And how to stop them wreaking havoc on your body.
I recently came across an event that I realised I just HAD to be at. It was the screening of a documentary called The Human Experiment, narrated and produced by the awesome Sean Penn, and it was totally worth missing out on The Bachelor to watch. This was actually a life changing doco, not just for me, but for my clients and for you, my readers, too.
The basis of the documentary was to explore the effect chemicals are having on our health. And not just chemicals that we already know are dangerous (thank god) like asbestos, BPA, aspartame, etc, but the ones that we have absolutely no idea we are eating, absorbing, breathing, every single day. How these chemicals are being deemed safe until proven otherwise and how we, people, animals, plants and ecosystems are one big ugly experiment.
There is no doubt about the increasing sickness in society. Everyday I am seeing clients who think they may have a weight problem or are lacking a bit of energy, and through investigation and analysis I so very often have to break the bad news that they are suffering Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which may render them infertile; a thyroid condition that leaves their hormones and energy levels in a mess; insulin resistance and diabetes, meaning they can’t lose weight (plus a whole heap of other problems); and worst of all, cancer, which needs no introduction. The point of this documentary was to bring attention to the detrimental impact that untested (and some tested) chemicals are having on our unsuspecting health.
Think about it: every morning you wake up and drink water with fluoride in it. Then you brush your teeth with about 30 chemicals in your toothpaste which are directly absorbed into your blood stream via blood vessels under your tongue. You wash your face with another 40 chemicals, apply makeup and perfume (fragrance alone has over 400 chemicals, most untested for safety), put on clothes made of chemicals and washed in chemicals, sit on your chemical laden couch to watch the morning news, and then jump in your chemical car to get to work. That’s only in the first 60 minutes of you waking after you have breathed in fabric softener chemicals and fire retardant all night in your doona. Pretty scary stuff! And the fact that they are now linking these toxins to hormonal imbalances and illness can only mean that our poor little bodies are overloaded with chemicals and we have no idea just how bad the impact is on us. Yet.
So what can you do about it? Well, plenty actually. Click here to read more.
We all know how easy it is to throw on a heavy jumper during Winter and forget about what’s going on underneath: the dry skin, the extra fat rolls, the cellulite. Why wait until the end of Winter to take action on the inevitable and instead take action now and prevent it from happening in the first place?
Join me for my Better Body Project and you’ll not only be lighter by Spring, you’ll have more energy, increased vitality, clearer skin, brighter eyes and radiant health. I’m so excited to share my Better Body Project Winter detox cleanse with all of you, especially after the success we had with Feb Fast - people were losing 3kgs in just the first week, over 7kgs after 4 weeks and over 8cm centimetres off their waists! And the best part was, there was no extreme fad dieting techniques involved: no fasting, or only drinking juices, or extreme deprivation diets that are too hard to follow or stick with. You will be enjoying nourishing whole food recipes (banana & peanut butter pancakes anyone?) along with smoothies, probiotic and antioxidant-rich tonics and juices that are designed to quickly remove toxins, reduce chronic inflammation, rebuild your digestive system and help you lose weight effortlessly!
Toxins can build up and get stored in your fat cells and tissues causing you to put on weight and making it difficult to shift, no matter how much you exercise or count calories. And this also causes a major drain on your energy levels.
Your liver can become overwhelmed, sluggish, congested and function sub-optimally. Inflammation can increase and become systemic and chronic which negatively affects on both your digestive and immune system. Parasites and yeast can flourish in this environment and rob your body of important nutrients you need to stay strong and healthy. All of these issues will lead to the breakdown of your immune system, ultimately compromising your good health and possibly leading to degenerative diseases.
Detoxification and cleansing involves resting, nourishing, cleansing and rebuilding your body and rejuvenating your mind so that you can maintain health and promote longevity and anti-aging. By eliminating health-depleting toxins and chronic inflammation, you will provide your body and mind with the critical support needed to help you heal and protect you from disease.
So really what are you waiting for?
Join me for Dry July and sign up for The Better Body Project today so you can kick-start your best body ever!
I don't know whether you’ve noticed the chill in the air lately but Winter is well and truly here. What we don't want is to come to the end of the season and discover a ripple effect on our once smooth, dimple free, toned skin. That’s right, we are talking about the dreaded cellulite. The unsightly lumps of skin and fat that often deposit themselves on your upper thighs and butt.
It’s important to note here that cellulite is normal. Everyone gets it. Including stick thin models. But that doesn’t mean we want it. So here's a a few cellulite busters to help keep it at bay.
1. Up your herb/spice intake. Include these cellulite busters in your diet on a regular basis:
Cinnamon – perfect for blood sugar level control, meaning less sugar cravings
Turmeric – in an anti-inflammatory and blood circulation booster
Cayenne pepper – boosts metabolism and increases circulation
Raw apple cider vinegar – superfood for increasing digestion, boosting metabolism, cleansing the intestines, alkalising the gut and improving circulation
Ginger – another super anti-inflammatory and immune booster, especially good for the cooler months to keep that cold at bay
Detox-Cellulite busting drink for winter: Take a cup of boiled water and add: grated ginger, 1 tsp raw honey, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp turmeric or grated turmeric, dash of cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar, squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Drink before every meal to increase your metabolism and help eliminate toxins.
2. Boost your collagen. Collagen is the protein found in vertebrate animals, specifically in the their skin, bones, marrow, cartilage, tendons and ligaments (sorry if you’re eating breakfast). Cellulite comes from a lack of connective tissue, so if someone you know has smooth skin it’s generally due to high connective tissue amounts in their skin! Lucky buggers. Increase yours this winter by drinking homemade chicken soup (from real stock ,which means bones are used in the cooking process) or real bone broth which you can buy from quality butchers. Drink 1/2 a cup daily as soup or plain beverage to not only boost skin collagen and make you look younger, but to also support the immune system and reduce intestinal inflammation as the the broth is also super rich in minerals and amino acids. Add liver cleansing veggies like broccoli, onions, garlic and artichokes for a hearty winter meal...
To read more tips on beating cellulite, click here
Are detox diets all they've cracked up to be?
People tend to get very confused by the word detox, and with a million and one programs out there it’s not only difficult to know which one is right for you, but whether or not they’re even worth the pain and suffering for the money (lemon detox diet anyone?).
Also as your body detoxifies itself every single second of every day anyway, is it therefore even worthwhile committing to an expensive organic cold-pressed juice diet when your body is perfectly capable of cleaning itself anyway?
Yes and no.
At the moment I’m on a detox affectionately known as Feb Fast. For those who have not heard of this its main purpose is to give up alcohol for the month of Feb, however I’ve taken it further by also cutting caffeine, refined sugar, gluten and processed foods completely out of my diet for 28 days. Pretty hardcore.
A detox like this is a fantastic way to clean up your diet and remove unnecessary toxins, therefore allowing your body to concentrate on repairing itself from overindulgence and abuse.I don’t believe it is particularly necessary to embark on expensive diets hung up on calorie counting or liquid only food, however I do believe ‘cleaning up your diet’ for a few weeks has some amazing benefits:
- You will determine if you have any food intolerance’s. Cutting out gluten, dairy and refined sugars for an extended period allows you to see how amazing and energetic you feel without these foods in your diet. When/if you introduce them back in, take note of any reactions you may experience. You may find you have a lactose intolerance which would explain that 3pm bloating and tummy pain.
- You’ll get amazing skin and hair and clear eyes. Removing toxic foods and alcohol means you’ll look fresh, skin will looked plumped, hydrated and glowing, plus your hair will look healthier from having all the additional nutrients in your diet.
- It will help you create healthy long term habits. Even starting the morning with a fresh lemon juice in warm water is a great daily change your body will thank you for, stimulating digestion and alkalising the body. Cleaning up your diet for a few weeks may also mean you make healthier food choices in the future when cooking and eating out.
- By cutting out caffeine and refined sugars you’ll notice stable energy levels throughout the day. After getting over the usual sugar and caffeine withdrawal symptoms (ie a headache for a day or two), that annoying 3pm slump dissipates. Who would have thought going OFF caffeine actually makes you more energetic!?
- Weight loss. Yep, most people will experience some sort of weight loss when they detox, whether it’s due to a decrease in water retention or a decrease in inflammation from the elimination of a food allergy.
- Pride and willpower. How amazing are you going to feel after a whole month of being kind to your body, nourishing it and eliminating those problem foods? Pretty amazing. Permission to gloat granted.
- Money saving. Think of all the coin you’ll save not drinking! Time to get your hands on that cute frock you’ve been eyeing off. In a size smaller…
If you would like to join me on my special detox plan, email firstname.lastname@example.org so you can start to reap these benefits today!
Anecdotal evidence of the Pill causing depression is wide spread and, although I have no scientific proof, I am one of those who definitely thinks the Pill was responsible for my downturn mood…
For me, I didn’t notice mood problems while I was on the Pill – I took Yasmin for ten years – but it was a completely different story when I came off it last year. With no synthetic hormones racing through my body, suddenly my anxiety escalated and my moods worsened.
I went to my doctor to discuss what I could do, thinking I’d have to go back on the Pill. But I was advised that no, it was best to sort out the hormone situation and let my body find its natural rhythm again. So I did a complete adrenal overhaul. The healing took almost six months, but I can say that I feel a thousand percent better than I even did on the Pill. If only I’d known how hard it was going to be to come off it, I might have thought more seriously before starting.
And I know I’m not the only one with this kind of story.
The Pill was once deemed a miracle drug, allowing girls to take complete control over their bodies. But this little wonder drug that we put into our bodies to eradicate PMS symptoms, heal our skin problems and to keep babies at bay – seems to have a lot more to answer for.
Over the past few years, more and more reports are being published about the very serious side effects of the Pill, specifically Yasmin and it’s sister pill Yaz. These are two that are being connected to blood clots (Medical Journal in October 2011 stated Yaz and Yasmin users experienced twice as much blood clot risk as women who used older birth control pills), embolisms, deep vain thrombosis, heart attacks and strokes in otherwise perfectly healthy females.
According to the pharmaceutical company who makes Yasmin and Yaz, Bayer, as of September 2013 it has settled 6,760 law cases by uses and/or their families for $1.4 billion for things relating to side effects of these Pills. Thousands more are still pending in state and federal courts nationwide.
Closer to home, in Australia, the TGA is in a battle as to whether the Pill should be banned in Australia and are at least asking for packets to come with more severe warnings, like cigarette packaging.
Then there’s my friend Harriet who suffered a 14cm blood clot across two veins in 2007. She was taking Yasmin at the time and her doctor ordered her off it straight away. She goes into more detail here if you’re interested in reading the full story.
So what does all this mean? Should you just never go on the Pill? Should you go off it?
Well that is a choice only you can make. However, it’s one I recommend you don’t make quickly or lightly. Start by doing further research into the Pill and your other options, and then I recommend talking to your doctor - or even a couple of different doctors to get some different opinions. Ask lots of questions, especially if you’re looking at a prescribed drug option, such as: what are the short-term and long-term side effects, what does the Pill actually do to my body, what happens if I want to come off the Pill and what are my other options?
But if I had my choice, I’d take all of my clients off the Pill to allow their bodies to regulate their cycles and start to ovulate again. Big call, I know. But there are diet, supplement and botanical programs that can assist with PMS and skin problems that are also natural and sustainable and wont put you at risk of depression, or even worse, stroke. Over the next two weeks, I’m going to be outlining these further in case you do want to come off the Pill and need a little help!
And what about preventing unplanned pregnancy? Condoms! They’re cheap, safe and are not only 98% effective when used perfectly, but also prevent most STIs that the Pill can’t assist you with. Plus it evens out the responsibility for both sexes.
We tend to take for granted that our doctors and pharmaceutical companies have our best interests at heart, when all too often it’s the bottom line that really matters.
For those who missed this excellent article the first time around, it’s definitely worth the read.
Warning: you should always seek medical advice from a doctor when it comes to your body. This is just my opinion as a qualified nutritionist and having been on the Pill for 10 years.