How to Manage your Cholesterol Naturally:
It seems that everyone is talking about cholesterol these days, but do you really know what it is? What can you do to maintain healthy cholesterol levels?
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is carried around in the blood. It performs useful functions in the body and is a major building block for cells and many of your hormones, including oestrogen, testosterone and cortisol. Cholesterol is also important for the synthesis of vitamin D, as well as bile acids which aid in the digestion of fats.
Our bodies manufacture cholesterol but it can also be found in foods containing saturated fats. It is important to check your cholesterol levels regularly. Even though our bodies need some cholesterol, having high cholesterol can be bad for your health and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The Good vs. The Bad Cholesterol
HDL and LDL are letters that you may have seen before on a blood test, and your Practitioner will be interested in reviewing these to monitor your health. But what do they mean? Your total cholesterol is made up of two types of cholesterol, often referred to as “good” and “bad” cholesterol.
• High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is essentially the “good” form of cholesterol. It carries cholesterol from the tissuesnto the liver to be broken down and excreted. HDL helps to
decrease cardiovascular risk.
• Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is often referred to as the “bad” form of cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol can leave cholesterol deposits in the arteries, increasing the
risk of the coronary artery disease known as atherosclerosis.
• It is important to keep your HDL:LDL ratio in balance; aim towards having higher levels of the “good” and lower levels of the “bad” cholesterol.
Natural Support For Cholesterol:
Being aware of your current state of health gives you the opportunity to take positive steps to improve your health right now. Staying healthy in the present will reduce your risk of cardiovascular and chronic disease in the future.
Here are some key nutrients specifically to help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health:
• Polymethoxyflavones: Also known as PMFs, these natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds found in citrus peel assist in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
Research has shown that nobiletin and tangeretin, the phytochemicals found in PMFs, may assist in lowering LDL levels by reducing synthesis and increasing the clearance of
• Tocotrienols: Tocotrienols are members of the vitamin E family. These antioxidants also increase the clearance of LDL cholesterol and reduce the body’s production of LDL.
• Krill oil: The oil from the crustacean, krill, has been shown to be beneficial for cholesterol balance, particularly by supporting HDL levels.
• Fish oil: 2 g to 4 g of combined EPA/DHA has been shown to decrease triglyceride levels and is beneficial for heart health.
Tips For Optimal Cardiovascular Health:
Take on these tips for eating and living to support healthy cholesterol and cardiovascular health:
• Follow the Mediterranean diet. People eating this diet rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants have the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease in the world.
• Reduce saturated fats by choosing lean meats. Eating too much saturated fat may increase your weight and cholesterol levels.
• Eliminate detrimental trans fats found in many fast foods, fried foods and packaged baked goods.
• Cut down on sugary refined carbohydratesand processed food. These foods often contain ‘hidden sugars’ that can be converted to fat when supply is high.
• Lose excess weight. If you are overweight, losing extra weight will help to lose the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.
Weight loss programs and targeted supplements can assist healthy weight management.
• Exercise improves cardiovascular and overall health and supports your “good” cholesterol levels. Move away from unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake as they increase your cardiovascular risk.
Getting Your Ratios Right For Life
Achieving and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels can be simple with the help of natural medicines and by following some key dietary and lifestyle recommendations. Put your health in your own hands and live a long, happy life.
2014 Yoga & Raw Food Retreats
Just released-our popular Yoga Raw Food Retreats for next year!
Start the year off with optimising your health and learning how to prepare delicious raw meals that the entire family will love!
Please pass it onto your friends x
Raw Spirulina Balls:
Ingredients: Makes 12
1/2 cup cashews (soaked)
1/2 cup almonds (soaked)
1 cup dates (soaked)
1-2 Tbsp spirulina powder
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Process the cashews and almonds in a food processor until very fine. Add dates then spirulina and process until thoroughly mixed. Make into small balls then roll them in the coconut. Eat within 4-5 days (that shouldn’t be hard!) or store in freezer. and defrost 30 minutes before eating.
Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce
- 3 Tbsp tamari/gluten free soy sauce
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 10-oz packet firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 2 zucchini, thickly sliced
- ¾ cup light coconut milk
- 1 tsp red curry paste, or to taste
- ¼ cup organic peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp brown raw honey
- 1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
- pinch salt Method: Whisk together soy sauce and turmeric in large container. Add tofu, mushrooms and zucchini and toss to coat. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 200 deg C and coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Drain tofu, zucchini and mushrooms and thread onto 6 skewers that have been soaked in water (so they don’t burn). Place on prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Turn, and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until browned. To make Peanut Sauce: Whisk together coconut milk and red curry paste in saucepan. Whisk in peanut butter until smooth. Stir in honey, lemon juice and salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring often. Place skewers on serving plate, and drizzle with peanut sauce. Serve with a fresh green salad or stir fried veggies.
How to manage IBS naturally:
Do you suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, wind, loose bowels or constipation on a regular basis? If so, you may have a condition called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which affects more than half the population, with the majority of sufferers being female.
There are many factors that contribute to IBS which include: poor food choices, deficient digestive enzymes, bacterial overgrowth in the gut, a permeable gut wall (leaky gut), poor gut immunity, and stress.
Make Sensible Food Choices:
Many people make food choices that are detrimental to their health-whether it be low nutrient content, high calories, highly processed foods, or eating foods which they have an allergy or intolerance to. Gluten is one of the most inflammatory foods in the gut and can often contribute to IBS. A diet high in refined carbohydrates may also result in an overgrowth of the bad bacteria (dysbiosis) in the gut as the bacteria feed off the sugars.
• Eliminate gluten entirely from the diet for 2 weeks and see if symptoms improve. If they don’t it may be necessary to follow a FODMAP diet
(low fruit, grains and all sugars) for a further 2 weeks.
Improve Digestive Enzymes:
Our stomach, small intestine and pancreas all secrete various acids and enzymes that break down and help us digest our food as well as absorb essential nutrients from it.
When our digestive enzyme production is low, food is not broken down quickly and sits in the gut fermenting and putrefying, resulting in intestinal gas, bloating, burping and a slower transit time for the emptying of the bowels. If this sounds like you then supplementing with digestive enzymes or Hydrochloric acid may help.
• Take a Digestive Enzyme capsule with every meal.
• Try a squeeze of lemon or lime juice in warm water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before meals.
• Remember to eat slowly and chew food thoroughly to prevent large particles of food and air landing in the gut and so that the salivary enzymes can start breaking down food in the mouth.
Reduce Bacterial Overgrowth:
There is nearly always some microbial overgrowth in the gut involved with IBS with unfriendly bacteria being the most common. It is important to kill any microbes (bacteria, parasites, fungii, yeasts) and repopulate the gut with the beneficial bacteria.
• Take an antimicrobial herbal formula or tablet for 2-4 weeks-one that contains any of the following: Barberry, Wormwood, Black walnut, Gentian. Olive leaf and Oregano, Thyme or Clove oils.
• Take a good quality probiotic (not Yakult or Inner Health!) that has been kept in the fridge to keep the bacteria alive, daily for at least a month. There are specific strains that focus on reducing inflammation and reducing yeast overgrowth which I recommend.
• Reduce or eliminate all grains (especially refined carbohydrates) and sugars from the diet for at least 2 weeks to starve the microbes of the food they love best, SUGAR!
Fix up a Leaky Gut:
There are 3 main lines of defence in preventing bacteria from penetrating the gut. Firstly Immunoglobulin A (an antibody which is part of the immune system’s defence force), the mucus (which provides a physical barrier for the gut and prevents bacteria ‘sticking’ to the gut wall), and the epithelial cells lining the gut which detect ‘invaders’ and absorb nutrients from food. In leaky gut syndrome the tight junctions between these cells become opened, allowing foreign particles to penetrate the gut.
Fortunately there are specific herbs and nutrients that help to support the health of these junctions and reduce gut inflammation.
These include: Glutamine, Zinc, Aloe Vera, Slippery Elm, Liquorice, Turmeric and Boswellia.
Support Gut Immunity: With over 70% of the immune system being in the gut, the digestive and immune systems are very closely related. By treating the gut our overall immunity improves and vice versa. Some probiotic strains can assist in maintaining the health of all immune cells in the body. Ask your practitioner which one is most suitable for your condition.
Manage your Stress: The gut is referred to as our ‘second brain’ as it is part of the same nervous system. Stress and anxiety directly influence the gut and an inflamed irritated gut can make us feel anxious and irritable. This is especially apparent in people with IBS and stress management and treating the nervous system is imperative.
• Yoga, meditation, tai chi, breathing exercises, massage and exercise call all help reduce and manage stress.
• Herbs such as Passionflower, Zizyphus, Lavender, Hops, Kava, Oats, Withania and Ginseng can all help make us more resilient to stress and cope better.
Lemon & Avocado Butter Lettuce Salad
Butter lettuce is also called Bibb lettuce or Boston lettuce , Romaine works really nicely too.
This is a filling and simple salad that is easy to present beautifully and can be made smaller if desired for a first course of a larger meal.
- 2 heads butter lettuce
- 1 avocado
- 2 nori sheets
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup baby tomatoes
- 1 cup cashews, soaked 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional) Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender. Chill until ready to use.
QUICK PARMESAN CHEESE
- 1/4 cup macadamias
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pulverise the macadamias then add the nutritional yeast and salt, and mix thoroughly.
- Cut the leaves from the stalk of the butter lettuce.
- Toss in the desired amount of dressing and then rearrange the leaves on the plate so they go from biggest to smallest, as they did when they were part of the original lettuce.
- Cut half of an avocado into a fan and place on the plate just to the side of the butter lettuce.
- Crush a dry nori sheet with your hands and sprinkle the lettuce with it.
- Quarter the baby tomatoes and sprinkle the salad with them, finishing up with a sprinkle of the quick ‘parmesan’ cheese and the pine nuts.
Manage Migraines Naturally
In our busy, stressful, high-paced lives it’s quick and easy to reach for painkillers to get rid of headaches and migraines.
Any medication puts extra load on our livers and kidneys so here are some natural solutions to ease the pain without adding any extra load on our bodies.
Lavender Oil: Is calming and relaxing and acts as a natural painkiller. Rub it into your temples, add it to the bath or put a couple of drops on your pillow to help with sleep.
Peppermint Oil: Topical application of peppermint oil has a relaxing effect on smooth muscles such as blood vessels and is antispasmodic. It also refreshes and energises and promotes clarity of thought. Massage a couple of drops into the temples or back of the neck.
Feverfew: Helps reduce migraine frequency as well as the intensity and duration of the pain. Feverfew is best taken in capsule or tincture form. Do not use Feverfew if you’re taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can ease the pain and nausea associated with migraines.
Raw Blackberry Cheesecake Bars
11/2 cups walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided in half
1 cup blackberries
1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least two hours and drained
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
To make the bottom layer, place the walnuts, dates, and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbled.
Press the mixture into a small baking pan or casserole dish that has been lightly greased with olive or coconut oil then place in freezer.
To make the top layer, blend the cashews, blackberries, oil, remaining 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, and syrup in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth. Pour mixture over the bottom layer and smooth out evenly.
Chill in the fridge for at least three hours. Cut into bar shapes and serve with fresh berries and natural yoghurt
How to prevent cancer:
Statistics now tell us that 1 in 3 people will get cancer and that about 90 Australians die of bowel cancer every week. Why is there more people getting cancer than ever before?
Read more here: http://bit.ly/1bCqeAp
Raw Chocolate Cheesecake
For the crust:
2 cup raw pecans
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the filling:
2 cups raw cashews (no need to soak)
1 cup peeled & diced zucchini
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor and grind them into a fine meal. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients, and process again until well combined. Line the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan with parchment paper, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.
In a high-powered blender or food processor, process the raw cashews until they are a fine powder. Add in the zucchini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt, and blend again until a smooth and creamy batter is formed. Add in the melted coconut oil, and blend again to fully incorporate the ingredients into a uniform filling.
Pour the filling into the frozen pie crust, and allow to set for 8 hours, preferably overnight. Serve directly from the freezer, for best texture.