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Common pregnancy ailments…..and how to treat them naturally!

Dry Skin

  • Ensure you are getting enough good fats in your diet from nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, fish etc
  • Drink regular small amounts of water throughout the day
  • Use gentle products on your skin such as natural moisturisers (coconut oil is fantastic!)
  • Avoid showers which are too hot and will dry out your skin

Varicose Veins & Haemorrhoids 

  • A high-fibre diet can prevent hemorrhoids from becoming worse
  • Ensure you don’t massage these areas firmly-be very gentle as they are delicate
  • Whole fruit and fruit juice, particularly red berries such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries may help to prevent varicose veins. These fruits contain a pigment which may strengthen the walls of the veins. Eating prunes may help to keep your bowels regular. You can also try a probiotic supplement with or instead of a magnesium supplement to keep your bowels regular.
  • Not having enough vitamin E is linked to varicose veins (sunflower seeds and wheatgerm are great sources). Garlic may tone up blood vessels.
  • Avoid refined and processed foods such as cakes and cookies and teach, coffee and cola which can make varicose veins more painful.
  • Try to drink at least eight glasses of water every day
  • Regular exercise such as walking daily, swimming a couple of times a week or doing yoga
  • Deep breathing will aid your circulation, which is important in the prevention of varicose veins. But it will also help you to relax and focus. Spend about 10 minutes each day in a position in which your feet are raised above your hips. Inhale deeply and slowly to fully inflate your lungs.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing. Tight clothes around your groin area, whether it’s too-skinny jeans or tights, may make your varicose veins worse. Avoid wearing shoes which are too tight. Avoid sitting or squatting for long periods, and try not to sit with your legs crossed.
  • Witch hazel can be used in a compress can ease the throbbing in your legs if combined with plenty of rest.

Heartburn 

  • Eat small regular meals
  • Don’t eat too much later in the day (eat the majority of your food by 4pm) to ensure good digestion
  • Avoid spicy, rich, fatty and fried foods
  • Don’t drink liquid with your food as this dilutes the digestive juices required for food breakdown. Ensure well hydrated between meals.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks
  • Foods such as nuts, seeds, sardines tuna, salmon and wholegrain wheat may increase your chance of heartburn
  • Be aware that iron supplements can make heartburn worse
  • Ginger, chamomile and dandelion root herbal teas (avoid if you a diabetic or have high blood pressure) can relieve heartburn
  • Slippery elm (available at most supermarkets) can also relieve heartburn
  • Pineapple and papaya can help with digestion and therefore reduce the chance of the heartburn

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  •  Aim to reduce how much salt, sugar and fat you have.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat at least seven to eight servings of fruit and vegetables every day

Eating foods high in vitamin B6 will help to promote a healthy nervous system. Good sources are:

  • Meat, fish, poultry, and egg yolk
  • Whole grains, especially wheat germ
  • Beans
  • Peanuts and walnuts
  • Bananas and prunes
  • Vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, and avocados
  • You could also try a Magnesium citrate as it helps with muscle relaxation. You can take a maximum of 350 mg daily (be sure to include the dose from your prenatal vitamin when figuring out how much to take). See your doctor or midwife before taking a supplement other than your prenatal vitamin.
  • If your breast size increases a lot, make sure you are fitted early for a properly supportive maternity bra. This will take the weight off your ribcage and breastbone and help to prevent compression or irritation of the nerve anywhere along its path.
  • Your doctor or midwife can provide a referral for a physiotherapist if needed. While you wait for that appointment you can try these simple exercises.
  • Clasp one wrist with your other hand and massage it with a circular movement. This should ease congestion and encourage the movement of fluid.
  • Gently stretch your hands and arms. Try not to do any movements that are painful. It may also help to hang your hands over the edge of your bed during the night.
  • You could place your hands in ice-cold water or use a bag of frozen peas against the painful area on your wrist. Gently exercise your fingers and wrists to help move the excess fluid, and keep your hands raised whenever possible.

Reflexology

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  • Try this technique:
  • Look at the upper surface of the foot which is the same side as the hand affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Imagine a vertical line coming down from the base of your fourth toe. Feel along this line for about 2cm (0.8in), until you find the most tender spot.
  • Press the centre of this tender spot as firmly as you can bear it with your thumb. If you can’t comfortably reach the point, ask someone to do it for you. Use constant pressure until the tenderness has dispersed.
  • Repeat this process about four or five times until the point you are pressing feels less tender.
  • This may temporarily ease the pain in your wrists and is a useful technique when pain hits in the middle of the night.

 

Sources:
“A-Z of Health Tips”-Alan Hayes
http://www.babycenter.com
http://www.childbirth.org 

Detoxing

Detoxing doesn’t need to be a week of hell trying to overhaul your body! To maintain long-term health you should be supporting your body to eliminate wastes and toxins daily in a way that promotes health and well-being and leaves you feeling great!

 

Here are some simple ways you can reduce the amount of toxins entering your body and support your body to eliminate the ones that do.

 

Indoor Plants

There are a range of indoor plants which eliminate toxins from the air-many of which have been researched and proven by NASA to work!

 

1. Bamboo Palm

2. Snake Plant

3. Areca Palm

4. Spider Plant

5. Peace Lily

6. Gerbera Daisy

 

Cosmetics

Read the label! You should be looking for products which don’t contain parabens, sulphates, artificial colours and synthetic fragrances.

60-80% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream.

There are so many beautiful natural and organic cosmetics on the market to choose from. My tried and tested recommendations are Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr and Sukin. Coconut oil is by far my favourite-pure and simple and leaves your skin full of moisture!

 

Food

Eat organic! Enough said!

If you do need to buy produce from the supermarket then fill a bucket with water and half a cup of apple cider vinegar, soak the fruit and veg for 10minutes and then give it a good scrub.

Don’t eat processed foods-the majority of foods on the supermarket shelf are genetically modified. There is no law which forces companies to state that their product or any of its ingredients are genetically modified! Scary!

Include foods such as lemons, organic grapes and green juices in your diet which have detoxifying properties.

 

 

 

Exercise

Getting your body moving will get your insides moving and help to movement of waste and toxins out of the body. Yoga is a great low impact exercise for this.

 

Spend time in the fresh air

In the country or at the beach. The increased number of positive ions in the air found near flowing water is believed to have a positive impact on the body and the elimination of nasties.

 

Body brushing

Using a dry body brush prior to showering. Make sure you start at your feet and always brush towards your heart.

 

Supplements

Chlorophyll, Spirulina, milk thistle etc will support toxin elimination from the body.

Water

Ensure you are drinking enough filtered water.

 Infrared Saunas

There is now scientific research which proves that the induction of sweat results in certain toxins being eliminated from the body through sweat.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

‘Toxin Toxout’ Bruce Lourie & Rick Smith

‘A to Z of Health Tips’ Alan Hayes

Another ‘pulpy’ recipe

Yesterday I blogged about how to use the pulp left over from juicing vegetables. If you’ve tried making your own almond milk (Past blog with instructions here) you will have some almond pulp left over from the process. Use it to make some yummy Almond Pulp Pancakes!

You will need

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup almond pulp
1/4  cup almond meal
1 egg
1/2 cup of almond milk
Pinch of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together to form a pancake batter. Cook as usual when making pancakes. Serve with fresh berries, homemade sugar-free ice cream or whatever takes your fancy!

 

Cheesy Vegetable Pulp Muffins

I often make vegetable juices at home and put the pulp into my Bakashi bin to try and minimise waste. Recently though I’ve been wondering how I might use the pulp in some cooking. So, I randomly made up a recipe to make muffins with the pulp, buckwheat flour and cheese. Random!

These are the veggies I used in the juice I was making…..2 cucumbers, 3 carrots, broccoli, 1 beetroot, 1 orange and a few celery sticks

This is my juice 🙂

This is the bowl of pulp! I removed the larger chunks.

You will also need….
2 Cups of Buckwheat flour
1 1/4 cups of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup of grated tasty cheese

This is what it looked like when all mixed together

Mix everything together and spoon into muffin trays. Bake at 170 degrees celcius for about 15minutes.

Top with extra goodies such as pepitas, sesame seeds or chia seeds.

Makes approx 20 muffins.

Sprouted Bread

I picked up some delicious sprouted bread from The Staple Store in Ripponlea today. So, what are the benefits of sprouted bread?!

Germination of nuts, seeds and grains rather then cooking them allows the retention of plant enzymes which are great for digestion. They are also high in antioxidants and support good bacteria in the gut.

Sprouts contain a large amount of vitamins and minerals and are easy to digest. Breads made from them tend to be low GI and generally contain other ingredients such as chia seeds which deliver even more nutritional benefits.

Lemon Chia Loaf

This is a great snack to have with a cuppa on these winter afternoons.

I modified the recipe from I breath…I’m hungry…. http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/2011/10/lemon-chia-cake.html

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind1/2 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/4 cup Natvia
1/4 cup almond meal1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius.Combine the chia seeds, lemon juice, and almond milk.  Let stand for 15 minutes.
Cream together coconut oil and sugar.  Slowly add the chia seed mixture and blend well. Add the dry ingredients and blend until just combined.
Scrape into greased 8 inch loaf pan and bake at 180 degrees for approx 30 minutes or until golden.
Upon removing from the oven combine 1tbs Natvia and 1/3 cup of lemon juice and pour evenly over the top.  Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

Smoothies

Looking for a quick snack that packs in a stack of vitamins and minerals?! Here’s some ideas….

Simple Green Smoothies (http://simplegreensmoothies.com/30-day-challenge) has a fantastic monthly challenge where they send you great recipes (and the shopping list you will need) for delicious smoothies!

 

Some of my favourites to add to smoothies are…..

Goats Yogurt
Great source of calcium and the amino acid tryptophan and excellent anti-inflammatory. 

Maca Powder
Supports the endocrine systems and hormonal balance

Bee Pollen
A complete food containing B Vitamins and high in protein

Avocado
Great way to add extra good fats to your diet



 

Be Gentle With Your Green Tea

Did you know that green tea leaves are delicate and

that adding water that has just boiled could harm the leaves?

It’s recommended that green tea be brewed at 65-80 degrees celcius. This will ensure the leaves are not harmed or damaged and you get a great tasting, healthy cup of tea!

 

Mama Mia! Have some pizza!

Who doesn’t love pizza?!

 

Try this healthier alternative…..

 

Mix 2 1/2 cups of wholemeal flour with approx. 3/4 cups of almond milk and knead into a dough for 3-4 minutes.

Roll dough out and brush with olive oil

Add whatever toppings you like! I keep it simple with spinach leaves, sweet potato, tomato, basil and goats cheese.

Cook in the oven at 190 degrees celcius for 10-15 minutes

Sweet Treat

I recently had the delight of making my buddy a healthy birthday cake! 

A sugar free, dairy free, flour less chocolate cake with coconut icing! Yum

 
To make your own you will need:
2 Cups of almond meal
1/2 cup of Natvia (granulated)
5 eggs
1/2 cup of Cocoa
150gm Olive Oil Spread
 
Beat the eggs and natvia for 7-8 minutes
Melt olive oil spread and mix cocoa through
Add almond meal, and cocoa/olive oil mixture to the eggs and natvia. Mix gently.
Pour into a round lined cake tin.
Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for approx. 50 minutes. Rest in tin for 10 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.
 
To make the icing you will need
Approx 1 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of cocoa
 
Melt coconut oil and stir cocoa through.
Allow to cool and until almost hardened and spread over the cake with a knife.
Refrigerate.
 
Enjoy!

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