Thursday, 16 October 2014

Natural solutions for stress and anxiety!

Nutrition is so important when it comes to managing stress and anxiety. The body requires certain nutrients in order to be able to make neurotransmitters for positive mood and relaxation. Without the correct nutrient intake it is impossible for the body to make these feel good chemicals resulting in stress, anxiety, low mood, lack of energy and trouble sleeping.
Not only are the nutrients that we eat important for the chemical processes in the body but it is also vital to maintain good digestive health as 90% of our serotonin receptors are found in the gut. Serotonin is one of these feel good chemicals required for positive mood. So if our digestive system is not being supported we are most likely not going to be promoting a happy nervous system.
Herbal medicine has been used for generations for reducing stress and supporting the nervous system and adrenal glands. Many herbs such as chamomile are well known for promoting relaxation. Herbs in the form of liquid tinctures, tablets or teas can be used to help the individual better cope with the everyday stressors we encounter.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation as well as exercise have been proven to have stress and anxiety reducing effects. Relaxation techniques can help to change the brain waves to those experienced during deep sleep. Exercise helps the body burn off excess adrenalin as well as promoting the release of the body’s feel good hormone endorphins.

So eating right, exercising and using herbal medicine if you need that extra bit of support can be exceptionally beneficial for reducing the effects of stress and anxiety. By booking in to see a Naturopath you can have a treatment plan personally tailored to you!



A lack of confidence is one of the main complaints I have been hearing lately from my clients. Many people feel that they are not confident but do we really understand what confidence is? And is there anything we can do to increase our confidence?
Well what exactly is confidence? Confidence is an emotional state. Like any emotion it can come and go, be high or low. Confidence is something that comes easily for some but takes a lot of work for others. However, one thing that I need to clear up is that it is absolutely possible for everyone to feel confident. Lack of confidence is by no means a simple personality trait. It is much more than that and confidence is something achievable for everyone (even if you cant perceive right this moment).
Confidence is about feeling equal to others. Something that really clicked for me quite a while back when I was not feeling confident at all is that if you realise everyone is human and no one is better than the next person, then there is no reason to feel that lack of confidence around others.
Confidence can be seen in your body posture. And did you know that by simply changing your posture to walk tall, chest out and head up high you will not only be perceived as a confident person by others but you will actually begin to feel more confident within yourself.

When I work with client who want to increase their confidence I give them an exercise to do daily called a positive stocktake. I have found this to be extremely beneficial at helping people feel more positive and confident in their everyday life.

Positive stocktake:
1.     List 5 things that were good today
2.     List 5 things that you were disappointed about today
3.     Come up with solutions to those things you were disappointed about/ what could you do differently next time.
By looking at ways we can improve ourselves and reflecting positively on our day it can bring about great changes in confidence. This way when you are in the same situation in the future you will know what to do to create a more positive outcome. Its normal not to be perfect and not to get everything right the first time. That’s what makes you human and life is all about personal growth and development and learning from experiences. So next time you are feeling a lack of confidence just remember to hold yourself tall and think about what you could do to improve the situation. And never beat yourself up about something that has happened in the past, just take what you have learnt and move on!

Natural solutions for period pain

Period pain is actually quite complex with multi faceted causes. The best solution would be to get a treatment specially tailored to you. However, if it is simple period pain there are a few generalised things that can help.
My top 3 natural period pain treatments are:
1.     Fish oil- Fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids are a great natural anti-inflammatory and is wonderful for balancing hormones as well. This supplement needs to be taken all month not just at the time of menstruation.
2.     Magnesium- Magnesium is a wonderful muscle relaxant and will help to relax the uterus and abdomen. This can be started a few days before your period begins.
3.     Cramp bark- This herb as per its name has traditionally been used to reduced cramps. Have 20 drops in a glass of water 4 times a day. Begin using it as soon as you feel the cramps starting.
In terms of dietary considerations avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol as they all promote inflammation resulting in worse cramps!
Exercise on the other hand has been shown to reduce pain. It encourages circulation to the uterus helping to reduce the craping.
So follow these simple suggestions and hopefully your period pain will simply be something of the past!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Spring Smoothie

We all know that there is a bit of a smoothie craze going on at the moment. I myself love a smoothie as long as it is packed full of nutrition and not sugar!

I often opt for a smoothie for breakfast as its a great way to get lots and lots of nutrients into your body at once. What a fantastic way to start your day. Its also quick and convenient for those who don't have much time in the morning.

Green smoothies are a fabulous was to help you cleanse during spring. I have been using a super greens powder containing spirulina, chlorella, barley grass and wheat grass. All the greens are great for alkalising the body, helping you detoxify and they are also full of many wonderful vitamins for energy, stress reduction overall health.

My spring cleaning green smoothie contains:

1 banana
2 scoops of super green powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 tablespoons of hemp protein or pea protein
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder- optional

Blend all ingredient and sprinkle with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and goji berries.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

5 Foods to beat Hayfever!

 The sun is shining, the sky is blue and you are stuck inside due to the dreaded hay fever. We all know how irritating hay fever is, but did you know pharmaceutical anti-histamine are not the only answer? Many foods have natural anti-histamine properties and can help your body fight these allergens. So stop letting hay fever control your life by trying these natural treatments!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C found in citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, strawberries and red capsicum to name a few is an excellent immune boosting vitamin. It contains natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties.

You could also take a Vitamin C supplement, but make sure it contains bioflavonoids which are a natural antioxidant that enhances the effect of Vitamin C and is a potent anti-inflammatory.

Dosage: 1-3 grams of Vitamin C daily depending on bowel tolerance.


This popular spice has many wonderful health benefits. One being it is a strong anti-inflammatory. It can work as a wonderful natural anti-allergy compound.

Dosage: Consume 2 teaspoons of grated or powdered turmeric daily.


Garlic is well known for its immune stimulating effects. It works as a natural anti-biotic preventing infections and helps the immune system reduce its histamine reaction.

Dosage: Consume ½ a fresh clove of garlic daily.


If you have even eaten too much horseradish in one mouthful you will know its fantastic for clearing out the nasal passages. It helps to break up mucous reducing nasal congestion.


As 70% of our immune system is found in our gut a probiotic is important for improving immune function. These good bacteria, which are naturally found in our digestive system help fight off bugs and reduce inappropriate immune responses so that the body can better cope with allergens. Make sure to also consume pre-biotic foods such as fibre, sauerkraut, miso and other fermented foods.

Foods to avoid

There are several foods that promote inflammations in the body and may contribute to the symptoms of hay fever. Around this time of year avoiding dairy, wheat and refined sugar may help reduce your hay fever symptoms and improve immune function.

Other herbs to aid with hayfever

Albizia lebbeck and Baical skullcap are two herbs with strong anti-allergic properties. When prescribed correctly from a health care professional they can help reduce the immune response to allergens, improving hayfever symptoms.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Spring Cleaning

In Feng Shui every season brings a particular message. Spring is related to the liver which is where old toxins are excreted from the body. This is why spring is such an excellent time for an internal detox but also for clearing out the old to make space for new things. It is the time to de-clutter, re-harmonise and create the space for the person you want to be.
To follow on from last week’s simple spring detox post, here are some simple steps to de-clutter and spring clean your external environment. Detoxing needs to occur from both the inside and the outside.

1.     Organise 3 cardboard boxes. Label one rubbish, one charity and one for friends.

2.     One room at a time go through all your cupboards and draws and if there are things you haven’t used 
       in 2 years or longer then they should be placed in one of the 3 boxes. 

3.     If there are any items that you feel you don’t need any more then place in the appropriate box.

4.     Get a cloth and give benches, desks, interior of cupboards, tiles and walls a wipe down with hot water and biodegradable detergent or tea tree oil.

5.     Re-arrange items on desks/benches to give the room a fresh new feel.
You will be amazed at how liberated and free you will feel once you have finished spring cleaning your life!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Simple Spring Detox

Spring is here (Finally!!! I hear most of you saying). Well we all know that spring is the perfect time for clearing out the old to allow room for the new. That is the whole basis of spring cleaning. Spring cleaning does not only refer to clearing out your cupboards but also to all your internal baggage as well. This can be winter weight that we all tend to stack on to help us feel warm, toxins from the comfort food we have been eating or just stagnant energy from being inside and sedentary.
It’s up to you how you interpret spring cleaning but any form of clearing things out creates movement, energy flow and helps you release baggage. I know after a big clean out of my room I feel quite liberated and light.
Whether it’s your external or internal environment you clean, you will be creating an energetic shift to allow yourself to move into summer feeling free for new opportunities to flow in. So now’s the time to get cleaning!
For a spring detox follow these simple steps:

1.     Start each day with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in warm water.
2.     Eat plenty of fresh fruit and veggies daily.
3.     Consume good quality gluten free carbohydrates such as basmati rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa or amaranth.
4.     Eat some protein with every meal such as lean meat, fish, nuts and seeds, legumes, tempeh or eggs. Consume more fish and less red meat.
5.     Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol and fast foods.
6.     Drink at least 2 litres of water daily.
7.     Support liver function with herbs such as St. Marys Thistle and Dandelion.
8.     Consume bitter foods to aid in liver detoxification such as rocket, mustard greens, endive and chicory.
For optimal results follow this diet for 2-6 weeks. If you have any medical conditions consult your health care professional before following dietary advice.
So enjoy the blue sky, sun and smile!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Creamy chia seed pudding

Chia seeds have so many wonderful health benefits. They are high in omega 3, protein, fibre and contain many other nutrients.

Here is a recipe for a delicious chia pudding that can be had as either a breakfast or dessert!

1/2 cup chia seeds
1.5 cups coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
stevia to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix through and store in the fridge overnight.
Add stewed apples, berries, flakes almonds or topping of your choice and enjoy!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Why can’t I sleep?

Insomnia is such a common complaint I see in clinical practice. Nearly every client has some sleep related issue whether its trouble falling asleep, waking during the night or just feeling exhausted in the morning. There are many causes of insomnia, each with their own specific treatment. However, I thought I would share some simple tools you can implement to help you switch off and gain a more peaceful night sleep.

1.     Avoid anything too stimulating an hour before bed. This may include computers, TV, exercise or heated discussions. Instead try something relaxing such as a warm bath, some meditation, listening to calming music or writing in a journal (which can be a great way for removing all the thoughts that swim around in our heads).
2.     Make sure your bedroom is conducive to a good night’s sleep. It should be dark, quiet and still with no electrical appliances such as mobile phones near the bed head and your bed should be comfortable.
3.     Stimulating foods should be avoided after lunch time. This means no coffee, alcohol, very spicy foods or sugar after 2pm.
4.     Have relaxing herbal teas in the evening (but not too close to bed time to avoid waking with the need to urinate). Try chamomile, passionflower, lemon balm or valerian tea!
5.      There are some specific pressure points to hold that can also help with sleeplessness. Place one hand on your coccyx and the other under the ankle bone of the opposite foot. Hold this position for ten minutes or until you feel pulsing in the fingers and then swap sides.
6.     Consume foods that contain tryptophan in the evening such as turkey, milk, almonds, banana or eggs. If you feel like a snack in the evening a banana smoothie or a few nuts and seeds are a good option.
7.     The body likes routine. Make an effort to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. In the evenings spend a few minutes looking at the moon and go outside first thing in the morning to get some sunlight. This helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Three simple steps to bring joy into your life!

We all go through times when we feel a bit low. It’s just a normal part of life. There are many reasons why we may feel this way such as negative life circumstances, hormones, poor diet or poor sleeping habits. I know personally when I haven’t slept well for a few nights I get sad, irritable and even the smallest thing can make me cry. However, when these feelings are occurring regularly then it is important you do something about it. Life is meant to be enjoyed!
There are three things that if incorporated into daily life can really help to create positivity. They are so simple and yet so effective.
1.     Make sure you allow some time every day for things you enjoy or that nourish you as a person. It is so easy in our hectic lives to be running around from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall into bed at the end of the day. If you don’t make a conscious effort to look after yourself, each day just flies by without any time dedicated to you. This can leave you feeling disconnected and just not quite right. I understand we are all busy but just allowing yourself half an hour each day will make a huge difference. I personally love walking so I make time to go for a short walk and I always feel much more relaxed and clear headed afterwards. It can be anything that brings you joy such as taking a bath, creating a painting, doing a puzzle, writing, reading…Really absolutely anything as long as it is something that you feel nourishes you as a person.
2.     Surround yourself with positive people who make you feel good about yourself. Obviously there are times when we have to interact with people who are negative or that we don’t see eye to eye with. There is nothing we can do about that. But we can chose who our friends are and who we spend most of our social time with. Making sure you spend time with like-minded individuals and people who lift your spirits rather than drag you down is of utmost importance. I am sure we can all relate to those times when we feel fine and then we go to a party and get stuck talking to the person who is complaining the whole time about what a bore this party its and how much life sucks! Well you know what, the party does become boring and we are no longer able to enjoy ourselves. By simply excusing yourself and going to have a chat with the individual standing nearby with that huge smile can all of a sudden make that party a blast! It is simply all about perception and every single circumstance can either be horrible or exceptional depending on how we view it. Those around us can definitely have a huge influence on how we perceive things.
3.     GRATITUDE! Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools in existence to help make our lives positive and meaningful. It is simply too easy to forget what we are grateful for in this high pace society when everyone is constantly striving for something more. But simply taking 5 minutes every day to think about what we are grateful for has time and again proven to be so powerful a tool for creating happiness. Everyone has something to be grateful for whether it is to be living in this beautiful country, to having a roof over our heads, food to eat, family and friends who love us or simply our own unique personality. EVERYONE has something to be grateful for we just sometimes forget. Thinking about gratitude is the best way to create positivity and purpose. It is so simple yet so powerful!

So it is that easy. Do something you enjoy DAILY, spend time with people who make you feel POSSITIVE and experience GRATITUDE!

Saturday, 2 August 2014


Everyone goes through stages of having low mood, and sometimes all it takes is a change in your food. Good nutrition is an integral part of maintaining health. Here are 3 great foods that can help lift your mood, energise your body and release endorphins!

   Dark chocolate
       Everyone loves chocolate and it’s no mystery why we crave it when we are feeling tired or down. Raw cacao contains so many wonderful vitamins and minerals which are actually great for us. One main mineral is magnesium which is fantastic for enhancing relaxation. One study demonstrated that older men who ate dark chocolate had increased feelings of happiness, optimism and overall psychological well being. So 1 or 2 pieces of dark chocolate (preferably above 70%) may be doing you more good than you knew.
      The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish have been shown to increase mood by having beneficial effects on neurotransmission. They are also important for decreasing inflammation which can lead to depression. Animal models have shown an increase in serotonin and dopamine concentration in the frontal cortex after administration of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish should be consumed 2-3 times a week as part of a healthy diet.
  Whole grains 
       Whole grains such as amaranth, millet, buckwheat, brown rice and oats just to name a few are very beneficial to consume in moderation as part of a healthy diet. They are all fantastic for improving mood. They contain B vitamins, zinc and magnesium. These are all important for neurotransmitter synthesis which are necessary for positive mood. At least one serve of these grains should be included in your diet every day.

       So if you have been feeling a bit down, try incorporating these delicious foods into your daily diet and see what the wonders of food can do to your mood!