Seven Superfoods to Incorporate in Your Daily Diet

Posted by Rita Texeira on 5 March 2015
Seven Superfoods to Incorporate in Your Daily Diet

One of the easiest and fastest ways to make a difference to your health is to incorporate more superfoods into your diet. Packed with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, superfoods give you the energy and boost you need to make lifelong positive changes.

What's more you can probably find many of them in your fridge or pantry. To get you started, here is a list of seven superfoods that can easily be included in your daily diet.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with Phytoflavinoids and antioxidants, and they are also a good source of potassium and vitamin C.   They are anti-inflammatory and can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease.  Include them in your smoothies and fruit salads or enjoy them on their own.  Other fruits in the berry family are beneficial as well.

2. Almonds

One superfood you can't go past is the versatile almond.  This little nut is rich in Vitamin E, which is great in fending off free radicals; potassium that is great for the heart as well as lowering your systolic blood pressure. They are also a good source of Vitamin B2, which is great for propping up energy levels.

3. Quinoa

The most mispronounced grain out there.  Pronounced KeenWah, these little grains are filled with iron, fibre, protein and is gluten-free.  It has a high phosphorous content that is good for growing teeth and It also contains magnesium that aids in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

The Vitamin E and Selenium content assists in weight control and also to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.  As an added bonus it's easy on the taste buds with a nice nutty flavour. If you can cook rice, then you can cook quinoa.  Add it to your salads, veggies or just enjoy it on its own.

4. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds, like quinoa, contain amino acids and protein, and they have even more Omega-3's than flaxseed. Chia seeds expand in water and liquid, so they also expand in your stomach, helping you feel fuller and more hydrated for longer.

Loaded with antioxidants, Chia seeds are soothing and cleansing in the digestive tract. For some people, Chia Seeds have instant benefits, making them feel great as soon as they have eaten them.

5. Kale

Kale has more antioxidants than many other fruits and vegetables.  It's packed with calcium, iron and has lots of fibre in those leafy greens.  It can be added to stir fries, juices and smoothies or eaten as chips, a healthy alternative to salt and fat-laden potato chips!

6. Oats

Mum was onto something when she insisted you eat your oats for breakfast.  Sometimes called the brain food, its low GI and will stave off hunger.

It has been proven to assist in lowering cholesterol, boost metabolism and also helps with digestion.  It's packed with antioxidants and other nutrients and it's high in fibre. Not only is it a great breakfast, it can be added to baking, is a great filler in patties and can be toasted and sprinkled on yoghurt.

7. Garlic

Garlic has long been known for its medicinal properties.  We know it adds great flavour to food, but this strong smelling bulb is also widely used to treat ailments ranging from heart disease, yeast infections, high blood pressure, some cancers and male prostate problems.

While the strong odour can be off-putting to many, the benefits are too good to ignore.  It is claimed that chewing on some fresh parsley will take away the garlic odour, so go ahead and enjoy.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the superfoods available to get you started on a healthier 2015. Start including these in your daily meals, and you will soon notice the difference.

Posted in: Nutrition Weightloss Healthy Eating Superfood Diet Health  

10 natural weight loss tips to get in shape for summer

Posted by Rita Texeira on 8 February 2015
10 natural weight loss tips to get in shape for summer

With summer in full swing and a New Year, now is the perfect time to put your newly found motivation to good use and shed those extra 'festive' kilos. To help you on your weight loss journey here are 10 tips to get into shape naturally.

1. Start your day with lemon water

Starting your day with a glass of warm water and a piece of lemon in it is a great way to detox and wake up your system, so put this one down on your New Year's Resolutions list.

2. Track your food intake

Track the frequency, amount and types of foods you are eating.  With loads of tempting treats around, it's important to choose your foods wisely so you fill up more on good foods and leave the treats as just that treats. Opt for leafy green salads, vegetable dishes, and lean proteins, not only will these be better for you they will also leave you fuller for longer and help you to maintain consistent energy levels.

3. Be Prepared

Clean out the junk in your pantry and fill it with healthy alternatives for that mid afternoon snack attack!  Prepare snacks for work or outings and with parties eat a healthy meal before going out and/or take a healthy dish to contribute that you can enjoy.

4. Listen to your body

Don't automatically assume to loose those extra kilos you need to stop eating and start exercising hard or excessively.  You may be the opposite, where you're life is so hectic you need to stop, meditate and calm your system down, stress can often be a contributor to weight gain.

5. Watch your coffee

Are you consuming too much coffee due to a hectic lifestyle?  If yes, substitute some of your coffees for water. Not only will it keep you well hydrated in the heat of summer, it flushes out toxins, aids in digestion, raises your metabolism and aids in weight loss. With your brain being mostly water too, it will also help you feel more awake and alert.

6. Exercise

Daily exercise will not only make you look fitter and thinner, you'll prevent many life-threatening conditions, improve your muscle strength and joint function, boost oxygen and nutrient supply to all your cells, you'll sleep better and be less stressed.

If exercising is becoming more of a chore, mix up your routine to include brisk walking, swimming, beach walking (you'll use more muscles) or other fun activities like climbing, hiking and snorkelling.

7. Move!

Keep moving. Did you know standing can burn up more calories than just sitting 1.5 times more in fact!  Give your seat up on the bus or train; walk around while on the phone or even work at the computer standing up every now and again.

8. Supplements and Herbals

Nutritionally we recommend Chromium, Magnesium and Lipoic Acid supplementation for weight loss. Chromium helps to improve blood sugar regulation, reduction in leptin levels waist, hip circumference and thus abdominal obesity. Magnesium has been shown to reduce BMI, body fat percentage, insulin and insulin resistance, and Lipoic acid improves insulin sensitivity. 

There are also a number of herbals that can assist with weight loss:

  • Nigella sativa  provides significant reduction in cholesterol and blood glucose)
  • Gymnema   reduces cravings for sweetness/sugar and offers a favourable shift in lipid profiles
  • Fenugreek  has been found to reduce fasting glucose, plasma insulin and insulin resistance
  • Coleus  has a positive effect on fasting insulin, improving lipid profiles
  • Holy Basil  - has the ability to reduce fasting blood glucose by 17%)
  • Magnolia  - can manage stress and prevent hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance, which suppresses weight gain and stimulates adipocyte differentiation

Please note though that herbals do need to be prescribed by a professional after a consultation to avoid herb drug interactions.

9. Get a good night sleep

Lack of sleep can really affect the way our bodies function. When you get a good night's sleep your metabolism speeds up, you look more vibrant, you're less likely to get ill and it's proven to help us live longer. Ideally you want to aim for 8 hours, so try to be in bed by 10.30pm.

10. Be kind to yourself

It's okay to have an off day. Healthy eating isn't about elimination it's about moderation. Remind yourself of all the good days, give yourself a pat on the back and keep going! Incorporating a healthy lifestyle will ensure that all your future summers are greeted with enthusiasm rather than trepidation.

Posted in: Wellbeing Nutrition Weightloss Healthy Eating Diet Health  

Six steps to take before you try to lose weight

Posted on 18 December 2014
Six steps to take before you try to lose weight

When we think of losing weight we tend to follow the formula of healthy eating (or in some cases a more restrictive diet) drinking more water, and doing more exercise. While each of these factors plays an important role in weight loss, they aren't the only factors that can impact your ability to lose weight.

To help you maximise your weight loss, achieve good health and ensure your motivation doesn't suffer due to limited results, here are six steps to follow before you try to lose weight.

1. See your doctor first

It's a good idea to see your doctor before going on starting your weight loss journey. Restricted diets can have an effect on underlying health issues so it is important you have an accurate idea of your health before you start.

Request a full blood test and get your blood pressure checked. Ask your Doctor to check your good and bad cholesterol levels, hormones, thyroid, Vitamin D levels and blood glucose all tested. Anyone of these can impact your ability to lose weight and determine what foods you need to keep in your diet.

2. Manage your stress

While occasional stress is manageable, as we know high stress over the long term can have significant effects on your health. It can increase weight gain and affect your ability to lose it.

You have no doubt heard of the 'flight or fight' response that is triggered by stress. This results in an increase in the hormone cortisol that makes the body resist weight loss. With its purpose being to give us more energy, it will increase appetite and hold onto the fat we have, particularly around the abdominal area where more cortisol receptors are found.

Stress also reduces the hormone leptin that regulates the amount of fat stored in the body, also increasing the amount of fat your body stores. Pretty good incentive to relax isn't it! To help you here are some tips to help you minimise stress.

3. Find out if you have a vitamin D deficiency

Research has shown that Vitamin D and leptin work together to regulate body weight. Vitamin D keeps leptin at an optimal level, ensuring your body signals when it is full. When you are deficient the signal is disrupted, and the body no longer knows it is full leading to overeating and weight gain.

Your Vitamin D levels are easily identified in a blood test and can be increased by having 20-25 minutes in the sun daily or through eating fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver, some mushrooms and supplements.

4. Understand the effect of hormones and weight gain

Hormones can have a huge effect on weight gain because they affect how our body responds. Leptin, insulin, and our sex and growth hormones influence our appetite, metabolism and body fat distribution.

Oestrogen dominance can cause weight gain specifically around the abdomen. The more oestrogen there is, the more fat cells grow.  With fat cells also producing more oestrogen, levels can keep increasing.

In the same way, if you have an underactive thyroid you can also have weight gain. The thyroids main function is to produce hormones that regulate the body's metabolism so when it doesn't produce enough hormones it slows down your metabolism and increases the fat stored in your body.

5. Work on insulin sensitivity

Insulin plays a number of roles in the body's metabolism. It regulates how the body stores and uses glucose and fat and makes it possible for glucose to enter your body's cells.

If there is sensitivity to insulin it can mean the body is having difficulty metabolising glucose, and it can affect the body's ability to control carbohydrates, starches, fats and proteins. It can also cause underlying health issues like diabetes, so it is important to be aware of.

6. Reduce inflammation

As you gain weight you don't grow more fat cells, the ones you have grow larger. When this happens there is a reaction in the body with various hormones and immune cells as the body tries to correct the imbalances, and some of the anti-inflammatory chemicals released can interfere with the function of leptin.

This can result in a leptin sensitivity and it doesn't do its job of suppressing appetite and speeding up  the metabolism. The good news is as the weight is lost the resistance to leptin decreases, and it can go back to its normal function. A diet rich with dark berries such as cherries and blueberries, fatty fish, whole grains and dark leafy vegetables can help reduce inflammation.

Food intolerances and allergies also increase inflammation, so it is important to look at the different foods you are eating and trying an elimination diet to see if symptoms reduce or disappear.

Posted in: Wellbeing Weightloss Healthy Eating Diet Health  

What you need to know about Lyme disease

Posted by Rita Texeira on 20 November 2014
What you need to know about Lyme disease

When you mention Lyme disease (Multiple Systemic Infection Disease Syndrome) you are met with either blank stares, or a multitude of misconceptions including that the disease doesn't exist in Australia. 

With so many myths surrounding this condition, we wanted to bring you the facts to dispel this confusion and bring awareness of a condition that is so often overlooked and misdiagnosed. 

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme Disease is called the 'Great Imitator' as it mimics many other diseases such as MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, Parkinson's disease, Motor Neurone Disease (ALS), Fibromyalgia, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and more. It can affect any organ in the body including muscles and joints, the heart, gastro-intestinal system and the neurological system (including the brain) and it's four times more prevalent than AIDS.

Although Lyme disease was officially identified in 1975 in the Town of Lymes (USA), it was recognised in Europe much earlier.  It's an infection caused by a Spirochete (Borrelia Burgdorferi bacteria) transmitted from the bite of ticks infected with this bacteria.  Borrelia has at least 18 different species.  

While it is commonly believed that ticks are responsible for human infection, there is now strong evidence suggesting that other 'biting' organisms can also cause infection.  As well as Lyme Disease, ticks can transmit other diseases (co-infections) such as Babesioisis, Bartonella, Ehrlichiosis, and Mycoplasma to name a few.

Symptoms to look out for

Symptoms present themselves in various stages.  They may be constant or intermittent and usual treatments are not effective.  If not properly treated at the earlier stages it may lead to chronic lifelong disabilities.

Initial symptoms begin with the development of an itchy rash (erythema migrans) appearing after the tick bite and this rash then spreads out to form a bulls-eye pattern.  This pattern, which may also appear on other parts of the body, is a distinctive characteristic of Lyme disease. In some instances there may not be any symptoms or they may only appear weeks or months later and be mistaken for the flu. Be aware of any unexplained headaches, fatigue, neck and muscle soreness or fever during this time that is aided with normal medication.

Later symptoms of Borrelia infection may include arthritic type symptoms such as swelling, circulation problems, joint pain, paralysis (temporary) of facial muscles, shortness of breath, numbing and weakness in your hands arms and feet.  Memory loss, respiratory problems and meningitis may also occur weeks, months and sometimes years later, after an infection, if not treated.  This stage is also known as 'chronic Lyme disease'.

Some other co-infections, which may present are Babesia Infection, with the main symptoms being fatigue, neck and back stiffness and Bartonella infection produces more neurological symptoms (like MS).

What treatments are available?

It's important that you seek treatment as soon as possible.  Write down any symptoms you have and make your medical practitioner aware of the possibility of Lyme disease so that proper tests can be carried out.  While infections can hide within cells and are not always detected in a blood (serum) test, a urine test can detect infections.

The best test to confirm Lyme disease is to undergo a challenge test. Resolve Health and Wellness is a practice that is Lyme disease 'literate'. As Lyme disease can present in individual ways we take a very personalised and holistic approach. We focus on nutrition, supplement with herbals and also use Bioresonance Therapy, a non-invasive, gentle therapy that uses biophysics - the physics of your body, to improve your overall immunity.

When it comes to treatment, antibiotics are often prescribed with different antibiotics required for each infection. This can deplete an already damaged immune system and many patients also need gut repair and an extensive detox, to recover from a cocktail of prescriptions.

Are you concerned about Lyme disease or have any questions you need answered? Call us today on (07) 5525 2211.

Posted in: Wellbeing Building Your Immune System Lyme Disease Chronic Infections Health  

Could you be suffering from a food addiction?

Posted by Rita Texeira on 23 October 2014
Could you be suffering from a food addiction?

Often when we think of additions smoking, alcohol and illegal drugs come to mind. But some of the most common addictions can be found in our daily diet, and they can be doing your body serious damage.

With eating being such a normal activity it's hard to believe people can become addicted to food. Yet the cycle of addiction can still take over, making everyday life a constant struggle because of the effect it has on the brain.

Since the first step to overcoming an addiction is to acknowledge there is a problem, here is a list of the common foods, substances and habits that can be addictive and destructive to your health.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system, and it can make you feel more alert by blocking the message that tells your brain you are tired. An often sought after effect in our overcommitted and overscheduled lives. 

While many people find the effects of caffeine enjoyable, for some, it can induce anxiety, depression, restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, and muscle tremors.  The addictive nature of caffeine is evidenced by the effects of withdrawal such as headaches, changes in mood and sleeplessness.

To determine if you are addicted, look at how regular you are having caffeine and why you are having it. For example, do you have a morning coffee as a ritual or are you having multiple cups daily to help you get through the day?

2. Sugar

Sugar can be extremely addictive, and consuming a lot of high sugar foods can actually change an individual's brain chemistry to the extent that they can experience withdrawal symptoms if they don't keep eating them.

The taste of sugar releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and offer a natural "high”. While a little bit of sugar is fine, too much can be detrimental to our health and these days with so much sugar included in foods it can be harder to know if you are having too much.

One way of knowing if you are becoming addicted to sugar is by needing a “quick fix” to get you over the afternoon slump each day or when you find you are starting to crave it.

3. Energy drinks

Energy drinks are becoming very popular particularly with younger people. While they are advertised as aids to increase energy, concentration and alertness, they contain three to five times more sugar than ordinary soft drinks.

With ingredients such as caffeine, sugar, taurine (increases the effect of caffeine) and guarana (acts as a stimulant and increases the metabolic rate), the overuse of energy drinks can have similar effects as caffeine with effects on the heart being a real concern. Over consumption of these drinks can prove a real threat to health.

4. Additives

Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavour or enhance its taste and appearance, and they are added to most of the food we consume.

While some additives are natural, many more are artificial. Being manufactured they can produce allergies or other health risks for others. Some additives have been found to increase children’s levels of hyperactivity and some colours have been found to be problematic to children.

Other reactions can include hives, diarrhoea and other digestive disorders and for some a more serious reaction that affects the respiratory system such as asthma.

This is why we are being warned to read the labels and identify what additives (colouring, flavour enhancers, acids, stabilisers, sweeteners etc.) are in the food we buy and eat.

5. Fatty Foods

More and more research is showing that fast food as well as highly processed food can be addictive. The fats and simple sugars can act on the brain in the same way as nicotine and heroin. The ongoing stimulation to tasty calorie-filled foods may in some cases desensitise the brains wiring.

Scientists are finding that just like drug taking, it takes more of the fatty foods to provide the same “high” because it can cause changes to the brain and the body that sends the message it needs more.

Although sugars and fats have been in our food for a long time, processed food has concentrated levels of fats and sugars without the fibre or nutrients so there is no healthy balance.

So, maybe it’s time to revaluate some of your food choices and eating habits to make sure it is for the right reason and not due to an underlying addiction?

Posted in: Wellbeing Nutrition Healthy Eating Diet Health  

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