Is a 21-Day Elimination Diet Right for you?

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You’ve tried eating gluten free, even though you’re not sure if you’re allergic to gluten. You thought about cutting nightshades out of your diet after reading a post on social media.  Maybe you even went vegan for a while. And every time you cleaned up your diet, you felt a little better—but you’re not exactly sure what works for your body … and what definitely doesn’t.

Here’s the thing—many of us have quite a few “trigger” foods that just make us feel off. For some, it’s equivalent to a serious food allergy that causes everything from hives to anaphylactic shock. But it’s far more likely that your body’s adverse reactions to certain foods or ingredients are much more subtle. Symptoms like bloating, digestive discomfort, gas, skin problems, headaches, and even fatigue can all be signs that you have a slight food intolerance.

But without taking an expensive allergy test, it can be really challenging to determine which foods are triggering your uncomfortable reactions. And even if you do take an allergy test with your physician, sometimes there are discrepancies and inaccuracies. One of the easiest, cheapest ways to find out exactly what causes a deleterious response is by going through an Elimination diet. In fact, IIN recommends that all graduates try a 21-day Elimination diet in order to determine exactly which items in their diet makes them feel energized and healthy, and which foods or ingredients are holding them back from feeling their best.

It sounds a little intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy to follow a 21-day elimination diet at home. There are a few different ways to go about it, but generally, you’ll start by cutting out three of the most allergenic food groups from your diet—dairy, grains and gluten. You’ll also need to ditch fast food—the preservatives and processed ingredients in fast food can cause an inflammatory response in your body—and alcohol for 21 days straight.

Why three weeks? It takes 21-23 days for the antibodies in your bloodstream to turn over. Antibodies are activated by intruders like bacteria and viruses, but they’re also triggered by allergic reactions. After 21 days, you should notice a serious decrease in the amount of inflammation (which is caused by an antibody response) that you see or feel. It’s really important to stay honest with yourself when you try an elimination diet—slipping up and noshing on a slice of cake or even snacking on a handful of nuts could mess with the outcome.

After you’ve completely eliminated those three allergenic food groups from your diet for 21-days, you’ll slowly start to reintegrate each group into your day-to-day. Start slowly, first adding dairy back into your meals. Two to three days later, you can try eating gluten, too. As you add foods back into your meals, you’ll notice almost instantly when something causes a negative reaction in your body. Seriously, the reaction can be fast and BRUTAL! We’re talking upset stomach, headaches, hives … and even, ahem, bathroom problems.

Obviously, if something instantly makes you feel ill, that’s a pretty good indication that you have an intolerance to that food. The good news is that food intolerances are things that can come and go—sometimes, all you need to do is lay off the diary/gluten/grains for a while to allow your body to recover, and then you can slowly begin to reintegrate that food into your life. Of course, if it’s more serious than an intolerance—like a dairy allergy or Celiac disease—you’ll probably need to avoid eating that food for good.

So, is trying an elimination diet right for you? If you think you have a food intolerance or allergy, it might be just the thing you need to finally understand what’s best for your body!

If you would like to try a elimination program check out our easy to follow Nourish-2-Flourish program.

Source from: http://www.integrativenutrition.com/

5 Teas we Love for the Gut

Chamomile Tea
Calming, it soothes upset stomachs and can assist in the relaxation of the muscles and lining of the intestines. Support people suffering from poor digestion or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is a great remedy for constipation and assisting with evacuating the bowl, as it can soften the waste and help the bowl wall to relax.

Dandelion Tea
Detoxifies the body, regulate digestion, supports liver function. Is high in inulin, a type of carbohydrate that supports healthy gut flora.  We are unable to digest inulin, it passes to the colon where it ferments and feeds the healthy bacteria.

Ginger Tea
Ginger tea’s heating qualities make it useful for treating, digestive issues because it improves all three phases of gastrointestinal function (digestion, absorption, and elimination). Ideal to have before a meal or in the morning.

Kawakawa Tea
Reduces inflammation and irritation, cramping, spasm, bloating and digestive pain, useful for inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract.

Lemongrass
Good for digestion, soothe your stomach and keeps your digestive functions in check. It contains a component called citral that helps to digest food. ideal to have after dinner.

 

Eating a healthy, balanced diet provides nutrients to your body. These nutrients give you energy and keep your heart beating, your brain active, and your muscles working. Nutrients also help build and strengthen bone (5).png

Healthy Gut = Healthy You

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The Why

Gut Health is the basis of all Health. When your digestive system is inflamed and the balance of bacteria that live there become compromised your health soon starts to suffer. 

The gut performs essential functions in the body. How the gut functions has both a direct and indirect effect on every cell in your body.

The Facts

When we talk about the Gut what do we actually mean? – we mean a lot more than the bodies digestive tube, we are also referring to the living organisms inside the gut, the intestinal flora, and the immune and nervous systems within and around the walls of the intestine. The body doesn’t make a distinction between the different parts and nor should we. These different organs and tissues make up the Gut.

Scientist still only understand a fraction of what goes on in our guts, but we do know that it contains a large portion of our immune system (with research suggesting that this is where some autoimmune conditions originate) and the bacteria there has a massive influence on body function, mood, weight (they influence what calories are worth), nutritional absorption, allergies and many of the modern diseases that are prevalent in the west.

It is vital that you keep these bacterial passengers happy when they can impact your health so much!

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These bacteria, quite literally, have a mind of their own. That’s why you’ll frequently hear the gut referred to as your “second brain.” Technically known as the enteric nervous system, the second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the long tube of our gut. This multitude of neurons in the enteric nervous system enables us to "feel" the inner world of our gut and its contents. The enteric nervous system uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, just like the brain, and in fact 95 percent of the body's serotonin is found in the bowels. 

So in addition to regulating your metabolism, digestion, learning and memory, these bacteria regulate your mood, social behaviour, levels of happiness and anxiety. Essentially, all the important functions of the body!

In simple terms - how do they do that? The bacteria in your gut produces hundreds of chemical neurotransmitters, including one you may have heard of before – serotonin. 

Serotonin plays a key role in our central nervous system. Research has shown that those who are deficient in serotonin are more likely to be depressed and suffer from anxiety. As around 95% of your body’s serotonin is produced by the bacteria that reside in your gut, having a gut bacterial imbalance may prevent you from receiving an appropriate amount of serotonin to regulate your physiological and mental systems. 

The How to support

Here are some simple things for you implement to support and help your Gut. 

Chew Chew Chew. The first step to take is to chew your food well. It’s time to slow down and chew. Put down your fork between each mouthful and engage in conversation. Chew your food and swallow it before you take the next mouthful. Be mindful of how you feel after chewing your food, observe whether this improves how your tummy feels after eating.

Removing toxins and irritating substances. That means limiting or (better yet) eliminating - alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, refined sugars. Also look at the cleaning products and the products you are putting on your skin. We absorb a lot of toxins through our skin and environment.

Eat real food. Consume foods that are pure and natural - fresh food from nature - avoiding processed foods. Ideally predominantly plant-based food, (consume lots of vegetables including the green leafy variety), supplemented by free range and preferably organic eggs, fish, beef, and chicken. The best way to eat clean is to cook from scratch and stay away from sachets, pre-made sauces and pre-made meals. Avoid all foods with additives.

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Start consuming lots of fermented foods such as Kombucha, a good quality natural milk yoghurt and kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. These are rich in probiotics, which repopulate your intestines with the good bacteria needed for optimal digestion and health.

Take a powerful probiotic. In addition to fermented foods, take a course of probiotics to increase your good bacteria.

Take a course of multi-enzyme supplement (preferably one with every meal). Digestive enzymes break down the foods we eat so we can absorb the nutrients. But things like ageing, chronic stress, and inflammation can decrease our digestive enzymes. When that happens, even if we eat healthy foods, we won’t get the nutrition we need. To aid this situation, take a supplement that provides enzymes that break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Drink bone broth at least once a day. Bone broth offers incredible intestinal healing power and disease prevention.

While you’re supporting your gut, there are many natural gut-healers you might want to consider taking or consuming. For starters, consider:

Chamomile Tea  – Not only is Chamomile great for calming, it soothes upset stomachs and can assist in the relaxation of the muscles and lining of the intestines. Chamomile can support people suffering with poor digestion or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is a great remedy for constipation and assisting with evacuating the bowl, as it can soften the waste and help the bowl wall to relax. Use organic leaves and infuse for 10-15 mins - drink lots of this nourishing tea throughout the day in between meals

Dandelion Tea – Has many benefits include the ability to detoxify the body, regulate digestion, supports liver function. Dandelion is high in inulin, a type of carbohydrate that supports healthy gut flora.  We are unable to digest inulin, it passes to the colon where it ferments and feeds the healthy bacteria. Use organic leaves and infuse for 10-15 mins - drink lots of this nourishing tea throughout the day in between meals

Oregano oil – If you suspect a parasite infection take Oregano oil, it has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Also Oregano oil is known to stimulate the flow of bile into the digestive organs, enhancing the digestive process. Take 3 drops of Oregano oil a day in a small glass of water for 3 weeks (only take for a maximum of 3 weeks at a time).

Eat More fibre: Especially eating vegetables such as artichokes, garlic, leeks, onions, asparagus daily can help. The healthy bugs in your gut feed off the prebiotic fibres found in these vegetables and in turn help keep your gastrointestinal health and wellness on track.

Develop a daily relaxation practice. Stress can seriously contribute to damaging your gut. When you think about it, your stomach and your digestion are two of the first things that get affected when you go through an emotionally difficult time. (As mentioned above, your gut is where the most of your body’s serotonin resides, and it’s sometimes referred to as the “second brain.”)  One of the best ways to counteract the stress in your life is to make sure you exercise, walking in nature is one of the best options to relieve stress and stimulate digestion. Even a short walk aids digestion and bowel movements and reduces stress.

Be aware of the chemicals you are using in your house and on your body: I believe that the products we put on our skins have the same effect as the foods we put into our mouths. Potentially harmful chemicals are absorbed into the blood stream and carried to every organ of the body. Our bodies are poorly equipped to eliminate synthetic substances, and growing independent evidence suggests that toxic chemicals widely used in personal care products can accumulate in the body, and cause a frightening range of avoidable health problems!

New studies: But while most studies so far have focused on the microbes that live in the gut, researchers are now turning their attention to the skin microbiome.

21-Day Gut Reboot

If you’re looking to re-start, re-align or re-balance your body, then you may want to try our beautiful and gentle 21-day gut reboot program, which is the ultimate support for an easy to follow and nourishing overhaul. 

Unlike those cleanses that leave you hungry and with complicated expensive recipes to follow (oh, we’ve been there) ours does the trick and without the dreaded deprivation. The secret is our easy to prepare and healing recipes that are loaded with dense nutrients, metabolism boosting foods and clean green recipes to keep you feeling fuller, for longer. Through regular, nourishing meals in just a short time you can support your digestion into a regular rhythm of absorbing and rest – giving you optimal nutrients when your body needs to heal and repair.

If your body needs a little extra care, this stress-free cleanse will help get both your mind and body functioning at its best.

We all have divine access to our own answers within, but sometimes we just need a little help to unlock them! You’ll discover hidden gems within yourself and develop the goals and inspiration you need to compel you through this journey – and to greater health beyond!

But no matter what your health is like right now, remember that healing starts in your gut—and when you do a reset, miraculous things happen!

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Tips on Nourishing You

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Eat Clean:  Consume foods that are pure and natural - fresh food from nature - avoiding processed foods. Ideally, your diet should consist of predominantly plant-based food supplemented by high-quality free range and preferably organic animal products e.g. milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, eggs, fish, beef, and chicken. The best way to eat clean is to cook from scratch and stay away from sachets, pre-made sauces, and pre-made meals. Avoid all foods with additives, i.e. supermarket bought bread, biscuits, flavoured potato chips and crackers etc. Check all ingredients before purchasing, if you have not done this before you will be amazed at the chemicals added to the convenience foods we purchase. 

Why:  To be well nourished.  Nutrients keep us alive, our body is made up of around 50 trillion cells. Imagine you are made up of 50 trillion little tiny circles that all want to talk to each other, and the only way they can do this is when nutrients are present. 

Quality of food:  The quality and type of food that we eat has a direct effect on our mood. For example, eating good quality foods will result in the very best neurotransmitters such as serotonin that can make us feel happy. Give the brain the wrong foods such as highly processed and artificial foods the quality of the brain chemicals is severely compromised.

The role of Stress in Anxiety and Depression

Stress comes in many different forms and degrees of intensity. And while short bursts of mild to moderate stress is good for our health (e.g. learning, responsible calorie restriction, and moderate levels of exercise), prolonged and excessive stress can have a profoundly negative impact on our health. If not properly addressed, this excessive stress can lead to changes in our brain structure & function, causing common conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia and substance abuse.

Stress seriously messes with our ability to ‘bring home the bacon’

Cortisol (the stress hormone), concentrates in the brain – specifically in the hippocampus. This is the area of the brain that is recognised for its role in learning, memory and adding emotional context to events.  Because this area of the brain is always ‘rewiring’ itself to create and save memories, it is highly vulnerable to damage by excessive amounts of cortisol. This can lead to the mental deficits seen in stress disorders. Stress can also damage our prefrontal cortex (PFC). The PFC is the area of the brain responsible for stable emotions and executive function.

Stress can therefore have a dramatic effect on our cognitive control. It can hinder our:
•          attentional control and working memory
•          reasoning, problem solving and planning
•          cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control

Considering that most of our week (and life!) is spent working, this can mean that we are significantly hindered for the majority of the time. We feel completely overwhelmed and unable to cope at work.  Then, when we get home and no longer have an outlet for our stress, this feeling is quickly replaced with other issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia and substance abuse. These conditions then effect our ability to get to sleep and to stay asleep. This lack of sleep feeds into our stress cycle making things much worse for us the next day. And then again the next night…

If we don’t like our brain – we can change it!

The good news is that rather than the actual stressor being the deciding factor in our health, it is our response to it that determines the outcome. Because ‘stress’ is an unavoidable fact of life, our best defence is to continually work on building our psychological resilience (our mental and emotional strength). It is now known that we can positively or negatively influence the structure and the function of our brain.  The more adaptable we become to the stresses in our life – the better we will cope and the healthier we will be!

There are many lifestyle changes we can make to promote a healthy brain. Some examples of these changes are: engaging in regular moderate physical activity (especially out in nature); eating a healthy diet; and seeking social support. Additionally, there are two important supplements we can take to increase our mental and emotional resilience to stress: Magnesium and B-group vitamins.

Magnesium

If we take magnesium it’s like giving our stressed brain ‘a hug’. Not only can it calm our brain, but it may also reduce tension in our body (it’s a muscle relaxant). Magnesium has also been shown to support positive brain changes by significantly increasing a substance called Brain derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in the Hippocampus and PFC.

B-Group Vitamins

A study performed in 2011 on: The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress 1  showed a significant reduction in workplace depression, tension, fatigue and confusion when taking this cost-effective supplement. This is because this group of vitamins is required for our brain to ‘fire on all cylinders’ – ensuring our neurotransmitters and receptors are functioning optimally. These vitamins are also necessary to provide us with energy to cope under stress, and like magnesium they may also assist with supporting positive brain changes.

Source: Lisa Fitzgibbon, Naturopath & Medical Herbalist

References:

1 Stough C, et al. The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2011 Oct;26(7):470-6

 

Healthy Snacks

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Whether we like it or not, for most of us, snacks are an inevitable part of our diet. And for many of us, they aren’t the healthiest part of it, either – all too often, the lure of a quick sugar hit in the midst of a busy day, when that wholesome lunch or dinner is just too many hours away, is too hard for us to resist.

Most store-bought ‘snack’ foods are loaded with sugar and empty carbohydrates, designed to provide a quick burst of energy with little in the way of long-term nourishment. So what other options do we have?

First, why do we need to snack?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to many dietary philosophies. And there is certainly truth to that. A nourishing, healthy breakfast sets the scene for what we eat for the rest of the day. If we consume a high-carbohydrate, high-glycaemic index meal for breakfast, such as the majority of cereals available on the market, toast, or other grain-based meals, we’ll experience an immediate burst of energy that will last perhaps an hour, after which our blood glucose levels will crash and leave us feeling hungry, cranky and lethargic again. This usually leads to people reaching for something quick and easy to eat to feel satiated and give more energy to help us through to lunchtime – and then, if lunch is along the same lines, with little in the way of fat or protein, we have a repeat of the same cycle later that afternoon.

For this reason, the best breakfast is one rich in protein and good fat, to help us feel fuller for longer and release energy more slowly (avoiding the blood sugar spikes you feel with low-nutrient carbohydrate-rich foods). While low-fat foods have for years been touted as healthy, the reality is our body needs fat, and they’re what make us feel full.

Thus, the best snacks are also ones that are high in protein, nutrients and healthy fats.

Healthy options for fast snacks

One of the first things to do when trying to change your diet is to examine what it is you’re actually eating. Write out everything you consume for a week, and then do a tally of how many protein or fat-rich meals you eat, how many fruit and vegetables you eat, and what it is you snack on each day. Look at the patterns and figure out where you need to make changes. For many people, particularly those who work long hours, snacks are one of the biggest things we eat and are often lowest in nutrition.

If you find you’re often missing out on vital protein, you could consider snacking on nuts or seeds. Soak these first overnight, and then take them to work in a container, ready to eat throughout the day. Soaking in water deactivates the phytate content – a chemical that prevents them from sprouting in sub-optimal conditions, but also stops the release of their nutrients and can block uptake of minerals. There are also many commercially-available ‘snack balls’ made from nuts and seeds with dried fruit, cacao and other delicious treats that are a fantastic, healthy alternative to chocolate bars and commercial muesli bars, which are often high in sugar and low in nutrition.

Many companies are now producing nutrient-dense snacks in a bar format, similar to the muesli bars most of us grew up with, but higher in nutrition and utilizing ingredients such as chia seeds, activated nuts, and dried fruit without the sugar, preservatives and other additives that detract from their overall health value.

If you have a sweet tooth you just can’t kick, look for fresh fruit and berries to give a quick hit of sweetness in the afternoon – dried blueberries, apricots and other fruit, while higher in sugar than fresh, can be a better option than sweets. If you want to up your vegetable intake, try taking along raw vegetables to eat, or look for bags of kale crisps to replace normal potato chips during the day.  If you really must have a chocolate hit, look for raw or organic chocolate bars with high cacao content.

 

Source: HealthPost  - carries a wide range of healthy snacks and treats, from protein balls and chia bars to kale crisps, nuts, yoghurt drops and raw chocolate. Try them now!

 

Wheat Flour - Good or Bad

Bread: it’s something of a cultural pastime that most all of us grew up eating, and a hallmark of the meal plate since time immemorial. Heck, bread has even been codified as a pinnacle of human achievement that only the greatest of the great innovations could ever hope to match, let alone surpass. “The best thing since sliced bread” being the famous marketing catch phrase coined by the Wonder Bread company that encapsulates the high esteem with which people all around the world regard this most cherished food.

But sadly, a typical loaf of bread made with wheat flour today isn’t the same as it once was. In times past, bread represented one of the most basic forms of complete nutrition, readily available and affordable to practically anyone. Today’s commercial bread, on the other hand, has been reduced to little more than a “cheat day” junk food… a fluffy loaf of tasty (but empty) calories and carbohydrates that many people now avoid for health reasons.

So what changed?

Milling and Refining Grains Destroys Their Nutrient Content

For one, the wheat flour used to make most of the bread products at your local supermarket has been heavily processed and refined, meaning it’s been mostly or entirely stripped of its nutrient content. Then, to create the illusion that this flour is still somehow healthy after all that it’s gone through, manufacturers “enrich” and/or “fortify” it with synthetic vitamins and minerals that, as I’ll explain shortly, do nothing for the body in terms of nourishment.

A revealing study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition back in 1971 found that the milling process alone denatures or destroys nearly half of the nutrients naturally found in a whole wheat berry within the first 24 hours following extraction. After 72 hours (three days), nearly all of the nutrients are lost, including most of the B vitamins, vitamin E, and fiber that are present in the bran and germ of wheat kernels.

But nearly everything beneficial in whole wheat is lost. Not only as a result of the milling process, which exposes the nutrients in wheat to irreversibly damaging oxidative stress, but also the refining and bleaching process which finishes off the job. All of this milling, refining, and bleaching turns what would otherwise be nutritious wheat grain into little more than empty wheat starch, a form of simple sugar that the body ends up storing as fat. Hence why wheat in general has become something of a food villain in the modern age.

Compositionally speaking, highly-processed wheat flour, a.k.a. starch, is nothing like wheat grain. It contains almost none of the 22 vitamins and minerals naturally present in whole wheat, and only trace amounts of fiber, linoleic acid (omega-6), vitamin E, and amino acids such as lysine, a necessary component of protein synthesis.

Fortified Wheat Flour “Nutrients” are Toxic to the Body

But artificially “enriching” this flour with the nutrients that were lost during processing makes everything better, right? Not exactly. The so-called “vitamins” added back to refined flour to make it seem edible are synthetic impostors that the body can’t even use. “Reduced iron,” for instance, isn’t even bioavailable because it’s in metallic form, which the body doesn’t know how to properly metabolize.

The same is true for folic acid, a synthetic form of natural folate (vitamin B-9) that the body has an even harder time metabolizing. Folic acid doesn’t undergo the same metabolic cycle as folate, which is metabolized into usable form by the mucosa that lines the small intestine. Instead, folic acid goes straight to the liver where it’s processed so inefficiently that most of it ends up entering the bloodstream non-metabolized, triggering the growth of cancer-causing neoplasms.

So what we have with refined, enriched flour is essentially a disguised form of simple sugar laced with synthetic vitamins and minerals that, for all intents and purposes, is completely toxic to the body. Seeing as how obesity, heart disease, and many other chronic health conditions began to skyrocket after refined flour hit the mainstream, it’s only logical that this common food additive is one of the major contributors to the perpetual downward spiral of public health.

One major study concluded that the current standard intake of synthetic folate (folic acid), vitamin A, zinc, and sodium exceeds the Tolerable Upper Intake Level “in a significant proportion of toddlers and preschoolers,” a finding that a comprehensive report compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) cites alongside a consortium of similar evidence to show that synthetic vitamins and minerals are harmful to health.

Whole Foods are Best, Especially When Sprouted

As tasty and enticing as it might be, wheat flour is simply a no-go when it comes to maintaining vibrant health. At least the highly refined, “fortified” kind.Sticking with only whole grain flour as fresh and close to its natural state as possible offers the best chance at getting the most out of your grains. Grains that, contrary to popular thought, are actually healthy for you.

Just like with grains, carbohydrates often get a bad rap for contributing to weight gain and disease because the kinds we most often think of are those that come from foods containing sugar and refined flour. But again, these are the “bad” carbs that should be avoided, while the good ones from unrefined sources like fresh fruits and vegetables are beneficial for energy production and protein metabolisation.

A good rule of thumb is to eat foods as close to their natural states as possible and as fresh as possible. Exposure to oxygen (oxidation), degrades nutrients and causes foods to turn rancid. Perhaps the best way to consume whole grains − which should always be organic, by the way, because conventional wheat is often contaminated with pesticides like Roundup (glyphosate) − is in sprouted form. Sprouting not only protects grains from becoming denatured, it also makes them more digestible and their nutrients more bioavailable.

The Role of Digestive and Systemic Enzymes

As it turns out, sprouted foods contain upwards of 100-fold more enzymes than their non-sprouted counterparts. Enzymes serve functional roles both in digestion and nutrient assimilation. Digestive enzymes help to extract more nutrients from the foods we eat, and the systemic (proteolytic) enzymes help our bodies to better metabolize these nutrients.

So stick to nature, friends. Your body will thank you. You’ll feel better and live a longer, stronger, and healthier life. You’ll also set a positive example for others to follow as they learn to value getting real nourishment from whole, living foods as opposed to just getting full from the processed pretenders such as “enriched” or “fortified” wheat flour.

Source: The Truth about Cancer

Be kind to yourself

Your words and thoughts are powerful.  Thoughts produce words and behaviours.  Be kind to yourself, speak with kindness over yourself........

If the words you spoke or thought appeared on your skin would they be beautiful?

You are uniquely beautiful, created to be you!

Don't be afraid to shine

 

xx

 

 

Omega-3 - About and Chart of Quality sources

Quality Sources of Omega-3

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of Omega-3.  I have posted the following chart from www.whfoods.com which shows the World's Healthiest Foods that are either an excellent, very good, or good source of omega-3 fats. Next to each food name, you'll find the serving size they used to calculate the food's nutrient composition, the calories contained in the serving, the amount of omega-3 fats contained in one serving size of the food, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that they calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating they established in their rating system. For most of their nutrient ratings, they adopted the government standards for food labelling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labelling." 

 

Quality Sources of Omega-3

Quality Sources of Omega-3

Impact of Cooking, Storage and Processing

Omega-3 fatty acids are very susceptible to free radical damage. Oxidation of omega-3 fats limits their shelf life and their ability to provide you with the nourishment you need. Damage to the omega-3s in your food can be caused by light, oxygen, or heat. For this reason, foods that are rich in omega-3s should usually be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. This rule not only applies to animal foods like fish, dairy, eggs, and meat but also to plant foods like nuts and seeds.

The grinding of nuts and seeds deserves special mention in terms of its impact on omega-3 nourishment. As described earlier, many nuts and seeds contain valuable amounts of omega-3s in the form of ALA. However, in the case of small seeds like flax or chia seeds, it can be very difficult to chew the seeds and grind them sufficiently with your teeth to help increase the availability of their ALA. For this reason, many people choose to grind seeds (for example, in a coffee grinder) prior to eating or incorporating into a recipe. If you decide to grind your omega-3 rich seeds, their shelf life will be reduced and it becomes especially important to store them in a sealed, opaque container in your refrigerator. To give you a more practical idea of shelf life, pre-ground flaxseeds—packaged by the manufacturer in a gas-flushed, light-protective pouch—will typically last for 6-16 weeks before going bad. By comparison, whole flaxseeds will last 6-12 months when stored properly. If you are grinding your own seeds, we recommend a more modest storage time of 1-2 months.

If you are following a fairly strict vegetarian or vegan diet, it may be especially difficult for you to get EPA and DHA you directly from food. (That's because animal foods are typically richer sources of these omega-3s than plant foods.) For this reason, we recommend that you increase your intake of ALA-containing foods to a level that will provide you with approximately 4 grams of ALA per day. Here are some choices that can help you reach that 4 gram level.

Although we have partially addressed the following issue earlier in this article, we would like to emphasise one ongoing controversy that continues to hang over omega-3 research related to risk of dietary deficiency. That controversy involves metabolism of omega-3s. Researchers know that humans need all forms of omega-3s—including the forms ALA, EPA, and DHA. Researchers also know that humans can take ALA and convert it into EPA and DHA under favourable circumstances. But researchers still don't know is exactly how often these favoruable circumstances exist. Because the research jury on omega-3 metabolism is still out, we recommend taking one of two approaches to your omega-3 nourishment. A first approach is to focus on including not only ALA-rich plant foods in your meal plan, but EPA-rich and DHA-rich animal foods as well. A second approach is to focus exclusively on ALA-rich foods in your meal plan, but greatly increase your intake to the 4 gram level described earlier.

4 Steps to Keep You Productive All Day Long

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If you are working long hours: 40, 50 or even 60 hours each week, the chances are with distractions like online entertainment, snacking on the go and ill-designed time management, you are only churning out high-quality work during a portion of each day. I know I have often got into bad habits of having too many things on the go and doing nothing well!

Here are four practical steps to incorporate into your routine to optimise your time at work and maintain productivity all day long: 

1) 7 minutes of exercise: yes you read right 7 not 10. Now I can almost get excited about doing 7 minutes. Why 7 minutes? It's short enough that it won't impact the rest of your morning routine and long enough to shake off any residual sluggishness from the night before. Ideally this should not be your only exercise see 23.5 hours

There are endless fitness routines to turn to, but the one I like best is called the 7 Minute Workout (and yes, there's an app for that). In just seven minutes, it works all major muscle groups with 12 total exercises.

2)  Start your day out green: Sure, we've all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's pretty easy to reach for toast and coffee or a bowl of cereal, to get your metabolism going.

While all of these options are ok choices once in a while, you will be amazed at the morning lift you can get from a green smoothie. And smoothie requires less time in the morning than making coffee and toast.

It's so quick and easy, just blend (for about a minute): one apple, one banana, a handful of spinach or kale, handful half of frozen berries, 1/4 cup natural yoghurt, water or coconut water and a tablespoon of chia seeds, if you need to sweeten it add a few dates or honey and you have a power packed breakfast. It's cheap, easy and energising.


3)  Pick 3 wins for the day: Decide on the three things that you'd like to accomplish in the next 12 hours in order for you to feel like the day was a success. Now not every day will be straight forward, but by organising your day in this way will help you feel you have achieved and means you get to tick those items off your list. This is specially important if you have a type A personality or one of your strengths is achieving (see Gallup StrengthsFinder).


Try blocking blocking your calendar to achieve those wins. One of the most common mistakes people make at work is not turning to-do lists into time-bound, effective project lists. I've found that by allocating time you are far more likely to deliver tasks on time.

It's simple: For each of the big things on your list, block off the amount of time on your calendar that you estimate the task might take -- and then add 33% more time just to be sure.

If a project is multi-day or has dependencies, break it up into digestible chunks. Use one block to plan and a second or third block to accomplish.

This simple method will help hold you accountable and immediately help you refocus on the tasks you've prioritized when you do get distracted. Too often, we let one distraction steamroll an entire morning -- now you don't have to let that client email derail you from your winning plan for the day.

4)  Power up after lunch: Take the 15 minutes right after lunch to refocus on the day -- Stop - Relax - Refocus. Get away from your desk, work area or computer, go outside or sit in a different room and determine what you have left to do for that day.

Think about how the list you set in the morning is shaping up. Are you ahead of schedule? Behind schedule? You'll find that these 15 minutes help you identify how you are going - (and often in my case how I got derailed), what's causing you distractions and help you to stay or get back on track.

Give this simple formula a try for a week and I think you'll be pleased with the results.