Eastern Medicine to the Rescue – a remedy for true and deep healing

20th March, 2015

Eastern Medicine to the Rescue – a remedy for true and deep healing.

 

As many of you know, my digestion is hyper- sensitive and lets me know if anything at all is slightly off in my life. It’s like having a noisy guard dog. Over the years western medical practitioners have gone from saying there’s no such thing as IBS – it’s all in your head (at least that part isn’t far off as we now know that there is the same tissue in both the brain and gut, so what goes on in one will affect the other).

 

Emotional Pain Chart

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Jamu: The Ancient Indonesian Art of Herbal Healing

23rd February, 2015

Indo has been influenced by the diets and ancient medical systems of 4 different cultures – Indian, European, Arab and Chinese. They each support – to varying degrees – the theory that proper nutrition is the key to good health. Food, medicine and power of the mind have long bean seen as a single entity.

jamu drink

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Which Diet Is Best? Paleo, Fodmap, High Fat/Low Carb’s, Atkins? Confused? I bet.

17th February, 2015

January 2015

 

I’m so often asked my opinion on the different diets around today. Which one is BEST! I hesitate to comment on this, as there is rarely a more contentious or personal issue that pushes people buttons. It’s akin to discussing politics, planned parent hood, boat people, controlled crying versus attachment parenting, vaccinations, same sex marriage or surrogate mothers. Many people have strong opinions and feel that what works for them is the only way.

Albert-Einstein-Nothing-will-benefit-human

When I’m asked in person, I’m happy to discuss it. In clinic with a client is one of these times. In that private space my client has the chance to ask anything and everything they want, and get my personal perspective or opinion on it. However, posting on social media is fraught with danger. You can’t please all the people all the time, nor am I trying to. I simply don’t believe there is one universal diet that is suitable for everyone. There are too many factors to consider in each of our lives for it to be so simple.

Some of you will remember a time when the only way to lose weight was to go to Weight Watchers, and then it was Gloria Marshall. (I suffered through both of these in my teens and let me tell you – they were anything but healthy.) Around the same time The Pritikin Diet was all the rage. Nathan Pritikin stressed that it was ‘fat’ that was making us fat. So out went fat. All of it. I remember many people looking very dry – skin, hair, eyes and mind. He also said ‘no salt’. Can you imagine how boring life would be without olive and coconut oil, avocado’s nuts and seeds and Himalayan salt? Yeah sure, it’s ok when you’re cleansing – but all the time. No thanks.

Not long after the low- fat disaster of a diet was the Fit For Life diet. This diet was into food combining, so that meant no protein and carb’s in the same meal, and only fruit before midday. (I did this one is my early 20’s, and I actually lost a bit of weight, and kept it off – but that was because this is when I stopped eating white rice.) The Atkins Diet followed and this was huge, as you’d probably remember. A bit like what is happening now with the Paleo Diet. Every celeb’ losing weight was doing it.  I never tried this one as they recommended eating more meat, meat, meat, and no carbohydrates. This of course meant no grains or high carb’ seeds like quinoa, but it also meant no high carb’ veggies and fruit – bananas, corn, peas, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beetroot. This is when many of us realised there were carbs in fruit and veg’, so out they went too. Devotes of the Atkins Diet were eating bacon and eggs daily for brekky.  I was so horrified by this diet, but of course dieters were so pleased as they were losing weight. They were losing weight because they cut bread and white rice out of their diet, and in many cases replaced it with clogged arteries and diabetes.

Atkins got it half right – loose the refined carbs. Then came Sandra Cabot with her Liver Cleansing Diet. At last someone was starting to make sense, and goodness knows we were in need of it after all of this yo-yoing and extra meat. We now knew what our liver was for (besides processing alcohol) and understood the importance of cleansing it. Detoxing was the new black.

Then along came the biggest thing since sliced bread – The Gluten Free Diet. I was the first ambassador for ‘The Gluten Free Show’ – it was a popular event. I remember being there for all of 5 minutes when I realized what was going on, and again – horrified. Food manufacturers had got on the bandwagon, of course. They realized if they called something ‘gluten-free’ then most people would think it was healthy. Sales skyrocketed. Everything from chicken to sausages to lollies were now healthy – because they were gluten free. Even things that would never have had gluten in them, like a whole chicken. The list of ingredients on some of these packaged foods was as long as the box, most with very long names and lots of numbers. Thank goodness we quickly caught on to this and realized that no, processed gluten free biscuits and ice cream were not in fact healthy. Yes gluten is very difficult to digest and yes-modern wheat is not the same as it once was, but gluten is not our biggest problem. (It’s one of them but not the only one. Folic acid is likely to be a much bigger problem than gluten ever was.) Not withstanding a few other trends along the way such as The Cabbage Soup (or any soup) diet, or the green smoothie craze  – here we are in present day. We’re now devotees of the Fodmap, Paleo, High fat/low carb diets, and a couple of others.

I do feel the need to comment on the increasing popularity of the Paleo diet. The suggestion we eat more animal protein and less plant protein is just so backward. I care for our planet and do whatever I can to help it thrive. I don’t use chemicals in my cosmetics or cleaning products, and I mostly buy recycled/vintage fashion if I need something new.  I watch my water usage; I eat mostly an organic or at least spray- free, GMO and palm oil-free, vegan diet, and try to be plastic-free. I use api-wraps https://www.facebook.com/apiwraps instead of glad wrap and I re-use bags (if I have them), bottles and gift-wrapping. I take empty egg cartons, seedling containers, kefir and jamu bottles back to the lovely folk who I got them from at the market each Friday. I compost, recycle, shop only if I need something (on line usually), I am conscious of not wasting anything, and I never go to a supermarket.  There’s no need. So why would anyone who cares about their health or the health of our planet start eating more animals and less plant food? I just don’t get it.

(At Christmas time my true eco-conscious personality is in full bloom – and this is different from being stingy. I am often accused of being over generous, so this is more about unnecessary waste being created by too many Christmas presents, brand new, coloured, wrapping paper getting used once then chucked out and too much food being wasted. One of the most fun things about Christmas leftovers for me is using them up in a creative way. Get the picture? Waste and other unsustainable practices really challenge my nature.)

As some of you would know from seeing my FB posts, I recently watched a new doco’ called ‘Cowspiracy’. In this wonderful film, an expert on agriculture suggests that one cannot truly call him or herself an environmentalist if they eat animals. I see his point and I agree, but I think it’s going to be a long time, (or a forced situation) if we ever see humans stop eating animals altogether. Sure, the planet can’t sustain the amount we eat now, let alone increase it. The chemicals used, the GMO crops grown for feed (mainly soy), the land clearing involved, the water-intensive grains grown for feed, the some 90% of antibiotics manufactured on this planet given to ‘feed’ animals, the 51% of green house gas emissions that result from agriculture  – we just cant sustain this practice.

As I said, I completely agree that we need to stop, or at least reduce eating animals, but I promise you, there is usually a greatly charged and divisive response to making that statement. Even Al Gore in ‘An Inconvenient truth’ didn’t touch on the fact that agriculture creates more green house gases than all forms of transportation combined – planes, trains, automobiles etc, which come to about 13-18%. So really what is the point of having short showers, eating locally grown food and being an ardent recycler when the most environmentally destructive practice on the planet is eating animals and their products?

If this is indeed true, I can’t help but wonder why it’s such a taboo subject. Why is no one talking about it, apart from Kip Anderson who made “Cowspiracy’? There was a time when we didn’t discuss the abuse of children either, and look how that turned out. The current hot topics in the media usually have something to do with food, sex, politicians, celebrities, corruption, terrorists or personal security – but not the environment. But isn’t climate- change potentially our biggest threat? A lot of highly respected scientists seem to think so. This is something that has the ability to wipe out the entire human race, and many other species sharing the earth.

It’s surprising just how often I’m asked about a particular diet trend in an interview. It never used to be like this. Weight loss was always a hot topic but now it’s getting out of control. I realise most people are confused and want to hear the opinion of a qualified and experienced nutritionist, and I’m happy to oblige, but honestly the barrage that follows makes me cautious, plus I know other ‘experts’ are being asked the same question, and I know will have wildly differing opinions, adding to the confusion. Plus, I’m not so sure about the opinion of some of the other ‘experts’ they are asking.

Which is better – for everyone? The ‘high fat/ low carb diet’, or Paleo, Fodmap, vego’, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, fruit-free, grain free, sugar free, or a special and unique combo of them all. Bulletproof coffee with the grass fed ghee? Really? Oh dear!

The airlines only let you choose one special meal option on long haul flights, so if you want gluten free/low carb/vegan, which would be my preference, you can forget about it. I choose vegan but then you’ll usually get pasta with tomato sauce. I mostly take my own food but on long haul return flights this is practically more difficult, so sometimes I just have to throw caution to the wind, and I pay for it for days afterwards.

I (usually) try to practice being a flexitarian once I’m out of the safety of my home, otherwise it’s just too hard, on everyone. Last night I went to a local Japanese restaurant. What was I to have? I don’t want to eat tofu in a restaurant as it would be GMO tofu; the seafood would be imported and/or farmed (they would say so on the menu if it was line and pole caught – locally or not), and the veggie tempura was out due to the oil it would be fried in – either palm or ‘vegetable’ (GMO) oil. Edamame you ask – GMO soybeans! There was no brown rice on offer and white rice isn’t my thing. So, I had to be open to letting go, (I don’t eat out very often which is sad because it used to be one of my favourite experiences.)

Luckily they had a buckwheat and tofu salad on the menu so we shared that (minus the tofu) and the tempura vegies. I know that some of you reading this Blog have sensitive guts like mine, or deal with patients who have – so you can empathize or sympathize when I tell you that I was so sick after dinner that I had to lie down until my gut let me go to bed. I guess it was the wheat flour on the tempura, and the refined oil it was cooked in, and perhaps there were preservatives, additives and MSG (remember when we thought this was the only issue in our food?) in the salad dressing and dipping sauce. Today I woke up like I was hung-over – plus a bit cranky. One unhappy liver.

I wish I wasn’t so sensitive to food. It’s a drag sometimes, but I am and I have been for my entire life. I recently blogged about discovering I had the MTHFR gene mutation, and knowing this has explained a lot about my health. (See previous Blog about what’s involved. Basically a liver that doesn’t detox efficiently) I have been treating this (correctly) for almost 3 months now and am feeling better, but my improved wellbeing has also coincided with a slower time and less demands over the Christmas break. I haven’t taken a flight for just over a month (until today) and I’ve been ocean swimming, gardening, being social and well – practicing stillness. I feel great. What a wonderful thing that is.

I have said this before but it needs to be repeated – food is but ONE part of wellbeing – not the only part. Our emotional bodies have a lot to do with it. Health plus happiness = Wellbeing.

Many celebrities are talking nutrition these days, and many of these have no or little formal education in natural therapies, nor have ever actually practiced natural health – in a clinic or at least a health food store. After over 15 years of practice, I am certain you can’t buy what experience gives you. No wonder we’re all so confused – everyone is claiming to be is an expert these days and know exactly what is right for each of us.

The thing is, and what I have seen over and over, is that we are all so very different. Plus, our nutritional needs change throughout our lives.  For example, as children we are in growth phase, so we require more nutrients especially protein for growth. Then, in our 20’s right through to our winter years we don’t require as much protein, as we’re not growing (hopefully). When out muscles begin to start wasting and breaking down in our much later years then we will require more protein. And not necessarily meat sources, actually preferably not as our digestive capabilities are drastically reduced then.

Furthermore, if something is consistently not agreeing with you, by all means take it out of your diet for a few days or weeks, do what’s necessary to strengthen your GUT, and then reintroduce it. It may be that you were eating too much of it and you’re body was screaming out for a break from it, or your gut was not happy for emotional reasons, or that particular food was simply not real food. There are situations when you won’t be able to reintroduce a particular food, and that’s when there is an allergy present, (or it’s not real food) but in the majority of cases once you have healed your gut you’ll be able to eat anything – sometimes.

FebFast is a good example of the result of overdoing it. FebFast is about abstaining from alcohol throughout February. This is probably such a popular campaign as many people over-indulge in alcohol over the festive season, and yes the poor old body (and liver) needs a break. So, take one, then in most cases – drink in moderation after that. It goes for sugar, meat, dairy, coffee and grains also – eat les of them and you’ll likely not have a problem when you do. As I’ve blogged about before – if you deprive yourself you will binge. Moderation is usually the key.

There are also times in one’s life when there are a lot more demands on us – sometimes on many levels. The end of a relationship is a common one, miscarriage, death of a loved one, birth, financial worries, pregnancy, grief, exam time, being a teenager, deciding to live a 100% authentic life, heightened concern for your children, anger and so on. During these times you will find that your digestion won’t be functioning as well as it could.  These are times when you will need to adjust your diet accordingly as the more difficult to digest foods will need to be reduced or even eliminated. The likely culprits are grains, especially whole grains, cow’s dairy, red meat and legumes and lentils. Stick to a diet of cooked or pureed plant food. Use hemp seeds and nut meals or butters as an easy to digest and sustainable source of protein and other good oils like olive, coconut, macadamia and avocado will help you to digest your food. Remember you’re in the fight or flight response during times of stress so you GIT will constrict or tighten making it very difficult for food to go down let alone to assimilate. So give your body a hand during these times and include food that is either pre-digested, in the form of fermented or sprouted foods, and/or cook or puree it well.

Also try to be very aware of practicing ‘mindful eating’ when you’re digestion has decreased function. Chew lots! This is going to be extra difficult now, as you’ll likely be anxious and worried so you’ll tend to rush your food. This is going to make everything worse. If this were the case, then you’d be better off deciding to have only veggie juices, broths, purees and well cooked veggies now. You can supplement your diet with a green protein powder like Lifestream’s ‘Essential Greens’, or spirulina (Lifestream do a nice spirulina that actually tastes ok – ‘Lifestream Blue’). You’ll also need to take a good ‘practitioner-only’ probiotic, as your good gut bacteria will likely be struggling.

Generally we want to be eating a mostly plant based diet – mostly veggies, with some fruit and protein. Plant protein can come in the form of nuts, seeds, quinoa, legumes, lentils, hemp, spirulina and organic tofu and tempeh. If you have trouble digesting some of these things then sprout and/or ferment them first.  This removes the phytic acid present in these foods that make them hard to digest. ‘Quasi’ grains are ok also. These are quinoa (please buy it sustainably grown), amaranth and buckwheat. Brown rice, spelt, oats and other grains are good sources of nutrients also provided you’re not under excess stress, (otherwise they won’t digest and then they’ll ferment in your gut creating myriad of problems.) Again, soaking or sprouting them first will increase their bioavailability and digestibility.

Many of us will never give up eating some meat, some of the time; when it comes to environmental and health issues – that’s ok. Less is better than more. Just be sure to buy the best quality you can afford – which will likely mean you’ll eat it less. Avoid listening to everybody’s 2 cents worth; opinions on what’s right for you. Listen to what others are saying then try it for yourself. And remember that sometimes a certain way of eating will be right for a day, week, month, or a year – and then it won’t be. We are changing all the time, so listen to your own body, as it is speaking to you very loudly. If you’re not listening then your symptoms will get worse until you do.

A quote by David Henry Thoreau seems relevant here.  One of my favourites, and on the inside cover of my 3rd book Janella’s Wholefood Kitchen

 

Live each season as it passes

Breathe the air

Drink the drink

Taste the fruit, and

And resign yourself to the influences of each

 

In love and continued wellbeing,

Janella[\private]

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What Chemicals To Avoid in Cosmetics

1st February, 2015

Many of us are regularly detoxing from chemicals in our food, but what about the man-made chemicals in our cosmetics? It’s estimated the average woman applies 515 chemicals to her body a day. That’s a lot right? Taking these unnecessary and toxic chemicals out of your life will free up your organs of elimination allowing them to detox’ more efficiently, instead of the heavy burden they’re under before these chemicals are removed.

Toxins to avoid (3)

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A New Year Detox: Without Changing Your Diet

20th January, 2015

(2nd Blog for December 2014)
infrared

Image -The benefits of infrared sauna.

 

DIY Detox’: Cleanse, detox and alkaline both your internal and external body – without changing your diet.

 

This is the time of year when many of us have a little freak out about our weight, skin, insomnia, energy levels, mood or whatever your Achilles heel is. It doesn’t just happen that we get out of whack – it takes much dedication to eat and drink too much and move your body as little as possible for a few weeks or more on end.

Jokes aside, I know many people really do freak out in January, which is why ‘FebFast’ is so popular, and you’re unlikely to pick up a magazine in January without most articles and editorial focusing on weight loss, detox, new years resolutions, new year/new you kind of thing.  I myself write many of these articles for different publication in January. However this year I wrote about prevention rather than resorting to extreme measures in January – like starvation. I suggest that we don’t pig out and let it all go in December, just because it’s the festive season, and then pay for it for the next couple of months.  Here’s the link to a recent article I wrote for ‘Nourish’ magazine called Holiday-Proof Eating’.

http://janellapurcell.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Nourish-Xmas-14-064-069_EXPERT-ADVICE_Janella.pdf

 

So now that it’s January, it’s too late for prevention and we are now in damage control. I will post 2 more Blogs this month related to superfoods, detox and reducing chemicals in your life, but for now I thought it might be a good idea to look at other ways we can eliminate toxins from our body, besides talking food and alcohol.

By removing some or all of these harmful toxins, we allow our ‘organs of elimination’ to work more efficiently, detoxing the free- radicals (the bad guys) and the waste in our bodies without over-loading them, thus causing a burden to our major organs of detox – the liver and kidney’s.

Detox’ begins in the colon, then the liver, and then the other organs, then our blood and skin. Everything that has been gathered up by the liver and by your cholesterol is dumped into the colon and most of it is expelled through your bowel movements (ideally). If it stays too long in the colon (more than 24 hrs after eating), it is then reabsorbed contributing to a toxic, acidic system.

A good cleansing program should always begin by removing the waste in your colon, the last portion of your food processing chain. If you attempt to clean your liver, blood, or lymph system without first addressing a waste- filled bowel, the toxins will only get recycled back into your body. See ways to do this below.

Below are some age old remedy’s that will help alkaline your system, and detox’ your temple, thereby improving your digestion, your skin, mood, mojo, sleep, reducing weight and help put the b-b-bounce back in your bootie.

 

Happy New Year everyone.

In love and wellbeing,

Janella

 

DRY SKIN BRUSHING

What: Using a soft bristle brush with natural fibres, brush dry skin for a few minutes before you get in the shower.  Ideally do this daily for a few minutes, but it’s ok to do it 3-5 times a week.  And sometimes I do it in the shower, especially if I’m short on time.

Why: it reduces cellulite, tighten skin, improves blood flow, stimulates lymph glands (an elimination channel) allowing better drainage, exfoliates – thereby removing old dead skin cells, boosts circulation, increases the release of toxins via the skin, promotes tighter and smoother skin and encourages new cell renewal. Helps release fatty deposits under your skin’s surface. Assists the eliminative capacity of your body’s organs. Rejuvenates your cells. Strengthens your immune system. Increases muscle tone. Improves skin texture. Helps prevent premature ageing.

How: Use a natural fibre brush on dry skin and use circular motions, always towards the heart. Start on the soles of your feet moving upwards. Don’t brush too hard, before showering. For cellulite, stay on the area for a few minutes.

 

OIL PULLING

What: An ancient Ayurvedic natural remedy for improving health. It involves the use of pure oils to pull out. It’s a great habit to get into first thing in the morning before you do anything else. It feels a bit weird at first but you’ll quickly get used to it, plus once you see and feel the results – you’ll be a convert.

Why: Whitens teeth, detoxifies, makes for clearer skin, improved energy. It helps to pull out damaging bacteria, fungus and other harmful organisms from your mouth, teeth, gums and throat.

How: Use about 1tbsp coconut, olive, hemp, pumpkin seed or macadamia oil – some people like to use ghee but I’d rather not use animal products. Swish for at least 5 minutes (up to 20) then spit out into a paper bag, or in the garden. For a more intense detox, add a drop of an essential oil like tea tree, peppermint, lemon or eucalyptus. I usually make up a 100ml bottle of coconut, pumpkin seed and hemp oils then add a few drops each of one or all of the above oils. (Put it in a wide mouth jar in the cooler months and use a spoon to get it out, as the coconut will solidify.

 

INFRA RED SAUNA 

What: Infrared saunas help your body release a number of toxins, including heavy metals like mercury and lead, and environmental chemicals.

Why:

Detoxing – Infrared waves matches the frequency of the water in our cells, causing toxins to be released into the blood stream and excreted through sweat.

Skin Purification – Infrared sauna technology can help purify your skin by eliminating toxins from your pores and increasing circulation, resulting in healthier skin.

Immune support – Increase in body temperature, which boosts the production of infection-fighting white blood cells.

Weight lossInfrared therapy helps eliminate excess moisture, salt and subcutaneous fat from the body.

 

How: It uses up energy to burn fat because at 43oC fat becomes water soluble and can be dissolved and disposed of by sweating. Increased blood circulation caused by sweating stimulates the sweat glands, releasing built up toxins and waste. If you were new to infrared saunas, I would recommend starting out with 4-minute sessions at 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit and slowly working your way up to 15- to 30-minute sessions.

 

COLONIC IRRIGATION

What: Colonic irrigation is a procedure that removes waste material including toxins gathered in the bowel over time/years. It is also known as ‘colonic hydrotherapy’ – a method of hydrating and toning the large intestine. Many since Hippocrates believe that disease begins in the colon so having a healthy colon is critical to good health and wellbeing.

Why: I tend to do this at the beginning of a detox/cleanse, so I know many toxins are being removed before I start. Colonics are known to improve your digestion – specifically by reducing nausea, IBS symptoms, bloating, bad breath, constipation and diarrhea; help to remove parasites, strengthen immunity, improve your skin, stimulate weight loss (don’t do it for this reason please), reduce allergic reactions, help reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue, prevent infection, increases nutrient absorption, and potentially improve sleep and decrease headaches.

How: It’s really important to seek out an experienced practitioner. Asking a friend for a referral is probably the best way, but if this isn’t possible, then when you call the potential clinic be sure to state it is your first colonic, so would like to know exactly what the procedure involves, and the cost. I wouldn’t recommend having anymore than 6 treatments over a month, and it’s not a good idea to have them often, so probably do a course like this once a year, then perhaps one or two at the beginning of each season. That’s how I tend to do it anyway. The first couple of treatments probably aren’t going to be fun at all, but after the water has softened the faecal matter then the ‘release’ flows easier.

 

HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY 

What: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube.

 

Why: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-known treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving – but lately hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been used to treat other conditions like serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury. In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing. Your body’s tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.

 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to treat –

  • Anemia, severe
  • Brain abscess
  • Bubbles of air in your blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)
  • Burn
  • Decompression sickness
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Crushing injury
  • Deafness, sudden
  • Gangrene
  • Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death
  • Non-healing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer
  • Radiation injury
  • Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death
  • Vision loss, sudden and painless

The evidence is insufficient to support claims that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can effectively treat the following conditions:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Brain injury
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Cirrhosis
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Heart disease
  • Heatstroke
  • Hepatitis
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sports injury
  • Stroke

 

How: Firstly, find a health spa or clinic that has it’s own chamber. (I have one a few minutes away from home. When I found out was overjoyed, as you can imagine.) You lie down dressed, in a sealed chamber (with a see- through lid) and well, relax – for 40 minutes. You feel pretty incredible afterwards.

 

NEGATIVE IONS

What: Negative ions are abundant in nature, especially around waterfalls, in the ocean, at the beach and after a storm. They are widespread in mountains and forests.

Why: They release endorphins, our feel-good hormones. Indoor air that has a higher concentration of positive ions can lead to Sick Building Syndrome or even symptoms usually associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Studies suggest that air with an overall depleted ion count (positive and negative) or an abundance of positive ions and a lack of negative ions, does not promote a healthy environment and should be treated as polluted air.

The degree to which negative ions contribute to overall wellbeing and health is scientifically proven. They help to

– neutralise free radicals, (the bad guys)

– revitalise cell metabolism

– enhance immune function

– purify the blood

– balance the autonomic nervous system, promoting deep sleep and healthy digestion.

Negative ions are present in the air we breathe in and they are also present in our bodies. Normal ion counts in fresh country air is 2,000-4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. At a large waterfall you might find over 100,000 negative ions. Polluted air such as in large cities might have less than 100 ions. Indoor air also has concentrations of positive and negative ions just like the air outside. A well ventilated home will have similar concentrations of air ions as the outdoor air. Normal outdoor air (unless you are at the ocean or in the country) will have slightly more positive ions compared to negative ions. Indoor air can receive a higher negative ion count through simple things like showering or having a water source like an indoor fountain or an artificial negative ion generator.  The air can also become positively charged or have an abundance of positive ions through pollution and static electricity in your home. Polluted air with a high particulate count of dust, synthetic building materials, synthetic carpets, synthetic furniture, synthetic fabrics and clothing, plastics and urethane finishes all greatly upset the normal ion balance. The air will become statically charged, thereby attracting the negative ions and subsequently depleting or absorbing them. The end result will be indoor air with a depleted supply of negative ions and an oversupply of positive ions.

Negative ions stimulate defense cells in our bodies, which support resistance to disease. Negative ions enhance our mood, stimulate our senses, improve appetite and sexual drive, provide relief from hay fever, sinusitis, bronchial asthma, allergies, migraines, even post operative pain and burns. The body is better able to absorb oxygen into the blood cells, oxidize serotonin and filter airborne contaminants.

The most important benefit of negative ions is that they clear the air of airborne allergens such as pollen, mould spores, bacteria and viruses. Besides that they also clear the air of dust, pet dander and cigarette smoke. Negative ions perform this function by attaching themselves to positively charged particles in large numbers and negatively charging those particles. As a result, these viruses, bacteria and pollen spores become too heavy to remain airborne and are thus prevented from entering your breathing passage where they can make you sick. In other words, negative ions form a protective circle around you.

How: The most obvious way is to get outside into nature. Bush walking, camping, finding a beautiful waterhole and/or waterfall to hang out in, or even just walk around your neighbourhood, assuming the pollution isn’t terrible. Have you bare feet touch the earth as often as you can (this is called ‘earthing’), gardening is wonderful, get in the ocean and wade, swim or surf. Internally, get some indoor plants, and an ‘ioniser’ is another good way to absorb the positive ions. I have one that I can add essential oils to it and it also has a soft night light, so it’s great to leave in the bathroom or kids room overnight. ‘Salt lamps’ are great way to encourage negative ions in your home and/or workplace. I have a few scattered around my place, but be warned – they tend to melt a little in humidity, so you’ll need a plate under them. Try to be mindful about how many chemicals you’re bringing innot your home. Use natural hair, body and cleaning products, and try to buy your food as chemical-free as you can afford or have access to.

 

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (The Elixir of Life)

What: The vinegar must be raw, non-pasteurized, apple cider vinegar. All other vinegars are acid forming.

Why: This Elixir helps to oxygenate the cells, improve circulation, balance your pH, normalize thyroid function and metabolism, rid the body of lactic acid and calcium deposits, increase circulation, absorption, and assimilation of vitamins and minerals.

How: Make a simple mixture of vinegar & (optional) raw honey. You can add some clean water if you like.  Some people like to mix them together in the morning and drink it like this – a straight shot of vinegar and a shot of honey. Or try this ancient formula – Mix 1 cup of the apple cider vinegar with ½ cup of honey (can use less or more honey, depending on your taste) and have 3 tablespoons spread out throughout the day. Or dilute it in more water or in tea – it won’t weaken its potency – and drink it all in one day.

LEMON WATER

What: Lemon juice and clean water. Try to do this most mornings

Why: Over time it will start to flush out toxins, balance you pH levels, help weight loss, boost immunity and improve digestion

How: Squeeze half a lemon into ½ glass (preferably) warm water, and a little honey if you like. Drink it all day and you can add the smallest pinch of Himalayan Crystal Salt.

 

EPSOM SALTS

What: Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt (chemical compound) containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. Commonly called Epsom salt, taking its name from a bitter saline spring in Epsom in Surrey, England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay

Why: An effective laxative, which draws water into the bowels, helping to ease constipation and bloating. Other ways to use it to detox’ below

How:

Hangover: A great way to expel toxins caused by the breakdown of alcohol in the body. Dissolve 1 tsp in water and drink. You can also dissolve 1 cup in a bath and soak

Foot Scrub: Dissolve about 1 tbsp in some eater to make a paste. Get rid of dead skin to allow toxins to be eliminated easier

Weight Loss: It’ll help to reduce a sluggish bowel thereby promoting a flatter tummy, reducing skin puffiness and cellulite

Greasy Hair: Dissolve about 3-6 tbsp (depending o the length of your hair) in about 1/2 cup of your natural shampoo. Work it into the roots whilst your hair is still dry. Rinse it out with apple cider vinegar

Face Scrub: use 2 tbsp. coconut oil, 1 tsp epsom salts, 2 drops each of pure essential oils like lavender, orange or rose.

 

BENTONITE CLAY

What: This clay has been used for thousands of years around the world as an important healing and detoxification substance

Why: Contemporary science proves bentonite clay’s ability to gather and eliminate bacteria, fungus, mycotoxins, enterotoxins, pollutants/ contaminants and heavy metals. It works in air, water, soil and body environments to naturally cleanse. It’s used for both internal and external detoxification

How: A healing drink, foot soak, face mask, toothpaste or bath. (See below)

Clay Drink

Mix together 1 tbsp of liquid Bentonite Clay and 1 tbsp whole psyllium husks (not powdered), and then add a bit of pure water to make a paste. Fill the glass up with water and stir then drink quickly before it turns into glugg. Chase with another glass of water. Do this for a few days to 6 months before you start to cleanse. Drink on an empty stomach. Don’t eat for one hour before taking the drink and one hour after drinking it. This is very important! The bentonite clay needs to absorb toxins and the psyllium husks need to scrub out the corners of your intestines all by themselves. Food will interrupt their work. 
One must drink lots of warm water while doing this bowel cleanse – to ensure that you don’t get constipated. Remember that warm water stimulates peristalsis (the bowels) and cold water doesn’t. Drink at least 2 litres of clean, warm water a day.

Foot Soak

This simple DIY detoxifying foot soak combines the benefits of bentonite clay, epsom salt, apple cider vinegar and essential oils for a nice detox & stress relief. Fill a large bowl with warm water and add 1 cup epsom salt, 2 tbsp clay, 1 cup apple cider vinegar and a few drops of an essential oil like rosemary, lemon, or really any 100% pure oil you have. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes, rinse and lightly scrub with a pumice stone or course washer, then rinse again. Say hello to soft, clean feet and goodbye a whole lot of toxins and rough, old skin. If you’ve got time, give yourself a pedicure after as your feet and nails will be nice and soft.

Face Mask

Mix together1 tbsp bentonite clay, 1 tbsp coconut oil and enough lemon juice to make a wet paste. Adding 1 tsp raw honey – as an anti-bacterial agent – is optional. After cleansing your face and neck apply the mask in a thin and even layer. I like to use a fan brush to help do this. Leave it on for bout 15 minutes until it dries. If you want to leave it on longer then pat your face with a damp washer to wet your mask. If it gets too hard and dry it can start to pull moisture out of your face. Wash off with warm water then tone and moisturize to finish.

Toothpaste

2 tbsp bentonite clay

2-4 tbsp clean (filtered or boiled water that has cooled)

4 drops tea tree oil

5 drops liquid stevia or xylitol

10-15 drops peppermint essential oil

Small pinch of sea or Himalayan salt

 

Method – Combine 2 tbsp of water with clay in a non-metal bowl and mix well using a wooden spoon. (The clay should never come in contact with any metals.) Add tea tree oil, stevia and 10 drops of peppermint essential oils. Mix well.

Add pinch of salt, mix well and taste. Add additional stevia, peppermint essential oils (one drop at a time), and water (2 tsp at a time) to taste and texture.

The flavors will meld together over time, so wait 48 hours before checking and adjusting the flavour.

Store toothpaste in a glass jar with a lid.

The toothpaste will dry out over time if left uncovered. To rehydrate, simply add a little water

 

Variations –

To make lemon toothpaste, reduce tea tree oil to 2 drops, and substitute lemon essential oil for peppermint essential oil.

To make orange toothpaste, do the same this as above but use orange essential.

Bath

½ cup bentonite clay

½ cup Epsom salts

A few drops of sssential oils

 

Place them all in the bath under the running tap. Emerge and stay there for at least 15-20 minutes. I have been known not to get out for hours…and hours.

 

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Buckwheat Week: How to use it.

2nd January, 2015

Below – buckwheat porridge, buckwheat salad, buckwheat pancakes, buckwheat soba noodles and buckwheat risotto.

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Buckwheat Week: Buckwheat and Cacao Pancakes.

2nd January, 2015

A gorgeous recipe from my new book ‘Janella’s Super Natural Foods’. An easy recipe using raw cacao powder and buckwheat flour. You can use brown rice flour instead of the oat flour to make these gluten free.

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1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder (low allergy)
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp raw cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk, coconut, almond or rice milk
1/4 cup raw beetroot juice (approximately 1/3 of a medium beet) or you can buy
2 tbsp rice syrup, coconut nectar, or raw agave
1 tsp good vanilla esssence
1/2 a flax egg (1 tsp ground flaxseed + 2-3 tsp warm water, mixed to gel)
coconut oil for frying

Syrup
1/2 cup raw cacao powder, extra
3/4 cup coconut oil, extra
2 tbsp cacao butter
1-2 tbsp coconut nectar or rice syrup
A few drops vanilla essence

Method – In a small bowl, mix the flax with warm water and set aside to gel. Juice your beetroot and set aside. (Make more and drink it.)
In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
In smaller bowl, whisk together the juice, soy milk, sweetener, vanilla and flax egg.
Add the wet ingredients to dry and mix till just combined. The batter will be pretty thick and gooey.
Add about 1 tsp coconut oil to a (preferably) cast iron skillet and heat to low to medium heat. Pour in about 1/4 batter at a time and cook for 2-3 minutes, flipping once in between. repeat with remaining batter. Place a stainless steel or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add the cacao power, oil, butter and vanilla and mix well to combine. Adjust consistency with more oil or butter. Pour over the top and srrev with fresh fruit like mangoes, strawberries, passionfruit or blueberries.

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Buckwheat Week: Buckwheat Crêpes.

2nd January, 2015

Leave the batter in the fridge overnight if you can, then bring it to room temp before using. Keep the batter combined by stirring regularly as you’re making your fabulous crepes.
Makes about 20 crêpes

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2 cups (500 ml) any milk – almond, coconut, organic soy
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tbsp oil like macadamia, avocado – anything unrefined with a mild taste
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup white spelt flour
3 big organic eggs
In a blender, or with a whisk, mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Cover and chill overnight.
To fry the crêpes, remove the batter from the refrigerator about an hour before frying. Stir it briskly; it should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it’s not then add a little more milk.
Heat a 27cm (ish) skillet. Ideally you want to use a real crêpe pan, or use a cast iron pan. Drop a little oil in the hot pan and wipe it around with a paper towel – only for the first crêpe.
Pour 1/4 cup of the batter in the middle of the hot skillet, swirling the pan to distribute the batter swiftly. You’re first crepe probably won’t be great, but you’ll get the swing of it quickly. The batter should start cooking within a few seconds, giving you just enough time to swirl it. After about a minute, when bubbles appear, run a non-stick spatula around the underside of the rim of the crêpe, then flip the crepe over.
Let the crêpe cook on the other side for about 30 seconds, then slide it out onto a dinner plate. Repeat, cooking the crepes with the remaining batter, stirring the batter every so often as you go to keep it combined.

b2Crêpes should be served warm. (You can re-warm them in the oven covered.

Serve with my ‘Chocolate Coconut Butter’ – in ‘Janella’s Wholefoods Kitchen’ – (a healthy nutella), banana and raw honey, almond butter or goats feta and basil.
You can freeze these crepes for up to 2 months, or they’ll keep in the fridge 3 days. Cover them tightly.

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Buckwheat Week: 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles.

2nd January, 2015

Look for these without wheat – most brands will use wheat flour. Recipe below is for the main image. The others – I have lots of similar recipes in my books or my website, or by Googling ‘Janella buckwheat’. Use the noodles where you used to use pasta.

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‘Buckwheat Noodle Salad'(pic below)
Serves 2

2 portions of buckwheat noodles
1 big handful of julienne or grated carrots
1 big handful of shredded cabbage – red, white/savoy, Chinese
1 handful of other veggies like broccoli, fennel, radishes, chopped
2 handfuls of raw leaves watercress, baby spinach, kale
1 small red onion thinly sliced or a few spring onions finely sliced

Dressing
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp tamari (gf soy sauce)
1 tsp grated ginger
1 lime or lemon, juice and zest
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Pinch sea salt and white pepper
Optional: Sliced long, red chilli

Method – Add everything to a jam jar and shake.

Garnish with fresh herbs like coriander, mint, chives, basil, Thai basil
Small handful of any nuts or seeds like cashews, organic peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, hemp, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds.

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Millet Week: Recipe for ‘Japanese Millet and Quinoa Balls’.

2nd January, 2015

Recipe from ‘Eating For The Seasons’.

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Make lots and freeze them, or just freeze the mixture. PulI it out of the freezer in the morning, then roll into balls in the evening – then in the oven they go. In a few minutes dinner is served. Use any veggies you like. I use apple cider or brown rice vinegar now instead of the umeboshi vinegar, as I avoid products imported from Japan. These are yum! ‪http://www.naturalhealthmag.com.au/…/japanese-millet-and-qu…

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