Top 3 Reasons Why You Are Suffering From Intolerances And How You Can Enjoy Your Favourite Foods Again

Women, have you noticed a change? – The foods you enjoyed for long are now suddenly giving you problems? Not only do they not agree with you anymore, but your stomach has become sensitive to the slightest change and stomach issues have become frequent and more severe.

It is estimated that about 25% of the women in Australia suffer from food intolerances of one type or another.

Science has it that it has all to do with the reducing oestrogen levels in your body. You experience heightened allergies, sensitivities and intolerances as you approach your perimenopausal and menopausal years.

When the oestrogen levels begin to drop, this causes interferences with your gut mobility. Gut mobility is the time that the food takes to journey across your digestive tract from one end to another. Lowered gut mobility can lead to several problems – such as bloatedness, flatulence, abdominal hypersensitivity, pain, nausea, diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal issues.

The longer it takes for food to travel across the gut, the higher the risk is for it getting fermented. This can also lead to constipation and discomfort while passing your stools.

So, what is the best way out of this? How can you age naturally and at the same time enjoy all your favourite foods without any issues? How do you reduce the impact of the intolerances you experience now?

Here in this week’s blog post, I answer all these questions and more. I give you the top 3 reasons why you suffer from intolerances in the first place and provide you with healthy tips that can reduce their impact sizeably.

 

Reason 1:  Wheat and Gluten

Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, barley and several other grains. For a person with gluten sensitivity, this protein can cause several digestive problems – from gassiness to indigestion. Continued exposure to gluten can reduce your immunity considerably and can cause damage to your stomach lining.

Tip: Reduce the intake of gluten in your diet and as far as possible consider gluten-free options.

 

Reason 2:  Dairy and Casein

Lactose is a natural sugar commonly found in dairy products, such as milk and yogurt. You become lactose intolerant when your small intestine stops making enough of the enzyme lactase to digest and break down the lactose.

Casein is a protein found in milk and other dairy products. A casein allergy occurs when your body mistakenly identifies casein as a threat to your body. While lactose intolerance can make you feel uncomfortable, a casein allergy can cause more severe symptoms such as hives and eczema.

Tip: Reduce overall dairy consumption and consider dairy-free and vegan options.

 

Reason 3:  Sugar and Pre-packaged Foods

A person who is intolerant of certain sugars and starches has trouble digesting or processing them. Sugar intolerance causes a range of digestive issues, which vary in severity from person to person.

In general, pre-packaged foods contain a range of additives like artificial colour and taste enhancers, preservatives and sugars. Packaged foods may also contain highly refined or processed ingredients. All these substances can trigger a host of intolerances.

Tip: Reduce your dependence on packaged, processed and sugary foods. Simple, home-cooked meals with organic ingredients can be a great alternative.

 

Other Common Intolerances

Here’s a list of other common intolerances that women also suffer from:

  1. Peanuts and tree nuts
  2. Soy
  3. Corn
  4. Artificial sweetners
  5. Fish and shellfish

 

How Detox and Cleanse can help

Everyone has a different definition for Cleanse, but I’d like to think all definitions are essentially the same as they converge on some point.

Cleanse is a detox program that focuses on a cleaner diet, more nutritious and simply cooked food, better exercise, prebiotics and detoxifying foods, and, most importantly, on your body, mind and spirit.

You include foods that bring value to your life. You pause and breathe in deeply. You disconnect from smartphones and gadgets and do things with your hands. You cook simple meals. You exercise. And you think about what your body is signalling you.

 

Join my Cleanse!

Liked reading what I had to say? Then you are sure to love my Cleanse. It is about re-centring yourself and restoring the balance. It is about bringing your health and wellbeing to the forefront and getting rid of those nasty intolerances.

Take my Cleanse periodically – once every six months. It is your best bet to safeguard yourself against toxicity build-up. With my simple DIY tips and guided approach, that you can follow from anywhere you are, you can detox on the go. And, joining a group does wonders for your morale. Try it.

Join my Cleanse now. Stay refreshed, rejuvenated and 100% Cleansed

What Is ‘Normal’ During Your Menopausal Years?

What most of us know about menopause is that it is unpredictable, topsy turvy and ridiculously turbulent. While it may be scary to deal with alone, it’s important that you remember – YOU AREN’T ALONE IN THIS. There is help and support.

You can expect upheaval – from restless sleep to major sleep disturbances and insomnia; from light discomfort, pains and aches to heavy spasms and cramps; from mood swings to fogginess, fatigue and hormonal imbalances; from irregular periods to heavy bleeding, hot flashes, and night sweats.

Of course, there’s more. The severity, intensity, and range of symptoms differ from case to case – so there’s no predicting what you will experience. And, there is no clear starting pointing or ending point in this journey – so there’s no guessing when your symptoms will start or end.

There are, however, a few indicators based on some general patterns that I have observed. These indicators can guide you on your way and help you figure out what you need before major occurrences impact your life. Stay informed, check your body for signs regularly, and get the required help in a timely and effective manner – that’s the crux.

In this blog post, I draw a picture of the everyday “normal” events that you may experience during the various stages of menopause. I recommend certain improvements – in nutrition, exercise, and general lifestyle, that may make a difference to your health and wellbeing. I suggest that you make time in your schedule to talk to a Health Coach and create your own personalised plan.

 

Signs that you’ve entered perimenopause

You experience an array of symptoms as your hormones shift during the months/years leading up to menopause. Perimenopause is an extended transitional state and a natural end to your menstruation cycle (peri, Greek for “around” or “near” + menopause.)

For most women, perimenopause may last from three to four years. Whereas, for others, it can last for just a few months or extend as long as a decade.

What’s normal during perimenopause

You’re in your 40’s (or rarely in your 30’s). You wake up drenched in a sweat at night. Your periods are erratic, and you experience heavy bleeding on some days. You also experience vaginal dryness and a few, intermittent mood swings.

 

Signs that you’ve crossed the threshold into menopause

Menopause is a normal, natural and permanent event. As you age, your body produces less and less estrogen until you no longer menstruate. Once you stop menstruating and have had no periods for 12 months – you will have reached menopause.

You can also experience sudden menopause when your ovaries are surgically removed as a part of a medical procedure.

What’s normal during menopause

You are likely between the ages of 40 and 55. You experience night sweats, hot flashes, and cold sweats. This is often accompanied by vaginal changes – dryness, reduced libido and discomfort during sex. You have insomnia and show signs of mild depression and anxiety.

 

Signs that you’re postmenopausal

Postmenopause is the stage after menopause starting when a woman has not bled for a whole year.  During this phase symptoms, such as hot flashes and cold and hot sweats, may ease for many women. However, some women continue to experience menopausal symptoms for a decade or longer.

What’s normal during postmenopause

At this stage, you are at an increased risk of contracting several health conditions, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Supplementing your diet, exercising regularly, and incorporating healthy lifestyle changes, may reduce the risk of some of these conditions.

 

I suggest talking to a trusted Health Coach about managing your symptoms and to rule out other conditions that may be causing them. And, join a support group for women in menopause that you find safe and comfortable to share your concerns and issues in.

 

Menopausal Solutions Via Gut Health Healing on FB

Most women are scared, insecure and/or uncertain about the changes that their bodies are experiencing during menopause. They keep it all in and refrain from talking about it. Some changes are challenging and complex – and it is difficult to work through them without first acknowledging their existence and impact on your life.

Women! Stop doing this. You need to talk, vent and explore solutions that work for you.

My Menopausal Solutions Via Gut Health Healing group is designed to help! It is a natural and comfortable setting between friends where you can feel safe and included. You can discuss the issues you’re facing and find answers that you’re looking for.

Sign up today! I look forward to seeing you there!

Women! Begin 2020 With A Pledge – To Put Your Health First

What’s better than the new year to make resolutions? Well, women if you’re listening, I have the perfect pledge for you – Put your health first!

Yes, you heard it right. Put your health first and make yourself the priority for a change.

I know you struggle to find the time. I know you are too busy taking care of your families, your children, your work and a million other things. I know you are juggling between several tasks at once. But when it comes to your health, let all these excuses fade – make time, find an opportunity, invest in yourself and see it through.

While this applies to all you women, I am really talking to my perimenopausal and menopausal women who suffer symptoms and have to continue on in the face of the worst of it. You really have it hard with unwanted weight gain, night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, fogginess, lack of energy and more.

You need to stop and consider – “what happens if I don’t?” Look at all the strong women you know – your mum, your sister or perhaps an aunt. They’ve stayed strong through their many struggles. They’ve sacrificed a lot, given their time and energy and met commitments – everything at the cost of their health. And if they’ve ever shared their stories with you, you know that the regret is in not having taken care of themselves and their own health. Especially during those critical menopausal years when they were coping with great difficulty and needed a little help.

I am doing it. I am taking the stand. And I am guiding several women through their health journey this year who have specifically and dedicatedly taken the pledge. I am sure it is going to be a beautiful year for all of us!

If you too are interested, just give me a holler and I’ll be there. Please don’t hesitate. And, please don’t think that you need to suffer alone or that no one will understand what you are going through. I will. I am so keen to see you take this critical step and finally take charge. Let’s make this happen!

Here’s a list of seven simple things you can do. Start TODAY. It’s the first day of a beautiful journey.

 

  1. Make an appointment with your GP or a trusted Health Coach for a general health check. Make sure you are up to date with any preventive screenings, such as cervical cancer and breast cancer checks. Get your bloodwork done and ensure you discuss any symptoms, changes, or issues you are experiencing.
  2. It is important to start small, take consistent steps and then build on that. Continuous improvement is key. Ask yourself – “what can I do today that will make me feel healthy?” and take it from there.
  3. Change your routine to include some form of moderate exercise – a brisk walk, a jog, some yoga, pilates or Zumba, a sport, swimming, aerobics, or maybe a dance class. Explore what you like. Do it at your own pace. Start with 15-minute sessions and gradually extend these to 30 minutes each day.

Exercising releases “happy hormones” or endorphins. These will help you stay happy, positive, energised and motivated.

  1. Look at your nutrition – what are you eating? Is it healthy? How can you improve?

If possible, consult a nutritionist who can advise you of a personalised meal plan. Buy healthy foods. Avoid packaged and processed foods. Buy organic and in-season produce wherever possible. Cook your own meals and eat your meals comfortably without any distractions. Consider supplementing your diet if you suffer from nutritional deficiencies.

  1. Manage stress. This is important. Most of us women are just ignoring the symptoms of stress. You have to believe me when I say that stress will manifest if it is ignored.

Consider regular destressing and general decompressing. Practising deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and other coping strategies may be helpful. Venting and talking to a friend about deep-seated issues is essential. Therapy can also offer some release.

  1. Consider your emotional wellbeing and nourish your spirit. Do what you enjoy and do it for no particular reason other than the fact that it makes you happy. Take a break and go to the beach. Eat something delicious that you’ve always wanted to. Indulge in a late-night movie or a favourite book.

The only rule I’ll ask you to follow when you do this is to do it in moderation and do it as a change.

  1. Listen to your body. Take in the signs that things are changing, improving, hurting or affecting you. Alter your pace and approach to keep up with what your body demands. For example, you may want to slow down if your legs are hurting after a sprint and consider taking a brisk walk instead.

Give your body the time and patience it deserves to adjust to your routine. And never make any drastic or sudden alterations. If you are in doubt, it is best to take advice of someone who knows better – such as a Health Coach or a doctor.

 

If you are interested in taking this pledge, finding out more or applying some of the principles to your own life, talk to me today.

As a health coach and nutritional expert, I have the right knowhow to guide you. I can help you create effective meal plans as well as monitor your progress as you implement the changes. I understand the various stages and symptoms of menopause and can offer you timely, personalised and sound advice that can actually turn your life around. Having faced health complications myself, I can understand your issues and inspire you to tackle your challenges head-on!

Fighting Menopausal Weight Gain

There are a lot of changes happening in your body as you step closer to menopause. Some are pronounced and noticeable while others are muted, but even so, you can be sure that your body is transitioning. Even at perimenopause, changes are still slowly unravelling.

Most changes during this time are connected with the changing levels of hormones in your body. As a result of this – you may experience weight gain around your abdomen, hip and thigh areas. And slight to severe bloatedness and inflammation.

Further on, you may begin noticing that it has suddenly become more and more difficult to control your weight and keep it at your usual. And while you eat the same routine meals and even engage in light exercises, the reading on the weighing machine keeps going up constantly!

It is important to realise that you can’t fight menopausal weight gain with the same old “conventional” tools. You need new ammunition in your arsenal and this blog post is set to provide you with everything you need.

Here, I talk about the changes your body is experiencing internally as you approach menopause or perimenopause. I discuss the falling oestrogen levels and how they impact the fat distribution in your body. And finally, I give you a list of ways you can manage menopausal weight gain properly and diligently.

 

Bodily changes at menopause

As you age, your muscles lose their firmness and form. You may lose muscle mass. Your skin loses its glow and elasticity. Your metabolism slows down. You may also experience bouts of depression, anxiety and moodiness. You may feel fatigued and tired and feel this way a lot sooner without really exerting yourself.  All these bodily changes can contribute to menopausal weight gain.

Further on, they can also impact your sense of self, lowering your self-esteem significantly. Other bodily changes, such as vaginal dryness and irritation, may also impact your sex-drive leading to sexual difficulties.

 

Oestrogen levels at menopause

Any change in the hormonal levels, especially a drop in the oestrogen levels, can influence the fat distribution in the body. This is why many women gain “bulk” during their perimenopause and early menopausal years as their oestrogen levels drop. The unwanted fat or “bulk” often accumulates around the midsection or the abdomen, thigh and hip areas.

Although the exact science is not yet studied or understood, the correlation between changing hormonal levels and the fat distribution in a woman’s body is an undeniable reality.

 

Managing menopausal weight gain

It is crucial to manage menopausal changes, including menopausal weight gain. Here are a few things you can try:

  1. Eat healthy. Take in nutritious meals. Cook for yourself. Buy organic, in-season, and wholefood produce from your local farmers markets. Avoid processed and packaged meals as much as possible.
  2. Focus on foods that are rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, spinach, leeks and parsley.
  3. Exercise regularly. Exercising regularly can give your metabolism a boost. Aim for at least 15-20 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days. A brisk walk in the garden or a light aerobic exercise routine also counts.
  4. Accept the changes to your body that are age-related and work towards enhancing your health by taking healthy lifestyle measures.
  5. Actively practice yoga and meditation. Reduce stress from your life – destress, declutter and cleanse.
  6. Curb a few bad habits like drinking alcohol and smoking. Or, in the very least reduce your frequency. Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
  7. Drink plenty of water. Water is a natural cleanser and can help in flushing out toxins from the body.

 

Most women are scared, insecure or uncertain about the changes that their bodies are experiencing during menopause. They keep it all in and refrain from talking about it. Some changes are challenging and complex – and it is difficult to work through them without first acknowledging their existence and impact on your life.

Women! Stop doing this. You need to talk and vent and explore solutions that work for you.

My Menopausal Solutions Via Gut Health Healing group is just for you! It has been designed with a view to discussing the issues we experience and finding the right answers. It is a natural and comfortable setting between friends where you can feel safe and included.

Sign up today! I look forward to seeing you there!

The Benefits of Flaxseed Meal for Menopausal Women

I am sold on flaxseed! This wonderful, nutritious super-seed (also called linseed) has so much to offer.

It is a traditional food source and an effective natural remedy that has found diverse use in cultures across the world – from ancient times to now, when a recent and renewed surge of interest has brought our attention back to it.

What makes flaxseed phenomenal for us women (and especially menopausal women) is that it is a great source of lignans or phenolic compounds. Lignans are powerful plant-based compounds that have a delicate estrogen effect. For this reason, having flaxseed regularly can help balance hormones, lower inflammation, enhance gut health and improve emotional health and wellbeing.

Flaxseed oil also contains alpha-linolenic acid that can have fabulous effects for the skin, reducing blemishes and marks and making it radiant and healthy.

To add to that list, flaxseed is also rich in healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, healthy proteins and fibre. As well as essential minerals that play an important role in women’s health – such as calcium and magnesium. All this gives flaxseed many cancer-fighting and heart health-boosting properties.

Here in this week’s blog post, I discuss the benefits of flaxseed meal for women in general and for menopausal women in particular. Take it from me and include flaxseed in your meal-plan, today. And don’t forget to give the quick and simple flaxseed recipe that’s included a try. You’ll love it!

 

Flaxseed for women’s health

Women! believe me when I say that flaxseed will change your life! If you suffer from estrogen dominance, irregular and extreme periods, and unbearable menstrual pains and cramps – flaxseed can solve the problem for you and there is a science behind it.

Flaxseed contains lignans and lignans are a group of phytochemicals that have weak estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties. What does that mean? It means that flaxseed can balance the ratio of progesterone to estrogen in your body. This is incredible! For women with estrogen dominance issues, this can mean a lot, including the diminishing of fibroids, cysts, PMS, and the regulation of periods.

 

Flaxseed for menopausal symptoms

What I am about to tell you will blow your mind – Incorporating flaxseed in your meals and eating flaxseed regularly can help promote hormone balance and fertility. And it can decrease the intensity of menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, by up to 60%!

Here’s how – The body turns omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed into series 1 and 3 anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. These hormone-like substances act as the body’s natural defence against inflammation and pain. Intaking about a tablespoon of ground flaxseed each day can affect the way estrogen is handled in perimenopausal and menopausal women in a positive way.

 

Flaxseed for weight loss

Flaxseed keeps things moving along in the digestive system, detoxifies the body and helps with weight loss. Consuming flaxseed can suppress appetite and make you feel full and satiated earlier in the meal allowing for reduced food intake and weight loss.

As you may know, flaxseed is available in different forms – as flaxseed flour (meal) and flaxseed oil, or whole, as flaxseed. And you can use all these forms to create some delicious and healthy dishes to enjoy. Toasted flaxseed can be sprinkled on salads, yogurt, or smoothies. Flaxseed is also found contained in energy bars that are highly popular and can be bought from specialty stores and health-food markets.

 

Recipe: Coconut Yoghurt and Flaxseed in a Breakfast Jar

Here’s a delicious recipe that is just perfect for the summer. Give it a go.

Ingredients:

      • 2 tsp. flaxseed meal
      • 1 fresh mango chopped or 1 large handful of frozen mango chunks
      • 2 tbsp. tahini
      • 2 tbsp. coconut yoghurt
      • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
      • Pinch of ground nutmeg
      • Pinch of sea salt
      • 1 cup almond milk

Method:

      1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth.
      2. Pour into serving glasses or mason jars and ENJOY!

 

Be sure to hop onto my Facebook page for more recipe ideas and easy tips that are centred around making life fun and fulfilling for you busy women! Catch you there.

Are You Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an amazing super nutrient whose health benefits are often understated. Beyond its proven role in bone health, it also reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and many autoimmune diseases. It improves cognitive function and boosts immunity.

Vitamin D is a nutrition powerhouse!

Our body is capable of synthesising Vitamin D from the Sun and through specific foods. And although Australia has an abundance of sunlight, an estimated one in every four Australian adults (about 23%) remain deficient. And more women are deficient as compared to men.

Why is this you ask?

Well, eating foods rich in Vitamin D is not our focus or priority. And Sun exposure is a concern and risk rather than a real option.

Beyond this, there are several factors that affect your body’s ability to generate Vitamin D from sunlight. For example, region, time of day, season and month, altitude, level of air pollution or cloud cover, the part of the body that has been exposed, the colour of the skin, and age.

Certain medical conditions and certain medications and drugs (such as those that increase the breakdown of Vitamin D) have also been known to affect Vitamin D metabolism.

Considering all these factors, do you think you are getting enough Vitamin D for yourself? How can you tell? More importantly, how can you ensure that you’re getting the required dosage?

Here’s what I recommend:

1. Be particular about how much sun you get

The UV radiation that is a component of sunlight is a fantastic source of Vitamin D, but too much exposure can increase your chances of contracting skin cancer. This is a certain concern for us Australians – with our thin ozone layer and little pollution, even the smallest bit of exposure can do considerable damage.

 

2. Use a combination of sun protection measures

The summer months can be brutal. During these months (between September and April in Australia) use a combination of methods to avoid getting sunburnt – sunnies, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen, clothing and cover, overalls, etc. Remember over-exposure can damage your skin and even lead to cancer.

 

3. Exercise daily/regularly

Exercising regularly can help your body generate Vitamin D. Indoor exercises such as aerobics, swimming and indoor sports can be equally effective as other outdoor sports. Consider this on a hot day when the sun is too harsh and go for an indoor option instead.

 

4. Pay attention to foods rich in Vitamin D

Consume foods that are rich in Vitamin D. For vegetarians and vegans some of the options are – orange juice, cereals, soymilk, mushrooms, and yogurt. There are more options available to non-vegetarians who can consume fatty fish like salmon and tuna as well as eggs. A number of fortified and Vitamin D enriched food options are also available in the market these days that may be worth considering.

 

5. Talk to a Health Coach. I am here for you.

There are countless symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency that you may be experiencing, such as – lethargy, lack of energy, fatigue, lack of interest or enthusiasm, moodiness, brittle bones, pains and aches, sleeplessness etc. It is best to talk about your concerns with a trusted Health Coach who can recommend tests, advice a meal plan and guide you on your way to better health.

Depending on the severity of your condition, a Health Coach may also recommend Vitamin D supplements. These have proven to be incredibly helpful for some people, but dosages are strict and talking to a specialist is advised.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or feel you need to discuss your state of health with someone who understands, talk to me today. I am here for you every step of the way!

Probiotics & Prebiotics: What’s The Difference?

The “probiotic” and “prebiotic” movement has captured the world’s attention. However, most people use these terms interchangeably without realising that they are two very different things!

They may sound similar and they even have similar spellings, but the roles they play for our health are immensely different. Probiotics are the beneficial “good” bacteria of the gut, while prebiotics are the foods that these bacteria feed on.

Both probiotics and prebiotics are important for human health. For example, prebiotics and probiotics both support the body in building and maintaining a healthy colony of gut microbiome, which in turn supports the gut, helps with boosting our immunity and aids our digestive function.

Prebiotics are present in fibre-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. And, probiotics occur in many fermented foods, including yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and tempeh.

Here in this week’s article, I focus on the differences and similarities between probiotics and prebiotics, their various health benefits, and how we can incorporate them in our diet to improve our health and wellbeing and bring vitality into our lives.

 

Probiotics Vs. Prebiotics

Probiotics are the live “good” bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. They provide numerous health benefits. The gut bacteria are collectively referred to as the gut flora, gut microbiota, or gut microbiome.

On the other hand, prebiotics are the substances that we extract from the fibrous content of certain foods during the digestive process. The human body cannot digest the bulky fibre, but the beneficial bacteria in our gut thrive on the nutrition it provides.

Eating balanced amounts of probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods is essential in ensuring that you have the right balance of these bacteria populating the gut.

 

How Does it Work?

The lining of our gut is covered in hundreds and thousands of microscopic creatures, mostly bacteria. Together these organisms create a micro-ecosystem called the gut “microbiome”. And though we don’t really see and notice them, they can impact our health and even affect our moods and behaviours.

Interestingly, what you feed your microbiome can have the biggest impact on its health. And the healthier it is and the more it thrives, the healthier you will be. The key to a healthy microbiome is maintaining and sustaining a balance among the nearly 1,000 different species of bacteria housing the gut.

There are two ways to maintain this balance:

(1) by nourishing the microbes with foods they like (prebiotics), and 

(2) by adding live microbes to your system (probiotics).

 

The Benefits of Probiotics

The beneficial effects of probiotics have been widely noted. Probiotic foods and supplements are often recommended to patients on heavy doses of antibiotics in order to help repopulate the desirable bacteria that the course of antibiotics has wiped out. 

Some find taking probiotics can reduce inflammation, restore gut lining, fight gastrointestinal side-effects of medication and reduce the bacterial growth leading to yeast infections.

Since each body is different, it is necessary to determine which probiotics might be helpful to your own system. While consuming probiotic supplements, it is important to make sure that the bacteria in supplements are alive. Probiotic bacteria are fragile and can easily be killed by stomach acid, age and heat.

 

The Benefits of Prebiotics

Very similar to the health benefits offered by probiotics, prebiotics too are significant for our health. For example, prebiotics feed the gut microbiota that in turn help in reducing disease risk and improving general wellbeing. 

Prebiotic fibre is not as fragile as probiotic bacteria and is not affected by heat, stomach acid, or age. Nor does the fermentation process impact the benefits it provides.

Increasing prebiotic fibre intake in your food can help boost immunity, improve digestive health, strengthen bones and increase bone density, enhance weight control and management, and promote brain health.

 

A menu planning challenge

There is nothing quite like a challenge that combines your love for food with your love for health. Take my menu planning challenge. It’s for foodies and maestros and all shades of amateurs in between. Craft a menu that delights and delivers. Follow this link to know more.

Does Food Combining Actually Work?!

Food combining is not a new technique. It is an ancient philosophy of eating food that has its roots in our past. And today it has transcended the barriers of time and become increasingly popular. It is no wonder then that people from all walks of life are adopting its principles.

The idea behind food combining is incredibly simple! We know that different foods metabolise at different rates in the body and have differing requirements for an optimal digestive environment. And so, when foods with similar characteristics are clubbed together and eaten at specific times that complement these factors, we can reduce digestive stress and improve digestion. And allow for efficient and clean digestion.

Proponents of food combining believe that when foods belonging to these different categories are improperly combined and eaten together in a meal, it may eventually lead to toxicity build-up, inflammation and rampant conditions for disease and dysfunction.

Whereas, when food is combined and eaten properly, it can relieve these problems and alleviate stress. We receive more energy and nutrition. We feel satiated, nourished and rejuvenated.

In this week’s blog post I discuss the basic rationale behind food combining and why it works. And how we can benefit by following a few basic tenets in our own lives.

 

The theory behind food combining

Proteins need an acidic environment to be broken down, whereas carbohydrates require an alkaline environment. Different enzymes in the body digest proteins and carbohydrates, and if you eat them together it may cause digestive issues.

If you continue to eat the two together, you will have partially digested food in your system that just sits there in your gut while the other food you are intaking is being digested. During this period, the partially digested food will rot or ferment in your gut, causing a variety of problems ranging from bloatedness, gas, inflammation, constipation, diarrhoea to more severe issues.

 

The principles to follow

Other basic principles of food combining include NOT consuming fruit and vegetables at the same meal, and not drinking (cold) water during meals, or for at least one hour after the meal. Fruits and vegetables have different biochemical structures and therefore breakdown at different stages and at different time periods.

Here are the principles of food combining that you may follow:

  1. Eat a diet that is 70% alkaline and water-rich. Eat only one concentrated food (i.e. foods that don’t have much water content such as meat, potato and fish) at a time.
  2. Proteins and carbs should never be combined.
  3. A leafy green salad can be eaten with any protein, carbohydrate or fat.
  4. Eat fruits only by themselves. And, always eat fruits before a meal, not after.
  5. Fats inhibit the digestion of protein. If you must have fat with a protein, eat a mixed vegetable salad to offset the inhibiting effect on digestion.
  6. Never drink liquids with or immediately following a meal.

 

Why food combining works

The proposed benefits of food combining or eating foods that combine well together is that it will aid digestion. This way your digestive tract does not have to work half as hard to absorb the nutrients that your body requires for energy, as well as for alleviating any symptoms associated with poor digestion such as gas, bloatedness, constipation, diarrhoea, reflux, fatigue and tiredness.

There are many known benefits to food combining including – weight loss, improved digestion, enhanced energy levels, reduced acne and skin blemishes, better absorption of nutrients, improved detoxification, and improved sleep quality.

 

The science behind food combining is fascinating and people are only beginning to discover the benefits for themselves. If you are interested in finding out more or applying some of the principles to your own life, talk to me today.

As a health coach and nutritional expert, I have the right knowhow to guide you. I can help you create effective meal plans as well as monitor your progress as you implement the changes. Having faced health complications myself, I can really understand your issues and inspire you to tackle your challenges head-on!

5 Healing Herbs To Include In Your Meals

I believe that herbs are more than just a culinary delight and that they serve a dual purpose in your pantry – (a) to enrich and enhance your palate and make food appetizing (b) to contribute to your health and wellbeing through their innate goodness.

It is hard to not absolutely love their crisp, fresh taste and remarkable, rich flavour. Not to mention the lovely aroma (cut a sprig of parsley or lemongrass to experience this firsthand!) Whether it is to garnish your dishes or as a sizeable part of your salad bowl or adding that zing to your smoothies and drinks – herbs are quite essential to complete the meal!

The Ancient Greek physician and philosopher, Hippocrates, said – “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” And wouldn’t you agree? Herbs are that special ingredient of your meal that are as much a medicine as they are food.

This is why you see herbs incorporated in all manner of food – traditional cooking as well as medicines. Italians, Greeks, Indians, Mexicans and Chinese – all use a number of herbs in their everyday cooking. And herbs are a large part of our culture. (For example, the Indian basil is a part of most households in India and the tender green leaves are often consumed daily as a potent spiritual and medicinal food.)

Herbs are recognised the world-over for their numerous healing benefits. From improving your appetite and stimulating digestive function, to soothing coughs and colds and reducing stress, and everything in between.

Here in this week’s blog post, I give you 5 wholesome herbs that are bursting with nature’s goodness and healing power. I thoroughly recommend that you give these wonder-greens a try and incorporate them in your meals (if you haven’t already!)

 

1. Rosemary

Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean region and has a distinct flavour. Packed with essential oils, it makes for a powerful “cognitive stimulant” – improving memory, stimulating an emotional response, and relieving anxiety and depression. Rosemary is used in massage therapy to soothe and alleviate stress. When eaten, rosemary can aid gastrointestinal complaints.

 

2. Coriander

Coriander (or Cilantro) has a lovely spicy taste that complements a variety of foods. Between seeds and leaves, it carries 11 essential oils as well as a few vitamins and minerals. It is effective in treating mouth ulcers, anaemia and conjunctivitis. It has significant antihistamine and antibacterial properties. Coriander seeds are used to treat seasonal allergies and lessen the symptoms.

 

3. Basil/Mint

Both basil and mint leaves have an intense aroma that activates the salivary glands and releases digestive enzymes. This has a soothing effect on the stomach and can help in alleviating gastric disorders and reducing nausea. The taste and smell of basil leaves can trigger the release of the happy hormone “Serotonin” in the brain that in turn helps fight anxiety, stress and depression. Mint leaves are often used in aromatherapy to stimulate endorphins and promote relaxation.

 

4. Sage

Sage is a powerful herb that has been used for thousands of years. You must have heard of the “sage burning” ritual where it was used to ward off evil spirits! Today, it is used to treat inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, skin conditions and respiratory ailments. Sage is also used to mitigate and control blood sugar and insulin-related issues.

 

5. Parsley

This nutrient-rich herb is incredibly powerful. It is known to possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties. Because of its substantial healing properties, it is used in medicines to treat arthritis and some autoimmune disorders. A parsley face mask can help clear acne and pimples. Chewing on a sprig of parsley can help freshen the breath.

 

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. Which herbs do you use? Is there one you prefer over the other? Is there a particular herb that you simply can’t do without? Leave your comments below to let me know.

More About The Detoxification Molecule – Glutathione

Antioxidants are the understated heroes of our body that play an important role in its defence. They lower the oxidative stress that we experience by combating harmful free radicals and toxins. Glutathione is one such unsung hero!

It is produced in the liver cells naturally and is made of three amino acids – glutamine, glycine and cysteine. Glutathione supplements are also available in capsule and liquid forms. It can be taken topically, intravenously and even as an inhalant.

Although the body replenishes glutathione levels regularly, sometimes its ability to do so is impaired. This may happen due to a variety of reasons such as poor nutrition, chronic disease, infection, environmental toxins and constant stress. Glutathione levels are also known to be impacted with age.

It is crucial to maintain adequate levels of glutathione in the body. It is a primary component of several bodily processes, including tissue building and repair, helping enzyme function, and making DNA as well as the chemicals and proteins needed in the body generally and for the immune system.

Apart from this it also helps in the critical role of transporting mercury out of the brain and regenerating vitamins C and E.

In this week’s blog post we discuss glutathione’s numerous benefits to our health and wellbeing. And, we name the top foods that help boost its production in the body. Here we go.

Benefits

Few people have been known to swear by its anti-aging properties, while others say that it can reduce cell damage in fatty liver, improve psoriasis, and even prevent cancer. Here are some of the benefits of the glutathione molecule:

1. Reduces oxidative stress.
2. Reduces cell damage in liver disease.
3. May improve psoriasis.
4. Improves insulin resistance.
5. Reduces symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
6. Increases mobility for people with peripheral artery disease.
7. Reduces ulcerative colitis damage.
8. May reduce respiratory disease symptoms.
9. Prevents cancer progression.
10. Used in treating autism spectrum disorders.

 

 

Food Sources

Glutathione contains sulphur molecules. This is why foods rich in sulphur have been known to boost its natural production in the body. These foods include:

• Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
• Allium rich vegetables such as garlic and onions.
• Nuts and seeds.
• Legumes.
• Lean protein, such as fish and eggs.

Other foods, such as herbs, that help to naturally boost glutathione levels include:

• Milk thistle
• Flaxseed
• Seaweed
• Whey

Glutathione can also be negatively affected by insomnia. Getting sufficient rest and proper sleep on a regular basis can help increase levels.

Glutathione and Women’s Health

Researchers have found links between low levels of glutathione with some diseases and several medical conditions. The chances are even more pronounced for women and it has been known to impact the health of our reproductive organs, hormones and immune system.

While supplements are available, it is recommended to speak with a trusted Health Coach or healthcare professional before starting glutathione supplementation. This is important in order to determine the right dosage that will be safe and effective for you.

Nutritional Support for Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women

I help super busy professional women lose weight, maintain great gut health, and experience wellness during your perimenopausal and menopausal years. This includes balancing your meals and making sure that you are not missing out on good sources of nutrition.

My new FB group is taking healthcare support and health-coaching to the next level!

I have created a beautiful and safe environment, perfect for busy ladies. Start your health journey in the comfort of your home, feel comfortable to discuss issues, and take away new knowledge.

Send me a request to join now!