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Healthy lifestyle

The busier you get, the less likely you are to think about healthy eating.  Unfortunately, acting in this way is counterproductive.  You might think you are saving time and being more efficient by grabbing a burger and working through your lunch hour then filling up on coffee when you start to get tired.

However, you are actually reducing your productivity levels by eating in this way.   A poor diet causes you to feel tired and lose energy during the day which has a direct impact on the amount of work you get done.  It also contributes to a number of more serious health problems such as chronic disease and weight gain.

We all have a huge number of friendly bacteria living within and upon our bodies.  We are actually made up of more bacterial cells than human cells.  Yet, for many of us the balance of good bacteria to bad bacteria can often become out of whack, leading to dysbiosis and…. Frustrating symptoms and ailments, illness and disease.  So, how can we nurture the friendly bacteria and reap their health rewards?

It’s not only what we get too much of, but what we are lacking.  The lack of immune-modulating, ant-inflammatory micronutrients, including vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, and omega-3 fats, drives even more inflammation.” – Dr Mark Hyman

In this quote Dr Mark Hyman is continuing on from a discussion about the harmful changes that a poor diet has upon our gut microbiome, leading to leaky gut, detrimental changes to the immune system and inflammation. He names concerns and foods such as overprocessed and fried foods, sugars and refined grains, as some of the biggest inflammation drivers.

However, he also turns his attention to the, all too common, LACK of important and essential nutrients that our bodies require.

Research and anecdotal evidence has shown that the right balance of omega-6 to omega-3 in perimenopausal and post-menopausal women does help to reduce and manage many of the common symptoms that women struggle with.  Obviously, results are often far better when natural supplements to support the body are used in conjunction with a natural, healthy diet and balanced lifestyle, however optimising the omega 6:3 ratio and thus supporting your body to reduce inflammation, is a great step forward.

You deserve to be happy, feel joy and smile from deep within. 

However, we all have days when it’s easy to get sucked into negativity and despair. When nothing seems to go your way. When the craziness around you starts to influence your own thoughts. When you wish you were as awesome as someone else who “seems” to have it all worked out…

Stop there and take a lovely deep belly breathe…because I have a few simple strategies that you can implement today to start increasing your level of joy. Every day is a new opportunity for growth, and today is the day to choose to honour your right to whole hearted happiness. 

There’s nothing better than drinking a warm cup of tea, at least 60 minutes after a rich meal to help promote digestion. When feeling bloated and uncomfortable the right herbal tea is a great option to reach for.  Whether it’s fresh herbs or dried,  a digestion supporting tea may help to bring an almost instant sense of relief and comfort.  Plus, the use of fresh herbal teas daily are fantastic for overall health and wellness.  Did you know that many of the long and active living elders of Ikaria drink herbal tea, freshly picked from their garden, on a daily basis?

Read on to find out my top herbal tea picks for digestion and gut health.

Constipation is the pits, and it happens to everyone at some point. When you transition from a typical diet into a clean eating gut revitalising type diet, you might experience constipation. It’s fairly common because all of a sudden your body is getting food it’s not used to.

When constipation strikes try these natural remedies. Eventually your body and digestion will adjust to your new awesome eating style. In the meantime…

Exercise isn’t all about the physical. It goes far beyond muscle tone, cardio health and flexibility.  Exercise affects your whole body, including your gut. Many professional athletes show a much more diverse microbiome than their non-exercising counterparts of similar age and weight.

Moving your body helps stimulate the lymphatic system, the system that helps your body to remove toxins and maintain a healthy circulation. Other ways to stimulate the lymphatic system include massage and dry brushing, however exercise is highly effective and has other benefits including boosting mood and cardiovascular health.
Exercise helps gut flora by modulating it and increasing diversity. It helps with detoxification, which increases oxygen levels in the blood, leading to improved natural energy.  This is of great benefit, especially for those suffering from gut issues and trying to repair their digestion. When the powerful mood boosting effects of exercise meet those of a healthy microbiome, something amazing happens. We take back our power and realise that feeling good is in our hands.

Acne and skin problems are common occurrences, especially amongst adolescents and young adults of Westernised nations.  Diminished quality of life for sufferers may be extensive with reports of social withdrawal, anxiety and depression [2].  Therefore, treatment that resolves the underlying problem is essential.  

We all feel anxious at times; it’s our body’s approach to keeping us attentive.  However, when worry or fear escalates and starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, a more serious issue may be at hand [1]. Anxiety disorders aren’t caused by a single factor, but rather by a complex combination of occurrences...

Spices, the aromatic or pungent vegetable substances that have been used for thousands of years for both culinary and health purposes [4], are just one of the many foods beneficial for our gut microbiota.  There is an abundance of historical documentation highlighting the use of spices for medicinal purposes. 

Iridology, is an alternative health technique that uses the colours, patterns, and various other properties of the iris to assess the structure, function, chemical composition and general health of an individual. The technique of iridology is based on the belief that each organ in the human body has a corresponding region in the iris.

The gut brain axis is a two-way communication pathway between our Central Nervous System (the brain and spinal cord) and our Enteric Nervous System (which controls the function of the gastrointestinal tract/gut). Just like a highway connecting two cities, traffic, or in this case impulses/signals, can flow in either direction via the vagus nerve (a nerve extending from the brain stem to the abdomen [5]).  These extensive range of signals deliver essential messages to both the brain and the gut relaying information such as mood, immune response, digestion and heart rate [2]. 

With the understanding that inferior digestive function and imbalanced gut flora play a critical role in the underlying cause of numerous health conditions, stool testing provides valuable information for patients and practitioners with regards to disease states [4].

Quality of life, vitality and wellness are just a few of the ‘buzz’ words floating around, that relate to good health optimisation, however it is well known that these health-related qualities decrease proportionally to an increase in adipose fat tissue [1].  The question is, will an excess of weight affect your chances of falling pregnant?  The answer quite possibly being “YES!” 

Do any of these symptoms frustrate you?

Low HDL cholesterol (the good stuff)?
High LDL (the not so good stuff)?
Skin issues?
Spider veins?
Blood sugar issues?
Regular colds and flu's?
Overheating (especially at night)?
Low energy? 
A roll of fat just under the bra line?

You may need to send a little more love in the direction of your liver.

Healthy liver function is crucial to our overall health and wellness. It is involved in nearly every organ system of the body.  

We know that GMO stands for GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM, right?  But…What is the actual process of GMO?  How is agriculture genetically modified?  And what are the implications?  The process of genetic engineering involves changing the genetic makeup of an organism in a laboratory.  There are two different processes that may be utilised for undertaking this task. One such process involves inserting genes from other species. An example may be the insertion of viral or bacterial genes into plants, like soybeans or corn.  The other option is Gene Editing...

Gut bugs, of which you have approximately 32.7 trillion, perform an extraordinary number of roles in your body [1].  The key component to not only physical, but also mental, vitality and wellness is to sustain the right balance of these microbes.

Major observations from different studies and science projects, have shown that lifestyle and diet affect the diversity of the human gut microbiome and over the past decade, have illuminated the ever-increasing importance of gut flora upon our health.  Our modern lifestyle, in the majority of cases, is not supportive of a well-balanced microbiome and may in fact be leading to the disruption of this special system, or ‘organ’.   

In simple terms, Leptin is a hormone...
often associated with another hormone named, ghrelin.  Together these two hormones drive hunger and appetite [2].  Leptin is a protein that is produced, and secreted, by your fat cells [1].  The amount of leptin produced within the fat cells is directly proportionate to the triglyceride content, of these fat cells.  Under a microscope, fat cells look like swollen little spheres. Each cell has a cell membrane (a barrier) and a nucleus (containing the genetic material that controls the activities of the cell), but their bulk is made up of droplets of stored triglycerides, which look similar in consistency to most plant oils we use.  For example, olive oil or peanut oil [3].  Most weight loss and weight gain occur when these fat cells expand and shrink, as the energy inside is stored or burned [3].

Changing your dietary approach to a more ancestral or paleolithic style of eating and living does not have to be a complicated process… in fact it is quite simple because the foods you are choosing to purchase and put onto your plate, most of the time, will be real, whole foods… no food labels to decipher, no nasty additives, minimal packaging, just fresher, more nutritious eating. This article explores solutions for many of the common probelms people face when considering an ancestral style diet.