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Satisfy your sweet tooth AND benefit your body

Posted on by Fiona in Uncategorized Comments Off on Satisfy your sweet tooth AND benefit your body

I pinched this from Isabel De Los Rios over at Beyond Diet.  What a great way to have a treat AND benefit your body.

Chocolate Strawberry Yogurt
1 scoop chocolate Low Carb Protein Powder

1/2 cup organic Greek yogurt 
1/2 cup sliced strawberries

OR

Vanilla Blueberry Yogurt
1 scoop Low Carb Vanilla Protein Powder

1/2 cup organic Greek Yogurt 
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:  Mix the protein powder in a bowl with 1 tbsp of water. Mix until all the protein powder is dissolved (this will be pretty thick). Add in the yogurt and mix until well combined. Top with fruit.

And here’s a fantastic Chia seed recipe, along similar lines.  Chia seeds are one of my favourite breakfast foods at the moment (try them with stewed apple, cinnamon and coconut milk … high protein, rich in omega 3 fatty acids and full of fibre… a great way to start the day!)

Chia Seed Pudding
1 Scoop Chocolate or Vanilla Protein Powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
4 tablespoons water or coconut milk

Directions:  Put protein powder and chia seeds in a bowl and slowly mix in the water or coconut milk. Let it sit for a few minutes as the chia seeds form a gel. The longer it sits, the more “pudding like” it will become.

ENJOY!


Butter that’s easy to spread winter or summer (and extra healthy too)

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A few months ago, frustrated with ‘winter’ hard butter that tears even the most robust bread, I googled for a solution.  After looking at temperature controlled containers (too expensive and I’d have to pay postage from America) it occurred to me that perhaps I could reproduce the spreadable butter that you can buy in the supermarket.  After all, according to the ingredients, it’s just butter whipped up with oil.

Some more googling later and I had a recipe.  Since then I’ve adapted it, and also experimented with different oils.  Following is our family’s Number One favourite, which beats all the others hands down for flavour, and is REALLY healthy too!  It also works out to be quite economical as the whipping increases the final volume substantially.

I would even go so far as to say it’s yummier than butter on it’s own!  

Here’s the recipe:

SPREADABLE APRICOT KERNEL BUTTER

500g (2 standard blocks) of butter at room temperature
1 cup of cold-pressed apricot kernel oil

  • Beat the butter on its own until light and fluffy.
  • Add the oil and continue to beat.
  • Once it’s well-blended you can leave it at that, however I find I can make it even smoother and lighter by using my whipping attachment to really fluff it up.
  • Pop it into glass containers and keep it in the fridge.  It spreads easily straight from the fridge, so you can have healthy, spreadable butter all year round.

Something you may wish to experiment with:  the first recipe I came across actually added about 1/2 cup of water to the above.  Believe it or not, it DOES actually blend.  It’s a great way to make this recipe even more economical.  I leave it out as I prefer the luscious, strong taste of butter, and the water does dilute the taste a little.  However, you may like to try it yourself to see if you like it.

We use organic butter and organic apricot kernel oil to make our spreadable apricot kernel butter even healthier (it tastes better too).

In the next post I’ll talk about the benefits of butter and why margarine, while convenient, is one of the worst foods you can consume.  Stay tuned for information on the benefits of apricot kernel oil, too!

Enjoy!

 


Cholesterol drugs: bully alert!

Posted on by Fiona in Uncategorized Comments Off on Cholesterol drugs: bully alert!

I sometimes think of the difference between pharmaceutical drugs and natural medicine as the difference between, on the one hand, bullying the biochemistry of the body into so-called ‘proper’ behaviour and, on the other, nurturing the biochemistry of the body into harmony and alignment.  If you are in a life-threatening situation, some well-managed bullying may be appropriate to bring your body’s biochemistry back under control quickly.  But as a long term solution?  Give me nurturing any day!

The question of how to treat high cholesterol is a good example.

If your cholesterol is high a doctor is likely to prescribe you a drug that forces your body to produce less cholesterol (e.g., statin drugs). Cholesterol, however, is in fact a soothing, healing substance that is naturally produced by the liver to clean and repair the cardiovascular system. Therefore the cholesterol itself is not the problem (unless it builds to the point where it’s physically clogging the arteries). The real problem is that your cardiovascular system is under stress – either through oxidation, toxins or pH imbalances in your blood – and as a natural consequence your body has increased its production of cholesterol to heal the stress.

Normally once the cholesterol does its work and heals the area, your body will stop producing cholesterol in large quantities and your levels will drop.  However, if the state of stress is chronic – i.e., occurring continuously over a long period of time – the body’s cholesterol production never abates, and eventually the cholesterol builds up, hardens and can indeed block the flow of blood through your arteries.

Using a pharmaceutical drug to inhibit your body from producing cholesterol will indeed lower cholesterol, but it will not address the real problem.  At Natural Pain Solutions, we use tests to identify the specific internal stresses, deficiencies and imbalances that are causing your body to increase its production of cholesterol in the first place.  We then assist your body to heal these stresses, deficiencies and imbalances by providing it with the nutrients our tests indicate it needs, and by helping you to implement certain dietary and lifestyle changes. Once the root causes of oxidation, toxins and/or pH imbalance are corrected, your body realises that high production of cholesterol is no longer required, and so your cholesterol levels naturally decrease.  

In creating a healthy internal ecosystem, it’s always better find and fix the cause of any problems, rather than use drugs to force your body’s biochemistry to behave differently.  Just like in the playground, there’s really no need for bullying.

 

 


It’s been a long, sniffley winter!

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Sharing, Not Always Caring

If you frequently catch colds and flus, it may be that your immune system is out of balance and making you more susceptible to catching infections that are all too often shared around at this time of year. If you have nutritional deficiencies or a poor diet, stress, inadequate rest or a lack of exercise; your immune system may not be primed to recognise and respond to the viral and bacterial invaders responsible for infection.

If sneezing and wheezing, coughs and sore throats are common visitors at your house, do yourself a favour and prime your immune defences to protect you against viral and bacterial intruders. Key herbs and nutrients play a crucial role as natural winter warriors helping to protect you and your family this season:

  • Andrographis: This immune herb given at 6 g has been shown to be as effective as paracetamol for reducing fever and sore throat. Together with Zinc and Picrorrhiza, Andrographis may also help to reduce duration of illness.
  • Elderberry is an excellent herb to help reduce flu symptoms such as fever and runny noses.
  • Cordyceps, Coriolus and Reishi are medicinal mushrooms that specifically target virally-infected cells, often the cause of those winter colds and flus. These medicinal mushrooms can be taken both acutely and also for chronic infections, to help get restore a healthy functioning immune system.
  • Zinc, Vitamin D and Vitamin C: These key nutrients are all important to help reduce the severity and duration of illness, whilst also supporting your immune system to function optimally

 

The Gut – Your Link to Immunity
Did you know that 70 to 80% of your immune system is actually located in your digestive system? Understanding this will emphasise how important it is to look after your gut health. Your diet and the overall functioning of your digestive system will affect your immune system. Probiotics not only help with digestion, but there are also key probiotics that help your immune system. The beneficial strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 have been shown to help boost your immune system function.

Eating To Stay Well 
Healthy eating plans are essential throughout winter and spring to help strengthen your immune system. Maintaining good nutritional status can help keep you healthy and reduce your risk of getting sick, as well as aiding faster recovery.

  • Eat seasonally, fresh and organic as much as possible.
  • Eat a well-balanced Mediterranean style diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and lean meats. 
  • Reduce inflammatory foods that can suppress immune function and are mucous-forming, such as dairy, sugar, 
  • white breads, cakes and soft drinks.
  • Try a hot fresh lemon, garlic and ginger tea with a dash of honey, or thyme tea to soothe a sore throat.
  • Drink plenty of water, a minimum of eight glasses per day, and avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine. 
  • Take time to rest and relax, and get a good night’s sleep.

 

If you need help strengthening your immune system, contact us to make an appointment.


Raw Food Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Fudge (and yes, it still tastes AMAZING!)

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healthychocfudge

A few weeks ago I bought a raw food bar from my local organic shop, and it was Yum (with a capital Y).  Being a chronic ingredient checker I of course perused the ingredients, and thought ‘hey – I could make something like this (and not pay $4.50 per incy wincy bar, too!)’

After some experimenting, here is my ‘can’t keep my fingers out of the jar’ chocolate raw food bar.  It only takes about 10 minutes to make and it’s not much harder than stewing apples.

Some of the following ingredients (marked with an asterix) are optional.  This is the kind of recipe where you can experiment and try out different flavours.  As long as you have a mass of chocolately stuff at the end that you can shape into a square, it will work.  Note that I ran out of dessicated coconut and used coconut flakes instead for the fudge in the photo.  It’s still nice but I prefer the texture of dessicated.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of dried dates
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 130g coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or almonds taste the best)
  • 2 dried bananas, chopped into small pieces*
  • 3/4 cup dessicated coconut*
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream*

 

Method:

  1. Using a lidded saucepan, simmer dates in water until soft enough to mash with a fork. 
  2. Remove from heat and add coconut oil (if you live in a cold climate, your coconut oil will be solid but will quickly melt with the heat from the dates.)
  3. Add in all the other ingredients and mix together
  4. Blob the whole lot onto a flat surface (I use a square plate) and squish and shape into a square about 2cm high.
  5. Refrigerate for an hour or until set.  Cut into squares and store in the fridge (very important, as the coconut oil melts easily).

What I LOVE about this recipe (apart from tasting great and saving you money) is that there is absolutely NO refined sugar in it… and you wouldn’t even know!  It’s a fantastic energy booster packed full of good oils, protein, fibre and antioxidants (make sure you use organic, non heat processed cacao powder, as it has 14 times the antioxidants of red wine and 21 times the antioxidants of green tea!).  Cacao powder is also high in magnesium (helps to relax muscles) and chromium (helps to balance blood sugars and reduce sugar cravings).  Have a look at this page for more info http://www.realrawfood.com/cacao-food-gods.  Coconut oil also has well-documented health benefits, including helping you lose abdominal fat and reduce your appetite.  There are plenty of sites extolling its many virtues – here is one with a good summary: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/.

Also, if you’re avoiding dairy or gluten, there’s not even a trace in this recipe!  And you can, of course, skip the nuts if they’re a problem.

If you’re making this for kids, or if you prefer milk chocolate to dark, you might want to reduce the cacao content and add more coconut cream, as the flavour of this recipe is fairly intense.  That said, my nine year old daughter loves ‘mummy’s chocolate’ just as it is.

Get creative and experiment … I have plans to try it with goji berries and maca powder … more superfood goodness!

 

Fiona Hankinson


Why see a naturopath instead of a doctor?

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(This article was recently published on ezinearticles.com, and we thought we’d share it with you too – Fiona)

Why would you want to see a naturopath instead of a medical doctor? In life-threatening situations, nothing beats conventional medicine. However, for all other health issues, Scott Hankinson explains why naturopathic medicine is the only choice if you want to truly heal your body, and not just suppress uncomfortable or painful symptoms.

A Different View of the Body

In conventional medicine, it’s very common for patients to be referred to ‘experts’ – doctors who specialise in treating a particular area of the body.  Many people wonder why the field of natural therapies doesn’t also have ‘experts’ that focus on particular illnesses or body parts.  Why don’t naturopaths offer a natural alternative to these specialised medical areas?

The answer is that the very nature of specialisation doesn’t fit with the philosophy of naturopathic medicine.  The very reason why natural medicine is so successful is that it focuses on treating the whole person; on assessing each individual’s unique health profile from cellular function up to the mental and emotional level, and everything in between.

Viewing the body as a whole entity where the biochemistry of organs, blood, digestion, muscle, bone and brain are fundamentally interdependent, allows naturopaths to make connections that are often missed by modern medicine.

Underlying this approach is a deep respect for the self-regulating, self-healing nature of the physical body.  By identifying, through naturopathic testing, what the body needs and then precisely providing for its needs, healing and good health occur as a natural consequence.  This has led to a common understanding that naturopaths focus on creating wellness, whereas medical doctors focus on suppressing the symptoms of illness.   It’s little wonder that the public is turning to natural medicine in droves!

Contrast this with the ‘divide and conquer’ approach of conventional medicine and we can see why naturopathy works so well for chronic, long-term conditions that defy the ability of medical doctors to resolve.

Conventional Medicine Testing Vs Naturopathic Testing

One of the most fundamental differences between conventional medicine and natural medicine is in the intention behind recommending testing.  Medical Doctors (GPs) are primarily trained to identify and treat disease states and so their tests are designed to classify illness in these terms.  Naturopaths, on the other, hand, look for imbalances and deficiencies that are likely to lead to diseases if left unchecked.

By correcting these imbalances and deficiencies, naturopaths give your body the nourishment it needs in order to begin the healing process.  In my experience, the body will, if given the right nutrients, the right diet, proper rest and plenty of water, nearly always heal itself.  The challenge, of course, is finding out what the body needs, and what is stopping it from healing.  This is why it’s important to choose a naturopath who uses scientific testing to determine your unique health requirements.

Remember, disease doesn’’t just ‘happen’ – there is a lead-up process where you may feel unwell, but your doctor’’s tests don’’t find anything wrong.  This is where naturopathic tests can be very useful, because knowing specifically what nutrients your body is crying out for means you can effectively stop and – with targeted natural supplements – even reverse degenerative processes that may otherwise lead to disease.

Natural Medicines Vs Pharmaceutical Drugs

Many pharmaceutical drugs have side-effects which can be very debilitating. They are usually quick to act but often work by masking your symptoms without correcting the underlying cause.  In extreme cases, such medicines can be life-saving.  However, for conditions that aren’t immediately life-threatening, there are usually natural alternatives which help your body to heal, rather than suppressing the symptoms.

Natural, scientifically researched supplements often take longer to work.  However, prescribed correctly, they help your body to heal itself synergistically.  This means the results can be permanent and there are none of the potentially dangerous side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

So next time you’re thinking of paying a visit to a doctor, think about whether your situation would be better served by a naturopath.  By choosing naturopathic medicine, you’re choosing health, wellness and vitality rather than just symptomatic relief.

Scott Hankinson, N.D.


Welcome to our new website!

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A week ago it was brought to our attention that our naturopathic website had been hacked.  Yep, if you went to www.naturopathysolutions.com.au last Friday, you would have arrived at a black screen with propaganda about the Palestinian Freedom movement and pictures of freedom fighters.  So if you happened across our website in the past week, I do apologise!  No, we hadn’t decided to suddenly support a random cause… in fact, I am feeling rather peeved right now at whatever group was responsible, as not only did they replace our front page with their propaganda, they deleted our entire site!  Even worse, the backups were also corrupted.

But, every cloud has a silver lining, and the end result is that after several days of hard yakka, we have a brand spanking new website, which is much more advanced than the last one and includes blog functionality.  AND it’s what’s called ‘responsive’, which, as I have learned, means that you can view it easily on a smartphone or tablet without having to scroll this way and that to see the screen.  Wonderful stuff!

We hope you enjoy our new website, and please feel free to ask questions on the blog.  Janet or I will be checking it daily, and anything we can’t answer we shall refer to the Grand Master (aka Scott) for his expertise.

Fiona Hankinson