Dinner Party Time!
At this lovely time of year, there’s much talk about allergies. If that’s you, read on.
It’s hard to live your good life when you're hindered by ongoing symptoms! But it’s good to know that you do have the ability to tune your immune system and that allergies do not necessarily last. Many people gain and lose allergic reactions through their life.
I've had great success in lessening client's symptoms with natural supplements, in particular the plant flavonoid, quercetin. There's abundant research showing quercetin's wide ranging benefits, including antioxidant activity, immune system stimulation, antiviral action, suppression of inflammatory mediators and importantly inhibition of histamine release. Histamine triggers cells to generate mucus, leading to runny noses, itchy eyes and watering and sinus pain.
This may be why onions are one of my very favourite foods and I include them in every savoury meal! Quercetin is most concentrated in onions, black grapes, raspberries, green tea and broccoli.
If you are suffering, make a concerted effort to include these foods in your diet and consider contacting me for access to the concentrated quercetin supplement many of my clients swear by.
Slow Cooking Recipe
Though I did spend hours in the kitchen on the main course and dessert, my good life allowed for a bit of cheating on the first course. I certainly didn’t smoke marinate or cook most of these tasties myself. And to balance out the more inflammatory foods, I made sure to include lots of antioxidant rich foods like asparagus, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, artichokes and radishes. A special shout out to Mary’s Gone Crackers for the healthy crackers I served on the side.
Don’t let your standards prevent you from sharing food with friends and loved ones regularly. If you have to cheat a little to make it happen do it!
Should I eat breakfast?
This weather has me using my slow cooker regularly and if you do not use one yourself, you may need to consider adding it to your kitchen.
Living my good life on a Tuesday means limited time for cooking! With this in mind I prepped a few ingredients this morning in the only 10 minutes I had and threw them into my slow cooker. And like magic when I opened the lid at dinner time tonight I was able to serve a delicious, nutritious dinner to my family. I’ve listed my recipe below in case you are interested. It’s no gourmet revelation, but then who has time for gourmet on a Tuesday.
Aside from the convenience and time saving elements, the important thing to remember about slow cooking meat is that it’s much healthier for you. When you cook meat at high temperatures Eg. grill or barbecue, you create polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heterocyclic amines (HCA) - fancy names for cancer causing toxins. All types of meat proteins are affected and the more well done, the more toxins are generated.
Due to the importance of adequate protein intake and its nutritional benefits, I still eat meat regularly, however I use slow and wet recipes often and restrict barbecues, limiting my exposure to PAH and HCAs.
And if u need another reason to use a slow cooker, think about the cost savings. I paid $15 per kilo for chuck steak v. $57 for eye fillet - and mine is more tender!
Slow Throw Recipe
Lightly sauté these veggies in olive oil:
1 lge onion
4 cloves garlic
2 celery sticks
1/4 green cabbage
4 chuck steaks
1 can tomatoes
1 cup stock
1 bay leaf
Cook in cooker for 8 hours
Before serving add:
1 cup peas
Shown here with my zucchini noodles!
I love cholesterol!
I hear this question a lot and the answer is not a simple yes or no.
The old school “must have breakfast” directive is not necessarily true today,
and the one-size-fits-all approach to health and nutrition is obsolete.
With all we now know about metabolism from modern science, the answer to this question depends very much on you, the individual, and what’s required for living your good life.
If you suffer from hypoglycaemia (feel light headed, dizzy, fatigued or headachy) if you don’t eat regularly, are a child, are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may want to ensure you eat a good breakfast.
If you wake without an appetite, want to lose weight and can experience hunger without experiencing “head-based” symptoms, you may be a candidate for missing breakfast.
Breakfast is the easiest meal to miss when undertaking Intermittent fasting, a very beneficial health tool for some people.
These are just some of many factors to consider when deciding whether missing breakfast is suitable for you - a Nutritionist can assess your individual needs and answer this question definitively.
Image by Pat ter Bogt at Pixabay
THE recipe you have been waiting for!
Cholesterol is my favourite subject and I don’t want to hear a bad word about it. Cholesterol is integral to living the good life - without it we are dead. It comprises every cell membrane, is the building block of our hormones, and required for eliminating fat from digestion, just to name a few of its roles.
A recent address by Prof. Ken Sikaris, reiterated the importance of not relying on standard cholesterol results for risk and treatment strategies in the fight against cardiovascular disease (CVD). The enemy is triglycerides. triglycerides are components of LDL cholesterol and when they are in abundance they stress the LDL into sdLDL2 and sdLDL3 forms which are smaller and denser. The problem with these versions are that they stay circulating in the blood a lot longer than LDL, become oxidised and are easily caught in damage and inflammation in our artery walls, causing plaque. This is the cause of athlerosclerosis.
Damage to the walls of our blood vessels is caused by inflammatory agents in the blood such as excess glucose from diet and stress. Excess refined carbohydrates are converted to triglycerides which, when consumed in excess start the dangerous cholesterol cascade once again. Bear in mind that statins do not lower the offending triglycerides – seems ridiculous to take them doesn’t it? Thankfully, it’s easy to lower them yourself – no drugs! Just avoid refined carbohydrates! That includes white bread, pastries, processed food, soft drinks, alcohol – you know the culprits. Let’s not blame cholesterol for cleaning up the mess – it’s just doing its job to keep us alive.
And if you want more in-depth information on the types of cholesterol you have circulating, there are more complex lipid tests available than the standard HCL and LDL. I use these for my clients to better understand their health and risks.
The Zinc / Copper Tango
Everyone needs to eat fish to live their good life. I think we all know that, but many of us think it’s too hard or too expensive or not tasty. However, there are no excuses with this recipe. I implore you to try it. It is so easy, so delicious, only 5 mins to prepare and packs the best anti-inflammatory nutrient punch possible. You can use any fish you like, though I have used barramundi here. Salmon is so easy to get these days, even the supermarket has it fresh. And I have used king oyster mushrooms as they are quite meaty; but any mushrooms will do. Many varieties are now available at fruit and vegetable shops and markets. I have converted my family to eating fish regularly with this delicious, super convenient meal and you can too. Whip it up this week and let me know what you think!
2 large barramundi tails
Mushrooms (I like king oyster) – sliced into 1cm thick slices
1cm ginger – grated
1 garlic clove minced
3 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
Parsley or coriander, chopped
Spring onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 190 degrees
Mix together the ginger, garlic and tamari in small bowl. Splash a baking dish with some olive oil and place the mushrooms in a layer. Place fish skin side down on the mushrooms and then drizzle over the saucy ginger garlic mixture.
Cover dish (lid or alfoil) and cook in oven for around 15 minutes until fish is just cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley or coriander and spring onions. Serve with steamed vegetables or salad.
Is stress making you fat?
Living your good life involves dancing. If not physically, at least internally. I like to think of your microminerals, zinc and copper, in a constant tango pushing and pulling each other in their homeostatic rythmn. You see zinc and copper exist in an important relationship, with their status each affecting the other. There are many vital biological processes that utilise both zinc and copper and they share storage within our cells. When we ingest too much zinc, there may be limited space left for copper. And though the focus is on zinc for immune health, copper is no less important. It’s vital for immune and blood cell creation, many enzymatic reactions and especially important for fertility, successful pregnancies and infant development. There is also suggestion of a link to postnatal depression (when copper is low post-birth due to the high requirements in pregnancy).
Luckily copper is abundant in our diet so does not require supplementation, however too much zinc can give the appearance of a low copper state when the balance is out.
If you are thinking of supplementing with zinc this winter, make sure you have been assessed by a nutritional professional. If you have been taking zinc ongoing for an extended period, especially in a higher dosage than 30mg per day, you may be affecting your zinc/copper balance which can affect your health. Remember, sometimes less is more!
Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay.
Feeding your body or your mind?
In short - most definitely. And unfortunately knowing this is probably going to increase your stress levels. Very helpful I hear you say and I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But it isn’t all bad. Firstly, I think we overuse the word stress and am sure many of us are instead suffering from pressure, which is not likely to affect hormones in the same way as chronic stress does. Importantly in differentiation, stress incorporates anxiety and causes increased levels of hormones which stimulate a cascade of processes affecting metabolism, energy homeostasis and the production and deposit of fat. Ever wondered why you seem to put on weight even when eating less? It is tiresome and deflating to fight a losing battle, and it’s possible the stress of doing this is adding to the problem! There are many hormones and pathways which affect your predisposition to weight gain, some being insulin, leptin, ghrelin, adrenalin, cortisol and one which is gaining more notoriety for its importance, Neuropeptide Y (NPY). Latest research shows that when NPY is expressed with sympathetic nervous system mediators like noradrenaline in stressful times, there is a correlation to lowered metabolic processes, brown fat temperature and increased lipogenesis (creation of white fat). This equals less energy expended and more fat deposited. A rotten double whammy! All is not lost though, researchers are working on ways to use and manipulate NYP as a cure for stress-related weight gain. In the meantime, I can help identify whether stress is a contributing issue for my clients and have a variety of tools and plans to help address and manipulate hormones. This is heavily dependent on knowing and understanding complete diet, history, lifestyle, stress, social and environmental profile. Once this is carefully reviewed, a plan to combat the possible effect of hormones in the overall picture of an individual’s life can be developed. This will almost always involve dietary, lifestyle and stress intervention strategies. I use my computer-based, heart rate variability bio-feedback program to develop stress reduction techniques with my clients. This works especially well for people resistant to meditation (which is probably one of the greatest stress relievers) by rewarding the participant, helping to build new neural pathways for coping with stress. If you need help with weight management and stress, establish a relationship with a nutritionist so that you are not fighting your weight battle blindly. Knowledge and support make the difference between success and failure. This, with commitment to change and dedication from you, will have you living your good life again. If you know someone that could benefit from this type of help, please share.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.
Toilet time is serious business!
With Easter signifying new beginnings, what better time is there to reset yourself and begin a new chapter in your life. You don’t need to be religious to capitalise on the energy during this holiday to make a change that will enable you to live more of your good life. One change that many people could benefit from, is a change to their eating pattern. Are you eating to feed your body or to feed your mind? If you are truly eating to feed your body, to thank it for all the work it does for you every second of every day, you would choose foods that nourish it and repay it for its service. Unfortunately our mind governs our food choices. Common thoughts impacting these choices may be either conscious or subliminal and some include “I’m bored”, “I deserve a reward”, “this won’t hurt me”, “what’s one more (biscuit) going to do”, “I’ve already started, I may as well finish the packet” etc. Do these sound familiar or strike a chord? Why not commit to begin a new command of these thoughts and challenge them when you next reach for a food that will not nurture you? In addition to providing nutritional advice, recipes and planning, I can also help you restrict and challenge harmful thinking with new ways of reasoning and behaving around food. This is often the most difficult part of the journey to eating better. In the meantime, being truly grateful for your body, no matter your size or shape, can start to change the mind’s habit of putting self gratification first, and lead you toward choices based in true reward for the body and its continuing strength and function.
Picture designed by Freepik. http://www.freepik.com
Friends joke that my interest in toilet habits is a bit over the top, however it is extremely important and essential for nutritional analysis – and a Nutritionist I am!
What goes on, or more importantly, comes out, in the smallest room in the house is invaluable in my analysis of health. I love to hear about colours, consistency, ease, frequency, form, buoyancy, smell and contents! Even better would be a picture, as I was lucky enough to receive from a recent client. Europeans are fully aware of the importance of viewing their eliminations - their toilet bowls are shaped to catch and display their produce for inspection! Here unfortunately our deposits quickly sink out of sight and cannot be viewed without a commitment to curiosity. It’s disappointing that many are embarrassed about a regular, commonplace human function, but when your elimination system is not functioning properly it can have a profound effect on living your good life. I implore you to take a good hard look at every deposit you make in the toilet. Noticing changes is obviously first line in bowel cancer prevention, but can also indicate digestive dysfunction, infections, gastric and pancreatic enzyme insufficiency, acid status, nutritional imbalances and absorption issues, just to name a few! You can see why I love my toilet talk. Wouldn’t you love to hear what your bodily functions say about you? Make an appointment to find out.
Image by Michael Gaida at Pixabay.
You bet I am! Everyone’s good life should include being selfish at times . Selfish = looking after self; your most important job in life. Yes I know, we have kids, parents, spouses and friends to consider so it’s difficult to be selfish, but let me tell you something – you need to include selfish pursuits for the sake of everyone you know!
I’m spending 3 days by myself camping alone at Wilsons Promontory, practicing my adaptation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. At the forefront of these needs are safety and shelter. I created my own camp and fought with strong winds to try and keep my tarp from fleeing, adapting to the environment and using all my resources. I created a safe and inviting temporary home, I have walked my legs off and come back exhausted but happy. I have looked fluffy creatures in the face and experienced joy. This was no great feat, I didn’t climb Mt Everest and there were people around me. But I overall I have visited outside of my normal comfort zone and have experienced many little achievements, have relied only on myself for everything and succeeded. To do this builds self-esteem and makes you proud, you love yourself more, appreciate what the body and mind can do and at the end of it can go home to your wonderful family and friends. When we love ourselves and the earth around us, we are happy and can cope with all else. I implore you to try and spend some alone time, relying on yourself in an uncomfortable zone. If you want a push start or advice on how I do it, please contact me – I can help set you on your way!
Look what I found
Listen, even my version of the good life includes a sweetie now and then. Unfortunately though I’m a terrible baker and nothing I bake ever comes out pretty, as is evidenced by my latest effort – pumpkin muffins! Yes, I’ve tried to dress them up in a basket with a backdrop but let’s face it, they will never be cast in a sexy food ad. Luckily that’s not what’s important here, what is important is the fact that they are reasonably healthy and can satiate a sweet tooth. And they are dead easy to make – see for yourself: First bowl – 2 cups wholemeal spelt flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1.5 tsp cinnamon. Second Bowl – 2 large beaten eggs, ½ cup organic sunflower oil, 1 cup steamed & mashed pumpkin, 2/3 cup panela (unrefined cane juice), ½ tsp vanilla extract. Combine bowls and mix together well. Split mixture into cupcake or muffin trays and bake for 25 mins in 180 degree oven. Lastly enjoy, but don't overindulge. I freeze mine so they are not easily available!
Trees beautiful trees
Look at the delicious bounty I just picked up – literally from the ground near the Botanic Gardens! Delicious, fresh, free and a natural source of vitamin D when grown in the sun. Vitamin D has a role in many processes affecting our immunity, nervous system, bones, teeth, heart and even our sex life! Make sure to identify mushroom type from a reliable source before picking them and never eat a mushroom that has white gills, exhibits a yellow stain if broken or scratched or smells like sulphur.
Living my good life means spending time in nature – our bodies and minds crave it. It has been scientifically proven that the phytoncides (essential oil molecules in wood), released from trees and breathed in and absorbed by humans, are major immune system boosters. After observing significantly increased effectiveness of Natural Killer (NK) cells, (the destroyers of tumour and virus infected cells) in vitro, a human research study was conducted. Blood and urine samples showed a marked increase in the activity and effectiveness of NK cells and decreased adrenaline after a 3 day/2 night stay in a forest. In fact, this improvement in immune activity lasted for more than 30 days after the study. Other studies also confirm these decreased adrenaline findings, with results from forest walking confirming increased parasympathetic nervous system activity. That equates to lower stress levels. You can’t tell me that you don’t feel better after a walk around trees like these? It’s a long weekend ahead – get amongst them.
Is watermelon causing your headaches?
A conference on the weekend reminded me of the complicated interplay of body systems caused by Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), which if not treated, dramatically raises the risk of many chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, cancer and dementia. MetS is identified using several measures, but usually the most obvious outward sign is excess abdominal fat, also indicating the possibility of insulin resistance (IR). High insulin levels caused by IR mean that all fat and excess sugars in the bloodstream are converted to the type of fat that can strangle and limit the capacity of your liver and other internal organs. Scarily, this fat also acts as an organ in itself, producing hormones and toxins that further compromise your health. I understand the frustration and feelings of helplessness when you can’t seem to shift those excess kilos. Thankfully however, I have the knowledge and some tools up my sleeve which can help your confidence and chance of success. It is possible to trick your hormones and metabolism and limit the calories your body stores. Let me show you how, with an individualised plan that will have you living your version of the good life.
It was identified as the culprit for 10 years of headaches with one client. Aged foods contain tyramine which can accumulate, especially in some who are low producers of the enzyme required to break it down.
I’m blitzing some watermelon today for the kids but I make sure it’s not too old by checking if it’s bleeding into the skin. Perhaps you don’t need those painkillers after all.
Is aged food stopping you from living the good life?