SARAH LOUISE HAYES

Transformational Nutrition Coach

The SCD Diet: What It Is And How It Works

The SCD Diet: What It Is And How It Works

Toxic foods and some ‘health foods’ can cause digestive harm. My philosophy is based on SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) principles. SCD saved my health, yet most people have never heard of it. It changed me so dramatically,  I created my own SCD- products.

What Science Is Behind The 7 Day Body Reset & The Eat Clean, Sexy & Lean Mealplans?

The Reset and Mealplans are based on SCD priciples, i.e. the fact that not everyone’s digestive tract can optimally digest complex carbohydrates and man made food products like sugar. (Toxic foods and many ‘health foods; can cause digestive harm).  Carbohydrates are classified by their chemical structure; they are monosaccharide, disaccharide or polysaccharide. In these meal plans, only monosaccharide carbohydrates are eaten as all others require extra digestion steps to break the chemical bonds down to monosaccharide carbohydrates.

Any food that is not properly digested causes bacterial and yeast overgrowth when undigested carbohydrates are fed on by bacteria and yeast in the intestinal tract. This starts a chain reaction of excess toxins and acids which cause irritation of the small intestine cells, damaging them and causing food absorbtion issues, which only helps to continue the cycle.

The Reset/Mealplans  are an all natural way to break this cycle of bacteria and yeast overgrowth by eliminating the food sources they feed on. By working to restore gut flora to normal levels, the intestinal tract is allowed to start repairing itself.

How Do The Reset/Eat Clean, Sexy & Lean Meal Plans Work?

By eliminating complex carbohydrates, lactose, sucrose and other man-made ingredients from the digestive system, the body is finally allowed to start healing. As gut flora levels start to stabilise, the reduction of irritants from undigested foods, toxins and other man-made ingredients allows inflammation levels to retreat.

This is accomplished by beginning the diet with extremely easy to digest, natural foods. The 7 Day Body Reset plan starts the healing process and then more complex foods are added back to the diet very slowly. By carefully adding foods back to the diet, the Eat Clean, Sexy & Lean Mealplans are specifically tailored to suit various states of ‘injury’ and digestion abilities.

What Do/Don’t I Eat Then?

Using this phasing approach will give your body 13 weeks (3 months) of low inflammation foods so that you can begin healing before you start trying more advanced foods. You should avoid introducing new foods until you have been free of digestive symptoms and other mental/physical symptoms for 4 days on a row.

To give you a rough idea of timings, you shouldn’t be reintroducing foods not on the mealplans until you’re 3-6 months into the mealpans. Keep in mind, everyone is differenct and some people will heal faster, just as some will heal slower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why 30 Days On The SCD Diet Will Give You Control Of Your IBS

Why 30 Days On The SCD Diet Will Give You Control Of Your IBS

by SARAH LOUISE HAYES

If you’re suffering from digestive problems labelled as IBS, like I was, I’m sure you have actively researched ways to help your symptoms. I used to scan the web daily for the latest and greatest research on symptoms, supplements and what to eat. But what I never realised at the start of my research was how important diet was. I never even considered that diet may be the biggest single factor in how I felt on a daily basis. I learned that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet was the answer I was looking for.

It only took me 24 hours on the SCD Diet to finally gain control of my undisguisable IBS symptoms and finally be able to feel better than I’d ever felt, instead of my stomach being permanently bloated or dealing with constant gut pain.

But There Is More To The Story…

IBS is driven by various factors which when combined together affect many of our body systems. It is primarily driven by bacterial overgrowth and inflammation. An inflamed gut with an overgrowth of the bad guys is a recipe for disaster and leads to the symptoms labelled Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

You Have To Attack This Thing Two-Fold…

  1. First, by killing off the bacteria (ideally through starving them to death).
  2. And then cooling the inflammation down.

What’s the best way to accomplish both of those tasks… the magic pill to take control of IBS?

You guessed it, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, A.K.A. The Eat Clean, Sexy & Lean Mealplans.

The SCD Diet works to stop feeding the bad bacteria – the complex carbs, sugars and starches that it needs to proliferate and it also cools down the inflammation in the gut by lowering the intake of processed foods, sugar, dairy and complex carbohydrates that irritate the lining of the gut. So, what is the key step to make all this work harmoniously together to start making you feel better? The key step is properly executing the SCD ‘Intro Diet’, A.K.A. The 7 Day Body Reset. Without it, you may not ever get control of the bad guys and be able to break that viscous cycle.

The 7 Day Body Reset is so important, because it reboots the gut flora and starves out the bacteria in one swift motion to make sure that the foundation of foods that the Eat Clean, Sexy & Lean Mealplans build from that point forward, is made on a solid footing. If you complete The 7 Day Body Reset properly, you can be confident that you can get a handle on the symptoms of your IBS, one day at a time.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Is Rather Simple When You Boil It Down…

Basically, you just say NO to some types of food and YES more often to others. It is really that simple.

Sure, there is a learning curve, however, I have taken most of that away with your ready-made SCD/Elimination Diet Eat Clean, Sexy & Lean Mealplans.

It will actually be exciting! You can finally go explore the outer aisles of the supermarkets and in the process, dust off those unused pots and pans.

That is really all the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is: learning a new way to shop, cook and when to say NO to certain foods.

There are no horrible side effects and no starvation, but your food bill might go up temporarily. The same thing would happen if you tried a new supplement or vitamin-pill.

What if in 30 days, you could naturally get more energy, balance your weight, stabilise your blood sugar, end your digestion troubles and all you had to do was eat differently?

Now, what if I told you all you needed to focus on was doing the right things on the diet and that there was a programme that would show exactly how to get started to make sure you get all the benefits from the SCD Diet?

Well, if you’re interested, I created The 7 Day Body Reset – a Nutritional Detox that walks you through step-by-step, how to start the SCD Intro Diet properly… you also get your own online-coach for support:

Remember, it all starts with The 7 Day Body Reset and then you can jump right onto the Eat Clean, Sexy & Lean Mealplans. Worst case scenario – you suffer the same symptoms you have now. Best case – your IBS symptoms stop, your gas/bloating stops, you lose excess weight and you take control of your health.

I have kicked IBS symptoms with this very diet. Message me to get started.

Stuff About Me…

I am a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach/Trainee-P.T. In 2014, I reached a breaking point when IBS took over my life and the doctors didn’t know how to help. Since then, I have transformed my health  and started #The7DayBodyReset  and #EatCleanSexyAndLean programmes to help others. You can check out my story on my website and message me directly on Facebook Messenger.

#Spreadtheword  – help others like you.

Heard Of The Gut-Brain Connection?

Heard Of The Gut-Brain Connection?

No? Neither had I until 2 years ago. But once I did, my understanding of my whole ‘self’ made sense to me. Suffer from IBS, anxiety, unexplained feelings of fatigue, stress or ‘the blues’? Then you need to read this.

We humans are very proud of our complex brains. We hold our brains responsible for everything we experience in life – we think up experiences of wellbeing, happiness or satisfaction inside our own heads. When we are insecure, anxious or depressed, we worry that the computer in our heads might be broken.

However, recently, the gut is the organ that is currently causing researchers to rethink its role; in fact, scientists are  beginning to question the view that the brain is the sole ruler of the body…

 

We Actually Have A Gut-Brain…!

The gut’s network of nerves is called the ‘gut brain’ because it is just as large and chemically complex as the grey matter in our heads. If the gut was solely responsible for transporting food and producing the occasional burp, such a sophisticated nervous system would be such a waste of energy. No body would create such a network just to enable us to break wind. There must be more to it than that.

We humans have known for a while something that science is only now discovering: our gut feeling is responsible for how we feel. We are ‘scared ****less’ or we can be ‘pooing our pants’ with fear. We can’t get our ‘arse into gear’. We ‘swallow’ our disappointment and need time to ‘digest’ a defeat. A nasty comment leaves a ‘bad taste in the mouth’. When we fall in love, we get ‘butterflies in our stomach’. Our ‘self’ is created in our head and our gut – no longer just in language, but increasingly also in the lab.

The Gut And Brain Cooperate…

Cooperation between the gut and the brain begins very early in life. Together, they are responsible for a large proportion of our emotional world. When we are babies, we love the feeling of a full stomach, get upset when we are hungry or cry and moan with wind. Familiar people feed, change and burp us. It’s clear that our infant ‘self’ consists of the gut and the brain. As we get older, we increasingly experience the world through our senses. We no longer throw a tantrum when we don’t like food at a restaurant, but the connection between gut and brain does not disappear; it simply becomes more refined. A gut that does not feel good can affect our mood and a healthy, well-nourished gut can improve our sense of well being.

The first study of the effect of intestinal care on healthy human brains was published in 2013. The researchers assumed there would be no visible effect on humans. The results they came up with were surprising – not only for them, but for the entire research community. After four weeks of taking a mixture of beneficial gut bacteria, some of the areas of the subjects brains were unmistakeably altered, especially the areas responsible for processing emotions and pain.

When a gut is irritated, its connection to the brain can make life unpleasant. This shows up on brain scans. In one experiment, the activity in the brains of volunteers was imaged while a small balloon was inflated inside their intestine. Healthy subjects showed normal brain activity, with no notable emotional changes. When patients with irritable bowels were subjected to the same procedure, however, there were clear indications of activity in the emotional centre of the brain normally associated with unpleasant feelings. The patients felt uneasy, although they had not endured anything untoward.

How This Connects To Irritable-Bowel…

Irritable-bowel syndrome is often characterised by an unpleasant bloated feeling or gurgling in the abdomen and a susceptibility to diarrhoea or constipation. This can be caused by tiny but persistent micro-inflammations, bad gut flora or undetected food intolerances. Despite a wealth of recent research, some doctors still dismiss patients with irritable-bowel syndrome as hypochondriacs or of no real concern, because their tests show no visible damage to the gut. Sufferers also have an above-average incidence of anxiety or depressive disorders. And like patients with irritable-bowel syndrome, sufferers of Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis also show increased rates of depression and anxiety.

Some researchers have been studying how to make the threshold between the gut and the brain less porous. This is important not only for patients with intestinal problems, but for all of us. Stress is thought to be among the most important stimuli ‘discussed’ by the brain and the gut. When the brain senses a major problem (such as time pressure or anger), it wants to solve it. To do so, it needs energy, which it borrows mainly from the gut. The gut is informed of the emergency situation via the sympathetic nerve fibres and is instructed to obey the brain in this stressful period. It decides to save energy on digestion, producing less mucous and reducing the blood supply.

However, this system is not designed for long-term use. If the brain constantly thinks it is in an emergency situation, it begins to take advantage of the gut’s ‘compliance’. When that happens, the gut is forced to send unpleasant signals to the brain to say it is no longer willing to be ‘exploited’. This negative stimulus can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, general feelings of unwellness or diarrhoea. As with emotional vomiting in response to upsetting situations, the gut reacts by ridding itself of food to save energy so it is available to the brain. The difference is that real stress situations can continue for much longer than minor upsets do. If the gut has to continue to forego energy in favour of the brain, its health will eventually suffer. A reduced blood supply and a thinner protective layer of mucous weaken the gut walls. The immune cells that dwell in the gut wall begin to secrete large amounts of signal substances that make the gut brain increasingly sensitive and lower the first threshold. Periods of stress mean the brain borrows energy and, as we all know, good budgeting is always better than running up too many debts.

I feel this had a great deal to do with my IBS.

Stress Is Unhygienic…

One theory proposed by research bacteriologists is that stress is unhygienic. The altered circumstances that stress creates in the gut allow different bacteria to survive there than in periods of low stress. Stress kind of ‘changes the weather’ in the gut. This makes us not just the victims of our own gut bacteria, but also the ‘gardeners’ of our body’s ‘ecosystem’. It also means that our gut is capable of making us feel the negative effects, long after the period of stress is over.

Our Gut Could Influence Behaviour…

The theory that our gut is involved not only in our  feelings and in making ‘gut decisions’, but may also influence our behaviour, is the subject of various research projects. One team designed an experiment using two different strains of mice with very well-researched behavioural characteristics. Members of one type of mice are more timid and docile than those belonging to the other type, which are more curious and gregarious. The researchers gave the mice a mixture of antibiotics that only affect the gut, wiping out their entire gut flora. (This also happened to me – I was on acne preventing antibiotics for years). They then fed the animals with gut bacteria that were typical of the other mouse type. Behaviour tests showed they had swapped roles – the timid mice became more gregarious and the gregarious mice became more timid. This shows that the gut can influence behaviour – at least in mice. The results cannot yet be applied to humans as scientists do not yet know enough about the various bacteria involved, the gut brain in general or about the gut-brain axis.

Mealtimes Must Always Be Stress-Free…!

Until scientists have filled in those gaps in their knowledge, we can make use of the facts we already know to improve gut health. It starts with the little things like mealtimes, for example, which should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. The dinner table should be a stress-free zone, with no place for arguing or announcements like “You will remain at the table until you’ve finished the food on your plate!” and without passing on your ‘preparing the dinner stress’ to the people you have just cooked for. This is important for adults, but it is vital for small children, whose gut brain develops in parallel with their head brain. The earlier in life that mealtime calm is introduced, the better. Stress of any kind activates nerves that inhibit the digestive process, which means we not only extract less nutrition from our food, but we also take longer to digest it, putting the gut under unnecessary strain.

Final Thoughts About The Gut-Brain…

95 per cent of the serotonin we produce is manufactured in the cells of our gut. Anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression should remember that an unhappy gut can be the cause of an unhappy mind. Sometimes, the gut has a perfect right to be unhappy, if it is dealing with an undetected food intolerance for example. We should not always blame depression on the brain or on our life circumstances – there is much more to us than that.

Do you suffer from IBS/digestive issues, anxiety, depression, fatigue, stress? Contact me to discuss how I can help you.

Sarah x

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking of Detoxing And Eating Clean? Things You Should Know…

Thinking Of Detoxing And Eating Clean? Things You Should Know…

Over the past 18 months, I have detoxed (using real food) around 4 x a year (seasonally).  In this blog, I’ll show you what your body is really telling you and explain why many people feel worse when detoxing or switching to a real food diet, before they begin feeling better.  I’m not going to lie to you, detoxing and switching to clean eating can cause pretty awful symptoms…

You don’t need to fast…

The longer I’ve examined the detox industry, the more confident I have become in the fundamental idea that a clean diet is the most important detox you need. Every food item you eat every single day, in other words, should be part of a cleansing and toxin elimination lifestyle. My view on this has evolved through my experiences of course and today I know that people don’t need to suffer through detox-fasting regimes to experience lasting results. A healthy, whole foods diet that’s rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and plenty of quality hydration is, all by itself, a ‘daily detox’.

Truth be told, your daily diet is either helping you eliminate toxins or accumulate toxins depending on what you eat. A diet of processed foods and contaminated supplements will increase your toxic burden, but a diet of fresh whole foods will naturally and automatically eliminate toxins.

Exercising also helps. Engaging in regular exercise that cause you to sweat greatly will magnify your body’s detox capabilities. Many toxins are released in your sweat and that explains why people who exercise regularly (or who use saunas as therapy), tend to be far healthier and less toxic than those who never sweat.

People who drink plenty of fluids also tend to be healthier: water helps your kidneys eliminate toxins with high efficiency.

I tried eating real food – it made me feel worse!

So, you’ve cut out grains, refined sugar, fake sugar, industrial seed oils, processed foods like pop or soy and if you choose to eat dairy, you make sure it’s in the form of goats/sheeps natural yoghurt.

You’re following a detox-diet like The 7 Day Body Reset or you’ve started a diet like Eating Clean, Sexy & Lean, but you’re still having undesirable symptoms, even though you’re avoiding all those toxic foods. Or maybe you’re like I was and your carb/coffee/sugar cravings are driving you nuts.

The good news is: you’re not alone!

There are three common  problems that people run into when detoxing or starting a new diet like Paleo, GAPS or SCD inspired diets like mine, that can make them feel worse than before they started.

The first and the most problematic for people, is typically referred to as ‘die-off’.

Die-off can make you feel so bad you’ll want to quit before you can get better…

As I said before, I’m not going to lie to you, die-off can cause pretty awful symptoms and many times, it will cause symptoms that are worse than before you started the diet.

Here’s a summary of what can happen:

• Diarrhea

• Constipation

• Brain Fog

• Intense Cravings

• Joint Pain

• Fevers

• Fatigue

• Gas/Bloating

The experience of ‘die-off’ is related to the shift in gut bacteria that happens when you stop feeding overgrown bacteria the food it is used to thriving on. When I switched to an eating clean diet, I had brain fog so bad, all I could do the first 3 days was sit on the couch, staring at the TV… seriously.

One of the most common things I come across is when someone is trying to figure out if they have die-off symptoms or not…

Here’s the best way to tell if what you’re going through is really die-off… see how long it lasts.

Symptoms related to the shift in bacteria usually last 3-7 days and anything longer than that is probably something else. That leads me to the second most common problem people face when starting a detox/low-carb diet… which is known as the ‘low-carb flu’.

The low-carb flu can make you feel foggy and fatigued…

The low-carb flu is a nickname for the process of low-carb adaptation and some people have to deal with it and some people don’t – it is very individual. I found it really challenging switching to low-carb.

It can cause symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, intense sugar/carb cravings, lethargy, etc…

These symptoms are a result of a shift in the way the body burns fuel from primarily glucose, to primarily fats.

Low-carb adaptation symptoms typically last 2-3 weeks and slowly fade away after that.

To summarise: ‘die-off’ symptoms might last anywhere from the first 3-7 days on a real food detox/diet and symptoms related to low-carb adaptation might last from 2-3 weeks.

So, if you’ve been on a low-carb diet for 30 days or more and still feel worse than before you started, there’s something more going on…

Why feeling worse doesn’t mean your diet won’t work for you…

Between die-off and the low-carb flu, the first 30 days on a diet like mine can feel even worse than before you started.

The honest truth is: not everyone feels better overnight. I wish everyone that started these types of diets found it easy and never gave up, because that would make it really easy for me to get people to try it.

Fixing your body is a gradual process that happens over a long period of time. When I started eating clean, my bloating began to go down within  24 hours and by the end of the week it had disappeared completely.  This was a miracle to me, but it still took months to recover my health.

If you’re still suffering and you still feel worse after 30 days on the diet, eg, constipation, that’s a big sign that you need to start looking at other areas of your health, e.g. thyroid, hormones, birth-control, stress, vitamin/mineral deficiencies.

The third most common problem people face when they start a real food diet is they don’t take adequate supplements for their body. It doesn’t mean the diet isn’t working for them, it means they might have neglected to ensure they’re not deficient in key vitamins or minerals.

Eating clean has helped thousands of people lose weight, heal their gut and fix their health. I’ve found that people do feel better eating a real food diet like Paleo, GAPS or SCD. It changed my life!

So, just to be clear: each person has to do some testing and tweaking to create a custom version of a real food diet that works for them.

And if you don’t experience some degree of improvement after 30 days on a real food diet… it doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you or you’re doomed to forever suffer health issues. It means that your body is telling you that it’s time to make some tweaks. It’s time to start customising your diet, supplements and lifestyle to help your body to heal.

What to do if your diet isn’t working for you…

I’m going to share the 3 most common tweaks I tell people that are 30 days into a real food diet and still don’t feel better:

  1. Digestive Enzymes – Take these if you have trouble breaking down certain food-groups.
  2. Probiotics – Everyone should take these. Symptoms like diarrhea and frequent constipation are signs of ‘gut dysbiosis’ AKA ‘really messed up gut bacteria’ – which probiotics will help with.
  3. Multivitamin/Multimineral Support – Take these for overall support. In an ideal world we would get all of our vitamins and minerals from our food, but in reality, most people probably don’t. Our bodies need all vitamins and minerals to function. If you’re deficient in just one thing, it can have a huge knock-on effect on your health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s The Deal With Dairy?

What’s The Deal With Dairy?

Milk is sometimes referred to as the ‘basic food of life’, so why are loads of people ‘giving up dairy’? Especially when we are told that consuming dairy products gives us numerous health benefits like improved bone health and that dairy also provides us with nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin D and protein – all of which are vital for the health and maintenance of your body?

If you’re anything like me, then you may have grown up consuming vast quantities of dairy on a daily basis: milk on cereal, cheese sandwiches, ice cream, yoghurt, hot milk at bedtime – I still remember the skin on top…

What Is Milk Made Of?

Milk is actually a carbohydrate – a simple carbohydrate to be precise.  Simple carbohydrates are disaccharides, so named because they are composed of 2 sugar units. Disaccharides require some enzymatic breakdown, but are easily converted to monosaccharides for digestion.

There are 3 types of disaccharides:

• Lactose

• Sucrose

• Maltose

Milk is composed of lactose.

Lactose

Lactose is the only sugar of animal origin. It is composed of 1 molecule each of glucose and galactose. It is broken down by the enzyme lactase, which is deficient or absent in many people after they stop consuming their mother’s breast milk.(Lactose is the sugar of human breast milk).

The total percentage of people who are lactose intolerant is around 33%. The total percentage of adults that have a decrease in lactase activity is around 75%. However, studies show that as many as 70% of lactose intolerant people don’t link their symptoms to consumption of milk sugar. Many people don’t  know they are lactose intolerant. They’ll have excess gas, bloating or an upset stomach. They won’t feel so good after eating it. They think these symptoms are ‘normal’, but they’re not.

Lactose Intolerance Symptoms

Common foods that may cause an intolerance are gluten, corn, eggs, soy, peanuts, artificial colourings, sweeteners and dairy. Dairy intolerance symptoms include acne, eczema, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, excess gas, muscle aches, joint pain, depression, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, congestion, coughing, sneezing, weight gain and inability to lose weight.

There are new studies done all the time highlighting the pros and cons of dairy products and their consumption. Dairy products include foods that are animal by-products such as milk and milk products. Those with a known food sensitivity or intolerance should avoid dairy products as this is one of the top food intolerances/food sensitivities.  As well as food allergies and intolerances, consuming excessive amounts of dairy products has been linked to many health conditions such as obesity, congestive problems, high blood pressure and some cancers.

Removing dairy products makes a huge difference in terms of many health  issues including weight loss, excessive tiredness, skin issues, hair loss issues and digestive problems.

Studies have suggested that the nutritional benefits of milk are usually lost when a lactose deficient/lactose intolerant individual consumes milk, so not only do they fail to receive the nutrients that are normally supplied, but this frequently results in an upset stomach, diarrhea or the lactose intolerant symptoms mentioned previously.

An ellimination diet is recommended to rule out a food intolerance.

 

Commercial Dairy Production

There are concerns surrounding commercially farmed dairy products which include the environmental impact, industry conditions and procedures and production processes. Although a large proportion of the public still aren’t aware of these, the problems with commercial milk production are now more public knowledge than ever.

Dairy cows are often pumped full of hormones and antibiotics and sprayed with pesticides in order to withstand unsanitary conditions and lack of medical attention. They are fed diets of energy-increasing carbohydrates and fat supplements. They frequently suffer from life-threatening mammary gland infections, causing pus to be allowed into the milk. In most cases, a mild infection is acceptable, which allows ‘safe’ levels of pus into the milk. If the pus level is below a certain level, it is deemed fine to be sold.

Raw Milk vs Pasteurised Milk

Most shops won’t sell raw milk because, as you may have read in newspapers recently, raw milk may contain harmful bacteria and pathogens and is not recommended for consumption by many food standard agencies. Raw milk is said to be the most nutrient dense as well as being high in enzymes and gut healthy bacteria. The processing of milk leads to a decrease in nutrients. Enzymes are usually killed off when milk is processed and the gut healthy bacteria is also killed.

Some people who have an intolerance/sensitivity to milk can consume raw milk. However, some people can’t tolerate this either. If someone is allergic to milk, you should never give it to them.

Using Soy As A Substitute

Soy milk is a plant based drink produced by soaking dried soy beans and grinding them in water. Beans commonly cause an increase in intestinal gas, leading to flatulence, bloating and discomfort. This is caused by them fermenting in the intestines.

Soy beans are a common, yet controversial bean. Soy is one of the most farmed crops in the Western World and is almost always genetically modified and doused in pesticides. It is heavily processed, but a very popular meat and dairy alternative in society. Whilst soy beans are high in protein, they are almost never consumed in their natural state. Almost every ingredient in soy milk is cause for concern, including cane sugar and flavourings.

Soy is highly allergenic and is definitely not recommended for people with hormone imbalances and thyroid conditions. Soy consumption can wreak havoc on our estrogen levels. One study showed that infants consuming soy formula had concentrations of blood estrogen levels 13,000 to 22,000 times higher than normal estrogen levels.

Numerous studies show that soy may be linked to breast cancer as it increased the proliferation of potentially carcinogenic breast cells. Soy also contains high levels of phytic acid – a compound that reduces the absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc.

 

 

Which Milk Substitutes Are Best?

Coconut milk is a safer substitute milk if cutting out dairy. It is also more nutritious, easier to digest and much ‘creamier-tasting’ than almond milk. Aside from purchasing a coconut and drinking the milk from inside, (the most natural option), there are also 3 other types of coconut milk you could try:

  1. Creamed coconut in a block.  Add hot water for milk. Totally natural, but very ‘watery’.

 

 

 

 

 

2.

Canned coconut milk – extremely thick. Good for cooking – not drinking!

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Coconut milk in a carton. Lasts about week in fridge. Good for tea and coffee. Various brands have different things added, e.g, rice – this is definitely no good, especially if gluten intolerant.

The brand on the left seems to be one of the better brands, however, there are a few ingredients in there that you may want to check out before deciding if it is right for you.

 

 

Which Yoghurt Substitutes Are Best?

Homemade yoghurt would be the best, however, many people do not have the time, patience and know-how to do this. Coconut yoghurt is another excellent substitute, however, almost all commercially available coconut yoghurts contain thickeners, which often cause bloating. This is a shame, as it is really tasty, extremely nutritious and would otherwise be one of the healthiest yoghurts you could consume. So, the next viable alternatives are goats and sheeps yoghurt.

People often digest the whey proteins in sheep or goat dairy more easily. The lactose in goat and sheeps yoghurt is generally better tolerated than in cows milk. Even if people are severely lactose intolerant, they can often consume yoghurt rather than milk. This is because the lactose will have been converted into lactic acid in the yoghurt making process. This is magnified further when consuming goats and sheeps yoghurt rather than cows yoghurt.

Goats and sheeps yoghurt is also 3 times higher in protein than cows milk – this makes it easier to digest.

Yoghurt, especially acidopholis yoghurt (‘natural’ yoghurt),  supports your immune system by restoring the gut flora back to its original load, preventing bad bugs from taking over.

Goats yoghurt tastes like feta cheese – more of a bitter taste, whereas sheeps yoghurt tastes very ‘creamy’.

Recommended brands:

St. Helens Farm Goats Yoghurt

 

 

 

 

Woodlands Organic Sheep Milk Yoghurt

 

 

 

 

Consuming Dairy – One Last Cosideration…

Although people often digest goat or sheep dairy more easily, like cows milk, it is extremely acidic to the body. This causes the body to leech out minerals from your bones to make it more alkaline. This means that this cancels out much of the  ‘strong bones’ benefits you may get from consuming the calcium in milk as your bones leak these minerals out every time you consume it. If you want to consume calcium rich foods for your bones, leafy greens, seafood and fruit contain the same amount of calcium as milk, plus they also contain a plethora of other vitamins and minerals.

For example, one cup of bok choy, one and a half cups of kale or 2 cups of broccoli contain the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk. They also have a much better calcium absorption rate (about 50-60%).

In the case of consuming goats or sheeps yoghurt for its ‘good bug’ benefits, a small amount daily should be fine for most people, but ensure that you’re taking a really good multi-mineral and multivitamin to counteract the acidity that the dairy will bring to your body.  However, if you are consuming various dairy products throughout the day, you may want to consider alternatives.

What Should I Do Next?

If you feel giving up cows milk/cows milk products will be tough, start by eliminating one thing at a time, eg, cheese. You could also substitute one cows milk item, with a non cows milk item, eg, the milk in your coffee. Alternatively, eliminate all cows milk products from your diet for 30 days and keep a food diary of how you feel. If there’s no change, nothing lost. If you feel a change for the better, then it’s a no-brainer!

 

 

No Caffeine Whilst Detoxing?! Why?

6e9b89832bc699f3aad5c434a8c2f7791No Caffeine Whilst Detoxing?! Why?

Why is caffeine a no-no during a detox? Many of us can’t imagine starting our day without our beloved cup of coffee. Although caffeine is not advised during a detox, you may find yourself wondering… would it really hurt to just drink a little of my coffee anyway? Let’s take a moment to learn how caffeine can be counterproductive during your detox and why now is the best time to start thinking about how much caffeine you’re actually consuming…

 

 

Many experts name caffeine as the most pervasively used psychoactive substance in our culture. Some, but not all people, will experience withdrawal from suddenly stopping regular consumption of caffeine containing beverages. It’s a good idea to gradually wean yourself from caffeine before you start your detox to lessen withdrawal symptoms.

Is caffeine unhealthy?

This is a hotly debated subject. On the unhealthy side, caffeine can be addictive and in large amounts can increase calcium loss from the body, worsen underlying tremors and cause anxiety, insomnia and rapid heart rate.

On the healthy side, coffee (and chocolate!) contain anti-oxidants. Moderate consumption has been correlated with lower risk of certain cancers, easing migraine symptoms, (although caffeine can worsen migraines), improving cardiovascular exercise performance, mood and Parkinson disease motor defecits.

Why is caffeine not advised during a detox?

One of the primary purposes of a detox is to give your body a break from many of its daily duties of processing the components within the foods and drinks we ingest to ‘clean out’ or encourage increased and natural detoxification with clean-foods. Caffeine is a substance that is metabolised by our liver by a process that includes oxidation. This means that our liver must perform work to safely package and remove caffeine’s compounds from our bodies. Ingesting caffeine will give your body more work to do and could therefore hinder or lessen the overall effectiveness of the detox.

Weight loss in general is a good thing for wellness. For those losing significant amounts of weight during a detox, you will want to give this concept and cutting out caffeine extra thought. When our fat cells shrink, they release stored, potent, fat soluble toxins into our bloodstream. Research has shown that once released (Stage 1 of detoxing), your body then needs to convert them into another form to expel them from your body (Stage 2 detoxing). When you detox, you’re taking in a huge dose of phytonutrients which have the potential to grab those newly released toxins and neutralise them.

How to slowly come off caffeine BEFORE you start your detox…

At least one week before you start your detox, you will need to wean off of caffeine. To make this process more gentle, follow this guide:

Days 1-2: No more than 3 cups per day (black filter coffee)

Days 3-4: No more than 2 cups per day (black filter coffee)

Days 5-6: No more than 1 cup per day (black filter coffee)

Day 7: Green Tea (only 30mg caffeine)

What if you feel the need for some caffeine to help manage headaches early on during your detox? Don’t worry if you’ve jumped right into your detox and didn’t come off caffeine gradually before you started. If you can manage it for 1 week, you’ll allow detoxification to happen.

Caffeine facts to think about…

Enjoy minimal amounts of caffeine by drinking tea. A typical cup of Arabica coffee has 70-120mg of caffeine and tea is typically around 30-45mg. Green Tea, Yerba Mate Tea and Chai Tea all contain natural anti-oxidants and other health promoting compounds, so including a bit of these will give you a lower dose of caffeine compared to coffee and offer some phytonutrient based benefits. For example, Green Tea is scientifically known for its ECGC compounds which have been shown to help discourage tumors from being able to make their own blood supply – a process known as anti-angiogenesis.

Establish a sound sleep schedule. We often use caffeine to help ‘wake us up’. When you stop drinking coffee first thing in the morning, you will decrease your need for a caffeine jolt.

Drink plenty of water and pure-juice throughout the detox. The headaches that often accompany the first few days of a detox can be caused by a number of factors. But more often than not, drinking more water and pure-juice can help to remedy or at least reduce the severity of this common and normal side effect.

Should I go back to drinking coffee after my detox?

This is a very personal decision. As we have learned from scientific research, there are both pros and cons to drinking coffee. However, the research is very clear that moderate amounts are best and excess consumption of caffeine is risky for health. If your morning latte returns to your daily post-detox routine, aim to choose coffee in a healthy form. Avoid added syrups, sugar or artificial sweeteners and add a non-soya or non-diary ‘milk’ like coconut milk or just drink it black. Finally, most coffee beans are sprayed with over 250 pesticide chemicals, so switch to organic!

 

 

 

 

Why I Eat Jello Daily

p-1071-gelatin1Why I Eat Jello Daily

My homemade version is made without the artificial colours and flavourings found in the brand-name varieties. It is so easy to make. All you need is 100% juice and grass-fed gelatin to make this quick and easy treat at home and it’s no more time consuming than the original.

But why would a grown up even want to eat jello? Isn’t  it best left to kids parties? And surely there isn’t actually any nutritional value in it whatsoever. So what exactly is the point in eating it? Well, surprisingly enough, there are actually several massive benefits to eating jello every day. In fact, on the rare days that I don’t get my daily fix of jello, I spit my dummy out, throw a tantrum and cry at my own party…

The Jello Lowdown

Jelly is one of those fun foods that takes you right back to your childhood. Plus, gelatin itself is one of the best foods we can eat to heal our gut. (In the same way as Chicken Bone Broth is recommended: bones = gelatin).

Here’s a few words about gelatin from a published work by Dr. Siebecker:

To summarise, gelatin can be considered for use in the following conditions: food allergies, dairy maldigestion, colic, bean maldigesttion, meat maldigestion, grain maldigestion, hypochorhydria, hyperacidity, gastroesophagul reflux, gastritis, ulcer, hiatal hernia, inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, malnutrition, weight loss, muscle wasting, cancer, osteoporosis, calcium deficiency and anemia

So, you can eat Homemade Chicken Soup and Homemade Jello to help with these ailments and more. Jello is another way to get many of the benefits of bone broth. They are made from the same ingredients. And, it’s a fun way to eat your medicine. Jelly is one of those fun foods that takes you back to your childhood,

Gelatin also supports skin, hair and nail growth and is helpful for joints and joint recovery. It is also a great dietary source of collagen, as well as a source of protein, (Body Builders consume this lots), so when it’s paired with 100% fruit juice, with no added sugars, this is the type of Jello you want to be eating;

Homemade Jello

Fills a standard cooking dish

Ingredients

1 pint Tropicana Grape Juice

1 heaped tablespoon of Great Lakes Unflavoured Gelatin

Directions

To begin, you’ll want to ‘mix’ the gelatin in a bit of the juice, to ensure a smooth and even end result. In a small saucepan, heat rest of juice until hot (never boiling). Add your thickened gelatin/juice mixture to the hot juice in the pan until it is mixed in. Once it has dissolved (and is hot, but not boiling), pour the mixture into your standard cooking dish. Let cool at room temperature. Once cooled, place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

You’ll know when it’s done when the top is firm to the touch. Slice into 4 squares/rectangles/any shape and eat one portion every afternoon. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.

Prep Time?

5 minutes

If you tolerate it, you could add 5 tablespoons of Goats/Sheep Yoghurt to your jello portion so it tastes even more amazing.

Note: As an alternative to dairy yoghurt, you can use coconut yoghurt, however, there are still bloat causing ingredients in there like ‘thickeners’, so you might need to experiment. If in any doubt, just stick to the jello.

Now you can eat your dessert and heal your gut too. No guilt, just lots of healing power.

Enjoy. x

PS. For more information of the healing powers of gelatin, visit my FREE page

 

The Digestive Benefits Of Fresh-Orange…

th5The Digestive Benefits of Fresh-Orange..

Have you noticed how nutrition type people are bad mouthing fruit juice lately? Fruit juice ‘drinks’, diluted juices and other synthetic juices, yes – I totally agree – they are no good for anybody, but in the war on sugar, we mustn’t forget that a glass of fresh orange juice has 1 ingredient – oranges, which yes, contain sugar (natural), but as long as you don’t overdo it (like everything else), your body will benefit greatly from a couple of small glasses per day.  Worried about teeth? Mix a glass of half juice/half water – you will still get all the benefits, but it will be much better for peggies.

 

It’s a natural remedy for constipation…

Orange juice is known to increase peristaltic activity (the contraction of muscles in the colon, which helps in bowel movement), and drinking orange juice is an easy and tasty way of combatting constipation. In order to take advantage of the fibre in oranges, consume one orange juice first thing in the morning and one more at tea time. Oranges are rich in Vitamin C and the fibre needed for proper digestion. Oranges stimulate the bowels in order to prevent waste accumulation in the colon.

Orange Juice & Digestion…

Digestive problems are often linked to insufficient stomach acidity, poor eating habits, combining incompatible foods and stomach or intestinal infections. Indigestion often leads to abdominal pain, acid reflux, flatulence and diarrhea. Fresh orange juice can help increase the acidity within your stomach and promote better digestion, but it should be consumed prior to eating and not combined with certain foods. Drinking any acidic juices while experiencing acid reflux can aggravate symptoms.

Indigestion, also known as ‘upset stomach’ or ‘dyspepsia’, has a variety of causes, but lack of stomach acidity is a common culprit. The acidity of your stomach should be at least 3 on the PH scale while food is in your stomach. A higher or more alkaline PH in your stomach does not allow sufficient breakdown of carbohydrates or adequately prepare proteins and fat for digestion in your small intestine. Causes of inadequate acidity in your stomach include nutritional deficiency, poor dietary choices, food allergies, hormonal or electrolyte imbalance, infection, drug interactions, excessive stress, extreme fatigue and certain hereditary and acquired diseases.

Common Symptoms of Poor Digestion…

The most common symptoms of poor digestion include abdominal pain, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, loose stools, fatigue, weight fluctuation and mood imbalance. Your doctor may have advised you to take antacids or PPI’s for symptomatic relief, however these only exacerbate digestive issues, so if you are on these, try to gradually wean yourself off them.  Recommended common treatments for poor digestion include dietary modification, supplementing with digestive enzymes and trying to naturally lower stomach PH during meals. Citrus juices can work well in regards to lowering PH.

Oranges are citrus fruits that contain a variety of natural acids, particularly citric acid and ascorbic acids. Fresh orange juice has a PH lower than 3. As such, drinking orange juice prior to eating may help stimulate the secretion of digestive issues or lower the PH levels.

Cautions…

Don’t combine orange juice with carbohydrates such as bread, pasta or potatoes because the enzyme needed to properly digest them is destroyed by certain acids. Natural fruit acids prevent carbohydrate digestion, which provides substrates for bacteria in your large intestine to ferment. Fermentation produces gas, bloating, flatulence and diarrhea. The science of food combining is well established, but not widely known. Simple biochemical reactions make big impacts on digestion and health.

Some Fruity Facts…

1 cup of orange     RDA    

Vitamin C                 93%

Fibre                            13%

Folate                          10%

Vitamin B1                9%

Pantothenic Acid   7%

Copper                         7%

Potassium                   7%

Calcium                        5%

Plus, an orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, anti-cancer and blood clot inhibiting properties. Phytonutrients lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.  Phytonutrients prevent kidney stones , stomach ulcers, arthritis and respiratory problems. Oranges are also better absorbed than Vitamin C tablets (several studies have shown this).

This makes the orange the healthiest fruit around!

10 Diet Changes You Can Make To Overcome Your Constipation

thE9G9Z3IR10 Diet Changes You Can Make To Overcome Your Constipation

Trying to ignore your constipation? Constipation is like ….. You wait for something that just won’t… You have to use a – lot –  of-  FORCE. Sometimes, in return for all that effort, you get no more than •••

This is NOT what you signed up for when God was handing out bowel movement preferences.

We are a constipated nation. And with 15-20% of the Western World struggling with it, you’re not alone.

 

Constipation sucks – straining so hard you see stars on the toilet or looking and feeling like you just ate Christmas dinner for the 3rd time this week, even though your half eaten salad is still in front of you. And the longer it goes on, the more painful it gets.

You’re managing to eat healthy (mostly) and you would like to lose a few pounds, but you find yourself suffering with belly protruding constipation. You might be going days without a movement and it is consuming all of your attention. It is not a nice sensation. In short, you hate it.

I just take a laxative…

You may have tried laxatives, or your doctor may have prescribed them for you, but apart from a short term fix, they haven’t worked either. The problem with laxatives is that when you start taking them regularly, you can become physically dependant on them. The colon requires larger and larger does of laxatives to produce bowel movements and the body loses its ability to produce bowel movements on its own.

I just need to eat more fibre…

Maybe your doctor tells you that you just need to eat more fibre or he may have prescribed fibre sachets for you. If you currently eat very little or no fibre, these methods may work for you, however, if you are constipated, it is worth knowing that this fibre increases stool bulk and volume. Therefore, in people who are already having difficulty in ‘expelling’, it is illogical to actually expect that adding ‘bulk’ to the stool will alleviate this problem. Several studies have shown that dietary fibre does not improve constipation in patients with constipation issues. The authors of this study also provide this handy analogy:

The role of dietary fibre in constipation is analogous to cars in traffic congestion. The only way to alleviate slow traffic would be to decrease the number of cars and to evacuate the remaining cars quickly. Should we add more cars, the congestion would only be worsened… Adding dietary fibre would only add to the bulk and volume and thus make evacuation even more difficult.

But I thought eating wholegrains, cereals and oats was healthy!?

Certain types of fibre can do more harm than good. Grains, wheat and all processed carbs, are filled with gluten, toxins or added sugars, which feed bad bacteria in your digestive system and cause hormonal changes.

What tends to work well with individuals suffering from constipation and other ‘irritable bowel’- like symptoms, is the elimination of grain, particularly wheat, from the diet. Eating vegetables and fruit (rich in ‘soluble’ fibre), allows them to get and maintain good bowel movements. Recent studies have shown that the 1980’s old school advice of eating ‘insoluble’ fibre in wholegrains, does the most damage to people with constipation. Studies on people with IBS concluded pretty much the same thing.

I’m fine if I have a few coffees…

You may be cheating constipation by using coffee as a mild laxative. But did you know that coffee has such a strong laxative effect that it empties partially digested food out of your digestive system before your body has had the chance to absorb the nutrients? Therefore, if you are chugging several cups of coffee down a day so you can poop, you are stopping important minerals from being absorbed, particularly iron. In fact, if you were to eat an iron-rich breakfast and wash it down with a cup of coffee, your body will be unable to absorb most of the iron content. Mineral and nutrient deficiencies can in turn mess your whole system up, leading to more constipation.

Coffee also has other negative effects on your digestive system. It’s best not to drink coffee on an empty stomach, as it is extremely acidic and can interfere with acid secretion, cause heartburn and worsen IBS symptoms.

How often should I go?

Regarding frequency, you should be going at least once per day. If you are going every other day, this is on the slow side, but going every other day is great compared to going every 3rd day or once a week, so there’s a sliding scale to be aware of.

Let’s say you are going daily, but it’s rabbit pellets, some might say you are constipated, but really your motility (how fast you digest food) is a bit slow. This is something to improve, but not total constipation.

In other words, there are varying degrees of constipation, from mild to severe and the factors that create these levels are the frequency and quality of your movements.

So, if you are having non-ideal frequency or quality, you need to take your diet to the next level. The first diet change is to remove any foods that usually contribute to the problem. The biggest offenders include wheat, dairy and other grains. After you’ve made that switch, take your diet to a whole other level with these changes:

1. Add More Fat

This is the most common error with those eating a grain-free diet and even with those not eating a grain-free diet. After giving up wheat, or whilst trying to ‘eat healthily’ or lose weight, some people give up fat. This is a great example of how we’ve all been marketed into a ‘low-fat-diet’ by the food producers.

Fat is not only needed for our hormones and cell walls, but also for good digestive motility. Studies show an increase in motility when ingesting a higher fat diet. Some of the fat passes through the colon, increasing the speed of bowel evacuation. It is also due to bile acid release.

Omega-3 oils help lubricate the intestines so stools can move more easily though the colon. You can increase your intake of fish oil by taking Cod Liver Oil daily.

Eat fattier cuts of meat, like good quality bacon. Add spoonfulls of healthy oils like fibre-rich organic extra virgin coconut oil to your meals or eat an avocado daily.

2. Consume These ‘Healthy Colon’ Foods

50-80% of your stool is made up of bacteria. The best way to encourage changes in gut flora is from the inside out. We can encourage proper small intestinal bacterial growth through certain foods. We can also encourage proper colon bacterial growth.

If you have constipation issues, start eating more of these foods on a weekly basis: onions; garlic; mushrooms; berries; broccoli; carrots; cauliflower; brussel sprouts; pears and apples.

3. Consume More Good Bacteria (Probiotics)

Probiotics are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract. Beneficial bacteria are necessary to properly digest food and to absorb nutrients.

The primary reason to consume probiotics is that they take the place of bad bacteria and help to repopulate the gut with good bacteria. Probiotics also reduce inflammation. They interact with our immune system. Probiotic foods help constipation. Whether you choose natural yoghurt, probiotic capsules or something else, in most cases, just eating these daily will help improve stools.

So, if you’re suffering from constipation and not eating a daily source of probiotics, pick one and begin eating it daily.

4. Eat Prunes

Prunes might be the oldest trick in the book for constipation. In recent studies, 70% of people receiving prunes had an improvement in their constipation symptoms.

The soluble fibre is not the sole reason for the ease of constipation symptoms. People that received only soluble fibre did have some improvements in their symptoms, but the amount of people who reported better symptoms were almost double in the prune group.

Try eating 3-8 prunes a day. Start with 3 first. If you see no improvements after 2 days, try eating 4 prunes a day and so on.

  • Important note – if using dried prunes, avoid the ones with Sulphur Dioxide in the ingredients. This is an anti-mould chemical used to prolong the life of the dried prunes even further. It is also a common allergen causing reactions like bloating, itching and respiratory problems. Would you knowingly consume an anti-mould chemical? If it’s that powerful that it stops the natural process of fruit from going off, do you really want to put that in your body? There are plenty of dried prunes that don’t contain this unnecessary ingredient (and they still last for months).

 

5. Add Salt To Your Food

Salt is your friend, regardless of what you’ve heard or read. You need salt to live. We are living things – sustained with small electrical charges, which are dependant on electrolytes. Lose too many electrolytes so the electricity in your body doesn’t flow as freely and you”ll begin to suffer health consequences. Salt is one of the most important of these electrolytes.

In a standard Western Diet, salt is added to almost every single food because it increases the chances we will buy it again. Just about every boxed product on the market contains added salt for these reasons. When someone switches to non-processed food, there is typically a dramatic dip in the amount of salt consumed in the diet due to the elimination of these processed foods. You don’t want to consume less than 3,000mg a day, or more than 7,000mg a day.

It’s quite common to salt some food here or there, but we need salt to eat the minimum level of 1.5 teaspoons (3,000mg) a day. And if you are exercising and leading an active life, your need for salt increases.

Beyond our need for electrolyte function, salt is very important for proper thyroid and adrenal hormone health. Without adequate salt, neither will work very well. And a sluggish thyroid or adrenals are very common  reasons for constipation.

 

6. Drink High Quality Electrolyte Drinks

High quality electrolyte drinks provide minerals and ions key in hydration. They offer nutritional support for your body throughout the day and contain specific nutrients to enhance water absorption which is great because constipation is related to dehydration in the colon. They are usually rich in magnesium, which contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue and is also used to treat constipation. Try drinking 2 servings a day.

 

7. Drink Green Tea Every Morning

Green Tea can be used as a constipation remedy. Green Tea can allow more bile to stay within your stools, bile being our natural laxative. Said bile will eventually be excreted in your stools, providing more moisture. Multiple scientific studies have confirmed this fact. There is also an overall benefit on the gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to colon, providing great benefits for constipated people. What is a reasonable quantity? I would say 2 cups should be about right. Make it part of your morning routine.

 

8. Take Digestive Enzymes With Meals

While there are many causes of constipation, a fundamental, but often overlooked one is incomplete digestion of foods, which causes a build up of waste in your colon that can ferment and putrify. Therefore, optimal digestion and elimination should be a priority in your wellness approach.

Digestive enzymes help digestion. Everything we eat needs enzymes to not only digest foods into nutrients, vitamins and minerals, but also to deliver these nutrients to the cells. However, overconsumption of processed or fast foods or even living a stressful lifestyle puts a greater demand on our digestive systems. The key is to help your body better digest food before they reach your colon.

Supplementing with digestive enzymes can help improve digestion, reduce toxicity in the intestines and colon and thereby improve elimination and reduce constipation. When toxicity builds up in our colon, this can put stress on other systems and hinder their ability to create the enzymes necessary for complete digestion. Enzymes play a key role not just in digestion, but also healthy elimination.

 

9. Take an Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom Salt looks like table salt, or sodium chloride, but it isn’t made of the same ingredients. It was first discovered centuries ago in Epsom, England. It’s made from the minerals magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium is the relaxation mineral. Constipation is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency.

Using Epsom Salt externally can also relieve constipation. When you’re constipated, it’s common to want fast relief, however, stimulant laxatives can cause painful cramping and explosive bowel movements. Epsom Salt is a fast and gentler way to relieve constipation and it is easier on your body than stimulant laxatives.

Using Epsom Salt usually leads to a bowel movement within 30 minutes to 6 hours. Soaking in it helps relax your gut and softens your stool as you absorb magnesium through your skin. This is what helps produce a bowel movement. Dissolve 5 cups of Epsom Salt in a bath full of warm water and have yourself a soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.

 

10. Get Your Thyroid/Adrenals Tested

Magnesium deficiency is also  a common issue for people with hypothyroidism. Constipation is one of the classic signs of hypothyroidism. Without enough thyroid hormone, many of the body’s functions slow down. Hypothyroidism slows the action of the digestive tract causing constipation. Muscles line the digestive tract including the small and large intestines. The muscles contract to move the stool through the intestine to the rectum. Hypothyroidism can weaken the contraction of these muscles causing the stool to move too slowly.

The Thyroid Federation International estimates there are up to 300 million thyroid sufferers worldwide, yet over half remain undiagnosed. With millions of undiagnosed hypothyroidism sufferers worldwide and millions more insufficiently treated, is it really any wonder why there are so many different constipation remedies on the supermarket shelves?

If you are reading this article right now and you suffer from chronic constipation, but you’ve never been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, please get your thyroid properly tested. Finding a doctor who is open to comprehensive thyroid testing is key.

 

 

 

 

Green Tea vs. Coffee Smackdown

GreenTeaCoffee_Infographic_3[1]Green Tea vs. Coffee Smackdown

Now I love a nice, warm, comforting  cup of coffee as much as most people (no more than 1 cup a day for me though – 2 tops – or I start to see unattractive effects). The potential health benefits associated with drinking coffee include: protecting against Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, Liver Disease, Liver Cancer and promoting a healthy heart. However, and this is a big however, like anything, if you do it to excess, these health benefits become quickly cancelled out and you will  start to see unwanted side effects. Have you become over reliant on coffee to ‘get through the day’? You might want to consider swapping out some of your coffees for green tea? Never tried it? You’re missing out on all of these benefits…

 

1) Green Tea can help you shed some unwanted pounds… (not money)

Research indicates that green tea is a great aid in helping people who want to lose weight. It kick starts and speeds up your metabolism and is virtually calorie free. AND… it burns fat.

2) It fortifies your bones…

1 in 2 women aged over 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point. Regular consumption of green tea increases bone mineral density. (We build most bone mass in our 20’s and 30’s).

3) It helps you live longer…

Becoming a daily drinker of green tea helps extend your lifespan. Researchers found a connection between regularly drinking green tea and a reduction in risk of death from all causes.

4) It helps you duck dentures… (they can fly quite low sometimes)

Green tea helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. Drinking more than one cup of green tea per day prevents gum disease and tooth loss. It can also prevent bad breath by killing oral bacteria that cause cavities and bad breath.

5) It can help you free yourself from free radicals… (not the 90’s band)

Green Tea is king of the antioxidants – substances that help guard cells against the detrimental effects of free radicals. It has by far the most cancer-fighting antioxidants (called polyphenols). It also contains EGCG which inhibits cancer cell growth.

6) It can boost your brain… (and so I drink rather a lot of it)

Green Tea can help improve memory and cognition. The polyphenols widen blood vessels, speeding the supply of blood to the brain. Green Tea drinkers experience an increase in the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with working memory, which you need for problem solving and focus. It helps prevent neurotransmitters involved in brain functioning from degrading. It also inhibits senile plaques from depositing in the brain, which impairs cognition. A recent study showed that 96% of green tea drinkers showed no signs of Alzheimers, whilst 88% of non-green tea drinkers did show signs.

7) It lowers your blood pressure…

Green Tea can help lower your blood pressure by tackling an enzyme which triggers hypertension. Coffee can raise blood pressure.

8) It protects against diabetes…

Green tea can help protect against diabetes, as it contains polyphenols which inhibit starch and so it can help lower blood sugar levels.

9) It prevents arthritis…

Green Tea can help prevent arthritis, working in much the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs.

10) It boosts immunity…

Green Tea can help prevent food poisoning as it can kill harmful bacteria. It also boosts immunity to the flu.

 

I just love a comparison…

Take Out Coffee (Flat White, Latte, Cappucino):

Price: £2.40 – £3.10 for one

Saturated Fat: 6.1 – 15.2 grams

Sugar: 13.6 – 20.1 grams

Salt: 300 – 500 mg

Caffeine: 200 mg

Green Tea:

Price: starting at £0.75 for 20 bags

Saturated Fat: NIL

Sugar: NIL

Salt: NIL

Caffeine: 30-55mg

Drinking Too Much Coffee – Drawbacks

1) Risk of caffeine addiction

2) Interferes with sleep/increases insomnia (tired but ‘wired’)

3) Restlessness and nervousness

4) Irritability

5) Abnormal heart rhythms/breathing rate

6) Raises blood pressure

7) Increases anxiety/jitters

8) Stomach upset (acidic) – don’t drink on an empty stomach first thing

9) Nausea and headaches

10) Negatively affects these areas of your digestive system:

a) It alters your HCI levels (Hydrochloric Acid – it’s in our gastric acid. Too much/not enough and your digestion suffers)

b) It exacerbates ulcers, IBS, acid issues

c) It can cause heartburn

d) It is a laxative – not caffeine – just coffee. Partially digested food is moved out of the digestive system before you have absorbed the nutrients from it

e) It blocks mineral absorption, especially the important mineral iron

f) It is carcinogenic (this doesn’t necessarily mean that coffee causes cancer, but there are a lot of carcinogens in there)

g) It makes you feel stressed and tense because it puts your whole body into ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode, affecting many processes in the body,  including your digestion.

Takeaways (not coffee)…

So should we drink coffee? It depends. If you are somebody who is extremely  sensitive to caffeine for whatever reason (like me) then you may want to eliminate it altogether as symptoms vs the short term pleasure just aren’t worth it. If you are regularly downing coffees throughout the day to keep you going, you may not notice any effects for years, but slowly your excessive coffee consumption can be quietly causing many health issues and before you know it you can be suffering from various symptoms. Remember, coffee stimulates your adrenals – exhaust them and you’ll know about it.

 

The best thing to do is to be honest with yourself. Yes, you love drinking coffee and that initial buzz you get when you start to drink it feels great. This is when your adrenal gland is being stimulated, hence the ‘high’, however, when this starts wearing off, really pay attention to what is happening in your body. Is your heart rate quicker? Do you get palpitiations if you drink too many? Is your vision slightly blurred/dark spots in front of eyes? Do you feel slightly nauseaous? Does your stomach feel a bit acidic/crampy/achy? These are common symptoms that you are sensitive to coffee or drink too much.

 

How do you feel an hour later when that buzz has worn off? Exhausted, grouchy, sleepy. Feel like you need another coffee? There you go. This is the coffee trap many of us fall into. We drink it to feel energised, yet we end up ultimately feeling far less energised than before we had it. This creates dependency on coffee and is the reason why many people say “I need one in the morning, or I just can’t function..” etc. However, if they cut down, they would need less of it. If they eliminated it all together, after a few days/a week,  their energy would be even higher than before they drank the  coffee.

If you feel you are not sensitive to coffee, it is advisable not to drink more than 2-3 cups a day. Also, if coffee is interfering with your sleep, be mindful of what time have your last coffee. For me, although I usually tend to drink coffee in the morning, this is about 4pm – any later than that, I am unable to sleep for hours, leaving me feeling exhausted in the morning.  For some people, it is much earlier. So overall then, the message is to do what is best for you. Reduce or eliminate coffee if you need to, otherwise no more than 3 cups a day. And… do me one small favour… try green tea. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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