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.

Join The Juice Trend


Summer is the perfect time to detoxify your body and cleanse your winter waste so you will be refreshed and energised for summer action! Out with trapped toxins, in with new nutrients. Commit to a pure diet and reap the benefits.

Most 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 like we should!

Freshly squeezed juices have become the newest health trend. Drinking freshly squeezed juice flushes your body with antioxidants and vitamins in an easily digested form. This takes a load off your digestive system and allows the body to heal and repair. Benefits of juicing range from luminous skin, enhanced energy, mental clarity, detoxification of stored toxins, modifying the body pH to a more alkaline state to combat diseases such as gout, arthritis, liver damage, gastric ulcers and more. In comparison, bottled juices have been pasteurised so they do not go off on the shelf, but this heat destroys the vitamin C and other nutrients, leaving you with only fruit sugar and water.

However, in today’s modern age, when you are still working, exercising and under stress, I feel it is too much strain on the body to do a juice detox for longer than a couple of days. An easy way to incorporate the antioxidant potential of juicing would be to elect one day a week of juices only, or drink one juice everyday. Otherwise make sure you have time to rest and relax during any detox.

The gold standard of juicing is cold pressed juices. These juices are made with a traditional centrifugal machine. As the name suggests, the fruit and vegetables are pressed rather than sliced by spinning blades, which can overheat and oxidise the juice. Pressed juices are thick with an intense and vibrant taste, retaining the maximum amount of nutrients possible as well as the enzymes to aid digestion. They are the powerhouse of essential minerals and antioxidants and it would be difficult to eat enough greens to get the same nutrient impact.

Botanica is a hand crafted cold pressed juice company with a big vision for improving the health vitality of Australians. Started by juice converts, Richard and Nadia, together with an ex-Fratelli Fresh chef and food microbiologist, the Sydney based Botanica's blends taste as incredible as they make you feel. 
Try the mean, green Turtle Power ( kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, green apple, lemon) to the sweet, creamy Nut Bar ( almonds, vanilla bean, agave, medjool dates, cinnamon, and filtered water). Botanica juices are made from nothing but organic or chemical-free fruit, vegetables and nuts, freshly pressed by hand. Now available in Harris Farm Bondi, their landmark store at 547 Bourke St, Surry Hills and delivered to your door or workplace www.botanicalife.com.au

Detox Tips
  • Rather than a morning coffee to pep you up, opt for a fresh juice instead. Carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger are particularly effective, while watermelon, pineapple and mint give a little summer zing. When the afternoon slump hits, rather than reaching for the biscuit jar, head to the juice bar for a healthy kick.
  • Green Smoothies are all the rage! Rather than juicing, buy a blender and 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 sea or Himalayan salt to your water to replace your electrolytes.
  • Summer Coolers: 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.
  • Going Herbal: Green tea and roasted dandelion coffee help the liver detoxify, while lemongrass and spearmint teas have a refreshing zing for summer.
  • 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.

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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End Of Year Revamp



With the end of the year fast approaching, many people including myself are starting to feel a bit tired and worn out from an eventful 2013. When feeling sluggish, eating poorly starts to creep in and it's hard to shed your extra winter weight. Here are some healthy tips to energise your body and help you fit into your summer bikini!
  • Get moving! Endorphins produced when exercising stimulates more energy and makes you feel good. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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%!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Late Night Dinners: If you arrive home late rather than having a quick fix like instant noodles or a microwaveable dinner, try having an omelette or a tin of salmon or sardines with a salad.
  • Healthy Takeaway: When time has got the better of you, some healthy takeaway options are Thai stir fry, brown rice sushi, Indian chicken tikka and dahl, grilled fish from your local fish shop, BBQ chicken with salad.
  • Ordering Out: Ask for rice or salad rather than chips or mash.
  • 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.
  • Sweet Tooth: 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.
  • 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.
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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Hair Rehab


With summer just around the corner it is a great time to rejuvenate your hair and give it a break from damaging hair styling tools such as straighteners and hair dryers. Try putting your hair in rehab and following some of these tips and homemade treatments.

  1. Always rinse hair after swimming especially in chlorine or salt water.
  2. Avoid brushing your hair when it is wet as it is more prone to breakage.
  3. Have regular trims/hair cuts at least every 6 weeks.
  4. Increase Omega 3 oils in your diet e.g. consume oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocado, olive oil, flaxseed oil and coconut oils.
  5. Slick your hair back into a pony tail or bun to protect it from the wind.
  6. Let your hair dry naturally occasionally to allow it to recover.
  7. If your hair is greying, it could due to zinc deficiency so try increasing foods high in zinc e.g pumpkin seeds.
  8. If you suffer from dandruff, it may be due to deficiency in selenium which is particularly low in Australian and New Zealand soil. Selenium is the active ingredient in Selsun Blue shampoo but alternatively take it as an oral supplement and increase Brazil nuts in your diet.
  9. Limit toxic hair colouring and streaks, check out Lily Jackson Hair and Makeup for some healthier solutions.
  10. Natural shampoo and conditioners that work well include Moogoo and Goldwell Dual Senses Green Range.
If you find you are losing your hair, it may be due to factors such as : stress, lack of quality sleep, hormonal imbalance e.g. high testosterone, poor diet or using colouring chemicals which strip your hair.  For more advice on how to manage these, come in for a consultation.

Try this homemade hair mask for damaged hair:

1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
1 Tb avocado oil
1 egg
¼ cup water
1 Tb honey
Blend all ingredients and apply onto hair, leaving it for 20-30 minutes. Wear a plastic shower cap or wrap hair in glad-wrap to allow your hair to fully absorb. This is great for itchy scalps or dandruff too!

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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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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Spring Baby


From nappy rash to changing sleep patterns and introduction of new foods, mothers with 6-12 month old babies often have to learn new strategies, just when they think they have the routine down pat.
Just like us, babies are individuals so I always encourage mothers to try a number of approachs to see what works best for their baby.

Sleeping Through The Night

  1. Learn tired signs – None of us like being kept awake when we are craving sleep, so rather than waiting until your baby is ‘past it’, put her/him to bed as soon as they show sleepy signs, such as losing interest in people and toys. If you miss this window of opportunity, your baby is likely to become grumpy and find it difficult to settle.
  2. Introduce bedtime rituals – Bedtime routines can become cues that help babies wind down and become conditioned to fall asleep, e.g. a warm relaxation bath (in an adult bathtub) just before bedtime.
  3. A magic touch – Silent nights could be at your fingertips: Research from Miami University showed that babies and toddlers who were massaged daily for one month, for 15 minutes prior to bedtime, fell asleep more easily by the end of the study.
  4. Cut caffeine – If you are breastfeeding, caffeine can create a vicious circle: You drink coffee (or tea or cola) to give you a hit, baby gets a boost of stimulant through your milk-and becomes restless.
  5. Leave her a little bit of Mum – It’s not exactly a substitute for you, but if you slip your own soft, unwashed tee-shirt over baby’s mattress, she/he will be comforted by your familiar smell as they sleep.
  6. If your baby wakes at 5am – check they are not too cold by dressing him/her in another layer of clothing and you may find he/she now sleep all the way through until 7am! (4 – 5 o’clock are the coldest pre-dawn hours.)
Craving For Food

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age but most mothers introduce solids when their baby reaches for their dinner! So long as it has been blended or pureed, generally babies can eat a variety of foods. If there is a history of allergies in the family eg. asthma, eczema, hayfever or food reactions, eg. coeliac, or lactose intolerance it more important than ever to delay the introduction of foods that commonly cause allergies until 12 months of age. These include wheat, cows milk, seafood/shellfish, egg whites, corn, chocolate, peanuts/peanut butter, oranges/OJ, strawberries/kiwi fruit, nuts, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum, soy products/milk/tofu, dried fruit, sultanas, Vegemite, ham, bacon, fruit juice, cordial, margarine. Breastfeeding up to 12 months of age, which is recommended by the World Health Organisation, has been shown to give the baby some protection against developing allergies. If allergies persist or it is becoming too difficult, come in for a consultation as I have lots of effective remedies and dietary suggestions.

Nappy Rash
Most parents spend hours researching the best pram or cot but few do any research at all about nappies and yet it is the most used piece of baby equipment in the household. It is also the closest thing to your baby’s skin all day and night for years. Chemicals from the nappy itself, especially disposable nappies and nappy liners, contain a cocktail of gels that absorb the wee and poo as well as containing bleaches, dyes, plastics, dioxins and synthetic materials. Cotton is also one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world with residues still found on cotton clothing. As a result, organic cotton nappies are becoming highly sought after. Detergents, soaps, skin creams and fragranced, alcoholic wipes can irritate the skin, especially if there is a family history of skin allergies such as eczema.
  • Keeping nappy area dry is crucial so change nappies often and if using pre-moistened baby wipes which leave the skin wet, causing extra friction, pat dry with a tissue.
  • Let your baby play or lie in the early morning sun with its nappy off for sunshine and fresh air.
  • Nappy rash can be caused an acidic diet which produces acidic urine. Wheat is the most common allergen of all grains and is very difficult for babies' under-developed digestive systems. Avoid wheat until 12 months of age.
  • Use environmentally friendly, skin sensitive washing powder.
  • If using formula, add 1/4 teaspoon of baby probiotic powder such as lactobacillus to improve digestion.
  • Once the skin is open and raw, it usually becomes infected. I recommend a Calendula cream. 
For more recommendations and remedies I would love to meet your baby in my clinic!

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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Energising Bliss Balls



These nutritious snack-sized treats will keep you bouncing with energy. Make a whole batch to keep in the fridge or freezer and take a couple to work or carry in your bag for a snack. These balls are full of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 oils, phytoestrogens from flaxmeal to balance your hormones, iron-rich dried apricots and almond protein to keep your blood sugars stable and satisfy your hunger! I use Australian dried apricots because they have a higher iron content than the sweet, yellow Turkish apricots.

Ingredients:
1 cup Australian dried apricots
1 cup organic raw almonds
1 Tb flaxmeal ( ground linseeds )
2 Tb tahini
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of sea salt
Organic dessicated coconut for rolling

Method:
1. Soak dried apricots in water for 20 minutes and drain.
2. Blend apricots and almonds for 30 seconds untill almods are finely chopped.
3. Mix all ingredients together.
4. With wet hands, shape the mixture into balls and roll in dessicated coconut.
5. Store in fridge or freezer and let the bliss begin!
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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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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!


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Lamb Shoulder with Lentil Salad and Steamed Fennel






A hearty winters meal to warm the body and soul.

Lamb Ingredients:
  • 1 lamb shoulder
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
Preheat oven to 250C. Cut sweet potato into 3cm slices, leaving the skin on and coating with coconut oil. Slice open flap of lamb shoulder, smear with coconut oil and fry in a hot pan with whole garlic cloves for 30 seconds on 1 side only. Sprinkle with rosemary, thyme and salt and place the sweet potato around the lamb.  Bake for 10 minutes at 250C, then reduce heat to 180C and cook for 1-1.5 hours depending on size. Alternatively you can use your crockpot and slow cook the lamb shoulder by adding two cups of water or stock and cooking for 6-8 hours.

Lentil Salad Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of brown cooked lentils
  • 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tb extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 handful of chopped coriander
  • 1 Tb of thinly sliced spanish onion
Mix all ingredients together and let them sit to absorb the flavours before serving.

Steamed Fennel:
  • 4 whole fennels
  • 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
Slice whole fennels in half and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Steam or barbecue for 10 minutes or until soft throughout middle.

Serve sliced roast lamb, roast sweet potatoes, lentil salad and steamed or barbecued fennel. 

Enjoy your winter roast!







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Is Heartburn Causing You Heartache?




Reflux is commonly known as heartburn as it strikes in the chest and can feel frighteningly like a heart attack. Symptoms of acid reflux may include laryngitis, hoarseness, sensation of a lump in the throat, post-nasal drip, chronic throat clearing, excessive throat mucous, sore throat, cough, spasm of the throat and/or throat pain. The issue is not with an excess of stomach acid, although it may feel that way, but with a defect in the closing of the oesophageal sphincter that separates the stomach from the oesophagus.

Several foods trigger reflux, including alcohol, chocolate, coffee, spicy foods, tomatoes, capsicums, carbonated drinks (soft drinks), junk food and citrus fruits. Not all of these foods will cause symptoms. Become acquainted with your triggers and avoid them.

Tips to reduce the onset of heartburn:

Leave 3 hours between eating and bedtime so you do not go to bed on a full stomach.
Avoid coughing and throat clearing: swallow or sip water instead.
Elevate the head of your bed with a telephone book or brick.
Avoid tight clothing, overeating and excess weight.
Chew your food well and eat slowly
Lose weight if you are overweight.
• Limit any water immediately prior or during a meal as it dilutes your digestive enzymes.

How to heal your heartburn:
•      Eat soft foods only for 2 days to heal the oesophagus (and lining of the digestive system) from any prior damage that may have been caused by excessive acid in the past. No nuts, crackers, toast, popcorn, biscuits, breakfast cereals, hard crunchy salads/fruit. Eat soft, lightly cooked foods eg. rolled oat porridge, eggs, soups, stews, casseroles, steamed veges, cooked rice, soft fruits, mashed potatoes, yoghurt, bread.
Drink 1 Tsp – 1 Tb apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water before meals which will help rebalance the acidity and improve digestion.
Slippery elm is a soothing demulcent powder that prevents stomach acid from resurfacing. 1-2 tsp in a glass of water after every meal allows your oesophagus to heal.
If you don't like slippery elm powder you can use raw honey instead. Having 1 tsp any time you feel discomfort or pain as well as before bed soothes and heals the oesophagus.
If on the run, carry a Red Delicious Apple with you. These apples contain a chemical which is a natural antacid.

For my patients, I prescribe herbal medicines or nutritional supplements that coat and heal the gut lining and rebalance your digestion and stomach pH. These are individually prescribed depending on the cause, such as that old friend, stress.


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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.

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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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BBQ Fish With Fresh Summer Salad



Ingredients:
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • chopped avocado
  • 8 pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 handful of flat leaf parsley leaves chopped
  • thinly sliced fennel
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4x180g Australian Barramundi or Blue Eye Cod fish fillets
  • 2 Tbs olive oil, for cooking
Tip: Where possible try to source locally fished seafood e.g. Australian Barramundi rather than imported Vietnamese. Your fishmonger should be able to recommend alternatives too.

Method: 

Salsa:
  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters and discard the seeds
  • Finely dice the tomato flesh and fennel and place in a bowl
  • Add the olives, parsley and chopped avocado, then add the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and season with freshly ground black pepper
Fish:
  • Preheat the barbecue hotplate to high or heat a large frying pan over high heat
  • Brush the fish with olive oil and cook for a few minutes each side, depending on the thickness
  • Serve with the salsa
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Children's Book Launch by Annabelle Wadsworth


The first two books in the Mrs Twinkle Series (for ages 3 to 7 year olds) have just been launched by my mother, Annabelle Wadsworth. “Mrs Twinkle” bridges the gap between picture books and young adult fiction. The imaginative stories follow a star and a boy as they travel throughout the world discovering animals, habitat, our heritage and relationships. Both author and illustrator, Annabelle has also subtly addressed possible solutions for low self esteem through positive reinforcement. Zoom through the air with Mrs Twinkle! www.mrstwinkle.com.au

Monday 25th February at 10.30am come join Annabelle for a reading at Woollahra Library

E-book available from:  
https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/mrs-twinkle-meets-simon-for/id585438988

Books available from:
www.littlesteps.com.au

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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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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!
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Pure Beauty: Cosmopolitan Pregnancy Magazine, Dec 2012


Cosmopolitan Pregnancy Magazine is in the know about natural beauty. Check out stands for the December issue of Cosmopolitan Pregnancy Magazine that interviews me for my advice on chemical-free beauty and skincare products in both pregnancy and for babies.





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Summer Party Health Tips




Summer has arrived and with it the festive season. Here are some tips to still enjoy the summer parties while keeping those Christmas kilos at bay.
  • Hydrate: Make sure you are well hydrated by drinking a bottle of water before you go out. The more water you drink, the less fluid retention you will hold. 
  • Booze: Tis the party season but that doesn’t give us a licence to go overboard with alcohol! Try and eat before you drink and have a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage. Try lower alcohol drinks such as Pimms and fruit punches for hot afternoons or for a more refreshing thirst quencher try vodka and cranberry juice. Avoid cocktails which are high in sugar and calories. Have a night off the alcohol and be the designated driver.
  • St Mary's Thistle: This is the best herb to take during the party season to protect your liver and help it detoxify. 
  • Detox Herbal Teas: Green tea and roasted dandelion coffee help the liver detoxify, while lemongrass and spearmint teas have a refreshing zing for summer. 
  • Summer Iced Teas: Make some iced herbal tea by adding ice cubes, slices of fresh fruit e.g strawberries, apple, orange and a sprig of fresh herbs. Herbal teas can even be frozen into ice blocks for your children with added honey.
  • Energizing Juices: Freshly squeezed juices flush your system with antioxidants and aid detoxification. Carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger are particularly effective, while pineapple and mint give a little summer zing.
  • Summer Salads: Surrounded by the abundance of tropical summer fruits, it’s easy to forget your greens but these cannot be replaced so make the most of the bountiful salad season with lots of rocket, baby spinach, or try some of the many varied coloured and curled lettuces.
  • Unclog: Keep your bowel regular so the toxins can be removed from the body. Try prunes, psyllium husks, lemon in warm water on rising, consider colonic irrigation.
  • Metabolism Booster: Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system which encourages toxins to move out of the body. It also pumps more oxygen to the cells and the brain as well as speeds up your metabolism so you burn your fat faster. Try and exercise at least every second day after which your metabolism begins to slow again.
  • Electrolytes: If you are exercising heavily, choose a good quality electrolyte drink with added magnesium to help you reabsorb your fluids, preferably without artificial sweeteners.
  • Dinner Parties: When preparing dinner, use fresh vegetables steamed or in a delicious salad, complemented by lightly grilled or barbequed fish, seafood or chicken.Wholegrain sourdough bread on the table is much better than white, and with a lower GI too. Avoid too many dairy foods which clog up your digestive system such as cheese, cream, ice-cream and chocolate.
  • Plan Ahead: Eat a small meal before going to a party. The misconception that "if I skip dinner I can eat everything in sight" can lead to too many calories consumed. Often these party snacks produce bloating and lack nutritional value.
  • Socialising: When arranging to meet friends, organise activities that don’t revolve around alcohol, such as a picnic in the park followed by a game of boules or cricket, or a swim or surf at the beach.
  • Recharge: Get a good night’s sleep. Too many late nights take their toll on the body, resulting in post party overeating. Try to alternate a late night with an early one to maintain energy levels.

And remember...It’s not what happens between Christmas and New Year that’s important as what happens between New Year and Christmas!!






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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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From Acne To Clear Glowing Skin


Many women and adults develop acne in their teenage years and sometimes it continues into later life. It is important to address so that it does not diminish self-esteem. Acne is not caused by ‘dirty” skin, poor hygiene or oily hair on the face. It is a symptom of an underlying hormonal imbalance of increased androgens (male hormones) together with enlargening of the pores in the skin, sebum overproduction, bacterial infection in the skin and consequent inflammation and oxidative stress. However, some people have hormonal imbalances but do not develop acne, while someone with acne will often have normal androgen levels in their blood tests. It is thought that these people have increased sensitivity to androgens or that the androgens are converted into stronger, more potent hormones in the hair follicle producing a localized effect only which does not show in the blood. These localized increased androgens cause increased sebum production and acne. This is related particularly to acne occurring around the jawline, chest and back as opposed to the T zone of the forehead and cheeks which relates more to internal body toxicity.


Diet Tips:

Eat lots of vegetables, salads and fresh fruit everyday: 5 serves/day – the more colour the better: carrots and pumpkin (high in betacarotene); lots of dark green leafy eg. rocket, baby spinach, broccoli. Fresh vegetable juices eg. carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger are a wonderful way to cleanse and heal the skin.

Avoid sugars, sweets, chocolate, soft drink, fruit juice, cordial and alcohol which imbalances your blood sugar level causing insulin resistance and bacteria in your skin bread off the sugar.

Avoid constipation by increasing water intake to 2 litres per day at room temperature (not iced), regular exercise, prunes, psyllium husks: 1Tb in water on rising. Try colonic irrigation.

Squeeze ½ lemon in glass of warm water upon rising to aid liver detoxification and hydration

Reduce dairy as it raises Insulin-Like Growth Factor causing acne and clogs your lymphatics around your jawline and face, especially milk, ice cream, cheese. Make sure you have adequate calcium though – tinned fish with the bones, nuts, seaweeds, miso soup.

Avoid coffee, cigarettes or drugs as they stimulate the stress hormones which raise androgen levels and your blood sugars and insulin as well as providing thousands of toxic chemicals.

Protein in all your meals: controls your blood sugars by slowing down the absorption of sugars, stimulates your metabolism, decreases hunger and sugar cravings as well as aids liver detoxification of hormones: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Avoid synthetic hormones: only eat organic or hormone-free chicken and eggs, although ideally all food organic.

Herbal teas: Roasted dandelion root is a coffee alternative & aids detoxification of the liver and bowel. Excellent mix is nettle leaf, red clover, burdock, dandelion root(unroasted) and calendula: 1 tsp of each: 2-3 cups per day. If stressed add chamomile, passionflower or lavender.

•     Herbal medicines that help clear acne include Echinacea, Calendula, Burdock, Dandelion Root and Chaste Tree for women if the acne is hormonal.

•    Nutritional supplements that help heal acne include Zinc, Vitamins A, C and D.

Lifestyle Tips

Antibacterial face washers containing tea tree oil helps clear an infection. Avoid make up and heavy creams which block the pores and always remove makeup before going to bed. Facials with a qualified beautician help remove the blackheads before they become infected and to release the infection in cystic acne. If infection is severe, use benzoic peroxide 5% cream on the pimples only. Calendula and vitamin E cream or rose hip oil, lemongrass, carrot oils are very healing and reduce scarring once the infection is under control. Try Moo Goo products www.moogoo.com.au

•       Do not squeeze or pick at pimples, as the germs on your hands further infect the area and it is more likely to scar. Use natural makeup and skin care products and wash makeup brushes regularly and dry in the sun.

Reduce stress. 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 epsom salt baths with rose and lavender oils.

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

Balance your weight. If you are underweight, you will need to increase it to boost your oestrogen levels. If you are overweight, your body stores many toxins and chemicals in your fatty tissues so you will need to lose some, even 5% which is usually only 3-5kg.

Sunlight and salt water are very anti-microbial and healing for the skin.



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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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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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Travel Bug Bites!


By the time you read this I'll be on a plane headed to the glorious mountains of Colorado. Since I've had more than my fair share of travel in many exotic and off-the-beaten-track destinations, friends often ask me for travel advice so I thought I'd share a few personal tips I've collected over the years since I started backpacking at the age of 21.

Firstly, I always do my homework reading up on my destination, even if it's last minute on the plane - got to wile away those hours! Even if plans go out the window, which is actually the best part of travelling - not having to be tied to a timetable of terribly important commitments and appointments - you will have an idea of what you want to include or perhaps best to avoid so you don't walk into a cute grizzly bear and her cubs.

Secondly, try and pack as light as possible. Now I actually find this exceedingly difficult as I'm such a be-prepared-for-anything girl but I've honed my skills down over the years and it is always so much more enjoyable if you're not lugging a heavy suitcase around and then you have room for those spontaneous shopping treats. Wear your heavy shoes and jacket onto the plane to lighten your luggage.

Quick packing tips:
  • Pack breathable, natural fibres that you can re-wear without washing if necessary and not smell like a homeless beggar and which don't crease as much, such as wool and silk, or at least cotton.
  • Roll all your clothes when packing as they will unpack without so many creases so you can avoid ironing, given you are on holiday, and they take up less space this way so you can fit more into your bag. Stuff your undies, socks and t shirts into your shoes or corners of the bag.
  • Being a Naturopath, there's always a stack of vitamins I want to take with me so count out exactly how many you want of each for the trip and put into zip lock bags or a plastic pill box. The same goes for medications and anything that needs refrigeration wrap in aluminium foil to keep it as cool as possible. 
  • I hate plastic bags as they will finally breakdown well after I'm dead but I must concede they are perfect for travelling. They help organise your bag into sections, keep dirty clothes well away from clean, stops your moisturiser leaking all over your clothes - very important!
  • Depending on the weather, I always pack a sarong which can double as a towel, a scarf or a skirt. If I'm travelling into winter, I take a wool pashmina which you can wrap around your kidneys to keep warm, use as a scarf, an extra blanket, to lay over your legs on planes or trains, bundle up as a pillow, to brighten and smarten up your travelling clothes. Take it in your hand luggage onto the plane as the temperature is usually freezing I find, along with a thick pair of socks for once you kick off your shoes. 
  • Always pack one easy, throw-on, evening or party dress - you never know when or where you might end up! Silk is best as any creases smooth out when you hang it out in a hot steamy bathroom while you shower. You don't need to take jewellery or accessories to go with it - your natural, beauty and holiday exuberance will be the perfect match. You also don't want to be travelling with expensive or favourite jewellery pieces anyway as the potential for being lost or stolen is always higher when travelling as well as being a magnet for thieves.
  • Minimal is the key with your beauty products, ladies! Try Jojoba oil which is the closest oil to our natural skin oils which you can use for cleansing, face cream and body cream. I also drop into department stores and ask for “testers” of my favourite products, shampoo etc
  • Buy a pair of walking/running/gym shoes that are presentable enough as a day shoe as well. 
  • Tie a coloured ribbon onto your suitcase/backpack so then you can easily identify your bag as it rolls out amongst the multitude of identical bags so you can get through customs faster. It also adds character to your bag and cheers your spirit after a 12+ hour flight.
  • As soon as I'm off the plane, I try and go for a swim as soon as possible or at least have a bath or shower as the water (salt water preferrably) helps take the radiation and vibration out of the body which my travel expert mother has always taught me. Try it - it really makes a difference!
Naturopath's Travel Chest:
  • Temperature-stable (so it doesn't need refrigeration) Probiotic (good bacteria) with Lactoferrin and SB (Saccharomyces boulardii) - this is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, aids in relief of travellers' diarrhoea, supports your gut health while travelling.
  • The most common complaint of travelling is constipation - different foods, new environments, sitting for hours on planes and in airports all take its toll! Keep walking wherever you can - up and down airport corridors while waiting for the next flight - to keep it all moving along and good for your circulation, drink heaps of water (3L a day to compensate for planes and hotel air conditioning) and take your own on planes when you can. I always travel with a pack of prunes - soak 2 overnight in a glass of water and eat it all first thing in the morning. If you know your system really shuts down, then go for a stronger herbal tablet. I also carry roasted dandelion teabags which help.
  • Echinacea tablets - keeps your immune system boosted, prevents colds and flus, if you get any infection, infected cut, 'flu or gastro, you can triple the dose safely and usually knock it on the head quickly. 
  • Good multivitamin as often your diet can be rather haphazard when travelling so it helps keep your energy levels high, especially if you are on the go, packing in as much as you can like me!
  • Chia seeds - light and highly nutritious, especially high in omega 3 oils which are more difficult to obtain when travelling as well as extra fibre for your bowels - pour into a zip lock bag and you only need 1 tsp per day.
  • Ear plugs and eye mask - you may feel ridiculous but you'll look better than anyone else when you walk off that plane. Planes are an excellent place for meditation as well and I always take a relaxation/visualisation track to drown out the noise when everything around me is too distracting. 
  • Rose essential oil - it comes in a small 12ml bottle which you can slip into your handbag. I use it as perfume as commercial perfumes are a toxic chemical concoction that defies rationality! Since it is only 5% in jojoba oil you can use neat on your skin to calm irritations, on acne breakouts, quietens the nerves and is the ultimate female oil to bring out your inner goddess.
  • Chamomile tea bags - my favourite to calm the mind and body, use as an eye wash or to relieve inflamed skin and calms the digestion after eating unusual foods often at irregular travel hours.
  • Almonds - helps you avoid awful airport food which is simply sugary and oily trans fats.
Bon voyage!
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Should I Or My Children Have The HPV Immunisation?

Following on from yesterday's blog about the dreaded, but ever so important Pap smear, I thought it apt to share some of the research evidence that has come to light about the new HPV vaccine, Gardasil.

Australia is the first country in the world to administer the HPV immunization initiative. Gardasil is a genetically engineered vaccine given free to all girls aged 12-17 years and as announced recently, to boys aged 12-13 years from 2013 in Australia. It contains only 4 types out of the 100 strains of HPV, so it does not prevent infection from all strains. Gardasil has been shown in studies to reduce the incidence of CIN II precursor lesions but, as has been raised by many doctors, it is unlikely to reduce the level of cancer. It is well known that a healthy immune system naturally clears any HPV infection within 2 years anyway and Pap smears are still necessary every two years, despite vaccination. 

Federal Health Minister Tanya Pilbersek has stated "We know that it's a safe vaccine". However, according to information obtained by Channel 7 under a Freedom of Information claim, 681 reactions to Gardasil were reported to ADRAC (the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee) as of January 30, 2008 with more than a third of these women not recovered after 6 months. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports "It is important to emphasise that the vaccine is supported by limited efficacy and safety data".

The Health Minister, Tanya Pilbersek has stated that all vaccines in Australia undergo stringent testing by experts. Unfortunately, according to our own TGA (the Therapeutic Goods Administration), vaccines are not tested in Australia for either safety or effectiveness. Gardasil's pre-licensure tests were performed overseas and were funded by the manufacturer of the drug. During this testing, 17 deaths were reported and a very large number of reactions (more than 90% of those tested reported at least one systemic reaction). Despite this, the vaccine is registered for use in Australia.

On 12 January 2012 the Annals of Medicine published a ground-breaking peer-reviewed paper written by renowned researchers Tomljenovic, PhD, and Shaw, PhD from University of British Columbia, Canada, citing that the HPV vaccine is neither justified by long-term health benefits (what, if any, is yet to be proven), economically viable, nor is there any evidence (even if it is proven effective against cervical cancer) that it will reduce the level of cervical cancer beyond what Pap screening has already achieved.

Long term effects of the vaccine are unknown but there have been reports of autoimmune diseases including arthritis and multiple sclerosis. The list of serious adverse reactions to the vaccine as detailed by The Financial Times and the Sunday Telegraph (06/07/2008) include fever, hyperventilation, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, tinnitus, tremors, tingling, paralysis, Bells Palsy, Guillian-Barre Syndrome, blood clotting, chronic fatigue syndrome, deep vein thrombosis, seizures and deaths.

Four Melbourne school girls were rushed to hospital after receiving the vaccine in 2007. India halted trials of the vaccine in 2008 due to a number of deaths of the women involved. The European Medicines Agency reports 16 deaths of women after being given the vaccine in Austria and Germany. In the USA the numbers are increasing every year. The causes of death include blood clots, acute respiratory distress, cardiac arrest and "sudden death due to unknown cause", which are obviously uncommon for teenagers! The vaccines must not be given during pregnancy as it causes spontaneous abortion and foetal abnormalities.

There is also concern it will encourage young women to have unprotected sexual intercourse at a younger age without concern of HPV infection, which is untrue as only 4 types of HPV are covered. The vaccine also contains aluminium as an adjuvant which is a toxic heavy metal for the nervous system. 

Considering the above evidence, I do not recommend the Gardasil vaccine to be given to anyone regardless of age or gender.


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Why do I need to have Pap Smears?

Pap Smears test for cervical dysplasia, which is an abnormal growth of the epithelial cells of the cervix. If left undiagnosed and untreated, then it can eventually progress to cervical cancer.

However, cervical cancer is a largely preventable and curable disease as it slowly progresses through recognisable stages. As there are no signs or symptoms of cervical dysplasia, regular Pap Smears every 2 years until 70 years of age is essential for all women who have been sexually active at any stage in their lives.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is now regonised as the most important causative agent in cervical cancer. It is the most commonly acquired sexually transmitted infection in young, sexually active women spread via skin contact through vaginal, anal and oral sex, with condoms providing only limited protection. There are over 100 genotypes of HPV but not all of them cause cancerous cell changes. HPV types 6 and 11 commonly cause benign lesions such as genital warts which do not turn into cancer, while types 16 and 18 are most commonly found in cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. However, in 90% of cases, the immune system naturally clears the HPV infection within 2 years.

Risk Factors

  • Compromised Immune System: A healthy immune function is necessary to clear HPV infection and prevent recurrence. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with cervical dysplasia and cancer and is essential for proper immune function. Food sources includes cod liver oil, butter, sardines, mackerel and milk. Have a walk in the sunshine everyday for 15 minutes.
  • Smoking is an independent risk factor for cervical cancer, so do your body a favour and quit!
  • Oral Contraceptive Pill: Long term use of the Pill increases risk of cervical cancer. This may be due to the high synthetic oestrogen levels or reduced nutrient absorption, especially B vitamins, Discontinued use 10 years or more returns risk to women who have never used it. Women who are taking the Pill should take a good quality multivitamin.
  • Sexual Activity and STIs: First intercourse at an early age and sexual promiscuity is associated with increased cervical dysplasia. Infection with other STIs such as Chlamydia, Herpes and HIV play a role as well. Make sure you get checked by your doctor.
  • Increased Oestrogens: HPV together with increased levels of 16a-hydroxyestrone increase the risk of cervical dysplasia and cancer. Balancing oestrogen and progestrone levels as well as clearing excess oestrogens via the liver and bowel is essential. Avoid alcohol and drugs, detoxify your liver, avoid constipation and improve your digestion. Herbal medicines help address any hormonal imbalance, so seek a qualified naturopath. 
  • Diet: High intake of fruit and vegetables is associated with reduced risk because they contain protective vitamins and minerals, so eat lots of colourful vegetables, salad and fruit everyday, especially Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts. Drinking 2 cups of green tea a day has been shown to be beneficial. 
  • Malnutrition: A deficiency of folic acid increases the risk of persistent HPV infection and cervical cancer. Studies have found low selenium and zinc levels in cervical dysplasia patients. This is particularly important in Australia and New Zealand as we have very low Selenium levels in our soil. If you have an abnormal Pap smear, take extra Folic acid, Selenium, Zinc and Vitamin D.
Your body is your friend, not your enemy and loving it will speed up healing and bring it back into balance.  Make time in your life for things that boost your self-esteem and make you feel good about yourself. Start putting yourself first and avoid people who put you down or make you feel bad about yourself. Remind yourself daily of how vibrant, healthy, energised and magnificant your body really is!

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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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