Gut Health Archives - Life Essence

June 5, 2017
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Wild Alaskan Salmon is a superfood but Farmed Salmon not so much…

Most people are already aware of the health benefits of eating oily fish. Did you know that if you consume oily fish twice a week you can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 35%? That’s massive!

But I’m not here to tell you about the health benefits of oily fish in this post. What I really want to talk about is something less known – not all salmon is equal.

Essentially, there are two kinds – Wild Salmon and Farmed Salmon. And the difference in the two is huge.

Wild Salmon

Also known as Alaskan Salmon, Sockeye Salmon or Red Salmon. It has by far a superior omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. Farmed Salmon has about a 1:1 omega 3 to omega 6 ratio and this is due to the JUNK it is fed. However, Sockeye Salmon has anywhere from 6:1 up to 9:1 omega 3 to omega 6 ratios. This means you are getting up to 8 times more omega 3 in wild caught salmon.

‘Wild caught’ doesn’t actually mean that the salmon was living in the wild. And frankly, this pisses me off because as a consumer, misinformation really gets up my goat! Studies show that 70% to 80% of fish marked as ‘wild’ are in fact farmed. So how can you tell if your salmon is actually wild? Always, choose Alaskan Sockeye Salmon (also called Red Salmon) because this salmon is not allowed to be farmed, which means that it is truly wild caught! Also, Alaskan Salmon is bright red, not pink. And the white fat stripes are quite thin. When buying tinned salmon, ‘Sockeye Salmon’ is your best bet and ‘Alaskan Salmon’ is also a safe choice.

Farmed Salmon

Also known as Atlantic Salmon (yep that means our famous Tasmanian (farmed) Salmon…)

Let me point out why Farmed Salmon should be avoided:

Genetic modification of salmon has been approved.

Farmed salmon is fed artificial food made from corn, soy, grains – often containing GM products. Its feed can also contain chicken and feather meal. Moreover, it is given synthetic astaxanthin (which is the potent antioxidant that makes Wild Salmon red). This synthetic product is not approved for human consumption yet the farmed salmon that we eat is fed with it…

Farmed salmons are kept in pens. Essentially they are ‘couch potatoes’ and suffer many of the health issues humans do when they don’t get the correct exercise. They get sick – this means antibiotics are needed.

And there is a huge environmental concern too. The pens that these salmons are farmed in are in our oceans. So, unconsumed food is left to float into our oceans. Those GM products, waste materials, pesticides… They all go into our oceans.

There is an infection called the Infectious Salmon Anaemia Virus which has been found in all areas across the globe where salmons are farmed. Once the virus infects the salmon suffers a heart attack. And we eat these salmons!!!

Farmed salmon are the aquatic equivalent of confined animal feeding operations and they have the same disease, environment, and ethical issues as cattle and chicken farms.

Want to learn more about which foods best fuel your body? Click here to work with me.

 

 

May 11, 2017
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Headaches are something we all have in common. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t had multiple headaches over their lifetime. Its not even unusual for people to have headaches every single week, but its not something you need to continue to suffer from. This articles covers the most effective natural remedies.

Step one is to figure out what your body is telling you. Because you don’t have a headache for no reason. This is your body communicating to you so please don’t ignore it, otherwise guess what, the headaches will keep coming. If you need assistance finding the root cause of you health issues, click here to book a one-on-one with me and we’ll work through it together.

Here’s a few common causes:

  • Stress
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Fatigue
  • Allergies + Food Intolerances
  • Hormones
  • Poor posture
  • Alcohol or drug consumption (duh?!)

Is your go to a pain killer? These pills come with a host of ugly side effects that most people turn a blind eye to – leaky gut, kidney and liver damage as well as an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Yes seriously! Click here to see for yourself.   And the other main reason I don’t like them is they don’t deal with the root of the problem.

Here’s my top tips to assist with headaches naturally.

  1. Increase your micronutrient intake. Nutritional deficiencies are rampant in our society. The body needs vitamins and minerals to function properly. If you need a boost, I suggest you incorporate liver into your diet. Just 50gm has your RDI of ALL vitamins and minerals including the B vitamins which are needed for the formation of neurotransmitters. Or, contact me here to purchase high grade, therapeutic liver capsules.
  2. Address the stress in your life. The more you ignore it the worse it will become and the more ill health you will see. Stress is a killer darling, I’m not kidding – address it.
  3. A relaxing detox bath. Run a hot bath, add 1 cup epsom salts, 10 drops lavender essential oil and 10 drops peppermint essential oil. Soak in the bath for at least 20min, ensuring you relaaaaax. Here’s what’s happening as you take the detox bath – the epsom salts will give your body a boost of the mineral magnesium, which is quickly depleted during times of stress or pain. Magnesium is wonderful for relaxing muscles and is needed for the bodies stress pathways. Increasing magnesium is one of the most effective ways to naturally rid yourself of headaches. Molecules from the lavender essential oil reach olfactory receptors in your nose and they send signals directly to the limbic system in the brain (the area of the brain which governs your emotions!). This is the mechanism behind lavender being relaxing! Science shows that lavender essential oil is a safe and effect way to reduce headache severity, partly due to its sedative properties! The peppermint essential oil contains menthol which is also shown to be an effective treatment for headaches and peppermint is great for increasing circulation and reducing constriction of blood vessels in the forehead. So there is lots going on here to assist with your headache during this bath.
  4. Identify food intolerances. The best way is to get a blood test called an IgG Food Intolerance test. I can help with this. Removing foods that your body is having an immune response to is an extremely effective way to reduce headache occurrences and severity.
  5. Your nervous system could be sympathetic dominant – ie your body is stuck in ‘fight or flight’ mode. This causes all of your sense to be heightened (sound, light input, smell etc) and it becomes overwhelming for the body, causing headaches. If you also suffer from anxiety, irritability, digestive issues, tight shoulders/neck, period/fertility issues, sleeping issues, feeling cold, dry skin and/or brittle nails then this might be what’s going on. I’m an SD certified practitioner and can help you with this, contact me here to make an appointment.

Essential Oils

My go to for headaches. If you know what the trigger of your headache is, you can use specific essential oils to provide relief. The best thing about this approach is that you are able to target the cause.

Hormonal changes in women due to mensutural cycles, pregnancy or menopause – Clary sage and lavender used topically or aromatically.

Stress/Tension headaches – Lavender with either rosemary, peppermint  or eucalyptus diluted in some fractionated coconut oil can be apply to the forehead, temples, neck and shoulders. Diffuse lavender or take a detox bath (details above)

Allergies or sinus pressure – doTERRA Easy Air blend, eucalyptus or peppermint work wonders on the airways, opening them up to relieve sinus pressure. Eucalyptus is also shown to dull feelings of pain in the body – amazing!

Migraines –  Lavender regulates serotonin levels which can lead to less migraine attacks, Its also wonderful for aiding sleep and reducing anxiety which are both known triggers for migraines. Peppermint applied to the forehead and temples is also effective at reducing the severity of migraines due to an increase in blood flow.

Need personal assistance with your headaches? Click here

 

 

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Chewing your food is the first step in a very long and complex process that our body goes through to digest our food. If our digestion isn’t working properly, we cannot obtain the nutrients and energy from the food we eat to live healthy and happy lives.

 

I think its fair to say that we are always in a rush, because there are just SO many things to do right? Eating on the run or quickly shoving some food in at meals times is really common. Some people even see eating as an inconvenient due to the time it take. This results in not chewing our food properly.

 

‘So what’ you might ask. Well, if you aren’t chewing your food properly, you aren’t digesting it properly. This step is SO important for digestion. Think about it – it’s the very first step in a long line of things that need to occur for us to digest our food properly so we can utilise the nutrients within it! What’s the point of eating that beautiful grass fed steak or avocado and salmon salad if your body can’t get all the nutrients from within in?

 

Chewing is the only major mechanical process in digestion, the rest is chemical which means its really the only step we have total control over!

 

Here’s the three main things that happen when we chew properly.

  1. We use our teeth and tongue to break the food into small particles (which increasing the surface area) so that our digestive juices can work quickly and effectively. If big chunks of food make it to our stomach, the rest of the digestive process has to work a lot harder and sometimes food doesn’t get completely digested.
  2. Salivia is released in the mouth and this starts the break down of carbs and more importantly, this along with the physical act of chewing, triggers processed further down the digestive tract. So when we don’t spend time chewing, the whole digestive process is affected.
  3. When we spend time chewing properly, we become mindful of what we are eating. This is a beautiful habit to get into. Not only can you spend a few moments giving thanks to the food for nourishing you, but by slowing down and spending the correct amount of time enjoying your meal, you are more likely to be in ‘rest and digest’ mode. This is very important! If you are stressed or rushing, your nervous system will read this as a sign that it needs to be in ‘fight or flight’ mode rather than ‘rest and digest’. If you are in fight and flight, your digestions is slowed or even stopped! Have you ever been nervous and needed to rush to the toilet? That’s because you went into fight and flight and your digestion was shut down.

 

Please make the simple art of chewing a daily practice. The more you chew, the less bloating and flatulence you will have AND you’ll have extra energy as your body will be able to actually access all those nutrients in your food.

So simple yet so profound.

 

 

April 28, 2017
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Have you noticed there are million-and-one ways to ‘eat healthy’? No red meat, no saturated fats, gluten free, low carb, raw foods only, no dairy, specific macro ratio’s, fructose free, paleo, according to your blood type, low FODMAP, insert newest found diet here! It can be completely overwhelming. But what if we strip it all back to a simple concept?

Real food.

Sound easy enough, but what exactly is real food?

I’m referring to food that comes from nature and is as close to its unprocessed state as possible. This includes vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, grains, meat, eggs, fish, seafood etc. Basically, if it comes from nature, it’s a real food. Note – There is a caveat, which I’ll get to soon.

The epidemic of food-like products

A ‘food-like product’ is something that tastes like food, looks like food and even smells like food, but isn’t actually FOOD. To explain what I mea, let’s take a look at something I would call a ‘food-like product’:

Ingredients – Chicken (49%), Water, Wheat Flour, Tapioca starch, Maize Flour, Salt, Yeast, Wheat Gluten, Egg Powder, Vegetable Oil (Cottonseed Oil), Mineral Salt (450, 451, 508, 500), Thickener (1404), Vegetable Gums (412, 415), Maltodextrin, Yeast extract, Natural flavouring.

This is what a major Supermarket brand in Australia uses to make it’s chicken nuggets, something you probably consider to be a food, right? But as you can see, you’re not getting chicken covered in breadcrumbs which is what you assume chicken nuggets are.

Let’s take a closer look.

All those numbers in the ingredients list are additives made in a chemical lab. I can assure you, they don’t come from nature! ‘Wheat gluten’ is one of the proteins within the wheat grain. Have you ever stopped to think about how they might get the gluten out of a grain? Know this; it wasn’t done in kitchen. Another ingredient listed is ‘Natural flavouring’ but rest assured, it’s far from natural. This is something that started with a food based ingredient and was then manipulated with upwards of 40 chemicals to make a ‘flavour’ that could be added to these little nuggets of wannabe-food, to make them taste more like real food. ‘Egg powder’ is made by spray drying liquid eggs, a process which is known to oxidize the naturally occurring cholesterol in the yolk, making it extremely dangerous for human consumption. Egg powder has a shelf life of 5 to 10 years when stored without oxygen. Is this a real food? I think not. I could go on but you get the point.

Unfortunately, chicken nuggets are just one example. In reality, the vast majority of what you will find in a supermarket can be considered ‘food-like products’.

Take a look for yourself. Do you have ice cream in the freezer? Perhaps some Milo in the cupboard? Shapes or other premade savoury delights? What about your yoghurt? Surely yoghurt is real food? Quite possibly not… go take a look at the ingredient list on some of your store bought products. See how many ingredients you actually recognise and ask yourself this: If you don’t recognise them, do you think your body will?

The aforementioned caveat.

Ok this is where it can get a bit tricky so I’ll keep it as simple as possible. Arsenic comes from nature, but it’s not a real food, for obvious reasons. Seed oil comes from nature but it is not a real food either. Why? Because it has been very heavily processed with heat and chemicals which create a product that is nothing like the product we started with. As mentioned, real food comes from nature and is as close to its unprocessed state as possible. On the contrary, Olive Oil is a real food, made simply by pressing olives to squeeze out the oil. That’s it! Can you see the difference?

There are many examples I could give but my aim is to make your healthy eating habits simple, not more complicated! So if it comes from nature, the next question to ask is, did your Nana’s Grandmother eat this? Seed oil = no. Butter = Yes. (Because butter is a real food. It’s just agitated cream and maybe some salt) Did your Nana’s Grandmother eat margarine? No. Did she eat ice cream? Possibly, but only if it was home made. Did she eat bread? Probably, but it didn’t contain anti-caking agents, preservatives or bleached flour. You get the idea.

A simple summary.

  1. Eat real food. From Nature. As close to its unprocessed state as possible.
  2. If in doubt ask yourself, did your Nana’s Grandmother eat this?