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Why it’s important to love your bacteria

For many years we have been taught to avoid bacteria, as ‘germs’ are the source of infection and therefore illness. While this is true to a point, the reality is far more complex than previously understood.

The human body – as we may well know- is a very complex organism. Even more complex though, are the bugs that inhabit the body. There are actually 10 times as many bacterial cells on and in a human than there are human cells!! And what is even more fascinating is that the bacterial world is like any other ecosystem, where numbers of one bacteria support the levels of another, and too many of one type, may crowd out others. If one group starts to get out of hand, it can force out another group and disrupt the balance of the colony. It is important to keep all of the members of the colony happy. Even though some bacteria do not confer a directly positive health effect, they help another type of bacteria to do their job, and so are necessary for overall health.

We are starting to learn more about how what we do in our lives affects our bacterial colonies. The foods that we eat (or don’t eat), the medications that we take, our exercise and sleep patterns can all have an effect on the types and numbers of bacteria that live in the different parts of our bodies.

fruit"

A diet high in fruits and vegetables will help keep your bacteria happy!

 

You have probably heard news of how antibiotics can reduce beneficial bacterial numbers and allow the overgrowth of less beneficial bacteria (such as in antibiotic associated thrush – a candida albicans overgrowth). Other medications can also affect the gut flora. For example, the oral contraceptive pill can alter the delicate microbial balance, leaving you – the host – with a colony that looks less than ideal.

In addition, the composition and quality of your diet will have a great impact on your gut flora. Bacteria require lots of fibre to feed on to survive – that means that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is going to help to keep your bacteria happy (what a surprise!) Remember – when you feed your body, you are feeding your flora too!

The direction of influence is not a one-way street though. The flora in our bodies can impact our health and change the way we live our lives, just in the same way that what we do can influence bacterial health. Gut flora has numerous affects on the health of its host, including the breakdown of food for absorption, the production of certain vitamins such as vitamins K and B12 and stimulating our immune system.

Furthermore, your gut flora can affect how much sex steroid hormone (such as oestrogen or testosterone) is floating around in your body and can even influence your appetite and food choices! Some studies have found that when a patient receives the flora (bacteria) from an overweight or obese person (such as in faecal transplants – yes, it’s true!), the recipient also becomes obese within a short period of time. Other studies show that bacteria have a way of ‘talking’ to our nervous systems and telling us which foods to choose and helping us to identify when we are full. Ensuring that our gut flora is in a healthy balance is essential to good health.

If you are not sure if your current diet supports healthy gut flora, or whether your flora are working with, or against you, an appointment with one of our naturopaths will help get your gut back on track and keep your bugs happy and healthy.

Gemma Martin – Naturopath
Bachelor of Naturopathy

Which juicer is best?

Fresh juices introduce a very high yield of nutrients and phytochemicals and they come with their own enzymes for fast assimilation. They also assist those with an impaired digestion where nutrient absorption from whole foods is impaired. Fresh juices can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream so are a fast way to deliver nutrient dense energy. Fresh juice is far superior to store bought juice, which is why having a juicer is beneficial.

Fresh juices contain enzymes that are beneficial for digestion. Juices that are not made fresh, which are bottled or canned will not oxidise.  This is because the juice has been heated to deactivate all the enzymes by a process called pasteurisation. Juicing allows you to enjoy a wide variety of vegetables that you may not enjoy eating whole and also a good way to consume the recommended daily serving of vegetables.

There is not one perfect juicer for everyone because fruits and vegetables have vastly different properties.  The juicing method that is effective for one may not work while juicing the other.   Fruits, have soft cell walls, and therefore require a gentle extraction method. Apples, pears, watermelon, rock melon and pineapple are some of the fruits that can be juiced with the peels intact.  Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, mandarines, lemons) have a bitter outer rind, and juicing them whole would be too bitter to drink and also contains indigestible chemicals. You can grate away the outer rind (coloured part) while leaving the pith (white part).

Vegetables have fibrous or tougher cell walls that requiring more mechanical juicing action than fruit.  Due to their low acid content, it is recommended that vegetable juices be consumed within 15 minutes of their preparation. It has been demonstrated that enzyme activity in juice 30 minutes old is one-half that of freshly made juice. When apple or carrot juice turns brown, it has oxidised.  Ideally juices are made from raw organic fruits and vegetables.

General factors to consider when looking for a juicer

Purpose: What will you be using the juicer for? Mostly fruit, mostly vegetables, grasses and leafy greens, or everything?

RMP rating: A low RMP is considered preferable. Juicers with higher RPM ratings create heat and impact shock, destroying enzyme and nutrient content in the juice.

Powerful motor: A low-powered motor will vibrate, make noise, sometimes overheat, and eventually burn out.

Quiet operation: Some juicers can be very loud depending on the RPM and motor quality.

A range of juicing abilities: It is important to select a juicer that will process the widest range of health-promoting herbs, plants, vegetables and fruits, or is specific for your individual requirements.

Parts: What materials are the components made from? Can they be cleaned in a dishwasher?

Health benefits: Enzyme and nutritional content, shelf life, yield.

Easy to operate: Not all juicers are the same when it comes to ease of operation and cleaning. High RPM juicers need more frequent juicing and cleaning sessions are required because their juice rapidly loses nutritional value and has to be consumed immediately.

Additional benefits to consider: What else can it do? Does it have useful accessories and attachments included? Can it make other things like pasta, nut butters, desserts, baby food etc.? Does it come with a warranty?

Type 1: Twin Gear

These juicers have two gears that press the juice out of the produce. The screws (also known as augers) turn at 90-110 rpm. The produce is pushed into the two gears, which first shreds, and then squeezes the produce. These are best for juicing vegetables since these machines rely on the fibrous cell wall to push the pulp through the machine and they will also juice wheatgrass. These machines require some pressure to feed the produce into the machine. Some brands are also able to homogenise. This is important if you wish to make things like raw apple sauce, fruit sorbets, nut butters, or baby food.

 

Twin Gear Juicer

Twin Gear Juicer

 

Pros

  • Well-suited to juicing leafy greens, grasses, sprouts and herbs
  • Higher juice yield
  • Juice lasts longer with enzyme integrity keeping for up to 72 hours
  • Lower speeds means less heat is generated, preserving more nutrients and enzymes
  • Minimal juice separation and foaming
  • Some models offer other food processing functions, such as being able to make nut milk, nut butter, sorbet, pasta and ice cream
  • Pressing action is quiet.
  • Cold pressed juicers extract 35% more juice out of produce

Cons

  • Higher initial cost
  • Longer food preparation, as smaller food pieces are required for their narrow chutes
  • Slightly higher pulp in juice

Type 2: Masticating (single gear)

It operates at lower speed via a masticating or cold press method which doesn’t disrupt cellular structure. This slowness preserves enzymes and nutrients and reduces oxidation. Juice yield is higher than with centrifugal and makes drier expelled pulp.

In contrast to the rough extraction and high speeds of centrifugal juicers, cold press juicers operate at lower speeds and gently compress fruit and vegetables to squeeze out their juice. While more costly, their slower and more thorough extraction rates produce a higher-quality juice, and higher yield. Cold pressed juicers operate at lower speeds (usually around 70-80 rpm), keeping heat generation to a minimum. This produces a better tasting juice with minimal foam and separation and also means that the beneficial enzymes and nutrients are retained.

 

Masticating Juicer

Masticating Juicer

 

Pros

  • Well-suited to juicing leafy greens, grasses, sprouts and herbs
  • Higher juice yield
  • Juice lasts longer with enzyme integrity keeping for up to 72 hours
  • Lower speeds means less heat is generated, preserving more nutrients and enzymes
  • Minimal juice separation and foaming
  • Some models offer other food processing functions, such as being able to make nut milk, nut butter, sorbet, pasta and ice cream
  • Pressing action is quiet.
  • Cold pressed juicers extract 35% more juice

Cons

  • Higher initial cost
  • Longer food preparation, as smaller food pieces are required for their narrow chutes
  • Slightly higher pulp in juice

Type 3: Centrifugal

Centrifugal juicers are commonly available and are the cheapest type to purchase. These machines initially extract juice by pulverising fruit and vegetables against a round cutting blade that spins very quickly against a metal strainer. The centrifugal force generated by the spinning motion of the cutting surface separates the juice from the pulp. It uses a grater or shredder disc and a strainer basket with straight sides to hold the pulp in the machine.  The shredder disk is at the bottom of the basket, which revolves at a high speed (3600 rpm). Produce is put into the top of the machine, and it pressed through a chute, hits the spinning shredder disc, while the produce is being shred, juice is released.  The basket spins at a high speed and force pushes the juice through the strainer basket and then out of the front of the machine while the pulp stays inside. This style of juicer can make 500ml before the juicer must be stopped, and the pulp must be removed before further juicing can take place.  This is not a continuous juicing appliance. This juicer is good for juicing most fruits and vegetables.

 

Centrifugal Juicer

Centrifugal Juicer

 

Pros

  • Fast juicing time
  • Cheaper to purchase
  • Easy to use
  • Reduces food preparation time as many accept larger fruit and vegetable pieces

Cons

  • Not well-suited to juicing leafy greens, grasses, sprouts and herbs
  • Yields less juice (produces a wet pulp)
  • Reduced juice quality due to fast spinning blades producing heat that destroy beneficial enzymes
  • Higher juice separation and foaming
  • Noisy because of the grinding and cutting action

Additional Information

In between juicing you can run some water through the juicer to rinse it. It is recommended that you rinse and clean your juicer as soon as you’ve finished using it. When you get into a routine of cleaning your juicer it’s quite easy to keep clean and ready to use.

Alkaline forming fruits and vegetables should form the largest part of your juicing produce. Alkaline fruits are: lemon, lime, avocado, tomato, grapefruit, and rhubarb. Watermelon is neutral. All other fruits are acid forming.

Alkaline vegetables are: asparagus, artichokes, cabbage, lettuce, onion, cauliflower, radish, swede, peas, zucchini, red cabbage, leeks, watercress, spinach, turnip, chives, carrot, green beans, beetroot, garlic, celery, grasses (wheat, straw, barley, kamut etc.), cucumber, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, sprouts (soy, alfalfa, mung bean, wheat, little radish, chickpea, broccoli etc.).

After regularly consuming freshly pressed vegetable juices, which are highly alkalising, you will experience improved energy levels, digestion and mental clarity, clearer skin, and an overall sense of wellbeing.

Blending and Juicing

The difference between juicing and blending is a juicer extracts juice without the pulp, where a blender blends everything into a purée. Pulp is the fibrous content of the produce which slows down digestion time and is beneficial for the colon microbiota as this feeds the good bacteria which in turn benefits your immune system. Slower digestion time reduces the glycemic index or GI and this is going to be beneficial for diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions.

The fibre or pulp content reduces nutrient absorption however, and requires enzymes to digest it which in turn consumes more energy. Blended foods will also include chemical pesticides unless organic food is sourced. For foods not able to be organically sourced it is best to peel them (particularly waxed fruit or veggies). For root vegetables (e.g. carrots, beetroot) trim the above ground ends and they can be cleansed by blanching prior to juicing (blanching= dropped into boiling water for a minute or so). Blenders use high speed spinning that causes oxidation and can destroy enzymes. They are not the best for high iron content foods that oxidize quickly. Lemon can be added to reduce this but you will need to consider taste.

Juicing produces very high nutrient availability and this promotes healing but may also give healing crisis during juicing detoxes. Detoxification also known as ‘healing crisis’ may be a side effect of juicing for people new to juicing. While for some people this sign of impending good health is wonderful, others may not have the time needed to allow for this process. The process is where old symptoms or patterns of the past may arise transiently or you may experience new symptoms. As healing happens from the inside out, from the top down and from major to minor organs/systems or in reverse order of symptom pattern, you can observe the transition.

To limit or reduce the experience of a healing crisis (for the time challenged) smaller measures are taken over a longer time. You may consider combining your juices into a blender to get benefits of both.

Other important things to remember are to include plenty of water when juicing. Water helps to cleanse and remove wastes from our system. Lemon will loosen and bring out mucus and is good for liver cleansing. Lemon is not acidic to the body, it is alkaline.

Fasting

You may want to consider a juice fast. Fasting causes the liver to convert glycogen stores to glucose and energy. Body fat can be used to ATP but it cannot generate or reform glucose which is needed to supply the brain and central nervous system. Proteins are broken down and used to produce this glucose. In order to prevent protein catabolism, juicing can supply the glucose needed instead. With juice fasting there is less ketosis (byproducts of fat metabolism) which can prevent toxic build up during the fast.

When NOT to fast: pregnant, nursing, underweight, fatigue, low immunity, low blood pressure, colder weather, nutritionally deficient.

Raw foods are very yin and so an excess of this is not recommended for people with excess yin conditions. Ensure in this case to include plenty of cooked warming foods in the diet to balance out the raw food intake. You may use your blender to make purée soups for example.

Certain types of fruits and vegetables can also assist with particular health conditions or be used for target specific organ cleansing.

Fruit juices:

Apple – liver, intestines

Black cherry- colon, menstrual problems, gout

Citrus – cardiovascular disease, obesity, haemorrhoids, varicose veins

Grape – colon, anaemia

Lemon – liver, gall bladder, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, colds

Paw paw – stomach, indigestion, haemorrhoids, colitis

Pear – gall bladder

Pineapple- allergies, arthritis, inflammation, oedema, haemorrhoids

Watermelon – kidneys, oedema

Vegetable juices:

Beetroot – blood, liver, menstrual problems, arthritis

Beetroot greens – gall bladder, liver, osteoporosis

Cabbage – colitis, ulcers

Carrot s- eyes, arthritis, osteoporosis

Celery – kidneys, diabetes, osteoporosis

Comfrey – intestines, hypertension, osteoporosis

Cucumber – oedema, diabetes

Garlic – allergies, colds, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, high fats/high cholesterol, diabetes

Jerusalem artichokes – diabetes

Leafy greens – cardiovascular disease, skin, eczema, digestive problems, obesity, breath

Parsley – kidneys, oedema, arthritis

Potatoes – intestines, ulcer

Radish – liver, high cholesterol, obesity

Spinach – anaemia, eczema

Watercress – anaemia, liver intestines, breath

For weight loss include:

More of: grapefruit, lemon, cucumber, greens, parsley, spinach

Less of: apples, grapes, oranges, carrots

 

Makensi Caldwell – Certified Bodytalk & Holographics Practitioner, Bachelor of Nutritional Medicine

Self-sabotage

Why do we repeatedly do the stuff we know we don’t want to do?

You wanted to give up chocolate and there you were a couple of days later sneaking a square or two, which turns into a row or two! GRRRR don’t go there!!

You wanted to drink less wine. It was going okay at the start of the week but then you had a stressful day at work and you couldn’t wait to pour a wine that evening. It felt so good you had another and another.

Even more annoying is that the answer is really simple – we repeatedly do the stuff we know we don’t want to do because our subconscious is SO powerful.

The subconscious mind makes up 95% of our mind, which means that the conscious mind – yes the one that we think is so clever – is just 5%! And to make matters worse we operate out of our subconscious mind 95% of the time.

If there is a limiting belief, a trapped emotion or an unwanted habit in our subconscious mind it will win out over our conscious thoughts EVERY time. It’s a no-brainer; 95% versus 5% – the little guy doesn’t stand a chance.

 

Self sabotage

If you think you have no willpower, the universe will prove it to you time and time again.

 

The subconscious mind is the habitual mind. It downloads habits and patterns directly. It’s great for driving the car without thinking about it and we don’t have to consciously remember to breathe – especially whilst we are asleep. There are a lot of positives to these downloads.

To compound the downloaded patterns and habits our thoughts are incredibly powerful. Say you have trouble with your weight – you diet and lose weight and then a little while later the wheels fall off and you put on more weight. This yo-yoing keeps happening throughout your life. Then you start to think ‘Sure I can lose weight, but I always put it back on and then some’ so that belief sinks into your mind and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The belief that it’s hard for you to keep weight off becomes your reality.

So that’s the problem, but what about the solution? Here we are talking about the power of the mind so we should be ridiculously optimistic and surrounded by positive affirmations, right? What’s with all this limiting, negative chat?

Your subconscious loves you unconditionally. All it wants to do is keep you alive and show you how clever you are. If you think you have no willpower, the universe will prove it to you time and time again. It just wants to show you that you are right. If you think you don’t deserve to be successful your subconscious will attract experiences to back that thought up! Henry Ford said it best when he said ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right’.

So what we need here is to have the subconscious mind on board with our conscious goals and wishes. If both minds are aligned then our thoughts, beliefs and patterns are powerful in the way that we want them to be.

The trick is that these two minds don’t speak exactly the same language. You need to translate your chosen beliefs into a language the subconscious mind can understand. When it truly hears what you are asking, the subconscious mind is SUPER co-operative! Remember it just wants to make you happy and show you how clever you are. So get it on board with your goals and wishes and your potential is absolutely limitless.

A very effective way to communicate to your subconscious is using PSYCH-K, a modality that combines psychology, and all your beliefs, with kinesiology or muscle testing. It balances your chosen beliefs into whole brained state making them powerful and working for you.

Liz Champtaloup – Holistic Hypnotherapist, Advanced PSYCH-K Facilitator, EFT Practitioner, Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy

Do you have hypothyroidism?

Are you tired or moody? Do you have difficulty losing weight, constipation or dry skin? Is your memory failing you? These are all common symptoms of hypothyroidism, or an under active thyroid gland. Up to 15% of the people have an under active thyroid gland, with many people going undiagnosed.

However it’s not always black and white, different people will present with different symptoms.

If you have hypothyroidism you may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Chronic fatigue or low energy
  • Depression or feeling melancholy and/or anxiety
  • Constipation or harder stools
  • Puffy face and eyelids
  • Memory loss, confusion, brain fog
  • Weight gain that is difficult to lose
  • Dry coarse skin
  • Intolerance to temperatures, hot or cold
  • Menstrual issues
  • Infertility/ recurrent miscarriage
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Tinnitus
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loos of libido
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced sweating

So what exactly is the thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly shaped gland that sits just over your wind pipe in the middle of the throat. The thyroid gland has the job of regulating every tissue and organ in the body. Your thyroid controls your metabolism, moods, digestion, hormone balance, energy levels and much, much more.

How do I know if I have a thyroid problem?

As well as evaluating your symptom picture, there are several tests that may be useful to determine if your thyroid is under functioning.

TSH

TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone, is secreted by the body to stimulate the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones. The higher the TSH, the more the body is trying to encourage the thyroid to work harder. A high TSH indicates a lowered thyroid function.

TSH is a poor indicator of thyroid function, as it doesn’t really take into account the whole picture. Unfortunately this is the gold standard that doctors use to check thyroid function, and if you are ‘in range’ then you are dismissed as being normal.

T4 and T3

T4 and T3 are your actual thyroid hormones. T4, the inactive form, coverts into T3, which is the hormone used to regulate tissues in the body. You need to have adequate levels of both T4 and T3 in order for your thyroid to function optimally. By testing T4 and T3, we can assess if there is a problem with hormone production or the conversion of T4 to T3. There are different nutrients involved at each stage, so we are able to gain insight into nutrient deficiencies and know what to prescribe based on these results.

Reverse T3

Reverse T3 occurs when T3 ‘flips’ into a reverse form. Reverse T3 attaches to receptors and prevents T3 from binding to them. Checking for reverse T3 is important as your T3 could be normal, however if you have high reverse T3 then you will still have an underactive thyroid. Reverse T3 is not recognized by most doctors as being important, however we find it an essential part of the picture when evaluating someone with hypothyroidism.

Thyroid autoantibodies

Thyroid autoantibodies can show if there is are immune factors that could be causing an autoimmune thyroiditis called Hashimoto’s disease. In Hashimoto’s, your immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to dysfunction. Autoimmune thyroid problems require different treatment to standard hypothyroidism, so it is important that this is ruled out.

Cholesterol

Unknown to many, often the cause of high cholesterol levels is hypothyroidism. In fact, high cholesterol was previously used by doctors as an indicator of hypothyroidism. This was before the introduction of statin drugs, which it seems are the only thing that are looked at when a cholesterol issue arises. The problem with this is that you could end up on cholesterol lowering drugs, while the underlying cause is not rectified.

Nutritional testing

There are many nutrients involved in thyroid function. A deficiency in any of these nutrients can cause hypothyroidism to occur.

  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Iodine
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Tyrosine (an amino acid)

Urinary Iodine

Iodine is needed to make your thyroid hormones – T4 and T3. Iodine deficiency is a major cause of hypothyroism. Iodine is best tested through the urine, this test can be ordered through the clinic.

Hair mineral analysis

A hair mineral analysis can assess mineral levels in the body, as well as how your body is functioning. There are also many heavy metals that can inhibit thyroid function, so it is worthwhile ruling out this.

What treatment options are available?

Thankfully, there are many herbs and nutrients that have been clinically proven to improve thyroid function. If you have a suspected thyroid problem, seeing one of our naturopaths is a good first step. First we’ll make sure you have all of the right testing done, and then we’ll develop a treatment plan based on your individual symptom picture. Our naturopaths have helped hundreds of patients to overcome hypothyroidism so that they can get their mojo back.

Acupuncture is also a good option for those with thyroid problems, from a TCM perspective. Treatment can include a combination of acupuncture, herbs and nutrition in those with severe or chronic thyroid problems.

To make an appointment or to discuss treatment options with out team, call us on 07 3367 0337 and we’ll be happy to help.

thyroid gland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why see a hypnotherapist at BNH?

If you are trying to make changes without the power of your subconscious mind then you are making your life a whole lot harder than it needs to be!

Your subconscious mind makes up 95% and your conscious mind is just 5% of your mind! If you can access the power of your subconscious mind why wouldn’t you? Working with the subconscious is a holistic, safe and powerful way to make lasting change.

We consciously use 5% of our minds and 95% is subconscious. Changing the subconscious has a huge impact on how you feel.

About the Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind uses a different language to the conscious mind. The subconscious is the habitual mind where patterns are laid down – and played back whenever they are needed or triggered. The conscious mind is the analytical mind.

It is the subconscious mind that keeps you alive. So that when you sleep at night you remember to breath and all those other vital functions. Believe it or not your subconscious mind LOVES you & just wants the best for you.

But the subconscious speaks a different language to the conscious mind, so you need to speak the language of the subconscious to be able to update any limiting beliefs or undesired habits. Otherwise your message doesn’t get through to the subconscious or worse still it can be heard as the opposite of what you meant!

All your subconscious wants is for you to be safe and happy and alive. But it doesn’t analyse your beliefs and habits. Sometimes things happen in life and the emotions, patterns and beliefs that form your response can get stuck in your body or your subconscious. Most likely they served you at the time…but they may have out stayed their purpose.

The good news is that change doesn’t need to be difficult! There are several ways to access the power of your subconscious mind and update the software that no longer serves you. Our hypnotherapist Jan Sky has over 20 years experience in ‘subconscious whispering’, helping to identify what is driving your thoughts and behaviors so you release what you don’t need and move forward with your life.

As well as using hypnotherapy Jan can use counseling or coaching in her sessions with you. It’s about identifying what will give you the best results and developing a treatment pathway to get you there.

It really doesn’t matter what you want to change, working with the subconscious can literally empower anything! The more well known reasons for using hypnotherapy include:

  • Weight management
  • Fears and phobias
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Depression
  • Smoking
  • Lack of motivation
  • Low self confidence
    …but the list is limitless!

If you’re ready to change your mind to change your life, call us on 3367 0337 to book a hypnotherapy appointment at our Brisbane clinic today.