Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

Mango Power Smoothie

One of my fondest memories of summer is when mum would come home with a box of mangoes. There is so much you can do with mangoes but I love making this easy power-packed drink that gives you that summer zing!

Preparation Time: 3 minutes
Serves 2

2 mangoes, peeled
1/2 cup of natural yoghurt
2 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp hemp seeds
1 Tb LSA (ground linseed, sunflower, almond) or flaxmeal
2 cups water or coconut water

Option:
Add 1 cup of ice for extra chill

Peel and chop mango into blender
Add all other ingredients and blend for 30 seconds

This refreshing smoothie will power you through the summer heat. Drink slowly and enjoy every sip!

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA
Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 
info@claudettewadsworth.com.au

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Eating For Fatherhood


Eating For Fatherhood - check out OH! Magazine November Issue 4 for my latest article

By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 

info@claudettewadsworth.com.au
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Milk Boost Biscuits


These delicious biscuits are great for boosting breast milk production and are quick and easy to make for new mums short of time. Healthy as well as perfect for a drop in blood sugar! Courtesy of Melanie Koeman.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1.5 cups brown/ rapadura sugar or 1 cup of raw honey/maple syrup
4 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 1/2 cups wholemeal wheat or spelt flour
1 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
2 generous Tbsp brewer's yeast
Optional: 1 cup raisins or chopped prunes

Directions:
Preheat oven at 180 degrees C. Put all all dry ingredients together and mix well. Melt butter gently and poor into dry ingredients with eggs, water and vanilla. Mix well with wooden spoon. Line baking dish with baking paper or rub with butter. Scoop or drop mixture onto baking sheet in round balls and press down lightly with fork. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on size of biscuits.



By Claudette Wadsworth
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 and Sydney CBD 02 9268 9000

info@claudettewadsworth.com.au




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Yasmin Pill- Do you know what you are really taking?


The bestselling contraceptive pill called Yasmin and it's sister version, Yaz, promise to regulate your periods, give you clear skin and erradicate syptoms of PMS-like mood swings. What is not stated on the packet is the high risk of blood clots, up to three times that of other contraceptives. A 2011 Danish study of 1.3 million women, conducted over nine years and published in the Britsh Medical Journal, found that a woman's risk of blood clot is six times higher when taking either Yaz or Yasmin compared to women not taking a contraceptive at all. Most women I consult are unaware of this danger. See my blog in May 2012 on the contraceptive pill.

Blood clots are lethal especially in young women taking this pill. They can either cause a heart attack, triger a stroke in the brain or blocks breathing in the lungs. Blood clots can also cause blindness by lodging in the artery behind the eyes. As of 2013, 13 500 lawsuits have been served in the USA against the manufacturer Bayer despite both these pills continuing to be available in Australia. Bayer has already paid out $720 million due to inadequate warnings of the blood clot risks. Due to current legal proceedings, Bayer Australia will not comment on these claims. Despite this serious side effect, Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration ( TGA) has no current plans to stop the sale of these drugs.

What is also not advertised are the other common side effects of depression, anxiety and migraines which can start immediately or as a delayed reaction months after taking it. Professor Kulkarni, director of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre at Monash University, Victoria says that this is due to the specific mix of hormones. Often women who come and see me do not realise that it could be the pill causing their depression and blame themselves instead. According to internet chat rooms, some women have found that their symptoms continue even after they have stopped using Yasmin or Yaz.

If you are experiencing any of these side effects, never fear. There are many herbal and nutritional supplements which can alleviate your symptoms and rebalance your hormones faster. There are also natural alternatives for contraception without these dangers to your health. I suggest either a Femcap which is a latex-free cervical cap or Natural Fertility Managment which involves understanding your fertile times using symptothermal charting. Both these methods are as effective as the pill when used correctly.

By Claudette Wadsworth 
BHSc, BA, Adv DN, Nut D, DRM, PostGrad NFM, MATMS, MNHAA

Naturopath, Nutritionist, specialist in Women's Health and Fertility
Bondi Junction 02 9389 3689 and Sydney CBD 02 9268 9000
info@claudettewadsworth.com.au


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Roman Lentil Soup


The hearty Roman soldier carried 35 kilos plus his armour and walked 30 kilometres per day. His fare consisted of coarse bread and a porridge of lentils or millet. Lentils are perhaps the most nutritious of all legumes. They were also a favorite legume of Dr. Weston A. Price, author of the infamous nutritional primer Nutrition and Physical Degeneration because of their very high phosphorous content. Phosphorous is the second most plentiful mineral in the body. It plays a role in maintaining the body’s acid/alkaline balance, something most people struggle with today given the high levels of inflammatory diseases which trace their roots to over-acidity in the body. This ia a hearty winter soup for the whole family. Make extra and take in a thermos to work or keep to heat up when you get home on a cold night. 

Serves 8

3 medium onions or 3 leeks, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
2 Tb butter
2 Tb extra virgin olive oil or organic coconut oil
8 cups of filtered water or stock
2 cups of brown or red lentils, soaked for 7 hours overnight in water (throw out the water)
several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together with string or 2 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried green peppercorns
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
sea salt or fish sauce and pepper

In a large stainless steel pot, cook onions or leeks and carrots gently in butter and olive oil. When vegetables are soft, add water/stock and lentils and bring to the boil. The lentils will produce a great deal of foam - be sure to skim it off. Reduce heat and add thyme and crushed peppercorns. Simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, about 1/2 hour. Remove the thyme. You can puree soup with a handheld blender for a smooth taste. Thin with water to desired consistency. Reheat slightly and add lemon juice. Ladle into heated bowls and serve with dollop of cultured cream.

Variation: Curried Lentil Soup: add 2 Tb of curry powder or curry paste along with thyme.

Variation: Split Pea Soup: use 2 cups of split peas instead of lentils.


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ANZAC Biscuits



Tomorrow is ANZAC Day, 25th April which celebrates the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. It is a time to honor those who have fought for our freedom today but also an opportunity to remember the Australian tradition of mateship.

Mateship is a distinct Australian quality which brings our community together. Enjoy these healthy Anzac biscuits to share with your family and friends on your ANZAC Day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats 
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut 
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 2 ½ tablespoons coconut oil 
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 tablespoon water

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C 
  • Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or blend in a food processor briefly.
  • Roll out and flatten biscuits and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper
  • Bake for 20 -30 minutes until golden brown

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Fertility Hot Spot


Easter is about new beginnings and new life. Conceiving a child is a very special, though often unconscious, event. For others, it may be problematic. Fertility is a complex issue that involves both prospective parents. I have been consulting women and couples for the last 12 years which I am very passionate about because there is so much potential for improvement as well as opportunity for parents to educate themselves. Taking control of one’s own fertility, and having an active role in treatment, can be an important and empowering factor for many prospective parents.

Recently I attended a 3 day conference at The Hilton Hotel Sydney to update on the latest scientific research of natural methods, medical testing and assisted reproductive technology such as IVF. Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or using IVF, there are many changes that you can make to profoundly improve your chances of a healthy, successful conception, pregnancy, birth and baby. IVF doctors say increasing numbers of prospective parents unrealistically see IVF as the "silver bullet" after eating, drinking and smoking themselves into poor fertility health.

Poor nutrition, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, environmental pollution, lack of exercise, stress, oral contraceptives, genito-urinary infections, and other infections eg Candida, allergies, child bearing at an older age and stress are all important factors which deplete the quality of sperm, eggs, health of the male and female reproductive organs and in turn, impair fertility. A recent study in the UK showed IVF success rates more than doubled when preceded by a period of preconception health care. I consult many couples who are undergoing IVF treatment where nutritional support and stress management are vital. No supplement that has a hormonal effect is given to interfere with the drug regime.




IVF specialists also say it is not enough for just the woman to get into health - the male partner's weight, diet, cigarette and alcohol consumption significantly impact fertility and sperm quality. The combined effort by both parents ensures better health of the new baby as fertility issues may come from either the female or the male with 50% DNA from each. If only one partner is involved, it is still worth doing but will not necessarily be as effective.



Many couples say they already have a healthy diet but unfortunately nowadays this may be inadequate as the nutrient content of food is affected by farming methods, modern processing and refinement of foods, lifestyle issues, tobacco, alcohol, being on the oral contraceptive pill and other drugs that rob the body of vital nutrients. This was demonstrated by a CSIRO study that found 67% of Australian women received less than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of zinc in their diets. Stress increases the demand of a variety of nutrients. Older couples may require an increase in nutrients compared to a younger couple because their nutrient stores may be depleted as they have been exposed to lifestyle and environmental factors for a longer period of time. Nutritional needs are also increased by 15-20% in pregnancy. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2007 found that eating trans fats, eg. margarine, deep fried oils, processed foods, increased the risk of fertility problems by 70% or more.

Getting healthy before trying to conceive is not a new idea. Many traditional societies practiced preconception health care, such as the Ancient Greeks and Romans whose conceiving couples abstained from alcohol prior to and during pregnancy due to its damaging effects on the foetus. Veterinarians, stock breeders and farmers all feed special diets to their animals prior to breeding as well.

This Easter begin a new chapter in your life, starting with your health.

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How Do We Raise Girls For A Kinder World?


How do we raise girls for a kinder world? Steve Biddulph, the world's best-selling author of Raising Boys (sold over 1 million copies) shares the story in his groundbreaking new book that helps our daughters grow up wise, soulful and strong. Unfortunately his talk at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney next Tuesday is sold out but is sure to be insightful and enriching. Recently Steve said, "I simply want your daughters to grow up liking themselves and believing in things that are more important than how you look and what you wear."

One of the important factors that Steve touches on in his book is "dropping the anxiety levels in our homes". I know from personal experience at different times in my life that anxiety can be detrimental so I make a conscious effort to keep my stress levels down. Some practical ways to keep anxiety at bay:

1. Talk it over with someone. “Getting it off your chest” actually has therapeutic value and you realize you are not alone! Talk to someone you respect and trust or ask about a counselor, mentor or therapist.  

2. Exercise relieves stress and lifts your mood. Living in a world that is so mind-orientated, it's important to move your body and get you out of your head. Do an exercise that you enjoy so then you will be more motivated to do it and have fun with it e.g swimming, walking in nature, yoga, dance, running, surfing, gym, tennis.

3. Set a limit to how long you spend online. While technology is beneficial in so many ways, investing too much time online can cause you to be unproductive or too caught up in other people's thoughts and activities. It's important not to ignore your real life and your own creative abilities. 

4. Shift your focus. When we're involved in a project, something we are passionate about or helping others it helps to take the focus off ourselves and our own problems. It's so important to break the habit of negative thoughts because whatever we think about is what we put our energy into creating in our lives. Practice positive thinking and let go of the inner critic.How do you share your love with the world? Love, old fashioned, never goes out of style - and it feels fabulous!



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Igniting The Creative Fire


Whether you are celebrating Valentine's Day this Thursday or trying to ignore it, it is really a reminder to celebrate the greatest love of all - loving yourself. When we give ourselves time each week to do something that we love or we're passionate about, it is a way of giving back to ourselves as well as letting go of the daily stressors and putting the zest and passion back into our lives. Even if it's only for an hour on a weekend, it allows you to let go of your tension and the mundane and gives us a sense of empowerment, bringing the joy and fun back in. Last week I started dancing classes again which I haven't done for 6 years. Of course I was rather clunky and uncoordinated at first but by the end of the class I had the biggest smile on my face and was dancing on air.

The one thing scientifically proven to make 2013 your best year yet? Boost your creativity. As quoted by Red Day Coaching www.reddaycoaching.com researchers sent 56 subjects out on a four day wilderness hiking trip without access to electronic devices or mobile phones. Upon their return, the hikers took tests to measure their creativity. The control group that hadn't been in the bush, scored 4.14 out of 10. The hiking group scored 6.08, a staggering 50% more creativity! The researchers said that this creativity boost was probably due to being in nature as well as taking a break from the stressors of work and technology. Next time you get stuck on a problem or can't concentrate, turn your mobile off and take a walk in nature or get lost in your own creative juices - leaving all technology behind!

Often in our busy, modern world it is easy to forget to incorporate the creative juice into our lives as we are tuned 24/7 into our emails and Facebook, crippling our free time which we need to explore our imagination and let our spirits fly. We've forgotten what it is to ponder and daydream, imagine and create new possibilities but we need to remember that without creativity, there is no life. Fertility is the ultimate act of creativity and whether we are using it for this or not, it is still vital that we express our creative energy in other ways. There are many ways to express creativity such as art, singing, dancing, cooking, writing, woodwork, gardening, photography, graphic art, poetry, sex and sensuality. The other benefit is that it allows you to let go of all your worries and be present with what you love. You can't think about the past or the future while you are in the midst of your creative act.

For women, our creative expression is reflected in our hormones as the function of our hormones is to create life. According to Christiane Northrup reknowned gynaecologist in USA who wrote the book, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, hormonal imbalances are often reflected in whether a woman is honouring her own emotional needs and creative expression. So if your creative energy is stifled or you are having period problems, then there may be an area of your life which also feels blocked. Look at where you're not expressing and using your creative energy and power in your life.

Ask yourself the following questions:
- How am I expressing my creativity in my life? What does creativity mean to me?
- What brings me alive? What am I passionate about?
- As a child, what did I love doing that I may have now forgotten?
- What are my emotional needs and do I express these?
- Do I believe that I have the power to change the conditions of my life?
- What am I most grateful for in my life right now?

Creativity is about putting the fun and play back into life. It doesn't have to take loads of time or money to have fun. So let your creative fire ignite by celebrating what you love in your life.

Happy Valentine's Day!




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New Bondi Junction Clinic 9389 3689



New Year, New Beginnings!

As of January 2013 I will be partnering with Better Health Clinic at 40 Grosvenor St Bondi Junction. This means a new number, better services and a fresh new look. You will enjoy the same excellent Naturopathic services at the same convenient location but simply next door. Better Health is a newly renovated clinic with full time reception services so it will make appointment bookings, ordering of products and supplement collection faster and easier. Better Health is a passionate group of health practitioners who offer osteopathic and massage services as well.  

Tuesday 8am - 6pn
Thursday 10am - 8pm

02 9389 3689

Over the past 12 years I've had the privilege of being involved in the key milestones of my clients and their family's lives. I wish 2013 to be a wonderful year of fulfillment and health for you and your family.



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Pomegranate, Walnut & Chicken Salad


This nutritious summer salad is light, fresh and ideal for entertaining. Simple to throw together and full of health benefits including antioxidant pomegranates, omega 3 walnuts and avocado, high protein lean chicken and dark greens rich in folate. 

Ingredients:

2 Tb Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb Lemon juice
2 Chicken breasts
1 Avocado
1 Pomegranate 
10 Walnuts 
4 cups Baby spinach

Method:
  • Grill or barbecue chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through 
  • Slice chicken into strips  
  • Mix baby spinach, sliced avocado, walnuts and pomegranate seeds with olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl 
  • Arrange chicken strips over salad to serve 
  • You can always substitute pomegranates or your favourite summer fruit e.g. mango

Bon Appetit! 




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For The Men...Keeping Your Testosterone Pumping


Last week I attended a seminar on Andropause, or male menopause, testosterone deficiency and erectile dysfunction. All three are more common than most men would like to admit, with Andropause now medically recognised as a normal part of ageing, occurring between the ages of 40 to 55 with a significant drop in sex hormone levels. Signs of testosterone deficiency in men include loss of libido and physical agility, poor erection and low ejaculate volume, infertility, shrinkage or enlargement of the prostate, depression, anxiety, fat accumulation around the belly and hips, loss of muscle, high cholesterol and aged appearance. Studies show that this decline in testosterone can actually put one at risk for other health problems like heart disease and osteoporosis.

What Depletes Testosterone Levels?

  • Age
  • Intense endurance sports or exercise
  • Intense emotional stress 
  • Foods high in saturated fats e.g hot chips, deep fried oily foods, animal fats
  • Adrenal fatigue (chronic stress exhausts the body)
  • Medications: e.g Antidepressants (SSRI's)
Pharmaceutical DHEA or Testosterone
A number of recent studies have demonstrated that most of the DHEA or androstenedione gets converted into oestrogens rather than testosterone once in the body. These oestrogens stimulate the mammary tissue causing the common side effect of breast development in men. However, once the hormones are stopped, it is not reversible. 

Naturopathic Treatments
Protein foods increase testosterone production so a diet high in good quality, lean protein is essential. Omega 3 oils found in cold water oily fish such as sardines, salmon, trout, mackerel, flaxseed oil, nuts and seeds are another building block of hormone production and ensure healthy sperm and prostate function. Zinc, magnesium and selenium along with other minerals are also important for testosterone production and to counter stress.

There are a few key herbs that have been shown in studies to increase testosterone and DHEA-S production in the body such as Korean Ginseng, Rhodiola and Withania. It is important to see a qualified herbalist to assess the best combination of herbs and the correct dosage for you. 

Erectile Dysfunction
Only 5-10% of erectile dysfunction is caused by low testosterone. More common causes are heart disease, diabetes, nerve damage, stress, side effects of drugs, exhaustion, circulatory problems. Basically being in good health and being relaxed ensures a strong libido and great performance!
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Floral Spring Delights!






I just spent the morning at the Flower Markets with Jane Lampe from Floreat Floral Design. An inspirational way to start the day and put a smile on your face for the whole day! It was definitely worth getting up at 4am, although I'm sure I'll be lagging in energy by 4pm this afternoon when I'll make myself a little herbal concotion and healthy energising snack to power me through the afternoon. 

Such a simple and relatively inexpensive way to lift your soul - a $10 bunch of flowers that will last 2 weeks will brighten your home, pervade every room with its magical perfume and even the hardest nut amongst cannot help but soften with joyous delight. The beauty and uniqueness of every flower is yet unmatched by our modern technology and the energy it creates and brings into your life is priceless. You may think they're a luxury you can't afford but try skipping your daily coffee and once in a while treat yourself - bringing the energy, radiance and exuberance of nature into your home and life again! 

Jane Lampe from Floreat Floral Designs does some amazingly creative and beautiful arrangements for weddings, events and functions at such competitive prices. I highly recommend her. Check out her facebook page http://on.fb.me/SGy9Bq
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Avocado Chocolate Mousse


It does sound strange but it tastes sensational and is healthy too! Quick, easy, guilt-free summer treat.
Courtesy of quirkycooking.blogspot.com.au


Ingredients:
  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • 150gm raw Cashews
  • 350gm Ice cubes
  • 35gm Cacao (or Cocoa)
  • 100gm Dates
  • 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste or essence
Blend raw cashews in food processor. Then add ice cubes and blend again. Scrape down sides of bowl and add vanilla, cacao powder and dates and reblend. Finally add the avocado flesh and blend. If it is not thick enough to stay formed into peaks, add another handful of ice cubes. Spoon into glasses and top with fresh raspberries, blueberries or strawberries and serve. Or freeze for later but if it is frozen solid, thaw before using - like heavenly healthy soft-serve ice cream!

  • Heart Health Avocados are high in healthy Omega 3 oils which decrease inflammation,  now recognised as the leading cause of heart disease.
  • Lower Cholesterol Avocados are also high in beta-sitosterol, a compound shown to lower cholesterol levels with research showing a 17% drop in cholesterol by including 1/2 avocado in your diet daily. Also high in fibre which binds on to the cholesterol to take it out of the body.
  • Fertile Ovaries & Pregnancy Half an avocado contains 144mcg of folate which is needed during pregnancy for the developing foetus as well as being rich in good oils and vitamin E to maintain youthful ovaries and eggs.
  • Eye Health High in carotenoid, Lutein, which protects against macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Prostate Balance These anti-inflammatory Omega 3 oils help reduce enlargement of the prostate or more commonly known as BPH, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy.
  • Youthful Skin Avocados are a rich source of Vitamin C which protects your skin from oxidative damage. Vitamin C is also needed to build collagen to keep your skin strong and elastic.
  • Cacao is the unprocessed form of cocoa which retains its high antioxidant benefits without the sugars. Available from health food stores - preferrable to cocoa. Be aware it contains caffeine so may keep you awake! As a treat, it is very healthy so long as you don't rely on it like other forms of caffeine which then end up pushing your adrenal glands, exhausting the body and upsetting hormonal balance. 
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Detox For Summer


Now is the perfect time to detoxify your body just like spring cleaning your house to help you feel refreshed and energised for the coming summer action!

Have you ever noticed that many people treat their CARS better than their bodies? They would never ignore a warning light for an oil change or regular maintenance, but they often ignore the tell-tale signs that their body is in desperate need of a tune up. An unfortunate fact of our modern life is that even the healthiest body struggles with inferior nutrition, pollutants in the air, water and food supply, and A lack of healthy activity. It’s no wonder that most of us don’t feel like the Formula One racing cars that we should!

Some Of The Body’s Warning Signs:
  • Do you feel less healthy and energetic than other people your age?
  • Do you struggle with your weight or fluid retention?
  • Do you have digestive disturbances (wind, bloating, flatulence, constipation, heartburn)?
  • Do you have dark circles under your eyes, post-nasal drip or hayfever symptoms?
  • Do you have bad breath or body odour?
  • Do you have sore, aching muscles or acne?
Detoxing at least once a year will help to keep you feeling and looking great!
  • Add Veggies to...Everything: Load up your meals with vegetables so there's less room for starchy grains and nutrient poor white flour products. At lunch, you can stuff a wrap with lettuce, rocket, tomato, grated carrot, sprouts, capsicum, avocado and bulk up your dinner meals with extra veggies thrown in. The rise in the incidence of asthma has been linked to diets low in fresh vegetables. We need a serve at every meal!
  • Start with Salad or Soup: Starting with a salad or soup can help you eat less over the course of meal, says researchers. It also ensures you get your 5 portions of colourful vegetables per day and is visually satisfying to think you can have 2 plates of food rather than only half a hamburger.
  • Juice It! Freshly squeezed juices flush your system with antioxidants and aid detoxification so rather than getting an afternoon coffee to pep you up, head for the juice bar. Carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger are particularly effective, while watermelon, pineapple and mint give a little summer zing.
  • Green Smoothies are all the rage! Rather than juicing, buy a blender & simply blend your green veges with water for a quick antioxidant-rich, filling snack in itself: kale leaves, spinach, half a cucumber, half a lemon, 1 green apple or a banana for taste: bon appetit!
  • Elixir of Life: Drink at least 2 litres of water every day, carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go, always keep a jug of fresh water on your desk or at home. Contrary to popular belief, the more water you drink, the less fluid retention you will hold. If exercising a lot, add a little salt to your water to replace your electrolytes.
  • Going Herbal: Make some iced herbal tea by adding ice cubes, slices of lemon/lime and a sprig of fresh herbs. Herbal teas can even be frozen into ice blocks for your children with added honey.
    Green tea and roasted dandelion coffee help the liver detoxify, while lemongrass and spearmint teas have a refreshing zing for summer.
  • Dessert Selection: Half a cup of natural yoghurt has fewer calories and improves digestion rather than half a cup of ice cream. Choose fruit such as pineapple or melon rather than cake or biscuits to fill up on fibre and water. 1 Tim Tam is equivalent to 2 cups of watermelon or 1.5 cups of pineapple! Avoid dried fruit which is high in sugar and sulfur preservatives: 1/4 cup of sultanas contains the same calories as 1 cup of grapes. Add a bag of apples or oranges to your weekly shopping list so you've always got some fruit on hand.
  • Glycaemic Index Load: If you eat a bowl of ice cream, your blood sugar level goes through the roof, but if you eat a bowl of white rice or white pasta and measure your blood sugar again, it will be exactly the same! So it's not just about the amount of sugar or fat content but how quickly foods breakdown to sugar and are absorbed. Another example is broccoli has 4% carbohydrate and strawberries have 5% carbohydrate, while white bread has 75% carbohydrate content. As a result, 1kg of strawberries is the equivalent of 1 slice of white bread. Always eat wholegrain breads or crackers, brown or basmati rice, try Quinoa for a nutritious change (cook just like rice but only 10 minutes!) and combine these with lots of vegetables and some protein to slow down your digestion and make you feel full faster so you don't overeat. 
  • Snack it! Everyone gets caught out on snacks but rather than be tempted by the quick fix of the biscuit jar or chocolate bar, keep a bag of almonds in your desk drawer, dip vege sticks rather than chips into humus or salsa, eat hard cheddar cheese rather than soft Brie or Camembert, head to the juice bar, keep a few hard boiled eggs in the fridge for emergency snacks or a quick breakfast with a piece of fruit on the way to work, keep some sachets of miso soup in your desk drawer, a fruit smoothie (with yoghurt rather than ice cream) is healthier than a milkshake or Cherry Ripe. By adding 1 commercial muffin to what you normally eat each day, you increase your "bad" trans fats by 2%, but your risk of a heart attack increases by 93%!
  • Dressing Up? Topping your salad with a creamy dressing will clog your system so keep it simple with extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil combined with apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice. 
  • Detox Your Mind: A good detox also includes some decluttering of your mind and your life to make space for the new to unfold. Take some time out for yourself to relax and rebuild your energy stores - there's plenty of summer parties ahead so you won't miss out! Consider what no longer serves you in your life....and let it go. Spend time doing what you love and are passionate about rather than wasting your time worrying about what everyone else is doing. Surround yourself with those people that genuinely care and bring out your best rather than simply boosting your ego.
There are no dress rehearsals and no one can play your life for you. This is your time to SHINE. Breathe in the life and beauty all around you - it's your own reflection shining back at you. Go for it!
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September is PCOS Awareness Month


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an increasingly common condition in women where cysts develop on the ovaries and ovulation is inhibited. 20-25% of women have PCO which only affects the ovaries, while 5-10% of women of reproductive age have PCOS which involves blood sugar irregularities, insulin resistance, thyroid, adrenal and the pituitary.

PCOS usually begins in puberty and worsens with time, although fortunately it is a benign disorder. PCOS is complex because it is so much affected by a woman’s emotions, thoughts, diet and personal history. Instead of producing eggs in the ovary and releasing them once a month, called ovulation, women with PCO/S produce eggs that do not mature properly but develop into multiple cysts on the ovaries. The woman’s body produces too many male hormones, known as androgens. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the most common hormonal problems for women and a risk factor for Type-2 Diabetes. Many women have PCOS for 20 or 30 years before they develop diabetes, and most don’t realise that their daughters and granddaughters are at high risk too. Between 50% and 70% of women with PCOS have high insulin levels, called Insulin Resistance.


Signs and symptoms include irregular or absence of menstrual periods, which is usually the 1st warning sign, infertility, excess body hair, obesity, underweight or history of eating disorders, acne around the jawline, chest and back, craving sugars and starchy carbohydrates such as white flour products, heightened stress, anxiety or performance pressure.


Diagnosis requires two of the following tests:

  • Hormone Blood Tests: The ratio of Lutenizing Hormone (LH) to Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is 2:1 or more. Oestrogen and Testosterone are high, while Progesterone and SHBG are low.
  • Internal Ultrasound Examination of the ovaries illustrating 10 or more cysts on the ovary. Ovaries are usually 10ml or more in size.
  • Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) with Insulin is elevated. According to Dr Warren Kidson, the leading endocrinologist on PCOS at the Prince of Wales and Sydney Children’s Hospitals, all women diagnosed with PCO/S should be screened for insulin resistance by a 1 + 2 hour oral GTT: Glucose Tolerance Test with Insulin. Measuring only fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin are not sufficient.  This will determine whether it is systemic and whether the woman has already developed Type 2 Diabetes.

Self-Healing
Dietary and lifestyle changes are essential for successful treatment of PCOS and for maintenance of the condition to prevent long term complications.
Eat 3 main meals with protein daily that stimulate your metabolism. If you skip meals, it slows your metabolism down and your blood sugars drop so that you crave a sugar or stimulant to bring them back up again quickly.

Reduce sugars, sweets, chocolate, soft drinks, fruit juices, cordials, alcohol, white bread and biscuits. Low glycaemic index foods are best, eg. whole grain bread, rolled oats, Basmati or brown rice, natural muesli, quinoa, fresh fruit.

Apple cider vinegar aids digestion and has been shown to improve blood sugar control in obesity and diabetes. Drink 1Tb in glass of warm water on rising.

Include some foods that contain phytoestrogens that help buffer against the stronger oestrogens in the body eg. 2 Tb of ground flaxseeds (flaxmeal) on your cereal or in smoothie, ¼  cup of alfalfa or sprouts, use mixed beans and legumes instead of grains, eat sunflower seeds, non-genetically modified soy products such as tofu, tempeh and miso. However, I do not advocate other Western invented soy products such as soy milk, soy sausages, soy protein powders, soy cheeses, etc

Thyroid: Check your thyroid (TSH<2 .5=".5" and="and" by="by" crushing="crushing" div="div" eat="eat" fry.="fry." iodine="iodine" levels.="levels." nori="nori" on="on" or="or" salad="salad" seaweed="seaweed" some="some" stir="stir" your="your">

Regular moderate exercise: minimum 4x week 45 minutes combination of aerobic and resistance is essential to control insulin levels and for stress management. 

Castor oil pack: Apply organic castor oil on lower abdomen with hot water bottle on top, ½ hour three times a week which is anti-inflammatory and helps you relax.

Adopt a lifestyle that balances work and relaxation, allowing some time to have fun, relax and have a good laugh! Consider a massage fortnightly, meditation, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, acupuncture, yoga, relaxing hot bath with lavender oil

• I specialise in treating women with PCOS and find that most women benefit from herbal medicines to rebalance their hormones and regulate their periods. Naturopathic treatment does not interfere with IVF treatment and increases fertility. 

• Using the work of Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, and the work of Vianna Stibal, ThetaHealing®, the emotional connections to PCOS are discussed to address any underlying emotional issues or creativity blocks so as to create healthy boundaries in all areas of your life. Claudette’s supportive approach makes this journey towards optimum health and balance rewarding and empowering. 





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Boost Your Baby Potential






7 Foods To Eat and 4 Things To Avoid To Increase Your Fertility

1. Flaxmeal Ground flaxseeds provide phytoestrogens which help balance hormones, are an excellent source of omega-3 oils and provide soluble fibre for your bowels. Buy an electric coffee and spice grinder for $30 from Kmart to freshly grind your flaxseeds every morning adding 1-2 Tb to your cereal or smoothie. If you want to pre-grind, keep in an airtight jar in the freezer to avoid rancidity.

2. Avocados Avocados are the perfect fertility food and even look like your uterus! They are high in vitamin E, which is essential for nourishing the reproductive system and acts as an antioxidant for your eggs, protecting them from damage or ageing. Half an avocado a day when in season is my fertility trick.

3. Oily Fish Sardines, trout, cod and salmon all contain omega-3 oils which are essential to hormone production as well as keeping your eggs supple and hydrated. These omega-3 oils also decrease inflammation, thereby helping implantation of the embryo into the uterus lining and decreases the risk of miscarriage that can be caused by an over active immune system. I tell my clients to include oily fish 3 times a week in your diet.

4. Broccoli Broccoli detoxifies environmental chemicals and pollutants that build up in the body and regulates excessive oestrogen, which is more common in women over 35.

5. Red Meat Iron is essential for energy, circulation and building the placenta in the first trimester. Protein is also the building block of hormones and helps control sugar cravings. I recommend 100g of lean red meat 3 times a week to my clients.

6. Dark Green Leafy Salads Leafy greens are full of folate, or folic acid, which is essential for cell replication throughout pregnancy as well as prior. They are also high in magnesium which is needed for muscle relaxation eg. uterine cramping and for blood sugar control. Eat like Popeye everyday so include plenty of spinach, rocket, baby spinach, mustard greens, endives, kale and bok choy in every meal.

7. Butter For lean or underweight women whose hormones are deficient, eating one teaspoon a day of organic butter provides healthy cholesterol which is the building block of hormones.

Any couple trying to conceive should avoid caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Caffeine decreases calcium and iron absorption by 39%, is related to hormonal imbalances and increased risk of miscarriage. Alcohol affects the level of oestrogen and progesterone, is associated with menstrual cycle changes and inhibition of ovulation. Studies indicate there is no safe threshold of alcohol consumption in pregnancy. Evidence also indicates that smoking reduces the chances of conceiving by 10% to 40% per cycle and causes about 5,000 miscarriages a year.

A healthy body is a fertile body so start making changes today!




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Spring Into Action - How to Set Your Libido on Fire!




Testosterone is the hormone that fuels our sexual desire. Although regarded predominantly as a male hormone, some testosterone is needed in women as well. Symptoms of deficiency can include low energy and a non-existent sex drive. However, low libido can be due to stress, over-work and exhaustion, dietary deficiencies, alcohol and drug use, self esteem issues, communication breakdown in relationship, hormonal imbalances, peri-menopause, or emotional or mental upset. I often remind patients that libido is a by-product of good health physically, emotionally and mentally.

Aphrodisiac Keys:

  • Zinc is crucial for sexual reproduction and hormonal production. A quick zinc taste test will show whether you are deficient and white specks on your fingernails is often a telltale sign. Zinc is obtained in pumpkin seeds (pepitas), meat and oysters as well as supplements if you are deficient.
  • Pump Iron - working out with weights increases your natural testosterone levels and libido in both men and women so start some resistance training. If you are underweight or overweight, this will negatively impact your sex drive and hormonal balance so aim for a healthy weight for your height and build.
  • Herbal Love Potions - Several herbs are renowned for boosting libido and testosterone, specifically Tribulus, Damiana, Withania and Saw palmetto. However, these should be prescribed by a qualified herbalist as they can cause hormonal imbalances if they are not appropriate for the individual.
  • Belly Laugh - Laughter reduces the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, and triggers the release of endorphins, our feel-good chemicals, which relieves muscular tension and stress, heals hurts and resentments and unites people. So to destress, reconnect and freshen up your relationship or simply put a smile on your face and that of your partner, try a double endorphin cocktail of shared laughter, fun and play together in and out of the bedroom!
  • Sex on the Mind - Your libido is in your most important sexual organ, the one between your ears (not your legs). The more you think about sex, read sexy books whether it be erotic stories, romance novels or sex articles, think sexy, dress up in sexy clothes that make you feel good, the more your brain becomes sexual and begins to want more.
  • Sensual Touch - the brain doesn't require orgasm as the most important factor to determine that sex feels good. Hormones such as oxytocin (called the "cuddle hormone") are released through sensual and sexual touch as well, not just through orgasm. If your partner is having trouble climaxing, the best way to enjoy sex is to take away the goal of orgasm. 
  • Healthy Diet - A healthy diet cannot be underestimated in sex drive and hormone production. Eat plenty of vegetables, salads, lean protein, omega 3 oils such as oily fish, avocado, walnuts, olive oil, nuts and seeds everyday. Avoid sugars, fried foods, fast food, caffeine and alcohol which deplete the body of vital nutrients. 

These natural health tips will get your mojo back into action but occasionally low libido can be a sign of other serious illnesses. If your libido is low for an extended period of time, or if you have other health concerns, see a health professional.

Remember you are the sex god or goddess!
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Sperm Busters & Boosters


A Danish study concluded that between 1938 and 1990 sperm concentration has fallen from 113 million per milliliter (ml) to 66 million per ml—a decrease of almost 50 percent in fifty years. Based on these statistics, male infertility is on the rise. Why is this? What can you do about it so you don't end up shooting blanks?

Avoiding known factors that damage sperm while increasing those that boost and protect sperm is the key to high numbers of good quality sperm long term. Male factors represent approximately 40% of the reason some couples have difficulty conceiving so it's time to do some homework men!

Natural treatments with diet and lifestyle changes, herbal medicines and nutritional supplements can make a dramatic improvement in sperm parameters. However, you need at least 3 months of targeted treatments for the beneficial effects to follow through as it takes 100 days to produce and mature sperm.

Sperm Busters:
  • Plastics disrupt hormonal balance by exerting an oestrogenic effect. Avoid using squishy plastic containers No. 5 or plastic cling wrap, especially for hot foods. Use a water bottle which says on it BPA-free (you can buy from Kathmandu or camping shops) or use a stainless steel bottle.
  • Mobile phones snuggled up close to your privates is not a good idea. Sperm are particularly vulnerable to radiation damage so try carrying it in your top pocket instead, place it on the corner of the desk rather than on your body when you can, and switch it off at night so you get at least 8 hours when your body is not being radiated by the mobile constantly picking up a signal.
  • Phytoestrogen foods Excessive intake of foods that naturally contain plant oestrogens will not help your testosterone-driven sperm production! The main ones are beer and soy. Be aware soy is now an additive in many processed and packaged foods so eat natural whole foods - the basics: vegetables, protein, salads, fruit, grains.
  • Medications such as anti-depressants, steroids such as Prednisolone and anabolic steroids actually decrease fertility so seek alternatives or avoid.
  • Hot is not sexy Cotton boxer shorts are better than briefs, stop crossing your legs and avoid heated car seats. Squashing the testes for long periods can harm nerves and impede blood flow so long hours of cycling on narrow bike seats has been shown to reduce male fertility. If you love cycling, keep it short and fast instead and try mixing it up with some other sports.
  • Toxins We are surrounded by chemicals in our environment nowadays from cleaning products, pest control, building materials, paints to heavy metals so try to avoid wherever possible by asking or doing some investigation yourself into alternatives, wear protective clothing, masks or ventilation, especially in the workplace. 
  • Stress Chronic stress exhausts your adrenal glands, reduces testosterone and causes inflammation in the body which damages sperm as well as all other body cells. Find an outlet for your stress whether it be exercise, meditation, nature, creativity but more importantly, change your thoughts and perspective on your life. Life is wonderful and you are great!
Sperm Boosters:
  • Zinc is the number 1 male fertility mineral. It is essential for all aspects of fertility (both male and female) from testes and prostate development, sperm count, motility and morphology to DNA replication for genetic material. Highest food sources include beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • Healthy Diet The healthier your diet, the better your fertility. Keep it simple with lots of fresh, unprocessed meals of vegetables, salads, protein, fruit, Omega 3 oils which provide all your nutrients and antioxidants. Start cutting out junk food, cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine and sugar.
  • The Good Oils These are oils with anti-inflammatory properties that make up the cell membranes of sperm, keeping them supple and fluid for fertilisation to occur: oily fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, nuts and seeds.
  • Be Cool As mentioned above, keep it cool, wear breathable cotton and avoid daily saunas and hot spas. 
  • Pump Your Muscles When you build muscle, you boost your testosterone levels so include some weight training or resistance training, rather than all cardio exercise - mix it up for benefits all round.
  • Think Sexy Your thoughts and emotions have an enormous impact on your testosterone levels. One study tested men before and after watching a football match, showing a rise in testosterone level after the game. You are the star of your own life - get out there and embrace it!
Whether you envision being a father now, in 10 years' time or you already have children, everything you do accumulates in the body to create your health. Start making changes today - your own health, the legacy of your future and health of your prospective child will thank you for it!
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The Pill - What All Women Should Know


The Pill is a convenient and effective contraceptive of synthetic, powerful hormones (various combinations of oestrogen and progesterone) used to override and suppress the body’s own production of these hormones. As a result, ovulation does not occur as the ovaries are suppressed and the eggs unused. These hormones are involved in cell replication, bone density and the body’s production of other hormones, such as DHEA and testosterone.

What many women don't know are the unwanted side effects of the Pill which are more common than women realise and become accumulative in nature as most women stay on the Pill for years at a time. These include:
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I advise all women taking the Pill to take a multivitamin each day but unfortunately the Pill actually affects how these are absorbed as well. Palan PR et al, American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2006 v194:e35-e38
Increased copper and vitamin A storage, so that there is a risk of toxicity from too much.
Increased risk of blood clots and high blood pressure: do not smoke whilst on the Pill!
Increased pigmentation of the skin, causing brown skin marks.
Decreased liver clearance ability, impairing liver function, causing a build up of toxicity in the body
Increased risks of reproductive cancers. Meta-analysis of case-control studies has found that use of oral contraceptive drugs is associated with an increased risk of premenopausal breast cancer, especially with use before first full-term pregnancy in parous women. Kahlenborn C, Modugno F, Potter DM et al. Mayo Clin Proc 2006; 81 (10): 1290-1302.
Reactivation of the body’s production of hormones upon cessation of the Pill may be delayed or dysfunctional, causing hormonal irregularity and imbalance as well as infertility
When used for purposes other than contraception, it does not correct the underlying causes of the hormonal dysfunction that will reemerge once the Pill is stopped.
Increased tendency to develop vaginal infections including candida.
Can trigger or exacerbate migraines and/or headaches.

Cautions to be aware of:
Antibiotics, anti-epileptics, anti-fungals, vomiting, severe diarrhoea decrease its effectiveness: additional contraceptive measures should be employed during this time!
Do not smoke whilst on the OCP as blood clotting is increased significantly by both the Pill and smoking. Spontaneous, fatal heart attacks and strokes of seemingly healthy women in their 20-30 years have been reported when using both drugs.

FemCap

A women's hormone-free, safe, effective and easy-to-use contraceptive that actually works! FemCap is a reusable, latex-free, FDA-approved contraceptive cervical cap. It’s easy to insert and remove yourself, not as bulky and more effective than a diaphragm and doesn’t need to be fitted by a gynaecologist. It’s not sold in Australia yet as our market here is so small but easily available with comprehensive notes & DVD by post.  www.femcap.com

Natural Contraception

Claudette also teaches Natural Contraception using temperature and cervical mucus charting together with your lunar dates. From her clinic, Claudette sells the Natural Fertility Management kits for both conception and contraception as well as helping women re-establish hormonal balance and regular cycles again after coming off the Pill, breastfeeding, around menopause and other hormonal conditions affecting the reproductive system such as PCOS, endometrisois, fibroids, period pain, fertility problems or a total absence of periods. http://www.claudettewadsworth.com.au/womenshealth/
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