Toxins are ubiquitous.  We can’t escape them…

… and that’s just a sample.

We are exposed to toxins daily – our air, food and water – nearly 2 million years (Chris Organ – Harvard University) of relative purity has not prepared us for the post-industrial toxic burden.  300 years of ‘progress’ vs 2,000,000 years of evolution.

So how do we KNOW if we are detoxing and these toxins aren’t accumulating in our body, messing with our cells, our bio-synthesis, our neuro-pathways, our minds and our children’s health?  Especially important in these unusual times. 

Some clues.  

Do you have stubborn weight or belly fat you can’t lose no matter what you do? Feel bloated?  Experience mysterious lethargy, moodiness, unstable blood sugars?  Have excess gas?  Irregular bowel movements?  Or kids who are anxious, moody or exhibit unruly behaviour?  Or perhaps you feel like something just isn’t right? …

Most of us don’t realise that some of these ailments can be the result of a body weighed down with toxins.

Why?  The body cleverly stores toxins in our fat cells or organs as a protective mechanism when in overload.

Most of our organs e.g. lungs, skin, liver and kidneys are known for some form of detoxifying mechanism.  If we’re exposed to a lot of toxins our organs can become clogged or sluggish, and we can’t properly filter these inflammatory and disruptive toxins efficiently – hence their ‘fallback’ storage in our fat cells.

What happens?    Toxins can then re-enter our blood stream rather than being naturally excreted from our body.   When in the blood stream the body does the next best thing and stores the toxins in our fat tissue until the body CAN efficiently excrete the toxins.

We may be healthy and eating well but if our liver and organs aren’t working at full capacity, our ‘systems’ – immune, nervous, endocrine (hormone), respiratory, lymphatic, reproductive, circulatory, digestive, etc – can be impacted … which helps explain WHY;

  1. we can’t reach our ideal weight, and infact mysteriously keep putting weight on!
  2. our energy remains unexplainably low
  3. our digestion is weak and we experience bloating, constipation, reflux or irritable bowel symptoms
  4. our immunity is compromised.  We seem to be constantly sick or get every bug ‘going around’.
  5. we feel uncharacteristically irritable or anxious or
  6. our stress response is hard to manage and more akin to a short fuse.

Could it all be so intricately linked to this one menace … toxins?   Yes!   Especially if you’ve tried everything else to ease your ailment, it could be time to consider detoxification.

Our children

My biggest concern is for our children who are likely to have inherited or been exposed to the recent onslaught of industrialised toxins.

Here’s how.   Some toxins stored in our fat tissue are then cleansed from our bodies in breast milk while nursing our babies.  Toxins are also transferred in the womb, through the placenta.   As our children tend not to carry a lot of fat, these toxins can then quietly sit in their organs e.g. the liver and the brain, the fattiest organ of all.   Heavy metals like mercury, aluminium, cadmium, arsenic and lead.  These are toxins that I have (had) and both our children and at disruptive levels.

Our experience is another reason I feel it’s so important to share and be aware of this information.   Not alarmed.  The more we know the better we can do.

So if the body cleverly stores these toxins – why worry?   Because life is full of change and at times stress and these triggers can compromise our immunity and with our protective mechanisms down, we fall sick.  Perhaps I’m over simplifying, but if there are toxins we can control, let’s do that – for ourselves and especially for our children.  

Prevention is better than the cure. 

Some common everyday toxins we’re exposed to include;

  1. heavy metals
  2. radiation
  3. chemicals and other environmental pollutants. There are so many to include here. Most common exposures are in the household including cleaning, personal hygiene and beauty products
  4. inflammatory foods
  5. microbial infections
  6. stress and toxic thoughts

Heavy metals

Let’s focus on heavy metals as these are most easily identified in the body with hair tissue analysis and are very common. It’s a big topic, which I introduce here.

‘But I don’t have heavy metals’ I hear you say.   You may not know you do, but it is highly likely that in-fact you do – inherited from our environment, our parents and even their parents.

Some sources include;

  1. Mercury amalgams. Most of us, our parents and their parents had dental amalgams – fillings containing mercury
  2. Vaccinations
  3. Corn Syrup. Found in many packaged and processed foods.
  4. Plastic toys
  5. Cookware
  6. Big, deep water fish e.g. tuna and marlin
  7. Aluminium products
  8. Cleaning and beauty products
  9. Insecticides and herbicides and many more.

We can see how easily most of us in the Western World are harbouring a scourge of toxicity that the body masterfully deals with … until it can’t.   Until those ‘quiet’ clues it’s been giving us i.e. the weight gain, lethargy, digestive complaints, skin irritations or breakouts, anxiety, depression and so on and that we’ve ignored for so long or we’ve been far too busy to listen to – finally make us STOP and listen.   ‘Thank you Mother Nature’.

Those quiet clues that become louder and louder until ‘all of a sudden’ we HAVE to stop and listen because we physically can’t go on and we’ve become sick.

It doesn’t need to be this way. The best way to detox is to take time each day to check in with our bodies wisdom. How do we FEEL? What do we need? More rest, better food, less food, more joy, more regular movement, more fresh air, sunshine or even just time to breathe deeply and be grateful.  

These simple choices support our detoxification channels naturally and in todays world need to be an integral part of our lives.

Prevention is better than the cure.

It’s almost impossible to escape toxins. We can however be aware of what we’re exposing ourselves to and make toxic free choices plus ensure our bodies detoxification pathways are firing and gracefully support our body function – naturally.

17  ways to detoxify naturally;

  1. Reduce inflammatory foods (gluten, dairy, refined sugar, processed foods)
  2. Increase whole, organic foods
  3. Add lemon, fermented foods, dark leafy greens, beetroot, chlorella, garlic, sprouts, coriander – especially
  4. Try liver and other organ loving foods and herbs e.g. milk thistle, dandelion root, burdock root, slippery elm, licorice root.
  5. Add good fats
  6. Drink filtered water
  7. Sleep
  8. Upgrade cleaning, personal hygiene and beauty products to natural products
  9. Remove electronic equipment from the home – especially the bedroom
  10. Review radiation exposure in the home
  11. Move regularly
  12. Turn the wifi off before bed
  13. Use essential oils
  14. Get more sunshine
  15. Cleanse or detox carefully (see below)
  16. Eliminate toxic thoughts!
  17. Listen to our bodies and what they need

If any of these are new to you, you don’t need to jump in and upgrade all these choices at once!   Choose 1 or 2 that resonate, upgrade your choice, and start to integrate it until it’s just a way of life, then turn your attention to your next best choice.

And if your symptoms are chronic or you sense toxicity is an issue for you or your family seek medical advice and work with your Doctor or Health Practitioner on a detoxification program.

Or join me on my online ‘gentle cleanse’, my next LIVE round kicks off on the 19th of October, check out the details here or email me at kate@katebarnes.com.au.  I’d love you to join us.

 

 

The thought of ‘starving myself’ is unappealing. I’m sure you feel the same. However with all the discussion about intermittent fasting (IF) I’ve been excitedly drawn to the idea and in the past week have been experimenting (while doing my gentle cleanse). ‘What’s taken me SO long?’ I hear you say.

Hmmm thoughts like, how do I do it? I’d starve myself! I’ll get it wrong, It’s not for me etc etc!

Yet across the world in different cultures, some form of fasting has been practiced for spiritual and religious reasons for centuries. Touted as a way to refocus the mind and body, sometimes lasting 24 hours or more. Then go back a few hundred thousand years and fasting was a part of our day to day existence. It’s in our DNA.

An ancient practice or way of life that’s become the ‘new thing’ and in our world of abundance and over consumption of food perhaps for good reason.

If you have or you’ve been interested like me, here’s what I’ve discovered, but first… what exactly is it and what is autophagy?!

Intermittent Fasting.

Traditionally a fast is not eating food for consecutive days or even weeks. Intermittent fasting however, involves not eating food for just 12 to 16 hours a day and reducing the window of time you eat to an 8 to 12 hour period. That’s it.

The ideal timeframe for health benefits seems to be 16 hours.
The benefits to be gained are when fasting happens consistently over a longer period of time i.e. no quick fix (sorry)!

Benefits;
• promotes healthy weight
• improves blood sugar
• helps a healthy heart
• reduces inflammation
• reduces appetite
• protects cognitive (brain) health
• helps fight stress-induced cravings

“Intermittent fasting is hypothesised to influence metabolic regulation via effects on (a) circadian biology, (b) the gut microbiome, and (c) modifiable lifestyle behaviours, such as sleep. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28715993

Other benefits;

It simplifies a healthy lifestyle by reducing the food choices we need to make every day. As a Mum this is especially attractive!

Abstaining from food for longer than normal means we give the body a break from constant digestion, more time for rest and repair.

It’s easy. Intermittent fasting is straightforward. It doesn’t require any extra thought to menu planning or long shopping lists.

It kickstarts ketosis. A state that happens when we no longer have glucose to use as a fuel and we resort to burning fat for fuel so ‘retraining’ our systems to burn fat stores for fuel – our natural state. (as Naomi Whittle, Author & CEO says – “it is nature’s reset button”)

How it works.

One of the most exciting ways is a process called autophagy.

If you haven’t come across this term, in Greek auto means ‘self’ and phagy means ‘to eat’.  Autophagy refers to a self-eating process within our cells that encourages the proliferation of new, healthy cells.

‘Fasting is a crucial component that ultimately controls inflammation in the body and activates autophagy’ ~ Yoshinori Ohsumi, 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Imagine, as our bodies aren’t working on digesting so much food, they get the chance to tend to cellular functions. Functions that include removing waste and toxins from the body. It gives our digestive system and body a chance to rest and repair. In doing this it takes ‘stress’ off the bodies important functions.

Without food, insulin levels in the blood decrease and can keep the body sensitive to insulin, which gives better blood sugar control. With blood sugars being managed better, and the stress on the body reduced, the body can then start to burn fat.

Hence it’s easy to see how IF helps with;
• Metabolism
• Weight management and consequently
• Better sleep (and all that goes along with these improvements)!

Note: enjoying nutrient rich drinks in the fasting timeframe, especially mineral rich drinks and some healthy fats, such as bone broth may assist the fasting benefits.

It may not be for everyone.

It seems that if our hormones need some love and attention or there are other imbalances, fasting may backfire e.g. I’ve worked with clients who fast and after losing weight initially their energy and weight can plateau. As soon as they introduce smaller more regular meals, their energy increases and sleep improves.

Support your liver and kidneys well before fasting. This is important. If our detox pathways are clogged, not detoxing efficiently we don’t want toxins recirculating throughout the body causing unwanted trouble.

And if you have trouble metabolising fats then it may be important to start very gently e.g. a 12-hour window of fasting rather than 16 hours and see how you feel.

We are all bio-individual and while something may work for one it may not work for another at a particular time and place. Listen to your body and do what’s right for you and always consult with your health practitioner.

One more thing, food and the preparation of food in our homes has magical qualities in how it brings us together and nourishes us. It’s important we always continue enjoying food in this way and the love, thought and preparation that goes into sharing it with those around us.

In summary

It takes time. While the lure of immediate weight loss is attractive, it’s not healthy. Far better to do it gradually and IF seems to have the good results when done over a longer period of time and while still enjoying a nutrient rich, real food diet, without ‘empty’ calories.

Personally, at the end of the week I’ve enjoyed a renewed energy, clarity of thought and calmness. I love my gentle cleanse and do it a couple of times a year.   This time I did it with my hubby which was a really great experience and more enjoyable.   Just until this Sunday the 13th of February, 2019 you can download the cleanse manual for free here and join me on a LIVE call as I walk you through it for even better outcomes.

And now I’m looking forward to experimenting more with IF and seeing how it works best for me.   If you’ve fasted before or done my cleanse let me know how it went?  I’d love to hear.

References

Home of Dr. Axe


https://www.naomiwhittel.com, ‘Glow 15’
https://www.mercola.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bAkvnvX0W8 Yoshinori Ohsumi
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6128599/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28715993

According to the WHO ‘Methylmercury (a form of mercury) is the major source of body burden in children worldwide’. All forms of mercury are toxic.

It’s with personal experience and frustrations that I’ve discovered just how invasive and damaging Heavy Metals (HM) can be, especially Mercury.

HM are ubiquitous i.e. everywhere and most of us are carrying them in some shape or form. Mercury, Aluminium, Lead, Arsenic, uranium, cadmium, a few of the common ones.

Let’s focus on Mercury. It’s one of the most common and one I’ve had most experience with and researched.

It’s a topic that’s close to my heart, as it’s something each member of our family has dealt with, in particular our eldest child and has had a defining part to play in their developmental challenges.

In my video and post you’ll learn;
  1. what Mercury does to the body and why it’s SO hard to pinpoint
  2. why it can be linked to chronic illness, mental disorders, immune disfunction, digestive issues and much more.
  3. 8 major sources of mercury.
  4. 5 things I wish I’d known that could’ve saved us time, money and angst.
  5. 11 things we can do daily to support our bodies to detox naturally and WHY.

This is often an overlooked topic and trigger to illness and as Dr Chris Shade, one of the worlds leading expert in mercury and glutathione says,

‘Overall, mercury has a very strong ability to upset our entire system, which is part of the reason why toxicity symptoms are so difficult to pin down to mercury’

Mercury toxicity is far more common than we realise and has devastating consequences, especially on our neurology (brain) and immunity.  There IS good news though, because with the right tools and fuels – we CAN – ship it out.

Importantly, if we don’t detox, it can lead to issues later on in life as stress takes hold or as our bodies age.   And of even greater consequence is that these toxins accumulate in our bodies as they are passed on from one generation to the next, crescendoing the impact on the vitality of future generations.  Watch the video here.

We need to detox heavy metals, not only for our own health, but for the health of future generations.  

A snapshot of what Mercury does in the body;

  1. Inhibits cellular function. Mercury will also grab onto cell membranes, which leads to shattering of the membranes.
  2. Robs us of key nutrients. Mercury has a great affinity for sulfur and zinc especially and so can rob us of these key nutrients that are vital for many different chemical pathways e.g. zinc for skin and our immunity and sulfur is critical for us to detox well.
  3. Disrupts our immune system.
  4. Disrupts our nervous system. This is key. Think anxiety, irritability, mood swings, depression, muscle abnormality, anything stimulated by the nervous system eg eyesight, language, hearing, fine motor skills etc.Dr Chris Shade a mercury and glutathione (detox) expert from the University of illinois and one of the worlds experts on mercury detoxification. says “Neurologically, Mercury can take you into depression, or it can take you into anxiety,”. “Similarly, it can make you hyperactive, or it can give you chronic fatigue.”
  5. Disrupts our gut health. Mercury, especially from dental amalgams, can accumulate heavily in our digestive tract where it attaches to your gut lining and can contribute to that imbalance of good v bad bugs. (dysbiosis) .
  6. Detoxification pathways.
  7. Our brain health most importantly the neurological development in our children.  Commonly toxins store in our organs and our fat tissue. For children, as they don’t carry much fat tissue, the brain is a prime suspect and therefore the central nervous system is the most vulnerable.
  8. Metals can be used by some pathogens (bad bugs) to strengthen their ‘armoury’ , making them very very hard to penetrate and bring back into balance.
  9. The nature of Heavy metals also target our kidneys, liver, heart, pituitary and thyroid glands, and increase our risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Overall, mercury has a very strong ability to upset our entire system, which is part of the reason why toxicity symptoms are so difficult to pin down to mercury.

Not to alarm but to be aware. If you are struggling with an illness or issue you can’t get to the bottom of and haven’t considered toxicity, it might be worth considering.

It was certainly the case for us.

Insights

I am a great believer the body and the mind together can naturally deal with toxins, including heavy metals, it’s incredibly clever, and it has the mechanisms to do it. In a healthy, strong body.

BUT the reality is most of us do not live in a way that our stressors are low enough (busyness, relationships, emotions get in the way daily) or that our energy is clear enough to be able to do this naturally.

And until we are there, which can take a lifetime, I think it’s important we support our bodies with small steps to daily detoxify, feel better and continue our evolving progress of wellbeing.

Unless we detoxify from these metals, they continue to accumulate and pass on from generation to generation, causing devastating neurological and immune problems along the way.

Our Story

Has to do with all of us, but in particular our children.

We have had a frustrating and challenging time over the years trying to get to the bottom of their development.   As a 5 year old development within their body stopped when they were 5 years old.   It’s fine now, development progressing and they are  by all means a super healthy, happy child.

It wasn’t always this way and we have definitely had our challenges.   A longer story for another time.

I discovered there were 4 key elements at the heart of the issue inhibiting development.

  1. the functioning of their brain,
  2. high exposure to heavy metals,
  3. a leaky gut and
  4. microbial infections, fungal, bacterial with helico bacter and parasitic, h. blastocystis – a very nasty parasite and hard to get rid of.

They had it all going on. How did I discover this. I listened to my gut instinct and we did testing. I knew there had to be a cause for the challenges that presented, and despite being told there was nothing that could be done. I found answers. The testing we did Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and stool testing and working with a good health practitioner.

Let’s focus on Mercury. When we first tested, it was barely negligible and under the ref. range of her hair tissue analysis.

Liquid metal blot isolated on white background

Fortunately we were with a Naturopath that understood it’s not OK and there is no room for heavy metals.

We started a detox protocol and the metals started to come out. Over the space of a year her levels for mercury, lead, arsenic, rose. Mercury was incredibly high, thankfully now we are almost there.

As mentioned, Mercury is a potent neurotoxin.
At the same time, despite their good diet, their nutritional profile for key nutrients was very low. Heavy metals (along with the imbalance of bugs) can rob the body of these nutrients.

WHO 3 Key facts;

  1. Exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems, and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life.
  2. Mercury may have toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes.
  3. Mercury is considered by WHO as one of the top ten chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern.

Sources of Mercury.

Different types of mercury, affects the body differently

All forms of mercury are more or less toxic to humans, because it is widely distributed in the body and many systems are affected.

The toxic effects of mercury vary according to:

The fetal brain is the most sensitive human tissue to damage from this powerful neurodevelopmental toxin. Certainly explains some of the challenges we had to deal with.

Not going into detail re some of the effects, but you can imagine.

What is more concerning is if there is NO heavy metals detected as it may mean the body isn’t detoxing well and pathways are compromised.

 5 things I wish I’d known.

  1. elimination organs must be functioning well eg gut, liver and kidney
  2. if there is leaky gut, and it’s highly likely there is, it needs to be worked on and healed
  3. we all detoxify differently, based on the efficinecy of our detox pathways, this needs to be taken into consideration.
  4. They MUST be removed gently. Be patient
  5. Glutathione is a critical player in detoxing. The glutathione system is the core for proper detoxification. Glutathione is our master antioxidant and detoxifier. It binds to the metals to pull them out of the body, but needs lots of help from different nutrients and enzymes to do this. Good nutrition is key plus healthy elimination organs e.g. gut, liver, kidneys.

You have to have all parts of this going and working well.

I wish I had known a few of these things first up, it would’ve saved us a lot of time and money.

11 things we can do.

  1. Conduct a hair analysis test to get a baseline. More comprehensive testing involves blood and urine testing.  (different forms of mercury that will settle in different areas of the body).
  2. Remove the source of exposure. Primarily, Seafood or amalgams, packaged foods.
  3. Optimise our diet to give the body the nourishment it needs and can support detoxification and get the job done.   Antioxidant rich foods eg blueberries and goji berries, vitamin C, green tea,  good fats to help eliminate toxins from fat cells, good, healthy protein sources and dark leafy greens especially eg a morning green smoothie is a great way to start the day, support the liver and flood the body with nutrients (if tolerated).
  4. Start healing the gut. Bone stock, gelatin, zinc, aloe vera, prebiotic foods, chia seeds, remove dead foods, processed foods, sugars, inflammatory foods eg gluten and dairy. Stick to whole, natural real foods. Good bugs.
  5. Restore and strengthen kidney and liver health a with foods such as avocado, turmeric, dark leafy greens, bitter foods eg rocket and dandelion greens. herbs eg milkthistle. Supplements and essential oils eg lemon.
  6. Rebuild the microbiome, fermented foods, leafy greens, prebiotics, or a probiotic. Bring the bugs back into balance.
  7. Promote and support detox pathways e.g. glutathione, a master antioxidant is important.  Sulphur rich foods eg Whey protein, onion, garlic, leek, eggs and cruciferous vegetables support our glutathione system. Mercury likes to pair with Sulphur especially, making it especially important to increase the level of these foods.
  8. Introduce foods that chelate HM, coriander, chlorella, parsley, sulphur rich foods onion, garlic, leek, eggs and cruciferous vegetables
  9. Amino acids from protein sources are also important eg fish, eggs, clean red meat.
  10. Alpha lipoic acid, powerful antioxidant found in some vegetables, the best sources are clean red meat and organ meat. Sulphur and ALA both help stimulate our glutathione levels.
  11. Lemon and lemon essential oil. Make sure it’s a good quality lemon oil, it’s a powerful detoxifier.

Other things to do.

If you do suspect heavy metals and want to investigate it further, find a good health practioner experienced in the area.

Detox needs to be done carefully, gently and properly as can go onto cause further damage.

Be patient, it takes time and be comforted knowing food and lifestyle choices can heal.

If you want to talk to me about my experience and next steps, I am very happy to share. I would love to help you save costly and unnecessary time and money.   Pop some time in our diaries here or email me for a 30 minute consultation on kate@katebarnes.com.au.

Watch the video here.

References

 

Everything is poison, there is poison in everything.  Only the dose makes a thing not a poison’ ~ Paracelsus, 1493 – 1541, ‘The Father of Toxicology

‘Cheers’!   And a collision of pewter mugs that carries enough force to spill alcohol into the mug of the person opposite – holding a concerned gaze…   
Hundreds of years ago spilling a drink into someone else’s was a sure way of checking if that person was trying to poison you or not!  
It was one of the few forms of poisoning they really had to contend with along with poisons originating from plants or animals and even then they generally understood when they were poisonous or when they weren’t.

It’s a different story today…

In todays world we’re likely to have inherited a generous toxic dose from our parents and our bodies are being bombarded daily with toxic chemicals, some we may not be aware of;

This is just a snippet of what we are exposing ourselves to and need to prevent from clogging up our unsuspecting organs especially our kidneys, livers, brain and skin.

It’s a silent and gradual bombardment on our organs, our chemistry and immune systems.  And this is without including the dose of heavy metals and other inorganic chemicals we’ve got tucked away in our cells slowly accumulating and with the potential to wreak havoc.

It’s a gloomy intro. I know… and there is good news!   Before we get to that though let’s recognise these invasions so we CAN and WANT to take action rather than continuing speeding along lifes super highway, expecting our bodies to soldier on, until we … crash.

Before a crash… here are 14 signs our bodies need help.

Many of us are suffering from ongoing ailments and illnesses we just can’t get on top of no matter how well we eat or live our lives.  Or, we are functioning well but there are little clues that have quietly snuck into our being;

  1. allergies we never used to have, such as hay fever or eczema
  2. food sensitivities
  3. poor sleep
  4. regular headaches
  5. PMS symptoms that have become heavier or more noticeable
  6. cysts, lumps and growths
  7. easily irritated and quick to get angry
  8. joint pain
  9. fluid retention
  10. increased belly fat
  11. skin irritations e.g. itchiness
  12. thyroid issues
  13. cravings
  14. lagging energy at the end of the day or it’s harder to get out of bed in the mornings.
If you or your family members suffer from any one of these or even if they don’t, it’s probably time for ‘a gentle cleanse’ or detox and to give your systems a reboot and your liver some love.

The body is infinitely clever and with the right tools and fuels it can eliminate toxins effectively on its own  as long as our systems’ and elimination organs are in good shape and we take time to regularly rest and digest and tend and befriend. 

girl swinging

Today our bodies must contend with insidious man made toxins that can be invisible and menacing in their design.  

14 simple things we can do.

Here’s a reminder and if you’re not already doing them just choose one or two;

  1. Reduce the amount of toxins in the home and take a closer look at the cosmetics and cleaning products you’re using and do you need to be using as many as you are?  There are many good brands and local brands available now.   I generally use Castille Soaps, doTerra, Weleda or Eva Perez makeup.
  2. Avoid plastics – use glass, ceramic, cast iron or steel food storage and cooking utensils.
  3. Coconut oil as a moisturiser, sesame or olive oil.  Mix it up and check for allergies too.
  4. Store and freeze in glass.
  5. Wash new clothes before wearing them, especially baby clothes.
  6. Leave dry cleaning out for a day or two before storing in your cupboard or better still, perhaps it doesn’t need dry cleaning?
  7. Add more bitter foods into the diet e.g. dark leafy greens, rocket and dandelion greens.  Bitters stimulate the flow of bile in the gall bladder and support the liver.
  8. Eat good fats and whole foods in general.
  9. Herbs and spices that help to stimulate bile production and support liver health such as dandelion root and milk thistle.
  10. Increase antioxidants that help balance out damaging free radicals in the body e.g. blueberries, acai berry, prunes, pomegranates and beetroots (note the colour of each of these foods)!
  11. Mind our minds and reduce stress in an instant.  In this post I shared tips on how we can do this.
  12. Start using essential oils if you’re not already.  They are potent plant medicine that have been around for thousands of years.  They provide an aromatic, gentle, health promoting way to clean, purify and treat our families and homes.  My next class is on Monday the 8th of February at 7pm, come along and join us. Book here.
  13. Breathe.  Diaphragmatic breathing instantly initiates our rest and digest response (rather than breathing from the chest which initiates more of a fight and flight response.)
  14. And this previous post with 17 ways to detoxify naturally.
Or kickstart your health with a guided cleanse with me and join ‘A gentle cleanse with Kate’.  We kick off on Monday 26th of February.   It can be done from the comfort of home, wherever you are in the world, it’s gentle, yet incredibly effective. 
‘I have just weighed in this morning and am amazed at my results. I lost 3cm from my stomach, pretty much 2 cm all over and lost 3.1 kilos.  This has also been with no exercise as I am out of training with injuries! Wow! So excited’. 
Details here.
OR if you need more than a kickstart and need deep nourishment PLUS the added bonus of avoiding costly future medical bills, my 1:1 coaching programs might be just what you need.    https://www.katebarnes.com.au/one-on-one/

 

 

A gentle cleanse with Kate, starting 19th of October, 2020

 

There are 2 clear strategies I work on to boost  immunity.  

1.  Nurture your good bugs.

When this natural symbiotic relationship is strong and you have a healthy army of bugs, you have a great chance of keeping pathogenic infections at bay and therefore strengthening your immunity, naturally.   You’ll know things are going well because digestion will be happy and regular and immunity good.

2.  Nourish your cells. 

It’s easier than you might think.  Let’s assume you’re enjoying some wonderful nourishing foods.  The other important question to consider is, ‘How well are you (and the children) absorbing all those wonderful nutrients those foods are providing you…?’

VERY simply when these two functions are going well – we are well.

The difficulty is there are many factors in our environment that can work against these two most natural immune building functions.   And we may not even realise we have these factors working against us until we realise we’re not as healthy as we thought we were or our kids are ALWAYS sick.

27 tips to nurture your good bugs and nourish your cells. A checklist.  

Whatever you’re not already doing, choose one or two ideas that make sense for you and begin, and importantly, have fun along the way;

1.    Vitamin D.  The sunshine & happiness vitamin.  And instrumental for a healthy immune system. Enjoy a healthy dose of sunshine whenever you can.  Cover up only when you need to.  We need the sun.

2.    Sleep.   Approximately 10 – 14 hours for kids, depending on their age.  7 – 9 refreshing hours for adults.

3.    Stress Less.  Rest your nervous system.  Allow for down time (schedule it in), play, have fun, get outdoors, be creative, let the kids get dirty, mediate, rest, do more of what you love and love what you do.

4.    Fresh Air & Physical Activity.  Keep your body, your systems and your cells moving and communicating.

5.    Water.  1 – 2L filtered good quality water a day.  Preferably mineralised.

6.    Reduce or eliminate sugar, dairy and gluten.  Especially dairy for sinus, colds or mucous generating infections.  These foods can hamper immunity and feed pathogens.  Avoid them when the bugs abound and reduce them as necessary.

7.    Reduce processed, packaged foods.   These too hamper immunity and disrupt strong digestion.

8.    Evaluate simple carbohydrates, (including fruit).  No more than 2 pieces of fruit a day.

9.    Greens, glorious greens.  Lots of them any which way you can.  They’re cleansing, full of nutrients, feed the good bugs (act as a prebiotic) and are energising.  A simple green smoothie is the best or something more medicinal like this medicinal spring smoothie.

10.  Good fats & protein.   Help to keep blood sugars stable.  Including bone stocks regularly is a perfect food to be adding in these two macro nutrients, coconut oil or milk, organic ghee, eggs etc.

11. Whole foods.  Especially herbs and spices. For example garlic, ginger, lemon, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, oregano, thyme etc.  Add your preferred herbs and spices to a cup, add warm water and allow to steep for a few minutes before drinking for a perfect immuni-TEA.

12. Eliminate trans fats.  Baked goods, chips, margarines, cooking with vegetable oils.

13. Check toxin exposure or anything hampering optimum health. Personal and home cleaning products, radiation, EMF & chemical exposure, cookware, plastics, heavy metals, microbial infections etc. can all work at disrupting your immune system and more.

14. Fermented foods.   Add them in regularly e.g. kefir, home made yoghurt or an authentic, sugar free brand, sauerkraut, miso paste, olives, capers etc..  And if you’re buying them, preferably buy unpasteurized.

15. Enjoy a good breakfast & lunch or afternoon tea / dinner and keep your blood sugars stable.

16. Own a pet.  Research shows pet owners naturally have a stronger immune system.

17. Laugh often.

18. Detox or cleanse e.g. do a gentle cleanse, use an infrared sauna, keep your fascia and your lymphatic system moving, remove inflammatory foods and allow your body to rest and digest.

Supplement if you need a boost e.g;

19. Good quality cod liver oil or fish oil.

20. Probiotic (if you’re not fermenting foods).

21. Prebiotic e.g. inulin, psyllium husk, green vegetables (fibre), herbs preferably home grown.

22. Vitamin C, kakadu plum (gubinge), lemon myrtle or camu camu.

23.  Zinc and Magnesium.

Other tips

24. Responsibility.  Take back control. Your health and your families health is in your hands.

25. Be consistent & patient.  There is no quick fix.

26. Try therapeutic grade essential oils if they feel right for you.  They smell amazing and are a perfect way to stimulate the senses.  When we feel we heal.

27.  If your or your families immunity is low work with your health practitioner to give it a boost.  Within a matter of weeks you can notice a difference.

Kate’s immunity building resources:

Now you’re ready for your healthiest season yet!

What’s your favourite way to boost immunity?  I’d love to hear.   

I used to question why we should cleanse or detox. Don’t we have this amazing body with organs dedicated to the cause?  The fact is in this day and age, in most of us, these organs are working extremely hard, trying to digest, absorb and eliminate particles that aren’t fully digested or are foreign to our bodies.  These undigested or foreign particles can build up in our organs preventing or reducing their function and can make us less energetic, more anxious, or generally more susceptible to illness etc…

For me personally, after doing the Colorado Cleanse earlier in the year, I’m not into a full-on restrictive detox.  Our bodies will detox well when fed good food, aided with a few tricks, so here they are (& there are bound to be more), this is a good start:

 

1.  Get plenty of sleep with an early and smaller evening meal: our bodies detox through the night and work better if not having to digest too much.

2.  Alkalise:  foods like meat, sugar, caffeine, wheat, processed foods are very acidic – try eliminating some of these during a cleanse.  All fruit and vegetables are alkalising, especially try liver cleansing foods like beetroot and milkthistle.  Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are very alkalising.  Lemon juice in warm water first thing in the morning is a great way to alkalise.

3.  Go greener:  Greens are such an important part of our daily diet, and particularly if you’re cleansing.  Kale, chard, spinach, brocolli, celery, and herbs like coriander and basil, whatever you can find in your garden or that’s local and in season.

4.  Enjoy ginger:  I love this plant!  enjoy it raw or which way you prefer.  Inlcude other great digestives like turmeric and cayenne pepper, also very alkalising.  (Enjoy it while there’s still some local ginger available).

5.  3 meals a day:  by eating 3 times a day, it helps burn off the food you eat and if weight is an issue you can start to burn through it.

6.  Organic:  if we’re trying to ‘lighten the load’ on our organs, it’s a good idea to reduce exposure to chemicals and toxins where you can.

7.  Chlorella:  This gets a special mention due to all it’s medicinal properties. Chlorella is a green algae with a high protein content and also rich in betacarotene, B complex vitamins, zinc and iron. It’s also high in nucleic acids, responsible for growth and repair of tissue.  It helps cleanse the blood stream, liver and kidneys. It can promote the production of gut flora and is very alkalising.

8.  Move:  while cleansing it’s a good idea to exercise, do yoga, or get a massage – whatever suits you best.  As toxins are released it’s important to keep your body moving to assist their elimination.

9.  Water:  Drink lots of it, it will help flush out toxins as they’re released.  Or try sipping warm water every ten minutes through the day.  This is an ayurvedic remedy that helps flush out the lymphatic system.

10. Time:   Spring and Autumn are particularly good times of the year for cleansing. Whenever you decide to cleanse, the important thing is to have time to nurture your body and thereby support your immune system eg good sleep and having time to take it a bit slower…  school holidays might work well for some!  3 days may be enough while 7 may work better for others.  Listen to your body and do what works best for you.

At the end of the day – enjoy beautiful nutrient rich wholefoods and you won’t go wrong. 

When you’re green inside, you’re clean inside’ –

Paul Pitchford

(This post was first published in October, 2011)

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