Recipes sdasdasdsad

Benefits of Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT)

Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT also known as tapping) is a safe, gentle, non-invasive technique that uses a combination of tapping on acupressure points around the body and modern psychology techniques (NLP). It is one of the simplest and quickest ways to enhance your emotional and physical health. 

EFT looks at discovering the cause of a physical and emotional response. By working on the root, you are able to have a longer lasting effect that helps to rebalance all of the body systems.

Physical and emotional symptoms are interconnected, be able to identify the links and regain balance. You can use it to help you to achieve goals you never thought possible and be the person you have always wanted to be.

Sometimes it is hard to find the right language to be specific about what we want to change or work on. Become able to identify the root causes of any physical or emotional discomfort. Use an abstract, simple, effective and specific way to approach and release those root causes.

Studies show that EFT alone can give faster results, with no secondary trauma and with longer lasting effects. This is was examined against standard treatment protocols for PTSD sufferers. 

There have been over 100 published studies using meridian tapping approaches and 98% of the published studies resulted in favour of EFT. 

Trauma can be all sizes, each one of us has had some kind of trauma in our life that we can benefit feeling free from. You do not even need to be conscious of the behaviour patterns and thoughts that are related for EFT to work.

EFT does not adversely interact with any medications, diet, physical limitations or mental capabilities. Both patients and family members can benefit from using this EFT course.

EFT is suitable for all ages and stages of life. If you can think and feel then you can tap! EFT is even effective on animals.

Tap on areas of the body to free yourself from any blocking thoughts, patterns of behaviour or reactions. Useful in all conditions, physical and emotional.

Personally I have found huge changes in clients who have had minimum of 5 sessions. With this course you can be using EFT daily, on your own.

Gain insight and confidence to apply the tools to any area of your life. 

read more

What is Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT)

EFT is the acronym for Emotion Freedom Technique.

EFT is also known as tapping. The process involves tapping, with your fingertips at various acupuncture meridian points on your head, body and fingers. Together with Neuro-linguistic pathways (NLP) methods of speaking, EFT can help you to make some big shifts in thought processes, beliefs and physical and emotional blocks.

The way we feel, think and speak to ourselves may have emotional and physical repercussions. This is true in both the positive and negative. Negative emotions, words, reactions, thought processes and physical traumas in one’s life may cause a disruption, block or freeze in the body.  This can represent itself in a number of ways, physically and emotionally. Using EFT can be fast, effective and long-lasting as it may highlight the core issue of your emotion, thought pattern or reaction to the world around you and your inner dialogue.

By highlighting and becoming aware of our core belief systems that direct our life choices, health and everyday behaviour we can make some shifts and changes. Whilst many core beliefs are valid and held successfully by many, to others they could be paralysing and potentially blocking success and happiness. Highlighting your reaction patterns and thought processes can build bridges between your mind and body, bringing them back into harmony, helping you to unlock your true potential to find greater peace, happiness and success in your life.

Most importantly EFT is quick, simple and can be done anywhere at any time. Learning the technique through my one to one sessions, tapping circles and Udemy courses can give you a very powerful tool to use for the rest of your life. You can work with someone or on your own at home, results are seen in every session and life becomes easier and more manageable.

Also read What are the benefits of Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT)

read more

Lemon Sage Cordial

 

Lemon Sage Cordial

We are used to seeing sage as a culinary herb, but did you know about all of the amazing medicinal uses? Used in most cultures around the world for centuries, Sage has so many amazing benefits.

Containing anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which may help to protect, and heal, cells throughout the body. This also may help to maintain good circulation of blood and flexibility of muscles and blood vessels throughout the body.

There are also recognised phytoestrogen substances in Sage which  may help to mimic oestrogen in the body. This may have a beneficial effect for hormonal imbalances, especially in the menstrual cycle. Phyto-oestrogens can help the body to better recognise and utilise your own oestrogens in the body without harm.

Low oestrogen levels may also affect the brain, causing changes in emotional well-being. Sage has been seen to help relieve some symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with menopausal hormone fluctuations. By helping lift mood and
balance hormone levels, Sage can be a handy tool in your toolbox.

Used as a cough and cold herb too, Sage has been seen to be effective at cooling down the body (especially during hot sweats) and reduce perspiration, it may also help to dry up excess phlegm and diarrhea.

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

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, 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. 

You could also consider adding some water kefir to this cordial. During hormone fluctuations, the mircrobiome health is very important to consider. Also, beneficial bacteria in the raw honey and water Kefir may help 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.

Recipe:

INGREDIENTS

Juice of 4-5 lemons

2-3 tbsp of Raw Honey

5-6 fresh sage leaves or 1 tsp dried sage

pinch of salt.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. First make the mix as above and store in an air tight jar.

2. Use 1tbsp of the mix in your jar for each cup.

3. You can use cold, sparkling or wam water but do not use boling water.

4. Stir in the cordial

5. You can have a glass by your bed to drink if you feel heated in the middle of the night.

6. Store jar of cordial in the fridge.

Products

read more

Grounding

“Since the late 20th century, chronic degenerative diseases have overcome infectious disease as the major causes of death in the 21st century, so an increase in human longevity will depend on finding an intervention that inhibits the development of these diseases and slows their progress”  Silvio De Flora et al (see here)

Health is made up of physical and mental balance and strength. Physical symptoms are often rooted from an emotional source and vice versa. The circle continues and to have peace from one, we need to work on both. Resources such as nutrition, exercise and stress management tools all work together. By integrating an energetic aspect to your treatment plan, you can achieve your desired goals. 

 

The earth has a natural and subtle surface electric charge, that systemically influences the basic bioelectrical function of the body. There are frequencies within us and surrounding us, these frequencies whether they are light, ionic or water based infuence our mind and body both in conscious and subconcius ways. 

To support our immune and nervous system function, we can harmonise our own in body frequencies and reactions by using nature. One of the easiest and effective ways to do this is through grounding techniques.

Systemic grounding benefits (source)

“Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.” Gaétan Chevalier et al (see here)

Grounding exercises are helpful for many situations where you may find yourself becoming overwhelmed or distracted by memories, thoughts or feelings. They are also able to help reduce physical symptoms such as pain and inflammation.

There are so many different grounding tools you can use. Eating food you have grown in your own space can be one, gardening and having contact with the soil can be very powerful. Simply being barefoot and allowing your propriceptors to take in information about the ground you are walking on can help to inform your nervous system that you are safe. Simply sitting with your pet can also be very grounding.

“Earthing is as simple as routinely walking barefoot outdoors and/or using inexpensive grounding systems indoors while sleeping or sitting, practices that restore a lost and needed electric connection with the Earth.” Wendy Menigoz et al (see here)

There are so many ways to integrate grounding in to your daily life. Here are some simple grounding techniques outside and in nature:

Walking barefoot

One of the easiest ways to ground yourself to the earth is to walk barefoot. Whether this is on grass, sand, or even mud, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground can provide you with the current from the earth. Even if it is cold, any amount of time with your feet incontact with the ground outside can be beneficial. Ideally you would stay at least 30 minutes, but even a few moments is better than nothing. 

Lying on the ground

You can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. Clothed or unclothed, something is better than nothing. Don’t worry about dirt, as long as you are safe! You can ground in the grass woods, in a park (on a wooden bench if not the ground) or on the sand at the beach. Your own garden works wonders. If not, looking at nature works very well too. By looking at nature out of your window whilst in your house or even images in photo or on a screen is also better than nothing.

Submersing in water:

Water may be used to ground in the same way the physical earth is used for grounding.Being in water is hugely beneficial to humans, swimming in the ocean or a natural body of water is used as a way to ground yourself. Even just your feet can be beneficial. If you struggle to be in water, baths or just foot baths can work well too. Simply add some sea salt to the water and you can also look at a natural body of water or visualise your favourite outdoor spot while you are doing it for best effect.

 

Applying pressure to acupuncture points can help to support and balance energy. Combined with the propriceptors in the feet, using this kidney point (in Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians) may help you to communicate with your nervous system to stimulate the release of those feel-good chemicals. It may also help you to bring your attension from the noise in your head to your feet. By being, in the moment, and taking time to ground yourself using these points with some simple breathing techniques you may begin to feel more balanced and calm.

  1. Find the points: On the sole of the foot between the 2nd and 3rd toes. Under the bridge of the foot, about 1/3 of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel. You can feel a slight dip at this point. 
  2. Gently press the point on one or both of your feet at the same time with your thumbs. Focus on what your foot and your thumbs can feel.
  3. Notice the breath coming in through your nose and out through your nose. Repeat for a few breaths
  4. When you release the points with your thumb, can you still feel where they are or the sense of them?

You can feel this point or even simply visulise it whilst wearing shoes too. Young children may also respond fantastically to this point being gently pressed. It is a great point to use before bed and together with magnesium oil (see here) to aid in a restful sleep.

When you may be indoors and not able to touch your feet, try this method of grounding. This is a great way of coming back into your body and staying in the present moment. You can do this with a drink or just through visualisation

  1. What do you hear? Listen to sounds going on around you, or outside. Listen to your breath, if you are holding a drink can you hear anything as the liquid moves? what does your hand against the cup sound like. When you take a drink can you hear yourself swallow?
  2. What can you feel? You can think about you feet in your shoes, or your body in your clothes. What are the textures around you, what does your other hand feel like, or if you are holding a cup how much does it weigh and how does it feel in your hand? When you take a drink, what are the sensations in your mouth? Temperature, texture and weight of the liquid in your mouth all can be considered.
  3. What can you smell? What are the scents in the air or coming from your own body. What does the liquid in the cup smell like?
  4. What can you taste? Think of the taste of your favourite food or drink. Does you mouth have any taste, what does your saliva taste like in your mouth. Does the air have a taste as you breathe? If you are having a drink, what does it taste like?
  5. What do you see? Simply notice and name what you can see, notice colours around you. If you are using something to drink, notice the liquid and the cup you are holding. What can you see that maybe you didnt notice before.

There is no right or wrong way to do this, either choose one of the senses or choose to consider them all. It all depends on the situation. If you are sat waiting form someone, see how much you can notice before they arrive, it is a better way to pass the time than screen surfing!

There are many different grounding sheets, blankets, rods etc that you can buy to help support you to ground yourself in your own home. I personally like to sleep under a weighted blanket. The feel of the weight can be very comforting, it can help you to feel safe in that moment and the sense of touch is very grounding. 

The most important thing is to find the way that works for you and your lifestyle. Practice makes perfect, feel safe in whatever technique that you choose and the worst thing that can happen is nothing!

read more

The Power of Breathing

Simple Breathing Techniques

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 inoticing in the present, without any judgement. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to no longer feel stuck in guilt or remorse about the past or anxious and controlling about the future. Just simply noticing the Here and the Now. The place where we can make changes that serve us.

Healing is done on so many levels and at different times. By taking a moment to be conscious about a simple breath in and out, 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 media’s propaganda. You are able to 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.

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

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, notice where it goes without direction or forcing)
  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. This can be repeated over the day or even in the moment until you feel like you have caught your breath and been able to pause.

Counting breaths; 

Close your eyes and simply notice your breathing.

Count for a beat of four as you breathe in, and out for a count of four. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

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

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

( OPTIONAL)Spend some time here, picture yourself in a favourite place (garden, beach, woods, room of the house) or try imagining looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing yourself as the perfect you.)

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

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

Return to counting to 4 whilst breathing in,  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 all ages)

We all respond to colour. By visualising colour we are able to keep our mind focused on somthing, without judgement and to see how that affects how we feel. Simply use each colour of the rainbow one by one. Either just say the word of the colour, ie Red, or imagine red light around you or imagine all the things that you know are red. As you breathe out you can imagine that you breathe out any black or grey out of the body. As you mind begins to drift, move onto the next colour.

You can listen to a version of this guided meditation here

 

You could also use this mat to help prompt the colours for you. This is very helpful for kids too.

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 technique can be done for as little as 30 seconds or 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…

Then go back to what you were doing and notice if you have a new perspective.

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.

Try this Mindfulness class….

read more

How to set intentions

You may have heard people speak about the benefits and importance of intention setting. You may have even tried to set some for yourself. An intention is an aim or a plan by dictionary definition, rather than a goal itself, it is the driving force to get you to the goal. You can have any goal you like, but without the intention, it is mearly an idea, one that you like but maybe don’t have a way to get to.

We are taught to set goals in our career and personal lives, to set resolutions each year, and for maximum productivity and success we create projects and lists of tasks. How many of us dutifully write out our lists of goals, lists of tickable tasks and endless ‘to-do’s’ but find that we never finish or just feel overwhelled and stuck? Without having an intension in line with our goals, things will feel impossible or too far away and simply remain on the list. It can feel so pointless.

To find ourselves spending our time achieving our goals with ease, we can start setting intentions. Intentions are there to serve you and your happiness. Here are some practical tips on how to set intentions, what this practice can do for you and why it positively affects your life. Since they are set by you, for you, it really is impossible to do them wrong!

By setting intentions, to begin a new phase of your life, you are simply setting the direction for your emotional and physical goals and objectives. You may be looking to refresh a routine, behaviour or reaction pattern. By having a clear direction about what it is you DO want, rather than focusing what you DON’T, you may ultimately find yourself to your goal and target more quickly.

An intention also keeps you on the path in alignment with your purpose, it keeps you true to your beliefs about yourslef and your life. It is the starting point, leading you to find a direct line to the goal you are working towards. You can set intentions for the hour, day, month or year. 

For example; “I intend to choose foods that nourish my body and soul” can be your intention for lunch when your goal is to feel more energy throughout the day.

Your intention keeps you focused on what you want and drives the mind to make decisions that will guide and support your end goal.

Studies show that setting an intention affects your behavior and increases your chances of success in attaining your goals. Setting your intention is a powerful practice of declaring your belief in being able to get to where you want to be. When things get busy and you get off track, or you become frustrated, irritated or overwhelmed, simply shift back to your daily intention, believe in the process and see where your energy flows.

Intentions come from your heart, not your head. Use the power of intention to focus on what we want to create, to manifest and grow. Learning how to set an intention is the foundation for a more purpose filled life. So let’s begin….

1. Choose your time and space.

This goes for emotional space as well as physical space. Choose a time when you have a goal you want to work towards and space to be able to listen to your heart. When you are tired and frustrated you may not be able to create an intention that is truly aligned to your best interests. When you feel more open and neutral, that is when you may be able to sit and give yourself the time and respect you deserve.

Create a quiet space to listen to the quiet voice filled with hope and opportunity. The one we dare to listen to sometimes. The one we save for when we remember our childhood dreams and daydreams. Allow it to step forward and be open to listen to want it is you really want.


2. Identify what you want, what makes you happy.

Once you identify what it is you want to bring into your life, whether its gratitude, hope,  love, peace, prosperity, wellness, healing or faith and forgiveness. Imagine what this looks in your life. How do you look, feel and act. Picture yourself as already having it, it is already right there for you. Be specific and allow yourself to go with it. Tune out the voice that says ‘no chance’ and instead say ‘why not’. Then write it down. Write down as many of the specifics as possible, as silly as they may seem. 

3. Identify what no longer serves you.

It may be easier to actually take note of of what no longer serves you. Think about some of the emotions and behaviour/reaction patterns that are no longer working in your life and in your body. They could be guilt, shame, anger and frustration. All of these are valid emotions that we need, however if they are the only ones we are feeling and they are no longer motivating us then we need to find the ones that help us to take the steps forward rather than staying in freeze and pause.

By identifying what you no longer need or want in your life, you may be free to repeat step 2.

4. Keep focused.

At this point you may have identified a huge list of things that you want. Try to now prioritise that list. Find the focus that will help you to take the first step. this can often be hard work because chosing makes your brain get louder than your heart.

Try to go back to step 1 and find the space to listen to the true want/need. Try to go back to the space you were in in number 2, go back to that image of yourself. Stay in the present, if your mind wanders or keeps listing all blocks you have, try to simply notice your breath without judgement, where does the breath go with out trying to direct it and come back to your point of focus.

5. Keep repeating.

When you have found your focus, set your intention, you can write as many you can come up with. You will know when to stop, when your heart feels content and says ‘yes’. Remember intentions are not lists of things to do, they are more like,

what feeling do I want to have?

what core value or attribute about myself do I want to celebreate?

How do i want to achieve something, with ease with energy, with peace…?

What in my personality will help me to get to where I want to be?

How do I want to see my day today?

When you have the ones that make you feel ready and empowered, write them down and put them where you will see them so you can repeat them. The more you repeat them, the more you remember them and they inhabit your daily life and choices. That is what will help you to get to your goals and give you the energy to feel like life is easier and with more movement and success.

I have put together some worksheets to help you. Download them and see how they help you to build habits that serve you and your goals

At the begining of each week of my 4 week mindfulness class we make an intension for the hour and for the week. Build a habit during the 4 weeks while learning other simple and effective tools that will work in your day to day life. Give yourself a gift of time and support for your mind and body.

read more

Buckwheaties

Buckwheaties: (these can also be used as snacks in themselves as I discovered when my 3 year old kept coming back for more! and also are used as cereal or added to muesli. They are really crispy and are seeds derived from a flour so are completely grain free. Ground they are also a great flour and are used in alot of baking recipes- they are really quite moreish! You may have come across Buckwheat in Japanese buckwheat noodles, Russian pancakes (Bilini’s) and are used in beer production too!)

1 cup of Buckwheat Groats (very easy to buy I got some in Green dot)

Water

Pyrex bowl

Tea towel

This takes a little time, but is worth it. Rinse the groats in some water and leave to soak (preferably in filtered water) overnight. In the morning drain them and set in a glass bowl and cover with a tea towel. In the evening- rinse the groats and again place in the bowl and cover with the tea towel. In the morning they should have sprouted. Now they are ready to dry. I put them in the dehydrator, but you can use the lowest setting on your oven. Spread out the groats and dry until crunchy- takes about 6 hours in the dehydrator at living foods temperature.

read more

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

What is in these vaccines that makes them so wrong…

 

This was a question asked today and whilst I knew most ingredients- someone put it way better than me…

Here’s my very knowledgeable friends reply:

The question should be what isn’t in a vaccine! Most vaccines will contain at least a few from this list: disease causing agents that have been cultivated from monkey kidneys, chicken and duck embryos; dog, horse, rabbit, mouse and cow tissues, human tissue culture containing cells (notably from the uterine cancer of Henrietta Lack, an African American woman who died in the 1960’s, and whose cancer cells were laboratory-proliferated and now contaminate cell lines in research labs around the globe),

ALUMINUM: a neurotoxin which has been associated w/ Alzheimers, dis-ease, dementia and seizures; aluminum is carcinogenic in laboratory mice and added to vaccines to “promote antibody response.”,

THIRMERSOL: a sodium salt derived from the deadly poison mercury and used as a disinfectant and preservative; thirmersal has been linked to brain and kidney damage as well as immune and neurological dis-orders; it is a component of vaccines for

DPT, tetanus,hepatitius B and Hib,

FORMALDEHYDE: a major component of embalming fluid, which of course is pumped into dead people to keep them dead; a known cancer-causing chemical, this toxic substance is used to “inactivate” viruses and detoxify bacterial toxins; formaldehyde has also shown to be injurious to the liver and to trigger gene mutations,

CARBOLIC ACID (PHENOL): believed to cause gender mutation; a deadly poison used as a disinfectant, dye,

ANTI (AGAINST) BIOTICS (LIFE): Neomycin, Streptomycin and a variety of other drugs – to which increasing numbers of the population are demonstrating serious allergies and to which increasing numbers of microbes are developing genetically-transmitted tolerance,

ACETONE: used in fingernail polish remover and as a solvent,

GLYCERIN: a tri-atomic alcohol extracted from natural fats which are putrefied and decomposed; toxic effects damage the kidneys, liver, lungs and “pronounced local tissue damage, gastrointestinal damage and death”

and a fair few still contain MERCURY.

I amazed that we are told not to feed our babies eggs due to the allergenic properties of the egg white but doctors don’t advise mums that the vaccines being given to babies may contain egg white..

Oh and the MMR contains the cells of an aborted baby from the 70s that had rubella.

And that there is the truth that the Doctors don’t like to mention and most people try to forget….

Make sure you are 100% sure and 100% researched. Thanks Marta x

Also recently found this too- just in case you don’t believe us!

read more

Gluten free bread mix 1

Living with my dad has meant I have had fun experimenting with his bread machine. Something I have never gotten round to buying myself. I don’t eat a lot of bread as it has never really agreed with me and nutritionally doesn’t often offer a whole lot. Unless of course you make it yourself with great quality ingredients.

I use a programme on my bread machine so am unable to tell you what temperature in the oven and for how long to cook it. If you make it yourself in the oven, please feel free to add a comment so others can use it.

Ingredients:

410ml water (I use tepid)
160g eggs (my dad is also egg intolerant so I use the egg replacement as if I was adding 5 eggs)
25 ml olive oil
20 ml coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
80g gluten substitute
20g ground almonds
250g red mill all purpose gluten free flour
150g corn flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tsp xanthum gum
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
20g brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast
Handful of pumpkin seed
Handful of sesame seeds

In the bread maker you add the ingredients in order, liquid first then dry ingredients. When the ‘knead’ function is on you have to get in there with a spatula and make sure everything is mixed in. It may seem different to what you are used to go with it and make sure everything is combined, especially e pumpkin seeds are quite evenly distributed.

This makes a 500g loaf.

Enjoy and please let me know if you made any adaptations and how it goes for you. The quest for the perfect gluten free loaf continues!

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

Breast is best

Just in case you didn’t know, breast milk is almost magic! The contents are so numerous no formula could ever, or indeed will ever match it. Its not just about protein, essential fats and carbohydrate- it  is so specific to the childs age, time of day, health and immune systems needs and so much more that we are only just starting to understand an appreciate. I know its hard, it was only my own determination that kept me breast feeding the first time, I almost had to give up (my daughter couldn’t latch properly for 6 months) It can hurt, it means you are the only one doing the overnight feeds, you have to wear clothes you can get your boob out of at a moments notice and it makes you the hungriest and tired you have ever been. But when its stacked up like the poster I have linked to below, if you can, why wouldn’t you for as long as possible!?

whats-in-breastmilk-poster-loula natural
whatsinbreastmilkposter

On another note check out this ladies blog, I wanted to say all of this and started doing the research when I found it all written so well here.

http://www.drmomma.org/2009/08/sids-enfamil-restfull-formula-yes.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/science/studies-of-human-microbiome-yield-new-insights.html?_r=3

http://humanfoodproject.com/kids-are-mammals-time-we-treated-treating-them-like-it/

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

A video post

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at

Vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum.

(more…)

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

A video post

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at

Vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum.

(more…)

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

Breast is best

Just in case you didn’t know, breast milk is almost magic! The contents are so numerous no formula could ever, or indeed will ever match it. Its not just about protein, essential fats and carbohydrate- it  is so specific to the childs age, time of day, health and immune systems needs and so much more that we are only just starting to understand an appreciate. I know its hard, it was only my own determination that kept me breast feeding the first time, I almost had to give up (my daughter couldn’t latch properly for 6 months) It can hurt, it means you are the only one doing the overnight feeds, you have to wear clothes you can get your boob out of at a moments notice and it makes you the hungriest and tired you have ever been. But when its stacked up like the poster I have linked to below, if you can, why wouldn’t you for as long as possible!?

whats-in-breastmilk-poster-loula natural
whatsinbreastmilkposter

On another note check out this ladies blog, I wanted to say all of this and started doing the research when I found it all written so well here.

http://www.drmomma.org/2009/08/sids-enfamil-restfull-formula-yes.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/science/studies-of-human-microbiome-yield-new-insights.html?_r=3

http://humanfoodproject.com/kids-are-mammals-time-we-treated-treating-them-like-it/

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

Gluten free bread mix 1

Living with my dad has meant I have had fun experimenting with his bread machine. Something I have never gotten round to buying myself. I don’t eat a lot of bread as it has never really agreed with me and nutritionally doesn’t often offer a whole lot. Unless of course you make it yourself with great quality ingredients.

I use a programme on my bread machine so am unable to tell you what temperature in the oven and for how long to cook it. If you make it yourself in the oven, please feel free to add a comment so others can use it.

Ingredients:

410ml water (I use tepid)
160g eggs (my dad is also egg intolerant so I use the egg replacement as if I was adding 5 eggs)
25 ml olive oil
20 ml coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
80g gluten substitute
20g ground almonds
250g red mill all purpose gluten free flour
150g corn flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tsp xanthum gum
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
20g brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast
Handful of pumpkin seed
Handful of sesame seeds

In the bread maker you add the ingredients in order, liquid first then dry ingredients. When the ‘knead’ function is on you have to get in there with a spatula and make sure everything is mixed in. It may seem different to what you are used to go with it and make sure everything is combined, especially e pumpkin seeds are quite evenly distributed.

This makes a 500g loaf.

Enjoy and please let me know if you made any adaptations and how it goes for you. The quest for the perfect gluten free loaf continues!

read more

Choco-Coco Milkshake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I just knocked together the most delicious milkshake for the kids- it was difficult to give away!!!! Its 5pm and I have to get dinner done and with one child almost able to entertain herself (almost 4) I have one under my feet still (15 months). He is constantly looking for food or emptying the cupboards etc. So for a 5 min window I decided to give them a milkshake (read smoothie!!)

Ingredients

1 cup Oat Milk

1 Cup Fresh Coconut Water (or carton)

1/2 Cup Ice

1-2 tbs Coconut Yoghurt (buy it in Hong Kong here)

Handful of flaked Coconut (could use coconut mana or coconut yoghurt)

Handful of Cacao nibs (or tbs of cacao powder or homemade chocolate)

1tbs nut butter (peanut, hazelnut,cashew, almond or my apricot kernal one)

1tbs Gelatin (I like this gelatin for drinks)

few drops of vanilla extract

dash of maple syrup (optional as it was already pretty sweet)

Blitz all of the above in a high speed blender and serve! Kids seal of approval!

My iherb code for $10 off for you is WJZ679

read more

Get back into your skin



Click here to buy

It is time to get back into the world and feel safe and good in our skin.

We have put together this unique package to support your skin care needs. We all deserve to feel comfortable and confident in our skin. Physically and emotionally we are deeply connected to our outside layer. By approaching our skin from the outside, in with products and home facial techniques and from the inside out with our nutrition and emotions, we can enhance what we already have. The skin is our outside layer that we present to the world. A barrier and protective layer that we often take for granted and sometimes neglect. A little ritual every day and conscious thought towards how we treat our skin can go a long way.

What you get in your package for €55


Click here to buy

We have chosen all natural ingredient products for you to use at home. We searched for a kit that would nourish and improve your skin appearance and feel.

“(Holos products have) nutritional, therapeutic and age preventative benefits to the skin”

We have chosen a cleanser, toner, face cream and their best selling anti-ageing facial oil which is so light on the skin and smells amazing. The  product line is called Love Your Skin, we hope you will because we all deserve to be comfortable getting back out into the world.

***The price of the package includes package and postage within Ireland. Those outside of Ireland may need to pay extra for postage.***

This informative video teaches you how to build a skincare regime into your daily life. Learn simple and effective home facial techniques to get the most our of your prodcuts. Tracy is a very experienced Holistic Therapist who will guide you to honour and respect your skin from the outside, in

Naturopath and nutritional therapist Louise Kane Buckley will educate you about your skin, the obstructions to healthy skin and how to nourish your skin through simple nutritional tips you can incorporate into your daily diet. She has also included some recipes for simple homemade skin care and self care rituals you can choose to treat yourself with.


Click here to buy

Thats not all!!! Free gifts too…

Louise Kane Buckley is giving you a FREE 30 minute EFT session (worth €30) to work on some areas of your skin that you dislike or feel self conscious about. EFT is a simple and very effective way to clear negative thought patterns, habits and behaviours that are blocking you from loving your skin. This voucher can be used for an online or in person session and cannot be used for any other treatment and must pre-booked here or by emailing louise@loulanatural.com

 

Tracy McCarthy is giving you a FREE 30 minute holistic treatment of your choice from her extensive list of treatments available.Tracy McCarthy is giving you a FREE 30 minute holistic facial voucher that can be used in either of her treatment rooms (Kinsale or Clonakilty).  This voucher cannot be used for any other treatment and must pre-booked by contacting Tracy on 087 0577013

So what are you waiting for? Benefit from this amazing package today


Click here to buy

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

Protected: Get back into your skin

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

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

Kitchen sink omelette waffle

I love to add whatever is in the fridge into my omelette, hence the kitchen omelette waffle sink title! A little bit of this, a little bit of that, cheese is a definite (unless I am on my whole 30 weeks). By then adding it to a waffle maker, well, it becomes a special fancy omelette waffle and it is then also super portable (good for packed lunches) and surprisingly more delicious! You make this like you would any omelette, I serve mine with a kitchen sink salad, but that recipe another day……! Eggs are natures perfect package, I like to eat them every day. Rich in macro and micronutrients, you get a great hit of nourishment. If you struggle to digest eggs, then I suggest supporting your digestive system by adding some herbs to this recipe and having a shot of apple cider vinegar in some water either before or after eating it. This omelette is a great brunch recipe and will get some good oohs and ahhs! I like it with some guacamole too!

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

Blender Flourless Brownies

Blender Flourless Brownies

Yep, you read right, make flourless brownies in your blender! So easy and quick! Throw all the ingredients and then pour the mix into your baking tray or molds like I do! My kids love these and they also take them to school as their snack. I love them because they take literally minutes to make, there is minimal washing up, they have great nutrition in them and are sugar-free so continue to build their healthy relationship with food and real chocolate. They are also great with a cup of tea for me!! If you want to know where I get my ingredients from, have a look at these items. I normally buy from iherb and these links will send you there (I get a bonus if you buy them too with this link). However, you can find the same brands in other shops too.

Raw Cacao

Coconut Oil

Ghee

Chocolate Chips

Cacao Paste

Dates

Coconut sugar

Collagen hydrolysate

read more

Parsnip, Apple and Cashew Soup

I absolutely love the combination of parsnip and apple together. I make cashew milk every few days and absolutely love how creamy it is. The combination of the cashews in the soup really make this creamier and also pack it full of healthy fats and protein. I soak my cashews first before I add them to help remove irritating phytic acid and cashews can be soaked for at least 30 minutes. I make this soup on a regular basis and have it for lunch or dinner. If you love soups have a look at my other soup recipe: Coconut and Ginger Chicken Soup and how I make my own homemade stock.

read more

Coconut Yoghurt breakfast bowl

I normally have two fried eggs for breakfast, sometimes with Kimchi and bacon and sometimes with my Nacho not Cheese Kale chips. Sometimes I get bored of eggs, rare, but it does happen. I try to stay away from dairy (except ghee) and grains, especially when I am eating whole 30, which I tend to do every couple of months to help me to reset and to feel better. This coconut yogurt breakfast bowl is my other favourite breakfast. Coconut’s are amazing and are packed full of nutrients especially healthy fats. See my fact sheet on coconuts here. When I am whole 30 I stay away from sugar hence the choco-coco snackaroons however I also use my Choco-orange grain free granola and my salty cinnamon maple raw-olna. Sound good, oh it is I promise. The Choco- Coco snackaroons are super simple to make and I always have a batch made as they are idea kids snacks for after school. If you want to make your coconut yoghurt (which believe me you should try) here is my recipe, if you do not have coconuts to hand (most of the world does not I understand!) then try the method with coconut milk (see my homemade version here or use canned).   Nourishment for your body, not punishment…

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 sessionNavigate 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

Protected: Online content sign up

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

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

Protected: Masterclass: Wild Ferments with Honey

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

read more

Fermented Garlic

Fermented garlic is super simple. Great to use in so many recipes you probably already make, or as a side dish on its own.Fermented garlic can be used in any recipe that calls for raw garlic. It has a softer taste and is milder than raw garlic. Some describe the flavour as tangy and refreshing.  I always thinks it adds more vibrancy to our foods. Sometimes whilst fermenting, your garlic may appear green, blue or even red. This is completely natural and occurs when the acidic environments and the sulphur or amino acids in the garlic react together. It is safe to eat. As with all fermented foods, the fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients, rendering fermented garlic even more nutritious and beneficial than the original starting point. So that means more immune boosting, digestive healing, bacteria balancing, liver supporting and Vampire repelling for us all! Avoid using fermented garlic in foods you need to fry, boil or heat as it may destroy the bacterial balance and other nutrients. Add to soups, vegetables and salad dressings before serving. When it comes to using your garlic the only limitations are what you have available! You can add it to anything, plus you can also play with the flavour of the garlic itself. Try with adding spices or herbs to your ferment like turmeric, cumin seeds, bay leaves, coriander seeds, mustard seeds etc. I like to add it to my salad dressings, hummus, mayonnaise, ketchup, dips, ghee to toss steamed vegetables in, soups before serving, salsa. I also add it to my raw pet food and eat them whole when I need an immune boost. You can also dehydrate it to make garlic salt.

 

 

Here is a handy printable pdf of the recipe for you: Fermented Garlic PDF

 fermented-garlic-2    
fermented-garlic
Pin this image to find the recipe again

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

Grain-Free Pizza

 

Grain Free Pizza Base

I have played with several grain free pizza bases over the years. We have been using this recipe for a year now and I am ready to share it with you all. In my experience grain free bases are a faff to make and never taste like pizza most of the time! Traditional pizza base is very simple; flour (gluten and grain rich!), olive oil, yeast, water, sugar and salt. To recreate this without gluten and adding nutrients (which I always have to do!) is a tough thing. Grain Free Pizza Loula Natural fb I have really enjoyed my cauliflower crust however it was not nice cold and that is a must for lunchboxes! So I have been searching and playing for the right combination. I tried simply replacing the flour with a gluten free mix, but my need for nutrients was not being met! Then I decided that I actually wanted it grain free for the kids and my digestive needs. Thats when I turned to tapioca flour (see here for a great one to buy). Learning to use tapioca flour is an experience!! The best starting point I found was in this book, Paleo Eats by Kelley Bejelly; (its a really great book) paleo-eats-cover I then went about filling it with nutrition, namely making sure it contained the amount of protein in it necessary to nourish and fill up my kids. Here is the result; Grain Free Pizza Loula Natural pin 

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

Weaning Recipes from Nurture Your Life

Untitled designWeaning Recipes Loula Natural fi Weaning Recipes Loula Natural fb

Weaning Recipes

Have your read my new REAL FOOD way to wean your child? Its called Nurture Your Life (link here). These weaning recipes are all featured in the book. 
My new weaning book
My new weaning book
Here are all the recipes with their links from the book. Let me know your favourite!

First foods:

(4-8 months depending on child’s ability to sit up)

Fish eggs

Bone Broth

Coconut Yoghurt

Parsnip rice (steamed of stirfried in Ghee)

Sweet Potato/carrot Chips (cut into battons and lightly steamed or baked tossed in coconut oil.

Sweet Potato mash

Sweet potato Rosti

Steamed broccoli

Sliced avocado

Sliced pear

Scrambled egg yolks (separate the eggs and scramble the yolks in a little ghee)

Mashed banana

Water or coconut water kefir

Green smoothies (make with powdered greens and fresh coconut water or water kefir)

Fermented green beans

Apple Sauce

Rhubarb and ginger sauce

Oat milk/ Coconut milk

Miso soup

Seaweed snacks (ensure the ingredients contain healthy fats and no MSG)

 

6-12 months

Popcorn chicken

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Falafel

Coconut and ginger chicken soup

Sweet Potato Falafel (use flax/chia as an egg replacer until 12 months or just use egg yolk)

Cauliflower Cheese nuggets (same advice as above for eggs)

Beef Jerky made with thinly sliced beef

Kefir/Kombucha gummies

Chia porridge (use breast, coconut or oat milk) with coconut yoghurt

Banana Flax Crackers or quinoa flatbreads serve with:

Salmon pate

Coconut butter/yoghurt

Hummus add some fermented garlic for an added fermented kick

Tahini and avocado

Rasperries/blackberries/watermelon/mango (mango seeds are great for kids to suck on)

Mango Chia jam

Fat banana custard (before 12 months only use the egg yolks)

Chocolate Avocado pudding

Homemade Chocolate

Balls of Energy (until 12months use only seeds)

 

12-18 months

based on elimination diet protocols can start to introduce egg white, nuts, raw honey. (Try to keep grains to a minimum or traditionally prepared and served with something fermented until 2years)

 

Blender Waffles/Blender pancakes

Egg Muffins

Grain free granola (until you have checked nuts you can just use a variety of seeds; pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, chia and ground flax. Try this salty cinnamon flavour

Breakfast in a glass smoothie

Slow cooked apple, rhubarb and ginger porridge (serve with coconut yoghurt)

Almond milk

Nate’s Kefir Blueberry Mawfins

Weaning Recipes Loula Natural 

read more

Nurture Your Life- Your REAL FOOD weaning guide

articlesNurture Your Life Loula Natural fi Nurture Your Life ebook Loula Natural Nurture Your Life is the second in my series of books on natural health (the first was Culture Your Life published 2014). Children’s nutrition is a big passion of mine. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I see many children with chronic conditions like persistent illness, skin conditions, energy and growth issues and a staggering increase in children with allergies and intolerances. With two children of my own, I feel compelled to help these kids find their strength and return them to health to help prevent more serious conditions in their future. Weaning a child onto food is a very powerful first step in a child’s relationship with food. A relationship which is of fundamental importance to health. Think of your own love/hate relationship with food. There are so many non-foods in our diets in the west, our supermarkets are sometimes almost 80% stocked with chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. Conventional avenues still persist that rice cereal (which may be hugely inflammatory to an immature digestive system) is the food we should be starting our kids on. This book does not recommend that route. I hope you enjoy reading it and ask questions, keep reading, become informed as to how the body works. Change your own relationship to food if need be. Lets start our kids off the right way, with foods to nurture their life from the beginning.  

Download here:

My new weaning book

My new weaning book Here is a link to all the recipes I used when weaning. Nurture Your Life pin [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

read more

Christmas Kraut

  Untitled designChristmas Kraut Loula Natural fi Christmas Kraut Loula Natural fb This spicy, tart and juicy Christmas Kraut is a match made in heaven for your plate, throughout the holiday season.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Traditional Christmas foods are naturally rich in fats, nutrients and, of course, sugar! Many of us will also be enjoying a tipple or two at parties over the coming weeks. Adding a fermented aspect to these meals, this Christmas Kraut may help the body to deal with and digest all these excess foods and drinks. Hopefully lessening the fatigue, bloating, hangovers, sugar highs (and lows) and of course the noxious fumes that generally comes with turkey, sprouts et al. Christmas Kraut star loulanatural Perfect on the plate at the main event or served with cheese, this Christmas Kraut will totally change some of your Christmas traditions!! It will certainly be on the menu for me for years to come. christmas kraut made Loula Natural So simple, if you are in a warmish climate you could ferment this in a week and have it ready for your Christmas table this year. Christmas kraut collage Loula natural To find out how to make a basic sauerkraut see here and for my beetroot and ginger flavour see here. Christmas Kraut Loulanatural pin

read more

How to ferment; Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut

Untitled designBeet and Ginger Kraut Loula Natural fi Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut Loula Natural Basic Sauerkraut is so delicious (see my how to here). I have it with eggs, add it so my coleslaw (kraut slaw here) and try to have it with any meat dish as a side. The sour flavour works well to stimulate gastric acids too so it a great primer for any fat, protein rich foods. kraut with food Since cabbage has so many health giving properties (read here), combining it with beetroot and ginger makes so much sense. The rich, sweetness and earthiness of the beetroot goes so well with the heat of the ginger and the sourness of the kraut. It hits all of the senses on the palate and really satisfy the taste buds. Of course the rich myriad of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and blood boosting qualities of the beetroot with the anti-inflammatory, warming and nourishing properties of ginger are made even more available to the body with the fermentation process. The presence of a well balanced symbiosis of bacteria allows the body access to these nutrients, to absorb and use them to help promote wellbeing and healing. Start in the same way as you would with the basic sauerkraut. When the cabbage and salt have been massaged together, combine the beetroot and ginger (I have used raw and powdered ginger and both work well) before packing it all into your jar. If you like fermented recipes come and checkout my dedicated board on pinterest:     Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut 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

Homemade Char Sui (Chinese Barbecue Pork)

Untitled design Char Sui Loula Natural fi Barbecue Pork Loula Natural FBChar sui (Chinese Barbecue Pork) is one of my all time comfort foods. Growing up in Hong Kong, Char Sui is the lynch pin for so many meals. Served with rice and veggies, in noodles, in buns and just by itself as a snack, its salty sweet bbq flavour is completely addictive. However of course so are all the nasty additives, colourings and msg you can find in it nowadays- not in a good way of course. When I first stumbled across this recipe I was not convinced it was going to taste as good. But oh boy is it on the money! Simply marinade and roast. We serve with chinese greens stir fried with garlic or we make coconut rice (or try cauli mash/parsnip rice) Marinating Pork Loula Natural Barbecue Pork 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

Coconut and Turmeric Popcorn Chicken

Untitled design Coconut and Turmeric Popcorn chicken Loula Natural fi Popcorn Chicken Loula Natural

Coconut and Turmeric Popcorn Chicken

My son is not a fan of meat- AT ALL. It doesn’t bother me too much as he has lots of stock (bone broth) on a daily basis. He also has a broad spectrum of healthy fats over the day. Animal protein is important and if he ate eggs then I would relax, but he doesn’t. If I am not careful he would just eat carbs all day (like most kids) but then I would pay the price with his behaviour (moaning, anger, weepy and destructive!).  My quest for lunchbox foods also continues- this one really fits the bill too as they are bite size and nice hot or cold. They will be perfect party food, picnic foods and travel snacks. The fact that they are easy to make is also a huge bonus! There are just 3 steps; Cut and soak; Soaking the chicken keeps it really moist and tender popcorn chicken soak Loula Natural Shake; shaking it in coconut flour and almond flour/coconut gives it a good crust popcorn chicken shake Loula Natural and bake (or shallow fry in butter);  popcorn chicken bake Loula Natural  He loves them and calls them popcorn! I love that they are packed full of goodness and healthy fats! Bonus is my daughter also loves them and asks for them for lunch. Wining all round! You can add a variety of spices to the chicken, personally I like curry powder in mine, it is delicious with the coconut milk.  Popcorn Chicken Loula Natural pin

read more

Blender Waffles

Blender Waffles Loula Natural When I was 20 I went to the U.S.A to be a camp counsellor in New Haven, Connecticut. I absolutely loved it. I was there for almost 3 months, 8 weeks at camp and then almost 4 weeks traveling as south as South Carolina (I absolutely loved Charleston) and as north as Toronto. I was introduced to many new culinary species on that trip (man the American’s have rubbish cheese and chocolate- well they did in those days my blogger friends insist things have changed!) but the thing that stuck for me was waffles with maple syrup and bacon. Stuck-like-glue, I just love the salty sweet combination. Over the years I always ordered it in a restaurant and make pancakes all the time but waffles always seemed like such a faff. NOT ANYMORE!  Blender Waffles action Loula Natural Blender waffles she says! My pancake making days were instantly changed when I found blender pancakes, the mix of healthy fats and protein in the eggs and almond/coconut flour, plus the natural sweetness of the banana has given my kids pancakes way more often- even on school days! Grain free too which make these perfect for me and my family. So I took this combo and played with the consistency and thus blender waffles are born! I now make 2 different types; Chocolate Waffles (very rich chocolatey flavour with zero added sugar) and Vanilla Waffles. I have included both for you- you’re welcome!  Here are the chocolate ones! These are nice served with cream and berries. Waffle Iron Loula Natural Let me know if you try them… Blender Waffles Loula Natural Pin

read more

Eggs on the go; Egg Muffins

Eggs on the go Loula Natural

Egg Muffins; Eggs on the go

I love 2 fried eggs cooked in ghee and sprinkled with ghee for breakfast. I serve it with some sauerkraut or kimchee for a yummy balanced breakfast. Recently I have wanted more and fancied trying egg muffins or crustless quiche as they are also known. I love these recipes for eggs on the go. They can be made and then frozen or are egg-cellent in lunch boxes (sorry I couldn’t resist!) pepper_quiche_cups

The Earthy Mama; Pepper Quiche Cups

crustless-artichoke-quiche Don’t Mess With Mama; Crustless Artichoke and Cheese Quiche

Omelet-on-the-Go--300x161

Real Time Mama; Omelette on the Go

Bacon,-Egg,-Cheddar-&-Kale-Breakfast-MuffinsThe Rising Spoon; Bacon, Egg, Cheddar and Kale Breakfast Muffins

Enjoy! Breakfast has never been so easy!

 Eggs on the go Loula Natural Pin

read more

Pinterest Party with Loula Natural

Pinterest Party Loula Natural fb

Pinterest Party

I love Pinterest. Most of you must do too because I should imagine you are one of the thousands that has visited me from one of my pins! If not here is Loula Natural on Pinterest. Thanks to over 5000 of you who have already followed me. pinteresty

Find Inspiration

Personally I use Pinterest to find great recipes and articles to pin and easily find later. Constantly inspired by what people around the world are doing in their lives and homes. There are also great ideas for home interiors, kids DIY activities and gardening tips. Every month I will be opening up a dedicated board to another great pinner to help you find even more inspiration and another person to follow. They will share their favourite recipes and articles to inspire you and help you on your journey to true health.

The board will include;

Real Food

Fermented Foods

Gluten Free Recipes,

Kids Food

Gardening tips

Natural Health

Natural and DIY Beauty advice.

The board will look like this;

Follow Loula Natural’s board April’s Guest Pinner-Food Your Body Will Thank You For on Pinterest;

Here is who you can look forward to seeing; March; Alicia @ The Soft Landing (she is on the board seen above and has some great pins on there) April; Liz @ FoodYourBodyWillThankYouFor May; Naomi @ Almost Bananas More to come through the summer!

Let me know if you want to be involved or if you want me to invite anyone you love to Pin? 

Pinterest Party Loula Natural 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

How to Cook Christmas Dinner

How to make Christmas Dinner Loula Naturalfb

How to Cook Christmas Dinner

Cooking Christmas dinner can feel like such a daunting experience. It is actually pretty simple (she says!). It is all about the timing. I have put together some lists that help me to get through the day smoothly (it really helps to appoint a chief washer upper- or have your dishwasher on constantly!). Christmas Vegetables Loula Natural These lists are downloadable and printable to make it easy for you to cook christmas dinner. All recipes are made with whole food, nutrient dense ingredients and you can substitute where needed to suit your dietary needs. I have based my time line on eating a 13lb 12oz (6kg)Turkey at 180C/375F,  which will feed 6 adults easily. You may need to adjust your timings using this conversion cooking chart; (source) turkey times  Happy Christmas Diner Loula Natural Here is the Christmas Menu   Christmas Menu Christmas Starters Loula Natural The shopping list is based on half of the party not liking smoked salmon (like mine!) Some of the items on the list may already be in your store cupboard but I have included absolutely everything to help you. Before you go shopping print the list and strike off what you already have. Now its time to cook christmas dinner! Turkey Ham for Christmas Loula Natural I have listed some amounts so that you have an idea of how much you have to buy but please use your own judgement! I prefer to buy organic, local, fresh food however it depends what is available for you and within your budget.  Christmas Menu Shopping List Loula Natural Here is your printable Shopping List;  Christmas Menu Shopping List Loula Natural     Gravy and Cranberry Sauce Here are the To Do Lists; Christmas Menu To Do List Loula Natural Christmas Day To Do List Loula Natural This is the printable version; To Do List Christmas Dinner Loula Natural Christmas SherryTriffle Loula Natural

Merry Christmas xxx

How to make Christmas Dinner Loula Natural pin

read more

Healthy Snacks; Grain free and full of healthy fats

Healthy Snacks Loula Natural 1

Healthy Snacks

Lunch boxes, after school, before dinner, pre/post work outs, 11’s, with a cup of tea/coffee, sugar slump at 3/4, friends over, picnics, or just because- snacks are in our lives. I used to snack badly. I would generally get so hungry I would be grabbing for something, normally high in carbs and low in fat. Over the last few years I have completely reversed my attitude to fats (see my posts here and here) and grains. My body has had a huge amount of healing and shape changing to go through to compensate for the years of bad choices and bad information I have been subjecting it to. 5 ways fats can change your body shape Loula Natural My metabolism and blood sugar levels were the pits and my moods and disproportionate stomach size completely proved it. Now I am more balanced and am finally becoming the shape I have always wanted. It has taken time, ups and downs and lows and highs, but one thing has helped me through it- snacking wisely! I have also really helped my daughter to try and achieve balance by helping her to snack wisely too. Her days are better at school when she has eaten her fats, less good when she hasn’t (see here for why schools need to do more for our kids nutrition). Her energy is calmer and her mood swings much more moderate. Score for us all!!! She is also super lean and strong. She just got chosen to be her house female representative in running (proud mum moment!). So, to lose weight, reduce inflammation, balance hormones, heal your digestive system, moderate your immune system, get some energy, build strong muscles, increase memory and brain function, balance mood swings, reduce joint pain and so many other benefits- INCREASE FATS and REDUCE GRAINS. Snacking is great when done right….. Savoury snacks; Not all of us have a sweet tooth apparently! One of my favourite snacks whilst cooking dinner is to throw my sweet potato or carrot peelings in an oven proof dish, cover with coconut oil and salt and in the oven for 10-15 mins to turn into crisps (or chips for you over the pond!) Try some of these savoury snacks- great for lunch boxes too…                               For those with more of a sweet tooth- try some of these. Here are some energy balls. I find these so easy to make up and to add to boxes as travel snacks. Great on the go for all ages and are brilliant to keep the moaning at bay! Pretty much anything can be thrown into them so they can easily cater to all nutritional needs. Also the kids love to make them with you- a sure fire way that they will eat them! Last one- in a rush- here are some smoothies to give you the same nutritional punch of healthy fats, proteins and nutrient rich carbohydrates.   Also check out this great list of fat bombs– featuring your’s truly too!! Healthy Snacks 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

Why are companies giving away free ice cream in School?

Junk Food in Schools Loula Natural FB

Should there even be ice-cream in school?

Last week I got very cross with my daughter’s PTA (Parent Teachers Association). On the Monday we were given a flyer through the school diary. It read-

Ice Cream Day

It was on the following Wednesday (in less than two days) it was the first I had heard of it. There was very clear and blatant branding on the flyer. The wonderful “insert brand” have donated ice cream for us to sell to your kids. We are selling ice-cream to the children on Wednesday- please provide your child with $xx for them to buy their ice-cream in school. For the PTA to profit from.

My daughter is 4 years old.

When she was 2 and she started going to Kindergarten we had to walk past 4/5 ice cream places to get to and from school. It was a mine field- so we introduced ice-cream Friday. It meant that we didn’t have to experience a melt down every single day  going to and from school- we could simple say, “it’s not friday”. Don’t get me wrong- we make ice-cream at home, we buy good quality ice-cream with few ingredients and every so often they get terrible ice-cream at various intervals. I don not need her to be able to buy ice cream in school. We do not call it a treat and I try to explain very clearly to both my kids (I also have a 2 year old) about what is real food and what is a chemical food. Which one does not give us anything for us to grow or develop and which makes us feel strong, balanced and full of energy. I want my kids to be able to make informed choices in their lives and to be able to nourish themselves- rather than pay into the ‘treat yourself’ vibe that marketing companies love so much to make us by utter crap for our bodies.

There are foods that do treat the body

When looking at real treat foods, we need to understand and appreciate the necessity of nutrients in our foods together with the ratios of macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbs) which are fundamental to health. You probably know by now how much I love healthy fats and how much they have changed my body, mind and spirit (they help me feel satisfied, safe and nourished). If not check out my articles and recipes here. Healthy fats are almost always missing from the cheap nutrient free ‘treat’ foods. SO when I read Ice Cream Day at school I was cross- not necessarily because of the Ice-Cream (my daughter chose to switch days for the week). Although the ingredients in the ice cream in school were poor, cheap and mostly chemical, I was cross for the following reason;

My child was being used.

Used by “insert brand”. They set up the ice cream carts in the school playground in constant view of the kids. The kids were introduced to the brand and they were told ‘how exciting’ it was to have ice-cream in the school. The carts were there all day Monday and Tuesday, just so the recognition was there. My daughter was eager to show me them on tuesday morning and told me which one contained cones and which ones had cups and what flavours they could buy the next day. I drop my daughter off every morning and its all you could hear from the kids- ice-cream, ice-cream.  My daughter was introduced to the concept of

“ask mummy and daddy for money”

to buy this exciting thing. I am trying to teach my kids that just because you want something does not mean that it can or will be bought. That there is nothing wrong with admiring something and NOT buying it. The fever stirred up in the classrooms and the playground about buying ice-cream was necessary to help the kids to recognise the brand and when they see it out and about with mum and dad etc to demand to have it. This kind of advertising (ie breakfast cereals during cartoons) has been banned in several countries as it is absolutely disgusting and cheap tactics. I personally do not agree with the company who donated the ice-cream’s ethics or business practices. It is not a brand I expect or want my child to be pushed towards by the schools Parent Teacher Association- WITH TWO DAYS NOTICE. No time to complain or say ‘no’ to- the ice cream was already there in the playground for all to see. It was such a surprise to everyone that I was not grateful for the opportunity for my 4 year old to be able to by a terrible product in school. Not to mention they were buying it from the school hall first thing in the morning- to enjoy later. I would have hated to be a teacher that day. This school, that is supposed to pride itself on healthy living and parent support, was selling ice-cream to my 4 year old at 9am in the morning. When I voiced my complaints to various classroom teachers, I was met with surprise and off hand remarks. I could bring something else in for my child to have- whilst all her peers were participating. Also that it only happened once a term.

Not good enough.

When I wrote to the PTA from a professional and parent point of view- I was told it would be discussed at the next committee meeting (sure- right). I was also approached by a member of the PTA to assure me that my letter would be answered- I promptly told them how much I strive to provide children with necessary nutrients to support their growth and development- the reply was-

“its only a treat!”

NO IT IS NOT. There is not a single ingredient in those tubs and cones which is in any way a treat to a child as young as 4 and as old as 11 in those ice-creams. For body, mind or mood- every single child will have nutrients leached from them when consuming that ice-cream. Even more importantly when did it become the schools place or right to be giving my child a ‘treat’.

No thank you.

So what do we do. Well I have already sat down with my child and explained to her why she can have the ice-cream if she wants it- but just because she has asked for the money does not mean she will get it every time. She also understands that the ice-cream she had was chemical and so she had to make sure she made up for it by eating all the real food in her lunch box to help her stay alert and balanced for the rest of the school day. 

What can we do as a global community?

We can keep on saying NO. Write letters when you see your schools do the same thing. Ensure that you keep telling people around you (parents, parents in law, friends) that these ‘treat foods’ are not helping your children. That they are not treats. Most of all change your view of these foods. STOP BUYING THEM. The chocolate, sweets and crap we hide from the kids, consume thinking ‘oh well I deserve a little cheat’, the foods that make you feel like crap later on and feel guilty- the ones making companies a fortune because they cost nothing to make because they contain- nothing. Those foods.

Stop calling them treats.

They arent. Stop allowing companies getting access to your kids, to be brand loyal from as young as 4. It is not okay once a term. It just isn’t. Give your kids food– help them to grow and most importantly help them to have a relationship with food, real food, for life. see my post on Children’s Nutrition to find real treat foods for your kids and you! What should we feed kids Loula Natural fb Also with other mine fields of holidays in school and out read some of these posts; 5 healthy candy swaps for Halloween from Kula Mama  Junk Food in Schools Loula Natural Pin

read more

Building our Urban Homestead

Herbs Loula Natural I love to grow things. I am especially good at growing and nurturing humans! I am not so successful with plants. When I met my husband, he helped me to develop my garden in London and loves taking the kids out into nature with me. It is a huge blessing that he has this affection towards nature and that he is way better than me at growing plants! Its a good match! Since we moved to Hong Kong it has been difficult to keep our feet on the ground (we lived on the 27th floor so I mean that literally!). We recently moved to a house with a small garden and roof top and it has been our plan to start growing our own foods- our own attempt at an urban homestead. We bought a lemon tree a few weeks into arriving and now we are embarking on our herb garden.  seedings Loula Natural After a trip to Kadoorie farm where the farm shop sells a broad selection of plants (most are only $20HKD) we quickly got to work planting them. My sister in law has also started to cultivate some from seeds so we are all very excited to have herbs to hand as they are difficult to find here in the supermarket and do not last long at all (see my herbed butter cubes for the best way to store fresh herbs). It is really great getting the kids involved and we cant wait to start with our tower planting and getting our composting going. This is an interesting DIY garden trellis we are interested in modifying. Anyone have any tips from your homestead- they will be well received!! Let me know what you grow. Herbs 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

Loula Reviews Microbirth

Loula Reviews Microbirth

Loula Reviews Microbirth

On the 20th of September (2014), One World Birth put together a worldwide premier of their new documentary- Microbirth. It was a clever way of getting small groups together to hold screenings around the globe to try to get people together to watch and be able to ask questions. Groups were held by midwives, doulas and professionals surrounding pregnancy. I heard about it through my Doula friend Kathy Kitzis, who knew with my passion for bacteria, how much I would love the film. We held the screening together and I was excited to watch it and now review it for you to encourage you to watch it too. MicroBirth_Poster_PORTRAIT_A4 The film contains information from scientist and researchers talking about their latest work into understanding why we as a global community are getting so sick.

“we are amazing… we have never been sicker, and it is going to get worse.”

These are sentiments that I tend to start all of my courses and client sessions with. It was so refreshing and motivating to hear what I as a Naturopath have been experiencing throughout my almost 6 years of practicing. How come with all the technology and research out there, we not recognising what is staring us in the face. Our modern health care system is not coping and by and large not working. What the film goes on to talk about is ‘non-communicable diseases’ they name some; asthma, cancer, mental disorders, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and so on. What I tend to categorize and are also known as; chronic disease. Through my own research to help my clients, family and friends find the cause of their chronic conditions, I have also come to similar conclusions as the films main purpose. It is all about the health and balance of our internal environment. Especially the balance and existence of bacteria in our body and in the environment surrounding us.

“Cost of treatment (for noncommunicable diseases) is $47 trillion by 2030…staggering”

“60% of all deaths” are caused by non-communicable diseases and it is estimated that it is on the rise- 17% over the next decade. The film cites predictions that the cost of providing care using the modern healthcare system is set to bankrupt the world economies by the year 2030. My response as a natural health care practitioner is, of course, that this is not surprising. We in the natural health community have been saying the same thing for years and we have been actively trying to get people to take responsibility for their own health. No longer expecting doctors and pharmaceutical companies to come up with another magic pill which isn’t so magical anymore. Changing to real food, remedies directly found in nature, fermenting, dealing with societies pressures, stress and being able to balance emotions. All of these require us to take responsibility and make different choices in our lives. What was so encouraging about the film is that is is centred around motivating people and explaining how to change the possible very starting point of our problems. Getting the seeding right in our babies. This may set the rest of their potential future health in stone through three key things- vaginal births, skin to skin when born and breastfeeding for at least 6 months. These are all things we are very, very aware of. The film helps you to really stop and think about just how crucial these 3 things are to the future of our children and children’s, children. If at not all 3 then you at least consider the implications and try to include at least 2.

“we are a walking ecosystem…an ecosystem under threat”

Antibiotics are said to have achieved great things, but they are also overused and over relied upon. Combined with hand sanitising and cleaning products we have been waging war on the very beings who are their to keep us safe and alive. With the predictions being that half of the net worth of the world will have to be spent on health care we also have to consider that we will also become an invalid society. One that is too sick to work, without the caretakers or facilities able to look after us. This is a very real prediction, but we can make changes and we can do it very easily.  The film suggests we have one chance, at birth, to get this microbial environment correct. This is something I largely disagree with. Our internal and external environment is constantly changing and the film talks about epigenetics (see here for Brue Lipton, here for his book and here for a list of other books for more information on that). Epigenetics is the idea that genes (which dictate how our cells are formed) can turn off and turn on. In effect, we can change our gene expression but also our overall health. This can be done very easily by ensuring that we create an environment which switches off the so called destructive (some call them survival genes) and switch on the genes which allow the body to go back to normal- back to balance.

“losing our maternal heritage…we do not know what the implications of this is yet”

  This is very exciting and the film merely touches on this as a way to show us that bacteria play a huge role in epigenetics, as does pregnancy and perhaps normal labour. So we can help our future generations by ensuring that we know while we are indeed preparing to get pregnant and whilst pregnant the gene expression we switch on and off with our babies is possible. A large part of this is suggested in natural, unassisted, unprovoked and tampered with labour.  The film touches on the idea that stress may be necessary for the fetus to switch on their immune system. That c-sections not only take away the ability for the baby to gain the necessary seeding of bacteria through the birth canal on their skin and in their mouth, but also they do not go through the ‘trauma’ of childbirth which is necessary for them to know what is safe and what is not. This is also affected by them not being allowed skin to skin with their mother in their first moments. Not only is skin to skin necessary to further seed them with bacteria from your skin but it can also regulate and stimulate their hormone production which allows them to calm down, to regulate their blood sugar levels and their instinct of hunger to then seek out the mothers nipple to being the third phase in seeding, breastfeeding. It is exciting that people are talking in this way with several studies backing up their ideas, and not shying away from the risk of offending people who choose c-sections. Of course they all agree that sometimes c-sections are very necessary in come cases, but that they were never supposed to be an option to choose from. The rate at which elective c-sections is rising is completely alarming and can no longer be ignored as a factor towards the person’s future health. In that way it is very exciting that the film talks to a scientist currently conducting experiments into using a gauze swab which collects bacteria from the mothers vagina to be used following a c-section. The gauze is then rubbed over the baby and in their mouth trying to replicate at least one factor of the birthing process. 

“their (bacteria) function should not be underestimated…we cannot cut out species and expect to still be balanced…we have lost about a 1/3 of our diversity…diversity protects us”

What comes across very strongly, which motivates me further, is the encouragement to see bacteria differently. For me it is my passion to see people fermenting and re balancing their bacterial levels in treatment of their chronic (non-communicable) diseases. That we are walking eco-systems. Bacteria make us normal and that we should be 90% bacteria. That fact “connects us to the universe a bit more” and I loved that about this film.  A baby with a c-section, especially those who are then fed formula are potentially at risk for some very serious long term complications. They may be picking up bacteria from an imbalanced environment, especially in a hospital. Their immune training if incorrect right at the beginning may or may not be possible to correct. It is seen to then go on to affect all tissue from brain development to muscle and mucosal lining development. These children and of course now adults born in this way must consider retraining and modulating their bodies systems by correcting their bacterial balance. The fact that breast milk provides, not only, bacteria and nutrients but also the very food source to nurture our bacterial counterparts at the same time. This is huge in support of giving baby what nature intended. I hope it helps motivate mums to keep trying and seek support. Otherwise to consider homemade formula and the very least probiotics for their babies. So you dont have to be pregnant or working with pregnant women to gain something from watching this film. We dont have to contribute to the potential bankruptcy of the world as we know it. We can make big changes by turning to some micro-organisms. Seek out your local fermenting classes now! I dont believe that at birth it is the only chance for change but I am happy to promote that is it is a huge chance to start to change what you think about health and the future of our children and their children is actually in our hands.

“We cannot afford to wait”

Let me know if you watched the film and what you thought about it… Loula Reviews Microbirth 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

Friday Fish Curry

Friday Fish Curry Loula Natural

Friday Fish Curry

My dad loves his fish on Friday. We love fish once a week and so friday is as good a day as any! I try to mix up what we have and I absolutely love all kinds of asian food so this hybrid joins all the flavours I love the most. I serve ours with parsnip rice and green veg like stir fried kale, bok choi or broccoli. You can adjust the heat or leave out the chillies all together if you are not keen on spice. Our kids like a little spice so I try to minimise it so they can eat with us. I also use exactly the same recipe with chicken and beef too. With the beef I use brisket as it is lovely slow cooked (see my beef bourguignon recipe). Add the marinaded beef to the slow cooker and when there is 2 hours left on the cooking time- add the coconut milk and extra vegetables. Friday Fish Curry Loula Natural pin

read more

Fat Banana Custard

Fat Banana Custard  Ingredients Loula Natural

Fat Banana Custard

I have been enjoying instagram so much, here I am if you want to find me. I love the creativity and inspiration of people from around the world- making connections with people in their lives is very exciting. There are a few people on there that I look out for as I really love what they are doing and Holistic Lifestyler is one of them (here is his website too). Today he posted his work in progress on a banana custard with bone marrow- yum. Quality meat is difficult to get here (its normally frozen or needs to be delivered) and I sense marrow will be even harder, so with some encouragement from my friend Helen over at Mango Menus (seriously good stuff going on over there too- here’s her website). I decided to have a go. Banana Fat Custard Ingredients Loula Natural The result is so delicious (and I was in a right funk this morning- grumpy, cranky, creaky and groggy!!) and has lifted my mood that I have literally just finished eating it- have to get it out there for you all! You have to try it- for breakfast, snack, lunch-boxes or pudding- it is so yummy and fills most of my quota for fats in a sitting! Banana Fat Custard Loula Natural1 Try it- so delicious and has given me such a nice energy this morning- I may have even licked my bowl (I did!!) Fat Banana Custard  Ingredients 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

Choco Coco Snackaroons

Choco coco snackaroons Loula Natural fb Choco Coco Snackaroons

As my daughter is back to school its all about snacks and lunches for me- coming up with ideas to keep her going and keeping her balanced is another full time job!! So when I saw a pack of coconut macaroons in the health food shop I was interested in maybe seeing if she liked them- then I saw the price of them! I put them back and decided to make them myself. 

Choco snackaroon Loula Natural ball

I actually made these with my two year old son today they are that easy!!! Here is my pinterest board with my lunchbox ideas; Follow Pinterest’s board Pin pets on Pinterest. Loula Natural   Here they are in my daughters lunchbox this week! snackaroons in lunchbox Loula Natural Choco coco snackaroons 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

Garlic Butter Prawns with Zucchini Noodles

Garlic Butter Prawns with Zucchini Noodles Loula Natural

Garlic Butter Prawns with Zucchini Noodles

This recipe is so simple and delicious and only has 5 ingredients! Have you tried vegetable pasta/noodles yet? I have been enjoying trying to be grain free the last few months. I have not missed pasta and have still enjoyed noodle soups, spaghetti, and other dishes simply swapping pasta with either sweet potato lightly steamed or zucchini raw. spiriliser I use this awesome machine to make my pasta (I bought it from here in Hong Kong). I used to use a simple julienne peeler like this onedownload  but I have to say the spiralizer definitely makes a difference. The texture and thickness of the ‘noodles’ feels more similar to the original. I mostly use the julienne peeler for coleslaw like this Kraut Slaw recipe. You can of course just use a simple peeler and have flat, wide noodles! This recipe I made for my own birthday dinner! I love the combination of butter, lemon, garlic and prawns and it took seconds to throw together. I added a little stock to boost nutrient levels too! Simply season with salt and pepper and you are done! Here are some other Veggie noodle recipes;

Oh She Glows; Glowing Green Pasta Primavera

Peace, Love and Low Carb; Rainbow Vegetable Noodles

Real Food RN; How to make noodles out of Vegetables

Empowered Sustenance; Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Thank Your Body; Zucchini Noodles with Sauteed Vegetables

Garlic Butter Prawns with Zucchini Noodles 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

Chocolate Orange Grain Free Granola

Chocolate Orange Grain Free Granola Loula Natural fb

Chocolate Orange Grain Free Granola

I have been loving my Mulbery and Goldenberry grain free granola. I wanted to branch out with a new flavour! Hence this amazingly delicious alternative!  Using nuts as my granola has really helped to keep me full up for longer. Combined with coconut milk or coconut yoghurt (I also buy this one) I feel so satisfied and stronger. Fats are truly changing my body shape, energy levels and moods, I wish I had made the change sooner. I have not missed grains (although i would say I am 80-90% grain free nowaday)and have really been enjoying my food. I still eat legumes as I love lentils and beans. Alternating between grain-free granola, eggs for breakfast (see Greens, Eggs and Ham for my favourite recipe) and Blender Pancakes on the weekend we really do wake up hungry! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Using superfoods like orange powder and cacao paste can really help reduce the inflammation I have, healing the damage and boosting my metabolism. Chocolate and orange and nuts is also a match made in heaven. Since I am not cooking this granola I thought I would also mix it up by including a tablespoon of Walnut oil with the coconut oil/ghee. You could also use avocado oil if you like. The Sea Buckthorn oil also boosts the oil profile of this dish and ups the nutrient value even more. Have a read about why I have decided to step away from grains for the time being- (Inflammation, How to Naturally Boost the Immune system and How fats can change your body shape) Chocolate Orange Grain Free Granola Loula Natural Collage OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Here are some other Grain Free Granola Recipes; For more breakfast ideas check out my dedicated pin board; Follow Loula Natural’s board Breakfast on Pinterest. Chocolate Orange Grain Free Granola Loula Natural pin

read more

Raw Nacho Not Cheese Kale Chips

Nacho not cheese Kale Chips Loula Natural fb

Raw Nacho (not) Cheese Kale Chips

I am a huge fan of kale. It is also a local product for us. Green Vitamin have enlisted local farms to grow curly kale here in Hong Kong using organic heritage seeds- and it is flourishing. The chinese eat kale all the time and the Chinese Kale is also delicious in green smoothies and I love stir frying it with Garlic. It is a little bitter though and is more stalk than leaf and so is not so good at making Kale Chips- so I am glad to have the choice of supporting local organic produce. This recipe is a product of many raw Nacho (not) Cheese dip recipes (especially from this book and from here). Using cashews and nutritional yeast as the starting point and adding red pepper, paprika, cumin and garlic to create that tangy cheesey spicey kick. It works so well with the kale. I always love to add my spin to things to deepen the nutritional value and taste. I have added walnut oil and tahini to mine. The Chinese use sesame for so many ailments and to boost good health and I am a massive fan of the black and white varieties. Tahini (or indeed just the seeds) in this recipe add a flavour dimension and a healthy fat punch to this recipe.  Storage of Kale Chips Loula Natural.com More Kale Chips Recipe; Nacho not cheese Kale Chips 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

Banana, Date and Sesame Muffins

Banana Date and Sesame Muffins Loula Natural fb

Banana, Date and Sesame Muffins

It was the last day of term party at my daughter’s kindergarten this week. Sharing food at school is not allowed for many reasons but at the end of term they are able to bring food for sharing. There is a no nut rule in the school and so I wanted to make sure my daughter was able to have food she could make herself, can eat herself (she has sensitivities to wheat, some dairy and has a strong reaction to refined sugar) and also be excited to share with her friends. We looked through all my recipe books and we decided on a banana and date bread recipe. I have adapted and added nutrition to it, so that we are all happy! They tasted great too! We are gluten free in the house so I used Tapioca, Oat and Coconut flour, I then used  kefir to keep them moist and light. Since I could not use almond flour (no nuts) I added black sesame seeds which contain more antioxidants.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We also made Cinnamon Salty Sweet Popcorn for her to take too. I sent a whole box and none of them came back so that seems like a success!! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Light and moist, the dates helped to add texture and sweetness to the muffins. The mixture was wet without being sloppy and by keeping the muffins small by using this pan (from Amazon but in Hong Kong I bought it on Shanghai St) the cooking time was only 10 mins!  About the right amount of time to keep my daughter engaged with the task! Banana Date and Sesame Muffins Loula Natural pin

read more

The Ultimate Fat Smoothie

Ultimate Fat Smoothie Loula Natural fb

How can I get fats into my diet?

You probably know by now, how much I love fats! They are great for reducing chronic inflammation, boost your immune system, change your body shape, balance blood sugar levels and even balance hormone levels. I am looking to lose weight for life and fats have been integral to my success. Especially great for kids- I have been looking at ways to also maximise their intake too. The three of us shared this recipe. The other morning I woke up starving! I also really craved a smoothie. I haven’t been drinking smoothies recently as I went off them a couple of weeks ago. I think it has something to do with the fact that since I have gone off grains (for my trademark 80% of the time!) I have not been half as hungry as before. I decided to have a smoothie and created this one with as many fats in it as possible. I cannot describe how satisfied I felt after this! At lunch I had a salad with pomello and shrimps and scallops and I was still satisfied until dinner- with my blood sugar levels for the past 15 years that is practically unheard of. Here is what I did; now you have see what is in it, you can see how wonderfully filling it is! Here are some of my other smoothie recipes

Morning Smoothie

Bullet-proof smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothie

Chocolate egg smoothie

Choco-coco Milkshake

Breakfast in a glass

Apple Pie Smoothie

Here are some other inspiring drinks on my pinterest board Follow Loula Natural’s board drinks on Pinterest. Ultimate Fat Smoothie Loula Natural pin

read more

How does the Immune System work?

How does the Immune System Work Loula Natural 

How does the Immune System work?

 BAlance Loula Natural The Immune system is a complex balancing act. The body is constantly reacting to changes in the internal and external environment, constantly morphing and adapting to maintain optimal health. Boosting the immune system is simple using natural methods and also extremely effective. Prolonged disease is an effect of the immune system either being interrupted by external forces (which can make the situation worse) or will not switch off (due to stress, digestive weakness, lack of bacteria, lack of key nutrients like fats and so on).  The body has several inbuilt innate responses primarily designed to keep the body safe and alive. The Fight or Flight mode is paired with the Rest and Recovery mode exactly for this. When there is a perceived threat to the body, the fight and flight mode is switched on to divert all resources to the muscles to do what they have to do. All other healing, nourishing, developing jobs are switched off for the time being to best use energy resources to do what is necessary- fight or flight (run like the wind). Rest and recovery takes over when the situation is safe and all the healing and repairing and growing can then take place again.  Fight or Flight Loula Natural However in today’s society what we do not appreciate is that the brain does not distinguish between actual threat and subconscious threat. For example driving in your car- even without traffic and road rage is actually quite stressful for the subconscious- you are in a tin can travelling at speed with things also travelling at speed around you. This is perceived by the subconscious mind even if the conscious mind is singing along to the radio. This is also true of public transport- living in a block of flats above ground level, air travel, being in close proximity to strangers either in a shopping mall or even just walking along the street.  What we also choose to ignore is the way we speak to ourselves also gives signals to the brain about perceived threat- sounds of stress These examples will promote a fight or flight response. So on an emotional level ensuring that you take some time in your day to feel safe, to feel calm and free from obligation, to really focus our minds of restoring blood flow and repairing the body through visualisation or focus on breath is such a simple way to bring back the rest and recover mode. This is the first and most important thing we need to do for optimal health and our immune system. Rest and Recovery Loula Natural Rest and Recovery is the only time the immune system can kick in and do some very necessary repair work. It is why we always get sick after a long period of stress or when on holiday. Being sick (inflammation, heat, pain and swelling) is the body’s method of healing. When we are on holiday we have time to rest and do the big work we have been putting off. It is not an ideal situation and is always considered such a pain but really by promoting these functions in the body we can speed up the healing process rather than suppressing it to enjoy yourself on holiday or to just get through the holiday. Consider that by making small changes in your daily life can make a holiday more enjoyable as there is not as much healing the body needs to do as you have taken the time each day to catch up with any healing that needs to be done. Inflammation what do we need to know Loula Natural Inflammation is key to healing and the immune system- it is the way the body puts up barriers to shield off the area needing repair. By allowing the inflammation, heat (fever), pain and swelling to be like a no go area (like when resurfacing a road) you are allowing that area to get what it needs. By ignoring these symptoms and suppressing them with anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, steroids, antibiotics and so many other methods you are prolonging the area the time and resources it needs to heal and return to optimum health

See my Post here about what to do about boosting the immune system

More Information:

Read my book Culture Your Life about Kefir and Kombucha. It includes recipes for food, drinks, cosmetics and household cleaners that can really boost and change your body for longer than a probiotic powder.

culture your life

5 Reasons to make Kefir

Kefir FAQ

5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha

Spring into Health

Inflammation

The Power of Breathing

Heal From Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

Naturopaths First Aid Kit

What to do when your kids get sick

What to do when you get sick- fever

5 ways Nutrition can change your life

Recipes

Honey and Onion Immune Elixir

Sunshine Shot

Elderberry Cordial

Immune boosting pumpkin pie spices

Lemon, Honey and Ginger Tea

Hibiscus Tea

Orange Peel Powder

How to make your own bone broth

Coconut and ginger chicken soup

Coconut Milk

Lemon, Orange and ginger curd

Healing Body Butter

 Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak

See here also for my fermenting Inspiration Pinterest Board; 

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest. How does the Immune System Work Loula Natural pin

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

Greens, Eggs and Ham

Greens, eggs and ham Loula Natural I love eggs for breakfast and normally alternate between my Bircher Chia or Grain free Granola and eggs. For me I have to have a good breakfast as it really sets off the day for me. It is also because I always sit down and have it with the kids. 

This morning I wanted something really quick, but fancied something like eggs benedict. Since I had all these ingredients in the fridge it was the simplest and tastiest savoury breakfast that I have had for a long time. Here are ALL of my breakfast options. This is also a equally simple and delicious lunch or dinner!

Eggs and cheese for me are a match made in heaven, I love raw aged cheese and this cheddar hit the spot with the ham and eggs. I have only just ventured into making my own Kale chips (it helps when you have an amazing quality Kale supplier) but I have been addicted to these ones– today I had hot green on my eggs-yum!. I have been snacking on them but also crumbling them into my salads and eggs for a few weeks now! Flax crackers we always have in the house for the kids to snack on- we like these or these  at the moment. Want to see my breakfast inspiration on Pinterest? Follow Loula Natural’s board Breakfast on Pinterest. or read here; What is for breakfast Loula Natural fb Greens, eggs and ham Loula Natural Pin  

read more

Orange Peel Gin and Tonic

orange ginger gin and tonic Loula Natural If you are a parent you will appreciate that cocktail hour is about 4/5 o’clock on saturday afternoon! Especially if you are just back from a day at the pool! We like a good cocktail (our first date was a wicked cocktail bar), now our kids are older ( and no longer breastfeeding!) it is nice to have something for ourselves again- since we never go anywhere!! Gin and tonic is a drink I have only really appreciated in the last couple of years! Mother’s ruin gin is called! I have looked into making my own tonic water (watch this space the ingredients are on their way!). We love to flavour ours with cucumber and berries or lime and also orange peel. So it makes sense that we would try one with my orange peel powder    orange ginger gin and tonic Loula Natural Pin

read more

Coco-berry Milkshake

cocoberry milkshake Loula Natural My kids love their smoothies and milkshakes! I always like to make sure that I am giving them something tasty (so they drink it and ask for more!) but that also contains all the nutrients they need in a snack. Every food/drink you’ll find on my blog always contains fat and protein, without  a balance it will not fill them up! Here is more information on fats from me and how they nourish the body and shape your future health. This recipe contains fat from coconut. By combining the fresh water and juice you are getting a well balanced drink already. Plus the natural sweetness means that this is a sugar free drink- bonus! Mix with strawberries colour and antioxidants and gelatin for the protein and perfect for their growing bodies. The Kefir then makes sure all that goodness is absorbed by the digestive system and continues to support their immune system (it wouldnt be a recipe from me without it!) I am very happy- so are they- win win! Try this in ice-lolly molds too! Here are some of my other smoothie drinks

Morning Smoothie

Bullet-proof smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothie

Chocolate egg smoothie

Choco-coco Milkshake

Breakfast in a glass

Apple Pie Smoothie

Here is my pinboard with some other inspiring drinks; Follow Loula Natural’s board drinks on Pinterest.   cocoberry milkshake Loula Natural Pin  

read more

5 Ways Fat in your diet can change your body:

5 ways fats can change your body shape Loula Natural 

5 Ways Fats can Change Your Body Shape

Healthy fats have had a lot of bad press for the best part of a century now. Science has long since recognised the flaw in their arguments. However, how come the rest of the Dr’s, media and so called weight loss programs (weight-watcher, slimfast, herbilife and so on and so on) are still allowed to contribute to the resulting chronic obesity in most developed nations by recommending fat restriction in the diet? It is not new information that sugar has more to do with weight gain then fat- however why do fats still have such a pitiful place on the so called ‘food pyramid’ (I dislike the food pyramid for a number of resons but that s another post!) So fats can change your body shape, size, enhance cell strength and shape and create energy, health and balance.  fat collage 1. Healthy Fats are essential for energy production. Within the Mitochondria, the hub, of every single cell in your body fats create more energy than anyother macro-nutirent (carbs and protein are the other 2).  Fats not only help to create energy, they also allow the body to burn fat for energy. The result of this is an increase in your metabolic rate. When healthy fats are eradicated from the diet and replaced with more inflammatory fats (man-made fats like vegetable shortening, refined and man made vegetable oils like canola oil and margarine), the body lays down fat for storage for a ‘rainy day’. This is because the body always needs a store of fats to survive. The old saying “fats burn fat” is very true. Healthy fats in the diet allow the body to release it’s ‘rainy day’ stores since it has a constant supply from the diet. Flax oil, for example, also has a direct affect hormonal (oestrogen) balance which is necessary for healthy body shape (i.e. excess weight around the middle (apple shape) or man boobs! 2. They keep our hunger at bay for longer. Consuming fat at every meal and snack can help balance blood sugar levels. It is really difficult to overeat healthy fats, the body uses fat to indicate satiety. Hence why fat free yoghut contains fillers to recreate a creamy consistency.
Raw Chocolate
Raw Chocolate
For example chocolate made from vegetable oils (most commercially made chocolate contains vegetable oil) can be over-consumed very easily. However chocolate made from cocoa butter or coconut oil is very difficult to overeat when combined with a nutrient rich sugar like coconut sugar. This is because your body can signal that it has received the nutrients that it needs. Those nutrients are not present in vegetable oil chocolate so the body keeps eating trying to find enough nutrients to stop. By eating healthy fats you will also feel fuller for longer, so less chance you will want to grab those biscuits. As another bonus animal fats provide vitamins A, D, E and K necessary for protein and mineral assimilation. Heal and strengthen your digestive system 3. Fats are very important for digestive system health. Not only is every single cell surrounded with a cell wall consisting of fat, but fats actually also increase adhesion of probiotic bacteria to your intestinal wall. This is really important because it then improves digestion and uptake of key nutrients. This is especially true of butyric acid found in ghee/cultured or raw butter. This makes your body more efficient and makes the most of the food you do eat and gets the best out of your co-existing bacteria.  Fats are also essential for mood, memory, brain development and health. All nerve cells are covered with a substance called myelin (fat!) which helps the nerves transmit messages to other nerves throughout the brain and body. It also serves as a protective layer to prevent any damage being made. To develop high-quality myelin, the body needs certain types of fatty acids–linoleic and linolenic–which are found in large amounts in human milk and other animal fats including eggs, butter and age-ripened cheeses. DNA and telomeres are also reliant on fat for protection (see here). This keeps you looking younger!! dna

4. All hormones are made from fats. The body is controlled by hormones. The glands in the brain (pituitary, hypothalamus and thyroid) drive the body by monitoring which hormones are needed for every action in the body. Hormones target the organs in the body and tell them what to do and when. Hormone balance is essential to good health and function. Hormones need a good store of healthy fats to be produced and ready to do their jobs.

5. As mentioned before- every single cell needs fats to protect and give structure. By maintaining strong cell walls and promoting a one way electrical pull, essential fatty acids help to prevent fluid retention by sucking in and keeping water in the cells. This means that there is less water retention. This means less bloat and cankles! its also not just for the ladies!! men

How to include healthy fats in the diet;

—

Avocado Black sesame seed paste/ Tahini Cacao butter Butter Clarified butter (ghee) Coconut (meat, milk, oil) Duck fat/ chicken fat Egg yolks Nut butters Macadamia, pecans, almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts Homemade Mayonnaise/hollandaise (properly made with olive oil and raw egg yolks) Olive Oil Olives Palm kernel oil Sunflower/hemp/chia/pumpkin seeds Lard/ Tallow / Suet Fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and black cod)

Fish oils/ Fermented cod liver oil

Fat Functions Loula Natural

5 ways fats can change your body shape Loula Natural Pin

read more

Loula Reviews- Superwoman Slimdown

Loula Reviews Superwoman Slimdown You may have read my 5 Ways to Lose Weight for Life. I am not a fan of fad diets. The cayenne pepper, the purple diet, any juice fasts (which do not concentrate on elimination at the same time- enemas!) or any cockamayme caffeine or fat absorption inhibitor weight loss pills. They are dangerous in my professional opinion.  The result may shift a couple of pounds for a few weeks but the damage done to your hormonal system, immune system and especially your metabolism is huge. It will actually make you gain more weight in the long run. Unless you continue to do them and then the damage will get so bad all manner of chronic illnesses will begin to show their face. The thyroid being the number one hormonal imbalance I see in my clinic all the time.  Hormones work in balance, they require fats to function, in fact your whole body requires fats to build healthy cells, provide the body with energy and affect mood, concentration levels, brain development and nervous system function. Please think of fat as your very best friend.  There are some very poor online weight loss programs- and there are some very good ones. The one I am reviewing today is The Superwoman Slim down

The Superwoman Slim Down is a fully-supported 21 day program led by experienced registered nurse, certified health and wellness coach, and certified specialist in fitness nutrition, Kristen Boucher! She will teach you step-by-step how to feel better than you ever imagined in your own skin!

I can vouch for this because I have done it as a test for you all! Super woman slim down

This is what you get for your buck;

  • Three recorded training calls with Kristen to listen to at your convenience delivered over three weeks so that you are updated each week with what to do next  ($300 value)
  • Sample Menu Plans complete with 3 meals per day & list of snacks that you can eat to keep the hunger at bay ($100 value)
  • Preparation Checklist with a list of suggested items to have in your fridge, pantry, and home to follow the plan ($100 value)
  • Recipes For Radiance Cookbook which includes over 75 delicious, whole food recipes outlined in the Menu Plan ($50 value)
  • Detailed Detox Guidebook with all the info and resources you’ll need and then some ($100 value)
  • Workbook and personal assessment guide that will serve to show you how far you’ve come once you complete the program and help you to play detective to learn if you have any food allergies or sensitivities ($50 value)
  • Cooking and Food Preparation Tips and Tools Guide ($10 value)
  • Toxin Reduction Tips and Tools Guide ($10 value)
  • Meal Planning and Shopping List Fun Sheets ($10 value)
  • A 4-Week Detox Calendar laying out every step of the program, what to, and when to do it ($10 value)
  • Email support during the cleanse ($100 value)
  • Lifetime access to all materials, including updates for future programs ($100 value)
All of these aspects of the course are to help to encourage you to make true lifestyle changes.

Balance

Weight loss is all about balance

Balance your hormones to store fat in the right values in the right places  Balance blood sugar to balance your hormones Balance your fat, protein and carbs to balance your blood sugar. Where you get these nutrients is key- learn about healthy fats and where to find them, how to prepare foods to maximise their nutritional value and impact on the body. Balance your nutrient intake with real, whole, vibrant foods to nourish and truly feed your body to health. Balance your toxin intake identify where you can make key changes in your lifestyle to support your liver and kidneys. Balance your bacteria levels to increase energy, hormones, heal your digestive system to actually use nutrients from your diet and feed your metabolism Balance and heal your digestive systems to reduce the body’s immune response to allergens/intolerances. Also heal the digestive system to reduce inflammation and bloating.

This programme will help you to create this balance in your life.

Kristen has put so much effort into this programme to support your every step. It is formidable to see from another practitioners point of view. She is a very good friend of mine and I respect her very much and she has blown me away with this programme. 

If you manage to make these lifestyle changes- The weight will fall off effortlessly and for life!

Laughing.Women_
Thanks to Spa deRey for the image
The brilliant piece of the puzzle for this program is the live support group. Meet people online who all around the world are facing the same challenges. I have seen real bonds form in these groups and the participants really get involved in helping each other, motivating and humouring each other with tips, tricks and great honesty. I love all the ‘stuff’ you get from the Superwoman Slim Down which will help you for life- not just for the time you are doing it. That’s the key to your success and by changing your yo-yo diet belief system forever to actually feel better- about yourself, your body and your food. This is why I endorse this program- it is what I try to do every day! Love your body and it will love you right back! This program is also great for men- except in title! The information is for human health not just female health. So you can do it together as a family. Kids need to learn about real food and we have the responsibility to teach them by showing them how we look after ourselves. They learn by repetition- give them habits to copy that will help them to nourish their own bodies from any age. This programme would also be amazing for teenagers before leaving home and going off to uni (college!!). Teach them how to feed themselves- I really needed something like this 20 years ago! I would have saved so much wasted time eating weird things like jam toasted sandwiches- clueless of the metabolism damage I was doing that I only learnt about 10 years ago! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Superwoman Slim Down is amazing to help prepare for and heal after pregnancy. Being in the best shape pre and post natal is all about maximising and returning nutrients which will be leached (in the nicest way possible) during pregnancy and breastfeeding. One of the key reasons I did this course is even though I am aware of the information- I very rarely actually take the time to look after myself. Running around looking after my family, clients and the world, I always put myself last! I am learning to look after myself first and to listen to my own advice! This programme helped me get back to myself! I would love it to help you too.  Just in case all this isnt enough there is another program Kristen runs called Lose Weight Feel Great: 8 weeks to the New You which is equally awesome!

Be the Superwoman or Superman you are capable of being.

Sign up here!

Let me know if it helps you make BIG changes- weight loss being a bonus! Loula Reviews Superwoman Slimdown Pin  

read more

Mango Lassi Chia Pudding

Mango Lassi Chia Pudding Loula Natural

Mango Lassi Chia Pudding

I love the summer; sunshine, pool parties, beach and boats! I am a summer baby and I love summer foods. I feel energised and revitalised by all the ripe colourful foods in season. Especially mangos! Here are some of my favourite mango recipes; Mango Salsa Raw Mango Jam I also make Mango Coconut Water Kefir and Mango Kombucha (both recipes are in Culture Your Life) and now this delicious raw and sugar free mango chia pudding. I love lassi and a standard lassi is mango with yoghurt. I love my coconut yoghurt and also bought some organic cream as I have had a serious craving for cream this week! You can substitute the dairy cream for coconut cream as mango and coconut are a tropical match made in heaven! The chia seeds help to ‘set’ the pudding as well as add some nutrient goodness to the mix. My main mission is to get my daughter to eat coconut yoghurt and chia seeds- two things she says she will not eat! She didn’t mind them in this I can tell you- and show you! Which is a great lesson in keep trying things- you never know one day you may like it! Mango LAssi CHia Collage Loula Natural Here are some more mango recipes; Here is the link to my other gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest; Follow Loula Natural’s board Gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest. Mango Lassi Chia Pudding Loula Natural 1

read more

Coconut Ginger Cookies

Coconut Ginger Cookies Loula Natural

Coconut Ginger Cookies

Always on the lookout for nut free nutrient dense recipes for school lunches and snacks- I found this recipe. I love the simplicity of the recipe but since my daughter is not a massive coconut fan I wanted to change the flavour without changing the flour. Adding the ginger gives an amazing spin on such a wonderfully simple recipe. They are also perfect for dunking into our hot chocolate!dunking coconut ginger cookies Coconut Ginger Cookies Loula Natural Pin  

read more

Bulletproof Rooibos

Bulletproof Rooibos Loula Natural

Bulletproof Rooibos

Now I know Bulletproof is the brand of coffee- well it stands for a bit more than that. Bulletproof has taken on a whole new meaning. It is based on how you drink your coffee and how to maximise the nutrients in the coffee and minimise the absorption of the caffeine in one go. So I have been bulletproofing everything! Basically adding fats to add nutrients (read here to see why I love fats so much). See my Bulletproof Smoothie and my Bulletproof Kefir Gummies and now Rooibos tea! I love my iced tea. I live and grew up in Asia so I also like my bubble tea- icy sweetness! So this is a great way to get some anti-oxidants from the tea and some gorgeous fats into my diet Bulletproof Rooibos Loula Natural Pin  

read more

Should we feed our pets real food

Should we be feeding our pets real food Loula Natural

Should we feed our pets real food?

Just like Human’s our pets have basic needs. I am not a vet but as a Naturopath I have a good understanding in the power of nature to heal and nourish. These recommendations are made after hours of research and applying basic principles of natural health across the board. See the Naturopathic principles here. Here is why I thing our pets should be fed real food It makes sense to me that animals will benefit from eating a diet as close to nature as possible. Unfortunately pet food manufacturers have made us believe that the only food our pets should eat comes out of a can or it a biscuit. Our pets are suffering from the same chronic illnesses that we are.  In the wild you do not find animals with food allergies, arthritis, ibs/ibd (crohns and ulcerative colitis is on the rise in captive animals), epilepsy, diabetes and of course cancer. Animals either die from predators, survival of the fittest or old age. So why are our pets mimicking human degenerative diseases. The solution is simple. There are many holistic vets championing the cause.
Mulan loves her ghee and raw meat
Mulan loves her ghee and raw meat
Pet food is generally packed full of wheat, corn, additives, msg and colourings. All of which can be toxic to our pets and certainly do not support their immune system needed to help them to detoxify from all this ‘fake’ food. The food is generally canned or biscuit form- neither of which are found in the natural diet. Today I am mainly talking about dogs and cats but this is largely seen across all domestic and zoo reared animals.
GMO mouse!!
  Most food sources for pets are also GMO and grain dominant. Animals would not choose to eat any of this food in the wild. So why do we insist on feeding them this in our homes.? A cat or dog in the wild will catch a kill every two or three days and would eat that kill over those few days. Compare this with the calories they ingest in a normal day in a domesticated environment and it is clear  how they are mostly overweight. Combine this with their less active lives indoors and their lack of interaction in a pack (which they would do in nature) and the weight piles on. Most household pets eat the same thing day in and day out- we would never eat the same thing everyday- we have different needs as the climate changes and pets will have cravings too!
IMG_20140522_075937
Our cat is not able to go out and hunt her food or see sunshine. So we have to support her immune system by feeding her as close to nature as possible.
  Of course their bodies are also always combating inflammation and their immune systems are constantly turned on. Then they are packed full of vaccinations, anti-biotics and pharmaceuticals like steroids also pet supplements (not always in absorbable forms) to try and ‘keep them healthy’. This is also impacted by a bacteria and enzyme free diet (highly processed canned and cooked foods when they would be feeding on prey they killed themselves and eat raw). They are rarely allowed the bones and sinew they would feast on, organ meats and freedom to drink bacteria from mineral rich natural water sources. It is no surprise that they suffer from chronic illness, mood swings (pets are often labelled with depression) and are overweight. So how can we enhance our pets lives and help them to heal and thrive in our homes. We can start very simply with their food. Research what your animal would eat in the wild. In the case of cats and dogs it would be largely made up of raw meat from small animals (birds, frogs, bugs, mice, snakes, fish- if a cat is lucky!), and mainly bones from those animals. You would rarely catch a cat or dog eating vegetables-they are carnivores after all. They do eat grasses and plants like cat nip to aid digestion, feed bacteria levels and fibre to help digestive transit (prevent constipation).  Salmon Collage Loula Natural I feed my cat the following;

Ghee

Beef Jerky

Dehydrated raw fish 

Fish/bone broth jelly

Tinned tuna in spring water

Raw salmon belly (my cat is still a kitten so I help her by mincing it in a food processor- then mix it with the jelly as above)

Pet food with absolutely nothing added!

Catnip

Raw chicken wings

She gets the thigh bones to gnaw on and left over slow cooked chicken.

Scrambled egg or the raw egg left in the egg shell to lick out

A little water kefir in her water with some rescue remedy from time to time  

The Nature of Animal Healing If you are interested in reading more, this book is invaluable full of inspiring stories and experiences he has had in his busy practice.

Happy and contented
Happy and contented
Should we be feeding our pets real food Loula Natural Pin

read more

Boozy Pineapple Ginger Kefir Kolada

Boozy Pineapple Ginger Kefir Kolada Loula Natural We have had solid rain for weeks- we went away for a few days and got some much needed sunshine. So when the sun came out to day and we hit the pool, we talked about creating a sundowner to take us back to our holiday. Since I teach classes on Kefir and Kombucha and am always trying out new flavour combinations for Culture Your Life (the hardcopy version out soon)- I have a fridge full of kefir flavours! One of our family favourites is Pineapple ginger (a second ferment with fresh pineapple slices and ginger root), perfect for what we are thinking! We also always have fresh coconut in the fridge or freezer and actually had frozen pineapple in the freezer for our yonana nights! Do those ingredients sound familiar? Add some malibu to the mix (another leftover from the holiday- we added it to our fresh coconuts!) Funnily enough at the same time my friend Lantau Mama was making her own version- without the booze! Check it out here… I have loads of other Kefir Cocktail Recipes in my book Culture Your Life. Recipes have a spirit recommendation to make them boozy! culture box See more drink options (boozy and not boozy!) here on my Fermenting Inspiration pinterest board; Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest. Boozy Pineapple Ginger Kefir Kolada Loula Natural Pin  

read more

Lemon Kefir Cheesecake

Lemon Kefir Cheese Cake Loula Natural1 My husband is not a massive Kefir cheese fan. He finds it too sharp in flavour. When he asked to make a cheese cake he wasn’t too happy when I asked him to use the kefir cheese so that the kids and I would be able to digest it better! However it works really well with the lemon here. As a compromise we mixed it with some ricotta- this also gave a more creamy texture for the cheesecake. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA It was really delicious (even my husband thought so) and was even better the next day so you can make this a day ahead and it will freeze well too. I have loads of other Kefir Recipes in my book Culture Your Lifeculture box See some other Gluten Free sweet treats here; Follow Loula Natural’s board Gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest Lemon Kefir Cheese Cake Loula Natural pin

read more

Beetroot, Carrot Salad with Goats Cheese, Turmeric Pumpkin seeds and Kombucha dressing

Beet carrot and goats cheese salad Loula Natural I was doing our normal meat free friday (I know its not monday but hey we are different!). I was planning falafel, hummus, baba ganoush and guacamole. Since we are grain free for now while I sort out some issues with me and the kids I decided to do another salad instead of wraps. Beetroot is very digestive repairing, full of blood boosting nutrients- you can tell by the colour! I want its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects at the moment, it goes so well with carrot- they balance each other out i think, earthy sweetness and crisp sweetness of both. To balance the whole salad I then thought about matching the tang of goats cheese with the texture and spice of the turmeric pumpkin seeds to the honey, mustard kombucha dressing I had planned. The result was amazing- worked so well as a salad on its own but also brought the flavours of the meal together and added some much needed vibrant colour to our plates too.

meal with salad

Since the summer is pretty much here for us in the tropics we are naturally drawn to lighter and raw foods- salad being top of our list as a side dish- this is now a firm contender for favourite and will be on the table again and again in the future! Beet carrot and goats cheese salad Loula Natural pin

read more

Raw Mulberry and Golden Berry Grain free Granola.

Grain Free Raw Granola Loula Natural I am working on my chronic inflammation levels at the moment. I am sensitive to gluten and so I am committed to removing all grains for the time being to give my body some space to heal (see my post on healing inflammation here). I am increasing my fat intake and anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory foods. Hence this latest recipe!  Mulberries and Golden berries are high in anti-oxidants and especially resveratrol which is very anti-inflammatory (see my post on anti-inflammatory nutrients here). Combined with the black sesame and the nuts and seeds in coconut oil- I love the flavour and the healing potential of this granola. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   By soaking and drying the nuts and seeds first you will have greatly enhanced the absorption and digestion of them. It takes longer but it is worth the effort.   Grain Free Raw Granola Loula Natural Pin For more breakfast ideas check out my dedicated pin board; Follow Loula Natural’s board Breakfast on Pinterest.  

read more

Review; The Four Season’s Spa Hong Kong

Loula Reviews- Jade Stone Therapy Massage I value recommendations and will strive to try out treatments, practitioners, shops and products to review from my professional and personal point of view. If you have a product or service that you use and want my advice on please let me know and I will check it out and report back! I am a Naturopath and I strongly believe in nourishing body mind and spirit to achieve true whole body health. For myself I use herbs, homeopathy, food and am a huge fan of reflexology and massage to help balance the physical and emotional. I also love having other people look after me rather than having to always be the one doing the looking after! I decided to treat myself and at the same time open up my review section with a massage at The Four Season’s Spa. I am prone to holding onto stress. I am working on helping my body clean up some residual inflammation and anxiety. I use EFT and Bach Flower Remedies along with Yoga, hiking, homeopathy, meditation and regular foot massage. Every now and then I love a whole body massage! massage I thought that the Jade Stone Therapy massage sounded just perfect for me. The right mix of physical and energy medicine that i needed to release and move forward from. SO I booked myself in. From the first moment the staff were really helpful at helping me chose my treatment. They also advised me to come early to use the spa steam and jacuzzi before the treatment. Great advice! When I turned up for my treatment I really enjoyed the variety of teas on offer and the awesome Female only changing room complete with jacuzzi with a waterfall that felt amazing on the back of my neck and shoulders. I basically had the place to myself and it felt so decadent! Fuji water in fridges all around and staff that call you by name- I felt very special and spoilt. I also loved the Amethyst towers in the the steam room. I want some for my own bathroom! I was almost sad when I was called to my treatment. Jacuzzi I have never had a hot stone massage before- although I was always keen to try I had just never gotten around to it. One of the amazing things about this spa is that you can just wear your robe as the lift to the treatment area is all still in the female only area. You do not need swim suits or underwear at all it is all so liberating and freeing! view My treatment room had an amazing view out of huge windows over the harbour and I could have sat in the bath in the room very happily and that would have been relaxing enough! My massage was the perfect pressure (hard to be therapeutic yet at times very relaxing and intuitive to my knots and blocks!). There was music loud enough to be heard but not too loud that it was annoying and was the right level of relaxing and invigourating. The whole treatment was 90 mins and it felt like forever and I felt amazing at the end! So positive and ready to get back out there! treatment I highly recommend the setting, staff and treatments at the Spa and go early to indulge in the ‘changing room’. I had another nice tea and a flick through some magazines (foodie ones) after my treatment and leisurely got changed and back out into the sunshine! A massive thank you to the staff there for making this part of my journey so wonderful. The right treatment at exactly the right time.  

read more

Mama Upfront- The Armitage’s Mama

Mama Upfront Armitage's Mama Loula Natural 1

Mama Upfront- The Armitage’s Mama

Celebrating Mama’s using natural methods to keep their families healthy happy. Shining a spotlight on all the amazing things you Mama’s are doing out there and letting us know what is working and what may need some tweaking! Here we will share what works for our families as we strive to feed ourselves and our kids real food, keep as close to nature intended and just respect the world in general because sometimes we feel like we are on our own and fighting a lonely battle! This Mama has a couple of famous recipes within the Healthy Living community here in Hong Kong. She has given me loads to use like weekly lunch box schedules and ideas for kids food. She is an inspiration to others with a wicked sense of humour! I am very please to include this genius recipe she has kindly let me share with you all… Over to you Armitage’s Mama We have been in HK for nearly 8 years. I have always enjoyed food and cooking but my interest in organic, locally produced food really kicked in after the birth of our first daughter in Canada in 2003. We were very lucky to live very close to an amazing market: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g155032-d294977-Reviews-Atwater_Market-Montreal_Quebec.html full of beautiful artisanal produce. I enjoyed buying all my fruit, veg, meat and dairy there and was taught a lot by some very patient and knowledgeable market vendors.  Mama Upfront Armitage's Mama Loula Natural 2 We relocated home, back to Scotland and discovered joys of local farmer’s markets, specialist farms etc. However we then moved to Northern China. Oh dear…..! The days were spent following rumours of finding ANY decent uncontaminated food! China is inundated with ‘fake’ food causing an influx of mainlanders flocking to Hong Kong to buy up everything in the supermarket( I kid you not!). ‘Twas  a dark time trying to healthily wean a baby! The move to HK in 2006 taught me to consider  how much I was prepared to pay rather than asking if it was available to buy! Sadly that is still true, I constantly hold internal debates about clean food from far afield versus local food of slightly doubtful provenance.  However, this worry is overshadowed by the enormous amount of learning I have been exposed to via the wonder of the Healthy Living fb group. What a revelation! Little more than a year ago I was ignorant about dehydrating, fermenting and the wonders of a Vitamix! I am still learning every day and researching new ways of nourishing my family. Luckily we seem to have no allergies or intolerances and I have been blessed with kids who eat first and ask questions later! This makes experimenting fun. photo (49) Living here with help has given me the luxury of time to research recipes and I enjoy  trying to expand what we eat as a family. Have to say though that pasta pesto is still a firm favourite….. (nothing wrong with pesto pasta once in a while- depends on how its made! Loula ;)) Here is Niamh’s recipe; Niamh's Cheesy Quinoa nuggets Loula Natural If you are searching for ingredients in Hong Kong iDetox has a great selection (they sell Cocobono) at good prices- otherwise iherb is the general consensus. Use code WJZ679 for $10USD off your first order. Quinoa is very easy to find- most supermarkets stock it. Otherwise you could also find organic Millet. boxes

This is a similar lunch box that Niamh uses.

A big thank you to Niamh- I hope to feature her fermented ketchup mayo and her genius kefir fruit roll ups really soon!

Come and share recipes, natural first aid tips and other stories and methods we can all learn from. Please feel free to write to me, Loula Natural, if you would like to be up front and centre as a ‘Mama’s Up Front’.

other Mama’s

read more

Cinnamon Salty Sweet Popcorn

 Cinnamon Salty Sweet Popcorn Loula Natural  My lovely friend Gemma shared her kid’s favourite snack in my Mama Up-Front Chambers’ Mama. Since then I have been making popcorn for me and the kids. We like ours with a little twist- Cinnamon! I love Cinnamon because it helps the body to process sugar by helping cells to recognise Insulin when it knocks on the door. This is called insulin sensitivity. You may have heard Insulin resistance surrounding tummy weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon is a nutrient that can reverse this. Naturally sweet in itself it can help you to reduce how much sugar you use. It then makes cells more insulin sensitive meaning that the sugar will actually be used rather then allowing it to be re-circulating which increases blood sugar levels. Whenever I use sugar you will almost always see me adding cinnamon. Cinnamon also boosts the immune system and is a natural bacteria balancer as it also feeds bacteria we need in our body. As an anti-inflammatory it can also help heal some of the potential chronic inflammation which may be present in the body. It is nice and warming and the flavour of cinnamon also helps the palate and taste buds to be satisfied which helps us feel satiated (full up) quicker- thus playing another role in weight balance. It is also totally delicious! Total winner! It adds a really nice flavour dimension to the popcorn too. We also love a salty sweet popcorn so I add some pink salt right at the end. This also helps balance the palate and provides some nice nutrients necessary to digest and absorb sugar and the popcorn itself. It is so important to use organic corn kernels as such a huge portion of corn production is GMO. These foods hugely increase inflammation, especially in the digestive system and have a huge impact on the immune system. Not food in my humble opinion! So definitely not going to nourish my children. If you are searching for ingredients in Hong Kong iDetox has a great selection (they sell Cocobono) at good prices- otherwise iherb is the general consensus. Use code WJZ679 for $10USD off your first order, Cocobono Coconut Sugar and Coconut Oil is my favourite source of coconut products (Only available in Hong Kong) Popcorn Collage Loula Natural Kids lunch box approved Other Popcorn recipes;   Cinnamon Salty Sweet Popcorn Loula Natural pin

read more

Apricot Kernel Chocolate Butter

 Apricot Kernel Chocolate Butter Loula Natural

Apricot Kernel Chocolate Butter

I love Apricot Kernels. Their bitter/sweet taste matches beautifully with the raw cacao and I got to use the rest of my gorgeous homemade coconut toffee leftover from my real food banoffee pie! This is simple to use and can be a snack off a spoon all on its own! It is also great to use in the kids lunchboxes (especially if you have to be nut free at school).     Apricot Kernel Chocolate butter collage  Apricot Kernel Chocolate Butter Loula Natural pin

read more

Heal From Inflammation

HEaling from Inflammation Loula NAtural

Heal From Inflammation

If your body is showing signs of suffering from chronic or systemic inflammation (see here) then this is the article for you. There are so many ways we can heal and nourish the body. Allowing our body the time out of fight/flight mode and into rest and recovery is crucial to a long life that can be lived in health and joy.  All chronic illnesses (anything with an -itis on then end or auto-immune disease) may show relief when adopting an anti-inflammatory approach to eating and living. You can also experience weight loss, more energy, less pain and muscle tightness and better digestion and immunity. Most report a decrease in allergy symptoms, skin conditions decrease and hormones seem to become more balanced. I am a naturopath and see many clients with inflammation in their picture. I advise seeing someone who can recognise the drivers in your symptoms and adapt a whole body holistic approach in your personal treatment. The following advice is generalised and it is best to work one on one with your naturopath to come up with a plan that is achievable and personal to you.

Ways to heal inflammation and restore whole body health

 real food Loula natural

Pay attention to your diet– reduce refined sugars, grains, processed and man-made foods. See my post on anti-inflammatory foods Eat foods that eat the foods they should eat; pasture raised chickens, eggs and pork, grass fed beef and raw milk (if possible), raw butter and cheese from grass fed cows. Lamb is generally grass-fed but consider that this may change as the demand for lamb and sheeps milk increases. Remember the organs and cuts on the bone are the best and most nutritionally dense parts of an animal and as natural meat eaters what we would have consumed. Prepare foods traditionally. See Nourishing Traditions and Weston A Price for more information. Especially when it comes to feeding our young children. Soaking sprouting and knowing how to prepare, preserve and cook foods properly is essential. 1-Introduction Image Ferment; (kefirkombuchasauerkraut, fermented fruit and vegetables) to balance your bacteria levels. See Culture Your Life for some guidance. Use healing foods (herbs, spices, superfoods) where possible over pharmaceuticals and supplements. See my post on anti-inflammatory foods and nutrients to repair the digestive system Consume natural fats; in good ratios and from good sources (coconut oil, ghee, eggs, meat/fish, bone broths, avocados and nuts and seeds prepared properly) Try oil pulling; with coconut or sesame oil. Reduce carbohydrates for bulk- rice, pasta, cous cous etc. Eating foods higher in fats and proteins that are closer to nature will make you feel satisfied. Rather than carb loading- which has big repercussions for whole body health. Reduce chemicals; Cleaning products, cosmetics and processed foods. Be a creator and producer instead of a consumer. Make food from scratch and develop a healthier relationship to food- real food. See here for how you can promote and support detoxing, gently on a daily basis. The chemical cocktail of our lives can be a massive contributor to inflammation and chronic illness. See here and here for some natural cosmetics

Boost the immune system to help deal with environmental pollutants like air pollution but also chemicals used in furniture, clothes, water, paints, adhesives, and other man-made irritants that we are unable to control. Green powders/drinks, seaweeds and fermented foods can help our body to reduce toxin levels and excrete toxins safely and effectively. Also consider plants in your home and aromatherapy oils (therapeutic grade) to diffuse and neutralise your home rather than using air purifiers and chemical air fresheners to transform your homes into ‘alien environment’ that further stress the body. Manage stress to turn on the rest and recovery mode (the opposite to fight and flight). Meditation (which is only breathing!), visualisation, Bach Flower remedies, gentle exercise (hiking/walking, yoga, pilates), Emotion Freedom Technique and Trauma Release Exercise (see here and here), massage/reflexology and many other relaxing methods.  Recognising and releasing emotional blocks is very important. Pay attention to how you speak to yourself and some of your core beliefs about your life and appearance to reduce stress. Internalized emotions can be one of the biggest stressors in our lives and will greatly affect chronic and systemic inflammation. Have a look at Louise Hay, Byron Katie, Brandon Bays amongst others to try and reverse how you feel and speak to yourself. Also see an EFT specialist or META Health practitioner to remove thought patterns and beliefs about yourself. Energy medicine is incredibly powerful. Bach Flower Remedies are also amazing at being able to help your release physical ailments by releasing the emotion at their core. If in doubt start with Rescue Remedy and see advice from a professional. Homeopathy is also hugely recommended.

3-Naturopathy Image

Try and get into nature as much as possible. Check out methods of grounding your body and home or go hiking Never underestimate the value of a great nights sleep. Try Bach Flower Remedies or Homeopathy to help ensure the body has time to heal and rest. Balance all hormone levels with natural methods. Try and reduce pharmaceuticals as much as possible and consult a naturopath to support you with natural remedies. If you think something is genetic- think again. Start to research into the work of Bruce Lipton and others who are arguing otherwise. Read Deep Nutrition, The Biology of Belief and what the bleep do we know amonst many others. Images; water    

read more

And the Winner of the April Giveaway is…

april giveaway loula natural2 winner This month I  clubbed together with some other awesome bloggers to put together a giveaway that I am really excited about for all you expecting mums. I have used re-usable nappies for both of my children. I use them in the swimming pool too. It was really important for me as a new mum to help support the environment. The number of nappies that have to be bought and thrown away is intense. The chemicals used in the nappies are not only damaging to the environment but also to a newborn and beyond’s skin. All for convenience sake. Cloth nappies are super convenient. I have between 20-30 which means there are normally 5 in the bucket, 5 in the wash, 5 drying and 5 in the drawer ready to go with a few spare! I generally do a wash every 3 days. I do a wash every 3 days anyway so its no extra hassle! I also wash my nappies with Kombucha (but thats another story!). The nappies I bought for my daughter are now being used by my son and the money we have saved is huge. I have used some biodegradable nappies from time to time but we have also travelled with cloth nappies (nappies drying in the sun hanging from the trees in thailand was very amusing!). This Cloth Diaper Essential Giveaway is brilliant everything you need to get going, naturally! If you didnt win here are the links if you want to get the supplies anyway;

Diaper Clutch/Portable Changing Station:

Natural Bottom Balm:

Redmond Clay Baby Powder:

4 All-In-One Diapers: GreenRed, Monkeys, Owls (virtually identical to the ones I use)

 Diaper Sprayer: (I had never seen this or knew it existed- it is brilliant!)

Grab and Go Wet/Dry Diaper Bag:

10 Natural Organic Baby Wipes:( these are great I love re-useable wipes too) 

Thrive Style

Yogi Mami

Our Small Hours

Purely Twins

Veggie Converter

The Darling Bakers 

Whistle Pig Hollow

And the Winner IS….

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

read more

An Expat In My Own Country- Guest Post

  An Expat in my own country Loula Natural     I have lived most of my life in one country and the other half in the country of my nationality. Both have had their ups and downs and I was very chuffed to be asked by Ariana of And Here We Are to share some of my experiences as the next generation of expats and also my life as an expat in my own country.

Read my guest post here…

Here are some highlights; I was born in Baghdad to British parents. I lived in Hazelmere, Surrey (England) for a few months when I was 1 before we moved to Hong Kong I have a younger brother who was born in Hong Kong I moved to London at the age of 18 to go to University and pursue my life long dream of being on the stage I did my degree in drama and Theatre Studies then did a Master’s in Acting at Central School of Speech and Drama. I then became a PErsonal Trainer and NAturopath and Nutritional Therapist  I had a daughter, got married to my partner in crime, moved back to Hong Kong just after my mum died and had my son. I love my life and never regret a moment!

Read all about it here…

Are you the child of expats? Are you an expat yourself? I would love to heat your experiences. 

Also check out Ariana’s lovely book (see my review on the page);

Pruned: Blossoming Through Life’s Difficult Seasons 

Pruned-Book-Cover

An Expat in my own country Loula Natural pin  

read more

Bullet Proof Coffee and Kefir Gummies

Mocha Bulletproof Gummies Loula Natural Inspired by this genius post-

bulletproofcoffeegummies

and my own; bulletproof smoothie Loula Natural pinI wanted to use my cold pressed coffee concentrate to make some coffee gummies and just can’t resist adding Kefir! For more drinks recipes check out here;  Follow Loula Natural’s board drinks on Pinterest.  Mocha Bulletproof Gummies Loula Natural pin

read more

Bircher Chia

Bircher Chia Loula Natural fb I love my chia for breakfast. It is one of the blandest foods on the planet so it takes flavours really well. I love adding nuts, coconut, fruit, vanilla and cinnamon to it to add flavour, nutrition and texture. Traditional bircher muesli was developed around the 1900’s in Switzerland by a physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital. It was designed to maximise the nutrients and absorbability of foods to help patients to heal and recover. It is still popular today and is recommended by many naturopaths as a great breakfast. Using traditional methods of soaking your grains combined with nuts, grated apple, seeds, yoghurt and milk/juice all help the digestive system. Plus it is delicious!  Chia seeds need to be soaked also to release their great healing properties (see here for all about Chia). I prefer them to oats as they have more nutrients and I prefer the lightness of them (Oats make me very hungry soon after, chia has always satisfied me till lunch!). Best of all making up a big batch of this once a week makes it really easy in the morning to just take out a couple of teaspoons and eat straight away. The kids love it too- win win! Here is my recipe; Check out here for more breakfast ideas; Follow Loula Natural’s board Breakfast on Pinterest. Bircher Chia 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

Rocky Road- Healthy Chocolate

Rocky Road Loula Natural fb

Rocky Road- Healthy Chocolate

Its always the same. The after math of Christmas, Easter, Valentines day is always leftover chocolate! The mass made chocolate almost always contains vegetable oils, refined sugar and soy preservatives.  I make this Rocky Road recipe all the time with gorgeous homemade chocolate but I also melt down all the other chocolates given to us to minimise the amount of yucky stuff ingested and also to increase the nutrients. It is also great fun to make with the kids and can be stored in the freezer to minimise the amount eaten at a time! It is also good to up any leftover cake and cookies that may have gone a bit stale- they can also be crumbled up and added! Rocky Road Loula Natural Rocky Road Loula Natural pin

read more

Essential Real Food Easter Recipes

Real Food  Easter Recipes Loula NaturalHere are all my Easter Recipes in one place!

Chocolate Egg Smoothie

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Gluten Free Simnel Cake

Home Made Chocolate

Chocolate Fudge

Real Food Marzipan

Here are some other bloggers Easter articles;

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

Real Food Recipes for Easter Loula Natural pin

read more

Chocolate Egg Smoothie

chocolate egg smoothie Loula Natural fb Instead of loads of junk- it is easy to give your kids chocolate without giving them soy and rubbish sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Check out this recipe which has loads of goodness and flavour. chocolate egg smoothie Loula Natural pin

read more

Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge Loula Natural fb I always try to pack in the nutrients especially when making food for the kids to eat. I love my vanilla butter fudge and my homemade chocolate so I thought I would combine the two to give a rich, dense softer fudgy consistency to my chocolate It is so yummy! Chocolate Fudge Loula Natural pin

read more

Choco-coco Ice Pudding

Chocococo Ice Pudding Loula Natural fb I am always trying to find ways to get coconut into my daughter. She refuses to eat my coconut yoghurt, I have ways! Raw cacao normally gets her to drink/eat anything (even a green smoothie- I know you are thinking cacao in a green drink with Kombucha sounds horrible?! It is- but my 4 year old LOVES it!) This recipe is great I call it ice pudding because I make it into shapes and Ice pops and she does not know the difference- you can of course just make it and consume it before freezing it too! Chocococo Ice Pudding Loula Natural pin

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

Real Food Marzipan

Real Food Marzipan Loula Natural

Real Food Marzipan

I have tried to make marzipan several times- this very simple recipe with very simple ingredients is delicious! It is also packed full of fats and proteins to counteract the sugar content- my favourite kind of food! This recipe is a Modern Update of a Classic! Modern Update from Supercooks Real Food Marzipan Loula Natural Pin

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

Real Food Icing Sugar

Real Food Icing Sugar Loula Natural FB

Real Food Icing Sugar- What’s that

Can you make your own Icing Sugar?

 I have shied away from certain recipes because I have not wanted to use refined icing sugar. Then I was introduced to a way of making your own icing sugar by Halle from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition and it changed what I could make!  Combining the nutrient density of coconut sugar with the fine quality of the tapioca flour you get an excellent result in just seconds! This icing sugar (powdered sugar) can be used to make marzipan, icing, pastries and can be used to dust cookies and so on. It tastes great and I have loved having it back in my store cupboard! You can easily make a big batch of this and store it in an airtight glass jar like this one. Real Food Icing Sugar Loula Natural Pin

read more

Spicy Chai Tea Concentrate

Spicey Rooibos Chai Tea Loula Natural

Spicy Chai Tea Concentrate

I love chai tea warming in winter and cooling in summer. I love a nice warm cup of chai when I feel a cold coming on, iced chai tea with almond milk or coconut milk, Chai ice cream made from coconut yoghurt, chai Kombucha with orange (also as kombucha gummies!) and chai latte jello. All are super easy to make with this chai tea concentrate.  Chai is traditionally served to help support the body’s healing process. It is no real surprise the ingredients are natural powerhouses such as cinnamon, pepper, ginger, gloves, cardamom together with the antioxidants in the tea. Served warm and sweet it is a delicious concoction of spicy, pungent, stress relieving and healing nutrients. 

Caffeine Free Rooibos tea

rooibos tea Here is my take on Chai with a few extra ingredients from the original recipe. Firstly I have used Rooibos tea. Black tea is traditionally used in chai tea. I do not do well on caffeine and I love the amazing anti-oxidants and natural sweetness from the Rooibos tea. It also goes lovely with the almond milk I like to add. I have also added turmeric root, star anise, dried orange peel and vanilla as they pack extra immune-boosting punches to all the other ingredients. The other main difference is that I use a cold brew process. I am aware that heating spices allows them to open up their healing properties (as based on ayurvedic tradition). However I love to preserve enzymes and so I like a cold brew- especially if I am going to be using this for cold drinks. I also find that leaving a cold brew overnight also get a more concentrated liquid which means I can use less to get more flavour- this results in my ‘cordial’ lasting longer! That is reason enough for me! Hope you enjoy it- it can be had at any time of day and is a great caffeine switchout.  Spicey Rooibos Chai Tea Loula Natural Pin Some other delicious Chai Tea recipes; Chai Spiced Molasses Custard from The Nourished Kitchen Chai Coconut Ice-cream from The Nourished Kitchen Antidote to stress; Chai Tea from Healthy Living How to Chai Tea Concentrate from The Elliot Homestead Stress relieving chai tea with adaptogenic herbs from 20 Something Allergies  
 

read more

Apple Pie-Smoothie

Apple Pie Smoothie Loula Natural fb  I am such a massive fan of apples. They are great for digestion, the fibre feeds bacteria and helps to regulate blood sugar levels, the acids in apples also help liver detoxification and digestive healing. The peels are also packed with nutrients like antioxidants! It’s no wonder they have the ‘apple a day keeps the doctor away’. I am glad my kids love them too as we often have apple slices with nut butter as snacks (cut the apple into disks without coring and they even make good ‘sandwiches’!). You can make apple sauce with peels on or off- I then use my peels to make apple cider vinegar or in my stock pot so every bit of goodness is used Whenever I see reduced apples I buy them up and put them in the slowcooker (I have this one) to make slow cooked apple sauce. This goes in the fridge to make apple Kefir, apple muffins, and in our Chia Porrige, Pork chops, sauerkraut and now my apple pie smoothie. Here are some other Apple Pie recipes from bloggers I love;

Apple Pie Smoothie from Good Girl Gone Green

Apple Pie Smoothie from Green Thickies

Apple Pie Ice-cream from Thank Your Body

Apple Pie Smoothie Loula Natural

read more

Homemade Smoked Salmon Pate

smoked salmon pate I love pate, most recipes generally has bread in it to fill it out and so it has in the past irritated my digestive system. So this is my grain free version. I love to feed this to my kids too- great on flax crackers and served with eggs! They love the sweet potato in it so it is not as fishy and I love the combination of fats and protein and the kefir adds the fermented twist! Homemade Smoked Salmon Pate Loula Natural pin 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.
Thanks to the following for the images; Benreis at wikivoyage shared Lachs [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)  (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons By Netinformerin (Own work) Salmon caviar [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

read more

Get moving- try hiking

Get Moving Hiking Loula Natural I have lived back home in Hong Kong for almost 2 years and fair enough I was pretty pregnant with my second baby when we got here- however I still cant believe it has taken me this long to get hiking. The Chinese love exercise. All the club houses, playgrounds, nature trails and country parks are well used (and you thought Hong Kong was just a load of high rises!) We have a great promenade all the way along the Rambler Channel and at the end there is a great nature trail/hike which is about 6-7km.  Hiking is amazing for strength, cardio and endurance exercise. Getting into nature is fundamental to health. Although I came across a few people (today is sunday- proper hiking day all year round!) there were sections where I was completely alone. I have also been going on the weekdays with my friends while the kids are at school and it has been lovely and quiet. A great way to catch up and relax while exercising! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA You see all sorts- a shack set up playing Chinese opera and serving tea, people sitting on the viewing benches playing on their phones and a guy sitting in among the trees playing his meditation music and just being, and children swinging on make shift swings attached to the trees. Close to the top there is a clearing where there are all sorts of wood tied between trees at different height and I can just imagine this place is stowed out in the mornings with the older population doing their exercises and stretches!  People exercise at all ages (it was especially nice to see so many families out today- especially since there was a lot of up hills and steps) and times of the day. It is not uncommon to see people swimming and chatting in the channel (mostly the older population- even in winter and many just in their normal underpants!), doing their tai chi, their group dancing on the promenade to music, walking, stretching and running. They are there at the first light of dawn and even at 1-2am! Most children’s playground here also have sections for adult exercise, pull up bars etc- and they are used- constantly. It is inspiring and motivating and a big reason for why. Here are 10 reasons why hiking is good for you; 1. Exercises your heart. It gets a sweat up and the hills and steps while talking are great to get the heart beating and strengthening. It has been stated that people who hike are less likely to suffer from heart attacks. 2. It improves lung capacity and strength. The combination of cardiovascular strength and respiratory strength in and exercise that can also be done by all ages, sizes and abilities. Building slowly over time in the fresh air within nature can improve many respiratory conditions. 3. Being in nature is calming and relaxing. Alongside the cardiovascular benefits reducing stress has, you can also experience better balanced hormone levels. Achieving goals such as reaching the top can do wonders for self-esteem and self-respect. Blood sugar balance may be affected alongside greater cortisol balance. get-moving-hiking-colours-of-nature Loula Natural 4. Being relaxed in your own company is a great skill to have. You can choose which direction to go in and how long to go for, how long to rest and how much you enjoy it. It can help you to process other things in your life (I always get my best blog and business ideas when out exercising in nature). 5. It is also a lovely way to socialise. I have really enjoyed switching catch up coffees and lunches with hiking. We are talking about all sorts and laughing and it makes it all the more enjoyable! Today my husband is coming with me and I am looking forward to bringing the kids one day soon too. 6. You can hike in all weathers, equipment permitting. It is shaded in the sunshine and still interesting in the rain and cold! 7. Hiking is weight bearing and the ups and downs of the hills and steps will help with muscle tone and bone density.  get moving hiking view from the top 8. Combined with the release of stress, the exercise, the calm and energy felt during and after. Hiking is an excellent way for everyone to start to manage and balance weight.  9. It is accessible to all. There are all sorts of routes so children through to grandparents can do it. Getting to the end of something through work and determination is a great life skill to teach kids and of course being able to do something healthy with the WHOLE family (with a little picnic or swim at one of the beaches is a great bonus and day out) 10. Hikes are free! Nature is free!  So now I know that this lovely trail is on my doorstep I have no excuse! What is on your doorstep? I would love you to add your favourite spots/routes in the comments. see the post here; http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/small-footprint-friday-sustainable-living-linkup-032814 Get Moving Hiking Loula Natural

read more

Kraut-Slaw

Kraut slaw Loula Natural fb I have been making a big effort to increase my fermented food intake. I am still consuming Kefir and Kombucha (see my book all about it Culture Your Life), however I finally made my saurkraut and fermented some green beans with Lemon and Garlic. It is spring and it is the perfect time to be increasing fermented foods to help support your immune system through the change of season. The change in temperature also brings about a change in metabolism and this change is also facilitated by bacteria! It is also a sure fire way to get started on being comfortable in a bikini! This recipe came about when my salad craving started kicking in! It add a really delicious kick to regular coleslaw. I love to make my own mayonnaise (try a fermented one here!) I grate my carrot with one of these (also used to make Sweet Potato Rosti) and really useful in making spring rolls and veggie noodles. Kraut slaw Loula Natural pin 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.  
 
 

read more

Bulletproof Smoothie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I am not a huge coffee fan. I LOVE the smell of it but I do not crave it. I do love smoothies in the morning though. I prefer to drink breakfast most days! I also am constantly looking to increase nutrients! This morning I fancied trying a mix of the bulletproof coffee I have been hearing about forever, but doing it my way. Man was this tasty! Completely sugar free, this tasted great and the mix of banana, chocolate and coffee with the smooth coconut oil and butter was great and adding the chia just helps me to feel fuller for longer! bulletproof coffee Loula Natural pin Here are some other bulletproof coffee recipes; Healthy Living How To; Bulletproof coffee (a milk free version) Cheerfully Imperfect: Adding Gelatin for a gummie bulletproof snack Girl meets nourishment; Super coffee Stupid Easy Paleo; Can Coffee Improve health? Butter Believer; Better than Bulletproof coffee The HEalthy Home Economist; A Visual view of caffeine

read more

Blender Pancakes

Blender Pancakes

Blender Pancakes Loula NAtural I remember seeing the blender pancakes on pinterest and my friend Kate was making them. I was happy making my Weekend pancakes and Almond and coconut flour pancakes. Then one day when we were in a massive rush my daughter was making a big fuss about eating pancakes for breakfast! Thus my venture into blender pancakes began!  Super easy and very little mess- however not the easiest pancakes to flip in the pan! So I started to play with the recipe just a little. The basic recipe is banana and egg in a blender! I add a bit of substance to that and a little extra nutrition. But still keep them grain free. pancake pan Loula Natural I use this pan to make pancakes for the kids. You have have two pans on the go while you make them as it is pretty difficult to flip them. I add ghee to the bottom of the pan so when you can see the bubbles forming you can just turn the pan over another pan to cook the other side.  Blender Pancakes Loula Natural pin  Here are some more pancake recipes; GAPS Diet Intro Pancakes from Honest Body Chocolate stuffed pumpkin pancakes from Butter Nutrition Gluten Free Overnight Pancakes from Kula Mama Grain free Banana spiced pancakes from Healy Real Food Vegetarian Paleo Pumpkin pancakes from Grass Fed Girl The best from scratch pancakes from Life Sanity Buttermilk pancakes and soaked pancakes from Our Small Hours  
 

read more

February Giveaway winner is

February giveaway winner

And  the lucky winner of the $400 Amazon Gift card is…drum roll please….

Hyacinth B.

Hyacinth, please email support@greenmommas.com asap to claim your gift card!

Don’t be bummed if you didn’t win. There will be more where this came from!

(ooh and let us know what you buy!)

MANY THANKS FROM ME

to all these blogger for making this giveaway possible x

Nearly Natural Momma 

Small Footprint Family   

Eat Naked    

The Rising Spoon 

VeggieConverter  

Whistle Pig Hollow 

Kula Mama   

The Crunchy Moose  

Real Time Mama  

MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life 

Food Savvy  

  February giveaway winner Loula Natural 

read more

Lemon and Orange Shortbread

Gluten Free Lemon and Orange Shortbread

Lemon and Orange Shortbread Loula Natural Shortbread has to be the easiest biscuit to make with kids- there are not many ingredients, it gets whipped up together, it can be made healthy (see my recipe) and the kids love using their fingers to ‘roll’ it out before using cookie cutters! It is a pretty fool proof recipe! Best thing about it is the kids can eat the uncooked dough!!! Here is the icing sheet I have Here is the cookie cutter I used Here is where I get the almond meal from- Raw Almond Milk Here is the shortbread frosted with my Lemon, Orange and Ginger Curd– match made in heaven! Frosted cookies Lemon and Orange Shortbread Loula Natural

read more

Magesium

magnesium Magnesium an element on the periodic table we can not live without. It has so many functions within the body, 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone (source) it is not a surprise most of us show symptoms of deficiency; As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I  look at all of my clients individual needs before prescribing any supplement or food changes. It is recommended that you consult a professional Naturopath or Nutritional therapist before making any changes yourself.

What does it do?

It is involved in enzyme reactions in the digestive system and many other systems, helps regulate bowel movements Helps cells to manufacture energy, will help use sugar and fat for energy so may result in weight loss, Balances calcium, helps to relax muscles reducing pain and stiffness, regulates muscle contractions especially heart muscle, maintains muscle Pulls water into cells and therefore is essential to rehydrate the body, Improves insulin sensitivity and therefore is important in blood sugar balance and hormone regulation, Reduces blood stickyness for example found in heart disease and high blood pressure, Improves circulation, reduces pain and twitches (for example restless leg syndrome) Enhances the immune system, Helps to regulate temperature, Helps transmit messages from the brain to the muscles and therefore helps to ‘turn off’ the stress response, can help induce restful sleep, also good for people with high anxiety levels Works with calcium and Vitamin D to maintains bone structure and health, Facilitates DNA replication (for when the body is constantly developing new cells- perfect DNA is the key to cancer prevention and prolongs ageing) It truly is an amazing nutrient!

Where is it found?

The main place to find magnesium is in green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Refined flours, rice, sugar and other products have removed magnesium and other nutrients in the processing. These are also to be avoided as they mainly need magnesium to help process them within the body. Green leafy veg especially dark green like spinach and Kale. Whole grainssuch as oats, buckwheat, rye, barley, rice, Quinoa, millet and chia. Beans such as black, soy (preferably fermented), Kidney and lima, Nuts and Seeds such as pumpkin seeds, Almonds, Cashews, flax seeds, sesame seeds (tahini), sunfower seeds, pine nuts, watermelon seeds. Raw cacaococonut (mostly in dried and creamed coconut), watermelon, eggs.

Factors that deplete it;

Stress, high blood sugar, diet high in processed foods (especially soft drinks), calcium supplements without magnesium, some pharmaceuticals, soft water, alcohol and other recreational drugs. The soil is also depleted of magnesium so there is sometimes a need for supplementation. You can also use epsom salts in the bath, or make a magnesium lotion or oil (see herehere and then use the magnesium oil to make a lotion adding it here– Thanks for the idea Coconut Mama)

read more

February giveaway

 February Giveaway

February giveaway1  This month Spring feels like it is on the way… What would you buy with $400? I would probably buy 

One of these for my daughter and this for my son

One of these for the Hubby and

One of these for me!

Here is how you can be in for a chance of wining;

1 Check out the details of your gift card here. Also have a look around at what you think you would buy 2. Let me know what you are thinking of buying in the comments below 3.Please join my newsletter- there is a free e-book of my Top 10 Posts for every new subscriber
4. Join the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter section at the bottom of this post. *You have loads more chances of entering by visiting these blogs and entering there too!*

 

Nearly Natural Momma 

Small Footprint Family   

Eat Naked    

The Rising Spoon 

VeggieConverter  

Whistle Pig Hollow 

Kula Mama   

The Crunchy Moose  

Real Time Mama  

MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life 

Food Savvy  

 5. Since some countries need you to demonstrate a skill to win something- please answer this question in the comments- Which country is the Winter Olympics currently being held?

Good Luck 

a Rafflecopter giveaway February giveaway Loula Natural A winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.com. We will announce the lucky winner on Friday, February 28, 2014. Once contacted, the lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone except where prohibited by law!

read more

FLASH SALE Indulge

Indulge by Carol Lovett of Ditch the Wheat

  8314892137_a6101b4c27  

 BUY IT HERE

If you like your puddings or treats- HERE are

70 GRAIN FREE Desserts

Indulge book sale

 BUY IT HERE

This includes cakes, biscuits, Donuts and more

All PALEO FRIENDLY and NUTRIENT DENSE– so actually 

GOOD FOR YOU!

This is a flash sale- valid until the 17th Feb this book is 67% off so it is a bargin price of USD$8.24 (HKD $64)

 BUY IT NOW

Click here to visit Ditch The Wheat.

read more

What is for Breakfast?

What is for breakfast?

what is for breakfast Loula Natural A question I get asked EVERYDAY!!! Here is a run down of the options in my house!! First we start the day, our amuse bouche if you like! with my Apple Cider Vinegar Yummy Wake up Drink (make your own Apple Peel Cider Vinegar here) Apple Cider Vinegar, raw honey and cinnamon drink Then we move on to the starter- the smoothie We normally have one of these or a combination! I either use Almond/Oat or my Hazelnut Cashew milk and always some Kefir. I then try to pack it with as nay nutrients as possible. banana/avocado, nuts, seeds, chia, berries or cacao, coconut oil/butter, gelatin and then I may add milk thistle, Maca, bee Pollen, for added benefits. I thin may sweeten it with maple syrup or raw honey to kick start my metabolism (from Matt Stone’s book Eat for Heat)

Breakfast in a Glass Loula Natural

Breakfast in a glass

Morning Smoothie

Apple Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothie

Choco-Coco Milkshake

Cocoberry Milkshake

Watermelon Cooler

Chia Porridge Loula Natural

Then is the kids are having a Cereal day it will be either Chia Porridge, Bircher Chia, Grain Free Granola, Chocolate orange grain free granolahomemade muesli or Buckwheaties with fresh fruit. 

I usually have a choice of milks;

Hazelnut and Cashew Raw Milk Loula Natural

Almond

Oat

Hazelnut and Cashew 

Coconut

If we want something hot we may have pancakes;

weekend pancakes

Weekend Pancakes

Blender Pancakes

Almond milk Kefir Pancakes

I serve these with;

Raw Mango Jam
Raw Mango Jam

Coconut Yoghurt

Lemon, Orange and Ginger Curd

Raw Mango Jam

Apricot Kernel Chocolate Butter

Eggs on toast (i Like my eggs poached or scrambled with bacon or smoked salmon and avocado. Sometimes Cheese on toast just hits the spot!

Greens, Eggs and Ham

pumpkin bread

Pumpkin bread

Soda Bread

Quinoa Flatbreads

Banana and Flax Crackers

Otherwise if we fancy pastries we will have

pumpkin donuts

Blueberry muffins

Pumpkin Donuts

Almond Kefir Banana Muffin

Carrot Cake bites with Kefir Cheese Frosting

Banana Mocha Muffins

But do you know what- sometimes all I want is Chocolate!

Homemade Raw Chocolate using coconut oil Loula Natural

What is for breakfast Loula Natural fb What is for Breakfast Loula NAtural Pin

read more

Watermelon Cooler

Watermelon Cooler

Watermelon with Coconut Water Kefir This is my favourite juice to give my kids. It is super easy, I buy seeded watermelon and throw it in the blender seeds and all- seeds have nutrients too!

2cups Watermelon

1 cup of Coconut Water Kefir

Ice (optional)

Blitz and enjoy! This of course can work with apples (if you have a highspeed blender you can add skin and core!), pineapple, orange or berries!  

read more

Homemade Muesli

Homemade Muesli

Homemade Muesli Loula Natural My daughter refuses to eat chia porridge- and thats ok. We chose to be gluten free so I dont mind using oats. Preferably we soak the muesli overnight so allow it to be more digestible. I also serve it with Kefir to help the digestive system deal with the digestion of the oats and seeds. I use homemade raw oat milk, almond, coconut or hazelnut and cashew milk. I also may add some Dairy Kefir or Almond Milk Kefir (how to make Kefir and why I make Kefir) Great things to add to your Muesli; Raw Mango Jam Lemon, Orange and Ginger Curd Coconut Yoghurt Apple sauce Rhubarb and Ginger (can add it to this too- slow cooked porridge)  Homemade Muesli Loula Natural

read more

Frosted Brownie

Avocado Chocolate Frosted Beetroot Brownie

Avocado Chocolate Frosted Beetroot Brownie For a decadent treat why not try this frosted brownie. Made from real food ingredients- this gluten and dairy free alternative maximises nutrients without compromising rich chocolaty flavour. I make Beetroot Brownies all the time for the kids snacks and combined with this Avocado chocolate frosting you will never be able to over eat this!!!! Perfect for when you want a real treat! These are so rich you are only going to want one! Avocado Chocolate Beetroot Brownie Loula Natural Perfect for Valentines Day! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA