FOMO: Is It Ruling Your Life?

FOMO: FEAR OF MISSING OUT

There is now a very real mental health risk associated with our fear of missing out. The rise of social media, booming technology and our constant ‘connectedness’, is contributing to rises in anxiety, depression, self-doubt, compromised confidence and changes in our social behaviours and communication.

I switched off & learnt to shut down the FOMO!

I am not immune to this new phenomenon, using daily social media to stay connected with friends, family and business. It’s actually BECAUSE of SOCIAL MEDIA, I can have friends all over the country & my business can flourish.

Social Media is not evil or the enemy, it just needs to NOT be used at the expense of true “real life” connections. Have you ever looked at your screentime on your device?

No?

You might want to take a little look! You might be surprised at how much of your day, week, month is actually used on your device!! I WAS!!!! And some (well lets face it!) a lot of time, was at the expense of time with my family & my mental health!

I found myself:

✘ committing to things I didn’t want to do

✘spending money I didn’t have

✘surrounding myself with people I really didn’t want to be with

✘using social media to escape feelings or kids

✘wasting countless hours scrolling through a news feed I really couldn’t tell you what was on it!!

BECAUSE MY FEAR I MIGHT MISS OUT ON SOMETHING WAS RULING MY LIFE!

A CHALLENGE WAS SET 47.5 HOURS WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

I was to go from 8pm Friday Night till 7.30pm Sunday night, with no social media! Why the odd hours? Why not a full 48 hours?

I had a facebook live training scheduled for 7.30pm on the Sunday Night and I didn’t want to miss out!!!!!!!!!

Can you see it? Yes, I set a challenge to prove that FOMO didn’t rule my life and without realising (until now) the parameter was set around my fear of missing out!!!

Now this challenge was not easy, don’t get me wrong! I found my finger hovering over the facebook button a number of times. Once or twice, I even hit the button, however I closed it before it had a chance to load.

Another, time I was chatting to hubby, when I looked down and facebook had loaded. I had no recollection of tapping the App. However, there it was sitting open and I HAD NO IDEA HOW. Again I closed it without looking at anything.

Or the time I sat thinking “if I jump on hubby’s phone and facebook no-one will know I broke my challenge” (It was only a thought – I didn’t look!).

What have I achieved? A realisation about how much I rely on that little app, to fill time, distract my mind and feel connected to my world! How I had lost the ability to connect with myself and my world around me, to be ok with being with me!

And GUESS WHAT? It’s 12pm on Monday Morning and I am yet to actually open facebook – YES I missed my live training – I’ll watch the replay! I’ve survived 64+ hours without social media and I haven’t missed out, the world has not ended, the walls didn’t fall in!!!!!!!

So what did I learn?

“Nature is good for the soul”

Saturday morning was spent bush walking with my husband. Watching him take photos of the waterfall & nature, enjoying his company, conversation & photography passion. There was something about being still and taking time out, that allowed me space to learn to be okay with being quite & with myself!

This time out provided invaluable lessons:

“There is clarity in the calm”

“Sometimes we surround ourselves with ‘busy’, because we don’t want to be with ourselves”

“Connecting with those we love, can help us remember how to love ourselves”

“Being with yourself is hard, but very necessary. It brings understanding, strength & guidance”

“We need to listen to both what people say & don’t say – there is a beautiful space in between the words – where peace can be found”

“Being truly present takes time & practice – without guilt!”

“We cannot simply do all the stuff – all the time and this is OK”

“Life happens everyday, every moment NOT TO US – we need to live it”

“Each new breath is a new beginning – you can start again & again multiple times daily”

“There is a beautiful strength in vulnerability & accepting what is, letting go of what was & having faith it what’s to come”

What’s this challenge changed? I have made a promise to myself, to alter the way I use social media. To remember to switch off regularly and be gentle with myself! Because I am human, a work in progress. Sometimes I’ll get it wrong, THAT’s OK!!! I may just need to remind myself, of all the benefits I tell others about self care & mindfulness.

WHAT WILL YOU DO TODAY TO SWITCH OFF & GET CONNECTED WITH THE WORLD AROUND YOU?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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