Holistic Health Tip: Foods that Harm - Foods that Heal

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” ―Ann Wigmore

What you eat not only affects your day to day health but also helps to determine the quality of your live & even how long you will live.

FOODS THAT HARM - These foods cause inflammation and chronic disease

  • Refined Sugar - Soft drink. Juice. Lollies. Ice-cream. Cakes. Biscuits.

  • Trans Fats - Margarine. Vegetable oils. Grape seed oil. Sunflower oil. Commercially baked foods.

  • Refined Flour. White bread. Pasta. Commercially baked foods.

  • Artificial Food Additives. MSG. Aspartame. Packaged foods.

  • Processed Meat.

  • Alcohol.

FOODS THAT HEAL - These foods are anti-inflammatory and offer so much for our health.

  • Green Leafy Vegetables. Broccoli. Bok Choy. Spinach. Kale. Rocket. Rainbow Chard.

  • Colourful vegetables. Eat the rainbow.

  • Olive oil

  • Avocados

  • Bright fruits. Berries. Cherries. Melons.

  • Wild fatty fish. Salmon. Mackerel. Tuna. Sardines

  • Turmeric. Best absorbed with a source of fat & black pepper.

  • Cocoa - Try the Chocolate bark or Hormonal Hot Choc in The Village recipes.

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Holistic Health Tip: Truth About Sugar

SUGAR. SUGAR. EVERYWHERE!

The average muesli bar contains more sugar than a chocolate bar & flavoured yoghurt has more sugar than ice cream. So what do we look for when reading a label, because cleaver marketing can lead you to believe your buying something healthy but its mostly laden with sugar.

  • Look for less than 6g of sugar per 100g or 100ml

  • Avoid products where sugar is in the first 3 ingredients - The ingredients are always listed in order of how much is used.

A few years back I was eating lots of “healthy sugar” dark chocolate, honey, lots of fruit & dates. It wasn’t until I had to take a closer look at the amount of sugar in my diet I realised it was far to much. This equaled to over 20 teaspoons of sugar per day - double the amount I should ideally be eating.

A WOMAN SHOULD BE HAVING NO MORE THAN 6 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR PER DAY - AROUND 20G

Ask yourself

  • Do you get an energy slump in the afternoon?

  • Do you crave sweet food after a meal?

  • Are you bloated by the end of the day?

  • Once you have something sweet you crave more sweet food…

HOW TO KICK THE SUGAR ADDICTION

  • Eat more fat & protein - this will balance your blood sugar levels. -Eggs/Cheese/Nuts/Seeds/Coconut/Butter/Olive oil/Full fat dairy.

  • Eat lots of green veggies - this will help change your palate

  • Limit to two pieces of fruit per day

  • Avoid juice & sweet drinks. 1 cup of apple juice has the same amount of sugar as 1 cup of coke.

  • Make the ‘The Village’ healthy chocolate bark to hit that sweet spot without the big hit of refined sugar.

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Holistic Health Tip: Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a wonderful vitamin and despite of living in a sunny culture it is estimated over 30% of adults in Australia and New Zealand have vitamin D deficiency.

It is a fat soluble vitamin, which means your body can store it. Not all vitamins & minerals act alike, intact vitamin D acts much like a hormone in your body. It acts like a messenger communicating with cells.

WHAT DOES VITAMIN D DO?

  • Vitamin D helps enhance the absorption of calcium, important for strong bones and preventing osteoporosis.

  • Reduces inflammation in the body - the most common driver in chronic health conditions.

  • Boosts your immune function. Researchers have long been fascinated with the potential effect that vitamin D may have on autoimmune disorders because of the nutrient’s role in regulating the immune system.

  • Plays a role in reducing depression acting of the neurotransmitter serotonin - our happy place!

HOW DO I BOOST MY VITAMIN D.

  • Supplementation like Cod Liver Oil - Nordic Naturals is a good brand.

  • Foods like milk, salmon and eggs

  • Sunlight Exposure (don’t overdo it, just 10-­15 minutes a day is sufficient)

  • Don’t exfoliate after sun exposure, you can literally wash the vitamin D from your skin.

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Holistic Health Tip - Pantry Essentials

This is a list of pantry essentials to keep stocked up so that the recipes in ‘The Village’ can be whipped up.

1. FLOURS & WHOLE GRAINS

  • Brown Rice

  • Quinoa

  • Rolled Oats

  • Buckwheat flour

  • Coconut flour

  • Almond meal/flour

  • Pasta - buckwheat/pulse/lentils

2. CANNED GOODS

  • Beans

  • Chickpeas

  • Organic diced tomato (look for BPA free cans)

  • Coconut milk & cream

  • Alaskan Salmon

  • Tuna

  • Sardines

3. OILS & VINEGARS

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil

  • Avocado oil

  • Coconut oil

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Balsamic Vinegar

4. SPICES & SEASONINGS

  • Sea salt & Pepper

  • Cumin (ground)

  • Dried Herbs

  • Garlic

  • Paprika

  • Cayenne

  • Chili Powder

  • Cinnamon

  • Mixed spices

5. NUTS & SEEDS

  • Almonds

  • Walnuts

  • Cashews

  • Sunflower seeds

  • pumpkin seeds

  • Chia seeds

  • Peanut butter

  • Flaxseeds

6. Super foods

  • Maca powder

  • Goji berries

  • Greens powders

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Holistic Health Tip - Stress & Weight Loss

Your stress levels can have a direct effect on your weight.

If this isn’t motivation to become mindful of our stress levels than I don’t know what is.

Your body cannot tell the difference between real life stress (example - tiger is chasing me & my life is literally in danger) & the content you’re creating in your brain (example - kids are crying, I cant find my keys & i’m late for work… life is not in danger). The stress is responded to in our body the same way if either of these seniors are happening, you are equiped to send signals throughout your body at any given time to help save your life.

When you are stressed the biochemical reactions in your body trigger an increase in blood glucose levels, this sends energy to your peripheries (arms & legs) to get you out of that immediate danger, but, 99% of the time we are not in immediate danger we literally living in this state of fight or flight to keep up in this modern day world. So when our body is continually raising blood glucose levels & the glucose is not being used to get you out of danger it will be stored at fat.

Chronic stress even has the ability to result is insulin resistance which may proceed to type 2 diabetes.

  • Find your triggers of stress & put some little tools in place to prevent triggers.

  • Build up your nutrient reserves so your body has the building blocks to make neurotransmitters needed to feel calm - magnesium & B vitamins are a great place to start.

  • Commit to a meditation guided by Gem in The Motherhood Project Village.

  • Follow some of the recipe guides in TMP village to help balance blood sugar level. Adequate fats & protein are going to help balance BGL.

    With Love,

    Gina x

Holistic Health Tip - Stress & Hormones

Our bodies are designed to be able to cope with stress, but in this modern day world we have an epidemic of stressed, anxious, wired & tired women.

The thing is your body cannot tell the difference between real life & the content you’re creating in your brain & i’m telling you thins because wether your feeling the pressure from a busy schedule, rushing around or the demands of children are taking it toll, our brain perceives this as your life being in danger.

Your body will prioritise the production of stress hormones - cortisol & adrenalin, these stress hormones will push out your sex hormone production.

Two of the main sex hormones are progesterone & osetrogen. Progesterone is a beautiful hormone that is dominant in the second half of your cycle, the result of ovulation, it makes you feel calm & relaxed, gives you glowing skin & is important in your metabolism. It is linked to fertility ‘pro-gestation’. When you are stressed your body is going to send a signal to the brain to say ‘life is in danger’ do not reproduce & ultimately you will shut down ovulation. A lot of women that struggle to ovulate due to high cortisol or adrenalin will experience PMS, anxiety before a period & acne.

Now, when our progesterone is too low due to stress hormone production we see women with oestrogen dominant conditions because the progesterone : oestrogen ratio is thrown out. Women who have oestrogen dominant symptoms tend to have heavy painful periods, tender breasts before a period & are more likey to experience oestrogen dominant symptoms like endometriosis.

So this is a very brief explanation of how stress can throw out your sex hormones & leave you feeling like a crazy woman. In clinical practise I am very passionate about treating & supporting the nervous system.

A nourished & calm nervous system is the key to vibrant health.

Gina x

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Holistic Health tip - Stress & your digestive system

Poor digestion, bloating, constipation, IBS are really common complaints from women I treat in clinic & stress can be a big factor contributing to these symptoms.

When you’re under stress & pressure your body will produce cortisol & adrenalin as a coping mechanism, the next biochemical reaction in your body is diverting blood away from digesting and directing it to your peripheries (arms & legs) so that you can run from danger. Historically this would have been a necessary response from stress but nowadays its likely we are not running from danger. Everything from your thoughts, self talk, beliefs as well as food & drink (big culprit coffee), can trigger your body to make stress hormones.

So when food arrives in your tummy when you’re stressed, anxious or rushing you don’t secrete the digestive enzymes to break down protein, carbs & fat, food starts fermenting in your tummy & causes the bloat.

With blood flow diverted from your digestion you will not be absorbing nutrients from your food which then cascades to nutrient deficiencies.

Next time you pop food in your mouth check in with your self, are you calm, relaxed, chewing your food & noticing the flavours. So often we inhale a meal on the go.

Food for thought

Gina x

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Holistic Health tip - Mindful eating

Do you practise mindful eating?

It is something I have to intentionally remind myself to do often. I am known to stand at the kitchen bench and eat the kids leftovers or scroll through my phone and scoff down food without any awareness of what I have eaten and how my body is feeling.
There are endless lists of the latest must-have superfoods & discussion about healthy eating tends to focus on what we eat.
Much less attention is paid to the question of how we eat it.
Changing our attitudes & practices around meals & mealtime rituals may be every bit as important as what we actually put in our mouths.


Eat slower!


Eating slowly doesn’t have to mean taking it to extremes. Still, it’s a good idea to remind yourself, and your family, that eating is not a race. Taking the time to savor and enjoy your food is one of the healthiest things you can do. You are more likely to notice when you are full, you’ll chew your food more and hence digest it more easily, and you’ll probably find yourself noticing flavors you might otherwise have missed. If you have young children, why not try making a game of it — who can chew their food the longest?


Silence the phone! Turn off the TV.
Our daily lives are full of distractions, and it’s not uncommon for families to eat with the TV blaring or one family member or other fiddling with their iPhone. Consider making family mealtime, which should, of course, be eaten together, an electronics-free zone.
Mindful eating does not have to be an exercise in super-human concentration, but rather a simple commitment to appreciating, respecting and, above all, enjoying the food you eat every day.

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Holistic Health Tip - What Our Skin Is Telling Us.

Our skin is the mirror to our internal health and is your body’s way of telling you when something is not quite right.

Acne is a very common skin condition affecting both genders and can present itself at any age. Emotionally, acne can be challenging because it is a visible condition that can have a huge impact on a person’s self-esteem and emotional health. It is not uncommon for those with acne to feel self-conscious, anxious and depressed due to the physical aspects of the condition.

The key to successfully controlling acne is to determine what is causing it in the first place. You can apply all the right topical treatments in the world, but it will not budge if you don’t address the underlying cause. Beautiful glowing skin really does begin on the inside.

There are so many contributing factors attributed to the onset and progression of acne. For some individuals, it can be more obvious—such as a poor diet—while for others there may be a combination of elements that could include:

  • poor blood sugar regulation

  • insulin resistance

  • high insulin like growth factor (ILGF)

  • systemic inflammation

  • under-functioning eliminatory organs such as a sluggish liver or poor bowel function

  • lymphatic congestion

  • poor circulation and sweat production

  • hyperproliferation (excess production) of skin cells due to vitamin A deficiency

  • excess sebum production due to zinc deficiency

  • a hormonal imbalance – the most common reason.

Let’s talk about hormonal acne

It’s not just a teenage issue and many women are confronted with congestion and cystic acne in their 20s, 30s, 40s—right through to menopause. Sex hormones, when balanced, are like an intricate symphony each playing specific roles within the body that can make you feel alive, vital and glowing. When unbalanced they wreak havoc on the body and can cause—to name a few—acne, anxiety, exhaustion and weight gain. Hormonal acne normally presents itself around the jaw line, chin and neck and may be associated with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis.

The main female sex hormones are oestrogen (dominant in the first half of a woman’s cycle) and progesterone (dominant in the second half of a woman’s cycle). We also produce small amounts of testosterone. Too much testosterone stimulates oil production in the skin… hello pimples!

Don’t ever underestimate the effects stress has on the body

Stress is a big one when it comes to acne. It promotes inflammation in the body, impairs blood sugar regulation and it takes away our beautiful production of progesterone. See, progesterone is produced from the adrenal glands, the same place our stress hormone (cortisol) is produced. When our body is under stress (physical, caffeine or excessive exercise) or we are feeling emotional stress (perception of pressure) our cortisol rises and progesterone drops… again, hello pimples!

What can I do?

With the help of a health professional you can determine the underlying cause of your acne. We are all unique and what may be contributing to another’s acne could be very different to your own. Hence, the many different treatment options.

While there are specific treatment options and supplements dependent on the underlying cause, there are some fundamental nutrients the skin relies on to function:

  • Adapting to a wholefoods diet that is macro-nutrient balanced—that means protein, good fats and complex carbs with each meal—will support your body’s healing process.

  • Hydration—aiming for 2-3 litres of water a day will help flush out toxins accumulated in the skin.

  • Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, silica, antioxidants and essential fatty acids are all nutrients the skin loves.

  • Bone broths are rich in collagen, which is needed to make skin supple and radiant. Collagen-rich bone broth will supply your skin with the tools it needs to support itself.

  • Natural, toxin-free skin care! Your skin is the biggest organ in your body and absorbs everything you put on it. Toxins in beauty products mess with hormones, place a load on the liver and contribute to acne. Be savvy with your products.

The emotional aspects of acne can be overwhelming and people can go from disliking the acne to completely disliking themselves. Getting to the heart of the health issue is where the magic lies.

Appreciating how amazing the body is, and how it communicates when something is not right, is a gift.



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Holistic Tip: You Need To Slow Down Mumma

Throughout my life, a deep voice within has constantly asked me to slow down.

Don’t get me wrong; I thrive when I have deadlines, when I have to push myself to get somewhere. I love being quick in what I do.

However, over the last ten years of living like a superhuman and then having to find a semblance of quiet after the birth of three adorable babies, I have begun to realise that being quick in what we do is in itself not worrisome; feeling rushed is.

The struggle between being in ten places at once and being in just one place at one time was immense.
Even today, I still feel the urge to check my mobile and send out a quick email as I walk my little ones to the park.
Slowing down just a little has taught me the power of pausing and gathering perspective.

On the surface of things there might be chaos—the tooting of horns from the street, your children screaming for you, or that endless pile of washing.
Take a deep breath anyway, look around, and see how there is stillness in the objects around you.
The earth that is bearing us; the furniture, still and sturdy; the air, present and quiet. Observe the nature of stillness around you and allow your thoughts and actions to slow down just a little.

You see when we are rushing we release stress hormones. These stress hormones adrenalin & cortisol wreck havoc on our health from painful periods to fluid retention, from anxiety to weight gain. When we live on adrenalin we tend not to sleep restoratively, crave (and give in and eat!) sugar despite our best intentions, and find it harder and harder to utilise stored body fat as fuel.

The more we can tap into the rest & digest (parasympathetic nervous system) the better.

Take a day or more to experiment with slowing down and, as difficult as it may be, you’ll find it expands the time that we often think we lack.

Gina xx

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Holistic Tip: Maternal Mental Health

We can confirm our role as a Mother is miraculous! We can grow a whole new human being and birth it from our body (either naturally or via the sun roof). And then continue to nourish that baby for months, maybe even for years. Then, like many of us, you’ll probably do it again. And again.
Exhaustion and sometimes even overwhelm can be a regular part of parenting as you learn to adjust to your new role as mother, but if you have ongoing disturbing thoughts and/or feelings of worry and tension that are hard to live with and/or affect your ability to manage from day to day, then you may be experiencing postnatal depression or anxiety.

Remember your baby’s body is formed and made entirely of nutrients donated by your body. If there is a lack of vital nutrients, the mother’s body is the first one that is deprived because her developing baby is Mother Nature’s priority.

You may be deficient in some nutrients that are required for neurotransmitter or hormone synthesis.

Omega-3 are good fats needed to build the brain’s neural connections as well as the receptor sites for neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Research has shown people with depression appear to have lower levels of omega-3, supplements can improve symptoms significantly. Approximately 7 grams of fat pass from mother to baby each day! This high transfer of DHA fatty acid is essential for the baby but can leave the mother depleted. This is why I have my clients on practitioner grade DHA.

From one Mum to another I can tell you that being a mum is overwhelming and it is, at a certain level, entirely normal and appropriate for mums to be anxious or down from time to time.
What is not normal or appropriate is for mums to be anxious or depressed all the time or for these feelings to interfere with daily life. When this happens, it tells us that there is something else going on outside of the normal strains of being a mama.
Just remember you are always there underneath all of this, this is all just surface stuff and not who you truly are.
Seek support from a qualified professional & I am here to help support those vital nutrients necessary for optimal mental wellness.

Gina xx

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Holistic Tip: Amp Up Your Sense Of Fulfillment.

If your body stayed exactly the way it is now, would you be happy?

We know growth & development is important but consistently wanting to change because we think we are not enough or need more puts us in a constant place of lack which with detracts from our health and quality of life.

But, if you set intentions from a place of love and gratitude we are are likely to feel fulfilment. So instead of eating in a way to lose weight or fix your ‘flaws’ eat to nourish your temple and to be the healthiest version you can be. Shift your focus to building up the good stuff instead of trying to change what you don’t like.


  1. Start with your mind chatter, somethings that we tell ourselves are so harsh, we would never say it to our best friend so why do we think its acceptable to say it to ourselves. Use positive affirmations like “I am healthy”, “I am beautiful”, “I am enough just the way I am” in replace of “I am fat” or “I am old”. This takes practise but over time you can train your brain to say positive thoughts.

  2. Recognise the miracle your body is! Your body has carried you through life, it has grown & birthed children (either naturally or via the sun roof) & has given you the gift of life. It is easy to take all of that for granted but when you stop and really appreciate how miraculous your body truly is, we should be in awe of ourselves irrelevant of its size & shape. Every morning look in the mirror & give your self just 1 compliment.

  3. Hold yourself high. Actually do it, lift your head, shoulders back and watch your confidence & energy beam from your beautiful face. How we hold ourselves can truly impact our self esteem. When your slumped down with your head hanging low you’ll naturally feel lethargic and unworthy. When you hold yourself high with your shoulders back this sends feedback to your nervous system that you are safe & well.

When we set intentions from a place of love and fulfilment they’re often long lasting & empowering. When you make a decision to eat more vegetables or drink less coffee, it needs to come from a place of gratitude & acceptance of who you are now. Care deeply for yourself & love yourself accordingly.

Gina xx


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Decluttering your pantry

Packets, jars, cans shoved willy nilly to a space in your pantry can really affect your choice of food.

We know stocking healthy food is ultimately going to predict what your putting in your mouth, but, an organised pantry & fridge is a critical component. Decluttering and organising your kitchen will have a significant psychological impact on your food choices.

“An Australian-U.S. study conducted by Lenny Vartarian et al. (2017) showed that people will actually eat more cookies and snacks if the environment in which they’re offered a choice of foods is chaotic, and they’re led to feel stressed. When the experimental kitchen in which participants were tested was disorganized and messy, and they were put in a low self-control mindset, students in the Cornell University lab ate twice as many cookies as those in a standard, non-chaotic kitchen. In other words, you’ll reach more for the sweets in a cluttered setting when you’re feeling out of control.

I encourage a visit to Kmart, purchase a bunch of jars & ditch all the packets in your pantry. Move from clutter to clarity in your kitchen, a clean and organised home can actually lead to improved mental health and a better mindset.

Gina x

Magnesium

Did you know... For every molecule of sugar you consume, it takes 54 molecules of magnesium for your body to process it!! Magnesium is a supplement I prescribe often, almost every client I treat.
It’s the most common nutrient deficiency with an estimated 80-90% of the population deficient.

☝🏻It’s involved in over 300 biochemical functions in the body.
☝🏻Most medications deplete magnesium.
☝🏻Food levels of magnesium have declined drastically over the years due to mineral depleted soils.

☝🏻If you sweat excessively, drink fluoridated water, experience anxiety, live a stressful life, eat a diet high in wheat, sugar, caffeine & alcohol— there’s no question— your magnesium deficient.
☝🏻Malabsorption of magnesium due IBS, leaky gut, candida or other gut issues will affect your nutrient status.
☝🏻You need magnesium to absorb calcium & vitamin D.
☝🏻No matter how much vitamin D you take, your body can not properly use it if your deficient in magnesium.
☝🏻Without adequate magnesium extra calcium collects in the soft tissue instead of bone causing calcium deposits in the arteries, organs and brain... which increases risk of arthritis, heart attacks & Alzheimer’s.

☝🏻Magnesium can act at the blood brain barrier to prevent the entrance of stress hormones, it is also necessary for the release and uptake of serotonin.

SYMPTOMS

•Constipation

•Stress
•Anxiety & Depression

•Restless legs
•Muscle cramps
•PMS
•Insomnia •Hormone imbalances

•Low energy

•Headaches

☝🏻Routine blood tests is not an accurate test to detect magnesium deficiency since less than 2% of Mg is in the blood. 🥬

Food Sources

•Dark leafy veggies

•Cacao
•Nuts + Seeds
•Bone broth

💊 Supplements
A highly absorbed, bioavailable, chelates for of Mg is best.
Best taken between meals or before bed on an empty stomach.

Gina x

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Adrenal fatigue

Adrenal fatigue aka HPA axis dysfunction- it’s a pretty modern condition, one we didn’t hear of so much a decade ago.
Life is changing, we have been thrown into a lifestyle that our bodies haven’t adjusted too.

The stress we are exposed to on a daily basis is what our ancestors were exposed to over a period of a year.

We wear many hats ~ boss lady, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, wife, cook, cleaner, taxi driver, grocery shopper.. and more, from dusk till dawn and then some.

Apart from wearing multiple hats we seem to have lost our village of support. Once upon a time we lived together in large communities and the load of raising a family was shared.


Until we prioritise our health we will continue to be at the mercy of our lifestyle.
The modern day Mum is being diagnosed with ever increasing, common conditions such as adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalance, infertility, anxiety, insomnia & skin conditions like acne {which are all by the way, loving messages from your body asking us to make a change}.


If ‘the modern day mother’ is going to thrive in this fast paced world she must stop saying yes to everyone and start saying yes to herself.


From my clinical experience I believe the foundation to vibrant health is supporting and restoring the nervous system. This not only sets a solid foundation for the rest of the body but also determines how you show up to situations, how you react to the people around you & feeling fulfilment each day.

My top tips for restoring the nervous system

  • Prioritise sleep - get to bed before 10pm. I know many of us are up with little ones throughout the night, but please try and get to bed early.

  • Learn to meditate - The Motherhood Project Village have a whole segment dedicated to meditation, make the most of this.

  • Take a magnesium supplement.

  • Take deep diaphramic breaths, often. Sit for 2 minutes and focus on this.

  • Cut down on coffee. Limit to 1 coffee per day & have 3 coffee free days per week. I know this is going to be very hard for many of you but this is going to have a significant impact on your vitality. Substitute coffee for decaffeinated, or another hot drink.

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Preventative Medicine

I’m at the forefront of preventative medicine, it is estimated that 90% of all chronic health conditions could be prevented by addressing stress levels, eating a nutrient dense diet, daily movement, reducing toxic exposure & a daily dose of sunlight. Does that ring alarm bells for anyone?

You are actually changing your genetics daily and perhaps even hourly from the foods you eat, the air you breathe, and even by the thoughts you think.
You are the “caretaker” of your genetic roadmap.
Give your body the tools that it needs to thrive. Don’t throw trash in your temple. Don’t subject your temple to chronic pain and injury. These are the choices that pull the trigger. Invest in your health and do a little EVERYDAY for YOU! xx
.
”Your genetics load the gun. Your lifestyle pulls the trigger.”
Mehmet Oz

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Post Natal Depletion

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Postnatal depletion is something that has finally been recognised in the medical field which is probably why we are hearing more about it. Postnatal depletion is the inability of women to recover —hormonally, nutritionally and emotionally—after having a baby.  And when I say falling to recover, I don’t mean the first few weeks after birth, I mean months or even years after birth. I see some women who I would consider to have postnatal depletion with 4 or 5 year olds.

In this day & age many mothers-to-be are already depleted before conception and throughout pregnancy. Mother nature puts the developing baby first; a baby growing in utero will take what it needs from Mum. For example, during the third trimester, the fetal brain is undergoing the most significant stage of development. Approximately 7 grams of fat pass from mother to baby each day! This high transfer of DHA fatty acid is essential for the baby but can leave the mother depleted.

Many women are entering their pregnancy already depleted, spend nine months growing a baby, and then enter motherhood and become even more depleted thanks to a lack of sleep and the roll of being a 24/7 caregiver. Hence why so many mothers become low in iron, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B9, iodine, and selenium. They also have much lower reserves in essential omega-3 fats like DHA and specific amino acids from proteins.

How do you know if you’re depleted? 

If your nutrient reserves are low going into pregnancy you will likely become depleted in basic nutrients required for normal human function.
Here is a list of pretty generic symptoms that we can walk around with for years & they subsequently get worse & worse with each pregnancy.

    1. tiredness and fatigue

    2. memory loss/brain fog/baby brain

    3. poor concentration

    4. moodiness and emotional instability

    5. poor gut health which might include constipation, increased gas or bloating.

    6. low immune function

    7. feeling run-down

    8. irritability

    9. decreased libido

    10. loss of skin elasticity, dry skin, softer nails, thinning hair.

    11. Increased translucency of teeth, receding gums and easier bruising

The great news is we can prevent postnatal depletion. Ideally women would start with a preconception care plan. This would mean that if you are planing on adding to your family, you would work with a qualified nutritionist to increase your nutritional reserves, before you fall pregnant. It is very hard to increase your stores once you are pregnant or whilst breastfeeding, so a pre-conception care plan can really ensure that you head into your pregnancy from a place of abundance rather than lack.

In saying that, no time is too late to start nourishing your body & building those nutrient reserves. Your subscription to The Motherhood Village will provide you with all the tools to support your health during growing, birthing and raising children. How you fuel your body is the most fundamental act of self love, you’re truly worth investing in & nourishing the temple that carries your beautiful soul.

If you want to work with Gina one on one she provides consultations in Havelock North, New Zealand or via Skype if for interstate/international clients.

@nutritionbyginarose

Women's Hormones

When hormones are in sync, we sparkle. 

We feel energised, sleep well, look, feel & function at our best. 

When they’re not, we feel miserable & it impacts our quality of life, relationships & overall health.

Hormones are produced in a complex process, but the priority is to build a healthy foundation. This is the optimal time to use food as medicine. Food is information the affects metabolism, your genes, & hormone production.

It will be nearly impossible to balance your hormones if your diet is not a priority to you.

It will be nearly impossible to balance your hormones if your diet is not a priority to you.

 

1. Our hormones depend on beneficial fats and cholesterol.

– THINK avocados, coconut oil, butter, nuts, seeds, animal fats, olive oil, grass fed meats, eggs, and full fat dairy (for those who tolerate it). Good quality seafood is also a fabulous source of naturally occurring Omega-3s.

AVOID vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine or other chemically altered fats.

Cholesterol has had a bad wrap over the years, but cholesterol is vital for hormone production. If your cholesterol is high, speak to your nutritionist on what this means for you. The HDL/LDL ratios are important.

2. Stay hydrated.

The habit of drinking enough clean, filtered water (away from meal times) will help balance hormones.

When you’re dehydrated, cortisol increases and testosterone lowers.

3. Part with Plastics.

Toxins containing chemicals that mimic hormones are problematic. Xenoestrogens or endocrine disruptors are a category of chemicals that alter the normal function of hormones. They have the ability to mimic our natural hormones.

Oestrogen is a hormone that is important for bone growth, blood clotting and reproduction in men and women. The body regulates the amount needed through intricate biochemical pathways. When xenoestrogens enter the body they increase the total amount of estrogen resulting in a phenomenon called, estrogen dominance.

Xenoestrogens are not biodegradable so, they are stored in our fat cells. Build up of xenoestrogens have been indicated in many conditions including:  breast, prostate and testicular cancer, obesity, infertility, endometriosis, early onset puberty, miscarriages and diabetes.

Cook in glass or non-coated metal pans (no non-stick or Teflon) and avoid heating or storing foods in plastic.

Beauty products are another source of chemical exposure for many people.

4. Limit the Caffeine.

Caffeine increases cortisol, and whilst cortisol is vital to survival, having chronically high cortisol results in blood sugar fluctuations, low DHEA, stubborn belly fat, thyroid issues, altered metabolism of sex hormones – we commonly see progesterone steal. If you are stressed, anxious, not sleeping, wired & tired, I would recommend removing caffeine for a month and then tell me how wonderful you feel. If that’s overwhelming limit to 1 caffeinated drink per day & 2 coffee free days/week.

The adrenal glands are responsible for about 30% of elevated androgens seen in polycystic ovaries & adrenal fatigue is one of the main hormone imbalances seen in women. Slow down on the coffee girls.

5. Prioritise Sleep & support your nervous system.

I can’t emphasise this one enough! Without adequate sleep, hormones will not be in balance. Create a daily routine to help support your natural circadian rhythms. Wake up and go to bed at the same time & get off your phone before bed. That light that comes from screens blocks melatonin. Tune in to the beautiful meditations & mindfulness exercise here in The Motherhood village.

6. Supplement with quality products. 

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the food supply is often depleted of nutrients due to over-farming.

Consult with your practitioner for supplement recommendations.

7. Exercise The Right Way.

For those with a hormone imbalance, intense extended exercise can actually make the problem worse in the short term.

I see a lot of women come to see me in clinic that have the best intentions, slogging it out at the gym or doing high intensity exercise everyday, this can raise male sex hormones that cause acne & raise cortisol – which is a vicious circle in stealing our beautiful progesterone – which then contributes to oestrogen dominance. Do you see how one imbalance can throw a cascade of other hormones out?

Strength training balanced with parasympathetic activities like walking, yogo, Tai Chi, gardening, deep breathing is ideal for supporting fitness & balancing hormones. The Motherhood Village subscription provides you with a balance of these workouts.

8. Support Digestive Health.

The digestive system has much more of an impact on hormones than many of us know. An imbalance in the gut can translate to an imbalance in neurotransmitter and hormones. Serotonin, a necessary neurotransmitter for sleep/stress balance is more concentrated in the gut than even in the brain!

9. Love your liver. 

It is essential for a hormone production, detoxification, bile production to emulsify fats, protein synthesis, correcting oestrogen dominance and huuuuundreds of other functions.

Start by reducing or eliminating the liver loaders. Coffee, alcohol, processed/fast food & refined sugar.

Implementing a whole foods diet seen in the “Day on a Plate” & “Family Recipes” will provide you with the basic building blocks to creat optimal hormones & neurotransmitters. Eating whole, unprocessed foods is the ultimate tool to start living a healthier life. I know when you are rushed off your feet, kids are screaming, the house is a mess & you have been needing to pee for the past hour but you keep going, it is easy to forget to eat, eat scraps of the kids plates or make poor choices.

I don’t feel you need more motivation to look after yourself, I feel you need to get in touch with how truly fabulous you are and give yourself the unconditional love you deserve. xx

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Every woman must read...

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One of the best ways for women to get in touch with their health is to begin to carefully observe various menstrual signs and symptoms.

There is no such thing as a perfect menstrual cycle, we all have a different “normal” but there are many indicators of how a healthy cycle should look.

When it comes to how heavy your flow is, where your cramps rank on the pain scale, spotting between cycles, and other unexplained changes are all clues your period is sending out to let you know that something might be amiss. It could be a minor issue—but it may also be an SOS signal to something serious you won't want to put off.


1. Your menstrual cycle should be between 25-35 days long & a consistent length each month. -If your cycle is less than 25 days you may have a condition called Luteal Phase Defect, which is a short luteal phase (the second half of your cycle after ovulation). This may be due to oestrogen dominance. -If your cycle is more than 35 days, you may have a condition that is delaying or preventing ovulation. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common culprit. 
2. Your period should be bright red in colour. This indicates good blood flow and circulation to the uterus. -Dark old looking blood & blood clots can be associated with oestrogen dominance & poor circulation to the uterus.
3. Ovulation – THE highlight of the menstrual cycle. - Just before ovulation your cervical mucous will be wet & opaque. Then, as the egg is released, your mucous will become even more wet, watery and/or might take on a raw egg-white consistency (long and stretchy). Ovulation at the right time of your cycle is a fabulous barometer for health.

Ovulation is not just a necessity to fall pregnant; it is a critical event that should take place each month for optimal health. Ovulation is not just for hormone health either, it’s the way our body produces steroid hormones required for a healthy brain, bones, cardiovascular health and metabolism. 
The effects of ovulation build bone and metabolic reserve to carry us through all the decades after menopause. That’s why it’s so important to ovulate while we can during our reproductive years, and not shut it down with the oral contraceptive pill.

Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary into the fallopian tube. Signs of possible ovulation include fertile mucus (an egg white discharge) and a regular period. 
You can also chart your temperature on waking each morning; ovulation will cause a rise in resting basal body temperature. 
Or you can do a luteal phase blood test, checking your progesterone surge. 
When an ovary release’s an egg each month it release oestrogen. 
Oestrogen stimulates the production of serotonin, which is why you feel so energetic & ready to take on the world around ovulation. 
Just after an ovary releases an egg you get a huge surge in progesterone, our calming, soothing, glowing hormone. 
This state of euphoria should take you through to your next period (or pregnancy if worlds collide). PMS is a tell tale sign that your not ovulating or your deficient in progesterone.

A regular period is not a sign of definite ovulation because it’s possible to have an anovulatory cycle.

Just like a period, ovulation should be painless, & you should not experience heaviness, irritability, anxiety, emotional upset & headaches - which are common but not normal.

If you have a 28 day cycle you’d want to ovulate around day 14 – ovulation too late or too early could be why your not falling pregnant - for example, ovulating on cycle day 9 is a problem, because it means an immature follicle is being released – making it almost impossible to be fertilised. 
Or your luteal phase (from ovulation to the period time) is too short, meaning that if there is a growing embryo, it can’t continue to grow because it isn’t being supplied hormonally with all it requires.

Ovulation is the MAIN event in your cycle!

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Beautiful Evening Primrose Oil

EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

Such a beautiful name, called evening primrose because its yellow flowers open at dusk… an equally beautiful supplement. The oil comes from its small, reddish seeds & responsible for evening primrose’s most beneficial medicinal effects. Evening Primrose oil contains an essential fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is so beneficial for women. Research has shown to support its use in treating eczema, inflammation menopause and symptoms of PMS.

The body changes GLA, into short-lived, highly reactive hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are found in every cell in the body, and play a role and function as part of the immune system, PGs can either inhibit or create inflammation. If our diet is high in the “bad fats” the body will make prostaglandins (called PG2s) that tend to increase inflammation. When the body is supplemented with GLA in the form of evening primrose oil this helps to make the anti-inflammatory kind of prostaglandins (PG1s) that decrease inflammation.

If you haven't noticed I have a passion for women's health, mainly because of the high expectation placed on women in todays society. 
We are career orientated, we grow, birth & raise children, as well as running a house hold the demands are huge and taxing on our health. 
It is not uncommon for women to become infertile, anxious, depressed, overweight, undernourished and overworked. We’ve got to find a better way to exist in this fast paced world, a way to thrive not just survive.

This is not to say that men don't have stressors I am saying the expectations for women have changed over the years. Staying at home and raising children with support of sisters, grandmothers, aunts etc is no longer the norm. 


I digress ... Back to evening primrose.

Evening primrose relieves premenstrual breast pain and tenderness and other PMS symptoms including painful periods, headaches, depression, irritability and bloating.

This is a wonderful supplement for women suffering with skin problems, reproductive issues, weight management and inflammation. 

Have you been ignoring your intuition or the messages your body is giving you to make change? 
Don’t get caught in the belief that people or situations are keeping you from prioritising your health, you don’t need anyone’s permission or justification to take care of you. Truth be told, if you’re not looking after yourself you can’t be the best version of you for your loved ones.
Repeat after me...
I am worthy of the same care that I willingly give to others 💕 I am worthy of prioritising my own self-love.

*Always supplement under the guidance of a health practitioner.

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