THRIVE IN MOVEMBER

THRIVE IN MOVEMBER

DADDY BURNOUT IS A HIDDEN HEALTH CRISIS.  But the THRIVE IN MOVEMBER Package is here just in time to get you feeling like a superstar.  Why not start the holiday season feeling great instead of limping through it?  Contact me today.

HEAVY PERIODS AFTER CHILDBIRTH: WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?

HEAVY PERIODS AFTER CHILDBIRTH: WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?

For some women it’s no big deal and for others, that first period after having a baby is like a painful deluge, leaving you to wonder if that’s your monthly destiny from here on in. There are a few reasons why our periods change post-partum. Read on to find out what they are and how nutrition can help you.

LOVING OUR PERIOD: A CONVERSATION WITH FERTILITY EXPERT DR. KATHERINE DALE

LOVING OUR PERIOD: A CONVERSATION WITH FERTILITY EXPERT DR. KATHERINE DALE

Hormonal contraception is too often being used as a band-aid to cover up hormonal irregularities.  Many teenagers and women are prescribed the coil or the birth control pill to manage heavy, painful, irregular periods & recurring cysts.  But is that really treating the root cause and helping women support their hormonal and reproductive health?  Read on to learn how to love your period...

A CLINICAL APPROACH TO ANXIETY THAT PRIORITISES NUTRITION: A MUST-READ FOR ALL MOTHERS

A CLINICAL APPROACH TO ANXIETY THAT PRIORITISES NUTRITION: A MUST-READ FOR ALL MOTHERS

Anxiety is a condition that affects many mothers.  Unfortunately, it is also a condition that is treated widely with anti-depressants before any deep and meaningful exploration is made on root cause. Read on to understand the root cause of anxiety and how a whole-food, nutrient-rich diet can help you.

LOVE: I Dream of Avocado Mash & Carrot Sticks

                          Thrive Nutrition Practice: LOVE Healthy Fats & Raw Vegetables

                         Thrive Nutrition Practice: LOVE Healthy Fats & Raw Vegetables

 

We have put the SLEEP pillar of Thrive’s nutrition trifecta to bed (as it were) and we are now moving on to LOVE.  By “LOVE” what I mean is:

Are we showing our body the love and respect it deserves? Are we feeding it with food that fills us with the sun’s energy and makes our master detoxifying organ (i.e. the liver) happy?  OR are we scorning our miraculous body and making it difficult for our liver to detoxify?

My favourite I LOVE ME foods are:

RAW FRUITS & VEGETABLES & HEALTHY FATS

Delve with me now into the science-behind-nutrition explanation as to why these are my top LOVE-generating foods.

  1. RAW FRUITS & VEGETABLES

Live, raw fruits & vegetables give us a healthy dose of ANTIOXIDANTS, FIBRE, RAW ENZYMES, BIOFLAVONOIDS & MANY MORE NUTRIENTS every day.  

Vitamin C is one of the most famous antioxidant nutrients ever.  And rightly so.  It’s role in immunity is crucial.  But what a lot of people don’t know, is that Vitamin C has the added benefit of nourishing our adrenal glands which help our body cope with stress.

Vitamin C is utilized by the adrenal glands in the production of all of the adrenal hormones, most notably cortisol – our stress hormone. When you are faced with a stressful situation, your vitamin C is rapidly used up in the production of cortisol and related stress-response hormones.  If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue & you don’t have enough vitamin C – what happens is that your adrenal glands “panic”. This increases the likelihood of you experiencing anxiety; and this state of adrenal fatigue in turn, wreaks havoc on your blood sugar, blood pressure, and contributes to the dreaded accumulation of belly fat.

Research and clinical trials have shown that people who have high levels of vitamin C do not show the expected mental and physical signs of stress when subjected to difficult challenges. What’s more, they bounce back from stressful situations faster than people with low levels of vitamin C in their blood.

However, vitamin C is destroyed by heat, so if you want bang for your buck – you must source it from raw ingredients.  Foods with the highest vitC content including citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, kiwis, blueberries and leafy greens, like spinach.

2. HEALTHY FATS

Examples of healthy fats are those found in whole foods like fish, nuts, seeds & avocados.  Examples of unhealthy fats are those found in spreadable butter, margarine & highly refined oils such as: corn oil, soyabean, peanut, canola, sunflower oil.

A diet-rich in healthy fats is extremely important for healthy digestion, energy production & brain function.   Dr. Perlmutter – author of The Grain Brain and one of the leading medical researchers in the study of the Mind-Gut connection, explains why:

The part of the cells that make energy are called the mitochondria.  When you power the mitochondria with calories from carbohydrates, you dramatically increase the production of chemicals called free radicals in your body.  These free radicals have the potential to damage your arteries and even your DNA.  These free radicals must also be detoxified from your body by your liver, which already has enough work to do detoxifying other free radicals from sources like alcohol, pollution and excess sugar.  So your metabolism becomes sluggish and heavy.  You become tired and unproductive.

However, if you power the mitochondria with the calories from fat – far less free radicals are created and this creates a flourishing environment for brain activity.  And amazingly, it allows your brain to create new brain cells in a process called neurogenesis.  New brain cells!  We can actually stimulate neurogenesis by decreasing our carb intake and increasing our healthy fat intake.

So – including foods like avocado, raw nuts & seeds, salmon and coconut in your foods will give you cleaner fuel so that your body can charge through the day feeling like a Ferrari instead of a beat-up Ford Fiesta.

***

Knowing all this now — close your eyes and imagine your teenage daughter came home crying because the boy she liked just rejected her and instead of reaching for a twinkie, she made herself some avocado mash & carrot sticks.

AND – she did this mindfully because she knew, that the best way to feel mentally & physically strong again was to fuel her body with raw vegetables & healthy fats.

The era of nutritional enlightenment is upon us.  And we – as women – and the keepers of our family’s nutritional wisdom are leading and shaping this era.  We have the power to shape the eating habits & behaviours of our children for the better.

But it’s all got to start with us. 

 

Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice.  Please join her Facebook group “Thrive Nutrition Practice” for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.

Copyright © 2016 THRIVE NUTRITION PRACTICE LTD.

 

SLEEP: Using Meditation To Supplement Nutrition

         Thrive Nutrition Practice: Using                Nutrition to Help You Sleep

        Thrive Nutrition Practice: Using                Nutrition to Help You Sleep

 

This week has been really hard for me. There’s been a lot going on. 

And let me tell you, the irony of me writing about SLEEP has crossed my mind. It’s been really hard to take my own advice. I’ve been going to bed much later than my usual bedtime and my husband is travelling so I’ve been waking up earlier than usual to get everyone ready for school.

Of course, I’m having protein with my meals to help me make melatonin.  I’m  exercising and focusing on eating plenty of dark, leafy greens & rainbow veggies to power me with the sun’s energy & keep me pooping. And needless to say, I am also avoiding coffee like the plague.  But sometimes – nutrition isn’t enough.  

Sometimes – even when you’re eating the best you can, the stress levels climb and you get into bed feeling like you just can’t stop your mind from racing, worrying & doing.

And before you know it, it’s past midnight and you’re still tossing and turning – and getting increasingly worried about how tired you’re going to be when the alarm goes off.

What do you do then? 

What do you do when you’ve had less than six hours of sleep and you need to be productive and on the ball for your job, your family and for yourself? 

Most people turn to coffee but if you’ve reading my blog for a while, you may have read that coffee is probably one of the worst drinks for your adrenals – which are your master stress glands.  Other people turn to supplements & superfoods for this purpose:  B-complex, spirulina, energy bars, matcha powder, ginseng….the list goes on and on.

But I have to say — NOTHING works better than a 15 minute meditation.

Now – I know some of you might be thinking: “Meditation sounds good in the theory but it’s not for me.  I’ve tried to meditate but I can’t do it consistently so what’s the point?” 

I hear you.  I spent decades being sceptical.  Trying it a few times out of desperation but just ending up frustrated because I couldn’t shut my mind off. But, I have found two forms of meditation that really help to re-energise me and connect to that place inside me that is confident, lucid and strong.

TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION (www.tm.org)

“Transcendental meditation is an effortless technique for recharging your mind and body — and creating a brighter, more positive state of mind.”

That’s taken straight from their website and frankly, I couldn’t have said it better myself. That is exactly what it is and what it does.  You practice it sitting down with your eyes closed, which I find really convenient as it’s something I can even do even in the car between consults or meetings.

TM was founded by Mararishi Mahesh Yogi and the organisation has teaching centres around the world.  I did my course here in Hong Kong.  The idea is that you get a personal one-word mantra which is unique to you and assists you in opening the door to a meditative state.

Sounds far out?  The US Military doesn’t think so.  They use this technique with their soldiers, marines and veterans to help them cope with post-traumatic stress.  TM is hard core and it’s backed by science.

There are hundreds of published research studies on the TM technique, which document its effectiveness in:

  • activating the parasympathetic nervous system and therefore increasing digestion power;
  • balancing the nervous system & hormonal levels;
  • increasing work efficiency across measures such as leadership abilities, job satisfaction & professional relationships;
  • improving school performance in children, increased ability to focus on school work & a reduction in aggressive behaviour;
  • lowering blood pressure & the risk of heart disease;
  • improving our mind and body’s ability to cope with stress and anxiety;
  • improving brain function, cardiovascular health, and more.

I’m not sure it’s made me smarter.  But I can tell you what it has done:

  • The other day, I didn’t get my 8hrs and I had two consults with an hour break in between, followed by another meeting.  After my first consult, I felt drained. But a quick, 15-minute meditation centred me & connected me to a place of calm and peace.  I felt totally re-energised and on-the-ball for the rest of the day.
  • It has made me more confident in following my instincts – and we all know how important listening to our gut is;
  • It’s considerably strengthened my ability to cope with stressful situations because I can connect to that place inside me that is lucid and strong.

I love TM and can definitely say hand on heart that it has brought me joy and the invaluable gift of just “being” in the moment & in the stillness.

YOGA NIDRA

Yoga nidra literally means “sleep with full awareness”.  Your body goes to sleep whilst your mind is fully aware .  It has its origin in an ancient meditation tantric practice called nyasa. You don’t have to take a yoga class to do it, nor do you have to be in a particular yoga pose to practice this form of meditation.

Yoga nidra is a guided meditation and it is done lying down, palms facing up and eyes closed.  Practitioners claim that it:

  • improves the quality of sleep & helps with insomnia;
  • alleviates stress, depressions & anxiety;
  • increases mental sharpness & improves concentration & memory;
  • helps to manage migraine, ulcers, digestive disorders, and even asthma.

I personally find Yoga Nidra works amazingly to quiet the mental noise that sometimes can be very overwhelming at the end of the day.

This is my absolute favourite Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation.  I really connect with the woman’s voice.  It’s sensuous and steady and it lulls me into a peaceful state.

Sometimes, nutrition isn’t enough.  Sometimes, we need to connect with our inner voice and say to the noise, “hey! I hear you and I won’t forget about you but I’m just going to take a bit of time so that I can listen to you more clearly later.”  

Meditation is an incredibly effective tool for helping you achieve mental strength & clarity on those days when you don’t get your eight hours.  And in my experience, it’s much better time spent than waiting in line at the Starbucks.

 

Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice.  Please join her Facebook group “Thrive Nutrition Practice” for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.

Copyright © 2016 THRIVE NUTRITION PRACTICE LTD.

SLEEP: How Essential Oils Can Help

                                  Thrive Nutrition Practice: Essential Oils for Sleep           

                                 Thrive Nutrition Practice: Essential Oils for Sleep           

 

Between my first and second child I suffered a miscarriage.  And shortly after my miscarriage, I developed allergies to dust and dust mites.  In retrospect, I would say that both of these events in my timeline were symptoms of total and utter depletion.

Over the course of the next three years, my allergies became completely debilitating.  My eyes would constantly feel like they had sand in them.  They would look red and puffy and I hated going out first thing in the morning in case people thought I spent the whole night crying. My nights were horrible.  I would cough and splutter and wheeze. I’d end up sleeping on the couch so as not wake up my husband or keep him from sleeping.

I couldn’t really function without anti-histamine and in my desperation to actually get a good night’s sleep, I got totally hooked on these powerful anti-histamine/sleeping pills that the doctor gave me to help knock me out.

After a month of taking those pills, I realized that my baby brain was ridiculous. Mornings, in particular, were a haze.  I couldn’t remember conversations I would have with people.  My anxiety was off the charts. So, I went to the toilet and flushed the magic sleeping pills away.

Then I cried.

Voila the low point in my life:  me sobbing and kneeling in front of the porcelain god wondering how on earth I was going to get to sleep from now on; how on earth I was going to get off the couch and back into my bed.

Enter nutrition and my wonderful father who like an angel from heaven introduced me to the life-saving world of essential oils.  (Papi – you’re the best!)

If you can’t sleep at night because you are wheezing, coughing or suffering from allergies — the combination of a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods together with essential oils can be your saving grace, as it was mine.

Here is what I would do come bedtime and I’m really excited about sharing it with you today in case it can help you too.

THRIVE’S ALLERGY-BLAST ESSENTIAL OILS MIX

Cup your palm and drop in the following essential oils.

  • a few drops of jojoba oil (or coconut oil)
  • 3-4 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 3-4 drops peppermint oil
  • 3 drops lavender oil
  • 2 drops thieves oil
  • 2 drops lemon oil

ADULTS: Vigorously rub your chest with the mix using both hands.  And then cup your hands over your nose and mouth and inhale deeply a few times.

This little oil mix basically stopped my wheezing in the bud and opened up my sinus passages so that I was able to breathe and get a sound night’s sleep.

WHY THESE OILS?

  • Jojoba is a good base because it has no scent and is well absorbed by the skin.
  • Eucalyptus is great for expelling phlegm and has immune boosting properties.
  • Peppermint is – in my experience – the most powerful at cutting through mucous blockages and opening the sinus passages.
  • Lavender oil is soothing, reduces anxiety and helps with sleep.
  • Thieves from the Young Living line of essential oils is a blend of 5 therapeutic grade essential oils. It supports healthy lung and sinus function.
  • Lemon oil is great for soothing coughs and helps with lymphatic drainage.

N.B. As a rule, you should always try to buy essential oils that are 100% pure so that you can be sure they haven’t been diluted with any nasty ingredients.  I have used Young Living and Aromis in the past with great results.  But in case you are thinking of ever ingesting essential oils, I believe the only ones that been FDA approved for this purpose belong to the Young Living line.

It took time – a few years actually.  But today I can say hand-on-heart that I  haven’t used anti-histamines for over two years.  My allergies are just gone.  I don’t even need to use this essential oil mix at nighttime any more, which frankly, was kind of getting in the way of other bedtime activity! That mix is so potent it makes your eyes water!

But essential oils are a wonderful, natural way to help with allergy symptom relief.  They can also help you live clean is so many other ways and I will definitely be organising a workshop so that we can all learn how to maximise their use.   This little remedy is but one of so many.

So if nighttime coughing and wheezing are getting in the way of your sleep, consider using essential oils.  Together with a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, they could help raise your immunity so that you can enjoy a beautiful night’s sleep.

 

 

Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice.  Please join her Facebook group “Thrive Nutrition Practice” for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.

Copyright © 2016 THRIVE NUTRITION PRACTICE LTD.