It’s hard to believe that what we eat could possibly affect the length of our period, whether it is heavy or light, or even whether we experience PMS or not. However, the period is a key indicator of what’s going on inside of a woman’s body. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists refer to a woman’s period as her 5th vital sign: meaning menstruation is as important a health indicator as what body temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure are (1). So, what is your period telling us about you?
Obesity Australia estimates that 1 in 3 Australian women are overweight or obese prior to conception which results in serious health risks to the mother and developing foetus. In the following Q&A, I explore what a healthy weight is and if you are overweight/obese what to do to reduce your weight and risk factors.
How are you going to BREAK your FAST? For me, when it comes to breakfast, variety is the spice of life, I want it to be healthy, nutritious and most importantly tasty. Also, I get it, time is a factor too, mornings are precious - we are getting ourselves up and dressed (and for some – our kids too), we are trying to meet time deadlines to be at work or school, whilst often trying to fit in our daily exercise too!
Hormonal acne can be really difficult to treat, and often the only medical treatment that will be offered is the oral contraception pill which acts like a band aid to the underlying hormonal imbalance. Once the pill is stopped, the acne returns (if it had cleared at all!). Hormonally influenced acne can cause breakouts that flare up around ovulation or period time. Breakouts are usually around the chin, neck and mouth area but can affect the whole face and even the chest or back in some cases.
I sit here as the rain is lashing outside, I am rugged up and have a pair of sky socks on(!), the heating is cranking and I am eating a bowl of quinoa and chia porridge, I feel cosy. Intuitively in the colder seasons we gravitate to warming practices and foods, and as our cold months are short in Sydney, I feel that we can actually celebrate the fact we can stay in a bit more, go to ground and eat more warming foods such as soups, slow cooks, porridges and the likes. However, I do find that in clinic when reviewing people’s diet diaries they still contain a lot of cold food such as smoothies, raw summer salads and fruits. So, I have got together with Alison and Hayley to provide you with some winter warming inspiration – with our top tips and favourite recipes.
By Karen Latter naturopath, herbalist, nutritionist
By Alison Maunder, naturopath, herbalist, nutritionist
Winter has been a little late arriving this year. Despite this, with the sun lower in the sky, our vitamin D levels can fall by up to a massive 30% in winter. When our vitamin D levels drop, so can our general health and well-being. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the immune system protecting us from infections and ensuring resilience against autoimmune diseases and some cancers.
It seems that as soon as the weather cools, the cold and flu season hits. Already this winter has seen an influx of colds, sore throats, ear infections, sinus infections and coughs. While researchers are yet to understand why we are more prone to ‘colds’ when the weather is cooler, we cannot deny winter brings with it more infections. Kids will average six to eight colds a year and adults between two and three. While it is normal for kids to get a few colds a year, these should only last a couple of days at a time with complete recovery within a week. A snotty nose or cough lingering for weeks at time can mean your child’s immune system needs some support.
As naturopaths we are very interested in the food that you put into your body, which is why we often ask you to recall what you have eaten in the last 24 hours and also keep a 3 or 7 day diet diary, it gives us a window into your eating habits, lifestyle and your relationship with food. We find, for lots of people, lunch is often the time where good nutrition goes downhill. Whether it is a hastily grabbed convenient one at work, reaching for easy fillers at home or packing a lunch box for your kids to only see it returned uneaten. So we’ve put our heads together to give you some of our favourite lunch time recipe ideas:-
By Karen Latter, naturopath, herbalist & nutritionist
We each have a finite life span, something most of us think little of day to day. With this in mind it is easy to have an interest in longevity and extending this precious life. Of course, this is more than just about the length of life, but rather the quality of the life we lead and how we maintain our vitality as well as mental agility, physical strength and emotional health into our old age. The question is how best to do this? And where to look for answers?
Most new mums will have heard about the ‘fourth trimester’ and will think of it as the time that their new baby is adjusting to life outside of the womb. Those first 3 months after your baby is born are equally a time of change and challenge for mums. Mothers need care and attention to enable health and recovery, in the same way that our babies are given time to adjust to life in the outside world. In our culture this time of caring for the mother’s health is often overlooked and we are expected to be back to our normal self within a few weeks of giving birth. However, mums need time to reach optimal health and recovery post birth and pregnancy so we can feel well and healthy to care for our bubs.