Gut Health Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Life Essence

April 20, 2017

Ladies, you know I’m a Nutritionist and that I believe food is medicine. If you’ve worked with me in my clinic or been following me for a while, you also know that I work holistically – I have a deep understanding that all of our body systems work together – because we are beautifully complex beings! This is why I always discuss stress management, sleep and movement with my clients – not just diet. Because it’s all related – wellness will never be one thing in isolation. You can’t eat your way out of a stressed body, no matter how healthy the food. Likewise, you certainly can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. And sleep? Well, she is the goddess that sits at the top of the pyramid, without her, your body will not function optimally, no matter what.

There are so many wonderful tools we can add to our personal health-kit (honorable mention to meditation and sun shine!) but what I’m really immersing myself in at the moment is essential oils. Oh baby, every single women needs these in her life!


My story (the short version)

Ok so here’s the deal. I’ve been personally using essential oils for over 5 years now, but in the past I’ve had a negative mindset around the whole “network marketing” thing, and so I haven’t been sharing them. For those of you who aren’t familiar with doTERRA, they’re a network marketing company – if you purchase these oils through me, I make a small commission. And this is what turns some people off, including me. Thats why I wasn’t sharing.

But thankfully, after a few loving conversations with friends and mentors, I realised I needed to get over myself (yes really!) and in February this year, I joined doTERRA as a Wellness Advocate. From the moment I made that decision, its been onwards and upwards with an abundant mindset! We all need to make money right? doTERRA allows me to do that in a way that feels really good to me. I’m sharing a product I really believe in and love. I’m helping people by educating them and introducing them to something that really has the ability to change their life! Just like Tara did for me, when she introduced me to doTERRA. I trust that the right people will see there is true integrity behind my words and I’m more than ok with the judgement that might come with being a Network Marketer. Everyone has the right to their opinion. Mine changed back in Feb and I’m so bloody grateful for that!

I realised it was crazy for me NOT to share these amazing gifts that Mother Natures has given us. I mean, why would I not advocate something I personally love and know to be incredibly beneficial in so many areas – emotions, digestion, skin care, mood, home cleaning, cellular health, detoxification, home remedies, safe + natural alternatives to just about everything! The list goes on…. so yeah, here I am lovingly sharing an AMAZING product with you today. 

The 3-min run down of what an essential oil is

  • Essential oils are naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds (fancy jargon meaning small molecules that easily become vapours or gases) that are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Yep, they are 100% natural and straight from our beautiful Mother Nature!
  • Essential oils are what give plants their distinctive smells, they protect plants and play a role in plant pollination.
  • They have a very long history of use when it comes to healing the body – they’re a safe, effective and affordable alternative to synthetic remedies – yes please.
  • These pure plant extract as highly concentrated. 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea!
  • They contain 100’s of natural compounds with many health + healing properties
  • No side effects and safe for the whole family.

Why doTERRA and how I use the oils

If you’re intrigued and want a little more info, I’ve put together all the basics for you right here. Have a read and then if it feels right, get in contact with me. I’d be more than happy to answer your questions (I know I had a lot when I was first learning about doTERRA!) Maybe you’re open to me sending you a few sample in the mail? I’d love to!

I’m going to be sharing a lot more about these oils in the future but for now, I just wanted to tell you why I became a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. So, now you know darling 🙂

A side benefit (you know, the opposite to a side effect!)

When I brought these oils into my business, I never expected to be collaborating with so many like-minded, beautiful and supportive people. The community is my favourite part of this oily journey so far. If you’re interested in collaborating with me to build your own abundant business, click here


Talk soon, big love, kiss kiss




March 22, 2017

Oh bone broth, you wonderful darling you…

This stuff is so easy and cheap to make and is truly so wonderful for your health. Tt’s no wonder it has long been considered a traditional superfood.

Bone broth is basically a conventional way of making stock, before the factories started to manufacture it in mass amounts with all the additives and artificial crap. It’s made by boiling bones with an acidic medium (ie vinegar) for a long period of time so that the nutrients contained in them leach out into the liquid. These nutrients are highly bioavailable to the body (which means we easily digest and absorb them), something that store bought vitamins and minerals are not.  I particularly like making home made broth because it means I am using the whole animal and there is no waste – respecting the animal that gave its life for our nourishment.

What are the benefits?

Home made bone broth is loaded with:

  • Magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and other trace minerals.
  • Amino acids including arginine, glycine & proline.
  • Gelatin and collagen
  • Glucosamine and chondroiton

 And what does that translate to in terms of your health?

  • A stronger immune system. Does chicken soup when you have a cold ring a bell? That’s because our ancestors knew the health benefits of home made broth, unfortunately the chicken soup of today isn’t the same.
  • A healthy digestive system. Not only does bone broth aid the digestive process by helping to regulate the production of bile salts and digestive secretions, but it also helps to repair any damage done to your gut (ala ‘leaky gut syndrome’ and stomach ulcers) As I have mentioned before, a healthy digestive tract is a hugeplayer in our overall health.
  • Healthy skin and nails. Who needs a collagen injection when you can have bone broth!
  • Supports arthritic joints and other joint pain due to the wonderful combination of proline, glycine, collagen, glucosamine and chondroitin. These will all help you have healthy connective tissue in general.

How to make it

Below is the most basic recipe for bone broth you will come across! Its extremely easy, won’t take you long to prepare and is basically fail-proof.


  1. 2-3 kg of bones (knuckles bones, marrow bones, meaty rib bones, neck bones)
  2. 3-4 L cold water
  3. 1/3 cup vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)


  1. Put all the ingredients into a slow cooker and turn to high (you can also use a pot on the stove pot). Leave for 12-72 hours. The longer the better as it draws out more minerals. My typical cooking time is 24 hours.
  2. Check every 6-8 hours to ensure your water isn’t boiling dry. Either turn to low or add water if it starts to occur.
  3. Once its done (it will probably look pretty unappetizing at this stage!), use tongs to remove the big bones, then strain using a fine mesh strainer to separate the liquid from the solids. Throw out the solids.
  4. Put the liquid into the fridge to cool and set.
  5. Once there is a solid layer of fat on top, skim this off and throw it out.
  6. The bone broth is what remains. It will keep in the fridge for several days or you can freeze it in ice cube trays for easy use.


To make your broth more tasty you can add any of the following

Add these at the start with the bones and discard once strained.

  • 2 onions (cut into quarters)
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half across all cloves – skin on
  • 3 celery stalks (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 carrots (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 T peppercorns or freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 2 T mixed dried herbs


Additional info:

  1. Always use cold water because the slow heating process will help to bring out the flavours.
  2. If you boil your broth down (or don’t add the extra water in part 2 of the method) it will become gelatinous or ‘jelly like’ which is great if you want to use it for thick sauces.
  3. Use any type of bones: beef, lamb, chicken, fish, rabbit…
  4. Commercially available stock is not made with anywhere near the same amount of love, so it won’t ever contain the same health benefits.
  5. Bone broth can be made with your leftover bones such as those from a roast chicken or BBQ’d lamb chops.

How to use your broth:

  1. Substitute it for any store bought stocks in your current recipe collection
  2. Use it as a base for soups, stews and sauces. I actually just boil up veggies in mine and have it as an easy vegetable soup, but I would recommend including some of the ‘additional ingredients for this
  3. Ever made traditional gravy from the juices at the bottom of your roasting dish? Using the broth instead of water makes extra delicious gravy!
  4. Saute your cauli-rice in it. Or if you eats grains and legumes you could use it as a cooking medium for these.
  5. I drink it straight like a hot coffee.

Don’t want to make your own? I recommend and use the dehydrated broths found here when travelling (but its far cheaper to make yourself!). Just search bone broth in the top right corner of their site.

March 1, 2017

I’ve been interested in fertility nutrition for quite some time now. Because a) I’m super excited about being a Mamma Bear myself one day and b) the amount of women who struggle to get pregnant breaks my heart and I want to be able to help.

There’s so much we can do on a natural level (ie without drug intervention) to increase our chances of a successful pregnancy. As a Nutritionist, I know that the health of our gut is one of the most important aspects, yet it often gets overlooked.

Before we get into the details, I want to mention that in an ideal world, we should start preparing our body for pregnancy about 12 months before we start trying to conceive BUT I understand this isn’t always possible. If your personal situation doesn’t allow this, thats ok, just do the best you can. Please don’t let pregnancy-prep become another stress in your life. To stress over it is extremly counter-productive and will do you and your fertility more harm than good. So, no matter where you are in the journey, start right there. Don’t go looking at what if’s. Life is right here and now, lets work with what you’ve got, ok?

Lets look at why gut health is so important from 3 simple angles:


If your gastro intestinal tract isn’t functioning properly, it’s not going to be able to digest, absorb and utilise the nutrients from the food you’re eating. This causes two problems. First, if you aren’t getting the required nutrients, your body won’t be functioning optimally and among the first things to suffer, will be your hormones and your fertility. Second, you’re going to be growing a little person from scratch inside your womb and that means you need to provide ALL the required building blocks for vital organs, strong bones, a healthy brain – the lot! If your gut isn’t working well, it’s highly likely you have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Well guess what? If your lacking these nutrients, baby is also going to miss out too. And I’m sure you understand that we’re talking about fundamental nutrients for growth, so its pretty gosh-darn important stuff!


Babies are born with a sterile gastro intestinal tract and during a normal vaginal birth, vital bacteria are passed on from mother to baby. This isn’t an accident, it’s a very important step in child birth. So, if you don’t have a healthy, balanced microbiome (your community of gut bacteria), then baby is going to be passed on the same unhealthy, out of balance gut-bug situation, setting her/him up for a weak immune system from day one. Our microbiome is extremely, super important and for baby, its going to set the scene for the rest of their life.


An unhealthy gut leads to systemic inflammation. Inflammation of any kind is seen by your body as stress. Stress (in all its forms), leads to an imbalance in your nervous system called ‘sympathetic dominance’. This basically means that your body is more often in ‘fight and flight’ mode than it is in ‘rest and digest’ mode. When you’re in fight and flight mode, your body moves its resources from bodily functions that it doesn’t see as imperative to your immediate survival. Unfortunately, fertility is usually the first non-vital system to go, because you don’t need to be having a baby if you’re in danger! You’re digestion is another non-vital system that is highly likely to stop functioning properly. This causes more stress on the body and soon you’re stuck in a vicious cycle.

If you think that your gut health isn’t as good as it should be, start here. 

Not planning on pregnancy any time soon? That’s ok, the health of your gut is still something I highly recommend you look into.

I’d love to hear from you, so if you have any comments or questions please pop them below.

Rach x

March 1, 2017

I spoke recently about consuming gelatin on a regular basis as a means of restoring your gut health. I always try to keep my advice practical so I listed 3 foods you can add to your diet and 3 things I recommend removing if you’re trying to heal your gut.  Get the list here. 

For those of you who aren’t really familiar with gelatin, I wanted to make it really easy for you to incorporate into your daily diet by listing a whole bunch of ways you can use it. Before we get to that, I just want to mention that there really isn’t a limit to how much you can consume throughout the day, and that goes for both children and adults. If you are enjoying it, keep eating it! If you are specifically trying to heal your gut, I recommend aiming for about 3 tablespoons per day. Keep in mind that you will need to consume plenty of fresh filtered water when increasing your gelatin intake.

If you don’t yet have any in your cupboard, I recommend this Organic gelatin.


Recipes may call for you to ‘bloom’ your gelatin. All you need to do is add some cold water to your gelatin which will cause it to become quite rubbery and thick. Depending on how much cool water you add, it might become a thick, grainy sludge. Once its ‘bloomed’ you will usually be instructed to either heat the cool water to dissolve the gelatin or add boiling water, stirring to incorporate and dissolve the gelatin completely.


  • Add 1T to your morning smoothie in place of your normal protein powder. Or if you prefer, you can substitute half or add it as additional which is what I do. Just keep in mind that it might have a slightly grainy texture and this is normal.
  • Make a simple apple cider vinegar jelly-cup (this is so simple). In a cup, bloom 1T of gelatin in 1/3 cup cold water, mix thoroughly. Add 1T apple cider vinegar and enough boiling water to fill your cup. Stir well to combine and allow it to set in the fridge overnight.
  • Bloom 1T and add it to whatever curry, stew or soup you’re making for dinner.
  • Hello pana cotta!
  • Whipped Coconut Cream – Add 1T of gelatin to 1/4 cup cold water and heat to dissolve. Grab  a tin of coconut cream, add 1/2 tsp vanilla powder and a little raw honey. Whip until it forms soft peaks, then slowly drizzle in the gelatin mix, continuing to whip until your coconut cream is firm with stiff peaks.
  • Add it to your usual pancake mix for an extra protein boost
  • Add a teaspoon to your bone broth before you warm it up to give it an extra collagen punch!

You can see from the list above that gelatin is very versatile and can easily be added to lots of different meals. Get creative! I’d love to hear from you below if you have any great suggestions.