A spiritual, emotional, mental and physical transformation!

I’ve been working on and participating in a 40 Day Revolution of Yoga, meditation and diet with the beautiful, leafy boutique yoga studio Yogatime.

The structure is based on the great Baron Baptiste Yoga and, only 3 weeks in, it’s already been an incredible journey of transformation on all levels, peeling the layers as we all delve into daily meditation, yoga and looking at our thoughts, reactions and our eating habits. 😳

Baron Baptiste’s Law 8 – Remove the Rocks

Transformation means removing the rocks from our garden, the boulders that block our naturalness. Unlearn your pride, anger, fear, conditioning and your resistance and come to your natural way of being. Peeling away the toxic layers, emotional debris, self destructive patterns and beliefs. Connect back to your centre. Heal the deeper source of pain in your hearts leading you to bad habits. Soften your hearts and give up some of your old ways of being.

I wanted to share some tips I had for nutrition during the first 3 weeks of the challenge.

Week 1 – Awakening/ Presence

Being connected to your body is so important to listen to the signals your body is giving to you at every moment. With yoga and meditation you can start to be more present to how your body reacts to different foods, events and people.

Start to get curious about how food affects your body and whether you feel more energised after eating cleansing, cooling foods or whether your body feels better after building, heating foods. This can also change according to how you are feeling, the seasons or time of day.

Week 2 – Vitality

Food is so important for our mind, body and soul. However, too often these days, food is packaged, processed and filled with sugar and additives to make it more palatable to our sugar addicted taste buds.

Get back in touch with vital, energising, organic, fresh food and connect to its essence making yummy salads and vegetable soups, stews and curries. Connect to the life in the food as you chop and prepare the food with love. You will feel lighter and less toxic with more energy and clarity.

Tips to start a complete mind, body & soul detox:

1) Clean out your kitchen
Get rid of processed, packaged and convenience foods that have no vitality and are full of additives, preservatives and depleted of nutrients. Also white grains, breads, and cane sugar.

2) Restock your kitchen
Visit a farmers market where you can get in touch of where the fresh food comes from and have gratitude for the people involved in growing this alive food.

Stock up with fresh vegetables (ideally non sprayed), salad leaves, fresh fruit, fermented foods, healthy oils, sustainable/free of hormones fish and meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, nut milks, herbs & spices. Coconut flour, almond meal and grains that don’t tend to feed intestinal overgrowth i.e. quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.

3) Reduce sugar
Sugar is immune suppressing and reduces white blood cells in infections.

Parasites, Candida, bacteria all thrive on sugar so you aggravate any bacterial overgrowth when eating sugar in excess.

Sugar can also damages organs as sugar is stored as fat around our organs, decreasing their function and causing disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and heart issues. It is also addictive and can make us feel groggy, tired, grumpy.

4) Reduce gluten
Even if not coeliac/ gluten intolerant, as part of a detox to feel more vital and increase energy, give your body a rest from gluten.

Gluten can be irritating and potentially damaging to the gut wall, leading to leaky gut, irritable bowel, inflammation (joint pain, brain fog, depression) and lack of digestive enzymes to break down food.

It can also lead to food allergies, eczema, fungal infections, skin issues, immune issues, and digestive issues.

5) Reduce caffeine
Caffeine is an immune suppressor and can deplete vitality as it’s acidic and a diuretic, depleting essential minerals and nutrients.

6) Reduce chemicals in your household It’s good to reduce chemicals in our laundry detergents, cosmetics and cleaning products. Try environment friendly and chemical free or apple cider vinegar and bicarb of soda and some eucalyptus.

7) Detox rituals
Dry skin brushing, tongue scraping, coconut pulling to draw toxins, and neti pot are all further techniques to help detox the body of excess toxins. See my blog post here for more tips.

Week 3 – Equanimity

How to stick at the detox? Be kind and patient!

You will get cravings, headaches and feel frustrated and might fail at times! That’s ok and is all part of the process!

Meditation will be really helpful during this time to find a sense of calm during an internal storm! Know you need to experience fear, anger, frustration and blame to experience happiness and praise and joy. You have to pass through what is messy to get to the bliss on the other side.

Happy Autumn Equinox and cleansing mind, body and soul! đŸ˜€đŸ™đŸ„’đŸđŸ„•

 

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Let’s Go Surfing!

bondi-bandits-surfs-up

The Surf’s up! Let’s get our favourite rashies on and let’s go surfing!

But before jumping into the ocean, here’s a few tips that I find helpful, as a fellow surfing yogi, to get limbered up so you are not too sore the next day!
1) Knees to chest and twist
yoga-knees-chest-sup
Start on the floor hugging knees into the chest to open hips in Apanasana.
Benefits:
  • Releases and strengthens your hip flexors
  • Strengthens your back and releases any tension in your spine as you press your spine flat against the floor
  • Great for your digestive system as it compresses the organs
Straighten one leg out at a time to stretch your hip flexors so you’re more steady sitting on your board out there and looking cool out in the ocean! 🙂
Take knees to one side to get a nice twist into the back body. Take the arms out to warm up the shoulders and gaze to opposite side to feet to stretch your neck. Repeat on the other side.
yoga-supine-twist
Benefits:
  • Warms up and releases the back
  • Opens the shoulders
  • Lengthens the spinal muscles for that cobra action in the ocean
  • Helps calm the mind so you can be more focused to catch those waves

Tuck chin to chest and rock up and down the spine to massage the back body and come to sit up.

2) Eagle (Garudasana) arms and Cow legs (Gomukasana)
yoga-eagle-arms-2
Bend your right knee and take the foot to left hip and left foot to right hip.
Take your arms wide and wrap the left arm over the right and cross at the elbows and draw palms together. Lift elbows and press hands away for a great stretch to the shoulders and upper back.
Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Benefits:
  • Opens the outer hips to help sit up on the board and keeps IT band free of inflammation
  • Stretches and increases flexibility to the legs to pop up on that wave
  • Stretches and opens the upper back and front of the shoulders for paddling fitness
  • Strengthens the shoulder and arm muscles, which will help your paddling
3) Cat cow (Marjaryasana)
yoga-cat-cow-poseyoga-cow
Come onto all fours and exhale round your spine and bring belly to spine and tuck chin to chest. Inhale lift head and open heart 5 breaths.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the back and neck
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Strengthens the shoulders and wrists
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Calms the mind
  • Eases back pain
4) Downward dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
yoga-downdog
Release hands to floor shoulder width apart and tuck toes under and press into a downdog, which stretches the whole body from head to toe.
Benefits:
  • Stretches the shoulders and calf muscles
  • Builds strength while toning the arms and legs
  • Lengthens and straightens the spine helping to prevent and relieve back pain
  • Relieves stress by helping to calm the nervous system
 5) Lunge with quad stretch
yoga-lunge-hands-interlaced-shoulderyoga-lunge-bent-knee
Step your right foot between your hands and drop your back knee to the floor. Interlace your hands into a fist behind your back.Take a few breaths to drop into your hips, especially if they are tight.
Then bend your back knee and take your right hand to the top of the left foot to open the thigh and hip flexor; rest your back leg on the soft area above your knee, not the kneecap.
Repeat on the other side. Then step up to the top of your mat.
Benefits:
  • Opens tight hip flexors, common in surfers, to straddle your board
  • Prevents pulling on pelvis and compressing lower back
  • Opens your shoulders to strengthen your paddle fitness
  • Bending the knees stretches your thigh muscle for more flexibility
6) Palm tree
yoga-palm-tree-circles
Stand with your feet hip width apart and interlace your hands into a fist above your head.
Lean to the right then left and repeat for 5 breaths. Then do circles with your hands.
Benefits:
  • Stretches the side body
  • Releases tension in the back and shoulders
7) Standing trunk rotations
yoga-sway-sides-shoulders-upper-backyoga-sway-sides-shoulders-upper-back-2

Walk to top of mat and roll up the spine into mountain pose, Tadasana.
Stand with feet hip width apart and swing the arms from side to side.

Benefits:

  • Warms up spine increasing blood flow for better manoevre in the surf

8) Wide legged forward fold (Prasarita padottanasana)yoga-prasarita-arms-interlaced-front-viewyoga-prasarita-arms-interlaced
Take legs wide and interlace your hands into a fist behind your back.

Open the shoulders onto the back, open the chest, breathe in and fold forward on an exhale and fold over your legs.

Benefits:
  • Stretches your hamstrings to help you pop up
  • Opens your shoulders for all that paddling!
  • Swing the hands from side to side to get a better stretch, like flossing between your shoulder blades! 🙂
Then release the arms and take one hand to the opposite leg to get a further twist between the shoulder blades and lower back.
yoga-prasarita-windmill-shoulder
9) Goddess shoulder opener
yoga-goddess-shoulder-openeryoga-goddess-shoulder-opener-2
Keep legs wide, turn your toes out and bend knees to open hips.
Take your hands to thighs and drop left shoulder and turn and gaze over your right shoulder
Benefits:
  • Opens shoulders and hips
  • Nice rotation in upper back to release tension
10) Standing poses, Warrior II & Side Angle pose
yoga-side-angle
Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and turn your back foot to 45 degrees. Bend the front knee and open your arms out to your sides.
Take a few breaths then take your right elbow to your knee and take the left arm straight over your left ear. Do big circles with your arm to loosen up the shoulders.
Benefits:
  • This is similar to surfing! Strengthening the whole body.
  • Strengthens and stretches the legs, hips, groin and shoulders
  • Helps with balance while building concentration and balance
  • Helps energise the whole body as well as increase stamina and concentration
  • The side body gets a great stretch and the shoulders and arms

Repeat on left side then step to top of your mat.

11) Figure 4 glute stretch
yoga-figure-4
Stand with your feet hip width apart and bend right leg and take foot on top of the left knee, opening the right knee out to the side. Sit back like you want sit on a chair to counterbalance lean forward. Take 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

  • Increases blood flow to activate the glute muscle for more power in the legs
  • Stretches the glutes and hips
  • Helps balance when on the surfboard.

12) Squat (Malasana)
yoga-squat

Take your legs wide and bend deeply to sit between legs with hands together, elbows against your inner knees
Benefits:
  • Strengthens lower half of the body
  • Opens up the hip flexors
  • Stretches and strengthens the back of the lower legs as well as the back and neck muscles
  • Helps to prevent cramps in your hips while in the water from sitting on the board for long periods of time
  • Great for toning the legs
13) Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
yoga-cobra
Lie on your belly and take the hands to the mat under the shoulders. Press the top of the feet into the floor and lift your head and chest into a baby cobra.
Benefits:
  • Great for strengthening and opening the lower back
  • Strengthens back muscles and warms up body for paddling which can take a toll on your lower back
 14) One legged pigeon (Eka pada rajakapottanasana)
yoga-pigeon
Stretch back into downward dog and step your right knee to your right hand and take the foot across the front of your mat.
Straighten your left leg out long behind you. Open the heart to open the spine then fold forward over your leg. Take 5 breaths and repeat on your left side.
Benefits:
  • Stretches the thighs and hips
  • Opens the groin and the hip flexor muscles while opening and releasing the chest and shoulders
  • Increases blood flow to your groin and hips

15) Head to knee pose (Janu sirsasana)
yoga-janu-sirsasanayoga-janu-sirsasana-2

Roll onto your left buttock and bring the right leg forward, taking your left foot inside your right inner thigh. Lengthen the spine and then fold over your right leg.

Take 5 deep breaths and repeat on your left leg.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the hamstrings and lower back
  • Twist through the lower abdomen and back to release and stretch the muscles

16) Let’s Go Surfing!

Grab your board and you’re ready to go surfing!!

yoga-ready-to-surf

References:

http://www.schooloftheworld.org/10-best-yoga-poses-for-surfers/
Yoga Journal
The Inertia

 

10 ways to reduce stress

Stress is more and more common these days but it’s so important to keep it at bay due its negative effect on the body and mind.
stressed

When we are stressed, our flight and fight response kicks in to help us run away from danger. Adrenaline kicks in and energy is directed to our limbs, eyes and blood vessels to pump oxygen around the body.

However, the organs not involved in flight & fight are switched off. Over time, this can cause digestion issues, low blood sugar, low immunity, asthma, chronic pain, as well as skin disorders, weight fluctuation, hormonal imbalances and menstrual problems.

Mental problems also develop, ranging from insomnia to anxiety and depression, mood swings and even psychosis. [1]

Tips to overcome stress

  1. Yoga, meditation & breathing techniques

meditation
Yoga
 has definitely helped me to manage my moods and calm my mind when feeling anxious.

It is amazing at releasing tension in the body and mind and also increases GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a major inhibitory neurotransmitter that calms the mind and stops the overwhelm and anxiety, known as nature’s ‘valium’. One study found that just a one-hour session of yoga increased GABA levels by 27%. [1]

Exercise in general is vital to increase a feeling of well-being, gets you outside in nature and releases feel-good endorphins to help disperse any stress. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, walking, aerobic fitness all help with activating our vagus nerve.

Simple breathing techniques
Deep breathing that lengthens the exhalation can also amplify the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) response and vagus nerve tone, reducing stress and inflammation and gut issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).[1b]

Taking some deep breaths when you are feeling a little overwhelmed is amazing. Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Sodhana) where you breathe in through one nostril at a time is amazing for balancing our nervous system as is the Brahmari humming breath. Left nostril breathing increases PNS stimulation, relaxing the body.[1b]

Meditation is amazing even if for 5 minutes a day to start. iPhone applications like Headspace are a great way to start with guided meditations for 15 minutes every day.

You can even do it while still lying in bed and taking time to reflect on the things you are grateful for in life as you wake up. If I feel a little anxious I try to sit with the feeling and try to let it disperse before going into my day. [1b]

Om chanting and mantra also slow down the breath and deactivate the areas of brain controlling stress, fear and anger. [1b,c]

dalai lama quote everyday think as you wake up

  1. Do something nice for yourself everyday

massage
Whatever it is, really let yourself indulge and don’t feel guilty.

It might simply be a pampering massage after a busy week, or getting your nails done, or taking a morning off to stay in bed and read a book.

Acupuncture and massage can stimulate the vagus nerve, especially foot massage, decreasing blood pressure and reduces stress, anxiety and chronic pain as well as improving immunity. [1d]

Run a lovely bath with some Epsom salts and your favourite essences and rest up and let your mind and body go. Tomorrow is another day!

  1. Walk barefoot

walking barefoot
Whether in the soft, wet grass, on the sand or in the ocean, this really makes me feel more grounded and less stressed.

Spending time in nature is crucial, helping us feel connected and alive, reducing anxiety and letting our stresses melt away, while watching the trees, insects and birds and smelling the flowers around you.[1b]

  1. Dance & laugh!

bridget jones singing dancing
Most importantly laugh, and shake your booty!! In fact, I found myself feeling a little lost in self-pity and self-doubt the other day. I was frustrated at my lack of motivation and energy, and thus lack of time and energy to do the things I love. I therefore took myself off for a dance! I felt my lethargy and negative thinking just shake out of every cell!Laughter also increases our exhalation breath and thus activates the vagus nerve and the PNS reducing stress, as does any positive feeling like love, gratitude, contentment, and tranquility.

What are you going to do that you love this week?!

  1. Improve your nutrition

Diet is very important as a poor diet can lead to a lack of essential nutrients key to good mental health and stress management.

Poor diet choices lead to inflammation, poor immunity, hormonal imbalances that can all lead to higher levels of stress as you are not feeling 100% and less able to manage stress, leading to mental health disorders.

Reduce

Inflammatory sugar, gluten, preservatives, excess dairy, artificial sweeteners, excess meat and caffeine, alcohol, smoking.

Increase

 

  • Vitamin B rich foods
    • Great for stress management & low mood, anxiety, depression
    • as increase acetylcholine and GABA, relaxing the nervous system and helping with insomnia (1)
  • B6 increases serotonin and is especially required in alcohol users and women on the pill (2)
  • B12 helps in mood disorders and B8 is great for brain function and depression
    i.e. green leafy veg, legumes, brewer’s yeast, nuts, seeds, good fat avocado and eggs, fermented foods, sprouted grains
    leafy greens 2
  • Omega 3 rich foods great for brain health and inflammation and critical for proper functioning of neurotransmitters i.e. fish and chia seeds, comforting root vegetables, soups, bone broths for essential minerals and vitaminsWild-Alaskan-Salmon source summertomato
  • Potassium rich foods
    • When stressed, potassium is depleted causing neurotransmitter imbalance and depression (2)
    • Great to keep mineral balance optimal i.e. bananas, oranges and potatoes

bananas

  1. Supplement where required
  • Zinc is essential for
    • the nervous system as it increases GABA
    • reducing excess dopamine and adrenaline or serotonin, thus reducing stress, anxiety, aggression (1)
    • gut health when stressed, causing irritable bowel (IBS)
  • Magnesium is amazing to help relax the mind and muscles
  • Glutamine is a precursor for GABA helping calmness and relaxation in anxiety (1)
  • Taurine & L-theanine
    • amino acids that increases GABA, serotonin and dopamine to relieve stress http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17182482
  • Adrenal herbal support to counter effects of excess cortisol
    • Licorice, Rhodiola, Rehmannia, Withania and Panax and Siberian ginseng are all beautiful herbs for stress relief and adrenal fatigue
  • Probiotics
    • Probiotics help gut micro biome and thus vagal tone, reducing anxiety and depression [1b]

There are many other supplements that would help in stress relief that are individual to each client. Ideally, see a practitioner to discuss this further or feel free to pop in the Health Emporium for a further chat.

  1. Surfing

Surfing is amazing for relieving stress and any anxiety/depression.

grant getting that one wave
I surf as part of a group called OneWave, whereby Grant manages his stress, depression and his ‘funks’ by getting out for that ‘one wave’ that makes his day a whole lot better.

Studies show how being in salt water can actually increase your serotonin levels within 30 seconds decreasing stress instantly! 🙂

  1. Write a journal

writing journal nature
Writing can really help to bring awareness to any negative thoughts that stress is creating. It helps to process unconscious thoughts and allows them to come up so they are not suppressed, causing more stress and anxiety unconsciously.

Including gratitude and creative and affirmative visualizations can also be very helpful to keep a positive outlook and reduce anxiety and stress. Any kind of positive feeling like love, gratitude, contentment, and tranquility can arouse the vagus nerve.[1b]

  1. Be around animals

dogs
Animals are amazing to cuddle and bring so much unconditional love. There is research that proves that having a pet can really help reduce the incidence of stress and even depression as stroking or cuddling an animal actually increases our levels of feel good hormones.

  1. Be kind to yourself!

We all can go through some really tough times and when these happen, be kind to yourself.

If you just want to lie in bed, do so, watch a funny movie and just let the feelings come up and feel them and be ok with them! Have a cry, but try to not judge yourself for feeling this way.Tomorrow is yet another day!

And, most importantly, it’s ok not to be ok and ask for help if things get out of control and you need to talk to someone. 🙂

References:

1 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201303/yoga-ba-gaba

1a Theresa Vernon

1b Moksha Mantra ‘Natural ways of stimulating Vagus “Buddha” Nerve’

1c Study in International Journal of Yoga 2011

1d Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 2014

1e Alternative therapies in Health and Medicine 2011

2 Gary Null ‘A Natural Approach to Overcoming Depression

3 Hechtman L, ‘Clinical Approach to Nutrition’

4 Yoganonymous

 

Back To Nature Yoga Retreat 11-13 November 2016

Get out of the city and reconnect with nature and rejuvenate with a weekend Yoga & Meditation Retreat with Chrissie

image

Includes:
* Yin/Yang Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra in nature
* 6 delicious, naturopath-inspired, nourishing home cooked meals & yummy desserts, snacks, teas & turmeric milks

leafy greens 2
* Cosy self-contained shared cottage accommodation
* Naturopath Ayurvedic-inspired talk/Q&A & discount voucher for a full consult
* Yoga workshop/Q&A

Kurrajong Trails & Cottages, just 1.5hrs out of Sydney, offers 100 acres of bushland and creek for kayaking, relaxing and bushwalks in your free time.

$495 all inclusive (early bird $455 by 14th October 2016)

To book, contact Chrissie at chrissiealex@gmail.com

Namaste, Chrissie 🙂

Histamine intolerance

Quote

Happy Spring Equinox down under! 🙂

Great news for many, however, for some Spring brings allergies and nasty symptoms, including:

  • Mucus & head/sinus congestion
  • watery, itchy eyes, cold and flu
  • wheezing
  • stuffy nose and itchy throat
  • itchy skin/eczema/hives
  • brain fog, insomnia
  • low immunity
  • fatigue/depression/pain [1,1b,1c,2,3]

This is due to the release of histamine when your body is exposed to an allergen. Your body sees the allergen as an attack on the immune system, and thus sends out defences, in the form of white blood cells, called mast cells.

Allergens include toxins, pollen, dust mites, dander, weeds, grass, pet hair, air pollutants & chemicals and Sydney seems to be full of them! [2, 2a]

spring allergies pollen

However, it might not just be spring allergies to blame. I have never really suffered from allergies but lately I have been experiencing histamine-like symptoms!

Some foods contain histamine or help to release histamine. Many people can cope with some histamine in the body and it is an important neurotransmitter and immune messenger molecule and plays an important physiological role in the body.

However, others are very sensitive and can develop histamine intolerance, for many reasons, including genetics, gut & immune health and inflammation.

Histamine intolerance is not an allergy as such but produces the similar symptoms above. It is often difficult to distinguish between an immediate allergy (Type 1 allergy), a delayed allergy/intolerance (Type 111 food allergy), or a histamine intolerance as the symptoms can often be identical. [2a]

Histamine Intolerance becomes a problem when the amount coming in is excessive or the amount being cleared is insufficient, causing a build up.

Further symptoms in addition to the above are signs of histamine intolerance:

  • anxiety & irritability
  • digestive problems
  • hormone imbalances,
  • PMS, nausea
  • racing heart
  • headaches, migraine [1,1b, 1c, 2,3]

Causes of histamine intolerance:

  1. Reasons for too much histamine into the body:
  • High histamine diet
    • Excess red wine, chocolate, avocadoes, sauerkraut, smoked meats/fish all contain high levels of histamine, causing problems if there’s an intolerance [4,8]

red-wine-choc

  • Food sensitivities/irritating foods
    • Allergenic foods (gluten and dairy) can actually also trigger histamine if the body recognises the food as an attack on the immune system [4,5]
    • Poor diet of refined, inflammatory foods can also cause a histamine release as irritates the gut causing an immune response
  • Gut flora dysbiosis
    • Wrong gut bacteria can actually make histamine [4,5a]
  • Hormones
    • High oestrogen levels stimulate more histamine and histamine stimulates oestrogen so a vicious cycle and hence
    • hence why more women are susceptible to histamine intolerance during ovulation, pre-menstruation and peri menopause [6,8]
  • Hypersensitive immune system thus seeing all pollen and food as an attacker causing autoimmune issues
  • Inflammation is a key to histamine release and can be linked to autoimmunity
  • Stress
    • Cortisol rises in stress which can reduce DHEA levels which can thus cause inflammation, homocysteine and immune suppression thus more histamine release
  • Menopause
    • can lead to low DHEA, contributing to inflammation and histamine intolerance [5a, 6,8]
  • Unstable blood sugars can also increase histamine [5a]

However, even gut bacteria produces histamine. So it’s not just about what you put in. It’s often an issue with your lack of ability to break histamine down! [7]

2. Causes for not enough histamine being cleared out

  • Lack of the histamine clearing enzymes
    • DAO (diamine oxidase) in the digestive system
    • HNMT (histamine N-methyltransferase) in the central nervous system [3,5a,8]
      • Either from genetic variants or lack of essential nutrient cofactors to produce the enzymes
  • Methylation impairments i.e. MTHFR gene and many others
    • DAO enzymes need methyl groups to increase their activity of clearing excess histamine thus those with decreased methyl groups (under/reduced methylation) tend to be more intolerant [4, 4a, 8]
  • Gut issues & low DAO production
    • Impaired gut mucosa affects DAO enzymes to clear histamine [1,8]
      • Leaky gut, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), adrenal fatigue, viruses, liver issues
  • Alcohol & medications/antibiotics
    • can cause gut damage and impair DAO activity causing histamine build up
  • Hormones
    • High oestrogen down regulates DAO enzymes [5, 5a,6,8]
    • Low progesterone causes DAO down regulation [5a,6,8]
    • Birth control causes oestrogen excess and thus histamine excess
  • Parasites can overwhelm the body leading to multiple chemical sensitivities [3c]

Natural tips to reduce histamine

Conventional antihistamines can have nasty side effects on the brain, digestion and can play havoc with your thyroid, acid production and delete the body of essential nutrients. [1b]

  1. Reduce histamine producing foodshitamine-foods
  • Avoid common foods that trigger an allergic response
    • dairy, casein, gluten, wheat, red wine, chocolate, smoked foods, fermented foods
  • Avoid high histamine foods [4]
    • Alcohol (including wine)
    • Bone broth
    • Canned foods
    • Cheeses
    • Chocolate
    • Eggplants
    • Pickled & fermented foods (kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt)
    • Legumes (chickpeas, soybeans, peanuts)
    • Mushrooms
    • Nuts
    • Processed foods
    • Smoked meat products (bacon, salmon, salami, and ham)
    • Shellfish
    • Spinach
    • Vinegar
    • Salty snacks, sweets with preservatives/ colourings
  • Avoid foods that release histamine
    • Avocados, bananas and citrus fruits and strawberries and tomatoes
    • Additives – benzoate, sulphites, nitrites, glutamate
    • Raw egg white
  • Avoid gut irritating/ inflammatory foods that block DAO
  1. Eat low histamine releasing foods
  • Eat foods low in histamine
    • Coconut milk & rice milk
    • Egg yolk
    • Fresh wild-caught fish
    • Fresh organic meat
    • Fresh vegetables (except strawberries, eggplants, tomatoes and spinach)
    • Non citrus fresh fruits (avoid strawberries)
    • Gluten-free grains (rice, corn, quinoa, millet)
    • Herbal teas
    • Olive oil & coconut oil
    • Most leafy herbs
  • Eat foods high in natural antihistamines or DAO & HNMT upregulating
    • Apples (high in quercetin)
    • Fennel
    • Watercress, parsley
    • Broccoli
    • Ginger
    • Chicken, turkey and potatoes (B6)
    • High vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables (avoid high histamine fruit/veg)
    • Asparagus and liver rich in copper
    • Olive oil (increases DAO) Research shows it helps to increase intestinal lymph DAO
    • Thyme [1,3,6]
  • Eat fresh foods
    • Processed and left over food encourages bacterial growth which is more likely to increase histamine in foods [5a,6]
  1. Heal the gut to ensure adequate DAO & HNMT production
    • Repair gut lining since this is where the important enzymes live for histamine clearance (DAO & HNMT) [7]
    • Taking liver protective and histamine reducing herbs
      • Milk thistle, globe artichoke, Albizzia, Baical skullcap, nettle
    • Take a probiotic to regain good gut flora to help repair lining
    • Do an elimination diet of at least 30-60 days, reducing allergenic and inflammatory foods and allowing the gut to heal
    • Reintroduce foods and journal foods that you react to
    • Speak to a specialist to help reduce inflammation, improve gut flora and heal the gut lining with foods, supplements and herbs [7]
  2. Natural supplementation to increase DAO, methylation and immunity
    • Vitamin C
      • A powerful antioxidant that helps prevent formation of histamine and suppresses inflammation by supporting your immune system
    • B6 & copper help to up regulate DAO enzymes [5a,6]
    • B1 helps to support the hypothalamus in adrenals issues and thus helps increase DHEA, reducing histamine intolerance [6]
    • B6 upregulates DAO (meat, chicken, and sunflower seeds) [6, 8]
    • B12 helps methylation and therefore increased DAO production [5]
    • SAMe
      • A natural antihistamine that donates methyl groups, thus increases DAO, reduces inflammation, pain and histamine levels and balances a hypersensitive immune system [2]
    • Other natural antihistamines include:
      • Quercetin, bromelain, propolis, chlorella, Stinging nettle & butterburstingingnettle2_compact
  1. Reduce inflammation
    • Vitamin B9, folic acid, helps balance homocysteine.
    • Omega 3s help reduce inflammation of excess omega 6 in our diet [6]
    • Helping regulate our immune system above (autoimmune issues) will also help inflammation
  2. Promote oestrogen detoxification [8]
  3. Minimise stress and stay active
    • Stress increases cortisol and thus inflammation and affects digestion
    • Can lead to methylation issues all leading to higher risk of histamine intolerance
  4. Stay hydrated
    • Often histamine levels are higher when you’re dehydrated so drinking more water helps to dilute and flush out excess amounts
    • Hydrate your sinuses/nostrils with saline sprays and neti pots [1,1b]
      drinking water
  5. Get enough sleepto ensure optimal immunity
  6. Salt(celtic or himalayan)
    • Halotherapy
      • salt caves, where you breathe in salt infused air, are great for relaxing and soothing sinuses
    • Drinking water with 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
    • Dapping some salt on the tip of your nose [2]
  7. Eucalyptus oil is great for opening the sinuses and the citronella has antibacterial properties and decreases pain and inflammation [2]

I hope the above gives you some information and relief for any reactions you might be having this Spring.

It is best to see a specialist so you can get properly tested for histamine, food intolerances, allergies and methylation issues. You can then be treated on an individual basis and given appropriate diet and supplementation to heal any related gut, adrenal and hormonal issues. Good luck.

Chrissie 🙂

Sources:

1 Laura Maintz, Natalija Novak, ‘Histamine and histamine intolerance’ http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/5/1185.full
1b Dr Christianson ‘Are your allergies making you feel rundown?’
1c Christa Orecchio ‘New Food Research to Overcome Arthritis & Allergies’
2a http://www.imupro.com.au/food-intolerance/symptoms/histamine-intolerance-b/
2 Suzy Cohen ‘Allergies and your Genes – Histamine, Autoimmunity and DAO SNPs’
3 Suzy Cohen ‘DAO deficiency and Histamine – the unlikely connection’ MTHFR Support
3b Hermann Keppler (CNM Principal), ‘Hayfever, the natural approach’
3c Izabella Wentz ‘Hashimotos’
4 Dr Will Cole ‘The MTHFR Gene Mutation: What It Is + Why You Should Care’
4a Dr Will Cole ‘The Hidden Food Intolerance That Could Be At The Root Of Your Inflammation
4 HIT ‘Histamine Intolerance Awareness’ http://www.histamineintolerance.org.uk/about/the-food-diary/the-food-list/
5 Paleo hacks
5a Alison Vickery ‘Histamine and the nervous system’ http://alisonvickery.com.au/histamine-nervous-system/
6 Yasmin Ykelestan, The Low Histamine Chef – The high nutrient approach to healing inflammation, ‘The Menopause-histamine connection’
7 Body Ecology Diet
8 Lara Briden ‘Oestrogen and Histamine’
9 Health Benefits of Quercetin http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-quercetin/
9a Chirumbolo S, The role of quercetin, flavonols and flavones in modulating inflammatory cell function. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2010 Sep;9(4):263-85.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20887269

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2668525/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24287881
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20175943
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25151997
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569205
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27046748

 

I want more chocolate.. now!

Overdone the chocolate consumption this Easter and now you can’t stop the sugar cravings?

choc campus connect

We all crave chocolate from time to time, some more than others. As women, our menstrual cycle does have a lot to answer for! 🙂

Here are 10 reasons why we crave chocolate and carbs/ sugar:

  1. Hormone fluctuations /menstruation
    Would you just do anything to have some chocolate in the lead up to your period!? This is due to hormone fluctuations:

    • Mainly, low magnesium (hence why we crave chocolate)
      • Cocoa beans are very rich in magnesium, hence our craving for chocolate!
      • Avoid processed milk chocolate, containing mostly sugar and fat and eat 80% cacao dark chocolate from a health shop.
      • However, green leafy vegetables are healthier sources of magnesium!
      • Magnesium is required for energy production and release of stored energy and is used up to help reduce PMS symptoms in women, i.e. cramping, constipation, insomnia, headaches, water retention, anxiety and swollen breasts
      • Increased cortisol and reduced serotonin and its precursor tryptophan
        • leads to irritation, low mood, exhaustion and anger and thus we reach for certain foods to make us feel better.
        • Carbs help release insulin to get tryptophan into the brain [1]
    • Low progesterone
      • Leads to mood swings, depression and feeling down, thus increasing a need for comfort food, often involving sugar and fat, to again boost serotonin
    • Increased energy needs as the body is detoxing during your period
      • Avoid sugar and eat complete whole grains and good sources of protein to increase energy and reduce our cravings. [1]
  1. Depression or feeling low
    • When we’re feeling low we are often deficient in certain feel good hormones.
    • Foods with lots of sugar and fat boost levels of serotonin and beta endorphins. They also combat cortisol production, making us feel happier and more relaxed and give us a natural high. It has also been known to increase self esteem and reduce anxiety. [2a]
    • We therefore crave sugary, high carb foods at this time, as our brains “reward” us by releasing serotonin and beta-endorphins when we eat sugar or other refined carbohydrates that are easily converted to glucose (the simplest sugar). [1]
    • However, this is short lived, leading to an addiction
  1. Addiction
    • Once we start eating more sugar, we can’t stop as it is addictive as alcohol [4,6]
    • After indulging at Easter our bodies are just crying out for more since the brain has become used to frequent beta endorphin bursts. Withdrawal can include headaches, shakiness, nausea, fatigue. [1, 2, 2a]fit femme tublr choc cravings
  1. Stress and anxiety
    • When stressed, our adrenals burn out and we have fluctuating blood sugar levels as the body isn’t producing glucose as efficiently from carbohydrates and fats as usual. Thus we crave more sugar and highly palatable foods for fuel and energy. [3, 3a]
    • Chronic stress and low cortisol also causes irritability and exhaustion before meals and other common hypoglycaemic symptoms.[4]
    • We crave quick energy boosting foods like caffeine, chocolate and sugar, however, this just leads to further cravings and addictions and actually depletes the adrenals more in the long term.
    • I know for me as soon as I feel a little anxious or stressed I will reach for a piece of dark chocolate. I am currently moving and Sea salt dark chocolate (as we also crave salt when adrenals are pushed) has definitely been consumed a little more!
    • We crave chocolate as the magnesium is energy producing and chocolate also contains copper
      • Copper is also essential for energy production and to reduce excessive glucocorticoid activity.
      • People in burnout usually suffer from an inability to properly mobilize copper. Although copper is present, it is bio unavailable, largely due to an adrenal insufficiency problem.
      • Copper supplementation can therefore be useful.[6]
        stressed
  1. Emotional associations
    • Pleasure Reward
      • We often associate sweet foods with love and acceptance, and scientists have looked at our brain chemistry to understand how food can directly affect our “feel-good” neurotransmitters like serotonin and gets feeling of pleasure and reward. [5]
    • Memories/ food association
      • The smell of homemade cookies or a cake fresh out of the oven reminds us of our childhoods, evoking fond memories of past holidays, birthdays, or special occasions.
      • Others remember being rewarded with candy or other sugary delights when they did something “good.”
      • Environmental cues can really stimulate food cravings. [6]
      • Memories and habits are also a big reason we eat or crave certain foods i.e. popcorn at the movies, hotdog at the footy. [5]banana bread
    • Boredom also makes us want to eat more
      • When boredom, procrastination and frustration set in, feed your need for energy release rather than your emotions. Go for a power walk or find something else to distract yourself of the strong need for chocolate.
      • The more we can break this habit the less we will crave bad foods when bored in the future. [1]
  1. Food sensitivities
    • Food sensitivities are often the result of a situation known as “leaky gut,” where partially digested food particles can make their way into the bloodstream through a damaged, inflamed mucosal lining in the digestive tract.
    • The body regards these food particles as foreign antigens and mounts an immune response by sending antibodies. These combined antibodies and antigens in your bloodstream, known as immune complexes, can lead to intense cravings.[1]
  2. Excess acid-forming foods
    • Foods like red meat can also cause sugar cravings as it is high in arachidonic acid (AA), a pro-inflammatory omega fatty acid, thus eating a lot can upregulate the oxidative–inflammatory cascade in our bodies.
    • It is also a contracting food, and therefore in excess can cause craving for expansive sweets to “open you up” and help you relax.[7]
    • If long term, it can cause abnormal glucose metabolism, and, ultimately, insulin resistance.
    • Choosing anti-inflammatory foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as those that are alkalizing and antioxidant-rich, such as fruits and vegetables, can help balance out the acidity. [1]
  3. Insulin resistance
    • Insulin resistance often occurs as a result of a long-term diet high in refined carbohydrates.
    • Glucose is not signalled by insulin release to be taken into the cells and instead builds up in the blood, starving your cells of glucose.
    • The body thus signals to the brain to secrete more insulin, as the cells aren’t accessing the glucose. This result in sugar cravings, and ultimately, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.[1]
  4. Intestinal yeast
    • Yeast feeds on sugar, so if we have some gut dysbiosis, intestinal yeast overgrowth or candida or parasites in our system, this will lead to uncontrollable sugar cravings as the yeast looks for sugary, high carb food to feed on [1]
    • A probiotic is great to keep the bacteria balanced as it contains a competitive yeast and pau d’arco, wormwood, oregano, horopito, and avoid grains, fruits. [1]
  5. Ayurvedic perspective
    vata pitta kapha

    • We all, universally, feel a shift in energy around 3pm and we all crave the sweet taste, some more than others. That 3.30itis as it has been named!
    • The Ayurvedic doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha – predominate at different times of life, seasons but also different times of the day.[8]
    • Vata is king from 2am-6am and also 2pm-6pm and thus causes sweet cravings.
    • At 2pm in the afternoon, the atmosphere tends to shift down a gear, moving from the Pitta Fire, heat of the day, intense, achievement-oriented time to a slightly cooler, clearer, lighter, more ethereal, spacey, sensitive Vata time
      • If we’ve had a chilled-out day this shift will feel like a quiet settling.
      • If we’ve pushed ourselves (and our nervous systems) we will feel more like a ‘hitting-the-wall’ kind of crash, especially if Vata dominant.
    • We have trouble concentrating, feel restless, bored or easily distracted or play aimlessly on Facebook…. or we may just get sleepy if our adrenal tank is empty.
    • We find ourselves desperately seeking the sweet taste made up of earth and water, a great antidote to aggravated Vata
      • What we’re really craving at this Vata time of the day is comfort, grounding and steadiness. This is what the sweet taste provides. So don’t have aversion towards the craving.
      • Just choose wisely… refined sugar, although very sweet, actually aggravates Vata (as well as Pitta and Kapha) and causes increased restlessness and agitation (Rajas) in the mind.
      • Unrefined sugars like honey, rapadura, jaggery and maple syrup are a better choice because they pacify Vata and are considered Sattvic, having a peace-promoting effect on the mind.
      • Avoid coffee as it is overly stimulating and tends to aggravate Vata and promote Rajas. Black tea is more gentle, especially if you add a sprinkle of ground cardamom [8]

When you have cravings, be kind. Our sugar cravings and bingeing is often absolutely not a reflection of our willpower or our individual strength. It most likely has physical roots, and those roots can be restored to set the foundation for a healthy, lifelong relationship with sugar!

Look out for my next article on tips to overcome these cravings.

Chrissie 🙂

Chrissie-Alexander image

Bibliography:

1a Insulin Resistance: Our love affair with sugar. Women to Women

1b Wurtman JJ, ‘Carbohydrate craving, mood changes, and obesity’ J Clin Psychiatry. 1988 Aug;49 Suppl:37-9.

2 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3045110
Shabbir F1, Patel A, Mattison C, Bose S, Krishnamohan R, Sweeney E, Sandhu S, Nel W, Rais A, Sandhu R, Ngu N, Sharma S., Effect of diet on serotonergic neurotransmission in depression.  Neurochem Int. 2013 Feb;62(3):324-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2012.12.014. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

2a Dr Judith Wurtman, author of The Serotonin Power Diet

3 http://www.arltma.com/Articles/BurnoutDoc.htm

3a Sinha R & Jastreboff AM, ‘Stress as a common risk factor for obesity and addiction’ Biol Psychiatry. 2013 May Epub 2013 Mar 26.

4 Theresea Vernon

5 Kathleen Zelman WedMD Food Cravings

6a MK Stojek, S Fischer & J MacKillop ‘Stress, cues, and eating behavior. Using drug addiction paradigms to understand motivation for food’ in Appetite. 2015 Sep 1;92:252-60. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.05.027. Epub 2015 May 27

6b http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25064302

7 Body Ecology ’10 secrets for ending sugar cravings’

8 Mudita Institute Ayurveda ‘Happy Belly’

References:

Amanda Bontempo, Dietician NY

Better Health Channel, chocolate http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Chocolate

Hale Central, The Best Benefits of Dark Chocolate,http://halecentral.com/the-best-benefits-of-dark-chocolate/

Claudette Wadsworth

Are you ok!?

Mental health issues are on the rise and many of us suffer from it from time to time, whether it’s just mild anxiety, or full blown depression or bipolar. Suicide is also becoming seriously common as you can read here.

Today is the 3rd birthday of the One Wave surfing/mental health community, which the amazing Grant Trebilico started, helping to get rid of the taboo around mental health issues and empower people to speak up if they are not feeling ok and seek counselling.

2016 3rd onewave birthdayhappy birthday onewave

CAUSES

Everyone is different so there is no one solution. There are many debated reasons for mental health including:

  • Inflammation from chronic infections, bad diet and toxins in our environment
  • Chemical, hormonal or neuronal imbalances
  • Past childhood trauma
  • Stress and gut issues
  • Genetics; Environment
  • Disease; Motivational state

I have suffered from depression in the past, and again more recently, and I find it is definitely worse when I am unbalanced, stressed, too busy and therefore eating badly and not connected to my body but in my head.

As a fairly new Naturopath, I am no expert and there are times when antidepressant medication is required or you will need to see a specialist.

However, during my experiences and studies, here are some tips (including a list of natural herbs and supplements at the end) that helped me when I was feeling down or anxious and stabilised my mental health illness before it got worse.

TIPS

  • Yoga and meditation and pranayama (breathing techniques)
    • Yoga has definitely helped me to manage my moods, calm the mind in anxiety and depression and to release any tension building up in the body and mind
    • Having a yoga studio as a second home to go to brings connection, purpose and community into your life and reduces loneliness, anxiety and depressionmeditation
    • Improve diet
      • Diet is very important as a poor diet can lead to a lack of essential nutrients key to good mental health
      • Poor diet choices lead to inflammation, poor immunity, hormonal imbalances that can all lead to mental health disorders
        • Reduce inflammatory sugar, gluten, preservatives, excess dairy, artificial sweeteners, excess meat and caffeine, alcohol, smoking.
        • Increase
          • Vitamin B rich green leafy veg, legumes, brewers yeast, nuts, seeds, good fat avocado and eggs, fermented foods, sprouted grains
          • Omega 3 rich fish and chia seeds, comforting root vegetables, soups, bone broths for essential minerals and vitamins
          • Potassium rich bananas, oranges and potatoes but supplementation might be required if depressed, however it is wise to chat to a doctor or naturopath as this can interact with medications
            leafy greens 2
  • Volunteering
    • A great way to meet new people and feel great as you are making a difference by helping others
  • Social interaction is key
    • Harder than it sounds I know… often I knew getting to the beach with the OneWave beautiful community will make me feel amazing.. but often curling up in bed is all I could manage with low self esteem, confidence and energyget up and go dog
  • Just getting out with family might help and see close friends if a large group is too much and HUGS!
    hugs
  • Surfing is great as OneWave have shown, whereby Grant manages his depression and his ‘funks’ by getting out for that ‘one wave’ that makes his day a whole lot better
    • Studies show how being in salt water can actually increase your serotonin levels within 30 seconds
      grant getting that one wave
  • Exercise
    • Vital to increase a feeling of well-being, gets you outside in nature and releases feel-good endorphins
    • Start slow as it is often hard to get motivated when feeling down
    • Start with some brisk walking in nature or by the healing ocean
  • Reach out for help
    • See a doctor for a referral/Medicare mental health plan to a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychiatrist to talk through past traumas and hurts.
    • Black dog institute also offers some great advice
    • Naturopaths can help to manage any symptoms naturally without side effects of medication
  • Read inspirational books to increase positivity and hope i.e. Brene Brown, Ekhart Tolle, Abraham Hicks.
  • Write a journal to help to process unconscious thoughts and let them come up so not suppressed.
  • Dance to Music
    • Dance to uplifting music in the living room to bring a smile to your face or heart and up the endorphins 🙂
      bridget jones singing dancing
  • Animals are also amazing and bring so much unconditional love. There is research that proves that having a pet can really help reduce the incidence of depression. I saw a flat with pet bunnies.. sold! 🙂
  • Nature is also key. Seeing trees, the ocean, mountains, rivers and lakes all help to make us feel more connected and like we belong and can reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Be kind!
    • There can be some really tough times and when these happen, be kind. If you just want to lie in bed, do so, watch a funny movie and just let the feelings come up and feel them and be ok with them.. have a cry, but try to not judge yourself for feeling this way
    • And, most importantly, it’s ok not to be ok and ask for help. 🙂
  • Healing herbs and supplements (suggestions only to reduce symptoms of mental health issues; consult a naturopath or doctor prior to taking):
  • Alpha lipoic acid (ALA)
    • is neuroprotective and great for depression/neurological disorders
  • Zinc
    • is essential for the nervous system and in low GABA and excess dopamine and adrenaline or serotonin, reducing anxiety, aggression (1)
  • Fish oils
    • full of omega 3s, critical for proper functioning of neurotransmitters
  • CoQ10
    • is a great antioxidant which is great for reducing heavy metal toxicity that can leak to the brain causing fogginess, depression and anxiety
  • Glutamine
    • Is a precursor for GABA helping calmness and relaxation in anxiety (1)
  • SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine)
    • Increases glutathione, a potent antioxidant reducing free radicals and toxins and serotonin both helping our mental health
    • N.B. Not to be taken with antidepressant medications and you should consult a doctor before taking (2)
  • Tyrosine
    • Is a precursor for dopamine, great in depression to improve mood, mental exhaustion and addictive tendencies (1)
  • Tryptophan
    • Increases B vitamins and serotonin for improved mood; and melatonin to help insomnia, migraines, chronic pain, hypertension and anxiety (1)
    • 5 HTP is a supplement derivative form of tryptophan and great to increase serotonin and thus enhance mood
  • DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)
    • a hormone that depletes over 35 and enhances mood and well being as is the building block for oestrogen and testosterone.
    • N.B. Consult a doctor or naturopath as it is contraindicated in some circumstances, especially in some hormonal cancers etc.
  • B vitamins
    • Are great for stress, low mood, anxiety, depression; help in low acetycholine and GABA to help relax nervous system and for insomnia (1)
    • B6 increases serotonin and is low in alcohol users and women on the pill (2)
    • B12 is essential as effects the myelin sheath of the brain, helping in mood disorders, and B8 is also great for brain function and depression
  • Vitamin C and calcium
    • Affect neurotransmitters and nerve endings thus helping in mood disorders
  • Magnesium
    • Is great for anxiety, calming mind and body
  • Vitamin D
    • For immunity, neural cells, seasonal depression (SAD)(3)
  • Adrenal herbal support to counter effects of excess cortisol
    • Licorice, Rhodiola, Rehmannia, Withania and Panax and Siberian ginseng are all beautiful herbs for adrenal fatigue
  • Potassium
    • Low when stressed causing neurotransmitter balance and depression (2)

References:

  1. Bio Concepts
  2. Gary Null ‘A Natural Approach to Overcoming Depression
  3. Hechtman L, ‘Clinical Approach to Nutrition’
  4. Yoganonymous

A New Year Reset!

Happy New Year!

I hope you have a great 2016 and have set some big New Year’s intentions!

2016 going to be fearless soul busting etc

New Years are always good times to look back on the year prior and start afresh with things that weren’t working.

I was practising the other morning, and I had a clear message it was time for a RESET of my stories, my words, my thoughts and my actions. It’s time to do things differently!

Then I came across a Mystic Mamma’s article about January being all about RESET (link below). Wow! It really resonated with me so I had to share my thoughts with you. I feel it’s been hard times emotionally for a few people so I hope my sharing also resonates with you.

We all have a story and past hurts and baggage we are taking into our lives and relationships. It’s normal but in order to let go of some of our past fears, whether they are of rejection, abandonment, getting close, being alone…it’s necessary to look into the root of these fears, hurts, pain and to acknowledge them for a complete RESET.

This isn’t easy! It’s been a bit of tough year emotionally for me, feeling over sensitive, down at times, anxious and a little lonely. It was annoying as so many things were amazing in my life so at times I felt really ungrateful.

The hard times were intense, but mostly just coming in waves and then I was fine again. I knew deep down that it was all going to be ok and old stuff was just coming up to be processed. However, it was hard to not go back into the old story, but stay alert and just allow the layers of the onion to be peeled and feel into the emotions and let the tears flow and feel the loneliness, emptiness and darkness when they came. Ouch!

The inner work I am doing is necessary to realise what is blocking me to finding love and connection with my tribe and why I have been feeling so lonely. And it’s ok to get down at times and cry and be emotional and vulnerable and acknowledge past hurts and fears of abandonment and rejection from childhood (which I am not always good at!)

As Baron Baptiste says,

baron baptiste yoga til blue in face

So, are you ready to reset your patterns and take some action?

reflection of a choice

For example, I am really ready for a beautiful, conscious relationship but as Rumi said we need to look inside first and reset our patterns:

rumi seek love barriers

You can read the whole Mystic Mamma article here but parts that really resonated were that RESETS are necessary but not easy, so don’t feel alone when things get hard! We are in such a big time of transformation but we need to go through the dark to get to the light…

“Larger scale inner RESETS are often accompanied by intense experiences of some kind that threaten the ego and false personality and may even cause one to feel like you are going a little crazy or completely falling apart.

“Since completing a RESET requires a letting go as completely as possible of a container, pattern or attachment, it can be uncomfortable and can also bring up quite a bit of instinctive fear.

Phew… so I am not going completely mad! 🙂

The article also talks about finding your tribe and no longer having to feel alone with the focus this year more on community, Yah!

You will feel the pull towards being with members of your ‘tribe’ and ones with a similar philosophy and perception of life.

“This year’s influences are teaching us that we can no longer go about life insulated, isolated and alone. We are being magnetized towards right community and shown the power of co-creating our dreams when egos are set aside.

When I returned from the UK having seen my gorgeous family and friends and spent some time in Italy and Spain I felt so filled up and alive! As soon as I returned to Sydney I felt very lost, disconnected and homesick!

I seriously considered moving home as I felt so empty here. I had an energy balance and my healer told me that sometimes she feels people need to move away from their family and support network to overcome past hurts and feelings of abandonment.

Wow! This started to make sense and I realised my emotions and anxiety of getting close to people but then feeling isolated and alone were all part of the reset and the letting go. It’s no easy journey this becoming more conscious! More than a few times the saying ‘Ignorance is bliss’ would pop up into my head but I knew it was worth it!

As the mystic mamma article states:

“The days of being unconscious with your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are over. It is time to focus on eliminating destructive patterns that will stand in the way of your spiritual evolution and to allow what is down the road to unfold in your life without needing to control or second-guess every step.”

I have been feeling a bit out of sorts in the last months, as again, I took on too much, not able to say no, and not standing to the boundaries I started to get better at creating. Having to move house again also destabilised me and by the holidays I was exhausted, emotional, anxious, snappy and soooo in need of a rest!

I was having panic attacks at being around big crowds and people I didn’t know very well as felt like I didn’t fit in or I wasn’t cool enough or loud enough… and making mountains out of mole hills at the thought of going to things alone when my close friends weren’t able to come with me.

I knew it was because I had pushed my adrenals again so I was feeling more emotional and sensitive than usual, but I also knew on a deeper level that I needed to reset some of these patterns and the only way was confronting them face on… and I did it! Woo!

“A RESET from the inside stems from a conscious decision to change something that is no longer a viable expression in your life. A RESET from the inside is an intention to get back into balance what feels out of balance.

I hear you! I have also been upset with myself that I haven’t had time to learn to play the guitar that I had intended this year or danced which is sooo necessary for my soul as I come alive when I dance…

“To express and give support to the RESET in this area it is important to do something new, try something new, dance, move your body, change your wardrobe, take up a new sport, change your hair, lose some weight or gain some weight, join a gym, or change your diet.

I have also had gut issues a lot and I know it’s all to do with my overactive mind and my anxiety that I hold in my gut… a recent relationship actually triggered so many of my old fears that I got gastro that night and something told me that it wasn’t food poisoning.. and then I read this today..

The challenges this month will be around teeth, bones, lungs and digestion. Remember that you cannot digest what is not yours.

“Tell the truth to yourself about what you have been carrying in your ‘gut’ that does not belong to you. RESET that pattern.”

So yes, this article SPOKE to me!!

And I hope it speaks to you!

Be kind when things get tough.. big things are happening, people are waking up and becoming more conscious, loving and compassionate. However, to reset, we need to process old hurts and let go of attachments! It ain’t easy.. but I keep telling myself it’ll be worth it!

If you resonate with having had a tough year emotionally and are also sensitive, this article ‘Are you an empath or just highly sensitive’ here actually made me feel a whole lot better!

empath-or-highly-sensitive1

I realised that perhaps all these sensitive, intense feelings were all part of my journey as I was becoming more conscious and aware. And they were also normal. So even in the dark times I could see the light.. even if oh so dimly at times! (Thanks friends for being there.. I really appreciate you and you know who you are!)

Wow, that was more of a share than I expected… bit scared to press publish.. but here goes! 🙂

Big hugs and love..Happy New Year!

Chrissie x

Yummy healthy but nice Christmas recipes

Christmas treats don’t all have to be about lots of refined sugar, gluten and dairy making you feel bloated and full and giving you a bad tummy.
Here are some yummy recipes of some of the treats I made over the Xmas period…
Raw Chocolate Almond Cake
This was perfect for Christmas Day! Looks very special yet not too unhealthy and full of chocolate and nutty goodness!
Raw-salted-caramel-almond-cake-whole-200x200
Ingredients (adapted from Health Emporium’s recipes)
Base Layer
  • 1 cup almonds, raw preferably activated
  • 1/2 cup walnuts for creaminess
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 6 dates Soft, fresh & pitted (if using dried soak for a few hours and add a little coconut oil)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest, finely Grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, unrefined
Middle Layer
  • 2 cups cashews raw, soaked in filtered water for 6-8 hours, drained & rinsed
  • 1/4 cup coconut syrup or rice syrup or maple syrup (I used less than most recipes so you may want more)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk OR almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder, raw
  • 2 tbsp orange zest, finely grated
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, unrefined
Chocolate Topping
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder, raw
  • 1/6 cup coconut syrup or maple syrup or rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt, unrefined
  • Chopped or blended almonds for decoration
  • I added some cherries on the top too as it’s Christmas!

Instructions:

  • Place all of the base ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press the base firmly and evenly into the cake tin and place in the freezer.
  • Next make the middle layer by blending the cashews, coconut syrup and coconut milk until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the food processor occasionally. 
  • Add the remaining middle layer ingredients and blend until thoroughly incorporated. Pour this mixture on top of the base and return the pan to the freezer.
  • To make the chocolate glaze for topping the cake, place all of the chocolate topping ingredients (except for the extra almonds and cherries and orange zest used for decoration) into a small bowl and stir for a couple of minutes until very smooth. Pour over the cake and return to the freezer to set for 4 hours, or even overnight.
  • Take the cake out of the freezer for about 15 minutes to soften slightly before slicing. Decorate with chopped almonds and cherries or thin strips of orange zest. It keeps in the freezer beautifully for up to 3 weeks.
    Notes: You can use hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts in place of almonds and hazelnut, macadamia or cashew butter in place of almond butter.
    I have used avocados as well as or in place of cashews for the middle layer too which is a little creamier and softer and good for nut allergies.
Healthy Chocolate fudge
fudge
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 cups raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 pinches unrefined sea salt
Instructions:
  • Heat the coconut oil and blend all ingredients together.
  • Pour into a tin and place into the freezer.
  • You can slice them once you take them out of the freezer for ten minutes.
  • Store it in the freezer.
You can also pour them into silicone ice cube trays to make little heart shaped chocolates. Enjoy!
Pumpkin brownies
grain-free-pumpkin-brownies2
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, large
  • Âœ cup coconut syrup (you can also use maple syrup)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I cooked mine but you can get tinned)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Âœ cup coconut flour
  • Âœ cup cocoa powder
  • ÂŒ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Âœ cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  • First, preheat oven to 170C and oil an 8×8″ tin with coconut oil.
  • Next, place wet ingredients in a large bowl and mix together until smooth. Then, add dry ingredients to the same bowl and mix until combined.
  • Pour into tin and spread out evenly.
  • Bake at 170ÂșC for 40-45 minutes.

Banana bread
banana bread
Ingredients
Makes 1 loaf (serves 12)

  • 4 large smashed ripe bananas
  • 4 free range organic eggs
  • 1.5 tblsp raw honey or organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60g (1/4 cup) macadamia or cold pressed olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarb soda) + 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 200g (2 cups) almond meal (can replace 1/2 cup coconut flour but it’s denser)
  • 25g (1/4 cup) ground flaxseed or chia seed

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 160 C.
  • Combine smashed banana, honey, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarb and lemon (lemon activates the bicarb) in a large bowl or with a good blender
  • Add the almond meal and flaxseed and mix well.
  • Lightly oil one loaf tin and then coat liberally with extra almond meal or desiccated coconut to prevent the cake from sticking.
  • Spoon batter into the tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour ( a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).
  • Cover the top with foil if over-browning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.
  • Keeps in the fridge covered for up to 1 week.

Notes: You can decorate the top before baking with sliced banana or a handful of chopped walnuts and a lightly sprinkle of cinnamon.

Christmas Spice Bliss Balls
brandyballsLG
Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almonds
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup dried apple slices
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • Zest 1 orange
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp mixed spice (or coriander, nutmeg, cloves, star anise)
  • 1 tbsp brandy (optional)

Instructions:

  • Simply pop all the above ingredients into a food processor and blend for five minutes until the mixture has combined and holds together.
  • Remove the mixture from the food processor and roll into small balls.
  • Line a storage container with baking paper, pop all the balls inside and store in the fridge for up to two months. The longer you leave them, the yummier they will taste!