Hormonal Imbalance: Part 2 Natural Ways to Restore Hormonal Harmony

In part 1, we discussed the signs, symptoms & possible causes of hormonal imbalance. In Part 2 we will be looking at Natural ways to restore hormonal balance and harmony.

Women often don’t realise there is a disharmony in their hormones, or that natural hormonal balance and harmony can be achieved.

One of the most common questions I ask in clinic is “what is your cycle like? Tell me about your cycle“, to which i receive “just the normal PMS, anxiety, cramping, headaches, bloating…….” These are NOT NORMAL!!!

So when did COMMON become NORMAL?

From talking to many women about their monthly cycles, there is definitely a sense among women that there should be a level of pain & discomfort associated with the arrival of menstruation. Is it any wonder when:

That’s right 85 – 90% of women suffer monthly!!!! 

However, hormonal imbalance is not only linked to the menstrual cycle. It can effect so many facets of our life & the signs, symptoms & causes are varied. If you haven’t already read part 1 on the signs, symptoms and possible causes of hormonal imbalance, you can find it here.

1. Diet & Nutrition

The food we eat or don’t eat can have a huge impact on our hormonal balance. Eating a nutrient dense diet provides us with the macronutrients (fats, protein & crabohydrates) and the micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) for healthy balanced hormonal harmony.

Where do you start?

Start with removing excess sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed chemical laden foods and takeaways. Replace them with more fresh vegetables, quality fats and proteins. This is known as the “crowd out” method. The more you introduce in these quality foods, the more you will eat less of the “nutrient poor” foods.

Ever noticed the difference in your energy, mood, ability to cope with stress & your productivity when you start the day with avocado & eggs on your toast, rather than just a coffee or jam on your toast?

A great way to start looking at how to eat is the 80/20 rule. Simply, eat Nutrient Dense Wholefoods 80% of the time and allow yourself to eat “nutrient poor foods” 20% of the time. After all, it’s not about deprivation, it’s about nourishment. Sometimes that 20% is just as important to nourishing the soul & social interaction, as the 80% is to nourishing the body.

Making changes and knowing where to start can be overwhelming sometimes. If you need help in changing your diet & nutrition for hormonal harmony, get in touch!

2. Sleep

Sleep is essential to hormonal harmony, as well as overall health and vitality. The quality & quantity of our sleep effects our bodies ability to heal & restore itself.

Implementing a sleep hygiene plan and strategy can be helpful in improving sleep onset, sleep quality & sleep quantity.

But what to implement?

My biggest 3 sleep tips:

  • No technology for at least an hour before bed and never in the bedroom
  • Aim to go to sleep and rise at the same time everyday
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, comfortable and used for sleep & sex only. If you want to read, watch TV, chat on the phone, do all of this in another room before you head to bed.

3. Reduce Stress

Reducing stress is another important factor in balancing your hormones. Stress increases Cortisol, excess cortisol production has an effect on both oestrogen and progesterone production and ovarian function.

The impacts of stress are far reaching, but one of the biggest is it’s effect on glucose & insulin. This is one of the reasons hormonal imbalance is often seen with weight gain or an inability to lose weight. Cortisol causes a rise in glucose, leading to increased blood sugar and after time insulin resistance.

How can you reduce stress?

My top 5 stress-less tips:

  • Learning to say no & putting your health before everyone else’s
  • Mindfulness or meditation practice
  • Regular exercise (walking, yoga or pilates are great)
  • Reduce alcohol, sugar and caffeine in the diet
  • Sleep

YEP! by now you might be starting to see the link between each of the main contributors to hormonal imbalance & the best ways to naturally restore hormonal harmony.

4. Movement

Daily movement is essential for hormonal balance, not to mention essential for general health & wellbeing.

Exercising daily does not mean you need to head to the gym every day and sweat it out (although sweat can help eliminate toxins), with high intensity training. However, mixing up low, moderate and high intensity exercise throughout your week, is a great way to achieve hormonal harmony.

Moving daily with a walk, yoga, pilates, swim at the beach, bike ride, gym class or whatever you love to do, about 5 times a week is optimal for hormonal balance.

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, however high intensity or prolonged exercise can increase cortisol & reduce progesterone.

Everyone is very individual! Depending on the reasons for your hormonal (or suspected) hormonal imbalance, or if your trying to conceive, the amount and type of exercise you do can be helpful or harmful. So it’s always best to seek a little professional guidance .

5. Gut health & Detoxification

Quite often hormonal imbalance is closely linked to poor gut & liver function. The liver is the main detoxification organ and responsible for neutralizing and excreting both excess hormones and toxins (internal & external).

If the liver is over burdened with toxins and excess hormones, these recirculate around the body and are reabsorbed. Leaky Gut and poor gut health contribute to this re-absorption and an increase in toxic load.

When looking at optomizing detoxification pathways, we need to address not only diet but stress, movement, mindset, relationships, sleep & environmental toxins.

In clinic, I often work with women and men on a tailored detoxification program that addresses all of these areas. To aid in improving both detoxification & gut health, to help restore hormonal harmony.

You can find out more about my available online detox program and tailored detox packages here.

6. Supplements

It would be great if we could obtain all our nutrients from the food that we eat, after all ‘food is medicine‘. Sometimes it’s not always possible, due to many reasons like changes in farming practices & poor soil quality, poor dietary choices, preservatives & additives in processed foods, poor gut health & reduced absorption capabilities, stress &/or lifestyle choices.

Nutritional Supplements used in the right form & therapeutic dosage, can be of benefit in restoring nutrient levels to optimal levels and aiding in the restoration of hormonal balance.

However it is important to note that it is best to seek professional help in determining a supplemental program right for your specific needs. Always advise your nutritionist or naturopath of any medications you are taking or your health provider of any supplements you are taking, to ensure their are no interactions.

If you missed Part 1 of the Hormonal Imbalance Series you can find it here

DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to lead anyone away from a qualified health practitioner or medical care. We make absolutely no claims to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, it is advisable to speak to your qualified healthcare professional.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

We love Chocolate Avocado Mousse in our house – have you tried it?

Do you love to indulge but want to skip the guilt?

Feel like something naughty, that’s actually really nice and not so naughty after all?

Want chocolate Mousse that’s healthy enough you could eat for breakfast?

You’ve come to the right place!

Try our chocolate avocado mousse, full of good fats to keep you feeling full longer, concentrating & focused and help to balance and restore hormonal health!

Oh and GUESS WHAT? You get the option of making the mousse two ways! Yep not one but two recipes for chocolate mousse, their both so delicious and nutritious, we couldn’t decide which one to include so we added both!

Healthy Eating is not about Deprivation or Difficulty

It’s about Simple Nutrition, Nourishment & Enjoyment!

If your struggling with what to eat, how to feed your family due to specific dietary requirement or you just simply need help planning health meals. Flourishing Meal Plans is for you!

Specialised meal plans designed for your family’s individual needs containing Menu(s), Recipes, Shopping list and all the tips & hints you need in the kitchen, for health, nutritious meals to meet your individual needs.

Get in touch if you’d like more information on our meal planning services.

Or why not check out our Bio-Compatibility Testing?

Find the foods that best support your body in reducing inflammation and promoting healing and optimal health.

Hormonal Imbalance: Part 1 Signs & Symptoms…

10 Signs & Symptoms your hormonal balance could be effecting your health & wellbeing…

Hormonal Imbalance, Hormonal Balance, Healthy Hormones

Ever heard these terms and wondered what they mean or how you’d know if the signs and symptoms your experiencing might be related to a hormonal imbalance? 

Hormones are chemical messengers that communicate with and send instructions to our cells and organs, controlling most of our bodily functions. These messages effect our physical, mental and emotional health, having an impact on:

✔ Sleep

✔ Energy

✔ Stress

✔ Weight & Muscle Mass

✔ Growth

✔ Hunger, Appetite & Satiety

✔ Mood

✔ Reproduction & Fertility

✔ Menstruation

✔ Libido

In other words, hormones have a hand in our day-to-day health and wellbeing.  When they are balanced, we ooze vitality and health, when they are out of whack, we experience signs and symptoms that tell us, our body is not functioning at it’s optimal best!

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?

1. Sleep Issues

The quality and quantity of our sleep plays a huge role in all facets of our health. Suffering with insomnia, inability to get to sleep and/or stay asleep, waking in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep (especially around that 1.30 – 2.00am period), feeling excessively tired throughout the day, can all be signs of hormonal imbalance.

2. Lack of Energy & Fatigue

Do you feel like a zombie in the morning? Are you waking in the morning feeling like you haven’t slept all night, barely being able to make it through the day, feeling fatigued and lethargic, or feeling like your spark for life has dimmed or gone out. These may be COMMON but they are NOT NORMAL.

3. Irritability & Mood Changes

Everything irritating you? Just not feeling like yourself but can’t figure out why, things that normally wouldn’t matter now cause irritation and anger. Or feeling like your moods go through 4 seasons in one day!

4. Anxiety, Depression or an inability to cope with stress

Have you been diagnosed with anxiety or depression? Does this worsen just before your period? Are you more prone to anxiety & depression at certain times in your cycle?

Do you find that where you use to be able to cope with stress, you seem to now have built an intolerance to stress and coping with the demands of life have gotten harder?

5. Headaches, Brain Fog or Difficulty Concentrating

Changes in memory and concentration, feeling in a constant haze or fog, suffering headaches or migraines may be related to a hormonal imbalance.

6. Menstrual Irregularities, Absence, Pain, Heaviness, Tender Breasts, PMS & loss of libido

Every woman’s cycle is unique to her but suffering through monthly pain, heavy bleeding, spotting, clots, PMS, breast tenderness, loss of libido or even loss of the menstrual cycle is not a “right of passage” or “just a part of being a woman”, these signs & symptoms can signify a hormonal imbalance is present.

7. PCOS, Endometriosis and Infertility

Diagnosis of a hormonal condition often occurs after women have been experiencing many of the signs & symptoms noted. Sometimes this suffering has been going on for years.

Our fertility is heavily reliant on healthy balanced hormones, inability to conceive, especially when doctors can’t pinpoint an exact cause, could be the result of hormonal imbalance.

8. Acne

Surges and dips in hormones, along with hormonal changes throughout the cycle, can be linked to persistent acne. In teenagers this is often linked to nutrient deficiencies and poor diet choices made during their rapid growth period.

9. Digestive Symptoms:

Constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, digestive discomfort, cravings for sugar & salt, along with a number of other digestive symptoms can be a sign your hormones are out of balance.

10. Weight Gain

Especially around the abdomen can be a sign of hormonal imbalance and in particular Oestrogen Dominance. It may also signify that the liver is struggling with the demands for detoxification.

There may also be a degree of muscle mass loss, especially in men with hormonal imbalance.

NOTE: It’s important to remember we need to look at these symptoms in relation to the whole picture, not in isolation, as many health conditions display the same signs and symptoms.

What are the Main Factors That Can Impact a Healthy Hormonal Balance?

Junk food, sedentary lifestyles and stress are main contributing factors to hormonal imbalance

Diet

Due to significant changes in our diet since that of our ancestors, we are exposed to more chemicals in our foods, genetically modified foods, unhealthy saturated and processed fats, high levels of sugar & salt , along with a diminished level of minerals in our soils.

These changes have lead to an increase in obesity rates, food intolerances & gut issues, inflammation, blood glucose dysregulation, insulin resistance, diabetes and vitamin & mineral deficiencies. All of which impact the health and balance of our hormones.

If you are experiencing cravings for salt or sugar, struggling with reducing junk food or resisting the mass of “unhealthy” food options available, you are not alone. This is a common occurrence in modern day life and can be both a sign of and driver of hormonal imbalance.

Lifestyle

With the rise of technology our lives have become more sedentary, add this to the fact people are working longer hours, creating stress and disharmony in their lives.

The major lifestyle effects on hormonal imbalance are:

✔ Lack of Movement

✔ Increased Levels of Stress

✔ Reduced Quantity and Quality of Sleep

✔ Reduced Social Interaction and Connection (I mean face-to-face connection, not cyber-connection!)

Environment

We live in an environment where our bodies are continually bombarded with chemicals. We’re exposed via our food, in our beauty products, in our cleaning products, in our air, in our water and in the plastics that we are exposed to daily.

These chemicals are endocrine disrupting, meaning they have the ability to interrupt our delicate hormonal balance and create altered hormonal function.

Impaired Detoxification

To maintain hormonal balance it is important that our detoxification pathways are functioning at an optimal level, as excess hormones and hormonal metabolites (created via normal metabolic functions) need to be excreted from the body.

Further information on detoxification can be found on my blog here

Or if you would like to know more about my detoxification programs, please contact me for further information.

Poor Gut Function

Leaky gut is on the rise and can lead to poor digestion, food intolerances, impaired detoxification (as mentioned above), vitamin & mineral deficiencies and a number of digestive complaints.

Gut Health and Hormonal Health go hand-in-hand and research is continuing to show a major link between gut health, hormones, the brain and immune system.

Medications/Drugs

Birth Control Pills, Reflux Medication and even common pain medication, are some of the most prescribed medications. Combine this with an increased use of drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances, which all place a burden on both gut function and detoxification pathways and you have an increased risk to both balance and function of our hormones.

The Oral Contraceptive Pill in particular has a major effect on hormonal balance, as it work to “switch off” our normal natural hormone production and replace it with a synthetic hormones, which have the potential to lead to fertility and menstrual issues upon cessation.



Join Me next week for Part 2 of Hormonal Imbalance: Natural Ways to Restore Hormonal Harmony.


DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to lead anyone away from a qualified health practitioner or medical care. We make absolutely no claims to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, it is advisable to speak to your qualified healthcare professional.

What’s affecting your children’s behaviour?

Diet, Lifestyle and Environment can all have an impact on children’s behaviour. 

If your child displays behaviours such as:
 Hyperactivity
 Irritability
 Inattentiveness
 Difficulties with concentration & memory
 Fidgeting and restlessness
 Anxiety and/or depression
 Constantly disrupts others
 Compulsive behaviours
 Difficulties completing tasks
 Aggressive displays
 Defiant behaviour

The following information is for you!

The 5 Major players impacting children’s behaviour are:

* Diet

* Nutrient Deficiencies

* Sleep

* Nature Deficit

* Environmental factors

1) MAJOR DIETARY PLAYERS:

🍭Refined carbohydrates & added sugars
🍨Additives, preservatives, colours, flavour enhancers, artificial sweeteners
🍟 Trans fats found in highly processed and take-away foods
🌱Natural chemicals in foods like salicylates, amines & glutamates
🌾 Food intolerances
🥑 Not eating enough good quality fats
🍗 Not eating enough quality protein
🥦 Not eating enough vegetables (very few children get the recommended daily serves)
🍓 Not eating the recommended daily serves of fruit
🥙 Not eating regularly

2) NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES can have a real impact on behaviour. We all require vitamins and minerals in conjunction with protein, fat and carbohydrates to live – it’s what fuels our body,  what builds & nourishes our cells & tissues!

When children are deficient in nutrients, their body does not obtain the vital components needed for growth, repair and development, along with the vital nutrients for metabolic processes and chemical reactions within the body – leading to the symptoms displayed in children’s behavioural issues.

For example:

* Zinc deficiencies have been linked to poor memory & concentration, along with reduced sense of smell and taste.
* Omega 3 deficiencies have been linked to anxiety, inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity .
* Iron deficiencies have been linked to attention and mood imbalances, hyperactivity and impaired socialisation
* Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to cognitive delays, fatigue, headaches and anxiety

These are just a few of the deficiencies that may impact children’s behaviour. If children are not eating a varied healthy diet and obtaining their recommended daily servings of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vegetables & fruit, they are at risk of deficiencies.

3)  SLEEP!

A lack of sleep, whether it be due to late nights, early mornings, disrupted sleep, nightmares, dreams, anxiety, restlessness or another factor, can have detrimental effects on children’s behaviour.

😴 Inadequate sleep (too short or poor quality) can cause changes in mood and thinking, leading to:
 An inability to regulate moods, resulting in heightened reactions to seemingly minor events
 Greater tendency to dwell on negative thoughts, interactions or activities rather than on positive aspects of life
Greater deficits in attention and the ability to concentrate and remember
 Reduced ability to reason and problem solve
 A higher tendency towards anxious or withdrawn behaviours

Implementing positive sleep practices can create major changes in children’s behaviour. Sleep hygiene analysis and changes, often form part of my treatment plans with positive results.

4) NATURE DEFICIT 

Green -time instead of screen time!!!!  Outside play is so important to children’s behaviour and overall health! 

Lack of exposure to outside play and an increase in inside screen-time play, has been linked to:

 hyperactivity in children
 anti-social behaviour and reduced social interaction between children
 reductions in cognitive awareness
 reduced abilities to concentrate & reduced memory function
 reductions in fine and gross motor skills
 reductions in balance & co-ordination
 Increases in mental health conditions like anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia
 Increased weight gain & rises in type 2 diabetes
 Poor gut health and an increase in chronic health conditions

Just 30 minutes a day (1 hour is best) outside play can benefit children’s physical and mental wellbeing:

 Reducing hyperactivity, fidgeting and impulsivity
 Improving anxiety and depression
 Improving sleep
 Improving energy
 Improving social interaction
 Improving appetite, diet & nutrient absorption
 Improving co-ordination, self-awareness & observational skills
 Improving concentration and memory
Improving gut health & helping to reduce chronic health conditions

5) ENVIRONMENT 

So what should you be looking out for in your environment, that could be effecting your child?

🔸Plastics 
🔸Cleaning chemicals
🔸Body products (soaps, moisturisers, etc)
🔸Air polltants
🔸Gardening supplies ( they contain harmful chemicals liek glyphosate found in Round Up)
🔸Heavy metals (eg lead & mercury)
🔸Medications (over the counter and prescription – some medications can’t be avoided, it is important to be aware of side-effects associated with medications)
🔸Hand sanitisers and other sanitising products

Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs hundreds of chemicals daily, which may effect our children’s health and increase the risk of:

🔸Anxiety & depression
🔸Hormonal disruptions
🔸Compromised gut integrity, leading to leaky gut
🔸Poor nutrient deficiencies and absorption
🔸Poor cognitive development
🔸Behavioral and learning difficulties
🔸Impacts on neurological development
🔸Poor Growth and development

I hope this post has given you some insight into the different influences on children’s behaviour. Making changes is not an overnight process and can seem like a daunting process. All of the areas discussed, are assessed in my consultations and form part of my individualised treatment plans – we tackle these changes together, in a way that suits your family.

BOOK YOUR CONSULTATION TODAY AND GET YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH & BEHAVIOUR BACK ON TRACK !

Detoxification – Not Just A Fad Diet!

Detox is not a diet – but a function our body carries out every day! 

Detoxification is a very important metabolic process carried out daily by our liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, skin and lymph system. But what does detoxification mean? Put simply it is the metabolic process whereby toxins and chemicals from outside the body and within the body go through a series of enzymatic reactions in 3 phases of detoxification, to enable them to be transformed into a less toxic more water-soluble compound that can be excreted by the body. 

Now when I say detoxing is not just a fad diet, I don’t mean it isn’t important and that detoxification diets don’t help – when these systems are not working properly it is important to support them and return them to proper functioning, to ensure the body does not accumulate harmful toxins.  The accumulation of  harmful toxins both from our external environment, lifestyle & diet and our internal metabolic processes, can lead to inflammation, disease, illness, infertility, hormonal imbalances, mental health problems like anxiety and depression and so many other conditions related with poor health.  What I am saying is that if your detoxification pathways are not working well, it is best to seek the help of a qualified health practitioner to help you on this journey and not just Dr Google!

“What happens to our body if our detoxification pathways are not  functioning in the way they should be? “

“What symptoms might I see if I have toxic build up?”

  • Fatigue
  • Sluggishness (mind and body)
  • Brain fog
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Excessive sinus issues (post nasal drip, congestion, infections)
  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Gas and foul smelling stools
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Heartburn or other digestive complaints
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Memory or concentration difficulties
  • Hormonal imbalances and PMS
  • Food cravings
  • Water retention
  • Skin problems (rashes, eczema, acne, psoriasis)
  • Puffy eyes or dark circles under the eyes
  • Bad breath

AND HAS BEEN LINKED TO HEALTH CONDITIONS LIKE:

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety & depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Food allergies & intolerances
  • Autoimmune conditions like Fibromyalgia
  • Inflammation and associated conditions
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomina

However, these symptoms can also be linked to other health conditions and illnesses, it is important to seek advice from your general health practitioner if you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing. 

“10 WAYS TO HELP REDUCE OUR TOXIC OVERLOAD”

  1. Eat organic foods – a huge part of our chemical and toxic overload comes from the foods we eat (try to eat about 8 serves of different coloured fruit & veg daily – bitter foods are also great for increasing detoxification).
  2. Eat wholefoods – packaged, junk and take-away foods contain preservatives, additives, colours and other chemicals that can overload our liver and cause a breakdown of the detoxification pathways & leaky gut leading to an accumulation of toxins in tissues.
  3. Eat fibre – most people are not eating enough fibre, without fibre our bodies can not effectively excrete wastes and if you aren’t using your bowels regularly, toxins are not being removed from the body!
  4. Drink water – Like fibre, people don’t have enough, water aids our kidneys to filter and clean the toxins from our blood! Aim to drink at least 1.5 – 2 litres of filtered water daily.
  5. Watch what you put on your skin – our skin is our largest organ and everything we put on it gets absorbed.  Many body and beauty products contain harmful chemicals that are absorbed through the skin entering our blood system.
  6. Exercise daily – it is so important for so many aspects of health – it aids in keeping our organs healthy, our digestive system moving to eliminate waste and our blood and lymph circulation moving.  Get outside in nature if you can, as it aids in reducing stress which can have a major effect on increasing toxic overload.
  7. Cut out (or at least significantly reduce) alcohol, drugs and non-essential medications – besides causing toxic overload, while the liver is removing these toxins as a priority, it is not doing other important jobs like converting our B vitamins into active forms for use by the body!
  8. Heal the gut – a healthy digestive system will aid in detoxification, rather than allowing toxins to seep into the body through leaky gut junctions, gut imbalance can be a major source of toxic burden.
  9. Relax – in today’s society stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, lack of time & many other lifestyle factors cause us to be in a constant state of activity.  Take time to relax each day, as these stresses on the body can add to the toxic load.
  10. Seek help – see a qualified nutritionist to have your diet and lifestyle assessed for possible toxic accumulation and overload, so an individualised treatment plan can be developed to get your detoxification organs and pathways working at their optimal best!

“WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO SEEK HELP FROM A QUALIFIED PRACTITIONER IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE TOXIC ACCUMULATION & OVERLOAD”

  • The signs and symptoms associated with toxic accumulation and overload, may also be related to other health conditions, that need evaluation and consideration.
  • Detoxification phases require specific nutrients to work efficiently, if you are deficient in these nutrients, detoxing may actually create harmful metabolites, creating more toxic load, instead of reducing it.
  • Detoxification in the case of toxic overload requires a slow and measured individualised approach, to prevent harm to the body – you can detox without feeling ill!
  • Detoxing can sometimes cause side effects like headaches, nausea, digestive upset and more.  These symptoms need to be monitored and mitigated to ensure health not harm.
  • Detoxification in children is often needed (especially in relation to heavy metal accumulation), this should always be carried out under the care of a health professional and monitored closely.
  • Detoxification is not recommended in pregnancy, as harmful metabolites may cross the placenta, reaching the growing baby.

Blueberry Coconut Homemade Chocolate

“This is a favourite decadent treat in our house and it’s so simple & versatile, I bet it will become a favourite in yours too!”

Ingredients

BASE:

  • 200g organic cacao butter (we use baking buttons)
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 170g cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 2- 4 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey (this will be dependent on taste and you may need to start at 4 and slowly reduce, as cacao can be bitter tasting – especially to kids when they first start swapping over from shop bought sugary sweet chocolates)

TOPPING:

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Method:

This is the simple part!

  • Line a slice pan (approx 28cm x 18cm) with baking paper
  • In a medium saucepan melt together over low heat, the cacao butter and coconut oil
  • when melted (cacao butter won’t melt as quick as commercial chocolate so don’t worry if it takes a little while) add the rest of the base ingredients and mix well
  • once mixed, pour into your slice pan
  • sprinkle topping over the base and freeze till set
  • remove from freezer and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting (store in the freezer in an airtight container).

CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES!!!!

This is where it gets fun! Mix it up, choose what you like, try new flavour combinations, let the kids choose things they love to add. Some of our favourite additions are:

  • crushed or chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, brazil & hazelnut all work well)
  • fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc)
  • Fresh or frozen fruits (or rinds – orange, lemon and lime rind is delicious!)
  • freeze dried fruits
  • dried fruits (pick organic and preservative free – a lot of dried fruits contain sulphites) – mango, banana, goji berries, inca berries, apples, etc
  • seeds (linseeds, pumpkin, chia, sunflower & sesame are all yum) – if kids aren’t a lover of seeds on top, grind a few tablespoons and add to your base!
  • Sea salt

TIPS:

  • Some shards may break off when cutting – don’t waste them use them to sprinkle in a coffee for some chocolaty goodness or add to warm milk for a hot chocolate
  • use a piece of chocolate with some warm coconut or almond milk for a  rich hot chocolate
  • melt some of the pieces to pour over homemade nicecream
  • melt some with a little extra coconut oil to make a chocolate dip for slices of fruit
  • Use in place of commercial chocolate in baking recipes!

Simple Nutritional Principles for Good Health!

  REALLY WHAT IS GOOD HEALTH?

You have probably heard the saying:

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food 

-Hippocrates-

But really, what does this mean?

Quiet simply it means the food we consume has the ability to nourish us, keep us healthy, and aid in the treatment and prevention of diseases and their symptoms. When we eat wholefoods from nature we are providing our bodies with the balance of macronutrients, micronutrients and phytonutrients it needs to work in its optimal state. Health after all is just this, the optimal functioning of the whole person: mind & body!

 “A Healthy Diet satisfies our physiological needs (energy & nutrients) while minimizing our exposure to harmful toxins/substances”

 – WITH THAT IN MIND – 

Let’s look at some simple nutritional principles, to aid us in reaching optimal functioning and good health!

THE DO’S:

  • Eat lots of fresh veggies every day – about 40% of your diet!
  • Eat lots of leafy greens – they contain lots of the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies detoxification pathways use, to help rid our bodies of toxins!
  • Eat a rainbow every day!  Lots of colour = lots of different vitamins & minerals
  • Eat quality protein every day – about 25% of your diet (with 60% plant-based: nuts, lentils, beans & seeds and 40% from good quality meats, fish & eggs)
  • About 10% of your diet should include whole grain carbohydrates – brown rice, quinoa, spelt, rye, oats and whole wheat all fall into this category.
  • Include 1-2 serves of fruit a day – they contain wonderful vitamins, minerals, fibre & antioxidants, but also fructose (“fruit sugar”) so enjoying, but not overindulging is the key!
  • Treats are ok – never feel guilty or restricted but do keep them to around 5% of the diet! And aim for treats that are made with wholefoods and are refined sugar/flour free!
  • Chew your food properly at every meal to aid digestion.
  • Spend time cooking – its not only therapeutic, but you’ll know what is going into your food, so you can take control of your health!
  • Drink lots of water! Dependent our our life stage our bodies are around 55 – 80% water!

THE DON’TS: 

  • Don’t be afraid of FATS – healthy fats that is! These include olive oil, avocado, coconut milk/cream, omega 3 fats like fish oil & flaxseed oil (about 12% of your diet).
  • Don’t eat on the run – practice mindful eating: take time to savor, enjoy and be present at your meal – it’s good for mind and body!
  • Stop eating take-away – its often full of hidden sugars, bad fats & is nutritionally poor in comparison to cooking your own meals.
  • Steer clear of highly processed/packaged foods – refined carbs (simple sugars) lurk in these, along with bad fats, preservatives, fillers and toxins. These foods cause inflammation in the body and can contribute to risk factors for disease. TIP: shop on the outer perimeter of the supermarket, this is where the wholefoods live!
  • Limit nutrient devoid treats (eg. potato chips & biscuit packets) – by making each mouthful nutrient dense you can increase energy levels, immunity & general health!
  • Don’t let the packaging of products fool you – their claims can often be misleading and confusing – read both the nutritional panel and ingredients list to ensure foods are as healthy as they claim! TIP: If it reads like a chemistry lab – it probably was made in one!

If your feeling overwhelmed by the confusing health messages thrown at us everyday and would like to learn more about EATING for OPTIMAL HEALTH.  CONTACT ME, I would love to help you on your WELLNESS JOURNEY and help you FLOURISH in GOOD HEALTH.