Tag Archives: healthy

Want to look good and feel great? How to change your life in 5 small steps!

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5 Top Health Tips

This is my top 5 KISS List.
Keep It Simple Sam!
And watch out because number five might just change your life… forever!

No 1. Shake it, Blend it, Juice it!

We’re all living a fast paced life: short on time and short on nutrient dense food. Drinkable superfood blends are an excellent way to provide the nutrition your body needs in a tasty and quick way.
♦ Shake it – Keep it simple. Add a tablespoon of a superfood powdered blend and coconut water. Give it a shake.
♦ Blend it – Make a wake-up shake with frozen fruit, baby spinach and a nut milk base. It can keep you on the go- full of energy and right on time
♦ Juice it – For the hardcore: juice your fibrous vegetables. Carrot, celery, cucumber, lemon and green apple is a fresh cleansing combination that will help start your day with a bang!

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Watermelon, Blueberry and Vanilla Smoothie

No. 2 Colour. Colour. Colour.

Eat a rainbow- red, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue. Each coloured group has their unique class of phytochemicals that corresponds to their own colour and each phytochemical has a unique function. A great example of this is orange coloured fruit and vegetables like pumpkin, carrot and mango. They are all high in beta carotene – a nutrient that is good for your immune system and contributes to beautiful glowing skin. To get the most nutrition out of your diet a variety of fruits and vegetables helps to make your body shine!

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No.3 Herbs and Spices are your flavour friends.

When you buy packaged food your tastebuds are (over)stimulated by a trukckload of sugar, salt and MSG (or MSG derivitives). And the more you eat the more you’ll want them. But there is a great alternative. Herbs and spices like garlic, chilli, paprika, lemongrass, parsley, just to name a few, are the key to the amazing taste sensations that come out of the best restaurants and your grandmother’s kitchen. Don’t be shy, get involved with your spice rack.

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Australian Garlic

 No. 4 Mum was right- Eat your greens.

Anti-inflammatory, Alkalising and Detoxifying. These are just a few of the powerful benefits of eating greens like;  Broccoli, Rocket, Spinach and Brussel Sprouts. Thanks to the high alkalising mineral content of most green vegetables they help reduce the acid load on the body. They are also great detoxifiers as the bitter phytochemicals in the vegetables stimulate your digestive system and your liver to function more efficiently. I’ve also added broccoli and brussel sprouts to the list as a good dose of cruciferous vegetables help repair cellular and DNA damage and have been shown to reduce your risk of cancer.

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Grilled Brussel Sprout Salad

 No. 5 Keeping it real.

This is by far the most powerful of the five. It is the most simple yet often the hardest to implement.

Eat. Real. Food.

It may be simple but it’s revolutionary! Food that comes from a factory has been processed, heat treated, refined, fortified, manipulated, depleted, destroyed and packaged in brightly coloured plastic with a high priced fancy logo. Compare that to food that comes from a farm, it might still have a little dirt on it but in the nutrient department it leaves processed food for dead. The more real food you eat the better you’ll feel.

Well, now you know. Now you have 5 fantastic tools to start living a healthier happier life.

Start today because if you leave it till tomorrow, tomorrow will never come.

We’re living in a warzone- but it’s not where you think…

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War movies are not really my thing.

There’s so much blood, guts and violence. Also their portrayal of true to life stories just really pull on my sensitive heart strings. So, I’d rather leave my husband to them.

But there is one war that fascinates me – it’s a war we all face. And it’s going on inside you and me right now.

It’s the war for your health and the battle ground is your gut. Where the forces of good and evil fight for control of your gut lining and ultimately your health.

Sounds pretty serious. Well, it is.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine (c.400BC) stated that

All disease starts in your gut.

He wasn’t far from the truth. Modern science has made huge discoveries in recent times that reveal the link between common illnesses and the state of our gut. These diseases include allergies, hayfever, diabetes, obesity, asthma, autism, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and anxiety, acne, multiple sclerosis, Irritable Bowel Disease and ulcerative colitis just to name a few.

How could all these diseases possibly be linked to the health and well being of just one organ?

Let’s quickly revisit the anatomy of our digestive system to better understand what we are talking about.

(I have added a little glossary of terms at the bottom of the page)

Once we see and smell our food the digestion process has begun. It continues in our mouths as enzymes in our salvia start to breakdown the food through the chewing motion. Once food is swallowed it hits the stomach. Here the food is broken down and mixed with our stomach acid and enzymes to produce chyme. The chyme then moves into the small intestine where, with the help of the; liver, gallbladder, pancreas and gut flora; absorption of nutrients takes place. The remaining material moves into the large intestine where our good bacteria live and a process of fermentation occurs. Once it’s moved through the large bowel it’s time for a quick trip to the bathroom to rid us of any waste we might have.

Today we’ll pick up the story where the action is taking place-

Your Intestines.

The gut or intestines is a living organism filled with good and bad bacteria all fighting for their place along the epithelium. It is our diet and lifestyle that determines the outcome of this battle and it can begin as early as our birth. Those who were delivered through a natural birth process began to colonise (or set up camp) good bacteria along the digestive tract straight away. Everything since then from breast feeding to what goes on our dinner plate has either helped to flourish and develop a variety of good bacteria or cause them to die off. Our diet and lifestyle account for the cascade of reactions that can lead us to poor health and even chronic disease.

As with any war there are casualties and in this case it is our immune system. In part, the regulation of our immune system is controlled through a system of signals from the good bacteria in your gut to the immune cells along the gut lining. It’s likened to the messages sent back and forth from foot solider, to commander, to the air support that blows your enemy out of the water.

Simply put many of the conditions I listed above are a result of a defective immune system.

Let me explain a little further.

When our good bacteria (AKA gut flora) in our gut has been damaged there are a number of consequences.

  • Harmful toxic bacteria and yeast thrive in place of our healthy good bacteria. The large bowel is home to over 500 different species of  beneficial bacteria yet due to influences of our western lifestyle many ‘good guys’ have been wiped out in such number that toxic bacteria and fungi such as Candida thrive in greater number.

What this means? When our good guys start losing the war; the bad guys overcome and many symptoms like thrush and bloating can be pinpointed back to infections of these harmful organisms.

  • Reduced absorption of nutrients – Many if not all of our essential vitamins and minerals are absorbed through the epithelium with the help of our beneficial flora. The flora and our absorption process has a unique symbiotic relationship which suffers when numbers of good bacteria are reduced.

What this means? Nutrients that are in our food are not getting to their destination. This can result in a myriad of symptoms like fatigue, increased infections, weight gain … and the list goes on.

  • Reduced ability to repair and regenerate the lining of the epithelium –  During the process of fermentation of fibre in the large bowel, valuable Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA’s) are produced. These fatty acids help create a protective coating and have a role in the repair and protection of gut lining. These SCFA’s may even have a role in preventing bowel cancer.

What this means? Without the repair and protection of our gut our good bacteria have no healthy tissue in live in and eventually our gut wall will become red, inflamed and eventually ulcerated.

  • Abnormal signaling of the immune system – Our immune system uses complex signaling codes to regulate each cells function. Particular cells within this system rely largely on communication with our beneficial bacteria to be able to recognise the difference between friend or foe. It is believed that this consequently results in defective immune modulation and ultimately disease.

What this means? During World War I morse code was used heavily to send secret messages between military personnel across the world. Imagine the devastation: A navy fleet commander misinterpreted the coded message and attacks with full force at the wrong co-ordinates. That is essential the story of a defective immune system.

The human body is so complex in it’s design that no single organ can function alone. And each component, each cell affects the entire system.

Who knew the gut was so integral to our health!

 Now you have seen the story unfold I bet you have a burning question or two…

Who’s winning the war in my gut?

And

What can I do about it?

The first question may be simpler to answer than you think. You may have one of the conditions I listed above or you may be experiencing some of these symptoms:

Fatigue, hormonal issues, weight gain, diarrhea, constipation, frequent or recurrent infections, brain fog, iron deficiency, undigested food in your poop and mood changes like depression and anxiety.

If so then your good guys are probably down in number.

There is a constant deadly assault on the beneficial bacteria living in our gut.

  1. Environmental toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides.
  2. Dietary components such as processed food and high dietary protein intake.
  3. Stress – both physiological and psychological.
  4. Medicines in particular Antibiotic Use.

Antibiotic Use

When we translate antibiotic it literally means ‘against or opposed to life’. And ingestion of this medicine, albeit lifesaving for some, kills all good and bad bacteria in you digestive system. Despite global health campaigns designed to reduce overconsumption of antibiotics, resistant strains are on the rise. Inappropriate use of antibiotics still contribute to the development of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

And if you’re thinking you never take antibiotics – then think again.

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The majority of antibiotics imported in to Australia every year is used in our food supply. From the animals that we eat to the apples in our pies.

But it’s not all doom and gloom!

There are several things that you can do to help support your good guys and to help colonise the gut for your benefit.

1 – Stress Less. In a perfect world stress would still kill us. Stress can be internally or externally driven and it goes beyond the mental impact on our body. It is important that you take care of yourself by; taking some time out, holidaying, doing something you enjoy and above all sharing your troubles with someone who cares.

2- Avoid Sugar and Processed Food. While total exclusion of these foods is usually not necessary, a reduction in their intake would greatly benefit you gut – and your waistline. These foods cause Candida infections to thrive which is no good for your good guys. These foods also create a toxic environment which inhibits the growth and development of colonies of good bacteria.

3- High Fibre Diet. Australian recommendations set the intake at 25 grams of fibre a day for women (men need a little more) however this is only a moderate estimation of fibre intake and there are no known disadvantages to consuming much more. Your fibre intake should come from a variety of sources focusing specifically on non-starch forms. Good examples include; beans, lentils, nuts, broccoli, brussel sprouts, oats, apples and pears. The added benefit of extra fibre in your diet is that it dramatically decreases your chances of bowel cancer! Coincidence? I think not. This fibre helps to nourish the good bacteria which in turn makes SCFA’s that are essential for growing new healthy cells in the gut wall.

4- Top up your good guys with extra doses of friendly bacteria every day. There are two ways to do this and I’m a fan of both.

Probiotics supplements are potent doses of good bacteria to help grow your colonies quickly. These are great especially after a dose of antibiotics or if you have a chronic condition. Talk to your health practitioner as to the specific strains you may need as there are many strains and each has a unique role in the gut. I know a good Nutritionist 🙂 (You can contact me here).

Fermented foods. The tradition of fermenting foods goes back as far as recorded history. From ancient civilizations till today most cultures have developed their own fermentations. Benefits of fermenting foods include; reduction of food wastage, increasing of it’s nutritional value and it often improves digestibility. A good dose of a variety of fermented foods every day will keep your gut happy and healthy. And as with everything -fresh is best. Make sure if you’re buying ready made fermented food for their good bacteria content, ensure you buy an ‘active’ brand.

 Here’s a little infographic showing the some great international fermented foods.

Try some today!

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Now you’re equipped go into all the world, try new things and look after that gut of yours!

For more information please don’t hesitate to contact me and remember- Sharing is Caring!


A few key terms to help you wade through the technical jargon.

Enzymes – we produce chemicals called digestive enzymes that help break down food.

Chyme – a slurry of partially digested food.

Epithelium – the protective lining along your intestines and other areas in the body.

Colonise – These microorganisms live in colonies and each unique microbe has a specific environmental requirement.

Fermentation – The good bacteria in your digestive tract produces Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA’s) from dietary fiber through a process of fermentation.

Immune Modulation – Our immune system lives in a delicate balance. Overactive and it can cause allergies, intolerances and autoimmune disease. Underactive and we can develop cancer.


 

Reference list is available on request.

 *These statements have not been evaluated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please see your preferred health professional if you are concerned about your health.

100% Carob Gold

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I know what you’re thinking.

Carob is not chocolate. And I totally agree. It’s not.

But it is something lovely and its worth goes beyond the infamous “alternative to chocolate” status.

Carob has healing properties, essential nutrients, and its colourful history makes for a fascinating topic.

We begin our story deep in the Mediterranean basin of Ancient times.

The Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) has roots in ancient Egypt as its use; both fruit and wood, was etched into the Harris Papyrus from the Middle Kingdom approximately 4000 years ago.

Next, in Ancient Rome we meet a man by the name of John the Baptist. The Bible says he lived in the wilderness for many years surviving off locusts and honey. But did he really live off honey coated bugs? (Eww!) Carob pods are also known as locust beans and some historians believe John the Baptist may have eaten Carob beans rather than bugs. A much more palatable choice I’m told.

Closer to our time we read that tiny carob seeds and precious gemstones share a rich past. Seeds from a Carob tree were once used as a measurement of weight during the 15th century. It was believed they had very little variation in their size and weight and were trusted to give customers a fair price. The term carat possibly of Arabic origin is still used today in reference to the weighing of gold.

Once I began reading about these power packed little beans I was amazed by the untold wonders I found.

I have made an inforgraphic (my first 🙂 ) to show why Carob is such a wonderful addition to any healthy food program!

 

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Sugar Cravings? Help is Here!

Many of us suffer from a sweet tooth urge, to indulge in quick sugar hits.  And amazingly on top of all these benefits this legume has the potential to control our blood sugar balance.

Three characteristics of the Carob bean work in synergy to help support blood glucose control and help keep those kilos off!

  1. Soluble Fibre – This form of fibre works by slowing down the absorption of glucose into the blood stream. This creates a beneficial balance between blood glucose and our insulin response thereby preventing sugar highs and lows.
  2. Phytochemicals – Research work has begun to show that eating Carob can increase fatty acid oxidation- In short it means that it helps us to burn our fat stores for energy and may help people with weight management.
  3. Naturally Sweet – In contrast to the bitterness of Cocoa, Carob is naturally sweet and consequently requires little or no sugar. And everyone knows eating less refined sugar is good for you!
  4. Added Bonus! – Unlike Cocoa, Carob is caffeine free. Kicking the caffeine habit is a viable way of encouraging good balanced energy levels throughout the day which in turn helps to curb the 3pm slump and the consequential carb cravings.

What an impressive plant indeed!

And its versatility is as expansive as your imagination.

Here are a few quick links to some amazing carob recipes!

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 Tammy’s Hot Tip: If you’re new to the wonderful world of Carob try half Carob half Cocoa powder. 

Unless of course you have a sense of adventure then just dive right on in!

My Muse – What she said was inspiring.

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A good friend of mine came to me for help. She had come to a point in her life when she wanted to change and shed the extra kilos she was carrying. I put her on the right path and just recently she has reached an amazing milestone – the 30 kilogram mark! 30 kilos Gone! Her story is quite exceptional and unremarkable at the same time.

How can losing 30 kilos be unremarkable?

Simple. Because the principles she now lives by and the results she is seeing are in reach for every woman.

Yes, every woman.

However it’s not her weight loss that inspires me but a simple conversation that I had with her recently. Everybody keeps asking her when she is going to stop? “Stop what?” Is her consistent reply.

“You know, stop dieting”.

“But I’m not dieting”, she replies. “This is now my life- eating healthy, exercising and loving it. How do you stop that?”

BAMThat right there is the greatest revelation to hit the 21st century.

That healthy is a lifestyle, not a trend, not fashionable, not even a ‘phase’ someone goes through. But a real ground breaking revelation that starts on the inside.

Now that’s inspiring.

She inspires me to keep going, to keep writing, to keep sharing, to keep learning. Because I want everyone everywhere to have that same epiphany. That they too can lose their unwanted kilos or can have beautiful skin or can feel a million bucks as they jump out of bed every morning. That they too can glow from the inside out.

Many of the latest diet trends today promise big and some even deliver. But until each person transforms their way of thinking the changes will never stick.

I read an awesome comment today that just about sums up fad dieting… Kristen Gard from Fitness and Nutrition Commentary says that diet trends really have people over-thinking eating, which is frankly a simple activity.

A simple activity.

I love that and if I could give you one simple piece of advice to help you reach your health goals, it would be this:

Begin by eating real whole food.

Not processed… Not fast…Not filled with numbers and chemicals you can’t even pronounce. 

Just fresh whole food.

Being the epitome of health and fitness may be out of reach for some, but to live a healthy lifestyle. That is attainable for everyone.

 

 

 

 

Holistic Health – What is it really?

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Health can be defined by the absence of disease.

Yet, even with the absence of disease we can lack wholeness. Each one of us has a physical body, an emotional soul, and a spiritual core. We can spend our whole lives at the gym, eat a healthy diet yet neglect our thought patterns or deny ourselves time away from the chaos of this busy world.

As a holistic nutritionist, I look at people’s current state of health and draw for myself a picture of who they are. Yes, my primary concern is their physical health, but experience has taught me to look beyond what I merely see in front of me.

During a consultation questions I might ask myself are;

  • When did all this begin for them?
  • What was their breaking point?
  • What are they willing to sacrifice to get well?

These are questions that go beyond their physical health. And the answers can help shape each individuals health plan. I have seen a chronic eczema client find little relief from diet and herbal treatment and yet have complete remission when they left a destructive relationship. And, I’ve witnessed clinical depressed clients get their lives back through nutrition counselling.

Wholeness is a lifestyle that nourishes each part of who we are and holistic health is a method of treatment that takes all three components into consideration and the undeniable connection between those components.

So, next time you consider your health ask yourself this question…

“Am I healthy inside and out? Or am I neglecting an important part of who I am?”

Tough question I know. But I’m confident the answer can be life changing.