Tag Archives: Microbiome

The invisible universe

Imagine if there were an organ in your body that weighed as much as your brain, that affected your health, your weight, and even your behaviour. Wouldn’t you want to know more about it? There is such an organ — the collection of microbes in and on your body, your human microbiome. Watch this quick video : click here

Thousands of years ago Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

My colleagues and I are seeing more and more clients who are experiencing some form of digestive distress, and that number is rising every year.  In my experience this is caused mostly by lifestyle and stress.

Why is this important, because your gut contains up to 85% of your immune system!  So when stress affects your gut, it affects your immune system.

One of the most important parts of our health right now as we face COVID 19 IS our immune system! I believe that we are going to have to learn to live with COVID19, flu has been around for 500 years and we have learned to live with this and I think the same applies with COVID19 and the best way to do this is heal our gut, boost our immune system and elevate our health

Modern science has now proven Hippocrates was right – healing the gut is absolutely crucial to healing health issues, we now know that supporting gut health in general is one of the most powerful things you can do for your overall health.

The problem is, most people ignore digestive issues until they are really out of control and disrupting their lives, I speak from experience as this happened to me and these symptoms should not be ignored becasue they are one of the first signs of a weak immune system.

So I am inviting you to a FREE webinar to discover what you can do to strengthen your gut and immune system.  This information can be applied immediately and best of all you can watch from the comfort of your own home!  No traffic 😉

I look forward to sharing this powerful information with you.  Click here to access the FREE webinar today.

If you would like to find out more about accessing our PURE21 to Reset, Rebalance and Rebuild your Microbiome starting in October 2021 then please do contact me

mental HEALTH & gut HEALTH : the connection

Thursday 10th of October was Mental Health Day, but in fact everyday should be Mental health Day because our mental health is just as important as our physical health.  Did you know that problems with mental health are one of the primary causes of the overall disease burden worldwide. 

The primary method of treatment for depression is serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), however they are not effective in all individuals, success rates are only about one in three and it is not a long term solution.

Enter…… the gut.  Hopefully,  it comes as no surprise that there is a connection between the gut and the brain but you might be less familiar with the scientific studies which are now showing that inflammation is the major driving factor of depression and this inflammation starts in the gut.  Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis all of these and many other illnesses are linked to inflammation in the body and they all have neurological consequences.  The vagus nerve connects the brain with several parts of the gut, including the stomach, pancreas and intestines – making the gut a very influential path to the brain and when things go wrong, this is a channel for feelings of depression and anxiety.

The balance of the gut microbiome is central to our internal ecosystem impacting our digestion, our immune system and our brain health just to name a few functions in the body that are impacted.  When there is an imbalance this can bring about even more inflammation in the brain….. so with dysregulation of the microbiome and subsequent inflammation as a clear driving factor to depressive symptoms, healing the gut to managing these symptoms has become crucial.

9/10 of my clients are now fully committed to healing their gut and join our 21 Day Purify Programme, if you would like to find our more click here to register for our next FREE webinar and further information.  You can also get a copy of my book here.  I look forward to connecting with you or I encourage you to get started on your journey to Life-Long Health it’s never too late!

To Detox / Cleanse or not…..

Detox and cleansing is thrown around a lot at this time of the year, in relation to clean living and eating so should you cleanse, is it healthy and do they work?  Cleansing has been part of cultural rituals in some areas of the world for thousands of years.  All cultures have the same concepts, the aim is to stimulate the body’s natural detoxification pathways as well as ‘cleansing the soul’.

Traditionally a detox period comes with the change of the seasons and the promise of a new you, a new beginning and perhaps a new journey.  It can aid with weight loss, glowing skin, renewed energy and a renewed zest for life.   It does depends on the detox or cleanse but there is truth in this promise.

In biochemical terms Detoxification, defines the process by which harmful compounds, such as drugs or poisons, are converted to less toxic compounds in the body so they can excreted.  If you are thinking – why on earth would our body need to detoxify, what and where do these poisons come from.  Here’s a brief list:

  • Skin care and personal care items
  • Pesticides on our food
  • All medications including pain relief and oral contraceptive pill
  • Tap water
  • Plastics
  • Vaccinations
  • Heavy metals in our environment
  • Home fragrances
  • Exhaust fumes
  • Paint fumes, nail art, DIY material, toys, cleaning products

If you stop for a minute and list all of the chemicals that you come into contact with on a daily basis, the truth can be quite shocking.

The Environmental Working Group conducted a survey and concluded that on average women have an average exposure of up to 168 ingredients and that is just from the personal care products they use before they leave the house – face creams, soap, shampoo, perfumes, make-up etc and this is only the tip of the sword, the exposure continues via cleaning products around the home, fragrances, exhaust fumes, burnt and overcooked food, pesticides, plastic wrap and so it goes on. You can see how this list could easily slide up into the 100s and 1000s.

Considering all of these we are still functioning and this is because we have a very complex and fine-tuned system of detoxifying these poisons from our body – this is for the most part the role of the liver, but other organs such as skin, kidney, spleen and intestines are involved.

Our liver has a phenomenal capacity to convert the fat loving molecules into more water soluble metabolites which can be efficiently eliminated from the body.  We refer to this as phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3 detoxification.  The catch is that the liver needs specific nutrients to help it to do this and to carry out these thousands of processes.   Some are provided through our food and some the body can manufacture itself.  Therefore, you always need to make sure that a detox or cleanse supports all three phases of detoxification and that you are eating real whole food along with your cleanse, otherwise you may end up more toxic than when you started.

Picture this you are living in an urban area, you have a stressful job and possibly a long commute, your food is less than ideal as you buy a pre-packaged ‘healthy’ options from the grocery store and wash it down with a glass of wine or two, if you are eating processed and packaged foods you are further increasing or decreasing certain enzyme activity which results in less effective detoxification, so as you can see your toxic load is already brimming, so where are all those essential nutrients going to come from so that your liver can clean up and get rid of the toxins?  Our liver adapts and learns to cut corners (it finds the way which requires the least amount of energy) and it will use up any reserves that you have left.  Add on years and possibly decades of the same and hopefully you will start to see how despite our liver’s ability to continuing doing its job, some support and nurturing would not go amiss!

Here are some signs and symptoms of a sluggish and/or struggling liver:

  • Poor and ‘foggy’ memory
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Hives, Itchy rashes, dermatitis and other skin conditions
  • Body odour
  • Bad breath Intolerance to alcohol
  • Intolerance to coffee
  • Difficulty losing weight or easy to gain weight
  • Fat around the middle
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Poor elimination e.g. constipation
  • Fatty stools and indigestion
  • Dark urine and stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low energy levels
  • Dizziness

The good news is, that the liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself if you give it the right support.

My main advice is:

  • Reduce stress : lifestyle and environmental as much as possible
  • Reduce your ‘toxic load’ through diet and lifestyle choices
  • Eat local and organic food where possible
  • Drink plenty of filtered water
  • Choose a clean, whole food organic diet
  • Remove refined and processed foods  and added sugars
  • Eat a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fresh organic vegetables and the best quality meat and fish you can afford.
  • Practice mindfulness and Meditation and have a positive outlook

If you would like to take this a step further and join our next 21 Day Purify Programme which starts on 26th February then email us to join, this 21 Day Programme supports your digestion and detoxification pathways and boosts your metabolism, we will also send you information on our skincare which is a unique blend of natural plant extracts, antioxidants, enzymes and advanced probiotic technology work to protect the skin and program it to look and act healthier – your skin is your second detox organ so it is just as important to protect and support your skin.

Do Detox Diets actually Work?

Do Detox Diets workas published on Watchfit

Most people want to enjoy better health, people are living longer and want to look younger and enjoy their life to the full despite their age and for this they require energy.

Energy comes from our cells, these are little powerhouses in the body and there are over 75 trillion, working together to produce the living breathing you.

The recipe for healthy cells

  1. Oxygen
  2. Nutrients
  3. The ability to detoxify

It makes sense that in order to increase our overall health, maintain our optimal weight and assist in reversing or preventing aging and disease we must maximize the functioning and efficiency of each of the cells in our body but giving it the right nutrients and one of the easiest and most efficient ways to positively impact your health is through the food choices you make.

Detoxification is what your body does naturally to neutralize, transform or get rid of unwanted materials or toxins. It is a primary function of the body, and some argue that because of this there is no need to detoxify.

However, we now live in a very toxic world, our bodies are being bombarded with toxins from processed and packaged foods, the water we drink, the skincare we use that is full of chemicals and toxins, our household cleaners and the air we breathe – most people are exposed to between 150 – 500 toxins before we leave the house everyday from toiletries and makeup. So we really need to support, improve and optimize the function of our body’s own detoxification systems.

The food we eat can add to the toxic overload as processed and packaged foods have additives, chemicals and preservatives – junk food, trans fats, the wrong salt, sugar, alcohol and caffeine all add to the daily toxic burden. Not only do we need to reduce the amount of toxins that we put in and on our bodies, we need to support our body’s detoxification pathways at the same time and this is where a detox diet can be helpful.

Benefits of A Detox Diet:

  • Feel Great
  • Increase Your Energy
  • Have More Mental Clarity
  • Sleep Better
  • Have Regular Bowel Movement
  • Have More Flexibility
  • Enjoy Clearer, Softer Skin
  • Have Less Aches And Pains

DETOX DIETS

Detox Diets can be dangerous and can be as faddy as all the other well known diets out there, while you do need give your digestion a rest, it is not necessary to do some weird and wonderful juice fast with weird and wonderful drinks and half starving yourself.

Celebrities do tend to promote all kinds of eating regimes and crazy nutritional ideas, many of which may work in the short term, but inevitably are not nutritionally balanced or support our overall health in the long term.

What we are looking at is removing and reducing the foods that the body treats as toxic and replacing these foods with wholesome REAL organic foods which are as nutritionally supportive as possible. As mentioned we live in a chemical age, many of us are suffering from the effects of poor dietary and lifestyle choices

Eight signals your liver is telling you that you need to detox

Did you know that besides your heart, your liver is probably the hardest working organ in your body?

Eight signs your liver is telling you it needs help:

  1. abdominal bloating
  2. excessive abdominal fat; pot belly; or a roll around the upper abdomen
  3. trouble digesting fatty foods
  4. acid reflux/heartburn
  5. dark circles under the eyes
  6. overheating of the body & excessive perspiration
  7. acne/rosacea or itchy, blotchy skin
  8. unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight even with calorie restriction

These are signs you need to take action and follow a detox as well as alter your diet and lifestyle. Detoxing helps our bodies cope with the onslaught of toxins and stress which are an unavoidable part of modern day life.

How Do You Do A Detox?

A detox program has to address both internal and external toxins. Not only do we need to deal with the toxins we eat, drink, breathe and put on our bodies, it is just as important to address the internal toxicity created by the body as it performs its normal everyday functions.

A comprehensive detox program must supply the appropriate nutrients to do this

– and should include nutrients specifically to support the two most important detoxification organ systems, the liver and the gastro-intestinal tract. It is essential to have a programmes that is based on sage, effective, all natural herbs and nutrients and work with your body’s own detoxification and elimination pathways

  1. Remove the Number of Toxins Going In
  2. Assist the Body’s natural Capacity to Neutralize and Eliminate the Toxins
  3. a) Support Gastro-Intestinal Function
  4. b) Support Liver Function

There is a lot of research documenting the detox diet’s role in health, weight loss and disease. There is even a scientific term for chemicals and substances that are foreign to the body and come from the external environment – xenobiotics.

Health experts recommend that we should do a whole body cleanse at least 3 if not 4 times a year – at the change of the season, spring summer autumn, post Christmas and then an additional time in the year if you are going on holiday or for a special occasion just to refresh the system and improve vitality.

 

Sign up for our 10 Day Delicious Detox – use the code: DDBF15* to get your “Black Friday 25% Discount and get the 10 Day Delicious Detox for £75 : Register Here

 

*this code expires at Midnight on Sunday 29th November 2015, Detox must be paid for in full by Midnight on the 29th of November to receive the discount.

 

 

How Does Drinking Too Much Coffee Affect Your Health?

How Does Drinking tooAs published on WatchFit

Coffee dependency

In the UK people consume 70 million cups of coffee a day. Most of us understand that caffeine is habit-forming but we may not understand the affects it has on our health, and one of the reasons why caffeine is so hard to give up is that we may develop a strong dependency on it for a number of physiological, psychological and emotional reasons.

– Physiological: Caffeine has measurable physical effects in the body, increasing our pulse, heart rate and respiration.
– Psychological: We love to share the caffeine ritual with friends.
– Emotional: We look forward to the times of day when we consume caffeine as treasured, oasis-like moments.

Many of us develop deep-seated habits specific to our caffeine consumption: Some people drink coffee to wake up in the morning or right before an important meeting, others have a caffeinated drink after lunch because they think it keeps them awake.

Addiction

Over time, we find that our response to caffeine changes so that, ultimately, we aren’t in charge anymore – the body needs caffeine to feel “normal” or have energy. When we try to ignore the desire for caffeine, we find ourselves experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are often uncomfortable enough to cause some to surrender to caffeine dependency.

In fact drinking coffee has become so addictive that some people can’t get through the day without downing several cups in the morning, noon and night. It has even evolved into a social drink, with consumers spending generously on sugar-loaded concoctions from numerous chains of coffee shops that have become giant brands.

Coffee and toxins

Drinking coffee daily can compound toxins in your body. This toxic exposure and overload can increase your risk of insomnia, stroke and Heart Disease.

Unless you drink organic coffee, it is very likely that the plants and beans have been exposed to pesticides that contribute to several cancers and Parkinson’s disease. Coffee is also known to disrupt absorption of vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body to function properly.

The caffeine doesn’t have any nutritional value either and has been linked to diabetes. In pregnant women, it increases the risk of having a miscarriage or a low birth weight baby.

Health hazards

– Heart disease
– High cholesterol levels
– Fluid loss in your body
– Rheumatoid Arthritis
– Stroke
– Damaged blood vessels
– Insomnia
– Anxiety symptoms

– Liver: caffeine is a drug-like substance and the liver immediately sets about clearing it from the system
– Brain: caffeine has some potent psychoactive effects that make it habit-forming, if you’ve been consuming a lot of caffeine every day, you’ll notice unpleasant symptoms as you reduce your intake.

On average, it takes the body about 5–8 hours to eliminate caffeine, and your caffeine intake can impact your liver function. If you are continuously drinking caffeine the body is continually trying to get rid of (detox) the caffeine putting your liver under strain as it has over 500 other tasks to perform and will begin to be overburdened.

Simple and effective ways to cut back or eliminate caffeine

– Time your quit date to coincide with a vacation, so you won’t fall under any peer-pressure

– Enjoy a massage or other treatment as a reward rather than caffeine

– Provide nutritional support — include good quality protein and good fats to keep cravings to a minimum.

– Drink at least 2-3 litres of pure water – water is the ultimate thirst-quenching, health-promoting drink.

– Go for a walk and listen to your favourite music – find ways to reduce stress – this will also ease symptoms of withdrawal. Consider acupuncture, gentle exercise and meditation.

For most people, it’s probably a lot easier and less painful to detox from caffeine a little at a time. Start the day with hot water and lemon rather than caffeine and if you need to have coffee ensure that you have it before 12 noon and then continue to reduce this over a few days. If your goal is total abstinence for health reasons you may decide to quit right away or taper off and then give up coffee altogether.

Common symptoms of caffeine “withdrawal”

Here are some common symptoms of withdrawal to be aware of:

– Headaches (A throbbing, pressure-type headache is the most common symptom of both “overdose” and withdrawal.)
– Fatigue
– Sluggishness
– Daytime drowsiness
– Inability to focus
– Irritability
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Reduced sense of well-being

You may notice these symptoms as your system adjusts to lower levels of caffeine, but most symptoms should disappear after a week without caffeine. You can also supplement with extra vitamin C and as mentioned above take regular breaks, enjoy a walk, and get to bed on time.

There’s more…

Note: For some people, the love affair with caffeine is complicated by its presence in many over-the-counter and prescription drugs, or by close associations with other habits like nicotine. In these cases, I would recommend a supported natural and herbal detox – remove the caffeine and add in more support

This is because it is your liver that breaks caffeine down so you can eliminate it from your body. I recommend you speak to a Nutritional Therapist about this and specific supplements that can support the liver as it goes through the detox process.

Detoxifying process

These include:
Natural and supported detox
vitamin C (also helps with withdrawal symptoms and supports adrenal function)
magnesium
zinc
-B vitamins
-trace minerals
-amino acids (may also help balance energy levels)
-milk thistle

You can greatly reduce stress on your liver by eliminating foods and drinks that are likely to contain toxins or allergens, and make sure to eat enough protein. An alkaline diet is good for your health for many reasons it provides the mineral salts and antioxidants that help during detoxification.

One of the best tips for cutting down on caffeine is to drink a big glass of pure water or a cup of warm water with half a freshly squeezed lemon immediately upon waking, before you take in any caffeine. That helps quench simple thirst. Then eat your breakfast as soon as possible, making sure it includes clean protein.

Stay on top

If you’re worried you might lose your edge if you quit caffeine, consider this: your body and mind are not designed to be ‘switched on’ all day, every day. Your body works best when you respect its natural rhythm, there are times for energetic activity and time for rest and relaxation.

The periods of rest and relaxation allow the body to detoxify and repair, so respect these natural rhythms and reduce your dependency on caffeine. This also ensures you reduce the damaging impact it may be having on your health.

So be good to your body, improve y0ur health and cut the caffeine!

The gut: food allergies, skin conditions, and mental health

The gut needs good bacteria to to be a barrier, neutralize toxins and metabolize vitamins – our intestine is naturally porous, and we depend on our friendly bacteria to form a barrier to prevent large proteins (like gluten (from wheat and grains) and casein/lactose (from dairy)) and toxins from going through the gut wall and into the bloodstream. Once these particles enter the bllod stream it cuases a reactiion and inflammtion within the body. The role of the gut flora is to neutralize, metabolize, and further break down our food and transport vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients across the gut wall.

If we do not having enough good gut bacteria, the presence of bad ‘opportunistic’ bacteria creates further problems by releasing toxins into the bloodstream, which affect the body in a number of ways such as gas, bloating, pain, headaches, brain fog etc.

We have “bad” bacteria in our system as it does have a role to play but we can wipe out the good bacteria with medication and antibiotics and this allows the bad bacteria to establish colonies because there aren’t enough good bacteria to crowd them out.

The gut also has our ‘second brain’ in it, there is actually neural tissue in the gut that helps regulate the emotions. When the gut is not healthy, anxiety, depression, and other moods aren’t kept in check.

Allergies and other chronic health conditions such as inflammation and skin issues are primarily from either undigested particles going through a ‘leaky gut’ and then the body reacting to the ‘foreign’ materials, or a response the body has to the chemicals emitted by the pathogenic bacteria that have colonized in the gut.