Worry… it’s (was) in my bones.

When I was a child I worried about playing with the purple crystals in the chemistry set, going to bed thinking I was going to die because I’d spilt it on myself. Worrying about my horse, worrying about my parents and that the minor disagreement they had at dinner… they were splitting up for sure! Later stressing out that I’d upset my friends with a comment or I was going to fail my exams etc. You might relate. However none of this prepared me for one of my most stressful and worrying stages of life… i.e. being a Mother and Parent.

Wow, the worries I created in my head, especially when they were babies (& I’ve got still got teenage years ahead of me)! How would they survive the night ahead let alone a few hours without me right there with them? For the Mums reading this I’m sure you can relate.

I realise now, for me, these stressors weren’t real. Rather, a self imposed, newly evolved type of anarchy within my own mind.

Note: My reference to stress is in regard to any thing that seriously threatens our homeostasis, (balance).

Knowing what I know now I would’ve been a lot kinder on myself and probably a better mother. No regrets though.

‘When the student is ready the teacher appears’ (or the lesson is heard) ~ Zen Proverb

What I’ve questioned as I’ve got older (and a bit wiser) is ‘what have I ever gained from worrying?’ As hard as it is to not worry, how has it ever helped resolve the situation or the issue at hand? (A reminder to self).

Even though stress responses are an adaptive process, ongoing or persistent worry and stress can create dis-ease.

Disease in our body is a lot more complex but very simply – along with nourishing our bodies deeply and eliminating toxicity – emotional health and managing stress (i.e. a balanced nervous system) is THE most important thing we can do for our energy, longevity, graceful ageing and joie de vivre.

Here’s why.

When stress is activated it affects pretty much every system in our body.

Stress has many, many different guises and many we wouldn’t consider a stressor. Each stressor can weaken our ability to handle stress e.g. we snap at the family, fly off the handle, don’t sleep well, overreact etc. OR it creates a physical reaction in our bodies e.g. headache, loose bowels, sweaty, don’t feel hungry, sugar cravings, increased heart rate etc.

Whatever it is and irrespective of the cause, the body uniformly activates the stress response in the same way.

Here’s what we need to know about the impact of stress on our body and 13 different guises of stress…

Stress and Our Body. What We Need To Know;

1. Stress hormones e.g. cortisol and adrenalin are produced by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the HPA (hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal axis) making energy available for the body to use immediately.

Note: the hypothalamus sits inside the brain and links the nervous system to the hormonal system via the pituitary gland. The pituitary is a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain, just below the hypothalamus, to which it is attached via nerve fibres. Our adrenals sit on top of our kidneys.

2. Energy is diverted to the tissues that become more active during stress i.e. the muscles and the brain. Less critical activities are put on hold e.g. digestion and the growth and sex hormones.

With the change in chemistry that comes with stress, eating, growth, and reproduction go into a form of ‘shut down’ mode to ensure survival.

When stress is a one-off it can be considered ‘a good thing’ i.e. eustress, however much of the stress we experience today is persistent with long term damaging consequences.

Causes of persistent stress and it’s many guises;

  1. heavy metal toxicity either inherited or accumulated through environmental exposure
  2. pathogenic (good bug v bad bug) imbalance
  3. digestive disfunction
  4. poor food and beverage choices – too much sugar, carbs, meat, etc
  5. nutrient deficiency and malabsorption – not enough green vegetables
  6. silent inflammation
  7. childhood or prenatal trauma
  8. pollutants and chemical toxins
  9. too much exercise
  10. lack of purpose
  11. emotional stress e.g. relationship, financial, career, health, inherited beliefs
  12. constant medication without strengthening the immune system and body
  13. over exposure to radiation and electro magnetic frequencies

In addition to the above in isolation, with our constant exposure to pollutants and toxicity, less than ideal eating patterns and the busyness of our modern lives, most of us are not just dealing with one stressor, but many. Our bodies and our brains are not coping. We are experiencing low energy, overwhelm, disrupted sleep, digestive issues, mental illness, auto-immune issues, hormonal diseases and chronic illness.

We’re familiar with most of the causes listed above and we’re acting on it or them in some way. There are others however that we’re not familiar with and that are placing a constant stress on our bodies. Perhaps choose one or two that you know or you haven’t yet explored e.g. investigating heavy metal toxicity with hair tissue analysis or slowing down enough to discover your true purpose or work more on limiting beliefs with a qualified practitioner. Begin to make the preventative changes you need to make now before stress forces you to STOP & listen and manifests into something far more chronic and debilitating.

We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain and the best part is it’s in our control.

It’s a very big topic and we go into it in more detail at my next workshop ‘Redefining Stress’ this week on Thursday 25th of May. Jill Dare and I will be giving practical and simple ways to alleviate stress and improve energy, joy, longevity and overall wellbeing while looking at how to get to the core of stressful beliefs. If managing stress is something you know you need to do, join us for an engaging and practical session with simple ways to ‘Redefine Stress’, this Thursday 25th May, 9:30am – 11:00am.

And I’m excited to have Toni Everard, Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner and Life Coach joining me for my online workshop of ‘Redefining Stress’ the following Tuesday 30th of May at 7:00pm WA time! I did a short interview with Toni and Jill last week, chatting about what we’ll be sharing, find our videos on my Facebook page.  Register for either workshop at https://www.katebarnes.com.au/workshops-events/

‘To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world’
​​​​​​​ ~ Bill Wilson

A while ago I had a conversation with the kids while driving to school. I can’t remember the full context of it but we were running late and I had some work on I wanted to get to, when the kids grumpily said, ‘all you care about is your work’! It was a comment that made me stop mid flow. We pulled up at school and I looked at them and said… ‘my work is important to me but my most important job is being your Mum and it’s a job I take very seriously….’ I can’t remember what else I said, however the look from my youngest is etched in my mind… It was a look of adoration with a loving smile on his face. Nothing else had to be said and the conversation stopped.

I’d never said anything like that to them before so how would they know how much I value being their Mum?

It made me realise that one of the few ways our kids understand that being a parent, especially a primary caregiver, is an important role to have is by telling them and showing them. We teach them how to read, write, use their manners, the value of money, of getting a job etc. What about parenting and mothering?

One day it’s likely they’ll be parents and mothers, I’d like our kids to value their new role, to know the privilege and importance it bestows and that it’s something they can be very proud of and enjoy whole heartedly.

The statement, ‘I’m just a Mum’, is a real term alive and well in our homes and communities. I’ve said it myself! We all do and have done. Even if we don’t mean to marginalise the role of being a Mum, subconsciously it does.

I think the belief begins at home and it begins with us, as Mums. I’m not suggesting we add more responsibility to the heavy load we already carry, but rather to remember and be strong in the knowledge that shaping the lives of future generations and citizens IS an important job. It’s a tiring, thankless job at times yet there is no one that can do it better than we can or our family can. So that kind of makes it one of the best jobs in the world too!

I know it starts with me. If I’m not proud of the role I have or if I don’t value it how can my children?

Which is also why it’s so important to take time out to refuel and recharge, especially when children are little and we’re more tired from lack of sleep and we’re running on empty. If we’re not looking after ourselves and taking time to do more of what makes us happy, how can our children or our families be happy? And how can they look forward or prepare themselves for that most important job in the world, being a Mum?


For more inspiration to help navigate motherhood and reignite your joy of life, visit my 21 day vitality reset – Get up & Glow with Kate at https://www.katebarnes.com.au/getup&glowwithkate

‘We are all visitors to this time, this place.  We are just passing through.  Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home’ ~ Australian Aboriginal Proverb


Gubinge in the Nyul Nyul language of the Kimberley in Western Australia, has one of the highest known contents of Vitamin C on the planet!  Incredibly good for our immunity.

Our native plants e.g. bush rosemary, desert lime, davidson plum, kadadu plum or gubinge commonly have an extraordinary amount of medicinal nutrients.  Perhaps their evolution across predominantly harsh conditions and their high tolerance for heat, drought, salinity etc has equipped them with a unique intensity of nutrients, in particular antioxidants such as Vitamin C (that help fight cell damaging free radicals).

For example, let’s take a closer look at the kakadu plum or Gubinge…

Gubinge has been used by indigenous Australians for healing and strengthening for thousands of years.  It is said they’d take it on long hunting expeditions as it was considered as medicine more than food.   The sap and the bark was used to treat skin conditions, sores and as a tea for sickness.

It’s a small green fruit with a slightly sour taste that goes by many other names including, the bush plum, the billygoat plum, and murunga.

Gubinge truly is Natures Medicine.

1.  Vitamin C.   The incredible thing about Gubinge is it’s vitamin C content.  At 1000-5000 mg of vitamin C per every 100 grams of the fruit, gubinge contains over 5% vitamin C by weight.  This is about 50 times more vitamin C than an orange, making it a fabulous whole food, that includes all the additional cofactors (nutrients to help with absorption), to be adding into our diets and to help boost our immunity naturally.  And check out this article for more great reasons to be including vitamin C in our diets.

Vitamin C is one of the first nutrients to go when undergoing stress, smoking, drinking alcohol, medications or engaging in any other stress inducing activities. When this happens, our immune systems are compromised.  Taking vitamin C or foods high in Vitamin C helps give our immune systems a much needed boost.

2.  Antioxidants and Phytonutrients.   Gubinge contains even more antioxidants than blueberries, making it one of the most remarkably high-antioxidant foods available and we know of.

‘Edith Cowan University’s Foundation of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease explains that the Kakadu plum contains antioxidant properties possibly up to seven times greater than curcumin, which is what places turmeric so high on the list of superfoods. The foundation states that the Kakadu plum has a protective ability that may make it even more powerful than turmeric’ (Dr Joshua Axe).

That’s all well and good, but HOW do we source these wonderful foods and how do we use them?!

Gubinge is becoming more readily available and I’ll be sharing lots more about it and simple ways to use it, even for sensitive kids in my workshop next week.    I’ve also shared a list of suppliers below.

As for other incredible foods to boost our immunity, most of them can be found in our local supermarket or farmers market,  a much cheaper alternative to Doctors visits and medications.  At my next workshop, ‘Building Strong Immunity in Little Bodies‘ I’m sharing what those key foods are, plus common, natural foods that can also feed illness unknowingly, loads of quick recipes and remedies, all packaged up into a neat mini book to take home with you and use straight away!

Come and join me at ‘Building strong immunity in little bodies‘ either online or sample some delicious, immune boosting produce at my morning tea!  y u mmm.   I hope you can join me.

FYI businesses supplying indigenous foods online include;

Daleysfuit.  https://www.daleysfruit.com.au

Australian Desert Lime. http://www.australiandesertlimes.com.au

Dandelion Eco Store.  https://dandelionecostore.com.au

The Australian Superfood Company http://austsuperfoods.com.au

The food we eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison’.

~ Ann Wigmore.


HOW do we really know if WHAT we’re eating is either powerful medicine or a slow poison?

It’s incredibly difficult.

Take for example what came up for me this past week.  You may have seen it too.

‘Low gluten diets linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes, was the attention grabbing headline.

The opening paragraph read,

‘Eating more gluten may be associated with a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions’.


It immediately got me questioning my long held beliefs around gluten.  In all my research what have I missed?

And WHY question the findings of a well qualified research fellow, ‘Geng Zong, Ph.D., from the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts’?

I read on, looking for the science behind the findings in the article and to understand the research myself.  There wasn’t any.

Okay then how about the study itself?  A quick search for the actual study was ‘fruitless’ (pun intended)!  I didn’t find it.

After reviewing the article, I found the devil in the detail, and it made me furious.  It again confirms the continuing deceit and misleading information we are fed and lead to believe by corrupt researchers and powerful profit hungry corporations.

So before breaking out the Weetbix and celebrating this ‘new’ research, here’s what I found when I took a closer look and dug a little deeper.

If you haven’t already, you might like to read the article first and form your own views, fyi there were many articles written on the study, this is just one.

The key points;

1.  ‘Gluten free foods often have less dietary fibre and other micronutrients’.  

While the article doesn’t define what the ‘gluten free foods’ are, it is most likely referring to packaged gluten free foods.  It can’t be referring to fruits, vegetables and real food in it’s natural, whole form because they’re naturally packaged full of wonderful healing nutrients.

So the foods they must be referring to are not what I call ‘food’, in that they are highly refined and consequently need flavour added e.g. sugars and vegetable oils, additives and preservatives and yes, they are void of nutrients.

The assumption is that when study participants removed gluten, they removed important nutrients.  In my experience however, most people adopting a healthier lifestyle will opt for more whole foods and less packaged foods i.e. adding in MORE nutrients not less.   I assume the objective of the study wasn’t to look at HOW to improve health.

Which brings us to the next point…

2.   ‘Those who ate the most gluten had lower Type 2 diabetes risk during thirty years of follow-up’.

For the study participants eating less gluten & with higher risk of T2 diabetes, what were they eating in place of gluten?   Were they eating more healthy whole foods or more packaged and refined foods?  The article doesn’t tell us this.

3. In the study of 199,794 participants, who all had some gluten in their diets ranging from 5.8 – 7.1g of gluten.  fyi an average slice of whole wheat bread “contains around 4.8 grams of gluten” (source, coeliac.com),  15,947 cases of Type 2 diabetes were confirmed’.  This equates to 12.5% of study participants who were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  What does this mean?

I checked the Australian Bureau of Statistics.   In Australia one million people (4.4%) had Type 2 diabetes in 2014-15.

Either way, 12.5% of participants in the study diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is still high.

4.  The study research was conducted over the time period 1984-1990 to 2010-2013,  what happened in the gap of 10 years between studies??   We know illness isn’t something that happens over night.  It takes years in the making.  The missing data in those 10 years could be significant and have influenced the results.  We don’t know.

5.  Healthy lifestyle choices make a big difference to Type 2 diabetes.  There is no reference to any level of lifestyle activity the study participants may have or may not have done.

6.  The concluding paragraph in the article states, ‘Study participants reported their gluten consumption and the study was observational, therefore findings warrant confirmation by other investigations. Also, most of the participants took part in the study before gluten-free diets became popular, so there is no data from gluten abstainers’.

After all that, further confirmation is needed!  And wouldn’t it be good to know the incidence of Type 2 diabetes is in those abstaining from gluten completely?

Another important consideration.   

Who funded the study by Geng Zong, PhD?  University research quite often requires funding from outside sources.  I couldn’t find this out either.

The study was presented to the American Heart Association (AHA), similar to the Australian Heart Foundation, it’s sponsors are a the ‘who’s-who’ of corporate and industry giants.  With links to big business, the AHA is hardly in a position to share information that upsets their lucrative financial relationships – are they?  The AHA shares a list of sponsors here and here.

If I sound cynical, its because I am – with my personal experience and many years studying information such as this, I sense a snippet of data has been pulled from a large study to satisfy the business imperatives of large corporations who are maybe or maybe not, just a little concerned about the global shift to gluten free living.

This article raises more questions than answers for me, and despite the qualifications cited,  is inconclusive in its findings.

On face value the article tells us low gluten diets are linked to diabetes, implying we’d better all start eating gluten to avoid diabetes.  However when we take a moment to look more closely at the information and what’s being said or what is NOT being said then the research actually doesn’t tell us much and is flawed.

In summary.

Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is butter simmered for a long time to remove the water and milk fats, leaving it with a high smoke point (i.e. it can be heated to a much higher temperature before going rancid i.e. butter has a smoke point of approx. 180 degrees celsius and ghee a smoke point of about 240 degrees celsius.  A big difference and making ghee more versatile to cook with.

Ghee is rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D and E, which are important for our immunity and much more.

Other benefits of Ghee include;

And… it’s so easy to make!  Check out the recipe here.

Enjoy ghee in baking, sautéing, cooking, melted over steamed veggies and so much more.  As with all animal products, just make sure it’s organic.

I blissfully believed we’re uniquely designed to efficiently eliminate toxins.  Our bodies,  finely tuned machines that silently and almost miraculously metabolise, absorb, digest, detox and eliminate without question.  And they are.


After having children my protective mama instinct kicked in and I started paying closer attention to what we were eating and exposing ourselves to. I researched, read and asked questions. I became curious.

What I learnt shocked me. While our bodies are brilliantly designed and miraculously efficient, they are carrying a very heavy toxic burden both physically (especially in our children), and emotionally.

How can this be?

We are exposed to far more toxins than we realise.

The two most common sources I’m aware of;

1. Physical;

2. Emotional;

A gloomy picture?  Not really.   I share this reminder to create awareness, not alarm.

As they say, with knowledge comes power, but I believe when it comes to our health with knowledge comes freedom.  Freedom from fear of illness.

‘When we nourish and detox our bodies deeply and quieten our overactive nervous systems, fear of illness can become a distant foe and freedom a welcomed friend’

Illness doesn’t happen overnight. There are silent clues our body gives us everyday – quietly telling us what it needs.   But in our busy lives and disconnect from nature and her rhythms it can be hard to stop or slow down enough to actually tune in and listen.

14 signs we need to detox:

  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.

My top 7 simple and effective detox strategies;

If you’re not already doing these, try adding in  one or two and start making them part of your day;

  1. Reduce toxins in the home.   For example take a close look at the cosmetics and cleaning products you’re using.  Do you need to be using as many as you are?  What are their ingredients?  There are many good brands and local brands available now.   I generally use Castille Soaps, doTerra, Weleda or Eva Perez makeup.
  2. Add in a green smoothie to your day!   first thing in the morning if it’s spring / summer or later in the day if it’s winter/ autumn.  Dark leafy greens e.g. spinach, rocket and dandelion greens that are bitter help give us energy and can stimulate the flow of bile in the gall bladder, supporting liver health.  fyi This is a good recipe to start with here. 
  3. Add in more healthy fats and mineral rich foods e.g. seaweeds, bone stock and organ meat.
  4. Add in herbs and spices that stimulate bile production and support liver health such as dandelion root and milk thistle.  Take in the form of a tea or as a powder and add it into your smoothie.
  5. Breathe.  Diaphragmatic breathing (breathing from our bellies) instantly initiates our rest and digest response i.e. the parasympathetic nervous system – rather than breathing from the chest, which initiates the fight and flight response i.e. the sympathetic nervous system.   A quietened nervous system i.e. the parasympathetic nervous state is fundamental for our bodies to detox efficiently.
  6. Sleep.  Sleep is the bodies chance to repair and restore.  Getting enough of it is fundamental to our wellbeing.
  7. Gentle movement.  Walking, yoga, something that creates movement in our bodies systems, yet doesn’t place too much stress on our body at the same time.

When I look after myself, I’m a happier person and every area of my life improves.   And importantly for me, I’m a better role model to my children.   However with children, work, running the home and life, it’s not always easy.

One way I get to do this is with my ‘Gentle Cleanse’.    Which kicks off again on Monday the 26th of February, with the optional pre cleanse starting on Monday the 19th of February.   If you’ve already done the cleanse with me, it’s a nominal amount, so no excuses.

Kelly says, “I’ve been to 3 health retreats on the east coast which were very expensive and I’ve found I’ve got the same results with Kate’s cleanse at a fraction of the cost!… It is extremely good value for money.”  

Each time I do A Gentle Cleanse I learn more about what my body needs for optimum wellbeing, it’s the perfect kickstarter, we don’t go hungry and it’s easy to do.

As one cleanser shared, ‘it’s a mini retreat in my own home’!

In AGC we:

We are all very busy, but if we don’t have our health what do we have?

I’ve made sure that a gentle cleanse is easy. Doable. Great value for money and works, even for those of us working full time and are super busy.

Enjoy a taste of A Gentle Cleanse here

When asked if cleansers would do  ‘A Gentle Cleanse’ again?  100% say ‘YES’!

We’re always more likely to achieve things when we do it with others.  The accountability, encouragement is amazing and it’s more fun together.  Most of my clients are already joining me, will you join us too?      Register at https://www.katebarnes.com.au/a-gentle-cleanse-with-kate/


Note:  If you’re suffering from a chronic illness, pregnant or breastfeeding, the cleanse is not for you at this time.  If you have any questions contact me at kate@katebarnes.com.au.

Stomach acid is our first line of defence in protecting our bodies against pathogens.  It is fundamental for our overall wellbeing and often neglected.

Stomach acid has 3 critical functions.  It helps with;

  1. breakdown and absorption of protein, key nutrients, especially minerals.
  2. stimulates bile to be released from the gall bladder to metabolise fat efficiently, and
  3. creates a much needed and important barrier to invading organisms e.g. bacteria, viruses and parasites.

When HCL (hydrochloric acid) is low, the food in our stomach is not digested efficiently, and the food can linger longer than it is should, this can result in fermentation and the imbalance in acid.  Or if you feel nausea after eating meat or discomfort or you have trouble digesting fats – it may be stomach acid is too low.

Low stomach acid is common, even in our children.

Low stomach acid can be common for people who have suffered infections of H.Pylori or who have been on antibiotics and other medications, experience chronic stress or are carrying a toxic load.   Low stomach acid can then set the scene for damage to the delicate lining of the digestive tract which can then lead to the formation of leaky gut (a condition where the intestinal lining can become porous allowing larger, undigested food particles and / or toxins to flow freely into the blood stream and that normally aren’t allowed through).

As it’s our first line of defence, if it’s too low, it may leave our digestive systems open for microbial infections e.g. parasites.   Read my post on how to cleanse parasites here.

Symptoms that can be associated with low stomach acid;

Some causes of low stomach acid;

These symptoms could also relate to other health conditions, stomach acid (HCL) is just one thing to consider and fortunately, there are many natural ways to increase HCL in the stomach – simply.

7 steps to improve low stomach acid.  

1. Ginger Pickle

I love referring to the simple power of traditional wisdom and food.  This is a recipe I came across from Christa Orrecio at the Whole Journey, with a nod to ayurvedic wisdom.  Check it out below in ‘Kitchen Medicine’.

2.  Ingest Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has a very low pH i.e. it’s very alkalising and can help balance the acidity in the stomach.  Make sure it’s a good quality.  We use the ‘Braggs’ brand. Use it before meals.  As with anything use it in moderation.  Just as we can be too acidic, we can also be too alkaline.

3.  Enjoy garlic.

Garlic contains a substance called Allium that helps prevent ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (h. pylori) bacteria.  It can also help with other microbial infections.

4.  Decrease the amount of acidic type foods.

Foods such as coffee, tea, sugar, alcohol and hot sauces and fried foods can all deplete our levels of HCL and thin the gut lining.

5.  Manage Stress!

This is so important as it’s so easy to carry stress in todays world – especially for busy Mums.  Stress, especially chronic or ongoing stress can leave the body acidic.  Meditation, breath work, yoga, massage, enjoying more time outdoors is great for calming the body and managing stress.

6.  Chew food.

So often we are racing through life, and we don’t take time to chew our food.  Be mindful and take time to really enjoy, savour and chew your food.  It needs to be fully chewed before swallowing.   And if you have little children around, they are awesome at this.  Watch and learn from our littlest teachers.

7.  Eat smaller meals especially in the evening.

If we’re eating very large meals, we’re not going to allow our body to heal and fully digest and absorb the food, especially in the evening.  Try smaller meals if need be and a lighter meal in the evening to allow the body to rest and repair through the night rather than working on digesting.

8.  Add in foods high in zinc.

Zinc is a trace mineral (a mineral needed in smaller amounts) that’s needed to help in the manufacture of stomach acid.  If we are low in zinc, (which is common nowadays) then it could mean our stomach acid isn’t at the right levels.  Foods high in zinc include; organic beef and lamb, oysters, yoghurt and dairy kefir, cashews, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, spinach, chicken, sesame seeds.

If you have a health condition you haven’t been able to get to the bottom of and you haven’t yet considered stomach acid, could it be the missing link?  Please get in touch for a consult or with your health practitioner, especially if it’s autoimmune, thyroid or adrenal related.


‘why stomach acid is good for you’ Jonathan Wright, MD & Lane Lenard, PhD
Dr Michael Ruscio

‘Nothing will change unless you do’ ~ Maya Angelou

I recently hosted a workshop, ‘Simple Steps to Gluten Free Living’ and there were many great questions, however there were two questions that stood out in terms of the enthusiastic discussion they created.   They apply not just to taking gluten out of our diets, they can apply to any new dietary or lifestyle choice we want (or need) to make.

  1. ‘How to get our partners, husbands and older kids on board’ – especially for food.
  2. ‘I don’t show any symptoms, intolerances, my digestion is fine, do I need to change’?

Here are some thoughts. I hope it helps…

Qu. 1. How do I get my partner on board’?.

Having our partners support definitely accelerates results and makes things a whole lot easier. But if yours isn’t on board, don’t let it hold you back. We all find the answers we’re looking for in our own time. As the old saying goes, ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’. If you feel resistance from those close to you, just know they will find any answers they’re looking for when they’re ready and in their way.

In saying that a couple of things that really help show that perhaps there is another way include;

Sharing practical and deep knowledge. I love sharing inspiring documentaries and books and interviews with leading scientists and researchers – very compelling and hard to ignore. Great for ‘planting the seed’ and allowing them to discover new ideas and answers e.g. the two documentaries, “Hungry for Change” and “Food Matters” are great documentaries to start with. They’re both available on netflix or watch online at FMTV. ‘Cereal Killers’ is another one I recommend, especially for the physically active husbands and teenagers. Rent it online at http://cerealkillersmovie.com.

Strategies, recipes and tips that are practical, make sense and simple to implement are super important. Something I believe in and hope you find scattered throughout my work and website.

Getting results. This is the best way. Continue on your path with the choices you’re making e.g. more movement, giving up gluten, reducing dairy and sugar, more healthy fats, no processed foods, lots of green smoothies etc. Whatever it is, stay true to what you believe and when you release weight, sleep better, bounce out of bed or the kids are better behaved, sleep through the night, eat a wider variety of foods etc, they’ll begin to wonder what’s going on? And hopefully… take notice.

Qu. 2. My family and I don’t show any symptoms, in fact I feel great, do I need to change’?

This is such a good question. And the simple answer is No. Why should we when we don’t present with symptoms? However it’s not so clear cut. The symptoms / clues indicating we need to make a food or lifestyle change are wide and varied and often subtle – things that you may have even got used to as being normal. We may not think symptoms are related to the food we’re eating or the products we’re exposing our bodies to but until we experiment with removing these potentially inflammatory foods or toxins – you’ll be surprised …

And unless the symptom is addressed and the body either better nourished or cleansed, that innocuous symptom will manifest into another symptom or more and perhaps far more debilitating. So do you feel great, or are you used to a new norm. of feeling under par?

Symptoms we can brush off range from minor digestive complaints, a little eczema through to a bit less energy, headaches, stubborn weight loss or minor skin irritations. While seemingly unrelated, they can all potentially relate to food or lifestyle choices in some way.

For example in regard to gluten sensitivity a couple of things that we may not be aware of;

Change can be difficult, but as Bronwen Sciortino from She IQ Life, shared with me recently, ‘if our WHY is strong enough i.e. the reason we WANT or NEED to change, then that’s what we need to continually remind ourselves of’ and commit.

The other thing about change is the intention of the act is often worse than the action itself i.e. the thought of making change, connecting with old feelings or thoughts of what ‘might’ happen or how we ‘might’ feel stops us from taking action. Once we take the action it’s often far better than we imagined e.g. jumping into the cold ocean water. Yet it feels SO good afterwards or that going gluten free (or starting a cleanse) can actually taste delicious and FEEL good!

Wherever we’re at, start with one or two new choices at a time and perhaps think of it as an experiment. When it works and we intuitively know it’s the right thing to do, tune into our WHY (i.e. why we’re doing this) and commit 100% to reap the benefits of what we sow.

You can learn more and make lasting change, in my online workshops or my short courses like A Gentle Cleanse.  It’s the perfect way to kickstart your health and deepen your knowledge – for life.

Next Tuesday the 14th of February, 2017 is my online workshops, ‘Simple Steps for Gluten Free Living’ register;

7:00pm session WST (Western Standard Time).

Or 11am session WST

The human race has been evolving as one of the most successful species on the planet for approximately 6 million years.  Our form today as Homo Sapiens has been around for only 200,000 years.

Research is showing that over the last 10,000 – 20,000 years our brains and our frames are shrinking.   Brain size is usually relative to body size.  While our European ancestors may have been smaller around 500 years ago, go back further and we were taller.

Evolution is ‘the gradual development of something’.  If our brains are shrinking in size, they are not developing.

As a human species are we de-evolving?

How we ate and lived (lifestyle factors) had a major impact on developing our very large brains and our strong structures.

What’s happened in the past 10 – 20,000 years that could be changing our evolution?

Some thoughts;

  1. The ‘domestication’ of our species e.g. animals that are domesticated have smaller brains than their species found in the wild.  Possibly because they don’t require ‘the extra brainpower that could help them evade predators or hunt for food’.  Similarly, humans have become ‘domesticated’.
  2. ‘Brains are energetically expensive’.  They require a lot of fuel to be maintained. If they aren’t being used or the larger size isn’t necessary, they will begin to shrink.   With the use of books, computers, automation of tasks, convenience culture, there isn’t the need for this expensive real estate.
  3. ‘The way we live is less physically demanding which drives down body weight’.
  4. The way we eat is vastly different to the way we ate 200,000 years ago.   The agricultural industry kicked off around 10,000 years ago.  Without the evolutionary need to hunt and gather food it allowed families to establish homes, with the ability to grow and barter / sell their produce.  Fast forward to today and compared to the previous 100 or so thousand years, there is an abundance of a new food that’s been introduced into our native diet – domestic grains.  At the same time we are eating far less good-quality nutrients, importantly the essential macro nutrient, fat.  We need fats in large amounts to nourish every cell in our body, including our immune and hormonal systems and our energy hungry brains.
  5. Our microbiome.  Our wardrobe of bugs are also vastly different to what they were all those years ago. A diverse diet and low tox living is key.  Our ancestors apparently consumed up to 100 different types of leaves and plant foods in one day!   Feeding an extremely diverse population of health giving bacteria.

(source https://www.scientificamerican.com)

With all these significant changes in the past 10,000 years in a very short period of time in our long evolution, have our physical and emotional bodies been able to keep up or adapt with the same relatively rapid pace?   Perhaps not.

Each point above shares either an emotional or physical change to our environment, supporting the relatively new evolutionary theory of epigenetics.  For anyone unfamiliar with this term, briefly, Epigenetics literally means “above” or “on top of” genetics.  It refers to external modifications to our DNA that turns genes “on” or “off.” e.g. lifestyle factors, including physical and emotional.  These factors do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells “read” genes. A theory that disrupts the popular Darwinian theory of evolution and that our genes are our destiny.   We have more control over our wellbeing than we’ve been led to believe.

So here are a few simple suggestions to reconnect with our bodies evolutionary wisdom, nourish our bodies deeply and be well;

  1. Re-wild ourselves.  Enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.  Tune in to Mother Nature, the moon and her cycles the seasons and what they deliver to us.  Embrace the weather, whatever she gives us. Leave doors and windows open, even in Winter.  Eat native fresh produce. Go camping.
  2. Use it or lose it.  Keep using our brains at every chance we possibly can.  Learning new skills, travelling and personal challenges, un-google.
  3. Keep moving.  This IS a biggie.  A healthy lymphatic system leads to a healthy immune system and a well-being. Movement is key to a healthy lymph.  Our ancestors were great at it.  We are designed to move, not sit.  Move every day.
  4. Eat real food i.e. food in its most natural and whole form, unprocessed and refined.  It’s food that our bodies recognise, that comes packaged up with a perfect parcel of nutrients that our bodies need and can absorb.
  5. Grains.  Consider how much we’re consuming and enjoy them in their whole form properly prepared i.e soaked overnight and/or fermented or sprouted as our ancestors would have done when grains were first introduced.   For example, when our family eats porridge we use the whole oat groat (seed) unrefined or processed, our other favourite grains are quinoa or buckwheat (not technically a grain, but a relative of rhubarb).
  6. Wheat today is a vastly different grain to the wheat first introduced to our diets 10,000 years ago.  It is a grain we choose not to consume for many reasons.To learn more about why we chose to go gluten free and to get lots of recipes and practical and simple steps for gluten free living join me at my morning tea and workshop or online webinar and workshop next week.
  7. Build a strong microbiome and enjoy a rich diversity of plants and flavours e.g. herbs, flowers and spices and start building up a health loving population of bacteria.

What small step or big step will you take to reconnect with your bodies inner wisdom and continue your most natural evolution?

note:  the image above was found here

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