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Archive for November, 2017

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Gluten – is it really that bad?

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by thealife_admin in No Comments

Is gluten free just a passing fad?

Why does every second person seemingly have an intolerance to this little molecule found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, triticale, kamut & oats?

There is evidence to argue the case that it’s all in our heads and it’s our expectation of discomfort from eating gluten that gives us tummy aches, bloated bellies and brain fog. There is however, stronger evidence for true gluten intolerance, allergy and of course – Celiac Disease (CD). You can’t argue with the latter.
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise and Celiac disease affects approximately 1 in 100 Australians, and 1% of the population worldwide, however most of us have not yet been tested. Detection rates are increasing and a prevalence study in Australia shows that more than half of the population are at risk of developing the condition (56% of us carry one gene for the disease). Having the gene doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop it but it does place you at high risk (and even higher if you have both genes).

These days we all know at least one person who has Celiac Disease right? And then a gaggle of friends who opt for GF when out at café’s or restaurant’s. If you’re like me you are stuck somewhere in the middle. You know you bloat and feel a bit crappy from gluten foods but it’s not all the time and you’ve tested negative for CD so you sway between strictly eliminating them and then having a gorge on them.

SO let’s way it all up and give you the tools to discover whether gluten is yay or nay for you.

There are many different types of responses you can have to gluten. These include…


What symptoms may gluten consumption cause?

Sometimes no symptoms at all or the individual may not have made the connection between what they are eating and how they feel. I often find that clients with asymptomatic Celiac Disease are used to feeling how they feel and only realise that they were tired and had brain fog when they come off the gluten and have a new sense of clarity.

More commonly though, the following are characteristic of gluten autoimmunity or sensitivity

It is important to remember that many people have no symptoms. Some may have very mild or vague symptoms. You can’t see what gluten is doing to you in the intestines & the reaction in the blood so it’s easy to pass it off as not an issue. The above symptoms are due to years of chronic malabsorption of nutrients and of toxicity and inflammation crossing the damaged gut wall into circulation.

Seeing as half the population are at risk of developing Celiac Disease and the rest of us may be experiencing some level of sensitivity or intolerance then it’s best to just get the simple blood test done and explore further if you suspect gluten is still an issue despite a negative result.

Testing checklist

The Celiac screen test is free and can be tested by any GP. You need to be eating a high gluten load for 6 weeks prior to the test. A small intestine biopsy will be arranged if your symptoms are strongly indicating CD or if antibodies are positive. If tested positive, testing stops here for you. If still not convinced, there are more specialised tests to look deeper…

The other tests are functional tests that only a Naturopath or Integrative doctor will send for. They are highly valuable and give you an individualised approach to gluten. You’ll understand the type of response you are having (or not), the implications for your health and options of how you may be able to offset some of its effects.

Some other important information about gluten foods…

If you feel you need support through this investigation process, or are confused on how to go about a good gluten free diet please book in with me here.

5 tips for a healthy vibrant summer!

Posted on: November 22nd, 2017 by thealife_admin in No Comments

Here in Melbourne, we have FINALLY shifted gears into some consistently great weather (for now)- HURRAH! As we lead up to Christmas, we want to shake off the winter slump, detox the intestinal junk and be primed and ready for a fun, active and merry holiday season! Now is the BEST time to let go of the old and transform your health to ensure you can make the most of summer and hit the New Year with a BANG!


So, here are my 5 tips to support your body’s transition into summer…

1.       Lighten up your diet– swap your heavy foods and dense carbs (bread, pasta, potatoes) to leafy green salads with beetroot, fennel, fennel greens, cucumber, mint and lemon juice. Some roast sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice is still great, but always make sure there is a fresh salad on the side. Aim for a plate of lightly steamed/sautéed greens daily- I love sautéed organic silverbeet/kale/spinach, asparagus, zucchini, string beans, broccolini, brussel sprouts with butter and garlic, finished with a squeeze of lemon juice. Lovely with a grilled piece of meat/fish or poached egg and avocado &/ goat’s cheese. Try fresh ginger, lemon juice & a dash of apple cider vinegar in warm water on the side to support your digestion.

2.       Smoothies are back baby– in the winter, it’s not ideal to drink smoothies (too cold and damp), but now, we can start to introduce them again. Ensure your smoothie includes ingredients that support & warm digestion eg. loads of cinnamon, ginger, turmeric. So many options…mango, berries, banana, coconut milk, kefir probiotic yoghurt, fresh mint, cacao powder, LSA/flaxseeds/chia seeds, hemp oil, hemp seeds (high in protein & healthy fats), protein powder, green superfood powders for extra nutrition. Choc mint coconut superfood smoothie anyone?

3.       Juice cleanse?– I’m not usually a fan of juice cleansing, however I think it can be done in a smart way for a short time. The problem with juice (even cold pressed organic…) is the high sugar load from the fruit so opt for vegetable only juices (or at least very minimal fruit). Next problem is that the fibre is stripped away so if you’re making your own, add back some of the fibrous pulp. If buying your cold pressed juices out, make sure there is fibre coming in your diet elsewhere- leafy vegetable salads, chia seeds, flaxseeds, whole pieces of vegetables and fruit. Another issue with juices, they are cold and take energy from us to digest them. So, opt for no ice and drink at room temperature, add ginger. My fave juice- celery, beetroot, carrot, parsley, mint, coriander, lemon, turmeric, ginger wizzed up in my nutribullet with some of the pulp left in. I don’t use kale in juices as lots of uncooked kale can inhibit thyroid function. Pick a time for cleansing when you don’t have to be at work- cleansing needs plenty of rest and down time. 24-48 hours on just juices and vegetable salads is a great start and manageable over the weekend.

4.       Body brushing (lymphatic detox!)- I love body brushes- I have two of them (I use one in each hand) and when “summers coming” I take to them quick smart in anticipation of swimwear and shorts! Before you jump in the shower, spend a couple of minute’s body brushing those congested areas (thighs, stomach, hips) in circular motions. You can continue in the shower to work your whole body, from the feet upwards and then always towards your heart area. Applying an organic oil blend afterwards is key for smooth, silky, hydrated and toned skin.

5.       Move & hydrate- sneakily stuck two things in here as they are equally important and go hand in hand. Detoxification is a natural moment to moment process your body is already doing, without any conscious effort. We can help support all your natural detox mechanisms by doing all of the above and then the crème de la crème – movement and hydration! Lack of movement equals sluggish bowels, sluggish skin, sluggish mind. Get up and get outdoors, even just a 15 min walk around the block or to a park at lunch & after work, swap the car for your bike, hit the local pool or beach for a swim, roll out the yoga matt on your porch or backyard. My hot tip- put exercise clothes, socks and shoes into a box, keep it in your car all ready to go so when you drive past a park/beach/yoga studio after work- you have your gear on hand for a quick run/walk/class before you get home and are tempted by the couch (or wine).

Flush out all the junk your body is dredging up with 2 litres of pure filtered water a day (filtered water removes nasty chlorine & fluoride). Water doesn’t appeal? Make a big batch of cleansing tea with ingredients such as dandelion leaf, calendula, red clover, nettle, lemongrass & spearmint- keep in a 1 litre glass water bottle & sip throughout the day (add chlorophyll liquid for an even deeper cleansing effect).

I feel healthier just writing this and more inspired to get the greens in, get moving and flush out my system. I hope you do too and I hope you have a very healthy happy summer, a jolly holiday season and fabulous New Year’s!

* If you have a health condition that needs investigation and specialist care please contact me for a professional individualized consultation.  You can book online here.

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