Ask Me Anything!!!  

What are some foods or tips to help with digestion and keeping the bowels moving?

 

DIGESTION it’s a love/hate relationship with most people, one day it works great and then the next you have no idea what’s happened but it’s gone haywire! We are constantly trying to figure out how to look after our gut to keep it running smoothly, but we have to remember that it’s not just an overnight fix, its long term and this is where some people fall down.  We should all be making sure that we have a bowel movement at least once a day to keep everything moving, If we do not have regular bowel movements, toxins can be reabsorbed in to our adipose tissue which can create a toxin and inflamed environment, resulting in ill health. So how do we look after our digestion and keep our bowels regular? Well food is a great way to start, here are some to consider.

FIBRE – this consists of fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes and wholegrains. This is the best fuel for our gut bacteria, they produce short chain fatty acids which nourish our gut bacteria, improve immune function and prevent inflammation. The more fibre we digest, the more fibre column bacteria we make, leading to a happy digestive system which keeps everything functioning properly, especially our bowels!

 

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – Add 10mls into 100mls of water and take before every main meal – this will stimulate your digestive system promoting hydrochloric acid which breaks down the food we eat.

WATER – drink at least 8 glasses per day. Drinking water throughout the day will not only keep you hydrated and improve mental clarity, it will keep everything moving especially your bowels! If we are dehydrated it will lead to constipation and that is something that we want to avoid!

SLIPPERY ELM – It is the inner bark of a slippery elm tree and has demulcent actions which soothe the digestive tract and create a barrier, it can absorb toxins and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Slippery elm generally comes in a powdered form and can be added to water or smoothies.

PROBIOTICS - Many microorganisms that are in probiotics are similar to the ones found in our body, they can help to digest food, produce vitamins, and destroy bad microorganisms that already insist in our digestive system. There are endless benefits of taking probiotics such as promoting antimicrobial activity, decreasing oxidative stress, improving the intestinal barrier, reducing inflammation, regulating bowel flora and reducing bloating and distension.

MOVEMENT – we should all be moving every day, whether this is doing our 10,000 steps, running, yoga or boxing, this all helps to keep everything moving in our body and keeps us regular. If we are sedentary then our body slows down, especially our digestive system. It tern it will make our stools hard and harder to pass.

If you add all of these into your routine and daily eating, then you will sure enough have a healthy digestive system and regular bowel movements in no time!

If you have further questions regarding this, please feel free to contact me on 0426897957/lisa@thehealthwhisperer.com.au

Thanks Lisa xx

For more info on gut detox go to http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/diet/diets/the-14-day-gut-cleanse-plan-that-works/news-story/abf21778a2a149420ff84fb1d3be5123 

 

                                                                                                      

What is quark yoghurt?

 

Well it has the same consistency to Greek yoghurt, however it has more of a tang with some saying that it tastes more like sour cream.  It is made by warming soured milk until it curdles, starter cultures are then added to it, and when it becomes acidic the casein proteins leak out. This is then strained through a cheesecloth (just like making labneh) resulting in a firm and creamy texture.

So it isn’t quite yoghurt and it isn’t quite cheese, it’s very much its own product with great nutrient values.

So what are the benefits? Quark has a higher fat content than regular yoghurts ranging from 1% -40% and the rest consists of protein, calcium and phosphate, averaging around 14grams of protein per 100gms, which is much higher than Greek yoghurt. It contains probiotics and has a lower salt content than Greek and regular yoghurts.

The outcome? Quark is definitely a great alternative to yoghurt or cheese, and something new to add in to your eating plan. Just remember though that it is still a dairy product so avoid this is you have any intolerances to dairy or lactose. Also opt for an unflavoured and no added sugared product, we want to eat as close to the natural product as possible so we obtain all those great nutrients.

Recommendations - Barambah organics and Paris Creek Organic Swiss Style Quark do two great options for you to try which you can purchase from Harris Farm, Coles and Woolworths.

Foods to reduce bloating                                                                 

Bloating is a natural body reaction to certain foods, alcohol, stress and even environment, and most people will experience this throughout their lives with it being more regular to some. It is hard to say what causes bloating as a generic rule as everyone is different and their bodies react differently to diet, lifestyle and stresses around them. A certain food that causes bloating for you may not cause bloating to another individual. As practitioners it is our job to go through a detailed case history of the patients bloating and other symptoms and factors that may go along with. There are certain foods that can release gases in to the digestive system by fermentation which can cause flatulence and bloating, there are also certain sugars that are found in products that can causing bloating, flatulence and distension.

Foods/drinks that may be causing or contributing to bloating are;

  1. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and sprouts
  2. Beans, legumes and lentils are part of the FODMAPs group and contain sugars that bypass digestion and are then fermented by our gut bacteria, with gas being a by-product of this process
  3. Carbonated drinks can cause bloating due to the excess gas being consumed with some of these gas being trapped in the digestive system
  4. Wheat can be a problem for individuals who have a gluten sensitivity or who have coeliac disease
  5. Onions and garlic contain sulphur containing compounds which can cause bloating and other digestive discomforts
  6. Dairy products contain a sugar called lactase which many people find hard to digest and breakdown especially if you have a lactose intolerance
  7. Artificial sweeteners are also troublesome when it comes to a sensitive tummy, sugar free chewing gum and diet food products tend to be high in artificial sweeteners.

 

If you suffer from bloating, I would recommend trying an elimination diet to rule out what could be causing the bloating, as well as speaking to a nutritionist to get guidance and help with this issue.

 

Apple cider vinegar   

Apple cider vinegar (AVC) has many health benefits, one of the main ones would be how it can help with digesting foods that we consume. Now anyone who has tasted AVC will know that it is very acidic and strong tasting. I would recommend taking 10ml of ACV and fill rest of cap with water, taking it 15 minutes before eating each main meal. This will improve HCL production (acid in our stomach) and will assist in the breakdown of foods such as protein.

 

 

What are your thoughts on the Pruvit Keto products?

Fat adaption is taking the sports world by storm! For years we were told in order to fuel endurance athletes we needed to use glucose and glucose based supplements. Tim Noakes M.D. the author of Lore of Running (known as the distance runners bible) has completely flipped his mind on carbohydrate fuelling, Tim now recommends athletes become “fat adapted” using fats and body fats as the predominate fuel source for endurance events.

Pruvit Keto supplements contain medium chain triglyceride (fats), electrolytes and caffeine designed to fuel the fat adapted athlete. Keto supplements basically fuel the fat burning fire helping to push the body towards fat burning instead of carb burning. Non endurance athelets also use keto supplements to help drop body fat.

I personally have had great success with athletes switching to this approach, its not for everyone and must be done under supervision but yes I recommend these products to the right athletes.

For more info….

Fat adaption http://www.vespapower.com/the-emerging-science-on-fat-adaptation/

Keto products https://pruvitnow.com/products/

 

What are the superfood trends for 2017?

New superfoods and trends pop up everywhere and everybody has an opinion on what will be the next big thing. The superfoods that I think sound interesting this year include:

  • Beef gelatin (healing properties, gut, skin and joint health)
  • Adaptogens (balancing hormones, managing stress)
  • Chaga mushroom powder (immune support)

For more details on benefits of these foods and for an interesting read check out the following link…

Top superfoods 2017 http://www.organicauthority.com/5-top-superfoods-2017

 

What is your opinion on You Foodz?

This company is an awesome service for people who struggle in the kitchen, are time poor or need help with portion control. Offering a full range of food options from the meat eater to the vegetarian, as well providing dairy free and gluten free meals. It’s a one stop shop for everyone! Main meals average at $10 with them also offering meal plans to suit each individual.  You can either order as much or as little as you like (up to 7 days to keep them fresh for the week), with the option of adding breakfast and snacks to your order as well for an additional cost. All ingredients are of the highest quality and the food is prepared by their onsite chefs, delivering within 12 hours to keep the freshness and maintain nutrient value to the food. Currently they have a deal where the delivery is free for all major cities except Perth where it will cost you $20.

So I would highly recommend this service, it will definitely make your life easier without compromising on your health journey!

You Foodz https://youfoodz.com/

 

 

What's the latest advice on nurturing your microbiome to promote health and maintenance of body fat?

There is such amazing research emerging in regards to our microbiome and health. As a natural health care practitioner I have known for many years that the basis of immunity and health begins in the gut. Research is now discovering that our gut and bacteria within our gut (microbiome) may actually be a key factor in weight loss and obesity via the way beneficial bacteria breakdown and metabolize the food we eat.  

No matter what your health goals are we all need to be nourishing our gut with a range of healthy prebiotic and probiotic foods. Foods that act as prebiotics (fuel for probiotics) within our gut include raw garlic, onions, asparagus, and banana. Foods that boost probiotics or good bacteria in the gut include kefir yogurt, natural yogurt, sauerkraut, miso and other fermented foods.

If you have recently taken a course of antibiotics it is vital you replenish your healthy bacteria stores with a practitioner brand probiotic supplement.

For more information on this topic here are a few interesting links….

http://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2016/02/24/how-lose-weight-when-diet-and-exercise-dont-work

http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/621209667936/The-Diet-Myth

 

What are the best foods to eat while trying to get pregnant?

If you are trying to fall pregnant the first thing you should be thinking about is a practitioner supported detoxification program. Everybody is different and have different areas to improve on however a comprehensive detox or as I like to say to my patients “a spring clean” is important for both men and women in preconception planning.

To keep it really simple here are a few dietary tips…

Dietary  Inclusions  

1. Oily fish

2. Organic fruit and vegetables

3. Seaweed

4. Organic protein (meat, chicken..)

5. Oat bran 

 

Dietary Exclusions

1. Chemicals and toxics (pesticides)

2. Trans fats

3. Alcohol

4. Refined carbohydrates and sugar

5. Caffeine

As for supplements I would tailor to the individual however you cant go wrong with a well formulated preconception and pregnancy supplement that contains iron, iodine, essential fatty acids and folate. 

 

 

Exercising when sick - do or don't?

In a word no. I love training and understand how frustrating it can be when you are sick and unable to exercise however when you need to let your body heal and recover properly. I have seen time and time again patients rushing back into exercise before they are ready only to end up sick again and out of action for weeks on end. Exercise can be taxing on the immune system and if you rush back into training before you are ready you are putting more stress on your body and immune system resulting in the possibility exacerbating the infection. 

When you are feeling better take it easy and start with walking and light weights, listen to your body and be kind to yourself. 

 

 

Can you tell me what you think about brown rice syrup or agave? There are so many articles out there conflicting and very confusing.

The whole sugar debate can be very confusing; basically the big difference with rice malt syrup and agave is the fructose to glucose ratio. The main carbohydrate in agave is fructose whereas rice malt syrup contains mostly glucose. When following a “low sugar” diet you are looking to avoid foods high fructose. It can do your head in reading all opinions and articles on sugar, fructose and which sweetener is best for your health. My take home message is this, just eat less processed sugar including white sugar, lollies, milk chocolate and biscuits and enjoy small amounts of natural sugars occasionally. I personally use honey to sweeten cacao hot chocolate but I only use 1 teaspoon and I don’t have it everyday. It is about being sensible and looking at the total fructose intake not cutting all fructose-containing foods. 

 

 

Butter or low fat spreads? See article in SMH today....http://www.smh.com.au/.../butter-back-in-favour-and...

Oh I love this topic, I myself recommend foods in their most natural state this includes full fat dairy and butter. Mounting evidence suggests that saturated fat is not as nasty as we once thought, original studies concluding that high saturated fat and cholesterol levels cause heart disease are now believed to be floored, even respected heart surgeons are changing their opinion on the negative association between saturated fat, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. 

In short I say eat butter, avoid margarine like the plague and eat all foods in their most natural state. Don’t over think it, your diet should be based around vegetables, organic protein, quality fats, unprocessed foods and of course all in the right portion. Don’t go eat a stick of butter for breakfast but by all means enjoy a tablespoon of this delicious goodness, I think we should be worrying more about the white processed stuff we are putting the butter on.

 

Hi Teresa, what are you thoughts on how best to treat subclinical hypothyroidism? Do you know much about the reverse T3 blood tests? 

It’s a complex issue but basically elevated RT3 (reverse T3) is believed to be an indicator of hypothyroidism. 

According to Dr Holtorf (a hormone and thyroid specialist) “reverse T3 is actually an "antithyroid" T3 is the active thyroid that goes to the cells and stimulates energy and metabolism. Reverse T3 is a mirror image, it actually goes to the receptors, sticks there, and nothing happens. So it blocks the thyroid effect. Reverse T3 is kind of a hibernation hormone, in times of stress and chronic illness it lowers your metabolism. So many people seemingly have normal thyroid levels, but if they have high  RT3, they're actually suffering from hypothyroidism”

It really is too hard to give you recommendations without knowing your full history. I recommend you find an integrative practitioner who tests for RT3 and specializes in the field. Hormones are complex but there are many options you can try. 

 

I think I may be Leptin resistant any advice you can give would be brilliant.

Leptin resistance is a complex hormonal issue, there are many factors that can negatively impact Leptin levels, these include:

  • High sugar intake
  • High stress levels
  • Consuming lots of simple carbs/ processed grains
  • Lack of sleep
  • High insulin levels 
  • Overeating

You can have a blood test to determine your leptin levels and possible resistance. I would first have your leptin and insulin looked at before I gave specific diet and supplementation recommendations however I would typically suggest a paleo based approached to eating this includes lots of vegetables, organic protein and good fats. Daily exercise is an absolute must ideally incliding mix of cardio and resistance exercise. 

 

Why do bananas make me pop off ?

Ha ha ha! Ok sorry this is no farting I mean laughing matter, bananas contain fibre and fructose both of which can cause bloating and gas. Fructooligosaccharides can be considered a small dietary fibre contained in foods including bananas, onions, garlic and leek, the fermentation of FOS results in the production of gases. 

 

 

Question: when cutting carbs from your diet along with exercise is it worth having protein shakes or just eating more protein throughout the day so you don't crave carbs? 

This is a very good question; the key is making sure you have adequate protein but also healthy fats. Fat and protein keep you full; if you are going the low carb route you cant then go low fat otherwise you will be super hungry all day! Make sure you are eating lots of vegetables, include a serve of healthy fats at each meal and drinking plenty of water. Carbs are not the enemy but there is defiantly a science to how much your body needs and can tolerate. Those with insulin resistance or carb sensitivity should absolutely cut back on processed grains and replace with seasonal vegetables. 

 

Hi there, when doing an elimination diet & cutting out dairy. What can I replace yogurt with?

There is a new favorite in town and it is called CoYo or in other words coconut yogurt. It’s bloody delicious and really filing, full of all those healthy coconut fats it is like a dessert but good for you. Checkout the range via the link below.....

http://www.coyo.com.au/products/index.htm

Opt for the natural sugar free version and use it just like you would dairy yogurt. You’re welcome!

 

What is that new microscope you have in your clinic?

It is unbelievable! It is called heamaview, it is a dark field blood analysis microscope. The microscope helps me to understand what is going on within your body. I simply take a drop of blood from your finger, place it on a glass slide and put it under the microscope. I can then see your red and white blood cells moving around and I can tell you if you are in good shape or not. The coolest part is showing you on a monitor, you can see all your blood cells and fats from the food you eat. I can see if you have dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, inflammation or oxidation. I take photos of your blood and put together a report for you to take home and tips to improve the blood for the next test. It is very, very cool! If you are interested give me a call 0416 385 900.

I hope this helps

The Health Whisperer xx

 

What are the best foods/vitamin combos to keep immune system strong at this time of year?

The immune system is a complex system of structures and processes, which in turn protects us against illness and disease.  There are many nutrients required by our immune system, 5 of the top nutrients required for optimal immune function include vitamin A, zinc, vitamin D and vitamin C, food sources include…

  • Vitamin A: apricots, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, green leafy vegies, cod liver oil
  • Vitamin D: egg yolk, salmon, milk, sunlight
  • Vitamin C: citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, mango, capsicum
  • Zinc: pumpkin seeds, wholegrains, nuts, red meat, oysters

There are many immune support supplements on the market that are fantastic at reducing the severity and duration of colds and flus. The best immune supplements are practitioner only and will contain a mixture of vitamins, minerals and immune supportive herbs. 

Don’t forget about sleep, there is an old saying when you are sick “hide, be quite, sleep don’t eat” this allows our body to fight and recover from illness.

 

When is the best time to take vitamins? Morning or night?

This depends; energy support supplements that contain B vitamins, carnitine, CoQ 10 and magnesium are best taken in the morning, fat burning supplements are best pre training, glucose support and digestive enzymes are best with meals and calming supplements are best taken at night to promote a restful nights sleep. 

You need to know what you are taking and why then you can schedule the supplements at appropriate times throughout the day.  If you are not sure give me a buzz, I’m happy to help.

 

How much sodium should I consume a day/week? Do you recommend adding salt? i don't add salt to anything at all and don't use any processed sauces (i.e. tomato sauce) that are high in salts. I'm now wondering if I’m deficient in salt/if i should add salt to my meals? and if so how much? 

Salt is absolutely necessary for health and essential for the functioning of cell membranes within our body. Many people focus on the negative health effects of consuming excess salt without realising we do in fact need salt within our diet. The issue is the amount and where you obtain salt, if you are eating highly processed foods with added salt then you are probably going to be eating excessive amounts of poor quality salt. If you are eating a clean diet with unprocessed foods then you should be adding a small amount good quality salt to some meals. A quality sea or rock salt will not only provide sodium but also many other essential minerals. As a guide the RDI (recommended daily intake) of salt is approx. 400-900mg per day, our totally maximum salt intake should be less than 2300mg per day.

 

I have RA and get confused on what foods are best as I take tablets to reduce my immune system and don't want to contradict the difference they make.

This is difficult to answer as individuals are different but as a guide your diet should be high in anti-inflammatory nutrients and antioxidants. You should be avoiding all food allergens/ intolerances, this may be assessed through an elimination diet.

Top foods to include are turmeric, ginger, oily fish, bright coloured fruits, berries and green vegetables. Foods to avoid are food allergens, inflammatory vegetables (nightshades) and processed high sugar foods.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a complex disease and these are just guidelines, I highly recommend you consult with a nutritionist for a personalised nutrition and supplement program. 

 

I hope this helps

The Health Whisperer xx

 

Not sure if you have had this question but is coconut oil really a good choice? 

Once considered unhealthy and exotic, coconut oil has now become a household name. What makes coconut oil special is the same reason it was once frowned upon, coconut oil contains saturated fats but not just any old saturated fat it is a unique short chain saturated fat that the body doesn’t like to store but rather use efficiently as energy. Coconut oil is also associated with….

  • Improved digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins 
  • Provides powerful antioxidants and antiviral constituents
  • Anti-aging properties
  • May enhance weight loss due to the positive effect on metabolism

Like everything it is about moderation, enjoy a variety of good quality fats throughout the day. Absolutely include coconut oil but don’t forget nuts, seeds, avocado and cold pressed, extra virgin oils. 

 

Lemon in water...how much is too much?.. I’ve been drinking 2 lemons in 1.5 litres of water everyday for 2 weeks...is that ok?

Lemon in water is fantastic for your health and digestive system however over doing it can have negative effects on your teeth. Lemon contains citric acid, which over time can wear at your tooth enamel. I think 2 lemons a day is too much. 

My tip is to stick to ¼ lemon a day, drink lemon water cold not warm and if possible through a straw. These tips will allow you to enjoy lemon water whilst protecting your teeth.

 

What are your thoughts on apple cider vinegar? I have read good things about it - and for lots of different things.

I love using apple cider vinegar with clients suffering digestive complaints. I recommend 1 to 2 tsps. in water before meals; this can help stimulate digestive function. Studies have also suggested that apple cider vinegar may benefit type two diabetes and obesity by regulating blood glucose and insulin levels. Apple cider is also used in nutritional detoxification plans. All in all it is a good addition to your diet.

 

What are the benefits of using coconut sugar over normal sugar and is it a healthier alternative?

This is a good question! Like most things there are pros and cons. 

The pros….

Coconut sugar is considered lower GI than other sugars; coconut sugar also contains higher amounts of nutrients including fibre, antioxidants plus an array of minerals. 

The cons….

Coconut sugar is still sugar and is made up of 70-80% sucrose (the type of sugar in table sugar), which means it provides fructose just like table sugar. 

So in short if you are looking for a sugar alternative to provide more nutrients then yes coconut sugar is a good option but at the end of the day gram for gram it is still a sugar. 

I hope this helps

The Health Whisperer xx

 

Question: can you recommend any healthy slow cooker recipe websites? Also, what veggies help boost immunity?

I don’t use one particular website for slow cooker recipes however I find taste.com.au has many great slow cooker recipes http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/23520/slow+cooked+apple+and+cider+pork?ref=collections,slow-cooker-recipes

What you are looking for is protein and vegetable based. I tend to hold off the grains and heavy starches when serving (rice, bread, white potato) and simply enjoy the protein and vegetables. 

When it comes to immunity thing orange: pumpkin, sweet potato, oranges, nectarines, carrots…  Garlic is another great addition to help boost immune protective T cells. Here is my immune boosting juice and soup recipes…

Immune boosting juice: http://www.thehealthwhisperer.com.au/recipes.aspx?id=23

Immune boosting soup: http://www.thehealthwhisperer.com.au/recipes.aspx?id=21

Question: I'm in exam period at the moment and just moved house, so my skin (especially face) is really pimply from stressing out. Any nutritional suggestions for preventing this or keeping them at bay? Cheers!

Stress is a real bugger! I would first be checking your diet? I find my students tend to load up on sugar, coffee and snack foods to get them through; this is the last thing your mind, body and skin needs at times of stress. Make sure you are eating loads of vegetables and drinking heaps of filtered water and herbal tea. I recommend magnesium and B vitamins to help manage stress and improve energy and concentration levels. If skin is really worrying you opt for a high dose zinc and vitamin A supplement, both of these nutrients are vital for skin renewal and repair. 

 

Question: What are your best supermarket soup recommendations?

Hmmm I don’t have one, if I were to buy a premade soup I would buy it from About Life, they have fresh soups daily. I understand how busy life can get and supermarket options are quick and easy but I think we really need to cook more from scratch at home. Soups are soooo easy to make; throw it all in a pot and let it cook. Make a big batch on a Sunday so you get several meals out of it through the working week, or even freeze a few portions to have ready on really busy weeks. Here are a few links to easy, yummy soup recipes…

Cauliflower and white bean: http://www.thehealthychef.com/2011/05/cauliflower-white-bean-soup/

Moroccan lamb: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/27441/moroccan+lamb+soup

 

Question: After a PT session (within 2 days), my everything hurts. How can I help alleviate the pain so I can continue working out (as even walking up stairs is hard work). I hear an Epsom salt bath is a good option?

Well it certainly sounds like you are working hard, I know it sounds crazy but I love that “worked my butt off” feeling. A magnesium supplement would be my top suggestion. Epsom salts are simply another form of magnesium, you can absolutely add these to your bath, your skin will absorb the magnesium salts helping to relive aching muscles. 

Other suggestions would be to include active recovery, what that means is don’t workout hard then sit for long periods of time. Try to walk in-between non-training days and allow a few days between hard sessions. Drink lots of water and make sure you are eating protein within 45min of training and then at each main meal. Finally GOOD JOB!

 

What causes muscle cramps? How much magnesium is safe to take? Is there anything nutritionally or hydration wise you can take or do?

There are a few different reasons why you may be experiencing muscle cramps. My top recommendations are magnesium and sodium. I recommend a magnesium supplement in an amino acid chelate form; this type of magnesium is well absorbed. You are looking at around 300mg of magnesium per day. 

Another big issue is most of us don’t use good quality salt in our diet. Sodium is an essential electrolyte required for optimal nerve and muscle function. Add a little sea salt or Himalayan salt to your meals to ensure you are obtaining essential vitamins for muscle function. 

 

I have a question about sugar cravings. Have read that a LCHF (or is that HCLF?!) curbs the 3pm Cookie Monster-ish munchies. Fad or fact (or fat! haha) 

LCHF stands for low carb high fat and yes this type of diet can stablize blood sugar levels and control sugar cravings. 

A great LCHF snack includes fatty acid rich coconut oil, chia seeds, LSA and vanilla protein. This smoothie is my current favourite afternoon pick me up, it is delicious, nutritious and keeps me full for hours! Another great afternoon treat is a cup of tea with coconut oil. 


 

 

What is the difference between the Vital Greens and Super Greens brand? I believe Super Greens is organic, hence, is it better or a much of a muchness?

There are many green powder supplements now available. Im not sure if I want to label one better than the other but what I can say is some green powders provide a range of nutrients including spirulina and chlorella (green algae) plus vitamins, minerals, probiotics, fruits and vegetables. Other green supplements provide only the green algae nutrients, what it comes down to is personal choice and dietary requirments. When it comes to quality organic is always best. 


I have a few questions...

1. What is a reasonable amount of Greek yoghurt to add to Bircher muesli? A tablespoon? 

This depends on your morning, if you have trained you can bump it up to 100g. A standard serve of yogurt is 100g. If you haven’t trained in the morning and you are watching your portions just add 2 to 3 tbsp.

2. Tahini to a veggie/nourishment dish? A tablespoon?

Yes with nut butters or spreads aim for 1 tablespoon per serve. 


3. Is sugar free chocolate (ie, no refined sugar) THW approved?

Well if you are choosing 85% dark chocolate you don’t need to worry about the sugar content as cacao chocolate is naturally sugar free! Don’t fall for the marketing of ‘sugar free’ chocolate and just enjoy cacao based 85% dark chocolate guilt free.

 

 

THW - what is the difference between the different colours of Quinoa? And if yes, which one is nutritionally better for you? 

Like many foods in nature the darker the pigment the more nutrients provided however all quinoa varieties will provide roughly the same amount of protein and carbs. I personally use all varieties for different recipes. I like the white quinoa for breakfast and sweet dishes then I use the darker coloured or tri coloured in my salads or savoury dishes. The dark quinoa is nutty in flavour whilst the white has more of a user-friendly (my husband says bland) neutral flavour.  

I hope this helps

The Health Whisperer xx

 

Rapadura? Panela? Sucanat? Muscavado? Turbinado? Organic Raw Sugar? Xylitol? Any good/better choices? Please explain....

The whole sugar substitute debate is interesting. I think it can be very confusing and misleading. Sugar substitutes are loosely considered any sweetener that you use instead of regular table sugar (sucrose). Artificial sweeteners are just one type of sugar substitute. The chart lists some popular sugar substitutes and how they're commonly categorized.

Artificial sweeteners

Sugar alcohols

Novel sweeteners

Natural sweeteners

Acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One)

Erythritol

Stevia extracts (Pure Via, Truvia)

Agave nectar

Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)

Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate

Tagatose (Naturlose)

Date sugar

Neotame

Isomalt

Trehalose

Fruit juice concentrate

Saccharin (SugarTwin, Sweet'N Low)

Lactitol

 

Honey

Sucralose (Splenda)

Maltitol

 

 

Maple syrup

 

Mannitol

 

 

Molasses

 

Sorbitol

 

 

 

 

Xylitol

 

 

 

I am going to keep this simple and straight to the point, don’t try and substitute a refined sugar like table sugar with an artificial chemical and don’t replace white sugar with date sugar and think you can have as much as you want because its “natural”. I think we have gone anti-sugar mad, like everything the key is moderation and keeping it as natural as possible. I personally use honey as a sweetener, it provides vitamins and phytochemicals to benefit health plus its super sweet meaning I only need to use a tiny bit. Yes honey is high in fructose and is considered a “sugar” but Im not consuming it by the bucket load. 

If you are trying to reduce your total sugar intake don’t replace sugar simply cut back on your servings and include recipes that are high protein and good fats. I do not think we need to go completely sugar free, as long as vegetables are the bulk of the diet a bit of sugar every now and then is completely fine.

 

 

Hi THW. Am I losing nutritional goodness by choosing frozen veg (1 armed at the moment & can't chop up)?

You know I think fresh is best however when you are nursing an injury you just manage the best you can, frozen is defiantly better than tin vegetables and better than no vegetables at all. If you are looking for an easy way to bump up the nutritional profile of your meals why don’t you add fresh herbs or start taking an all round nutritional supplement like vital greens or bare greens by Bare Blends. 

Another thought is most supermarkets now sell pre cut vegetables; maybe this could work until you are able to cut your own?

 

Do you know much about adrenal fatigue? Are there superfoods that can help combat this?

I have patients recovering from adrenal fatigue and what we tend to focus on is a diet of whole foods and protein whilst eliminating stimulants like caffeine and refined sugars. All types of superfoods are going to benefit your health and energy levels however my top two recommendations would be maca and goji berries. Both of these foods can help support the adrenals and increase energy levels. The easiest way to include these foods is to soak the goji berries in water over night then add the soften goji’s and maca powder to a smoothie. 

As much as I believe the diet must come first when it comes to adrenal fatigue you really need to be taking good quality supplements for optimal recovery.

 

 

Do you know any Home Remedies for Gallstones ?

There are home remedies known as a gallbladder flush however I have not used them in clinic nor am I comfortable in recommending them. Here is a link….

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gallstones/expert-answers/gallbladder-cleanse/faq-20058134

What I would be looking at is your current diet and a possible detox? Keep an eye on symptoms and don’t hesitate in contacting your doctor if you are experiencing pain. A one on one consultation would be require before I could give any more advice. 

I hope this helps

The Health Whisperer xx

 

Did you study at ACNT? Do you recommend it?

 
No I studied at Nature Care College in Sydney, this is a natural therapies college on the North Shore. I started with a Diploma in Nutrition then went on to obtain the Advanced Diploma of Nutritional medicine. 
I absolutely loved Nature Care, I loved the content and the lecturers. If I had my time over I would definitely go to Nature Care however something very important was not explained to me when making my decision where to study. You need to decide on what you what to do with the qualification. If you want to work with diabetics or in hospitals you should look into dietetics at university. Health funds cover my qualification but Medicare does not. Doctors will refer diabetic patients to dietitians not natural therapy practitioners such as myself. 
Its hard to explain but basically Nutrition is a relatively new modality and there are many different approaches. You need to decide what you want to do and how you want to practice. I believe in wholefoods, treating every client individually, I don’t count calories but I do recommended portion sizes for weight loss, I teach nourishment not numbers and with this I have a fantastic clientele and a career that I absolutely love.  
 
 
 
Do you believe in superfoods or is it all marketing?
 
I do believe in superfoods but I also agree that the word ‘superfood’ is thrown around for marketing prepossess. True superfoods will contains many unique nutrientss that promote optimal health. Top superfoods include goji berries, cacao, bee pollen, coconuts, spirulina and maca.
Recently I saw an ad on the TV claiming oats are a superfood? Um no.
 
 
Is there any superfood/health food that is really good for you that you still can't stand the taste of? (Just for fun lol..).
 
Yep spirulina, I don’t care what anybody says that stuff tastes like arse. I do drink it mixed with other ingredients but lets face it, its an algae, how good can an algae taste? 
 
 
 
I do boxercise classes 2-3 hours a week, very intense cardio. What should I be eating before and after it?
 
If you are going to eat a snack pre training make sure you are eating 2 hours before and make it a small carbohydrate snack like a banana or Carman’s muesli bar. Post exercise include both protein and carbs within the hour of finishing. A protein recovery smoothie is an easy option or choose a main meal based on protein and carbs like chicken and sweet potato or fish and quinoa. 
 
 
Do microwaves kill our food?
 
There are studies that suggest microwaves are totally fine and others that suggest they are hazardous to our health. There are not enough studies determining the effects of microwaved food on human health after consumption. I think the problem is with the fragile phytochemicals contained in our plant foods, a study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that….
 
‘Broccoli "zapped" in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants.’
 
‘There were also reductions in phenolic compounds and glucosinolates, but mineral levels remained intact.’
 
In a study of garlic, as little as 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to inactivate its allicin; garlic's principle active ingredient against cancer.
 
A Japanese study by Watanabe showed that just 6 minutes of microwave heating turned 30-40 percent of the B12 in milk into a (dead) form. This study has been cited by Dr. Andrew Weil as evidence supporting his concerns about the effects of microwaving. Dr. Weil wrote:
"There may be dangers associated with microwaving food... there is a question as to whether microwaving alters protein chemistry in ways that might be harmful.
 
Like I said there are studies to suggest they are completely fine and others that disagree. Yes I do have a microwave in the house but I make an effort not to use it. What can I say, I just don’t like them. 
 
 
 
What's the best brand of bread to eat? There are so many choices!
 
This can be tricky due to marketing. The best tip I can give you is to look for the darkest, heaviest loaf you can see. Sprouted rye bread or pumpernickel are good choices. If it feels like a brick when you pick it up it’s a good loaf!
 
I hope this helps!
 
The Health Whisperer xx

 

What are your thoughts on the Whole30? Do it?

For those who don’t know what Whole30 is checkout this link… http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/

Basically it is a paleo type diet approach excluding grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, processed foods and alcohol. Do I think it’s a good idea to base your diet on wholefoods, lots of vegetables and protein? Hell yeah I do. If this 30 day challenge is what somebody needs to kick start a new healthy eating régime then go for it. I don’t think we need to exclude all grains and dairy forever but having a break for 30 days certainly wont kill you. Just remember if veggies are the bulk of your diet you are half way there. 

 

Maybe you can help me as you’re a super fit girl! I've worn full length skins every day for years when running, but lately my legs and muscles are in pain every day/night. Do you have something you can recommend like a tablet for muscle relief? Thanks!

I would absolutely recommend a magnesium supplement. Ultramuscleze energy or ultramuscleze night would be my top recommendations depending on your energy levels. These are a powdered magnesium supplements providing you with a much higher and more comprehensive dose of magnesium when compared to tablets. I recommend 1 scoop a day.   

 

Everyone is doing he 5:2 diet where you eat 500 calories for 2 days what do you think? The premise is fasting I think?

I love the concept of intermittent fasting and have written an article on how I apply it in clinic… http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/weight+loss/diets/intermittent+fasting+new+weight+loss+winr,21852

Basically like all great concepts they have turned it into the latest and greatest “diet” negatively impacting the fasting concept credibility. Have a read of my article and the principles of a daily fast. I think it’s a winner and a much more realistic and sustainable fasting approach. 

 

What are your thoughts on 'carb cycling'? Is it true that eating more carbohydrates on some days (High Carb days) help promote muscle growth and eating less carbohydrates on other days (Low Carb days) helps minimize fat gain and even promote fat loss?

In short yes I recommend eating high and low carb days. Without getting into the science what you need to remember is insulin (produced when we consume carbohydrates) is a growth promoting hormone. Insulin promotes muscle growth and repair, increases liver and muscle glycogen stores and it also functions in fat cell growth. In layman’s terms insulin makes shit bigger. If you are trying to increase muscle mass/ size then you need more carbs in your diet. If you are trying to drop body fat you need to be mindful on how many carbs you are consuming, the types of carbs you are selecting and the time of day you consume your carbs.

What I tend to recommend is you eat your high carb days on your heavy training days. Consume good quality carbs no matter what your goals are and time your carbs around your training i.e. eat them pre and post training. For low carb days make sure this is a light training day or rest day. Makes sense right? Eat your carbs around your training requirements. 

 

What are your thoughts on Kombucha and do you gave a recipe? Where do you get the scoby from? 

Kombucha is a fermented drink of sweetened black tea Kombucha is produced by fermenting the tea using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Although it's sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not actually made from mushrooms; the fermentation on top of the tea resembles a mushroom shape. Health benefits associated with kombucha tea include stimulating the immune system, preventing cancer, and improving digestion and liver function. It should be noted that there is limited human studies or scientific evidence to support these health claims. Drinking poorly prepared kombucha has been linked to serious side effects and even death due to contamination.

If you are going to drink kombucha make sure it is brewed safely. Here is a link to Australian suppliers…. http://www.organicandraw.com.au/products.html#original

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