Thursday, February 19, 2015

How To Get To The Root Cause Of Your Health Concerns!

My journey to Balance & Wellness has been a LONG one with many trials and errors. I can't say I regret anything, because as always, at the time, in that moment, I did what I could with the awareness I had and the resources made available to me.

If you trash your body mindlessly with junk food and poor lifestyle choices, your health will pay for it in some way... If not now, then later. There is no way to cheat the system. Your body is incredibly smart and is constantly responding the best way it can to everything you think, do, drink, eat and absorb, in order to maintain a delicate balance so that you can thrive.

In the past, if I had a skin problem I saw a dermatologist, when I had womanly problems I went to the gynecologist, and when I was sick I saw the doctor. All this sounds pretty normal right? Well I want to share a word of caution with you.  Don't get me wrong, these "experts" and "specialists" have their place in "modern health care" and can be very good at looking at a specific part of the body, but for me personally, many for my close friends, dear family and wonderful clients, they have mostly managed to bandaid the symptoms of ill health to provide temporary relief, rather than healing from the root cause and treating the body as a whole (where all its systems are intricately connected).

I was given prescription after prescription for any health complaint I had, no matter how big or small. Medications, over the counter drugs and antibiotics can have MAJOR SIDE EFFECTS that vary from person to person. As an example, the antibiotics I took for a little dermatitis on my face (prescribed by a dermatologist with only temporary relief) contributed to my impaired gut function and allowed other pathogenic microbes to thrive, causing a whole new host of problems. Do you see what I am getting at? And this is just one example. Turns out, after getting tested by my Naturopathic Doctor, I was ultra sensitive to gluten, dairy and eggs, and it took a 100% elimination of these foods to finally get rid of my dermatitis outbreaks!  

In the past, like most people in the general public, I was not educated about how to take care of myself and prioritize my health. I was stressed, exhausted, suffered acne and later on experienced gastrointestinal issues, including the ones mentioned above. But this is what lead me to be the educated and aware person that I am today. We need to take responsibility for our happiness and wellbeing by doing our research and reaching out to holistic health care practitioners such as Naturopathic Doctors, Functional or Integrative Medical Doctors, and Certified Health Coaches like myself. I would like to see conventional health care work with alternative health care to provide people with full healing capabilities.  Or ideally, alternative health care becoming the norm, where things like comprehensive stool tests and blood panels are part of everyones yearly check up.

Now I take the very best care of myself, by maximizing the raw materials the body needs for optimum functioning, minimizing its toxic load and prioritizing supportive lifestyle choices. When you do this the body will naturally seek a state of wellness. I'm here to support you in feeling amazing and relieving your symptoms. Note that symptoms are a gift from the body, like a clear message that something is out of balance and needs to be addressed. I advise you to tune into your body and pay attention to what it is telling you!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Top Nutritional Boosters For Enhanced Vitality

Micro greens - micro greens are one of my favorite ways to boost any meal from eggs for breakfast, a chicken salad for lunch and a veggie soup for dinner. They are packed with chlorophyll which cleanses the blood, as well as essential nutrients, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes. Find them at your local health foods store.

Lemon juice - lemon juice is high in vitamin C while being a low sugar fruit. Add it to room temp or warm water between meals to aid digestion, alkalize and detox the body. It's a simple thing everyone can do to make their day a little healthier.  I also love to squeeze it on salads, chicken and fish dishes. Be sure to use the rind too.

Nuts and seeds: some of my fav nuts and seeds include hemp for protein density, freshly ground flax seeds for hormonal balance, sesame seeds for calcium, pumpkin seeds for magnesium and brazil nuts for selenium. My advice is to opt for a wide variety of organic and raw nuts and seeds so you get all their health promoting nutrients (lightly toasted and sprouted are also good choices regarding bioavailability of nutrients). Nuts and seeds all contain healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to glowing health.

Kelp flakes - kelp flakes are rich in iodine, a vital trace mineral for healthy thyroid function, and very easy to sprinkle over any savory dish for a little salty flavor.

Avocado and eggs - these two sources of healthy fats are quick and easy additions to any meal. Try adding avocado to soups and salads for satiety, blood sugar balance and glowing skin. Eggs are a wonderful source of fat soluble vitamins and protein. Whip them up in a jiffy for breakfast, make a frittata to take to work, pack boiled eggs as a healthy snack or add one on top of any dish for a major boost in nutrients. Always opt for pasture raised and organic eggs from chickens raised with LOVE.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fat Is Good For You!... Discover my favorite cooking fats and oils!

*Raw Coconut Oil - coconut oil is a saturated fat which means it is suitable for high heat cooking. My favorite way to use it is on a big batch of cubed sweet root vegetables for baking. It really brings out their natural sweetness. Hot tip: add a light dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg.

*Cold Pressed Grape Seed Oil - this oil is one of my favorites for med-high heat cooking when I want a neutral taste such as in a stir fry or pan searing high quality animal protein. I only use a little because it is high in omega 6 fatty acids, so you need to ensure you are balancing them out with lots of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids in your daily diet. *To do this I eat wild salmon 1-2 times a week or take a high quality fish oil supplement like Nordic Naturals.

*Organic & Grass Fed Ghee - ghee is a saturated fat making it great for high heat cooking. It is basically pure butter fat as most of the milk solids (lactose / sugars and casein / proteins) have been removed.  This makes it ok to consume for some dairy sensitive people. It is great to add to homemade organic popcorn for movie night, or to add to any savory dish for a delicious buttery taste.

*Other healthy options for high heat cooking include red palm oil (ensure it is responsibly sourced and fair trade), tallow, lard and duck fat.

*Myth Buster: extra virgin olive oil is not a healthy choice for cooking. It is best used as a dressing or flavor enhancer to raw foods or meals once cooked. You don't want to damage the delicate nutrients in olive oil by heating them as it will cause your body to have excess free radicals / toxins and potentially damage your own body tissues.

*Top Tip: use all other cold pressed nut and seed oils for dressings or flavor enhancers too. Some of my favorites include toasted sesame oil for drizzling on a my stir fry once cooked, flax oil for adding to smoothies, walnut oil for salad dressings etc.

Join me now for your very own Personalized 3 Month Wellness Program. Discover how to eat for your unique body type, enjoy more daily energy, sleep better at night, improve your digestion and embrace natural weight loss. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

3 Reasons Why You May Be Constipated

Many of my clients come to me suffering from constipation. Ongoing constipation is not normal and should be addressed immediately. You do not want to burden your colon with excess build up of waste and therefore have a toxic body. The good news is this can easily be relieved with a few simple tools. Look at constipation as a gift, it is basically your body's way of telling you that something is out of balance and you need to work on resolving that. Here are some possible solutions for you to try:

- You may be lacking magnesium! This is a very common issue in Western Culture. Magnesium plays a key role in hundreds of different bodily functions including muscle relaxation. So if you are a little clogged up, try taking some magnesium citrate to help you go to the toilet. Ask your holistic health care professional or integrative pharmacist for directions on when to take it and a suitable dose for your condition.

- Maybe you travel regularly for work or just took an international trip and therefore your body is having trouble knowing what time it is and when to go!!! I personally love Smooth Move Tea by Traditional Medicinals for "travelers constipation". You can buy it online or get it from your local health foods store such as "Whole Foods".  It contains a special blend of herbs that encourage you to enjoy a "smooth" bowel movement in the morning when you wake up. Try it for yourself (drink before bedtime).

- You may lack healthy populations / optimal numbers of beneficial bacteria, especially Bifidobacteria, so in that case you may want to consider a high quality probiotic such as Ultimate Flora Critical Colon Care or Ultimate Flora Senior to supplement this specific type of bacteria and relieve your struggle with constipation.

Dysbiosis (imbalance of microbes in the gut) can be the root cause of many diseases, especially if it goes unnoticed for a long period of time.  You want to stay on top of your digestive health so I suggest getting a yearly comprehensive stool test from a good Naturopath or Integrative Practitioner. A test like this is a little pricey but it gives you a lot of valuable information about what is going on inside your gastrointestinal tract, allowing you take the right steps for achieving optimal health from the inside out.

Contact me for more information about my Personalized Health Coaching services. It's time to discover how to eat right for your unique body type and balance your lifestyle so you can enjoy vibrant wellness every day! 

Please note I am not a doctor and I do not intend for these general suggestions to be used as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cure for any health condition.    

Thursday, January 22, 2015

3 Simple Ways To Ditch Your Sugar Cravings

A very high percentage of my clients come to me with nagging sugar cravings that drive them mad including chocolate, baked goods and alcohol! Can you relate to this relentless desire?

Here are 3 simple ways to finally tame those wild sugar urges:

- Add more clean protein and healthy fats to each meal. This will keep you feeling satisfied until the next meal without the desire to snack or indulge in a "sweet treat". When we give our bodies all the nutrition it needs, it says "Thanks, I've had enough". Try having quinoa porridge (quinoa is a complete protein as well as a complex carbohydrate) with a dollop of cashew butter (full of healthy fats and a little protein too) for breakfast. Enjoy a chicken (protein) salad with avocado (healthy fat), olive oil (healthy fat) and baby kale for lunch. Quickly pan sear a piece of wild salmon (clean protein and healthy omega 3 fats) with lightly sautéed veggies for dinner.  

*BONUS TIP: the longer and more thoroughly you chew your home cooked whole grains such as steel cut oats, quinoa and brown rice, the sweeter they become. Go on, try it for yourself!!! 

- Add in more baked sweet root veggies such as carrots, beets, yams, sweet potatoes, winter squash, turnips and parsnips etc. When we add in the good stuff, we naturally crowd out the bad. I swear after you have some baked sweet potato with your meal, you won't crave desert after as it is already naturally super sweet with the bonus of lots of beneficial nutrients you body will use wisely.

- Sip on some mint, hibiscus, licorice or other naturally sweet herbal teas through the day. Lemon water cuts the desire for sugar too. Remember the vitamin C in lemons is sensitive to heat so opt for room temp water rather than hot!

CONTACT me for Personalized Nutrition Support.  I will guide and encourage you to achieve optimum wellness through making balanced food and lifestyle choices. Best part is I make it FUN! Life is too short for deprivation and dodgy diets, lets enjoy being healthy and vibrant every day.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

5 Easy Tips For Better Sleep

I am a sleeping goddess. My husband laughs at me and says, "When the sun goes down, Sarah goes down with it!" I am actually quite proud of this because it means my body is in a natural daily rhythm with the cycle of the sun, and that my sleep promoting hormone "melatonin" is doing its job effectively.

In Western culture, we are almost constantly wired and connected to the world via technology and social media. We have lost our natural ability to get around 8 hours of solid rejuvenating sleep. When we stay up late, past 11pm for example, our body needs to produce the stress hormone cortisol rather than relaxing melatonin in order to stay awake after the sun goes down. If we make this a regular habit, our body becomes confused, hormones go out of sync and our metabolism gets thrown off. The result: mood swings, lack of focus during the day, crashes in energy and weight gain! Has waking up intermittently through the night become your norm? Do you only manage to fall into a light sleep? Do you wake up feeling sluggish and rely on stimulants such as coffee to function? Read on...

Here are my secret ways to fall asleep and stay asleep withers for total mind and body repair. They will leave you feeling so good that you actually look forward to a good nights rest and naturally prioritize it as a vital component of your daily self care regime.

*Don't drink too many liquids before bed. This can cause you to wake up and disturb your important sleep cycles in need of using the toilet. Sip water or herbal tea if you are a little thirsty to wet the palate instead of guzzling down large glass fulls. Get into the habit of hydrating earlier in the evening, for example at least 30 minutes before dinner or at least an hour afterwards (you don't want to dilute your stomach acid and therefore impede proper digestion).

*Don't eat within 3 hours of bedtime. If you do you will store the energy from this food as fat and you will cause your body to focus on digestion rather than repair during sleep time.  Focus on a light dinner of salad or cooked veggies with clean protein, or a satisfying homemade soup.

*Skip the desert and alcohol in the evening (save these for special occasions rather than daily rituals) - the sugar in these 2 indulgences causes a major insulin spike which drops just as quickly, leaving you with imbalanced blood sugar levels and an impaired ability to sleep soundly. A healthy dinner ritual should satisfy you enough if you mindfully slow down, set up a lovely eating environment and enjoy your nourishing meal in good company.

*Create an environment that promotes sleep. The bedroom should be used for sleep and sex only. No tacky TV, computers, mobile phones, kids, pets, or any other distractions allowed. Ok maybe a good book and some relaxing tunes are acceptable to help you wind down, but nothing else! I like to dim the lights really low in order to promote an effortless transition into deep sleep.

*Don't sleep with the room too hot. Keep your bedroom nice and cool because our bodies naturally warm up during sleep. If you have the temperate too high or pile on too many layers, you can overheat and disturb good sleep.

Join me for your very own Personalized Health Coaching Program to ditch the frustrating diet confusion and nourish your body through delicious food choices, loving self care and a balanced lifestyle. 

We are well into January 2015 and it's time to finally look after yourself the way you deserve and feel vibrant on a daily basis!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Secret To Setting Attainable New Years Resolutions

Happy and healthy 2015!

Have you already been asked countless times what your new years resolution is? Is it just another year of painfully trying to lose weight, aiming to workout more, saying a final goodbye to your favorite indulgences such as sugar, coffee and alcohol, or wanting to be more "successful"??? I say we need to turn this around and opt for a more realistic and sustainable way to go into the New Year with grace! Read on...

First of all I don't like the words "New Year Resolution" it seems to have an association to rigid rules and the possibility of disappointing outcomes. I think we could use more positive, loving and supportive words like New Years "Goals", "Intentions", "Progress", "Improvements", "Chapter" or "Themes".

For example:

- My New Years GOAL is to prioritize more time for myself...

- My New Years INTENTION is to go to bed earlier so that I can wake up naturally with the sun and feel energized...

- My New Years PROGRESS is to continue working on my mindfulness and meditation practice...

- My New Years IMPROVEMENT is to cook at home more often to ensure I am nourishing my body and connecting with my food...

- My New Years CHAPTER is to embrace life to the fullest, turn my dreams into my reality and not to sweat the small stuff...

- My New Years THEME is self love so that I can train my mind not to put myself down and instead believe in my ability to do anything I want with my life...

Make sense? These things are totally encouraging and achievable. When I focus on meaningful ideas like these, I am able to be my true self, be flexible, enjoy and grow! I don't feel restricted and I can have a clear intention without being attached to outcome. I will not be upset if life takes me in a different direction and I need to change these goals.

I personally am going into 2015 with an open mind and the ability to adapt to different environments and situations. I want to continue learning and evolving as an individual. I believe in myself and trust that I will make the best choice possible with mindfulness every moment of the day. By taking things one step at a time, I am confident I can tackle anything life throws at me. Embracing the ups and the downs whole heartedly. Feeling everything on the human emotional spectrum and engaging all of my senses to really soak up the moment. I will continue to live and experience life to the fullest.

Know that I am here to support you on your own personal journey in 2015 to heightened happiness and wellbeing. Contact me for a free phone call to discuss how we can work together to achieve your unique nutrition and health goals! As always you can find more information about my personalized services on my website