FODMAPS Diet: Green Smoothies to Incorporate into your Fructan Diet

Hello Everyone,

The low-FODMAP diet is a treatment and management protocol for people suffering from irritable bowl syndrome or IBS. The acronym stands for:

Fermentable,
Oligosaccharides (Fructans and Galactans),
Disaccharides (Lactose),
Monosaccharides (Fructose) and
Polyols (Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)

In susceptible individuals (usually those with IBS), these “FODMAP” carbohydrate molecules are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. When they reach the large intestine, they feed bacteria and the fiber absorbs water resulting in bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, pain and other symptoms associated with IBS.

Are Green Smoothies Appropriate For People On The FODMAPS Diet (Or With IBS)?

Everybody is different. Ultimately, you should work directly with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to establish an appropriate dietary regimen to treat and manage your IBS. There are some variation in recommendations for people on a FODMAP-restricted diet. Certain “safe” foods might cause problems for you, so there is a bit of experimentation that you’ll need to do to find out what your ideal balance is.

When it comes to green smoothies, the primary offender is fructose, a natural sugar found in all fruit. However, this doesn’t mean that a low-FODMAP diet is a fruit-avoidance diet. There are certain fruits that are considered “low-FODMAP” and safe to use while other fruits and vegetables are “high-FODMAP” and should be avoided or restricted.

The key is portion size. If you have IBS and you are following a low-FODMAP diet plan, then you probably shouldn’t consume large smoothies with a bunch of different fruits in it. Keep your smoothie portions small – like 16 ounces or less and use fruits which are considered to be in the “low-FODMAP” category.

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Which High-FODMAP Green Smoothie Foods Should I Avoid?

If you have IBS, avoid putting these ingredients in your green smoothies.

Fruits To Avoid:

– Apples
– Apricots
– Avocados
– Blackberries
– Cherries
– Mango
– Nectarines
– Peaches
– Pears
– Persimmons
– Plums and prunes
– Rambutan/Lychee
– Watermelon
– Never use canned or dried fruits in smoothies. Avoid using fruit juice as well due to excess fructose.

Green Smoothie Vegetables To Avoid:

Beet Greens
Broccoli
Cabbage
Dandelion Greens
Peas
Radiccio Lettuce
Sugar Snap and Snow Peas

Avoid Sweeteners: I don’t recommend ever adding sweeteners to green smoothies, but this becomes even more important if you have IBS and follow a low-FODMAPS diet. Avoid honey, agave and any other sweetener.

What Green Smoothie Foods Are Low-FODMAP?

Using these ingredients in moderation in green smoothies would fit within a low-FODMAP diet plan.

Low-FODMAP Fruits:

– Bananas
– Berries (Blueberries, Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberries
– Citrus (Oranges, Grapefruits, Tangelos, Lemons, Limes)
– Durian
– Grapes
– Kiwi
– Melons (Cantaloupe, Honeydew)
– Passion Fruit
– Pineapple
– Star Fruit

Low-FODMAP Vegetables:

Leafy Greens (Bok choy, Lettuce*, Endive, Parsley, Silverbeet, Spinach)

– Alfalfa
– Broccoli*
– Carrots
– Celery
– Cucumber
– Ginger
– Pumpkin
– Tomato
– Zucchini*

* Foods marked with an asterisk might be problematic for some people with IBS, despite being in the low-FODMAPS category.

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Low FODMAP Smoothie Recipes

If you would like to incorporate green smoothies into a FODMAP diet plan, then keep portions small (no giant meal-replacement smoothies) and use fruits and vegetables from the low-FODMAP category. Avoid using high-FODMAP fruits and vegetables.

Keep your smoothies simple. Use no more than two fruits and one vegetable or leafy green. Do not add protein powder, flax, chia, spirulina or any other additive. Avoid using dairy (due to the lactose) and avoid using store-bought non-dairy milks, especially if sugars have been added. Just use plain water.

Experiment with small smoothies using various foods from the “safe” category and see how your body reacts. Some of the safe foods might actually exacerbate your symptoms while some of the “unsafe” foods are tolerated well. Listen to your own body.

None of the recipes on this page (or on our website) are guaranteed to cause no problem for people with IBS. Use your own judgement. When in doubt, take a small amount of smoothie (rather than drinking the entire recipe) and wait to see how your body responds.

For all of the smoothies below, add the water to your blender first, then the fruit. Hit the “Pulse” button to mix up the fruit, then add the greens and blend on high for about 30-40 seconds, or until smooth.

Banana-Berry Smoothie

– 1 banana, peeled
– 1/2 cup strawberries or blueberries
– 2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
– 4 ounces (about 120 milliliters) of water


Banana-Kiwi with Bok Choy

– 1 banana, peeled
– 1-2 kiwifruit (start with one, use two if you feel it’s appropriate for your body)
– 1-2 heads of baby bok choy (or two cups chopped bok choy leaves
– 4 ounces (about 120 milliliters) of water


Citrus Bok Choy Smoothie

– 2 oranges
– 1 head baby bok choy (or one cup chopped bok choy leaves)
– 1 stalk of celery
– Splash of water if needed

Alternate: Swap out one of the oranges for a grapefruit, tangelo or tangerine.


Blueberry Melon Smoothie

– 1 cup cantaloupe or honeydew melon
– 1/2 to 1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen wild blueberries)
– 4 ounces (about 120 milliliters) of water
– Splash of lemon or lime (optional)


Pineapple-Ginger Smoothie

– 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into cubes
– 1 large stalk of celery
– 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (use only if ginger does not exacerbate your symptoms)
– 1/2 banana
– 4 ounces (about 120 milliliters) of water


Now that you know which fruits and vegetables are safe or unsafe to use on a low-FODMAP diet, feel free to get creative with your smoothie recipes!!

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan- Nutrition Nourishment

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Easter Special: The Sweet History of Chocolate

Hello Everyone,

Easter means chocolate! Once a year, we indulge ourselves on the sweet goodness. But do you know how chocolate was discovered? In today’s blog I’ll be discussing the history of how chocolate became an iconic sweet, the benefits of raw cacao and I’ll be sharing my favorite Health Hot Chocolate drink!

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History of Chocolate

Chocolate may be the “food of the gods,” but for most of its 4,000-year history, it was actually consumed as a bitter beverage rather than as a sweet edible treat. Anthropologists have found evidence that chocolate was produced by pre-Olmec cultures living in present-day Mexico as early as 1900 B.C. The ancient Mesoamericans who first cultivated cacao plants found in the tropical rainforests of Central America fermented, roasted and ground the cacao beans into a paste that they mixed with water, vanilla, honey, chili peppers and other spices to brew a frothy chocolate drink.

Olmec, Mayan and Aztec civilizations found chocolate to be an invigorating drink, mood enhancer and aphrodisiac, which led them to believe that it possessed mystical and spiritual qualities. The Mayans worshipped a god of cacao and reserved chocolate for rulers, warriors, priests and nobles at sacred ceremonies.

When the Aztecs began to dominate Mesoamerica in the 14th century, they craved cacao beans, which could not be grown in the dry highlands of central Mexico that were the heart of their civilization. The Aztecs traded with the Mayans for cocao beans, which were so coveted that they were used as currency. (In the 1500s, Aztecs could purchase a turkey hen for 100 beans.) By some accounts, the 16th-century Aztec emperor Montezuma drank three gallons of chocolate a day to increase his libido

In the 1500s, Spanish conquistadors such as Hernán Cortés who sought gold and silver in Mexico returned instead with chocolate. Although the Spanish sweetened the bitter drink with cane sugar and cinnamon, one thing remained unchanged: chocolate was still a delectable symbol of luxury, wealth and power. Chocolate was sipped by royal lips, and only Spanish elites could afford the expensive import.

European Introduction

Spain managed to keep chocolate a savory secret for nearly a century, but when the daughter of Spanish King Philip III wed French King Louis XIII in 1615, she brought her love of chocolate with her to France. The popularity of chocolate quickly spread to other European courts, and aristocrats consumed it as a magic elixir with salubrious benefits. To slake their growing thirst for chocolate, European powers established colonial plantations in equatorial regions around the world to grow cacao and sugar. When diseases brought by the European explorers depleted the native Mesoamerican labor pool, African slaves were imported to work on the plantations and maintain the production of chocolate.

cacao

Chocolate remained an aristocratic nectar until Dutch chemist Coenraad Johannes van Houten in 1828 invented the cocoa press, which revolutionized chocolate-making. The cocoa press could squeeze the fatty cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans, leaving behind a dry cake that could be pulverized into a fine powder that could be mixed with liquids and other ingredients, poured into molds and solidified into edible, easily digestible chocolate. The innovation by van Houten ushered in the modern era of chocolate by enabling it to be used as a confectionary ingredient, and the resulting drop in production costs made chocolate affordable to the masses.

Chocolate Industrialisation

In 1847, British chocolate company J.S. Fry & Sons created the first solid edible chocolate bar from cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar. Rodolphe Lindt’s 1879 invention of the conching machine, which produced chocolate with a velvety texture and superior taste, and other advances allowed for the mass production of smooth, creamy milk chocolate on factory assembly lines. You don’t need to have a sweet tooth to recognize the familiar names of the family-owned companies such as Cadbury, Mars and Hershey that ushered in a chocolate boom in the late 1800s and early 1900s that has yet to abate. Today, the average American consumes 12 lbs. of chocolate each year, and more than $75 billion worldwide is spent on chocolate annually.

cacaoPod

Benefits of Cacao

Here are a couple of interesting points…

  • Cacao is chock-full of therapeutic benefits and could easily be considered one of nature’s best medicines.
  • Cacao is considered a ‘super-antioxidant’ because it has such a high ORAC score (a measure of antioxidant amounts).
  • The unprocessed raw cacao bean earns a higher ORAC score than acai berries, spinach or blueberries.
  • The high antioxidant activity helps protect the heart, prevent cellular damage, and keeps us looking – and feeling – younger (bonus!).
  • The super bean contains oleic acid, which has been linked to lower cholesterol.
  • Cacao is also a great source of magnesium, which helps with calcium absorption, metabolism, and protein synthesis. It may also be useful in the prevention of or treatment for congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and premenstrual syndrome.
  • Cacao also contains iron, copper, calcium, potassium, and zinc.

Spicy Cacao Hot Chocolate

Serves: serves 2
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups almond milk (or other milk)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil
  • pinch of cinnamon/clove/nutmeg/chilli (around 1/2-1tsp each depending on desired flavour)
  • tiny pinch of Himalayan sea salt
optional toppings:
  • coconut whip** (see homemade instructions below)
  • shaved dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. In a blender, mix the almond milk, cacao powder, spices, maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt. (You can also whisk this together by hand). Transfer to a medium saucepan and heat. Taste and adjust the sweetness if desired. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more almond milk.
  2. Serve with coconut whip and shaved dark chocolate, both optional.
 Homemade Coconut Whip:
  • solids from 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • Few drops of vanilla extract

Method:

  • Make the coconut whip by combining the ingredients in a mixer and mix until whipped and fluffy.

Easter Special: Maintain your Health over the Easter Holiday

Hello Everyone,

With Easter just around the corner it’s difficult to avoid the obligatory binge: chocolate (anything), hot cross buns and, let’s be honest, everything in sight… especially if your family starts to pressure you into having ‘just one more’ slice or serving. While it can take three seconds to consume a 200g Easter egg, it can take a three-hour run to counteract the sugar content. A hot cross bun slathered in butter isn’t much better, sitting around the 350 calorie mark, and will take 40+ minutes of running to burn it off. Not ideal, right?

So, let’s get a grip this Easter with these healthy habits.

1. Portion control

You will eat chocolate, that’s a given… but just remember portion control. Ultimately, everything is fine in moderation.

Instead of eating large eggs at hourly intervals (which can be up to a third of your daily intake if you are trying to lose weight), buy individually wrapped mini eggs. The process of unwrapping each small egg is more time consuming and will make you more aware of the treats you are consuming. It’s a simple trick, but it works – and you’ll still get among the festivities.

chocolate bar

2. Quality control

Step away from the cheap foil-clad bunny and exchange it for some dark, good quality chocolate. Ideally something with at least 70 per cent dark cocoa which has the added bonus of antioxidants. The high levels of cocoa have also been shown to lower blood pressure.

If you want to take your health kick a step further over Easter, head to your local health food store and get yourself some Raw Organic Cacoa NIBS – these cocoa beans are straight from the source and is what all chocolate and cocoa products are produced from.

The nutritional benefits of raw cacao products include: being a source of beta-carotene, amino acids (protein), Omega-3 EFA’s, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, potassium, and one of the best food sources of muscle relaxing and also stress relieving magnesium. Other good news is that it is only 92 calories and 0.54 grams of sugar per 15 grams serving!

You can also add raw nibs to your cooking (use instead of chocolate chips), add to your smoothies or grind with your coffee beans.

3. Feast

On breakfast that is! Make sure you start the day right with a protein-rich breakfast and filling fibre so you aren’t reaching for a chocolate an hour later. Never eat Easter eggs on an empty stomach as this will cause havoc on your blood sugar levels for the rest of the day.

Think veggie and protein-packed omelettes or a protein shake with berries, chai seeds and a handful of spinach leaves to get your day off to a nutritious start.

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4. Think outside the box

Rethink the basket of eggs and swap it for a basket of beautiful local fruit. How about a pot of herbs for a gift that keeps giving? Get in the kitchen and whip up some homemade treats.

5. Snack regularly

Snack on something small and healthy every 3-4 hours you will help balance your blood sugar levels, which in turn will help avoid that nasty energy drop.

Foods that cause a spike in blood sugar are generally sugar and refined carbohydrates (aka chocolate and hot cross buns). They cause the body to produce insulin, which makes you crave food constantly, leading to weight gain and a variety of health conditions including diabetes.

They key to a balanced snack is to always included the 3 macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and good fats).

Options include:

  • Natural yogurt with berries and walnuts. Add a scoop of protein powder for an extra power punch.
  • Hummus with vegetable sticks.
  • A homemade meat pattie with a small side salad.
  • An apple with a teaspoon of almond butter and a drizzle of honey.
  • Bowl of vegetable and barley soup.
  • Shaved turkey, sliver of avocado wrapped in lettuce.
  • Banana smoothie with milk/nut milk, LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond mix), scoop of protein powder, cinnamon and ice.

6. Plan ahead

Make sure you stock the fridge so there are always healthy options on hand, have pre-made delicious options ready to go, and don’t space meals too far apart.

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7. Hydrate

Need another reason to drink water? Research has shown that by increasing water consumption by 1.5 liters a day, you can burn an extra 17,400 calories per year. Additionally, a study by Dr. Brenda Davy, an associate professor at Virginia Tech, found that people who drank water before a meal consumed an average of 75 fewer calories at that meal.

Another glass, anyone?

8. Burn off a bunny

To counterbalance the extra calorie intake over Easter it is important to exercise every day, whether it be a beach walk, sprint session, bike ride with the family, a game of cricket or a home workout – just move that body!

You don’t have to waste hours of your day either – chose intense interval training which will burn more in a shorter time frame – perfect!

Want to burn off a small 50g bunny (approx 275 calories)?

  • Power walk with the dog for 85 minutes
  • Dance up a storm for 56 minutes
  • Swim freestyle for 36 minutes
  • Jump on the crosstrainer for 33 minutes
  • Clean the house intensely for 70 minutes.

A medium 25g egg:

  • 30 minutes brisk walk
  • 15 minutes jogging/skipping/boxing

A large 100g egg

  • 2 hour brisk walking
  • 1 hour run/skipping/boxing

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Healthiest Regards,

and a Happy Easter!

Tegan- Nutrition Nourishment

 

Healing Herb of the Week: Stinging Nettle

Hello Everyone,

Nettle (also known as Stinging Nettles) has been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms, particularly hayfever which is the most common allergy problem. It contains biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation. Dr. Andrew Wiel M.D. author of Natural Health/ Natural Medicine says he knows of nothing more effective than nettle for allergy relief. And his statement is backed up by studies at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

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Fact File

Botanical Name: Urtica Dioca

Parts used: roots and leaves 

Main Actions: Diuretic, anti-rheumatic, depurative, nutritive, styptic (homeostatic) and alternative. 

Indications: Allergic rhinitis, eczema, gout, Rheumatoid/ Osteo arthritis, haemorrhage, topical nose bleeds, burns, wounds, inflammation of mouth/throat, and hair/scalp tonic.

Health benefits

Fewer side effects than prescription medications

Decongestants, antihistamines, allergy shots and even prescription medications such as Allegra and Claritin treat only the symptoms of allergies and tend to lose effectiveness over a period of time. They can also cause drowsiness, dry sinuses, insomnia and high blood pressure. Nettle has none of these side effects. It can be used on a regular basis and has an impressive number of other benefits most notably as a treatment for prostate enlargement.

Safety: Fresh herb may cause irritation if handled without gloves.

Possible allergic reactions, sensitivity in digestive tract. 

Potential for treating disease

Nettle has been studied extensively and has shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, bladder infections, bronchitis, bursitis, gingivitis, gout, hives, kidney stones, laryngitis, multiple sclerosis, PMS, prostate enlargement, sciatica, and tendinitis. Externally it has been used to improve the appearance of the hair, and is said to be a remedy against oily hair and dandruff.

Urticaceae

Healing properties

In Germany today stinging nettles are sold as an herbal drug for prostate diseases and as a diuretic. It is a common ingredient in other herbal drugs produced in Germany for rheumatic complaints and inflammatory conditions (especially for the lower urinary tract and prostate). In the United States many remarkable healing properties are attributed to nettle and the leaf is utilized for different problems than the root. The leaf is used here as a diuretic, for arthritis, prostatitis, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and allergic rhinitis. The root is recommended as a diuretic, for relief of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and other prostate problems, and as a natural remedy to treat or prevent baldness.

An infusion of the plant is very valuable in stemming internal bleeding. It is also used to treat anaemia, excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism and skin complaints, especially eczema. Externally, the plant is used to treat skin complaints, arthritic pain, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, hemorrhoids and hair problems.

Reduces arthritis pain

Taken orally, products made from nettle’s aerial parts may interfere with the body’s production of prostaglandins and other inflammation-causing chemicals. Consequently, nettle may have an anti-inflammatory effect. It may also enhance responses of the immune system. Chemicals in nettle’s aerial parts are also thought to reduce the feeling of pain or interfere with the way that nerves send pain signals. All of these effects may reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis and other similar conditions.

Reduces allergy symptoms

In addition, nettle’s aerial parts may reduce the amount of histamine that is produced by the body in response to an allergen. An allergen is a substance such as pollen that may provoke an exaggerated immune response in individuals who are sensitive to it. Through this potential action, the aerial parts of nettle may help to reduce allergy symptoms. Results from one human study are promising, but more research is needed to be conclusive.

Relieve skin irritation and muscle pain

A solution of the extract may be applied to the skin to relieve joint pain and muscle aches. Astringent properties of nettle aerial parts may also help to lessen the swelling of hemorrhoids and stop bleeding from minor skin injuries such as razor nicks. An astringent shrinks and tightens the top layers of skin or mucous membranes, thereby reducing secretions, relieving irritation, and improving tissue firmness. It may also be used topically for dandruff and overly oily hair and scalp.

This herb should be used for a minimum of 30 days for full effects.

Final Thoughts:

Nettle is an incredible healing herb that, when used in as a food source, is unlikely to induce any unwanted side-effects. Nettle  can be used therapeutically in teas and topically in creams, It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain, along with treating allergic symptoms. 

Please be advised, if you are thinking of taking a nettle containing supplement, to first speak to a medical professional. As a whole food nutritionist, I would always advise adding these healing herbs to your daily diet to get the optimal benefit it can offer.

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan

Intermittent Fasting: Metabolic Adaptations to Support Good Health

Hello everyone,

If you’ve read about intermittent fasting but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, the quick answer is: maybe. As a qualified nutritionist, I’ve been exploring intermittent fasting for quite some time—sifting through the science, watching patterns with the clients I’ve seen, and figuring out what really works and what doesn’t.

Simply put, intermittent fasting is a diet that alternates periods of eating with periods of not eating. There have been several research articles showing no improvements in IF, but there is some research showing to its ability to help blast through a weight loss plateau and help burn fat. But, before we go into the reported benefits of fasting, let’s first explore what actually happen in our bodies in a fasting state.

So what are the primary fuels used by the body in the first few hours of a fast?

In the first few hours of a fast, the liver glycogen is broken down and glucose is released into the bloodstream to maintain blood sugar level homeostasis, however, this supply is limited. Most body cells, including muscle cells, are able to switch to the use of fatty acids as fuel, conserving the remaining blood glucose for the brain and other cells that rely heavily on glucose as their main source of fuel. As the fasting state continues, ketone bodies accumulate as fatty-acid-derived acetyl CoA units are blocked from entering the TCA cycle.As the fating state becomes more prolonged, the process of gluconeogenesis increases in intensity. The glucose is synthesized from glucogenic amino acids and glycerol. These short-term adaptions will provide glucose and energy needed to meet the body’s needs for a few days.

What adaptations does the body make when it is in a fasting state?

Insulin levels start to fall causing the breakdown of glycogen into glucose for energy. Glycogen stores last for roughly 24 hours. After a day, gluconoegenesis process begins, where the liver manufactures new glucose from amino acids. After 2-3 days, low insulin levels reached during fasting stimulate lipolysis, the breakdown of fat for energy. The storage of fat, known as triglycerides, is broken into the glycerol backbone, and three fatty acid chains. The glycerol is used for gluconeogenesis. Ketone bodies are capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, whereas the fatty acids are not. Protein conservation phase begins after 5 days, high levels of growth hormone maintain muscle mass and lean tissue. The energy for maintenance of basal metabolic rate is almost entirely met by the use of free fatty acids and ketones, causing an increase in norephinephrine to prevent a mass decreased in BMR.

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Below are some other reported benefits shown in some scientific studies, and there is an impressive list of therapeutic benefits:

1. Protects your brain. Intermittent fasting combined with a ketogenic diet has shown an amazing combination that can make a huge difference in helping to heal the brain in cases of brain trauma and injury.

 

2. Slows aging. Intermittent fasting mimics caloric restriction. A Research paper explains “When you fast, it gives your cells the ability to detox and recycle, so your body can slow down aging and even prevent age-related diseases.”

 

3. Fights cancer. Studies have shown that fasting can prevent cancer and even slow or stop its progression! It can also kill cancer cells while boosting the immune system.

If the above aren’t enough to get you excited about the possibilities of intermittent fasting, here are some more benefits: It increases insulin sensitivity, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, boosts energy, and enhances mental focus.

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These are the different ways to fast.

When it comes to intermittent fasting, there are several options. Some people eat only during an eight-hour window. For example, you can eat from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., then fast from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. Or you can fast for 24 to 36 hours once or twice weekly. There are also several ways to deal with hunger cravings and stay hydrated. You can stick with just water or add some combination of coffee, green tea, and fiber. My good friend, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, author of The Bone Broth Diet, recommends drinking bone broth during a fast. I’ve tried this fasting technique, and it’s my absolute favorite way to do it.

How to know if fasting is right for you.

In my experience, fasting isn’t for everyone. First, I will say that women need to be more regimented about when they eat. Whether it’s because we’re natural fat storers or because we have babies—women’s systems are just more complicated, so proceed with caution.

In general, pregnant women shouldn’t fast, and neither should women with infertility issues. Those who have adrenal problems (which also tend to primarily affect women), blood sugar imbalance, or diabetes should also pass on intermittent fasting. If none of the above issues apply to you, and you’ve cleared it with your doctor, then you get the green light to give it try!

The Pro’s of Fasting:

  • Increased energy and Enhanced mood
  • save money on food
  • Reduction of GIT issues (gas, bloating, irritation, constipation)
  • Can aid in reduction of High blood pressure
  • Provide clearer skin and healing of eczema and psoriasis
  • Weight loss (fat burning)
  • Decreased cravings for sugar and processed foods
  • Body and colon cleanse. The body works to rid of excess toxins
  • BMR will drop, the core body temp also drops and body is more efficient in using energy.

The Con’s of Fasting:

  • Fatigue, irritability, anxiety and muscle weakness
  • Mental confusion
  • Not recommended for pregnant/breastfeeding women, children, the elderly, people with a serious health condition such as heart disease, kidney disease or type 1 diabetes.
  • Water must be consumed to prevent dehydration
  • After fasting, you may find yourself overeating
  • nutrient deficiencies

6 common symptoms of starvation: Possible Side effects

  • Immune deficiency
  • Swelling of fluid under the skin
  • decreased sex drive
  • chronic diarrhoea
  • reduction in muscle mass and consequent weakness
  • irritability and difficulty with mental concentration

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan.

 

Quick review: Q and A with Pyridoxine, B6

 

Hello Everyone,

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is important for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy.

Food sources of vitamin B-6 include poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas and bananas. Vitamin B-6 can also be taken as a supplement, typically as an oral capsule, tablet or liquid.

People who have kidney disease or conditions that prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients from foods (malabsorption syndromes) are more likely to be vitamin B-6 deficient. Certain genetic diseases and some epilepsy medications also can lead to deficiency. This can cause a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues (anemia), confusion, depression and a weakened immune system.

A vitamin B-6 deficiency is usually coupled with deficiency in other B vitamins, such as folate (vitamin B-9) and vitamin B-12.

The recommended daily amount of vitamin B-6 for adults is 1.3 milligrams.

List three forms of B6. 

Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal and Pyridoxamine

What is the active form of B6? 

Pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP)

How does riboflavin deficiency affect the conversion of B6 into its active form? 

Flavoproteins are involved in the metabolism of several other vitamins, therefore, severe riboflavin deficiency may affect many enzyme systems. Conversion of most naturally available vitamin B6 to its coenzyme form, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP), requires the FMN-dependent enzyme, pyridoxine 5′-phosphate oxidase (PPO). The synthesis of the niacin-containing coenzymes, NAD and NADP, from the amino acid tryptophan, requires the FAD-dependent enzyme, kynurenine mono-oxygenase. Severe riboflavin deficiency can decrease the conversion of tryptophan to NAD and NADP, increasing the risk of niacin deficiency. 5, 10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an FAD-dependent enzyme that plays an important role in maintaining the specific folate coenzyme required to form methionine from homocysteine. Along with other B vitamins, higher riboflavin intakes have been associated with decreased plasma homocysteine levels. Increased plasma riboflavin levels have also been associated with decreased plasma homocysteine levels, mainly in individuals homozygous for the C677T polymorphism in the R gene and in individuals with low folate intake. Such results illustrate that chronic disease risk may be influenced by complex interactions between genetic and dietary factors (see Cardiovascular disease and Cancer).

chemical equation

Chemical Structure of Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6

What is the role of PLP in tryptophan metabolism? 

The conversions of the amino acid tryptophan to niacin or the neurotransmitter serotonin also depend on PLP, as does the synthesis of haem and nucleic acids and lecithin.

The synthesis of the niacin-containing coenzymes, NAD and NADP, from the amino acid tryptophan, requires the FAD-dependent enzyme, kynurenine mono-oxygenase.

What are the general signs and symptoms of B6 deficiency? 

Lethargy, sleepiness, dermatitis, irritability, clinical depression, confusion and microcytic anaemia.

What is the relationship between B6, homocysteine levels and cardiovascular disease? 

High blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine may be a risk factor for heart disease. Taking vitamin B6 supplements with other B vitamins (folic acid and vitamin B12) has been shown to be effective for lowering homocysteine levels.

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The various roles Vitamin B6 plays in the body.

How safe is B6 supplementation during pregnancy? 

Studies suggest that taking B6 for morning sickness greatly improves nausea, though not vomiting , for many pregnant women. There has been no sign of harm for the fetus with vitamin B usage. A typical dose of B6 for morning sickness is 10-25mg, three times a day. Intake of more than 100mg a day of B6 can cause temporary nerve damage.

What are the toxicity signs of B6? 

Toxicity symptoms reverse on cessation of supplementation. A dose greater the 200-300mg per day can cause symptoms such as wakefulness and vivid dreams, along with nerve damage.

What are the common food sources of Vitamin B6? 

Watermelon, poultry (chicken and turkey), green leafy vegetables, potatoes, soybeans and soy products and quality meat. 

food sources B6

Healthiest regards,

Tegan.

Mineral Salt Therapy: A look into Calcium Phosphate

Hello Everyone,

Mineral therapy refers to a treatment program that uses mineral supplementation to improve a person’s health and wellbeing. Just like mineral imbalances in the soil affect the health of plants and animals, so too can mineral imbalances affect the health of humans. Mineral therapy was originally based on the Tissue Salts, which were originally identified by Dr. Wilhelm Schuessler of Germany in 1873. The Tissue Salts are also known as Biochemical Cell Salts or Mineral Salts, indicating their importance in the functioning of the human system. These salts are important for the functioning of the cells of our body and through getting these in balance we enhance our health and well-being.

Mineral therapy processes some extraordinary advantages such as affordability, efficacy, safety for all ages, easy to use and very little/no side effects as the mineral salts are made using a low dose that is easily absorbed by the body to enter into the blood stream for utilisation immediately after consuming to ensure fast, effective therapy.

In today’s blog, nutrition nourishment is going to look into one of the key minerals prescribed in mineral therapy known as Calcium Phosphate. Read below to find out the key features, actions, indications, deficiency body signs and symptom qualifications.

Remember: Cell builder, indicative for all stage of growth. And development. Essential in children.

 

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Overview

Calcium and Phosphate are associated with blood, bone and many cellular tissues within the body. Critical interrelationship between these ions in the body fluid are affected by dietary intake of both minerals. Calcium homeostasis is a complex process, closely linked to phosphorus, involving the parathyroid gland, liver, kidney, bones and intestines. There is a close interplay between parathyroid hormone, Vitamin D and Calcitonin.

Bones and Teeth

99% of the body’s calcium storage is found in bone and teeth. In bone, it is mainly present as the compound hydroxyapatite. The approximate ratio of calcium to phosphate in bone is 2:1; along with minerals such as silica, magnesium, carbonate, citrate and fluoride in trace amounts. Calcium and phosphate supplements positively stimulate bone production. In presence of both, calcitonin levels rise, resulting in an increase deposition of bone mineral. In infants, tooth enamel is predominantly a protein matrix with mineral content of 10-20%. By adulthood, approximately 90% of enamel is composed of hydroxyapatite.

Muscles

During muscle contraction, the release of actylcholine across neuromuscular junctions by motor neurons initiates skeletal muscle contraction. It is an influx of Calcium into the motor neurons which triggers actylcholine release from the synaptic vesicles.

In muscle, if there is not enough Calcium irons in the extracellular environment to facilitate neurotransmitter release, nerve cells become excited to the point of spontaneous muscle cramping. When extracellular calcium levels return to normal, the excited cell membrane becomes stabilised, thus relaxing the muscle. Intracellular magnesium levels also have an inhibitory effect on the electrical excitability of the neuron.

ATP Synthesis, Nerve Transmission

Phosphate is necessary for the continued resynthesis of ATP. Actin and myosin require ATP in order to cross bridges required for efficient muscle contraction. Calcium is also essential for proper nerve transmission, involved in the secretion of neurotransmitters. If Calcium falls, nerves become “jumpy”.

Growth

Required increased amounts during eriods of growth due to high demands for the growth of bones, and connective tissue. By the end of pregnancy, the human foetus has accumulated approximately 25-30grams of Calcium and 16grams of Phosphorus.

Key Actions and Indications

Rapid growth, anxiety, irritability, teething, middle ear infections, cold extremities, anaemia, poor digestion, pregnancy, skin conditions and muscular cramps.

Indication include poor appetite in children, low RBC, poor development of bones and teeth, decrease neuromuscular function.

Body Signs:

Nails: White spots (also indicate silica), peeling/flaking at ends, soft and pliable.

Iris: Open wave structure, concentric rings in children.

Tongue: Small, red spots. (strawberry spots).

Symptom Qualifications

A person with a deficiency in Calcium Phosphate may feel better laying down, in warm temperatures, and worse for cold, eating fruits or during night-time.
Healthiest regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

Veganism and Protein Requirements: How to adapt a balanced diet.

Hello everyone,

Veganism isn’t about being a healthy choice, or a diet, fad or trendy. It is a lifestyle choice individuals make, usually for humane, spiritual, religious and ecologically reasons. If you decide to adapt a vegan lifestyle there are a few things that need to be kept in mind.

  1. You can have an unhealthy vegan diet. I’m talking about buying processed, packaged ‘vegan’ alternatives at the shop. To ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from your vegan diet, you need to ensure you’re eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (including nuts and seeds).
  2. Be mindful of protein-combining. Animal-based proteins contain all 9 essential Amino acids and are considered complete proteins. There are only a few plant proteins that contain all the essential AA. However, this does not mean you can’t get all your amino acids into your diet, you just have to be smart and combine different varieties of proteins into your diet throughout the day
  3. Iron and B12 deficiency are common in vegans, however, many people eating a diet full of animal foods also have deficiencies. It’s all about balance.

In today’s blog, I’ll be discussing complete vegan (vegetarian) proteins that can be easily incorporated into a daily diet, and providing you with a sample day’s meal plan, with recipes included to get you started.

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Complete Vegetarian Protein Options.

Quinoa, Buckwheat, Hemp Seed, Chia Seed, Soy, Quorn ( Mycoprotein)

Dietary sources of protein and the essential amino acids

The protein content of plant origin foods such as nuts, peas and beans (including peanuts) is very high and rivals that of meat and fish. Some vegetarians include eggs and/or dairy products as part of their protein intake. Cheese has similar levels of protein to meat and fish by weight, whilst egg is regarded as the perfect protein food for its ideal balance of amino acids.

Whether dairy products and/or eggs are included in our diet, plant foods provide a major part of protein intake. Pulses, such as quinoa, can form the basis of many types of meals and soya products such as milk, tofu, miso or ready made products like burgers and sausages are probably the most versatile source of protein. Nuts can be incorporated into breakfast and sweet or savoury dishes providing an energy-dense source of protein. QuornTM is a form of myco-protein – an edible fungus – and is sold in a range of different forms from mince to fillets.

Everyday foods that are normally regarded as carbohydrates such as rice and grains, pasta, breakfast cereals and bread contain significant amounts of protein and can play an important part in your intake. For example, 100g of wholemeal bread contains 9.4g of protein. Potatoes eaten in quantity also provide useful amounts of protein.

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Protein combining

Of the eight essential amino acids two– lysine and methionine are given special attention in vegetarian diets. This is because compared with foods of animal origin such as eggs, milk and cheese various food groups of vegetable origin have an imbalance of either lysine or methionine. The food groups mainly in question are; cereals, such as wheat, oats and rice, and legumes; beans, peas and lentils.Wheat and rice proteins are comparatively low in lysine but better sources of methionine whereas beans and peas are relatively high in lysine yet in lower methionine. This has naturally led to the idea of cereals and legumes as ‘complementary’ proteins. In practice this means that meals that combine for example beans and rice or hummus and bread will provide a biologically ‘complete’ protein intake. It was thought until relatively recently that, as the body does not readily store amino acids it was essential for vegetarians to combine ‘complementary proteins’ at each meal. There has been some debate over this which has concluded that this isn’t strictly necessary, however it still has some advantages and seems a sensible way to approach a varied and complete diet.

Dietary requirements for protein (RNI)As with the other main food groups, fats and carbohydrates, an excess of protein in the diet will be treated by the body as a source of energy and in turn can be converted to body fat potentially contributing to obesity. Current official guidelines for protein intake suggest for adults a daily intake of 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight. Pregnant women should add 6g to this total and add 11g whilst in the first 4 months of breast feeding and thereafter add 8g per day for the duration of breastfeeding.

Recommended Protein Requirements for maintenance:


Average adult (19+) woman = 45g per day
Average adult (19+) man = 55g per day

Vegetarian breakfast with spinach, arugula, avocado, seeds and sprouts

Sample Day Meal Plan:

Breakfast: Smoothie made with Almond Milk, Banana, Cacao, Spinach, Kale, un-hulled Tahini, Avocado and hemp powder.

Morning Snack: Homemade Garlic Hummus and vegetable sticks. (cucumber, capsicum, carrot and celery).

Lunch: Tamari & Garlic grilled Portabello Mushroom, with curried vegetable rice stuffing. Served with side salad, add lemon, olive oil dressing. (Spinach, Cos Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrot and red onion).

Afternoon Snack: Fresh juice: spinach, kiwi, cucumber, apple, kale, mint and spirulina. Handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts and pecans).

Dinner: Vegetable Noodles with coconut curried sauce

Dessert: Homemade Chia Puddingegards,

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

Quick Review: Q & A with Folate, B9.

Hello everyone,

Most people correlate folate with pregnancy. We know it’s a vital nutrient for the neural development of the foetus and deficiencies have been linked to spina bifida, and other neurological diseases. However, Folate or folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is an essential component for many of the body’s metabolic and neurological processes. In this quick Q & A, we are going to review the important features of this vitamin.

  1. What are the two forms of vitamin B9? State their sources.

Folate refers to the reduced form which is found naturally in food and in biological tissues.

Folic acid refers to the oxidised form that is found in fortified foods and supplements.

However, the terms folic acid and folate may be used interchangeably.

Which of these two forms is the most bioavailable?

Dietary folates exist predominantly in the polyglutamyl form (containing several glutamate residues), whereas folic acid—the synthetic vitamin form—is a monoglutamate, containing just one glutamate moiety. In addition, natural folates are reduced molecules, whereas folic acid is fully oxidized. These chemical differences have major implications for the bioavailability of the vitamin such that folic acid is considerably more bioavailable than naturally occurring food folates at equivalent intake levels.

The bioavailablitiy of folate ranges from 50% for foods to 100% for supplements taken on an empty stomach.

Name the active form of folate.

The naturally occurring folate, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, is the major circulating form of folate in the human body.

Active forms include: Tetrahydrofolate (THF) and Dihydrofolate (DHF).

What two micronutrients are required for the conversion of folate to its active form?

To activate folate, vitamin B12 removes and keeps a methyl group, which also activates the vitamin B12. Both the folate coenzyme and the vitamin B12 coenzyme are now active and available for DNA synthesis.

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Folate species and catabolites.

Briefly explain the only function of the derivatives/cofactors of folate.

Its primary coenzyme, Tetrahydrofolate (THF), serves as part of an enzyme complex that transfers 1-carbon compounds that arise during metabolism. This action helps convert B12 to one of its coenzyme forms and helps synthesis the DNA required for rapidly growing cells.

Name the three vitamins that are required for folate to be regenerated during folate and nucleic acid metabolism.

Riboflavin, Niacin, Cyanocobalamin.

Figure-1-Potential-effects-of-vitamin-B12-and-folate-deficiencies-and-the-Cys66Thr

Vitamin B9, along with other B vitamins, and cofactors, play an important role in the methylation process.

Why can folate deficiency cause a build-up in homocysteine and why is it necessary to prevent the accumulation of homocysteine?

Folate coenzymes are required for the metabolismof several important amino acids, namely methionine, cysteine, serine, glycine, and histidine. The synthesis of methionine from homocysteine is catalyzed by methionine synthase, an enzyme that requires not only folate (as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate) but also vitamin B12.

Thus, folate (and/or vitamin B12) deficiency can result in decreased synthesis of methionine and an accumulation of homocysteine. Elevated blood concentrations of homocysteine have been considered for many years to be a risk factor for some chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and dementia.

Name the three vitamins that are required for homocysteine metabolism.

Folate works together with vitamins B12, B6 and B2 in the metabolism of homocysteine.

What is the type of anaemia seen with folate deficiency and why can it be confused with a B12 deficiency?

Clinical folate deficiency leads to megaloblastic anaemia, which is reversible with folic acid treatment. Rapidly dividing cells like those derived from bone marrow are most vulnerable to the effects of folate deficiency since DNA synthesis and cell division are dependent on folate coenzymes. When folate supply to the rapidly dividing cells of the bone marrow is inadequate, blood cell division is reduced, resulting in fewer but larger red blood cells. This type of anaemia is called megaloblastic or macrocytic anaemia, referring to the enlarged, immature red blood cells. Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, become hypersegmented, a change that can be found by examining a blood sample microscopically. Because normal red blood cells have a lifetime in the circulation of approximately four months, it can take months for folate-deficient individuals to develop the characteristic megaloblastic anaemia. Progression of such an anaemia leads to a decreased oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and may ultimately result in symptoms of fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath (1). It is important to point out that megaloblastic anaemia resulting from folate deficiency is identical to the megaloblastic anaemia resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency, and further clinical testing is required to diagnose the true cause of megaloblastic anaemia.

Why is folic acid an important supplement to take in pre-conceptual care and what dose is recommended for this time?

The one universally recommended supplement is folic acid. Folic acid is a B group vitamin that is needed for the healthy growth and development of the baby in the first weeks of life. By taking a folic acid supplement, research has found that birth defects such as spina bifida are reduced. The recommendation is to take at least 500 micrograms of folic acid per day for at least one prior to pregnancy and for the first three months of pregnancy.

Name three rich/excellent food sources (unfortified) of folate.

Spinach, Avocado, Lentils. 

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What nutrient deficiency may go undiagnosed when taking large doses of folic acid over a long period of time?

One symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is megaloblastic anaemia, which is indistinguishable from that associated with folate deficiency. Large doses of folic acid given to an individual with an undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency could correct megaloblastic anaemia without correcting the underlying vitamin B12 deficiency, leaving the individual at risk of developing irreversible neurologic damage. Such cases of neurologic progression in vitamin B12 deficiency have been mostly seen at folic acid doses of 5,000 μg (5 mg) and above. In order to be very sure of preventing irreversible neurological damage in vitamin B12-deficient individuals.

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Noruishment.

Silly Season: 6 Tips to Staying Healthy during the Christmas Season

Hello Everyone,

With the year coming to an end and the Christmas party season upon us, our health and fitness goals may start to fall by the wayside. Our healthy diets and lifestyle can easily be thrown out the window as we start to overindulge in richer food, drink more alcohol and have less time to spare to dedicate to exercise.

According to Nutrition Australia, on average Australians can gain between 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period. While 1-2kgs might not sound like much, studies show that weight gained during the holiday period is rarely lost in the new year. In today’s blog, Nutrition Nourishment will share 6 Tips to help keep you happy and healthy all throughout the holidays.

6 tips to staying happy and healthy during the Christmas season. 

Tip 1: Include more antioxidant foods in your diet.

These are the foods that are often brightly coloured red, orange and yellow. Antioxidants have the ability to neutralise free radicals that otherwise do damage to our cells and accelerate aging. Free radicals are unstable atoms or molecules within the body that have been created by oxidation through such things as pollution, preservatives and additives, radiation, smoking, and unprotected sun exposure. Enhancing the diet with antioxidant supplements such as vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, lycopene, and  lutein can also be an option. These five have the added benefit of also being photo protective. This means that they may increase the skins ability to protect against UV rays and reduces the chances of sunburn and skin damage.

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Tip 2: Drink more water

Dehydration is a common skin condition and can quickly become a problem in the summer heat. Increasing water intake is important throughout this season, however some people still become dehydrated. This loss of water has been shown to adversely affect skin making it feel papery and thin whilst also decreasing mood and energy levels. In times like these people often turn to sports drinks to rehydrate; I recommend using sports drinks only when performing strenuous exercise for > 90 minute intervals.  Otherwise adequate water consumption will provide your body with the necessary hydration it needs without the need for sports drinks.

Another option is coconut water which has less sugar content and will be absorbed faster. It also has fewer kilocalories, less sodium and more potassium than most sports drinks, which may be a better option for some individuals. Daily consumption in moderation.

Tip 3: Get your Daily Dose of Vitamin D

Most people associate vitamin D with healthy bones. What some might not know about this vitamin is that it also plays a vital role in regulation of sex hormones and mood. The main way to get vitamin D is to expose bare skin to sunlight however the use of sunscreen, working indoors, air pollution, location, and some dress codes may limit our exposure to the sun. Supplementing with a vitamin D product is one way to ensure that our vitamin D levels remain optimal and can help to protect us against depression or waning libido.

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Tip 4: Eat more dark chocolate

The flavonoids in dark chocolate may protect against skin damage and UV rays. The consumption of flavonoid-rich chocolate also increases skin circulation giving the skin that special glow whilst also leading to improved skin hydration. Make sure you get > 70% dark as this will have less sugar and a higher flavonoid content or better yet buy raw cacao powder and add it to your smoothies and desserts. Dark chocolate is also known to be a mood and memory booster and a good source of magnesium.

Tip 5: Homemade Juices to aid in Detoxification

Juices that contain natural diuretic foods such as celery, cucumber, lemon, ginger, beetroot, and pineapple help the body to increase its urine output. This in turn helps to eliminate toxins, reduce fluid retention and can ultimately result in feeling less bloated and looking slimmer. Fresh juices are also a great way to get your daily recommended serving of veggies.

Tip 6: B Vitamins for Energy and Wellbeing  

Next time you are feeling drained of energy consider B vitamins in your diet; include foods such a green leafy vegetables, lean quality proteins, eggs, and whole grains. B vitamins are water-soluble and get flushed quickly from the body. Increased alcohol consumption at Christmas time can deplete our bodies of important vitamins such as B1, B2 and B6. If you feel your diet is lacking these vitamins, it may be worthwhile finding a good complex B vitamin product to provide all eight B vitamins that are essential for peak health and energy production.

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One step at a time

The most important thing to remember is if you find yourself overindulging this Christmas is to not beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow’s another day to make smarter and healthier choices!

Further reading….

http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/

https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/

https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment