Rose’s Raw Avocado Cake

raw avocado cakeWhen you work in a place for long enough some of your philosophies are bound to rub off and that’s exactly what happened at Manjimup Hospital in country Western Australia. After five years of working there most of the nurses now make and enjoy our Paleo Granola for breakkie. At a recent afternoon tea one of our wonderful team members Rose brought along this raw avocado cake which was absolutely scrumptious, so I asked her for the recipe and thought I’d share it with you!

Crust:

10 medjidool dates, pitted and chopped

1 cup macadamia nuts

1 cup shredded dried coconut (read the label – make sure there is no added sugar)

1/2 cup sprouted dried buckwheat (or you can just go the old almond meal)

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Filling:

1 1/2 cups avocado

1 1/2 cups young coconut meat (or soaked cashews if you can’t get this)

1/4 cup lime juice (best if you squeeze it yourself)

2 tbsp lime zest

1/2 cup raw honey or agave nectar (or you could go maple syrup which will make it a bit runnier)

1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (warm if it’s solid)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp himalayan salt

Cream Topping:

3/4 cup raw cashews soaked for 2 hours

1/4 cup coconut water

1 cup fresh young coconut meat (or soaked cahews if you don’t have this)

3 tbsp raw honey or agave nectar

1/4 cup virgin coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Method:

For the crust, combine everything except the dates in a food processor to bread crumb consistency then add the dates and combine until it holds together when squeezed. Press into the bottom and up sides of a 6 inch springform pan,pre- oiled with coconut oil. Place this in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

For the filling, combine everything in the food processor except the coconut oil and process until smooth. Slowly add the coconut oil and process for a minute. Pour the filling into the crust and place back in freezer for approximately 2 hours until firm.

Meanwhile for the topping, combine everything except coconut oil in the food processor and process till smooth then slowly add the coconut oil with the food processor running. If it starts to clump the filling is to cold to emulsify the oil and you need to warm it slightly and reprocess. Place topping in freezer for abut 30-45 minutes til it gets that nice icing consistency at which point you can pop in the fridge until your ready to pop it in a piping bag and spread it decoratively it over the set filling – or you can just spread it on with a palette knife and decorate with berries or fruit of choice. Rose also decorated hers with delicious chia seeds! Store it in the fridge.

Thanks Rose!

Please feel free to email us with your favourite Paleo/whole food, vegan/vegetarian(no processed sugar or grains please!) and raw food recipes – don’t forget to include a photo!

 

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5 Top Tips to Enjoy the Festive New Year Season! by Michael Crawford of Core Sports

Last night I was playing with my 2 boys Joshua, and Harrison while mum was out exercising. We decided to have a Christmas season Dance Party! We looked up different songs on YouTube and danced along to all our favourite songs. There is nothing quite like having kids in your life around the Christmas season. Their imagination and wonder is very infectious and I can’t help but get excited as well!

JOSHY AND HARRY

Even though this is the time of year when our routines gets changed it is still a very important time to maintain all the good work you have done over the year. Or maybe even throw in some extra to counteract the spike in calorie consumption.

Today I want to give you my 5 top tips to maintaining your results and offset the possible pudding blow outs.

1. Offset your body pollution!

When a big corporation wants to pollute the environment they ”offset” the damage by planting trees in another area. Obviously I don’t agree with polluting the environment for any reason especially financial gain by you get my point.

Exercising to offset the damage of a big celebration day is much more effective than “burning it off” the following day. Especially if you do a high intensity session like circuit training, or bike intervals for example. Your body goes into a state called Afterburn which means your calorie consumption is elevated for up 24 to 48 hours after the training session. So when you go to bed that night your still burning calories at an elevated rate. Great for fat loss and looking toned.

2. Earn your Christmas Pudding and New Years Nibblies!

How good does it feel if you complete a project and then earn a reward! Feels Good! Well treat Christmas day the same way. Exercise the day before and treat it as your project before your reward. You will feel better mentally because you have earned your pudding and your waistline will be better off for it.

3. Carb Cheating!

After completing an intense training session your body is ready to replace glycogen (energy) in your muscles so some of the carbohydrates that you eat will be used up instead of being stored as fat instead of the spots we don’t want it!

4. Healthy Fats and Proteins = FRIENDS!

Ever eaten half and avocado or eggs ? I bet you felt fuller for longer.

· Healthy fats have the least insulin response out of all the macronutrients. Insulin is the hormone that is involved in fat storage so this is a good thing! Fats also are energy dense so they are a long lasting energy source.

· Proteins are a gem because they cause the stomach to send a message to the brain to signal that you are full. Not to mention they lower the G.I of that meal. G.I: Glycaemic index: How fast you turn food into blood sugar and then the excess into fat.

So I’ll be filling up on this good stuff first followed by smaller portions of the treats. You can still enjoy everything but this will help to minimalize the naughty stuff.

5. Relax and have fun!

As I mentioned in the beginning, having kids around at this time of the year makes it for me.

On the other hand many people find this time of year to be the most stressful! From presents, to food, to busy shops to waiting for mail to get here on time and so on. When it comes down to it does it all really matter that much? As long as you have your health and loved ones the rest is just part of fun. Stress only makes you age faster, crave bad foods, inhibits your brain power and effects everyone else. So Relax and have fun!

There are my 5 tips, I hope they are helpful. I mentioned intense exercise a few times. This is specific to you. It may be a weights session or a hill walk. All you have to do is make sure your heart rate is up and you feel a burn in the muscles and you are doing it right. As always if you are not sure seek the advice of a professional.

I’ll be running group sessions over the break so if you would like to come along click the link below for my end of year – leap into the new year timetable:

http://www.coresports.com.au/group-fitness

Bookings via michael@coresports.com.au

Wishing everyone a happy and safe New Year.

Core Sports

Michael Crawford

Coresports Horizontal RGB

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Progesterone – why both men & women need it

Effects of healthy levels of progesterone on the body

  • Enhancing the action of thyroid hormones
  • Balances oestrogen
  • Improves metabolic rate promoting weight loss
  • Helps the body use and eliminate fats
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced in anxiety
  • Reduction in depression
  • Promotes new bone growth
  • Improved cognitive abilities
  • Improvement in sexual function
  • Balancing blood sugar levels
  • Balances fluid in the cells
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduction in menstrual bleeding
  • Maintaining the uterine lining and preventing excess tissue build-up
  • Inhibiting breast tissue overgrowth
  • Acting as a natural diuretic
  • Normalizing blood clotting
  • Preventing cyclical migraines
  • Restoring proper cell oxygen levels
  • Increases HDL’s
  • Protects against breast cancer
  • Increases scalp hair

 

Progesterone is a key precursor to other steroid hormones, including cortisol, testosterone, and the oestrogens (estriol, estradiol, and estrone).  Progesterone plays a key role in the tasks necessary for reproduction; in fact, low progesterone may contribute to miscarriage. Beyond preparation for pregnancy, progesterone has a multitude of effects throughout the body, many of which may be attributable to its ability to oppose the action of oestrogen. Progesterone complements and balances the impact of oestrogen.

The Oestrogen/Progesterone Ratio

The term “oestrogen dominance” describes the condition of lacking sufficient progesterone to counteract the effects of oestrogen. Oestrogen dominance is not just the result of extremely high levels of oestrogen, but may also be caused by normal levels of oestrogen and relatively low levels of progesterone, or by low levels of oestrogen and extremely low levels of progesterone. It is extremely important that oestrogen and progesterone are present in the body in the correct ratio. Women who still produce their own oestrogen can take progesterone alone, but doing this in women who are deficient in oestrogen can lead to weight gain, an increase in total cholesterol, decrease in HDL cholesterol, increase in LDL, increase in triglyceride levels, depression, fatigue, a waning libido, and insulin resistance and eventual diabetes.

A woman’s oestrogen may drop 40-60% below her baseline level by menopause and her progesterone level can drop even more dramatically. In clinic I have even seen teenage girls with abnormally low progesterone.  This can be stress or diet related. For example a high copper to zinc ratio (even when both are shown to be within normal limits individually) produces high output of oestrogen and a low production of progesterone.  Although the adrenal glands still produce some progesterone, the decline in progesterone upsets the body’s natural hormone balance. Following menopause, a woman’s progesterone level drops to nearly zero.  For many men, the decline in progesterone follows a similarly debilitating pattern.

Causes of low progesterone

  •  Stress can cause low progesterone
  • Antidepressants can lower progesterone
  • Progesterone production can be impaired by low levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and increased prolactin levels
  • Excessive arginine consumption (body builders often use arginine, disrupting the ratio between arginine and other amino acids which effects progesterone production)
  • Sugar itself can lower progesterone
  • Vitamin A, B6, vitamin C deficiency effects production of progesterone
  •  Low Zinc levels or ratios
  •   High copper levels or ratios
  • Hypothyroidism can decrease progesterone production

 

Symptoms of Progesterone deficiency  in both sexes

  • Osteoporosis
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia/Restless sleep
  • Headaches/migraines before menstruation
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased libido

In Women:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Heavy periods
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Ovarian cysts

In Men:

  • Enlarged prostate

 

 

Natural vs. Synthetic Progesterone

It is very important to understand the difference between natural progesterone and the synthetic progesterone analogs called progestins. Progestins do not reproduce the same actions of natural progesterone.

Side effects of un-natural progestins

  • Increase appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Fluid retention/bloating
  • Irritability/mood swings
  • Depression
  • Decreased energy
  • Headaches
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Inhibit protective effect oestrogen has on the heart
  • Can cause coronary artery spasms
  • Increase LDL’s
  • Decrease HDL’s
  • Counteracts the positive effect oestrogen has on serotonin
  • Interferes with the body’s normal production of progesterone
  • Associated risk of breast cancer

 

Natural progesterone refers to bioidentical hormone products that have a molecular structure identical to the hormones our bodies manufacture naturally. Natural progesterone in a cyclic manner does not increase breast cancer risk.

Because progesterone’s highly lipophilic (fat-soluble) molecules of low molecular weight allow it be well absorbed through the skin, natural progesterone cream applied in a cyclical manner that mimics the natural rise and fall of progesterone levels in the body over the month is the most effective way of restoring progesterone deficiency. In this way individualised dosing can also be easily facilitated by varying the amount of cream applied. It is best applied day and night due to the extremely short half-life of progesterone. The most effective form of bioidentical progesterone is called micronized progesterone USP. The process of micronisation allows for steady and even absorption of the medication. Micronized progesterone is available only through a doctor’s prescription.

Hormone replacement should never be considered without a complete understanding of how all the body’s hormones interact with each other. If one is altered, or deficient it will affect the actions of all of the hormones in your body. Every person’s hormonal response is unique. How you respond to hormone replacement is related to your genetic profile, stress level, the condition of our health, the environment, nutritional supplementation, detoxification, and what you eat.

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Green Space Is Not Mould!

Green Office Space

Green Office Space

 

The Building Physiologist

The Building Physiologist

 

written by Dorit d’Scarlett

Most of us are aware that having plants around makes us feel better, but you may not realise just how beneficial they actually are. Plants in offices and schools make workers and students alike more productive, take fewer sick days, make fewer mistakes and they are generally happier chappies when their environment is ambiently enhanced with interior landscaping or Green Space. So how do we actually know this and why is it so?Green Classroom

Well, in the 1980’s NASA started conducting experiments to create a sustainable, closed ecological life support system. Dr. B. C. Wolverton of the Environmental Research Laboratory of the John C. Stennis Space Center in the US found the key to achieving this was the use of that blast from the past, the humble 70’s houseplant. The Peace Lily, for example,  topped NASA’s list for removing all three of the most common VOCs — or volatile organic compounds – formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene, from the air.  It can also combat toluene and xylene. VOC’s come from various sources including furnishings, carpets, cleaning products that are synthetic or treated. The way plants remove chemical contaminants from the air is by pulling them through the tiny openings in their leaves. Trace chemicals in the atmosphere are absorbed and then biodegraded by plant leaves and roots, the soil, and micro-organisms. Particular plants are better at removing certain toxins. The Boston fern, for example, can remove up to 1.8mg of formaldehyde per hour (a carcinogen found in particle board and furnishings)

Peace Lily

 

 

Other plants that are highly effective at removing formaldehyde, especially from newly renovated spaces are:

 

  • Bamboo palm
  • Dracaena Marginata
  • Dracaena Warneckei
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix) –(toxic to cats)
  • Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta) (toxic to cats)
  • Golden Pathos
  • Green Spider plant
  • Mother-in-law’s tongue (toxic to cats)
  • Peace lily (not a real lily therefore not toxic to cats)

 Chart showing common VOC’s, their sources and effects on humans:

Pollutant

Sources

Effects on Humans

BenzeneA commonly used solvent, also found in fuels.

 

Inks, oils, paints, plastics, rubber, gasoline, detergents, pharmaceuticals, dyes, tobacco smoke and synthetic fibers.

Skin and eye irritation (including drying, inflammation, blistering and dermatitis), dizziness, weakness, headache, nausea, blurred vision, respiratory problems, tremors, irregular heartbeat, liver and kidney damage, loss of appetite, drowsiness, nervousness, psychological disturbances, diseases of the blood system and carcinogenicity.

Formaldehyde – A disinfectant, preservative, and curing agent.

 

Particle board, pressed wood, foam insulation, paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, stiffeners and wrinkle resisters, water repellents, fire retardants, binders in floor coverings, carpet backing, permanent press clothes, natural gas, kerosene and cigarette smoke.

Irritation of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat, allergic contact dermatitis, respiratory problems, eye irritation, headaches, asthma and carcinogenicity to the throat.

Trichloroethylene – A commercial product for industrial use.

 

Metal degreasers, dry cleaners, printing inks, lacquers, varnishes and adhesives.

Potent carcinogenicity to the liver.

Plants also absorb carbon dioxide during the day (we exhale 40,000 parts per million of CO2 with every breath) and release oxygen. When carbon dioxide levels in an office get too high through lack of fresh air (oxygen supply) we start to become drowsy, suffer from brain fog and headaches and our performance significantly declines.

Spider PlantPlants help to balance the humidity levels in a dry environment (air conditioners and heaters dry out the air)by evaporation of moisture from the soil and dishes as well as via transpiration of water from their leaves. A study conducted by Dr Virginia Lohr at Washington State University found that when plants were placed in offices, the relative humidity increased significantly and actually stabilized at the recommended range of 30 to 60 percent. Without plants the relative humidity in offices was slightly below the recommended range for human comfort levels.  The research recorded the relative humidity of office space in a building with a central, forced-air system in the presence and absence of plants. Measurements were taken during four consecutive winter months. Once each week, plants were added or removed as required. Humidity and temperature were recorded every six hours. A variety of plant species were used. Air exchange rates were estimated to average one to two air changes per hour.

Plants that increase humidity levels well and are easy to look after are:

  • Palms: Areca palm, Bamboo palm, Dwarf date palm, Lady palm,
  • Boston Fern, Dwarf banana, Gerbera daisy, Rubber plant.

Plants reduce airborne mould and bacteria, their root microbes converting these pollutants into food for the plant, and they stabilise relative humidity reducing mould growth.

Aside from all this the psychological benefits of being with nature in an otherwise sterile office environment can’t be forgotten.

NASA researchers suggest efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space. A two-year study conducted by Tove Fjeld, a professor at the Agricultural University, Oslo, found the following reductions in ailments in an office after plants were introduced:

Fatigue 20%
Headache 45%
Sore/dry throat 30%
Cough 40%
Dry facial skin 25%

Wolverstone who conducted the original space experiments suggests that we would all benefit from improving the air quality in our “personal breathing zone.” This is an area of six to eight cubic feet where you spend most of your working day. Jon Naar, author of “Design for A Livable Planet: How You Can Help Clean Up the Environment” (Harper & Row, 1990), suggests 15 to 20 plants are enough to significantly improve the air quality in a 150square meter area.

I hope this inspires you to add a few plants to your work environment because your work environment effects your health and this in turn effects your endgame!

 mould cartoon

References:

Godish, Thad (2001). Indoor Environmental Quality. New York: CRC Press. pp. 196-197. ISBN 1-56670-402-2

Prescod, A.W. (1992). More indoor plants as air purifiers. Pappus, 11:4.

Sick Building Syndrome, National Safety Council. (2009) Retrieved 2014-05-01

 Sick Building Syndrome, National Health Service, England. Retrieved 2014-05-01.

 Sick Building Syndrome – Fact Sheet, United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 

United States Environmental Protection Agency (1991). Sick building syndrome. Air and Radiation, Indoor Air Facts, 4.

Wolverton, B.C. (1990). Interior Landscape Plants and Their Role in Improving Indoor Air Quality. Wolverton Environmental Services Inc., Picayune, Mississippi.

http://archive.org/details/nasa_techdoc_19930072988

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Top-15-NASA-039-s-Plants-That-Can-Save-Your-Life-78345.shtml

http://www.zone10.com/nasa-study-house-plants-clean-air.html

 

 

 

 

   

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Changing Your Brain Wave Patterns Can Make You Happier

 James Bryan  written by James Bryan E.R.Y.T. 500

 

There are four brain wave patterns: beta, alpha, theta and delta.  These waves are very much like ocean waves, with peaks and troughs.

Beta is where we are most of the time with everyday awareness.  The waves are short and choppy and the mind tends to be very busy and not settled.  Beta is felt throughout the body as static/stress, a little like a radio that is not fully tuned into a station.

Alpha is the next level down in awareness and these waves are bigger, but have more space between them.  Alpha is the best place to be for a yoga practice.  Alpha is felt as relaxed awareness and is easily achieved with the right techniques.

Theta and Delta waves are deeper again and it takes a fair amount of serious meditation to slow the mind down to these levels.  These waves are bigger and the spaces in between are much wider – more peace in the head and nervous system.

When we are in Beta our brain operates predominately on one side.  In the West we tend to be left brain dominate.  When we are one sided this can feel as if we are cut off from others or nature, but in reality we are cut off from ourselves.meditation

The stronger we concentrate, the deeper we go in the brain wave patterns, and the more effectively the two hemispheres of the brain communicate with each other.  From a yoga perspective this is important.  When they are not communicating, we do not feel whole.  Often people feel as if they are not connected to family, friends, nature, or even themselves – a feeling of being alone in the universe.

Yoga addresses this disconnect with concentration and meditation techniques.  An extremely simple, yet highly effective technique is to practice breath awareness.  Sitting comfortably with the spine erect and the pelvic floor muscles slightly activated to ensure the mind is alert.  Do 30 to 60 seconds of deeper breathing and observe the flow of air in the nostrils.  Keep the mind located inside the nose.  Once the mind has been directed to the breath, then release the expanded breathing and work with an uncontrolled, normal breath.  Do this for a minimum of 5 minutes and gradually over a few months, build up to 20 minutes.

The idea is to deepen the concentration, which will slow the brain wave patterns down, shifting from Beta to Alpha.  Then the two hemispheres start to communicate more efficiently and we begin to feel whole.  With regular yoga practice you start to feel happy for no special reason – a result of you connecting more deeply within yourself.

There are some physical sensations associated with the changing waves.  The brain feels like it is settling – slightly contracting inwards away from the skull.  It also feels like it is cooling.  It is easy to feel the balance between the two hemispheres and in meditation we endeavor to keep everything even, including the two sides of the brain.

Once you have achieved Alpha waves, we then take control of the breath with a technique called Ujjayi Pranayama which will be the topic of the next post.

Namaste

James E. Bryan E.R.Y.T. 500

 James & Nicky Bryan run Knoff Yoga School and teach & train all around the world. You can contact James at:

KNOFF YOGA

Energize, Elevate & Evolve

 

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SIMPLE AND SUSTAINABLE – Take the confusion and cost out of health.

Written by Kylie Cloney

Confused about Health?

“Eat cabbage, eat for your blood type, eat low fat, soy is good for you, soy is bad for you, eat fats, eat low fat only, detox regularly, meditate, do yoga, include cardio exercise, stress is good for you, but also can kill you…..”.

These are just a few of the mixed messages  circulating in the media leaving some people confused and taking on expensive and complicated  health practices.

Have you ever said, right that’s enough; I am really going to get healthy this time!

This decision follows the purchase of a load of organic produce, raw food cook books, detox kits, a year membership at the local gym,  perhaps a box full of supplements, a juicing machine, a yoga mat, some candles, and a handful of other bits and pieces you can’t pronounce the name of but look healthy none the less.   A nice portion of your yearly salary has been spent on all the ‘requirements’ to be healthy!

We all know how it feels to be super motivated, and a few weeks down the track we find ourselves skipping yoga, and eating sausage rolls and chips on the lounge!

While the original intention of being healthy was a noble one, this go hard or not at all approach may not be suitable for long term health goals.  There is no point taking on health practices that cause you further stress, that’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

More people worldwide are beginning to embrace health and natural living is an essential lifestyle choice.  As the awareness and shift toward harmonious health practices evolve, so too does the amount of information and products promoted to us by media, pharmaceutical companies and Health professionals.

Natural health is one of the fastest growing industries in Australia and clever marketing companies that know how to appeal to each of our emotions and desires for good health are not excluded from wanting their piece of the pie.

Diet ConfusionIn my clinical practice I regularly see people taking counter bought supplements and self prescribing vitamins and restrictive diets.  When I assess their pathology tests and blood work these supplements are often NOT suitable for the individual and in some cases actually CAUSING imbalance in the body.  “Just because it is Natural or Nutrients does NOT mean it is right for your body”.

Golden Rules for effective health care:

Call in an Expert

A visit to a qualified health professional can eliminate guess work, trial and error and ensure you are applying health practices that are specifically focused to your individual body.  You wouldn’t try and replace the engine in your car after just reading the manual and expect it to perform well.

Change your Focus

Adjusting your health focus to creating a balanced lifestyle and reducing stress factors in your life can save a lot of energy, time and money.  Poor work-life balance or strained relationships can be precursors to underlying health problems.

Rest

Our bodies have an internal clock called a diencephalon; this is a master control centre for co-ordinating a multitude of body functions.  Sleep is one of the key factors in creating a smooth rhythm.  The National Institute of Health recognises poor sleep as a significant precursor to depression, hormone imbalance, fatigue and weight gain.

Play Time

HHHhH   ealth does not need to be about restrictions.  Leading psychologists agree that the introduction of  a little bit of fun into your life can have significant physiological effects on health such as improvements in muscle relaxation, enhanced immune system performance, improved circulation and increased endorphin levels (feel good brain hormones).  Fun is FREE if you let yourself have some and has long standing health benefits.  Disease will be running a mile from your smile!

Quality not Quantity

When it comes to sustainable health practices, quality not quantity is a valuable motto to embrace.

You can have sweet foods and pastries without causing illness and obesity; opt for small portions made with natural produce and love.  When you do eat them, let yourself enjoy these foods, denying the self of a little sweetness in life can leave you feeling bitter about your healthy life!  Being extreme with eating practices can lead to over indulgence and negative feelings toward food.

Slow and steady wins the race

Dedicating your-self to eating only organic foods or “fad health diets” while running a busy family and career may be impractical and become a project that quickly fizzles.  Try to commit and introduce just one or two new health practices and products at a time.  This may give you a chance to see if the product works for you and differentiate if the practice is something you are actually benefitting from.    You are better to stick to just one or two simple practices than to start ten and only do them short term.

I will be sharing lots of health information on Antiageingdoctor to support you with living your life to the fullest and treasuring your most precious asset – your health!

Kylie Cloney can be contacted at – Cairns Naturopathic Clinic www.cairnsnaturopathic.com.au                     info@cairnsnaturopathic.com.au or by phoning mob: 0421 529 262

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Architectural Yoghurt

The Building Physiologist

The Building Physiologist

written by Dorit d’Scarlett

 

As the Building Physiologist one of the areas that I consider  important to look at is whether the microbes inside our particular built environment are helpful or harmful to our health.

keyboard-germsGiven that we spend about 90% of our time indoors, whether that is in our work space or at home, the kind of bugs we interact with both through touching them and breathing them in can actually have a significant impact on our health.You’ve probably heard of Legionnaire’s disease – a potentially fatal lung infection caused by the inhalation of Legionella bacteria.   The Legionella organism tends to multiply in many common building systems such as cooling towers, hot and cold water systems and whirlpools and it’s very important to make sure these are regularly serviced and cleaned. A much more common problem that is often disregarded is mould contamination in the inside air. Outside mould tends to be regulated by various environmental factors, but inside mould grows out of proportion in damp and dark conditions. Then you are breathing in a mould soup that infests your lungs and causes symptoms like these:

  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sinus problems and post-nasal drip
  • Itchy rashes
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Headache, anxiety, depression, memory loss, and visual disturbances
  • Immune system disturbances and fatigue
  • Gastro-intestinal problems

According to mycotoxin expert Dr. Harriet Ammann, exposure to indoor molds can damage the systems of your body in the following ways:

Vascular: blood vessel fragility, hemorrhage from tissues or lungs Digestive: diarrhea, vomiting, hemorrhage, liver damage, fibrosis, and necrosis
Respiratory: trouble breathing, bleeding from lungs Neurological: tremors, loss of coordination, headaches, depression, multiple sclerosis
Skin: rashes, burning, sloughing, photosensitivity Urinary: kidney toxicity
Reproductive: infertility, changes in reproductive cycles Immune: Immunosuppression

If you suffer from mould allergies there is research suggesting vitamin D could prevent mould allergies, so make sure your your vitamin D levels are optimal.

We all know that if our gut contains healthy microbes (that’s why we eat lots of fresh fruit and veg and maybe even supplement with some healthful probiotics) our health improves. Our immune system is strengthened, our brain-gut relationship is kept in balance and our general well-being is supported. I’d like you to think of your relationship with the microbes in your indoor environment in a similar way, as ecologist and engineer Jessica Green, PhD, says, it’s like Architectural Yoghurt.

The best way to keep a healthy balance of microbes in our indoor environment is to make sure:

  1. all surfaces are kept clean on a regular basis with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide diluted 1/2 cup in 2 litres of clean water and sprayed onto surfaces then wiped over with a clean cloth.
  2. allow as much fresh air to circulate through the space as possible.
  3. in a humid environment allow as much light and direct sunlight inside as possible to dry the environment and naturally kill mould.
  4. consider other options like using a dehumidifier or better still an Get a high-quality air purifier to control mold toxins. In addition to the mold itself, you need to make sure you get rid of any mold toxins. When a mold breaks down, it disintegrates, and every little particle may contain mycotoxins that have the capability of making you very sick.One option is a HEPA filter unit or another is a photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) unit. One unit will cover a whole house or office space of 280 square meters

The use of airconditioners means air is often recycled and microbes recirculated. In this TED Talk Jessica Green discusses the important role microbes play in our lives and in our environments and why allowing the outside air in is so important.

 

 

 

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Paleo Hot Cross Easter Buns

The doc making paleo hotcross buns

The doc making paleo hotcross buns

As we all know its Easter time! A big happy easter to everyone reading, may they be filled with love and joy.
 
In light of the easter spirit we have conjured up a recipe for secular hot cross buns!

Ingredients:

  1. 300g almond meal
  2. 1 tsp baking soda
  3. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  4. 3 tbsp honey
  5. 1 vanilla bean
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1/4 cup sultanas
  9. 1/4 cup of peel
  10. Pinch of salt

 Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius
  2. Put the eggs and honey in the mixer on high for 3 minutes
  3. Put the mixer on low and add in everything else until combined into a dough-like mixture
  4. Roll into about 8 balls and place on a lined baking tray
  5. Brush lightly with beaten eggs to give a golden colour
  6. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes 
  7. Take out when golden brown and enjoy!

If you would like to add crosses:    

Place 1 tbs. coconut flour in a small bowl.
Gradually add drops of water while stirring, until a thick white paste forms. Use a fork to make sure there are no lumps.
Put the paste into a piping bag, and pipe a cross on to the top of each bun.

We hope you’ll love this recipe as much as we did!

Happy Easter. To watch the Doc making these paleo hot cross buns view the following video:

The Doc makes Paleo hot cross buns

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Life is Simple

James Bryan Yoga Pose

James Bryan Yoga Pose

 Life is complicated but it is also simple.  The things we need to focus upon and put our energy into are right in front of our face.  How is your health?  How are your relationships?  How are your finances?

 Practicing yoga provides benefits in all of these areas – plus more! 

 Your physical health is improved with asana, pranayama and relaxation.  Your mental health is improved with the concentration required in postures and meditation.  Your nervous system is balanced and smoothed with pranayama.

 The world does indeed revolve around you!  If you are centered, happy and full of energy, then you will be a positive influence to those around you and importantly you will attract people, situations and events that support your intention.

 The more clear you are in all aspects: mind, emotions, energy, etc. the more you influence your environment.  Your vitality and vibration is stronger and has a deeper penetration into the world.

 With yoga philosophy, this energy is focused in the right directions: health, relationships and your livelihood.  When you realize that what you do with your life directly impacts everything, then you start making wiser decisions, because you better understand the contributions you can make.

 When you make mistakes, you are quicker to correct them and implement the lessons.  When you have successes, you see how much others have helped you achieve them.

 Life is complicated when we are tired, muddled headed and irritated.  Life is simple when we have abundant energy, clear direction and bring our passion into play.

 What direction do you want your life to take?  Do you prefer to be happy or dull and dismal?  I think it is a simple choice and the decision to practice yoga daily is a ‘no brainer’.  Think it through, make a decision and then stop arguing with yourself.  Get on the mat, take the benefits you gain into life, and share yoga with all you can.

 Talk with you soon!  

Written by James Bryan,

E.R.Y.T. 500
Program Director & Master Teacher

If you wish to conatct or find out more about James, please visit his website www.knoffyoga.com

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Moroccan Stew

Photo by Lisa Chiarini http://lisasphotographart.com/

Photo by Lisa Chiarini http://lisasphotographart.com/

 
Another great vegan recipe from our guest blogger Lisa Chiarini;
 
This North African recipe, embrace all the cultural heritage of this place, pool of many colonizations… Arabs, Ottomans and French…. I could not literally wait to make you discover this great mix of flavors!

It is one of my “regulars” on the dinner table and it gets my hubby’s taste buds go nuts!.. and when (not IF) I open my own green organic cafe’ you can be sure, the chalk board with the “Specials of the day” will often host this dish!

 

Let’s start with some info:
every single ingredient oozes health and freshness….

Except a tiny bit of coconut oil to lightly fry at the very beginning, there is no other oil! Lots of good spices to make sure your blood pressure, antioxidants and immune system stay healthy and strong!Did you know that Cumin is present on the moroccan table along with Salt and Pepper, such is the importance for the locals? Anyway… I stop digressing.Here is the recipe!

  • 400g organic chickpeas (cooked and drained)
  • 400 g aubergine chopped (1/2 inch pieces if you are one of those precise cook who want everything same size… otherwise…. leave it to your imagination)
  • 2 big knob of coconut oil (E.V. cold pressed)
  • 1 teaspoon of Himalayan unrefined salt
  • 500 g potatoes, (sweet potatoes for paleo) peeled and chopped (1/2 inch pieces )
  • 2 carrots, chopped (as above)
  • 1 onion, small  dice
  • 1 red capsicum chopped (1/2 inch pieces.. read above)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (great spice with so many health properties….)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional but highly recommended… by my husband… who is pulling my sleeve to remind me to write his advice!)
  • 400 g organic tomato “passata”
  • 1 courgette chopped (1/2 inch pieces…)

Optional: 50/80g of cooked Cous Cous per person.

Stage 1
Boil the potatoes until soften in salt water, set aside.
In the same water boil the carrots until soft, then set aside.

TIP: Don’t just throw away the water you cooked them in, it serves as a sort of basic stock later.

In the meantime cook the aubergine in the oven with the coconut oil and salt, until soft and well cooked.
Now you are ready to start to create your Stew!

Stage 2
In a large pot set over medium heat, melt the coconut oil.
Add the onion and cook until soft.
Add the chopped capsicum and cook for 7-8 minutes.
Stir in the turmeric, garam masala, curry powder, cumin, salt and .. the chilly flakes (if you like) and cook, stirring often until the mixture is fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Add the stock (from cooking the carrots and potatoes), the tomato “passata” and the chopped courgette.
Cook and stir for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the chickpeas, the cooked potatoes, carrots and the aubergine.
Cook for about 30 minutes on a low heat … Making sure the water and the sauce become a unique thick blend of flavors!
If you chose (as I always do) to use the Cous Cous, then place it on the plate as “bed” upon which you will lay the desired quantity of stew!

Bon appetit!
let me know how it goes and feel free to share it with your friends and family!

Written & photographed by Lisa Chiarini

www.thevegantaste.blogspot.com.au

The Antiageing benefits of this dish:

Tumeric contains a phytonutrient called curcumin. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory effects similar to hydrocortisone without all the nasty side-effects. It is extremely useful in irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease (so much for not using spices!) Tumeric also contains 17% manganese and 10% iron.

Used together with onions it may prevent colon cancer. Research published in the August 2006 issue of Clinical Gasteroenterology and Hepatology showed that curcumin together with the extremely powerful anti-oxidant quercitin, found in onions, significantly reduced the incidence of bowel cancer in families with a genetic predisposition.

Cumin benefits the digestive system by stimulating the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, compounds necessary for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation. Cumin also enhances the liver’s detoxification enzymes.

Carrots contain a diverse mix of antioxidants, that protect bowel health, and carotenoids – important for eye health. Carrots contain a huge amount of beta-carotene and vitamin A. They also contain a phytonutrient that protects against cardiovascular disease – polyacetylenes. Polyacetylenes are unique phytonutrients made from metabolism of particular fatty acids (often involving crepenynic acid, stearolic acid and tariric acid). The two best-researched polyacetylenes in carrot are falcarinol and falcarindiol which have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-aggregatory properties (that help prevent excessive clumping together of red blood cells).

Sweet potatoes contain glycosides – batatins and batatosides – that have been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. They are extremely high in Vitamin A & C, manganese, pottasium and all the B vitamins. Anthocyanin and other color-related pigments in sweet potato have a strong anti-inflammatory action. Recent research has shown that extracts from sweet potatoes can significantly increase blood levels of adiponectin in persons with type 2 diabetes. Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced by our fat cells, and it serves as an important modifier of insulin metabolism. Persons with poorly-regulated insulin metabolism and insulin insensitivity tend to have lower levels of adiponectin, and persons with healthier insulin metabolism tend to have higher levels.

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