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.

Will Cleanse Help My Digestion And Make Me Feel Less Bloated?

As we age, we develop so many little complications with our health, like fine cracks on porcelain that are only visible under the clearest light. And while it is important to pay attention to these minor and gradual changes that are taking place inside our body, it is not always easy to.

We stay busy and involved with our lives. We put our health on the back burner and forget. And these fine cracks spread and develop into major complications. They start showing quite obviously. And we know something is very wrong!

This is why Health Coaches around the globe are recommending that you must take up a Cleanse at least once in every six months! With a focus on gut health and scrubbing clean your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, Cleanse improves your digestion. It helps you feel less bloated. It re-energises and rejuvenates you. You feel more like yourself, and more connected with the inner you.

Here in this week’s blog post, I cover some basics – What is Cleanse? Why must you take it? What is the impact to your body and your overall health and wellness? And finally, will Cleanse help your digestion and make you feel less bloated?

 

What is Cleanse?

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.

 

Impact on health and wellness

Since Cleanse helps you re-establish the connection with your inner self, there are a number of positive and encouraging health benefits. For example, you choose the healthiest foods and cook them using artisanal practices – simply and uncomplicatedly. This healthy food with all the wholesomeness intact nourishes you deeply. Similarly, when you exercise during Cleanse, you focus on simple routines that bring you the most pleasure.

Some Cleanses, like the one I conduct, are guided. This has multiple benefits too. Now you know which foods to eat, how to decide which way is better and if you have any questions or confusion, it is easy to reach out and ask. This way your Cleanse is more thorough and effective.

 

Cleanse, digestion and bloatedness

Ever experience that feeling of bloatedness and heaviness? Especially around the belly and midriff. This is most likely due to toxicity build up in your body. Some ladies experience constipation, aches and pains, problem passing motion, flatulence and similar issues with the gut. For all of you, I recommend taking a Cleanse as soon as you possibly can!

Cleanse will focus on cleaning and repairing your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. With suggested supplements – hemp seed oil, prebiotics and charcoal – your gut will feel less bloated. Added to all this, is the essential light exercising and proper meal planning.

My Cleanse also comes with group support. You join a group of ladies going through the same experience as you and you share the journey. You can discuss issues and problems and find common resolutions. This also helps you feel motivated and supported to no end.

 

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.

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.

3 Benefits Of Exercising During A Cleanse

Planning on participating in Cleanse? Worried that your exercise routine may suffer? Or that you may not be able to cope with its energy needs on a low energy plan?

Draw in a long calming breath. And relax. You can do both – Cleanse + Exercise.

Exercising regularly is essential for your health and wellbeing. It helps your body get rid of waste and flush out harmful toxins. It improves your metabolism. It promotes better digestion and circulation. It also helps your moods, keeping you feeling more motivated and positive. For all these reasons and more it is essential that you continue exercising even during your Cleanse.

I understand that you may be on a very specific low-calorie diet and it may not be possible to meet the demands of a full-fledged exercise routine during such a time. But while you may cut out caffeine, gluten, sugar, carbs, alcohol etc. you don’t need to cut out exercise too. In fact, you can alter your exercise routine to fit in properly with your Cleanse. Interested in knowing the secret?

Read more. In this week’s blog post I’ll show you just how to do both – Exercise and Cleanse simultaneously, without compromising on anything. What will surprise you are the incredible benefits of doing both together.

 

1. Pick the right exercises

Exercise can jumpstart the natural cleansing processes. It stimulates the organs into a thorough self-cleaning mode.

When you pick the right exercises that complement your Cleanse – like stomach crunches, abdominal twists and brisk walks in the park – you can enhance its effectiveness. Yoga is another great option as it doesn’t put stress on the heart or the body but, just the same, it works your body and generates sweat.

Ensure that you don’t engage in HIIT workouts and save them for after your Cleanse. Keep the exercising to simple and easy routines that are low intensity and low impact.

 

2. Pick the right foods

Eating the right foods is essential for Cleanse to work successfully. Incorporate dried fruits, nuts and seeds in your diet. Lentils and lentil sprouts are highly nourishing. Avocado, banana, papaya, sweet potato, eggplant are high energy nutritious foods that can also be considered.

Pick the foods that match your energy requirements, even during Cleanse. Up your protein intake if your exercise routine is strenuous. And consider incorporating some high energy nutritious foods.

In the end, if your exercise routine during Cleanse is making you feel faint or tired, talk to a trusted health coach. Do NOT stress your body unnecessarily. You may create complications for yourself! 

 

3. Listen to your body

Cleanse is a rewarding and beautiful experience. You can imagine your GI tract being restored to a state of pristine health. Your skin will gleam. Your organs will thank you and you will feel energised and reinvigorated.

But remember that your body is working extremely hard during Cleanse. It can feel tired and strained. So, periods of rest and sleep are vital to keeping the balance. Pair this with light exercise and good nourishing food, and you have a winning combination.

And finally, Cleanse is as much about your physical health as it is about your mental and spiritual health. So, don’t forget to work on those areas. Introspect. Reflect. Breathe deeply. Practice self-care and self-love. And listen to your body as it tells you what makes it feel happy and cared for. What makes it shed old skin and bloom like a flower.

 

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.

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.

7 Essential Healthy Foods For Your Gut

Gut health matters! Ask the hundreds of little microbes housed there that boost your immunity and optimise your digestion. The gut helps in the absorption of nutrients and in the elimination of toxins from our body. And, it also keeps our inflammatory response in check.

It was Hippocrates – the father of modern medicine, who said that “all disease begins in the gut.” And, even if we don’t believe in the wisdom of those words from over 2,000 years ago, we know today that many things can go wrong with our health and metabolism when there is an imbalance in our gut.

Studies have shown that there are correlations between good gut health and the state of our immune system, mental health, and emotional health, as well as our risk of contracting autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and even cancer.

So, how can you make sure your gut is in good shape? I recommend eating foods that strengthen the gut, repair the gut lining, and feed the good bacteria of the gut. Seven of these essential healthy foods are mentioned here in this article. 

 

 

1. Fibrous foods

The fibre in foods feeds the good bacteria and promotes gut health. Whole foods are particularly rich in fibre and prebiotics. Fibrous foods such as asparagus, leeks, beans, legumes, oats, bananas and berries show a positive impact on gut health in numerous aspects.

Wherever possible go for organic, seasonal and local produce. Support your local farmers and shop from your local farmers markets.

2. Fermented foods

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, tempeh, miso and kefir are soothing and nourishing for the gut. They contain all the gut-essential nutrients – a healthy dose of probiotics, and the fermentation process makes them particularly gut-friendly.

These foods also make for great side dishes with your regular meals. For example, add some sauerkraut or kimchi side to your meal and sip on a fruit-flavoured kombucha or kefir drink in place of wine or sugary carbonated drinks!

3. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can help in the break-down and digestion of complex foods by stimulating the digestive juices and enhancing the acid production in the stomach. It has powerful antimicrobial and antiviral properties that are effective for removing the bad bacteria in the digestive tract, as well as for getting rid of the excess yeast from the body.

Mix a spoonful of apple cider vinegar (not more than 2 tablespoons or 30ml) with a glassful of warm water and gulp it down every morning. Preferably, on an empty stomach. Drinking apple cider vinegar this way can help you balance your gut, boost gut health as well as aid in controlling your weight if you have weight-related issues. Apple cider vinegar can also be added to salads as dressing.

4. Collagen-boosting foods

Collagen rich foods can be beneficial for the gut. But most foods in this group are of the non-vegetarian variety – such as oysters and salmon – that are unsuitable for vegetarians. Vegetarians and vegans can try leafy greens, citrus fruits, broccoli and red peppers that contain nutrients essential for the synthesis of collagen in the body. Mushrooms can also help in collagen generation in the body, and therefore aid the gut in this way.

Hemp is a good vegan substitute for collagen. Hemp seeds and hemp oil can be added to meals to make them richer and more nutritious.

5. Garlic and onion

Garlic has numerous effective – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer properties. It has a two-pronged prebiotic effect, one that promotes the growth of the friendly gut bacteria and another that hampers the growth of disease-promoting bad bacteria.

Onion too has several effective – antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-cancer and antibiotic properties. It helps the gut flora, aids in the break down of fats, and boosts the immune system.

Chop up onion and crush garlic to add to a salad. Or, lightly roast onion and garlic on medium flame and drizzle with a little coconut oil for flavour, before adding them as seasoning to your favourite dish.

5. Dandelion greens

Dandelion greens are a great detoxifying agent. They also contain fibre, nutrients, antioxidants, anti-inflammation and prebiotic properties. They are rich in vitamins – A and K and minerals – calcium and iron.

Dandelion greens are available as supplements in local supermarkets, or even as powders that can be mixed with water. 

6. Pineapple

Pineapples contain healthy enzymes and fibres that aid in digestion. The enzyme – bromelain, can breakdown large molecules of protein from complex foods into smaller peptides. It can also counter pain and inflammation throughout the body. And reduce the secretions that damage the gut lining.

Pineapples are so versatile in that they can be cooked as well as eaten raw or even blended into smoothies. Avoid eating canned, packaged and/or pre-processed foods, including pineapples this way.

7. Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is not really food but it has some very positive impacts on gut health. Activated charcoal can help you counter bloatedness, pain, gas, and diarrhea. It absorbs and binds with the toxins in the food as well as the toxins in the digestive tract and dismisses them from the body through faecal matter. This way toxins don’t enter our bloodstream at all and are conveniently excreted before they can do any real damage.

Activated charcoal is available in powder form or as tablets. You can have up to 1 tablet a day or the equivalent in powder-form (not more than 50gms, or as per the instructions on the package) to improve your gut health and flush out toxins.

Diet and health are closely related. I highly recommend that you start incorporating these foods into your diet at the earliest if you haven’t already. I assure you the moment your gut feels balanced and renewed, your overall health will also improve.

After all, a healthy body and a healthy mind can only be when there is a healthy gut supporting them both.

 

 

Nutritional Support for Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women

Hello ladies, I help super busy professional women lose weight, maintain great gut health, and experience wellness during your perimenopausal and menopausal years.

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!

 

 

3 Ways To Reverse Diabetes Naturally!

If you have diabetes (or have seen a loved one suffer) you know the emotional roller coaster you’re on – the ups and downs of feeling really high on energy at one instant and then completely drained the next. This fluctuation between extremes can take a toll on your health and wellbeing.

And even the symptoms are worrisome – the constant craving for sugary foods, mood swings and dullness, fatigue and anxiety. Internally, some of these symptoms can stress your organs and cause wear. Externally, you don’t look and feel your best – your skin loses its lustre, your hair its shine and you may put on or lose weight drastically.

What is really concerning is that diabetes is now becoming more and more common the world over, with numbers expected to reach a staggering 500 million by 2030! 500 MILLION! We’ve really caused something awful to happen with our unhindered adoption of the “Western Diet and lifestyle”.

However, I still think not all is lost just yet. A few natural steps have been successful in breaking the vicious cycle of diabetes and setting you free. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease but it is possible for some people to reverse it.

Here in this article, I give you 3 steps – (1) Regulating your meals and steering away from junk foods, (2) Controlling your blood sugar through regular exercise, and (3) Staying positive, committed and motivated through it – that are definitely worth a try. As a bonus, it is totally possible to do all this without the aid of medication or pills, but I’ll recommend that you have a word with your doctor before making any permanent or sudden changes.

Step 1: Regulating your meals and steering away from junk foods

Start by analysing your meals – What are you eating? Fast foods or wholesome healthy meals? Do you cook or buy packaged foods? Are you addicted to junk foods or sugary drinks?

Veer away from packaged foods completely. If you are a diabetic or at risk, there are a few foods that you can’t have – make sure you know what they are. The idea is to regulate your meals. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease and so lifestyle changes are completely necessary in order to reverse it.

And finally, make clear and conscious choices. Carry food with you, don’t go hungry or skip a meal. Eat as healthy as possible but if there is no choice, find the best compromise. For example, if you are at a fast-food shop buy a bowl of salad (or two) instead of something fried and when buying packaged foods, stick to meals with the minimum number of ingredients and the least cooking time.

Step 2: Controlling your blood sugar through regular exercise

When you have your meals in order, look at other aspects of your lifestyle. Do you have a desk job or an active field job? Are you getting enough exercise? Do you take time to indulge in some healthy hobbies such as sports, swimming or dancing?

Add movement to your life. Exercise regularly especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. Simple routines such as taking a brisk walk in the park every morning, or exercising in your own backyard for a few minutes every day, can make a huge difference.

You can use up the extra sugar in your blood through exercising. And exercising helps you moderate your blood sugar levels without straining your kidneys.

Step 3: Staying positive, committed and motivated through it

Life can get stressful and lonesome when you are dealing with a disease that people are only beginning to understand now. There are mental, emotional and physical pressures of being a diabetic. This is why I recommend taking all possible measures for staying positive, committed and motivated.

Finding a friend to talk to and share your journey with can be a great way of unburdening. A good friend can help you set reminders for your mealtimes, doctor’s appointments and other crucial tasks. And you won’t feel like giving up.

Indulge in good music and constructive hobbies, practice yoga and meditation that strengthen your mind and spirit, and nurture yourself with good food and TLC – Give yourself everything you need to heal and re-emerge.

 

 

Nutritional Support for Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women

Hello ladies, I help super busy professional women lose weight, maintain great gut health, and experience wellness during your perimenopausal and menopausal years.

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!

Creating Your Very Own Blood Pressure Reducing Meal Plan

Keeping a tab on your high blood pressure, or hypertension, is not an easy task. It is a silent condition that often comes unannounced, presents no symptoms and escalates quickly.

It is a leading risk factor for more serious heart ailments – heart attack and stroke, disability and even death. And in Australia alone, close to 6 million adults suffer from it.

Over two-thirds of people over the age of 65 have high blood pressure. The people over the age of 55 who do not suffer now, have more than 90% chance of developing it at some point in their lifetime. These are staggering statistics.

However, with some systematic changes and healthy lifestyle improvements you can beat the statistic. All you need are some simple guidelines to follow – including exercising, eating healthy and practising moderation. Also, consider not smoking and reducing daily stress.

The foods we choose to eat every day are vital to our heart’s health. Some foods can help us lower our blood pressure and boost our health and vitality.

In this blog post, I give you some pointers to help you create your very own blood pressure reducing meal plan. I discuss the healthy ingredients to include and the unhealthy foods to skip. I talk about ways to cook and eat these foods without destroying their innate goodness with overcooking. And I give you a sample meal plan that you can try for yourself.

If you’re looking to spend minimum time in the kitchen but want to maximise the flavour in your food. If you want to lower your blood pressure and want to know how to prep and plan meals for your condition – This blog post is just for you!

1. Vegetables and fruits

Vegetables are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Include 4-5 serves of fresh fruits and vegetables with your meals. Avoid processed and packaged foods to the maximum possible extent. Also, avoid junk foods and sugary drinks.

Buy produce from your local farmers markets. Go for seasonal produce and wholefoods. Buy organic certified foods wherever possible.

It is better to include a variety, however, a few vegetables and fruits are better than others for your heart. Such as beetroot, blueberries, dark beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, red pepper, squash, spinach, oranges, papaya, rockmelon, tomatoes, asparagus and broccoli to name a few.

2. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and lots of nutritional support for your heart. Include healthy amounts of nuts and seeds in your daily intake.

Ancient grains such as quinoa and amaranth are considered superfoods. Almonds and walnuts are great to snack on and curb hunger. Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens that boost heart health. Cacao nibs are delicious as well as healthy.

3. Lean Protein and Healthy Fats

Healthy amounts of lean protein are required for a meal to be balanced and nutritious. Tofu, tempeh and bean-curd are great options for vegetarians and vegans. Try a stir-fry with veggies for a heart-healthy meal. Non-vegetarians can consider portions of fish like salmon and tuna.

Similarly, healthy fats too are essential for a meal to be truly nutritious. Consider sweet potato and avocado. For those of us with a sweet tooth, dark chocolate with cacao and no added sugar can be a great natural substitute for a sugary dessert.

Keeping your heart health in mind and as a general rule-of-thumb consider dairy free and gluten free alternatives wherever possible.

Sample Meal Plan

Here’s a sample “blood pressure reducing meal plan” that is also dairy free, gluten free and vegan. It includes all the healthy ingredients that we discussed above.

Breakfast: almond yogurt parfait with smashed avocado.

  • 3/4 cup of non-dairy almond or coconut yogurt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. of slivered almonds

Top yogurt with almonds.

  • ½ medium-size avocado
  • Seasoning
  • Parsley to garnish

Smash the avocado into uneven pulp and season mildly. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Drink option: Green smoothie with celery, mint, spinach and cucumber.

AM Snack: ¾ cup of fresh blueberries.

Lunch: garlic grilled mushrooms and steamed brussels sprouts.

  • 2 cup fresh whole shitake mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Diced red pepper

Lightly drizzle the ingredients with butter and grill in an open pan.

  • 1 cup fresh brussels sprouts
  • Seasoning

Steam brussels sprouts and season mildly.

PM Snack: 2 cups cubed rockmelon.

Dinner: Mixed greens salad bowl with black beans and lentils, and a side of baked sweet potato

  • 1 cup mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup boiled black beans and lentils
  • ½ small brown onion diced
  • Coriander to garnish

Toss ingredients in a bowl and season with olive oil.

  • ½ small sweet potato

Slice into fine chips and bake in an oven until crisp.

3 Steps To Feeling Good With A Complete Liver Cleanse

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5 Natural Remedies For Hot Flushes For Women Over 45

It is quite common for women between the ages of 45-55 to experience hot flushes and night sweats as a symptom that they may have hit a stage in their lives called “perimenopause” – or the years leading to menopause.

As many as 75% of the women experience hot flushes and night sweats. A lucky minority experience nothing at all. And a small number of women experience mild symptoms only.

For those who are affected, the signs can be intense and overwhelming. During a hot flush, pangs of heat start in the chest and spread to the head. Beads of sweat trickle down the face and neck. And while it takes anywhere from five to ten long minutes for them to wear out, women have been known to have as many as 20-30 such episodes in a day!

Some women experience only hot flushes without any sweating. While others sweat profusely. Doctors have linked hot flushes and night sweats to the changing levels of estrogen in the female body.

While hot flushes are common, a few natural remedies have been known to reduce their impact considerably. In this week’s blog post I discuss 5 natural and powerful remedies that can reduce your symptoms and bring you calming respite. Here they are:

1. Exercise Regularly

Exercise regularly and include diverse routines that work every part of your body. Go for a brisk walk out in the open. Include some form of physical activity, movement or dance in your every day. Exercising properly like this has been known to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flushes and night sweats.

Note: For women with weight management issues, controlling your weight through planned diet and exercise may help you reduce symptoms. Overweight women have a higher chance of experiencing acute episodes of hot flushes and night sweats.

2. Include Protein and Healthy Fats

Incorporate protein and healthy fats into your meals. Make your breakfast as healthy as possible as this is the most important meal of the day. Eliminate carbs – bagel, toast and bread – altogether. 

3. Right Clothing

Wear comfortable clothing that is light and that absorbs sweat. This may be especially useful during nights when copious sweating can make it impossible to get a proper shut-eye and restful sleep. Wearing layers of clothing has been recommended by many women as it helps in regulating temperature and you may shed the extra layers when the need arises.

4. Drink Water

Keep yourself hydrated. Keep a bottle of water on your person and carry it wherever you go. Drink plenty of water. This will help you regulate your body’s temperature and make up for the lost moisture during a hot flush.

Add infused waters, teas and drinks to your list of fluids. Vegetable and fruit smoothies are great during the hot summer months, as are stews, soups and broths during the cold winter season.

5. Learn to Relax

Remember that heightened stress can make you particularly susceptible to hot flushes and night sweats. Practice meditation and mindfulness. Practice yoga. Keep away from potential triggers such as coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and spicy foods.

6. Bonus tip

Begin by getting a blood test done. Get your hormones and thyroid tested as well. The results from these tests will help you get an accurate idea of your status and how sensitive you are. Then, talk to a trusted Health Coach or healthcare professional about these tests, your issues and concerns to get guidance on how to manage your situation better.

3 Steps To Feeling Good With A Complete Liver Cleanse

Our gut, liver, lungs and kidneys are superheroes that work together tirelessly to flush out toxins from the body, boost our immunity and keep us fighting fit. They are the reason we are able to survive every day (and everything) from bad diets and light pollution to hard-core substance abuse.

They cleanse our systems and rejuvenate us. They help us maintain a healthy state of being. But, as they perform their critical functions, toxins that aren’t flushed out accumulate in our systems and over time we experience heavy toxicity build-up.

In a healthy condition the liver can function optimally: scour out the toxins in the body, convert them into their water-soluble form and efficiently excrete them out. But when the liver is impacted it gets overwhelmed and is unable to perform. As days go on, the situation may compound and worsen.

When this happens and depending on the extent of the damage, you may experience bloating around your upper abdomen, sudden loss of appetite and general restlessness, weight gain, smelliness of the mouth and your breath, and itchiness and pigmentation on the skin. Of course, it would be ideal to take action before such a situation occurs!

A liver cleanse needn’t be extreme and you should be able to do it any time you feel. All it takes are 3 simple steps and a loving, gentle approach. I discuss these steps in my blog post this week that will give your body a detoxifying boost. Here goes.

Step 1: Eliminate and Reduce Toxicity

We are exposed to a number of chemicals, pollutants, stressors and toxins, like the ones we pick up from the environment, our beauty products and cosmetics, household cleaning products, or from packaged foods we consume. Eliminating and reducing the usage of all these substances is the first step in a thorough liver cleanse.

Check the labels on the packages of the products for ingredients and manufacturing processes. Household cleaning products have been known to include very corrosive and potent substances. Make sure you use organic, handmade, natural and non-toxic products.

At home, fill your space with natural light. Use natural soy and beeswax candles. Keep plants indoors, they add to the aesthetic appeal as well as contribute to your health and wellbeing.

Step 2: Consume Liver-friendly Foods

There are a variety of liver-friendly foods that are totally recommended when you are considering a liver cleanse. For instance, beetroot, broccoli and garlic are great. Use these in your meals. Raw vegetable juices and green smoothies are also very helpful.

Do follow my FB Live for some healthy recipes. You will also find ample recipes on my website that are delicious and good.

Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, all these tangy treats encourage gut-friendly bacteria to colonize the intestines and promote health. So do probiotic foods: milk and yogurt. Include them in your meals.

Add a dash of turmeric to your food. The secret is to combine turmeric with coconut oil while cooking. This way the body is able to take in all of the root’s goodness. Munch on walnuts. Nothing beats the liver-boosting power of the mighty walnut.

Step 3: Take Milk Thistle and Dandelion Supplements

Milk Thistle is the single most effective tool of a natural liver detox. It helps eliminate the build-up of toxicity from heavy metals, medication, environmental pollutants and alcohol abuse. It even absorbs the harmful effects of chemotherapy and radiation after treatment.

I wrote a blog post on the merits of Milk Thistle and how to use it a while back. Infused teas and supplements are a great way to include this miraculous herb in your diet.

The root of a dandelion is equally powerful in keeping the liver functioning optimally. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Its natural diuretic effect fortifies the liver allowing it to eliminate toxins more effectively.

If you are experiencing stress, bloating, itchiness or irritation, talk to me today. The symptoms of liver dysfunction are subtle and it may be essential to reach out to someone you trust.