Cold & Flu Season: Interview With a Naturopath

Cold & Flu Season: Interview With a Naturopath

  1. Firstly, could you please remind us what the classic symptoms of a cold and flu are?

 

The classic symptoms of cold and flu may include, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, fever, aches and pains headache, weakness and fatigue.

 

  1. Are there any products you can recommend that would ease these symptoms? 

Some of my go to products when a client comes in with cold and flu symptoms are Bioceuticals ArmaForce, Fusion Astra 8, Fusion Cold and Flu and Ethical Nutrients Immune Defence. These products contain beautiful combinations of herbs and nutrients that help to support and nourish your immune system and alleviate symptoms.

  1. Is there anything else we can be doing in our daily routine that can help alleviate symptoms, like having a bath? 

 

Yes, there are a number of things you can do to help alleviate cold and flu symptoms. Using a humidifier or vaporiser with eucalyptus or peppermint oils can help with congestion and cough. Manuka honey can help alleviate a sore throat it is a fantastic antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. When looking for a Manuka honey choose one with a high UMF or MGO rating, the higher the rating, the higher the antibacterial content of the honey. 

A hot shower or bath can be very beneficial, the steam can help moisten your airways and loosen any mucus. Be cautious of the temperature when experiencing a fever. 

A nice warm drink, with lemon, ginger and manuka honey can help reduce a sore throat and persistent cough.

  1. Is there any way to fast track your cold or flu to get rid of it faster? 

 

How long a cold or flu lingers around will depend on how well your immune system is functioning. If you are fit and healthy and take care of yourself your immune system will be better equipped to fight off any foreign invaders. Herbal and nutritional supplements can help to boost the immune system, I highly recommend taking supplements leading up to and going right through the cold and flu season.

 

  1. Probably the most important question of all, how would you suggest we boost our immune system, give us the complete low down, supplements, vitamins, daily practices, food choices!

 

 

Thankfully there are so many ways we can boost our immune system which can be incorporated into each day. 

Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, blackberries, mulberries, carrots, beetroot, capsicum, kale and spinach, these are high in antioxidants which protect our cells and nutrients that we need for our immune system to function. Fresh is best!

Avoid sugar, processed foods and alcohol, these foods contain very little nutrients and deplete our immune system.

Try to avoid or minimise stress in your life. Stress hormones inhibit the function of your immune system. This could result in worsened infections and slower healing. Take time each day for relaxation and do something you enjoy. 

Exercise regularly. Regular, moderate exercise may improve immune function. Walking, swimming, riding, dancing or yoga are great options. 

Ensure you drink plenty of water each day, six-eight glasses per day is ideal. Water is essentials for all aspects of good health. 

Be sure you get enough restorative sleep, adults require 7-9 hours a night. Your immune system repairs and rebuilds while you are asleep at night. 

 

There are a number of fantastic herbs and nutrients that help boost your immune system such as astragalus, andrographis, echinacea, olive leaf, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and zinc.

Sunshine Soup

Sunshine Soup

Warm up with a nourishing bowl of smooth and velvety Sunshine soup, packed full of superfoods to give your immune a boost. Super easy to make a full of delicious flavour that the family will love.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

 .1 large white onion

.2 cloves garlic

.3cm ginger

.1 tsp turmeric

.1 tbsp Superfeast Turkey Tail

.2 cup carrot

.3 cup sweet potato

.1/2 lemon

.Nutra Organics chicken bone broth

.1 cup chickpeas

Let’s begin:

 

1.Add a splash of olive oil into your soup pot over a medium high heat, dice the onion and add them into the pot along the ginger and garlic (both roughly chopped).

 

2.Sauté in the pot until beautifully fragrant and slightly softened. Add the turmeric and the Superfeast Turkey Tail powder. Cook for a further minute to toast the turmeric.

 

3.Season with salt and pepper. Take the mixture off the heat while you chop the sweet potato and carrots, cut them in fairly small chunks so it cooks faster.

 

4.Bring the pot back to a medium high heat and add the sweet potato and carrot, sauté until you get a little bit of colour on them. Grate in your lemon zest.

 

5.Whilst the mixture is sautéing make your broth according to the instructions on the packet.

 

6.Add the nourishing broth to the soup pot and bring to a simmer on a medium heat.

 

7.Cover the pot and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the carrot and potato are tender.

 

8.Whilst the soup bubbles away you can drain and rinse your chickpeas.

 

9.When the soup is ready add the chickpeas to the pot along with the juice of half a lemon.

 

10.Blitz the soup until silky smooth and it’s ready to eat!

 

11.Serve with a crispy topping like this coconut bacon or for extra superfood points, some toasted seeds and nuts.

Food Is Medicine

Food Is Medicine

“Food is Medicine” is a term which was originally conceived by Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine; it was his belief that eating wholesome ‘superfoods’ is the basis for good health.

 

Superfoods are whole foods in their most natural and rawest form and are typically considered to be extremely nutritious and beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing.

We have spent time exploring the superfoods that you can incorporate into your diet, helping keep your body fit and healthy.

 

Here is a shortlist of some of our favourite and most versatile superfoods:

1. Dark green leafy vegetables

 

An excellent source of nutrients including folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fibre. All of the micronutrients needed to help fight infection include vitamins A, B, C, D and E, and the minerals iron, selenium and zinc. So, you’re off to a good start with a healthy serving of dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach or swiss chard.

2. Berries

 

Berries are a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants! Enjoy them in a smoothie, with cereal or muesli or on their own. Some delicious options are raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries.

3. Kefir and Yoghurt

 

Kefir and yoghurt are both fermented products usually made from milk and contain protein, calcium, B vitamins, potassium and probiotics. Probiotics can add back the good bacteria in your gut.

4. Green Tea

 

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds which can have strong anti-inflammatory effects. There’s never been a better time to brew a pot of tea, light some candles and read a book!

5. Garlic

 

Garlic is a full of flavour and boosts any dish you put it in, it is also a great source of manganese, vitamin c, vitamin B6, selenium and fibre. Vitamin B6 is especially important in contributing to the body’s first response once it has recognised a pathogen entering the body.

6. Eggs

 

Whole eggs are rich in nutrients such as B vitamins, choline, selenium, vitamin A, iron and phosphorus. Vitamin A is vital in maintaining the structure of cells in the skin, respiratory tract and gut. If you are vegan don’t worry, you can also find vitamin A in tofu, legumes and nuts.

 

Hot tip! Most WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfood stores stock eggs from local farmers!

7. Mushrooms

 

Nutrient content varies depending on the type of mushroom, however the benefits of mushrooms are huge. They are full of micronutrients including B vitamins, iron, selenium and vitamin D. Cooking mushrooms increases availability of the nutrients so eat them fried, roasted or in a soup.

8. Seaweed

 

Seaweed is not only a delicious snack it also packs multiple nutrients including vitamin K, folate, iodine and fibre. Iodine helps support your thyroid gland and the vitamins help protect your cells from damage.

9. Sweet Potato

 

Packed with nutrients, sweet potatoes are one of the most versatile and healthy vegetables available. Full of potassium, fibre and vitamins A & C, they’re also a good source of carotenoids, a type of antioxidant that is known to help build your body’s immunity against diseases.

 

Stay tuned for a delicious superfood packed soup recipe from us that will be your saviour this Winter!

Maintaining Mental Health in Isolation

Maintaining Mental Health in Isolation

These have been trying times for us all as we navigate uncertain situations and changes to our everyday lives. Each of us may experience different feelings of anxiety, fear and worry at different times. Coping with these feelings will help you manage your mental health during this challenging period of uncertainty. 

 

Here at WholeLife we have gathered some tips and tricks on managing mental health at this crazy time in the world.

Pause and Reflect – take a moment to pause, breathe and reflect. With the changes happening around you, it is important to take notice, acknowledge and accept the thoughts and feelings that you are experiencing.  Try to let go of negative or unpleasant feelings that you are experiencing.

Set a routine – You might find it helpful to schedule your day out to give you a sense of structure and normalisation. Your days should include a certain amount of work time, self-care time (check out our self-care guide blog here), time for chores and cooking, and time for social activities (think phone calls, Facetime, zoom and house party). Anchor yourself in what you can control and take time to focus on the present.

Mindfulness and Meditation – but do it your way. Consider downloading an app to help manage your thoughts and feelings.  Some great options can be found at Headspace. Did you know that dancing is a form of meditation? If you struggle to find a meditative state in stillness and silence we highly recommend trying this, not only is it a great way to reset and relax, you are also getting your body moving. Turn off the lights, light some candles, turn up the music loud, close your eyes and dance in any way that feels instinctual to you.

Exercise – As tempting as it is to sit on your lounge all day and watch TV, it is not so good for your mental health. Get outside and go for a walk (remember to maintain your social distance) or do an online workout or yoga class, there are so many options out there at the moment including free ones. Exercise releases chemicals like serotonin and endorphins that can improve your mood. Exercise is a good addition to your routine that you can look forward to.

Manage your exposure to news media and social media coverage – Try not to have the news on all day, the human brain is more responsive to negative news, leaving you feel drained and down. When you do consume news, be mindful of the source of information and ensure you are accessing good quality and accurate information. Instead why not have a look at things like memes, tiktok videos, funny YouTube clips and pics of cute animals to keep your spirits high and the energy positive. Share them with your friends and family, who knows, you could make their day!

Stay Connected – Remember that we are all in this together, so staying connected can help both yourself and your friends and family during these confronting times. Look out for those who may feel more isolated and vulnerable.  Maybe schedule regular phone calls, skype or Zoom catch ups.  A connection to another human being can definitely make a difference to your day.

Seek additional support – If you feel that the stress and anxiety is getting too much, there are options available for accessing information and support services.  You are never on your own.

Beyond Blue 24/7 phone  1300 224 636 or online support www.beyondblue.org.au
Lifeline 24/7 phone 131144 or online crisis support www.lifeline.org.au

For additional information and resources on mental health:
Black Dog Institute:  www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
Sane Australia:  www.sane.org

 

Finding what works for you is key. Do you have any tips that you’ve been using? Leave them in the comments below.

Self-Care in Isolation

Self-Care in Isolation

As many of us spend more time at home than ever, whilst our health workers and other essential workers continue to serve our communities, there has never been a better time to practice self-care.

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start with products, skincare rituals and practices. Self-care not only makes you feel good but also helps you maintain good physical and mental health, which is so important throughout times of uncertainty. Sometimes it is easy to slip into the mindset that you don’t need to be taken care of, you don’t have time for it, or that others need to be taken care of more than yourself. The reality is, you can’t look after others if you aren’t looking after yourself first! Don’t worry! We’re here to inspire you with some of our favourite ways to give a little bit of love back to our bodies and mind.

 

Here are a few of our favourite tips, inspiration and products we love at WholeLife that will help you show yourself some well-deserved love and attention.

1. GOING OUTSIDE

Make it a top priority to get outdoors first thing in the morning if you can. Even if it’s just into your garden or onto your balcony. Take a moment to breathe in some fresh air and gather your thoughts for the day. A few rays of sunshine help you prepare for the day ahead. Practice 10 minutes of mediation and ground yourself in nature. A great meditation app that we love right now is headspace you can sign up for free and listen to daily guided meditations so you can become familiar with the process of guided meditation.

2. MOVE YOUR BODY

 At the moment there are so many amazing online yoga and gym classes that you can practice from your own home. Exercise has the ability to take care of your physical and mental health. Start adding some movement into your day, go for a walk, stretch regularly throughout the day and you’ll feel so much better for doing it!

3. PAMPER YOURSELF

 Possibly our favourite way to practice self-care and easily one of the most gratifying is to treat yourself to an at-home pampering session. From an all-out home spa day to a 15-minute beauty ritual for your everyday, here are some of our favourite pampering products at WholeLife:

1. Golden Grind face mask 

2. Derma e Vitamin C Citrus Peel 

3. Trilogy Hydrating Jelly Mask 

4. Natio Wellness Body Scrub 

5. Weleda Wild Rose Pampering Body Oil 

6. 24k Goddess Gold Eye Mask 

4. TIME AWAY

 Sometimes you just need to run a bubble bath and soak away your stress with a good book in hand. Taking a break from technology, social media in particular, to switch off from the online world and wind down. This is especially useful just before bed at night.

 Some of our favourite bath products include:

1. Amazing Oils Magnesium Bath Flakes 

 2. A Bit Hippy Natural Bubble Bath 

3. Raww Aromatherapy Candle

4. Bodecare Calming Bath Soak 

5. TREAT YOURSELF

 Whether this be by baking something delicious for yourself (some people find the baking process to be almost meditative) and indulging in a treat. If baking isn’t up your alley, delight your senses with some chocolate or a treat of your choice. A 2013 study in a British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that consuming chocolate may help improve your mood, making you feel calmer and more content. Need we say more!?

Just some of our most-loved chocolate at WholeLife includes:

1. Loco Love Chocolate 

2. Pana Organic 

3. Loving Earth 

4. Rawries 

 

6. NOURISH YOURSELF FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Taking the time and care to nourish your body from within is an essential practice for self-care. Filling your body with the best foods, vitamins and minerals will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Nourish your body with:

1. Nutra Organics Collagen Beauty

2. Peace Love and Vegetables Coconut Kefir 

3. Vida Glow

4. Best of the bone broth 

5. Superfeast I Am Gaia

6. Teelixir

Self-care isn’t something to do every once in a while, or when you are feeling low. Self-care is something everyone should push themselves to practice every single day even if it’s just for 15 minutes to maintain a good frame of mind.

 

Start these habits now and you’ll come out of your house as a whole new person!

Your Ultimate Guide To Essential Oils

Your Ultimate Guide To Essential Oils

Essential oils have certainly made a name for themselves in recent years, with many people opting to use them for a broad range of reasons. Essential oils are obtained through a range of methods, using different parts of plants. For example, Rose oil, comes from the petals of the rose, whilst citrus oils come from the rind.

 

Essential oils are used widely across aromatherapy, home cleaning products, treating skin conditions and soothing muscle inflammation.

 

Before you begin experimenting with essential oils there are few basics that you need to remember. When applying the oils to your skin, you must use a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba as to avoid skin irritation.

 

On this note, it is also essential to do a patch test on yourself before applying to larger areas to check that your chosen oil is suitable for your body (and will not cause irritation/allergic reaction). Essential oils should not be digested unless under the specific directions by a healthcare professional.

Here is your ultimate guide to essential oils and their uses

Essential oils that can help induce sleep:

Lavender, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, chamomile, neroli, ylang-ylang, cedar, rose, clary sage, marjoram, bergamot, frankincense. There are oil blends that are specifically blended together to help aid with sleep like this Sleep Assist Essential Oil Blend from Oil Garden.

 

Tip: Diffuse a couple of drops of lavender oil with some water in a spritzer bottle. Spray your pillow with a spritz before you go to sleep!

Essential oils that may improve concentration:

basil, rosemary, peppermint, cedar, grapefruit, pine, juniper, vetiver, helichrysum.

 

Tip: Add a couple of drops of one of the essential oils mixed with water in an aromatherapy diffuser by your study area. Try this 10ml certified organic rosemary oil by Vrindavan.

Essential oils to aid in de-stressing:

lemon, orange, rose, lavender, frankincense, clary sage, bergamot, sandalwood, geranium, ylang-ylang, marjoram, chamomile.

 

A great way to alleviate stress is to massage a relaxing oil blend of your choice into your temples for 1-2 minutes. We love the Stress Release blend from Lively Living.

Essential oils for improving energy:

black pepper, lemon, grapefruit, orange, peppermint, ginger, jasmine, rosemary, eucalyptus.

 

Most Citrus oils have great energy boosting properties. The Doterra Citrus Bliss is the perfect invigorating blend, combining Wild Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Grapefruit Peel, Mandarin Peel, Bergamot Peel, Tangerine Peel, Clementine Peel essential oils and Vanilla Bean Absolute.

Essential oils that can ease muscle tension:

nutmeg, wintergreen, rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, black pepper, ginger, cayenne, chamomile.

 

Tip: All of these essential oils can aid in inflammation. For muscle aches, mix a few drops of essential oil into your carrier oil and massage into the muscles that need relief.

Essential oils for that can treat Acne and skin irritations:

tea tree, lavender, rosemary, oregano, bergamot, helichrysum.

 

Tip: Try it yourself by making a face wash by mixing five drops of tea tree oil with aloe vera gel and coconut oil.

A bonus all-purpose household cleaning spray recipe:

Combine ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 ¾ cups water, 15 drops eucalyptus oil and 15 drops orange oil. Pour into your spray bottle and you’re ready to go!