When the party’s over…
It makes me ridiculously happy to see so many of my clients having achieved their health goals this year. Coming into the festive season, with extra party foods and drinks, can though undo some of the good work that has been done on improving gut health. Higher alcohol, gluten and sugar intake can all lead to digestive upsets, immune dysfunction, mood imbalances and lower energy levels.
We are only human and the temptation of your favourite treats over the holiday period, not to mention a glass (or two or four) of bubbles to bring in the new year, can be hard to resist.
Even without overindulgence of food and alcohol, the onset of leisure sickness is a common condition experienced by people whose body doesn’t adapt well to a non-working situation. This is unfortunately a common illness resulting in fatigue, nausea, headache/migraine and cold and flu like symptoms. School teachers are well known to be frequently affected by this phenomenon.
I really want you to enjoy your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, so here are some tips to help get you through the festive season and recharge over the holidays.
I heard a saying recently that opening a bottle of wine is like opening a bottle of depression and anxiety – a particularly negative statement, I know, but true for so many! This happens because alcohol burns up B group vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
As you’re aware, alcohol is also a diuretic, so drinking water in between each alcoholic drink or topping up your wine glass with mineral water, is a great way to stay hydrated.
Alcohol also decreases your immune health by killing off your good bacteria!
How to feel fabulous during and after the party is over!
To replace the vitamin B that alcohol can reduce, I recommend Methylated B, this will be good for; improving your mood, increasing your energy and healing your nervous system. Note that the holiday period is the best time to heal your worn-out adrenals and nervous system, when your stress and therefore cortisol levels are low.
My favourite herbal remedies for supporting adrenals and the exhaustion that comes with overworked adrenals are; Withania, Rehmannia and Licorice. These are available in either liquid or tablet form.
For post party hydration check out my favourite Green Smoothie remedy. Green Smoothie Download. Be sure to add extra mint and ginger as this will help settle your stomach, and perhaps add a probiotic to put back what the alcohol and sugary foods has killed off.
If you’re tempted to indulge in foods that aren’t apart of your normal whole food diet, perhaps have a shot of ginger tea or apple cider vinegar to get your digestive enzymes working for you. Please remember apple cider vinegar is harsh on the enamel of your teeth so always dilute with water and don’t swish before you swallow.
If you get to mid-January and are still feeling a little worse for wear, let me know and I can guide you through a quick yet comprehensive cleanse to have you starting the New Year on top!
Enjoy your well-earned break.
Beating Springtime Allergies
With the pollens of Spring many people find themselves rushing off to the pharmacy for antihistamines. Unfortunately, these drugs rarely deal with all of the symptoms of seasonal hay fever not to mention the unwanted side effects such as headaches, sleeplessness/sleepiness and rapid heartbeat.
So if you are wanting to tackle your hay fever symptoms naturally this Spring why not try natures proven remedies.
• Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids– The bioflavonoids are natural antihistamines and strongly anti-allergenic while the vitamin C will support your immune system and at the same time significantly depress histamine levels. Recommended product: Metagenics C- Ultrascorb tablets
• Vitamin A – Vitamin A is exceptional at cutting through thick mucus and supporting the immune system. Unless you are trying to conceive, this is a great supplement for nasal and sinus congestion. Recommended product: Thompsons Vitamin A 10000 iu
• Zinc – Zinc supports healthy immune function. Reducing sinus infections, duration of colds and has a modulates inflammatory cytokines and histamine release that exacerbates hay fever symptoms. Recommended product: Metagenics Metazinc tablet or powder
• Probiotics – Probiotics are bowel microflora organisms that help the body to maintain good gut and immune health. It is important to note, that there are many different kinds of probiotics all with different functions in the body. The best type of probiotics proven to reduce occurrence of, and manage allergy symptoms are ones that balance the immune system. Both Lactobacillus Rhamnosus and Lactobacillus Paracasei, have been proven in double blind placebo-controlled trials to improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis by down regulating inflammatory cytokines which are involved in allergy symptoms. Recommended product: Ultra Flora Immune Control
Herbal Medicines have been used for years to reduce congestion, infections and histaminic reactions. My favourite combination of herbs includes; Perilla, Atractylodes and Albizia. This combination of herbs has been proven to relieve symptoms of allergies and hay fever by stabilising mast cells and down regulating the cytokines that cause inflammation. This combination of herbs, along with Quercitin, come in tablet form and have proven to be a favourite of my patients who experience hay fever. Recommended product: Allergeze
Of course your overall good health to reduce allergy symptoms starts with good nutrition. I often see in clinic that it’s my patients who are sensitive to airborne allergens that also tend to be sensitive to certain foods. Identifying and removing those foods from the diet greatly improves their health and reduces allergy symptoms by reducing the histamine reaction in the body.
If you are suspicious that food intolerances may be a factor to your imbalanced immune system, I would recommend booking in for a food intolerance test next time you are in the clinic. This simple blood test (just a finger prick so also suitable for children) is performed in the clinic and within 45 minutes we are able to identify if any of the 55 different foods that are tested are causing IGg reactions in your blood indicating food intolerance.
Is your home making you sick?
We’re exposed to toxins in our environment almost everywhere we turn, but we do have the power to ensure our home environment is a safe haven from the chemical onslaught through our choices of cleaning products, cookware, house paint, carpet, deodorant, makeup, food, and water.
Examining each and every product we come into contact with may sound extreme, but for your health, as well as your fertility, it is necessary. Many of the chemicals that we are exposed to in our environment are endocrine disruptors i.e. they upset the natural balance of our hormones that are responsible for reproduction. Oven cleaners, deodorant, perfume, pesticides, cleaning products, insect repellents, cigarettes, shampoos, hair dyes, processed foods, deep sea fish, tooth paste, tap water, lead paint, new carpet and amalgam fillings are all sources of toxic exposure but most of these also have a natural alternative that can be so much better for your body and the environment.
Here are some practical ways to limit clean up your environment:
• Doing renovations? Use toxin-free alternatives. See www.safersolutions.org.au for more advice on healthy renovations.
• Keep your air clean with ventilation, burn essential oils and indoor house plants. N.B. Indoor plants are not only known to filter the air but also to absorb radiation.
• Don’t microwave in plastic or with glad wrap. Better still don’t microwave at all.
• Avoid pesticides in your home, garden or on your pets, there are safe natural ways.
• Use natural nail polish and remover.
• Use chemical free cosmetics, did you know that many ladies have put 200 chemicals on their face before they leave home in the morning!
• Drink filtered water.
• Use aluminium free deodorant.
• Avoid SLS in shampoo, soap, and toothpaste.
• Buy fresh foods, avoid food in plastic containers and tins
• Store your food in glass containers.
• Drink filtered tap water.
• Use essential oils instead of air freshener and perfume.
• Make your own cleaning products with vinegar, bicarbonate soda and essential oils.
• Turn off computer, wi-fi, and other electrical appliances when not in use. DO NOT have them anywhere near you while sleeping.
• Don’t smoke and avoid passive smoking.
Use a glass or aluminium water bottle. The plastic water bottles that you buy water in from the shop are only designed for single use and should not be refilled.
Limit your exposure to all forms of radiation. A study showed that when chick embryos were exposed to mobile phone radiation during the 21-day incubation period there was a five fold increase in chick deaths 1. Yes this is an animal study and may not relate to humans but at this point there has not been enough research on radiation and fertility, so best to avoid it.
The closer we get to nature, the more we can nurture ourselves in preparation for a baby. Cleaning up your environment before bub comes along, will make you more aware of the array of chemicals that we do not want to expose your child to and will inspire you to have a clean safe family home.
It’s important to remember that just because products are sold over the counter this doesn’t mean that they won’t harm you. Always remember that the cosmetic and personal care industry is a business. It is driven by the principle of maximising economic gain. So please check your bathroom cupboard and start reading the ingredients list on your personal care products and replace any products which may contain any chemicals, with organic chemical free products.
1.Youbicier-Smio, B.J. et al “biological effects of continuous exposure of embryos and young chickens to electromagnetic fields emitted by video display units” , Bioelectromagnetics, vol 18(7) (19997), pp 514 – 23)
Exercise to improve your fertility
Evidence suggests that moderate regular exercise i.e. 30 minutes on most days of the week, positively influences fertility and assisted reproductive technology (ART)
In a study of 26,955 women, vigorous activity was associated with reduced risk of ovulatory infertility.1
Cycling for males, can be negative for the sperm concentration and their ability to swim, both of these parameters were shown to be decreased in males who cycled for five or more hours per week. 2
So what is the right amount of exercise?
Of course this is a very individual recommendation, dependant on your current weight and your fitness level. As a general rule though, following national and international evidence-based physical activity guidelines is recommended. This includes at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days. Choosing a combination of cardiovascular exercise along with walking and some resistance exercises to build muscle mass will assist you in improving your fertility and reduce the risk of miscarriage.
More importantly, develop a program that you enjoy and that you can stick with! Both yoga and walking are wonderful to continue on with in pregnancy so these are excellent exercises to include in your preconception exercise routine.
Exercise has a beneficial impact on appetite, and provides long-term health benefits. For most patients it is recommended to aim for, or build up to, 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, that is where you’re puffing but can still talk, at least four days per week. Activities can include a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise such as:
• Weight bearing exercises
Don’t Wait for Weight Loss – DO IT NOW!
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important for your overall health and is one of the best steps you can take in preventing many chronic health conditions. With our new guided professional weight management program, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is easy! Now is the best time to start tackling your weight loss goals, so you can be your happiest and healthiest.
Taking the first steps to healthy weight is a common goal for many of us. If you find that your indulgences have settled on your hips, or you have been carrying excess weight for some time now, it is time to find your motivation for change. Set yourself the goal of a fantastic new you! It really saddens me when consulting with my clients to learn how their unwanted kilos hold them back from health and happiness.
It’s important to ensure good muscle mass is maintained during weight loss, as this will promote healthy metabolism and enable you to keep the fat off long term without the rebound.
Our new weight loss program will help you successfully lose fat while maintaining muscle. This convenient and simple to follow dietary program will help to keep you feeling full, decrease your appetite and limit those sweet cravings in order to facilitate successful weight loss goals.
1. Rich-Edwards JW, Spiegelman D, Garland M, Hertzmark E, Hunter DJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC, Wand H, Manson JE 2002. “Physical activity, body mass index, and ovulatory disorder infertility.” Epidemiology 13:184-190. The Fertility Society of Australia.
2. Wise LA, Cramer DW, Hornstein MD, Ashby RK, Missmer SA 2011. “Physical activity and semen quality among men attending an infertility clinic.” Fertil Steril 95:1025-1030. The Fertility Society of Australia.
Is your weight stopping you conceiving?
If you’re overweight, or carrying a few extra kilos, you may already have tried one of those ‘fad diets’ advertised in magazines and on the internet. However, many of these diets can leave you feeling hungry and slow down your metabolism, making you more likely to suffer from rebound weight gain. This is because these diets frequently focus on low fat foods which are often higher in sugar or carbohydrates and low in protein. You may register weight loss on the scales, but be losing valuable muscle rather than fat. It is important to ensure good muscle mass is maintained during weight loss, as this will promote healthy metabolism and enable you to keep the fat off long term without the rebound.
TONIC’S totally natural and healthy Weight Management Program can help you successfully lose fat while maintaining muscle. Our convenient and simple to follow dietary program will help keep you feeling full, decrease your appetite and limit those sweet cravings in order to facilitate successful weight loss.
Look Good, Feel Great
Losing extra body fat with our professional Weight Management Program not only brings the benefit of looking good and feeling great, but can also help improve your energy levels, reduce your risk of developing many chronic diseases and encourage healthy ageing. It can also be a very rewarding and empowering experience.
Benefits of Regular Support
Keeping motivated and staying on track with your weight loss goals can be difficult to do on your own. Regular visits to our clinic can often be the key to success in fat loss and feeling great. We can provide professional advice to overcome your obstacles to weight loss as well as using our Bio Impedance Machine to measure exactly how much fat, muscle and fluid you’re carrying. This helps us design the perfect diet and exercise program for you.
6 Easy Steps to Looking and Feeling Great
The professional Weight Management Program uses a low carbohydrate, moderate protein approach to food intake, which promotes steady and consistent weight loss. The six simple steps of our program are:
1. Consume two healthy meals per day consisting of a palm size portion of protein and three handfuls of allowable vegetables. One handful of vegetables may be replaced by an allowable portion of fruit each day.
2. A high protein meal replacement once per day in the form of a shake or a delicious bar.
3. Include two low carbohydrate protein snacks per day.
4. Incorporate healthy oils as a part of your daily diet.
5. Aim for 40 minutes of moderate intensity exercise four times per week, or as individually recommended.
6. Measure your ketones using Ketostix™ twice daily. Ketones appear in your urine if you are burning fat. By measuring ketone levels every day, you can monitor your fat burning in real time!
Kylie’s Green Smoothie My favourite morning or afternoon snack is a Green Smoothie. Click on the link above to download my free favourite recipe.
Detox and beyond……
We’ve all heard of the benefits of detoxification, but do you need to detox?
Do you suffer from; fatigue, recurrent infections, skin problems, bloating/flatulence/irregular bowel habits, hormonal imbalances, anxiety/mood swings, muscle aching/weakness, allergies, excess weight or poor concentration? If you answered yes to any of the above symptoms then your body is in need of help and a detox is the best way to start.
We are not only what we eat, but also what we drink, breathe and touch. In today’s environment we are constantly surrounded by chemicals, plastics, heavy metals, foods and additives which are toxic to our system. Our bodies are designed to work best by digesting and absorbing pure and organic fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, proteins and water. We certainly weren’t made with enzymes designed to break down, confectionery, alcohol, soft drinks, additives and preservatives, processed foods, medications, traffic fumes, cigarettes and recreational drugs. Over time continued contact with these toxins can overwhelm the body, resulting in us not feeling our absolute best.
Most people with toxicity develop a problem called “leaky-gut syndrome”. In a healthy digestive system the lining of the digestive system is a very good filter, allowing beneficial nutrients like vitamins and amino acids to pass into the bloodstream, whilst keeping toxic bacteria and waste products of digestion within the bowel. This filter is easily damaged by infection, medications, bad bacteria, yeasts and parasites, which then lead to an unregulated transport of only partially digested foods and waste into the body, this places a tremendous stress on the other detoxification organs and ultimately the immune system. If you want to maintain high levels of energy and great health, start each season with a one or two week detox program. Team up with your partner, family or friends and get them excited about getting healthy. This is not only great for their health but also helps you by eliminating temptations.
Top 10 detox tips:
– Remove sugar, alcohol, preservatives, colours and additives from your diet.
– Consume a minimum of 2 litres of filtered drinking water. Tap water may be contaminated with heavy metals and pesticides.
– Eat regularly, every 3 hours is ideal. Fasting can impair detoxification. A lack of dietary protein makes the liver unable to process toxins.
– Choose easily digestible proteins. Vegetable proteins such as legumes, tofu, tempeh and raw nuts are your best sources. Fish is also easily digested, choose smaller unfarmed fish.
– Always choose fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, it is preferable to buy organic produce where possible.
– Remove saturated fat and sugar from the diet.
– Remove gluten from the diet: 40%of people are intolerant to gluten causing it to decrease the absorption of nutrients which may lead to vitamin/mineral deficiencies, bowel problems and allergy symptoms.
– Choose dairy free options, use rice milk or soy products made from whole soy beans (not soy isolates).
– Exfoliate your skin daily with a pure bristled brush. A great way to stimulate the lymphatic system and help with elimination of toxins through the skin. Always brush towards the heart.
– Show your liver some love, with St. Mary’s thistle. If you use medications or drink alcohol, the least you could do is take this herb to support the liver in elimination of toxins.
What to drink to support your detox:
– Dandelion coffee, this supports the liver.
– A minimum of 2 litres of filtered water daily.
– Ginger Tea increases digestive enzymes and reduces nausea.
– Acidophilus, this will ensure you put back the good bacteria that alcohol and medications destroy. Important for immune and digestive health.
– A quality multivitamin. Vitamins and minerals aid in both protection of organs and elimination of toxins.
– Slippery elm tablets, this will help to protect the bowel from damage.
Once you have completed your detox you should no longer have any awareness of your digestion, energy levels should of increased, skin cleared and overall you should be feeling great. If not perhaps we need to delve further into what is causing your digestive discomfort by doing a food intolerance test.
By checking the blood and measuring its immune reaction against different possible intolerances we are able to easily identify the foods you need to avoid to promote gut healing and reduce your symptoms. Once the offending foods have been identified have been identified, we aim to create a nutritious, well balanced, natural fertility diet plan which excludes these particular antigens for at least 3 months.
Reduce intolerances in the long-term
Reactions to certain foods does not indicate that patients will need to exclude them from their diet forever. Multiple factors influence reactivity to foods, including immune system function, digestion, toxins, stress, gut flora, obesity, sex hormones, and more. Addressing these factors can reduce the problem of food sensitivity over time in many patients.
After exclusion of reactive foods for at least 3 months, individuals may become more tolerant of the offending food. Rechallenges with small amounts of the food may be conducted at this time, and the food gradually reintroduced into the diet if results are negative. For long term health you need to take good care of your gut as this is directly linked to not you’re your digestive health but also your immune and emotional health.
If this information has been of interest to you, you might like to download our FREE PRECONCEPTION CHECKLIST.