Let’s Talk Dirty: Health Protocol for Constipation

Hello everyone,

In a naturopathic perspective, health begins with digestion. It’s where all the action happens including the breakdown of food products that are used within the body for important metabolic pathways such as ATP production (energy fuel), detoxification pathways, cellular catabolism (building) and rebuilding muscle. As a complementary and alternative health practitioner, we often ask in-depth questions about your digestion, including bowel habits, as your poo can tell us a lot about your health.

Quick Disclaimer: ***Before reading this health information – please note that a sudden change in bowel function can be the indication of a more serious condition – if you have had a sudden change in bowel function without any obvious reason to attribute the change to, then you should inform your Physician about this change and determine if further evaluation is needed before you attempt to treat this condition on your own; especially if you are over the age of 50.

Constipation is not respected enough as to it’s potential negative effects on health in Western medicine – and our societal discomfort with even discussing this important issue is part of the problem.

The first thing to understand is that your gut is your “first brain”. Proper gut function is the very beginning of good health – and often times the font of disease. If there is a back up in the sewage system then the gut can’t function properly.

Also, the way that we “define” constipation in medicine is dead wrong. I have seen responses from GPs telling people the following… “if someone has a bowel movement every 3 days, that is normal for him or her – that’s just their own rhythm.” That would be similar to telling someone with cancer, that for him or her it is “normal” to have cancer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What nature intended is food in; food out. Ideally, if you have 2-3 meals a day, you should have 2-3 bowel movements a day. At the very least, you should have 1 bowel movement daily. Food transit time should be somewhere between 10 and 14 hours.  Think of it this way, your stool travels through the colon, absorbing toxins ready to be excreted. If your not opening your bowels every day, toxins are in your system longer making it easily accessible to your micro biome, and can easily enter your blood stream.

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“The Bristol Stool Chart is an excellent tool in practice used by most medical practitioner and complementary practitioners. Your poo can tell a lot about your health.”

Diet:

  •  There are 3 areas in the diet that can positively or negatively affect constipation; water, fiber and good bacteria.
  • Without adequate amounts of water the stool can become too hard and slow the whole process down. You should strive to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. And most of this should be consumed in-between meals – drinking too much water (or anything else) while eating only works to dilute digestive juices.
  • Fiber is important because it adds bulk to the stool and encourages the message to your intestines to “move things along.” Fiber comes from grains, beans and legumes, fruits and vegetable. The lack of adequate fiber in the Standard American Diet (SAD) is a constant negative factor is normal bowel function. The more a food is processed the less fiber it will contain. Although there are accepted guidelines as to the amount of fiber you should get in your diet – the real number is best determined by evaluating your bowel function – more is generally better.
  • The dead cells of the good or friendly bacteria, as they run through their life cycle in the gut, make up about half of the bulk of stool. So when there is a lack of this, constipation is often the result. The relatively recent idea that we should live in a sterile environment continues to contribute to imbalances in our guts. Furthermore, people that have had their appendix removed may have a harder time maintaining a balanced intestinal flora. Eating fermented foods and avoiding tap water and antibiotics from meat can be helpful in maintaining a healthy biomass of good bacteria.
  • Lastly, hidden food sensitivities can be the cause of chronic constipation. Eliminating such common offenders as gluten, dairy, corn, soy and/or eggs might fix what has been a lifelong problem.

Lifestyle: 

  • The biggest lifestyle issue revolves around exercise. The more you move; the more you move! Consistent exercise will helps massage the internal organs, including the digestive tract, and encourages peristalsis, the wave-like motion that constantly pushes things along.
  • Also to be considered are certain prescription medicines. Medicines can have a myriad of effects in the gut. Obviously, antibiotics will kill the good bacteria. Medicines that stop acid production in the stomach interfere with your ability to properly digest food – and the body doesn’t want to move undigested food along. Many pain medications can slow down the digestive tract; constipation can be the result.
  • Additionally, constant use of laxatives can lead to dependence and partial or complete loss of proper bowel motility.

 

  • Lastly, there are times when emotional issues show up in the body by causing constipation. Quite literally, you might ask yourself what it is that you are “holding on to” emotionally that can relate to not letting go of physical waste.

Supplements: 

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    For various underlying causes

  • Magnesium: that draws water to it as it travels through the bowels, helping to encourage bowel movements. It can also produce a laxative effect.
  • Fish oil acts as a bowel lubricant and a natural stool softener.
  • Probiotics: Improve gastrointestinal integrity and maintain a healthy bacteria ecosystem within the colon.
  • plant-based digestive enzymes enhanced with enzymes to help folks with gluten and casein (dairy) sensitivities.

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

Flu Season: A holistic Approach to Staying Well this Winter.

 

Statistics: 

Every year in late summer and early fall we begin to hear about the coming flu, how dangerous it is, and how the best way to protect ourselves is by getting the flu shot. Both of these statements are patently false.

First of all, the flu is not really dangerous. When the CDC, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, tells us every year that so many people die from the flu, if you look at the numbers closely you will see that they actually say that so many people die from flu and pneumonia each year. For example, in 2005, deaths for both flu and pneumonia combined were 61,000. But deaths from influenza alone were only around 1800 people. And, in fact, deaths from influenza since 1979 have been fairly consistent, averaging around 1300 people each year.

The second issue is that of the flu shot being useful in protecting ourselves. There is an organization, the Cochrane Collaborative, that is an international collective of individuals who evaluate scientific data from all over the world and publish their findings in the form of reviews. When reviewing scientific data, they throw out studies that are biased and/or designed poorly.

Their reviews of studies looking at the effectiveness of flu vaccines quite clearly show that there is little or no evidence that the flu vaccines are useful in the following populations… babies under 2 years old, children with asthma, adults, elderly adults. Furthermore, Cochrane reviews also show that healthcare practitioners that get flu shots do not protect the elderly in nursing homes that they take care of.

The real reason we get the flu is the combination of a few simple factors that, when adjusted, make it much easier to avoid the flu and much easier to treat the flu if contracted.

Factor number one has to do with our lifestyle habits that make our immune systems less effective at fighting off the influenza virus. There is more detail about this in the lifestyle section, but here is a synopsis of the issue. October begins a 3-month long sugar eating, lack of sleep, stress-inducing time period that we expose ourselves to. Beginning with Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, the Holidays, and culminating with New Years, we get too much sugar, not enough sleep, and stress galore trying to accommodate family and friends, buy the perfect gifts, etc.

The other factor has to do with our Vitamin D levels dropping. Did you know that there really isn’t a flu season along the equator? That’s because proper exposure to the sun, year round, keeps Vitamin D blood levels elevated; which plays a major role with appropriate immune function!

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Diet: 

  • For dietary concerns there are “do’s” and “do not’s”

    The “do not’s” really revolve around sugar… in all of its various forms. That obviously means cakes and cookies and candies and doughnuts. It also means avoiding too many processed and refined carbohydrates. Too much pasta, bread and cereal can be just as detrimental. Also, take an inventory of how much high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) you are ingesting in your diet. You might be surprised to find that some of your foods, like soups or salad dressing, contain this health-damaging form of sugar. Here is a link to an article for more details about HFCS.

    Fruit juices are also a source of concentrated fructose that should be avoided.

    The ‘do’s” have to do with foods that give your body, and in particular your immune system, what it needs to function optimally at this time of year. It may seem obvious, but I’ll state it anyway… more fresh fruits and vegetables will serve you well. Please also remember that water is essential for all cells to work properly, including your immune cells. Water also helps loosen and break up mucus in the chest and sinuses, so ensure you’re getting adequate supply of water throughout the day. Aim for around 2-3 Litres/day.

  • Adding spices such as ginger, garlic and turmeric to your cooking. Making healing soups, casseroles and stews to warm the body is a wonderful healing tool.
  • Herbal teas including liquorice, eucalyptus, elderberry, ginger and parsley can be soothing and healing for the body.
  •  

    For the Vitamin D issue – there are really no viable ways to get enough Vitamin D from your diet – you must supplement with it – see the supplement section below for more information.

Lifestyle: 

  • The following issues are of equal importance – so don’t just grab on to the one thing here that is easy for you to do. Give each of these areas equal and fair attention!
    • Wash your hands. Often. There is no question that the major way that you get exposed to the influenza virus is from the hands of someone else.
    • Get your sleep. Your immune system is acutely affected by lack of quality sleep. Try to stick to a fairly rigid sleep routine during the cold and flu season. This may be hard to do because of parties, visiting relatives and too many things on your to-do list. It may seem like you’re missing out on some of the fun… but you’ll be the one having fun when everyone else is in bed with the flu.
    • Get your exercise. Again, don’t stray from your scheduled exercise regimen just because of the time of year it is. If walking is your gig and it’s too cold outside, walk inside at one of the local malls. Make sure that at least 4 times a week you are getting some aerobic and some weight-bearing exercise in.
    • Tend to your stress needs. Maybe the biggest factor in a dysfunctioning immune system is stress. And the cold and flu season is the most stressful time of year for many people. So start by pledging to be more observant of how you are feeling and when you are feeling stressed. And when you are, find a way to sooth yourself immediately… don’t wait for “later” because for busy people, later often never comes. Be willing to care for yourself as much as you care for everyone else.

Beneficial Supplements: 

  • There are supplements to use now to help prevent the flu and ones to use if you happen to get the flu.

    For Prevention:

    • Vitamin D3: Activated form of Vitamin D known as Cholecalciferol. It is bioavailable to the body for ready absorption. Getting your vitamin D blood levels to at least 50ng/ml will give you an amazing level of protection, i’d even recommend aiming for up to 80ng/ml. For most people this will require at least 5,000IU – 10,000IU a day. I also recommend that you get your vitamin D blood level checked to best know the appropriate dosage for you.
    • Herbal Remedies: Elderberry extract is a powerful remedy that sort of makes a blockade to viruses being able to enter into your cells. This can be used in anticipation of a situation that you know you are going to be exposed to the flu.
    • Vitamin B Complex vitamin and Zinc.

    For Treatment:

    These supplements are best used at the very first sign of getting the flu. So, if you wake up in the morning feeling that scratchy throat or sinus congestion, you want to have these things in your home already – don’t wait until you get sick to go find these supplements.

    • Vitamin D3. Using high doses of Vitamin D-3 at the beginning of symptoms is a very effective way to avoid getting the full-blown flu. For most people, taking anywhere from 25,000iu to 50,000iu a day for a few days does the trick.
    • Iron Phosphate Mineral Therapy salts. For first sign inflammation and sickness such as a runny nose, tickling throat and headaches. Tablets are safe to use, and safe in efficacy. Usual dose is 2 tablets chewed every 15-30mins until feeling better, used in acute cases, and or chronic 3-4 tablets chewed daily. (Usually this is a preventative measure).
    • Zinc has been shown to be effective at helping to prevent the spread of the influenza virus in the body. These lozenges also contain Vitamin C, Slippery Elm and Bee Propolis. Use up to 3 a day.

*Disclaimer: This article should be used as a reference guide ONLY. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you experience any symptoms of the flu. Never self-diagnose as it can be dangerous, causing unwanted side effects and possibly cause chronic conditions. 

If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with me

Healthiest regards throughout the colder months,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment 

 

Healing Herb of the Week: Turmeric

Hello everyone,

In today’s blog, I’m going to talk briefly about turmeric, its main actions and its clinical uses. Turmeric, particularly its active constituent, curcumin, has become a popular supplement in our western world, for inflammatory concerns, however, turmeric has been long used for medicinal purposes, and its discovery dates back to 2500BC. It was traditionally used to colour french robes a mustard colour and also the robes of hindu priest, before both Indian and Chinese Traditional Medicine therapies began to use turmeric for the treatment of inflammatory and digestive disorders. I’ve written this out in a convenient and easy to read fact sheet format.

Turmeric

Botanical Name: Curcuma Longa

Active Constituents: Curcumin. This is a collective description for a group of phenolic compounds called curcuminoids. It also contains Essential Oils, 1.5-3% total mass, along with resins and starches/fibres.

Part Used: Root (Rhizone) 

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Main Actions:

 Demonstrated to modulate over 150 different physiological pathways in the body. 

Anti-oxidant: Scavenges free radicals, enhances the activity of endogenous antioxidants such as glutathione peroxidase. Induces Phase II detox pathways, more potent than Vitamin C. Reduces inflammation and protects the cells from oxidative damage.

Gastrointestinal Activity: 

  • Hepaprotective, which means it protects the liver from chemical induced damage.
  • Antispasmodic, meaning it relieves spasms within the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Cholagogue. Main action in stimulating bile form the gall bladder to help break down fats in the body.
  • Hypolipid. Aids in protection against oxidative damage from crystallise plaques in the arteries. This is why it may be benefically in Cardiovascular disease to help lower LDL cholesterol (known as the ‘bad’ type) and reduce total cholesterol plasma levels.

Scientifically Proven Alzheimers Fighter.

Alzheimers is characterised by a build-up of amyloid beta plaques (a tangle to protein fibres) in the brain. The active form of Vitamin D activates type I macrophages and churchmen activates type II, to help protect further damage from the disease.

Cancer-Preventative: Inhibits invasion, proliferation (rapid-growing) and metastasis (spread) of various cancers.

Immunomodulation: This relates to the immune system and its ability to fight foreign invaders that attack the body on a daily basis. Turmeric has shown to increase White Blood Cell production, and circulating antibodies.

Clinical Uses: In practice, varies medical practitioner can therapeutically use turmeric and its concentrate, curcumin, for concerns such as cancer, psoriasis, peptic ulcersm dementia, Rheumatoid arthritis, Auto-immune disorders, Carodivascular disease, liver disease and diabetes.

Actions Overview: Anti-oxidant, Carminitive, Anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, hypolipidaemic,anti-ulcerative, hepatoprotective, immune enhacing and chemoprotective.

Clinical Indications: Suffers of Oestoarthritis/Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cancer patients, dyspepsia, liver insufficiency, alzheimer patients, high cholesterol and peptic ulcers.

Caution: Relatively safe to use, however, caution needs to be taken when prescribing for patient with gallstones, and anti-platelet medications, due to turmeric increasing these areas of metabolism within the body.

Dosage: 4-10gram daily in divided doses (dried whole root). This can be incorporated into herbal teas, curries or stews. With supplementation, generally its active constituent curcumin, it can be found upwards of 300mg.

My final thoughts: As a Whole Food Nutritionist and an avid reader of current/past scientific research studies, I encourage the use of turmeric in your diet, rather than curcumin, in supplementation form. This is due to turmeric containing the addition of Essential Oils and Resins/fibres, found within the original plant material, that can provide exceptional anti-inflammatory and into-oxidant benefits that unfortunately curcumin cannot live up to in terms of proven medicinal therapies. Turmeric has been used as a food accessory nutrient for thousands of years, and the benefits have long been know. It’s only recently that we have been able to extract the curcuminoid compounds form the plant materials for use in supplemental forms of therapies.

As much as I have seen these supplements benefits clients, it is no match to adding turmeric into the diet, along with other healing herbs such as garlic, ginger, parsley, thyme and coriander. These herbs are not only safe to use in our diet, they can add so much flavour and depth to our cooking at home, without the need to adding sugars or salts to find a suitable flavour.

I hope your’ve been able to increase your current knowledge on turmeric and curcumin from this fact sheet. I encourage you to always seek medical advice before starting a new supplementation, as these can have cautions, interactions, warnings and contra-indications just a prescription medications do.

And As Always

Healthiest Regards

Tegan- Nutriton Nourishment

 

Heavy Metal Toxicity: Background, Symptoms and Treatments

Hello everyone, 

Many of the elements that can be considered heavy metals have no known benefit for human physiology. Lead, mercury, and cadmium are prime examples of such “toxic metals.” Yet, other metals are essential to human biochemical processes. For example, zinc is an important cofactor for several enzymatic reactions in the human body, vitamin B-12 has a cobalt atom at its core, and haemoglobin contains iron. Likewise, copper, manganese, selenium, chromium, and molybdenum are all trace elements that are important in the human diet. Another subset of metals includes those used therapeutically in medicine; aluminium, bismuth, gold, gallium, lithium, and silver are all part of the medical armamentarium. Any of these elements may have pernicious effects if taken in quantity or if the usual mechanisms of elimination are impaired.

The toxicity of heavy metals depends on a number of factors. Specific symptomatology varies according to the metal in question, the total dose absorbed, and whether the exposure was acute or chronic. The age of the person can also influence toxicity. For example, young children are more susceptible to the effects of lead exposure because they absorb several times the percent ingested compared with adults and because their brains are more plastic and even brief exposures may influence developmental processes. The route of exposure is also important. Elemental mercury is relatively inert in the gastrointestinal tract and also poorly absorbed through intact skin, yet inhaled or injected elemental mercury may have disastrous effects. 

Some elements may have very different toxic profiles depending on their chemical form. For example, barium sulfate is basically nontoxic, whereas barium salts are rapidly absorbed and cause profound, potentially fatal hypokalemia. The toxicity of radioactive metals like polonium, which was discovered by Marie Curie but only recently brought to public attention after the 2006 murder of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, relates more to their ability to emit particles than to their ability to bind cell proteins.

Exposure to metals may occur through the diet, from medications, from the environment, or in the course of work or play. Where heavy metal toxicity is suspected, time taken to perform a thorough dietary, occupational, and recreational history is time well spent, since identification and removal of the source of exposure is frequently the only therapy required.

A full dietary and lifestyle history may reveal hidden sources of metal exposure. Metals may be contaminants in dietary supplements, or they may leech into food and drink stores in metal containers like lead decanters. Persons intentionally taking colloidal metals for their purported health benefits may ultimately develop toxicity. Metal toxicity may complicate some forms of drug abuse. Beer drinker’s cardiomyopathy was diagnosed in alcoholics in Quebec, and later Minnesota, during a brief period in the 1970s when cobalt was added to beer on tap to stabilize the head. More recently, a parkinsonian syndrome among Latvian injection drug users of methcathinone has been linked to manganese toxicity.

Currently, millions of people living in and around Bangladesh are at risk for organ dysfunction and cancer from chronic arsenic poisoning from the water supply. In an effort to bypass ground water sources rife with bacterial contamination, tube wells were sunk throughout that area, deep into the water table. Bedrock rich in arsenic gives these deeper water stores—and the crops they irrigate—a high concentration of arsenic, and toxicity is epidemic throughout the area. Childhood lead poisoning linked to the ingestion of old paint chips in the North American setting is another good example of environmental contamination.

Metals have been used as instruments of murder. Arsenic is perhaps more rightly classified as a metalloid, but it is consistently the single substance most commonly thought of as a poison. Metals have also been used in warfare as chemical weapons. Again, arsenic was the primary component of the spray known as Lewisite that was used by the British during trench warfare in World War I. Exposure produced severe edema of the eyelids, gastrointestinal irritation, and both central and peripheral neuropathies.

This article provides a brief overview of general principles in the diagnosis and management of metal toxicity. The Table below reviews the typical presentation of the most commonly encountered metals and their treatment in summary form. It is not intended to guide clinical decision in practice or for self-diagnosis***

Typical Presentation of the Most Commonly Encountered Metals and Their Treatment

Metal Acute Chronic Toxic Concentration Treatment
Arsenic Nausea, vomiting,

“rice-water” diarrhoea,

encephalopathy,

MODS, LoQTS,

painful neuropathy

Diabetes, hypo pigmentation/ hyperkeratosis

cancer: lung, bladder, skin, encephalopathy

24-h urine: para,

50 µg/L urine,

100 µg/g creatinine

BAL (acute, symptomatic)

Succimer

DMPS (Europe)

Bismuth Renal failure; acute tubular necrosis Diffuse myoclonic encephalopathy No clear reference standard **
Cadmium Pneumonitis (oxide fumes) Proteinuria, lung cancer, osteomalacia Proteinuria and/or ≥15 µg/ g creatinine **
Chromium GI hemorrhage, hemolysis, acute renal failure (Cr6+ ingestion) Pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer (inhalation) No clear reference standard NAC (experimental)
Cobalt Beer drinker’s (dilated) cardiomyopathy Pneumoconiosis (inhaled); goiter Normal excretion:

0.1-1.2 µg/L (serum)

0.1-2.2 µg/L (urine)

NAC , CaNa2 , EDTA
Copper Blue vomitus, GI irritation/ haemorrhage, hemolysis, MODS (ingested); MFF (inhaled) vineyard sprayer’s lung (inhaled); Wilson disease (hepatic and basal ganglia degeneration) Normal excretion:

25 µg/24 h (urine)

BAL, D-Penicillamine, Succimer
Iron Vomiting, GI haemorrhage, cardiac depression, metabolic acidosis Hepatic cirrhosis Nontoxic: < 300 µg/dL

Severe: >500 µg/dL

Deferoxamine
Lead Nausea, vomiting, encephalopathy (headache, seizures, ataxia, obtundation) Encephalopathy, anaemia, abdominal pain, nephropathy, foot-drop/ wrist-drop Pediatric: symptoms or [Pb] ≥45 µ/dL (blood); Adult: symptoms or [Pb] ≥70 µ/dL BAL, CaNa2 , EDTA, Succimer
Manganese MFF (inhaled) Parkinson-like syndrome, respiratory, neuropsychiatric No clear reference standard **
Mercury Elemental (inhaled): fever, vomiting, diarrhea, Inorganic salts (ingestion): caustic gastroenteritis Nausea, metallic taste, gingivo-stomatitis, tremor, neurasthenia, nephrotic syndrome; hypersensitivity (Pink disease) Background exposure “normal” limits: 10 µg/L (whole blood); 20 µg/L (24-h urine) BAL, Succimer DMPS (Europe)
Nickel Dermatitis; nickel carbonyl: myocarditis, ALI, encephalopathy Occupational (inhaled): pulmonary fibrosis, reduced sperm count, nasopharyngeal tumors Excessive exposure: ≥8 µg/L (blood)

Severe poisoning:

500 µg/L (8-h urine)

**
Selenium Caustic burns, pneumonitis, hypotension Brittle hair and nails, red skin, paresthesia, hemiplegia Mild toxicity: [Se] >1 mg/L (serum); Serious: >2 mg/L **
Silver Very high doses: hemorrhage, bone marrow suppression, pulmonary edema, hepatorenal necrosis Argyria: blue-grey discoloration of skin, nails, mucosae Asymptomatic workers have mean [Ag] of 11 µg/L (serum) and 2.6 µg/L (spot urine) Selenium, vitamin E (experimental)
Thallium Early: Vomiting, diarrhea, painful neuropathy, coma, autonomic instability, MODS Late findings: Alopecia, Mees lines, residual neurologic symptoms Toxic: >3 µg/L (blood) MDAC , Prussian blue
Zinc MFF (oxide fumes); vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain (ingestion) Copper deficiency: anemia, neurologic degeneration, osteoporosis Normal range:

0.6-1.1 mg/L (plasma)

10-14 mg/L (red cells)

**

** No accepted Chelation regimen; Contact toxicologist regarding treatment plan.

For more information regarding toxicity of metals, metal detox, sources of metals or treatment, click on the following links

http://naturopathconnect.com/articles/heavy-metal-toxicity-symptoms/

https://draxe.com/heavy-metal-detox/

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/31-surprising-sources-of-toxic-heavy-metals.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144270/

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/poisoning

And please be sure to check the number for your local poisoning hotline in case of emergency.

Healthiest Regards

Nutrition Nourishment

Eat With The Seasons: How Seasonal Produce Improves Your Health

Hello Everyone,

At last we say goodbye to long, hot summer days and warmly welcome the cooler change of autumn. With it’s falling leaves, cooler, foggy mornings with the sun rising over the country paddocks, the cows and horses begin to stir and look up at the orange and pink sky. Autumn is by far my favourite season, and especially when i live so close to nature on my nan and pop’s farm.

 

Before we started the mass import and exportation of goods a few decades ago, we had no choice but to eat seasonally. That’s all that was available. We had watermelons in summer, when it was hot, and root vegetables in winter. It makes sense, as watermelon will cool us down in the heat of summer and root vegetables are made into soups or roasted – keeping us warm in the cool.

Understanding what your body needs will not only improve the health of our planet, but yours as well. Eastern medicine and philosophies have understood the interconnectedness of the body, mind and spirit for centuries, but only recently has it found its way into Western lives.
These days though, you can pretty much buy anything you want all year around in a supermarket, as it’s more than likely been imported. But learn from farmers’ markets: if it’s not available, chances are it’s not in season – a good sign you’re not meant to be eating it then anyway.

Eating local is a way to cut down on food miles and emissions. Economically, you support your own community, not large companies. Environmentally, your food travels less, and you know more where it’s coming from. Other benefits include solidarity with food producers doing things on a smaller scale, and the opportunity to eat more natural, whole foods. On that note, eating more natural foods is also good for your health — an aspect of local eating that isn’t always the center of the discussion about reducing food miles.

So, what are the health benefits of eating local? If you needed any more convincing in order to get shopping local, here are a few of the health advantages.

 

Local Matters

Just as the leaves start to lose their moisture so do we, both internally and externally. We will likely experience drier skin, coughs, dandruff and constipation. To prevent or reduce these symptoms, eat foods that nourish and moisten, such as nuts and seeds and their oils (tahini, olive, almond and flax oil), wholegrains like barley and millet, and apples, pears and avocado. Foods that build up our blood in preparation for winter are figs, pears, pumpkin, and beetroot. The flavour associated with the lungs is pungent so ginger and wasabi are especially helpful during this season.

Eating local is a way to cut down on food miles and emissions. Economically, you support your own community, not large companies. Environmentally, your food travels less, and you know more where it’s coming from. Other benefits include solidarity with food producers doing things on a smaller scale, and the opportunity to eat more natural, whole foods. On that note, eating more natural foods is also good for your health — an aspect of local eating that isn’t always the centre of the discussion about reducing food miles.

So, what are the health benefits of eating local? If you needed any more convincing in order to get shopping local, here are a few of the health advantages.

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Eating local means fresher food

When produce doesn’t travel across the country, or sometimes the world, its freshness means higher nutrient value. Once produce is packaged its optimal nutritional level decreases, specifically some vitamins such as C, E, A and some B. There are other factors that come into play, such as exposure to artificial lights and air, and temperature changes. Of course produce that has traveled still has nutritional value, but produce consumed immediately after its harvest is not only healthier but tastier as well (ever compared a freshly picked strawberry to a grocery store one?). This is due to the fact that the fruits and vegetables are allowed to ripen longer on their branches, vines, bushes, etc. rather than being picked early so as not to spoil during transportation and packaging. Local produce that is destined for local markets is picked at its prime ripeness, meaning your food will not only be healthier but also taste better.

Eating local means seasonal

Eating local also means following the natural flow of the seasons if you’re eating whatever the closest farmers have to offer (such as picking up a CSA box). For ecologists, this means following the natural flow of diversity and discovering local varieties, which might not exist in increasingly uniform grocery stores. This certainly helps to avoid the issue of eating the same foods all year round, which is not ideal for your health. In addition, Japanese research found that spinach harvested in the summer vs. the winter had three times more vitamin C. Additionally, food that is grown seasonally and close by might contain more nutrients that we specifically need at that point of the year. It’s very easy in our big, box store world to forget what foods we should be consuming at which points throughout the year, but finding a balance with what we eat and the seasons can benefit us as well as the planet.

Eating local means being engaged

Many of our current environmental and health issues are due to modern agriculture, and if we engage with our local, natural sources of food, we not only help out local producers, but help our own health. Modern food is packed with sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, all of which have been linked to chronic diseases. Getting our food from local sources (ideas below), means having a lot more fresh produce on our hands.

Engaging with what has traditionally been grown in an area is becoming increasingly popular. The website of the Decolonize Your Diet movement speaks of food as medicine; not just for the body, but for the soul as well. The site encourages eating the local, indigenous foods of an area in order to reconnect with culture and health. Good resources for indigenous eating may be found through their work.

In this same vain, the Guardian posted an article recently on the ability of indigenous diets to fight modern diseases. It explains that many micronutrients have been lost in the modern, processed way of eating, which are still present in local foods. Above and beyond the health benefits, such a shift could help bring humans closer to the Earth, and foster a more concrete link between consumers and producers. The story cites millet, spirulina, roots and tubers as regional foods grown in different parts of the world that contain disease-fighting micro-nutrients. In addition to the alternatives of indigenous crops to modern agriculture, wild foods also offer nutritional bonuses. And, when it comes to such nutrient-dense foods, it’s quality (not quantity) that matters, meaning that only a small amount of a wild food can contain large health benefits.

Fortunately, eating more locally is becoming easier as it becomes more popular. Farmer’s markets have sprouted up all over, some even during the winter. So what have you got to lose? Get out there and get cooking local!

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

 

Healthy Habits: Get Smart on Reading Food Labels

In an ideal world, we’d have the time to cook every one of our meals from scratch using only the freshest, healthiest ingredients. But realistically—between juggling school, work, friends, family, and other responsibilities—most of us resort to prepackaged food a little more often than we’d like to. That said, eating packaged snacks isn’t the worst thing in the world. If you have a good handle on how to read a food label, you can make sure that even your packaged meal options are as close as possible nutritionally to the food you would choose to make at home.

Today I’m sharing a few tips to help you decode those ubiquitous food labels. Reading the Nutrition Facts can feel a little like trying to decipher a secret code. There are numbers and percentages, and you’re not sure which ones to pay attention to and which ones to ignore.

Start With Serving Size

Serving size is perhaps the most important thing to look at when you’re reading a food label. The serving size influences every other number that follows, so ask yourself how many servings you are actually eating. If the serving size is 1 cup and you’re eating 2, you will be doubling every other nutrient number on the label as well. Unhealthy snack foods are notorious for listing much smaller serving sizes than what the average person ends up eating. So, if you are going to gobble up that whole ‘snack size’ bag of chips, at least beware that there may actually be 2.5 servings per bag according to the manufacturer.

Make Your Kilojoules Count

Many people are in the habit of counting kj’s and ignoring the rest of the label. But what are kj’s exactly and how much do they matter? Kilojoules provide a measure of how much energy (heat) your body gets from a serving of food. Keeping track of kj’s is indeed one factor that can help you manage your weight (lose weight, gain weight, or maintain it). But it is by no means the only number that matters. Instead of just counting kj, focus on how nutrient dense a food is. If it has lots of protein, fiber, healthy fats and vitamins in a moderate number of calories, it’s a good, healthy choice. Consuming ‘empty kilojoules,’ or foods with little nutritional value, is the thing to avoid.

Pay Less Attention to Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDI)

The Reference Daily Intake or Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) is the daily intake level of a nutrient that is considered to be sufficient to meet the requirements of 97–98% of healthy individuals. The amount of kilojoules a person actually needs will vary depending on a number of significant factors such as age, gender, physically activity, goals, and countless other factors.The Nutrient Reference Value’s (NRV’s) for Australia and New Zealand have a website that provides excellent information regarding nutrients, dietary energy and energy requirements for individuals of different groups. However, it is important not to over think those percentages, and just focus on choosing whole foods with a good dose of protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

Know That Not All Fats Are Bad Fats

Fats are listed first on the Nutrition Facts, and they’re also the thing that most people are afraid of, however, you don’t need to be fat-phobic if your aware of what fat actually is and how to differentiate good fats from your bad fats. The good fats can provide the body’s precursors for hormones, increases insulin sensitivity and improves skin health. Trans fats and Saturated fats are the bad fats to look out for. If you would like more information on fats in the diet, See our Macronutrient Series on fats Part 1 and Part 2.

Get the Skinny on Sugar, Carbs, and Fiber

Since there is no percent listed for sugar, it can be even trickier to tell whether the amount of sugar per serving is a lot or a little. Many people might be surprised to hear that 4 grams of sugar equals about one teaspoon. So that a can of soda with 40 grams of sugar? That’s a whopping 10 teaspoons of added sugar! Sugar does nothing to nourish your body, so it is full of the empty calories I mentioned before. Avoiding added sugar is important in items like yogurt, tomato sauce, protein bars and condiments. But what many people don’t know is that all carbohydrates (except fiber) break down to glucose or blood sugar. The kicker here is fiber; fiber doesn’t turn to glucose, so the more fiber a product has the less carbohydrates are turned to glucose. Instead of being afraid of carbohydrates too, just choose natural sources of carbohydrates that are also high in fiber like root vegetables. If you would like more information regarding sugar, be sure to check out our blog post Macronutrient Series on Carbohydrates that take an in-depth look into sugars and how the body utilises them.

Keep an Eye on Ingredients

Keep an eye out for a few red flag ingredients that are common in processed foods. With nut milk’s increasing popularity, it is important to avoid carrageenan, an additive that is linked to intestinal permeability (leaky gut), gastrointestinal inflammation and malignant tumors. Nut milks without carrageenan may be easier to find in the refrigerated section than among the shelf-stable cartons. Also, try to steer clear of cheap oils like safflower, sunflower, soybean and cottonseed oils. These oils have recently been replacing trans fats in a lot of foods, but they’re no better for you. Avoiding these is a great way to try and balance out fatty acids in the body. And as a general rule, the fewer ingredients you can’t pronounce, the better! It’s likely that many of them are preservatives and chemical additives.

Comparison Shop

One of the best ways to make healthy food choices is to comparison shop. Unless you’re a nutritionist, it can be hard to look at a food label in isolation and know whether it’s good for you or not. But if you are comparing two similar items side-by-side and notice that one is higher in fiber and protein but lower in sodium than the other, you can at least feel confident that you are making the healthier choice.

I hope you now feel a little more confident navigating the frozen or snack food aisle!

As Always,

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

For more information please click on the following links below.

https://www.nrv.gov.au

http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/eating-well/how-understand-food-labels

 

Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp: 10 Health-Related Benefits

Hello everyone,

I recently acquired my very first Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp, or Salt Lamp as some call them. The recent ionizing devices trend, which seemingly boost health by releasing negatively-charged particles into the air stems from the far East. A trend which I am not ashamed to admit I bought into and it’s easy to see why people love them, with their pinkish-orange colour emitting a soft, warm glow, and its natural crystal shape, the lamps certainly look attractive: but will they make you healthier? or Are they simply hyped up quackery? Let’s get to the nitty gritty.

But before we dive into the health benefits of using Himalayan salt lamps in your home, it may be helpful to first have a brief chemistry lesson:

All matter (the human body, air, water, etc) is made up of molecules which are made up of atoms which are made up of three types of particles: protons (positive charge), electrons (negative charge), and neutrons (no charge). Electrons orbit their molecules like planets revolve around a star. Occasionally an electron flies off and when it does, it leaves behind a positively-charged ion whose sole purpose in life becomes to fill the void left by its little lost electron. In other words: it wants to steal a replacement electron from another molecule. Due to differences in molecular structure (number of electrons in the outermost orbit, strength and structure of electron bonds, etc) some materials lose electrons much more easily than others.

With this basic understanding of the behaviors of positive and negative ions fresh in your mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 benefits of the Himalayan Salt Lamp.

1. Salt Lamps Cleanse & Deodorize the Air

Probably the most well-known benefit – and why the majority of people use them – is due to their incredible power to remove dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants from the air. “But how do they do this,” you ask?  “It’s just a big chunk of salt with a light bulb inside, right?”

Well yes, but no.  There’s much more to it than that.

Himalayan salt lamps purify air through the power of hygroscopy, meaning that they attract water molecules from the surrounding environment then absorb those molecules – as well as any foreign particles they may be carrying – into the salt crystal. As the HPS lamp warms up from the heat produced by the light bulb inside, that same water then evaporates back into the air and the trapped particles of dust, pollen, smoke, etc remain locked in the salt.

2. Reduce Allergy & Asthma Symptoms

Because Himalayan salt lamps remove microscopic particles of dust, pet dander, mold, mildew and the like from the surrounding air, placing a lamp or two in the rooms where you spend the most time can seriously cut back on allergy symptoms. Even people who suffer from asthma should notice a big difference after a week or two.

FUN FACT: Himalayan pink salt is so good for your airways, there are even HPS Inhalers!)

3. Eases Coughing

When the Himalayan salt lamp heats up and begins its hygroscopic cycling of airborne particles, it also changes the charge of the molecules which are released. (Remember our chemistry lesson?) The majority of homes are filled with positively charged ions which aren’t particularly good for a person’s health. The positive ions are created by a number of things, but the primary source for most of us is from our electronics.

One of the health detriments of breathing lots of positive ions in the air is that the cilia (microscopic hairs) which line the trachea (aka: windpipe) become sluggish and don’t work as well to keep contaminants out of our lungs. As a Himalayan pink salt lamp absorbs water and particles from the air, it also takes positive ions with them. Then, when the heated salt releases cleansed water vapor back into the air, it also expels negative ions which have the opposite effect on our airways – increasing filial activity to keep your lungs clear.

What all this means in a nut shell:  Besides removing contaminants from the air, Himalayan pink salt lamps also help your body to filter air more efficiently so any foreign particles you do happen to breathe won’t make it into your lungs.

4. Increase Energy Levels

Taking a drive through the countryside with the windows down, spending time at the beach or camping in the mountains, or simply taking a shower first thing in the morning are all things that many people find invigorating. It’s not a coincidence that these are all activities which expose us to increased concentrations of negative ions such as those generated by Himalayan salt lamps. The fact is, positive ions sap our bodies of energy. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for us to try to diagnose the problem as something else entirely.

Always feeling tired? If you constantly feel tired and don’t know why, try keeping a Himalayan salt lamp in the room or rooms where you spend the most time. After about a week, you should notice a difference.

5. Neutralize Electromagnetic Radiation

Nowadays, most of us are living in a metaphorical ocean of electromagnetic (EM) radiation which flows from our electronics (ie: television, computer, cell phone, tablet, appliances, sterio, etc). While they may be invisible, the long-term effects of EM exposure can be quite serious. Constant exposure to EM radiation is known to increase stress levels, cause chronic fatigue, and decrease the body’s immune response, among other things.

As they emit negative ions into the air, Himalayan salt lamps work to neutralize electromagnetic radiation. Keep one next to the computer, television, and any other electrical devices which you use frequently to reduce the potential danger to you and your family.

6. Better Sleep

Another side effect which results from over-exposure to positive ions in the air is that it robs you of quality sleep. This happens because those positively-charged particles can actually reduce blood and oxygen supply to the brain resulting in irregular sleep patterns. Himalayan pink salt lamps are natural negative ion generators, thus they can help to reverse this problem. Keep one or two around your bedroom to improve the air quality so you can get a better night’s sleep; Even if you’re like me and you can’t sleep unless the room is totally dark, you can always turn the lamp off at bedtime. Just leave it on for the rest of the day so it can do its work while you’re awake.

Take Care! People in humid climates should be aware that HPS lamps tend to weep when the salt becomes cool. You’ll definitely want to protect surfaces by placing a saucer underneath and be sure to follow the instructions for use and care which should be included with your lamp!

7. Improve Mood & Concentration

Himalayan pink salt lamps are a great way to naturally enhance your mood or to help you relax and unwind at the end of the day. At the same time and on the opposite side of the coin, HPS lamps are great for improving concentration. Again, this is due to the effect of the negative ions on your body, improving blood and oxygen supply to the brain and other organs, as well as providing a boost of serotonin – the neurotransmitter which makes us (literally) feel happy.

8. Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

In addition to generating negative ions which improve mood and energy levels, the soft, natural light given off by a Himalayan pink salt lamp is close enough to the warm glow of sunshine that they can even be used to relieve the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. This year when the days get shorter, fight back the lethargy by surrounding yourself with a few HPS lamps set on timers.

9. Reduce Static Electricity in the Air

While not a “health benefit” at first glance, static is pesky stuff. It causes stress, embarrassment, and frustration. Static zaps you when you least expect it, as you’re reaching for a door handle, kissing your husband or wife before bed, or trying to pet your dog or cat. Static can give you a bad hair day, make it impossible to clean crumbs or coffee grounds off of the kitchen counter, and even cause you to accidentally go to work with a sock stuck to the back of your shirt…

(Okay, so that last one may have been a little over-the-top.) The point is, static electricity can be a huge pain and Himalayan pink salt lamps are a natural way to neutralize the airborne ionized particles which cause it.

10. Environmentally-Friendly Light Source

Last, but not least: Himalayan pink salt lamps are environmentally friendly. While only an estimate, the reserves from which HPS is mined measure somewhere between 80 and 600 million tons and is projected to last for at least another 350 years at the current extraction rate. The base of an HPS lamp is generally carved from a sustainable wood such as neem. Some lamps use a low-wattage bulb which consumes very little energy while others are powered by a lit candle.

HPS Lamps: Bottom Line

Salt lamps aren’t a panacea and they don’t take the place of an air filter. They don’t create large amounts of negative ions like you’ll find in nature, especially around water. If negative ions are the goal, taking a hike or a swim in nature is a much more efficient way to get them.

Salt lamps are a beautiful light source that may offer the benefits of color therapy, by cleaning the air hygroscopically and in alleviating allergies. They are an inexpensive no-blue light source to use after dark and as a sleep-friendly night light for kids.

At the end of the day, they aren’t going to fix any health problems on their own or drastically improve indoor air quality. They are, however,  a beautiful and eco-friendly light source that produces a healthy spectrum of light. If you are choosing lamps for your home, they are a great option to consider.

As Always Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

Bad Eating Habits- How to Break Them

Hello everyone,

Would you believe it if I told you it is possible to eating deliciously satisfying foods, that are also good for your body, without experiencing the feeling of restriction? Perhaps not. Media advertising, social media and society has pushed us into believing we will not be happy until we reach a particular size/weight/look. This is often a sensitive topic for a lot of people, so a little warning in case some of these eating habits below are a little upsetting for you. Nutrition nourishment wants to send out messages of encouragement and support to anyone out there who is struggling with their diet/eating habits, or feeling confused and unbalanced with their relationship with food. We all deserve to enjoy food in a way that makes us happy-both mentally and physically.  So if you’re interested in learning how to break some of the most popular bad eating habits experienced, keep reading!

 

Bad Habit to Break: Keeping Tempting Foods Around

It’s hard to resist temptation when it’s staring you in the face. When office workers were given candies in clear dishes to place on their desks, they helped themselves to candy 71 percent more often than a similar group that was given the same candy in opaque dishes so that the candy wasn’t visible, according to research by Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, New York. “We’re all on the ‘see-food’ diet,” he says, “so don’t let yourself see what you don’t want to eat.” Do yourself a favor and keep tempting foods out of your sight. If you’re going to keep snacks at home, stash them inside a cupboard; keep apples out on the counter.

Bad Habit to Break: Skipping Breakfast

You might think that skipping breakfast—a whole meal!—would help you cut calories, but the research says that eating breakfast can better help you lose weight. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and are more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—than those who skip the meal. What’s more, people who typically eat breakfast also get more fiber, calcium, vitamins A and C, riboflavin, zinc and iron—and less fat and dietary cholesterol. Perhaps it’s because they often eat cereal, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals, and fruit, which is naturally nutrient-rich. Not hungry when you first get up? Don’t worry. Eating breakfast doesn’t have to be the first thing you do each day. Just make sure that when you do eat, your meal is something that will sustain you for a few hours—it should include some fiber and protein.

 Bad Habit to Break: Distracted Eating

You’re eating alone, so you reach for your smartphone and text, scan social-networking sites or play games. Or you read the paper, watch TV or use your computer. All of these distractions take your attention away from eating and make it harder for you to really experience and tune in to how satiated/full you are. That can lead you to eat more than you’re really hungry for, either now or later. A recent study showed that playing solitaire (on the computer) dampened people’s memories of lunch, which, in turn, may have caused them to eat 530kj more when they snacked later.

Bad Habit to Break: Eating Straight Out of the Bag

If you’re noshing directly out of the package—whether you’re eating chips, crackers, cookies or ice cream—it’s easy to eat several servings without realizing it. A key step when you’re trying to lose weight is literally watching what you eat—being aware of what and how much you’re eating. That’s why keeping a food journal is so effective. Get a handle on runaway portions by measuring out a serving…if you want more, measure that too. Being conscious of what you’re eating will help you meet your weight goals.

Bad Habit to Break: Eating on the Run

Eating in the car, snacking at your desk, drinking a high-calorie smoothie or latte while walking around—it’s all too easy to take in excessive calories if you’re eating on the go. To curb this type of distracted eating, sit down to eat.

Wishing you the best of luck with creating health eating habits that work for you and your body while making you happy. One good question to ask yourself before you reach for the junk food is..  “Is this (food) really what my body needs right now? or Am I just eating out of habit/boredom/emotions?”

Would love to hear from our readers, please leave a comment below if you have experienced any difficulty with eating habits? Know that you are not alone and you do not have to suffer.

As always Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

New Year’s Resolutions: The Process Of Goal Setting

Hello Everyone,

We’re Back! Hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday, spending time with your loved ones, enjoying delicious food and spending time doing activities that makes you happy. Nutrition nourishment would like to welcome you to the very first blog of the new year. Our goal is to ensure you, the reader, have all the knowledge and tools available to you to help you achieve your goals and make 2017 a year full of gratitude, happiness, peace and success.

2016 has ended and many of us are gathering up our willpower for a brand new set of New Year’s resolutions. But have we learned from past experience? A large number, if not the majority, of previous resolutions were probably broken in weeks, days, or even hours. Well don’t feel bad because research shows only 8% of people actually achieve them.

How do those elite few actually achieve what they set out to do? Do they have a special system? More motivation? More time? What are their secrets? 

Nutrition nourishment is revealing the top 10 research-proven strategies to help you make 2017 your year of success; And it may not be as hard as you might think- there are some really easy ways to set yourself on the path to success.

1. Keep your Resolutions Simple

Sometimes people find themselves aiming for an overhaul of their entire lifestyle, and this is simply a recipe for disappointment and guilt. It may be understandable at this time of year, when self-improvement is on your mind, but experience shows these things can’t all be achieved at once. The best approach is to focus clearly on one or two of your most important goals.

2. Choose Carefully

But which to choose? Well, you might like to concentrate on those that will have the greatest impact on your happiness, health and fulfilment. For example, giving up smoking will obviously improve your health, but it will also give you a sense of pride and will make you happy (but perhaps not immediately!)

3. Be Realistic

Don’t aim too high and ignore reality – consider your previous experience with resolutions. What led to failure then? It may be that you resolved to lose too much weight or save an unrealistic amount of money. Remember, there will always be more opportunities to start on the next phase, so set realistic goals. Or if you don’t want to hold back, set clear short-term goals on your way to a big achievement. Which leads to tip number four.

4. Create Bite-sized portions

Break goals down to manageable chunks. This is perhaps the most essential ingredient for success, as the more planning you do now, the more likely you are to get there in the end. The planning process is when you build up that all-important willpower which you will undoubtedly need to fall back on along the way. Set clear, realistic goals such as saving $30 a month, or going for a run once a week. Decide exactly how you will make this happen.

5. Plan a time-Frame

In fact, the time-frame is vital for motivation. It is your barometer for success, the way you assess your short-term progress towards the ultimate long-term goal. Buy a calendar or diary so you can plan your actions for the coming weeks or months, and decide when and how often to evaluate.

6. Make Notes

Having made a note of your time-frame, you will have a physical reminder of what you’re aiming for. Now go further and write down the details of your resolutions in a notebook, remembering to add your motivations. You could keep a scrapbook for this purpose, and fill it with photos of your slimmer self, pictures of sporting or hobby equipment you are saving for, or even a shocking credit card statement to spur you into action! If your resolution will directly benefit your partner, children, colleagues or friends then add their photos too – anything to remind you of your initial motivation.

7. Don’t forget to treat yourself

When making your plan, a vital feature should be the rewards and treats you will give yourself at those all-important milestones. But be warned, don’t fall into the trap of putting your goal in danger – it’s too easy for a dieter to say “I’ve been so good, I deserve a few candy bars”, or a saver to throw caution to the wind with a new purchase. One slip, and it could all be over.

8. Seek Support

It is at such times, when you’ve temporarily fallen off the wagon, that your support network is crucial. Carefully choose those people around you who have shown themselves to be trustworthy, supportive friends and explain your plans. Let them know of ways they can help when the going gets tough, and if they’re truly caring they’ll know the right things to say during the hard times.

9. Don’t give up!!

Do bear in mind that a slip-up is almost inevitable at some point, and you must not let this become an excuse to give up. When it happens, you will need to draw on your reserves of self-belief and strength, so build these qualities as often as you can. Really feel proud of your past achievements and don’t become critical of yourself. People with higher self-esteem and confidence are in a much better position to succeed, so immediately forgive yourself and say “I’m starting again now!”

10. Put yourself in charge

These achievements are under your control – other people can advise and support you but it’s your actions which need to change to see the results you want. Having a strong sense of control over your life is necessary to stick with your plans. Those who blame everyone and everything apart from themselves will not have the resources needed to change. Yes, it’s scary to take responsibility for your future, but surely it’s better than the alternative?

Now you’ve read these tips, you are in a great position to consider the best ways to improve your life this New Year. Your happiness is worth the time and effort, so get started, and good luck! If you would like more information on goal setting please click on the links below. Wishing you all the best for the new year, and a happy and safe year ahead.

https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.php

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_90.htm

http://au.reachout.com/How-to-set-goals?gclid=CjwKEAiAkajDBRCRq8Czmdj-yFgSJADikZggmmey4YGrQqVgv_6PJnOBRmNf10Qe9CxzSD-W1d5DzhoCHlLw_wcB

http://www.yourcoach.be/en/coaching-tools/smart-goal-setting.php

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

Recipe of the Week: Christmas Oat and Berry Cake

Hello everyone,

Christmas is only around the corner, It is the time to plan some healthy christmas baking treats to share with the family. This lovely cake is packed full of nutrients and is refined-sugar free and gluten-free! The oats and almond meal add fibre to the dish, while the delicious mix of fruits add a mixed of sweetness, and the seeds provide protein and essential minerals, along with adding texture to the cake. This is sure to be a favourite at your Christmas/Holiday Gathering!!! See Below for Recipe!!

 

CHRISTMAS OAT AND BERRY CAKE

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups of Organic Steel Cut Rolled Oats

1 1/2 Cups of Almond Meal

2 tbps Baking Powder/Soda

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 tbsp Cinnamon

1/2 Tbsp Nutmeg

1 Cup of Rice Malt Syrup (You may choose to use Honey, Maple Syrup or Golden Syrup)

1/2 Cup of Grated Carrot

3 x Organic free-range eggs

1 Cup of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (You may choose Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

TOPPINGS:

1 Punnet of Fresh Organic Blueberries, washed

1 Punnet of Fresh Organic Raspberries, washed

1 Punnet of Fresh Organic Strawberries, washed

1/4 Cup of Pumpkin seeds (pepita seeds)

1/4 Cup of Chia Seeds

1/4 Cup Almonds

METHOD:

Step 1: Pre-Heat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius and lightly grease a round or square cake pan.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients together and stir until combined.

Step 3: Pour mixture into the greased cake tin and level out smooth with a spoon.

Step 4: Sprinkle Berries, seeds and nuts over the top of the batter and press down gently so they are half covered in batter.

Step 5: Place in oven and cook for approx. 30-40 minutes until lightly brown onto and when a skewer is placed in the middle comes out clean.

Step 6: Allow to cool and enjoy with your favourite custard, ice-cream, cream or simply on its own!! Since it’s christmas you may even like to serve with brandy custard!!

Notes

Gluten-Free: If you are sensitive or allergic to gluten, make sure to purchase certified gluten-free oats. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but are often processed in a plant that also handles gluten. To be on the safe side, purchase gluten-free rolled oats for peace of mind.

Vegan: Make this baked oatmeal recipe vegan by swapping the eggs for alternatives such as pureed apple, mashed banana, avocado or chia eggs.

We hope your’ve enjoyed this week’s recipe and look forward to seeing your creations. You can add pictures of your cooking from our recipes on our Facebook page ‘Nutritionnourishment’ or tag on instagram ‘gypsy_warrior’ and hashtag #nutritionnourishment

As always our Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment