Riverland Professionals Series – Amy Martinson

I am asked on a daily basis for referrals to other professionals in the area. Here is the next in a series of blog posts dedicated to professionals around the Riverland, whose skills and qualifications complement services received at Santosha.

For our next profile, I am pleased to introduce Amy Martinson, Kinesiologist. Amy became interested in kinesiology through NeuroEmotional Technique and Applied Kinesiology sessions at Santosha. She had the determination to say, “This is what I want to do!” and found a course that she was able to do. While there are definitely differences in the kinesiology that Amy uses, compared to the kinesiology that I use, many of these techniques have the same outcome: Reduced stress, better wellbeing, happier and healthier people. Amy has started Shared Space in Renmark, where she consults from.

What is your profession? What areas do you have qualifications and training in? 

Kinesiologist and Neuro Trainer! In 2015-16 I studied with the College of Neuro Training to complete both CIV in Kinesiology and in Neuro Training. I’m now studying the Diploma majoring in Adaptive Neurology.

What does your job involve on a daily basis?

I work part time and my days vary from week to week to fit in with clients and my own little people. I also do the book work for my husband’s business, so on any given day I could be wearing a different hat.

How did you become interested in Kinesiology?

Catherine at Santosha introduced to me Applied Kinesiology which she uses as part of her chiropractic care. For me it was a lot like a magic trick where I was completely fascinated by the Neuro Emotional Technique and I got results. I couldn’t study Applied Kinesiology without a Bachelor Degree and then a friend told me she visited a Kinesiologist/Neuro Trainer in Adelaide. I went to one session and decided on walking out of there that I needed to learn this for me and my family if for no one else. It’s been an incredible roller-coaster, still is.

What is your biggest life achievement?

This one will mean so many different things to different people. Once upon a time I would have started to list everything  I have, what I’ve done or where I’ve been. My children, ages 10, 8 and 5 come to mind but I didn’t achieve them either, they are my blessings! I’m proud of lots of things but if I had to hold anything in the highest regard it would be how much I have grown as a person in the last 5 years, in the last 10 years.

What is one thing you can help clients with (that the general population may not realise)?

To look at and respond to stress differently.

But first, stress can be mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Examples of early signs of stress include habitual negative thinking, low self-esteem, feelings of overwhelm, mood swings, depression, anxiety, brain fog, lack of direction or motivation, teary, reactive to even the smallest challenges in life, headaches, lack of appetite, sugar cravings, and muscular aches and pains.

We’re always going to have stress in our lives. And a certain level of stress is actually required for us to get off our butts to do anything. It’s when the balance is tipped that we’re unable to process effectively, and use that part of our brain that helps us find new ideas and solutions to our problems.

Kinesiology with Neuro Training is about changing patterns and becoming aware of the patterns we’re using to cope with our problems (refer signs above).

The more we use a pattern of thinking or behaviour the more likely it becomes our habit.

An easy way to understand Kinesiology with Neuro Training is to liken it to brain training. It’s building stronger neurological connections for better response to mental, emotional and physical stress on the mind/body.

Where are you located?

​12 James Avenue, Renmark Tuesday to Thursday.
50 Bookpurnong Terrace, Loxton alternate Mondays.​

What do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

Being a mum is a big part of what I do day to day. I Love catching up with friends. I Love Coffee! I Love spending summer evenings on the river with my family and friends. I feel better for walking in the mornings. I enjoy travel and experiencing other cultures especially their food. Any movies or books are usually period stuff or autobiography’s on women of different cultural struggles.

Amy and her family

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Riverland Professionals Series – Michelle Harris

I am asked on a daily basis for referrals to other professionals in the area. This is the next in a series of blog posts dedicated to professionals around the Riverland, whose skills and qualifications complement services received at Santosha.

For our next profile, I am pleased to introduce Michelle Harris. Michelle is a passionate, degree qualified Naturopath with 10 years experience in the natural health industry.  She has spent time working for one of the industry’s most respected health companies, where she gained an up to date and broad knowledge base in the Natural Medicine field.

In the last few years Michelle has been following her passion, practicing in a busy naturopathic clinic treating a variety of clientele of varying ages with a variety of health conditions and backgrounds.

She has a special interest and understanding in women’s hormonal health and the associated issues including adrenal gland stress, mood problems, thyroid gland imbalances, fertility planning and overcoming fertility challenges, as well as healthy weight management. Having experienced health challenges in this area herself, Michelle understands first hand that it can be confusing and often difficult identifying the underlying problem and knowing where to start your treatment.

Michelle also has broad experience in uncovering and treating various complaints including;

  • Digestive issues (IBS, Reflux, Food Allergies and Intolerance’s, Coeliac Disease )
  • Fatigue, stress and ‘burnout’
  • Autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis)

Michelle’s philosophy is to help you uncover and understand the ‘root cause’ behind your health issue’s whilst keeping in mind your goals and limitations. She incorporates blood testing and functional pathology testing together with nutritional, herbal and lifestyle interventions to provide a holistic treatment plan for her patients.

What does your job involve on a daily basis?

Before I even get to work I always start my day with some sort of movement, whether it’s walking with my cocker spaniel Charlie, riding, running a gym session or simply doing some yoga and stretching.  It’s the best way to prepare my mind a body before my work day so I can be fully present with my patients.  A lot of my work is done behind the scenes on my days away from clinic or before and after clinic as I research and plan patient’s treatment programs.

How did you become interested in Natural Medicine?

From a young age I suffered with chronic and quite debilitating skin issues and digestive complaints which flared up especially during year 12 studies.  I wasn’t offered any relief except steroidal creams and the pill from the medical profession and my family had always utilised Natural Medicine so it was an area we started to investigate to get to the root cause.  I started studying and soon started to uncover some underlying causes.  I gradually found relief after some hard work investigating different areas.

As I become a young adult I also started to experience some hormonal imbalances, which affected me in various ways as I worked in a fast past, stressful job.  This lead me down the path to find harmony and balance and once again uncover more about myself and my health that needed correcting.

It’s fair to say I can relate to a lot of you and understand how hard it can sometimes be.

What is your biggest life achievement?

It’s great to achieve awards and study, however, my biggest achievement has been able to help others like myself as well as my family with their health journeys.

I have lots of goals for the future, and I believe they will come when the time is right.

What is one thing you can help clients with (that the general population may not realise)?

All health complaints whether its cardiovascular disease, mood problems, fertility challenges or digestive issues all have an ‘underlying cause’.  I can help you to find this and restore harmony in the body.

Where are you located?

During the week currently at Riverland Natural Health, 44 East Terrace, Loxton.

You can call the clinic on 85844868

Also Saturdays at Aloe Health in Adelaide http://aloehealth.com.au/about-us/

What do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

I’m a fairly simple person, I don’t need a lot of things to keep me happy, just family, friends, animals and healthy food.

Being a country girl (growing up in Loxton) I love being outdoors and spending time with my loved ones (including our beautiful dogs). I love cooking and creating healthy alternatives to share with patients.  Cooking is like therapy for me. I also love being active, in the last few years hiking adventures with my husband have become a regular love.


If you’d like to learn more about Michelle, benefit from her health tips, recipe inspiration and lifestyle advice, you can follow her on Instagram or Facebook under Michelle Harris: Naturopath.

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Riverland Professionals Series – Elyse Steed

I am asked on a daily basis for referrals to other professionals in the area. This is the second in a series of blog posts dedicated to professionals around the Riverland, whose skills and qualifications complement services received at Santosha.

For our next profile, I am pleased to introduce Elyse Steed, physiotherapist. Elyse is the owner of Just Move Physio in Renmark. Elyse and I share many mutual patients and while I haven’t personally had an appointment with her (yet!), the feedback I receive from her approach is constantly positive.


What is your profession? What areas do you have qualifications and training in? 

I’m a Physiotherapist, I did my Bachelor of Physiotherapy at UniSA between 2006 and 2009.

Sine then I’ve done lots of different professional development courses in Australia and in the UK based on my clinical interests of orthopedic rehabilitation, persistent pain and running training.

Most of my extra manual therapy courses have been in light touch techniques Strain Counter Strain and more recently Craniosacral Therapy.

What does your job involve on a daily basis?

In the morning I always start by getting my outside waiting room ready and path tidied up ready for the day. This is followed by general admin jobs like checking emails/messages, reconciling, returning phone calls and juggling client appointments around.

Then I’ll have my list of clients for the day, which can vary hugely depending on who is in. My time with clients generally consists of listening/interviewing them in regards to their complaint followed by a physical assessment before treatment. I place a huge emphasis on education as part of my treatment so I spend a lot of time explaining things to people, at the moment I’m loving my new anatomy app or Explain Pain to do this. After education treatment time will usually involve manual therapy and exercise prescription.

During my breaks and end of day there’s always case notes to be done which are definitely the worst part of the job.

How did you become interested in Physiotherapy?

I decided I wanted to be a Physio in year 8 due to visiting the physio several times with my own sports injuries. I thought it would be pretty good to be the person who helps people get back to sport. Before getting to uni I wasn’t really aware of how big the profession was outside of sport because that was my only experience.

What is your biggest life achievement?

At this stage I’m most proud that Jack and I took the plunge to pack up here in Renmark and head away on our year long adventure in Europe, where we travelled and worked in our professions. It’s probably the riskiest and most challenging things I’ve done, but the learning that came from it has had such a huge influence on me as a person and professional.

What is one thing you can help clients with (that the general population may not realise)?

Ooh tough one, for me probably that I can help them to understand their pain and how things other than mechanical loading affect it. I spend a lot of time explaining how stress affects pain; I believe that understanding is a really powerful tool to managing you own body.

Where are you located?

I work from my home clinic Just Move Physio at 536 Kulkyne Street, Renmark West. It’s really cool because I have a lovely bright space in the clinic but I’ve also got heaps of outside space where I can observe and retrain people to move which is so important.

What do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

I love to be outdoors, especially in my garden or on my bike. I have an 8 month year old puppy so I spend a lot of time walking her now. I’ve always been involved in netball and basketball but that’s just finished so I might get a bit of free time. Most of my family is here or in Adelaide and I’m very lucky that I see a lot of them too.

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Are you a ping-pong ball or a bubble in the bath?

 A bit of science to start:

Each one of the cells that makes up your body has a membrane, that separates its insides from its outsides. Just like your skin. The fancy name for this membrane is the “Phospholipid bi-layer” or “Lipid bilayer”. This means two layers (bilayer) of fat (lipid). This is what keeps the innards in and outside stuff out.

This is why fat in our diet is essential. Each of our cells; brain cells (most importantly), skin cells, stomach lining cells, blood vessel cells, everything, is made of this. Without these fats, we don’t have enough building blocks for our membranes.

Bring in the metaphors

Imagine you’re building a house. The pallets of bricks have arrived. They all look the same. But there is one dodgy pallet. A cheap and nasty variety that has bricks that are an uneven size and shape, completely different to the other pallets. Would you build your house with them? Or send them back and get the same good quality bricks?

What about working on a team project? Everyone has the same idea, everyone is working cooperatively to hold the project together. Then there’s this one person. One person who doesn’t want to fit with the team, who wants to be different, who wants to hold their own shape. Don’t get me wrong, being unique is great. But sometimes we just need to fit in.

This non-team-player and those dodgy bricks, they are the trans fats of our cells. They let the whole process down with their poor quality, non-conformist shape.

 

How this affects your health

Transfats are a different shape to the healthy “phospholipids” that make up the bilayer that holds our cells together. Transfats straighten out due to the heat they are subjected to during processing. Healthy phospholipids are wiggly. The straight transfats make the membrane of the cell rigid. When they replace too many fat molecules in our cells, the cells become more like ping pong balls, holding their shape. They are stiff and rigid and not conducive to good health.

 

This is quite different to the normal and healthy fat molecules that make up our cells. They have wiggly tails and this makes our cells fluid and supple and they are able to conform to the shape they need to be. They are like bubbles in the bath.

The trouble is, our body doesn’t know the difference between the good quality and the bad quality. Our bodies are amazingly clever, but not so much in this case.These rigid-cell-forming lipids are then integrated into our cells changing the quality of our cell structure and it can’t be trusted to work to its optimum potential.

 

What do trans fats do? (The big picture)

Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, they increase your risk of developing heart disease and they are associated with type II diabetes. They cause inflammation, pain and general poor health.

 

What to look out for

Companies don’t want you to know their product contains trans fat, or you wouldn’t buy it would you? So trans fats like sugar and MSG are labelled as all sorts of weird and wonderful things. Here is a short list:

  • Partially hydrogenated [insert type of oil here] oil
    • It may be soybean, coconut, palm, etc.
  • Hydrogenated oil
  • Shortening
  • “Zero trans fats” – most likely a marketing lie that gets stamped on the front of the packet

Things you may buy, that won’t come with labels:

  • Any deep fried foods (chips, fish, doughnuts, etc.)
  • Baked goods/Bakery foods – cakes, biscuits, pastries, crackers
  • Flavoured or buttered popcorn
  • Margarine (comes with a label but should not be sold as ‘food’, probably should be sold at Bunnings as plastic)

In general, this means packaged, processed or fast food.

So you see, it’s not just the fat or sugar that’s in these products, it’s the type of fat that contributes to poor health in a far worse way that some people realise.

Heating oil with a low smoke point such as olive oil turns those oils into trans-fats too. Plant based oils such as olive, avocado, macadamia or hemp, should only be used fresh on salads or poured in after food has been taken off the heat.

 

How to avoid trans fats

Like any dietary advice, focussing on real, unprocessed, fresh foods is your best option. This includes fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, well-sourced meats and lots of filtered water.

If you must enter a bakery, fresher options such as a salad roll will be better for you. Just make sure you skip on the margarine. All fast foods chain stores are loaded with trans fats, so let’s be honest, it should only be a rare occurrence, if at all.

When doing the grocery shopping, avoiding supermarkets as much as possible helps. Meat from the butcher, fruit and veg from the local fruit and veg shop.

Snacks are a big source of trans-fat containing foods, so planning ahead with healthier snack options helps:

  • Vegetable sticks and home made dips
  • Bliss balls
  • Nuts, seeds and dried fruit (keep dried fruit minimal as it is high in sugar)

Cooking with oils with a higher smoke point which include:

  • Real butter
  • Ghee (butter with the milk solids taken out)
  • Coconut oil

And using plant based oils such as olive and hemp oil at room temperature only.

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My Top Cafes in Adelaide

Changing your diet and habits is always tough. When a practitioner advises, “I would like you to avoid gluten, dairy and refined sugar for the next six weeks,” it can mean big changes. Planning meals at home and changing the contents of the pantry is a good start.

Quite often eating at home is the easy bit though. Going out to eat is different. Living in the Riverland we are limited in our options for allergen friendly take away or eating out foods. That’s a blog for another day. Heading to Adelaide for holidays, shopping or visiting family is the other time where many of my patients find it difficult to stick to these changes.

It is for this reason; I have put together a list of my favourite 5 cafes around Adelaide, in no particular order. I have tried to supply my favourite places in different directions of the city, so no matter where you’re going, it’s not too far out of the way.


Nutrition Republic Goodwood

Nutrition Republic

Goodwood

It’s hard not to leave this place a little happier than when you walked in. Oh, and feeling a little healthier too.

The atmosphere is upbeat, everyone is friendly and the selection of breakfast, brunch, lunch and snack options includes something for everyone.

Everything on the menu is made with high-quality ingredients and many of them are organic. It’s also a place where you don’t have to worry about sneaky gluten or other allergens making their way into your food.

There is outdoor and indoor seating. While they are a busy little place, I’ve never had trouble finding a table.

Great for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, snacks, coffee, whenever

You have to try: Earth Bowls, there are three flavours and I love them all

Why go here: They will convince you that healthy food can also be delicious

#glutenfree #dairyfree #greatcoffee #organic #greatservice


Organic Market and Cafe Stirling

Stirling Organic Café and Market

Stirling

Always a hive of activity, this café (with a store out the back) is a little gem in the Adelaide Hills. They are constantly busy, so I have never experienced the personalised service of some of the other cafes in this list, but that doesn’t mean they are unfriendly.

To be honest I have mostly visited during wintery drives around the hills. It’s a nurturing place to stop for a soup and a nice hot coffee, but I’m sure it’s just as refreshing in Summer as it is cosy in Winter.

The menu is seasonal, so you’ll have to drop in and see what’s available. All food is prepared daily in the kitchen along with cakes, breads and pastries from local artisan kitchens.

Great for: lunch, coffee, dessert, snacks, shopping

You have to try: I can’t say…it changes ALL the time. But I did have a really nice ABC cake once. Almond, basil and citrus. I have recreated this many time at home. A delicious combination.

Why go here: The homely feel you get when you walk in. You can also peruse the store out the back

#local #wholefoods #artesian #glutenfree #dairyfree


Argo on the Parade

Argo on The Parade

Norwood

When I lived in Adelaide, this was a little post-yoga favourite with my cousin and I. Back then we always had bacon and eggs with avocado on sour dough. A recent trip while strictly gluten-free and dairy-free actually made me appreciate the extent of their menu. It was huge! Every dietary need is catered for with countless breakfasts, brunches and lunches; pages of smoothies and juices, a fridge with bliss balls, salads and more; non-dairy milk options for coffee; and a great philosophy to go with it. Make sure you read their background at the start of the menu.

Great for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, snacks, coffee, whenever!

You have to try: Sucré-Salé smoothie

Why go here: I have never seen a bigger selection of allergen friendly foods…actually I’ve never seen a bigger menu

#glutenfree #dairyfree #paleo #healthy #greatcoffee #wholefoods


The Cooks Pantry

A Cook’s Pantry

Grange

Down at Grange, this is a great little café perfectly positioned for some good eats, a coffee, then a walk along the beach.

The menu isn’t huge, but the delicious options still make it hard to choose. They have a focus on organic, local and fresh, just the way I like it! They use McWerriton Farm free-range eggs and Paris Creek biodynamic dairy products.

As well as the breakfasts and lunches, they have a great selection of juices and smoothies.

While not gluten-free, they do bake the bread themselves using organic flours, some with spelt. There are gluten-free options.

The other novel thing about the Cook’s Pantry is the cooking classes. While I’ll never had the opportunity to participate if they’re food philosophy (and taste!) is anything to go by, I imagine they’re pretty good.

The only down side is they’re not open Sundays, which is a crime for a café so close to the beach. I think they would do a great trade on Sundays, with people going for a leisurely Sunday stroll on the beach, but perhaps that’s just me!

Great for: Coffee, brunch, paired with a short walk to the beach

You have to try: Grilled Fig and Walnut Bread!

Why go here: It’s not far from the beach, so after your Fig and Walnut bread, green smoothie and a sneaky coffee, head down and ground yourself in Grange Beach

#local #organic #wholefoods

 


A Mother’s Milk

Unley

Again…when I lived in Adelaide…this was my local coffee place. A short walk from where I worked and great because the staff knew me. I didn’t have to order. My coffee guy knew.

Baked Eggs is my favourite breakfast item. Lunch time I can’t go past the Beetroot Salad.  When I brought a friend, I’d often convince them to go halvies in the figlets on sourdough. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is on the menu anymore. But Baked Eggs are. And you go here for the coffee as much as the food. These guys LOVE and appreciate their coffee and you can really taste the difference. It does get quite noisy during the busy times, so if you’re looking for a place for a conversation, find a table out the back or outside on the street.

Great for: Coffee, breakfast or lunch

You have to try: Baked Eggs

Why go here: If you’re not gluten free, the sour dough served with most meals is amazing!

#greatcoffee #greatservice #wholefoods

 

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Macronutrients for Kids

MacronutrientsNutrients are foods that we need for energy, growth and bodily functions. ‘Macro’ means large, so ‘macronutrients’ are needed in large amounts in our body. ‘Micro‘ means small. Micronutrients are required in small amounts in our body and they include vitamins and minerals.

Macronutrients include:

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Carbohydrate

There are ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ types of each of these groups.

Many children are missing out on the protein and fat groups, particularly at breakfast time. Throughout the day they are also consuming more of the ‘unhealthy’ types than ‘healthy’ types, particularly when it comes to fat.

Protein…

…is essential for growing children. It is used for muscles, tendons, organs, skin, hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters (brain chemicals). With the running around, focusing and thinking, communicating and learning children do at school, adequate protein is hugely important to optimise their school performance. Increasing protein at breakfast time and in their lunchboxes is critical. The usual breakfast of cereal or toast, followed up by some fruit, then a vegemite sandwich at lunch won’t contain near sufficient protein for your child’s learning capabilities. Adding an egg to breakfast, some seeds (nuts when outside of school) or a container of dip such as hummus will make sure they start the day right. Eggs are a perfect snack and can be eaten whole, or made into patties, muffins or quiches that are bite size and perfect for lunch boxes.

Fat…

…is an essential macronutrient for brain and nervous system development. The types of fats that are in snack are foods are trans-fats or hydrogenated fats. These are the ‘unhealthy’ fats and can be found in biscuits (sweet and savoury!), snack foods, store bought cakes and muffins, chips, margarine, salad dressings,  and in high amounts in take away foods. Trans fats increase our risk of high cholesterol and heart disease, which many mistakenly believe doesn’t matter in kids as “they’re still young”. But with the rates of obesity rising, heart disease in children is also increasing. “Healthy” fats are generally unprocessed. Olive oil, coconut oil, oil from fish and plants such as avocado are all good for you.

Carbohydrates…

…are also best consumed in their most unprocessed form. The best type of carbs? Vegetables! 🙂 The worst type? Sugar 🙁  Processed cereals such as Nutri-grain, Coco-pops and Froot-loops, which are popular with the kids are extremely processed, contain large amount of sugar and minimal protein and fat. While Weet-bix is lower in the sugar count, it is unfortunately also unbalanced in macronutrient status. Mueslis containing nuts and seeds, eggs and wholemeal toast with toppings higher in fat and protein are much better alternatives at breakfast time.

Give it a try!

It does take some experimenting and trial and error due to the fussy nature of some children. But the long term health benefits and good habits beginning early most definitely do pay off. Not just in health but behaviour, academic performance and emotional stability.

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