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.

Snow Is Falling!

With many of you being keen skiers, I thought a few tips to have you carving up the mountain with a grin from ear to ear is in order! Many people go to the snow and come back falling apart, either having pushed it so hard their immune systems have caved in or their bodies couldn't keep pace with the mind and they spend the next 3-6 months in rehab with injuries. Let's avoid both these scenarios! We still want to have fun and make the most of the precious time in the mountains, but pace yourself and remember there are other people on the moutnain too.
  • Prepare your body to avoid injuries. Ideally you should training 2 months prior to make sure you are fit but also to have the muscle strength to protect your joints, especially your knees and ankles. It's never too late to start - work on the legs and buttocks!
  • While at the snow, eat lots! You need extra fuel when in the cold to keep you warm, especially when you are burning up 100s of calories in a matter of hours. One day's skiing is probably more exercise than you would do in a week. Think hearty stews, casseroles, soups, root vegetables. Eat lots of good quality fat which provides long-lasting energy and helps insulate you in the cold: coconut oil, full fat dairy, extra virgin olive oil, oily fish such as sardines, kippers, mackerel, salmon and trout, nuts and nut butters, avocado, some good quality chocolate.
  • Breakfast is the key when skiing. Having a bigger breakfast than you ordinarily would while at home, is crucial. It will kick start your metabolism to keep your energy levels running throughout the day and stops you craving sugar later so you can keep skiing longer. I usually have porridge and fruit, followed by 2 eggs and wholegrain toast!
  • Food on the slopes is expensive so take snacks which you can easily fit into the multitude of pockets in your ski jacket: nuts and dried fruit, nut balls, chocolate bars - there is a reason chocolate was created in the Alps, you need the fat, a little sugar with some cacao antioxidants thrown in (avoid white chocolate which is only sugar!). Perhaps take your own sandwiches if you want to avoid queuing up for lunch.
  • Try not to pump yourself full of caffeine on the long drive there and back as well as throughout the day. You will pay for it later once you are home! Take a good quality multivitamin with you to keep you boosted instead.
  • Drink water! Everyone forgets in the cold but remember you are working hard, losing fluid in sweat as well as the indoor heating drying out your skin.  Every time you stop for a break, grab a bottle of water or refill your own. If you're too cold, ask for a cup of hot water or herbal tea. 
  • Sunscreen is a must in the snow. The sun is much harsher up in the mountains, especially with the reflection off the snow. I use sunscreen plus zinc on top to protect my face. A heavy moisturiser is also essential once you come off the mountains for the day as the air is thinner and central heating is drying. Coconut oil works well as it is quite thick and is great for your skin.
  • A good quality Magnesium supplement helps replenish your msucles after working out all day, reduces cramps and replaces your electrolytes. Take each afternoon as soon as you come off the slopes and remember to stretch!
  • Avoid binge drinking. Being higher in altitude, alcohol will affect you faster. Try a herbal tea to warm you up and hydrate you first before heading onto the booze. Pack some tea bags to take with you. Not to say that isn't lovely to unwind after a day's skiing with a couple of glasses of wine over dinner, even better if you are sitting around a fire!
  • If you're having trouble with your circulation in the high altitude, Gingko biloba increases the peripheral circulation to the brain and extremities.
  • If you are skiing for a week or more, take a day off to rest or finish early before you become tired and accidents happen. There are always beautiful walks in the mountains, stretch out your body with a few laps in the local swimming pool, rejuvenate your muscles with a massage, or curl up by the fire with a good book. 
  • As thrilling as skiing is, it's also a dangerous sport. Wear a helmet - it keeps your head warm with air vents if it's a hot day and it also means you will come off the mountain alive! Helmets are all the rage overseas and are becoming increasingly common in Australia.
  • Breathe in the mountain air! Have fun, laugh and play - no need to prove you're the fastest or most radical skier on the slopes. Come home invigorated and smiling!


Bondi Barefoot 26th May

The "BONDIBarefoot" was first run in 2003 and has quickly developed into one of Australia's most unique running events. A soft sand run over 3 distances - 10km, 4km, and the Barefoot bolt. The event raises money for the North Bondi Surf Lifesaving club, which is a vital component of our community, helping to protect swimmers at Bondi Beach. This is a unique opportunity to run across Australia's most famous beach. It is a fun family day as well as a chance to get fit in the fresh air and sunshine, cheered on by all your friends and family. Whether you are slow or fast, there is a race that accommodates everyone.

Taking the Heat Out of Menopause

The mid-life changes of women are seen as synonymous with ageing. However, I like to view these transitional years as marking the beginning of the second half of a woman’s life, often a time of self-empowerment and certainly a natural process that can be a rewarding experience and a positive event in a woman’s life.

Hot flushes & sweating

These are due to the oestrogen decline, to Lutenizing hormone surges in response to the decline, and indirectly to exhausted adrenal glands that cannot adequately take over the role of hormone production from the ovaries.

Sage is a wonderful herb specifically for hot flushes. A popular home remedy is to chop 6 fresh sage leaves, soak them overnight in lemon juice, strain and drink the juice for 7 - 10 days. Two other beneficial herbs are Astragalus and Zizyphus which support the adrenal glands as well as vitamins C, B5 & B6 which nourish these glands.

Vaginal, skin and eye dryness

Black Cohosh is the herb that works best, and there have been a number of open and double-blind trials in Germany to verify its traditional use for alleviating these symptoms. Vitamin E is the most important vitamin for menopause and older women in general. Simply opening a vitamin E capsule and applying it locally to the vagina softens and lubricates the tissue.

Fluid retention

Both celery and parsley freshly squeezed in a daily vegetable juice work well. Or try dandelion leaf tea which is available at most health food stores. Although you are accumulating water, it is not getting into the cells so you need to drink more water to flush it through.

Depression & anxiety

St John’s wort (Hypericum) is widely used in Europe. It is prescribed by doctors in Germany and has been the subject of many scientific studies. It helps restore the integrity of the nervous system, calm anxiety, and is anti-depressant. However, it cannot be taken with heart medication, other anti-depressant drugs (SSRIs) or HIV medication.

Additionally, oats is specific for depression and anxiety as it nourishes the nervous system. Even having rolled oat porridge or muesli for breakfast will make a difference. Try a drop of lavender essential oil neat on your wrist for a calming and uplifting natural perfume.

Poor Memory/concentration

Gingko and rosemary both increase circulation to the brain and our extremities and are therefore great for memory as well as low libido. Pick a sprig of rosemary bush and place in hot water for an energising tea.

Lifestyle Recommendations

– Wear layers of light, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres that can be easily removed;
– Avoid overheating the body by extremely hot baths or saunas, hot chillis & spices, alcohol & coffee;
– Balance your weight so that you are neither underweight nor overweight;
– Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, massage, guided relaxation CD, aromatherapy;
– Moderate weight-bearing exercise maintains bone density (unfortunately this does not include swimming),  strengthens the heart and improves mood: aim for 1 hour 3 times a week, e.g. walking with hand weights, yoga, gym.

Vital questions to ask yourself during this perimenopausal time:

What is out of balance in my life to cause these symptoms?  How do I feel about going through menopause? Do I fear ageing or growing old? Do I feel I have no purpose or do I still have a career that I enjoy? Maybe my children have grown up and left. Or is it a time to revalue and reassess my life and see it as the beginning of a new stage filled with opportunities?

Certainly, it is a time that the body is producing new-found energy, perhaps only needing to be channelled into a new hobby or pursuit, rather than have it work against you. Often it is a time to put your needs and desires first. Maybe it is time to fulfil a dream or ambition that you haven’t previously had an opportunity to do, taking advantage of your years of life experiences and wisdom.


Birth of a NEW .... world, era, way, year

Today is supposedly the end of the world as we know it, according to the Mayan calendar. However as many people view it, it is simply letting go of outdated ways of living and the start of a new perspective of our own lives and the world around us. This is a time to walk your talk and positively contribute to the world you wish to live in. If you want peace, love and harmony in your life and in the world then it's about making it a reality in your own relationships now. It's about seeing every challenge as an opportunity and a time for you to step up and allow your passion and truth to be seen. None of us are living on an island, we are all interconnected globally so whatever you think, say or post will affect many people right around the globe. The way you live your life affects all of us - this is the magic of living.

This is the time to decide that you CAN live the life you dream of. You deserve to feel empowered, healthy, strong and inspired. Trust your gut feelings, embrace all that serves you and let go of anything that no longer does. The best way to create what you want is through joy, laughter, play and instinct. Whatever inspires you and gives you that zest for living is your most valuable source of motivation. Use this wave of inspiration to set new intentions and priorities, look to the future, decide to meet your full potential and then discover the best ways of living that out.

This can be achieved with simple goal setting techniques. We often create goals for our career and work but we forget or think it is unimportant to create goals for our personal lives as well. Setting goals gives you a clear focus for the year ahead. It also sets the intention in your mind and subconscious to find ways of creating this. On a bigger energetic level, it also sends a message to the Universe of what opportunities we want brought to us. Whatever we focus on, we create in life as we direct our energy towards it whether intentionally or not. Let’s use this universal power for manifesting the best in our lives.

Start to look at your goals in all areas of your life:

       1. Personal
       2. Family
       3. Hobbies/sport
       4. Financial
       5. Career
       6. Spiritual

Next is to actually write them down which helps you clarify and crystallize them as a real possibility in your life. Then write a specific time frame next to them that you would like to achieve these in the coming year. It may be easiest to break them up into categories of 3 months, 6 months, 12 months or end of 2013.

Allow your imagination to run wild - you are worthy of it all so have fun with it but be careful that you do indeed want what might well come your way!

Finally keep your list next to your bed and look over it briefly every morning or night, visualize these things coming into your life and what it will be/feel like. Keep the energy and picture alive—don’t just stuff it in a drawer never to be seen again. Make this year rewarding and fruitful for you!

Shine your light into the world!

Sensational Summer Smoothie

A banana smoothie with a difference! For a fast track breakfast or a healthy snack my sensational smoothie is packed full of energising nutrients to keep you firing well into the New Year. Bananas provide energy and magnesium which prevents muscle cramps. Healthy Omega 3 oils are found in the avocado, almonds, chia seeds and flaxmeal. Fibre in the almonds, chia seeds and flaxmeal will keep your bowels regular. Cinnamon controls your sugar cravings and increases circulation which keeps your brain alert. Antioxidants to prevent disease and ageing are packed full in the superfood chia seeds and the green leafy spinach. Believe it or not, this actually tastes delicious!

- 1 ripe banana
- 1/2 medium-sized avocado
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of almonds
- 1 tsp of chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 large leaf of spinach or silverbeet
- 1 Tb of flaxmeal or ground flaxseeds
- If you want more protein, add 1 scoop of a good quality whey protein or 1 cup of milk if you can tolerate dairy.


Fit Into Your Summer Bikini

Summer is just around the corner but shedding your extra winter weight can be easy with these healthy tips:

  • Get Moving! Regular exercise is essential - put it in your diary so it becomes a daily habit. Choose something you enjoy, that is close to home or work and arrange to meet a buddy so you won't talk yourself out of it.
  • KIS - Keep it simple with meals based on a protein e.g. fish, chicken, eggs, meat, beans and salad or vegetables e.g. wholegrain sandwich with roast beef, mustard, avocado and rocket.
  • Don't skip meals! Eating every 3 hours boosts your metabolism so you burn through calories faster and have higher energy levels.
  • Snack it - Keep a jar of nuts e.g. almonds and fresh fruit at your desk or carry with you so you don't get tempted by the biscuit jar or chips.
  • Late night dinners - If you arrive home late rather than having a quick fix like instant noodles or a microwaveable dinner, try having boiled eggs on toast or a tin of tuna/salmon with salad.
  • Healthy takeaway - When time has got the better of you, some healthy takeaway options are Thai stir fry, sushi, grilled fish from your local fish shop, BBQ chicken with salad.
  • Drink it - Drinking 2-3 L helps flush out toxins, keep your bowels moving and decreases hunger cravings. Green tea helps weight loss and to detox your liver - rather than a milky coffee!
  • Ordering out - Ask for rice or salad rather than chips or mash 
  • Get some shut eye - If you don't get enough sleep, you crave sugars for energy and you make poor decisions regarding your food choices. 7-8 hours sleep every night aids weight loss!
  • Hidden sugars - Sugar is highly addictive and it is in so many products nowadays e.g. cereals, muesli bars, flavoured yogurt so it's hard to avoid but eating excess sugars only contributes to weight gain and long term health problems. Throw out anything in your cupboards that has ingredients that your grandmother would not recognise and rather than eating packet products, eat fresh food.
If these tips are not working for you, consider seeing a qualified Naturopath such as myself to investigate other underlying causes e.g. underactive thyroid or insulin resistance.


Health Tips So You Perform Like An Olympian

1. Hydrate Hydration is the key to optimising your performance. The simplest advice is to drink enough water prior to exercise to avoid dehydration, but avoid over-drinking which can increase the risk of hyponatremia, not enough sodium or salt. But how much is enough? That depends on how much sweat you're losing, which you can gauge by stepping on a scale before and after a workout. If you lose more than 2% of your body weight (e.g. 1.4kg for 70kg runner) increase your fluid intake next time out. If you have gained any weight at all, cut back in future sessions. If you are a heavy sweater, or if you finish workouts with your skin and clothes caked with white residue, your diet should contain enough salt to replace those losses. Gatorade is popular but it is also full of artificial colouring and flavouring, making it not the best choice. Alternatively you can make your own electrolyte drink with 1 tsp of salt to a litre of diluted apple juice. Coconut water is also a natural and excellent source of electrolytes for re-hydration.  Ask yourself 3 questions each morning: 1) Am I thirsty? 2) Is my urine dark yellow? 3) Is my body weight down more than 2% from the dark before?

2. Fuel Your Body Proper is essential for optimum performance. Never skip meals when training as it slows your metabolism down and hinders your performance. Skip the sugars, lolly binges and junk food - many athletes believe they can eat anything because they will simply burn it off! However, unless you are exercising more than two hours, sugars will only lower your immune system, cause blood sugar spikes and pits, fatigue, mood swings and deplete you of minerals e.g. Magnesium. Every meal should have a portion of protein to help with muscle repair and recovery. Plan ahead - never leave the house without healthy snacks e.g fruit and nuts.

3. The 80/20 Rule Eat 80% of the time to nourish and fuel your body but we are all human, so it is alright to give yourself a treat once a week. Also by never getting hungry and never getting too full, you will allow your metabolism to work for you rather than against you. You lose weight faster and increase your energy by eating more often, rather than starving for hours and then overeating.

4. Timing Is Everything Your meal before a race should ideally be eaten two hours prior consisting of medium GI carbohydrates (not wholegrain as it is difficult to digest) e.g. nut spread on wholemeal toast with fruit. After exercising, you have a 20 minute window in which to replenish your muscle glycogen stores. Muscles that are not refueled can lead to a reduction in lean muscle mass. Most professional athletes will take the time to eat their meals, something the rest of us should follow to improve digestive and give the body a more accurate sense of feeling full. Avoid eating on the run - give yourself 20 minutes to sit and eat.

5. Banish The Gremlin In the weeks or months prior become aware of your negative self talk and practice refocusing your attention on your training. Visualise your race from your preparation prior, your warm up, your race plan and final outcome. Actually imagine and feel yourself in the race so that it becomes second nature to you, convincing the brain that this is exactly how you will perform. To keep your mind on track write some positive affirmations on your ultimate racing ability!

6. Rest And Repair If you are doing more than 1 hour of exercise a day, you will need to rest and sleep more than usual so listen to your body! Nominate a rest day each week when you do no exercise to allow your body to rest and repair and you will find that you perform better and faster for the rest of the week. Most people forget but stretching after you exercise when the muscles are warm helps reduce lactic acid, muscle soreness and stiffness. Deep breathing helps control stress and nerves, which athletes report improves cardiovascular endurance and less fatigue. Breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds and out for 6 seconds.

7. Grab Your Own Gold Medal Everyone has their own Olympic Games - no matter how small or big. The most important thing is not winning, but simply to take part. Just as the most important thing in life is not the goal in the end but the journey. So have a go and enjoy it! With a positive attitude, miracles can occur. Go for it!


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