Cacao and Banana Smoothie

This smoothie makes a great breakfast or snack, and takes minutes to prepare. It works best if you peel and freeze the banana, to give it a thicker consistency.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds, etc.) 1 tbsp Lecithin granules (optional, not a raw ingredient)
  • 1 rounded tbsp ground raw Cacao Nibs (grind in coffee grinder)
  • 1 tbsp ground raw Cacao Powder 1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • Water as needed
  • 2 large peeled & frozen Bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup additional Cold Water or as needed for consistency.

Directions

  1. Grind nuts to a powder in blender
  2. Add lecithin (if using)
  3. Add cacao nibs and powder.
  4. Add enough water to cover blades of blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Add frozen banana slices and just enough water to blend.
  6. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  7. Scrape into a tall glass and drink immediately.
Enjoy!

Fatigue

Fatigued? Low Energy? Exhausted? Or Just Feeling Overall Lousy?

Fatigue, or low energy is one of the most common things that patients present with in practice. This is because of our busy and demanding lifestyles, as well as poor dietary choices and stress. Fatigue can come in many forms, from a general feeling of tiredness to not being able to get out of bed in the morning.

Some common causes of fatigue are:

  • Poor sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Adrenal Exhaustion
  • Nutrient Deficiencies
  • Infections – colds, flus, gastrointestinal bugs
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Allergy
  • Blood Sugar Irregularities
  • Hypothyroidism

Poor sleep is usually the main culprit, with problems ranging from trouble falling asleep or maintaining sleep to poor sleep quality where the body fails to go into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is where we do all of our rejuvenating.

Water is also very important, so next time you find yourself yawning why not reach for the water bottle?

Stress has a huge impact on our nervous system and adrenal glands. Initially stress will activate the adrenals to improve energy and reliance, but after time, as with chronic stress the adrenals have become overstimulated and then become under active, leading to fatigue and exhaustion. These types of people usually have trouble sleeping and have poor concentration.

The main nutrient deficiencies that are responsible for fatigue are the B vitamins, Iron and protein.

Infection leads to fatigue as the body is putting a lot of energy into fighting off these invaders. Some infections lay dormant and unnoticed, however they are still having a toll on your body and need investigation and treatment.

Candida overgrowth leads to fatigue but can also cause symptoms like thrush, agitation, moodiness (teary and emotional) and digestive upset. Candida needs to be treated by a qualified naturopath to reduce it effectively.

Allergy is also a major cause of fatigue, and treatment of allergy or removal of allergens can often reduce the load on the body and increase energy levels.

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland in under functioning. This can often be corrected with the use of nutritional and herbal medicine.

All of the problems mentioned above are usually easily resolved, so if you are fatigued contact your naturopath for an appointment.

To make an appointment to improve your energy levels, call 07 3367 0337 today!

You may like this related article: Boosting Energy Naturally

Causes of a Weakened Immune System

Our immune systems are made up of billions of cells, designed to fend off invaders and keep things balanced, so what happens when these cells get out of control?

Without proper functioning of our immune system we suffer from frequent colds, allergies, asthma, skin conditions and even autoimmune disease. So how does our immune system get out of control? Let’s look at some of the main causes of immune based issues.

 

Birth

Immune dysfunction can start right back to when you first entered this world. During a natural birth, babies pick up beneficial bifido bacteria from their mothers birth canal, which starts to build the delicate immune system via the digestive tract. This process is bypassed during a caesarean birth, where the baby is born via surgical removal from the abdomen.

In the last 10 years the Australian caesarean delivery rate has sky rocketed from one in five to one in every three births. This means that currently a third of Australian children are missing out on this immune building process.

Breastfeeding

Most people know that breast is best, however Australian breastfeeding rates have been shown to be as low as 14% after 6 months according to studies.

The very first thing that is produced by the breasts is colostrum, a rich mix of immunoglobulins that is designed to prime a baby’s immune system. Studies have shown that breastfeeding exclusively for at least 6 months reduces the risk of asthma, allergies, eczema and immune related illnesses such as tonsillitis, ear infections and bronchitis.

Most mothers attempt breastfeeding, although many have issues. It is thought that poor education and support with breastfeeding has lead to the low numbers of breastfeeding that we see in children today.

There are solutions to help bottle fed babies build their immune systems, and a good naturopath can help even the smallest of babies to have better immunity. For more information contact Katherine and ask her how she can help.

Hygiene hypothesis

You may have heard of the hygiene hypothesis, where an over-zealous approach to germ control has lead to a weakened immune system. Bacteria, fungus and parasitic organisms have co-inhabited with humans for all of time. They are present in our homes, our gardens and even in the air we breathe.

As we grow up, these organisms challenge our immune systems, helping it to improve its defenses. This is the reason why babies put everything in their mouths!

With a high use of antibacterial agents (take for example the many ads telling you to protect your family from germs), and the growing number of parents who are afraid to let their kids play in the dirt, we are seeing an increasing number of people with a reduced immunity, and the creation of super germs. It is interesting to note that the most dangerous organisms to our health are picked up in hospitals, where germ control is at the highest level possible.

Childhood illnesses and the hygiene hypothesis

Like environmental organisms, it would appear that childhood illnesses also have a key role in developing our immune function. Studies have shown that contracting conditions such as measles, hepatitis A and tuberculosis significantly reduces the risk of developing atopic diseases such as allergies, dermatitis and sinusitis later on in life. Why? Because these conditions help to challenge our immune systems, leading to the development of a stronger and more advanced immunity.

This then poses the question – are we over vaccinating our children? Gone are the days when parents would take their child to play with another child that has chickenpox, hoping that they would contract it too. Children are now being vaccinated against chickenpox, which means their immune systems have one less challenge to deal with. Vaccination is carried out for more conditions now than ever, and allergy rates are also higher than ever, perhaps there is a correlation?

Poor dietary choices

You are what you eat as the saying goes, so it makes sense that your diet has a huge impact on the proper functioning of your immune system.

We all know that vitamin C is needed for immune function, but did you know you also require good levels of zinc, bioflavonoids, vitamin A, iron, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, Omega 3, B vitamins and protein?

To get a good level of all of these things you need a varied diet with lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Want to know more about immune boosting foods? Read the article here.

Stress – the immune depressor

Once we are adults the biggest thing that affects our immunity besides our diet is stress. Stress can come in many forms, from a high workload, long hours, emotional issues, anxiety and poor sleep. Often there is more than one stress that can effect you at a time.

Stress has been shown to directly suppress immune function. What does this mean? It means that you will be more prone to picking up everything going around the office, and take longer to get over it than usual.

As well as suppressing immune function, stress has been shown to contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions. With autoimmune disease, your immune system gets confused and stages an attack on different parts of your body. Some examples are rheumatoid arthritis (joints), Hashimoto’s disease (thyroid), Crohn’s disease (intestines) and psoriasis (skin).

For stress busting techniques, read the article here.

Sleep

Did you know that while you are sleeping your immune system is working harder than while you are awake? This means that not getting enough sleep can lower your immunity significantly.

A good quality sleep should be 8 hours a night for an adult.
You should fall asleep within 10 minutes, sleep right through to the morning and have dreams that you remember on rising. If this doesn’t sound like you, get help today, naturopathy works well to quickly improve sleep, which will benefit immunity as well as your general energy levels and well being.

Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are great for detoxification and reducing inflammation in the body. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work well the first time, you may need to play with the ingredients to get it right for your taste.

In a blender, place:

  • 2 handfuls of any green leafies – baby spinach, mesculin lettuce, romaine lettuce, rocket, silverbeet, watercress…
  • 1 – 3 pieces of fruit – banana, pawpaw, kiwifruit, peaches, apricots, pineapple, berries etc.
  • A little water to make desired consistency.
Simply blend until super smooth and drink!

To get more out of your green smoothie, consider adding any of the following:

  • Spirulina – full of mineral and vitamins
  • LSA – for omega 3, fibre, minerals and protein
  • Flaxseed oil – for Omega 3
  • Lecithin – good for brain health and absorption of your good fats

Allergies

There are varying degrees of allergy, with the most severe form causing narrowing of the airways, or anaphylaxis, resulting in the inability to breath. This situation is life threatening and emergency treatment is needed immediately.

More commonly symptoms of allergy can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runnynose
  • Post nasal drip
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes or skin breakouts
  • Dandruff
  • Nasal polyps
  • Mouth ulcers
There are many causes of allergy, although some of the more common ones include:
  • Cats
  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Grasses
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Egg
  • Soy
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts

As a naturopath, Katherine uses a holistic approach in the treatment of allergy. The approach taken depends on the cause and severity of the allergy, although the following treatment aims apply:

  • Modulate the immune system. An allergy is an over-reaction of the immune system, so herbs and nutrients which control the immune response are used.
  • Reduce histamine production. Histamine is responsible for causing many of the symptoms associated with allergy, especially itching and redness.
  • Control symptoms by using herbs which reduce excess mucus, alleviate itching and promote healing
  • Reduce inflammation. By controlling inflammatory mediators in the body, herbs and nutrients help to cut off the inflammatory cascade that feeds an allergic response.
  • Assist with dietary management. By improving dietary habits we can ensure that the improvements made are longer lasting, to keep you feeling great longer!

Naturopathy is very effective in the treatment of allergy and allergic disorders, bringing fast and long lasting symptom control. The advantage of taking this approach is that the methods used promote the body to heal itself and therefore regulates the immune system so that you can be allergy free, even after stopping treatment.

For an appointment to find out how Katherine can help your allergies, call 07 3367 0337 or use the appointment request form here.

Antioxidant Health Benefits

Antioxidants; why we need them and where you get them from.

Antioxidant is a word that is thrown around a lot in food advertising these days – you hear about it in breakfast cereals, juices, and even now on chocolate! The hard part is deciding how to interpret this information – dark chocolate is high in antioxidants but the sugar content lowers it’s therapeutic capacity substantially, so you have to read between the lines.

Antioxidants are substances needed in the body to protect our cells and tissues from oxidative damage. Oxidative damage in the body can lead to tissue damage and has been linked to cardiovascular disease and aging. Antioxidants have a protective effect on cells, slowing the aging process and keeping our cells and organs healthy.

Antioxidants are found in many food sources but hormones, neurotransmitters and other compounds in the body also have antioxidant properties.

Some of the best sources of antioxidants include:
  • Green tea – especially with lemon juice added
  • Berries – especially blueberries, bilberries and blackberries
  • Green leafy vegies
  • Capsicum
  • Kiwifruit
  • Apples with skin
  • Pawpaw and pineapple
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato especially cooked with oil
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Goji berries
  • Red grapes
  • Red wine – especially pinot noir (in moderation of course)
  • Cocao / Cacao (raw cocoa)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Foods which are brightly coloured generally have a high antioxidant content, so aim for a rainbow on your plate!

Flu Fighting Recipes

Try these recipes to help fight the flu this winter!

Honey, lemon and ginger drink

Yes, an oldie but a goodie. For best results, stir the honey through once the drink is slightly cooled.

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp of honey

Cut lemon into pieces, put in a mug and crush slightly to release the juice. Add sliced ginger and pour boiled water over the top. Add honey last when cool.

Sore throat tea and gargle

  • Steep 1 tsp fresh or dried sage in one cup of hot water.
  • Once slightly cooled add honey and 1/2 tsp slippery elm.
  • Sip on the tea, gargling occasionally.

 

Immune boosting smoothie

High in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, this smoothie is both nutritious and delicious!
In a blender put:

  • a handful of blueberries
  • a handful of raspberries
  • 1/4 red paw paw – chopped
  • 1 kiwifruit – skin on
  • the juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
  • a little extra water
  • a handful of ice
  • 1 tsp or 1 broken capsule of probiotics (optional)

Blend until smooth

  • Add water until desired consistency.
  • Drink immediately.

For more information about colds and influenza, click here.

Colds, Flu’s, and Bacterial Infections. What is the Difference?

Winter is the time when our immune system is more vulnerable to catching the common cold and influenza. Both the common cold and influenza start out as a virus, which makes them very contagious. These viruses change year to year, with many different strains around each flu season.

The common cold is relatively harmless if your immune system is working correctly, and is usually short lived. Influenza virus however is much more dangerous, especially in the young and the elderly, and if not treated promptly can lead to severe illness and even death.

The common cold and antibiotics

Antibiotics are not effective against viruses – only bacteria, so they do not actually target the cause of the cold or flu – just the bacterial infection left behind, often presenting as mucous build up or a runny nose.

Antibiotics are harmful to your digestive and immune systems as they wipe out your beneficial digestive bacteria strains, such as lactobaccilus and bifidus. This leads to an imbalance in the digestive system which can cause bloating, indigestion and candida overgrowth.

In your digestive system there are 2-3kg of these bacteria, hanging in a delicate balance to perform many functions. Studies have shown that these bacteria have critical roles in modulating our immune system, reducing inflammation and allowing nutrient absorption in the intestine.

A good way to avoid antibiotic use is to visit your naturopath at the first signs of a cold or flu. Naturopathy helps by using herbs which support your immune system in fighting off the virus, as well as using specific antiviral herbs and nutrients that work quickly to resolve the illness. Symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, coughing, sinusitis and post nasal drip also respond well to naturopathic treatment, getting you feeling back to 100% quicker.

Antiviral foods

The following foods have antiviral properties:

  • Raw garlic
  • Spirulina

Antibacterial foods

These foods have antibacterial properties – great to use on a sore throat or for gastroenteritis

  • Raw unfiltered honey
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Coconut oil

Foods that boost the immune system

These foods are rich in immune boosting nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc and omega 3.

  • Lemons
  • Kiwifruit
  • Berries
  • Pineapple
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Flaxseeds
  • Onions
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Oysters
  • Shellfish

For great flu fighting recipes, click here.

To make an appointment, click here.

Clinical Weight Management Program

A natural weight management program individualised for you, because every body is different!

Katherine looks at weight loss as a state of imbalance. Her clinical weight loss program is different for every person that she sees as her clients are treated as individuals, not simply weight loss patients.

By completing a naturopathic weight management program with Katherine you will experience enormous benefit to your energy levels, concentration, moods and general well being, along with weight loss of course!

Katherine’s weight management program works to re-balance and replenish your body on an individual level. There may be underlying biochemical imbalances or health conditions contributing to your weight issues, which can only be brought to light by personalised assessment of your entire health.

Unlike an off the shelf program, a naturopathic weight loss plan is specifically designed for each individual. By applying her clinical expertise Katherine can tailor this program to meet your body’s own specific biochemical requirements, as well as your lifestyle.

Below are some answers to some common questions that people have about the program.

Why are Katherine’s Weight Management programs so effective?

Katherine’s clinical weight management programs are so effective because they:

  • Assesses your whole state of health, body, mind and soul
  • Treats causative factors to prevent regain of weight
  • Use nutrients and herbs which serve specific metabolic functions to assist with weight loss
  • Are individualised to meet the persons needs
  • Put steps in to place to ensure prolonged healthy weight management

What are some of the common reasons for weight gain that can be addressed with naturopathy?

An under functioning thyroid gland which slows metabolism
Blood sugar imbalances or insulin resistance

  • Depression, anxiety or mood swings which lead to emotional eating
  • Lack of exercise due to low energy or pain
  • Intake of the wrong types of foods
  • Too much of a particular food group
  • Genetic predisposition which favours weight gain
  • Food allergies and intolerances, which lead to fluid build up
  • Toxin build up which slows metabolism
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Menopausal hormonal shifts

As Katherine’s weight loss program is individualised, causative factors will be indentified and treated as a part of the program.

How long will it take before I notice weight loss?

Every person is unique so there is no way of knowing what kind of results you will have. Most people will begin to notice changes within 2 weeks, although if there is a health condition which needs to be addressed weight loss can take a little longer to occur.

How often do I have consultations with Katherine?

The first follow up consultation will be 2 weeks after your first consultation. Subsequent consultations are usually monthly, but may be more often if you have other health conditions that need to be evaluated.

What happens during my first consultation?

During your first consultation Katherine will:

  • Discuss the issues most important to you
  • Discuss the components of the Clinical Weight Management program
  • Set goals for you to work towards
  • Cover your health history
  • Cover your family history
  • Ask you questions about relevant body systems to gain a better understanding of your health status
  • Perform Nail and Tongue analysis, which verifies processes occurring in the body
  • Perform Iridology, which involves looking into the iris to determine the health of the body
  • Take your blood pressure
  • Refer you for any necessary blood testing
  • Talk about any medications that you take to ensure that treatments will not interact with them
  • Explain your health issues from a naturopathic perspective and discuss the implications of this
  • Make a tailored treatment plan to suit you, keeping your busy schedule and budget in mind
  • Give you tailored dietary advice, including recipes and handouts with guidelines to assist you
  • Provide ongoing support to ensure maximum efficacy of treatment

How will Katherine know what the cause of my weight gain is?

Katherine will establish the cause of your weight issues by taking a thorough case history, but may also order blood or other testing to evaluate your health so that she can develop the most effective treatment plan for you.

What products does Katherine use?

Katherine uses only high quality practitioner only products sourced from reputable companies.

Katherine will often use high strength liquid herbal medicines to formulate a treatment specific for you, or quality nutritional supplements which support the weight loss process.

Of course, dietary advice will also be given to help you get the most out of the program.

How much does a consultation cost?

An initial consultation and assessment with Katherine is $97, and will take one hour. Natural remedies supplied are also at your cost, and will vary depending on your individual needs.

HI-CAPS is available for on the spot claims with participating health funds.

I’m ready to try an integrated approach to weight loss. How can I make an appointment?

Making an appointment is easy, simply call 07 3367 0337 or book via email using the form here.

Boost Your Imune System Naturally

As we all know that with winter comes the cold and flu season. Although a flu shot may protect you against certain strains of the influenza virus, the best defense against both influenza and the common cold is your immune system.

The immune system is complex, including different armys of cells to identify invaders and activate other cells, as well as cells to fight the invader and clean up and debris they leave behind. A cold or flu usually begins with a viral attack, which then leads to a lowered immune system, allowing bacterial overgrowth and flu-like symptoms. It is therefore important to act quickly upon the first sign of infection, as this will help to reduce cold duration and severity.

Some simple things that you can do to strengthen your immume system are:

  • Eat a varied diet high in vitamin C and antioxidant rich foods such as blueberries, strawberries, bilberries, raspberries, blackberries, lemons, oranges, onions, kiwifruit, broccoli, red cabbage, capsicum, chilli, garlic, ginger, Brazil nuts, spinach, grapefruit, beetroot, carrots and sweet potato.
  • As soon as you feel the start of a cold, eat 2 cloves of raw garlic a day with food, swallowed whole if possible. Garlic is anti-viral and improves immune function.
  • Have lemon, ginger and honey tea. Yes, this old remedy works as the ginger loosens mucous, the lemon is high in vitamin C and bioflavovoids which increase immune function, and honey is antibacterial and soothing to the throat. To make put a few thin slices of ginger root in a cup, pour hot water over, squeeze 1/4 lemon juice in plus the skin and 1 teaspoon raw honey. Seep until cool enough to drink.
  • Avoid sugar. Sugar gives bacteria something to feed on an weakens the immune system.
  • Avoid getting cold – read outlines above.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water. Keeping hydrated is an important part of the healing process. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day.
  • REST. Rest allows the body to repair itself so by resting you will shorten the duration of your cold.
    Take quality nutritional supplements at the right dose for best results. Vitamin C, bioflavonoids and zinc are important for improving immune function.
  • Herbs that can also be of use here include Echinacea, Andrographis and Siberian ginseng to strengthen the immune system. Specific herbs to treat syptoms are also useful to reduce the duration of your cold.
  • NOTE: Alkylamides are the active constituents in Echinacea which give it its immune boosting properties. Alkylamides are only present in the root of the Echinacea plant when extracted correctly. Most over the counter Echinacea products use the leaf, flower and aerial parts of the plant as these are cheaper and more readily available. Read labels to ensure you are getting the root of the plant.
  • Acute doses of herbal medicine are very effective in reducing cold duration and improving symptoms, ask Katherine to find out more.
  • Steam inhalations can be useful to relieve symptoms, and are easily made by inhaling a hot infusion or adding a couple of drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot water, then covering head with a towel over the bowl. Use an infusion of elderflower for clear, thin mucous, fenugreek infusion for thick mucous, a couple of drops of thyme oil for an unproductive cough or yellow/green mucous, and the more well know eucalyptus oil to clear the throat and sinuses.

Practitioner strength herbal medicines work best for combating colds and flus and getting you better sooner. Call 07 3367 0337 for your appointment or use the form here.