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Archive for the ‘gut health’ Category

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Functional Gut Testing

Posted on: May 14th, 2019 by thealife_admin in No Comments

Why you should do it and what you will learn from it.

At The A Life, we prides ourselves on getting to the root cause of any dis-ease in the body. Which often leads up to investigating gut health. Starting with your gut, allows us to work with you to manage your symptoms holistically.

Some people undergo gut testing due to digestive complaints of constipation or diarrhoea, bloating, gas, cramping, food intolerances, reflux etc. For others it relevant to energy and fatigue, mood and cognition, fluid retention, weight management, hormone imbalance and autoimmune conditions. 

So why do we use a stool test?

  1. We test so we don’t guess!

This is a big thing for us here at The A Life. We don’t want to practice “trial and error” with you. We want to know what’s going on in your gut so that we can get really specific about how we can support your gut and more so, how your gut might be the root cause for other issues you are experiencing systemically in your body.

  1. See what you can’t see.

What’s going on in your gut can only be uncovered by a stool test. With this we are able to access information regarding what inhabits your gut, how your body is digesting and absorbing and if there are any other influencing factors to your gut health and overall health.

  1. The Facts and you.

Not every gut protocol is created equally. Some people might think they have a formula for how to manage bloating, reduce constipation or relieve other gastrointestinal symptoms. And more of the time they might work. But instead we want to have the facts so that we can formulate and individualised treatment approach to suit your needs and individual case. Nutrition isn’t a poncho… it’s not one size fits all.

Clean Eating For Glowing Skin: How Gut Health Impacts Skin Health

Posted on: October 13th, 2018 by thealife_admin in No Comments

There’s no denying the importance of quality skin care and a diligent skin care routine. But what if I told you that being mindful about what goes on your skin is only part of the solution? Just as our skin absorbs nutrients (and toxins!) from the outside world, it is also an outward expression of your gut health and the nutrients (and toxins!) you are absorbing through food. Skin conditions, like all others, are simply our bodies way of letting us know we are out of alignment; which is why we need to couple our skin care routine with an inside-out approach.

When we consider internal influencing factors to skin conditions we are looking at symptoms that point to be a bigger internal problem – be it stress, inflammation, gut dysbiosis, poor diet, food intolerance, hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue and so forth. Addressing chronic skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, cellulite, rosacea and so forth can be a combination of one, if not more, of the aforementioned triggers.

So who is the biggest culprit for causing our skin health woes?

Hate to break it to you but our beloved dairy products may not be doing you, or your skin, any favours. Experience acne? You might want to take note of this…

Studies have shown a significant correlation between dairy products – including milk, yoghurt, cheese, whey protein isolate – and cases of acne. This can occur for two reasons: one the individual is intolerant to dairy, be it a protein – whey or casein – or a sugar – lactose, resulting in increased gut permeability; where our skin becomes a site of dumping waste from our gut that travels through our blood stream, into the lymphatic system and out into our skin.

The second is a result of the physiological/biological impact it has on hormones. Dairy consumption elevates testosterone levels causing an increase in oil production, exacerbating acne and impacts women’s menstrual cycle, interrupts natural hormone patterns and increases oestrogen sensitivity.

So what can we do to counter this?

First and foremost we need to identify the root cause. Working with a Nutritionist you can uncover food intolerances, gut dysbiosis, pathogenic parasites, bacteria or yeasts, all of which are preventing you from having glowing skin.

But, like anything, if we give the body what it needs it has an innate ability to heal and repair itself. To repair damaged skin, i.e. from acne scarring or inflammation, we require nutrients like zinc, protein (amino acids), essential fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E and Vitamin A. Adequate protein is crucial to provide the body with our nine essential amino acids, which repair damaged tissues. Collagen, which consists of amino acids wound together to form elongated fibrils, supports tissue regeneration and has been used in the management of wound healing. Collagen can be obtained in the diet through bone broths, or as a supplement.

We need vitamin C, A and E as they are potent antioxidants, essential for wound healing. Vitamin A also helps control the inflammatory response of conditions, alongside our essential fatty acid Omega-3. Vitamin C helps the body form new collagen and in conjunction with zinc supports the immune system, protecting against further bacterial infection. Zinc supports the healing process by maintaining the durability of skin and mucosal membranes, further aiding in the healing process.

Where can you find these nutrients?

Go for wholefood fruit and vegetables rich in colour – predominately red, green and orange: including carrots, capsicum, broccoli, spinach, kale, grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi fruit. Ensuring protein at each meal – either animal protein or plant-based protein – and incorporating nuts, seeds, salmon, quality oils and avocado into the diet will ensure we have a suitable amount of protein and essential fatty acids, respectively.

Tune into your body, take note of what works for you and what doesn’t and use that as a starting point. Take care of your skin on the outside, but remember, If the root cause of the problem isn’t uncovered then the issue will persist. This is where a holistic practitioner can become your private eye, to help you through the investigative journey to finding the solution to resolve the issue.


Posted on: October 2nd, 2018 by thealife_admin in No Comments

You’ve probably heard nutritionists, naturopaths and dietitian’s alike mention probiotics and prebiotic foods – but what are they and why are they so important to our gut health?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what exactly prebiotics and probiotics are, it’s important to understand our gut and our gut flora. Our gastrointestinal tract (GIT) starts at the mouth and ends, yep you guessed it, at the anus. The path that our food takes to get from one end to the other is our GIT and includes things like the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine. When we talk about the gut, we are looking specifically at the small and large intestines. This is where prebiotics and probiotics make a huge impact.

Gut health is something we are becoming increasingly aware of. We now know that the digestion and absorption of our minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fats all take place in the gut. The gut is pivotal to our immune health as well, which tends to be easily forgotten. So if we don’t have good ‘gut health’ how do we expect our essential micronutrients and macronutrients to make their way out of the GIT and into our blood and body cells?

Prebiotic vs. Probiotics

Our gut is home to millions and millions of microorganisms, found in bacteria, yeast and funghi. These are our probiotics. It mightn’t be unfamiliar to hear people say that they take probiotics daily. This just means they are supplementing their diet with different strains of good bacteria to keep the balance of good and bad in check, in the gut.

Prebiotics on the other hand are the types of food that feed the bacteria within our gut. In order for the good gut bacteria to grow and flourish, we need to provide it with an abundance of prebiotic foods. Prebiotic foods also discourage bad bacterial growth in the gut.

An imbalance of good and bad bacteria often leads to poor digestion, mental health issues, inflammatory disorders and immune conditions.

Probiotic rich foods include miso, Kefir, yoghurt, dark chocolate (there is a god!), pickles, tempeh, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables.

Prebiotic rich foods include chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, garlic, onions, asparagus (now there’s a reason to eat them!), cabbages, chickpeas, lentils, some fruit (apples, banana’s – the everyday suspects), wheat bran and rye, cashews and not surprisingly, human breast milk – great for the bubbas!

Slowly starting incorporate these wholefoods into your diet is a great way to start to boost the good bacteria in your gut.

However if you are experiencing gut issues, or symptoms that could be associated with the gut such as skin conditions, brain fog or low energy –  I highly recommend investigating your gut health through functional testing (Which we do here at The A Life!).

If you want to learn more, you can book a FREE 20 minute in person Nutrition Evaluation with me to see if we can help you on your health journey!


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