Importance of Movement in Kids

In 1999 a teacher named Phil Lawler in Naperville, Illinois read an article that stated the health of US children was declining due to inactivity. Looking inside the school gym he saw a lot of kids that were in fact inactive. He decided to shift the focus of the ph

ysical Education class to cardiovascular fitness. Once a week students had to run a mile. Assessments were based on effort and reaching personal bests rather than skill. Non-athletes were allowed to train on bikes. He also brought in heart rate monitors to ensure the students were pushing themselves. “Your goal is to run your fastest mile…your average heart rate should be above 185.”

While this improved their performance within the school (lessons were re-shuffled to ensure those that required the most concentration were at the beginning of the day), since 1999 it has also made a huge impact on their results internationally. Academically this school performs way above any others in the area. In 1999 the 8th graders scored 1st in the world in science and 6th in the world in Maths. US schools as a whole ranked 18th in science and 19th in maths, with some areas scoring last in the world.

 

How does exercise improve learning and brain function?

Exercise encourages our brain to work at its optimum level, it causes nerve cells to multiply, connections between nerves are strengthened and they are also protected from damage. We get more oxygen and blood flow to the brain and a release of endorphins which are happy hormones that reduce stress and improve our mood.

In children, exercise has been shown to reduce restlessness and hyperactivity, decrease symptoms of ADHD, improve moods and immunity, and it also improves sleep which further enhances all the other benefits listed. It has also been shown to increase energy levels. Imagine if your child began the day with more energy, a better mood and was more settled. Imagine how much better their ability to learning would be.

Movement particularly from birth to 3.5 years is essential for laying down appropriate pathways for learning and development. It is how the brain learns to relate to the world around it. Movement develops optimal posture, eye movement and control through balance and co-ordination, better reading and better fine motor control which is crucial for handwriting.

 

How to get kids moving

  • Walking or riding a bike to school. Even if you live too far away to walk/ride the whole way, park a little distance from school and walk/ride the remainder
  • If there is time to watch TV in the morning, there is time to send the kids outside in the backyard. Bike riding, jumping on the trampoline, running around, kicking the footy, whatever it may be
  • Get to school early and play on the playground before going into class
  • Give them goals
    • “See how long it will take you to run around the backyard” and time them while you’re getting yourself ready. Then do it a second time and see if they can beat their time
    • “Go outside and see if you can get 10 goals” or “See how many goals you can get in a row” (Basketball, soccer, football)
  • Organise friends to walk/ride with before or to school
  • Ask them what activities they like and incorporate these into the daily or weekly routine
  • Get the family up 20 minutes earlier to ensure there is a little more time before school

While exercise in the morning is the best time for learning, any time is better than not at all. Even after school limiting screen time is so important for many reasons besides getting the body moving more.

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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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Sympathetic Dominance

Imagine you’re sitting, scrolling through Facebook or your emails and someone lets a tiger into the room. What would you feel and what would you do? Naturally I would expect a few things such as:

  • A beating heart
  • A rush of adrenalin through your arms and legs (tingling, pulsing, shaking)
  • Increased breathing
  • Lack of focus

This is your “fight or flight” response. You’re either going to stay and wrestle the tiger to the ground. Or you’re going to run for your life. Either way you need your body to:

  • Open your blood vessels to provide more blood flow to your arms and legs so you have the strength to fight or run
  • Increase your heart rate so you can pump that blood around
  • Increase your blood pressure as the blood pumps around
  • Increase your breathing rate so you have enough oxygen for those muscles
  • Tighten and tense neck and shoulder muscles

At the same time your body stops or changes the balance of:

  • Immune system function – fighting off that virus someone has just coughed into the air is not as much of a threat to you as the tiger
  • Hormones – its not important to be making babies when there’s a tiger around
  • Digestion – Digesting food is not important when you’re about to be something else’s food
  • Sleep – it’s not safe to fall asleep otherwise the tiger will get you or your family

Everything is aimed at survival

This is driven, controlled and stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system.

These changes also happen in our everyday lives. It’s what helps to keep our body in balance. These changes happen when the boss puts pressure on our work output, when the kids test their boundaries, when we argue, whenever we feel pressure in life and believe it or not, the very action of sitting at a desk is actually a stress on our body.

To be fair to our sympathetic nervous system also helps out in positive situations. It helps us to keep our blood sugars in balance, our blood pressure even so we don’t get dizzy when we stand up, it dulls down loud noises and protects our eyes from bright lights. This also helps us to survive as these are vital functions for our body to maintain homeostasis (balance).

 

Perception of pressure is stress

Stress stimulates the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism in our body.

When these stressors continue our body spends more and more time in “fight or flight” until that is our new normal. We spend our lives on edge. Waiting for something to happen. This is sympathetic dominance and it begins to manifest in other ways:

  • Lower immunity – frequent colds and flus
  • Digestive system upsets – diarrhoea, constipation, gas, bloating, food intolerances
  • Hormone issues – irregular cycles, polycystic ovaries, infertility, heavy and painful periods, long or short cycles

Sympathetic dominance has far reaching effects on the body.

Other stressors grouped into the Triad of Health include:

Physical/Structural

  • Over-exercising
  • Poor posture
  • Sitting a desk all day
  • Screen time including ipads, mobile phones, laptop computers

Mental/Emotional

  • Unfulfilling relationships
  • Turning up to a job each day that we hate
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Unresolved childhood traumas

Biochemical/nutritional

  • Poor diet high in processed sugars and processed foods
  • Nutritional deficiencies such as zinc, magnesium and B vitamins
  • Toxins such as those in fast food, cosmetics and other personal care products, the environment or medications
  • Dehydration

So what can you do about this?

As I have explained in the Health Triad blog post, all health conditions are best approached from all sides of the triangle: physical/structural, mental/emotional and biochemical/nutritional.

Reducing physical and structural stressors using exercises to reverse poor posture, participating in light exercise rather than vigorous exercise everyday, stretches to counteract the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day and of course, chiropractic adjustments will all help to keep the body physically well.

Dealing with unresolved stress with methods such as meditation, NeuroEmotional Technique, taking time out for yourself each day, getting some sunshine, participating in hobbies you enjoy or spending time with friends are all good to reduce our mental/emotional stress.

Reducing the toxic load on our bodies through natural cleaning products, organic personal care products (don’t put anything on your skin you wouldn’t put in your mouth) and eating organic foods where possible will help with biochemical stress. Drinking plenty of water, which means 30mL per kilogram of body weight (1.8L for a 60kg person) each day helps to flush out toxins and keeps us feeling fresh. Plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and well-sourced meats, rather than junky, processed packaged food which is full of chemicals is important to reduce biochemical and nutritional stress on our bodies.

I have just completed my Practitioner Certification in the SD Protocol. Please let me know if you have any more questions about sympathetic dominance.

Below is a video from Dr Wayne Todd, developer of the SD Protocol:

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Background Concepts and Dynamics of NET

Have you experienced NET? Have you tried to explain it to a friend…”you hold your arm up and they say words and I don’t know, it just makes me feel better.
Here is a great video explaining the concepts of NET. So if you’ve been wondering what it’s all about and how it works, or experienced the positive effects and would like to know more…take a look here!

Summary

  • Founded by Dr Scott Walker and co-deveoped by Dr Deb Walker
  • Taught for the first time in May 1988
  • There are currently over 8000 practitioner who use this technique
  • “NET is a tool that can help improve many behavioural and physical conditions using a methodology of finding and removing neurological imbalances, related to the physiology if unresolved stress.”
  • “Neuro-Emotional Complex: A subjective mal-adaption syndrome adopted by the human organism in response to a real or perceived threat.”
  • NEC’s are the patients emotional reality. Think about how you feel after a nightmare, you wake up with a racing heart, but the dream isn’t real. You are still having a physiological response.
  • After we process an emotional experience, its normal for the body to come back into balance. This does not always happen.
  • Muscles that are previously ‘strong’ will test weak when saying a non-congruent statement. This has been scientifically validated by Dr Daniel Monti.*
  • We are NOT talking to the body, asking the body questions or predicting the future!

 

Published research about NET

A pilot randomized controlled trial comparing the efficacy of exercise, spinal manipulation, and neuro emotional technique for the treatment of pregnancy-related low back pain
Caroline Peterson, DC, PhD, MPH, LDM, Mitchell Haas, DC, MA and W. Thomas Gregory, MD
Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 2012 20:18

A case series evaluating the accuracy of manual muscle testing for predicting fetal sex
Kristopher B. Peterson, DC, Caroline D. Peterson, DC, PhD, MPH, CPM
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2012 11, 1-6

The influence of a biopsychosocial-based treatment approach to primary overt hypothyroidism: a protocol for a pilot study
Benjamin T. Brown, Rod Bonello, Henry Pollard, Petra Graham
Trials 2010, 11:106 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-11-106

A retrospective analysis of self-reported symptoms from 761 consecutive patients presenting to a Neuro Emotional Technique chiropractic clinic.
Bablis P. et al.
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2009 doi:10.1016/j.ctc[2009.02.005

A randomised controlled trial of the Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) for childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): a protocol.
Fay Karpouzis, Henry Pollard, Rod Bonello
Trials 2009, 10:6 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-10-6

The Use of Traditional Chinese Medicine Principles in Chiropractic Technique
Bejamin T. Brown, Rod Benello, and Henry Pollard
Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2008; 38: 18-26

Treating Spider Phobia Using Neuro Emotional Technique: Findings from a Pilot Study
Anne M. Jensen, Adaikalavan Ramasamy
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Volume 15, Number 12, 2009, pp. 1363–1374 DOI: 10.1089=acm.2008.0595

Anxiety & Depression Profile of 188 Consecutive New Patients Presenting to a Neuro Emotional Technique Practitioner
Peter Bablis, Henry Pollard
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Volume 14, Number 9, 2008, DOI:10.1089/acm.2007.0805

Separation anxiety disorder in a 13-year-old boy managed by the Neuro Emotional Technique as a biopsychosocial intervention.
Fay Karpouzis, Grad Dip Chiro, DO, Henry Pollard, PhD, Rod Bonello, MHA
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2008, 7, 101-106

Neuro Emotional Technique for the treatment of trigger point sensitivity in chronic neck pain sufferers: A controlled clinical trial.
Henry P. Pollard , Peter Bablis, and Rod Bonello.
Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2008, 16:4

Short Term Correlates of the Neuro Emotional Technique for Cancer-Related Traumatic Stress Symptoms: A Pilot Case Series
Daniel A. Monti, Marie E. Stoner, Gail Zivin and Martha Schlesinger
Journal of Cancer Survivorship (2007) 1: 161-166

The Organization of The Stress Response and its Relevance to Chiropractors: A Commentary
Katie Hardy & Henry Pollard
Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2006 14:25.

Can the Ileocecal Valve Point Predict Low Back Pain Using Manual Muscle Testing?
Henry P. Pollard, Peter Bablis, and Rod Bonello
Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2006 36: 58-62.

Commentary: The Ileocecal Valve Point and Muscle Testing: A Possible Mechanism of Action 
Pollard H., Bablis P., Bonello R.
Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2006; 36:122-6

Biopsychosocial Model of Pain and Its Relevance to Chiropractors
Henry P. Pollard, Katie E. Hardy, Deborah Curtin
Chiropractic Journal of Australia vol 36 Number 3, Sept. 2006

Resolution of Anovulation Infertility Using Neuro Emotional Technique: A Report of 3 Cases
Bablis P., Pollard H., and Monti D.
Chiropractic Journal ofAustralia SPR 2006 (5:1): 13-26.

Two Reports of Resolution of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome-Induced Anovulation in Females Receiving Neuro Emotional Technique
Peter Bablis, Henry Pollard, and Andrew McHardy
Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2006 36: 2-8.

Reflections on The Type “O” Disorder
Pollard H.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2005; 28: 547.e1-547.e9.

The Biopsychosocial Model and Hypothyroidism
Benjamin T. Brown*, Rod Bonello and Henry Pollard
Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2005, 13:5 doi:10.1186/1746-1340-13-5

Are Chronic Low Back Pain Outcomes improved with Co-Management of Concurrent Depression?
Middleton P., Pollard H. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2005; 13: 8.

Practitioner Perceptions of Emotions associated with Pain: A Survey
Walker S., Bablis P., Pollard H., McHardy A.
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2005 Mar; 4(1): 11-8.

Interexaminer Reliability Of The Deltoid And Psoas Muscle Test
Henry Pollard, DC, PhD, Bronwyn Lakay, MChiro, Frances Tucker, MChiro, Brett Watson, MChiro, and Peter Bablis, DC
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2005 Jan;28(1):52-6

Hypothyroidism: A New Model for Conservative Management in Two Cases
Peter Bablis and Henry Pollard
Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2004; 34: 11-18

The Somatovisceral Reflex: How Important for the “Type O” Condition?
Henry Pollard DC, PhD
Chiropractic Journal of Australia 2004; 34: 93-102.

*Scientific Validation of the Mind/Body Paradigm & Muscle Testing
Daniel A. Monti, John Sinnott, Marc Marchese, Elsabeth J. S. Kunkle and Jeffrey M. Greeson
Perceptual and Motor Skills 1999, 88, 1019-1028.

The Effects of Spinal Manipulation on the Intensity of Emotional Arousal in Phobic Subjects Exposed to a Threat Stimulus: A Randomized, Controlled, Double-Blind Clinical Trial
Kristopher B. Peterson, D.C.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1997; 20: 602-6

A preliminary inquiry into manual muscle testing response in phobic and control subjects exposed to threatening stimuli.
Kristopher B. Peterson, D.C.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1996:19(5):310-6

Two Cases of Spinal Manipulation Performed while the Patient Contemplated an Associated Stress Event: The Effect of the Manipulation/Contemplation on Serum Cholesterol Levels in Hypercholesterolemic Subjects
Kristopher B. Peterson, D.C.
Chiropractic Technique 1995;7 55-59.

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The Natural Way to Healthy Hormones – Event

Kasey Wilson Healthy Hormones

Tuesday September 27th at 7pm

Santosha Health & Wellbeing Centre
58 Renmark Avenue, Renmark

Investment: $20

Kasey Willson is a naturopath, nutritionist, writer and speaker who is passionate about educating women to live healthier, happier lives. Kasey runs a busy naturopath clinic in Adelaide, South Australia where she supports women to achieve their hormone health goals.

Kasey’s new book “Balanced – The Natural Way To Healthy Hormones” leaves no stone unturned in helping you tackle your hormone imbalances. As part of this launch she is making a special visit to the Riverland to have a chat about keeping your Hormones Healthy, naturally.

In this 45 minute session Kasey will cover topics such as:

  • How hormone imbalance can contribute to skin breakouts, period problems, low energy, mood swings and stubborn fat gain.
  • The important causes of hormone imbalance.
  • Steps to regain healthy hormones.
To secure your place call Santosha on 8586 4222
or click here to send an email.
Kasey incorporates both nutritional and herbal medicine in her patients individualised treatment plans and believes diet and lifestyle also play a fundamental role in reaching and maintaining optimal health.
Through her clinic, writing and speaking presentations, Kasey aims is to educate women about the innate healing power of the body.  She has a passion to guide women along the holistic path to reach hormonal balance and the benefits this brings to overall health and happiness.
For more information on Kasey visit her website My Health My Happiness.
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5 Ingredients In My Pantry

Sea salt, dulse and Nutritional Yeast

Sea salt, dulse and nutritional yeast

There’s a healthy eating secret that will help you lose weight, gain more energy, reduce digestive upsets and help you live longer. Seems too good to be true doesn’t it? It’s not.

Do you want to know the secret?

Eat real food. There’s an actual diet for that. It’s called the JERF diet. Just. Eat. Real. Food.

Here’s where people get confused though. You can only eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat and anything else that’s not packaged, processed or comes in a box. Confusing? “But if you don’t eat bread and cereal for breakfast, what do you have?” “But what do you have on your vegetables?” “Where does the flavour come from?” are some of the questions.

The problem with packaged and processed food is that it’s been enhanced, usually chemically. It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but big food companies do employ food scientists to make sure you eat lots of their food and you keep coming back for more. Often these foods will trigger parts of your brain that leave you wanting more, more, more! Because it “tastes” so good!

Switching to a real food diet, low in added sugar, salt, additives and preservatives can be hard. A big reason for this is because we’ve lost the art of flavouring our own food. Herbs and spices open up a whole new world when you begin to cook from scratch.

Now I could be here all day and just about fill an encyclopaedia (remember those big books before Google?) about all the herbs and spices and what to do with them. But for now I will share just 5 things that are in my pantry that I use to flavour my food.

These things do come in bottles and packets. However, I do try to source the most natural, most unprocessed forms.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

If you read Bragg’s book about apple cider vinegar, it cures everything. I’m not making that claim but it’s pretty versatile. You can also read about ACV here.

What is it?

ACV is fermented apple juice. The sugar in the apples in converted to alcohol through fermentation. It is then converted to vinegar through a second fermentation process.

It is important to purchase a vinegar with the ‘mother’. A murky, cobwebby substance, usually floating on the bottom. This means the ACV hasn’t been pasturized, which destroys all the good enzymes present from the fermentation process. The ‘mother’ maintains the function and effectiveness of the vinegar.

What I use it for:

  • Dressings on salads rather than straight vinegar and definitely in place of packaged salad dressing.
  • Drinking as a tea when I’m sick. Mixed with some ginger, lemon and juice and honey, this is my go to drink for when I’ve got a cold
  • Adding to stocks and broth. When making your own broth (from marrow bones or chicken) you need to something acidic to draw the minerals out of the bone. About a tablespoon (or a big splash) is all that’s needed.

What you can use it for:

Everything mentioned above. You can also add it to you bath for detoxing,

 

A good quality sea salt

I’ve used them all: Himalayan, Celtic, Peruvian, Murray River, and more. Lately I have been tending towards the Murrary River Pink salt. This is based on a few different factors but mostly ‘food miles’ which should be a big factor in any food you consume. ‘Food miles’ relate to the distance your food has travelled from its source to your plate. The costs involved in transporting food across the planet might work out well for large companies, but for the Earth it’s costly.

But back to the salt…

What is it?

Well we all know what salt is, but why are these different? Salt in its natural form contains many minerals essential for our health. Processed ‘table salt’ has had these natural minerals stripped. It’s often bleached and then has chemicals such as anti-caking agents added to make sure it stays nice in the packaging.

Traditionally salt is obviously used to flavour things and it’s also a great preservative. We have been warned against salt because of conditions such as high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease. Like sugar, highly processed diets are high in salt because so much is added to make the food taste ok. When preparing your own food, you are in control of how much you add, which means you won’t be consuming as much.

What I use it for:

  • I sprinkle a little to flavor my veggies
  • Any recipe that calls for salt
  • When exercising I will add a tiny amount to my water for extra electrolytes

What you can use it for:

The same thing as always: flavouring your food. Just remember to find a good quality unprocessed salt, use minimal amounts and experiment with other ways to flavour your food, such as herbs and spices and the next couple of products described below.

 

Dulse

This is something that’s been in my cupboard for years, but I’m really only just getting into it. It has been recommended to me for two reasons. Firstly because I am an O blood type and dulse is beneficial for Os. It’s neutral for all other types, so don’t worry if you don’t know what your type is. Also in Ayurvedic medicine is beneficial for those with a Vata dosha. There are many online ‘find your dosha’ quizzes. The best way is to visit an Ayurvedic practitioner. But if that’s not your thing here is the first website I ever used to find mine: https://store.chopra.com/dosha-quiz

Back to dulse…

What is it?

It’s a red seaweed. Like many of these flavourings I am suggesting, it’s packed full of minerals. Lots of B vitamins, Vitamin A, C and E and lots of minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Like other sea vegetables it contains iodine which is essential for thyroid and hormone health and lacking in many of our diets. Sea vegetables also contain more bioavailable minerals, meaning they are easier for our bodies to absorb. And dulse is highly alkaline, another important factor in our overall health. Who wouldn’t eat dulse with all those benefits!?

What I use it for:

As I said, I’m really only just getting into it now. I add it to all my soups, stews and casseroles.

What you can use it for:

All things savoury: soups, stews and casseroles, stir fries, miso soup and you can also use it like a ‘salt’ for flavouring dishes like pasta.

 

Nutritional Yeast

Another Bragg’s product, Nutritional Yeast has been condemned for being a ‘yeast’, thought by some to worsen symptoms such as yeast overgrowth (also known as candida) in our body. Good news is though; this is a totally different form.

What is it?

Nutritional Yeast is different from Brewer’s Yeast (a by-product from the brewing industry, but still high in B vitamins) and Torula Yeast (grown on wood pulp). Nutritional Yeast is grown on beet and cane molasses. The yeast is an organism that feeds on sugar. Through this process it manufactures its own amino acids (building blocks for protein) and vitamins, which is what makes it so healthy for us to consume. It is harvested, washed, cleaned, dried and packaged up.

Nutritional Yeast has a full spectrum of B vitamins which are essential in times of stress, for energy, brain function, digestion and many other roles in the body. It is also very high in protein, chromium which is essential for controlling blood sugars and rich source of phosphorus.

What I use it for:

Much the same as the dulse. I use it in all my soups, stews and casseroles as an addition to or instead of salt.

What you can use it for:

It’s a great replacement for salt, if that’s what you’re looking for. It can be used to flavour gravies and sauces, on salads, to ‘salt’ your popcorn or sprinkled on veggies. I’ve even seen it listed in recipes for smoothies!

 

Hemp Oil

*This information is only for those living outside Australia. Hemp products are not for human consumption in Australia. However, if you live anywhere but Australia it is perfectly fine. As shown on the Hemp Foods Australia Website:

Hemp Oil is another recent addition to my repertoire. It contains a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of 3:1 which is a healthier ratio than many processed foods which can 20:1. Omega 3 has been touted as the best oil, but that is because our diets have been so rich in Omega 6, we needed more 3 to balance it out. The truth is Omega 6 is also important. We need these ‘good fats’ for many functions in the body including for our immune system, cardiovascular system, the health of our cells, counteracting the signs of aging and for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Hemp Seed Oil is manufactured from cold-pressing hemp seeds. It is then bottled and sent around the world for consumption, except in Australia and New Zealand where it is only for cosmetic purposes.

What I use it for:

Cosmetic purposes of course, but say I lived in another country…

I would add it to my salads and vegetables for increased fat. We need fat in our diets for the reasons listed above, but also because that’s what sends messages to our brain that tells us we’re full. Fat is also used as slower burning ‘fuel’ for our bodies.

What you can use it for:

If you live outside Australia…

In much the same way olive oil is used. It can be added to pastas, salad dressings, smoothies, shakes and vegetables. It is not recommended for heating (just like olive oil) as the heating process destroys the properties of the oil. You can however, add it after foods have been cooked.

In Australia, Hemp Seed Oil is also good for massage oils, lip balms, soaps, moisturizer and hair conditioner.

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Chocolate Smoothie

Chocolate Smoothie


This chocolate smoothie, packed full of goodness went down really well with the kids. I saw a few sneaking back for a second serve. The first time I tried it was in the Thermomix. I made the full amount and it came out to over a litre of smoothie, so it will need to be scaled down if you’re not feeding a family. The second time I tried it, I did scale it down and used the Magic Bullet, not the thermie. It took a long time to blend and even then there were chunks of dates and some ice. The Thermomix is second to none when it comes to processing something as hard as ice, but it can be done if you’re patient and don’t mind chunks. Obviously I would recommend the Thermomix for all it’s other functions. If you’re interested in taking a look at the Thermomix and perhaps even hosting a no-obligation demo, send us an email and we’ll pass on Larissa’s details.

What you need:

  • 5 Medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 200g ice
  • 30g raw cacao powder
  • 200g frozen banana (about 2)
  • 200g avocado (about 2)
  • 120g baby spinach (this is a lot of baby spinach, but it blends down)
  • 600g water or coconut water
  • 100g activated almonds (if you don’t have activated, soak them overnight in filtered water)

What to do:

  1. Process the almonds, chia seeds and dates
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth
  3. Serve with a thick straw, this is a thick smoothie

Tips:

Larissa tells me ice breaks everything up and makes it smoother. I’m going to start doing this is more of my smoothies.

Bananas are apparently easier to digest once they’ve been frozen. I always have frozen bananas in my freezer. Once they start to turn a little bit black, peel them, pop them in a ziplock bag and they’ll always be ready.

Coconut water has a lot of sugar, natural sugar, but it’s still sweet. If your after a bit of sweetness use all coconut water, but gradually swap out the coconut for filtered water.

 

This recipe comes from Jo Whitton’s Quirky Cooking, a brilliant book to accompany your Thermomix. See more on her website.

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Raw Chocolate – Dairy Free

What you need:

  • 200g raw cacao butter
  • 60g raw cacao powder
  • 100g raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, powder or natural extract
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

What to do:

  1. Chop cacao butter roughly into pieces. Place in Thermomix and mill 20 sec/Speed 8
  2. Once milled, melt cacao for 20mins/37°/speed 2. You will need to scrape down the sides and in some cases scrape down the blades as well, until all the cacao butter is melted.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking 10 mins/37°/speed 1.
  4. Thoroughly mix chocolate 20 sec/speed 4 to ensure honey or syrup is blended
  5. Pour onto a tray lined with baking paper or into moulds.
  6. Place in the freezer to set quickly, without separating.

You can add anything you please to the chocolate at step 5 or 6. Nuts, coconut, dried fruit, spices, pieces of gelatin jelly, dried berries, edible essential oils, anything your chocolate heart desires.

Full credit for this recipe goes to Quirky Cooking

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Santosha’s 1st Birthday Kid’s Party Wrap-up

Photos from Santosha's 1st Birthday

We were blessed with a beautiful Spring day, 27 degrees with a slight breeze, to celebrate one year of Santosha Health and Wellbeing Centre.

The purpose of the celebration (besides the milestone) was to throw a kids party and demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be all fairy bread and lolly bags. We wanted to create a party to present to parents and kids, that foods with a healthy twist can be yummy and there are many fun activities that are also educational. We were nourishing little minds and little bodies all under the guise of a party with balloons, cupcakes and bunting!

Fitting with the philosophies of Santosha, Health Living, Optimal Living, Sustainable Living, there was an emphasis on promoting businesses, particularly local, who also fit under these themes. We invited local businesses to participate by including their information in our goodie bags and if possible a take home sample. The result was amazing! We had home-made playdough, tomato plants, honey, body scrubs, apples, fish oil tablets and much more!

The celebrations started by congregating the children with Megan and then playing a game to organise them into youngest to eldest. After dividing the group into three based on age, the activities began.

Suzanne from Art Play by Zuska lead an art activity where everyone was encouraged to choose colours with their eyes closed based on how they felt. They were encouraged to not just draw with the materials on hand, but to run their fingers over the page and replace thinking about the drawing with feeling the drawing. This kind of activity allows children to create art not based on what ‘looks good’ but more an expression of themselves. Suzanne believes that art is beautiful and avoids encouragement based on how it appears, but rather how it felt while creating it. Children and adults alike LOVED this activity so much that Suzanne had actually run out of paper by the end of the party!

Larissa was demonstrating some simple recipes with the Thermomix. She started with the older children’s group and whipped up a delicious strawberry sorbet which was devoured by everyone there. Next she proved that healthy can be yummy by blending a chocolate and green smoothie. I witnessed many kids sneaking back for another cup. The nutella was also a hit with most.

The unfortunate thing about foods that we eat today is that anything processed generally has a lot of added sugar, whether its a ‘sweet’ food or not. This leaves many taste buds and palates narrowed to just sweet tasting food. Anything outside of this just will not taste good. This is not the time nor the place for a discussion on sugar and its impact on our health, only to say that it is a big problem and slowly but persistently swaying children away from the processed and store-bought foods, to home made varieties where you can control the ingredients and sugar levels will benefit them in the long term, in more ways than most people can imagine!

Megan, operating as her business “me. The Mindful Mother” held a very popular mindfulness and mediation class for all three groups. Speaking to a few parents after they had been in Megan’s room, they were pleasantly surprised at their children’s participation and ability to sit and be ‘mindful’, even the very young ones. In our busy, crazy, noisy world, learning to just sit and be is such an important skills for children to learn.

While all of this was happening, Georgia from Wellness Pilates and Massage generously gave a few lucky parents a seated massage.  Those I had the opportunity to speak to after their session were extremely pleased, very relaxed but all commented that they “had a few sore bits”.

Although the schedule of activities was a little lost by the end of the day, this allowed the children and their parents to gravitate towards areas that interested them. It was also a great opportunity to chat with like-minded people and also of course enjoy the sunshine.

The gluten-free cupcakes in chocolate and vanilla were gobbled up early. As were the Bliss Balls made with activated almonds and walnuts, kindly made and donated by Riverland Activated Nuts. It wasn’t until the very end that we realised we had forgotten to bring out the jelly! So those left had a special opportunity to taste test some home-made jelly cleverly made by Amy.

After months of planning, the day turned out well. We hope those who came along had a great day, enjoyed the activities and hopefully also learned something along the way.

Thanks to the following people for contributing on the day:

  • Amy Martinson for helping me plan and brainstorm ideas, help with recipes and keep me on track
  • Josh Kenyon, my husband and maintenance man, for cleaning up around the clinic, weeding, fixing, sweeping and bringing me food and everything I forget
  • Trisha Langford, AKA Mum, for baking the cakes while on nightshift, making the bliss balls, donating Riverland Activated Nuts to the goodie bags and forever doing my dishes
  • Megan Petersen for helping plan, put together the goodie bags and holding the Yoga and Mindfulness activity
  • Jemma Smith for ideas, organising goodie bag contents and setting up on the day
  • Suzanne Macphersen for bringing her unique art class
  • Larissa for the thermomix demonstration and patience while we tried to choose recipes
  • Georgia Tsanavaras for dedicating some of her day to massage
  • Tammy Spinks for taking photos on the day
  • Maarten Smits for beginning to help with balloons and for taking photos on the day
  • Diana Van Meel for blowing up and hanging balloons
  • Everyone who brought their kids along
  • Everyone who helped clean up
  • Anyone I have forgotten (I do apologise)
  • And lastly, all the businesses that contributed to our goodie bags which were filled to the brim. Please support these businesses where you can:
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All you Need to Know about Beans

Are you looking to reduce your meat consumption but would still like to keep your protein up? Or perhaps you just want to increase your protein to help reduce carbohydrates?

Whatever the reason, here is the information which is…

All you Need to Know about

Beans

Beans are loaded with a good source of protein. Although they don’t have as many amino acids as animal based foods, they do have more than other plant-based options. Beans have lots of iron, B group vitamins and fibre.

Protein is important as it is the building block of cells and tissues and important for many vital bodily functions. We should consume a range of protein sources to ensure we receive all essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are the ones we can’t manufacture ourselves.

 

Preparing Beans

The best way to cook beans with minimal impact on your digestive system (I mean less farts) is to soak them overnight.

Drain and rinse the beans then place them in a pot with about twice the water.

Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer until soft.

You can add all sorts of herbs and spices depending on personal taste. I recommend adding a couple of bay leaves to the boiling pot.

A small amount of salt is also good.

Combine with any recipe that calls for beans.

Add to salads, soups, stews, as a side dish, with your morning eggs, the options are endless!

 

Cooking times for 1 cup of beans:

  • Cannellini 90-120 minutes
  • Chick peas 120-180
  • Kidney 60-90
  • Lentils 30-45
  • Navy 60-90
  • Split peas 45-60

 

Other tips for cooking beans:

Chew thoroughly, this also helps with digestion

Fennel and cumin can help reduce wind

Experiment with different beans and different flavours

Apple cider vinegar can also help to soften the beans and help with digestion. Add a couple of teaspoons during the cooking process.

 

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