PondWater – Supergreens Plus Aloe. Why this combination?

…just thought I’d share with you why I chose the ingredients I did when producing ‘PondWater’! (Ther’s no tadpoles, I promise!)

  • Pure Inner Leaf Aloe Vera
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella
  • Barley Grass 
  • Spelt Grass
  • NOTHING ELSE!

Aloe Vera – pure inner leaf gel:

I could have made PondWater MUCH cheaper had I left the aloe vera out, or decreased the percentage used (it’s 8%, not just a teeny bit to make the ingredients list look good).  I really wanted it included at a good therapeutic dose, because in the years I spent working in health stores & pharmacies I’d spoken to so many customers who swore by their aloe inner-leaf drinks, for numerous ailments – plus it has such a long history of helping with digestive issues.  Thousands of years of anecdotal evidence beats the latest clinical trial any day in my book!  I’ve always been a huge believer in treating the gut first & that all disease can be improved with some attention & TLC to the gut. So, aloe inner-leaf gel, as one of the most useful gut foods out there just had to go in, pricey or not! Imagine how many kgs of fresh aloe vera gel it takes to create just 1kg of pure dried powder, it’s a lot when you consider the high water content in the fresh plant, & that all the outer skins cannot be used.

We had a lot of ‘gut people’ already using Blend11, so I thought aloe would be a perfect addition to supergreens to help support gut microbial balance, the gut lining, as well as the things we can all use help with – energy, immunity, inflammation, skin, liver & metabolism.

As well as the long appreciated gut-soothing, prebiotic, anti-inflammatory & antimicrobial properties, there have been some very promising Aloe Vera trials showing improvements to blood glucose control, cholesterol & triglyceride levels, uric acid levels & many skin issues. Watch this space as more evidence comes to light, though for me it’s fairly obvious that a food / supplement / lifestyle change is doing good things when you can see positive changes in skin & an increase in energy (the 2 most common things people notice when using Pondy regularly).

*Note that PondWater only contains pure inner-leaf aloe gel, no latex – so it comes minus the anthraquinones found in whole leaf aloe extract. Anthraquinone is the bitter constituent found in the green outer leaf & latex which has some really negative effects like gut irritation, potential liver toxicity, & it acts as a harsh stimulating laxative. Be careful when harvesting fresh aloe yourself that you don’t ingest the outer leaf or the yellow stuff just underneath.

Spirulina & Chlorella:

Anyone who’s worked in a health food store longer than a few years gets a sense for ‘supplements that are mostly hype & will enjoy huge popularity then pass, but there are some real ‘stayers’. Spirulina & Chlorella are 2 of them, consistently popular for decades because people actually do notice a difference when they use them, & even more so when they run out! These tiny greens have been used as food / medicine for hundreds of years, beginning back in the days when foods (rather than chemicals) were our go-to therapeutics!

As well as being nutritional superstars with up to 70% protein, good fats, loads of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace elements & fibre (phew), spirulina & chlorella (like aloe) are ‘selective’ prebiotics. They have antimicrobial properties as well as playing a prebiotic role, supporting some of our beneficial organisms while suppressing some of the nasties. The soluble fibre they contain is metabolised by gut microbes into the highly beneficial, anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s). The algal supergreens are similar to & very complementary to the actions of aloe vera – research suggests that they are all great food supplements for helping normalise blood sugars, triglycerides &  cholesterol. Perfect food-medicine for the average Joe & Jo-Anne, looking to lose a few kgs & get their diabetes & cardiovascular risk factors under control.

Barley & Spelt Grass:

Don’t worry – they’re guaranteed gluten-free! Our grasses are grown in Australia, specifically for the gluten-free market. They’re grown organically outdoors in soil & sunshine, then harvested & dried long before any grains have even developed, & batch-tested so we have no concerns with gluten contamination (as can happen with other grass powders). We have many gluten intolerant & coeliac customers doing really well on PondWater. Both grasses are highly nutritious (protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace elements & fibre). Once again – grasses are fantastic microbiome food, offering selective prebiotic benefits along with polyphenols to support a healthy gut microbiome. And if anyone asks ‘what about the famous cardiologist Dr Gundry? He says grass is toxic to humans & it makes dogs throw up & we can’t digest it (viral Facebook video, eyeroll emoji)…well think about this. Humans can’t actually digest any fibre. Our microbes do that for us, fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, algaes, grasses – the fibre in all of them is food for our gut bugs to thrive on, not for us to digest personally, we can’t do it. And any vet (or anyone with a dog) will tell you that dogs often eat grass without vomiting afterwards, maybe they know it’s good for their gut bacteria? My bet is yes it is, the dog microbiome is really similar to ours. I’ve personally seen many people introduce a powdered grass supplement into their diet & feel much more energetic, notice changes in blood fats / sugars, skin improvements…maybe a side effect of the dreaded grass toxicity? I must be extremely unwell with all the grass I’ve consumed over the past 20 yrs, super greens are the one supplement I’ve included in my diet consistently since discovering them! And I’ve often shared with my canine buddies.

…& Nothing else?

I could have added a flavour, a sweetener, or some cheap fibres, protein powders, dried fruit & veggie powders…but I hate it when manufacturers add those ingredients into beautiful pure green powders! I much prefer to use fresh fruit & veg as natural flavours / sweeteners, & I’d rather eat my fruit & veggies & protein fresh – not quite as easy to get my fresh grass, algae & aloe in each day!

So – the PondWater ingredients list is simple compared to many other green powders, just 5 ingredients. This was my intention to keep it really potent (from feedback it’s actually been so potent that we’ve decreased the initial suggested serving size on the packs). If your ‘greens powder’ has a massively long list of ingredients, you’ll likely be getting loads of cheap fillers & not many actual greens (one popular brand has 2g of greens per 12g dose), & none of the ingredients will be anywhere near a therapeutic dose (i.e. you won’t get enough of anything daily to really notice a difference). The name ‘PondWater’ just means that it won’t taste amazing, but at least you can take a green drink to work & declare that you’re ‘just having your daily PondWater’ to anyone who asks ‘what the hell are you drinking??’ with a disgusted look on their face!! It really freaks the kids out too, which is fun – but they’ll love it in a green smoothie! The taste can easily be masked with fresh lemon or lime (throw a few wedges & the peel into your shaker bottle), or it goes great with any green smoothie (see recipes). The benefits are well worth getting used to it, I promise!

If you can’t get Pondy check out my 5 best tips when buying supergreens

 

Did you know? Topically, fresh aloe gel is one of the best things for any of your ‘herpes family’ viral skin lesions – oral cold sores, genital herpes, chicken pox & shingles. For best results, apply frequently throughout the day at the very first sign of a flare-up or infection, it is very gentle & safe so you can’t overdo it. Obviously with anything that feels serious, or for an initial outbreak see your Dr (after applying some aloe)! Yay for safe medicine you can grow in a pot (& the plant is nearly impossible to kill, even if you’re normally the plant-killer type!)

For a freaky-looking skin treat, you can use PondWater (mixed with water & clay powder) as a before-bed face mask (be aware you’ll look a little pink afterwards, but your skin will look & feel amazing when you wake up!) *patch test is recommended for sensitive skin, just to be safe.  Just leave it on until the clay dries out, then use warm water & a face cloth to remove (best done in the shower).

How to: plus 7 essential skincare tips!

 

 

 

Love to hear your feedback for PondWater – how’s your energy? How’s your skin looking? Any noticeable impact on your blood sugars, cholesterol or triglycerides? Anything else that you really notice! Let me know :)

Jeanie Xx
jeanie@goodmix.com.au

 

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!

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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