Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Healthy Travel Tips - Essential For Anyone Going Anywhere!!!

This week I am off to Vietnam which inspired me to share with you my top travel tips for keeping on track with your balance and wellness while away. This post will be particularly helpful for you as we enter a very festive time of year with the Christmas holiday soon upon us. Please note there will be no blog post next week as I am taking a healthy "tech free" break with my husband. Traveling in my opinion is an ESSENTIAL part of life. It opens your eyes to other ways of living, teaches you new things, provides you with unique experiences and gives you a fresh perspective on the world.

TOP TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY WHILE AWAY:

- Pack your supplements
A good broad spectrum probiotic (non-refridgerated) can help to keep your immune system calm while traveling to foreign countries. It can be a good idea to keep a consistent flow of beneficial bacteria coming into your precious gastrointestinal tract to minimize the opportunity for "bad" microbes to thrive. Zinc, vitamin D and vitamin A also support a strong immune system. A high quality multi-vitamin / multi-mineral combo can help to fill nutritional gaps in your daily diet while you are away.

- Pack your own toiletries
I never use other peoples cleansers, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash or moisturizer as they are usually full of toxic ingredients. Having acne prone skin, I need to be super careful about maintaining my skin regime using "non-clogging" / acne safe products that won't trigger a flare up. Pack "travel sized" bottles filled up with your toiletry essentials.

- Pack earplugs, an eye mask and organic hand sanitizer
When you are on a flight or trying to sleep in your accommodation there can be all sorts of noises that can prevent you from enjoying sound restorative sleep. The ear plugs come in super handy for this and I wear an eye mask to shut out excess light (especially if I need to get some sleep during the day time). Hand wash at airports, on the plane and in hotels is usually full of harsh chemicals that strip your hands of moisture and all living bacteria. Instead I suggest packing a small bottle of organic hand sanitizer (Whole Foods sells them) that is more gentle on your skin.


- Eat before you fly and pack healthy snacks / food choices for the plane
I always have a nourishing meal before I leave the house to get on a plane. Try to pack a green juice if you can to get a liquid multi-vitamin / multi-mineral that alkalizes your body, purifies the blood and boosts the immune system before you set off. My fav snacks for the plane include raw organic trail mix, a boiled egg (pasture raised), a BPA free can of wild skinless + boneless salmon, carrots with hummus, fresh fruit such as an apple, and raw superfood bars (high in protein and healthy fats, as low as possible in natural sweeteners).

- Select a "healthier" airplane meal option if possible and say "NO THANKS" to free nibbles and drinks on the flight
I always select the "gluten free" option which usually contains some sort of meat, rice and vegetables with a simple side salad. I pack my own spring water (purchase after you go through security or pack an empty glass drink bottle to fill up at the water fountain). Drinking rancid coffee, poor quality alcohol, sugar laden fruit juice, soda and airplane snacks / deserts can really throw your delicate system off. Keep your body as pure as possible during your journey.

- Pack chill out music, an inspirational book and a note pad with a pen
Traveling can get hectic so it is important to be able to cultivate some zen anywhere you go. If you can mediate go for it. I simply play some relaxing chill music on my iPod or read an inspirational book. A note pad is a great way to jot down and observe any thoughts, feelings or emotions you may be experiencing. It can also be used as a travel diary or food journal.

- HYDRATE, stretch and sleep where possible
I drink lots of water on the plane to stay regular, flush out toxins and hydrate the body. Stretching is essential to keep the blood flowing to all areas of your body and to aid the flushing of the lymphatics system (immune system). Ideally we want to remain flexible and keep our muscles as loose as possible to avoid getting stiff, cramping or swelling up, and get rid of any tension in the body. Instead of watching movie after movie on your flight, stick to watching just one or read for a little while and then prioritize some shut eye. Try to keep your body in some kind of routine so you don't feel "out of whack" when you arrive at your destination. Hot tip: pack chia seeds and add a tbsp. to your large bottle of water for a nutritional boost, a natural source of energy and to help keep you regular. 

- Take your swimsuit and walking shoes
Being on holiday usually means taking a break from fitness classes, gym sessions and workout routines but it doesn't mean we have to get lazy and do nothing physical with our bodies. Pack a swim suit and walking shoes so you can get active in a fun way while enjoying your time away. Explore your new environment by foot, rent a bike or swim in the ocean. You won't even realize you are exercising!



- Print out a note in the language of the country you are visiting stating any food sensitivities you may have so that you can hand it to the chef when eating out at restaurants 
It is important not to alarm your immune system and throw off your digestion by eating foods you are sensitive to while away. I make sure I have a clear note saying that I have an "allergic reaction" to eggs, gluten (wheat, barley and rye) and dairy. That way I can maintain my health and avoid damaging my delicate gastrointestinal tract.

- Observe how other cultures live traditionally, simply and in harmony with nature (you can learn so much from the locals and bring little health pearls back home with you)
Many different cultures to ours live very simply amongst nature with their families. They tend to the land, grow their own food, look after each other, live in sync with the cycle of the sun and change with the seasons. They build their homes out of local and natural materials, they do not live fast passed technology driven lives, they don't shop at big department stores, they don't eat conventional and processed foods, and they are not stressed out with endless health problems that are treated with pill after pill. I really think we need to return to nature as much as possible in order to survive on this Earth for generations to come. What we are doing now just isn't sustainable.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIP IS TO ENJOY EVERY PRECIOUS MOMENT!

Guys, I just want to say a BIG thank you to all of my loyal followers who support me in what I do and value the information I have to share. Continue to prioritize YOU and live your best life. Much love, Sarah

As always I invite you to join me for a free health consultation where we can take action on achieving your own unique wellness goals. Feel amazing, glow and soak up all life has to offer.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

10 MORE Healthy Substitutes (Part 2)

*Swap wheat and other inflammatory forms of gluten for gluten free nutrient dense whole grains such as quinoa, teff, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice and wild rice. If you are celiac or have a strong gluten sensitivity then it is best to buy certified gluten free oats. HOT TIP: remember to soak whole grains overnight / 8 hours in warm water with a splash of a neutral tasting acidic medium such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Drain and rinse thoroughly before cooking on the stove top. While cooking add a 1-2 inch of kombu seaweed and discard when done.

*Swap dairy and soy products for nut, seed, grain or coconut products such as dairy-free butters (nut, seed or coconut butter), cashew cheese, hemp milk, grain milk varieties including quinoa milk or oat milk, homemade nut milk and pure coconut milk (I like "Native Forest" brand). You can easily make coconut ice-cream or yoghurt at home (there are heaps of raw recipes online or you can find inspiration using my Pinterest folders). Ghee (clarified butter) is usually fine for most people since the milk solids (lactose = sugar, and casein = protein) have been removed so that all that remains is pure butterfat.




*Swap artificial sweeteners for stevia, xylitol or a little raw local unfiltered honey. Coconut sugar is your best bet for baking! Honey, when used in moderation, has some nutritional benefit such as enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. All of these natural sweeteners have less of a spike on blood sugar levels and therefore less of a burden on your pancreas to secrete excess insulin.

*Swap regular dairy cheese in your salad for creamy avocado containing wonderful healthy fats, or creamy tahini for a rich source of calcium. If you tolerate cheese just fine, then opt for organic cheese and preferably goat or sheep varieties as people generally seem to handle them better than cows milk. Goat and sheep are also usually much healthier animals, with better access to grazing on a wider variety of plant food such as grasses, weeds and other wild shrubs, making their milk healthier for you too.

*Swap regular dried fruit, which is super high in sugar, for nutrient dense super fruits such as goji berries. Goji berries are one of raw guru David Wolfe's favorite super foods for a reason. They have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years and are one of the most nutrient rich foods on earth. I love to add them to my smoothie or put them on my steel cut oats for breakfast in the morning.

*Swap store bought granola for homemade granola where you can control the amount of sugar it contains. Many store bought granola varieties contain aded sugar, too much dried fruit and are usually cooked in rancid vegetable oils such as canola oil. I suggest a nice blend of organic rolled oats, coconut oil or olive oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raw nuts, goji berries, cacao nibs, cinnamon and coconut flakes. YUM

*Swap iodized table salt for high quality and mineral rich sea salt varieties. 2 of my favorites salts to use are pink Himalayan and celtic sea salt. Grey sea salt has not been processed or refined in any way and therefore has its high mineral profile intact. I love to use "EDEN Seaweed Gomasio" (a mix of sesame seeds, seaweed and sea salt) or "MAINE COAST Kelp Granules" which are an excellent source of essential iodine, especially for people with hypothyroidism. Sea vegetables and seaweeds are a very rich source of minerals and a great addition to a healthy / balanced diet.

*Swap hot sauce that usually contains hidden sugar with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or chili flakes to spice things up a bit. Better yet use fresh chili when cooking... the amount of seeds you add to your meal depends on your tolerance of the spice. Spicy foods keep the metabolism revved which can assist natural weight loss. Don't eat them if they cause you digestive upset. It is always important to listen to your body and notice any unusual / uncomfortable reactions that you have to certain food types. If you do love your hot sauce and can tolerate it just fine, I recommend "Burn Baby Burn" as it is organic and has no added nasty ingredients.

*Swap store bought broth for homemade broth. It is so easy to make. I simply collect bones after dinner from grass fed animals and store them in a bag in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch of broth. Throw the bones in a large soup pot, cover with filtered water and add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for at least 8 hours on the stove top (the longer you simmer the better as you will extract more nutrients from the bones). If you are nervous about leaving the gas on while you are out of the house or sleeping, then turn off the heat and cover with a lid. When you are back in action, bring the broth back up to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for the desired amount of time. Note: you will need to top up with water every so often so keep an eye on evaporating levels. When done, strain the broth and discard the bones. Store the broth in an air tight glass jar in the fridge or the freezer. If storing in the fridge use the broth within 7 days (smell it to ensure it is still ok towards the end of the week). If storing in the freezer allow enough room at the top of the jar for expansion. Bone broth is so rich in healing nutrients for the gut and the rest of the body... it is basically my go to health tonic!

*Swap balsamic, red wine and other acidic vinegars for more alkalizing / health promoting apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, which aid digestion, nutrient absorption and flush toxins from the body. Did you know lemons are a low sugar fruit and super high in Vitamin C which supports a healthy immune system. Apple cider vinegar can be great for people with low stomach acid or acid reflux. Try taking it in the middle of a meal mixed with a very small amount of water (start with 2 tsp. of  ACV with 1 oz. of filtered water). Doing this helps to break down protein in the stomach and isolate minerals for absorption in the small intestines. For acid reflux sufferers this can help to boost low stomach acid levels which tells the body it is ready to consume food. It also helps to prevent the stomach acid from entering the esophagus which is what creates that uncomfortable burning sensation. Like bone broth, it is another one of those amazing health tonics to incorporate into your nutrition plan.

For MORE personalized health, nutrition and wellness guidance, contact me for a FREE 30 minute chat about your current health goals and how I can support you in achieving them! 


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

12 Healthy Substitutes To Boost Your Daily Diet (Part 1)

Being healthy is all about enjoying your life, making good food and lifestyle choices that nourish your body, embracing variety and trying new things! When I work with my clients, we don't focus on "what NOT to eat", instead we focus on all the delicious things "you CAN eat" such as these health promoting substitutions... Try them for yourself, you may even like them better and you will never feel like you are missing out:

*Swap regular white potato for sweet potato or yams, and swap mashed potatoes for cauliflower mash. These substitutes are more nutritionally dense and the whole family is sure to love them.

*Swap rolled oats for steel cut oats to slow down the release of sugar into the blood stream for longer lasting energy and satiety.

*Swap "free range" eggs for "organic and pasture raised" eggs to ensure chickens / birds have been raised with love and care, and to ensure the nutritional profile and quality of the egg is complete as nature intended.

*Swap exotic foods such as tropical fruits (such as coconut and bananas) for local foods by eating seasonally and shopping weekly at the farmers market. This helps to take the confusion out of what to eat. At different times of the year, nature provides us will all we need to be healthy and thrive in life. So make the most of her delicious, fresh and organic gifts.

*Swap conventional animal protein for "organic", "grass fed" and "pasture raised" meat. The reason behind this is the same as the eggs.

*Swap farmed fish for wild fish. Any animal that is not able to live in its natural environment is compromised in its health in some way. Farmed fish are not raised, fed or allowed to move freely like fish in the wild. Fish farms can also be damaging to the environment. To get maximum nutrition, eating wild fish in moderation (1-2 times a week) is the best option in my opinion! Some of my local favorites include halibut, black cod and salmon. The more local and the smaller the fish the better. Try sardines and anchovies for a healthy hit of essential omega 3s.

*Swap processed sugar such as baked goods, candy, chocolate and ice cream etc. for fresh organic fruit. The fiber in the fruit, particularly that found in the skin, drastically reduces the impact of the naturally occurring sugars on your blood sugar levels. Allowing a slower release of energy to take place. Fruit is nutritionally dense, packed with vitamins and minerals, so once you have had your 1-2 servings per day (which for example would be 1 small green apple and 1/2 cup of berries), you are satisfied and no longer crave something sweet.

*Swap chocolate bars for 1-2 pieces of organic dark chocolate (min 70%). Pure dark chocolate made from raw cacao is a great source of antioxidants, calcium, iron and magnesium (an important mineral that aids hundreds of bodily functions). High quality dark chocolate like this is also an instant mood booster! Opt for fair trade.

*Swap iced water for room temperature or warm water (adding fresh lemon juice is of great benefit) to support a healthy digestive system, alkalize the body and maintain a normal body temperature. I used to drink chilled water never realizing it was impairing my digestion and making my body run really cold, particularly in the hands and feet.

*Swap 1-2 glasses of wine each night for 1/2 a glass that you savor every little sip of. Better yet save alcohol for special occasions only or gradually ween yourself off it by drinking sparkling water with fresh citrus in a wine glass instead. Well at least that's what works for me! Many people get into a habit of consuming alcohol on a daily basis, but we don't really need it. If you are having a glass to "unwind" at the end of the day, create a healthier habit to replace this by walking or taking a soothing bath to unwind instead. A hot tip for my clients is to reduce alcohol intake to avoid drinking excess calories and aid natural weight loss.

*Instead of having coffee every day (another habit almost all of us have), energize your body in a different way. Workout, drink a green juice / smoothie, eat a nourishing breakfast and hydrate instead first thing in the morning to give yourself natural stimulation without messing around with your hormonal balance. We can ween ourselves off it so that we can enjoy it on occasion, like on the weekends or when catching up with a friend. If you do want a daily coffee, ensure it is fair trade, organic and freshly ground. Also be sure to have it after drinking a tall glass of water and after eating a nourishing breakfast to minimize its harsh effect on the body.  

*Swap cooking with olive oil for cooking with coconut oil (unless you have acne prone skin) or ghee which is butter with the milk solids (sugar / lactose and protein / casein) removed so all you are left with is pure butter fat. For this reason most people with dairy intolerance do perfectly fine consuming ghee (including me). Olive oil goes rancid at high heat which when eaten is toxic for the body. Instead use extra virgin olive oil as a dressing or for very low heat cooking if you must.


Join me for a FREE one-on-one Health Consultation to discuss your nutrition and wellness goals, and how I can support you on your personal journey to achieving them! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Discover The Key To Turning Your Life Up A Notch!

We can try to do so many different things to be happy and healthy... from juicing, to super foods, to supplements and working out... but I really believe the key to successfully achieving these things lies in the smallest details. Here's what I mean:


- We all cook dinner each night... but how many of us actually cook with LOVE? Slow down and take in the aromas of your food simmering on the stove top, appreciate the vibrant colors of the vegetables, chop each one with care, and be mindful of the energy you are putting into the meal as you are making it. Acknowledge that the food you are preparing is going to nourish your body and fuel your life-force. Notice the beauty in the details here?!

- We all go for walks, but how many of us actually still our minds when doing so and soak up the environment around us?! Do you notice the leaves as they change color as we transition from summer to autumn? Do you see the sunlight shining through the trees? Do you smell the blooming flowers and take in the fresh air? Do you numb out your senses with loud music and fill your mind with distracting thoughts or do you heighten your senses by taking in the sounds of nature all around you? Notice the beauty in the details here?!

- When you wake up to the sound of your alarm do you rush into the shower and out the door with a coffee to go? Or do you naturally wake up a little earlier to watch the sunrise and welcome a new day filled with opportunity and optimism? Notice the beauty in the details here?!

- When you get home do you take your family who is always there for granted and go about your own business or do you take a moment to greet them and tell them how much you love them and care? Notice the beauty in the details here?!

- When you eat that healthy kale salad... are you just shoving it down at your desk while doing emails, or are you taking a break outside in the sun, to recharge and take in some fresh air while savoring every bite? Notice the beauty in the details here?!

- When you are at work do you drag yourself through the day wishing for it to be over or do you think about how you can make the most of it? Life is too short to dwell on the past or worry about the future. You are blessed to be here in this moment right now. It is all you have. So shift your perspective and try your best to enjoy it. If you are not happy with your job and it is just "filling in time"... get creative and find ways to get value out of it. Show kindness and warmth to your colleagues and they will show kindness and warmth back to you. Smile and spark up friendly conversation more often. Put fresh flowers and a picture of your loved ones on your desk. Pack a delicious and nourishing homemade lunch to enjoy in your break. Take meetings outside to mix up your day. Be grateful that you have a job that supports you financially. Learn from the people who you find interesting. Use this job as a stepping stone to get to your dream job. Notice the beauty in the details here?!


Do you see what I mean now? On paper we can look as though we are living a happy and healthy life: married with kids, got a stable job, eating healthy most of the time, being productive / keeping busy and working out etc. But are you just doing these things on autopilot and are you so exposed to them that you have forgotten to pause and give thanks for the blessings they truly are? Are you seeing the world in muted shades, or are you choosing to see the world in vibrant colors? We all have the power to decide... so how is it from your perspective?


Want to get your life back on track, embrace a supportive mindset, fall in love with yourself all over again and eat right for your unique body type? Email me for a empowering Jump Start Session today... it's my special gift to you!   



       

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Super Veggie Minestrone Soup Recipe

This week in celebration of the seasons changing from summer to autumn, I made the most delicious and nutritious vegetable minestrone soup for my husband and I. It was so warm, comforting and nourishing. The best bit was I made so much of it that it lasted me through the busy work week. SO CONVENIENT! This recipe is very easy to make and you can be flexible with ingredients. I am sure it will be one of your family favorites. Give it a try...

Serves 4, inspired by the amazing Jamie Oliver! 

All ingredients organic, fresh and of the highest quality possible. I am a big pan of shopping once a week at the local farmers market. Please ensure you have washed the produce thoroughly before use. 

INGREDIENTS

1 pint of stock (homemade is best, if you are buying it always opt for organic, low sodium and no added sweeteners)
1/2 cup gluten free penne brown rice pasta (I like "Jovial" brand best)
1/2 cup sweet potato or yam, cut into small cubes
1 cup dino kale (washed thoroughly, stems discarded and leaves roughly chopped)
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 small leek, chopped
1 zucchini or summer squash, chopped
1 tbsp. ghee or cooking oil / fat of choice
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 x 13.5 ounce cans chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked / canned chickpeas (rinse thoroughly before adding to the soup if canned)
Optional add ons: shredded organic roast chicken (protein), hemp seeds (protein) and / or avocado (healthy fat)

DIRECTIONS

Heat a large pot on the stove top on medium heat and add the ghee / cooking oil / fat. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini / summer squash, leek, oregano and bay leaf and cook  for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened.

Add the tomatoes, sweet potato / yam, chick peas and broth, then cover with a lid and bring everything slowly to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes until the sweet potato / yam is soft and cooked through.

Add the kale and pasta, and cook for 10 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked. If the soup is too thick for you at this stage, thin it with a little more broth or water.

Serve and add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. ENJOY!

*When I heated leftovers of this soup up on the stove top, I added some shredded roast chicken, hemp seeds and avocado to give it an extra satisfying nutritional boost. 


I personally invite you to email me for tailored nutrition, health and lifestyle support. Together we will share delicious food inspiration and ways to enhance the quality of your life so that you can feel and look your best! The time to love yourself and embrace this empowering journey is always NOW!    

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How To Increase Your Daily Water Intake

Many of my clients come to me dehydrated and struggling to drink enough water during the busy work day. Hydration is essential for brain function, focus, maintaing healthy cells, getting rid of water-soluble toxins, alkalizing the body and so many other important functions. Basically we can live without it and we need to ensure that we are getting enough.

Here are my super sneaky ways to get more water into your body so that you can enjoy vibrant health:

- Start the day with a tall glass of water with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice (room temperature or warm water is ideal)

- Hydrate between meals by taking a glass water bottle with you everywhere you go. Refill as needed.  I also like to have a regular glass of water by my desk throughout the day so I can sip on it to stay hydrated while I work.

- Drink a freshly made organic vegetable juice each day (vegetables contain a significant amount of water)

- Consume broth based soups packed with veggies (homemade is best and oh so easy)

- Drink a cup of bone broth each day. To make this yourself, simply save the bones off your meat from dinner and put them in a glass container in the freezer. Keep collecting bones and once you have enough to make a broth, put them in a large pot on the stove top, cover with water, add a slash of apple cider vinegar, bring to a boil, then simmer away for at least 8 hours. You will need to keep an eye on it occasionally to top up with water as it simmers away. Once done, simply strain and store in the fridge for up to a week in a large air tight jar. If you have leftovers, you can freeze the broth in a glass jar but be sure to leave enough room at the top for expansion as it freezes.

- Drink a wide variety of herbal teas. Rotate your tea of choice each day to keep the flavors exciting. Some of my favorites are Pau d'Arco (great for candida sufferers), mint (a digestive aid), a good liver detox blend (try Traditional Medicinals), rooibos (antioxidant packed) and turmeric with ginger (anti-inflammatory).    

- Enjoy a big leafy green vegetable salad meal for lunch. In doing this, you are literally eating your water intake! Very cool hey! Be sure that you add healthy fat such as olive oil and avocado, as well as clean protein such as wild salmon or pasture raised organic chicken. Healthy fats and clean protein create satiety and provide your body with the building blocks it needs to function optimally.

- Make your smoothies using water... I often do 1 part pure coconut milk since it is so thick and creamy, with 1 part chilled water to thin out the consistency. The brand of coconut milk I like best is "Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk" found in a can in the Asian cooking isle of your local Whole Foods store. Click here for one of my favorite green smoothie recipes that uses nut milk (made from soaked nuts and water).

- Add flavor enhancers to your water such as slices of citrus fruits (lime, lemon, blood orange, organ and grapefruit), cucumbers, fresh herbs (mint, basil, thyme) and berries. YUM... you can even eat the fruit and cucumber slices at the end for added nutrients!

- Drink sparkling mineral water at social occasions instead of alcohol. For me when I add some fresh orange or lemon slices, I feel like I am having a cocktail! Ask for a fancy glass :-)


My clients are loving their transformations through doing my Personalized 6 Session Program. They are experiencing natural weight loss, increased energy, new found motivation and inspiration, their skin is clearing up, they are sleeping better and have calmed down their digestive system. Join me today for a FREE 30 minute Jump Start Session... the first step in getting your unique balance and wellness back! 




Friday, September 12, 2014

How To Eat Like A Healthy Goddess

We have all heard how important a healthy digestive system is for our wellbeing.  The microbiome is the hottest topic among integrative health practitioners.  Microbes outnumber our tissue cells 10:1, and a significant number of these reside in our gut. Scientists are catching on to the fact that the gut and its state of health is linked to almost everything else that happens in our body. From food sensitivities, allergens, inflammation, illness, disease, cancer, mood disorders, and immunity. While you read on, you will discover simple and natural ways that can help to prevent these nasty things from happening. It’s time to start eating like a healthy goddess for enhanced digestion, nutrient absorption, microbial balance and vitality.

1. Drink water in between meals to avoid diluting your gastric juices.  Drink liquids at least 30 minutes before a meal and 1.5 hours after a meal to enhance digestive fire. Wetting the palate with a few sips of water during mealtime is ok if you need to or are thirsty. You want your hydrochloric acid to be strong to prevent acid reflux, aid in the efficient breakdown and separation of food particles, especially protein so that minerals can be extracted for efficient absorption later on down the track in the small intestines. The hydrochloric acid in your stomach also helps to kill off any bad bugs from entering the body.

2. Digestion starts by what you smell and see.  Engage your senses while cooking by appreciating the visual beauty of the food that is designed to nourish your body. Also give your food a good sniff!  This helps to get the digestive system ready to receive food and process it efficiently. Even the idea of a delicious home cooked meal is enough to get your stomach churning, gastric juices flowing and your mouth salivating.

3. Take goddess sized bites and chew your food like a lady. It should be a thin liquid consistency before you swallow. This allows the digestive enzyme amylase in your saliva to start breaking down the carbohydrates in your food so that your stomach and the intestines can do their job properly. Chewing your food properly forces you to slow down while eating so that you can recognize when your body has had enough. It takes approximately 20 minutes for this to happen. A general rule of thumb is to spend as much time eating your food as you spent preparing it!

4. Relax! Take deep breaths before a meal to calm your nervous system and gut.  When we are stressed or focused on other things, our body is in a heightened state of alertness commonly called “fight or flight mode”. When we are in this state, our digestive system slows down or shuts off completely so that energy can be used to survive in a threatening situation. We want our digestive fire to be strong and our gastrointestinal tract to be relaxed in order to break down our food and absorb nutrients smoothly. This is an important step for people suffering from IBS.

5. Give thanks for the food on your plate. Know that it is not only fuel but it is vital nourishment. Where your food comes from and the standard of quality are two very important factors. We should all eat a wide variety of SOUL Foods (Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed and Local). As Michael Pollen says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Plant foods are nutrient dense whole foods with endless health promoting properties. When you eat this way, you save yourself from all the modern day diet confusion, food trends and having to decipher ingredient lists on packaged foods. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing the SOUL Foods on your plate have “high vibe” energy that fuels your life force.          

Join me for personalized nutrition and lifestyle coaching that is fun and inspiring. Contact me now for a FREE 30 minute chat to get started!