Hormone Friendly Breakfast

I’ve been having the winter blues recently, knowing that feeling blue would impact my immune system, I’ve decided to give it a good boost this morning, with a hormonal balancing celery, pear and ginger Juice, ginger will also stimulate your digestive juices, making you digest better and less bloated. Eggs are a power house of nutrients but they can be acidic so its crucial to balance their acidity with alkalanising foods, like cucumber, red peppers which are high in Vitamin C. Get that immune system working well, flaxseeds are a great source of Omega 3 and fibre, and finally my queen Avocados….Need I say more

IMG_2444In a juicer, juice together 5 stalks of celery, 1 small pear, a bunch of kale or 1 cucumber, and a 2 cm piece of ginger.

Meanwhile poach 2 organic free range eggs, once cooked sprinkle with turmeric, black peppers, salt and flaxseeds, slice some cucumbers, and red peppers, serve with half an avocado. Enjoy.

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Are You Buying The Right Olive Oil?

We’ve all heard of the benefits of olive oil, especially when it is extra virgin and cold pressed. However with a world consumption of almost double the oil production!! are you really buying pure olive oil??

The answer to that Questions is a sad NO, or a least for most of us. Most Supermarket shelf olive oils, are not really pure olive oil, they are usually mixed with a percentage of other oils like canola oil or other hydrogenated vegetable oils . In many cases they are also not extra virgin as they claim, regulation by governments are not strict since its not considered a “safety hazard” however if you are an olive grower or a connoisseur then you can immediately identify whether its pure or not just by tasting it, or even smelling it.

Olive crop year means the period from 1st October to 30th of September, so ideally if you want to get your self a very fresh batch of olive oil, “which is important” as ‘oils go rancid as they age’, then you need to source it in October, as in the case of the above bottle, look for either the production or sell by date, and if its any older than 6 months then don’t waste your money, I’ve been very lucky today to have got my hands on this amazing 0 acidity fresh bottle. 

So what is olive oil?

Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives (the fruit of the olive tree), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean. The oil is produced by pressing whole olives. We cook with it, we add it to salads, personally I never over heat it, and prefer to use it cold for medicinal purposes, It is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and soaps, and has additional uses in some religions. Traditionally The Greeks will bury their loved ones with an olive oil bottle.

Olive trees have been grown around the Mediterranean since the 8th millennium BC. You may have wrongly assumed that Italy is the largest producer of olive oil, but fact is Spain is the largest producer of olive oil, followed by Italy and Greece. However, per capita consumption is highest is Greece, followed by Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Consumption in North America and northern Europe is far less, but rising steadily.

The composition of olive oil varies with the cultivar, altitude, time of harvest and extraction process. It consists mainly of oleic acid (up to 83%), with smaller amounts of other fatty acids including linoleic acids(up to 21%) and palmitic acid (up to 20%). Extra-virgin olive oil is required to have no more than 0.8% free acidity and is considered to have favorable flavor characteristics.

Olive oil is 24% saturated fat but largely 73% is a monounsaturated fat which is very healthy, it contains both Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, with the 3 being higher, its been known to lower LDL or ‘bad Cholesterol’ It contains large amounts of anti oxidants, it has strong anti inflammatory properties, and unlike some myths, it does NOT cause weight gain and obesity. It also has anti bacterial properties. New research are now in favour of good fats consumption ‘such as olive oil’ as they play a role  in the prevention of Alzhaimers and brain disorders. 

There you have it, enjoy using your olive oil, just make sure you are buying it Pure, Fresh, Cold pressed, & Extra Virgin.

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Why Do We Feel Good When We Go On Holiday?!

The Real Reason Why We Feel Good On Holidays, Is The De-stresser Effect.

Stress makes you release cortisol, causing the following effects.

  • Causes disease
  • Run down your immune system in favour of the fight or flight mechanism
  • It causes high acidity in your skin and stomach
  • Cortisol kills neurons in a near by part of the brain, the hippocampus causing anxiety, irritability & depression
  • Accelerate the body’s ageing

You might be thinking well….we can’t be on holiday all year long, so whats the answer to cutting down cortisol release, hence feeling better, younger and healthier!! Here are a few thoughts.

  • MEDITATION, when you meditate you literally flood the feel good hormones seratonin and dopamine, it gets rid of adrenaline, reversing your ageing process for up to 10 years. It literally impacts your DNA, and gives you that glow we all see on holidays.
  • EAT REAL FOOD. colour is your key, eat your greens, yellows, oranges, reds and whites, include good fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and Omega 3 fats.
  • CUT DOWN SUGAR & ALCOHOL. All the recent scientific literature is now proving that Sugar and alcohol will accelerate your ageing process by over 10 years, and will ultimately lead to depression. Do it gradually, as sugar is more addictive than cocaine, and the less you eat it, the more you will taste it when you do, making you not wanting it anymore. Remember its empty calories.
  • EXERCISE regularly but change the routine “I’m personally struggling with that one, but keep trying” It literally increases new brain cells.
  • CUT DOWN  YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA USE. I’m not asking you to quit it, just balance.
  • GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Sleep deprivation not only ages you, causing you to over do the coffee and sugar, it will also make you irritable, aggressive, will impact your whole behaviour, nature intended for you to sleep in the dark and be awake during day light, so do not reverse your sleep time. Lack of sleep will disrupt your hormones and endocrine system. People who work night shifts can be more at risk of different diseases.

Finally deep breath, to destress, do the things that you love doing the most, whether its yoga, praying, exercise…..and so on. X

Rich Home Made Night Cream

This recipe is so simple to make, it literally takes 2 minutes of preparation, and can fill up a 100 ml Jar, that would last you up to 6 months.

Its made with all natural ingredients that will nourish your skin and help you get that glow without any of the preservatives/excipients, found in most commercial skin care products. All the below ingredients can be found on Amazon, or from your local herbalist.

 

Ingredients:  

  1. 25g Beeswax.
  2. 25 ml Castor Oil.
  3. 10 ml Jojoba Oil.
  4. 5 ml Rose-hip Oil.
  5. A few drops of Lavender Oil.

Please watch my video on this link to see how its done. 🙂

Why Is Sugar Disrupting Your Hormones!

I’m always going on about banning sugar & its products out of your life, I’ve even written a 7 step blog on how to quit sugar, since I know too well how addictive it is, ‘studies done on lab rats have shown how it was easier to wean them off cocaine than off sugar’.

So what is it about sugar that is harmful to our health and disruptive to our hormones?? since I decided to specialise in hormonal imbalance, I’ve come across a lot of research which clearly states the harmful effects of sugar on not only hormones but the immune system too.

Sugar and its food products can interfere with the way the white blood cells of your immune system clear up the debris. Compromising your immune system. having a direct harmful impact on your immune system,  and since Naturopathic medicine focuses mainly on Immune system efficiency, sugar is the worst enemy here. Why?

It reduces the amount of beneficial bacteria that lives in the gut. This bacteria is needed for us to absorb nutrients from our food, a diet high in sugar can quickly lead to poor nutrition and gut complaints. It hinders the absorption of calcium, chromium and magnesium which we need for an efficient hormonal system and energy production. Chromium and magnesium are also fundamental for balancing the amount of glucose in our system, without these nutrients in full supply we can suffer from a condition called hypoglycaemia which can then lead to diabetes. Sugar also blocks your production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, actively encouraging the inflammatory nature of endometriosis, fibroids & or PCOS.

In addition, sugar increases fat, which increases oestrogen production. Sugar, like alcohol, is also an anti-nutrient, depleting the body of valuable vitamins and minerals. Eating foods with sugar causes your pancreas to produce insulin and can encourage an increase in fat cells and, hence, weight gain, fatty liver & metabolic syndrome. Fat cells produce something called aromatase enzyme and produces small amounts of oestrogen. Therefore the more fat cells you have the more oestrogen you produce. A diet of excess sugar is also linked to breast cancer. Too much glucose in the bloodstream encourages the production of prostaglandin 2 (PGE2), the chemical released by our immune system to cause inflammation.

Our immune system is not just responsible for fighting off colds and flu, it is also essential in the healing process. It does this by releasing chemicals named ‘prostaglandins’ that either increase or decrease inflammation. This inflammatory status is a natural protective mechanism to protect delicate tissue and organs against a threat – something seen as physiologically abnormal and wrong. This process uses a vast amount of nutrients. It then uses these nutrients to heal the damage and regulate the inflammation.

Women with endometriosis do not have strong immune systems. The natural ‘killer’ cells of the immune system do not work as effectively as they should; endometrial patches that should be regarded as ‘invaders’ and destroyed by chemicals released by the immune system, are not. Instead they are left intact to roam and migrate to other parts of the body, further evoking inflammation. The immune system of a lady with endometriosis is suggested to be weaker than the norm, therefore it is vitally important to support this system in order to control the inflammatory process.

Both hormone and the immune systems require many of the same nutrients, such as the B Vitamin family (especially B6) vitamin C, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, vitamins A and E. If any of these are in short supply then both your immune & reproductive systems will be compromised.

 

Top 10 Hydrating Foods.

The human body is composed of 60/70% water. In these warm summer days, it’s easy to become dehydrated. Proper hydration is vital to good health, & what you didn’t know is that dehydration can be damaging to bones.

Drinking enough water is important, but keeping up with the daily recommendations can seem difficult, every cell, tissue, bone, and organ in your body needs water to function properly, without it, you cannot survive beyond a few days. The good news is, you can achieve many of your hydration needs through food,

You may know that water is vital for your bone health, but did you know that the three most important components of bones are apatite mineral, collagen protein, and water!!

Top 10 Foods For Hydration:

1. Celery  (95.43% water)

2. Radish (95.27% water)

3. Cucumber (95.23% water)

4. courgettes (94.79% water)

5. Tomato (94.5% water)

6. Bell Peppers (93.89% water)

7. Cabbage  (92.18% water)

8. Cauliflower (92.07% water)

9. Grapefruit (91.56% water)

10. Spinach  (91.4% water)

There are a lot more fruits and Vegetables that are incredibly hydrating, these are just the top ones.

  • Be aware that although the above foods are very hydrating with their high content of water, some of them may be unsuitable for you to consume, for either allergenic reasons, or different illnesses, “remember food is a double edged sword, as it can either be medicinal or poisonous, since we’re all individuals with individual needs.”

 

Eid Mubarak 🍪

This is a short and sweet blog, wishing all my gorgeous followers a happy healthy Eid, and to also say enjoy in moderation but don’t indulge.

Eid cookies or ‘Kahk’ is a tradition that we can keep up as long as we stick to 1 or 2 max. There is no nutrition value in it. Remember we eat to Nuorish not to cause dis ease, so if you must have your Kahk then add a pinch of real Ceylon cinnamon to help lower the insulin spike. Having Kahk with nuts is also the better choise as not only you get your good fats and protein, you also lower the Glycemic Load.

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Yours in happiness and health 🙏🏻

Detoxifying Through Sweating!

Saunas

As a Naturopath I’m always advocating Saunas to my clients. Sauna which is a part of the naturopathic ancient rituals is on the rise, while traditional saunas burn wood, new technology uses infrared saunas, which works faster than the traditional ones. Infrared saunas heat the body from the inside out by warming your skin tissues, expediting the detoxification process, where as traditional ones just heat the air.
The benefits are enormous, from deeper sleep to softer skin and much more.
The simple act of sweating is one way the body regulates itself, allowing one to heal and remain healthy. Saunas are designed to promote deep, natural, detoxifying sweat.
Reports from the United States Centre for Disease Control estimate that over 80% of all illnesses have causes rooted in personal environments or lifestyles. Most of us live in an industrialised toxic society, we can do little to reduce exposure to toxins in the air we breathe and the food we eat. As a result, sauna detox has become a leading treatment to achieve greater health and wellness.
My family and I can’t do without it, we use it at least once a month if not more. Sauna detoxification is a widely-used treatment in complementary and alternative medicine. ‘Naturopathy ‘endorses the use of Saunas for rejuvenation and balanced health. Recently, it has received significant mainstream attention as a result of a movement toward natural and self-directed treatments.

The leading sauna detoxification principle suggests that common illnesses are caused by the build-up of toxic substances in the body. Ridding the body of these toxins through a natural sauna detox may help relieve symptoms, and allow the body to self heal, prevent future illness and increase overall health and vitality.

How does a sauna detoxify your body?
Just like light from the sun, infrared waves in saunas penetrate up to 1-1/2 inches below your skin to detoxify, revitalise your cells. The resulting deep, highly efficient sweat eliminates toxins at a cellular level.
Researchers have long known that toxic substances, including heavy metals, mercury, lead etc.. are secreted from the body through sweat. Therefore, the more one can safely sweat(while maintaining proper hydration, drinking water before and after a sauna is a must) the greater quantity of toxins will be released from the body. Sauna usage is one of the most effective methods of inducing a detoxifying sweat. In a sauna detox, sweat carries toxins out of the body through the pores. It also helps your body eliminate toxins from your internal organs. These toxins pass from the organs to the fat tissue under the skin. Then they are eliminated in perspiration. Toxins such as heavy metals, sulphuric acid, sodium, ammonia, uric acid, BPA, and other fat-soluble toxins.
What a great way to boost your immunity & lower your risk of metabolic disease!! Anti ageing is the bonus.

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Hot Or Cold Showers? That Is The Question!

Today we’re going to look at the pros and cons of something we typically do every day: taking a shower.

Is a hot shower better for your bones and your health? Or is a cold one going to assist your body in new bone formation? we’ll look at the research examining the effects of both.

Hot

Anything from around 96 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit qualifies as a hot shower, & you only need 5 to 10 minutes to get the benefits of the soothing heat. Staying too long will dry out your skin.

If you suffer muscular or joint pain, hot water can ease those aches by stimulating blood flow and loosening up muscles, tendons and tissues. Its a relaxing, drug free way to ease physical discomfort.

Plus, staying away from pain relief medications takes the burden of removing those acidifying drugs off your body’s filtration system. Allowing your liver & kidneys to maintain a better pH, keeping valuable bone-building minerals where your bones need them.

Another physical symptom that hot showers can alleviate is stiffness.  Its also a useful trick for helping to get warmed up before exercising.

As for Toxins, we are in contact with an incredible amount of different chemicals everyday, Our skin is porous, allowing for the transit of molecules in and out of our bodies. A hot shower opens those pores, making it easier to clean them out and for toxins and impurities to be washed away. A cold water rinse afterwards will cause your pores to contract again, helping to keep out the next batch of unwanted micro-materials!

Similarly, if your sinuses are clogged, a steamy shower can do wonders to break up phlegm and relieve congestion.

A hot shower can put you in a better mood.  The warmth of the shower actually increases your oxytocin levels, which has the effect of reducing levels of stress hormones like cortisol, while lowering blood pressure. Once you are more relaxed, you may get a better night sleep which is important for supporting healthy bone formation.

Cold

You may think because hot showers offer so many benefits, cold showers must be detrimental to your health, not so fast. Fact is, a chilly rinse can trigger a number of beneficial physical changes.

A study published in the Behavioural and Brain Functions journal recommends the use of repeated cold stress for reducing fatigue in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). One of the reasons this might work is explained as follows:

“Exposure to cold increases metabolic rate and transiently activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as evidenced by a temporary increase in the plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone, beta-endorphin and a modest increase in cortisol. The increased opioid tone and high metabolic rate could diminish fatigue by reducing muscle pain and accelerating recovery of fatigued muscle, respectively.”

The shock of cold water in a shower was the author’s suggestion for triggering this response. While an accelerated recovery of fatigued muscle and a reduction in muscle pain is certainly valuable for those suffering from chronic fatigue,

Hydrotherapy is one of Naturopathy’s main treatments.

Technically, using a physical interaction with water for its health benefits can be called hydrotherapy. It’s a form of holistic self-care that you’ve been using your whole life! Any time felt better after a refreshing shower, you were longing for the soothing effects of hydrotherapy.

Many medical professionals recommend hot or cold baths\showers as part of addressing anxiety and depression.

Cold water is thought to be especially useful in this regard because lowering the temperature of the brain and body can relieve inflammation, reduce pain, and activate the sympathetic nervous system, which increases norepinephrine levels. Along with the release of beta-endorphins, this cold-response quite literally changes your brain chemistry. Researchers have suggested regular cold showers as a treatment for depression.

Everyone is different, and everyone reacts differently to new stimuli. If you decide to see what the effects of hot or cold showers can do for you, try them out gradually. Listen to your body and don’t torture yourself trying to regulate the temperature.

So…begin your shower at a comfortable temperature, and then try bumping it a little one way or the other. This simple method allows you to ease yourself into an unfamiliar temperature. You only need a short time in the water for it to have an impact on your body. As little as two or three minutes in a really cold shower will do, and just a few minutes longer in a hot shower is just right.

In fact, overdoing it might undo the benefits you’re seeking, as with most things, moderation is the Key.

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7 Tips For A Healthy Ramadan.

Ramadan Mubarak everyone, this is a time of year when we need most of all to reflect, meditate and detox our thoughts/mind above all.

Having said that, a lot of recent studies now are showing that a healthy mind starts with a healthy gut microbiome, so lets try together to follow these 7 rules during Ramadan, to come out of it not only feeling healthy & rejuvinated but also as an added bonus, mentally happy and stable. I’ve added an image of a bowl of Oats with nuts, cinnamon & fruits, as this will be my sehour meal.

  1. Hydration is key, and I don’t just mean drinking water, I mean eating the right kind of foods that have a high water content such as cucumber, celery, melons, courgettes, apples, strawberries and so on…
  2. Avoid Fried foods, as these foods may not only dehydrate you, but will also increase the acidity level in your body, making you more sluggish & thirsty throughout the day.
  3. Cut down your carbs intake, simple carbs get converted into sugars and can take their toll on your body long after you’ve finished eating them, instead increase your fibre rich foods. Remember the aim is  to use this month to get fit and healthy.
  4. STOP eating sugar, I know I’m always going on about sugar, but thats because I know too well, the harmful effects of the 0 nutrient food we call sugar, and I’ve seen first hands how lives have been transformed just simply by giving it up, if you’re serious about getting healthy physically and mentally during Ramadan, then pull all your inner strength together and try to quit sugar, use natural sweeteners such as dates ‘only 1 or 2’ a little Manuka or raw honey as alternatives, Pineapple too can be a good sugar alternative with its high bromelain content, its also a great natural anti inflammatory.  Don’t be shy to say NO to the offering of Konafa, or any of the Ramadan desserts. Simply don’t buy them this year, which brings me to number 5 that will help you to quit sugar. Here’s my article on how to quit sugar.
  5. Increase your intake of good fats, things like raw nuts, seeds, Coconut oil, avocados, a little ghee even. Whenever I crave sugar, I reach for a Madjul date and a handful of nuts, pumpkin seeds will also help strengthen your immune system as its a good source of Zinc.
  6. Eat whole Natural foods & balance your sodium/potassium levels by eating potassium rich foods, here’s a link to balance your electrolytes   .  Even if you can’t afford it throughout the year, use this month to increase your nutrient intake and detox yourself from pesticides residues, through eating Organic, you don’t have to eat 100% Organic, here’s a link to the dirty dozen which are the top heavy pesticide ladened foods.
  7. Finally Pray, Meditate, switch off, relax during this month, try to refrain from inviting people round & accepting invites, or maybe restrict it to close family, as it can be stressful for you as a host & time consuming.

Have a happy, healthy Ramadan with God’s blessings.

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