Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

Mango Power Smoothie

One of my fondest memories of summer is when mum would come home with a box of mangoes. There is so much you can do with mangoes but I love making this easy power-packed drink that gives you that summer zing!

Preparation Time: 3 minutes
Serves 2

2 mangoes, peeled
1/2 cup of natural yoghurt
2 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp hemp seeds
1 Tb LSA (ground linseed, sunflower, almond) or flaxmeal
2 cups water or coconut water

Option:
Add 1 cup of ice for extra chill

Peel and chop mango into blender
Add all other ingredients and blend for 30 seconds

This refreshing smoothie will power you through the summer heat. Drink slowly and enjoy every sip!

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA
Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 
info@claudettewadsworth.com.au

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Watermelon And Fetta Salad


Light and refreshing for a balmy summer evening. Serve this salad on its own or as an entrée, prepared in just 3 minutes.

Ingredients
Watermelon
Spanish onion
Fetta cheese
Fresh mint sprig

Slice the watermelon thinly, removing the skin, white flesh and any pips.
Place on plates with a thin slice of fetta cheese on top.
Place a slice of Spanish onion on top and sprinkle with a sprig of fresh mint.


Option: Drizzle ½ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar on top.

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA
Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 
info@claudettewadsworth.com.au


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Join The Juice Trend


Summer is the perfect time to detoxify your body and cleanse your winter waste so you will be refreshed and energised for summer action! Out with trapped toxins, in with new nutrients. Commit to a pure diet and reap the benefits.

Most people treat their cars better than their bodies. They would never ignore a warning light for an oil change or regular maintenance, but they often ignore the tell-tale signs that their body is in desperate need of a tune up. An unfortunate fact of our modern life is that even the healthiest body struggles with inferior nutrition, pollutants in the air, water and food supply and a lack of healthy activity. It’s no wonder that most of us don’t feel like the Formula One racing cars like we should!

Freshly squeezed juices have become the newest health trend. Drinking freshly squeezed juice flushes your body with antioxidants and vitamins in an easily digested form. This takes a load off your digestive system and allows the body to heal and repair. Benefits of juicing range from luminous skin, enhanced energy, mental clarity, detoxification of stored toxins, modifying the body pH to a more alkaline state to combat diseases such as gout, arthritis, liver damage, gastric ulcers and more. In comparison, bottled juices have been pasteurised so they do not go off on the shelf, but this heat destroys the vitamin C and other nutrients, leaving you with only fruit sugar and water.

However, in today’s modern age, when you are still working, exercising and under stress, I feel it is too much strain on the body to do a juice detox for longer than a couple of days. An easy way to incorporate the antioxidant potential of juicing would be to elect one day a week of juices only, or drink one juice everyday. Otherwise make sure you have time to rest and relax during any detox.

The gold standard of juicing is cold pressed juices. These juices are made with a traditional centrifugal machine. As the name suggests, the fruit and vegetables are pressed rather than sliced by spinning blades, which can overheat and oxidise the juice. Pressed juices are thick with an intense and vibrant taste, retaining the maximum amount of nutrients possible as well as the enzymes to aid digestion. They are the powerhouse of essential minerals and antioxidants and it would be difficult to eat enough greens to get the same nutrient impact.

Botanica is a hand crafted cold pressed juice company with a big vision for improving the health vitality of Australians. Started by juice converts, Richard and Nadia, together with an ex-Fratelli Fresh chef and food microbiologist, the Sydney based Botanica's blends taste as incredible as they make you feel. 
Try the mean, green Turtle Power ( kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, green apple, lemon) to the sweet, creamy Nut Bar ( almonds, vanilla bean, agave, medjool dates, cinnamon, and filtered water). Botanica juices are made from nothing but organic or chemical-free fruit, vegetables and nuts, freshly pressed by hand. Now available in Harris Farm Bondi, their landmark store at 547 Bourke St, Surry Hills and delivered to your door or workplace www.botanicalife.com.au

Detox Tips
  • Rather than a morning coffee to pep you up, opt for a fresh juice instead. Carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger are particularly effective, while watermelon, pineapple and mint give a little summer zing. When the afternoon slump hits, rather than reaching for the biscuit jar, head to the juice bar for a healthy kick.
  • Green Smoothies are all the rage! Rather than juicing, buy a blender and simply blend your green veges with water for a quick antioxidant-rich, filling snack in itself: kale leaves, spinach, half a cucumber, half a lemon, 1 green apple or a banana for taste: bon appetit!
  • Elixir of Life: Drink at least 2 litres of water every day, carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go, always keep a jug of fresh water on your desk or at home. Contrary to popular belief, the more water you drink, the less fluid retention you will hold. If exercising a lot, add a little sea or Himalayan salt to your water to replace your electrolytes.
  • Summer Coolers: Make some iced herbal tea by adding ice cubes, slices of lemon/lime and a sprig of fresh herbs. Herbal teas can even be frozen into ice blocks for your children with added honey.
  • Going Herbal: Green tea and roasted dandelion coffee help the liver detoxify, while lemongrass and spearmint teas have a refreshing zing for summer.
  • Detox Your Mind: A good detox also includes some decluttering of your mind and your life to make space for the new to unfold. Take some time out for yourself to relax and rebuild your energy stores - there's plenty of summer parties ahead so you won't miss out! Consider what no longer serves you in your life....and let it go. Spend time doing what you love and are passionate about rather than wasting your time worrying about what everyone else is doing. Surround yourself with those people that genuinely care and bring out your best rather than simply boosting your ego.

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 
info@claudettewadsworth.com.au
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Christmas Pudding To Share With Santa



What’s Christmas without a traditional pudding and here is one that’s healthy as well as delicious, designed by Teresa Cutter. I love the smell of spices wafting through the house on Christmas day. This recipe is so simple, quick and won’t make you bloated; it will only bring more good cheer! It is also gluten free with no added sugar. The almond meal gives it protein and healthy Omega 3 oils which are anti-inflammatory and important for luscious skin, hair and a healthy heart. The spices are antioxidant and improve circulation, while the dried fruit are high in iron and are natural sweeteners. 


Ingredients
225g fresh pitted dates- approx. 10-15 dates depending on their size
zest from 1 orange
250g organic dried apricots, chopped
150 g (1 ½ cups) almond meal / ground almonds
1  teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼  tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger


Combine dates, orange zest, apricots, vanilla, ground almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a food processor.
Process until mixture is combined and looks like fine crumbs.
Spoon mixture into a large bowl and add 1 – 2 tablespoons orange juice, then mix again. Your pudding mix should come together in the hands when lightly squeezed.
Divide puddings into 6 small puddings. The best way to do this is to line the base of your desired mould with glad wrap and press the pudding mixture into it firmly.
Invert the pudding and remove the glad wrap. Repeat until all the puddings are formed.
Arrange onto a serving plate and set aside until needed.
Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Serve puddings with cold mango coconut custard.

Note: You do not need to bake these puddings.

Mango Coconut Custard
1 mango, chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk
Juice from ½ orange
Combine all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Other serving suggestions 
Garnish with fresh red strawberries and top with yoghurt or thick cream


Christmas Pudding- The Baked Traditional Version
Makes 12, Preparation time- 20 minutes. Cook for- 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients
450g pitted dates
1 whole orange, chopped, including skin.
1  1/2 cups (375ml)  water
1 ½ cups (250g) raisins
1 2/3 cups (250g) organic dried apricots, chopped
3 cups (300g) almond meal
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat oven to 180C fan or 200C. Grease 10 x ½ cup dariole moulds.
Combine dates, orange and juice into a saucepan and bring to boil.
Simmer for 15-20 mins until all liquid has evaporated and dates and orange are soft. Set aside to cool.
Place date and orange mixture into a Vitamix or food processor and process until a paste forms.
Transfer to a large bowl. Add sultanas, apricots, almond meal, spices, eggs and mix well. Add another egg if needed.
Divide between prepared pudding / dariole moulds.
Place into a deep baking dish.
Pour enough hot water to come half way up sides of pudding bowls.
Cover each with a layer of baking paper and foil, pressing around the edges of the pan to completely seal.
Bake for 1 hr 15 mins.
Invert puddings onto serving plates.
Serve with homemade custard and enjoy.


By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 


info@claudettewadsworth.com.au

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End Of Year Revamp



With the end of the year fast approaching, many people including myself are starting to feel a bit tired and worn out from an eventful 2013. When feeling sluggish, eating poorly starts to creep in and it's hard to shed your extra winter weight. Here are some healthy tips to energise your body and help you fit into your summer bikini!
  • Get moving! Endorphins produced when exercising stimulates more energy and makes you feel good. Choose something you enjoy, that is close to home or work and arrange to meet a buddy so you won't talk yourself out of it.
  • Elixir of Life: Drink at least 2 litres of water every day, carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go, always keep a jug of fresh water on your desk or at home. Contrary to popular belief, the more water you drink, the less fluid retention you will hold. If exercising a lot, add a little salt to your water to replace your electrolytes.
  • KIS - Keep it simple with meals based on a protein e.g. fish, chicken, eggs, meat, beans and salad or vegetables e.g. wholegrain sandwich with roast beef, mustard, avocado and rocket.
  • Don't Skip Meals: Eating every 3 hours boosts your metabolism so you burn through calories faster and have higher energy levels.
  • Snack It: Everyone gets caught out on snacks but rather than be tempted by the quick fix of the biscuit jar or chocolate bar, keep a bag of almonds in your desk drawer, dip vege sticks rather than chips into humus or salsa, eat hard cheddar cheese rather than soft Brie or Camembert, head to the juice bar, keep a few hard boiled eggs in the fridge for emergency snacks or a quick breakfast with a piece of fruit on the way to work, keep some sachets of miso soup in your desk drawer, a fruit smoothie (with yoghurt rather than ice cream) is healthier than a milkshake or Cherry Ripe. By adding 1 commercial muffin to what you normally eat each day, you increase your "bad" trans fats by 2%, but your risk of a heart attack increases by 93%!
  • Glycaemic Index Load: If you eat a bowl of ice cream, your blood sugar level goes through the roof, but if you eat a bowl of white rice or white pasta and measure your blood sugar again, it will be exactly the same! So it's not just about the amount of sugar or fat content but how quickly foods breakdown to sugar and are absorbed. Another example is broccoli has 4% carbohydrate and strawberries have 5% carbohydrate, while white bread has 75% carbohydrate content. As a result, 1kg of strawberries is the equivalent of 1 slice of white bread. Always eat wholegrain breads or crackers, brown or basmati rice, try Quinoa for a nutritious change (cook just like rice but only 10 minutes!) and combine these with lots of vegetables and some protein to slow down your digestion and make you feel full faster so you don't overeat.
  • Add Veggies to...Everything: Load up your meals with vegetables so there's less room for starchy grains and nutrient poor white flour products. At lunch, you can stuff a wrap with lettuce, rocket, tomato, grated carrot, sprouts, capsicum, avocado and bulk up your dinner meals with extra veggies thrown in. The rise in the incidence of asthma has been linked to diets low in fresh vegetables. We need a serve at every meal!
  • Start With Salad or Soup: Starting with a salad or soup can help you eat less over the course of meal, says researchers. It also ensures you get your 5 portions of colourful vegetables per day and is visually satisfying to think you can have 2 plates of food rather than only half a hamburger.
  • Late Night Dinners: If you arrive home late rather than having a quick fix like instant noodles or a microwaveable dinner, try having an omelette or a tin of salmon or sardines with a salad.
  • Healthy Takeaway: When time has got the better of you, some healthy takeaway options are Thai stir fry, brown rice sushi, Indian chicken tikka and dahl, grilled fish from your local fish shop, BBQ chicken with salad.
  • Ordering Out: Ask for rice or salad rather than chips or mash.
  • Dressing Up? Topping your salad with a creamy dressing will clog your system so keep it simple with extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil combined with apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice.
  • Sweet Tooth: Half a cup of natural yoghurt has fewer calories and improves digestion rather than half a cup of ice cream. Choose fruit such as pineapple or melon rather than cake or biscuits to fill up on fibre and water. 1 Tim Tam is equivalent to 2 cups of watermelon or 1.5 cups of pineapple! Avoid dried fruit which is high in sugar and sulfur preservatives: 1/4 cup of sultanas contains the same calories as 1 cup of grapes. Add a bag of apples or oranges to your weekly shopping list so you've always got some fruit on hand.
  • Get Some Shut Eye: If you don't get enough sleep, you crave sugars for energy and you make poor decisions regarding your food choices. 7-8 hours sleep every night aids weight loss!
  • Hidden Sugars: Sugar is highly addictive and it is in so many products nowadays e.g. cereals, muesli bars, flavoured yogurt so it's hard to avoid but eating excess sugars only contributes to weight gain and long term health problems. Throw out anything in your cupboards that has ingredients that your grandmother would not recognise and rather than eating packet products, eat fresh food.
By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 

info@claudettewadsworth.com.au

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Return Of The Ancient Grain - Quinoa


Quinoa pronounced "keen-wah" has recently moved from health food shops to the supermarket aisle. It is quick and easy to cook as well as gluten free which is great for those with wheat allergies. It is an excellent substitute for couscous or rice and can be used in almost every type of meal - breakfast smoothies and cereals, hearty casseroles, salads, soups, and your favourite baked sweet treat.

It is labelled as an ancient grain because it has been grown for domestic consumption in the Andes Mountains of Equador, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia for over 3000 - 4000 years. It is not a true cereal or grain because it is not a member of the grass family. Instead, quinoa is closely related to the species of beetroots and spinach. It is now grown in Australia and it is actually the seeds that are harvested and eaten.

Quinoa comes in 3 different colours: white, red and black with slightly varying tastes and nutritional qualities. It has an exceptional nutritional profile, packed with low-GI carbohydrates and fibre, along with B vitamins (including folic acid) and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. It is also a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids, making it essential for vegetarians and vegans.

How to cook it
One cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water or stock. Bring it to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave the covered saucepan on the stovetop for another 3 minutes. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and allow to cool. Try my Quinoa Summer Salad from November last year.

Moist Chocolate Cake     
serves 8-16


Ingredients
2/3 cup white quinoa
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups rapadura sugar or coconut sugar (available form health food stores) or 1 cup maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the stovetop for another 3 minutes. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease two 20cm round or square cake tins. Line the bottoms of the tins with baking paper.

Combine milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa and the butter and continue to blend until smooth. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Add the contents of the blender evenly between the two tins and bake on the centre oven rack for 40 -45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool completely before removing from the tins.

Serve with cream and berries. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 

info@claudettewadsworth.com.au

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Eating For Fatherhood


Eating For Fatherhood - check out OH! Magazine November Issue 4 for my latest article

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 

info@claudettewadsworth.com.au
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Macadamia Nut and Rocket Pesto



This tasty spread/sauce is perfect for lunch, dinner or a snack.

Macadamia nuts are not only good for you, but are also scrumptious to eat and an Australian traditional food. Macadamia nuts were eaten by Aboriginal people on the east coast of Australia who may have called them maroochi, bauple, gyndlm jinilli or boombera. Macadamia nuts contain omega- 3 fatty acids, which are proven to reduce levels of bad cholesterol, along with protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre.

This recipe is versatile: use as a base flavour with your favourite grain e.g. rice, quinoa, add it to your sandwich at lunchtime, mix it with olive oil and vinegar to make it into a salad dressing or put it on some crackers with tomato for a health snack.

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup roasted/raw macadamia nuts
1 ½ cup rocket leaves
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ cup extra- virgin olive oil
50 grams grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper

Method
  1. Place nuts, rocket and garlic into a small food processor or blender. Blend (stop to scrape down the sides occasionally) until almost smooth.
  2. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow and steady stream. Process until the oil is blended into the mixture. Add parmesan cheese, if you like. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until combined.
  3. Use pesto straightaway or transfer it to an airtight storage container and store in your refrigerator. A thin layer of olive oil on the top of the pesto will keep it from going off.

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 and Sydney CBD 02 9268 9000

info@claudettewadsworth.com.au
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Milk Boost Biscuits


These delicious biscuits are great for boosting breast milk production and are quick and easy to make for new mums short of time. Healthy as well as perfect for a drop in blood sugar! Courtesy of Melanie Koeman.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1.5 cups brown/ rapadura sugar or 1 cup of raw honey/maple syrup
4 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 1/2 cups wholemeal wheat or spelt flour
1 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
2 generous Tbsp brewer's yeast
Optional: 1 cup raisins or chopped prunes

Directions:
Preheat oven at 180 degrees C. Put all all dry ingredients together and mix well. Melt butter gently and poor into dry ingredients with eggs, water and vanilla. Mix well with wooden spoon. Line baking dish with baking paper or rub with butter. Scoop or drop mixture onto baking sheet in round balls and press down lightly with fork. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on size of biscuits.



By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 and Sydney CBD 02 9268 9000

info@claudettewadsworth.com.au




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Spring Baby


From nappy rash to changing sleep patterns and introduction of new foods, mothers with 6-12 month old babies often have to learn new strategies, just when they think they have the routine down pat.
Just like us, babies are individuals so I always encourage mothers to try a number of approachs to see what works best for their baby.

Sleeping Through The Night

  1. Learn tired signs – None of us like being kept awake when we are craving sleep, so rather than waiting until your baby is ‘past it’, put her/him to bed as soon as they show sleepy signs, such as losing interest in people and toys. If you miss this window of opportunity, your baby is likely to become grumpy and find it difficult to settle.
  2. Introduce bedtime rituals – Bedtime routines can become cues that help babies wind down and become conditioned to fall asleep, e.g. a warm relaxation bath (in an adult bathtub) just before bedtime.
  3. A magic touch – Silent nights could be at your fingertips: Research from Miami University showed that babies and toddlers who were massaged daily for one month, for 15 minutes prior to bedtime, fell asleep more easily by the end of the study.
  4. Cut caffeine – If you are breastfeeding, caffeine can create a vicious circle: You drink coffee (or tea or cola) to give you a hit, baby gets a boost of stimulant through your milk-and becomes restless.
  5. Leave her a little bit of Mum – It’s not exactly a substitute for you, but if you slip your own soft, unwashed tee-shirt over baby’s mattress, she/he will be comforted by your familiar smell as they sleep.
  6. If your baby wakes at 5am – check they are not too cold by dressing him/her in another layer of clothing and you may find he/she now sleep all the way through until 7am! (4 – 5 o’clock are the coldest pre-dawn hours.)
Craving For Food

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age but most mothers introduce solids when their baby reaches for their dinner! So long as it has been blended or pureed, generally babies can eat a variety of foods. If there is a history of allergies in the family eg. asthma, eczema, hayfever or food reactions, eg. coeliac, or lactose intolerance it more important than ever to delay the introduction of foods that commonly cause allergies until 12 months of age. These include wheat, cows milk, seafood/shellfish, egg whites, corn, chocolate, peanuts/peanut butter, oranges/OJ, strawberries/kiwi fruit, nuts, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum, soy products/milk/tofu, dried fruit, sultanas, Vegemite, ham, bacon, fruit juice, cordial, margarine. Breastfeeding up to 12 months of age, which is recommended by the World Health Organisation, has been shown to give the baby some protection against developing allergies. If allergies persist or it is becoming too difficult, come in for a consultation as I have lots of effective remedies and dietary suggestions.

Nappy Rash
Most parents spend hours researching the best pram or cot but few do any research at all about nappies and yet it is the most used piece of baby equipment in the household. It is also the closest thing to your baby’s skin all day and night for years. Chemicals from the nappy itself, especially disposable nappies and nappy liners, contain a cocktail of gels that absorb the wee and poo as well as containing bleaches, dyes, plastics, dioxins and synthetic materials. Cotton is also one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world with residues still found on cotton clothing. As a result, organic cotton nappies are becoming highly sought after. Detergents, soaps, skin creams and fragranced, alcoholic wipes can irritate the skin, especially if there is a family history of skin allergies such as eczema.
  • Keeping nappy area dry is crucial so change nappies often and if using pre-moistened baby wipes which leave the skin wet, causing extra friction, pat dry with a tissue.
  • Let your baby play or lie in the early morning sun with its nappy off for sunshine and fresh air.
  • Nappy rash can be caused an acidic diet which produces acidic urine. Wheat is the most common allergen of all grains and is very difficult for babies' under-developed digestive systems. Avoid wheat until 12 months of age.
  • Use environmentally friendly, skin sensitive washing powder.
  • If using formula, add 1/4 teaspoon of baby probiotic powder such as lactobacillus to improve digestion.
  • Once the skin is open and raw, it usually becomes infected. I recommend a Calendula cream. 
For more recommendations and remedies I would love to meet your baby in my clinic!

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 and Sydney CBD 02 9268 9000

info@claudettewadsworth.com.au
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Coconut Chicken Breast On Roasted Sweet Potato With Greens


A delicious Spring recipe to awaken your taste buds and energise your mind in preparation for Summer. Courtesy of Gratitude Gaia Cookbook by Dan Trewartha, 2013.

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 4 Chicken breasts
  • 6 star anise
  • 200ml chicken stock/water
  • 100ml fish sauce
  • 1 litre of coconut milk
  • 2 red chillies sliced (seeds removed if less heat is required)
  • 2 x 5cm pieces ginger, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves, crushed
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Green vegetables of your choice e.g bok choy
  • Lime wedges, coriander leaves, sprouts
Method
  1. Divide coconut milk and aromatics in half. Place one half in a pot with chicken stock or water and the other half in an ovenproof baking dish. Marinate the chicken in the baking dish, coating well with all ingredients. Leave chicken for as long as possible or overnight.
  2. Bring the sauce ingredients in the pot to a simmer over medium heat. Turn heat to low and simmer for half an hour.
  3. Meanwhile, roast sweet potato in a 180 degrees oven for 25 minutes, or untill tender.
  4. Roast chicken breast in the baking dish at 180 degrees for at least 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, slice and wash green vegetables and blanch in boiling water.
  6. Place sweet potato in warm bowls. Top with green vegetables and chicken and spoon sauce around bowls. Scatter with fresh coriander and sprouts, serve with lime wedges on the side.

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 and Sydney CBD 02 9268 9000
info@claudettewadsworth.com.au
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Energising Bliss Balls



These nutritious snack-sized treats will keep you bouncing with energy. Make a whole batch to keep in the fridge or freezer and take a couple to work or carry in your bag for a snack. These balls are full of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 oils, phytoestrogens from flaxmeal to balance your hormones, iron-rich dried apricots and almond protein to keep your blood sugars stable and satisfy your hunger! I use Australian dried apricots because they have a higher iron content than the sweet, yellow Turkish apricots.

Ingredients:
1 cup Australian dried apricots
1 cup organic raw almonds
1 Tb flaxmeal ( ground linseeds )
2 Tb tahini
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of sea salt
Organic dessicated coconut for rolling

Method:
1. Soak dried apricots in water for 20 minutes and drain.
2. Blend apricots and almonds for 30 seconds untill almods are finely chopped.
3. Mix all ingredients together.
4. With wet hands, shape the mixture into balls and roll in dessicated coconut.
5. Store in fridge or freezer and let the bliss begin!
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Roman Lentil Soup


The hearty Roman soldier carried 35 kilos plus his armour and walked 30 kilometres per day. His fare consisted of coarse bread and a porridge of lentils or millet. Lentils are perhaps the most nutritious of all legumes. They were also a favorite legume of Dr. Weston A. Price, author of the infamous nutritional primer Nutrition and Physical Degeneration because of their very high phosphorous content. Phosphorous is the second most plentiful mineral in the body. It plays a role in maintaining the body’s acid/alkaline balance, something most people struggle with today given the high levels of inflammatory diseases which trace their roots to over-acidity in the body. This ia a hearty winter soup for the whole family. Make extra and take in a thermos to work or keep to heat up when you get home on a cold night. 

Serves 8

3 medium onions or 3 leeks, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
2 Tb butter
2 Tb extra virgin olive oil or organic coconut oil
8 cups of filtered water or stock
2 cups of brown or red lentils, soaked for 7 hours overnight in water (throw out the water)
several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together with string or 2 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried green peppercorns
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
sea salt or fish sauce and pepper

In a large stainless steel pot, cook onions or leeks and carrots gently in butter and olive oil. When vegetables are soft, add water/stock and lentils and bring to the boil. The lentils will produce a great deal of foam - be sure to skim it off. Reduce heat and add thyme and crushed peppercorns. Simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, about 1/2 hour. Remove the thyme. You can puree soup with a handheld blender for a smooth taste. Thin with water to desired consistency. Reheat slightly and add lemon juice. Ladle into heated bowls and serve with dollop of cultured cream.

Variation: Curried Lentil Soup: add 2 Tb of curry powder or curry paste along with thyme.

Variation: Split Pea Soup: use 2 cups of split peas instead of lentils.


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Warding Off Winter Colds and 'Flus


Winter is definitely here and now is the time to get focused on your health so as to keep that spring in your step and smile on your face. With shorter winter days and the drop in temperature, there is every good reason to laze around and snuggle up with winter comfort foods. As important as it is to listen to our natural rhythms of the body during these cold winter months, it is also essential to nourish the body so it doesn't start lacking in vital nutrients and succumbing to colds and 'flus. When my nose started to run this week, I knew it was time to promptly put all my own advice into action!

Prevention is Better Than Cure


  • Winter is the time for root vegetables, hearty casseroles, soups, porridge, bone broths and stews so pull out your slow cooker to create a feast for the week. Pile in your vegetables of every colour, protein of choice whether it be beef, chicken, fish, beans or lamb and lots of herbs and spices for a nutritious, tantalizing meal. 
  • Cut back on all sugar whether it be the sugar you add to your tea or coffee, soft drinks or energy drinks, sweets, lollies, ice cream, alcohol and chocolate bars. Sugar suppresses your immune system and all viruses and bacteria feed off sugar. Hydrate your body with a hot cup of soup or herbal tea instead!
  • Although the wind chill factor can be high, grab your beanie and get outside in the warm sun for a walk. Vitamin D exposure is essential for proper immune function and to lift your mood. 
  • Regular moderate exercise keeps your metabolism boosted. However, avoid pushing it to extremes as too much cardio exercise can tax your immune system at this time. 
  • Echinacea is a herb that boosts the first line defence of your immune system so taking an Echinacea supplement throughout winter gives your immunity an edge. There are different species of Echinacea: E. augustifolia root is the most potent species, E. purpura is the most common, while E. pallida has no therapeutic value. Echinacea tea is virtually useless as the therapeutic compounds you need are not extracted by water alone.
  • I also recommend 1 tsp of Vitamin C powder each day or a hot lemon and ginger drink every morning. Vitamin C combined with a little Zinc and Vitamin A is even better.
  • Swap your daily coffee for a freshly squeezed orange juice or carrot and ginger juice from your local juice bar or vegetable shop. Bottled juices have lost any therapeutic benefit in the bottling process so eat your fruit instead.  
  • Keep warm. As simple as this may sound, keeping your kidneys and your chest warm ensures that vital body energy and heat is not lost and catches a chill. Grab a scarf and wind a sarong around your mid-riff for extra warmth.
  • Create a positive outlook on life! Expecting the best and converting problems into opportunities is a life skill that can be learned by everyone and has been shown to raise the immune system.

Remedies to the Rescue


  • Gargle with salt and water, chew fresh ginger slices, sip on hot water and fresh lemon juice. Unfortunately the squidgy bottle of lemon juice you buy in the supermarket has lost its potent vitamin C content - add lemons to your shopping list or grow a lemon tree!
  • Shake a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil or Tea Tree oil in your morning shower, a hot bath, or oil burner to clear your nose, head and chest.
  • Eat as much onions, garlic and horseradish as others can tolerate from you! These vegetables are naturally antibiotic. To disguise the taste and make an effective cough syrup, slice an onion and pour 1 Tb of raw honey over it. Keep it in the fridge in an airtight container and in 24 hrs you have a sweet antibiotic syrup. One teaspoon of the liquid syrup helps kill any germs!
  • If your chest, nose or sinuses are clogged up or you suffer from allergies or asthma, reduce dairy, especially milk, as it will only create more mucous.
  • Chicken and vegetable soup. Revered in many cultures for thousands of years, chicken soup works wonders as the convalescent food to fortify the body and immune system. Make a big pot and take it in a thermos or lunch box to work for lunch or simply heat some up when you get home from work each night. 
  • Sleep is when the body repairs itself and can channel its resources into fighting infection so sometimes we have to go home, turn off the mobile and go to bed. Allowing our bodies to rest and heal is an age old prescription that most people ignore or override by throwing back a few cold and 'flu tablets to keep working but eventually it catches up with everyone. Winter is the time when our body naturally wants to hibernate so if you can feel the onslaught coming, an early mark for much needed sleep is better than a week or two of a full blown 'flu or chesty cough and succumbing to antibiotics. 
There are now clinical trials demonstrating the positive effect of herbal medicines on the immune system by increasing Natural Killer cells, phagocytes, lymphocytes and interferons as well as demonstrating anti-viral activity. My own magic mixes usually include Echinacea, Andrographis, Thyme, Astragalus, Reishi & Shiitaki mushrooms. See your qualified naturopath or herbalist as products vary enormously in quality so you don't waste your money or your health.
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Lamb Shoulder with Lentil Salad and Steamed Fennel






A hearty winters meal to warm the body and soul.

Lamb Ingredients:
  • 1 lamb shoulder
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
Preheat oven to 250C. Cut sweet potato into 3cm slices, leaving the skin on and coating with coconut oil. Slice open flap of lamb shoulder, smear with coconut oil and fry in a hot pan with whole garlic cloves for 30 seconds on 1 side only. Sprinkle with rosemary, thyme and salt and place the sweet potato around the lamb.  Bake for 10 minutes at 250C, then reduce heat to 180C and cook for 1-1.5 hours depending on size. Alternatively you can use your crockpot and slow cook the lamb shoulder by adding two cups of water or stock and cooking for 6-8 hours.

Lentil Salad Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of brown cooked lentils
  • 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tb extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 handful of chopped coriander
  • 1 Tb of thinly sliced spanish onion
Mix all ingredients together and let them sit to absorb the flavours before serving.

Steamed Fennel:
  • 4 whole fennels
  • 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
Slice whole fennels in half and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Steam or barbecue for 10 minutes or until soft throughout middle.

Serve sliced roast lamb, roast sweet potatoes, lentil salad and steamed or barbecued fennel. 

Enjoy your winter roast!







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Apple Crumble



On a cold winter afternoon one of my favourite things is to bake apple crumble with the warm aromas filling the house. It is the perfect winter comfort treat that is easy to make and guaranteed to satisfy hungry stomachs. Apples are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which is great for a healthy digestive system.  The soluble fiber (pectin) helps lower cholesterol, keeps your bowels regular and stabilizes your blood sugar. This recipe uses rapadura which is a sugar before it has molasses removed, so it is lower glycaemic than raw sugar and more nutritious. It can be sourced from health food shops. Alternatively you can use maple syrup, which is lower glycaemic and more nutritious than honey, golden syrup or rice syrup. I’ve also used coconut oil or macadamia nut oil instead of margarine or vegetable oil which contain inflammatory trans fats.


Filling
6 medium sized apples  - approx 1 kg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, paste or 1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp grated ginger
2 cups water

Crumble topping
1  1/2 cups rolled oats (or rolled quinoa or almond meal for gluten free)
1/2 cup organic desiccated or flaked coconut
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup rapadura or organic maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil, macadamia nut oil or butter
1/2 cup walnuts or macadamia nuts (optional)

Method:
Preheat your oven to 180C
Cut apples into wedges with the skin left on, removing the core.
Mix apples, vanilla extract, cinnamon, lemon rind, ginger and 2 cups of water in a saucepan and simmer on the stove top until soft, stirring occasionally.
Place the stewed apple, drained of the water, into a baking dish that has been greased with coconut oil or butter.
To make the crumble, combine the rolled oats, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, rapadura or maple syrup and walnuts until well mixed and then add softened coconut oil until crumbly.
Scatter the crumble over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and serve alone or with fresh cream or natural yogurt.


Fruit Variety:
Fold through a cup of raspberries or blueberries or the pulp of  2-3 passionfruit to the poached apple before placing crumble on top.
When in season – replace some of the apples with 2 – 3 fresh raw peaches, 6 apricots, or 1 bunch of rhubarb.





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Trout with Avocado Sauce, Asparagus and Quinoa


Eat well. Live well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 x 200g trout fillets
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 ripe avocados, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 bunches of asparagus, cut off the end approx. 1 cm
  • 3/4 cup of quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
Method:
  • Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 4 minutes.
  • Add avocados, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil into a food processor; pulse into a creamy consistency.
  • Preheat a frying pan. Combine the trout fillets, salt and pepper, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Place them into a medium to hot frying pan. Cook for 5 minutes each side.
  • Remove the lid and fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Heat a saucepan full of water, bring to boil and then place the asparagus in for 5 minutes; they should still be slightly crunchy. 
  • Place the trout on a bed of asparagus, spoon avocado sauce on top and serve quinoa on the side.
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Is Heartburn Causing You Heartache?




Reflux is commonly known as heartburn as it strikes in the chest and can feel frighteningly like a heart attack. Symptoms of acid reflux may include laryngitis, hoarseness, sensation of a lump in the throat, post-nasal drip, chronic throat clearing, excessive throat mucous, sore throat, cough, spasm of the throat and/or throat pain. The issue is not with an excess of stomach acid, although it may feel that way, but with a defect in the closing of the oesophageal sphincter that separates the stomach from the oesophagus.

Several foods trigger reflux, including alcohol, chocolate, coffee, spicy foods, tomatoes, capsicums, carbonated drinks (soft drinks), junk food and citrus fruits. Not all of these foods will cause symptoms. Become acquainted with your triggers and avoid them.

Tips to reduce the onset of heartburn:

Leave 3 hours between eating and bedtime so you do not go to bed on a full stomach.
Avoid coughing and throat clearing: swallow or sip water instead.
Elevate the head of your bed with a telephone book or brick.
Avoid tight clothing, overeating and excess weight.
Chew your food well and eat slowly
Lose weight if you are overweight.
• Limit any water immediately prior or during a meal as it dilutes your digestive enzymes.

How to heal your heartburn:
•      Eat soft foods only for 2 days to heal the oesophagus (and lining of the digestive system) from any prior damage that may have been caused by excessive acid in the past. No nuts, crackers, toast, popcorn, biscuits, breakfast cereals, hard crunchy salads/fruit. Eat soft, lightly cooked foods eg. rolled oat porridge, eggs, soups, stews, casseroles, steamed veges, cooked rice, soft fruits, mashed potatoes, yoghurt, bread.
Drink 1 Tsp – 1 Tb apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water before meals which will help rebalance the acidity and improve digestion.
Slippery elm is a soothing demulcent powder that prevents stomach acid from resurfacing. 1-2 tsp in a glass of water after every meal allows your oesophagus to heal.
If you don't like slippery elm powder you can use raw honey instead. Having 1 tsp any time you feel discomfort or pain as well as before bed soothes and heals the oesophagus.
If on the run, carry a Red Delicious Apple with you. These apples contain a chemical which is a natural antacid.

For my patients, I prescribe herbal medicines or nutritional supplements that coat and heal the gut lining and rebalance your digestion and stomach pH. These are individually prescribed depending on the cause, such as that old friend, stress.


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Seafood Risotto


We are so lucky to live in Australia and have access to a sumptuous array of fresh fish to choose from. This brown rice risotto is deliciously filling for an autumn evening.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (soaked overnight in water)
  • 1 large piece of blue eyed cod
  • 10 fresh prawns
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil/butter/ghee
  • 1 leek
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Large handful of green beans
  • Fresh thyme or oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 fresh red chili
  • 1 lemon/lime
Method:
  • Start by cooking your brown rice in the vegetable stock cube
  • Chop beans, capsicum, leek, chili and garlic and stir fry in the coconut oil
  • Next add the blue eyed cod and prawns and cook for a further 5-10 minutes
  • Once the brown rice is cooked, add it into the wok. Add a cup or two of water depending on how much sauce you would like.
  • Add some freshly chopped thyme or oregano
  • I served my risotto with some fresh rocket and a squeeze of lemon - simply delicious!
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ANZAC Biscuits



Tomorrow is ANZAC Day, 25th April which celebrates the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. It is a time to honor those who have fought for our freedom today but also an opportunity to remember the Australian tradition of mateship.

Mateship is a distinct Australian quality which brings our community together. Enjoy these healthy Anzac biscuits to share with your family and friends on your ANZAC Day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats 
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut 
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 2 ½ tablespoons coconut oil 
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 tablespoon water

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C 
  • Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or blend in a food processor briefly.
  • Roll out and flatten biscuits and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper
  • Bake for 20 -30 minutes until golden brown

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Rack of Lamb with Cauliflower and White Bean Puree


As the evening temperature drops, this delicious lamb recipe will make you look like a Master Chef, thanks to Pete Field who cooked this lovely meal for us last Sunday.

Ingredients:
  • Rack of lamb 
  • Whole cauliflower
  • 1 tin of white beans
  • 1 Lemon 
  • Half bunch of Italian parsley 
  • 1 sprig of rosemary bush
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Coconut oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper
Method:
  • Brown racks of lamb in frying pan for 30 seconds each side using coconut oil
  • Score meat with a sharp knife and sprinkle with fresh rosemary
  • Bake in oven for 30 minutes until tender at 180 degress celcius
  • Cut lemon into quarters and add to the baking dish in the oven in the last 10 minutes
  • Steam cauliflower for 10 minutes
  • Blend steamed cauliflower, tin of white beans, a little of the water from the steamer, 1 clove of garlic and half a bunch of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Remove lamb from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting into cutlets
  • Place cutlets on top of the cauliflower puree and serve with baked lemon
  • Best eaten with a squeeze of baked lemon and a fresh salad of diced cucumber, red and green capsicum and feta 
Bon Appetit!
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Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns




These Hot Cross Buns are a gluten free and nutritious alternative. Good for those on a Paleo diet too. Drizzle dark chocolate crosses on top if you like.

Ingredients:
2 organic eggs
3 cups almond meal
80g raisins/sultanas
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder/essence
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Zest from 1 orange

Pinch of sea salt
Coconut oil (to grease baking tray)

Method:
Preheat oven to 180 C
Combine dry ingredients (almonds, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon and salt) and mix well
Blend wet ingredients (oil, honey, orange, eggs) in food processor
Add wet ingredient to dry ingredients and mix well
Pat spoonfuls of mixture onto a greased baking tray
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden

Serve with organic butter & raw honey or homemade jam. Also delicious on their own!
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Fitness First Star


A couple of weeks ago I had the exciting opportunity to shoot 10 segments for Fitness First TV based upon my article, 10 Foods For An Einstein Brain. My article also features in the March edition of the Fitness First magazine. If you're a member of the Fitness First gyms, keep an eye out throughout March and April for my TV segments which will be screened nationally. For a preview of my brainy tips, take a look at my Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/ClaudetteWadsworth Thanks to Active Media Group and all the crew.


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Fertility Hot Spot


Easter is about new beginnings and new life. Conceiving a child is a very special, though often unconscious, event. For others, it may be problematic. Fertility is a complex issue that involves both prospective parents. I have been consulting women and couples for the last 12 years which I am very passionate about because there is so much potential for improvement as well as opportunity for parents to educate themselves. Taking control of one’s own fertility, and having an active role in treatment, can be an important and empowering factor for many prospective parents.

Recently I attended a 3 day conference at The Hilton Hotel Sydney to update on the latest scientific research of natural methods, medical testing and assisted reproductive technology such as IVF. Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or using IVF, there are many changes that you can make to profoundly improve your chances of a healthy, successful conception, pregnancy, birth and baby. IVF doctors say increasing numbers of prospective parents unrealistically see IVF as the "silver bullet" after eating, drinking and smoking themselves into poor fertility health.

Poor nutrition, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, environmental pollution, lack of exercise, stress, oral contraceptives, genito-urinary infections, and other infections eg Candida, allergies, child bearing at an older age and stress are all important factors which deplete the quality of sperm, eggs, health of the male and female reproductive organs and in turn, impair fertility. A recent study in the UK showed IVF success rates more than doubled when preceded by a period of preconception health care. I consult many couples who are undergoing IVF treatment where nutritional support and stress management are vital. No supplement that has a hormonal effect is given to interfere with the drug regime.




IVF specialists also say it is not enough for just the woman to get into health - the male partner's weight, diet, cigarette and alcohol consumption significantly impact fertility and sperm quality. The combined effort by both parents ensures better health of the new baby as fertility issues may come from either the female or the male with 50% DNA from each. If only one partner is involved, it is still worth doing but will not necessarily be as effective.



Many couples say they already have a healthy diet but unfortunately nowadays this may be inadequate as the nutrient content of food is affected by farming methods, modern processing and refinement of foods, lifestyle issues, tobacco, alcohol, being on the oral contraceptive pill and other drugs that rob the body of vital nutrients. This was demonstrated by a CSIRO study that found 67% of Australian women received less than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of zinc in their diets. Stress increases the demand of a variety of nutrients. Older couples may require an increase in nutrients compared to a younger couple because their nutrient stores may be depleted as they have been exposed to lifestyle and environmental factors for a longer period of time. Nutritional needs are also increased by 15-20% in pregnancy. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2007 found that eating trans fats, eg. margarine, deep fried oils, processed foods, increased the risk of fertility problems by 70% or more.

Getting healthy before trying to conceive is not a new idea. Many traditional societies practiced preconception health care, such as the Ancient Greeks and Romans whose conceiving couples abstained from alcohol prior to and during pregnancy due to its damaging effects on the foetus. Veterinarians, stock breeders and farmers all feed special diets to their animals prior to breeding as well.

This Easter begin a new chapter in your life, starting with your health.

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BBQ Fish With Fresh Summer Salad



Ingredients:
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • chopped avocado
  • 8 pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 handful of flat leaf parsley leaves chopped
  • thinly sliced fennel
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4x180g Australian Barramundi or Blue Eye Cod fish fillets
  • 2 Tbs olive oil, for cooking
Tip: Where possible try to source locally fished seafood e.g. Australian Barramundi rather than imported Vietnamese. Your fishmonger should be able to recommend alternatives too.

Method: 

Salsa:
  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters and discard the seeds
  • Finely dice the tomato flesh and fennel and place in a bowl
  • Add the olives, parsley and chopped avocado, then add the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and season with freshly ground black pepper
Fish:
  • Preheat the barbecue hotplate to high or heat a large frying pan over high heat
  • Brush the fish with olive oil and cook for a few minutes each side, depending on the thickness
  • Serve with the salsa
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Breakfast Mini Kale Frittatas


Great for a quick breakfast when you're on the go or as a healthy snack at work. Make a batch of these on the weekend to stock you up for the week ahead. Try different varieties by adding your favourite herbs, pumpkin or sweet potato. Otherwise at least you know you have managed to squeeze a leafy green into your breakfast.

Makes 6 frittatas Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 brown onion, chopped
6 organic eggs
3 Tb milk (or almond/goat milk if allergy)
6 vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 large kale leaves, roughly chopped
1 Tb olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius. Fry onion lightly in olive oil. Blend eggs and milk in a blender until light and fluffy (or whisk by hand if you don't have a blender). Stir in other ingredients, season with salt and pepper and pour mixture into a six-cup muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from muffin pan and cool


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Chocolate Cheesecake For The Family To Go Nuts Over


We all need a sweet treat or a party dessert so here is the perfect solution to keep your health at its prime. It is free of gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts and low in sugar and yet, still tastes amazing! Courtesy of Terri Hanlon of Bodywize gym.

Prep-time: about 10 minutes
Makes: 12 mini cheesecakes or one 8 inch cake

Almond Crust:
- 1 cup almond meal
- 3-4 medjool dates
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Place all of the above ingredients into a food processor and pulse till combined. The crust should have a slight sticky consistency. Press the almond crust into the oiled or lined cheesecake pan with your fingers. Set aside as you make your filling.

Chocolate Filling:
- 2 cups cashew nuts
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

Directions:
Soak cashew for about 10-15 minutes (optional) then rinse well. Place cashews into blender with maple syrup, vanilla, and water. Blend until creamy. Next add in your cacao powder and coconut oil. Keep blending till creamy. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times. Continue blending till it is smooth. Pour the filling into the cheesecake pan and set in the freezer for a few hours. You can top it with crushed pecans or cashews, slivered almonds and fresh raspberries.

Yummy!

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New Bondi Junction Clinic 9389 3689



New Year, New Beginnings!

As of January 2013 I will be partnering with Better Health Clinic at 40 Grosvenor St Bondi Junction. This means a new number, better services and a fresh new look. You will enjoy the same excellent Naturopathic services at the same convenient location but simply next door. Better Health is a newly renovated clinic with full time reception services so it will make appointment bookings, ordering of products and supplement collection faster and easier. Better Health is a passionate group of health practitioners who offer osteopathic and massage services as well.  

Tuesday 8am - 6pn
Thursday 10am - 8pm

02 9389 3689

Over the past 12 years I've had the privilege of being involved in the key milestones of my clients and their family's lives. I wish 2013 to be a wonderful year of fulfillment and health for you and your family.



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Sensational Summer Smoothie

A banana smoothie with a difference! For a fast track breakfast or a healthy snack my sensational smoothie is packed full of energising nutrients to keep you firing well into the New Year. Bananas provide energy and magnesium which prevents muscle cramps. Healthy Omega 3 oils are found in the avocado, almonds, chia seeds and flaxmeal. Fibre in the almonds, chia seeds and flaxmeal will keep your bowels regular. Cinnamon controls your sugar cravings and increases circulation which keeps your brain alert. Antioxidants to prevent disease and ageing are packed full in the superfood chia seeds and the green leafy spinach. Believe it or not, this actually tastes delicious!

Ingredients:
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/2 medium-sized avocado
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of almonds
- 1 tsp of chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 large leaf of spinach or silverbeet
- 1 Tb of flaxmeal or ground flaxseeds
- If you want more protein, add 1 scoop of a good quality whey protein or 1 cup of milk if you can tolerate dairy.



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Pomegranate, Walnut & Chicken Salad


This nutritious summer salad is light, fresh and ideal for entertaining. Simple to throw together and full of health benefits including antioxidant pomegranates, omega 3 walnuts and avocado, high protein lean chicken and dark greens rich in folate. 

Ingredients:

2 Tb Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb Lemon juice
2 Chicken breasts
1 Avocado
1 Pomegranate 
10 Walnuts 
4 cups Baby spinach

Method:
  • Grill or barbecue chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through 
  • Slice chicken into strips  
  • Mix baby spinach, sliced avocado, walnuts and pomegranate seeds with olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl 
  • Arrange chicken strips over salad to serve 
  • You can always substitute pomegranates or your favourite summer fruit e.g. mango

Bon Appetit! 




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Summer Party Health Tips




Summer has arrived and with it the festive season. Here are some tips to still enjoy the summer parties while keeping those Christmas kilos at bay.
  • Hydrate: Make sure you are well hydrated by drinking a bottle of water before you go out. The more water you drink, the less fluid retention you will hold. 
  • Booze: Tis the party season but that doesn’t give us a licence to go overboard with alcohol! Try and eat before you drink and have a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage. Try lower alcohol drinks such as Pimms and fruit punches for hot afternoons or for a more refreshing thirst quencher try vodka and cranberry juice. Avoid cocktails which are high in sugar and calories. Have a night off the alcohol and be the designated driver.
  • St Mary's Thistle: This is the best herb to take during the party season to protect your liver and help it detoxify. 
  • Detox Herbal Teas: Green tea and roasted dandelion coffee help the liver detoxify, while lemongrass and spearmint teas have a refreshing zing for summer. 
  • Summer Iced Teas: Make some iced herbal tea by adding ice cubes, slices of fresh fruit e.g strawberries, apple, orange and a sprig of fresh herbs. Herbal teas can even be frozen into ice blocks for your children with added honey.
  • Energizing Juices: Freshly squeezed juices flush your system with antioxidants and aid detoxification. Carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger are particularly effective, while pineapple and mint give a little summer zing.
  • Summer Salads: Surrounded by the abundance of tropical summer fruits, it’s easy to forget your greens but these cannot be replaced so make the most of the bountiful salad season with lots of rocket, baby spinach, or try some of the many varied coloured and curled lettuces.
  • Unclog: Keep your bowel regular so the toxins can be removed from the body. Try prunes, psyllium husks, lemon in warm water on rising, consider colonic irrigation.
  • Metabolism Booster: Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system which encourages toxins to move out of the body. It also pumps more oxygen to the cells and the brain as well as speeds up your metabolism so you burn your fat faster. Try and exercise at least every second day after which your metabolism begins to slow again.
  • Electrolytes: If you are exercising heavily, choose a good quality electrolyte drink with added magnesium to help you reabsorb your fluids, preferably without artificial sweeteners.
  • Dinner Parties: When preparing dinner, use fresh vegetables steamed or in a delicious salad, complemented by lightly grilled or barbequed fish, seafood or chicken.Wholegrain sourdough bread on the table is much better than white, and with a lower GI too. Avoid too many dairy foods which clog up your digestive system such as cheese, cream, ice-cream and chocolate.
  • Plan Ahead: Eat a small meal before going to a party. The misconception that "if I skip dinner I can eat everything in sight" can lead to too many calories consumed. Often these party snacks produce bloating and lack nutritional value.
  • Socialising: When arranging to meet friends, organise activities that don’t revolve around alcohol, such as a picnic in the park followed by a game of boules or cricket, or a swim or surf at the beach.
  • Recharge: Get a good night’s sleep. Too many late nights take their toll on the body, resulting in post party overeating. Try to alternate a late night with an early one to maintain energy levels.

And remember...It’s not what happens between Christmas and New Year that’s important as what happens between New Year and Christmas!!






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Quinoa Summer Salad


This fresh summer salad is nutritious and quick to throw together for lunch or to complement your BBQ.
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 cups of rocket
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup of grated beetroot
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp mined fresh garlic
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • 1 can of organic chickpeas or 1.5 cups of soaked and cooked chickpeas
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 4 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork. Set aside to cool completely.

Combine the rocket, beetroot, celery and onion in a large bowel. Whisk the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowel. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Rinse the chickpeas well until they stop foaming, then add the quinoa, chickpeas and avocado to the salad and mix until evenly combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.


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Avocado Chocolate Mousse


It does sound strange but it tastes sensational and is healthy too! Quick, easy, guilt-free summer treat.
Courtesy of quirkycooking.blogspot.com.au


Ingredients:
  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • 150gm raw Cashews
  • 350gm Ice cubes
  • 35gm Cacao (or Cocoa)
  • 100gm Dates
  • 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste or essence
Blend raw cashews in food processor. Then add ice cubes and blend again. Scrape down sides of bowl and add vanilla, cacao powder and dates and reblend. Finally add the avocado flesh and blend. If it is not thick enough to stay formed into peaks, add another handful of ice cubes. Spoon into glasses and top with fresh raspberries, blueberries or strawberries and serve. Or freeze for later but if it is frozen solid, thaw before using - like heavenly healthy soft-serve ice cream!

  • Heart Health Avocados are high in healthy Omega 3 oils which decrease inflammation,  now recognised as the leading cause of heart disease.
  • Lower Cholesterol Avocados are also high in beta-sitosterol, a compound shown to lower cholesterol levels with research showing a 17% drop in cholesterol by including 1/2 avocado in your diet daily. Also high in fibre which binds on to the cholesterol to take it out of the body.
  • Fertile Ovaries & Pregnancy Half an avocado contains 144mcg of folate which is needed during pregnancy for the developing foetus as well as being rich in good oils and vitamin E to maintain youthful ovaries and eggs.
  • Eye Health High in carotenoid, Lutein, which protects against macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Prostate Balance These anti-inflammatory Omega 3 oils help reduce enlargement of the prostate or more commonly known as BPH, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy.
  • Youthful Skin Avocados are a rich source of Vitamin C which protects your skin from oxidative damage. Vitamin C is also needed to build collagen to keep your skin strong and elastic.
  • Cacao is the unprocessed form of cocoa which retains its high antioxidant benefits without the sugars. Available from health food stores - preferrable to cocoa. Be aware it contains caffeine so may keep you awake! As a treat, it is very healthy so long as you don't rely on it like other forms of caffeine which then end up pushing your adrenal glands, exhausting the body and upsetting hormonal balance. 
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Detox For Summer


Now is the perfect time to detoxify your body just like spring cleaning your house to help you feel refreshed and energised for the coming summer action!

Have you ever noticed that many people treat their CARS better than their bodies? They would never ignore a warning light for an oil change or regular maintenance, but they often ignore the tell-tale signs that their body is in desperate need of a tune up. An unfortunate fact of our modern life is that even the healthiest body struggles with inferior nutrition, pollutants in the air, water and food supply, and A lack of healthy activity. It’s no wonder that most of us don’t feel like the Formula One racing cars that we should!

Some Of The Body’s Warning Signs:
  • Do you feel less healthy and energetic than other people your age?
  • Do you struggle with your weight or fluid retention?
  • Do you have digestive disturbances (wind, bloating, flatulence, constipation, heartburn)?
  • Do you have dark circles under your eyes, post-nasal drip or hayfever symptoms?
  • Do you have bad breath or body odour?
  • Do you have sore, aching muscles or acne?
Detoxing at least once a year will help to keep you feeling and looking great!
  • Add Veggies to...Everything: Load up your meals with vegetables so there's less room for starchy grains and nutrient poor white flour products. At lunch, you can stuff a wrap with lettuce, rocket, tomato, grated carrot, sprouts, capsicum, avocado and bulk up your dinner meals with extra veggies thrown in. The rise in the incidence of asthma has been linked to diets low in fresh vegetables. We need a serve at every meal!
  • Start with Salad or Soup: Starting with a salad or soup can help you eat less over the course of meal, says researchers. It also ensures you get your 5 portions of colourful vegetables per day and is visually satisfying to think you can have 2 plates of food rather than only half a hamburger.
  • Juice It! Freshly squeezed juices flush your system with antioxidants and aid detoxification so rather than getting an afternoon coffee to pep you up, head for the juice bar. Carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger are particularly effective, while watermelon, pineapple and mint give a little summer zing.
  • Green Smoothies are all the rage! Rather than juicing, buy a blender & simply blend your green veges with water for a quick antioxidant-rich, filling snack in itself: kale leaves, spinach, half a cucumber, half a lemon, 1 green apple or a banana for taste: bon appetit!
  • Elixir of Life: Drink at least 2 litres of water every day, carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go, always keep a jug of fresh water on your desk or at home. Contrary to popular belief, the more water you drink, the less fluid retention you will hold. If exercising a lot, add a little salt to your water to replace your electrolytes.
  • Going Herbal: Make some iced herbal tea by adding ice cubes, slices of lemon/lime and a sprig of fresh herbs. Herbal teas can even be frozen into ice blocks for your children with added honey.
    Green tea and roasted dandelion coffee help the liver detoxify, while lemongrass and spearmint teas have a refreshing zing for summer.
  • Dessert Selection: Half a cup of natural yoghurt has fewer calories and improves digestion rather than half a cup of ice cream. Choose fruit such as pineapple or melon rather than cake or biscuits to fill up on fibre and water. 1 Tim Tam is equivalent to 2 cups of watermelon or 1.5 cups of pineapple! Avoid dried fruit which is high in sugar and sulfur preservatives: 1/4 cup of sultanas contains the same calories as 1 cup of grapes. Add a bag of apples or oranges to your weekly shopping list so you've always got some fruit on hand.
  • Glycaemic Index Load: If you eat a bowl of ice cream, your blood sugar level goes through the roof, but if you eat a bowl of white rice or white pasta and measure your blood sugar again, it will be exactly the same! So it's not just about the amount of sugar or fat content but how quickly foods breakdown to sugar and are absorbed. Another example is broccoli has 4% carbohydrate and strawberries have 5% carbohydrate, while white bread has 75% carbohydrate content. As a result, 1kg of strawberries is the equivalent of 1 slice of white bread. Always eat wholegrain breads or crackers, brown or basmati rice, try Quinoa for a nutritious change (cook just like rice but only 10 minutes!) and combine these with lots of vegetables and some protein to slow down your digestion and make you feel full faster so you don't overeat. 
  • Snack it! Everyone gets caught out on snacks but rather than be tempted by the quick fix of the biscuit jar or chocolate bar, keep a bag of almonds in your desk drawer, dip vege sticks rather than chips into humus or salsa, eat hard cheddar cheese rather than soft Brie or Camembert, head to the juice bar, keep a few hard boiled eggs in the fridge for emergency snacks or a quick breakfast with a piece of fruit on the way to work, keep some sachets of miso soup in your desk drawer, a fruit smoothie (with yoghurt rather than ice cream) is healthier than a milkshake or Cherry Ripe. By adding 1 commercial muffin to what you normally eat each day, you increase your "bad" trans fats by 2%, but your risk of a heart attack increases by 93%!
  • Dressing Up? Topping your salad with a creamy dressing will clog your system so keep it simple with extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil combined with apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice. 
  • Detox Your Mind: A good detox also includes some decluttering of your mind and your life to make space for the new to unfold. Take some time out for yourself to relax and rebuild your energy stores - there's plenty of summer parties ahead so you won't miss out! Consider what no longer serves you in your life....and let it go. Spend time doing what you love and are passionate about rather than wasting your time worrying about what everyone else is doing. Surround yourself with those people that genuinely care and bring out your best rather than simply boosting your ego.
There are no dress rehearsals and no one can play your life for you. This is your time to SHINE. Breathe in the life and beauty all around you - it's your own reflection shining back at you. Go for it!
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Fit Into Your Summer Bikini


Summer is just around the corner but shedding your extra winter weight can be easy with these healthy tips:

  • Get Moving! Regular exercise is essential - put it in your diary so it becomes a daily habit. Choose something you enjoy, that is close to home or work and arrange to meet a buddy so you won't talk yourself out of it.
  • KIS - Keep it simple with meals based on a protein e.g. fish, chicken, eggs, meat, beans and salad or vegetables e.g. wholegrain sandwich with roast beef, mustard, avocado and rocket.
  • Don't skip meals! Eating every 3 hours boosts your metabolism so you burn through calories faster and have higher energy levels.
  • Snack it - Keep a jar of nuts e.g. almonds and fresh fruit at your desk or carry with you so you don't get tempted by the biscuit jar or chips.
  • Late night dinners - If you arrive home late rather than having a quick fix like instant noodles or a microwaveable dinner, try having boiled eggs on toast or a tin of tuna/salmon with salad.
  • Healthy takeaway - When time has got the better of you, some healthy takeaway options are Thai stir fry, sushi, grilled fish from your local fish shop, BBQ chicken with salad.
  • Drink it - Drinking 2-3 L helps flush out toxins, keep your bowels moving and decreases hunger cravings. Green tea helps weight loss and to detox your liver - rather than a milky coffee!
  • Ordering out - Ask for rice or salad rather than chips or mash 
  • Get some shut eye - If you don't get enough sleep, you crave sugars for energy and you make poor decisions regarding your food choices. 7-8 hours sleep every night aids weight loss!
  • Hidden sugars - Sugar is highly addictive and it is in so many products nowadays e.g. cereals, muesli bars, flavoured yogurt so it's hard to avoid but eating excess sugars only contributes to weight gain and long term health problems. Throw out anything in your cupboards that has ingredients that your grandmother would not recognise and rather than eating packet products, eat fresh food.
If these tips are not working for you, consider seeing a qualified Naturopath such as myself to investigate other underlying causes e.g. underactive thyroid or insulin resistance.

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From Acne To Clear Glowing Skin


Many women and adults develop acne in their teenage years and sometimes it continues into later life. It is important to address so that it does not diminish self-esteem. Acne is not caused by ‘dirty” skin, poor hygiene or oily hair on the face. It is a symptom of an underlying hormonal imbalance of increased androgens (male hormones) together with enlargening of the pores in the skin, sebum overproduction, bacterial infection in the skin and consequent inflammation and oxidative stress. However, some people have hormonal imbalances but do not develop acne, while someone with acne will often have normal androgen levels in their blood tests. It is thought that these people have increased sensitivity to androgens or that the androgens are converted into stronger, more potent hormones in the hair follicle producing a localized effect only which does not show in the blood. These localized increased androgens cause increased sebum production and acne. This is related particularly to acne occurring around the jawline, chest and back as opposed to the T zone of the forehead and cheeks which relates more to internal body toxicity.


Diet Tips:

Eat lots of vegetables, salads and fresh fruit everyday: 5 serves/day – the more colour the better: carrots and pumpkin (high in betacarotene); lots of dark green leafy eg. rocket, baby spinach, broccoli. Fresh vegetable juices eg. carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger are a wonderful way to cleanse and heal the skin.

Avoid sugars, sweets, chocolate, soft drink, fruit juice, cordial and alcohol which imbalances your blood sugar level causing insulin resistance and bacteria in your skin bread off the sugar.

Avoid constipation by increasing water intake to 2 litres per day at room temperature (not iced), regular exercise, prunes, psyllium husks: 1Tb in water on rising. Try colonic irrigation.

Squeeze ½ lemon in glass of warm water upon rising to aid liver detoxification and hydration

Reduce dairy as it raises Insulin-Like Growth Factor causing acne and clogs your lymphatics around your jawline and face, especially milk, ice cream, cheese. Make sure you have adequate calcium though – tinned fish with the bones, nuts, seaweeds, miso soup.

Avoid coffee, cigarettes or drugs as they stimulate the stress hormones which raise androgen levels and your blood sugars and insulin as well as providing thousands of toxic chemicals.

Protein in all your meals: controls your blood sugars by slowing down the absorption of sugars, stimulates your metabolism, decreases hunger and sugar cravings as well as aids liver detoxification of hormones: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Avoid synthetic hormones: only eat organic or hormone-free chicken and eggs, although ideally all food organic.

Herbal teas: Roasted dandelion root is a coffee alternative & aids detoxification of the liver and bowel. Excellent mix is nettle leaf, red clover, burdock, dandelion root(unroasted) and calendula: 1 tsp of each: 2-3 cups per day. If stressed add chamomile, passionflower or lavender.

•     Herbal medicines that help clear acne include Echinacea, Calendula, Burdock, Dandelion Root and Chaste Tree for women if the acne is hormonal.

•    Nutritional supplements that help heal acne include Zinc, Vitamins A, C and D.

Lifestyle Tips

Antibacterial face washers containing tea tree oil helps clear an infection. Avoid make up and heavy creams which block the pores and always remove makeup before going to bed. Facials with a qualified beautician help remove the blackheads before they become infected and to release the infection in cystic acne. If infection is severe, use benzoic peroxide 5% cream on the pimples only. Calendula and vitamin E cream or rose hip oil, lemongrass, carrot oils are very healing and reduce scarring once the infection is under control. Try Moo Goo products www.moogoo.com.au

•       Do not squeeze or pick at pimples, as the germs on your hands further infect the area and it is more likely to scar. Use natural makeup and skin care products and wash makeup brushes regularly and dry in the sun.

Reduce stress. Adopt a lifestyle that balances work and relaxation, allowing some time to have fun, relax and have a good laugh! Consider a massage fortnightly, meditation, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, acupuncture, yoga, relaxing hot epsom salt baths with rose and lavender oils.

Regular moderate exercise: minimum 4x week 45 mins (ideally daily) combination of aerobic and resistance is essential to control insulin levels and for stress management.

Balance your weight. If you are underweight, you will need to increase it to boost your oestrogen levels. If you are overweight, your body stores many toxins and chemicals in your fatty tissues so you will need to lose some, even 5% which is usually only 3-5kg.

Sunlight and salt water are very anti-microbial and healing for the skin.



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Spring Salmon Salad


Ingredients:

Salmon
- Salmon fillets
- 1 lemon
- 1 Tb of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dried dill or bay leaf

Place salmon fillets in oven dish. Squeeze lemon juice over top and add a couple of lemon slices and olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper, then add 1/2 cup of water to poach. Cook in preheated oven at 150 degrees for 20-30 minutes, depending on the number of salmon fillets. Check periodically until it flakes easily with knife. Can be served hot or cold.

Salad
- 1/2 Fennel sliced thinly or in a food processor
- Fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 Cucumber sliced thinly or in a food processor
- 3 Radishes sliced thinly or in a food processor
- 2 Tb of fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tb of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste

Toss altogether and serve with salmon
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September is PCOS Awareness Month


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an increasingly common condition in women where cysts develop on the ovaries and ovulation is inhibited. 20-25% of women have PCO which only affects the ovaries, while 5-10% of women of reproductive age have PCOS which involves blood sugar irregularities, insulin resistance, thyroid, adrenal and the pituitary.

PCOS usually begins in puberty and worsens with time, although fortunately it is a benign disorder. PCOS is complex because it is so much affected by a woman’s emotions, thoughts, diet and personal history. Instead of producing eggs in the ovary and releasing them once a month, called ovulation, women with PCO/S produce eggs that do not mature properly but develop into multiple cysts on the ovaries. The woman’s body produces too many male hormones, known as androgens. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the most common hormonal problems for women and a risk factor for Type-2 Diabetes. Many women have PCOS for 20 or 30 years before they develop diabetes, and most don’t realise that their daughters and granddaughters are at high risk too. Between 50% and 70% of women with PCOS have high insulin levels, called Insulin Resistance.


Signs and symptoms include irregular or absence of menstrual periods, which is usually the 1st warning sign, infertility, excess body hair, obesity, underweight or history of eating disorders, acne around the jawline, chest and back, craving sugars and starchy carbohydrates such as white flour products, heightened stress, anxiety or performance pressure.


Diagnosis requires two of the following tests:

  • Hormone Blood Tests: The ratio of Lutenizing Hormone (LH) to Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is 2:1 or more. Oestrogen and Testosterone are high, while Progesterone and SHBG are low.
  • Internal Ultrasound Examination of the ovaries illustrating 10 or more cysts on the ovary. Ovaries are usually 10ml or more in size.
  • Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) with Insulin is elevated. According to Dr Warren Kidson, the leading endocrinologist on PCOS at the Prince of Wales and Sydney Children’s Hospitals, all women diagnosed with PCO/S should be screened for insulin resistance by a 1 + 2 hour oral GTT: Glucose Tolerance Test with Insulin. Measuring only fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin are not sufficient.  This will determine whether it is systemic and whether the woman has already developed Type 2 Diabetes.

Self-Healing
Dietary and lifestyle changes are essential for successful treatment of PCOS and for maintenance of the condition to prevent long term complications.
Eat 3 main meals with protein daily that stimulate your metabolism. If you skip meals, it slows your metabolism down and your blood sugars drop so that you crave a sugar or stimulant to bring them back up again quickly.

Reduce sugars, sweets, chocolate, soft drinks, fruit juices, cordials, alcohol, white bread and biscuits. Low glycaemic index foods are best, eg. whole grain bread, rolled oats, Basmati or brown rice, natural muesli, quinoa, fresh fruit.

Apple cider vinegar aids digestion and has been shown to improve blood sugar control in obesity and diabetes. Drink 1Tb in glass of warm water on rising.

Include some foods that contain phytoestrogens that help buffer against the stronger oestrogens in the body eg. 2 Tb of ground flaxseeds (flaxmeal) on your cereal or in smoothie, ¼  cup of alfalfa or sprouts, use mixed beans and legumes instead of grains, eat sunflower seeds, non-genetically modified soy products such as tofu, tempeh and miso. However, I do not advocate other Western invented soy products such as soy milk, soy sausages, soy protein powders, soy cheeses, etc

Thyroid: Check your thyroid (TSH<2 .5=".5" and="and" by="by" crushing="crushing" div="div" eat="eat" fry.="fry." iodine="iodine" levels.="levels." nori="nori" on="on" or="or" salad="salad" seaweed="seaweed" some="some" stir="stir" your="your">

Regular moderate exercise: minimum 4x week 45 minutes combination of aerobic and resistance is essential to control insulin levels and for stress management. 

Castor oil pack: Apply organic castor oil on lower abdomen with hot water bottle on top, ½ hour three times a week which is anti-inflammatory and helps you relax.

Adopt a lifestyle that balances work and relaxation, allowing some time to have fun, relax and have a good laugh! Consider a massage fortnightly, meditation, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, acupuncture, yoga, relaxing hot bath with lavender oil

• I specialise in treating women with PCOS and find that most women benefit from herbal medicines to rebalance their hormones and regulate their periods. Naturopathic treatment does not interfere with IVF treatment and increases fertility. 

• Using the work of Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, and the work of Vianna Stibal, ThetaHealing®, the emotional connections to PCOS are discussed to address any underlying emotional issues or creativity blocks so as to create healthy boundaries in all areas of your life. Claudette’s supportive approach makes this journey towards optimum health and balance rewarding and empowering. 





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Boost Your Baby Potential






7 Foods To Eat and 4 Things To Avoid To Increase Your Fertility

1. Flaxmeal Ground flaxseeds provide phytoestrogens which help balance hormones, are an excellent source of omega-3 oils and provide soluble fibre for your bowels. Buy an electric coffee and spice grinder for $30 from Kmart to freshly grind your flaxseeds every morning adding 1-2 Tb to your cereal or smoothie. If you want to pre-grind, keep in an airtight jar in the freezer to avoid rancidity.

2. Avocados Avocados are the perfect fertility food and even look like your uterus! They are high in vitamin E, which is essential for nourishing the reproductive system and acts as an antioxidant for your eggs, protecting them from damage or ageing. Half an avocado a day when in season is my fertility trick.

3. Oily Fish Sardines, trout, cod and salmon all contain omega-3 oils which are essential to hormone production as well as keeping your eggs supple and hydrated. These omega-3 oils also decrease inflammation, thereby helping implantation of the embryo into the uterus lining and decreases the risk of miscarriage that can be caused by an over active immune system. I tell my clients to include oily fish 3 times a week in your diet.

4. Broccoli Broccoli detoxifies environmental chemicals and pollutants that build up in the body and regulates excessive oestrogen, which is more common in women over 35.

5. Red Meat Iron is essential for energy, circulation and building the placenta in the first trimester. Protein is also the building block of hormones and helps control sugar cravings. I recommend 100g of lean red meat 3 times a week to my clients.

6. Dark Green Leafy Salads Leafy greens are full of folate, or folic acid, which is essential for cell replication throughout pregnancy as well as prior. They are also high in magnesium which is needed for muscle relaxation eg. uterine cramping and for blood sugar control. Eat like Popeye everyday so include plenty of spinach, rocket, baby spinach, mustard greens, endives, kale and bok choy in every meal.

7. Butter For lean or underweight women whose hormones are deficient, eating one teaspoon a day of organic butter provides healthy cholesterol which is the building block of hormones.

Any couple trying to conceive should avoid caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Caffeine decreases calcium and iron absorption by 39%, is related to hormonal imbalances and increased risk of miscarriage. Alcohol affects the level of oestrogen and progesterone, is associated with menstrual cycle changes and inhibition of ovulation. Studies indicate there is no safe threshold of alcohol consumption in pregnancy. Evidence also indicates that smoking reduces the chances of conceiving by 10% to 40% per cycle and causes about 5,000 miscarriages a year.

A healthy body is a fertile body so start making changes today!




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Spring Into Action - How to Set Your Libido on Fire!




Testosterone is the hormone that fuels our sexual desire. Although regarded predominantly as a male hormone, some testosterone is needed in women as well. Symptoms of deficiency can include low energy and a non-existent sex drive. However, low libido can be due to stress, over-work and exhaustion, dietary deficiencies, alcohol and drug use, self esteem issues, communication breakdown in relationship, hormonal imbalances, peri-menopause, or emotional or mental upset. I often remind patients that libido is a by-product of good health physically, emotionally and mentally.

Aphrodisiac Keys:

  • Zinc is crucial for sexual reproduction and hormonal production. A quick zinc taste test will show whether you are deficient and white specks on your fingernails is often a telltale sign. Zinc is obtained in pumpkin seeds (pepitas), meat and oysters as well as supplements if you are deficient.
  • Pump Iron - working out with weights increases your natural testosterone levels and libido in both men and women so start some resistance training. If you are underweight or overweight, this will negatively impact your sex drive and hormonal balance so aim for a healthy weight for your height and build.
  • Herbal Love Potions - Several herbs are renowned for boosting libido and testosterone, specifically Tribulus, Damiana, Withania and Saw palmetto. However, these should be prescribed by a qualified herbalist as they can cause hormonal imbalances if they are not appropriate for the individual.
  • Belly Laugh - Laughter reduces the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, and triggers the release of endorphins, our feel-good chemicals, which relieves muscular tension and stress, heals hurts and resentments and unites people. So to destress, reconnect and freshen up your relationship or simply put a smile on your face and that of your partner, try a double endorphin cocktail of shared laughter, fun and play together in and out of the bedroom!
  • Sex on the Mind - Your libido is in your most important sexual organ, the one between your ears (not your legs). The more you think about sex, read sexy books whether it be erotic stories, romance novels or sex articles, think sexy, dress up in sexy clothes that make you feel good, the more your brain becomes sexual and begins to want more.
  • Sensual Touch - the brain doesn't require orgasm as the most important factor to determine that sex feels good. Hormones such as oxytocin (called the "cuddle hormone") are released through sensual and sexual touch as well, not just through orgasm. If your partner is having trouble climaxing, the best way to enjoy sex is to take away the goal of orgasm. 
  • Healthy Diet - A healthy diet cannot be underestimated in sex drive and hormone production. Eat plenty of vegetables, salads, lean protein, omega 3 oils such as oily fish, avocado, walnuts, olive oil, nuts and seeds everyday. Avoid sugars, fried foods, fast food, caffeine and alcohol which deplete the body of vital nutrients. 

These natural health tips will get your mojo back into action but occasionally low libido can be a sign of other serious illnesses. If your libido is low for an extended period of time, or if you have other health concerns, see a health professional.

Remember you are the sex god or goddess!
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Travel Bug Bites!


By the time you read this I'll be on a plane headed to the glorious mountains of Colorado. Since I've had more than my fair share of travel in many exotic and off-the-beaten-track destinations, friends often ask me for travel advice so I thought I'd share a few personal tips I've collected over the years since I started backpacking at the age of 21.

Firstly, I always do my homework reading up on my destination, even if it's last minute on the plane - got to wile away those hours! Even if plans go out the window, which is actually the best part of travelling - not having to be tied to a timetable of terribly important commitments and appointments - you will have an idea of what you want to include or perhaps best to avoid so you don't walk into a cute grizzly bear and her cubs.

Secondly, try and pack as light as possible. Now I actually find this exceedingly difficult as I'm such a be-prepared-for-anything girl but I've honed my skills down over the years and it is always so much more enjoyable if you're not lugging a heavy suitcase around and then you have room for those spontaneous shopping treats. Wear your heavy shoes and jacket onto the plane to lighten your luggage.

Quick packing tips:
  • Pack breathable, natural fibres that you can re-wear without washing if necessary and not smell like a homeless beggar and which don't crease as much, such as wool and silk, or at least cotton.
  • Roll all your clothes when packing as they will unpack without so many creases so you can avoid ironing, given you are on holiday, and they take up less space this way so you can fit more into your bag. Stuff your undies, socks and t shirts into your shoes or corners of the bag.
  • Being a Naturopath, there's always a stack of vitamins I want to take with me so count out exactly how many you want of each for the trip and put into zip lock bags or a plastic pill box. The same goes for medications and anything that needs refrigeration wrap in aluminium foil to keep it as cool as possible. 
  • I hate plastic bags as they will finally breakdown well after I'm dead but I must concede they are perfect for travelling. They help organise your bag into sections, keep dirty clothes well away from clean, stops your moisturiser leaking all over your clothes - very important!
  • Depending on the weather, I always pack a sarong which can double as a towel, a scarf or a skirt. If I'm travelling into winter, I take a wool pashmina which you can wrap around your kidneys to keep warm, use as a scarf, an extra blanket, to lay over your legs on planes or trains, bundle up as a pillow, to brighten and smarten up your travelling clothes. Take it in your hand luggage onto the plane as the temperature is usually freezing I find, along with a thick pair of socks for once you kick off your shoes. 
  • Always pack one easy, throw-on, evening or party dress - you never know when or where you might end up! Silk is best as any creases smooth out when you hang it out in a hot steamy bathroom while you shower. You don't need to take jewellery or accessories to go with it - your natural, beauty and holiday exuberance will be the perfect match. You also don't want to be travelling with expensive or favourite jewellery pieces anyway as the potential for being lost or stolen is always higher when travelling as well as being a magnet for thieves.
  • Minimal is the key with your beauty products, ladies! Try Jojoba oil which is the closest oil to our natural skin oils which you can use for cleansing, face cream and body cream. I also drop into department stores and ask for “testers” of my favourite products, shampoo etc
  • Buy a pair of walking/running/gym shoes that are presentable enough as a day shoe as well. 
  • Tie a coloured ribbon onto your suitcase/backpack so then you can easily identify your bag as it rolls out amongst the multitude of identical bags so you can get through customs faster. It also adds character to your bag and cheers your spirit after a 12+ hour flight.
  • As soon as I'm off the plane, I try and go for a swim as soon as possible or at least have a bath or shower as the water (salt water preferrably) helps take the radiation and vibration out of the body which my travel expert mother has always taught me. Try it - it really makes a difference!
Naturopath's Travel Chest:
  • Temperature-stable (so it doesn't need refrigeration) Probiotic (good bacteria) with Lactoferrin and SB (Saccharomyces boulardii) - this is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, aids in relief of travellers' diarrhoea, supports your gut health while travelling.
  • The most common complaint of travelling is constipation - different foods, new environments, sitting for hours on planes and in airports all take its toll! Keep walking wherever you can - up and down airport corridors while waiting for the next flight - to keep it all moving along and good for your circulation, drink heaps of water (3L a day to compensate for planes and hotel air conditioning) and take your own on planes when you can. I always travel with a pack of prunes - soak 2 overnight in a glass of water and eat it all first thing in the morning. If you know your system really shuts down, then go for a stronger herbal tablet. I also carry roasted dandelion teabags which help.
  • Echinacea tablets - keeps your immune system boosted, prevents colds and flus, if you get any infection, infected cut, 'flu or gastro, you can triple the dose safely and usually knock it on the head quickly. 
  • Good multivitamin as often your diet can be rather haphazard when travelling so it helps keep your energy levels high, especially if you are on the go, packing in as much as you can like me!
  • Chia seeds - light and highly nutritious, especially high in omega 3 oils which are more difficult to obtain when travelling as well as extra fibre for your bowels - pour into a zip lock bag and you only need 1 tsp per day.
  • Ear plugs and eye mask - you may feel ridiculous but you'll look better than anyone else when you walk off that plane. Planes are an excellent place for meditation as well and I always take a relaxation/visualisation track to drown out the noise when everything around me is too distracting. 
  • Rose essential oil - it comes in a small 12ml bottle which you can slip into your handbag. I use it as perfume as commercial perfumes are a toxic chemical concoction that defies rationality! Since it is only 5% in jojoba oil you can use neat on your skin to calm irritations, on acne breakouts, quietens the nerves and is the ultimate female oil to bring out your inner goddess.
  • Chamomile tea bags - my favourite to calm the mind and body, use as an eye wash or to relieve inflamed skin and calms the digestion after eating unusual foods often at irregular travel hours.
  • Almonds - helps you avoid awful airport food which is simply sugary and oily trans fats.
Bon voyage!
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What about the Natural Sweetener Agave?

Many people interested in staying healthy have switched to Agave as a safer "natural" sweetener. They want to avoid well documented high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) but are unaware that Agave is neither healthy nor natural. I actually wrote a blog on Agave back in 2010 and unfortunately these arguments still hold true. 

Where does Agave come from? Blue agave is an exotic plant growing in the rich volcanic soil of Mexico. Traditionally the nectar is made from the sap of the yucca or agave plant, producing a rich sweet natural syrup.

However, nowadays agave syrup is manufactured by converting the starch into a fructose-rich syrup using genetically-modified enzymes and a chemically intensive process involving caustic acids, clarifiers and filtration chemicals. There are very few quality controls in products coming from Mexico so residues of these solvents and chemicals often remain in the syrup upon testing.

Agave is touted as a healthy sweetener since it is low glycaemic, compared to table sugar. However, it is not low calorie, containing about 16 calories per teaspoon, about the same as  sucrose (table sugar) and it is composed of up to 92% fructose, making it sweeter than sugar.  Yes fructose is low glyceamic but excessive consumption of fructose also leads to blood sugar irregularities, high insulin levels and insulin resistance which is a precursor to diabetes, high triglycerides (bad blood fats), metabolic syndrome, uric acid formation and gout http://bit.ly/KxmZJF

There are also concerns that some distributors are cutting agave syrup with corn syrup and have unacceptably high pesticide residues, such as Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) which has potential toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic effects.

Agave is nutrient void and is certainly not a whole food as some marketing I've read has claimed! Agave is a highly concentrated sweetener and is highly addictive. I do not recommend it to any of my clients and switch them off it immediately if they mention it. 

Stick to natural whole foods - if it comes in a bottle or packet, keep it to a minimum and remember the 90/10 rule - 90% for the body and 10% for the soul. Once you no longer need a dose of sugar everyday, you'll be able to see the real sweetness in your own life around you!
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Sugar: Sweet Poison or Natural Treat?


With all the media coverage recently on sugar and Sarah Wilson's interview on 60 Minutes, I thought it would be apt to raise some questions: Is sugar really that bad for you? What does it actually do in the body? Why do I crave it? What alternatives can I use that are healthy? But I love my sweet treats, so how do I get rid of these cravings??!

I think it's really important not to demonize sugar. Sugar is a natural part of our food chain and our taste buds but the difference comes down to quantity and quality. In today's epidemic of obesity and diabetes, we do need to re-evaluate the way we eat and what we eat. Sugar is extremely addicitive (some equate it to heroin!). I have little sugar in my diet nowadays but like everyone, I fall off the bandwagon too occasionally and it's usually because I'm overtired, been pushing it too hard or feeling emotionally depleted and down. Many women think they can eat sweets and not put on weight if it doesn't contain any fat. This is a huge misconception as excess sugar that is not burnt off will be converted and stored as fat.

Is sugar really bad for you?
The problem with sugar is that it is hidden in so many foods nowadays under the guise of corn sweetener, dextrin, sorbitol. Soft drinks contain 6-12tsp of sugar in every can! Manufacturers know it will get people hooked on their product and keep buying it. Unfortunately as well, there are some really poor quality sugars being used in commercial products because they are cheap but they do a lot of damage in the body, such as high fructose corn syrup used in soft drinks, sweets, cheap chocolates and commercially baked goods. Basically we do not need sweetness in every meal or every day - we need to go back to a sweet being a treat! Side effects of sugar include....
  • Raises blood sugar and insulin levels, causing insulin resistance and eventually diabetes
  • Sugars which are not used for energy production will be stored as fat, increasing the risk of obesity
  • Causes inflammatory reactions in the body which is a precursor to cardiovascular disease, arthritis and  auto-immune diseases. Men who drink 1 sweetened beverage a day are 20% more likely to die of a heart attack: American Heart Association Feb 2012.
  • Leaches nutrients and minerals out of the body, leading to insulin signalling problems, depression, fatigue, hyperactivity, eating disorders, mental fatigue, memory problems and increased risk of osteoporosis later in life. Teenagers playing sport and drinking soft drinks have 7 times higher rate of bone fractures!
  • Sugar suppresses the ability of the immune system to function adequately, making the body vulnerable to infections while viruses, candida and bacteria feed off sugar as their energy source
  • Cancer cells employ a process called "aerobic glycolysis" almost exclusively for their energy production. They are, therefore, reliant on glucose sugar for their growth and metabolic needs 
Why do I crave it?
Sugar never makes you feel full, as opposed to fat, so if you have a little, you will continue to want more. You crave sugar if your diet is nutritionally lacking in minerals, especially chromium and magnesium, needed to control your blood sugar and insulin levels. If you have used up all your nutrients through stress, exercise or a lack of sleep, you will also start to crave it as a quick fix to keep you going but this depletes the body in the long term. Most people also crave sugar to satisfy an unfulfilled emotional need or to suppress their feelings. We have been trained by media and society that it is easier to turn to a tub of ice cream than ask our partner, friends, family or a qualified therapist for emotional support.

Are there any healthy alternatives?
  • Fruit is high in fructose, although it does contain lots of wonderful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants so I suggest to limit your fruit intake to 3 medium-sized pieces a day (size of your fist). Make fruit-based desserts or milkshakes/smoothies and use fruit as a snack.
  • Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the leaves of the South American Stevia rebaudiana plant.   It contains no calories so will not upset your blood sugar levels or rot your teeth. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar and depending on the quality of the product, there can be a slight bitter after-taste which can take getting used to. It is sold in granule, liquid and tablet form and being heat stable, can be used in baking cakes and biscuits. It is more expensive than sugar but being sweeter, less is needed. 
  • Raw honey contains anti-bacterial qualities and some antioxidants with health benefits that have been revered through the ages. I hate to admit it but an old habit of mine was to drop walnuts into the honey jar and scoop them out - raw honey and walnuts, healthy right? Not quite. Honey has a very high glycaemic index because it has a high glucose content so a limit of 1 tsp/day is recommended, for naturopaths too! Heat-treated honey such as the commercial brands of Capillano and Allowrie do not have the health benefits and are just pure sugar so avoid.
  • Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees and as such has some antioxidant and mineral content, making it slightly lower glycaemic than sugar. Unfortunately Golden syrup does not have the same health benefits as it is a refined by-product of sugar manufacture.
  • Blackstrap molasses is very nutrient and iron rich by-product of sugar manufacture and as such has a lower glycaemic index with a strong taste. Great for those who are anaemic!
  • Rapadura is a traditional unrefined whole cane sugar before the molasses and sugar crystals are separated so it is a dark brown colour and still contains many nutrients. It is excellent for baking and can be bought from health food stores or Asian stores. Don't be fooled by brown sugar which has still been refined and then up to 10% molasses added back into it to give it its brown colour. This is not enough to give it much health benefits. 
  • Chocolate. If you crave chocolate a lot, it means your body may be lacking in magnesium which helps the muscles relax. For a special treat, choose a good quality, dark chocolate which will have less sugar and more antioxidants and hopefully, better quality fat as well! Eat less of more expensive quality chocolate rather than a cheap commercial chocolate everyday. Be aware it does contain caffeine so eating dark chocolate at night can keep you awake. 

What about artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are very difficult for the body to breakdown as they do not exist in nature. Hence, there has been a lot of controversial toxic effects. Aspartame, the main ingredient in Equal and NutraSweet, is responsible for the most serious cases of poisoning because the body actually digests it. Recent studies in Europe show that aspartame use can result in an accumulation of formaldehyde in the brain, which can cause damage to your central nervous system and immune system and hence, is linked to MS, lupus and fibromyalgia. The FDA admits this is true but claims the amount is low enough in most cases that it shouldn't raise concern. I think any amount of formaldehyde in your brain is too much! Adverse reactions to Splenda include skin rashes, panic attacks, dizziness, numbness, diarrhoea, swelling, headaches, muscle cramping, bladder issues. Read the ingredients labels: any numbers 950-957 are artificial sweeteners. Studies have shown that those who use "diet" products for weight loss actually increase their weight by 50% over 7 years! San Antonio Heart Study http://bit.ly/M5t5pm

How do I break my Sugar Addiction? Eating protein in every meal helps control your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings so make sure you include some fish, eggs, meat, chicken, beans or dairy in each meal. Eat more dark green leafy vegetables and salads which contain minerals to stabilize blood sugars. Add cinnamon to any desserts, cereals, smoothies or treats which reduces insulin spikes. Eat more fibre which fills you up and some good quality oils as fat makes you feel full. Every time you crave a sugar, drink a glass of water instead - you'll hydrate your glowing skin at the same time!

Look at why you crave sugar. Do you need to improve your diet? Are you lacking in vitamins and minerals? Are you running away from your emotions? Do you need to get more sleep? Do you need to put some relaxation into your daily schedule? Are you working too hard or pushing your body too much? Do you need more emotional support? Are you suppressing something you'd rather not face?

Breaking the habit takes about 3 weeks for most people so hang in there! Then it is more about the 90/10 rule - 90% of the food to nourish the body and 10% for the soul. We are all human so as I say to clients, of course you can have a sweet treat but it's once a week and not an all-out binge. Once you've broken the habit, you'll be amazed at how much more balanced, energetic and positive you feel both physically and emotionally. Life will take on a new sweetness!
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Butter or Margarine - which is better?


There is so much conflicting media about whether it is better to eat butter or margarine or even to decipher which is which, with the multitude of "spreads" on the supermarket fridge shelf. When margarine was invented it was seen as the revolutionary health product with a big HealthyHeart tick to promote it but recent research now shows otherwise.  

Margarine is made by passing hydrogen gas through liquid oils in the presence of a metal catalyst of nickel and aluminum to make a semi-solid state to which yellow colouring is added to make it look like butter. Many margarines claim they are rich in Omega 3 oils, essential fatty acids, made from healthy olive oil but even if they start with these products, the hydrogenation process destroys these beneficial fatty acids, converting them into trans fats. The finished product is low in Omega 3 oils, high in trans fats. Trans fats are synthetic fats that are fairly new to our food chain due to modern processing methods so we are only seeing the effects on our health in recent years. They cannot be broken down and used by the body but instead cause free radical damage to our cells. Trans fats make platelets sticky, increasing the likelihood of a clot in a small blood vessel causing strokes, heart attacks or circulatory occlusion. They can also increase blood cholesterol levels by up to 15% and blood fat levels up to 47%. Unfortunately, the HealthyHeart criteria is simplistically based upon the out-dated research of saturated fat content without any measurement of trans fats, creating enormous misleading confusion for the public. Also in Australia food companies are not required to list the amount of trans fats on the nutrition label so we have no way of knowing how much trans fat we are eating. There is no upper safety limit for the recommended daily intake of trans fat, simply that “it should be as low as possible”. However, New York City Council has been very proactive, passing laws a couple of years ago to limit the maximum amount of trans fats in all foods cooked and sold in NY city. To demonstrate this imminent health concern, adding 1 steak to your diet everyday, you increase your saturated fat by 5%, which increases your risk of a heart attack by 17%. By adding one teaspoon of margarine to what you normally eat each day, you increase your trans fats by 2%, but your risk of a heart attack increases by a shocking 93%.

Butter has received an enormous amount of flack in the past 30 years since margarine was invented but the tide has changed in recent times as more research is done into different type of fats and their function and effects in the body. Butter
 is mainly saturated fat, 9% steric acid, 19% oleic acid, 38% palmitic acid and low in Omega 3 oils. In excess these acids can interfere with the beneficial anti-inflammatory effect of omega 3 oils. There was also concern about the cholesterol content of butter as 100gm of butter contains about 250mg of cholesterol. However, recent research shows that only 20% of cholesterol comes from a diet of high cholesterol foods, while the other 80% of cholesterol is made in your body to carry around sugars and poor quality fats, such as trans fats, from processed foods. The good thing about butter is it is easily digested being a natural product, helps improve some strains of good bacteria in your gut for digestion producing butyric acid and being a solid at room temperature, it does not oxidise or go rancid easily with high temperatures, causing damaging free radicals in the body cells when eaten. Therefore it can be used in frying and other high heat applications. Of course, it needs to be eaten in moderation (1tsp/day) and yes, it is difficult to spread unless it is at room temperature or spread on hot toast! You can blend your butter with olive oil at home to make your own spreadable butter or try alternatives like mashed avocado, humus, drizzled olive oil, tahini, nut spreads.

If there is one thing you do for your health, do not consume margarine or any other "olive oil spread". Despite millions of dollars of marketing to convince us otherwise, the fact remains that butter is a natural product made from cow's milk, while margarine does not exist in nature and has to be made in a laboratory. Would you rather eat synthetic chemicals or food?
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Yoghurt Boosts Sexual Performance


Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have made a surprising discovery that yoghurt boosts sexual performance of male mice and even increases the size of their testes! This was an unexpected result as they were actually studying the influence of probiotic diets on obesity. However, the yoghurt eating mice had 10x the active follicle density - giving them thicker, shiny hair, 5-15% heavier testes, faster insemination of their partners, and even developed a "male swagger" pointing their testes outwards. Females eating the yoghurt gave birth to larger litters and were more efficient at weaning their pups. Now researchers at Harvard University are studying the link between yoghurt intake and semen quality in humans with similar results. Source: The Week.
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10 Foods for an Einstein Brain


To boost your mental power and speed up your memory recall, include these foods in your diet:

1. Eggs Eggs contain choline which is essential for boosting memory. They are also an important source of cholesterol which is the building block of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain so having very low cholesterol can be just as damaging as high cholesterol. You only obtain 20% cholesterol from your diet so 2 eggs a day for 5 days won't raise your cholesterol that much. Buy organic, not just free range! Best eaten with a runny yolk either boiled or poached - yum!
2. Bananas Our brains need potassium to help keep them alert, B vitamins to nourish the nerves and magnesium to keep us calm and relaxed. The perfect post-workout snack or try a banana smoothie for a fast nutritious breakfast.
3. Walnuts Full of Omega 3 oils for brain and nervous system development - just take a look at a whole walnut kernel - remind you of something...
4. Blueberries We've all heard how blueberries are antioxidant superfoods, rich in flavonoids, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and macular degeneration. However, new research at the Harvard Medical School found that those who ate blueberries experienced slower cognitive decline by up to 2.5 years.
5. Oily Fish Oily fish like sardines, salmon, mackerel contain Omega 3 oils and good quality protein which are both essential for brain development and function. Unfortunately our seas are so polluted nowadays that it is essential to source smaller fish to avoid heavy metal accumulation such as mercury. Avoid larger fish: tuna, swordfish, flake (shark), marlin, catfish, orange roughy (deep sea perch). 
6. Coconut The common myth that coconut oil is bad for you has been widely dispelled by current research advocating the numerous health benefits of coconuts. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids which are heat-resistant so it is the safest oil for cooking as it doesn't turn into harmful hydrogenated fat that elicit damaging free radicals that attack brain and body cells.
7. Avocado Good oils like vitamin E and Omega 3 oils make this creamy fruit a delicious addition to any salad or smoothie - antioxidant and nourishing for brains all round!
8. Spinach Popeye may have looked all muscle but he obviously had some brains too. Spinach is rich in iron to improve energy and concentration levels as well as antioxidants to prevent ageing of the brain.
9. Almonds New research has found 30gm daily of raw nuts including almonds boosts serotonin levels, making you feel happier and decreasing hunger. Source: Journal of Proteome Research
10. Water A lack of water is the number 1 trigger for fatigue with a mere 2% drop in body water triggering fuzzy short-term memory problems, trouble with basic mathematics and difficulty focusing on the computer screen. Keep a jug of water on your desk or carry a bottle with you - the Elixir of Life!
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Fructose Fuels Gout

Gout is caused by excess uric acid levels in your body forming needle-like crystals that deposit in your feet, causing pain and potential immobility. Over the past three decades there has been a 250 per cent increase in the rates of gout, which has been linked to an increased consumption of fructose-rich drinks such as soft drinks and orange juice. Women who had one 180mL serving of soft drink per day were 74 per cent more likely to develop gout than women who consumed one per month or less. Women who had 180mL of orange juice per day were 41 per cent more likely to develop gout.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association
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BEET for BRAINS

A new study showed that after having beetroot juice there was an increase in blood flow to white matter in the frontal lobes of the brains. These are the areas of the brain associated with dementia and loss of other mental functions. The reason beetroot juice has this effect is its high nitrate content. In your mouth, good bacteria convert nitrate to nitrite and nitrites help open up blood vessels in your body.

Source: Nitric Oxide: Biology and Biochemistry

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has had many significant supporters. In 400 BC Hippocrates was known to use it as a health tonic. American soldiers were said to have found it useful in combating scurvy, indigestion and pneumonia.

Since then numerous studies have been done on apple cider vinegar with suggested cures for indigestion allergies, sinus infections, acne, high cholesterol, flu, chronic fatigue, candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis, and gout. Apple Cider Vinegar also breaks down fat and is widely used to lose weight. It has also been reported that a daily dose of apple cider vinegar in water has high blood pressure under control in two weeks!

Apple cider vinegar also alkalises your body and balances your pH levels. Drink 1tsp-1tb in a glass of water before your meal or use it on salads as a dressing. Use organic unfiltered apple cider vinegars.

Extract taken from Effortless Meditation Newsletter: www.effortlessmeditation.com.au

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Tai Chi Lowered Blood Pressure in 85 % of Trials

The 2,000-year-old Chinese practice of tai chi is a branch of Qigong – exercises that harness the qi (life energy).

Tai chi has been linked to numerous health benefits, including improvements in the quality of life of breast cancer patients and Parkinson’s sufferers. It has shown promise in treating sleep problems and high blood pressure.

According to U.S. News & World Report:

“…In 85 % of trials, tai chi lowered blood pressure. Other studies have shown it to reduce blood levels of B-type natriuretic peptide, a precursor of heart failure, and to maintain bone density in postmenopausal women.”

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Eating Healthy on a Tight Budget

One of the greatest misconceptions out there is that processed, pre-packaged foods are less expensive that raw, whole foods. But more often than not this is simply not true.

Cooking from scratch is usually far more cost effective in the long run, particularly if you stop throwing away the left-overs.

A 2008 report authored by the Stockholm International Water Institute, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the International Water Management Institute found that half of the food produced worldwide is wasted!

To prevent unnecessary waste:

  • Plan ahead. If you plan your meals in advance, you can buy only what you need at the store.
  • Buy proper portions.
  • Learn to store your food so that it stays fresh.
  • Learn recipes for tasty leftover meals.

The British website Love Food Hate Waste can help you calculate portions, and provides a variety of time- and money-saving tips, recipes, and much more.

Aside from the actual sticker price of the food, cooking from scratch using fresh, whole (preferably organic) ingredients will provide you with far superior nutrition, rather than empty calories.

Keep in mind that the money you think you’re saving today by stocking up on cheap, denatured, processed foods will end up costing an arm and a leg later on, when your health fails and the medical bills start rolling in…

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The Amazing Ant-Aging Discovery

You may be able to extend your life and stay fit throughout your old age with a simple change of diet that switches on your “youth” gene.

Professor Cynthia Kenyon, whom many experts believe should win the Nobel Prize for her research into aging, has discovered that carbohydrates directly affect the genes that govern youthfulness and longevity.

She found that turning down the gene that controls insulin in turn switches on another gene which acts like an elixir of life.

As the Daily Mail reports, research confirms that insulin-like growth factor is intricately linked to various cancers, and that “raised insulin levels, triggered by high carbohydrate-consumption, could be what connects many of our big killers.”

Your diet can over-ride genetic predispositions to disease, and this research further strengthens those claims, as the two key genes in question can be turned on or off as a consequence of eating carbohydrates.

This results from two primary conditions:

  1. Excessive amounts of sugar/grains and processed foods, combined with
  2. Insufficient exercise

Source: http://articles.mercola.com

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Olive Oil During Pregnancy Reduces Wheezing

Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and using olive oil for cooking/dressing salads during pregnancy were both significantly associated with less wheezing during the first year of the infant's life.
Other factors remained associated with wheezing: male gender, day care attendance, maternal asthma, maternal smoking during pregnancy, infant eczema and mould stains on the household walls.
Source: Castro-Rodriguez JA, Garcia-Marcos L, Sanchez-Solis M et al. Pediatr Pulmonol 2010; 45(4): 395-402
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Midlife High Blood Pressure & Dementia Later in Life

Analysis suggests that 17 % of late-life dementia cases are attributable to midlife systolic blood pressure levels between 120 and 140 mm Hg.
Source: Launer LJ, Hughes T, Yu B et al. Hypertension 2010; 55(6): 1352-1359
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10 Organic Foods That Are Worth the Money

1. Peaches/Nectarines: very highly sprayed due to problems with fruit flies, mould, etc.

2. Apples: more pesticides are found on apples than are found on any other fruit or vegetable – a grand total of 36

3. Capsicum/Sweet Bell Pepper: 3rd on list of pesticide load after peaches & apples

4. Celery: 4th on list for pesticide load & cannot be washed off very well

5. Baby Foods: an infant’s immune system is less developed than an adult’s so is more vulnerable to damage

6. Dairy: dairy cows eat grains that are heavily treated with chemicals as well as given antibiotics. These are passed into the milk and stored in the dairy fat.

7. Grapes: imported grapes get treated with numerous chemicals. Grapes are also, whether organic or not, especially high in fructose which elevates blood sugars rapidly

8. Spinach/Lettuce/Kale: the chemicals used to treat green leafies may cause cancer or interfere with hormone production

9. Strawberries

10. Green beans: there are over 60 pesticides that are registered for use on green beans

Source: Environmental Working Group

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A Simple, Inexpensive Trick to Cure a Cold

The most common way cold viruses are spread is not from being around coughing or sneezing, or walking barefoot in the rain, but rather from hand-to-hand contact. For instance, someone with a cold blows their nose then shakes your hand or touches surfaces that you also touch.
However, the key to remember is that just being exposed to a cold virus does not have to mean that you'll catch a cold. If your immune system is operating at its peak, it should actually be quite easy for you to fend off the virus without ever getting sick.
Common contributing factors are:

  • eating too much sugar and too much white flour products
  • not getting enough rest
  • using insufficient strategies to address emotional stressors in your life
  • Vitamins D & C deficiency

Myself and my clients have had remarkable results in curing colds and flu within 12 to 14 hours when administering a few drops of 3 % hydrogen peroxide into each ear. Your will hear some bubbling, which is completely normal, but no pain.
Wait until the bubbling subsides (usually 3-5 minutes), then drain onto a tissue and repeat with the other ear. A bottle of hydrogen peroxide in 3% solution is available at any chemist for a couple of dollars or less. It is simply amazing how many people respond to this simple, inexpensive treatment.

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Multivitamin & Lower Heart Attack Risk in Women

An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Sept, 2010) reports an association between multivitamin use and a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in older women.

Using a multivitamin along with other supplements was associated with a 30 % lower risk and use for at least five years was linked to a 41 % lower risk of myocardial infarction compared to nonusers.

They attribute the vitamins’ protective benefit to their antioxidant properties, which retard atherosclerosis via free radical scavenging, and the ability of B vitamins to lower homocysteine levels. Minerals, e.g. Magnesium, inhibit insulin resistance, decrease vascular tone and prevent pro-inflammatory changes & endothelial dysfunction.

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The Worst Cooking Oils of All

Polyunsaturated fats are the absolute WORST oils to use when cooking because these omega-6-rich oils are highly susceptible to heat damage.

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower
  • Canola

Damaged omega-6 fats or trans-fats are disastrous to your health, and are responsible for far more health problems than saturated fats ever were by clogging your arteries & raising LDL cholesterol.

This is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening.

There is no safe level of trans-fat consumption. Use pure virgin coconut oil for cooking which is stable at high temperature.

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New Warning About Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is a good monounsaturated fat that is also well-known for its health benefits. It’s a staple in healthy diets such as Mediterranean-style diets.

However, it’s important to realize it is not good for cooking. It should really only be used cold, typically drizzled on salads and other food.

Due to its chemical structure and a large amount of unsaturated fats, cooking makes extra-virgin olive oil very susceptible to oxidative damage. Even when used cold, it’s still extremely perishable! Any time the oil is exposed to air and/or light, it oxides.

Consuming spoiled oil (of any kind) will likely do more harm than good.

To help protect extra virgin olive oil from oxidation, squeeze capsule of vitamin E oil into the bottle.

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Kellogg's Froot Loops

This cereal contains 23 ingredients including:

Butylated hydroxytoluene: A common food preservative, BHT is also used as an antioxidant additive in jet fuel, rubber & electrical transformer oil. There has been some controversy surrounding its use in foods and it is prohibited as a food additive in Britain. The US Food and Drug Administration has stated that there needs to be further research into the possibility that BHT could react with other ingested substances and become toxic.

Red No. 40: Allura red, a popular colouring agent, is not just used in foods but also in cosmetics & drugs. Artificial colours have been widely blamed for causing hyperactivity in children. Last year, Britain banned Allura red and five other food colours.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Oct 30-31, 2010, p. 24)

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GE Wheat in Australia - Coming To a Store Near You!

Australia is at risk of becoming the first country in the world to Allow GE wheat, creating a major threat to farmers, consumers and to Australia’s future food security.

Wheat is Australia’s most important crop, bringing $5 billion into our economy each year. Monsanto and other chemical companies failed to commercialize GE wheat in North America. Now they have a stranglehold over Australia’s wheat infrastructure.

In June and July this year, the federal government approved over 1,300 different types of GE wheat for trials across the country. If GE wheat is commercialized, farmers face legal and financial risks of cross-contamination, either in the field or in grain silos.

We know that GE plants operate differently in the field than they do in the lab, with unpredictable impacts on our environment. We also know GE consumption by animals is linked with allergic reactions, organ damage and reduced fertility. But the real problem is there has been no testing on humans. We are all in the dark about the safety of GE food.

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Bill Clinton's Heart Disease & Weight Loss Diet

Bill Clinton recently made news headlines, not with his politics but with his shrunken waistline. On diet made up of beans, legumes, vegetables and fruit, he said he lost 24 pounds in time for his daughter Chelsea’s wedding. But he was most impressed in how his whole metabolism has changed. He understood his previous by-pass operations did not give him the security of his heart disease not returning.

Chelsea who allegedly had a wedding cake free of gluten & sugar must have inspired her father who used to love fast food (& was public about it) to make this change.

The doctors he referred to are Dr. Dean Ornish & Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.

Wholesome plant based diet and healthy lifestyle is a lot more effective, not just for reversing heart diseases, but most other chronic diseases. These doctors also said how this kind of diet promotes a better sex life which I am sure gets people’s attention! (Remember Morgan Spurlock from Supersize Me who became impotent half way through his McDonald’s experience?)

Source: www.integrative-living.com & www.edition.cnn.com

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Quinoa and Its Benefits for Health

Quinoa is a grain which has been cultivated for thousands of years in the mountains of the Andes. Its nutritional value is superior to the other grains. It protects cell membranes and it has positive results in brain neuronal functions in particular.

Source: Nutrition facts and functional potential of quinoa (Sept 2, 2010), Department of Food Engineering, Universidad de La Serena, Chile

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Monsanto Finally Reaping Its Just Desserts

Monsanto, the giant biotechnology agriculture company that created genetically modified corn, soybeans and herbicides, isn’t riding so high this year in the stocks department, as news comes in that its products aren’t working like they’d hoped.

According to the New York Times

  • Monsanto’s newest genetically modified product, SmartStax corn, provides no greater yields than older products, despite being more expensive
  • Weeds are growing resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup
  • The Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations

Already, shares of Monsanto’s stock have fallen 42 % since January, and earnings for the fiscal year are expected to be well under projections.

This company represents one of the biggest threats to your future health, and that of the planet.

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About Breakfast Psychology...

It seems that our own estimation of the calories we ingest can highly influence our mood and body-image satisfaction. In the study the cereal breakfast was perceived to be lower in calories and that it allowed the participants to be more satiated, happier, more relaxed and more satisfied about weight and body compared to the muffin breakfast. Moreover, fibre and micronutrient daily intakes were superior in women having the cereal breakfast.
Source: School of Natural Sciences & Psychology, UK, 13 Oct 2010
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Heart Attack Risk Affected by Type of Carbohydrates

A Danish study showed that the risk of myocardial infarction was reduced by 22 % for a replacement of saturated fatty acids by low GI carbohydrates (most fresh fruit and green vegetables, legumes, cereals...) but increased by 33 % for a replacement by high GI carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, chips, crisps or baked potato, confectionery, chocolate bars, watermelon).
Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2010, vol. 91, No 6, pp. 1764-1768
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1/2 tsp of Cinnamon Daily Helps Diabetes & High Blood Pressure

A 12-week London study was recently conducted involving 58 type 2 diabetics with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels over 7 %. Hemoglobin A1c is a marker for long-term glycemic control in diabetics.

After 12 weeks on 2g of cinnamon per day, study subjects had significantly lower HbA1c levels, as well as significantly reduced blood pressures (systolic & diastolic).
Source: Diabetic Medicine: A Journal of the British Diabetic Association, October 2010
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Genetically Modified Food in Baby Formula

Greenpeace testing has discovered untested GM, including DNA from antibiotic resistant genes, in leading brands of formula for infants in Australia.

The brands are S-26 Soy, made by the giant pharma company Pfizer and Karicare Food Thickener, marketed at babies with reflux.

Genetically modified products have never been proven safe for babies to eat. Neither of the infant food products that tested positive for GM carry a GM warning label. This means that parents are currently feeding their babies GM, including DNA from antibiotic resistant marker genes, without knowing it.
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