Friday, 18 February 2022

Balancing the metabolism is the long term solution to better vitality, sleep and hormonal balance


Metabolism refers to the biochemical process that is used in every cell of the body to breakdown and utilise food and nutrition, oxygenate the organs as well as support growth, detoxification and repair.

A healthy and balanced metabolism is important to achieve and sustain good levels of energy, sleep and weight.  An altered metabolism can often lead to weight gain, inflammation and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Our body is like an incredible orchestra with all our organs and physiological processes working together in harmony. When we make poor food choices, have an overload of environmental toxins and face stress and pressure (or perceive stress and urgency), disharmony can occur leading to ill health and poor metabolic balance.

By balancing our metabolism, we are giving our body what it needs to nourish and support our lifestyle and health.

Our blood circulates all around the body into the tiniest capillaries through every cell and organ of the body.  It carries with it information on disease, inflammation and function of organs.  It is one of the many indispensable tools used to evaluate health.

Combining chemistry of your blood markers and your weight, height and body measurements with the chemistry of food, you get the blueprint to help you restore health.  We eat daily, we could consume food that nourishes us and enhances our vitality and health or foods that slowly poison us.

The Metabolic Balance program has complex algorithms that support this analysis and with proper coaching, helps you achieve your best possible health outcome. 

The program is divided into 4 phases:

1.      Preparation

2.      Change phase

3.      Relaxed phase

4.      Maintenance phase

The ultimate objective is to enhance vitality, performance and sleep, support acid/alkaline balance, achieve your desired weight, bring renewed energy and sense of wellness and improve your quality of life.

If you would like to know if Metabolic Balance is the program for you, please email to to make an appointment for a 15min discovery call.

Homocysteine: The silent cause of heart disease

We are all too familiar with cholesterol numbers and blood pressure causing heart disease.  The total cholesterol number is not the most useful, knowing the breakdown and ratios in the components, triglycerides, LDL and HDL cholesterol is important.

What we have not heard a lot of is homocysteine.  High homocysteine can lead to hardening of the arteries, blood clots, stroke, heart attack and dementia.  So, what is homocysteine?

Homocysteine is an amino acid. Homocysteine converts into methionine and cysteine, 2 amino acids that we need.  However, in nutrient depleted individuals, the breaking down of this amino acid does not complete raising blood levels of homocysteine.  High homocysteine can damage the lining of the arteries and create blood clots leading to heart attacks and strokes. 

Smoking, regular alcohol consumption, increasing age, kidney disease, autoimmunity are risk factors for high homocysteine.  Not all patients with high homocysteine have symptoms.  This is the danger and can make this a silent killer.  So what symptoms do you need to pay attention to?

  •        Tingling sensation in the hands, arms and feet
  •        Dizziness
  •        Fatigue
  •        Recurring mouth or tongue ulcers or sores
  •        A general sense of weakness or malaise
  •        Pale complexion

Genetic factors, MTHFR gene polymorphism can also be the cause of high homocysteine.  There are many diet and lifestyle factors that influence homocysteine.  Perhaps that is why there is not a ‘drug’ for treating this marker!  In conclusion, homocysteine is an independent heart disease risk factor that is modifiable by nutrition and exercise.

Discuss this with your health care professional and order a blood test to see what your homocysteine levels are if you are concerned.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

What is naturopathic medicine? Is it safe?

This week 27 Sept to 2 Oct 2021 is Naturopathic Medicine Week.  So, what is naturopathic medicine, and is it safe and effective?

Naturopathic medicine uses the healing power of nature combined with scientific functional and pathology tests to help you achieve vitality and wellness and prevent and/or delay degenerative disease.  

The 6 important principles of naturopathic medicine are:

1.       First do no harm.  Naturopathic medicine selects treatments that are more gentle on the body and have minimum risk of harmful side effects.  

2.       Treat using the healing powers of nature, which includes dietary, lifestyle, nutrition, acupuncture, breathing, bodyworks and herbal medicine interventions.  

3.       Treat the cause, not just the symptoms.  When we treat the cause, we remove the underlying reason why the patient has that problem. Treating the cause requires a detailed evaluation of the reason for the illness which may originate in many areas.

4.       Treat the whole person.  Naturopathic medicine recognises that the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental, social and genetic factors play a role in a person’s state of wellness.


Doctor as teacher.  Naturopaths empower patients to take back their health in their own hands and achieve wellness.  Understanding how the body works, and what creates the obstacles to wellness for each patient helps patients to proactively seek and enjoy wellness.

6.       Prevention – naturopathic medicine aims to prevent disease and attain optimal wellness through education and promotion of healthy ways of living.  Toxins have become the primary drivers of disease.  The concept of prevention in the role of toxins in disease gets us to remove and minimise these exposures and where we have consumed them, to detoxify them safely out of our bodies.  (Toxins include heavy metals and man made chemicals.)

If you have recurring symptoms, chronic health issues, naturopathic medicine is very useful to assist in such situations, making changes in dietary intake, evaluation of adequacy of nutrition, lifestyle choices, evaluate environmental factors and the impact of stress and emotions on your states of health.


Friday, 17 September 2021

Are allergies keeping you sneezing, streaming and itchy?

Are you struggling with allergies? If stepping outside on a sunny, spring day makes your eyeballs feel like they are on fire, and nose stream nonstop, it’s time to heal your gut… my gut?  But my nose and eyes are streaming and my skin is itchy!  Why my gut?

Let me explain…

When your immune system overreacts to something normally harmless, such as pollen or dust mites, triggering inflammation and producing allergic symptom, ranging from sneezing, itchy eyes, eczema and asthma, to life-threatening anaphylaxis, we call this an allergy.

The quick fix pharmaceuticals such as antihistamines, provide symptomatic relief.  However, targeting the underlying drivers of allergy, particularly your gut health and function, can provide long-term health benefits.

The overreaction of your immune system can be calmed down if your gut, the seed and centre of your health, is clean and efficient, i.e. absorbs nutrients from your nutrient rich wholefoods and supplements, and eliminates in a timely manner. 

Your microbiome a.k.a. your gut bacteria is the foundation to regulating your immune system.  70% of your immune system resides in the gut. Dysbiosis, a term used to describe an imbalance in the types and levels of gut bacteria and the integrity of the gut wall have been identified the cause for inflammation causing a downstream effect or itchy eye, streaming nose and itchy skin. The release of histamine causes many inflammatory symptoms related to allergies.


Therefore, looking after the integrity of the gut wall, eliminating trigger foods that cause inflammation and reactivity, as well balancing the microbiome are keys to solving the seasonal allergy problems.  Having and adequate daily intake of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables is a great way to feed the microbiome.  The naturally occurring Vitamin C in fresh fruits and vegetables reduces histamine reactions.  The gastrointestinal wall also requires adequate amount of zinc to function properly.  Zinc rich foods include oysters, mussels, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and almonds.

Photo:  from Pexels by Nita

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Why are you feeling so fatigued? Is your constant tiredness robbing your quality of life?

As a collective human race, we’re experiencing unparalleled levels of fatigue, but why? Simply put, our bodies are trying to function in a world they just weren’t designed to live in.

A far cry from the simpler hunter-gatherer world our genes evolved in, each day we are exposed to an increasing amount of stressors, such as:

  • The psychological impact associated with finances, relationships, work or health issues;
  • Processed foods;
  • Being overfed and undernourished;
  • Poor sleep quality and/or reduced quantity;
  • Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure emitted from smartphones, TV’s, Wi-Fi etc. and excessive use of these digital devices;
  • Environmental toxins through air pollution, plastics and synthetic home/personal care products;
  • Sluggish liver, kidneys and bowels;
  • Adrenal and/or thyroid issues;
  • A dysregulated body clock due to prolonged artificial light exposure; and
  • Prolonged periods of sitting.


As the body can’t differentiate between psychological and physical triggers, these factors cumulatively activate the stress response, increasing the demand and strain on the body’s energy reserves. Unsurprisingly, this is making us tired. 

One primary reason for this stress-induced fatigue is that nutritionally, the demand for energy is greater than what is being supplied by what would be considered a balanced diet. This nutritional deficit is akin to speeding down the highway with 100 places to be, whilst unknowingly having the handbrake on the whole way. You’ll reach your destinations, but it’s going to take a lot more effort! In order to get everything done, it’s clear you’re going to need to pull over, take off the handbrake, and continue your journey with more ease.  The handbrakes can be in the food you eat, the lack of nutrition you are having, the sluggishness in your liver, kidneys, bowels, adrenal and/or thyroid or in your mitochondria itself.


Mitochondria Matter Too!

Having a nutrient intake that doesn’t meet your energy demands impacts your entire body. Within each of your cells, there are clever components called organelles, the microscopic contents that carry out your cells functions.  One of these organelles is the mitochondria, which look after energy production, and work tirelessly to provide your cells with a constant fuel supply.

However, these mitochondria are extremely sensitive to psychological and physical stressors, which as we have already discussed, place a burden on our energy requirements. The nutritional depletion and cellular damage that can occur from stress therefore overly tax our mitochondria, comprising their function. The result, poor mitochondrial function, then leads to a reduction in overall energy supply and the presentation of fatigue.

So, in the midst of modern day stress, how do we meet these increased energy demands and kick fatigue to the curb?


Luckily there are several key nutrients that help support and protect your mitochondria against the brunt of daily stressors, which include:

 Co­enzyme Q10 (CoQ10):

  • A vital nutrient used by your mitochondria to produce energy, with research showing low CoQ10 stores are linked with increased susceptibility to fatigue states and chronic disease.
  • In addition to fatigue, stress is another cause of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. CoQ10 carry’s strong antioxidant actions, helping to protect your mitochondria, and overall body, from the cellular damage that can occur from stress.


  • This essential mineral is needed by your body to help convert the food you eat into energy.
  • Also, a magnesium deficiency makes you more susceptible to stress, whilst stress depletes your magnesium levels – resulting in a vicious cycle.

B Vitamins:

  • B vitamins are required by the mitochondria to create molecules of energy, but can become depleted in states of stress. B vitamins also work to blunt the impact of stress on your body, and modulate the production of stress hormones (e.g. cortisol).  A good place to get adequate B vitamins is from nutritional yeast, or if you do not methylate well, use methylated B vitamins.


Other reasons you might be feeling tired, and how you can fix it

When you’re always tired, everything in life takes more effort, which can eventually keep you from doing the things you love. Often, it can be difficult to pin down the exact cause of your tiredness, because so many factors can affect your energy. To help, here is a list of common causes of fatigue, with practical solutions to re-energise you.

Poor sleep

In order to rest and recharge, your body needs seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you are struggling to get to sleep, or stay asleep, audit your bedtime routine. Are you engaging in stimulating activities before bed, such as heavy exercise, or working on your laptop? Do you consume caffeine (e.g. tea, coffee, cola or chocolate) too close to bedtime? If, despite having healthy habits, you are still not sleeping well, there are effective, natural options to help.


Fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration, which can be caused by simply not drinking enough water ( you should aim to achieve 30ml/kg per day), fluid loss (from exercise or hot weather) or a combination of the two. One way to tell if you are dehydrated is by the colour of your urine; if it is darker than a just-ripe banana, you are probably dehydrated. Drink two or three glasses of water immediately, and make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.  Potassium is an important mineral to help our body stay hydrated.


Chronic stress, due to unstable finances, relationships, work or health issues, can also take its toll on your energy levels. By triggering the hormone adrenaline, stress can leave you feeling overstimulated, and eventually wipe you out.  Improving your stress management through meditation, exercise or speaking to a counsellor, may increase your energy. Magnesium, which is vital for energy production, is also depleted by stress, so making sure you get enough of this important mineral can help improve your energy levels.

Viral infection

When fighting an infection, your body forces you to prioritise rest by making you feel tired. However, fatigue can persist for weeks or months following certain infections, hampering your return to full health. If you haven’t bounced back from a recent illness, immune-boosting herbal medicines including astragalus and medical mushrooms (such as reishi, shiitake and coriolus), alongside nutrients such as zinc and vitamin C can make a massive difference to your energy, putting pesky post-viral fatigue to rest!

Mould exposure

Exposure to mould from water-damaged or damp buildings can trigger your immune system and cause fatigue in a similar way to viruses. If you have noticed water damage in your home, consult with a qualified natural healthcare practitioner to get on top of mould-related illness by supporting your immune system. 

Low iron levels

If you follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, have a history of poor absorption (for example, due to a digestive condition), or experience heavy periods, you may have an iron deficiency, which has been associated with fatigue.  If this sounds like you, a visit to your GP for a blood test is highly recommended to assess your iron status.

Mental health issues

The topic of mental health is important to understand, as individuals experiencing depression may not immediately recognise symptoms such as fatigue, poor appetite, constant frustration, and profound feelings of indifference as part of a mental health diagnosis. If these symptoms sound familiar to you or a family member, seeking support and reaching out to qualified healthcare Practitioners is the first step in addressing mental health issues. Eventually, managing mental wellbeing can help resolve symptoms such as fatigue, and support overall health and wellbeing.


Low blood sugar

Eating balanced meals can help to stabilise blood sugar levels by providing a steady flow of nutritional resources that the body can convert into energy. This means starting the day with a balanced breakfast, like a plant based protein smoothie, followed by protein-rich wholefood snacks (such as boiled eggs and nuts) as the day goes on.

Getting these nutrients in your diet can be tricky, but consuming a variety of whole foods including fish, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and dark green, leafy vegetables can help to boost your intake. In the meantime, addressing nutrient deficiency with a supplement may improve your energy. It is important to keep in mind that the quality and effectiveness of supplements can vary, so seek the advice of a qualified health Practitioner who can help choose the right combination for you.


Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Which Diet is Best?

I have often been asked this question – which diet is best?  Nutrition is probably the only art and science that can be both right and wrong at the same time.  Why?  Simply because we are all unique and one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

The common ones are:

  1. Paleo (eating foods that our hunter gatherer forefathers used to eat, no grains or legumes)

  2. Keto (over half your caloric intake is from fats, about 30% from protein and approximately 10% from carbohydrates)
  3. Gluten free (eliminating wheat, rye, barley, oat, spelt and kamut)
  4. Dairy free (eliminating all foods made from the milk of a cow, goat or sheep)
  5. Vegetarian (mainly plant based with some eggs, dairy, honey) 
  6. Vegan (no animal products at all)
  7. Low fat (when fat is taken out, the mouth feel changes, satiety factor is reduced so other flavours, salt and sugar is enhanced to make the food palatable)
  8. FODMAP (where specific carbohydrate containing fructose and the various saccharides make digestive symptoms worse)

Each diet has its own merits and demerits, some more than others.  Ultimately it depends on the health objective (do you want to lose weight, gain weight, increase your energy, eliminate bloating, flatulence, gut pain or diarrhea or constipation or reduce pain), the genetic make up and the presentation of health or disease.  There are some strong indications of certain diets consistently being useful for a lot of the times with certain conditions, e.g. gluten and dairy free with IBS or eczema.  In times that the benefit is not there, there is a deeper underlying cause.  The most important aspect of any diet or treatment is to identify the underlying driver of that imbalance.  Sometimes the underlying is simple to identify, other times, most tests, functional and pathology tests have to be employed to work out what caused the symptom(s).

In summary, no ONE diet is the best.  What we do know is best is feeding ourselves only until we are 80% full at a meal and to have a proper break from meals between dinner and breakfast, hence the name break-fast.  We are designed to be fasting at night, or what is better known as time restricted eating.  Whilst we could be feasting during this holiday season, just remember to have a break from feasting after those big, rich meals to allow your body to recover and have a break!  Make 2021 your best year yet, feel the vitality and confidence!

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen 2020

 The Environmental Working Group (EWG) most updated Dirty Dozen 2020 list:

1.  Strawberries

2.  Spinach

3.  Kale

4.  Nectarine

5.  Apple

6.  Grapes (note this if you eat raisins)

7.  Peaches

8.  Cherries

9.  Pear

10. Tomato

11.  Celery

12.  Potato

These top dozen fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide contamination and would pay to buy and eat organically.

The Clean Fifteen list comprises fruits and vegetables that have the least pesticide contamination on them.  When considering your grocery budget, these are the ones where conventionally grown ones can just make it into the shopping basket.

1. Avocado

2. Sweet corn (whilst this may not have much pesticides, beware of GMO)

3. Pineapple

4. Onion

5. Papaya

6. Sweet pea

7. Eggplant

8. Asparagus

9. Cauliflower

10. Cantaloupes

11. Broccoli

12. Mushroom

13. Cabbage

14. Honeydew

15. Kiwifruit