The Power of Detox

4 Common health problems that a bowel & liver detox will help!

1. Cardiovascular Disease

Having a fatty liver (caused by excess sugar & carbohydrates in the diet) is a now thought to be a more potent risk factor for cardiovascular disease than smoking & high cholesterol (put down the chocolate bar now).  Many people have a fatty liver & don’t even know it – a great way to clear it out is to follow a good detox plan, then ensure your diet is really high in vegetables (especially bitter salad greens) & low in sugar / carbs. Especially bad for creating a fatty liver are drinking fruit juices (even ‘healthy’ freshly squeezed ones – it’s just the big hit of sugar in one serve with no fibre to slow down the release). So if you’re headed for a heart attack or stroke genetically – ditch the cholesterol meds & get your fatty liver skinny again! A detox is a great way to start to kick the sugar habit.

 

2. Arthritis

Your inflamed gut causes immune system reactions throughout your entire body & chemicals to be released which will damage cartilage. You end up with joint pain, so you take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pill (which will further damage your gut lining & also prevent your cartilage / connective tissue from healing) & the whole situation just goes rapidly downhill from there. Don’t reach for the quick fix for your arthritis pain – make the effort to fix your gut & clean your liver. Your immune system will settle down a lot & so will your level of inflammation. Did you know that the bacteria in your bowel (if it’s in good nick) actually manufacture anti-inflammatory substances (short chain fatty acids – google them) just by breaking down the fibre you eat? Pretty awesome design feature of the human body.

 

3. Acne

Your skin is just the organ of your body that is clearly visible from the outside. It provides big clues to what is happening on the inside, & you can often influence skin conditions like acne greatly, just by working on the gut & liver. Your liver breaks down the hormones & toxins flowing through the bloodstream which can influence acne. It also metabolises fats (skin needs loads of good fats & the bad fats are a big skin no-no).  The function (or dysfunction) of your gut & liver can mean either efficient excretion of hormones & toxins – or constant re-absorption & re circulation of ‘crap’ (quite literally) in to the bloodstream. Did you know that eating loads of good fats & fibre (& cutting your sugars, bad fats & carbs right down) is a great way to help support your gut-liver-skin system? Try it & see!

 

4. Depression, anxiety & mental illness

We’ve all heard loads about probiotics – but what do you know about ‘psychobiotics’? Yep, it’s a thing, gut microbes are known to impact your mental state. Scientists are studying how different foods, exercise, sleep patterns etc can influence your moods via changes in the gut microbiota. If your diet is crap you’ll likely feel like crap emotionally too, & anyone who’s been constipated or suffered from IBS will know that your gut & your brain are linked very closely (50-80% of those diagnosed with IBS also experience some form of depression & / or anxiety). In Traditional Chinese Medicine, anyone who’s excessively cranky needs some treatment for their liver, & in Ayurvedic medicine, if you’re feeling nervous or anxious / un-grounded – you may well receive treatment aimed at your gut. Give your gut & liver some TLC – & observe the difference it makes to your mental state!

 

The list really does go on! Almost any illness you can think of will benefit from some gut & liver support, all naturopaths will tell you this is true.  ‘All disease begins in the gut’ is a famous quote from Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. You can choose to jump in boots n’ all with a detox plan – or you can just pay close attention to the foods you eat every day that will either help or hinder your gut & liver function. Check out this list of detoxifying foods to include in your diet , or start our free detox plan today!

DOES MY BODY NEED A DETOX? TAKE THE QUIZ

28 key signs that your body needs a detox

Big weekends, the kids, bad diets, the kids, crazy work hours, the kids, and everything in between. You might not have had time to realize, but there is a good chance your body is just screaming out for a little detox.

So, we’ve made it super-easy. Go through this list & if you answer yes to any of these, you could benefit from our easy detox programme.

The more you say yes, the more your body needs help!

Take the Quiz!

Q1. You’re tired on waking. After a decent night’s sleep, would you rather roll over and sleep some more?

Q2. You have a poor morning appetite and are unable to eat breakfast straight after waking. Does the thought of eating food early make you feel queasy?

Q3. Rashes, acne, blotchiness, bumps, cysts, accesses, itching. Are these skin problems you experience?

Q4. Do you often suffer from vaginal thrush/yeast infections, or fungal nail, skin or scalp issues?

Q5. Feeling Bleh. Do you often feel bloated, swollen, ‘fluidy’ or puffy?

Q6. Poo time. Do you generally move your bowels less than twice daily, are constipated frequently, or have IBS, diarrhoea or irregular bowel habits?

Q7. Are you are really sensitive to chemicals, perfumes, strong smells and or alcohol?

Q8. Do you strongly crave sugar, sweets, carbohydrates, alcohol and just cannot go without them?

Q9. Do you often feel sleepy during the day, especially after meals?

Q10. Do you experience a lot of ‘brain fog’ (inability to think clearly / concentrate, fuzziness in your brain, poor memory)?

Q11. Do you have eczema, asthma, allergies, and/or hay fever?

Q12. Can you not tolerate alcohol like you used to, and get really bad hangovers?

Q13. Do you have frequent or constant aches and pains in your muscles and joints?

Q14. Are you carrying excess fat, especially abdominal fat, a pot belly, or a ‘beer gut’?

Q15. Are you moody, irritable, don’t cope well with stress, or suffer with depression or anxiety?

Q16. Do you have an autoimmune disease?

Q17. Do you have gallbladder problems or have had it removed due to previous problems?

Q18. Do you have trouble with your hormones? Such as PMS, bad fluid retention, irregular periods, skin breakouts?

Q19. Do you have bad breath and/or a coated tongue?

Q20. Can you not function properly without your morning coffee?

Q21. Can you not function properly without beer, wine, alcohol, prescription or recreational drugs?

Q22. Do you always have bad body odour?

Q23. Do you get frequent headaches?

Q24. Do you suffer with sinus congestion?

Q25. Do you frequently get heartburn or indigestion?

Q26. Are your triglycerides & cholesterol too high or out of balance?

Q27. Is your immunity poor? Do you seem to catch everything going around or get the most severe version?

Q28. Do you have puffiness or dark circles under your eyes?

How’d you go?

Are you some sort of super human and had all no? Or did you fall out of your chair at about question 18 thinking you may as well change your middle name to be tox!

If you finished with plenty of yes’s, or received none at all and wish to continue living the clean, green life; be sure to check out our detox bundle which includes a copy of our FREE rest and reset detox plan.

SPRINGTIME = CLEANING TIME = GREENING TIME!

supergreens

Spring is in the air & already I’m loving the longer days, warmer mornings & menu changes. This is the time we clear out the clutter & cobwebs from home, & many will also do something similar with their ‘body-home’ too. Spring detox is a good idea – as the warmer weather is a great time to get into ‘cold foods’ like smoothies & juices, salads, raw fruit & veg etc. Winter often means colds & flus, medications, heavy foods, desserts, more sleeping, & less exercise / outdoorsy-time, which can leave you feeling sluggish after a few months & motivated to ‘detox’ or do a bit of an internal spring clean. If that doesn’t motivate you, the fact that bikini season is looming might!! Detoxing with the help of some supergreens can help us lose that indulgent / lazy winter flab!

‘Greens’ are the perfect springtime food supp that can support detoxification in a healthy & nourishing way. They also go perfectly into smoothies & fresh juices, which most detox plans will be based around. There are however, a few things you need to know when shopping for greens – there are some really dodgy ones out there & some great ones, here’s how to figure out what’s what!

5 things to look for when choosing a quality supergreens supplement

There are sooo many supergreens supplements out there in pills, powders, liquids, different ingredients & different brands…how do you choose a good one?!

Consider the following:

# 1 Potency

How many grams of supergreens are actually in the daily dose? Check the ingredient list – some look very impressive to the untrained eye, with long ingredient lists (can be as many as 76 different things!) Just remember that in order to gain benefits from a supplement, you’ll need to be taking ‘a therapeutic dose’ of it. If the dose of each ingredient is so small that you can fit 76 different things into a 12g serve…guaranteed, you ain’t getting very much of anything! Unfortunately, with healthfood supps it’s ‘all about the ingredients list’ (smart / unethical companies know exactly what sells loads of product to unsavvy consumers – impressive ingredients lists). Don’t be fooled!

# 2 Colour / Taste / Smell

Let’s face it – most greens don’t taste great. The grasses taste like grass, & the algaes are a little seaweedy…not everyone’s cup of tea. Spirulina & Chlorella will get more pungent smelling as they age – so a good tip is to keep your supergreens well sealed or even in the fridge if you are slow to get through them or live somewhere really hot. A freshly purchased pack should be relatively mild smelling & tasting (though not pleasant).

Not even the best green supplement can help you whilst it’s sitting in your cupboard, so ideally, you want to taste before buying a big bag, to make sure it’s not so yuck you’ll never be able to drink it. Bear in mind though, like anything – you will get used to the taste, & may even start to crave it after a while. The key is to start slowly & build up the dose, & also to use other tastes to mask the greens – i.e. lemon, lime, pineapple, banana etc.

# 3 Sweeteners / Flavours

You want to know how much added sweetener & flavour have been added. Many supergreens are super-sweet & really ‘sickly’, & some have such a strong ‘natural flavouring’ added that they will overpower all your smoothies.  A poor quality greens can often be a browny colour (usually full of fruit powder, fillers or sweetener) whereas a quality green powder will be just that – green.

# 4 Fillers

Watch out for supergreens that are bulked out with cheap fillers – commonly you’ll see protein powders, ancient grains, fibres, fruit & vegetable powders etc – these are all relatively cheap ingredients which you’d be much better off buying seperately (if you want them). Make sure your green supplement is just that, greens – or if there are some added extras, check that they are something you actually want & that they are in a decent dose.

# 5 Added extras

Some ‘added extra’ ingredients can be great in greens, but check that the dose is worthwhile. I recently saw a popular instant green smoothie powder that lists Goji berries as an ingredient, at 25mg per serve. Considering that one Goji berry weighs approx 1-2 g (1000 – 2000mg), & that a therapeutic dose of goji is between 10-30g (10000mg – 30000mg) you’d have to question if there’s any point having Goji as an ingredient in this formula, as the dose is so minuscule. This sort of label (unfortunately) is becoming really, really common in healthfood products  – especially as the industry is being rapidly taken over by pharmaceutical / food company giants who have no background in health, but just want ‘a piece of the action’ as this previously small market grows.

So what about cost ? 

In general, like with most foods – you’ll get what you pay for. There are cheap & nasty greens, there are well-priced quality greens, & there are ludicrously expensive (for no apparent reason) greens. Sometimes cost is simply in the fancy packaging, the advertising campaign, or in paying the celebrity endorsing the product. Go for no frills over packaging & celebrities – it means your money actually buys greens.

All ingredients should be organic (preferably certified), Spirulina & Chlorella should be checked for heavy metal & microbiological contamination, & cereal grasses should be tested & guaranteed to be gluten free (contamination with grain is a common issue with wheat & barley grass). Cereal grasses are generally cheaper than algae, so this can explain pricing differences in some products, depending on the formulas.

Don’t rely on marketing, ask an expert or someone who uses them! 

If it’s all too hard – ask an expert or 3 for their opinion. Call / email the company with your questions. Talk to the naturopaths in your local health store, or your own practitioner if you have one…ask everyone you know who is already taking greens how it makes them feel / wether it really makes a difference. A good green, taken regularly at an appropriate dose, should make a noticeable difference quite quickly. Most commonly people report that they have better energy levels, they may find their fingernails / hair grow faster / stronger, their skin is improved, their aches & pains are less severe, gut problems can improve…these are the most common things I would hear from regular supergreens customers whilst working in health stores / pharmacies, & some I’ve noticed personally from taking them for years myself.

The main things to look for… 

  • ingredients are all supergreens, in decent doses – not a million other things in tiny doses. Any extras are there for a reason & are in there at a good dose. Steer clear of long ingredients lists, go for simple.
  • organic, preferably certified – you want to support detox!
  • no fillers / sweeteners / flavours – you don’t wanna pay for those!
  • cost: beware the cheap & nasty, you generally get what you pay for, but also look out for expensive ad campaigns & celebrity endorsements.
  • taste it first, be prepared for the ‘yuck’ factor with recipes.
  • ask questions of other users / a professional / the company

If you have any questions or feedback for us, just leave a reply below and I will help where I can :)

7 ESSENTIAL NATURAL SKINCARE TIPS!

Your skin is an organ of your body – just like your heart, brain, liver, kidneys etc.
It is also the organ you can see from the outside, so can sometimes provide insight into what is going on internally. When you go to the Dr with a skin problem, often the treatment approach is external only – but from a naturopathic point of view, this is only one side of the story. We will investigate & attack from all angles – looking at the systems involved in supporting skin health from below, as well as what’s going on at surface level. Below are some of the best natural tips to support healthy, radiant skin at any age:

1) Circulation is paramount – both blood & lymphatic.

Get that blood pumping through all the teeny tiny vessels that supply your skin with oxygen, nutrients, immune cells etc – & remember that your lymphatic system (which is like your body’s garbage disposal system) cannot pump anything without exercise to help it along. Expecting to have healthy skin without exercising is like expecting to have great skin whilst going to sleep in your makeup each night – you need to be cleansing the ‘gunk’ away from the inside as well as from the outside!

2) Remember your skin microbes!

Just like your gut, your skin is absolutely crawling with microbes (don’t be grossed out – they are mostly good guys) who are there helping us clean up / keep out invaders / maintain a balanced, protective ‘ecosystem’ to surround ourselves with. Just keep your microbes in mind next time you’re in the pharmacy reaching for the ‘antibacterial-kill-everything-type-cleanser’. The aim isn’t hospital-like sterile skin, but to have a happily balanced layer of natural bugs – that’s the way we’re designed. Obviously, this system can be interfered with when we use copious amounts of chemical product on our skin, so keep in mind you’ll be healthier with balanced bugs than sterile skin – get outside into nature regularly, hug some trees, roll in the fields, swim in the ocean, play in the mud, dig in the garden, pat the dog, visit a farm…studies show that more bug exposure = healthier humans. Get dirtier :)

3) Support the gut & liver.

Most of us who take notice of how our bodies’ react to food, will know that our skin can totally reflect what is going on in the gut & the liver. Supporting the digestive system & liver means we’ll have more efficient elimination of toxins, better hormonal balance, less inflammation & an immune system that behaves as it should (not too reactive, just reactive enough). Gut again is home to our helpful microbes – these are crucial to our digestion & absorption of nutrients, to maintaining a functional gut-lining, & to keep up the correct communication with our immune system. These microbes need a diverse range of fibre to eat – so keep sending it down to them! Gut & liver hate antibiotics, medications, processed foods, sugar, alcohol, excess animal products, gluten…steer clear of these as much as possible, & go for loads of fibrous fresh veg, nuts, seeds, fermented foods, oily fish, gelatinous bodrinking-water-filter-singapore-1235578_960_720ne broths, & green smoothies). Gut & liver working well = healthy blood, less toxicity, less inflammation, healthy immunity. Skin thrives when the supporting systems are strong.

4) Hydrate!

Goes without saying – but so often we forget! Our skin will look very sad if we are all dried-up on the inside from lack of fluid! Best skin beverages are water &  herb teas.

5) Sunshine – (in moderation)!

We need sunshine on our skin to make vitayoung-fit-woman-on-morning-jogging-run-picjumbo-commin D – obviously don’t overdo it & get fried, but getting some sunshine (in  moderation) is very skin-healthy.

6) Nutrition – good food builds good skin!

Protein, good fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants…your skin needs them, & you can’t cover up a junk food diet with make-up (well not for long anyway!) Our skin cells are constantly renewing themselves, always rebuilding (which requires many nutrients for it to work well). Anyone who ismixed_fruits_hires malnourished will show it in their skin – just look at the skin of those battling with anorexia, alcohol & drug addiction – & how it can change so rapidly with recovery. Nourishment from within = radiance from the outside! Avoid or test yourself with the common skin triggers like wheat / gluten, dairy, soy, poor quality oils, fried foods, sugar, alcohol etc).

7) Nourish from the outside too!

A certain amount of whatever you rub into your skin will end up inside of you. Not ideal then to be using products made from chemicals…many of the ingredients found in our daily skin routine are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors (they mess with our hormones) or just plain toxic. There are many natural products available now, without the toxicity – & full of nourishing & cleansing botanicals – like aloe vera, herbs, good oils, minerals from clays etc…you can even make your own products from inexpensive ingredients like oats, honey, clay, avocado, lemon juice, etc etc – there are many recipes to be found online – look for those formulated by either a beauty therapist, aromatherapist or naturopath for best results! Or experiment yourself if game – just remember to patch test first!

Here’s one of my latest skin experiments – with PondWater!

FOR A 15 MINUTE, SUPER SKIN TREAT…try this circulation-boosting, nourishing, cleansing, softening SKIN MASK made with only 2 ingredients – super easy to make at home! All you need is PondWater  & some clay! 

 

mudpack1) mix 1tsp of natural clay mask – green, pink or white will work (available from any good health food store) with 1 flat tsp of PondWater  & add a little water if required to turn it into a nice paste.

2) Massage gently onto the skin, & leave on until it begins to dry & crack, then remove with warm water, pat dry & feel the silky-smooth fresh skin!

3) Follow with a natural moisturiser, pure aloe gel, or coconut oil. This makes enough mask for 2 faces…so grab your mum / sister / besty / partner…& get green-faced together :)

WARNING: Those with sensitive skin should always patch test a small area first, to check for tolerance. Even those with normal skin can expect some warmth & skin redness (like after a workout) after removing this mask, but there should be no irritation or discomfort – it’s just the blood circulation coming to the surface. This mask is best done at night, before bed to give the rosiness time to settle – you’ll wake up next day with radiant soft skin!! :)

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