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Why am I so emotionally numb? Could be Calcium Shell!

Calcium Shell, nope we aren’t switching gears totally and going back to my Marine Biology roots to learn all about shellfish!

Following on from my last blog about Copper Toxicity, I thought a good progression is to talk about Calcium Shell.

Why?

Because of copper’s effect on sodium and potassium, the body’s primary solvents. A progression of copper build-up in the body, can lead to this condition, where calcium is pushed into the body’s soft tissue.

You can imagine this is not good seen as we want 99% of our calcium in our teeth and bones if we want them to be strong!

The calcium then sort of floats around body in precipitates and builds up in areas of the body forming a kind of shell around the cells in places like your muscles, brain, joints, and arteries.

This ‘protective shell’ if you will, can cause a person to experience emotional numbness and spaciness among many other symptoms, which I will go through below!

Copper Toxicity is not the only cause of Calcium Shell so be sure to read on.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CALCIUM SHELL?

Often symptoms of Calcium Shell can overlap with other conditions including the symptoms of:

Slow Oxidation (fatigue, sugar cravings, low blood sugar, constipation, weight in hips and thighs insomnia, postural hypotension, poor ability to sweat, low blood pressure)

Copper Toxicity (mood swings, PMS, racing thoughts, panic attacks, depression, feelings of despair, eating disorders, brain fog, frontal headaches/migraines, heart palpitations, social withdrawal, problems concentrating, problems with memory, infertility, miscarriages, endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, oestrogen imbalances, low libido, and candida) , and

Hypothyroid (weight gain, cold hands and feet, lack of sweating, fatigue, dry skin and hair, constipation).

Other symptoms include:

Joint and muscle pain, cramps, spasms, and or twitches
Arthritis, osteoporosis, bone spurs
Premature greying of your hair
Arteriosclerosis
Kidney stones
Low vitamin D
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Impaired circulation or reduced spine movement
Poor dental health and tooth decay (Ca pulled out of teeth into tissues)
Tinnitus
Sensitivity to EMFs (calcium is very conductive)
Apathy, brain fog
Feeling of being disconnected, apathetic
Emotional numbness, psychological withdrawal
Feeling out of touch with reality, depression, brain fog
Anxiety, irritability, emotional outbursts
Anger, and a racing mind if copper toxicity is driving the pattern

WHAT CAUSES CALCIUM SHELL?

So, having said ‘Yes’ to the symptoms relating to Calcium Shell, you are likely asking the question, ‘What causes Calcium Shell?’

We mentioned right at the start the link to copper toxicity and how copper’s affect on sodium and potassium can lead to calcium precipitating and being pushes into the soft tissues of the body.

In fact, calcium needs the proper cofactors to direct it and keep it in the bones and teeth.

Imbalances of minerals can mean calcium builds up which is very common with people that have a very slow oxidation rate.

Remember over 80% of people are slow oxidisers nowadays, so this is a prevalent issue.

Calcium shell can also occur due to an emotional trauma or chronic stress as the body uses calcium to protect the cell from a stress response. This is why we can often feel emotionally dead inside when we have Calcium Shell.

Iodine deficiency is another cause of Calcium Shell as this makes it hard to hold on to potassium causing calcium to build up in tissues. Iodine also decalcifies hence if low, we generally have high calcium. This means Calcium Shell is also often associated with Hypothyroid or Hashimotos’s.

Excessive calcium supplementation is another cause (especially when there isn’t adequate magnesium, sodium and boron to use it properly),

Hard drinking water (limestone, calcium containing stone area where water supply comes from) is another.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CALCIUM SHELL?

Unfortunately this is not likely a condition your GP may recognise and so it is important to work with a Functional Health Practitioner trained in preventative, holistic, alternative (or what I like to call ‘original’) health care, that focuses on finding the root cause of dysfunctions using patient symptoms and functional lab testing as a guide.

A full health inventory should be taken to assess symptoms and, when considering Calcium Shell, because calcium can build up in different areas of the body, one often being the hair, a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, HTMA, can help us determine if you have this condition.

Because of the link with thyroid health it’s often a good idea to also run a full thyroid panel including total T3 and rT3.

In fact, when we see discrepancies with testing, for example the results of the HTMA show  Hypothyroid whereas the blood test results show Hyperthyroid, this shows there is decreased cellular permeability, which can be due to calcium shell, low sodium and low potassium.

HOW DO I BREAK UP MY CALCIUM SHELL?

As a crab can shed its shell, you can break down your Calcium Shell!

In fact, doing just a little work to break down your calcium can get you feeling dramatically better

It is important to work with a practitioner that will help you go slow and steady when your body is ready. It is important that you are able to manage stress and past trauma as Calcium Shell detox can leave you feeling emotional and you may re-experience past trauma as the shell broken down.

You can even sometimes feel the calcium moving from the joints and soft tissues as it moves back into bone, so can experience more joint, and muscle pain (calcium is a sharp mineral and it’s moving so you may feel it!).

Other Calcium Shell detox symptoms include migraines, increased awareness, and improved mood.

You will likely need vitamin K2 in the MK-7 form, which helps to direct calcium back into the bone,

Vitamin A and iodine (care must be taken and you must seek practitioner help when using iodine) as these help to break down calcium…

…and you may need extra thyroid support.

Of course if Copper Toxicity is associated then this also need to be addressed.

Because Calcium Shell is often associated with emotional trauma release, therapies like EMDR, talk therapy, acupuncture, and EFT may be required as part of your healing.

So here’s where I slip in and let you know that my Functional Health Coaching includes life coaching, NLP, and EFT services within my packages along with latest in Functional Lab Testing, like the HTMA testing and thyroid panel mentioned above. I am here should you want to investigate whether Calcium Shell is what’s causing your health struggles, or if you have any further questions.

Could Copper Toxicity be the reason for your mood swings and memory issues?

If you are reading this blog after discovering you are, or may be, copper toxic, I want to start by letting you know you are not alone!

Copper toxicity causes a whole heap of physical and mental dysfunctions and is very common. I have even read that 80%+ of women are estimated to have it, yet people rarely know about it.

Copper toxicity is something that can affect women, men, teenagers, and children and is a very problematic mineral today.

After having several clients reach out after finding they are copper toxic with no idea of how to manage it, I thought I would write this blog.

I hope it helps to explain your current health struggles as well as give you some direction in how to work with your copper toxicity.

HOW DOES OUR BODY USE COPPER?

If you have ever taken a multivitamin you will no doubt, see copper listed as an ingredient because the body needs copper.

Copper is an important mineral involved in the electron transport chain creating energy, haemoglobin synthesis, neurotransmitter activity, immune system health, cardiovascular health, fertility and maintaining pregnancy, the synthesis of collagen and elastin, as well as iron availability.

It also has strong anti-fungal, anti-mould, and anti-bacterial properties (it’s often used in swimming pools for these properties) and a copper deficiency can be linked to yeast/fungal infections like candida, sinus, ear, and digestive problems.

What’s interesting is that the primary cause of copper deficiency is a copper toxicity.

Yep you read that right. Excess copper is stored in the body and becomes what we call bio unavailable, meaning it can’t be used by the body. This unbound, unusable copper, at excessive levels can, therefore, cause both symptoms of copper deficiency as well as toxicity.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COPPER TOXICITY?

Problems occur when copper begins to accumulate in the body’s tissues, then liver, and then brain.

It can cause severe mental health issues and is linked to mood swings, PMS, racing thoughts, panic attacks, depression, feelings of despair, eating disorders, brain fog, frontal headaches/migraines, heart palpitations, social withdrawal, problems concentrating, and problems with memory.

If you feel you are an emotional wreck, get super anxious and/or fearful, you keep walking into rooms and forget what you went in for, and you find are becoming ever more intolerant of your hubby…chances are it’s not that you are going crazy…it’s to do with copper. Some even believe this prevalence of copper toxicity is linked to the high divorce rates.

But it doesn’t stop there!

Copper is very much interrelated with oestrogen. It stimulates the production of oestrogen, and oestrogen enhances the retention of copper, double whammy! As a result, copper can cause reproductive issues including infertility, miscarriages, endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, oestrogen imbalances, and a sex drive that is non-existent, Bile issues can also result due to oestrogen having a thickening effect on bile.

Copper can interfere with the metabolism of zinc impacting our immune system health, and remember it’s anti-microbial properties? Copper toxicity can also cause chronic fungal/yeast infections, candida, UTIs, skin problems like chronic or cystic acne, and digestive problems.

Because copper is involved with the electron transport chain and our energy production, and is an excitotoxin that stimulates the adrenal glands, it can also cause chronic fatigue, adrenal burnout, insomnia, and a feeling of being wired, anxious, and panicky.

Do you often get dizzy when you stand up from lying or sitting down? This can be linked to poor adrenal function, which may be a result of copper toxicity.

Slow thyroid or metabolism…again can be a result of copper toxicity.

It’s even linked to histamine issues like eczema, rashes and hives as it can inhibit the breakdown of histamine. As well as low iron, arthritis, celiac disease, scoliosis, Hodgkin’s disease, elevated cholesterol, schizophrenia, strokes, paranoia, phobias, senility, experiencing a spacey feeling, and tooth decay.

If what I am listing is all sounding very familiar then it’s highly likely copper is the issue, not who you are or who you think you are becoming. I know that can be very comforting to hear.

In fact, I think I hear you shouting, “Thank F&%K it’s not me…it’s bloody copper!”

WHAT CAUSES COPPER TOXICITY?

After all that you are probably wondering how you got copper toxic in the first place.

Probably the most common source is copper pipes delivering water to your home, or the addition of copper to the water supply as a fungicide. Another big reason I always recommend my clients get a good water filter!

Secondary to that is probably any birth control involving oestrogen like IUD’s (intra-uterine devices) and the birth control pill, as well as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Other sources include it being passed from mother to baby in utero, xenoestrogens, dioxin, PCBs, DDT, plastics like BPA, some pesticides, fertilisers, or fungicides, dental alloys and amalgams, copper cookware, chronic stress, slow oxidation/metabolism, vegetarian/vegan diet (most veggies are high copper and low zinc – meat high zinc), multivitamins (especially prenatals), occupational exposure (electrician handling lots of copper wire), regular swimming pool use, hair dye, industrial emissions, and jewellery.

Initially the copper will not cause an issue if your zinc status is optimal and your liver and adrenal health are good. It may take around 4-6 months for symptoms of copper accumulation to occur.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM COPPER TOXIC?

Unfortunately, this is probably not something your GP may know much about. Given the symptoms they are more likely to recommend an anti-depressant, birth control pill, anti-anxiety drug, ADD/ADHD medication etc that isn’t going to fix the cause and may well worsen your issue.

Instead, a Functional Health Practitioner trained in preventative, holistic, alternative (or what I like to call ‘original’) health care, that focuses on finding the root cause of dysfunctions using patient symptoms and functional lab testing as a guide, can help.

A full health inventory should be taken to assess symptoms and, when considering copper toxicity, the test of choice is a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, HTMA.

Assessment of copper toxicity on a HTMA includes high or low copper, high calcium, low sodium, low potassium, high or low zinc, low phosphorus, a high Ca/K ratio, low Na/K ratio, high or low Zn/Cu ratio, high mercury, high Cu/Mo ratio, and whether you have a history of copper exposure (see causes below).

I should clarify that I said high AND LOW copper. Low copper on a HTMA can be due to a hidden copper toxicity so you can’t just take this reading individually to determine your status.

So, if you have feelings of being ‘crazy’, maybe you are having relationship problems, you struggle with chronic fatigue, and brain fog or memory issues…any of the things listed above…then consider HTMA testing with a Functional Health Practitioner.

HOW CAN I DETOX FROM COPPER TOXICITY?

First you want to plug the hole in the boat before bailing out the water. In other words, stop the copper exposure before you start trying to detox the copper i.e. remove copper IUD, stop hormonal birth control (contraceptive alternatives post coming soon), properly filter your tap water etc.

Next you need to ensure your body is ready.

When our metabolism is too slow, we hold on to toxins. Our body is not strong enough to dispose of them effectively and so it stores them away to prevent them circulating round and round the body causing more damage.

To properly address copper toxicity, the systems that transport and remove copper need to be strong, hence we need a relatively balanced metabolism, with strong adrenal, thyroid and liver health, and good bile function, and we need to make sure our detox pathways are open and we are pooping regularly.

This is another reason why HTMA testing is so good as this allows us to assess, monitor and address issues with metabolism, thyroid, adrenal and liver health, all necessary to deal with copper toxicity.

Once the body is ready it will start to release copper naturally in a gentle way, which will be seen as increased copper on the HTMA.

Symptoms can get worse as the body starts to dump copper, which is known as Copper Dump Syndrome. Supplements like zinc, chromium, molybdenum, vitamin C, manganese, MSM, adrenal glandulars, and activities like intense cardio or restricting calories can even trigger a dump.

This dump can make life pretty damn miserable. You may experience intense anxiety, panic, exhaustion, constipation, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, emotional outbursts, irritability, anger, or psychological episodes.

That is why it is important to work with a practitioner that knows what they are doing, that can help dose you correctly, that works with binders, goes slow, and supports your digestion, liver, gallbladder, potassium, and bile as part of your protocol to help minimise any dump symptoms.

Removing copper from the body is a slow process and you will likely feel the best and the worst you have ever felt. I hope that doesn’t put you off though! There are many benefits to detoxing your copper.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DETOXING COPPER?

When you have detoxed your copper, you will have a much stronger immune system so will experience less infections.

You will have a much better mental and emotional state. Goodbye anxiety, depression, mood swings, panic attacks, and emotional outbursts!

You will have more energy, better hair, skin and nails, less risk of heart and artery disease, as well as liver disease, and your blood pressure may normalise.

Your reproductive system will work better meaning you are less likely to suffer with PMS, endometriosis, ovarian and uterine tumours, and you will have more regular ‘better’ periods.

If you have a baby you will be less likely to develop post-partum depression, morning sickness, and problems with your baby including ADD, ADHD, autism, ear infections, and delayed development or other birth defects.

The symptoms of copper dumping are temporary, but the benefits make for a much better quality of life. You might even say a life where you feel radiant from your core!

If you still have any burning questions about copper toxicity or working with me to eliminate your copper then please head to the ‘Work With Me’ page or contact me for a free enrolment call.

The Reality of Mum Guilt

Mum guilt. If you are a mum I am certain you know what I am talking about, am I right?

Even now in this COVID-19 ‘lock-down’ and everyone is home…I feel pangs of guilt for working and asking my husband to look after the boys, or asking him to feed the boys even though I planned, prepared and cooked everything. He’s their dad for goodness sake! Why do I feel that way!? I am sure he actually wants to do it…but I still feel like I am being judged or doing something that I shouldn’t be, prioritising incorrectly and shirking my responsibilities.

I have been trying to manage mum guilt with various amounts of success since the birth of my twin boys.

There are many aspects to mum guilt but the one I have struggled with most is feeling that I lost myself, or at least the things that made me ‘me’.

For me I have struggled greatly not having time to myself and not being able to work in my business as I once could. I felt like I lost what made me feel of worth through helping my clients, and I no longer had the same time to learn and develop my knowledge and skill set, something I literally feed off.

I am a ‘mum’. My days revolve around the needs of my babies totally. Everyone else in the family (we have a dual living home in which my parents live downstairs) can get on with ‘all the things’ they ‘want to do’, but I ‘have to’ care for the boys. I must ask permission to go out or to have time to do my work, and I need to have everything in order for the time I am away.

For the first 10-11 months, my twins didn’t really sleep for longer than 40 minutes in the day, so I had very little time to do anything other than prepare food and do the housework.⁠ Their night sleeps were generally in 3-4 hour blocks and I was breastfeeding for the first 8-9 months, so again I wasn’t getting the continuous sleep I needed, waking to their every need.

I started to feel resentful and I disliked myself immensely for it. Why was I feeling this way, I should be grateful for my life, I am so lucky, what an ungrateful cow I was being!

Without going into all the details, I had a couple of completely crazy-ass-wild-psycho-bitch moments within a few days of each other, where I literally lay on the floor kicking and screaming that it wasn’t fair, I needed help…I needed some time to myself!

I look back now, and I’m totally embarrassed at how I was. I remember even being ‘inside looking out’ at the time thinking, “far out lady, chill the F down!”, and the look on my mum’s face like ‘gee she’s lost it!’. But it was my breaking point and clearly something needed to change.

Fortunately, I followed my crazy with rational discussion with my family and got some much-needed extra support where I could have a few hours a week to myself.

I hate not being in control and I have perfectionist and self-critical qualities that mean I really punish myself and feel like absolute crap when I am not being ‘as I should be’. I should be able to do all the washing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and mothering for fur and human babies, whilst running everything for my business, and being the best practitioner, I can be for my clients, no!? There’re so many other mums out there that do!

Maybe there are…but I am pretty sure their babies probably sleep for hours in the day and maybe they out-source some of the daily tasks at home and in their business…but even if they don’t, I am me, and I clearly couldn’t, I was putting too much pressure on myself and I needed help…plus…we should never compare ourselves to others because we never know what’s really going on in other people’s lives.

Since working with clients again I noticed how my energy and mood does a whole 180 after a session. It’s like I am on a high, I am buzzing, super chatty, smiley. I am a way more fun mum. I get sillier, more creative, I have more patience, I am a nicer person to be around, and I even like myself.

Throughout my personal health journey and work as a health practitioner, I have learned the importance of self-care, self-love, ‘me-time’, sleep, rest, mindset, and doing what you enjoy. …I think every one of those goes, to some extent, when you become a mum.

Yes, we gain so much, and we wouldn’t want it any other way, we love our babies immensely and are forever grateful they have chosen us to be their mum (all the typical mummy justification and reassurance that we all do)…but that doesn’t mean it’s not freaking hard!

I am sure you will know yourself when and why you feel mum guilt, and it’s likely because your personal needs, those things that make you ‘you’, aren’t being met.

I want to acknowledge ‘mum guilt’ as a thing, remind you that you are not alone feeling this, and let you know that it’s OK…it doesn’t mean you are a bad person or a bad mum.

One thing I do with my clients when they are struggling with happiness, is to go through their human needs with them. As I was going through this with a client recently, I began to reflect on myself and realised that sometimes all that’s needed is a mindset shift. Let me show you what I mean…

The 6 human needs are: Adventure, Significance, Connection, Growth, Impact, and Certainty

Adventure – a need for the unknown, change and new stimulation – before being a mum, this may have been going on holidays, hikes, doing adrenaline junkie sports etc…but as a mum the unknowns, changes and new stimulations happen every day, so effectively this need can still be met! For example…what will be broken next, what new sound will your little one make, what new face will they pull, what amazing delights will be produced in their nappy today, and where will your treasure hunt take you in the search of your kitchen utensils!?

Significance – feeling unique, important, special, or needed – this is one I have had to remind myself often…the lack of significance I feel from not being able to work as much and help people, doesn’t mean that I am not significant. Remember, you are a unique mum of incredible importance to your little one, so special and completely needed by them. This is the most significant you could ever be!

Connection – a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something – you may not have the same connection with your husband or the same libido you had before the kids, but you can bond with your husband over the achievements of your children, and be warmed and hug each other looking over the little devils knowing you made them. Of course, you may also get a few seconds of hug time and closeness with your little one between their own adventures, or you may hit jackpot and get nap time hugs together!

Growth – an expansion of capacity, capability, or understanding – before motherhood this may have been growth of your skill set, new courses and experience et cetera. As a mum your personal development goes through the roof! You learn a whole new meaning to patience, anger management, and troubleshooting. Your capacity increases with ‘all the things’ you need to do to just get through a day, your capability is limitless because you did it all and survived the day, and your understanding goes up tenfold as you now fully comprehend the meaning of ‘mummy brain’!

Impact – a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others – this was likely through your work or volunteering offerings before kids, but now you are making a huge impact to the lives of those “Mini-Me’s” you are raising and supporting, helping them through life and giving them everything you can. You are having the most significant impact on their lives.

Certainty – to feel that everything is under control, a desire for systems, processes, and other preservation mechanisms – well you could be certain that there is no control, and none of these things will be in place…or you can switch gear and see that the routine you have from wake-up time, meal times, bath time, and bedtime and your systems of getting to each of those processes, your tactics for some self-preservation time at the end of the day, actually means there is great certainty each day!

Bingo! Everyone’s needs are met!

In all seriousness though, it is freaking hard being a mum, and it’s not always easy to put a positive twist on things. So, remember to show yourself some compassion, offer yourself some caring advice (what would you say to a friend in your situation?), and show yourself some gratitude and appreciation for the work you are doing as a carer, cook, cleaner, laundry maid, window washer, meal planner, kitchen hand, chief financial officer, entertainer, psychic, rule enforcer, teacher, investigator, translator, friend, nurse, referee, personal assistant, chauffeur, life coach, and role model!

The development of our children in these first few years are the fastest they will ever be. If we blink or stay down feeling sorry for ourselves, we will miss it.

I am sure in years to come we will look back on this time with great admiration and respect for ourselves, or maybe we will just forget the pain like we did that of child birth!…either way, I know I am trying to appreciate as much as I can, remind myself that it’s OK to ask for help, it’s ok to sit and do nothing when I have the chance, and it’s vitally important to shut down that mean voice inside trying to bring me down.

We are doing our best and that’s all anyone can ask for.

What the heck is hair tissue mineral balancing (HTMA)?

You have heard about it but what the heck is this mineral balancing thing, what’s minerals got to do with hair, and how balancing your minerals with hair tissue mineral analysis help you?

Well… HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis) is a freaking amazingly affordable non-invasive functional lab test that you can get results from in just 2 weeks.

We use it to investigate your levels of 35 nutrient and toxic minerals, and over 25 important mineral ratios (minerals are things like calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, potassium etc.).


WHAT CAN HAIR TISSUE MINERAL ANALYSIS TELL ME ABOUT MYSELF?

Because knowing your mineral levels can tell us about heaps of stuff going on in your body and why your health might not be too hot right now. Here are some things we can look into…

  • how quickly or slowly your body is using things (your metabolic or oxidation rate) – it’s not healthy for this to be slow or fast, it’s important for it to be balanced,
  • how you are or aren’t managing stress (your adrenal health),
  • why your energy may be lacking (including thyroid health as well as potential iodine deficiency),
  • your immune health and defence system, stomach acid status and potential for bacterial or viral infections,
  • your blood sugar and glucose metabolism,
  • how well your body is detoxing things,
  • your heavy metal toxicity status,
  • we can even discover things about your personality!

…plus so much more! Minerals are literally the spark plugs of the body and without them being balanced we can experience negative symptoms and struggle to feel well.

When we balance minerals, often things like hormonal imbalances, fatigue, anxiety, brain fog etc. get fixed. Balancing minerals is of benefit to anyone.

I have found it particularly useful to monitor my health after having my twins (growing humans and producing their food takes a lot from your body, go figure!), and it’s been especially useful for:

  • increasing my energy levels and vitality (replenishing my depleted stores)
  • decreasing brain fog and increasing focus and clarity,
  • helping with my mood (way less crazy, angry, or frustrated moments lol!),
  • digestion, and
  • detoxification support.

WHY CAN’T I DO A BLOOD TEST TO LOOK AT MY MINERALS?

It’s important to note that HTMA is so much more than a blood test you would get with your doctor. Blood tests are great, but blood is a transport medium. The body does it’s best to keep blood content as constant as possible, drawing from stores and depositing components in other parts of the body where needed. Bloods provide us with a snapshot in time, they don’t, however, give the full picture of what’s going on at a deeper tissue level.

Hair, on the other hand, is cellular tissue, so with the HTMA we see what’s getting into your cells. Neat huh! I love the example of magnesium to show what I mean here…only 1% of magnesium is in the blood, 99% is in the cells…so a blood test to look at your mineral levels isn’t going to give you a whole lot of the story hey?…you need HTMA!

Plus, bloods tests don’t even test for half of the minerals on the HTMA panel. Ever asked your doctor to blood test you for mercury toxicity before? Nope!

Even if they do test for say zinc, they often don’t test for its’ ratio with other minerals, which in many cases can be just as important as the isolated mineral itself.

For example, if copper and zinc aren’t balanced this can suggest copper toxicity, oestrogen issues, endometriosis, fibroids, and/or psychological/mood disturbances. If calcium and potassium aren’t balanced, then this can suggest issues with the thyroid and even early onset hypothyroidism…before a blood test can even detect it!


HOW DO MINERALS IMPACT MY HEALTH, HOW CAN HAIR MINERAL ANALYSIS (HTMA) HELP ME?

To give you some idea of the importance of minerals I thought it would be good to show how a few are involved with your health…

Calcium is a primary structural element, but it needs to be directed where to go or it can cause issues. It also helps control our nervous system, maintain pH (alkalinity), is involved in muscle contractions, stops excess lactic acid, promotes insulin secretion, and high calcium can inhibit thyroid hormone. Imbalances may be linked with anxiety, difficulty falling asleep, adrenal hyperactivity, hyperthyroidism, excessive thirst, muscle aches, memory loss, depression, hearing difficulties, fatigue, joint stiffness, weakness, restless leg syndrome, constipation, and kidney stones.

Magnesium is involved with 500+ different enzyme reactions and is a key element for cellular metabolism. It helps regulate sugar metabolism (clears insulin from blood), it’s involved with energy production, reduces inflammation, and helps the relaxation of muscles. As I mentioned, magnesium is an intracellular mineral (99% in cell therefore HTMA best way to test), it is also a ‘heart’ mineral (keeps it healthy), and helps regulate cell permeability (how things move in and out of cells). Imbalances can cause twitches, spasms, you may find it hard to relax, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, depression, PMS, cardiovascular disease, noise sensitivity, hypothyroidism, anxiety, hyperactivity, tremors, excessive sweating, confusion, diarrhea, fatigue/lethargy, low/high blood pressure, and muscle weakness.

Sodium is the body’s great solvent (helps other minerals dissolve) so is vital for health, but too much can increase blood pressure (why table salt is bad) and increase heart rate. Sodium maintains fluid balance and pH levels, and it influences cell permeability. Imbalances may be linked with allergies, apathy (lack of interest), anorexia, abdominal bloating, depression, dizziness, fatigue, low/high blood pressure, low stomach acid levels, poor protein digestion, weakness, headaches, inflammation, irritability, nervousness, and oedema/water retention.

Potassium is the body’s primary solvent, and is also an intracellular mineral (99% in cell), that regulates blood pressure with sodium, maintains fluid balance and the pH level of body, lowers heart rate and dilates arteries (can get heart palpitations if low). Imbalances may be linked to allergies, constipation, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, muscle weakness, skin problems, oedema/water retention, depression, high blood sugar, muscle spasms, and muscle weakness.

Mercury is very toxic and causes hundreds of symptoms. Common sources include metal fillings, fish (especially tuna, salmon, cod, shellfish, and halibut), vaccines, contact lens solution, Chinese herbs, tattoos (red ink), Ajax, Lysol, Comet, DermaScrub, Dove soap, Ivory Liquid. It tends to accumulate in the brain making it difficult to remove, often causing neurological issues (mad hatter, Alice in Wonderland – chemicals in hat making industry). Also accumulates in the kidneys and liver. Impacts the nerves, kidneys, immune system, endocrine system and muscles. Causes weakness, fatigue, anorexia, weight loss, gastrointestinal disorders, tremors, depression, anger, anxiety, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.

Aluminium is a big contributor to Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, and Parkinson’s. It is also linked with blood disorders, autism, colitis, cavities, fatigue, breast cancer, peptic ulcers. Early symptoms of toxicity include flatulence, headaches, colic, dryness of skin and mucus membranes, tendency for colds, burning pain in the head relieved by food, heartburn, and aversion to meat. Later symptoms may involve paralytic muscular conditions, loss of memory and confusion. Common sources are aluminium foil, cookware (often in restaurants), utensils, ceramics, baking powders, cosmetics, dental amalgams, deodorant, nasal sprays, vaccines, processed cheese, and cigarette filters, antacids, aspirin, fireworks, flour (anticaking agent).


HOW DO I DO A HAIR TISSUE MINERAL ANALYSIS (HTMA)?

If you have hair you can do this test! Even if you don’t have hair on your head we can use ‘other’ hair on the body if absolutely necessary. Head hair is what’s best, however, as it grows slower and gives us the bigger picture, plus it has the most science behind it.

All you need is a 0.5gm (about tablespoon) of hair that’s 4cm long from the nape of your neck cut as close to the scalp as possible. You get a special envelope with a scale so it’s easy to know if you have enough hair, plus if you do the test with me, I send you a video so there’s no uncertainty for you! Ideally this will be undyed hair, so you want to get your sample right before your next hair appointment (6-8 weeks fresh growth).


WHERE DO I GET MY HAIR TISSUE MINERAL ANALYSIS (HTMA)?

If you google about HTMA you will find a real mixed bag of opinions. This is largely due to incorrect interpretations of results and how the labs test and run their samples. Interclinical Labs run the Trace Elements Research Labs HTMA here in Australia and are THE ONLY lab I recommend for this test.

Not all HTMAs include the important ratios or have such a vast mineral profile. Other labs often wash hair before testing, may cut hair up and mix by hand, may use the long ends of the hair etc., which may affect the results. So, it’s important to pick the right lab!

It is also incredibly important that you get a practitioner well versed in interpreting HTMA results. I cannot stress this enough! It’s not as simple as minerals just being in or out of set ranges. Each mineral must be assessed against other minerals on the panel as well as with the presenting conditions of the client. A comprehensive understanding is vital if the HTMA is to be interpreted correctly.

Computer-generated protocols don’t work either. A computer is not a human brain and cannot collate the information required to interpret the test in the correct way. I should add here that I am a practitioner with extensive training on interpreting HTMA!

If you would like to look at a sample test result then please click here.

 

SOUNDS GOOD BUT I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HAIR TISSUE MINERAL ANALYSIS…

If you’ve made it to this point and find yourself thinking, “so Carla, this all sounds good but I’m still not 100% sure how it will help me and what to expect after I run this thing”, I get it! That’s why I’m happy to offer you a free no obligation chat to discover if, and exactly how, this lab will help you personalise your health protocol…just click the button below.

The water you drink could be the cause of your fatigue

Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue but it’s not as simple as just ‘drink more water’…how do you make sure your water is actually hydrating you?

1. Make sure it’s not tap water!
2. Add sea salt to it!

Why not tap water?

Water is an essential part of living and many processes in the body require water so the quality and quantity of water that my clients are consuming is one of the first things I address.

If you aren’t drinking good water then you won’t get well, simple.

The issue with tap water is that it contains numerous toxins including fluoride, chlorine, chloramine (a secondary disinfectant in municipal water), VOCs (the result of chlorine reacting with organic matter) and THMs (by-product predominantly when chlorine is used to disinfect water for drinking), that add to our body’s toxic load, making us more at risk of diseases and gut issues.

Halides, like the chlorine, fluoride, and chloramine in tap water attach to iodine receptors in our body therefore block iodine. Iodine is important for thyroid function and therefore is directly linked with our energy level. By simply no longer drinking tap water you could see a massive change in your health.

Drink good quality spring water (for Asia/Pacific regions these are Fiji, Hawaiian Springs, Waikea, Ka-Vita, Eternal (from New Zealand))…or make sure your water is properly filtered for pesticides, herbicides, radiation, heavy metals, copper, and drug residues, but NOT minerals.

Reverse osmosis water is not recommended. Even if the RO water is remineralised, the mineral profile is still far too low to be hydrating for your body and the water is essentially acidic. Tank water can contain heavy metals so also needs adequate filtration.

You want to drink half your body weight in pounds, in ounces of water daily (around 1.8 litres for a 60kg person). And you want to make sure to add 1/4 tsp of grey Celtic sea salt to each litre.

Why the salt?

Without sodium and potassium balance, life isn’t possible. It’s what dissolves our minerals, like calcium and magnesium, making them bioavailable, and it’s what allows things to cross through the cell membrane and into our tissues (i.e. hydrate our cells amongst other things!).

The water we drink nowadays is recycled through the system many times and is incredibly lacking in minerals. This means we aren’t properly hydrated when we drink it (remember your osmosis lessons at school!). It is also heavily laden with toxins that further stress our body, so it is important that you only drink purified water.

By adding a high-quality mineral salt like grey Celtic sea salt to our water, we can improve the mineral profile of our water greatly and help our cellular permeability.

Don’t be scared of salt! Sodium was thought to cause high blood pressure but in truth very few people are negatively affected, and studies show that diets with less salt are actually more harmful. Low sodium diets raise LDL (bad) cholesterol, reduce sex drive, and raise insulin resistance.

Now be sure I am not referring to table salt. This is usually a mix of chemically extracted pure sodium and toxic aluminium anti-caking agents. Pure sodium can cause excessive thirst, cellulite, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones, and gall stones.

High quality sea salts, and rock salts however contain a blend of minerals including sodium thereby maintaining mineral balance. I only recommend sea salts to my clients as rock salt sourcing is often hard to determine and they can often be high in heavy metals.

When we wake, our body is acidic and struggles to push our potassium levels down and our sodium levels up causing strain on our adrenals. By drinking half a teaspoon of mineral salt in a litre of warm water in the first hour of waking, your energy in the morning can be greatly improved. You should not feel thirsty after drinking such balanced salts. If you experience bloating or loose stools then back off the amount of salt until you don’t experience these symptoms, then gradually increase the salt amount over several days. It just means you are very dehydrated and need to rehydrate slowly.

I recommend all my clients add grey Celtic sea salt to their purified water as a multimineral supplement to support their body.

How to improve your Circadian Rhythm, and why you want to…

Why am I wearing these ridiculously sexy glasses whilst working at my computer in the evening?
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Why, to protect my circadian rhythm of course!

Circadian rhythm is our body’s 24-hour clock that regulates our sleep and wake cycles. When this natural rhythm gets upset, our energy level and sleep quality go to pot! Think about it. Do you ever find yourself wide awake at night when you should be going to bed? Are you tired in the mornings or do you get an afternoon slump of energy? This could all be because your circadian rhythm has been disrupted.

Back in the day we would wake and sleep with the sun rise and set, but with our modern way of life we are shut indoors all day away from the sun, and we are stimulated by tv screens, lighting, computers, and mobile phones in our evening when we should be winding down in the dark.

Why is this such an issue? Well, bright lights in the evening stimulate our pineal gland which produces our sleep hormone melatonin (melatonin is also produced in the gut so good gut health is also important but that’s for another post!). Less melatonin is therefore produced. Melatonin is not only our sleep hormone, but it is also one of the body’s important antioxidants.

Melatonin actually goes into our mitochondria (our energy powerhouses) and protects them from oxidative and nitrosative stress and is way more powerful than acai and goji berries! We must protect circadian rhythm to protect our melatonin production, which in turn protects our mitochondria and therefore our energy.

Not only that but altered circadian rhythm also upsets autophagy. Autophagy is the cellular clean up mechanism where damaged cells get gobbled up and recycled as new healthy cells and mitochondria are formed. Autophagy takes place predominantly at night, so if you aren’t getting deep restful sleep, less autophagy occurs, which speeds up aging, and suppresses cellular and mitochondrial regeneration (again impacting our energy levels).

But it doesn’t stop there! Circadian rhythm upset also affects our neurotransmitter production, so we have less serotonin (mood, joy, pleasure), dopamine (pleasure, reward, motivation/drive and stress tolerance), GABA (relaxation and calm), and Orexin (energy and wakefulness). Which all leads to an unhappy, deflated, knackered, wired, stressed out, burnt out, sleep deprived…ok I could go on but you get the picture!

Messed up hey! I don’t look so silly in my glasses now do I!?

Ok so I don’t expect you to be outdoors all day and basking in the moonlight…well not everyday anyway! Lol!…but there are some things you can easily implement into your day to help protect your circadian rhythm.

1.  Get a pair of “blue blocker glasses” that block blue (and green if you are hardcore like me) wavelengths of light (try TrueDark or SafetyBlue). My super sexy SafetyBlue Sleep Saviour Ultra wrap around glasses are the best, as these avoid light entering from the sides of the lens.
2.  Ensure you get bright sunlight in your mornings – this helps to set your circadian rhythm in place right from the start of the day (if you are a shift worker make sure you have all the lights on!) Avoid bright lights in the evening – I like to use salt lamps for a low, warm light (and decreased fire hazard compared with candles!)
3.  Avoid stimulating screen time (nothing that makes you want “just one more” episode!)
4.  Set your ipad/phone’s brightness to change automatically in the evening – just a flash of blue light from your phone reduces melatonin by 60%! Better still…make after 8pm a phone/device-free time!
5.  Get blackout curtains or wear an eyemask and ensure there are no lights from clock radios etc in your bedroom
6.  Eat dinner early and try a 10-11 hour feeding window (I personally like an 8-hour eating window). Autophagy happens during the nightly fast so max out your autophagy time by not going to bed on a dinner that still needs digesting.

Don’t forget to let me know how you go and how your energy and sleep improves! Would love a pic of you in your sexy glasses too!

I like toxins in my body – said no one ever!

How do you protect yourself daily from toxins? Do you include a binder? You should!

Just to be clear here…I don’t mean something that makes you constipated! Lol!

A binder is something that will bind with things like toxins in your body and help them be excreted from the body. They can be used to bind to toxins as they enter your body, excreting them before they become stored in your body’s tissues. Or they can be used as part of a detox program where you do things to draw out toxins from where they have been stored in the body and then bind and excrete them. A must for intermittent fasters!! (toxins are often stored in the fat and when we reduce caloric intake and break down fat, toxins are released)

Even the most diligent and ‘cleanest’ of us all; if you only eat organic foods, only use natural beauty and cleaning products, live in the bush etc you still come into contact with toxins to some degree.  

Our body has natural binders and detox mechanisms, but we have such and increased toxic load nowadays (all the pesticides, chemicals in food and health care products, vaccines, medications etc) that our liver and cells are often overburdened leading to a myriad of health issues, hormone imbalances, and inflammation.

Ever done a detox and got headaches, nausea, fatigue? That’s the toxins being pulled out of your body tissues too quickly for your body to handle and dumped into the blood where they are circulated round the body.

This is where a binder can really help, we bind them and remove them, before they deposit elsewhere, cause further damage, and make us feel more unwell. If you take a binder daily you can bind up toxins before they even get into your tissues. Bonus!

I recommend daily binders for my clients but it’s important to know which are safe for regular use and which should not be used daily. This is because many binders also bind to your body’s minerals (think things like calcium, magnesium, zinc etc), and so if taken too regularly can leave the body depleted. Things like bentonite clay and activated charcoal for example are excellent binders of heavy metals, pesticides and other toxins, but they also bind to minerals so should be taken rarely and well away from foods and medications.

I therefore wanted to share my two favourite daily binders to help you bind up the nasties safely.

These are:

Modified Citrus Pectin (in particular Econugenics Pectasol-C) – this is my binder of choice for daily use. There have been many studies done showing how useful Pectasol-C is to detoxification and cellular health AND it doesn’t bind to your minerals so won’t deplete you.

Digestive bitters (I like Dr. Shade No. 9, and Urban Moonshine Original) – this stimulates bile flow, which is one of the body’s natural detox binders. It also has the added bonus of helping digestion, particularly of those oh so important healthy fats!

The body may use heavy metals in place of minerals that you may be deficient in e.g. lead in the place of calcium in your bones, as their structures are similar. It is incredibly important, therefore, that you know you have sufficient mineral levels and those minerals are bioavailable in the body (not just being circulated in the blood) before embarking on a detox program, or you can imagine the issues you can cause.

We also want to make sure our body is strong enough, able, and ready to detox. Our body doesn’t detox well when our metabolism is too slow as it doesn’t have the resources to do so. With hair and tissue mineral testing (HTMA) we can assess all these things as well as your heavy metal toxicity status to determine when the body is ready for a more upscaled detoxification protocol. Blood is a transport medium not a cellular tissue so blood tests don’t give us the answers we need here.

To find out more about how you can get help please see here or contact me, I would love to ensure you detoxify safely and get you back to feeling good from your core!

Top 5 Supplements for the Silly Season

We all know it’s bad…but it’s also lots of fun! If you can’t indulge a little at this time of year then when can you!?

It’s always good to support the body in general, but even more so when we are hitting it a little harder with toxins than normal. Your body can process about one alcoholic beverage per hour, so sip and mix in a water between drinks and that will benefit you plenty, but what more can you do?

If you have watched my detox video you will know that it’s important to consume antioxidants, protein and cruciferous veggies (don’t forget the Brussel sprouts this Christmas dinner!!!) to help our body to detox efficiently. There are lists of important foods to support detoxification at the end of my video, so be sure to take note and include plenty of these during the festive season!

However, I have been asked for my main supplement recommendations so here you go!

 

  1. Sea salt – alcohol is a diuretic and so depletes us of many vitamins and minerals. We often even crave salty foods the morning after a drinking session so it may not come as a surprise that sea salt makes my list. If you follow me or have worked with me to balance your minerals, you will know of my love of sea salt and recommendations to include it, particularly in your morning water when your potassium and sodium levels need balancing. Sea salt is a balanced mineral supplement. I am not talking about table salt here, which is pure sodium. Table salt is what causes issues with kidneys and blood pressure…we don’t want that! Sea salt on the other hand has a balanced mineral profile that greatly benefits our body. Minerals are the spark plugs of the body and without them our body will struggle to get well from any disorder. A good litre of water with a ¼ teaspoon of good quality sea salt in the first hour of waking will help on the way to balancing you out (this is actually what I recommend anyone do every morning, never mind after a drinking session). It shouldn’t taste salty, just really nice and hydrating! If you have a pure good quality Himalayan salt this is also good, however, unfortunately most are sourced from Pakistan and other places high in toxic metals, which are bound in the salt molecules.
  2. Bone broth – alcohol is a diuretic so we need hydration and minerals. What better supplement than a good quality grass-fed organic bone broth!? Not only this, but bone broth contains gelatin, a wonderful supplement for the gut, which is also damaged from the alcohol. If you can’t stomach the litre of water, why not try a few cups of salty broth instead to kick off the morning after!?
  3. Vitamin C – many people love a Berocca after a night drinking. Me not so much as it contains aspartame. Vitamin C however, helps to block the conversion of alcohol to aldehyde, which is the hangover inducing stuff. Plus, vitamin C is a great antioxidant, which, if you have followed my detox video, you will know is needed in the detox process to neutralize free radicals formed in phase 1 of detoxification. Consuming vitamin C whilst drinking helps, or I generally just ensure to up my daily vitamin C dose to twice a day during the silly season for continuous support for my cells and immune system.
  4. Pectasol-C – this is a great supplement all year round but especially during the silly season! Why? Well, over 50 studies have been published about how this particular modified citrus pectin provides support for total-body health and aging, promoting healthy tissues and cells and supports healthy immune function. With all the free radicals and increased carbohydrate load on our bodies during the silly season, this is just what’s in order! However, Pectasol-C is not only good for our cell’s health in general, it also helps our body to eliminate heavy metals due to it’s binding properties. Heavy metals are everywhere in this modern age and removing them from the body is beneficial for anyone! What’s special about Pectasol-C is that it is a selective binder, only binding to those bad toxins, rather than to our minerals. This is incredibly important as it helps to ensure we aren’t depleting our body of those essential nutrients. I take 1 scoop of the powder in warm water before bed and again in the morning.
  5. Activated Charcoal – as with Pectasol-C, charcoal is a binder of toxins, however, it also binds to our minerals so needs to be taken away from food and not taken too regularly to avoid becoming mineral deficient. It’s also important to keep hydrated to ensure things keep moving through your gut. Charcoal is wonderful if you happen to overindulge in the beverage department! They even often use it in the Emergency department when something poisonous has been consumed. I have tried different charcoals with mixed success, but now take two of the Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal before I start drinking and again before I go to bed after a night of one too many. Many of my friends are now on the charcoal bandwagon and will attest to its success.

 

So! All that is left it to wish you all a wonderful festive period and a happy new year, hangover free! Please drink responsibly!

Want to avoid dry skin, brittle nails and hair, achy joints, and the flu this winter!? You need these 2 things in your life!

Well, winter is finally here…and along with it…the seasonal cold and man flu epidemics, ouchy chapped lips, dry skin, flaky nails, and brittle hair! What’s a girl to do!?

There are many things I do regularly to maintain good health year round, and I could probably write a book about them all…however…I am sure you don’t have time to read a whole book right now, so I have picked my top 2 things, to help your immunity and skin, hair, and nails…and stay feeling good from your core, this winter!

I asked the Core Health Squad what they wanted to hear about this month, and amongst the great ideas, a couple came up more than once! These were dry skin, and seasonal health regimes.

So, being clever as I am (and modest!)…I linked the two topics together and came up with two hot things to include in your winter (but really everyday) life!

What are they already!?…

…wait for it!…

…drum roll please!…

…bone broth and a shower filter!

…OK, so I thought that might sound slightly grander…but nevertheless, hear me out…here’s why I chose these two things as the things you need in your life…

Winter calls for extra vitamins and minerals to help our bodies function and maintain temperature, and to support our immune system. We want to get the most out of our nutrition with wholesome slow-cooked warming foods, reserving the cooking juices where possible to avoid any nutrient loss, cooking for long durations to breakdown foods into more easily absorbable molecules, often upping the protein and fat content to maintain tissue and energy reserves (these foods are harder to digest than carbs so we also need to support digestion).

Our bodies and joints start to seize up and ache more, so we tend to pump up the heat in the bathroom with long hot showers or soaks in the bath…and we notice our skin get dry, our nails and hair go brittle, and our luscious lips turn into a chapped, scaly, sore, not so kissable version of themselves…

Enter top inclusion #1…..bone broth!…

…a vitamin and mineral packed, delectable drink, containing…well, lots of vitamins and minerals to support the bodily functions and immune system…but also collagen and elastin…which of course are great for all our connective tissues, skin, hair and nails.

I used to think bone broth was just glamorised stock…which it is essentially…but more an elixir than a stock! Each are made in pretty much the same way, but bone broth is cooked for a much longer period of time to extract the minerals and gelatin that make broth such a nutritious food.

Collagen and gelatin (what collagen breaks down into) found in bone broth, are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins…and proteins are the building blocks of life. They are what make your muscles fibres, organs, hair, nails, skin, and connective tissues, as well as your enzymes, which help your body function.

It should go without saying, therefore, that bone broth is an amazing immune boosting food that can help your gut integrity and digestion…as well as support healthy connective tissues, hair, skin etc.

How specifically? Because the amino acids in broth…

…restore and maintain a healthy gut lining, so impact your immune system, as 80% of your immune system is in your gut

…help your mood, thereby also help to protect against the ‘winter blues’, as about 90% of your feel good hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut

…aid that sweet, rejuvenating, amazing activity that I now crave so much as a new mum, sleep, as around 80% of your sleep hormone, melatonin, is made in the gut…plus broth contains the amino acid, glycine, which also aids sleep

…help avoid achy stiff joints, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, and help your body functions in general, especially over the colder months as they are essentially what make these tissues and the enzymes needed for the body to function.

Volia! Bone broth = seasonal and dry skin help!

Have your bone broth like a cup-a-soup, or add to your soups, stews or sauces. I like mine in a mug first thing in the morning, with half a lemon!

You can pay a pretty penny for store bought versions of collagen and gelatin…and bone broth for that matter…but it’s really cheap and easy to you make your own bone broth…plus you can play around with what you add to it to mix up the flavour, and homemade is always better for you ‘cos it’s made with love! The power of intention people!

I stock NES Proteins 100% Grass-fed and Finished Collagen (450g for $42), Gelatin (450g for $29), Chicken Bone Broth (100g for $26), and Beef Bone Broth (100g for $23) if you are interested in these, however, I really urge you to make your own! Here’s the recipe…

1-2 kg of organic bones from 100% pasture raised animals or wild caught fish (beef knuckles bones, marrow bones, or about 3 chicken carcasses for chicken broth)
5 chicken necks (give or take, it really doesn’t matter)
Couple of chicken feet if possible (extra jelly like broth with these but not essential)
4 litres of filtered water
Plenty of Himalayan, Celtic or Redmond Real Salt (can always add more later)
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Veggie scraps (collect your carrots ends, cauliflower leaves, celery hearts, potato skins etc in the freezer)
Bunch of parsley

You really want to make sure to get organic/wild bones to avoid extracting and concentrating too many toxins. Some people like to roast the bones first for 30 mins at 200 degrees Celsius, but I honestly have never been bothered! I am sure it would develop a nice flavour though! I cover the bones with water and apple cider vinegar for an hour (the acid starts to break down the bones), then add the veggies etc and bring to the boil before simmering on low for 8-48 hours depending on what the bones are (8 for fish, 24 for chicken, 48 for beef). Could also try adding ginger, turmeric, chilli…I dunno, get creative and share your wins with us at the Core Health Squad!

OK, so #1 down…so why #2, a shower filter you ask!? Well the key was in the long hot baths or showers we mentioned before.

Yes, the hotter temperature will impact your skin, hair and nails so do be sure to keep it sensible, that’s just science people! However! Tap water contains numerous toxins including fluoride, chlorine, chloramine (a secondary disinfectant in municipal water), VOCs (the result of chlorine reacting with organic matter) and THMs (by-product predominantly when chlorine is used to disinfect water for drinking), that burden our body and increase its toxic load, making us more at risk of diseases and gut issues. These especially get volatile and we breathe them in, in the hot water vapour of our bath or shower thereby impacting us even more.

Installing a filter to your shower water (or one for all water in the house) that removes at least the chlorine, not only smells a lot better (I feel so much better when I run the boys bath and can’t smell the chlorine in the water!), it can reduce those volatile nasties drastically, and result in improved respiratory health (particularly for asthma and bronchitis sufferers), increased energy, and overall greater health…and…it helps that dry winter skin, as the chlorine strips proteins from your skin and hair causing dry bodies, split ends, and aggravating irritated skin and scalp conditions…

Voila! Shower filter = immune and skin support too!

For more information about the nasties in our water see https://chriskresser.com/is-your-daily-shower-making-you-sick

We are selling our house soon, so I didn’t want to invest in a whole house filter, but I still felt strongly about not running a chemically smelly bath for the twins, plus I have two asthmatics in the house! I was therefore super excited to be able to source the ENVIRO PRODUCTS by NEW WAVE, DESIGNER SHOWER FILTER (CHROME). If you are interested in purchasing this from me, then hit me up! It also comes with an essential oil diffuser ring, so you can get an even bigger immune boost by adding some OnGuard and Frankincense doTERRA essential oil…and it’s patented NDF-55 media, unlike activated carbon, is effective in hot water and retains it’s power for up to a year! It also reduces algae, fungus, and hydrogen sulphide, as well as inhibits the growth of bacteria in the filter and shower-head, reducing the mildew. We have noticed that pink scrum we used to get in the shower totally disappear! The filters cost $69.95 and replacement cartridges are $49.95 (plus p&p),, which I considered a really cheap investment for a year of better health!

So! Get some bone broth and a shower filter this winter to support your immune system, avoid that crusty skin…and help you…feel good from your core!

On top of these great inclusions, it is, of course, incredibly important to maintain good gut health…in more ways than just drinking bone broth!…eat a clean balanced diet right for your metabolism, live a detox way of life, rest enough both physically and mentally, de-stress mentally, emotionally, physically and chemically, take the right supplements for your body, and move a little daily, to help your general core health and amazing feels…be sure to book in for a free 20 minute consultation if you would like any advice here.

What’s causing your lack of sleep and 15 ways to improve it

So we use the term “I slept like a baby” to mean we had a good nights sleep…ok so not my babies at the moment that’s for sure! We have gone through about three weeks of disturbed nights, I think due to the 4-month sleep regression and the onset of teething…yay!…but I really started to struggle with the lack of sleep I was getting…so what better time than to do an article all about sleep!?

Sleep is incredibly important as it is a time for your body, particularly your brain, to cleanse and repair. I am sure you notice how much better you feel, not to mention, how much nicer a person you are, after a good kip! I know nearly everything and everyone irritates me and I find myself crying in the shower if I don’t get my sleep…can you relate!?

At least 6-8 hours a night is recommended, as losing sleep ages you and decreases brain plasticity (the ability of your brain to adapt and change by making new neural connections), thereby causing cognitive impairment (difficultly remembering, learning, making decisions, concentrating etc).

Studies have shown that going 17-19 hours without sleep (5-7-hour sleep cycle in 24 hours) is equivalent to an alcohol breathalyser reading of 0.05, which is the legal limit to drive here in Australia!

So many of us, however, struggle to get enough quality sleep each night with the day-to-day stresses, commitments and obligations we must fulfil.

I appreciate, being a new mother of twins, that frequent waking’s in the night may also be unavoidable. As I mentioned, I have certainly experienced a decrease in cognition and heightened emotions these past few months with the birth of my boys.

As hard as it may be to think of yourself in these times, or when work deadlines and commitments are calling you, I truly believe this is THE most important time to take note and give yourself a break. I always say…”you can’t pour from an empty cup”…so make sure to keep topping yours up!

I know I am a better mother and wife, if I give myself 15 minutes for a bath before bed, with some candles and soft music…and my body feels so much better doing the odd few minutes of stretching and twisting of my spine throughout the day, after all the breastfeeding and baby carrying. Heck I even like myself more too!

If you don’t take the odd few minutes where you can, whether you are a busy mother, or a busy person for other reasons, then things just mount up to a point where your body won’t be able to sustain proper function. This could mean you get sick, or you may even experience a mental breakdown or burn yourself out. Should it get to this state, the choice will be taken away from you and you will be forced to rest…plus it will take you even longer to get your health back on track.

Keep pushing your limits and you put yourself at higher risk of Alzheimer’s, some cancers, heart problems, blood pressure issues, blood sugar issues, and stroke.

OK, so I have you convinced you need sleep, but how do you get that sleep and increase its quality!?

Well, most importantly…you cannot go from a stressful day, to being on social media or watching TV, then go to bed and expect your brain to be able to turn off and go to sleep.

If you have kids you know the importance of a bedtime routine, so why should it be any different for you?

I advise my clients to give themselves at least 30 mins to wind down before bed (ideally 60-90 minutes) and to develop a routine that they do each night in this time, so their body “gets programmed” into knowing its bedtime.

For example, my bedtime routine starts with putting on some calming tunes like Reiki Healing or similar, brushing my teeth, dry body brushing, having a shower or Epsom salt bath, self-massage applying my body lotion or doing my galvanic spa, and 5-10 minutes of stretching. Then I am all set to get into bed and do some mindful breathing exercises as I drift off to sleep.

What’s your routine going to be?

Here are my top 15 tips to a better nights sleep that may help you. You will also notice that what happens in your day and your environment, can impact your sleep too…

  1. Ensure you get bright sunlight in your mornings – this helps to set your circadian rhythm in place right from the start of the day (if you are a shift worker make sure you have all the lights on!)
  2. Limit caffeine intake during the day (particularly after about 2pm as it may affect your circadian rhythm by spiking cortisol) – I don’t recommend anymore than 2 coffees a day max – if you are a big coffee drinker and it no longer affects you, then maybe you need to consider weaning yourself off it. Caffeine blocks your adenosine receptors, which help slow neural activity and increase blood vessel dilation, thereby affecting oxygenation of the brain and sleep quality.
  3. Get some exercise – preferably outdoors in nature. Doesn’t have to be much, a 20-30 minute walk is fine, dance around the house whilst vacuuming or brushing your teeth, stretching in front of the TV…whatever floats your boat!…just get moving!
  4. Get a massage – this not only releases physical tensions and stresses but will help support your mental health, immunity and circulation
  5. Avoid bright lights in the evening – I like to use salt lamps for a low, warm light (and decreased fire hazard!)
  6. Avoid stimulating screen time (nothing that makes you want “just one more” episode!)
  7. Set your ipad/phone’s brightness to change automatically in the evening – just a flash of blue light from your phone reduces melatonin by 60%! Better still…make after 8pm a phone/device-free time!
  8. Consider investing in a pair of “blue blocker glasses” that block blue and green wavelengths of light (those from TrueDark or SafetyBlue block both these wavelengths – the “less-stylish” wrap around styles are the best, as these avoid light entering from the sides of the lens)
  9. Drink a calming bedtime tea (valerian, lemon balm, chamomile, passionflower) – if really struggling talk to your Herbologist about trying Kava.
  10. Consider a bed time snack of protein and fat, or carbohydrate and fat (experiment to see what works for you as different metabolisms benefit from different food sources – this could work if blood sugar is your issue – e.g. half green apple and peanut butter, hummus and celery with hemp seeds, chicken leg and avocado, raw cacao avocado mousse and Brazil nuts
  11. Diffuse some lavender and frankincense in your bedroom – I also love doTerra’s Lavender Peace, which helps to reduce anxiety …and Easy Air, which helps respiration and makes you feel calm and clear
  12. Play some 432Hz miracle frequency music whilst you are getting ready for bed
  13. Turn off your Wi-Fi router before bed, and remove all electronics from your room to reduce EMFs
  14. Turn your phone to aeroplane mode before you close your eyes for sleep
  15. Get blackout curtains and ensure there are no lights from clock radios etc in your bedroom – an eye mask can be used if on a budget or travelling

Done all the above and still struggling!? Then don’t waste any more time!

You more than likely know of the mental stress and active mind that may be keeping you up at night, but there are many other reasons why you aren’t getting enough ‘Z’s.

You may be struggling with any number of things, including:

  • Poor gut health leading to low melatonin (sleep hormone) production
  • Physical stress from aches and pains
  • Chemical stress from your environment or from imbalances in the body
  • Inflammation
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Parasites – these often get active in the early hours and release their waste products and toxins causing early waking
  • Mold toxicity
  • Poor neurotransmitter function e.g. low GABA
  • Copper toxicity (more info on this to come in an alternative blog, but if you have been on hormonal birth control at all it is incredibly likely you are copper toxic)
  • Low or bio-unavailable magnesium
  • Slow oxidation state

…all which impact your quality of shut eye.

So! Book in for an obligation free chat with me where I can go through your options and recommend some lab testing for you based on your personal struggles. Let’s investigate what’s happening on a deeper level with you!

We all neeeeeed sleep! …and I want you to get some great restorative sleep so that you can always …feel good from your core!