the cycle), oestrogen takes a steep nose dive, but luckily the still rising progesterone catches you from falling all the way to rock bottom. You don’t feel as excited, energetic and confident as in the flirty summer. Doubt and insecurity creep up on you, and you may begin to feel cranky, grouchy or moody. Your energy begins to turn inward now, and you feel the need for some downtime to just catch a breath and chill.

Autumn

Things to consider:

  • This is an ideal time to look for a new job and go to interviews, pitch your ideas, start a new health plan, ask for a raise or more responsibility at work, go network and make plans for the future.

  • If you know you must do public speaking or attend functions try to schedule them in this part of your cycle.

  • Push through limitations and surprise yourself

  • Get out of the house. Go dancing with friends or try something completely different for date night. If you are single, look around and be proactive, have fun and be yourself.

  • Take advantage of the high energy levels during these few days. You should continue to enjoy lots of physical activity, especially group workouts. This is when you go running, spinning, kickboxing or group dance classes. High energy and lots of focus, so get out there and start challenging your body.

  • Bach Flower Remedies can help. Have a look at Rock Water, Beech, Vine, White Chestnut, Vervain, Chicory and Olive.

 

Spring

Luteal Phase

(week 4- Take the time to rest and heal whilst honouring your creative side)

After the oestrogen high of the last few days, it will take a dive in week 4. All the energy in the menstrual cycle can sometimes land with a thud. Primal instincts make us move more inward to heal and rest. You will find yourself beginning to wind down and become calmer.

Progesterone is a heat-inducing hormone which may raise your basal body temperature for the remainder of this phase of your menstrual cycle. If the environment around you is hot, you may find yourself irritated by the heat and not able to cool down.

Your cervical fluid may lose its egg-white elastic or wetter consistency and start to become stickier. If there is no pregnancy, oestrogen and progesterone will decline which will eventually cause the uterine lining to shed (your bleed). Essentially your body goes into mourning because you did not create a baby (even if you had no desire to!). 

You may feel more subdued, prone to possible angry outbursts, crying may surprise you, frustration, more fatigue and it may be harder to focus and concentrate. After the high of summer and beauty of autumn, winter can sometime send us running under the covers.

Progesterone has been seen to be a natural sleep aid and anti-anxiety hormone. So you may feel more fatigued prone to napping and more sedate than before. All you may want is to do is withdraw and hibernate in your little cave. That is just fine. Recognise that about your menstrual cycle and honour it.

Be OK with saying “no” and understanding why you just can’t be bothered to see that friend you were pestering to go out with the week before. You may choose different friends at this time of the month because you require a softer focus. Most of them will be on their own menstrual cycle roller coaster.

Be kind to yourself, explain why you may feel different to yourself and others. Emotional communication is essential and important as it leaves less misunderstanding at the door. When you honour your body’s instinct and innate need for rest and recuperation at this point, you will enhance your ability to get more out of the upcoming active phases of your cycle next time around.

You may feel isolated during this stage of your cycle but know that you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with feeling this way, shh the voice in your head telling you to get up and out. There is a remarkable cascade of hormonal events taking place, spring is around the corner

Winter

Things to Consider:

  • Feed yourself with healthy fats rather than sugar at this time. Sugar peaks and toughs makes mood swings more frequent and acute. This is an enjoyable time to get into the kitchen and learn a new recipe that nourishes and is kind to the body.

  • Try to stay away from anything that may irritate your body like grains or dairy. You are more likely to have a skin reaction now too.

  • Practice kind and nourishing self-care during the week before your period. Find what makes you feel nourished and balanced Yoga, massage, reiki, meditation or hiking in nature are all good things to seek out during this time.

  • Go to bed earlier or maybe sleep in late one morning. Read a favourite book or listen to music. 

  • Comfort yourself by being alone and creative. Now is the time to paint, draw, write from the heart and feel empathy for others.

  • Now is a valuable time for nesting, write your to-do lists and find the lists you write in “summer” to add substance and to get things done.

  • Bach Flower Remedies can help. Have a look at Walnut, Chestnut Bud, Larch, Willow, Agrimony, Gorse, Sweet Chestnut.

If you want to talk about any of the parts of your cycle I am happy to answer your questions or book a session

Navigate and Support Your Cycle (2)

 

read more

Commercial High Speed Blenders

 

High Speed Blender at an amazing price…

I love a High Speed Blender and there are so many on the market. I use my blender multiple times over the day for making smoothies, juices, soups (blenders that go at this speed will make food hot), sauces, dips, dressings, blender ice-cream, hot chocolate and  nut butters. I want one that will be powerful enough to make sooth juices out of whole carrots and kale! I had one, then it died (after 4 years). Used 3-4 times a day, this blender needs to be durable, good quality and powerful!
 
I am lucky enough to be in touch with a factory making commercial blenders (exactly what I am looking for) and so I can now offer a choice of 3:

3 different models, delivered to your door at highly competitive prices.

Blender images

Order BL-767Order BL-168 (1)Order BL-2128

 
 
 
 
 

All the machines have an 18 month warranty and the customer service of the team at the factory is great.

 
The main points for me to consider when buying a blender are
 
1.  Wattage of motor and speed
2. Quality of materials used (ie BPA free jug and stainless steel blade)
3. Cost
 

How do these blenders add up?

1. Blenders may advertise two different numbers, the Voltage will depend on the country you are in. Hong Kong runs on 220V. Then they will advertise the power of the motor in Watts and the speed in RPM. This is the maximum speed the motor can maintain. The best way to compare blender motors is to look directly at the wattage, as that will always show exactly how powerful the motor is. For example the below machines have a wattage of between 1500-2200W- and a standard Vitamix is 1000-1200W (see here).

2. All of the Jugs are BPA free and the blades are stainless steel.

3. The costs are: 

$900 for the BL-767 (1500w)

$1100 for the BL-767 (1800w)

$1100 for the BL-168 

$1300 for the BL-2128

You will not find this quality with a warranty at these prices  anywhere else

Here is the comparison table to help you to decide.

 

Order BL-767Order BL-168 (1)Order BL-168 (1)

read more

5 Ways You Can Heal Using Frequency.

5 Ways You Can Heal Using Frequency

When I began life in the health industry I was a personal trainer. I worked for 5 years working people’s bodies. I worked with people who had very stressful lives (in the financial district in London). I very quickly discovered that in order to reach their goals I also had to help them train their minds and help them get back in contact with their spirit. Becoming a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist was a very natural progression and I started using food, Bach Flower Remedies very quickly along side my personal training sessions.

I worked with severe drug addicts in London doing Ear Acupuncture early in my career. I witnessed, countless times, people shaking from withdrawl’s quickly gain some peace and calm for an hour when they had pins placed specifically in their ears. They all knew that the research pointed towards a certain protocol being better and more effective than methadone, they crowded into the room when we had a session. I have seen, felt and healed from various energy forms that I know, hand on heart, that without some form of energy (frequency) treatment, true healing cannot be achieved.

I understand it is quackery now, however for centuries energy medicine was all that was available and it has been convincingly effective. The main source of electromagnetic vibration of course is the sun. Therefore all plants, animals and water herbal also contain energy, a primary way to access energy medicine is through our foods. One of the biggest problems with refined foods, poor farming methods, livestock rearing, extracted supplements and indeed pharmaceuticals is the distorted or lack of correct healing energy they contain. Cells and components in a plant that is fresh and in its prime vibrates at a certain frequency. All of our cells, organs and body systems also have unique frequencies. It is the idea behind a cats purr healing and dogs sniffing cancer. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it must be transferred. Frequency plays an important role in human life and indeed throughout the Universe. Frequency allows energy to express itself into any form, including particles, atoms, planets, stars, galaxies and all biological life. Every single biological or non-biological thing has a unique energy signature that vibrates at certain specific frequencies. Some are beneficial to humans and others are destructive.

The idea of using frequency to heal diseases is nothing new. In fact, in the early 1900s certain scientists were already using frequency devices to cure diseases. All remedies, herbal, homeopathic, aromatherapy, crystals, salt caves etc all have frequency (energy) medicine at their core. Music has been used for years as a way to support healing, think about how a piece of music can change how you feel physically and emotionally. When pharmaceuticals (and even some health supplements) and refined foods are made, the essence of the plant, food, substance is extracted, distorted and in some cases man made, thus creating further weakness and change of frequency in the body. Don’t believe me, read about frequencies that have been proven to alter our DNA (that of course has both sides- for good and for bad). 

I love using frequencies to help balance the central nervous system, the core of our being. If you want to make any changes to your body, this is an essential core element to heal. Frequencies can help us to both mindfully and subconsciously contact this system and re-ignight our own self regulation pathways that can in turn promote whole body healing from the source. The main idea behind using frequency is to either amplify our natural frequencies or to alter and reverse the distorted frequencies caused by things like EMF’s, WiFi, refined foods and pharmaceuticals. Here are 5 very simple ways to harness beneficial frequencies for our body, mind, spirit and indeed the world around us.

Like in all things, the key is getting in tune with the right vibrational frequency, please seek out a trained professional to help you to do this. All of these therapies may work alongside any pharmaceutical treatment you are also having and may vastly compliment allopathic treatment, however it is always best to check in with your prescribing practitioner and let them know all that you are doing.

 

Music (Binaural frequencies):

There are plenty of different musical frequencies which can produce many different beneficial states.  432Hz is meant to be a pure tone, fundamental to nature, and listening to music tuned at this frequency may transmit beneficial healing energy waves into the listener. Modern day instruments have largely been tuned to 440Hz, however through history and different ancient culture there is evidence that they would tune their instruments to this golden frequency. Instruments including those found in Egyptian tombs, Tibetan singing bowls, tribal drumbs and the original stradivarius violin.

There are several meditation music compilations that are designed to emit these healing frequencies. However since every cell, organ and area of the body is tuned to a different frequency, it depends what your body needs. It may be why some of us like a piece of music that others do not. It is certainly why you cannot beat a live performance done well!

Binaural beats is when a sound has been recorded through 2 microphones and is delivered to each ear. Said to assist in altering brain waves (neural entrainment), they may adjust sensory perception and potentially help to de-stress the brain. They may also help to calm down the heart and promote relaxation at a cellular level. Read here and here for more information.

Here is an example of a meditation music for sleep using binaural beats and here is a great free app:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkqIvWc9NsU

Here are some studies one (here, here, here and here)

 

Bioresonance:

Bio Res

 

Bioresonance machines are basically frequency generators. I have used Bioresonance machines for years. The therapy is non-invasive, simple and very effective. I have seen better results treating allergies, the immune and digestive system and even hormone balance using these machines. They are also very effective at balancing bacteria, eliminating parasites and regulating cells against virus’. Here are some of the clinical studies produced in support of this. By altering the frequencies in the body and causing these cells to vibrate differently changes the internal and external environment very effectively.

I am currently using these machines.  I have a huge database of frequencies to choose from based on what area of the body or mind I am looking to support. I like to run these programs for myself, my family (espcially under the pillow for when my kids are sleeping) and for clients. The huge benefit of the Deta Ellis machines is their portability. I can run an 8 hour program for myself (I rent them out to clients) for a couple of weeks. That is not possible in a clinic setting. These generated frequencies can then go in at a cellular level and promote deep and sometime subconcious healing.  

Crystals and salt lamps:

As a natural substance all rocks also have their own natural and unique vibration. It is why we use wires to conduct electricity and other magnetic frequencies like x-rays etc. We have used salt and crystal caves as healing spaces for centuries, they are still vastly popular now. One of the reasons mineral are so important in our bodies (magnesium, zinc and iron being a few) is their ability to pass on messages, stimulate chemical reactions and conductibility. Crystals have natural reserves of these minerals and through that fact alone it make sense that they are going to have an effect on our body, mind and spirit. There is no denying that after a crystal healing session your body feels different (I see Michelle Harris at Pure Potential).

I also love my salt lamps. Their soft warm glow alone is very calming and nourishing. Especially when I am working at a computer all day.

Vibrational remedies like Bach Flower Remedies:

Bach frequency

I have spoken at great length about Bach Flower Remedies before (here). Vibrational medicine incorporates the use of energies within living organisms such as plants, gemstones and crystals, water, sunlight, and even the foods we eat. Many different essences and modalities like homeopathy work in a similar way. By using water to hold memory of the energetic imprint of the substance we are able to administer these energies into the body through our own medium of water.

This safe, simple and highly effective method has caused such a stink over the years as it has no percieved substance. However energetic imprints are very well recognised and proven time and time again. To the extent where placebo generally dictates whether anything is going to work (including pharmaceuticals) and placebo is affected by energy frequencies (see back to music frequencies can make you feel different). Vibrational remedies encompasses all of these five ways but you can also include light and colour therapy, elemental work (wind, fire, water and earth concepts), acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs and foods.

 

Meditation and Affirmations:

Spoken words are actually frequencies which are then interpreted by your ears and brain. It would make sense that by emiting frequencies from your vocal cords is going to casue a ripple of resonance through the body. Positive affirmations provide a way to help the body absorb some positive frequencies. By changing brain wave activity through thought process and vibrational changes caused by speaking the words themselves, there is no losing in this scenario! The more you say something, the more you believe it. Since affirmations by design are to change your thought patterns towards love, gratitude, hope and faith, their place in this healing process is strong. 

Chanting during meditation is another way to access frequency healing. Check out the sounds for the different parts of the body (see here)

Copy of Bach frequency

So which safe and effective method will you try? Check out my new course using all of these methods Inner Rainbow Mindfulness (here on Facebook)

 

5 Ways You Can Heal Using Frequency (1)

read more

What is Brain Gym?

What are Brain Gym exercises-

During Inner Rainbow Mindfulness 7 week Course the participants will have the chance to learn and practice Brain Gym or Movement Therapy Exercises each week. These are a great way to improve focus, switch on the brain, practice physical coordination and reconnect the body and mind. You’ll be able to continue using them at home using the videos found in the exclusive online content that goes with the course!

 

So what is Brain Gym? Learn more here.

 

Brain Gym, Educational Kinesiology or Movement Therapy is a series of movements, done with intention and designed to ‘wake-up’ the brain or to stimulate brain function. Its focus is improved learning and mental organisation. The idea is that these are simple exercises that anyone can do at home or at work or at school and they are often used with children who have special needs or need to improve their learning ability. They are designed to strengthen the relationship between body and mind and so are particularly interesting in this time when so many of our activities are cerebral.

The Brain Gym programme was developed by Paul E. Dennison and Gail E. Dennison and grew out of Educational Kinesiology. It is a set of 26 exercises or activites. Brain Gym or Movement Therapy is often used by therapists or in school classrooms with a reported increase in concentration and reading and listening skills.

 

Brain gym images

Brain Gym exercises are used to improve focus; children (or adults) repeat the exercises regularly and slowly. In children using these exercises there is often a noticeable improvement in memory, concentration, relationships and communication, and physical coordination. Though it is not 100% clear how and why this happens the thinking is that it exercises areas of the brain and strengthens neurological pathways that may not be well used otherwise. It allows participants to practice and strengthen physical coordination pathways and used to support children having developmental issues in this area. The therapy also requires them to be focused and present (i.e. mindful) during the exercises, supporting a habit of focus and single-mindedness. The exercises stimulate particular areas of the brain to improve its function, improve the integration between brain parts and links between the two hemispheres.

Children (and adults) often habitually rely more heavily on one hemisphere of the brain and under use the other, particularly in times of stress. This then means the other side of the brain is under utilised and therefore the person may not be functioning optimally. A lot of Brain gym exercises are designed to cross over from one side to the other – for example making sideways figure eights or putting an elbow to the opposite knee. The aim is to strengthen the connections between left and right brain activity, strengthen neural pathways and improve coordination. When our brains work better our whole body works better and we have an increased sense of well being.

During one-on-one and class sessions, the client is observed to see which exercises will best help them – consideration is given to how their body is when they stand and sit, what behavioral traits they display, their hand-eye coordination, what head or body movements they use, if they can move both sides of the body simultaneously, whether hips and shoulders can be moved at the same time etc. After using the specific exercises people should notice their mental processes are better organised and they are able to focus. But the exercises can be used by everyone and are not limited to those with learning difficulties or coordination problems. They are a great accompaniment to life and learning.

For a great explanation and more indepth discussion about it I like this article which focuses on one of the exercises; http://heartsatplay.com/the-cross-crawl-a-remarkable-movement/

For an old but interesting research project focused on improving reading in classrooms http://www.movementbasedlearning.com/articles/articles/readingproject.html

Or if you are interested in Educational Kinesiology and Brain Gym http://www.braingym.org.uk/about-edu-k/

Kate Baldwin is a qualified Kinesiologist and can be found at http://thebalancesession.com

read more

What is Kinesiology

What is Kinesiology

What is Kinesiology

Written by Kate Baldwin

Kinesiology is an alternative health practice that arose from Chiropractics in the 1960’s. It combines a detailed understanding of Anatomy and Physiology with Eastern energy practices. It looks for the root causes behind symptoms, health concerns, emotional trouble or the inability to move forward and works to address the underlying problems so that the body can heal itself and equilibrium can be restored. Kinesiology is designed to attempt to remove blocks and unsupportive mental processes, allowing people to reach their health, emotional or life goals. The practice considers the body-mind and energy of a person to all be important in achieving balance and looks for stresses in any or all of these systems – considering the person as a whole.  

 

Kinesiology uses manual-muscle monitoring – testing how a muscle functions by pressing gently on the muscle to see how it responds – to identify imbalances.  In this way kinesiologists get direct feedback from the body and use the body as a bio-feedback machine – the muscles allow Kinesiologists to find subconscious problems and work with people who can’t communicate verbally, don’t wish to talk about issues or are very young children. Each treatment programme is unique and individual as it follows what the body – i.e. the muscle response- says. When a muscle responds differently to what is expected this provides clues to the underlying causes, allowing the treatment to pin-point the real issue and identify what will help.   

Kids kinesiology inner rainbow images

Numerous, non-invasive, correction techniques are used to help the body remove stresses or blockages. Corrections will vary depending on the type of kinesiology being used and the kinesiogist’s background but may include acupressure, needle-less acupuncture (using a tai-shin), reflex point stimulation, emotional stress release, nutritional advice, counseling, sound/ vibration, massage, coaching, cranial release therapy, bach flower remedies, lymphatic point stimulation, exercises or affirmations. A Kinesiologist will usually provide guidelines for the client to continue the healing process at home. 

 

The meridian and acupuncture system of Traditional Chinese Medicine is very much part of Kinesiology. Consideration is given to the the meridian-organ-gland-muscle relationship and in NeuroEnergetic Kinsiology and Applied Physiology acupuncture points, alone or in combination, are used to find problems, drill down into them and to heal or restore balance. Consideration is also given to all the body’s physical systems, the environment and the emotions and how they all affect and interact with each other. For example if there is a problem with digestion you could look at any number of things to help such as the muscular system (smooth muscle and fascia), the hormonal system, neurotransmitters such as serotonin, the stress response, brain parts like the amygdala that deal with the stress response, the TCM meridian system and specific acupuncture points, environmental toxins etc.  

kinesiology acupoints

How the stress (fight/flight/freeze) response gets subconsciously activated and what these reactions, hormones and neurotransmitters do to the body and mind in the short and long term are often relevant to a Kinesiology balance and are investigated with a client. 

 

One way to understand Kinesiology is to think of the body-mind-energy as an electrical circuit! When functioning optimally the circuit flows smoothly with little resistance and all the appliances connected to the circuit function properly. Sometimes switches get turned on or off and fuses blow – affecting the circuit and the appliances that it operates. This is like an out of balance body, if the flow is not smooth then various parts of it may malfunction! Kinesiologists test the circuits, find those switches that are off or fuses that have blown and reset them so that the circuit flows freely again. Another way to look at it is to think of a stream – if there are numerous boulders and stones upstream the flow downstream will be effected, if we are downstream we will see the interrupted, uneven flow but maybe unaware of the boulders and stones upstream. Kinesiology goes upstream to find and remove the stones, starting with the largest boulders and helping to reestablish the river flow.  

 

Kate Baldwin, Kinesiologist, www.thebalancesession.com 

Inner Rainbow logo (1)

 

What is Kinesiology pin 

read more

What is Mindfulness?

What is Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is one of the most over used word of the last few years. We equate it with meditation and being quiet and on our own. Most of us think about mindfulness with dread and guilt because we know we should be doing it but it seems like something we just don’t have time for right now, life is just too hectic. However, mindfulness is simply being in the moment.

We can be in the moment whilst surrounded by others, eating, drinking, socialising, before sleep, whilst exercising, with the kids and of course in stressful situations like work, driving, travelling and basically anywhere at anytime!

There are so many studies, articles, blog posts, books and classes about mindfulness, but what are we looking for and how do we find it and make time for it? It is my wish to try and help you through the minefield!

The whole point of mindfulness, I believe, is to access and switch on the body’s rest and recovery mode. Have a look at my post on how the immune system works here. Most people (especially children) are wired into the fight or flight response long term. This has a massive impact on the body’s ability to repair and heal. Inflammation CANNOT we switched off when in fight or flight. How many of you can list some kind of inflammation (digestive weakness, skin issues, muscle aches and pains, back issues, immune weakness, hormone disruption, fatigue and energy issues, lack of libido, sleep issues and brain fog) among their symptoms of unease. Without even having a diagnosis, you can assume we all have inflammation and these symptoms from time to time, we need inflammation to survive and repair. the real problems come when these symptoms become the new normal, when we adjust to thinking that this is how life is. 

Mindfulness insta

Being mindful is first and foremost re-connecting to your body and listening and learning to what all of these symptoms are telling us- AND ACTUALLY RESPONDING.

So many of us think that there has to be a huge change to heal these symptoms, that a strict and impossible diet change has to happen, that a ‘detox’ needs to be done, that a radical upheaval of how we live our lives must be undertaken. So we make small term promises to ourselves to make changes tomorrow or next week, after New Years, in the Spring etc. However you can make a change right here and now.

  1. Feel your body sitting/standing/lying right now, nothing changes you are just checking in.

  2. Listen to your breath naturally and without effort coming in and out.

  3. Say ‘Thank you” to your body and repeat “I am safe”

Welcome to mindfulness, welcome to stopping everything for a second and being in the moment. Even just for a that short time. It is as simple as that. Be mindful as to how you feel, did anything change in that moment. Those tiny changes have a big ripple effect. You may have awakened your intuition a little, did your body prompt you to adjust your position spontaneously or to remember to do, say, take care of something in that moment? Your body will begin to let you know what it is you need to do if you take the time to listen, even for a second.

Once your body begins to return to rest and recovery and you change your beliefs slowly but surely towards self care and nourishment rather than punishment, guilt and shame for not doing more for your body, life will become easy.

In rest and recovery so much healing can begin. When you feel safe in your body and in your environment you can feel energy, motivation, hope, gratitude, faith and happiness. Mindfulness is simply the route to seeing your life for what it already is, wonderful and full of possibility. Not what it has been prior to this moment or even what it will be beyond right now. It is the ability to accept the past and release control over the future by being here now. Subconsciously if you believe life is hard, full of danger and work, where does joy fit in? If there is no joy how can there be health? Maybe it is hard to see life as wonderful, bring mindful can simply be the belief that there can and will be change, that you are open to finding joy, even if it is not in front of you right now.

Mindfulness is accepting that you actually have the ability to be happy even if it is not how you are feeling in this moment. That it is ok to feel what you feel now, that you can thank your body for the chance and opportunity to accept and therefore move forward. It is only when you feel your presence in the here and now that you can make changes. This is true for all ages and I have been teaching my kids mindfulness skills since they were babies so they have lifetime methods to adapt and react to their day to day lives. To try to build core beliefs based on the ability to change and have the responsibility to choose their own paths. Now I have co-written Inner Rainbow Mindfulness as a 7 week course directed at specific ages groups and adaptable for all. Soon to become an online course too.

Inner Rainbow logo (1)

What is Mindfulness pin

read more

Inner Rainbow Mindfulness Course

Inner Rainbow logo (1)

Inner Rainbow

Mindfulness for All Ages

Throughout my years of being in the health industry I have been constantly reminded of the importance of emotional and spiritual health. Without those two hugely important factors physical health cannot be achieved. It is the most amazing thing seeing people’s energy rising dramatically when inner emotional factors have been released. I have experienced this myself in my own journey many times. Thus designing this Inner Rainbow Mindfulness course, for all ages, has been something in my mind for many years.

Every one and everything has a vibration which has cause and effect upon everything surrounding it. This is also the same for every cell, organ and system in our human bodies. Seemingly undetectable frequencies being sent and received to our other cells, nervous system and brain as well as to others and our environment. There is a constant exchange of information through electromagnetic waves, this is a very well known and scientifically proven fact. Being mindful is an attempt to tap into these messages and to consciously try to react to them. That is what true presence is all about.

Sounds woo woo, but it is so simple. Some call it intuition, some call it gut feeling others call it the voice in their head. Its all really the same. The messages just get louder and louder till we sit and listen. As we age we get better at ignoring the signals as there is much around us to distract us. The head often gets in the way of the heart. Our kids have to have a sharper connection to it and their reactions to the messages are bigger and louder. Here is some more insight in to the benefits of mindfulness

Inner Rainbow Mindfulness 7 week Course

The Inner Rainbow mindfulness course has come from years of experience from both myself and Kate Baldwin a very passionate Kinesiologist and long time friend of mine. Seeing clients, friends, family members and of course ourselves trying to figure out the causes of dis-ease and imbalance. Using our skills to teach others, methods to cut through the noise and distraction, to help us to decipher and receive the messages, amplify or invet these frequencies to better effect in our body and the world around us.

The course is aimed at different ages but will all have the same core skill set and tools available to the participants. The key aim is to allow you to take back control and responsibility for your body, no matter what age you are is, in a way that is appropriate and accessible to you and your abilities. To recover communication both with yourself and the world around you, step by step. Skills you should have and need to be able to react to the world around you with more care and better effect.

We are not perfect beings, however, we are allowed to make mistakes, its is what we take from those hiccups and how we react to them that matter.

What the Inner Rainbow Mindfulness course contains:

During the class you should expect to benefit from the following tools we bring to the class:

Inner Rainbow skills (1)

Each week we will use a different colour corresponding to a different Chakra area of the body. This will allow us to open up different emotions, physicality and focus with each week building onto the next. The class will help participants to engage all their senses using age appropriate movement exercises (Brain Gym exercises which may help to relieve stress and improve co-ordination between left and right brain activities), meditations, food discussions, emotional communication games, aromatherapy oils, Bach Flower Remedies, Kinesiology muscle testing, EFT (in some cases) crystals and each class concludes with journal either writing or drawing (depending on ability and desire to communicate). 

Alongside the weekly classes, we have complied exclusive online content including;

Video of the exercises

MP3 recordings of the meditations

Crystal cards,

Aromatherapy cards

Bach Remedy Cards

Cards with tips and foods discussed in the class.

These will be available to continue you ‘work’ outside the class room and help build these new skills into your daily lives.

Rainbow Crystal Bead-Moonstone

Each week will have a crystal bead to build a Chakra Rainbow band, a room spray with Bach Flower Remedies and aromatherapy oils to help to build their safe space and routine at home. We will also provide a notebook for journaling activities. These should be brought back each week.

Here are some further articles written by either myself or Kate

What is Mindfulness?

What is a Naturopath

What is Kinesiology

Journal Writing: How and Why

EFT for PTSD

 

 

 

read more

Journal Writing, Why and How!

playlist

There are so many reasons to journal your personal life. To be able to look back and see how far you have come over the year is paramount to human health and emotional well-being. Maybe you are in the same place, saying the same things over and over,  reading it all back may stimulate the passion and motivation to finally move forward.

Journaling is only for you.

As a practitioner I am always encouraging people (of all ages) to write a diary or journal as a method of showing them how far they have come, to help recognise patterns of thought or behaviour.

Our physical body is intrinsically connected to our emotional self and writing it all down can be the catalyst to seeing this connection in black and white!

1. Keeping a journal helps us to take responsibility. The importance of committing our goals, strategy, thoughts, dreams, mistakes and achievements to paper is a great way of accepting and highlighting what we may take for granted. It also gets them out of our head. Writing out our goals provides the opportunity to articulate them clearly, makes their achievement appear easier and gives us responsibility to work towards them. I realised early in my school life that I could recollect information with greater effect and clarity if I had physically written it down. To this day I still use pen and paper to help me work through things, organise myself and get motivated.

2. A journal serves as a permanent record. Success can be quickly forgotten, mistakes happen over and over. When I hand write notes in my sessions, write my books and all my articles researching first with a pen and paper I am creating a permanent record I can refer back too. Looking back over them when I am feeling blocked or if I am missing something helps to reorganise my direction. Clarity and focus comes from accepting and acknowledging our progress (sometimes lack of). Even my ‘to do lists’ are in my journals, seeing what is constantly not completed helps me to recognise areas to work on or things which are clearly just not that important! 

3. Writing helps us to think through and adjust strategy.  Committing thoughts to paper or simply being creative by writing from inspiration helps us to evaluate and work through our process on a deeper level. Often when I am cross or frustrated, writing it down gives me a release and also helps me to feel empathy to see through my reactions and anger. I am a huge pro’s and con’s list writer. As an eternal optimist, I love to always see the brighter side of any situation, writing it down helps me get through the negative to the other side. By acknowledging negative emotions and thoughts you can quickly dissipate their control over you. Knowing you have a safe space to 100% be yourself is very important. In the world of increasing digital hacking and disclosure, it is nice to keep something private. You can always destroy paper, ripping paper is hugely therapeutic as is burning it (safely of course!). 

4. A journal helps us to think big. Sometimes we feel foolish verbalising our deepest dreams and desires. So many of us think that our lot in life is to keep small and we are not worthy of wishing for greatness. To be honest, it’s even hard to admit, even to ourselves, our greatest desires. By writing down everything, however likely or not we think it is in our lifetime, writing it down gets us one step closer to finding out our true purpose and desires. The little voice in our head which blocks us can be silenced as we strategise, manifest and be truthful about. As we write the big things it may change our focus and remember to have gratitude for what we do have. There is always something to be grateful for. In our safe space we dare to dream and hope for our future. Prayers, hopes and wishes can be written down with pure intension and belief. A life pictured without limits holds so much positive value and drives us forward.

5. Journaling is so simple, stress relieving and good for your health: I am a kinaesthetic and visual person, so I work better with pen and paper. However I have notes on my phone, computer and I have notebooks everywhere! My blog is even a journal (find out how to start your own blog here). You can journal in words, pictures or even as a vision board of cut outs from newspapers and magazines. As long as it is charting your thoughts and actions the world is your oyster! By releasing stressful thoughts and emotions onto paper and building a strategy. Following that with positive affirmations and goal setting and you are helping the body to enter into rest and recovery mode, therefore calming the nervous system for every part of your body to begin to heal and restore!

journal writing tips loula natural

Here’s how I journal:

1. Don’t worry about how many times, time of day, what to write, JUST WRITE. Forget spelling grammar, colour of pen or how you format it. That can all be sorted later.

2. Simply follow your train of thought, you can begin with “i have no idea what to write or how i feel” things will come. Journaling is only to help you track where you are and brings you to the present so JUST BE, ALLOW FLOW. I have some of my best ideas and to do lists when I am exercising. Having notebooks helps me as I sit straight down and write when I get back! I also do it on my phone for reference and transcribe into my paper notebook later in the day. It is amazing sometimes where these thoughts take you!


3. Find a list of journal prompts (pinterest is good for this) or inspiring quotes (here on insta) for great starting points. This can help to guide you. Try to ban negative tirades- instead do pro and con lists about situations to find the positives in your life. Gratitude lists are also great starting points. Simply WRITE 5 THINGS you are thankful for, things you have or things that have happened for you.


4. Goal setting is a part of journaling. Start with the obvious and see where the thread takes you. REACH FOR THE SKY, your journal is a safe space.


5. If you cant write, DRAW, doodle, sketch what is right infront of you. Journaling can be song writing, poetry, pictures, scrap books, photos and so much more than just writing. Use it to help you find the beauty in the world. You can keep track of anything in your journal, food, exercise, dreams, accounts, things your kids/partner say, dream jobs, goals, movie/book reviews and anything else in your life. 

Here are some great journals to write in and organise yourself.

(all you really need is a notebook!)

etsy-journalleather-journal-etsypassion-planner-amazonpanda-planner-amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some great journal apps;

Penzu (Android and IOS)

Journey 

Check out Pinterest for some vision boards

 

 

read more

Day 1 EFT for PTSD Challenge.

There are books and have been numerous studies (see below for links) conducted about the effectiveness of using Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping in PTSD conditions. Trauma can play a huge impact on our behavioural patterns, some for the good (ie falling down when trying to walk as a baby can help us to try again differently), however some prevent us from moving beyond the freeze response. This may block us in life as any trigger which reminds us of a previous trauma will bring on the freeze response or other patterns of behaviours we may want to break free of.

EFT is done by using a combination of acupressure points, along with advanced psychological methods (the setup and the gamut). This method has been seen to produce quick relief from even long-held trauma patterns. 

HERE IS MY CHALLENGE:

BASIC TRANSCRIPT

Learn a key tool in beginning to release the possible negative repercussions of trauma. Help yourself to change thought patterns and behaviour responses to trigger which are no longer serving you in the present. Every day for 22 days record yourself or note down what you are tapping on and do at least two rounds of tapping. Here is the sequence to share with others to do the same and see the ripple of positivity and change occur around you. We will be tapping on the negative. It can be hard to think about all our negative thoughts and emotions when we are so conditioned now to always be positive but we are trying to reduce the intensity of the negative thought or emotion so we have to use it to monitor its effect on us. (USE THE VIDEO ABOVE TO CLARIFY TAPPING POINT LOCATIONS AND ROUTINE)

  1. Write down the negative thought or emotion you would like to work on. 
  2. Write down the level out of 10 that you feel this thought is true or how strong the emotion is. (1 is low 10 is high)
  3. Write an opening sentence to tap on the karate chop point to set up the session
  4. Tap the following in no particular order: top of the head, on the beginning of an eyebrow, on the outside of your eye (just below your temple), under the middle of your eye on the bone, under your nostril (above your top lip), on your chin, on your collar bones just above your chest, under your armpit on your rib cage, inside of your wrist, on the outside of your finger nail on each finger.
  5. Do the gamut: whilst massaging the area on your hand between your pinky finger and ring finger, draw a line with your eyes diagonal to the right and then to the left, draw a circle with your eyes clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Hum the first line of happy birthday, then count to 10 and then hum the first line of happy birthday again.
  6. Assess how much you feel or believe the negative thought out of 10- it should be getting lower than where you started. Think of a colour or spot in the body you may feel the emotion or thought to help assess its transformation. Keep tapping using colours, textures and be aware the emotion may also change, it may go from anger, to guilt for example. Keep the same routine until the original emotion goes significantly lower (ideally 1 or 0).
  7. Make a note of other thoughts or emotions that come on to work on the following day.

Please share this challenge with others who may benefit from releasing and moving forward in their lives.

Here are three PDF’s for you to download and read on some of the research done into EFT and its effectiveness:

The Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques for Optimal Test Performance By Sachin Jain and April Rubino

A narrative systematic review of the effectiveness of Emotional Freedoms Technique (EFT) E.H. Boath, T Stewart, A.Carryer

Clinical EFT as an Evidence-Based Practice for the Treatment of Psychological and Physiological Conditions by Dawson Church

 

read more

Bach Flower Remedies

 

I am a fully qualified Naturopath and I use Bach Flower Remedies in my professional and personal life. These views are my own and not written to impose views on you, but rather to empower and encourage you to take responsibility for your own health and your own choices. If you are interested to seek out professional help to discover what works for you, I am happy to try and help you. This said, I do not advocate that any of the information here be taken as medical guidance or advice, but act as a platform for exploring ways of looking at health and your own individual needs.

 

Think about the last time you felt angry, shocked, sad or alone. When you just think about these emotions you can feel them in your body. You have a physical reaction. This is the same when you think about the last time you felt joy, hope, confidence and motivation. Your physical body actually changes, you feel different.

bach quote

Dr Edward Bach (a renowned bacteriologist in the 1880-1900’s) was not alone in thinking that the route to physical health and healing was rooted in emotional health. How and what you think, dictates the choices you make, the way your body works and how you act and react. The placebo affect has time after time proved immeasurably valuable to the patient’s outcome. Being able to find the emotions and change them can be tricky. Some of our beliefs and reactions are so deep rooted and subconscious, we believe them to be unchangeable. This is where Bach Flower Remedies are so unbelievably powerful.

Bach Flower Remedy Bottles

Our bodies are a whir of energy exchange, wavelengths and frequencies. Just like wifi or telecommunications, information is constantly transported and reported without much tangible, physical motion. Frequencies and wavelengths can be altered and distorted in many ways. Physical and emotional blocks can occur all the time. Energy medicine at its very essence is based in physics and in helping to realign and enhance these powerful seemingly invisible factors. By using water to hold and transport these wavelengths and frequencies and altering our own body of water’s memory, we can access subconscious, intangible blocks in our body and begin to correct our health at its very core.

Bach_zonnemethode_Cerato

The 38 remedies (most people have heard of Rescue Remedy which is a blend of 5 of them) in Bach’s system are rooted in nature. Using plants, trees, flowers and even a rock, by harnessing their energy and rooting it in water, their positive vibrations can alter our own. A system that is 100% kind, compassionate and simple, where the worst thing that can happen is nothing, means that these remedies can be used safely and effectively by all ages. For all symptoms, conditions and emotions these remedies can help us to understand how we feel and make changes in the layers of our emotions to help us to heal and return to joy.

 

Bach’s aim was to devise a simple, effective and accessible way to people to help themselves and to take responsibility for their body. The remedies are organised and categorised, each of them accessing a different negative state (emotion) and helping reverse the body to a more positive and therapeutic state. For example; Holly, which is fairly prickly and jealous in the negative, becomes giving, loving and accepting in the positive. By realising what you want to feel and allowing yourself to be being grounded in the present we can help to heal the wounds of the past and forge a stronger, brighter future.

DU5W6133

I use Bach Flower Remedies in almost every one to one session I have with clients as well as personally, at home, with my own family, pets and plants. When there is a world event or trauma locally, I try to make a small vibrational shift by adding rescue remedy to our environment (either in the atmosphere or adding it to a body of water). Every tiny shift in thinking can have a ripple of repercussion. By having your own kit and the confidence to use them, you can start to make small repercussions of your own, for you and the world around you.

Have a look at my class information here

Bach Flowers Class Pinterest

Picture attributions: Cerato flowers in bowl: By HennyGieles (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

Kit bottles Louise Kane Buckley

 

read more

How to Ferment; Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean ferment. There are hundreds of variations using cabbage, radish, scallion or cucumber as the main ingredient. The paste can contain a variety of ingredients. There may be more than 187 different varieties, all from different regions of Korea. Traditional ingredients will may use garlic, ginger, red pepper, some also add sugar, vinegar, fish sauce or paste to add to their recipe. Families will pass on their different seasonal varieties and they are traditionally buried in the ground to ferment.

Traditionally made by brining the vegetables and then mixing in a paste before packing it into a fermentation vessel to become full of probiotic bacteria and flavour.Kimchi Loula Natural

Fermented cabbage has a long history of providing benefits for many different health conditions (see my sauerkraut here and a flavoured version here). The fermentation process produces the living probiotic microorganisms that are beneficial to the digestive and immune system, plus making nutrients in the foods being fermented come to life and are more accessible.

The fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering Kimchi even more nutritious than the original starting points.Brining Kimchi Loula Natural

Salt is one of the most amazing natural products. Hugely beneficial to the body when consumed in the right way. I am often asked which salt to use- these are my salts of choice:

Sea salt – originates from drying the sea water in the sun, salt lakes or other methods. This is what I prefer and generally prefer those from Wales, France or Scotland. Sea salt nutrients can vary and may contain up to 80 or more minerals than table salt (which is refined down to one or two) it will hugely depend on where the sea salt was obtained.  In addition to sodium and chlorine, you are likely to find potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur. Trace minerals in sea salt can include iron, iodine, manganese, zinc, bromine, boron, copper. 

Pink Himalayan salt – this salt is traditionally harvested in the Pakistan  side of the Himalayan mountain range and the pink colour may be due to the salt containing iron oxide. Harvested from caves of ocean salt settled into geological pockets. It is an unrefined, unprocessed raw mineral, mainly mined by hand. The salt can be up to 250 million years old, which is pretty cool! Its nutrient content is similar to sea salt (since they both originated from the sea). 

I use these two salts in fermenting, in cooking, in the bath, as a scrub, as salt lamps and also on the carpets to help deep clean them. 

 Mixing in paste Loula Natural

Here is my video on how to make the paste to add to your vegetables:

When it comes to flavoring your Kimchi the only limitations are what you have available!

You can add anything. Play with other root vegetables, using vinegar, fish sauce and other spices in your paste (like turmeric, cumin or coriander).

Kimchi is added to most foods, soups, noodles, stews, pancakes and so on. It is really nice mixed in to sauces like BBQ, mayo and ketchup. Kimchi is also delicious with cheese and also eggs…

Kimchi Cheese on toast Loula Natural

read more

New Year, Same old me

articles

New Year same old me Loula Natural fb

 

New Year…same old me.

For the last 4 years I have not set a single new year resolution (here is last years new year post). This year I have not even given myself an expectation as to how I will change over the year! January is a month for hibernation. Almost always, the coldest, greyest and hardest month of the year. Yet we use it to make big changes? Its bonkers. I take my time in January to see how things settle. My mum died in January 4 years ago, it certainly changed my perspective and many things happened that year to teach me how to live. To live each day the best I can, not as fast as I can.

Last year I did a huge amount of work on releasing fear, anger and resentment. It culminated in me taking a huge stand for myself and walking away from the clinic I was working in to be me. So why would I want to make a list of things I want to change? Every year I try to urge others to wait for spring to make big changes. Otherwise, use January/February  to be kind to yourself, to recharge and be ready to renew.

I recently read something from someone else about being mediocre. “Do you want to live a mediocre life?”. I have taken time to think about this. I have always answered “NO WAY” to this in the past. The answer I have come up for now is this. 

YES

Yes, right now I am absolutely comfortable with being mediocre. Anyone who knows me will be surprised at my answer. Yeah right, the Louise who loves the stage, the limelight, who wants everyone to want and need her around.

Don’t get me wrong, I still know I am brilliant! I know how much I can help others and the world around me, however, right now I am ok with not doing that. Especially not in the same way as I have before. I have been so angry over the years, with the way the world works. Lies, propaganda and corporate greed are a fact of life. YES every small step we take towards change will change our world. Every time we take a look within ourselves and get a little closer to gratitude and self love there is a huge energy shifts around us. These changes are sustainable, these changes are for life. So I am hoping to make mediocre changes this year. Be smaller and quieter in what I say and definitely, how I say it. 

Mediocre is often kinder. it is less pushy and demanding, less bright and bold. Maybe thats what the majority of us need right now. We all know what we need to do to be happier- it is all around us, everyone pushing and shoving to get you to use their way to self-love, health, happiness and (of course still all we want is…) the perfect body. For now I am going to be me. I have not got the perfect body or the perfect solutions. I do have a huge bunch of tools to help you to find yours. I can use my small ways to help you to find beyond mediocre. However I choose not to push my way in front of you, for you to find me and me to help guide you to yourself.

I will take my time slowly and carefully, watching and waiting. There is huge opportunity to be found in 2016. There is no rush, no deadline to be brilliant. Once you take that pressure away, see what you need and really want. What will your body tell you when you take away this forced need to be something else. Where will you go, what will you experience. I have not been anywhere since Easter (apart from Macau, but that is a home from home). Normally I would have really itchy feet, need to be and go and see. I am really feeling more grounded, secure and safe being in the same place for more than a couple of months. Finding the holiday in the everyday rather than living full speed ahead to breaks. So am I happy being average, steady and contained, for now I am.

2016 will be full of ups and downs, just like all the years before it. I am looking forward to what comes my way. I have taken January to be quiet, hibernating, preparing for the opportunity and life of spring and summer. I have catered to my needs and been happy to be out of the spotlight- for now!

How about you, are you content with mediocre?

New year same old me Loula Natural pin

read more

Can you change how you look in under a minute?

articlesChange how you look

Change how you look loulanatural

Internet marketing bombards our feeds and screens. Countless numbers of before and after images to prompt us and cajole us to buy something. I see these all the time and knowing what is in most of the products, it makes me so cross. I very rarely wear any make up- have very little skincare routine and always use natural products on my skin. I have good skin and I think it is a combination of clean eating and living.

change before and after loulanatural

So I decided to do an experiment. What if I took two photos, different intensions and different compositions to see if I could manipulate perception. I sat down in a chair and I had a set of thoughts, made my facial expression neutral and took a picture. I then simply turned my head away from the light had a different set of thoughts, a neutral facial expression and took another picture. Put them together and posted them asking you to guess. Well it worked!

People instantly wanted to know whatever it was I did, were eager to know just what I had done to “look so good”. I had more comments on this post  in a matter of minutes then any other in the same time period. Everyone asking what and how!

Nothing, I did nothing, except change how I spoke to myself and how I presented myself. I even reversed the images (I actually took the after picture first!)

Yes thats it!

Guess what it worked! Transforming this experiment into a bit of a profound experience for me. Not only was I chuffed that people obviously know me well, many of you expected that what I did was completely natural and probably something fermented! Also so many of you chose to communicate with me, I had your attention. I also received dozen of personal messages from friends asking me for the answer.

All of you collectively came up with the real secrets to good skin, methods I do actually use!;

Water (drinking and directly on the skin)

Sleep

Natural products like clay masks, vinegar, kombucha (I also use rose and neroli water)

Oil cleansing (I also use oils with essential oils on my face and take my make-up off  if I wear it with oil)

Massage (I also love my facials with natural products)

Lots of you, of course, realised that beauty comes from within and of course know that I always talk about the vibrancy and nourishment you get from fresh, real and fermented foods. I was once told you could tell someones health by looking at the whites of their eyes and mine were bright white!

I was amazed how many people actually created changes in the photos, looking one to the other- expecting the before to be terrible and the after to be so much better. “Plucked my eyebrows?” was popular. Another change was had I had botox and my eyes were visibly lifted. It made me question, does how we frame ourselves make people see us differently. When we frame ourselves positively and declare ourselves beautiful- is that what we direct others to see? Try it for yourself- instead of saying to your friends that you want to change something; lose weight, I hate my skin, I have bad/sallow complexion, reduce lines, change hair etc. Try saying how pleased you are with something; I really like this shirt, I love my body shape at the moment, my skin is glowing. See what the other person says, more importantly how you actually see yourself. Do it in front of a mirror.

However, the single biggest thing that makes you gorgeous is the “you” that comes shining through. The person you believe you are, will always come through. Good or bad.

In the “before” picture I told myself how tired and old I was looking. You can see this in my eyes and mouth, a little sadness and despondency.

Before loulanatural

In the “after” picture I told myself how wonderful I am, how amazing my skin was and how happy and grateful I am to be me. So many of you remarked how young and amazing my skin looked.

after loulanatural

Sure I changed the light, but my eyes and mouth are different in both pictures. I really tried to stay neutral to keep the angle and position the same (this cannot be said with most before and after images of course). I wonder what the reaction would have been had the pictures been in the reverse?

other way loulanatural

So whats the point? Well how many of us buy into this way of advertising? All of us I would say- why else would it be so damn popular! How many of us buy this miracle worker, use it and think- oh its a little better but not the same as the pictures I saw, and look for the next thing? Maybe actually all you need to change is your perception, of yourself. There are many ways you can do this and its been a huge leap for me.

Thank you for helping me come to this conclusion, this experiment actually went in a different way than expected and I have learnt a huge amount about myself in a very short period of time. I would love to know what you think?!

Change how you look loulanatural pin

read more

The Power of Breathing

articles Untitled design (1)

The Power of Breathing Loula Natural fb

The Power of Breathing

The more I get to know myself and others around me, the more I am reminded of the importance of taking a breath. Being mindful is about being in the present, no longer stuck feeling guilt or remorse about the past or anxious and controlling about the future. The Here and the Now. The place where we can make changes.

Healing is done on so many levels and at different times. By taking a moment to be concious about breathing, you are coming out of your brain and thoughts and connecting with your awareness and intuition. Your gut instinct and your primal needs. You are taken away from society’s pressures and the medias propaganda. You release money troubles, health anxieties, body weight stress, parenting woes, work restrictions or whatever else you are thinking about that you have no power over. You are re-plugging in to you- the real you, and that is incredibly powerful.

Sounds easy and it can be as easy as 1,2,3

1. Stop (close your eyes is completely optional)

2. Breathe in (listen and feel the breath fill you up)

3. Breathe out (listen and feel stress and tension leave with your breath.

Even if that is all you do. That can be enough- it is a great start.

Here are some more exercises I have learnt over the years;

Counting breaths; 

Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

Try and breathe in for a count of four and out for a count of four. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Increase time to breathing in for a count of 6 then out for a count of 6. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Increase this to breathing in for a count of 8 then out for a count of 8. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

( OPTIONAL)Spend some time her picturing yourself in a favourite place or looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing yourself as the perfect you.)

Return to breathing in for a count of 8 then out for a count of 8. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Return to breathing in for a count of 6 then out for a count of 6. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Return to breathing in for a count of 4 then out for a count of 4. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

This can take as long or as little time as you have!

Rainbow breathing; (This is great for kids) 

rainbow breathing loulanatural pin

Stop the bus

This is best done when you are pressed for time, need to meet a deadline, are stalling doing something that really needs doing, cant wait, cant stop! Its amazing how little it takes to stop, re-focus and actually achieve more. It is also great to use when you have a thousand things going on and you cannot get to sleep.

this can be done for 1-5 mins. Set a timer so you are not stressing about time.

Close your eyes and breathe in and out. Allow all thoughts to flow through your mind without holding on to them. without trying to solve them- just watching them. Especially when it is the last thing you should be doing! Each thought can have a shape or colour as you see it drift off. Then start to repeat, I wonder what my next thought will be…

Other exercises to get you on track:

  • Opening yourself up to opportunity is about trusting yourself and the universe to provide for you. Whilst breathing and being mindful of your breath, try to visualize all the things you want from your life. What you want to look lik, feel like, where you want to be and who you want to be with. Set a direction for yourself. Start listing ideas and avenues to pursue. Bring yourself out of pause and motivate your body and mind towards a purpose and goal.
  • List the things you are good  at. Your key skills. What lights your fire, what gets you excited? List them all and all will reveal itself- it will become so obvious where you want to go- start to follow it step by step. It may be an area or path that you never considered before but will seem so perfect. 
  • Every night before bed- try to make a list of 5 things that happened that day that you are grateful for and then what you are looking forward to for the next day. This can help you to prepare you for a good nights, restful sleep. You may even wake up refreshed and positive to start another abundant and grateful day.
  • Try to find other ways of being mindful every day- like taking your shoes off and grounding yourself, or walking in nature on one of the nearby trails. You don’t need to go far or for long, but try and do something every day to nurture yourself. Being in nature is so peaceful and restorative once you get out of your head. Ban all phone action whilst out there and even try it without music to distract your brain. Find what you like it may be water, or mountains, beaches or even just wandering through a city spoting nature everywhere. Feel like your feet are on the floor and your brain is in your head and your body is in control.
  • From an emotional level- please look after yourself. You are very important and worth care and attention. Only then will you be able to find better energy for yourself and your healing. Try to identify patterns of behavior and beliefs that you can reverse and change. EFT is a great tool for this- Eft is quick and easy to use and can be used for all ages and all areas in your life. Buried emotions can result in behaviour patterns, experiences can shape our reactions, find someone qualified to help you and practice everyday- you will be astounded how good you feel to get rid of some dragging baggage.
  • Try this meditation series. Designed for weight loss it holds all the components of being mindful about your body and connecting emotion and physical beyond weightloss. I used to listen to it both sitting at home and whilst travelling to and from work.
  • There are so many short and easy recorded meditations on You Tube (see here for who I follow) or check out the free app- headspace.

Breathing and being mindful can be done anywhere and at anytime!

The Power of Breathing Loula Natural pin

read more

How To Make Kombucha

 

How to make kombucha loulanatural

How To; Make Kombucha

I have been making Kombucha for years now. I love it so much. I even wrote a book about it so you could learn all about it and have it in your own life. Read here for my 5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha to find out why it is so great!

Kombucha is a fermented Tea. It is described as a ‘delicious sour tonic beverage’ slightly sparking and a little like apple cider. The drink is made with a SCOBY( symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Also known as “The Mother” just like with Apple Cider Vinegar. It is a bit like a disc which floats on the surface as it ferments.

Magic Kombucha

Kombucha is an aerobic process so it has to float as its where the oxygen is- if it is not floating after a few days or generate a new film- sadly it may have died. Although sometimes it will sink then rise. It is best to use a wide glass vessel (no metal) that is partially filled. Your SCOBY will generate a film that is the same size and shape as your vessel. As you make more the SCOBY will get thicker and generally grow in layers that you can peel off and use to generate other batches and to share (babies!) As they have no added benefit by being thicker you can share or why not puree it into a paste and use it for a facial?!

This is how you can make it at home

Each SCOBY and brew will be different, much like Kefir. Some will be more robust than others and some may be able to brew herbal teas and adapt to other sugars. Some people have even used fruit juice. It is best to start with a more fail safe ‘tea leaf’ brew; black, green or white tea.  Then play with the herbal teas in the second fermentation.

All you need is Tea, sugar and an acidic environment. The amount of sugar is dependent on your taste. It is possible to brew a strong tea as a concentrate and then water down (also to cool it). The tea can be sweetened while still hot (as it is easier to get the sugar to dissolve) but can also be done when cold

What you will need:

Wide glass jar (I use 1.6 litre Jar)
1 litre Cooled, strong brewed tea (blackgreen or white tea
1⁄2 cup sugar (I use coconut)
Acid (either 100mls brewed Kombucha saved from last batch or 2 tbs of any vinegar) Plastic tongs (to transport the mother)
Piece of cotton or muslin/rubber band to secure)
Plastic Funnel and Glass bottle to store for drinking
Glass Jar to keep mother in (with some reserved tea)

Directions

The tea needs to be at body temperature (no hotter) mix in the sugar.
Then add 100mls Kombucha about (5-10 percent so for a litre about 50-100mls)or  2 tbs of vinegar (any kind) if you have no matured Kombucha.

Add the Mother (SCOBY)

Always cover the vessel with a light porous cloth that allows air circulation but protects from bugs and dust. Kitchen towel works well too.

Leave Vessel in a warm spot away from direct sunlight.
The length of fermentation will depend on how warm it is and how acidic you want your drink to be. Taste it every few days to see if you like it, but on average it is between 7-14 days (can be months-  when it’s really cold)

When it is to taste, take the mother out and place in a bowl to separate the layers or the ‘babies’

Reserve in some of the tea to store in the fridge (cool temp stop fermentation). Have another batch of tea ready to start again and drink tea (bottle as is either in tight sealed bottle or open bottle and store in the fridge) or bottle with fruit for the second fermentation. 

culture your life kefir:kombucha

How to make Kombucha loulanatural pin 

read more

New year, Real me

new year real me loulanatural

You may have noticed that I have not written a thing since before Christmas. It is now the last week of January and I finally feel like I have something to say!

I was very tired at the end of last year. I have a strange combination of doing everything at once and then sticking my head in the sand and hiding for a while (some of you may recognise this in yourselves). As a cancerian I retreat back into my shell for rejuvenation sometimes. Always trying to please and help others before myself has exhausted me through the years- combine this with trying to be the best mum I can be and it all just gets too much! I have always been hard on myself about this- but my new years resolution this year is not to be a new me- but to nurture, appreciate, love and try to understand the real me.

Adrenal quote

At school I was always told that I always “did enough”. My teachers would be frustrated that I did not work harder, that I had so much potential. My ambitions were huge and in my eyes hugely achievable. I was going to be in the Royal Shakespeare Company and I was going to play Beatrice in Much Ado, Elizabeth in an BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I was going to be a respected actor and I was going to always be in work. I was going to be famous like Judy Dench not like Kim Kardashian. I loved school, the social side and the study side, I wrote all my essays the night before (I have also written 2 thesis’ now both in the week before they were due). I never needed the A’s in my life although some came- others didnt and it never bummed me out. I went to uni then I did my Masters in Acting at The Central School of Speech and Drama (one of the best drama schools in the world)- I loved it and always knew I was great. However, again, I was always told that i wasn’t exceptional. Middle range, I had potential but that I only ever “did enough”.

So I believed them. I kept on doing enough. Enough to live on, enough to get by and have fun, enough to keep me going. Then I decided enough was enough and I changed careers. I love my job and I finally feel like I am seeing things all the way through. That I am exceptional at what I do. Fear has always been my friend along the way, a reason to stop, an opportunity to stick my head in the sand. This year my resolution is to go deep and to release the fear so that I can truly reach my potential. Not as a new me, but the me that has always been there all the time. The one I have been protecting for some strange reason! I am going deep, spiritual, physical and emotional. I am determined to take the whole year (not just 30 days or for january) to explore and to do more than enough. Especially since the opportunity to combine my two loves (acting and natural healing) may become very real this year!

Boosting Fertility Anything is possible Loula Natural

I feel ready, I feel inspired, I feel supported and safe. I have been hiding to feel strength to do something this year that I have run away from every other year, and I may keep disappearing from you guys over the year- I am okay with that. I am excited for all of 2015 it is going to be an exceptional year! I look forward to sharing the journey with you all, you are welcome to join me.

My action plan is as follows;

Continue to eat real food, healthy fats and fermented foods and drinks.

To be more intent on healing myself before others

Listen and act on my instincts

Enjoy nature and life’s ups and downs

Be kind to myself and others.

Get my house in order- no more head in the sand!

new year real me loulanatural pin

 

read more

Lemon Sage Cordial

Lemon Sage Cordial

Lemon Sage Cordial

sage leaves Loula Natural

Sage has so many amazing benefits. It has seen to be effective at cooling down the body (especially during hot sweats) and reduce perspiration, it also helps to dry up excess phlegm and diarrhea.

It contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which helps to protect and heal cells all through the body. This maintains good circulation of blood and flexibility of muscles and blood vessels throughout the body.

Read more about how and why Sage is so great here. I absolutely love the smell and taste of sage too.

 Lemon and sage cordial Loula Natural image1

Lemons are also amazing for the body. Rich in vitamin C, good for boosting the digestive system and restoring a ph balance to the body. Lemons stimulate the body and they go really well with Sage. Combined with the raw honey and water kefir, this cordial is great for an immune boost, hormone balance, is cooling and effective at helping to reduce any heat or irritability on the skin or in the digestive system. 

The water kefir helps you to absorb and digest the volatile oils in the sage and also help to support the body back to balance. To make it see here or check out my book- Culture Your Life.

Lemon and sage cordial Loula Natural image2

However, please consult your natural health provider if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, on blood thinners, or epileptic before using this recipe. It may have undesirable effects. As always listen to your body and try to take responsibility for your own health and knowing what your body needs.

Check out some of my other homemade recipes and articles for natural health;

Elderberry Cordial

Hibiscus, lemon, ginger and honey tea

Lemon, Orange and Ginger Curd

5 reasons to make Kefir

Kefir Gummies

5 Reasons to brew Kombucha

How the Immune System Works

How do I naturally boost my immune system

How to choose Essential Oils

Lemon and sage cordial Loula Natural Pin 

 

read more

Sage

Nutrient Fact File Sage Loula Natural

Nutrient Fact File; Sage

I am a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist. I make recommendations to my clients based on their individual needs. If this information is useful to you please discuss your options with your trained health practitioner able to help you to make natural choices that are suitable for your individual needs. Take responsibility for your health and choices.

Sage is a herb native to the Mediterranean, an evergreen perennial shrub it also is traditionally grown in south eastern Europe. It is a common garden pot plant. Sage belongs to the Lamiaceae family along with other herbs, such as oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and basil. The general scientific name is Salvia officinalis which is derived from the latin word to save or heal. There are many types of sage (red sage, clary sage and many others) Interestingly the word sage in the dictionary means;

noun

1. a profoundly wise person; a person famed for wisdom.

2.someone venerated for the possession of wisdom, judgment, and experience

adjective 

3. sager, sagest= wise, judicious, or prudent: sage advice.

To call someone ‘sage’ is to call them wise, full of wisdom and those known as ‘sage’ were also treated with an abundance of respect. 

sage leaves Loula Natural

It is quite easy to grow and likes sunny conditions. A popular garden pot plant for centuries with many health benefits. It has been used throughout the ages in chinese medicine, in Arabic foods and medicine (they considered it gave immortality) and in Greek and Roman times. Throughout its long history of use, it has been thought of as a powerful and protective herb. It was one of the ingredients of Four Thieves Vinegar – a mix of herbs which was made to prevent the plague. It is often hung in doorways as an protector (especially in Europe of protection from witchcraft!) or used in purification rituals my many cultures. Known as the “thinkers tea” Sage is one of those surprising “all over good health” foods. It is very distinguished and has an amazing aroma with a tactile appearance. Grey-green, soft leaves with visible fine hair-like growing on both sides. The leaves can grow to about 2.5 cm and looks very delicate but is strong and rich in nutrients with health promoting and disease preventing capabilities.  Sage leaves are used and they are normally harvested just before flowering for cooking with. Tough stems can be discarded before washing them and gently drying the leaves before using. The leaves can then be dried in the sun or in the dehydrator  then stored in an airtight container. You can also freeze chopped sage in a little water kefir or coconut oil In cooking sage is often paired with meat, vegetables, cheese and eggs. It is also traditionally used in stuffing for chicken along with parsley, rosemary and thyme. Pork with sage is another traditional known pairing. Used to both help digest foods it would also help to counteract any imbalances caused by bacteria or parasites in the meat. Since refrigeration is relatively new technology, sage along with other herbs would help as a natural preservative and could help to flavour and enhance stews and also vegetable dishes. 

Health benefits of sage herb are numerous, the following list are conditions that may have seen positive effects when adding sage to the diet. They are also the traditional ways that the herb has been used. The main components of sage, from a medicinal perspective, seem to be found in the oils in the herb which may be why a balanced ecosystem in the digestive system has been seen to help to release and absorb Sage’s nutritious offerings.

Sage has a long list of beneficial nutrients including Vitamin K; antioxidants like vitamin A, beta-carotene levels and vitamin C. Also B-complex of folic acid, thiamin, pyridoxine and riboflavin. Together with minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium, Sage is a nutrient powerhouse. Organic Compounds include α-thujone, and β-thujone, cineol, borneol, tannic acid, cornsole and cornsolic acid; fumaric, chlorogenic, caffeic and nicotinic acids; nicotinamide; flavones; flavone glycosides and oestrogenic substances. Most of these compounds have been seen to have some evidence of being anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties. This study confirms its microbial balancing abilities by showing efficiency against Staph infections. Which makes sense for why this herb was traditionally used to protect against infection and preserve meats.

Menstrual cycle and Menopausal symptoms;

There are phytoestrogen substances in Sage which  may help to mimic estrogen, which may benefit menopausal women and other mensural imbalances. During menopause the ovaries diminish their release of oestrogen. Hot flushes is one of the symptoms of this. The adrenals take over the production of oestrogen and the adrenals and liver are often associated with heat. Phyto-oestrogens can help the body to recognise oestrogens in the body without the body actually absorbing them completely. Herbs with phytoestrogens require healthy digestive system bacteria levels to help access and utilize the hormones as mentioned above. Sage may be able to suppress perspiration and help the body cool down during a hot flush (see this study) Oestrogen may also affect the brain, causing changes in emotional well-being. Sage has been seen to help many to relieve some anxiety and depression symptoms associated with menopause or other menstrual cycle imbalances. Sage may also help others to deal with grief and depression by helping to lift mood and balance hormone levels. Check out this recipe for Lemon Sage Cordial

Lemon and sage cordial Loula Natural image1

Memory, concentration and moods enhancer

Sage has been traditionally used over the centuries to enhance concentration, attention span and has also been seen to quicken the senses and improve memory. Sage may play a role in the treatment methods for memory loss associated with the diseases like Alzheimer’s. “extracts possess anti-oxidant, estrogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties, and specifically inhibit butyryl- and acetyl-cholinesterase (both of these disrupt neurotransmitters message integrity- affecting memory- source)…whilst a chronic regime (of sage) has been shown to attenuate cognitive declines in sufferers from Alzheimer’s disease” (source) This means that Sage will not only support memory function (Studies showed clear improvement in cognitive recall), but also the integrity of message from the brain to the rest of the body. Enhancing messages to the rest of the body can have several advantages for many people. Especially in healing situations to help release anxiety and stress to the body. Other reports suggest that sage essential oil can help to relieve headaches and fatigue. Chinese Medicine has used Red Sage, Salvia miltiorrhiza, also known as Danshen or Chinese Sage in the treatment of cerebrovascular disease for over thousands of years.   Some of the compounds found are similar to the ones that have been used to produce AChE Inhibitors used in pharmacological medicines to treat Alzheimers. They have been seen to reduce plaques which form in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.  Also allowing better blood circulation through the brain.

 Prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

 Three lobe sage(a specific type of Sage) contains called salvigenin. Research studies found that salvigenin may offer benefits in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases by relaxing the walls of blood vessels. Flexibility in veins and arteries is very important in heart health. Chinese Sage has also been used for centuries as a blood thinner to reduce blood clots and ‘invigorate the blood‘. Traditional Chinese medicine use it with other herbs to help improve circulation and reduce hardening of the arterial walls. Sage’s reported anti-inflammatory capabilities (source) may also help with cardiovascular health as almost all cases of heart health have inflammatory indicators (source and here).  Sage tea has also been reported to balance cholesterol levels by having a positive effect on HDL and LDL levels (source)

Skin Conditions

Sage’s  anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (vitamin A content) may also help us to understand how Sage and Sage oil can help in irritated skin conditions. Sage herb oil can be used used externally, rubbed on the skin, and has been seen to soothe painful ailments like muscle stiffness, rheumatism, and other nerve pains. Through Sage’s support of the digestive system, the excretory role of the skin is reduced and more nutrients are absorbed to help provide strong building blocks for the skin. Sage oil is often recommended as a hair rinse for dandruff, oily hair, or infections of the scalp. The herb reportedly restores color to gray or white hair (source).

Diabetes type 2

By helping to balance hormone levels (oestrogenic compounds) insulin is also affected in a positive way. A research team at the Research Institute of Medicinal Plants in Iran found that “Salvia officinalis leaf extract may have anti-hyperglycemic and lipid profile. This is beneficial for diabetes patients. Reduced cholesterol imbalance is connected to a reduction in type 2 diabetes symptoms. With improved blood circulation and reduced inflammation (as mentioned above) the body is going to work better in all areas. By helping to increase digestive ability and stimulating appetite it is reasonable to expect that the blood sugar levels and hormone levels of the body will be come more balanced, thus improving the lives of those with type 2 diabetes. 

sage leaves Loula Natural

Supports the digestive system

Rosmarinic acid is found in Sage and Rosemary. It may be readily absorbed from the GI tract especially when consumed with a healthy ecology in the body or with fermented products. Once inside the body, this oil has been seen to reduce inflammatory responses by altering the amounts of inflammatory messengers released by the immune system. This moderates the immune system and its response. The rosmarinic acid in sage may also function as an antioxidant. Together with the antioxidant capabilities, sage can help to give the digestive system space to heal and repair. Especially in any IBD (crohn’s or ulcerative colitis), IBS symptoms, leaky gut and other digestive sensitivity issues (intolerances, eczema, heartburn). Like most culinary herbs, sage is traditionally used as a digestive aid and appetite stimulant. You can use it to help reduce gas in the intestines and, as it may have antispasmodic herbal actions, it may also help to relieve abdominal cramps and bloating. The volatile oils in sage help to maintain balance in bacterial levels. The fibre in the leaves and stems can help feed bacteria, making the herb useful to encourage and create a balance mycobacterial environment to help our bodies to function normally.

Respiratory system;

The respiratory system is harmonised when the immune system is less sensitive. Sage’s assistance in anti inflammatory and anti oxidant actions, whilst balancing bacteria can greatly enhance and help to heal the respiratory system. It is often used to help asthma symptoms. Sage is astringent and so may help to dry up phlegm. With its bacterial balancing abilities you can gargle with the tea to help protect and treat coughs and tonsil or throat infections. It is also chewed to help balance the bacteria in the mouth to prevent tooth infections.

Safety precautions;

when breast feeding or when pregnant restrict sage intake (unless cooking with it). The properties have been reported to help dry up milk. It is often used after breastfeeding to restore hormone balance. The herb should not be used in pregnancy as chemical compounds like thujone in it may cause uterine stimulation resulting in miscarriage (hence clary sage is used during labour but not in pregnancy) When prescribed blood thinners, be aware sage (like garlic) has similar actions and will also thin the blood. It is also not recommended with epilepsy.   If any doubt contact your naturopath, herbal practitioner or aromatherapist. 

Further Reading;

http://foodfacts.mercola.com/sage.html http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sage-herb.html http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266480.php http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/sage-herbal-remedies.htm http://www.healthy.co.nz/ailment/2121-herbal-phytoestrogens-and-menopause.html http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Phytoestrogens.htm

Nutrient Fact File Sage Loula Natural Pin

read more

Spotlight on Hong Kongs Protests

Hong Kong Democracy Protests Loula Natural

To get a get a good visual image of the impact the protest is having on the city check out here 

On the eve of China Day I wanted to reflect on the events in Hong Kong since Sunday. I am not sure how the events here have been publicised in the country you are in, they seem to be a mixed bag of information and opinion.

10301522_10152769454496747_3933463377713677255_n

On the ground, I wanted to report that the response is also mixed here. There has been a great sense of pride and gratitude towards those holding their exemplary peaceful protest. All that the Hong Kong people protesting want, is to be heard and acknowledged. They believe that they have been promised something that has not been delivered. Occupy Central is not a new idea for us here; it is a movement that has been gathering pace for a long time. Universal suffrage (Hong Kong currently has a Chief Executive that is appointed by China ‘puppets’ and currently we are able to vote for our representatives however they are also only from a pool of people hand picked again from China) is something that Hong Kong has been requesting for longer than sunday. 

When Hong Kong was a British colony, it was not unlike the current arrangement. Our Governor was appointed by the British Government – however anyone could and did run for government posts. When the country was given back to China’s ruling it was under the understanding that it would be one country, two systems. As China was a very different place then as it is now (travel was restricted and it was still a very strict communist rule) most were very worried about the lack of civil liberties which may be thrust upon us. It was agreed that there would be no major changes for 50 years.

Hong Kong people over the years have exercised the right to protest and most importantly we have enjoyed our freedom of speech and thought, something which has remained since the handover. There have been several pro-democracy demonstrations throughout the last few years. There have also been Tiananmen Sq remembrances every year. Although the newspapers here have changed and appear more China biased in their reporting and I have not watched the local news channels for a long time- it still felt like for the most part Hong Kong’s one country two systems was working. Monday was the most censored day in China since Tiananmen Sq remembrances as reported by the FP. There have even been reports that the gathering is in preparation to celebrate China Day.

police are HKers too getty images

Hong Kong is rich in its diversity- even when it was under British rule is was not a jot like Britain! I discovered this when I moved there for university (read about my experiences as an expat in my ‘own country‘). Coming back to Hong Kong with my young family was exciting for me and I relished the chance to give my own children a taste of the amazing childhood I experienced living here. Hong Kong is completely unique in its size, combination of nature and structure, its business opportunities, its successful merging of east and west and it dynamic and exciting vibe. The number of people living here has grown over the years and the impact of the travelling mainland chinese has had positive and negative consequences for Hong Kong. A couple of years ago when the Government announced a surplus in the budget (what other country has ever announced a budget surplus) they decided to give every permanent resident an amount of money. It wasn’t a huge sum to many (about the amount of the air ticket from the uk to Hong Kong for me to pick it up) but very cool all the same. Untouched by the global economic downturn over the recent years Hong Kong is, for the most part, thriving. This is largely to do with the huge cash injection from the mainland chinese coming and buying ‘all the things’!!

Stories of mainlanders coming over with suitcases of money to buy flats and designer goods are mixed between them buying up all the baby formula (which led to restrictions on weight of suitcases allowed over the border). Distrust in goods coming from China has encouraged the mass travel of newly rich chinese people from Mainland China to Hong Kong and around the world. Everybody is clambering over one another to sell them something. So much so that the fear is that this protest may somehow stop that generous flow of cash. This is the main opposing argument and I have heard all sorts of people saying this.

Protesters hold their mobile phones as they block the main street to the financial Central district, outside the government headquarters, in Hong Kong
Protesters spent monday night singing and chanting.

I have heard many complain about the ‘inconvenience’ caused by the protesters, talk about the protest being ‘bad for business’ for Hong Kong. That it will increase people’s (well China’s) desire to move Hong Kong to Shanghai – thus effectively ‘killing’ Hong Kong’s unique nature and economy. Hong Kong is actually fighting for their economic future (as seen in Time). Lets face it- its only money. I would rather have a country I can say what I want, read what I want and have freedom of commerce and thought. I also prefer a country where people pitch in together for the good of the whole country. A country that is truly rich in culture, diversity and community spirit. Something the protesters are teaching us all with their recycling while they protest, organisation of their resources and peaceful yet direct attitudes whilst spending down time to study! There is no other place in the world that has a 3 day protest without any shops broken into and looted, all the cars etc are safe, it’s safe to take your kids to go see and is clean and tidy with space for pedestrians to walk through. 

Picking up rubbish1 cherry wong

The influx of Mainland Chinese money has meant a huge increase in house prices, rental prices and every shopping mall is full (there are so many shopping malls in Hong Kong!) of people and designer stores. All of the mid range stores are being pushed out and it is getting more and more expensive to live here. It seems incredulous the amount of money that just keeps pouring in and young residents are finding it impossible to keep up. Getting on the property ladder means that you need a 50% deposit on flats a little larger than a cupboard for upwards of HKD$2 million – that is before it is even finished being built, by the time it is built it can be double that in some cases. It is not on our radar to be able to buy anything here and even schooling is proving to be more and more out of reach. Local schooling is subsidised but the system of schooling here is more rigid and full on (3 year olds have homework and there are exams all through primary schools) than I want to put my kids through so we are having to pay through the nose for schooling. However I have never been in a country with lower unemployment and strong work ethos. There is a big divide between those who literally live in cages and those who live in sprawling mansions on the peak. That divide is only getting wider. This is something experienced in the global community and you can’t help thinking ‘somehow this has got to end somewhere?!’

There was even cases a couple of years ago where Hong Kong residents could not get into local hospitals because they were full of heavily pregnant mainland women coming over to go into labour so their children could be born here and have rights to schooling etc. All of this has frightened and angered local residents. The future is uncertain and they are saying something about it. They are saying no. They are saying we want something different and I quite frankly support their right to do so.

First class mama

The protests themselves have had mixed receptions. Scheduled to actually be on tomorrow I think some of the excess of the response was from the excitement and fear of it all starting early. It has been called a riot and indeed the police were in their riot gear. I have heard people complain and want a refund because their childrens schools in the district closed, that their shop/business has suffered because of the protest route, people fearful to go into town or that they cannot continue their lives as normal. I find it unbelievable that people would be so unbelievable. It is a landmark event for Hong Kong and a really good reason. But I guess there are always haters who are gonna hate and moaners gonna moan! 

A protester reacts in front of riot police during as fellow demonstrators blocked the main street to the financial Central district at Central in Hong Kong

To the point where there is the video of students constucting anti-tear gas masks from water bottles and sugical masks. Which is both sad and genius at the same time. However there  have been no breakages or violence- they simply wouldn’t leave. People are joining them in their droves. Bringing supplies (they are asking for water, raincoats, goggles and facemasks incase there is more tear gas and pepper spray, empty spray bottles and cool towels and gel packs to try and help people cool down and cable ties to help secure the boundaries), even bringing food and bbq’s and coming in to show their support. I brought water and apples today! There are yellow ribbons being given out to wear and to tie around railings and lampposts around Hong Kong. People are smiling at each other and generally showing kindness and solidarity. Its amazing to witness.

 bbq

Please keep sharing your positive experiences. I keep hearing “I admire the protestors but its not going to change anything”- Who knows. I for one have a renewed sense of faith in my beloved home town. I have hope for the future in Hong Kong and I feel a sense of incredible pride and goodwill towards my fellow Kongers. If you want please check out this Petition and share hopeful sentiments about our future. The youth coming through seem pretty cool and incredibly inspiring- so Anything is Possible!

as an update- on tuesday night (the night this was written) it rained and someone took this extraordinary picture!

rain

Good Reports with images;

WSJ

The Guardian 

The Times

The HK Hub

Vox

Bloomberg

and our own South China Morning Post

If you recognise one of your pictures I have tried to credit everyone- if you would like me to change the credit please let me know!

Hong Kong Democracy Protests Loula Natural pin

read more

Salty Cinnamon Maple Grain Free Granola

Salty Maple Cinnamon GF Granola Loula Natural fbSalty Cinnamon Maple Grain Free Granola

I have loved alternating between my eggs in the morning and my different grain free raw granola flavours (other recipes here and here). I took inspiration from my cinnamon salty/sweet  popcorn to try to entice my daughter to try it (she is devoted to her muesli for breakfast!). I love it warm straight out of the dehydrator and served with kefir and berries. I also like it with gently warmed almond milk. Especially with the mornings starting to be a bit cooler.

It also works really nicely as a crumble topping with some stewed fruit and my fat banana custard for puddings!

Here are my other breakfast recipes

what is for breakfast Loula Natural

and my dedicated pinterest board; 

Follow Loula Natural’s board Loula Natural’s Breakfast Inspiration on Pinterest.


Salty Maple Cinnamon GF Granola Loula Natural Pin

read more

Practice what you Preach

Practice what you preech Loula Natural

It is really important to me to live as natural life as possible. I use my air conditioning as little as possible, drive the car only when necessary and try to buy the best food our budget allows. Everyone is an individual and will have a different drive and priorities. Their life is there life and my life is mine.

That being said, I find often that the people who I am drawn to and who are drawn to me have a reason to be in my life. I find myself saying things to clients over and over again, advice I recognise often as advice I am repeating for my own benefit as much as for theirs. I find this quite freaky sometimes. I also have a daughter who is my mirror and I constantly find myself hearing things I need to change within myself first. I cannot expect her to speak to me in a certain way if I am not prepared to moderate how I speak to her sometimes (for example I NEED to stop shouting!).

Recently I have found myself saying over and over,

“you are important, you need to be kind to yourself, if you don’t put yourself first- you are no good to anyone one else.”

I need to practice what I preach- daily

This is to clients, I see clients of all ages who are looking for weight management, digestive issues, hormone imbalances, energy, fertility, skin health, and pain release. All of whom have this central core issue (amongst others) that I resonate with. Physician heal thyself is something I constantly repeat to myself. Following through is the hard part.

I recently spoke to a friend who identified that people don’t want to change their diet. They want to eat all the things they are told are treats, will comfort them and will make them feel better. All lies of course, we all know that we don’t feel better on poor ingredient chocolate, biscuits, crisps or other ‘junk’, we all feel worse. Guilt, poor energy, bloating and stomach upsets are common. Change is hard, we know its necessary but it is still hard. People want magic pills to change everything to what we think will make our bodies and lives perfect. It does not exist, we know that. Not only that but some of the backlash and aggression you get from others when you do try to change (which is all based on their guilt because they know they should be doing the same) can be really really hard to take. Especially when it comes from family and friends.

On the other end of the stick are you constantly punishing yourself by denying yourself things your body may be looking for, striving for physical perfection (which you will never achieve unless you like yourself!), ignoring symptoms or just obsess over being a number on the scales or in clothes. For who- for you or for others to accept you. Do you constantly judge people by their appearance- are you ideals even attainable and sustainable in a healthy, happy, balanced life? We all need to start with ourselves.

When I think about all the changes I have made in my life over the last 10-15 years from when my journey began I am astounded by how far I have come. Yet I still dodge changing some core beliefs that I have about myself and what my future could be like. I am a constant work in progress just like I tell my clients! I use affirmations, eft and Bach Flower remedies to help to consciously and unconsciously change my thought patterns, reactions and emotional ups and downs and I am getting better and better at listening to myself saying the good stuff, stuff which drives you forward and upward.

I believe I am worth it now, I am worth my own effort and I can and do achieve amazing things. I said out loud for one of the first times the other day- I like what I see in the mirror– and I meant it. Someone tried to tell me that I needed to change for others to listen to my advice and it didn’t shake my belief that I like me just the way I am. It has made the slug through in my lifetime worth it, for that sense of courage and belief.

If you find yourself giving advice to friends and family over and over again, find yourself complaining about the same traits in others or your kids/hubby/wife- sit back and listen. Do you practice what you preach? Are you doing the best for yourself?

Anything is possible

Find a way to reconnect with nature, through eating REAL food, going outside or simply taking sometime to focus solely on breathing. Work out what is really important to you and what it is you want from your life and use it to drive you forward. Try and change how you speak to yourself. To change a core belief you have to start with changing your thoughts, to change actions to change habits to change how your life will continue!

Thanks to hindsight photography for taking pictures I am proud of- they look like the real me!

Here is another!

IMG_0037 IMG_0046 IMG_0048

Practice what you preach Loula Natural Pin

read more

Pumpkin Parade: a pumpkin recipe round-up

Pumpkin Parade Loula Natural

Pumpkin Parade; a pumpkin recipe round-up

All your favourite Pumpkin Recipes in one place

I really love pumpkin. I love the flavour, the density in nutrients and immune boosting properties and I love the versatility of being able to make it sweet or savoury! A pumpkin recipe round-up makes it easy to find my delicious favourites.

Pumpkins are packed full of beta carotenes (pre cursor to the body forming Vit A), vitamin C, antioxidants and a good mix of b vitamins. They benefit the digestive system and immune system. They also have great seeds which we all love to eat too!! The fibre in them feeds the balanced bacteria in the digestive system- win all round.

Kids generally love pumpkin too- see here for some great ways to use pumpkin flesh.

Here is a great post from Fostering Nutrition on how our ancestors used to prepare a pumpkin including the seeds

Here is my Pumpkin recipe round-up; Pumpkin 123

 How To make pumpkin puree from one ingredient

Immune boosting Pumpkin spice Loula natural Homemade Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Loula Natural

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Baked Pumpkin Donuts Loula Natural

 Baked Pumpkin Donuts (Gluten free)

Pumpkin Bread Loula Natural

Pumpkin Bread (Gluten Free)

Pumpkin Brownies with Gingerbread LattePumpkin Brownies (Gluten Free)

Turmeric Pumpkin Seeds Loula Natural

Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Turmeric Pumpkin seeds 

 

And here are some from my friends; (most are grain free)

 Chocolate-Pumpkin-Pancakes1

Butter Nutrition; Chocolate Stuffed Pumpkin Pancakes

Savoury Lotus; Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding and Pumpkin Spiced Dutch Baby

Roasted-Garbanzo-Beans

Real Food RN; Banana Pumpkin Ice-Cream and Sweet Crunchy Pumpkin Spiced Garbanzo Beans

Real Food Kosher; Sweet Potato Pie Fries

pumpkinpie800x419-900x500

Oh Lardy; Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with superfoods

Real Nutritious Living; Paleo Pumpkin Spiced MuffinsPumpkin Spiced Latte and Pumpkin Pie Spiced Almonds

hot chocolate

20 Somthing Allergies; Pumpkin Steamer (Hot Chocolate Alternative)

Health Extremist; Coconut Flour Pumpkin Muffins

Paleo-Pumpkin-Crumble-Bars-photo-08-679x1024

Beauty and The Foodies (one of my big fav’s) Pumpkin Bagels and Paleo Pumpkin Crumble bars

dfsdtsddd-1024x987

Coconut Mama; Coconut Milk Pumpkin Ice Cream and Pumpkin Butter Cups

Happy Healthnut; Pumpkin Protein Oats and Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie Pudding Shooters

Pumpkin-Cream-Cookies-800x419

Eat Naked; Pumpkin Cream Cookies and Holiday Pumpkin Smoothie

Yogi Mami Pumpkin Trifle

FB-Simple-Crock-Pot-Apple-Pumpkin-Butter-Grain-Free-Dairy-Free-Paleo-Vegan-

Mix Wellness; Crockpot Apple Pumpkin butter 

 Pumpkin Parade Loula Natural pin

read more

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint cookies

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies Loula Natural

I absolutely love lemon curd (here is my version). I whipped up a batch as it is packed with healthy fats (butter and eggs) and I don’t worry so much when I use coconut sugar to flavour it- we like it tart anyway. It is a great way to really treat the kids.

coconut and lemon curd cookies close up Loula Natural

We also love making these coconut cookies– so when my daughter asked me to make them again I thought of combining the two. The result is really delicious! Lemon and ginger of course being a match in heaven- and great for the immune system as the change of season is upon us.

 I love mine with a nice cup of Rooibos or my bulletproof coffee!

coconut and lemon curd cookies Loula Natural

Here are some other thumbprint cookie recipes;

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies Loula Natural Pin

 

read more

Coconut

Nutrient Fact File coconut Loula Natural

Coconuts are one of my favourite foods on the planet. They contain all of the nutrients required to grow and develop new life. Plus they taste so delicious! Known as a functional food- the health properties far outweigh their nutritional constituents. Not surprising it is referred to as “The Tree of Life”, a little like eggs, I like to refer to them as one of nature’s perfect packages. 

Coconut oil,

coconut flour,

coconut milk,

coconut yoghurt,

coconut water (fresh) 

Coconut water and coconut milk Kefir,

coconut ice-cream and

desiccated coconut are always in stock in my house!!

Charcoal is made from the husk 

Palm oil is made from the leaves

I love to add coconut to everything; here’s why;

coconut

The coconut palm grows throughout the tropics. The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and prefers areas with ample sunlight and rainfall. They also need a daily temperature of around 20 degrees celsius.  The benefits of the coconuts meat and water contents span all the different varieties of the fruit that they yield. Most cultures where they grow use the products from the coconut to heal most ailments, and have done so for generations. Since they are always in season and grow all year round, they are one of the most incredible natural medicines. They are also easy and cheap to buy. Once you know how, they are also easy to open.

Young meat is jelly like and really sweet and more mature meat is whiter, firmer and less sweet. The water creates the flesh in layers, so the more flesh you have in your coconut the less water and vice versa. The flesh and the water have an amazing mixture of beneficial saturated fats, electrolytes (minerals ), vitamins (A, B’s and E) and amino acids (protein). See the full list here. Plus both have an intricate and balanced bacterial environment. All of this combined gives the coconut its wide range of benefits and health giving properties. A full list of all the claims for coconuts is found here and Bruce Fife’s book Coconut Cures is excellent.

coconut cures

Coconut can be eaten and the water can be drunk during pregnancy. Both are  repudiated to nourish mother and baby and may help even help with a ‘quick delivery’. The oil when rubbed into the skin can help prevent and heal stretch marks. It can also be applied direct to nipples to soothe chafing and heal wounds whilst breastfeeding.

The oil is also a safe and effective sunscreen for children and adults alike. The fat acts as a barrier, the bacterial elements are protective and balancing and the other nutrients in the oil can help to repair any damage the sun might have on the skin cells

When dehydrated in the hot summer months coconut water can help. Containing all the necessary electrolytes it can help get you back to balance. Combined with the bacterial properties to be able to absorb those nutrients, coconut water can also help with some digestive ailments and is a great drink to use whilst working out. However the pasteurization process the packaged water goes through kills off the bacteria. This makes the drink no better than any other pasteurized juice. I only advocate fresh coconut water, or consumption of coconut water that has been fermented- like kefir.

Lychee, Coconut Water Kefir

Coconut water also contains antimicrobial properties. It may be better to think of the bacteria as balanced in the body, after consuming fresh coconut. Therefore it is also great when suffering from bacterial imbalance (runny tummy!). It also helps to rehydrate after vomiting or diarrhea. 

The sugar and nectar from the flowers are also full of necessary nutrients to process the sugar (improving blood sugar levels and create energy). See my post on refined sugar to understand how this is beneficial. The fat and protein aspect of coconuts can also help slow down the digestion of sugars and therefore can help to balance sugar levels. The body is looking for fats in the diet to trigger satiety (feeling full). Coconut in recipes can help you to feel fuller for longer whilst having nutrients to nourish, repair and satisfy. 1 tbs Coconut flour can be added to baked goods to raise their nutrient profile. The fibre in coconut also helps to feed our internal bacterial environment– which further strengthens our essential internal bacterial balance.

More and more people are beginning to understand how important the coconut is to stabilizing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, balancing hormones and generally healing. Because of its amazing natural sugar, fatty acids, amino acids combined with all the other nutrients in perfect ratios it is even used in some countries to replace blood plasma in an emergency and after operations.

oil pulling with coconut oil Loula Natural

Coconuts have been seen to help a diverse range of conditions, mostly due to their Medium Chain fatty acids.  Coconuts packs an eye-opening amount of calories and so many grams of fat (90% saturated). However when people advise you to avoid the product for these reasons their advice is misguided. People who include coconut products daily in their diet actually show a greater weight loss than those who don’t, they also report better skin health, muscle tone, energy levels, hormone balance and better moods. Here is my post on how amazing fats are- try to re-educate yourself  about what are a healthy fats and which ones are unhealthy. Coconut oil also plays a huge role in changing your body shape.

The fatty acids contained in coconut have a positive effect on the body as they are easily absorbed, have anti-microbial properties, can boost metabolism , enhance thyroid activity, reduces pain and swelling, improve digestion, boost immune system and improve skin, hair teeth and nails. Is there anything a coconut can’t help? 

You can make your own coconut water, kefirmilk, creamyoghurt , butter and vinegar very easily. I also do oil pulling, use it in my body scrubs (here and here), amazing used directly on the skin from birth (the oil can be absorbed through the skin) I use it in many cosmetics including hair masks, after swimming and sunscreen

Here are my recipes that include coconut; (how to open a coconut)

Oil Pulling

Coconut Milk

Coconut Cream/ Yoghurt

Lychee Coconut water kefir

Coconut Ginger Cookies

Coconut Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Mint chocolate chip coconut ice-cream

Choco-coco milkshake

Coco-berry milkshake

Bulletproof Smoothie

Choco-coco ice pudding

Sunshine shot

Almond and coconut flour kefir pancakes

Bounty bars

Homemade chocolate

Vanilla butter fudge

Chocolate fudge

Cinnamon salty sweet popcorn

Coconut- oil popcorn

Banoffee Toffee

Real food icing sugar

Spicy Chai tea Concentrate

Beetroot brownies

Chicken and coconut soup

Body Scrubs

The ultimate kefir body scrub/bath salts

Pineapple and Ginger kefir-kolada

Coconut and carrotseed oil natural sunscreen

Indeed all of my Kefir and Kombucha is made from coconut sugar as seen in Culture Your Life

Also all of my recipes contain either coconut oil, flour or sugar. I also use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and sell Cocobono sugar and oil here in Hong Kong.

Nutrient Fact File coconut Loula Natural Pin

read more

Why I have joined Young Living Essential Oils

Why I Joined Young Living Loula Natural

Why I have joined Young Living Essential Oils 

You may already be aware that I am a naturopath and nutritional therapist. I have been in the health industry for almost 10 years. I have used essential oils for almost the same amount of time. I have used all sorts of brands of essential oil based on what I am drawn to- and I will probably continue to use and support different brands.

However I was interested in the scope of using a company that has the resources to allow people all over the world access to a very good quality product. It will be so much easier for my worldwide readership to be able to find and easily buy the oils I recommend. Young Living has support for the whole world so where ever you are reading this you can buy the same oils I do- easy peasy.

13613644614_87923cb38b_k

The business side of Young Living was what put me off primarily. IT seemed confusing and manipulative. However after looking into it I realised that was just how I perceived it- its actually very simple. If you like the oils, you sign up and get a discount. If you like the oils and your friends and family want to buy them too, you can refer them and get a bonus when they sign so you can get some more oils. 

However, I do not feel comfortable with some of the recommendations and pushy sales techniques I have come across. I have been hearing from clients who have been told things that have alarmed me by their friends. Marketing knowledge is very different from natural health knowledge and I would love you to know the difference.

I will endeavour to provide safe and effective advice from a professional point of view, in combination with other therapies and always based on the health of the individual.

For example I would never ever advise pure oils (without being diluted in a carrier oil like coconut or ALmond oil) to be used on children. Especially not babies, unless this advice come directly from an aromatherapist who knows the individual case. Regardless of the brand. I also do not endorse ingesting the oils for children or adults alike. It is not what aromatherapy is about. (see here for what Aromatherapy is)

4232477030_f54d14fdfb_b

I am passionate about using oranges to create orange flavour, I also much prefer real lemons in water than an oil. I believe essential oils have their place in natural healing alongside other modalities like Bach Flower Remedies, Homeopathy, Eft, Accupuncture and of course the power of food. It is the combination that will bring about balance. 

I am very happy to learn that Young Living responsibly grow or source oils and have very strict quality control. They have branded their oils with the adage that they are Therapeutic Grade. This means that they are pure oils without any dilution, that they are of supreme quality and are exactly what they say they are, in every bottle. It is quite an amazing promise. One that other companies strive to do also, however the passion felt from Young Living and their founder Gary Young is pretty infectious. Therapeutic grade is their own definition and is not necessarily recognised by the aromatherapy community. Nevertheless, here are their Lavender fields that some of my friends were lucky enough to visit earlier this year. Gorgeous.

3694246781_da28c6cff8_b

When I first started using oils I did so from an informed starting point. I have used these books over the years and plan to have an professional aromatherapy qualification soon (something I have wanted for a long time);

HEaling Wormwood

 

(links are affiliate links)

Yes, I have used oils to great benefit; diffusing them in the house, using them in cosmetics, cleaning products and perfumes has provided major shifts within myself and my family. My kids have gone to bed with lavender and chamomile in their bath water since they were old enough to handle it. I have made countless oil blends for clients over the years for their skin and hair. However I do not believe that there are any miracle cures. I completely respect the power of placebo and so if you feel like something will help you (be is pharma or natural) it will allow your body to have direction to heal. I also will not forget all my other tools either. Paramount to all of this is that I will keep the individual at the centre of my advice, rather than financial gain.

14451533344_8c13f1a7ad_k

The main draw of joining Young Living for me is the special and genius blends (like the ones for children above and animals seen below) that they have created and the amazing attention to detail that they put into every bottle of oil that has impressed me. I have also been told by someone I respect that the energy of the oils is definitely different from other brands. That helped to convince me to sign up.

14452537544_ba0cd4dc85_z

So If buying young living oils helps you to source great quality and signing up with me provides you with an awesome price and the ability to share your experiences with others then I am happy to provide this for you and really look forward to hearing about shifts you have felt and how you use them in your life alongside other natural methods to get yourself healing and living in balance.

10320469_10152497752323024_4209421299745693947_n

I am proud and happy to be an Oily Angel. Working along-side people I admire and respect will help me to find my way of using and promoting the oils, either through classes, my facebook group or blog- I endeavour to help support and guide anyone and everyone with Essential oil questions.

Here is my sign up page to learn more and my facebook group to support you to find the natural means to help your body to heal.

 Why I Joined Young Living Loula Natural Pin

read more

Birthday Cakes and Frosting!

easy cake decorating

Every year for my two kids I make the same cake- It is a gluten free carrot cake. I have followed the same recipe (with additions and tweaks every year) for the last 5 years. I wanted to start a birthday cake tradition. So I am keeping the recipe to myself to share with the kids as and when they want to make the cake for their own kids.

When my son was born I wondered if I should develop a different cake for him. However I decided both kids would have the same- it is hard to dislike carrot cake! Also I didn’t want arguments in the future about which cake was better, nicer etc!

I learnt how to make cool tops for the cake on Pinterest (where else!). I wanted to share that with you…

Draw around your baking tin onto baking paper.

evas cake

On baking paper you draw the design- so far we have had Minnie Mouse, a Bulldog, Belle and the Beast and now a T Rex. I use a combination of ‘how to’s’ I have found online and artistic license! It is actually pretty easy. However if you are a little creatively challenged you can print out an image and trace it onto the baking paper.

Then using an icing pen like this one or I use these icings. Shock horror they are not organic or natural. However they do a really good job and are such a tiny part of the cake- its what I use!

Then you just use them like crayons and colour in your picture! Use the black one first to do all the out lines and then the colours. Remember your cake topper will be flipped over so will be the mirror image. I forgot and a number 4 didnt work out so well last year!

I then pop it in the freezer over night.

I cut my cake in half and frost it with all different combinations. This time I used mascapone and mixed in 2 tbs milk kefir, dash maple syrup and used some shaved cacao paste- my goodness chocolate chip frosting at its finest! Then you just pop the icing layer on top icing side down and slowly peel off the baking paper.

cake Collage

Let me know what you make!

 

easy cake decorating Loula Natural

read more

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub Loula Natural

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub

I have loads of homemade cosmetic recipes in my book Culture Your Life. Here is why I love using Kefir on my skin, I wrote this for Thank Your Body. We have been using Kefir and Kombucha inside and ourside our bodies for a couple of years now and I can honestly say I will never go back. Shampoo, laundry detergent, after sun, face masks and many more. I have been using homemade scrubs like my coffee scrub and salt scrub but plain water kefir grains make a great body scrub on their own.

My kids have pink himalayan salt and epsom salt baths every night with various essential oils and sometimes water kefir and coconut oil goes in the bath. It occurred to me to mix all of this together and come up with the Ultimate Bath Soak or Body Scrub!

Multi-purpose, simple and incredibly effective at nourishing, soothing and healing- this may be my best cosmetic invention yet! It is in the hardback copy of the book out soon!

Here is the basic recipe and underneath some essential oil combinations you may like to try.

Here are some other bath salt recipes;

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub Loula Natural Pin

read more

Real Food Banoffee Pie

Real Food Banoffee Pie Loula Natural

Real Food Banoffee Pie

I have made Banoffee Pie several times. Every time I have made it with Dulce Leche that I have bought. This time I was committed to making my own toffee- without condensed milk (which I do not count as a real food!). See my post on refined sugar for why I love coconut sugar. It is also gluten free packed with healthy fats and proteins to balance the sugar!

This time I am making it for my husband so we made a couple of compromises! He loves real cream so since it is his birthday I have used dairy cream. However I have also included ways to make this dish dairy free. He was happy!

Happy Birthday boy slice

However- I couldn’t do it all by myself. I had some expert help. Especially since it was for Daddy’s birthday!

I did have a little help Loula Natural

Here is the picture to help you assemble the Banoffee pie

Banoffee assembly Loula Natural

I hope you enjoy it!

Real Food Banoffee Pie Loula Natural Pin

Come and find my other favourite Gluten Free Sweet Treats on Pinterest

Follow Loula Natural’s board Gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest.

read more

Simnel Cake

Gluten Free Simnel Cake Loula Natural fb

Gluten Free Simnel Cake

Traditionally Simnel Cakes were given to mum’s on Mothering Sunday. Since in the UK Mothering Sunday and Easter are normally close (not this year!) it became a cake for both. The 12 balls on the top of the cake are also meant to symbolise the 12 apostles. I am not really a follower of organised religion but we like to celebrate re-birth and the spirit of spring time.

The cake is essentially a fruit cake with a marzipan centre and top. I love it as every year I have attempted Marzipan! Now I have my Real Food Icing Sugar- this year it was simple and my most delicious yet!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Again I have looked for the classic recipe like in my other modern updates of a classic from my mums Supercooks books. The cake is really nice and by using a Modern Update on a Classic I have made it gluten-free and packed full of nutrients. I have also used my preserved Cinnamon Kumquats to keep it moist and a nice light citrus zing to it and also my Chai Latte Concentrate for a spicy twist too. 

Gluten free Simnel Cake Loula Natural

 

Slice of Simnel Cake Loula NAtural

Other posts for Easter;

100 Days of Real Food: Easter Without the Junk

Oh Lardy: Junk Free Easter Basket Idea’s

Oh She Glows; Vegan Easter Recipes

Eat Naked Now: Easter Gummies (4 Ways)

Freshly Grown; Natural Easter Egg Dye

Nature Moms; Eco-Friendly Easter Ideas

Grass Fed Girl; Paleo Easter Round Up

The Healthy Home Economist; Healthy Homemade Easter

Nourished Kitchen; Pesto Egg Salad

Real Food RN; Fermented Carrot Sticks for the Easter Bunny

Gluten Free Simnel Cake Loula Natural pin

Come and check out my other favourite gluten free goodies on Pinterest;
Follow Loula Natural’s board Gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest.

 

read more

Gluten free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Loula Natural FB

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Easter is not the same without Hot Cross buns! I really like them with cheese! Since we have chosen to be gluten free as much as possible I decided even though I have never made hot cross buns before- I would give a gluten free version a go. 

Modern Updates of the Classics Loula Natural

As part of my Modern Updates of a Classic series this recipe has been adapted from my mum’s Supercooks cookbooks. They were a wedding present and date from the mid to late 70’s. The repertoire in the books is huge covering all over the globe. 

To create a gluten free version (I have done 3 batches! this mix of flours is the best!) I have played with different types of flour and have replaced the milk in the recipe to Kefir (of course!).

Hot Cross bun Collage Loula natural

Other posts for Easter;

100 Days of Real Food: Easter Without the Junk

Oh Lardy: Junk Free Easter Basket Idea’s

Oh She Glows; Vegan Easter Recipes

Eat Naked Now: Easter Gummies (4 Ways)

Freshly Grown; Natural Easter Egg Dye

Nature Moms; Eco-Friendly Easter Ideas

Grass Fed Girl; Paleo Easter Round Up

The Healthy Home Economist; Healthy Homemade Easter

Nourished Kitchen; Pesto Egg Salad

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns Loula Natural Pin 

  

 

 

Come and check out my other gluten-free goddies on pinterest;
Follow Loula Natural’s board Gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest.

read more

5 Ways to Lose Weight for Life

5 Ways to Lose Weight for Life

5 ways to lose weight for life Loula Natural

I have been up and down in weight. I am tall and I have boobs! I was never going to be a catwalk model- but then I never ever wanted to be. I am a trained actress- all I ever wanted was to be on the stage or in a period drama. I was advised I could do two things- lose weight and be the pretty role or I could gain weight and be the fat friend. There was not many roles inbetween. I put my hours in and did some things (our devised pieces were completely awesome!) but really I did a lot of catering work and my brain felt like it was on pause. I loved the feeling after a great workout and I always felt happier moving and doing. 

working out with a new point of view- Loula Natural

I decided to become a personal trainer to keep me in the gym, keep me fit and happy whilst still having time and flexibility to pursue my acting career. I never looked back. I loved my job so much I wanted to expand my tool box so became a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist. However supporting and nurturing other people is very different from supporting and nurturing yourself. When helping others I was constantly aware of the idea that you draw people into your life to listen to the advice you tell them- YOURSELF!

About a year ago- maybe less I decided to start to listen to myself and start to look at why I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I saw pictures of myself as a teenager and wished to be back in that body. A body I so hated at the time as I was so big! It is all so relative! I threw away my scales years ago and started focusing on how I was feeling on the inside to be finally reflected on the outside. This is what I mean by losing weight for life. Not only losing the physical weight and excess but really losing the heavy weight of what you have to do, give up, suffer through and push yourself to do. Lose that weight; it is truly suffocating.

By loving and accepting yourself you will make choices for your lifestyle to nurture and deepen that love. It sounds airy fairy but believe me it works. Stop giving into the media’s clap trap about ‘go on treat yourself’ and start to use the only thing your body recognises- natural, real food.Carol Look- Eft for Abundance New Year New You Summit

1. First and foremost you need to start to change the way you look and feel about your body. Whether that is through EFT (see here) or through meditation (try this one here). You can also read books like Elizabeth Wallings’ Love Your Body. However you do it- you need to change your limiting core belief. When you say ‘I need to lose weight’ pay attention to how you feel when you say that. Are you afraid, guilty, stressed, apprehensive or are you excited, motivated and energised towards change. This is going to have a massive effect on whether you make this change for life.

Think about what will happen if you do lose weight- are your thoughts negative or positive. Do you think- crap I will have to buy a whole new wardrobe or do you think I cant wait to getting a new wardrobe? Thinking about what may gain (happiness or envy from friends and family or attention, negative and positive) and what you may lose (sometimes change- whatever it is can make people very fearful) when you reach your goal- which one feels right? There are also limiting beliefs such as “in order to lose weight I have to work really hard and give up everything I love- I will have to suffer”. None of this has to be true. All of it can easy, energising and fun! You just have to believe it!

If you can visualise yourself and tap into feeling amazing and happy- you will make choices to support that and vice versa!

How to Lose weight forever Loula Natural

2.  Changing your metabolism is absolutely key to actually losing fat. You have to change how your body burns fuel. Low calorie, low fat limiting diets have a massive affect on metabolism. Combine that with the feelings of giving up, sacrifice and stress surrounding having to make new choices and change a lifestyle. Read Matt Stone’s Eat for Heat or Diet Recovery 2 or Elizabeth Wallings’ The Nourished Metabolism to learn about how you can make positive changes in your life without starving or feeling like you have to sacrifice everything. Your metabolism has a huge role in your hormone balance too which can affect your mood, ability to lose weight, your cravings and so on. 

The Bacteria in fermented foods play a huge role in energy production and of course nutrient absorption. These are absolutely necessary in any weight loss plan. Try Kefir or Kombucha as an easy way to include fermented foods into your daily life. Check out my book Culture Your life for easy how to’s and tons of recipes like this one.

3. Fats are your friend and fats burn fat. They are absolutely essential to life and are actually anti-inflammatory and incredibly healing. For mood, cell health and strength (all human cells are built from a protein and fat wall), for hormone production and most of all for brain health. Coconut oil, Avocado’s, eggs, flax oil, nuts, seeds, fish and butter (from grass-fed animals) are just some examples of awesome healing fats. I am certainly not talking about the man-made and manipulated canola oils and margarine which should be banished from this earth forever.

Chocolate made from coconut oil and cacao powder knock the socks of the poorly made crappy vegetable oil chocolate made by the leading brands. Fat makes you feel full- more importantly it makes you feel satiated (happily nourished and full!). The feel of good fats will makes your mouth happy.

You cannot eat more fat than you need- your body will stop you (you can’t say the same for refined sugar which you can keep eating forever!). These great fats plays a healthy role in heart strength and plays a huge role in hormonal imbalance (think type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, PCOS and so on). Flax oil for example plays a huge role in the way we form and use oestrogen (the difference being that flax oil can make oestrogen (2) anti-cancer and without it it oestrogen (16) may be carcinogenic). 

Is you have trouble digesting fats you may need a little digestive support- try drinking some lemon in water before meals to stimulate gastric juices or try this Yummy Wake Up drink in the morning- you could eve make your own Apple Peel Cider Vinegar

Everything in Moderation except awesome Loula Natural

4. Every thing in moderation. The body recognises real food. Food that has its origin in nature and has not been manipulated or processed too far from its origin. Otherwise it does not recognise it and rejects it. When the balance of food and non-food things are consumed damage is the result. Mostly to the digestive system.

If you are not giving the body the tools (nutrients) to undo this damage then chronic illnesses may start to appear. Weight gain is commonly a symptom of mass inflammation. Especially weight gain around the middle. The inflammation is generally found in the organs in that area, (liver and digestive system).

Refined foods such as sugar, dairy and wheat which are in so many of these foods therefore become a big problem for the body and they generally need to be taken away so that they do not further irritate and acerbate the problem. However sugar is a necessary part of life. It is when the process and breakdown of this sugar leeches nutrients (magnesium, zinc, b vitamins and others) that sugar becomes inflammatory and dangerous. See my post on sugar here. Fat, protein, carbs(except refined carbs) have a vital role in your body and should all be consumed at every meal and snack to get a well-rounded nutrient dense diet. Including bone broths, and super foods like grass-fed butter, liver, gelatin and many others will help to end the cravings for the empty foods.

When you change your metabolism, heal your digestive system, can value yourself and see who you really are all your choice will be for the good of your body and moderation will happen naturally and effortlessly!

5. Exercise. I can write about exercise for days! Movement is key- walking is exercise! Getting stronger will keep you motivated and you will continue to see results. Yes exercise is key but how you feel about exercise will enhance your success. If you are doing something that makes you happy you will keep doing it. Find a team to join or a race to run or swimming or yoga. Try different things until you find something to look forward to.

 5 ways to lose weight for life Loula Natural pin

read more

Oil Pulling how and why

oil pulling how and why

Oil Pulling; how and why

Oil pulling for dental health Loula Natural

Here is an extract of my diary…

Day 1 of my oil pulling regime. Its my 35th birthday. Persistant apple shape figure from teenage years- mild to severe IBS for over 10 years and trying to get back to health after 2 kids. Also quick anger and frustrations levels, stressed and very sensitive to criticism. I  found out today in a BioResonance session how many things I am sensitive to including parasites, molds, dairy, wheat and eggs- I am feeling empowered to start somewhere and this is a simple way to do it! I am still breastfeeding my 1 year old so am taking things gently and safely. I am not waiting to do it in the morning- my kids are too demanding- since I am generally up later 10-11pm and I eat a 6.30pm I am going to do it before bed.

Day 2- Intrigued and motivated I thought I would try in the morning! I am doing it for 5 mins for now- it does give you a bit of a jaw ache to begin with so am setting a timer, then spiting it in the toilet and sloshing my mouth out 3 times with water. You can go up to 20 mins! I am gonna start at 5 and see how it goes. I am using coconut oil for now- I might get some sesame oil (the traditional Aurevedic oil to use) too as sesame have big liver connections and alternate on each day! Following it with my Apple Cider Vingar drink

Not having any fruit is the hardest- although I did make a vegetable only green juice with coconut water kefir and milk thistle seeds in it- that should be easy to keep up!

Read that twice a day oil pulling is recommended for some I thought I would do it once or twice as necessary and able to!

 This was July 2013! I am still oil pulling and have seen huge differences. I have even seen a cavity heal! How does it work?

Ayurveda says that the method will 

“benefit the individual at the physical level and the energy level” (source)

The theory is that it will draw toxins out and therefore support the body. This is why you spit it out at the end- so that you do not re-ingest the toxins. To read more about Aurvedic principles of oil pulling do so here

My take on it from a Naturopath and nutritional therapy point of view is that coconut oil contains many antibacterial and nourishing aspects. The mouth has a dense system of blood vessels very close to a thin and porous surface. By keeping the oil in your mouth you are allowing the nutrients access to the blood (especially the easily digested medium-chain fatty acids which are coconut’s wonder fat) as well as exercising the face and jaw, saliva secretion is also stimulated. All great for the digestive system’s health and strength. Of course little bits of oil are swallowed at the same time so you are also getting a small benefit that way.

The physical action of oil pulling will strengthen your jaw (anyone who has tried it already can attest to this!). This is beneficial to digestion because the action of the jaw can help stimulate the muscles through the digestive tube to pass the food through- peristalis. Cosmetically it is also reported to help to improve the appearance of a double chin. Neck muscles and cervical spine shape and length may also be thus improved and strengthened. Facial exercises are often recommended to help lessen the appearance of wrinkles and to improve tone to the face- swooshing can definitely be described as a facial exercise- win win!

how to oil pull Loula Natural

How to Oil pull

Traditionally done with sesame oil- oil pulling has had a massive following using coconut oil. Any oil can be used although some are stronger in flavour than others.

use one tablespoon a day. Again traditionally done in the morning. I think if it means you actually do it do it anytime. However in the morning before food or drink is the best time

Swoosh in your mouth and through your teeth without swallowing for between 5-20 mins. The best thing to do is to do it while you are getting breakfast ready/in the shower or generally have something else to think about when you are doing it.

Spit it out in the bin, down the toilet or in a tissue. (DO NOT spit down the sink!)

Traditionally this is then followed by a salt water gargle to ensure you rid all impurities.

The health benefits of oil pulling include;

Oil pulling is cheap- you only need to have the oil (coconut or sesame)

Supports the immune system by rebalancing bacterial environment in your mouth. This may also heal gums, treate gum disease and some oral infections (tooth abscess etc)

This may also prevent and diminish bad breath and also body odour.

It may help to brighten and whiten teeth

It is reported to reduce inflammation including joint inflammation

May help improve skin, hair and nails

May help to reduce IBS symptoms

Has been seen to help speed up recovery from cold/flu symptoms.

May help to create and clear mucous (thus removing toxins)

 

 Buy coconut oil hereoil pulling with coconut oil Loula Natural

The health benefits doing oil pulling with coconut oil are;

(source)

  • Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
  • Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
  • Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
  • Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
  • Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
  • Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
  • Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
  • Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
  • Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
  • Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
  • Helps protect against osteoporosis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
  • Improves digestion and bowel function.
  • Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
  • Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
  • Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
  • Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
  • Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
  • Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
  • Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
  • Reduces epileptic seizures.
  • Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
  • Dissolves kidney stones.
  • Helps prevent liver disease.
  • Is lower in calories than all other fats.
  • Supports thyroid function.
  • Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
  • Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
  • Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
  • Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  • Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
  • Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
  • Helps control dandruff.
  • Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
  • Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
  • Is completely non-toxic to humans.

Buy coconut oil here

More information on oil pulling from my fellow bloggers;

 http://www.oursmallhours.com/2013/12/does-oil-pulling-work.html

http://mixwellness.com/tips/oil-pulling-101-what-it-is-why-you-should-start-doing-it/

http://soundnessofbodyandmind.com/health-benefits-of-oil-pulling/

http://thecrunchymoose.com/2013/07/oil-pulling.html

http://www.greenthickies.com/oil-pulling-with-coconut-oil-for-morning-sickness/

 

 

 

 

read more

5 Ways to Boost Fertility Naturally

5 Ways to Boost Fertility Loula Natural

5 Ways to Boost Fertility Naturally

I have been trying to write this 5 Ways to Boost Fertility Naturally for months now but something has always been in the way. I think I have identified what it is. Writing about fertility in an honest and open manner is hard, I am always afraid of hurting people. The truth is that no one really knows why one person finds it easy and others find it really hard. There is so much information out there it can be really confusing and upsetting when the thing you want the most is so emotionally and physically hard for some yet a breeze for others. It is hard to find other ways of 

Personally I have two children- neither of whom were planned so pregnancy found me rather than the other way around.I have never experienced a miscarriage (knowingly) or lost a baby. I have no idea how it feels. I feel very blessed that I have had a pretty easy life. However I have always had the core belief that;

Anything is Possible

Anything. Think of all the stories about people getting pregnant against all odds, have just adopted after years of trying, whilst on the pill/using a barrier method/ other form of contraception (both of mine I was using the natural charting method and with both pregnancies I felt myself ovulate twice- no one can predict that!), all those teenagers pregnant after one time and don’t get me started on the women who have a baby who had no way of knowing they were even pregnant! Anything is possible.

I have had many fertility clients- most know as much as I do about the physicality of getting pregnant. Some know way more! The nutrients needed, the environment necessary, the charting the checking and all the rest. I remember in our reproductive lectures thinking- geez you have to have all that in place and perfect- its a wonder it happens at all! But it does- all the time. Boosting your fertility naturally is also pretty easy.

Trying to control everything (your body, your environment, your emotions, your life) is exhausting. You also can’t control everything because

Anything is Possible

so why not let it just happen. Easy to say- hard to do? Most people dare to hope as it will be too sad if it doesn’t come true- I always hope- its what drives us forward. Boostingfertility naturally- especially these 5 ways will also have little side effect nor will they negatively impact your daily lifestyle too much.

Everyone knows that stress is also massively detrimental, yet most women are placing enormous pressure and stress on their nervous system while trying to get pregnant. Emotions are a huge influence on our body’s functions. Environment includes emotional environment. This is where I generally start with almost all of my clients (fertility or not) as it cannot be ignored. Yet when we really want something we all seem to be either raw with emotion or emotionally closed off- subconciously and conciously.

I hear many women say;

a baby/another baby will complete our family

a baby will make me feel completed

its time to have a baby

I always thought I would already have a baby by now

I have always wanted kids

My husband/mother/friends/siblings are always asking me when/if I am going to have a baby

Everyone else is finding it easy to have children then why not me

I always feared infertility

I have (insert label- medical or not) and that plays a part in my inability to conceive/carry to full term

Core beliefs about yourself will effect your emotional well-being for good and bad. Are you worthy to have happiness in your life, are you enough for yourself, can you choose to be happy right now, do you look in the mirror and love what you see? These now are questions I often ask. Most people (men and women alike) struggle to answer these core questions with a resounding positive- Why?

This is what I try to start with and what this 5 Ways to Boost Your Fertility Naturally. I hope women (and men) whether you are trying to conceive or not can feel empowered and most of all some simple happiness and believe- Anything is possible

fertility
Using natural methods that you may not expect can have a huge impact on boosting your Fertility

5 Ways to Boost Your Fertility Naturally

1. Emotion Freedom technique (EFT). Change your emotional response and thought patterns to memories and break the cycle of self-destruction. When using EFT you access subconscious thoughts and feelings you may not even realize you have. Have the ability to change some negative core beliefs about your self, your partner, your childhood and how life can be. It is such a relief to get rid of some of the guilt, anger, hurt, fear or other negative emotions; believe me I have experienced releasing all of those emotions. It’s a work in progress but an easy tool to learn and use- aided or unaided. Check out my link for more details

2. Bach Flower Remedies; Bach believed that all dis-ease was centered around emotional starting point. The first to introduce vibration medicines, he developed his 38 remedy system to address and release emotional stagnation and return you to the positive. The energy you receive from releasing negative emotions is amazing and from being able to sleep better, wake up refreshed and to generally look forward to the day ahead will have huge bearing on your ability to conceive and carry a baby to full term. Hope will come back with realistic expectations. I ask you to choose the remedies yourself and each choice of blend is always very illuminating and always relevant. Together with affirmations you are given a remedy to use whenever you need a boost and support.

3. Nutrition; Ensuring your blood sugars are balanced, that you are eating vital, nutrient dense whole foods is not only going to affect your physical body and ability to conceive but also your mood and general outlook on life will also be adjusted. This is obvious sure, but crucial. Eliminating chemicals, refined sugar, ensuring mineral and vitamin levels are corrected and digestion, immune and hormonal systems are strong and balanced. However I also strongly believe the 80/20 ratio and hey if you eat that refined sugar, use a chemical perfume or do something you are ‘not meant to’- if you do it because you want to and it gives you pleasure- do it. Enjoy it- and never hide it, squash it, feel guilty about it. Its not worth it! If you are doing it to forget, run away or somehow punish yourself- then that emotion will need to be addressed. Healing the whole body will allow all human function to return- Nutrition is key to this.

4. Acupuncture; By using acupuncture you are releasing blocks, stagnation and returning flow. This is beneficial for your whole body. It is great for fertility because it will help to heal the whole body. I use Ear acupuncture which is a little like reflexology in that your whole body is represented in your ears so you can easily help to balance certain areas. It is very relaxing as you can pin point areas on the ear you can self-manipulate to help calm you down or energize you. Used together with the Bach Flower Remedies it is a really powerful treatment.

5. Live your Life; Most people put something off for the perfect time. I have learnt that there is no perfect time; just now. So if there is something you want to do, learn, visit, try; go, do it, do it now. If I know anything it is that children will come when they are good and ready and normally (for me anyway) when you least expect them and at seemingly at the ‘wrong time’ which of course is the perfect time! Losing time you will never get back will cause stagnation; keep moving, dreaming and living and believe

Boosting Fertility Anything is possible Loula Natural

Let me know if I can help support you in any way.

Here is how my friend boosted her fertility with How I Got Pregnant in 1 Month by The Crunchy Moose

read more

Who’s Who in the End of Summer E-book Bundle

Who in the bundle

All you favourite and respected bloggers, all collaborating together to give you a deal to grab hold of (here)

Healthy Living made easy! Books on how to, why to and here’s the recipe for all areas of your life. Change for the better whilst being educated, motivated and supported.

Only for a few more days to get 90% off all of these NEW books.

Here’s the only place you can buy them together

Here are some other posts and Reviews

30 books for $39 (my favourites)

5 Ways to Look after Yourself

Save Our Sleep- Book review on Butter Believer’s Book review

 

read more

5 Reasons Refined Sugar is Damaging to Your Body

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When a food contains all its vital substances (all the necessary nutrients (vitamins, minerals and enzymes to enable it to be broken down, absorbed and eliminated) is it considered healthy and complete (whole)? Sugar needs many nutrients to be involved in energy production; refined sugar mainly contains glucose/fructose, therefore leeching the body of nutrients such as zinc, chromium and magnesium in order to digest and process the sugar into energy within the cells.

When I say ‘Refined Sugars‘ I am talking about ones that are so far removed from their natural product, having gone through so many processes, they can no longer be viewed as natural e.g. white cane sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, rice syrup, processed honey, Agave, xylitol and liquid stevia – yes these are not natural and of no use to your body!

These are the ones I refer to as ‘Natural Sugars‘ – Coconut sugar, ,Coconut nectar, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Dates, Goji berries, Raw Honey and Stevia leaves. These contain many of the nutrients necessary for the body to be able to digest, utilise and convert the sugar into energy.

Below are 5 reasons why Refined Sugars are damaging to the body:

1. Sugar is often hidden in our foods and by trying to reduce refined sugar it often means reducing packaged and processed foods. Anything sweetened by fruit juice or concentrated fruit juice is still just a refined sugar and should also be avoided. Not only is this a key factor in restoring health it may also regulate our acid/alkaline balance within the body (refined sugar is very acid producing), bacterial environment, hormonal balance (especially insulin and cortisol balance), hydration levels and nutrient availability. Not surprisingly all of these areas balanced also plays role in energy production.

2. Sugar needs energy to be broken down as well as providing the nutrients to transform energy. Metabolism affects the way every cell in your body performs. It is not just essential to burn fat but to keep your heart beating and you breathing. Too much sugar in the diet can greatly affect the body’s metabolism. When the body’s blood sugar levels are all over the place and hormone levels are affected the body’s metabolism is slowed down and without all the necessary nutrients the body will start to store energy in the form of fat. Consuming refined sugar is more responsible for weight gain than consuming fat, by a long way. To restore metabolism you have to restore the body’s nutrient levels and fat is a main factor in this.

3. Consuming Refined Sugar affects your mood. Your body is not satisfied with your nutrient intake and with blood sugar levels all over the place, the spikes and lows make your moods also go up and down. You think by grabbing something sweet (or as the media likes to call it – ‘a treat’) it will tie you over till the next meal. This causes a vicious circle. Refined sugar is more addictive than some illegal drugs, yet deemed completely safe. This perpetuates the problem and when you exclude refined sugar it is partnered with strong withdrawal symptoms. There are many people who will tell you to ‘lighten up’ or ‘whats wrong with a little chocolate’ (nothing by the way as long as it is actually chocolate), and the classic ‘You only live once’. Especially when it is about giving refined sugar to children. In fact children consuming refined sugar may experience slowed down growth and metabolism effects; it may affect brain development, their mood and behaviour is affected and it may also distort their view on food and what real food actually is. When switching to real, whole fresh and vibrant food (including natural sugars) many of these aspects of your life are reversed.

4. Refined sugar not only feeds cancer cells (acting in an anaerobic environment, cancer cells need a easy and quick supply of glucose to continue to function) but also the deficit of nutrients that comes with consuming it (see point 1) may cause the cells to change in the first place. When it comes to cancer, cell changing and multiplication is at the heart of the disease. If the body has all the nutrients to build cells, create energy from oxygen within the cells, protect the cells from oxidants and create the right pH for the cells to continue to survive, there is no place or need for the cell to mutate for survival. (see Cancer Is Not A Disease)

5. Refined sugar is no fun, it makes you store excess fat, is implicated in most chronic conditions including PCOS, Fibroids, diabetes, heart disease and of course cancer, especially breast cancer (source). People with diets high in refined sugars experience more illnesses in general because of sugar’s effect on the immune system. It is partly because of the leeching of essential nutrients and partly because of a diet high in processed foods that leads to a deficit in incoming nutrients also. If you are consuming a Real Food diet then you will be eating fresh foods full of the vital substances and therefore fueling a healthy immune system together with strong robust cells, adequate ratio and content of bacteria and at a regular pH for enzyme and chemical reactions. Natural carbohydrates including sugars, healthy fats and good quality proteins will provide all of this. Take small steps and you too can bin refined and processed foods- You only live once!

 Further Reading;

How to kick sugar cravings and your sugar addiction; Mix Wellness

LA Healthy Living; Healthy Sugar Substitutes 

 5 Resons Refined sugar is damaging Loula Natural

 

read more

5 Reasons to Heal and Strengthen your Digestive System

 heal and strengthen digestive system Loula Natural

5 Reasons to Heal and Strengthen your Digestive System

There are many signs and symptoms of digestive weakness and dysfunction:

constipation, diarrhea, aches and pains, blood in the stool, eczema, asthma, itchy scalp, thrush, PMS, central weight gain, headaches, mood swings, dry skin and many more.

Ignoring these can have a huge impact on your overall health. Healing generally includes reducing irritants (common ones include dairy, gluten, soy and egg) and the chemical impact on your life (chemical cleaners, cosmetics, washing detergents, air fresheners and other chemical aspects of your life you can control), whilst at the same time including digestive healing nutrients (proteins, fibre in terms of fresh fruit and vegetables, anti-inflammatory foods, essential fats, probiotics and many other key nutrients). Every client and case is different so if you think you may need some digestive support please contact your Naturopath or other health practitioner.

git

1. The Digestive System is the root of all health– without digestive system function (digesting, absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste products) optimal health is almost impossible to achieve. It is also our largest link to the environment around us. Essentially a long tube with 2 openings, it is completely open from mouth to anus to the outside world. It is intrinsically linked to all of the other body systems through messages and supply of nutrients.

2. It can help you to lose weight – By identifying and eliminating irritants to the digestive system and healing the mucosal lining or increasing the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients you can help to lose any bloating, help to adjust water retention, help to balance blood sugar levels, reduce cravings and increase your energy production (metabolism). By changing your lifestyle and eating real food you can look how you want to and feel great.

3. It can help to reduce aches and pains – Systemic inflammation showing up in achy joints can be a strong indication that there is some digestive weakness. If your body has holes in the digestive system (leaky gut for example) then the body’s immune system will naturally mount a response to unidentified factors in the blood and lymphatic system. This systemic inflammation can be seen in the skin (dry skin, red blotchy skin, eczema or psoriasis, itchy scalp and anything else that looks hot, damp and red), in the breathing (lots of mucous, getting out of breath, asthma, persistent dry coughs etc), in the circulatory system (poor circulation, cold hands and feet), the immune system (chronic infections, thrush, cystitis and general sluggish lack of energy), reproductive issues (such as PCOS and PMS) and as mentioned achy joints.

4. It can help to restore hormonal balance – Hormones are made from your fats and proteins. The endocrine system is the collection of glands, each of which secretes different types of hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep and mood, immune function, impact every system in the body and are involved in every organ and indeed cell’s function. By healing your digestive system and providing the necessary nutrients to help the endocrine system to work at optimal levels you will impact most systems in your body and feel more balanced in weight, mood, hunger levels and general health. Also balancing blood sugar and insulin levels by eating real food and consuming fermented foods, balanced levels of protein, natural carbohydrates (fruit vegetables, beans, legumes and grains) and natural fats (coconut, flax, ghee/butter, olive oil and other fats from nuts, seeds and fish), your hormones will also start to balance out.

5. It can improve your lifestyle – The digestive system is at its most vulnerable when using pharmaceuticals. Common medications such as aspirin, antibiotics and antacids may disrupt natural process and in their non-natural ingredients and actions can irritate and damage the digestive system and how it works- thus impacting the rest of the body. By disrupting enzyme function, pH regulation and gut bacteria levels the body has to adapt to survive and the longer this continues the more adapting the body has to do and the more damage there is to repair and heal from. By healing your digestive system you may find you no longer need some of the other medications; not to mention the increase in energy, memory, mood, sex drive, general strength and finally having a clear head. It can’t hurt to try!

 

Thank you for the image;  By Olek Remesz (wiki-pl: Orem, commons: Orem) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This post is proud to be part of Unprocessed Fridays on Girl Meets Nourishment!

 

read more

5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha

5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented Tea. It is described as a ‘delicious sour tonic beverage’ slightly sparking and a little like apple cider. It has a tiny about of alcohol in the finished drink. The drink is made with a SCOBY( symbiotic colony obacteria and yeast). Also known as the Mother. It is a bit like a disc which floats on the surface as it ferments;

  1. As a drink Kombucha is very light, vibrant, refreshing, low in sugar (the bacteria consumes it), full of Tea’s antioxidant benefits, simple to make, and full of great health giving properties. To make it you simply need Tea (black, green, white) a SCOBY (should normally be free from the fermenting community), filtered water and sugar (I use coconut). That and a glass jar and some time!Kombucha Ingredients
  2. Kombucha can be brewed to taste. The longer you leave it, the more sour and vinegar like it becomes. It generally needs to be diluted (normally with soda water) as it is very strong in flavour, high in acid and very potent as a digestive aid and liver cleanser. It can have very positive side effects. Mainly in clearing and aiding the digestive system (diarrhoea) and liver cleansing and supporting toxin elimination. However you may also experience headaches, muscle spasms, flare ups of skin conditions and other inflammatory conditions. Of course these are all actually good things- the more side effects you have the more you actually need it. As your body comes back to balance it is worth starting slowly with Kombucha and check in with how you are feeling after every time you take it (I know this from experience- I can now drink it without any ill effects!)Magic Kombucha
  3. It is like Kefir in as much as it will provide probiotic habitation (the good probiotics will be rebalanced in your body and as bacteria outnumbers cells by 9:1in our body- this is a good thing). However Kombucha also contains many healthy acids which all have health giving benefits a little like Apple Cider Vinegar. By providing both, with all the antioxidants in the Tea and other vitamins and minerals contained in the sugar and SCOBY itself it becomes a very powerful supplement for health and vitality.
  4. There have been many reported symptom reductions beyond detoxifying liver and improving digestion. Many have reported a massive reduction in arthritic pain, IBS symptoms, balance ph levels, reduce allergy reactions, increased metabolic rate and thus more energy, decrease in sugar cravings, reduced headaches and migraines, improved skin conditions a reduction in Candida overgrowth symptoms and many more chronic conditions have been reduced. It is even been repudiated to help cancer cells to return to normal cells.second ferments
  5. Lastly creating your own flavours is fun and very simple to do. After the initial ferment and the SCOBY is removed- the world is you oyster in regards to flavour. Herbal teas can be added, fruits, herbs, vegetables all can add flavour and nutrient dimensions to your Kombucha. My favourites are Mango, Raspberry and I love my take on ginger beer (fresh root ginger and ginger sugar added and left for another week). I would love to hear your favourite and please share any recipes in the comments section.

Here is my book all about it with some awesome recipes;

flatecover

HKD$150 (Approx USD $19 GBP £12 AUS $20)

Add to Cart

 

Further reading check out these links;

http://www.happyherbalist.com/analysis_of_kombucha.htm

www.kombuca-research.com

and good old Wiki!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombucha#cite_ref-10 (mainly for the links to citations at the bottom!)

read more

Kefir FAQ

 

Water Grains on the Left, Milk Grains on the Right
Water Grains on the Left, Milk Grains on the Right

 

Most cultures have some kind of fermented food in their food history. Most cultures still include a fermented food/drink within their daily meals. Kefir, Kombucha, sauerkraut, pickling (see here and here for recipes) and making yoghurt has become very popular again. It is not a coincidence that there is also an increased interest in using natural methods to help combat the increase in digestive weakness and immunity issues coming up in our own health and that of our children. Fermenting is a key way to help re-balance and re-build the body’s strength and health. Here is an insight to my journey, using fermentation to heal.

Bacteria is not something to be feared. It is natural and all forms (even Candida and Helicobacter Pylori) are essential to health and for optimum performance for the body. As we will see, with any ferment- the ingredients (what the bacteria feeds on) and the environment (ph, temperature and contact with oxygen) are very important to get fermenting right. Our bodies now more than ever are becoming more acidic with our diets containing more processed, sugar laden and dead (pasteurised and containing non natural ingredients) foods. These two factors will contribute the imbalance of our gut bacteria alone without adding in overuse of anti-bio tics and over sterilisation of our environments with chemical cleaning products.

However we are turning around from it in a big way and wanting to become food producers and using natural methods more and more. Every small step will have a big impact; Kefir is a little step that is relatively easy to take.

When I first got my Water and Milk grains off of someone I had no idea what to do. All the instructions I could find (and there are a lot of internet sites out there!) were different. It seemed very confusing and a little over my head. Until one day I thought- oh well let’s just try it and see what happens. I now teach courses on how to make it (and Kombucha- that is a whole other FAQ!) and I strive to make it accessible and exciting to get others to build communities in order to share and learn together. In that way I decided to put together a FAQ to try and encourage others to take that first step! These are a list of all the questions I am commonly asked and my answers.

 

Q. What is Kefir?

A.  Kefir is a blend of yeast in bacteria living harmoniously. It is a natural pro-biotic. Kefir grains, whether water or milk, are essentially cultured beneficial bacteria and at the essence the same.

 

Q. So why is one called Milk Kefir and the other Water Kefir?

A. When the liquid is fermented, the grain will take on some of the liquid and will also change colour and consistency. So while the bacterial properties of the milk and water kefir are the same they potentially look different. However I have used water kefir grains to produce milk Kefir and vice versa. It sometimes takes a couple of batches and maybe a little rinsing to get the product back to tasting exactly the same as before- what I end up with is still Kefir.

 

Q. What do I need to make Kefir?

 

Basic Tools
Basic Tools

 

A. You need the grains, a liquid to ferment (any milk or water, juice or sweet liquid), vessel to ferment in (normally glass jars or jugs) a cloth to cover the top (to keep out dust and bugs) a plastic strainer and spoons. Metal and Kefir do not mix well so everything should be plastic or glass that comes in contact with the kefir.

 

Q. Why are my grains not multiplying like everyone elses?

A. Kefir is alive and every grain is different. I have used the same grains (albeit passed on many times) for over a year now and no two batches of Kefir have turned out the same. I have used different milks, ratios of liquid to grains and even tried to change them from milk to water and vice versa. Every time I get kefir, sometimes I get a lot of grains other times I don’t! You just have to remember that the grains need food (sugar), temperature (body temp) and they like agitation (so stirring them can also have an effect). Try using a UHT if you are normally using fresh or vice versa. Try adding some sugar or changing the time you ferment for to see if any of that has an effect. If you have a few grains then start with a smaller amount of liquid to let them grow, then add the amount as the grains multiply. I started with 1tsp grains:1 cup liquid. Failing that get some grains off someone in the community!

Q. My water Kefir grains are not working as well and my kefir is thick like syrup, is it ok to drink?

A. I find it can help by using a combination of switching environments, adding acidity (sometimes ie lemon juice) rinsing and resting. If you have alkaline water lemon juice works well as does adding egg shells. If you have distilled water or a filter which may take away minerals an egg shell or a pince of salt can sometimes revive grains. I have been using a mix of sugars- coconut sugar, molasses, maple syrup or dates. I sometimes use a combination of all of the above. Sometimes adding a bit of ready made water Kefir to the mix works nicely too when they are a bit tired. Lastly rinsing the grains in plain water overnight can also help, simple strain and add to sugar water in the morning.

Use your senses to decide whether it is safe to drink. Smell, taste as well as sight are very important in anything to decide what is right for you and your body. Then when you have tasted some, what is your gut instinct, act on that it is more reliable than what I can tell you from here!

Q My milk grains seem to have disappeared or are reducing in number?

A I have found that in this temperature the grains seem to be producing a thicker kefir quicker but straining them is becoming difficult. I am now keeping more of a yoghurt starter to make my kefir. When the temperature cools down the grains will be easier to detect and will look more like a cottage cheese. See above also to get your grains to multiply.

 

Q How do you know if it has gone off?

A Kefir in milk has a slightly cheesy scent (like off milk) and a sour taste. It is down to preference. If there is visible green or black mould then normally I would say to dump the kefir and start again- or scrape off the mould and use the remaining kefir in the bath. The water will taste fizzy and a little sour. It will have a vague sulfur-y smell. If it smells really sulfur-y then either leave with the lid off for a while and taste it, otherwise pour it down the sink and re-populate our environment with some good bacteria!

 

Q My milk kefir has separated is it off?

A. Not necessarily, just stir it up it is fine to use as long as it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs etc as above. It is really up to you what you consume. Cheese is mouldy and relies on bacteria so the worst that will happen is it becomes like a blue cheese! Start to use your power of smell and taste agin and rely on instinct. Ferment to taste and take it further and further each time. The worst that can happen is diarrhoea.

 

Q I really don’t like the taste. What can I do?

A. Either mix in a little with other things for example mix a little into a smoothie or dilute with some coconut water or other real fruit juice. Add some fizzy water or play with second ferments. Add fruit or herbal teas, flavourings and a little extra sugar to try and educate your palate again. 2 weeks of tasting things can change your taste buds.

 

Q. How do I get my kids to drink it

 

How do I get my Kids to drink Kefir?
How do I get my Kids to drink Kefir?

 

A. Same as above- however kids are more likely to want what you are having- so lead my example and don’t ask a child to try and eat anything you are not willing to try or have yourself! (actually same goes for wanting kids to stop eating things too!)

 

Q. What is the difference between Kefir and probiotics as I am happy taking my capsules?

A. They are cheaper to use then bottled probiotics. They are also alive and not freeze dried like in the capsules so are ready to inhabit and balance the bacteria in your digestive system. Safe for everyone Kefir can be taken while pregnant and is great for babies (not the milk kefir before the age of one) Capsules will help promote good bacteria but will not take up residence like Kefir does (source) Also Kefir has 35 strains of alive bacteria working together in symbiosis. How many strains are listed on the back of your probiotic capsules? Check out this report

 

Q If it is so simple why would I take a course to learn how to do it?

A My course is designed to help give you confidence. To learn how to make Kefir and to taste all the different types to find one type that you and your family will like. To understand what to do with it, how to do a second ferment and to leave with ideas motivation and a group of people you can share recipes, disasters, triumphs and brainstorm with. It is to return to fermenting roots, rituals and to use food as a community builder.

 

Hope this helps and get in touch if there are any other questions you have or want to find out where to get some grains to get going with. Or you can buy the book here;

culture your life

buy now button

DO you have any favourite Kefir Recipes?

 

read more

Lychee Coconut Water Kefir

Lychee coconut water Kefir Loula Natural

The Summer is on its way and that means in the tropics we have Lychee’s in abundance! However since it is still only spring I have also used tinned and dried lychees to make this. It comes close!

One of my favourite Kefir’s is Coconut water Kefir. I prefer to use the fresh coconut water (open a coconut here) but carton coconut water is better absorbed after it has been fermented. After 12-24 hours and I have strain the grains (see how to make Kefir) I then add ripe plump Lychee’s to the jug. About 5-10. I then leave that out for another 12-24 hours and you get a beautiful tart, sweet sharp Kefir which is lovely on its own, diluted with some sparking water, in your Green Juice’s, in my Watermelon Cooler or with a dash of vodka and a squeeze of lime!

As featured in my book;

culture spring sale Loula Natural

 What is your favourite Water Kefir?

Find 45 more Kefir and Kombucha recipes in Culture Your Life

buy now button

Lychee coconut water Kefir Loula Natural pin

read more

5 Reasons to Make Kefir

 

Grains in the picture are water grains I ferment with Coconut Sugar and Filtered Water or Coconut Water (hence the colour!)
Grains in the picture are water grains I ferment with Coconut Sugar and Filtered Water or Coconut Water (hence the colour!)

 

Fermentation is the “transformation of food by various bacteria, fungi and enzymes they produce” (The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz- awesome book. The transformation is enormous.

Fermenting is a natural phenomenon. Very little is actually understood about the make-up of the starters and how they grow, transform and multiply. Some do it spontaneously and some are seemingly indestructible. The trans-formative power of fermentation can produce alcohol, preserve our foods and make them more digestible, less toxic and more delicious.

1. Vibrant is how I tend to describe fermented foods especially Kefir. We would not exist without our bacterial partners. Our digestive systems need them and this system is vital for the procurement, absorption and assimilation of nutrients used to power every other body system. Our immune system depends on it and we could not use or store energy without them. The product is amazing! When using a UHT milk you will get a superior product with more nutrients ready to be absorbed. If you go up the scale and ferment a Raw Milk (sadly impossible for us here in HK) you are getting a true super food. The same goes for your water Kefir- if you use white refined sugar you are getting the bacterial benefit, if you are using a coconut sugar or maple syrup there will be so many more nutrients available within the water

2. Kefir is a natural pro-biotic. Kefir grains, whether water or milk, are essentially cultured beneficial bacteria. It is what they then go onto culture that makes them one or the other (milk or water). However with time and patience they can be used to culture both. If someone gives you ‘milk kefir’ grains you may be able to use them to culture any milk (cows, goats, sheep’s, soy, rice, any nut/seed or coconut). ‘Water Kefir’ grains may be used to culture Water (sugared water, juice or coconut water). This means that grains can produce different results based on where they are from and what they have been used and no two batches will be the same. They feed on the lactose in the milk and the sugar in the water (coconut or juice). 

3. They are cheaper to use then bottled probiotics. They are also alive and not freeze dried like in the capsules so are ready to inhabit and balance the bacteria in your digestive system. Safe for everyone Kefir can be taken while pregnant and is great for babies (not the milk kefir before the age of one) Capsules will help promote good bacteria but will not take up residence like Kefir does (source) Also Kefir has 35 strains of alive bacteria working together in symbiosis. How many strains are listed on the back of your probiotic capsules?

4. Kefir is so easy to make. Liquid (containing sugar), warm environment (room temperature) and grains. Leave for between 12-24 hours strain and go. Other forms of fermenting can take longer and be a bit more tempermental! The Grains are virtually indestructible and can be stored easily in the fridgeThe Kefir community is inclusive and open to all so you should be able to find grains from someone in your area. (The grains are meant to be free but some people may charge postage or a nominal fee- my grains are free to come and collect!) 

5. What to use it in. I add it to a smoothie every morning. However you can also make yoghurt from it, use it as a sourdough starter, pancakes, ice cream, chiaporridge, cereal, raw cookies, green drinks;the possibilities are endless. Use them on your skin and is great for Eczema (in the bath, grains as a face/body mask, in a spray bottle for after swimming and my favourite way is as an alternative to shampoo; the water and coconut water are amazing on hair and the milk kefir is great as a hair mask- try mixing it with a little coconut oil) Come and find my Fermenting Inspiration board on my Pinterest where I also share other great ideas). This post is just addressing the first ferment– with an additional second ferment the possibilities for goodness, nutritional content and taste are virtually endless!

 

If you are in Hong Kong come on one of my Fermenting Workshops to taste and learn Kefir, Kombucha and Coconut Yoghurt within a community! See my events board on my facebook page or subscribe to my newsletter to be kept up to date with all recipes and tips! Learn more buy buying my book;

flatecover

HKD$150 (Approx USD $19 GBP £12 AUS $20)

Add to Cart

 

read more

5 Reasons to Reduce Gluten

gluten

 

Gluten- we are hearing it so much nowadays- everything has to be gluten free. I even overheard someone in a salad place get the chef out to make sure there were no breadcrumbs in the quinoa and rice salad (there wasnt- just quinoa, red rice, sultanas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and apricots- oh and her forgot to mention parsley! It was delicious I had some!).

Is there a reason we should be so wary of gluten- sure it is in everything and it certainly will upset a number of people with digestive weakness. But are all grains so bad? I like to think that those naturally derived (from a heritage seed and organic) and used how they should be (soaked and sprouted) are completely different from the GMO derived, highly processed ones. Of course there is no black and white unless of course you have an actual allergy to the proteins- Celiac (5-10% of the population are) Then you must stay away from it full-stop. That you need to have a test for my preferred method is with an Elimination diet however you can do other tests (be it Bioresonance, with a kinesiologist or with a stool sample and at the very least a blood test- although make sure you are consuming gluten products before the test to ensure it will show up.)

It is quite an undertaking reducing and living Gluten free as it is in so much (see Ketchup and soy sauce) so here a a few reasons why you will see a big difference just reducing it!

I am a Naturopath and Nutritional therapist and I make recommendations based on each client as an individual. Please contact me or your own practitioner if you want some specific dietary advice.

1. Gluten is found in grains (wheat, rye, spelt, barley, kamut, semolina, durum) and can be present in oats through cross contamination. So when looking for a cracker or bread check out crackers made from Flax, sesame, or other seeds, Almond or Pumpkin (vegetables like sweet potato and courgette can also be used) bread, have a chia porridge for breakfast, use lettuce leaves instead of bread for sandwiches (good idea for kids is a banana cut in half for ‘bread’ and nut butter and jam on the inside!) Cauliflower crust pizza tastes just like the real thing and Quinoa flatbreads are delicious spread with sweet or savoury toppings. This way you will be increasing your fibre, vegetable, protein and fat intake while not feeling like you are missing too much. Otherwise bread, pasta and other grain dominant foods like cous cous are mainly fillers with little nutritional value especially if over processed. Homemade breads and pastas are completely different sometimes.

Fresh Vegetables

 

2. The proteins within the grains- Gliagin (secalin in rye or hordein in barley) portion of gluten may damage the lining of the small intestine where most of your food absorption takes place and create an immune response. It is this immune response and inflammation that is what causes the damage rather than the actual Gliagin. Inflammation will then impede the absorption of several nutrients and also cause some of the pain associated with Gluten intolerance. By reducing Gluten and repairing the digestive system  a lot of this can be reversed. This also may be true if experiencing other intolerance’s. Other food intolerance’s may also be experienced because of gluten’s resulting inflammation increasing the permeability of the gut which results in a greater opening of food into the blood, which in turns triggers an immune response.

3. Most people seem to report a vast reduction in stomach bloating and I personally have seen a large effect on my blood sugar levels from reducing gluten and increasing fermented products such as Kefir. Other seemingly unrelated symptoms of a gluten intolerance are- achey limbs and joints, low grade inflammation seen in the skin ie patches of red through to eczema, arthritis especially Rheumatoid, IBS, headaches, anxiety, low moods, period pains, brain fog, fatigue and many other chronic illness can be eased by reducing Gluten.

4. Gluten can also be found in some cosmetics (it is largely used as a filler and thickener) so giving your body a cosmetics detox is a great way to learn who real foods can nourish you inside and out. Foods like avocado, coconut oil, honey, coffee, bicarbonate of soda, apple cider vinegar and even Kefir can do amazing things for your hair, teeth and skin. They can also be far more effective than what you used to buy. Not only saving you money but helping to save the environment by reducing chemicals and packaging.

5. Beer is generally made from malted wheat or malted barley, both of which contain gluten proteins. Wine, cider and distilled spirits are usually distilled from fruits or vegetables. So get creative with summer cocktails  Try adding Kombucha or water kefir for an added health kick and to support your digestive system!

 

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Chocolate chip cookies

Beetroot brownies

And then check out Gluten Friend or Foe on here and the other recipes linked above.

Please share your favourite way to reduce Gluten and any recipes you love more than ones with Gluten in them in the comments section

Wheat picture courtsy of Praisaeng on http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Vegetables courtsey of Piyachok Thawornmat on http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

read more

5 Reasons to Rest to Be Your Best

5 reasons to rest

Recently I have been feeling overwhelmed (excited, inspired and motivated) but overwhelmed all the same. Tired and forgetful – always key feelings and ways of showing me I need some time out.

I am a giver – I give energy to people, I feel the need to help, nurture heal and make happy. Every now and then I give too much- so I have learnt how to pull back and give to myself. It is a really important skill to learn and respond to. Most of us feel it and hear it but not many of us know how to respond and will keep pushing through. However it known that productivity, health, memory, strength, speed and most of all ability all come quicker after and including a rest period. Here is why…

 

1. Feeling run down can lead to depression. By ‘running on empty‘ you run the risk of becoming nutritionally deficient and sleep deprived. Two things the brain needs for mood enhancement. Sleep (good quality and Quantity) is important and can be difficult to balance especially with deadlines, children, life events and other pressures all take their toll. It is important to eat well and take time to sit and be mindful of what you are eating, how you are eating (chewing, sitting or on the run, time taken to eat) who and where you are eating. It is not just calories and nutrients that are important. You can be taking all the right nutrients (either in foods or in supplements) but unless you are mindful and respectful of the role that they will play, it is expensive pee and poo at the end of the day. You need to reconnect with yourself, your family, your friends and to enjoy life and food is a big part of that. Taking time to plan, prepare, and share food is fundamental to health. So take a break from other things to make food and eating important within your day especially in the morning at breakfast. Also be mindful about stimulant (coffee, alcohol, sugar) intake and try and reduce these if you are becoming reliant upon them.

R's

2. All the R’s Reconnect, Recuperate, Relax, Restructure, Recognise and Re-energise. Periods of rest are normally followed by epiphanies of how to surge forward again. They are great ways to allow the mind, body and spirit to Realign and Regain strength to continue forward. This can be in many shapes from Resting for a few minutes to concentrate on Remembering the breath, to a nap, a days break or a Refreshing few days holiday (ok enough alliteration!).

 

3. Stress (meaning a reaction to stimulus) affects the body in so many ways. Hormone imbalance (stress hormones include Adrenaline and Cortisol) has a massive impact on our health and in this way stress has an affect on our immune system (stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of our immune system by affecting our immune cell production), our reproductive system (oestrogen/testosterone and adrenaline/cortisol imbalance can affect both male and female fertility) our respiratory system (stress can lead to anxiety and panic attacks as our body takes more shallow and rapid breaths, whilst at the same time  increasing the demand for oxygen), our digestive system (cortisol affects our insulin levels and also affects our blood sugar balance, our food cravings, our ability to digest and absorb nutrients amongst other effects), our circulatory system (fight or fight mechanism draws blood away from the organs to feed the muscles ready for a reaction to stress), our skeletal system (muscles are primed for action also using key nutrients such as calcium and magnesium can cause muscle stiffness and tension) and our nervous system (being constantly alert and concious of a perceived threat or something to respond to can cause insomnia and drain nutrients essential for messages sent from the brain and for memory function). By taking some time to return to the Rest and Digest (opposite of fight or flight) mode we can see a return to balance many of our body’s signs and symptoms. Meditation is just listening to breath. It does not have to be something to stress about! Taking 1 min of our day to close our eyes and listening to our breath coming in and out whilst letting our thoughts filter through is a great start!

Meditate

 

4 It is mandatory when exercising to allow the body to recuperate and strengthen. When building muscle, you need to allow fibres to repair and recruit more (thus developing muscle tone and strength), to allow the body to change shape and to  re-learn muscle patterns and movements. Therefore changing training types and intensity is also important. Doing the same thing over and over will not allow the body or mind to develop and stagnation and boredom may occur. This is especially important in all forms of training whether for an event, weight management and strength or endurance goals. Over training can be really detrimental to physical and mental health.

 

5 After a period of illness (from colds to more serious bouts) it is essential to convalesce. Taking an extra day or two to allow the body to return to balance and heal is so important and will help to ensure that there is no recurring illness. Making sure you determine the cause of the illness rather than suppressing symptoms is key to returning to health. Otherwise the body will continue to find ways to show you imbalances ad those signs and symptoms will just get bigger and bigger. It is well researched that peoples productivity is far enhanced if workers are healthy and happy. Breaks and rest are key to that. Make sure you are both.

 

Most things can wait – make lists of things to do for when you return, make sure you prioritise what is important in life and always make room to breathe and appreciate what you have and what is around you. You will be happier and healthier for it as will those people around you as you set an example. Saying Yes to yourself can be so rewarding

 

Original images

© Orla | <a href=”http://www.dreamstime.com/”>Dreamstime Stock Photos</a> & <a href=”http://www.stockfreeimages.com/”>Stock Free Images</a>

© Agatama | Dreamstime Stock Photos &Stock Free Images

© Pryzmat | <a href=”http://www.dreamstime.com/”>Dreamstime Stock Photos</a> & <a href=”http://www.stockfreeimages.com/”>Stock Free Images</a>

read more

Being Inspired

Sunset from the Yacht Club over looking ICC building and TST
Sunset from the Yacht Club over looking ICC building and TST

I really enjoy being inspired and motivated by others- either friends and family, bloggers and clients. Other people in Healthy Living industry are a constant source of inspiration. I love referring when I can and crediting people for giving me inspiration. I believe it makes me a better practitioner and my business more open and inclusive. Recently I have joined a network of like minded people and I am so grateful for their help, openness and willingness to share and grow with others. There is no feeling of competitiveness and everyone is credited for their ideas and work they have put in to their blog and other posts. That’s how it should be-there is room for everyone. By closing ourselves off what do we achieve professionally and personally?

 

But most of all Nature is really inspiring me at the moment. Colour in the sunshine is so vibrant and beautiful. I have just started a free online art course and I am determined to finish and really grow and learn something about myself through some creativity. Did it come at a time when I am silly busy- of course- but then that means its the perfect time to reflect on what is important! The photo above was taken before dinner on Friday night and the whole evening was relaxed and very enjoyable and I think this picture has reminded me how incredible nature is and how lucky I am to be able to experience all that I do!

 

How do you enjoy being inspired?

read more

5 Ways to be Safe in the Sun…

ID-100157282

The sun is back here in Hong Kong, and I hear it is coming out where you are too. I love the sun and I rarely apply sun tan lotion as I have a healthy respect for it. I certainly do not use a product full of chemicals and petrochemicals (here) If I am going to be lying out in it- rare as i mostly prefer at least the top half of me to be in the shade- I will apply sunscreen (a natural one- naturally!) otherwise I abide to these 5 ways to keep myself and my kiddies burn free and Vit D rich.

1. Sunscreen– I like to use a mix of carrier oils with aromatherapy as my sun cream. Carrot and Raspberry seed oil having the highest SPF (sun protecting factor). I have quite olive skin that seems to soak up the sun, but my son is quite pale (and not 1 yet) so I am more vigilant with him. My daughter has the same skin as me. Our general rule is 10-20 mins in the sun without any barriers to soak up the vitamin D. Never Ever burn. If you feel yourself burning apply straight away (and you should seek the shade or wear a layer). The same mix of oils is also my after-sun  in the bath for the kids and slapped on for us. the oils I use are also anti-bug ones so it is an all in one product. Perfect for taking out with you and taking on holiday! This is a great link to what oils have what SPF (http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/carrier_oils_and_spf).

2. Cover up– hats long sleeves etc. But watch the sunglasses, Vitamin D is also produced through the Iris and by constantly wearing sunglasses you are missing that vital gateway to healthy Vitamin D levels. Limit your time in the sun– Its a no brainer that keeping out of the sun at the hottest points (recent studies are saying 10am-4pm) but then again that’s almost the whole day! So dipping in and out (and not just of the pool) for example go in for lunch and yes a siesta (another luxury that is far off in the future for me!) and then enjoy it again. There is nothing worse than a sun hangover- you can always have too much of a good thing!

3. Shade seeking– Its cooler in the shade but beware you can still burn so be aware of how you are feeling (and if you are going to go to sleep on your lounger- a luxury I will have to wait for a while to indulge in again- make sure you have applied or get someone to apply some cover for you ) NEVER EVER Burn! Be especially careful at the beach or where there is a lovely breeze as you may not feel that burn.

4. Keep hydrated– Coconut water is brilliant for this- it replaces all your electrolytes and is so delicious in the sunshine. Of course beware of drinking alcohol (even in the coconut water!) and ensure you maintain your water intake. That groggy  feeling after a day in the sun is generally dehydration. A good soak in the bath is a good way to rehydrate (and with the oils of course)

5. Know what to do after a day in the sun– Don’t forget natures wonder product- Aloe Vera. It is not a coincidence that it thrives in hot desert like conditions! Break it open and apply the cooling gel straight away or after a shower. If you do burn a nice hot shower or bath is the way forward (not a cold one!), Aloe Vera and coconut oil with some Lavender and Calendula tincture will do wonders. Calendula and Camomile tea or essential oils and tinctures with lavender are also good at reducing the inflammation burns produce and calming and encouraging new skin growth. Re-hydrating and ensuring plenty of rest afterwards will allow you to enjoy the sun day after day (which is what we hopefully have to look forward to till December now!)

Enjoy!!! But be Safe!

PS Sunscreen recipe to follow (includes carrot seed oil, wheatgerm oil, avocado and coconut oil- Lavender, Camomile, Geranium and either Lemongrass, Neroli, Frankinsence or Grapefruit essential oils depending on my mood!)

read more

Loula Natural Essential Oils Sign up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Loula Natural Young Living Oils

Untitled

Like many, the moment you mention “natural remedy”  most people will without a doubt be comfortable using essential oils to heal anything from a headache to allergy relief and from bronchitis to uti’s. I use them in my diffuser, in the bath in cosmetics and in cleaning products in the attempt to rid my home of chemicals.The list is actually endless on how powerful and healing essential oils are.

Who would have thought a tiny little drop could be such a big powerhouse? After much research and many nudges from my bloggers friends already loving the benefits, I decided to jump on the Young Living essential oils bandwagon and I am so happy I did. See here to read about my continuing journey with Essential Oils- it spans almost 10 years.

3694246781_da28c6cff8_b

Why I Choose Young Living Essential Oils?

I have to know about the quality of the products I purchase and recommend. I need to know where and how they are made and/or grown; how sustainable they are etc. and essential oils are no different. Ingredients and process can make or break a product for me.

I believe and appreciate that Young Living’s oils are so different as a result of their strict, detailed method for producing the oils to obtain the purest, ‘un-messed-with’ plant essences.  Young Living calls this their Seed to Seal process, where every step from planting to bottling is detailed and controlled. Young Living offers this promise – they own their farms and they run a very tight supply chain. I trust their essential oils, that any one I buy is pure and unadulterated and are manufactured for therapeutic use not just for their fragrance.

Untitled

How Do I Get My Hands on These Oils?

You can get the essential oils I recommend in one of two ways: Wholesale (signing up as a “distributor”) or Retail (signing up as a “customer”) via the Young Living website.

My Support

When you sign up with me, you will get personal support. This is more than you will get when you buy other retail oils, you only get the oil itself. You can also have support on how to use the oils from me. When you sign up via the Young Living site as a retail customer you pay 24% more than wholesalers for your essential oils.

Untitled

 (step by step instruction below)

Why Should I become and Wholesale Member?

Becoming a Wholesale Member can get you wholesale pricing which is 24% off retail price! You also gain the option of sharing the oils with your friends and family in order to earn commissions and participate in promotions for free oils.

Is there a monthly order minimum? 

No.  You do not have to order monthly in order to benefit from being a Wholesale Member.  However, there is an autoship program that you have the option of participating in if you would like to earn more points on your orders and potentially more product.

I don’t really want to sell oils. 

Since there is no monthly order requirement you can simply just order whenever you and your family need it.  There is no requirement to have a business. But, becoming a Wholesale Member is still most beneficial for your family and your pocket book business or not.

What do I need to do to get started?

To begin as a wholesale member you start with purchasing an enrollment kit. There are three options to choose from in the USA and two in Canada. For anyone that orders the Premium starter kit, I will personally send you a sign-up bonus. Simply follow the below steps to join Young Living Oils and reap these amazing benefits.

Premium kit
Premium kit

The Premium Starter Kit is the Best Value

Untitled

When you order your own premium starter kit, you are entitled to wholesale pricing on all Young Living products, this is a 24% discount. Share this with your friends and family by ordering for them, or have them enroll to get their own kit and discount. The ‘Premium Starter Kit’ is $300 value package of oils for over 50% off! It comes with:

  • 10 oils including Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Frankincense, PanAway (a nice massage oil that relaxes the muscles!), Peace and Calming, Thieves, Purification, Valor and Joy oil blends.
  • A home diffuser (retail value alone on this one is $96)
  • Essential Oils at a Glance user’s guide
  • Welcome to Young Living booklet
  • Stress Away 5-ml
  • AromaGlide Roller Fitment (to turn any oil into a roll on)
  • two sample packets each of Lavender, Peppermint, Peace & Calming, Lemon, and Thieves (for you to share with your friends!)
  • two NingXia Red 2-oz. samples

NOTE: If you enroll early in the month and then sign up 3 friends with a premium starter kit, you will get your premium kit paid for! Ask me details if you have questions about how to do this – I provide support for those looking to help their friends and families get rid of the toxic chemicals in their homes with essential oils!

Untitled

Signing up as a Wholesale Member  – A step-by-step Guide

1. Click over to the sign-up page.

2. Select “Sign up as: Young Living Wholesale Member

3. The “Enroller ID” and “Sponsor ID” boxes should already be filled in for you. But if not, enter this number 1931497  in both boxes.

4. Fill out your name, billing address, shipping address, and contact info(The reason you are asked to list your social security number is for tax purposes. If you make over $600/year selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 form in the mail, as is required by law. Young Living will never share this info with anyone.)

5. Create your password and pin which you will use to log in to your account and order your oils.

6. Select your enrollment order. This is where you can specify which starter kit you would like (and you know I think the Premium Kit is the way to go!) – they range in price from $40 on up and you only need to spend $40 to get the 24% discount. Note – you must sign up with one of these kits to become a distributor. This is mandatory. To maintain your 24% discount going forward, you only need to spend $50 worth each subsequent year with Young Living on any product in their store. That’s it! You can also purchase other items at this time if you wish.

7. Set up your *optional* Essential Rewards Program (ER). Now don’t be confused by this next step. Buying one of the ER kits is not a requirement to sign up as a distributor! This is a rewards program you can opt into to start earning money back to help pay for your oils. At this point, you can skip this step by selecting: ‘No, thank you. I plan on enrolling in the Essential Rewards Program later’. If one of the ER kits looks valuable to you then by all means get one in addition to your starter kit but please understand that you cannot buy an ER kit in lieu of a starter kit. This program is the most economical way to purchase your oils and other products. I belong and am already on my way to getting some free oils with it. If you decide that this is something you are interested in, select the kit from the listed options that you would like to ship in your first Essential Rewards order. (Despite what they imply – you will not receive this kit every month – you can change the products from month-to-month through your Virtual Office for each ER order and you only need spend $50 a month to remain in the program – the longer you remain in the program the more points you will receive to help pay for your oils.). Then, you will also need to select a ship date. (This is the day each month when you order will go out. I recommend writing this down on your calendar so you don’t accidentally order the same thing twice.)

7. Agree to Terms & Conditions

8. CONFIRM YOUR ORDER. I have had many folks miss this step and end up not fully checking out. To confirm, the tool will log you in and it will show you your order again and it will make you enter in your payment information again. We wouldn’t want that to happen because then you would not get your oils!

That’s it- congratulations!

You will receive a confirmation email– you can log into your back office right away and manage orders, check your team, and send messages.  Added Bonus: If you want to learn more about essential oils, join my  Facebook group. It is a really awesome community about natural health including essential oils. Where you can submit oil questions, recipes, testimonials and how to successfully use the oils in your everyday life. If you have any questions, please contact me at louise@loulanatural.com

Untitled

I am the founder and editor-in-chief of Loula Natural, and I am a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils. As such, I will promote and sell essential oils and related products from Young Living Essential Oils on my site. Due to this pre-existing relationship, I will not direct sales or promotion any other essential oil brand, company or products on my site.

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

read more