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My 3 Principles for Doing Treats Well

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My 3 Principles for Doing Treats Well

Ever wondered how I approach treats? Did I Quit sugar like everyone else? I’m sharing my THREE principles when it comes to enjoying a special treat in the vlog today. You’ll find it’s a really healthy mental framework for approaching parties and your favourite sweet treats.

Principle One: Make treats an experience by anchoring them in rituals like family traditions and then eating them mindfully, enjoying every, single, bite. It’s not necessary to forsake all sweet foods in order to be healthy. Participate in celebratory treats like birthday cake without guilt if that’s what you want. Unless of course you are chronically ill or you are diabetic, then it’s important to honour your body and find alternatives.

Principle Two: Treats aren’t treats if you have them everyday. You can work out your own limits but for me I usually enjoy treats when we go out to dinner, attend a wedding or birthday party or sometimes just because our family wanted make something special and fun on a Friday night. This ends up being roughly once a week.

Principle Three: Quality over Quantity! Be selective, enjoy higher quality treats indulgently rather than frequently.

Some of my favourite treats as mentioned in this video:

  • Jo Whitton’s Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse (not an avo in sight)
  • Five AM Vanilla Yoghurt with poached apples or pears
  • Handmade Gelato
  • Pana Ice Cream
  • Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate
  • Loco Love Chocolates

Do you feel like you need some help with mindful eating? Check out my Conscious Eating eCourse, 6 Days of Digestion, it’s packed with information that will help you slow down and be better friends with your food & your tummy. The introductory price is ending soon.

In Your Health,

Tessa

4 Recipe Blogs I always visit at Easter

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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

Hay fever; a gut problem?

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Hay fever; a gut problem?

Does everything relate to the gut?! Surely not hay fever…it’s at the opposite end of the body for goodness sake!
But wait, not so fast. I may sound like a broken record but 70-80% of immune function occurs in the gut, so if you have hay fever you most likely have compromised GI health. This could be from a poorly developed gut modulated immune system from infancy, or from a gut under stress or inflammation.

Personally, I was never a hay fever or allergy sufferer until I had the year from gut health hell when all my GI issues seem to come to a head, then BOOM. I really understood what my family and friends were going through!

So what actually happens inside our body when we suffer from hay fever?
When a substance comes into contact with a mucosal surface (think nostrils, lungs, GI tract), your immune cells interact and decide whether the substance is a threat. Signals are sent out to the rest of your body to be on alert and this is where the hay fever hypersensitivity starts.

So what can we do about it?

  • Avoid exposure: wear sunglasses outdoors, not heading out if it’s windy, smearing lip balm on the inside of your nostrils to protect that mucosal lining, and vacuuming regularly
  • Focus on microbiome restoration and gut health (a long term option, but start now!)
  • Ingest omega 3 fatty acids to drive down any inflammation
  • Take specific strains of probiotics that are allergy-specific (like LGG)
  • Consume nutrients that act like antihistamines (quercetin, zinc, vitamin C, ginger)
  • Focus on upping our vitamin D either through exposure and/or supplementation.

If you know anyone who suffers from hay fever please share this video, you may just help them get through the next few months! And if you’d like more ideas on how to restore your microbiome to start combating hay fever long-term, please book a free call with me.

3 Simple Gut Loving Lunches

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3 simple gut loving lunches

Without a plan, your day can become an all day snack fest…which is actually really bad for your gut health!
Now I love healthy wholefoods but I definitely have a criteria when it comes to lunches – it needs to be delicious, quick and do-able! I don’t have the luxury of spending hours in the kitchen everyday. I wish I could channel Nigella at times, but I’m a working mum and it’s just not realistic!

The key is to choose meals where you can batch cook, make large amounts and freeze them. Meals that have infinite variety so you never get bored, and that bulk up your veg intake which is super important for fibre and gut health.

So there are three cheap, tasty and easy lunch meals that I make a lot. And I actually love them so much I could rotate these everyday for the rest of my life and still be satisfied!

  • Soups.
    Enhance them with anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger, turmeric and herbs, plus add in gut-loving polyphenols, onions, garlic, legumes – the potential here is endless. Take it a step further and add in 1tsp of bone broth concentrate to your bowl too, which will help with tissue repair. Or potatoes, where once the soup is cooled & reheated it becomes resistant starch which your gut bugs love.
    TIP: try sprinkling some dried seaweed on top for an extra mineral boost.
  • Frittata.
    The perfect family-friendly, tummy-filling meal. Serve with a side of leafy greens drizzled with olive oil or apple cider vinegar. Pack it full of prebiotic foods like sweet potato, onion & garlic and add some coriander for an amazing taste combo.
  • Roast veggie leftover bowl.
    Step 1: roast a big batch of seasonal veggies to last a few days.
    Step 2: come lunch time, throw together said veggies into a bowl with anything you have in your fridge or pantry. Some ideas are: leafy greens, feta, halloumi, avocado, hummus, tahini, quinoa, rice, chicken, tinned tuna or salmon, falafels, boiled eggs. These veggies literally pair with just about anything! Finish off your roast veggie bowl with a sprinkle of toasted seeds.

So if you’re struggling to know what to eat for lunch or how to prepare meals for work that won’t sabotage all your gut health efforts at home, ask yourself, what soup or frittata can I make on Monday to have in the fridge to go all week?

Please share your creations and tag me, I’d love to see!

Probiotics – are they the be-all and end-all of gut health?

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Probiotics – are they the be-all and end-all of gut health?

You may be surprised to learn that I don’t prescribe probiotics for everyone. Now, they can be extremely helpful for some conditions and symptoms, but I generally advise against anyone and everyone taking a daily broad-spectrum probiotic, usually found at the chemist, often poor quality and commonly quite expensive. Why? Because sometimes probiotics can have the opposite effect if they’re not prescribed correctly.

For example, the majority of IBS sufferers also have SIBO, and if you take a general probiotic when you have this condition it may actually make you feel worse. Some probiotics are not suitable if you have constipation or an inflammatory bowel disease and some probiotics can exacerbate candida overgrowths.

Often when we take a general, broad-spectrum probiotic in the hope that it will improve our microbiome and/or resolve our IBS symptoms we are expecting them to recolonise our gut bacteria and be a magic cure for our gut issues.

Due to misleading marketing most assume that the more strains and the higher count you throw at your microbiome, the better. But in fact, probiotics only stick around in your intestines for about two weeks and thanks to more recent research we now know they don’t actually recolonise your gut. Further, research seems to suggest that our bodies can’t even hold or use the higher counts found in these probiotics so you could be pooping out half of your expensive probiotics.

So, what does regrow beneficial bacteria?
A fresh, whole food diet rich in pr-E-biotic foods! Eating a diet rich in a variety of whole foods can have positive effects on your microbiome within hours. And this combined with practitioner prescribed, strain-specific probiotics for your individual condition and symptoms is what will work to modify your microbiome for the better and get you long lasting results.

If you’re unsure whether you need a probiotic at all, why not book in for your free 15 minute chat here and we can discuss a treatment plan to guide you to gut health success.

What does a healthy poo look like?

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What does a healthy poo look like?

Just like us, poo comes in many shapes and sizes but how do you really know if your poo is healthy or not? Here is a quick guide to find out if you’re on top of your poo-game.

  • Form: Your bowel motion should be like a smooth log or snake – some cracks and fluffy edges are ok, too.
  • Feeling: You shouldn’t feel pain in your stomach or anus and it should slip out easily with no straining. We also need to feel like we’ve fully emptied at the end.
  • Frequency: Ideally at least once per day and up to 2-3 times per day is healthy as long as it is of a log or snake-like appearance.
  • Smell: We all know poo stinks right, but if it’s really foul then that’s definitely not right and can indicate digestive issues.
  • Residue: You shouldn’t need a lot of toilet paper to clean yourself up, and there shouldn’t be any remains on the toilet bowl either.
  • Buoyancy: Sink, not float. Floating poos can be a sign of extra gas in your digestive system.
  • Particles: No food particles should be visible. But occasionally corn will peep through, and sometimes sesame seeds too, that’s nothing to worry about.
  • Colour: It should be medium-brown in colour. Pale or clay-coloured stools may mean bile issues, dark brown can indicate dehydration, and red or black poos can mean bleeding in the digestive tract (unless, of course, you’ve had a charcoal smoothie or beetroot in the last day!), so make sure to see your GP if there’s colour concerns.

So how did you go? Are you ticking all the healthy poo boxes or are there still some goals you need to hit? Please get in contact to have a chat, I’d love to know where you’re at.

 

Stress & Your Gut

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Stress & your gut: how to switch off the SNS

There’s no doubt about the connection between the brain and the gut – butterflies in the tummy, gut feelings, and the rush-to-the-toilet nerves. What happens is that the stress hormones that our body produces has a massive effect on the microbiome, motility and digestion.

Fun fact: there are more neurons in your gut lining than in your spinal column.

So we can see that if we are in an ultra stressed state then our digestion shuts off. But what about long-term worry and anxiety? We need to switch ourselves out of the Sympathetic Nervous System state and into the Parasympathetic Nervous System. From fight or flight, to rest and digest. Remember, there’s a highway between your brain and gut, and it goes BOTH ways.

Here are a few things you can try at home to make the switch:

  • Deep breathing – 3 minutes of deep breathing lowers your cortisol and your blood pressure
  • Breath-based movement – Qi gong, yoga and pilates all incorporate deep breathing
  • Talk it through – process what you’re going through by jumping on the phone or a video call, sometimes all you need is to talk it out and move the emotion through
  • Journaling – penning what’s on your mind is super therapeutic, and you can up your game by including 3 things you are grateful for each day.

Remember, if you’re struggling please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 and/or speak to your GP.

 

What to eat for a healthy microbiome

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What to eat for a healthy microbiome

 

Today we will be exploring what you should be eating to feed your microbiome so they can thrive. In short, you need to be eating a super diverse diet with lots of plant foods – the key here is variety! We are after around 40 different types of plant food per week. Some strategies for increasing this are trying a different colour food than what you normally do (e.g., purple sweet potato instead of orange, or red grapes instead of green), and experimenting with different nuts, seeds and spices.

Make sure that a variety of the following are also included:

  • Prebiotics
    Food for your beneficial gut bacteria – legumes, onion, garlic, leek, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, seaweed varieties, oats, most nuts & seeds
  • Resistant Starch
    Legumes, unripe bananas and plantains, cooked and cooled rice & potatoes
  • Polyphenols
    Red, blue & black berries and grapes, black beans, purple onion, cabbage, carrots & sweet potato, spices (especially cloves), red wine, cocoa, green and black tea, coffee and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Prebiotic Supplements
    Slippery Elm, flax seed meal, acacia, PHGG, pectin, Inulin, GOS, FOS.

Challenge: Across the week can you eat 40+ different types of plant foods?
To make it easier I’ve created a chart to help – contact me to get it in your hot little hands.

Tessa

So…what does the microbiome actually do?

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So…what does the microbiome actually do?

 

It’s true, we have a non-human entity living inside all of us that plays a super important role for our health! It’s pretty sci-fi! Our microbiome has several functions, here are four of the most important:

  • It consumes fibre – which means that fibre actually feeds the good gut bacteria in our large intestine, keeping them healthy and well populated. A byproduct of this fermentation process is short chain fatty acid production (butyrate being the most important) which acts as an energy source for our colon cells. This can keep inflammation down, prevent leaky gut, and help to keep bowel cancer away.
  • It helps to regulate immune function. It’s estimated that around 70-80% of immune cells are in the gut. The microbiome communicates and interacts with the immune cells, and influences the way our body reacts and responds to different antigens.
  • It synthesises certain vitamins – like thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid (B5), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9) as well as a large proportion of your daily vitamin K needs.
  • It also manufacturers neurochemicals – including neurotransmitters like GABA, dopamine and serotonin. You’ll be shocked to learn that 95% of your serotonin – the feel good neurotransmitter – is produced by the microbiome in your gut!

Book a free 15 minute health discussion with me here to see whether your gut may be operating at optimum level.

Tessa

Dysbiosis; what is it and what could possibly go wrong?

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Dysbiosis, what is it and what could possibly go wrong?

HINT: it covers more than just gut-related symptoms!

Your microbiome is like a rainforest ecosystem, what happens when the soaring trees that provide the foundation for this eco system, your beneficial gut bacteria, are wiped out or reduced greatly in number? While it’s normal to have some weeds in the rainforest, given the opportunity they will overgrow and take over the ecosystem. This is how opportunistic bacteria can behave in your gut creating an imbalance in the eco system. We call this dysbiosis.

  • These opportunistic bacteria contain a toxin in their cell wall called lipopolysaccharides (also known as LPS)
  • When you have dysbiosis It is highly likely that the associated inflammation & GIT disfunction will be causing some degree of leaky gut or intestinal permeability.
  • High levels of LPS due to the microbiome dysbiosis can make their way through the wall of the large intestines, thanks for nothing leaky gut, and into the bloodstream where they can cause all sorts of problems by placing a burden on liver function and crossing the blood brain barrier causing depression or cognitive disfunction like poor memory, brain fog and fatigue.
  • Other conditions that have been linked to high levels of circulating LPS include:
    – Alzheimers
    – Parkinsons
    – Behavioural disorders
    – Liver disease
    – Diabetes
  • The inflammation caused by a dysbiotic gut can cause a cascade effect that can cause a breakdown of digestion function leading to disordered bowel motions and digestion as seen in IBS and food intolerances.
  • Dysbiosis has also been linked to IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut), liver disease, neurological conditions, eczema and allergies – especially in children and infants.

If you’re concerned about dysbiosis we can arrange a non-invasive stool test to measure the bacterial levels and see what effect it may be having on your health.

Tessa

P.S. If you think this information may benefit someone you care about, please share it with them below

Book a free 15 minute health discussion with me here to discuss your health and see if we are a good fit to work together.