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My Metabolic Balance Journey

By | Health, Metabolic Balance, Nutritional, Thyroid Health, Whole food

As promised, an update on how I am going with Metabolic Balance….

Was it trauma from my past?

Was it the house fire?

Was it the 10 month long cancer scare?

Was it my overachieving ‘I can do it all” personality?

Did the gut issues lead to the autoimmune issues, or did the autoimmune issues lead to the gut issues?

I’ll never know… but by my 30th birthday I knew something was seriously wrong.

I’d fought and won the war against SIBO, my gut was pretty good but my fatigue was next level. In fact my 15 years of gut issues were starting to look like a walk in the park compared to this. My skin was sooo dry, I was still getting hormonal acne (in my 30s?! No fair!), my fingernails couldn’t grow, my hair was thin and my periods were a mess and dominated the calendar month.

To top it all off I was pretty sure I had rosacea and my PMS was getting so bad that I was starting to worry about the effect of my moods on my kids. I was getting this chronic cough & sore chest whenever I burned the candle at both ends. I had also put on 5kg and just couldn’t shift it, I had to watch everything I ate or my clothes would keep getting tighter & tighter. Good sleep was very hard to come by and let’s just say my moods were such that I wasn’t easy to live with, my poor family.

My cup was so very, very empty. 

The kicker? I was about to graduate as a Nutritionist! I was meant to be the picture of health! My diet was pretty schmick but the things I had done in the past were not working any more.

I went to my regular GP and said something was wrong, either my iron was low or something was up with my thyroid. I had remembered years ago that an integrative GP had made a comment about my thyroid being ‘sluggish’.

He checked my iron and it was fine. My TSH came back ‘within range’ but my new Nutritionist training had taught me that TSH above 2 was not ideal and indicated thyroid function was declining. I stamped my foot and insisted that he check my other thyroid markers. I had to pay privately, but I got it done.

My hunch had been right, none of this was normal! These symptoms were not just my lot as a mother & student.

I had Hashimoto’s disease.   

I went on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), started seeing an amazing Naturopath who specialised in thyroid autoimmunity and I felt soooo much better. Stress would derail me but I was working on my meditation & mindfulness. Maintaining my weight still felt like an uphill battle and I was tired of eating so well yet always having to be vigilant. My menstrual health came & went but my sleep was never amazing, I awoke unrefreshed every. single. morning.

Then 2020 hit. The stress of having to shut my clinic, support my family and feeling the collective weight of fear around Victoria and the world completely undid all my hard work and threw me back into the haze of Hashimoto’s disease. 6+ months of hard lockdowns and the fear of an unknown future took their toll. My clients were all struggling, the stress was seriously impacting their health. And it was the same with me. Some of the less desirable symptoms of autoimmune disease flared up big time, the painful joints, inflammation, poor cognition and fatigue were preventing me from being the mum, wife & boss lady I knew I could be. My periods went haywire and I was diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. The anxiety was so bad that I was barely sleeping and when I did I often woke during the night with panic attacks.

I was in the middle of a serious autoimmune flare and I couldn’t seem to crawl out of the pit I had fallen into. 

The thing about autoimmunity and thyroid dysfunction is that you don’t tolerate stress well. We’ve got to remain pretty zen just to maintain a regular level of health.

I had heard some colleagues talking about something called Metabolic Balance. They were losing stubborn weight, sleeping well and most importantly they had more energy than they had enjoyed in years. In their photos they looked somehow sparkly & full of joy (no BS). Their clients were experiencing the same incredible benefits. I heard story after story of effortless weight loss, reduced inflammation, awakened libidos (hello!) and 20-something-year-old energy levels. I wanted a piece of that! And it was all based on your individual blood chemistry. No fad diets or calorie counting, no supplements, just individualised, whole food, nutrition.

I contacted the head of Metabolic Balance in Australia & New Zealand and fast tracked my training. I knew that as part of my training I would receive my own individualised nutrition plan and I couldn’t wait to start.

The first week was a bit of a rude awakening, I had headaches & my bowel motions were allllll over the place. I wasn’t used to my plan and had a few failure meals. I had doubts and my brain was coming up with every excuse as to why this was a bad idea. It was also Easter which did not help one bit!

The second week I got a few pimples, the headaches improved and it was like a switch was flicked and I was able to sleep deeply all night. I woke up in the same position that I went to sleep in and couldn’t remember anything but a few vague dreams. Whoah! I even measured myself and hooley dooley I had lost 4 of the 8cm I was hoping to shed off my butt. In ten days! You’ve got to understand that I have a wardrobe (or two) full of vintage pieces I have been collecting over the past 15 years, and I desperately wanted to fit back into them! What’s more, I was maid of honour on the Friday night of that week and was not fitting into my dress that had been custom made for me the year before for a COVID-cancelled wedding.

Well guess what?! I fit into the dress! Only 10 days after starting MB!

By week three I was experiencing the 10/10 energy that I had heard so much about. I honestly asked myself, ‘what Hashimotos? I feel great!’

It’s now been six weeks and I’m honestly feeling amazing. My sleep & energy are superb. The weight loss is a nice side effect and I feel like I could happily keep this up for the rest of my life. My personalised food list has become an old friend and I’m super confident with creating satiating & tasty meals now. I’ve lost all the lockdown weight and I’m reacquainting myself with some of my wardrobe favourites.

Here I am in a 1930s dress I bought at the beginning of lock down, you know, to cheer myself up. By the time it arrived months later I couldn’t get it over my hips! Now I have to wear a belt because it’s too big on my waist!

    

After years of feeling frustrated with my own health but also feeling like I didn’t have the best tool to help my clients with sustainable weight loss, I can finally say with confidence that I have found that tool.

Can you tell I’m just a little bit excited about Metabolic Balance?! My books are now open for MB, I suggest you book a free health discussion with me here to see if MB is suitable for you.

I cannot wait to see the transformation in my clients. I want everyone to know, you don’t have to accept feeling crap all the time, transformation is possible!

Tessa

 

Can you think of anyone who might need to hear this? Please share this with them.

Six Days of Digestion is here!

By | Digestion, Gut Health

Six Days of Digestion is here!

It’s here!

My 6 Days of Digestion eCourse is now online and ready for you to start getting back to basics with your gut health, improve digestion and start eating consciously! Read all about it here.

This eCourse is full of tips to stoke your digestive fire, and today I am giving you another one – why the timing of your meals is super important.

Snacking all day is actually terrible for your gut health. It is a quick path towards bloating, constipation and sluggish digestion. Ideally we want to focus on three main meals a day with some long breaks in between. This is optimum as it increases stomach acid and enzyme activity to really prep your belly for efficiency.

I also want to introduce you to the Migrating Motor Complex – a fancy term for the muscles in the GIT lining that helps to move the food along your digestive tract so it can be processed and eliminated. Here’s the catch – it only works efficiently when your stomach is empty and you are in a fasted state (3+ hours between ingesting food). Which means that snacking prevents food from being digested, absorbed and eliminated as fast as it should be!

But won’t I get hungry? I hear you ask… Yes, a little! But the key is carefully constructing your meals – as I teach in my eCourse. The benefits far outweigh a few hunger pangs before your next meal.

So next time you reach for a snack at the first tiny sign of hunger, remember to practice flexing your Migrating Motor Complex muscles and take a pause before your next main meal. You can thank me later for improved digestion and a more healthy weight!

As always, if you know someone else who also needs to hear this, please share it along!

4 Recipe Blogs I always visit at Easter

By | Uncategorized

4 Recipe Blogs I always visit at Easter

Well it’s Easter time which means we are well and truly into 2021. I think we’ve got to take any celebration offered to us by the horns this year, don’t you think?

So totally enjoy some chocolate this Easter, and hot cross buns, and family time, and long weekend feast… but try to eat mindfully, chew slowly, savour each mouthful and listen to your body. There is no need to deprive yourself but there is also no need to lose control and eat so much that you no longer feel good.

Recipe Freebie!

I wanted to share one of my all time favourite chocolate recipes that I have been making regularly for about 8 years now, I know the recipe by heart. You can find the download for my Peppermint Patty recipe here. Did you eat Peppermint Patties when you were a kid? I sure did! I make these alll the time and I actually think they are an improvement on the original so trust me, you do not feel like you are compromising because they are decadently good! Hot tip from me, keep some in the freezer, they make amazing frozen treats.

But considering recipe development and food photography are really not high on my list of skill sets I wanted to share four of the recipe blogs I have been following for years and always check for delicious sweet treat recipes. The following four women are much more proficient in recipe blogging than I am!

  1. Wholefoods Simply https://wholefoodsimply.com/
  2. Teresa Cutter The Healthy Chef (her Naked Chocolate Cake is a celebration staple in our house!) https://thehealthychef.com/blogs/recipes
  3. Quirky Cooking if you have a Thermomix https://www.quirkycooking.com.au/
  4. Cyndi O’Meara’s Healthy Habits blog https://changinghabits.com.au/our-recipes/

So if you are looking for some Easter inspo you won’t be disappointed!

In my video this fortnight I’ve also got some exciting news! IBS month starts tomorrow and I’ve been working hard on some offerings.

  • Coming up is the launch of my 6 Days of Digestion mini eCourse! Finally!
  • I’m also opening an online store with a few select products that I use in clinic and have been able to source for retail!
  • And…I’m now a Metabolic Balance Practitioner! I’ll be sharing more about MB in the coming weeks.

I’ll see you around!

Tessa

P.S. You can share this video with anyone who might find it helpful by using the buttons below

Book a free 15 minute health chat with me here

Assembling a Healthy Meal: herbs, condiments & additions

By | Digestion, Gut Health, Nutritional

Assembling a Healthy Meal: herbs, condiments & additions

I have had so many responses from my last vlog on how to assemble a healthy meal that I needed to do a follow on!

So let’s unpack the herbs and garnishes component of your well-put-together meal. Grab a pen and paper and read on…


Herbs are little boosts of nutrition that also enhance the gut healing power of meals (and bonus that they make it taste even better!). They also pack a punch when it comes to antioxidant activity, as they are rich in polyphenols which are super important for gut health. Cloves, in particular, contain the highest antioxidant activity as per the ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).
Do you have a herb garden at home? It is one of the best feelings to collect some fresh herbs from the garden whilst you are cooking and it also enhances your connection to your food as well. Use herbs to garnish everything! Yes – even coriander!
Hint: you can make any meal have a more Mediterranean feel by roasting a tray of veggies in the oven that are sprinkled with herbs like oregano.

Nuts and seeds are also often forgotten. Toast them up for added texture and crunch to your meals and snacks.
Need ideas? What about toasted pistachios or hazelnuts on desserts, slithers of almonds on fish or chicken or crushed peanuts in curries. You can also toast them with some olive oil and spices like turmeric for an added nutritional boost. And don’t forget about hemp seeds which can be added to pretty much anything – sweet or savoury!

Seaweed is another nutrient booster that people don’t often think about. Sprinkle it on savoury dishes and your good gut microbes will love you! Keep some dulse, nori or wakame on hand in your kitchen.

Good quality salt (like celtic sea salt) – all you need is a pinch to really bring out the flavour in your meal.

Bone broth is another addition that boosts gut health and can be added to so many things – marinades, salad dressings, soups, stews, you can even use it as part of chicken schnitzel seasoning!

Fermented foods for a probiotic boost – if you can tolerate histamines. All you need is between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of kimchi or sauerkraut added to your meal.

Using greek yoghurt as a sauce is another option for a probiotic boost – add a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper and some herbs – it is delicious!

If you don’t mind the cost, superfood powders pack another powerhouse punch. Think camu camu, acai, kakadu plum, spirulina – there are so many options!

Even though they can often be classed as unhealthy, certain condiments can be added to really enhance your food flavour and texture. My favourite…pesto! There is also guacamole, tahini, mustard, hommus, nut butters.

And lastly, don’t forget some basics like lemon, lime and orange zest, vinegars, avocado oil, olive oil,  high-quality grass-fed butter and ghee.


Wow, what a list! Remember, our aim is to ingest around 40 different plant foods per week and the good news is most of the above contribute to this! So just by adding different condiments, herbs and nutrient additions to each meal you are easily boosting the variety of plant foods in your diet which makes your gut very very happy.

I love receiving feedback and seeing what you are adding to your meals so please tag me on social media or leave a comment below.

My formula for assembling a healthy meal

By | Digestion, Gut Health, Health, Nutritional

My formula for assembling a healthy meal

Today I’m talking about how we can really have an bio-individualistic approach to your diet, which takes into account your genes, your personal response to certain foods, your ethics and your values. I often like to ask my clients what their ancestors ate, or what their great-grandmother would consume.

Question: does your ancestral diet match the cultural diet that you have now?

Now there isn’t one perfect diet for everyone, even though there are some great diet protocols out there. Instead of placing you in a diet box or labelling how you eat, I have developed a process to transition you away from SAD (Standard Australian/American Diet), to a more balanced way of eating.

Actually, my two main rules when it comes to diet are Balance, and JERF (Just Eat Real Food). But I found that people really needed some guidelines that also were doable, flexible for those with food sensitivities, suited to different nationalities and values, and most importantly, it needed to be delicious, filling and make you feel amazing.

I call it The Ideal Plate. It’ll be covered in depth in my Six Days of Digestion mini ecourse, but let’s touch on the main principles today.

  • Half of your plate needs to contain green (or mostly green), non-starchy vegetables
  • A quarter of your plate contains the colourful and starchy vegetables, or plant-based foods such as legumes
  • The final quarter is divided into protein sources such as meat, poultry, fish, tempeh, etc, which ideally needs to be around the size of your palm, and fats such as olive oil, avocado, ghee, butter, and the like
  • Meal optimisation through herbs, spices, nuts, seeds and condiments to really boost flavour and nutrition.

Sounds simple, right? It is. Simple but highly effective, and exactly what goes in those ratios can be tailored to you as an individual.

Know someone who needs this? Please forward on this blog and help them to discover these guidelines that could make all the difference for them.

One thing you can do today to make your digestive system happy

By | Digestion, Gut Health

One thing you can do today to make your digestive system happy

Want to know one of the simplest things you can do for your digestive system, right now?

It is actually something you’re already doing multiple times a day, but often can be done a lot better! Plus your stomach, gut, nutrient levels and inflammation will all thank you if you cultivate more awareness around this action….I’m talking about mastication!

Or put more simply, chewing your food properly.

As Australians, and most westerners in general, we have really become out of touch with the whole experience of eating. What to eat, when to eat, how to eat – it feels like a lost art! Instead we eat with constant distractions (in front of the TV, whilst using our smart phones) and we pretty much swallow without chewing – then realise why our digestion is not happy.

Did you know that the digestion process actually starts before you put that first forkful inside your mouth?!

The anticipation, smell and sensory input actually kickstarts the eating experience and actually revs up your digestive juices. So when we are being those multi-tasking superhumans, our bodies haven’t been able to start this important pre-work of upregulating saliva enzymes, stomach acid and bile production – which all help us to breakdown our food, absorb nutrients and really make our digestive process more efficient with less bloating and better poos.

Action step: focus on your food, slow down and chew really well – think of it as making a smoothie out of your mouthful before swallowing.

If you know someone else who needs to slowwww down and really give the act of eating the respect it deserves, please share this video with them! And if you want more conscious eating tips, stay tuned for my 6 Days of Digestion course coming soon.

Rituals to help optimise digestion

By | Digestion

Rituals to help optimise digestion

Today I am going to discuss an aspect of gut health that you may not have ever considered before…conscious eating.

I have developed The Conscious Eating Method, and I’ll be going into depth on this method as part of my upcoming program, but to give you a taster…the conscious eating method is all about redefining your relationship with food and how you consume it, which contributes to optimising your digestion. This also includes cultivating some beautiful rituals and traditions around food and essentially, making the act of eating, special.

I challenge you to start including one or more of the following in your daily eating habits:

  • Make it a ritual to set the table beautifully, bring out your favourite candle and use it as a centrepiece.
  • Use the dinner table as the epicentre of your home, where it’s considered ‘family time’ (this also works if you live alone – make it a weekend ritual to invite your nearest and dearest over).
  • Allow your meal times to be a welcomed pause in the busyness of your days.

Do you have any special family traditions or rituals that you do around food or meal times? Please share them with me – I would love to hear!

As always, pass this onto anyone who you think would benefit from this information, and who knows, you might be able to start creating some meal time rituals together.

My top four tips to combat reflux during the holiday season

By | Digestion

My top four tips to combat reflux during the holiday season

I’m jumping in for the last vlog of the year to talk to you about reflux at Christmas time. Did you know that antacids sales skyrocket at this time of year?! But that is actually one of the worst things you can do when it comes to supporting your digestion with all the Christmas food and festivities. Antacids neutralise your stomach acid which halts effective digestion.

So my top four tips to combat reflux during the holiday season are:

  • Small serves – grab a little of everything. Remember, there are always leftovers! Smaller serves also help us tune into our fullness meter.
  • Chew your food properly – if you don’t chew thoroughly then your stomach receives bulkier foods and the acids and enzymes can’t do their job as effectively. We then can experience discomfort and pressure as the food makes its way further down the intestines. So remember, if you don’t want a food baby – chew your food properly!
  • Freshly grated ginger tea – sip on this between meals to enhance motility and keep your digestion swift and efficient, rather than stagnant and bloat-promoting.
  • Pre-meal tummy tea – half hour before eating, sip on my Tummy Tea. If you don’t have this, then Dandelion Root tea or Apple Cider Vinegar and warm water also works but definitely isn’t as appetising.

BONUS TIP: enjoy your food!! Relaxed, positive and mindful eating goes a long way when it comes to having symptom-free digestion.

My Simple Wrap Recipe

By | Digestion, Gut Health

My Simple Wrap Recipe

Today I’m filming from my kitchen to give you a how-to video of how I make my wraps. These will be a part of the wholefoods recipe book I am releasing as part of the launch of my 6 Days of Digestion mini eCourse in early December. The recipe book is full of meals that are easy on the digestive system.

When it comes to food choices I think there are three ways that those suffering with IBS can get themselves into strife.

  • Frankenfoods! Processed and lab made to look and taste like food, but they’re really just imitations. Processed foods like two minute noodles, many cereals and processed grains, vegetable oils and confectionary are so foreign to the human body that it has a lot of trouble digesting it and assimilating any nutrients. Aim for the 80/20 guide, whereby you consume whole foods 80% of the time.
  • Unbalanced meals. Eating foods rich in particular macro nutrients can cause a lot of trouble. The best example that comes to mind are pastries & deep fried food. Meat pies for example are very high in fat & carbohydrates and contain little fibre to help the body with digestion.
  • Food intolerances. Continuing to consume foods that are causing inflammation will keep you stuck on the merry ground of digestive misery.

All three of these mistakes can be contributing to IBS symptoms.

These wraps are an alternative to the packaged and processed ones, higher in protein, tastier (I think!) that treat your body a little better! Download the full recipe here. Fill them full of leftovers for lunches, use in Mexican dishes such as enchiladas (they also make good tortillas), savoury crepes or change it up with some vanilla paste to make a healthier sweet treat crepe dish.

If you give these a go make sure to tag me so I can see you enjoy these too!
And as always, please share this content with someone in your life who could also benefit from some super simple and easy food ideas! And please keep an eye out for my new eCourse.

Three ways to do a digestion reset

By | Digestion

Three ways to do a digestion reset

Gut rest; it’s exactly what it sounds like – giving your gut a break from digesting and processing food.
And it is one of the most valuable therapeutic tools you have at your fingertips when you are really inflamed and reacting to everything!

Now in today’s vlog I’ve outlined the three main methods to rest your digestion below, but remember to speak to your GP or health professional first as they are not suitable for everybody.

  • Only consuming liquids for a day. We are talking nothing but water or herbal tea (make sure you don’t react to the tea first!). This method is generally safe for very short periods of time. Again, speak with your GP.
  • Eating easy-to-digest foods for a few days. This can either be plain broth or a broth-based soup with softly cooked vegetables and easy to digest protein like fish or chicken. I personally use and recommend Gevity bone broth concentrates (they are $35 and will give you one serve per day for a month – contact me to order) or if you’re a DIY kinda person check out my broth recipe here. NOTE: if you have histamine issues avoid this method.
  • Undertaking an elemental diet. This can either be done yourself or via a practitioner only formula (which tastes better!), and is essentially a liquid diet that contains all of the nutrients that you need. The crux of this diet is that it’s absorbed quite high in the digestive tract, thus giving most of your small and large intestines a much needed rest. The elemental diet is particularly good for IBS sufferers as they are often nutritionally depleted due to impaired digestion. Research suggests the ED can even help put IBD into remission! Bonus: it’s also fantastic for SIBO sufferers too! If the elemental diet is sparking your interest, book in to have a chat with me as it is a practitioner-only formula so you will need to be a client for this one.

So there are the three ways you can really give your gut a digestion reset, especially when you are in an acute flare up and need some relief fast. If you want help figuring out which method would be best, you can book in a free call with me here, and as always, please forward this information onto someone who may need it. If you try out my chicken bone broth recipe, let me know how you went.

If you’re keen to learn how to hack your digestion in mini bite sized daily videos then keep an eye out for the release of my upcoming 6 Days of Digestion eCourse this side of Christmas.