23 Things That Could Be Keeping You Fat

This list is by no means exhaustive, just a few observations that may bring you closer to figuring out your own fat loss puzzle.

1) Not addressing hormone issues.

Get your thyroid / cortisol / blood sugar etc tested. Book in to see a naturopath or GP who specialises in or has a good track record of helping people with metabolic problems. They will normally advertise the fact that they specialise or can help you with weightloss, hormonal issues, thyroid problems etc. Males also need to check testosterone, esp if over 40. 

2) Not addressing food sensitivities / gut-immune activation.

Many people will notice significant weight loss, as well as  decreased bloating / fluid retention & systemic inflammation (it’s literally like watching someone shrinking) when they figure out & start to avoid their food intolerances. The most common offenders are wheat & dairy (great idea to try a 6 week no wheat & dairy trial & just observe your body’s reaction) but there can be many other food intolerances as well – like nuts, soy, corn, eggs etc. You’ll have loads more energy for exercising too if your immune system isn’t expending so much on being reactive & intolerant!

3) Eating too many ‘healthy sugars’ after quitting regular. 

Most people can’t eat raw paleo brownies & vegan ice-cream washed down with large bottles of cold pressed fruit juice every day & stay skinny. These ‘healthier versions’ of regular treats can still mess with your metabolism & cause you to pack on the pounds if you’re not careful. Some options are much better than others, look for higher protein / good fats & fibre, & less refined sweeteners, & treat ‘raw treats’ with respect! Watch your serving sizes & consume these treats ideally before or after a workout or doing something active like gardening or cleaning (not while laying on the couch before bedtime!)

4) Excess Fruit.

Too much fruit – esp in one sitting = too much sugar in one hit. It still gets converted into fat by your liver, like other sugars. By the time you’re halfway through a big glass of juice, you’re topping up your fat). If you love your fruit – choose the more of the high fibre, lower sugar types – ie berries (great option as they’re also high in gut-healthy, weightloss promoting polyphenols).

5) Not managing your stress

Your stress hormones cause your metabolism to switch to fat storage mode. Plus – many people cope with stress by eating comfort foods.

6) Consistently getting poor sleep

Same problem as being stressed – your metabolism switches to insulin resistance & fat storage, plus you’ll wake up feeling less like exercising.  

7) Too much beer

A beer belly is not called a beer belly for nothing – switch from 3 beers after work to a glass of red, or find the lowest carb option.

8) Too much alcohol in general.

You’ll eat more crap & exercise less in general if you’re a heavy drinker. For better health (mental & physical) & fat loss outcomes  –  stick to minimal drinking. A max of 1 glass of red daily for the ladies & 2 for the blokes is the current ‘expert’ consensus. If you’re currently a daily drinker, & struggle with weight – quit for a few weeks & see what happens. Every drink you don’t have adds up calorie wise.

9) Filling up before you’re empty.

Eating breakfast before using your morning ‘fat-burning window’ is a recipe for slow & steady weight gain.  First thing in the morning when you wake up is the best time to burn your fat stores. Don’t eat anything if you’re just doing low intensity exercise like walking, if doing something very taxing you may be better off having something small & easily digestible (i.e. a little fruit) just prior to starting (so you don’t go into stress mode when exercising – see what feels best for you). 

10) Eating dessert often.

You’ve just eaten a meal, you should be full…but still you’re not ‘satisfied?’ A delicious fat & sugar bomb after a meal can double your calorie intake, without adding any extra nutrition – & mean you’ll store the excess energy on your belly / hips / butt / arms / chin. If you’re always craving something sweet after a meal, get into the habit of having a small piece of dark choc or some nuts & berries instead if you must. Make sure your meal has enough fat, protein & fibre to be satisfying & sustaining. If you’re ‘being good’ & ordering the salad instead of the steak & chips, yet you’re always left hungry afterwards, you’re kidding yourself. Just order the steak, but lose the chips & ask for veg & salad instead.   

11) Drinking your calories.

People tend not to count a glass of milk,  juice, soft drink, beer, wine, tea or coffee (with sugar & milk) as ‘food’. These are all just liquid food. You often sip on things like these throughout the day, providing a constant stream of excess ‘fuel’ to prevent you from burning any fat – ever. You will only burn fat when there is no available glucose in your bloodstream. Choose herb teas, plain water, sparkling water with lemon / lime, protein shakes post workout, black coffee pre workout…& be conscious that when you do have an alcoholic  drink, your lowest calorie option will be a spirit with sparkling water (ie a vodka lime & soda).

12) Trying to operate with inadequate protein.

If you’re working your muscles you need to also feed & support them, otherwise your body is forced to break itself down in order to keep working. Your metabolism is not the only thing that will suffer if your protein intake is too low – you’ll also notice it in your skin hair & nails, your immune system & your mental health.

13) Being scared of muscle building.

So many people –  especially females, work their guts out exercising in ways that are not efficient at muscle building, & then give up when weightloss results are too slow.  Switch the focus to more efficient muscle-building exercises, & you’ll build heaps of little ‘fat burning machines’ all over your body & get much quicker toning results. Ladies, you won’t end up looking like a bloke if you start to lift a few weights – you don’t have the hormones for it!  Guys know how hard it can be to get huge muscles, they generally do have the hormones (& they’re trying)!

14) Food timing 

Some people find the weight miraculously falls off them when they start to have breakfast later or dinner earlier, so have a play around with your daily feed times. Ie intermittent fasting will increase your ‘akkermansia’ gut bugs, which seem to help push your metabolism away from the insulin resistant / diabetic state into a much healthier state.  

15) Going gluten free without considering food quality.

Junk food is still junk food, even if it’s gluten free. Going GF onto processed crap will not make you healthier or skinnier.  Crap is crap, whether it’s GF crap or not. Many GF foods (i.e. breads, pastas, cakes, bars, flours etc) are actually much higher in refined carbs (which convert straight into sugar once you eat them), than their gluten-filled but whole-grain alternatives. There is research showing that going GF can make you more prone to diabetes, obesity etc – this is why (not because gluten is protective or healthy – but because GF processed foods can often make you fatter than gluten-containing processed foods). Basically – if you just replace regular junk food with GF junk food, you’ll likely end up more insulin resistant & fatter. Be careful – GF does NOT always equal healthier.

16) Bread.

So yummy, so addictive, so easy, so practical, & it’s everywhere. Minimise it, & choose something unrefined, sprouted, GF & not too tasty! Overconsumption of bread is the enemy of weightloss for so many. Best options are generally found in the fridge in your local health store. Ie a sprouted buckwheat loaf is one of my faves. Chop slices thin, use them for toast & pile them high with super-nutritious fillings like eggs, avocado, hommous, tomato, mushrooms, asparagus, salmon, pesto, sprouts, nut butters…don’t make bread the main part of your snack or meal – use the minimum amount to carry your other good foods.

17) Being too busy / failing to prepare.

I’m totally guilty! You know what makes you fat, you know what you should be eating through the day but you forget / don’t make the time to shop for it, prepare it, carry it with you – so you end up eating sub-optimally through your own lack of forward-thinking & organisation. Write reminders & lists, set your phone, allow time, wake up earlier…get it together & you’ll see results!

18) Chronic constipation.

Some people are literally carrying around kilo’s of crap everywhere they go (along with a not-so-healthy gut microbiome). Focus on your gut health to optimise daily elimination, decrease gut-immune system activated inflammation & decrease the reabsorption of toxins from your overloaded bowel.

19) Unhealthy friends.

The people you hang out with can heavily influence your weight – think about it. You share your food & drink habits, your recipes, your cafe & restaurant outings, your social occasions & parties – even your excuses & attitudes to fitness – with your mates. Ask yourself “is this person likely to be my friend or my enemy on a health & weightloss journey?” You may need to have a heart-to-heart chat with a few mates or explain why you’ll be giving upcoming outings a miss. Or – ask them to help you out / join you. If they’re just not sharing your desire to get healthier, you might need to distance yourself for a while, until you’re confident you’ve really settled into some unshakeable & strong healthy habits.  

20) Environment / lifestyle.

You’ll need some serious changes or coping strategies if you’re working in a doughnut shop & you get unlimited staff freebies, if you love pies & have to walk past a bakery to get to & from work…if your apartment is on top of a sweet-smelling pizza shop…if your job involves 8hrs daily in front of a computer or behind a wheel…if your cousin owns a cake shop & delivers the surplus to you each week…if your work has a friday drinks or take away treat each week…  So many times, you can figure out little things that are totally sabotaging your efforts & figure out ways to change them.

21) Hydration.

Many times when you feel ‘hungry’ you’re actually just thirsty. Drink plenty throughout the day, take a bottle everywhere you go.

22) Make some trolley / shopping basket rules.

If it doesn’t get put into your trolley, it has less chance of getting into your fridge, & even less chance of getting into your belly & onto your hips. Just walk past, keep walking (even if the Tim Tams are half price – they are not welcome in your basket).  Avoid the junk food aisles where you can, ask family members to hide things that derail you (properly)!

23) Medication.

Ask your Dr or pharmacist if your meds could be influencing  your weight  (often they do), & if there’s a possibility to change something. Book into a holistic GP, or find a pharmacy with a naturopath who can work with your pharmacist & GP to find ways to better support your efforts.

 

I hope you found some useful info to help you with your weightloss – it’s the question that just keeps coming up, over & over. So many are struggling & the answer is not the same for everyone!  Love to hear what you’ve found most useful in your journey?

Is Australia Moving in a Healthy Direction?

I’m assuming that everyone reading our weekly newsletter is into preventative healthcare in some way, & potentially using complementary therapies like naturopathy / homeopathy / massage / etc as part of their long-term health strategy. Many of you even invest in private health insurance that includes an ‘extras’ policy to help keep these expenses manageable as they arise.

I’m assuming you’re all aware & unimpressed by the recent announcement made by the Australian government to delete some of our favourite natural therapies from the list covered by private health insurance companies on the grounds that:

‘’A review undertaken by the former Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer found there is no clear evidence demonstrating the efficacy of the listed natural therapies:” and “Removing coverage for the listed natural therapies will ensure taxpayer funds are expended appropriately and not directed to therapies lacking evidence”.

The ‘listed natural therapies’ are listed below, & will no longer be covered by your extras policy from April 1st 2019 :(

  1. Alexander technique
  2. Aromatherapy
  3. Bowen therapy
  4. Buteyko
  5. Feldenkrais
  6. Herbalism
  7. Homeopathy
  8. Iridology
  9. Kinesiology
  10. Naturopathy
  11. Pilates
  12. Reflexology
  13. Rolfing
  14. Shiatsu
  15. Tai chi
  16. Yoga

Yes, ridiculous I know – click to read it yourself here 

The reasoning is that the cost to tax payers cannot be justified by the proven efficacy of these treatments. I am not an expert in all of the above modalities, but I know enough to know that the above statements are NOT in the long-term best interests of the Australian tax payer at all!!

Efficacious or not?

Like you I’m sure, I personally know many, many people (& am one myself) who’s health has improved dramatically using therapies from the above list. These improvements (in myself, my friends, family & acquaintances) have led to: the avoidance of chronic disease; giving up expensive (tax-payer funded) medication; avoiding (tax payer funded) dr’s appointments, surgery & hospitalisation; plus other very expensive (& tax payer funded) treatments for end stage diseases.

Therapies You Can Measure Easily…

I get it – you can easily measure the ‘efficacy’ of surgery, hospital care & many pharmaceutical medications. You get admitted to hospital with cancer, you have surgery to remove it & the cancer is gone, you ‘recover’ (debatable) in hospital with the help of some medication & return home without cancer. Easy to see & measure the effects of these. But…

And Those You Can’t…

It’s not so easy to prove that a visit or 3 to your local naturopath has prevented you from developing a list of (very expensive) long term chronic diseases. Look at type 2 diabetes, obesity & arthritis – a classic, common trio that we’ll use as an example. This costly combo is just one example of what is completely preventable with early intervention from a switched on natural therapist – a naturopath is much more qualified to give dietary / lifestyle advice than most GP’s.  Many people currently undergoing surgery / taking high doses of medication / unable to work to full capacity due to these chronic diseases would not be in this position had they been under the care of a naturopath as well as a GP 20 yrs ago & started to eat differently & exercise properly rather than just being given a list of meds to swallow, as was standard medical practice in Australia back then.

First – Do No Harm

This is a promise made by every Dr as part of the Hippocratic Oath, & unfortunately broken all too often with the horrendous side effects of medications relied upon, often unnecessarily. We must factor into the expense equation the huge cost to taxpayers of looking after people with ‘iatrogenic disease’. Look it up – ‘iatrogenic disease’ means sickness ’due to the activity of a physician or therapy’, i.e. people who have gotten sicker as a result of their therapist & their treatments. This is extremely common under the modern medical system with its over-reliance on chemical medications with undesirable side effects, but much less so with the gentler ‘listed natural therapies’. Choose pilates for your sore back instead of pain relief meds & avoid the unpleasant side effects (& ongoing dodgy back!!)  But if you can’t claim for the pilates – you’re more likely to just use the NSAID’S & end up with a damaged gut & all the fun after-effects of that!

As I write this, the local radio news playing in the background informs me that “modern day Australians have a long life expectancy, somewhere around 80 yrs, yet on average will spend 10 YEARS OF IT SICK IN BED!!

According to federal treasurer Scott Morrison “We have the third highest life expectancy in the OECD at 82.8 years, but also spend the most years in ill-health. An entire decade, on average, spent on the sick bed. If we had the same level of ‘healthy’ life expectancy as Singapore, Australians would on average live 2.6 years longer.

We have reduced smoking and car accident deaths, but we have one of the highest obesity rates in the world.

We have decreasing rates of disability, but 17.5% of Australians have mental or behavioural problems and we have a suicide rate that is double the rate of the best performing countries.”

Timing! It’s pretty clear with those sad statistics that our current health system is a little ‘off the mark’. The standard Aussie healthcare system (get sick, see a Dr, get some pharmaceuticals / surgery) is something that intelligent Australians are moving away from in droves. They are seeking alternatives not because they are tree-hugging lunatics who love to throw their money away purchasing ‘ineffective treatments’, but because they can clearly see the stupidity of the current system & are looking for something else! Even if they have to pay a LOT more for them – they still want alternatives!

The changes to the private health care system will not only make life harder for us Aussies who are committed to using preventative health care for our families, it will also impact many natural therapy practitioners, their small businesses  & the training institutions & colleges they studied through. We’ll see less Aussies choosing to study in the natural health field & start up their own practice. It’s already expensive to see a naturopath (in comparison to a tax payer funded GP visit to be prescribed tax payer funded meds), that to take away the small rebates currently offered may rule it out as an option for many & make it less viable for practitioners as a business / career choice.

Here’s just one submissions (from the CMA) opposing the changes, submitted in 2013 – a good case but obviously not good enough:

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/submission4

The funniest thing is this – the government is trying to encourage more young Aussies to take out private health insurance….so they’ve cleverly axed many of the options that younger Aussies are choosing to use for their healthcare needs, removing some of the very reasons they would wish to purchase an extras policy for – go figure (??)

To me, this move is like investing in more (very expensive) ambulances to keep sending to the bottom of the cliff, while actively removing the protective fencing & warning signs from the top of the cliff!!

The ones who really benefit from this situation are not the Aussie tax payers, but (of course) pharmaceutical companies. They are pretty great at finding new ways to make sure their profits are secure, even when consumer trust is rapidly & continually waning. Just keep making the ‘alternative options’ more difficult / more expensive, & people will be more inclined to depend only upon the pharmaceutical system.

Anyway that’s my rant !!

I’m actually sure that quite a few Australians are intelligent enough to continue to seek preventative healthcare from practitioners that they trust & will pay the extra for it regardless. It’s just unfair that they still have to fork out their tax dollars for the people who didn’t bother to read the warning signs, or climbed over the fences anyway.

If you think this is a bad idea – click and have your say! http://www.atms.com.au/support-natural-medicine/ 

As always please leave me a comment or send me your thoughts via email – I’d love to hear them.

Jeanie Xx
jeanie@goodmix.com.au

How I Got my Kids (& Myself) to Drink Greens

I remember the first time someone tried to give me a ‘ Greens drink ’. The schooner-sized glass was dark green, frothy & had lumpy looking bits clinging to the sides. It smelled like lawn clippings, but more pungent, kinda like ‘off’ lawn clippings.

My flatmate in second-year naturopathy was much more ‘experienced’ with superfoods than I – she’d  worked in a smoothie bar / vego cafe, so knew her way around things like spirulina, guarana, tofu, lentils, wheat & barley grass…all very foreign to me as I was fresh off the family farm, where grass was for the cows.

She was taking it to fix an outbreak of vaginal thrush – something which we were all (my fellow naturopath students & party girls) a bit prone to from our fruit-heavy diets & alcohol-heavy weekends! We were 19 & conducting some informal studies on ‘detoxification’ on top of our naturopathy lectures. For the record, my party days ended not long after my naturopath course did – when I was 22, & we did discover some great natural hangover cures – but that’s another blog. 

So back to the drink – I held my nose as advised, raised the murky glass to my lips, & embarrassingly could only manage one slimy gulp. YYYUCCCKKK!!!! Quick, rinse & spit!! There was NO WAY I could finish one of those, I said she could have her disgusting barley grass & I reached for the natural yoghurt (no fruit) & vowed to party less.

But then it seemed that everyone who was drinking variations of this vile green stuff at college was raving about it – not the taste, they hated that only slightly less than me – but the effects. Skin clearing, digestion improving, energy increasing…those are BIG. The people who were into greens were glowing (& not itching).

Months went by & I had to try it again. This time, baby steps. 1/4 of a teaspoon, mixed not just into water, but with some ice & a dash of orange juice as well (to desensitise the tastebuds & mask the grassiness). I still held my nose & tried to down it fast, & I think I managed half a glass before leaving it ‘for later’.

I continued with this method for a week or 2, gradually increasing my green powder & decreasing the juice until eventually I was able to down 1 heaped tsp of barley grass easily with just water & ice. The ice was key – greens are way less gross when they are cold! And shaken, not stirred is definitely the go (no lumpy bits). I found that protein drink shakers were perfect.

I tried spirulina & chlorella but they were a whole different level to the barley grass – greener, slimier, & stinkier – plus more expensive! I stuck to the grass, it was awesome – & my skin, energy & digestion told me if ever I got slack, it was true – this green barley stuff was magic! I was a greens convert.

Fast forward a few years to my first pregnancy, all the grasses were easy & I swore I would master spirulina. I bought the best value 1kg tub which cost me I think $90, at wholesale pricing! I was going to glow, my baby was going to glow…& I’d got a bargain, life was great! Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken into account the extra squeamishness of pregnancy / morning sickness, & I ended up composting most of that tub, barely able to finish my usual grass drinks on most days.

A healthy (if not glowing) baby was born, fed well & was pretty good with solids by 7 months. I still had the spirulina on the shelf when he was 1, so decided if it was ok in a banana smoothie, he could have some in his mashed banana (I had no blender, don’t know how I survived back then). He wasn’t a fan though & I didn’t blame him, so compost / chooks / dogs got the rest :(

…a cutie sampling Pondy at the markets!

My second baby actually seemed to like the spirulina / banana mash – she guzzled it down! (I had more by this time as I could now stomach a half teaspoon mixed into my barley grass).

I went back to working in health stores / pharmacies when that baby was old enough, & greens were one of the products that pretty much everyone I spoke to walked out with! I always warned them about the taste, said to start slowly, use a shaker bottle & ice, & make sure they mask the flavour if squeamish. Sure enough, most of them came back very happy with the results – skin, energy & digestion were the most common improvements.

I know as a naturopath that when you can see skin results, good things are happening with the gut & liver too – skin is just the organ you can actually see from the outside, often a great reflection of what is going on with the internal organs. And energy – that is one of your main indicators of health & vitality, so skin, gut & energy improvements = overall good news.

Fast forward to 2015 when goodMix launched PondWater – I was so much of a green fan that I had to make my own! I knew that almost nobody really gets enough greens, & that everybody looks & feels better when they add more in…but I’d also seen some great gut results with Aloe Vera & read about some trials with type 2 diabetics / metabolic syndrome. So I thought, given that we have so many ‘gut’ customers, many who are insulin resistant / needing some metabolism & blood sugar support, a greens plus aloe powder was a good idea to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

PondWater, as a 2-in-1 ‘greens plus aloe’ was going to support gut, liver, circulation & skin like a regular greens powder – but it would also have some metabolic support provided by aloe vera, a little help to get the glucose out of the bloodstream & into the muscles for burning as energy. Add in the immune benefits, the different nutrients & gut soothing benefits – & we would have a winner!

My babies are now teens – & they both take Pondy willingly with just lemon & ice, or in a green smoothie, as they know it keeps their skin nice & clear (use the fear of acne to motivate your teens) & it provides awesome nutrition & energy to help with their sports. It wasn’t always the case, & I did get some very vocal objections at first! But I got around those using some of the below methods:

A few easy ways to get your kids (& yourself) used to taking a yucky green powder! It may not be easy at first, but it is sooo worth persevering!

Cordial & water. 

Just use a small amount of the most natural one you can find, & use it ONLY to help get used to the greens initially, cordial is NOT something I’d normally recommend buying, but useful if it can help get you through the green powder ’yuck’ barrier! I know that ‘Ribena’ & some of the Lime ones work well for most, but use whatever you think will work for your family. Short term!

Kombucha

Another yummy sweet option, with a bit of fizz & the added benefits of probiotics. You can call this brew ‘Frobscottle’ (from the BFG book / movie) for kids! Use whatever flavour they like most, & add small amounts to begin with.

Pineapple juice & water with ice

Half / half cheap pineapple juice & water – freshly juiced is obviously best, but use whatever works to start you off, & this is easy, esp if you’re trying to get multiple kids onto it & there may be wastage! Once again, use only for the greens, juice is not something I’d normally recommend you buy! 

Coconut water

Just gives a mild taste & a little sweetness, plus a few extra minerals.

Fresh juices

Fruit & vegetables juiced, just add a tsp of Pondy & ice. Celery, cucumber, mint, lemon, lime, etc to keep it green & sugar free, but still a bit flavoured. Or you can add in some yummier things if you need, like banana / kiwi / pineapple.

Squeeze of lemon 

2 wedges or 1 half a lemon, squeezed into the shaker bottle & then throw the peel in as well. Rinse your teeth after lemony drinks & juices to protect your enamel.

Lime (same as lemon)

Mashed banana

With a fork, mash 1/2 a banana in a bowl with approx 1/6 to 1/4 of a tsp of greens (good way to get greens into bubs if you don’t have a blender)!

Green smoothies 

Loads of recipes online (banana, mango or pineapple really hide green powders well, & then add some green leafy veggies like baby spinach, celery tops, kale, mint etc). Check out all these smoothie recipes 

Balls 

Add a couple of teaspoons to your protein ball mix when making them. Test to get the amount right – you don’t wanna ruin the entire batch by going overboard with greens!

Stir some into a not-too-hot meal

Works with a meal that has a strong masking flavour (this will only work in the dark or for little people unconcerned by the colour of their meal!)

A Few Things That Extra Greens Can Help With…

 

*Always ask your health professional first before trying, everyone is different & this is very general & just based on my own observations.

  1. Eczema, psoriasis, acne, boils, rashes, dry skin…pretty much any skin complaint responds well to extra greens.
  2. Blood circulation (which helps everything else, a healthy, well-functioning body depends on healthy blood cells & good circulation).
  3. Fatigue. So many nutrients, so easy to digest & a nice helping hand for your gut & liver too (overloaded liver & gut are often the problem with fatigue).
  4. Balanced Immunity – good gut = good immunity. Anything that helps the gut will also help your immune system. Not too reactive, but reactive enough is how we want it! Plus it has some great antioxidants & nutrients.
  5. Aches & Pains – Arthritis & fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue – all kinds of aches & pains seem to respond well to extra greens. It makes sense as anything you can do to decrease systemic inflammation (i.e. look after your gut flora & gut lining) will help with these. Also the immune-system-balancing effect of having a healthy gut.
  6. Mood – When your gut is happier, your brain feels happier too! They talk to each other, you cannot really seperate the gut & brain as they work so closely together. If one is out of whack, the other will be too.  Plus – there is a certain ‘I’m so healthy’! It’s almost the same feeling you get after a good exercise session…the ‘I’m being good to my body’ buzz doesn’t get much better than downing a big ugly green drink!

Love to hear your stories of how you get greens into the kids (or yourself)! Please leave a comment below or send me an email.

Jeanie Xx
jeanie@goodmix.com.au

Get Healthy For Spring Shopping List!

Spring is such a great time to get healthy! Use the motivation of warm weather & less clothes to hide under, or else you’ll be waiting until the other obvious time – New Year’s Day! Much better to jump on the health-train now, get a head start before the party season kicks in – or you’ll have all that extra baggage from Xmas to deal with too! And you want to be looking good in your summer party gear & on the beach. Besides – Springtime is the easiest & most practical season for detoxing as it’s the time of year to really get into leafy salads & fresh veggie juices / green smoothies etc.

Get prepared now – spend a few days to a week emptying your fridge & pantry of all the old stuff, getting yourself psychologically pumped, then print this list off & get to the markets / shops to start stocking up on detox essentials!  The more nourishing stuff you can cram into your basket / trolley / tummy – the less room (& money) there is for all the other crap! I hate ‘cutting things out’ – I prefer to crowd the crap out with goodness! Some foods make the list specifically because they’ll help you to stay ‘on track’!

NOTE: This is a very general list aimed at the average Joe wanting to get healthier – obviously you’d modify slightly if you’re following a strict vegan or paleo diet, or have any specific issues with particular foods. It goes without saying that you need to choose organics wherever you possibly can, as you definitely don’t wanna be consuming chemicals whilst detoxing / getting healthy!


GET HEALTHY SHOPPING LIST!

1. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries

When you need something sweet but not a massive sugar hit – berries are the perfect fruit in a smoothie or mixed through yoghurts / breakfast etc. Buy fresh or frozen – depending on what’s in season / best value. Sometimes you can find heavily discounted fresh organic berries at the end of a market. Buy up big, then chop & freeze what you won’t get through fresh.

2. Greek yoghurt / coconut yoghurt (unsweetened)

When you’re craving something creamy & filling. Combine with berries or passionfruit if you want sweet & creamy together. Or sprinkle with maca & mesquite powder or raw cacao nibs / powder.

3. Kefir

For adding a probiotic boost into smoothies, yoghurt, creamy dressings etc.

4. Blend11

Use for breakfast instead of cereal or toast (remember, we’re cutting the refined grains – a quick breakfast is hard for many people). Add to yoghurt & fruit or blend into a smoothie. This will keep you feeling full & keep the gut bugs happy, full of sustaining good fats, diverse fibre & plant protein, as well as vitamins, minerals & enzymes.

5. Avocados

When you need something creamy – can be made sweet or savoury, depending what you add.  Add things to flavour like onion, garlic, lemon / lime juice, salt & pepper, herbs, tomato…or blend with greek or coconut yoghurt & seasonings to make a creamy salad dressing or dip. Try cacao & dates to make a sweet chocolate mousse or dessert (google avocado raw dessert recipes).

6. Wild caught Sardines & salmon

when you need something sustaining, great for the mineral-rich bones, protein & the high levels of omega 3’s. Avoid the ones in sugary sauce / cheap oils.

7. Olive oil

buy quality & dress all your salads & use in sauces, this is an awesome fat to make salads & veggies more filling.

8. PondWater

When you know you need more greens, when you’re travelling, or for an everyday energy boost & immune pick me up. Or you aren’t ready for a meal, but know you need some easy to digest nourishment. Perfect for springtime detox, metabolism & weight loss support.

9. Macadamia nut oil

Use for frying / baking to give that ‘oily & satisfying mouthfeel’. Great fatty acid profile & high heat ok.

10. Coconut oil

Use for baking, frying, raw desserts. High heat is ok & the ‘solid when chilled’ property means you can use it to make some awesome raw treats.

11. Celery

When you’re feeling fluidy or like you’ve eaten too much sweet / heavy stuff. Sometimes the best ‘dinner’ can be a green juice if you’ve spent the day eating out or at parties consuming too much rich & naughty stuff. Also great for dipping into healthy dips.

12. Kale

Because it is kale, green vegetable of the decade lol. No – you can actually use it in so many recipes, & it really is very nutritious!

13. Broccoli

It was the must-have green veg before kale came! And also with good reason, super nutritious & versatile.

14. Cauliflower

You can do mash / pizza bases / rice…great veggie to help you cut carbs. Start with half-half if you think the family will crack without their normal potato mash!

15. Spinach

Perfect as a more nourishing alternative to the more watery, less nutritious lettuces. Awesome salad base,  ‘on the side’ veggie or throw into green smoothies.

16. Sauerkraut

More gut bugs please – use it on the side with all your savoury dishes.

17. Fresh Herbs

To flavour everything, add nutrients, texture & colour. So easy to grow a few in a garden bed or pots.

18. Beetroot

Sweet & earthy, amazing colour & great blood / circulatory tonic & liver support. Grate or slice raw into salads just like carrot, or add into your detox juices. Beetroot dip.

19. Turmeric

Gut, liver, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory…add the powder into any Thai / indian style cooking, or goes well with many savoury sauces, dressings etc. Use the fresh root in salads, juices / smoothies, great with ginger. And there are now many ready to go turmeric drink powders on the market too.

20. Cinnamon

Great to assist with blood sugar control, to add a spicy sweetish flavour & decrease the actual sweetener needed in desserts etc. Try a chamomile tea with cinnamon or with stewed apple, yoghurt  & quinoa porridge.

21. Carrot

Eat sticks or a whole carrot – so portable, easy & healthy!

22. Snow Peas / Sugar Snaps

Eat as is, on a platter or in salads or with dips.

23. Zucchini

To make spaghetti, spiralise & smother with fresh pesto.

24. Sweet potato

Bake wedges, make ‘toast’  sliced thinly in the toaster (a few times), use grated to make fritters, boil to make mash…so many options!

25. Salt & Pepper

Fine to enhance many healthy options like vegetables, eggs, avocados etc.

26. Chilli

spice things up now & then, also a good digestive & circulatory tonic if you’re a ‘cold’ person.

27. Sparkling mineral water

If you’re craving some fizz. Add lemon or lime wedges. Use this as a mixer for alcohol in place of the more fattening wine / champagne / beer / sugary cocktails etc. Makes a big difference if you are a bit of a party person over the summer!

28. Lemon / lime

For your fizz, or for salad dressings, for adding zesty-flavour explosion bits to any dish, for your PondWater shaker, for your green smoothies.

29. Apple Cider Vinegar

If you suffer from reflux / indigestion / heartburn – try a few teaspoons before big meals to improve digestion.  Good also to improve your insulin sensitivity.

30. Olives

Great no-sugar snack that’s delicious alone or to break up a healthy veggie / dip platter.

31. Hommous

Perfect for dipping veggie sticks into. Snow peas, capsicum, carrot, celery…watch the crappy canola oil (look for one with none, or the least amount, or make your own).

32. Pesto

Amazing to spread / dip / dress / accompany anything that’s otherwise a bit boring. Basil is easy to grow in summer, you can throw in a few plants now & be eating fresh, delicious pesto for many months! Add in other herbs / spinach / other nuts & seeds / healthy oils / spices…fresh pestos are great! Not so much the store bought, check labels – mostly full of crappy canola oil.

33. Quinoa / rice

Fibrous carb fillers, to bulk out a meal with fibre & add some carbs when you need them. Good to cook up a big pot, then let it cool (resistant starch = way less carb load & good for your gut). You can then freeze & reheat as needed to bulk up salads or main meals.

34. Lentils / chickpeas / beans

Protein & fibre to fill you up for hours. Do the same as with rice & quinoa – cook a big pot (remember soak well & rinse prior to cooking), then freeze in smaller meal-size quantities.

32. Grass fed, organic meats

Use small amounts to compliment & add more nutrition to your mostly-plant diet. Strict long-term vegans will need to be supplementing omega 3, some minerals & B12 for optimum health.

33. Eggs

Protein, vitamins & minerals, super nourishing & easy. Get real free range, there are many ‘pretend’ free range. Support the smaller farmers – not the big egg companies who also produce battery eggs in different packaging.

34. Almond meal

Like an oily flour, but without the gluten / starchy carbs etc. Mix with other flours for a flour-like effect.

35. Buckwheat flour

No gluten, good nutrition & works pretty well to replace flour in many recipes i.e. pancakes, cakes etc.

36. Bananas

Perfect as a base for creamy smoothies & ’ice-creams’. Use them when they’re just on the way to looking a bit brown (a few spots but not soft).

37. Matcha tea

To keep you alert & awake without the intense coffee high. Metabolic / detox benefits.

38. Green Tea

Easy metabolism booster (like coffee but not so stimulating!)

39. Coffee

Get up & go!! When you need to be super switched-on, also helps fat burning & appetite control. Be careful if you’re already moody, stressed & exhausted  / running on empty –  this can tip you over the edge. The jury is still evaluating the positives & negatives, & the effect of caffeine can be very different from one person to the next. Listen to your body on this one!

40. Dandelion Tea

Liver & kidney tonic, to help you drain away excess fluid & feel lighter. Don’t have a cup of this before bed, you’ll be woken by a trip to the loo.

41. Liquorice Tea

When you want a ‘not-naughty’ sweet treat. Licorice is the ‘dessert’ of herbal teas. Perfect for after dinner relaxation.

42. Raw Cacao powder

Add some to coconut oil, yoghurt, banana, nut butter etc when you’re craving chocolate!

43. Almonds

Grab n go filling snack, take anywhere or add into salads to beef them up.

44. Cashews

Same as almonds – snacks, salads etc –  or blend them to make a sweet & creamy base.

45. Brazil nuts

Selenium to go, eat just a few a day. (very expensive at present given the worldwide shortage, but when they’re back, get into the habit).

46. Macadamia nuts

Amazing to grind through pesto / dips etc or just grab n go.

47. Nut Butter

Spread onto your sweet potato toast, on apple / pear slices.

48. Dark chocolate

The least sweet you can find, with the most cacao.

CLICK FOR EASY SHOPPING LIST DOWNLOAD 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve no doubt left many worthy & useful things off this list, but it’s a start! Let me know what your healthy shopping essentials are, or what other foods help keep you on track!

Let me know if you’ve tried our detox plan – & how you went :)

Jeanie Xx
jeanie@goodmix.com.au

 

Good Poo’s – The Forgotten Travel Essential!

There is nothing worse than feeling wrong in the tummy when you’re away from home. Especially when you are on a long-awaited holiday!  You’ve paid for travel, accommodation, done all the packing (including the right amount of undies) and spent time organising to be away from work. When you’ve finally reached your ‘chillax’ destination – you are uncomfortably constipated, have to keep running to the loo – or just feel ‘blergh’ in the belly. Bad poos are not fun, wherever you are!!

Some countries are renowned for their potentially horrendous gut impact (think Bali, Delhi & Bombay Belly, Montezuma’s Revenge, Mummy’s Tummy etc).  

Some estimates say you have a 30-50% chance of experiencing diarrhoea during a 2 week stay in some of the high risk countries – yikes! This can be from ‘food poisoning’ where you’ve eaten something that has become contaminated by pathogenic bacteria due to poor storage, preparation, hygiene etc. It may just be that your gut & immune system are reacting to all the new microbes that you’re suddenly in contact with, being so far away from your home & its nice familiar microbes! You should expect some degree of tummy rumbling / a cramp or a loose stool here & there when you travel  – even if you have a very tough tummy, different food, water  & environments can just take a little adjusting to.

Severe diarrhoea can seriously wreck a holiday – & in some cases leave you with a lasting, unwanted souvenir of your travels! I’ve spoken to many people over the years who’s gut health has never returned to normal after a bad case of traveller’s diarrhoea – so don’t treat it lightly if you do get a bad bout! Be prepared (prevention is best) for diarrhoea with the recommended ‘travel-tummy tips’ below when you’re next headed into a danger zone!

But what about the other end of the bad-poo spectrum?

Constipation is an extremely common holiday-hampering complaint (especially for women) – goodMix as a business actually owes a lot of its success to this phenomenon! We’ve saved many a constipated miserable tourist! They’ve seen the ‘Best Poos Ever’ flag at a beachside market & come to investigate – often dragged along by a friend or family member saying ‘look ……, this is what you need!’ They then feel so good that they continue to order online! Yay for holiday constipation – it literally pays our bills!

So the constipation part is relatively easy to treat / prevent – just travel with your Blend11 if you know you’re prone to blocking up! Many people now swear by it (as in ‘I won’t leave home without it’) & it also saves money on eating out! Travel constipation solved ?

But what about diarrhoea? Picking up a parasite? Uncomfortable gas, bloating…or just being unsettled in the belly due to all the strangeness & changes in environment & routine?

Here’s some ‘tummy travel tips’ to ensure you continue to have the best poos ever-ywhere! 

Prevention:

  • At home, don’t be shy when it comes to new food. If you are always eating / trying new things at home – your gut will be much more flexible & ‘up for a challenge’ when you travel than if you just stick to the same old foods all the time.
  • Cultivate your ‘gut garden’ daily – have plenty of fermented foods & drinks to add bugs into the system, & fertilise your microbial soil daily with diverse ‘microbe accessible’ carbohydrates (different types of fibre from loads of different sources).
  • Know your ‘norms’ – i.e. have a rough idea of how much fibre you normally eat, how much meat / dairy / fruit / legumes etc & then if you do have trouble when away, you have a ‘safe zone’ to try & get back to. i.e. – if you travel to Hawaii & start living on the amazing in season tropical fruit, don’t be surprised if you end up with loose stools or a bout of candida. Or if your fave overseas dish has very few veggies & lots of meat, you could get a bit sluggish /  constipated.
  • Try to ‘go’ properly before you leave home (much more likely you’ll go in your own home than in a bus / train / plane / crowded public loo). You don’t want to start off on the wrong foot – one missed motion can be the start of constipation holiday-hell!

What to take if headed into a diarrhoea danger zone:Water filter / purification device. Never take chances on water, it can carry some of the worst pathogens. Use a quality water filter bottle, or buy safe / sealed bottled water.  

  • Carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser, so you can use it anywhere if running water & soap are not available.
  • Heat stable, multi strain probiotics are essential, i.e. ‘Prescript Assist’ & also products with ‘SB’ / saccharomyces boulardi. 
  • Colloidal silver, 100-200mL bottle. Can be great to settle tummy upsets – it has antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal & anti-inflammatory actions. Also comes in handy for skin infections. Use when you suspect you’re battling something – alternate with a probiotic pill (doses taken 3 hrs apart).
  • Antimicrobial / anti-parasitic herbal pills (ask for a good strong formula in your local healthfood store). Take if you suspect you have a stowaway or have eaten / drunk something potentially dodgy. (alternate with probiotics, 3 hrs between doses). It can be used with the colloidal silver. You can even take these as a precaution when travelling in high risk areas. 
  • Pondwater or another good quality green powder – ensure that wherever you go, you can easily get enough gut-loving greens every day, & to help you take in some nutrients in case you can’t eat solids for a few days. The aloe vera in PondWater can help with gut soothing / healing & also immunity.
  • Blend11, to keep you regular, & to keep your good microbes well nourished & reproducing. Lots of good bugs = not much room for the baddies! Plus, you’ll save on eating out.

If you do get sick with diarrhoea:

  • Hydration & electrolytes are vital, head to the local pharmacy / ask a local for what you need.
  • Easy to digest foods – i.e clear soups / broths.
  • Probiotics – take a capsule 3 times daily. Carry these in your handbag everywhere & take a few anytime you think you may have eaten / drunk something wrong.
  • Antimicrobials / colloidal silver (take 3 hrs apart). 
  • Activated charcoal – great to help absorb whatever toxic substances you have in your tummy.

If you know you’re prone to travel constipation:

  • One of the biggest causes of travel constipation is ignoring the urge to go – until it’s more ‘convenient’.  One missed motion means the moisture gets absorbed, & you’ll have a compacted, hard, dry stool that requires straining & is potentially quite painful to expel. Remember this when you get the urge, instead of just ignoring it until you’re near a ‘nicer’ or more private toilet! When ya gotta go, you really should go – as soon as you can!
  • Book accomodation with easy access to a private toilet, & make a point of using it! If this isn’t possible, locate the best public loo you can. With a hectic / exciting holiday schedule, you may also just ‘forget to go’ if you don’t get the urge or are too busy at the time – keep track with a mark on your water bottle or in a travel journal – so you know how you’re going compared to normal.
  • Schedule in some daily exercise, morning is best. Explore your area on foot / pushbike, or do some swimming if it’s too hot – just find some way to get moving that suits you in your new environment.  
  • Get up & move as much as possible during long flights / drives etc, sitting for extended periods is bad news for your gut.
  • Bring a few gentle constipation ‘helpers’ with you – i.e. some liver herbs, some magnesium, some Blend11 and probiotics. Pack whatever you find helps keep you moving regularly.
  • Take a water bottle wherever you go & drink plenty.
  • Always choose meals with plenty of fruit, veggies & legumes (first ensure / get advice that the place uses clean water for washing, good hygiene practices etc or a salad bowl could have you stuck to the toilet bowl).
  • Breathe deep & stay calm, being too uptight will prevent your bowels from opening!

So be ready and enjoy your travel  – here’s to The BEST POOS EVER-ywhere!

Going travelling soon? I’d be happy to sort you out with some goodMix travel companions in exchange for an awesome pic with them in a well-known / exotic location. Shoot me an email & let me know when and where you’re going!

Jeanie Xx
jeanie@goodmix.com.au 

Toilet Training – Advanced Theory Lessons

It’s gotta start with the kids…

In the last few weeks I’ve spoken to a lot of people who’s gut problems either started during childhood, or to people who know kids with some pretty severe poo problems going on right now. I can’t help thinking that if everyone was taught a few basic ‘poo principles’ as very young kids – we could prevent a lot of trouble later on, both general poo trouble & the other health issues that stem from having poor gut function.

One lovely lady I spoke to is lucky to poo once every 3-5 weeks. That’s WEEKS, not days. Her troubles began as a child, when she became self conscious / worried about doing number 2’s. She would put it off, just ignore the urge to go & (not knowing any better) continued this until her body eventually got the urge less & less. Now in her 40’s – she’s finally seeking treatment as she says she looks ‘pregnant’ & people often ask. Her very infrequent motions must escape through a solid tunnel of impacted faeces that permanently lines the  wall of her bulging colon, which makes laxatives extremely painful to use. Even though she knows for her health’s sake that she must become more regular, the very thought of going every day (because she’s not used to it), sounds highly inconvenient. Will keep you posted as to what happens here – Blend11 may not be enough to undo this (she is also seeing a medical team).

One happy Blend11 customer is regular now for the first time in her life (she’s in her 70’s!) This is also going to take some adjusting to, having to change the daily routine to accommodate her suddenly regular bowel movements.

Another lady I spoke to recently had a long history of laxative dependence – since her early teens. She was prescribed one kind of laxative after another for years on end. She responds to none of them anymore & is understandably feeling very ‘stuck’. This is a VERY common story. Laxatives are designed to help loosen / soften / move things when you’re desperate – they are NOT a plan for the long term management of constipation, unless it’s a last resort due to required medication / injuries etc.

I speak to many, many parents with constipated kids, & some do not realise that it can lead to serious issues later on if not dealt with quickly. (possible consequences of longterm constipation)

The important thing is to make sure you are aware of your children’s bowel habits (so that you notice when something isn’t right) & that your kids really understand how it all works from the youngest age possible. Teach them to take notice of their poos, & that they shouldn’t hold them in (once in awhile won’t kill anyone, but this is a really, really bad habit to get into).

PRINT OUT THIS CHART FOR THE TOILET WALL / DOOR, & LEAVE IT THERE UNTIL ALL YOUR KIDS KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY SHOULD BE DOING (OR POOING) EACH DAY, & THE MANY REASONS THEY MIGHT GO OFF TRACK. YOU COULD SAVE THEM FROM A HEAP OF PAIN, STRESS & MONEY LATER ON IN LIFE. YOUR VISITORS WILL GET A GOOD LAUGH (& POSSIBLY AN EDUCATION) TOO :)

Get the:  BRISTOL STOOL CHART

Watch out for….

Things that can mess with your bowel habits – be extra kind to your tummy if any of these things are happening

  1. gastro bugs (vomiting & diarrhoea)
  2. medications
  3. antibiotics
  4. stress
  5. travelling
  6. being out all day
  7. not doing much exercise
  8. new people in the house
  9. new school

 

4 Big Reasons That Diverse Fibre can Help you Achieve a Healthy Bodyweight

Lisa & Karl have been eating the original ‘goodMix’ Blend11 for years on the quiet, but it’s too good to keep it a secret now! Lisa is always glowing & beautifully slim – she looks truly amazing for her 57 years, & Karl is looking sharp & has apparently lost quite a few kg lately as well..could the Blend11 be lending a hand?

4 BIG reasons

#1 Fibre fills you up, lowers your blood sugar levels & keeps your energy levels stable.
A healthy bowl of good fats, fibre, slow carbs & protein in the morning (like for instance, Blend11) = no carb-induced blood sugar roller-coaster for the day. Plus you get the amazing by-products of your bacteria breaking down all that fibre.

Short-chain-fatty-acids (scfa’s, what some of your bacteria produce when they breakdown fibre) can be used as a fuel source – so you get fed once when you digest the parts of your breakfast that your own body can breakdown, then you get fed again when the gut bugs digest the fibre into scfa’s. Better value from your breakkie bowl…plus long-lasting, stable energy means you won’t tend to reach for that muffin or coffee at 10am (so it can actually save you money too)!

#2 Fibre decreases cravings for carbs & sugars (excess refined carbs & sugars ruin your metabolism & lead to diabetes & obesity).
Fibre feeds your good microbes, so they reproduce & crowd out the bad guys (many of your sugar & carb cravings are actually caused by your pesky sugar-loving ‘bad’ gut bugs)!
Good microbes also help you to extract more nutritional value from your food, & better nutrition = less deficiencies = less cravings caused by those deficiencies (mineral deficiencies are a well known cause of cravings too). When you eat enough fibre, your blood sugar is much better controlled. Increasing your fibre intake is one of the best things you can do if diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. (That & starting to work your muscles harder).

#3 Fibre helps our gut bugs to bring down the systemic inflammation (systemic inflammation = your whole body looks & feels ‘swollen’).
SCFA’s – the amazing by-products of fibre being digested by your gut microbes act as powerful anti-inflammatories, & are produced in your bowel! Provided you’re feeding your good microbes enough fibre each day, that is. A healthy, properly fed gut pumps out soothing, healing, anti-inflammatories for you (this has a slimming effect & keeps you looking lean), whilst a gut that gets fed mostly on processed food, devoid of ‘good microbe food’, will be the root cause of many inflammatory problems (obesity is just one). If your gut is struggling, you’ll tend to always look a bit ’swollen’ & carry more fluid. Fix the inflammation & the weight can come off much more easily. This is not always the case – many very lean people also have gut troubles, but I have seen many, many heavier people notice a huge improvement in metabolism when they really start looking after their gut flora.

#4 Fibre can decrease emotional eating & mean you’ll feel more like exercising (yep, for real).
Seems a bit far-fetched, but science is now proving it – many studies are showing that your gut microbes can strongly influence your moods, & your moods can actually influence your gut bugs too! This knowledge may help us to better understand things like depression & anxiety (who eats multiple slices of cheesecake when they are feeling down, or lives on chocolate during exam week?) Not me, but I have heard of this phenomenon occurring…If you’re feeling happy & balanced, you are much more likely to exercise regularly & make food choices that support your health. But when you feel like crap, you tend to exercise less regularly & eat more crap too…or does the eating crap & not exercising come before the feeling crap? A bit of both – even the fittest, healthiest eaters can sometimes feel down / overwhelmed / stressed out, but I bet you a pallet load of Tim-Tams that low energy, moodiness, depression & anxiety will all improve with a diet that supports good gut health. The links between gut issues & mental / emotional issues are very strong & well researched – but we only know the tip of the iceberg still.

There is so much to learn about our guts, our microbes & our weight – but it is very clear right now, that consuming a diverse range of fibre is one of the easiest ways we can support a healthy gut microbial population, decrease systemic inflammation & improve our metabolic health.

We often hear from customers who’ve lost weight since starting on the Blend11, & there are a few truly amazing stories of 20-25kg losses (other things used as well, but they do say that Blend11 has helped immensely). We want to hear from you too – has anything changed with your weight since starting on the Blend11? Has it helped, or has it done nothing for your efforts? What else has worked? What do you struggle with? Let us know, we’ll try our best to help & all the info we can gather can be used to help others lose some ‘excess baggage’ too!

email me: jeanie@goodmix.com.au

Jeanie Xx

Your Body – The Filthy Germ Carrier!

No matter how clean you think you are, you are literally covered in germs – inside & out. Like it or not – it’s true. You are absolutely filthy…sorry.

But before you go rushing back for another scrub in the shower, think about your body as a planet, & your different body parts as different ecosystems or microclimates within & on that planet. i.e – the dry, exposed skin on your forearm is a relative desert compared to the moist, warm, hairy, protected valley that is your bum-crack & genital region (this should be a microbial rainforest)! Your armpits are probably somewhere in between these two, & your mouth & gut may be like warm tropical oceans or lakes, swarming with a sea of microscopic life.

The point is – we have to remember that ‘our’ body is not just ours. We are not just ‘us’. We are like a walking planet, supporting microbial inhabitants who are also vitally important in the health of that planet. Just as the health of Earth’s oceans & rainforests effect the health of the entire planet, we can look after our little microclimates with their microbial inhabitants to help ensure the entire ‘planet’ (our body) stays in balance.

THE DIFFERENT MICROCLIMATES IN YOUR BODY.

Part 1: Your Mouth Microbiome

Your mouth is the first point of contact for everything you take into your digestive tract for immune scrutiny / processing. If your gut is a river, your mouth is like the source of that river – so it can potentially influence a lot of things further down the line. Just think about how many times you swallow in a day, & imagine how many microbes are in that saliva? You are constantly seeding your gut with a sea of swallowed microbes! What if your mouth & gums are in poor condition? If your have gum disease, you’re likely to have ‘leaky mouth’ (like leaky gut), allowing things from your mouth to get into your bloodstream that just shouldn’t be there, causing immune issues – a kind of ‘upstream’ leaky gut.

It is well known that a healthy oral microbial balance decreases your risk of heart disease, & inflammatory bowel disease is also apparently more common in those with gum issues. Babies born via caesarian have a different oral microbiome to their vaginally born cousins. H-pylori (the bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers) also lives in biofilms in the mouth – regular dental cleans can reduce reinfection rates. Oral thrush shows us that the body has an overgrowth of the candida organism…there is a LOT going on in our mouths!!

Add to that, we do some strange things with our mouths – that can influence the balance – like kissing other people’s mouths (& other body parts), kissing pets, smoking, drinking hot beverages, swishing things like mouthwash, sucking breath pearls, medicated lozenges, chewing gum, wearing lipstick, using toothpaste etc…all these things can impact the mouth microbiome…even forgetting to drink enough water or breathing through your mouth when you sleep.

Tips for keeping your mouth ecosystem in good condition:

  • try to breathe through your nose
  • stay well hydrated (pure, filtered water & unsweetened herbal teas are best)
  • avoid alcohol & cigarettes
  • eat sugar & refined starches minimally
  • try to rinse with water after eating stickier carb / sugary foods
  • leave some ‘gaps’ in between feeds
  • be careful of sipping drinks other than water all day (i.e. acidic things like apple cider vinegar & lemon water can eat into your tooth enamel – best to have these in one short drink, not great for sipping all day).
  • drink green or white tea, several cups daily
  • get plenty of vitamin C in your diet (fresh fruit & veg)
  • take a CoQ10 supplement if you have gum disease
  • eat a mineral rich diet to keep the teeth strong
  • clean your teeth gently but thoroughly, with care each day…aim for early morning before your leave the house & last thing before bed…can’t wait for those probiotic toothpastes to become standard issue, the chemical ones are not ideal for maintaining healthy microbial balance. Try a natural one with aloe vera & minerals like calcium & silica – but be guided by your dentist if you have dental / gum disease.
  • avoid harsh alcohol & chemical containing mouthwashs
  • use floss, thoroughly & gently, & do it regularly
  • try a mouth specific probiotic lozenge
  • try an aloe vera containing mouthwash
  • try oil-pulling (many swear by it)
  • keep a pot of mint growing near your door, & chew on some fresh leaves as a natural way to keep your mouth fresh & teeth clean (chewing stimulates saliva, which is good to keep the balance).
  • look after your gut health further down, it can impact your oral cavity too

Tune in next week for some fun facts about your nasal microbiome & easy  tips for keeping it healthy (particularly important in the winter flu season!)

Jeanie X
jeanie@goodmix.com.au

9 Easy Tips To Stay Healthy This Sniffly Season

#1 Eat The Rainbow

Colours = antioxidants, & antioxidants = immune support (& great Instagram shots)!  So fill up your market trolley with all the darkest & brightest colours – think beetroot, turmeric, pomegranate, berries, dark green leafies, bright sunny citrus, purple carrots, sweet potato & cabbage, red capsicum, red wine – ok that’s on the way home from markets but still full of essential antioxidants (Pinot Noir has the most polyphenols apparently, so grab a bottle, & some quality cacao for hot chocolates or raw desserts – cacao is king of the polyphenols)! Quality red wine & choccies are just good for you, there are studies that say so  (thankyou scientists)…but do eat some veggies too.

#2 Sleep

Sleep is the cure for so many health problems, & poor immunity is definitely one of them (ask any nurse, first time mum or shift worker!) You are 3x more likely to succumb to infection after exposure if you’re sleep deprived by a couple of hrs per night over 2 weeks, than if you’ve been getting plenty. Sleep is the time when your body can rest, regenerate & repair itself, including your immune system. Chronic sleep deprivation puts you into an inflammatory state, & compromises your immune function (making you more susceptible to acute & chronic disease, & immune dysfunction i.e. autoimmunity, allergies etc). Don’t do it to yourself.

#3 Hydration

Everyone forgets to drink when it gets cooler – that means all of your mucous membranes will be struggling to do their jobs. And one of their jobs is to protect us from invaders!! So remember to drink this winter – it will make your body’s job so much easier! And your skin will survive the winter too.

#4 Sunshine 

I recommend to everyone who hasn’t yet – get your D levels checked asap – & before the flu season is perfect timing! Next time your Dr suggests getting blood taken, ask them to add this to the pathology tests, many of us Aussies are surprisingly deficient & your D levels impact not only your immunity, but inflammation, IBS, mental health, body composition, skin…so many things.  It’s so easy to correct the deficiency – but you have to know it exists first!  

Take time to get sunshine on your skin every day – 10mins allover for most caucasians, or more if your skin is darker. The darker you are naturally, the more likely you are to be D deficient. If you can’t get adequate sun exposure – you’ll need to supplement. Ask in your local health food store, or don’t whinge when you get sick!

#5 Zinc  

Another really easy one to test, & so many are deficient. Zinc is vital for strong immunity & is also needed for many of the enzyme reactions in your body (i.e. without adequate zinc, there are many things that just can’t happen!) You can walk into any good pharmacy or health store with a naturopath on staff, & ask them to check your zinc levels (it might cost you a few $ but not knowing you’re deficient will be much more costly!)

Super common deficiency overall, but you need to be especially aware if you’re vegan or vego. You will be much more vulnerable to every bug going around if your levels are low, so if the test suggests you’re low – grab some liquid or tabs, & be sure to take them as directed with food (zinc on an empty stomach can cause many people to feel a bit nauseous).

#6 Probiotics / prebiotics

Many trials have proven that probiotic capsules taken daily can decrease the number of ‘sick’ days in school children, athletes, stressed uni students etc – so it’s a pretty safe gamble to grab a few bottles to see your family through the winter. They can help you recover more quickly from colds, flus & gastro bugs, as well as help with many gut symptoms like bloating, IBS & constipation.  Look for a multi-strain variety – don’t just grab a cheap one from the supermarket, get some advice from your local health store.

And remember – eating a diverse range of fibre each day will enable you to feed & support your own home-grown diverse ‘probiotics’.  Your gut bugs have to survive on your leftovers (fibre) so keep up the supply! You can also eat / drink bacterial reinforcements like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yoghurt & kombucha.

#7 Exercise

Multiple studies have found that exercising regularly decreases your cold & flu risk. Moving your body & getting the blood & lymph pumping causes the movement of important immune cells through your system for approx three hours after your workout. So the more you exercise, the more effectively your immune cells can get to where they need to be to protect you.  Exercising also stimulates production of macrophages (immune cells that attack cold & flu bugs).

Don’t overdo it though – intense exercise sessions (i.e. moderate to high intensity for 90mins or more) can leave you more vulnerable to infection for up to 3 days. The best immune boosting strategy is daily moderate exercise.

#8 Stress Management

Short-term stress is useful to help us escape from dangers, or feel energetic, alert & able to get things done…but long-term stress causes us to feel mentally edgy, physically tense & eventually exhausted as well as  increasing our risk of pretty much every disease. Chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes & heart disease, as well as colds & flus will all be worse / more frequent for the highly stressed individual.

Stress can be acute – like a near car crash, a big deadline or an upcoming exam – or more long-term, as in ongoing relationship stress or grief / homesickness etc. It’s the constant release of cortisol & other chemicals that causes immune suppression & chronic inflammation.

I cannot ‘stress’ this enough – you must manage your stress if you want to stay healthy! Try deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, massage, whatever exercise you prefer, getting out into nature, catching up with friends, funny movies…whatever relaxes you & makes you forget about your worries. Of course – you may just need to practice saying the word ‘NO’ & take on less.

#9 Beware of Children

If you have small children or work in a place that does – you’ll know that the cute little cherubs are walking cold & flu distributors! They can’t help it, it’s just they’ve got to get used to all theses germs so they can grow up into a nice clean adult like you (you were once a snot factory too) with an experienced & competent immune system.

If your defences are compromised at the moment or you’re just terrified of catching something right now – it would pay to avoid small children, travelling via public transport & large crowds – & of course wash your hands before putting them into your mouth / eyes, or on your phone / door handle / mug / keyboard…just be extra mindful that you could end up sick for a fortnight if you decide to sit next to the snot family on the train….but then, if you’re already doing all of the above, chances are you’ll just sneeze for a day & that will be it! Bring on the snot family!!

Love to hear your best winter tips too!

Jeanie X

jeanie@goodmix.com.au

 

Cereal Killers – Don’t Let Them Into The House!!

So I was in the supermarket cereal aisle this week (research purposes only), a place I haven’t visited in almost 5 yrs – since I’ve been making & eating Blend11.

It surprised & shocked me that all the old rubbish cereals are still actually there on the shelf!! Even with the increased health & sugar awareness now out there in Australia, people seemingly continue to buy what is nutritionally very much like ‘lollies’ for their kids to eat for breakfast! How is it possible that this message hasn’t gotten through to everyone yet?!

An impressive-looking 800g boxful (well 2/3rds full if you’re lucky) of air, sugar & refined carbohydrates (sugar arranged differently) plus often a pile of added chemicals to make it look & taste a bit more interesting…that is the average box of cereal…yuck. And the ‘healthy ones’ are just missing the chemical additives & some of the sugar – often with synthetic vitamins added – but they’re still just highly processed, nutritionally empty, refined  grains.   

Don’t fall for the marketing people, you’re being completely scammed – & you just can’t start the day on this stuff & expect to feel good & function well. There is almost nothing useful in that big impressive box…you eat it, it quickly turns into energy (way more than you’ll need unless competing in an Iron Man event within 15mins of finishing the bowl, & trust me NO self-respecting iron men actually eat that stuff) which gets converted straight into fat, with bugger-all else left behind for you to use (i.e. the naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, protein, omegas etc of real food that your body desperately needs to run on)!

You wouldn’t sit the family down to a plate of lollies for dinner – totally unacceptable parenting – yet so many are still serving this stuff up for breakfast. Very sad, & no wonder the kids are always starving, it’s because they literally are starving – they’re missing out on the nutrition needed to grow & develop properly!

Click the pic to see the full recipe

Here’s a breakfast recipe that is creamy-caramelly-bananary-yumminess, but actually supplies the goodness needed for a properly functioning human body! (How’s that for a new concept at breakfast time?) Try serving this on the cooler mornings – oat & buckwheat porridge is super economical, & buckwheat contains more protein & nutrients than regular oat porridge too. If anyone complains about the new texture, just blend the porridge before you heat it – they’ll never even know you’ve added the buckwheat ;)

Love to hear your thoughts on cereals – & your fave ways to make porridge exciting…Jeanie X

jeanie@goodmix.com.au

Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity & Lose the Belly Fat!

Insulin sensitivity is something you need to know about if you struggle with your weight & nothing seems to work for you.

What is Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone that gets glucose out of your bloodstream & into your cells so you can use it for fuel, or store it for later use. When you are insulin resistant though, this system doesn’t work properly & glucose tends to just get placed into long-term storage (fat). The more fat you have stored already – the more insulin resistant you become, a very annoying cycle affecting many Australians today, which can ultimately prove fatal.

When you think insulin, you first think diabetes. But you should also be thinking muscles & fat, weight loss & energy.

When your body senses high blood glucose (ie after eating) insulin release is triggered (to get the glucose out of your bloodstream & into your cells for burning). If you’re eating loads of carbs all the time, your cells become less & less sensitive to insulin (it’s just always there), so you end up with constantly high blood sugar & high insulin, because your cells aren’t letting the sugar in to burn it. You are ‘resistant’ to the normal effect of insulin, no longer sensitive to its action. This is a bad situation – you’ll put on fat, lose muscle & feel tired & cranky too.

Feeling like you might already be insulin resistant? (Don’t worry – it’s not just you, there are millions of other Aussies in the same boat).

So how do you become more ’insulin sensitive’ again?

Morning / Fasted exercise:

This uses up all of your left-over stored energy very quickly, & will force you to then rely on fat as a fuel source. Walk fast, or jog slowly, for 40-60 mins each morning (or as many mornings as you can, on an empty stomach. You can drink a black coffee (no milk or sugar) beforehand if desired, this can even help you burn fat. If you can’t exercise in the morning at all,, try a gym session anytime (weights) that will burn through all of your stored glucose, giving you an empty tank like when you wake up – & then do your 40-60min walk / jog / lower intensity cardio. You’ll get waaayyy more fat-burning bang for your exercise buck. Exercise really is the best way to become more insulin-sensitive, as muscle contractions increase the glucose receptors on your cell walls – allowing more sugar in to be utilised as energy (instead of it just ending up going into storage as fat).

Increase muscle mass & burn some fat:

The more muscle you have, the better your blood glucose metabolism will be. Muscle is so important for fat loss, even when you are asleep your lean muscle mass will be burning through fats for you.  Diabetics should read bodybuilding manuals, the info would help immensely (just ignore the fake tan & body oil sections).

Good fats:

You need omega 3’s to make your cell walls work properly, if you’re still eating bad fats (ie margarine / chips / biscuits / ’vegetable oil’ trans fats etc – your cell membranes won’t be working properly (things like glucose can’t get in easily to be utilised by the cells). Eat plenty of omega 3 fats, or take them in a supplement form if you hate fish. Only eat grass fed animal products, avoid anything grain fed.

Watch the Carbs / try IF:

Decrease them (by a lot), so you give yourself a break from the constant insulin secretion. Trial intermittent fasting – if it feels good for your body, eat only ‘good carbs’, like berries & veggies, legumes, nuts & seeds. Less food (esp carbs) means less insulin secretion, which will mean you get more sensitive to it again over time (then you may be able to relax a little with your diet again.)

Fibre:

Use fibre to slow the release of carbs. Ie if you’re going to eat cake, have some nuts with it! Choose the carrot cake with walnuts, the bun with most seeds (or if you really want to get well – just back away from the bakery)! Focus on fat, fibre & protein & you will improve your insulin sensitivity.

Stress Management

When we experience stress (& cortisol release), it causes our blood sugar to go up. This is very useful if the stress is caused by something chasing us, but not good if we’re sitting at our desk, stressed by a work deadline or relationship issue. Obviously if you’re stressed & running away, you burn the glucose, if you’re stressed & sitting…you’ll need more insulin to lower your blood sugar. Most of us are under too much stress (raising our cortisol, blood sugar & insulin constantly),so our body becomes desensitised & just tunes out. This is how prolonged stress can cause / contribute to insulin resistance.

Sunshine

Vitamin D is crucial for insulin sensitivity, maintaining lean muscle mass, strength, athletic performance, fat burning…along with so many other things!  Looking fat in your bikini is the best reason to get down to the beach in it!

Gut Health

Gut health cannot be overlooked when treating metabolic dysfunction – it can play a huge role in insulin resistance. Your gut bugs influence your levels of inflammation, your metabolism, how likely you are to crave certain foods, how you extract calories from them, & how your blood sugar reacts to what you eat. Obesity and diabetes can be “transferred” from one group of mice to the other simply by altering their gut flora. Some human cases of this have been observed with FMT therapy (where human gut bacteria is transferred from one person directly to another).

Smoking:

Smoking will make you insulin resistant, & also the people around you breathing it in. Your smoking could be making your spouse / kids fat.

Sleep:

Bad sleep will make you insulin resistant – if you’re serious about fixing your metabolism, you must prioritise sleep.  Do not underestimate the power of quality sleep to heal you, & poor sleep to make you sick.

Some things that can help with sugar metabolism (get advice from your practitioner):

  • fish oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • magnesium
  • fenugreek
  • cinnamon
  • aloe vera
  • turmeric
  • probiotics
  • prebiotics

…there are so many more, & best to see a professional who can choose what suits your case best, but feel free to incorporate more of the above mentioned into your diet.

Love to hear any questions or struggles you’ve experienced with weight loss. Just send me an email an I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.

Jeanie X

jeanie@goodmix.com.au

Something all Mums Would Love

Please can somebody make our mummy lives easier by taking all that crap food off the shelves??!! Please stop making it, selling it & advertising it to our kids! It causes us a lot of premature grey hairs & wrinkles, fighting with the kids over what they can & can’t have, & trying to explain why.  Not fun for mums – or kids!

Just get rid of it = problem solved!!

Imagine saying to the kids when they ask “Mum, what can I have to eat?” “Darling you can have anything you feel like from the shop / fridge / cupboard / tuck shop / foodcourt”.  Bahahaha!!  If only!

Imagine if they didn’t even have to ask – you just knew & could trust that everything out there designed for human consumption was good for them, cos that was the law / requirement in order to sell it, & there were no more food battles. Sigh. Life would be sooo much easier!

What if we could make every mum’s job easier by taking away all that food stress? She could relax, knowing everything available to purchase for her family was basically nourishing. Shopping would be a breeze…& mealtimes…just imagine it! THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE!

We need a strong system in place for regulating the ‘food’ that ends up in our supermarkets, trolleys, tuck shops, pantries, lunch boxes & tummies. Education & the star-rating system (lol) is not enough – we need something tough in place higher up the chain to take the pressure off mums, & put it onto the food producers & sellers.  

We know the damage cigarettes are doing us (the pics are all over the packets), yet we can still go buy them – ludicrous! Who makes that kind of decision?? Are we going to start seeing graphic health warning pics on the front of chip packets as we’re packing kids lunch boxes?? But still be able to keep buying them??

Come on – we need better standards around what is allowed into our food supply, & to just get rid of the stuff that is not serving us! Is the $$ earned through the sale of these products really worth the cost to our country in healthcare & lack of productivity that come as a direct result of allowing this crap onto shelves for purchasing?   

If the government can financially incentivise families to increase vaccination rates, surely we can consider rewards for parents doing a good job of feeding their families well & keeping them healthy in other ways? Or a financial slap for the families who aren’t making any effort?

What about support for the food stores & companies trying their best to produce & sell ‘actual food (definition = “nutritious substance that people eat or drink in order to maintain life and growth”). And making it difficult for the unethical companies to keep churning out their cheap, unhealthy pretend food?  

Sadly – the percentage of ‘edible stuff’ in the average Aussie food shop that really ‘maintains life & growth’ is low!! Stand at the supermarket register for a few hrs & take a look at the crap going through. The only growth it’s maintaining are our waistlines & the bank accounts of the food & pharmaceutical giants.

I see so many poor kids walking around with their seemingly uneducated or unconcerned parents, & I often wonder ‘is that kid gonna feel like sueing her mum when she grows up, for all of her diet-induced health issues?’ I think in many cases, the answer will be yes! In this country, in this day & age – it is parental negligence to not make an effort with your kids diet. The problem is that it shouldn’t be that hard for parents – much of the effort required is because fake food is everywhere now – it has become the norm! These kids are not given a chance to live a long & healthy life &  reach their potential. They will struggle from childhood, & for their entire life will pay for the negligence of their food providers during those important growing years. Not fair, & not good enough!!

Surely the massive cost to the Australian taxpayer of caring for the obese & unwell adds up to a figure worth doing something about? Shall we build a fence at the top of the cliff now?…or just keep the ambulances flowing to the bottom??

Pass me a cigarette & a softdrink, while I make a free appointment to see my Dr (taxpayer’s shout) for my heart disease, cancer & diabetes!!!  Insanity.

My Mother’s Day gift idea = mum’s of Australia unite vs whoever we need to battle to make this change!  So our daughters & grand daughters don’t have to deal with the food-stress induced grey hairs & wrinkles!

Who’s with me on this one mums?

What do we want? LESS CRAP ON THE SHELVES!!  When do we want it? NOW!!

What food solutions do you need? What would make your life easier…we’ll try to make it into a product & get it out there! Love to hear your good food ideas – what causes your family the most food stress, & strategies you’ve come up with to decrease food stresses!

Jeanie X
jeanie@goodmix.com.au