A concern I’m often asked about around this time of year is weight gain around the silly season. With Christmas parties, lots of bevvies flowing, trifles, puddings, chocolates and of course, the big Christmas lunch (and dinner), there are plenty of opportunities to indulge while we celebrate with loved ones. However, that bloated, so-called “fat” and sluggish feeling you’re left with afterwards isn’t anywhere near as fun.
These recipes are designed to not only be a healthy alternative to your regular Christmas treats, they are a tasty way to bring the benefits of food as medicine to your body without you even knowing it. I’ve also made sure they are incredibly simple to prepare and full of Christmas cheer!
So put on your favourite Christmas carols, trim the tree, and let’s get right into it. Continue reading
Anxiety is one of those ‘life’ things that can kind of consume your whole world, if not your whole day if you’re not too careful. The fix – or really, the balance – comes from the long game; daily habits and rituals that have benefits for the long term.
Yes, this is me a chubby bub, stealing my Mum’s food
But the thing is, if you’ve fallen off the healthy routine bandwagon for a little too long, these habits can sometimes feel too hard, too far and not enough to get you feeling “right” (even if, they probably would be bloody brilliant if you just did them).
The following are a few quick fixes for these moments to help you find you mojo, calm the storm and have you feeling just a bit more grounded and back inside your body, instead of floating around above your head. They’re methods that I use frequently to great results, and things I share in clinic at least weekly. Continue reading
The little-discussed factor in gut health.
The Liver and Digestive Health
When it comes to looking after your gut, I’m sure you’ve heard about probiotics and fibre, right? But did you know that looking after your liver can be key to ensuring your gut is working the way that its meant to?
St Mary’s Thistle print by AgaFarrell
Your liver, the one responsible for detoxifying the body’s metabolites and the toxins you ingest, creates a digestive secretion called bile. Bile is the medium through which these detoxified products are released via the bowel, shifting them out of your system. It is created from bile salts that are transported from the liver to the gall bladder. Concentrated, stored and excreted by the gall bladder in response to the presence of a meal, bile enables us to absorb fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and some minerals. It also helps to maintain the optimum pH in the gut for our gut flora to grow and contains immunoglobulins that support the integrity and structure of the gut wall.
When should you start to worry about your liver and its effect on the gut?
A couple of months ago I was scrolling through my newsfeed and stumbled upon a video of a news segment where they were discussing the idea of work leave for period pain. The woman proposing the change mentioned how common it is for women to have to use their sick leave for period pain and then not have enough left over for when they actually get sick.
Personally, I agree that it isn’t fair that women are taking sick leave in order to deal with pain associated with their period every month. But also, the discussion brought up a few thoughts that I’d like to share with you, because I believe there is a different way that we could be approaching this situation.
While I think is totally essential to normalise periods (and challenge people who get grossed-out by the sheer mention of a period on a regular basis) it deeply concerns me that we’re moving towards accepting things like debilitating period pain as a totally normal thing.
Now, this isn’t me dismissing these symptoms, or anyone who experiences this pain. If fact, I believe that if you are experiencing pain once every month that has you bed-ridden, has you taking hard-core pain medications, has you doubled over in pain, gives you migraines that make you vomit and have to retreat to a dark room, or you experience irregular periods (varying one week to months apart), experiencing spotting, never-ending acne, very heavy or very light periods, breast tenderness or in some cases, find yourself suicidal in the lead up to your period;
NONE of that is normal.
And you deserve so much better than to be told to accept these symptoms as ‘normal’ every single month.
The idea of going vegan for two weeks, to me, was incredibly daunting. I’ve had times in my life in the past where I’d mostly eaten vegetarian (for budgetary reasons, mostly) and even though I thought I was eating well, over time, my mental health declined, and I became more prone to anxiety and felt overall, pretty miserable.
Eating an animal source of protein usually improved my mood fairly quickly (within a day), so I associated good mental health with getting an animal source of protein in my diet most days of the week. The idea of eating vegan (for more than a meal here and there) scared the shit out of me – the last thing I wanted was to put myself at a higher risk of an anxiety attack, but all the while, I had found myself craving vegetarian meals since winter last year, and I always want to reduce my environmental impact on the world. It was a very confusing position to be in. Continue reading
Have you tried everything to help your gut? Special diets, fibre supplements, probiotics, cleanses – I’ve heard it all when it comes to gut issues, but the more supplements you throw at the problem without any specific purpose, the more money you’re literally flushing down the toilet.