Many of us readily admit we don’t eat enough fruit and veg. The ‘5 A DAY’ mantra is ingrained in our psyche (if not necessarily adhered to in reality) but more recent research actually suggests that up to 10 portions of fruit and veg per day is best, and could lower the risk of chronic illness such as heart disease. We can hear the groans of despair as we write this, but it doesn’t have to mean eating meat and 5 veg, a salad for lunch, plus 3 fruit snacks per day; juicing can be a great way of getting additional healthy nutrients in one tasty drink.
The first thing you’ll need is a juicer. There are two main options for those starting out:
Centrifugal – the fruit and veg goes into a feed tube and has direct contact with the blades. The pulp and juice are separated. They’re fast, noisy, and quick to clean. The juice doesn’t store as well as from masticating juicers (see below) because more oxidation takes place during the juicing process, but this isn’t a problem if you’re drinking it straight away.
Masticating – these juicers masticate, or chew, the fruit and veg so they extract more juice and the pulp comes out drier. There is less oxidation during the process so more nutrients are preserved. They are slower and less noisy, but there are more parts to clean after use. Also, in most cases the feed tube is smaller than the centrifugal juicers so the fruit and veg needs to be cut into smaller pieces, adding to the preparation time.
Some tips for a long and healthy relationship with your juicer:
- Don’t be overwhelmed by all the juicing resources out there. Find half a dozen combinations of ingredients you like (there’s no end of suggestions on the web) and be creative depending on what you’ve got in the fridge.
- Add ginger, lemon or lime to give depth to the flavour and boost your immune system.
- You can stir in powdered ingredients such as spirulina and wheatgrass, or add a spoonful of chia seeds to boost the nutritional content. Large packets of these ‘superfoods’ will last you months.
- Don’t overdo the fruit content if you’re watching your sugar intake or your weight. You can add sweetness to a vegetable juice with one ripe banana or a few strawberries.
- Add kale or other green leafy vegetables to benefit from the amazing nutrients they offer.
- Wash up the equipment straight away before anything sticks to the plastic!
And don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t use your juicer as often as you’d hoped. Try to find a way to make it part of your daily routine. If at first you don’t succeed, perhaps try a different type of juicer or you could even use your kitchen blender to make delicious smoothies. It’s amazing what you can whizz up using a ripe avocado, a cup of green tea, a handful of rocket, a ripe banana, some red fruit and a few chia seeds!
One of the types of therapy on offer at Physiologic is Bioenergetic Medicine. It’s a tricky concept to grasp because it’s based on quantum theory and biophysics, mind-boggling stuff which, let’s face it, most of us know nothing about. This type of medicine moves away from the molecular and biochemical (pharmaceuticals) and ‘wet’ matter options (such as surgery) we are all familiar with, to those based on fields, forces and the quantum nature of the body.
Advocates of the quantum-field view of the human body include Rupert Shelldrake, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, James Oschman, Peter Marcer, who have all written extensively on the subject.
Bioenergetic Medicine therapies trace the root cause of the loss of health to distortions, blocks or other impairments to the human ‘biofield’ and this can be corrected using a system called NES Health.
NES Health was founded by Peter Fraser, who trained for two decades in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy and Ayurveda. His thirst for a deeper understanding of quantum theory and biophysics led him into private research and this is where he formulated a comprehensive theory that reveals the human biofield (or body-field as Fraser named it) as a complex, structured network of fields that interpenetrates the physical body and underlies all physiology. NES practitoners, such as Physiologic’s Martha English, use a device called the NES ProVision scanner to map the body-field and identify a person’s overall physical and emotional condition. Distortions in this field can cause disharmony leading to physical problems, and these distortions are cleared using the NES miHealth Medical Device. Liquid energetic remedies called Infoceuticals are then used to re-imprint the body field back to its original blueprint. You can find out much more about the NES system at http://www.neshealth.com/
There seems to be no limit to the type of conditions or symptoms that can be addressed bioenergetically. At Physiologic, Martha has treated clients with headaches, aching limbs, extreme tiredness, chronic or undiagnosed pain, insomnia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, fertility issues and more… in essence, all the kinds of conditions that can be difficult to treat using today’s conventional treatment approaches.
Look out for future blogs covering the use of NES for specific health conditions.
Physiologic’s Director Martha English runs Mummy MOT clinics in London, Reigate and Hythe. Here she explains why:
“There’s a reason I do what I do, and that is the statistics that show half of all mothers suffer from a weak pelvic floor after giving birth, and over one third of women are affected by ongoing pelvic pain or a tummy gap. It enrages me that the post-natal rehabilitation of women is not more prevalent in this country.
“We cannot let another generation of childbearing women suffer these terrible consequences when so many of the symptoms are controllable, improvable and even completely surmountable given the right treatment, exercises and advice.”
So what is a Mummy MOT?
A Mummy MOT is a specialist postnatal check for mums following delivery (vaginally or by c-section). During a consultation, the strength and function of the pelvic floor and stomach muscles will be assessed and how these are supporting the pelvic organs after childbirth. If a dysfunction is found, exercises and treatment will be provided to help recovery. In France, where Martha has worked previously, check-ups were and still are a standard part of every new mother’s postnatal rehabilitation.
It’s recommended that mums have an initial check-up 6 weeks after giving birth, but it’s possible to treat women many years later to help them regain their core strength.
If you consider the changes the body goes through during pregnancy and childbirth, it’s not surprising that nearly half of all women’s bodies do not recover from the experience without some sort of intervention. New mothers may hope everything will miraculously get back to normal but they are not in a position to assess what is and what’s not normal in their bodies after giving birth. They may think that certain consequences are expected and don’t realise they have a problem that can be fixed.
It is not normal to:
- Leak when you cough or run.
- Have pain during sex.
- Have ongoing pelvic pain or debilitating constipation.
- Have a gap in your tummy where your muscles have weakened and can’t support your core or abdominal organs effectively.
If you have any of these debilitating conditions, you can be reassured that almost all of them can be improved, alleviated and often remedied entirely through a personalised exercise and manual manipulation programme. In most cases, no drugs or surgery are required – it’s just a case of being armed with some knowledge, getting the right treatment and doing the correct exercises.
Spring is a fantastic time to revitalize your mind, body and soul. Just take a look around you at how the beauty of nature gently unfolds as the warmth of the sun touches the earth. Well our bodies love to shake off the cold and dark of the winter and burst into Spring.
Here are a few factors to consider to help to balance our bodies and our minds to feel good, naturally.
Sleep – This is a must for the body to regenerate and function correctly. Getting enough sleep allows each organ to repair itself leaving us revitalized and ready to start the day with a spring in our step.
Stress – Life can be fast paced for us all at times and it needs careful management to keep levels of stress in control. Too much stress can cause the hormone cortisol to spike and our immune system can be suppressed causing us to feel sick.
Diet – It goes without saying that a good healthy balanced diet is essential to maintain the best quality of life.
Exercise – A walk in nature or by the sea, meditation, yoga, or a trip to the gym will release essential endorphins that will leave you feeling happy and full of energy.
Gratitude – Make a list the 3 things that you are grateful for each day and you will be amazed how positive you become.
Creativity – Allow time for your creative juices to flow. Whatever it is that you enjoy it is important to take time to explore the world
Time for you – Take the time to treat yourself to a massage or to read a book or to watch a movie. Look after yourself and get regular health checks to prevent illness. Be the best that you can be and most of all be you!
Vitamins are vital to the body’s many functions from helping to build muscles to helping to remove toxins from the body. Some vitamins may help to protect against illness whilst others help within the body’s energy cycle – of which B12 is one of them.
We can’t make vitamins and so eating or supplementing is the only way we can provide our body with these vital pieces of the nutritional jigsaw puzzle. Some vitamins may be stored within our body fat and are there for times of need, whilst others are not stored and need to be topped up daily.
B12 is one of those vitamins that needs topping up, although some is stored in the liver. A deficiency of B12 can deplete this liver store gradually to the point that we become deficient if we are not taking more in on a regular basis.
B12 is a vitamin that most vegans know about as it is almost exclusively found within animal products as it is formed in the gut of animals. Although found in some non-animal foods it is usually fortified and not absorbed as well. Non-animal sources of B12 can be found in fortified cereals, non-dairy milks such as almond or soya, yeast extract and nutritional yeast (which is a deactivated form of yeast in the form of flakes).
However, what a lot of people don’t realise is that it isn’t just vegans or even vegetarians who may need to get their vitamin B12 levels checked. B12 follows a complicated pathway and needs to be broken down by pepsin (an enzyme found in the stomach). In some people, especially those over 50, hydrochloric acid can be low in the stomach and thus pepsin is not produced as well as it should be. This affects the amount of B12 that can be absorbed – regardless of how much is actually eaten. It should be noted that antacids and proton-pump inhibitors can also reduce stomach acid, therefore those who take these may be lower in B12 than they think. Some gastric disorders such as Crohn’s Disease can also reduce absorption of B12.
Another important player in the B12 pathway is a protein called Intrinsic Factor. Some people have an inherited disorder where they don’t produce Intrinsic Factor. Therefore, if someone in your family has been diagnosed with a B12 deficiency, it may be worth while to get your own levels checked.
So, why should you be concerned about a B12 deficiency? Well, a B12 deficiency can cause mental disorders from anxiety to depression. It can present symptoms such as dizziness, tingling in extremities, falls, dementia (which is often put down to old age, but could be due to a B12 deficiency). A B12 deficiency can also mimic symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue, give rise to unexplained fertility problems, a failure to thrive in infants, memory loss, personality change and many, many more.
Most routine blood tests do not cover a B12 check and so you need to ask for it to be checked in addition. Also, higher levels of other B vitamins can mask a B12 deficiency which may be missed by your GP.
The lower level for B12 varies all over the world, but more surprisingly it even varies all over the UK. In some parts of the UK the lower acceptable level for B12 is 200pg/ml however, symptoms can be seen in people from 450pg/ml and below. There is some argument amongst experts that the lower level should even be raised to 550pg/ml and with levels to be nearer 1,000pg/ml in the elderly. Dr Joseph Chandy suggests a subtle B12 deficiency may be present with levels between 300-450pg/ml, an intermediate deficiency between 200-300pg/ml, and a severe deficiency below 200pg/ml
(reference – www.B12d.org).
The signs of deficiency are vast – as well as the ones previously mentioned, B12 deficiency could result in vision changes, incontinence, DVT, heart attacks, strokes, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems, weakness, premature grey hair, tinnitus, pour wound healing, indigestion and abdominal pain. It must be noted that if you have one or more of these it does not mean that you necessarily have a B12 deficiency, but if your GP has tested you for various things and you still feel that you are not getting answers, then it maybe worth getting your B12 levels checked. If you do think that you may be B12 deficient then it is important that you do not supplement with B vitamins before getting your levels tested as this can give you a false positive.
It is always a good idea to consult with a Nutritional Therapist if you feel that your diet may be lacking in any vitamins or minerals. Reference:
Pacholok, S.M. And Stuart, J.J. (2011). Could It Be B12? An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses. Published by Quill Driver Books.
As you feel the temperature drop, the cold wind on your skin and the gloomy greyness fills the sky do not despair, your mood can be bright and sunny throughout the winter months. There are many things that you can do to stay positive and healthy during the winter to optimise your immune system to keep the viruses at bay. much of what your body needs to keep your immune system strong can be found in foods, so try following these tips to help you stay infection-free over the winter months.
1. Get as much vitamin C as possible by eating at least 3 portions of vegetables and 2 portions of fruit per day (ideally 6 veg and 3 fruit). Foods particularly high in vitamin C include broccoli, peppers, asparagus, kiwi fruit, strawberries, oranges. If you are prone to colds, you might consider supplementing 1g per day of vitamin C per day through the winter months.
2. Zinc is critical for the work of the immune system. Try increasing the amount of egg yolks, almonds, cashews, turkey, lean red meat and oysters that you eat. They are all high in zinc.
3. Include lots of garlic, onions, ginger and turmeric in your cooking. These ingredients are all anti-bacterial and anti-viral, so help to kill off infections. Try a home-made curry once a week.
4. Keep your fluid intake up. 6-8 glasses of water each day is ideal. Mugs of herbal tea count towards this. Why not start your day with a glass of warm water and ginger or lemon.
5. The anti-oxidant nutrient beta-carotene is a great immune booster. It’s found in orange and dark green coloured foods. Try eating more sweet potatoes, carrots, mango, apricots, butternut squash, spinach, broccoli and watercress.
6. Eat more mushrooms. Substances called beta-glucans found in mushrooms have been shown to help modulate the immune system. You can also buy supplements containing beta-glucans.
7. Have more cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, pak choi, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. These all include lots of the infection-fighting phytonutrients which help boost your immune function. Try steaming rather than boiling the vegetables to help preserve their nutrient content.
8. Vitamin E stimulates the production of immune cells. Get more vitamin E by eating almonds, avocados, oats, seeds and brown rice.
9. Cut back on alcohol (sorry!). Excess alcohol means depriving your body of valuable immune boosting nutrients, as they are used by your liver for detoxification instead.
10. Make sure that you are not deficient in vitamin D, which strengthens the innate immune system. 90% of your vitamin D stores are made by the action of sun on your skin; only 10% comes from food sources like eggs, oily fish and butter. Adequate sun exposure can be hard to come by in the winter months, so consider supplementing 400 IU (10 micrograms) of vitamin D3 a day until spring.
For further information contact:
The secret of improved health and wellbeing
This is something that you are doing as you read this article. Unconsciously and without giving it a second thought. Breathing is something that we do day and night come rain or come shine, instinctively.
How would you feel if we told you that breathing could help you to feel healthier and happier, stand taller, sleep sounder and could help your energy levels skyrocket; that if you could master using your breath then you could easily achieve this.
We inhale approximately 20,000 times a day, which accounts for more than 7 million lungfuls per year. The chances are that you will have got the hang of it by now, but are you actually breathing properly? Breathe expert Caroline Kremer has worked with the body for over 20 years and she believes that the breath is crucial for the body and mind to work at its best; in fact she is obsessed with inhaling and exhaling correctly.
Breathing should be a slow process taking longer than you might think. Full and proper breathing should focus on drawing air then letting it out slowly. Using Caroline’s method you put your breath under pressure, ringing every last drop of stale air out of your lungs and emptying them fully. This then makes the next in-breath you take incredibly easy and natural. Why don’t you give it a go? Lie down with your arms by your sides, hands facing upwards. Inhale normally through your nose, then exhale slowly, making a hissing, snake-like noise as you do so. If you sound like a deflating balloon, then you are doing it correctly. When you think that you can’t push out a single bit more, just wait a little longer…
Then when your lungs fill with air, they do so right up to your shoulders. Great big landfalls of delicious, fresh, oxygen. It is the most natural thing in the world and the feeling it can give you is euphoric. You can also do it with your arms crossed above your head or flat out to the side like an aeroplane. You will turn your diaphragm and reset your clavicles relaxing the muscles in your neck and your spine. You’ll massage your heart getting the blood pumping properly, sending oxygen firing around your body. You will also improve your digestion which will enable you to concentrate for longer. You will be a strong unity lowering your stress levels… and all for free!
Try it for 10 minutes every day and transform your health and wellbeing.
Did you know that between 60% to 70% of our body is made up of water? Many of our internal organs are composed of even more than that and our bones surprisingly are around 30%. Water is an essential component for our survival. The human can survive for about two months without food but only around two days without water!
Water enables cells to grow and carries oxygen around the body and is essential in the regulation of our internal body temperature. Water is also the carrier of waste products out of the body; these waste products need to be dissolved in water as they are processed by the kidneys. Water provides for many processes including metabolising food, lubricating joints and keeping our eyes healthy. We can in certain situations lose more water than is safe and dehydration can occur – this could be through sweating too much, high fever, vomiting or diarrhoea. In many cases people can get dehydrated from simply not drinking enough.
Symptoms of dehydration occur when the body is working overtime to accommodate the problem. These can include a dry mouth, tiredness and fatigue, headaches, constipation, dizziness and muscle cramps. Craving sweet things, halitosis (bad breath) and mood changes can also indicate general dehydration. Also dry skin, allergies, asthma and low blood pressure can be signs to watch out for.
A quick test to see if you are dehydrated can be done simply by pinching gently a roll of skin on the back of your hand between your watch and where your fingers start to about ½cm high. When you let go the skin should spring back to its normal form very quickly; if it reforms slowly, it can indicate your hydration levels are low. Another easy test is to look at the colour of your urine. If you are fully hydrated, your urine should be almost clear; however, if you are about 3% dehydrated, your urine will be a lot more yellow in colour. If you are more than 5% dehydrated, your urine can appear orange in colour.
Tips to help you up your water intake and ensure sufficient hydration.
1. Keep a bottle of water with you all day and sip throughout.
2. Enhance the flavour by adding cucumber, lemon or lime or frozen fruit.
3. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables which contain water in their own right.
4. If drinking alcohol, make sure you have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
Try to monitor how much you intake and try to increase your levels. You will be amazed at the benefits and can feel much healthier in a very short space of time.
Love is in the air this month, and if you aren’t sure how to stay in the spirit, we’ve got you covered. Here are some ways that you can incorporate wellness into your day, every day.
Next time you’re planning what to do, let Mother Nature tag along (she even provides the flowers). Her interests include things like long walks on the beach, beautiful hikes and providing breathtaking views while the sun rises and sets. Spending an active day outside will bring you so much more than physical wellness—it’s a good pick-me-up for the soul, too.
Try Something New
It’s been a month since you set those resolutions for 2016. If you’re anything like me, you already feel like it’s going to be a long year trying to keep them. Lucky for us, the MINDBODY app is full of exciting new things to try. Reignite the spark by doing something you’ve never done before. Whether it’s a class you’ve always wanted to take or one that randomly caught your eye, just book it. You never know, you may even find your new favorite class or activity.
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but the journey to achieving wellness in your life truly starts within. Spend some time doing something that makes you feel your best. Book yourself a well-deserved spa trip or relaxing massage. And the best part? The MINDBODY app can also help you find and book some great deals. You are officially out of excuses.
The bottom line: Try to work in wellness throughout this month. It’s an easy way to fall in love with a healthier, happier life—and that’s something worth celebrating. Cheers!
Contrary to popular belief, indigestion is usually caused by low stomach acid — also called hypochlorhydria — and it affects up to half of our population.
Unfortunately doctors don’t check to see if you are suffering from high or low stomach acid and will prescribe a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) such as Omeprozole, Pantaprozole, Lanzaprosole or you may reach for an antacid over the counter.
PPI’s are only meant for short term use of a maximum of 8 weeks. They have side effects of blocking the absorption of certain nutrients so long term this can lead to other imbalances in your body. Antacids are only meant for occasional use for the same reason.
These medications just suppress your symptoms. It’s important to understand what has caused the problem and heal your body from this “root cause”.
It’s important to know if you are suffering from high or low stomach acid because the nutritional support is different.
If you have low stomach acid you could be suffering from any of these symptoms:
- Bloating, belching, burning sensation, wind after meals
- Feeling particularly full after eating
- Indigestion/heartburn/acid reflux
- Burning sensation 30-40 mins after eating
- Food allergies/intolerances
- Itch around the rectum
- Weak, peeling and cracking nails
- Thread veins around cheek and nose
- Acne/dry skin
- Iron deficient anaemia/B12 deficiency
- Hair loss in women
- Chronic fatigue
- Adrenal fatigue
- Autoimmune diseases
- Undigested food in your stools
- Gastric ulcers
- Low bone density
- Poor immunity
- Nutrient deficiencies
- No symptoms
Some causes of low stomach acid:
- A diet rich in processed foods/mineral deficiency (certain minerals are needed for the production of HCL)
- Some medications
- Helicobacter Pylori infection – this infection neutralizes and decreases the secretion of HCL to aid it’s survival
- Low protein/high carbohydrate diet
- Aging – the production of HCL slows down as you age
- Underactive thyroid
- Zinc deficiency – this can be a catch 22 situation. You need zinc to make stomach acid, but you need stomach acid to absorb zinc
- History of eating disorders
If you have high stomach acid you could be suffering from any of these symptoms:
- Burning sensation immediately after eating
- Worse lying down at night
- A sensation of food being stuck in your throat
Triggers for high stomach acid
- Alcohol over consumption
- Caffeine over consumption
- Some medications
- Being over weight
- Excessive exercise
- A diet high in refined, processed foods
- Fizzy drinks
- Food intolerances
You need Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) in your stomach for many functions:
Stomach acid or hydrochloric acid (HCl), is a very powerful digestive agent, and much more important than you realize.
- To break down proteins into smaller molecules
- For your stomach to empty properly
- As a line of defense against pathogenic bacteria and yeast found in our food
- Your stomach needs an acid pH to absorb certain nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, B12, selenium and boron
- To stimulate the pancreas and small intestines to produce digestive enzymes and bile to break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. If all your food is not broken down properly in your stomach this leads to problems further down in your digestive tract
- To prevent disease by killing “bad” bacteria and yeast present in food.
You can test to see if your stomach acid is too high or too low.
- First thing one morning, on an empty stomach, before eating, drinking, brushing teeth
- Add 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda to 100mls slightly warm water
- Drink the mixture (it may taste slightly salty)
- Time for a burp!!! Don’t expect this to be a belch. It should feel like little air bubbles coming up from your stomach to your throat. You are doing a little chemistry experiment in your stomach. Mixing the alkalinitity of the bicarb with the acidity in your stomach. Obviously this isn’t a super scientific test but it does give you an indication.
- Do this test 3 days in a row to get an average result.
- Optimal burp time 1-2mins
- If you burp before 1 mins your stomach acid is too high and we need to calm digestive fire
- If you burp between 2-3mins you have slightly low levels of stomach acid
- If you burp between 3-5 mins your stomach acid is low
- Anything after 5 mins and you have super low or no stomach acid
- There are specific nutritional protocols to help your body get back to balance depending on your results.