How To Do Happy…Or Pigs In Clover

Piglet and Eeyore – Optimism and Despair

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as the result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have”   –  Frederick Keonig

Have you ever wondered why some people seem so happy while others just don’t seem to be able to capture happiness in their life? There have been studies done into what makes people happy (of course, there are studies for everything these days) and they all seem to suggest that the most important thing for a happy life is a strong connection to family and friends, which makes a lot of sense. If you think about the unhappy people who are depicted in film and literature they are invariably shown as having cut themselves off from other people around them. Of course there are times when there are genuine reasons not to be happy, such as in times of grief, but there are also some people who just never seem willing or even able to allow happiness into their life.

So based on the study findings here is a list of the most important things that make people feel happy.

  • As I said, many consider the number one requirement of happiness to be having a circle of family and friends around you who are there to offer support when you need it and with whom you can share your experiences. They are people who you can trust when you need advice or even simply to listen to you, and in return you do the same for them. Having deep and meaningful conversations have been shown to increase happiness. We all need connection, it makes our life seem more meaningful. In fact lonely people are apparently more likely to die early.

  • For me I think the feeling of gratitude has to be high on the list. Today in my neck-of-the-woods it is beautiful – a sunny 23 degrees, gentlest of breezes and the scent of the Spring flowers wafting through the open door as I write. On days like these my happiness soars and I feel immense gratitude for the opportunity to experience this, gratitude that I am not stuck in a windowless office all day. It all comes down to what you focus on – if it is on the problems in your life then they take over your consciousness, but it is easy to find pleasure in small things and if that is what you are looking for then things that you can be grateful for will appear more and more often. If you are noticing the good things around you, no matter how insignificant, then there is less room to notice the bad. Gratitude needs to be expressed though, talked or written about and one way to do this is to keep a “Gratitude Diary” where you can write down what you have to be grateful about every day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.” – Louisa May Alcott
  • Lots of the things that we stress over are not changed in any way by the amount of attention we give them. Whether we stress them or not they go on and play out exactly the same as they would do if we put them aside and didn’t allow them to cause us such anxiety. It comes back to the old saying of “don’t stress the small”, but I would add “and learn to appreciate the small instead”.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

  • Allowing and expressing gratitude of course leads to you developing a positive outlook and to cultivate optimism. Recognising failures as the opportunity to learn and grow helps you to see the world and everything that happens as a chance for more experience. It’s really interesting that attitude is entirely related to what we see around us. Olympic Bronze Medalists feel fortunate that they have won a medal while Silver Medalists apparently feel bad that they missed out on the Gold. It comes down to focusing on what you have, not what is missing. So avoiding social comparisons helps to avoid the poison of dismissing what we actually have done or what we actually do have. If you need to make comparisons then use an earlier you as the benchmark.
  • Forgiveness seems to be a biggie here. Holding anger, hatred and resentment is very toxic. Your mind can’t differentiate between emotions from the past and the present and so the negative, hateful feelings simply eat away constantly causing great harm to your immune system. Rita Mae Brown said that “One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory”. No doubt that would help with cultivating forgiveness, but it seems that controlling your mind to avoid the negative may also be valuable as it helps builds the positive outlook. You can’t do anything about the past so let it go.

  • You need to feel good about yourself to feel happy. First up you need to recognize your talents. We all hold great strengths within but often nobody, including ourselves, ever acknowledges them. Even when we seem to be failing we are often exhibiting strengths such as perseverance and courage which we are not even recognizing. The Virtues Project  is one way you can learn to recognize these in yourself and all those around you. Once you acknowledge your talents and strengths you can start to develop and expand your passions, to excite your curiosity, leaving you hungry for more ‘life’. But probably most importantly it allows you to just be who you are – yourself.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey

  • Having meaningful work or an occupation is vital to feeling happy. It is not just about having something that distracts or fills you time, although being in the state of ‘flow’ certainly gives you flashes of intense living and distracts you from the more boring parts of life. Doing something meaningful provides a sense of fulfillment that allows self-actualisation. It is also about simply using your talents, building your character through the responsibilities and obligations it entails.
  • Practise generosity and learn to give to others. Having meaningful work might offer you this opportunity. Giving may also be through caring for a family, volunteering, simply spending time with someone, basically just helping another. Altruism is deeply satisfying and will not only make you happier but also help shape your character.
  • It is worth remembering that health and fitness is important as there are physiological factors involved in feeling more or less happy. Certain neurotransmittors such as dopamine, seratonin and endorphins have an effect on your feelings of well-being as do some amino acids. Production and levels of these are affected by your diet and exercise. Too little of the foods required or too little exercise, leads to low levels of these essentials in your body and an inability to feel happy. There have been studies done that show that exercise can be just as effective in helping people with depression as anti-depressants such as Zoloft and that these people were less likely to relapse as they also had a sense of achievement. This is a great article about foods (and their components) that have a direct impact on ‘feeling good’. It includes lists of the foods rich in mood-enhancing nutrients that you need to eat in order to boost production of neurotransmittors such as dopamine and endorphins, and provide you with necessary amino acids needed to feel happy.

Of course there are other things that help to build happy people, which could be seen as a sub-groups of those above – here are some more that I can think of:

  • Take responsibility for your life- Victim mentalities don’t ever make for happiness
  • Follow your gut – This is about listening to your intuition, and also not regretting the decision you made later
  • Change – Being open to change allows you to grow
  • Practice random acts of kindness – This raises serotonin levels in your brain, making you feel wonderful as well as making the recipient feel cared for and any onlooker feel better too – this is certainly a case of  ‘passing it on’
  • Practice compassion – The Dalai Lama said “ If you want to be happy, practice compassion”  (but this one takes practice) and it is also linked to serotonin levels
  • Develop coping strategies – “S**t happens!” having well-practiced strategies on call that help you to cope will always assist you in getting through the moment
  • Practice spirituality (or religion) – Embracing a connection to ‘all’ gets you over the idea that you are all-important and allows you to recognize that life is bigger than any one individual
  • Make commitments – Removing choices actually subconsciously makes you happier (it has to do with knowing your purpose) and having goals provides something to look forward to
  • Freedom – You need to have the choice to determine your own fate
  • Slow down to savour life – take the time to embrace and enjoy the joys. Learn to appreciate the simple things in life (there’s gratitude again!)
  • Develop your creativity – Creative effort nurtures happiness and leads to ‘flow’
  • Follow your life-purpose – First work out what matters and then work on building the courage to pursue it (but don’t get obsessive!)
  • Smile – So simple! So effective! Do it all the time. “You’ve got to S-M-I-L-E, To be H-A-Double-P-Y  –  Shirley Temple

Here are some concrete ideas to increase happiness in your life.

When all is said-and-done your happiness comes down to YOU”!

How happy you are rests on the way in which you approach your own life, you are actually the one who makes the decision to be happy or not, whether you are aware of it or you are doing it subconsciously. There will always be ups and down in your happiness but you can raise the base-line of your happiness, so start working on it today. As Aristotle said “Happiness depends upon ourselves”

So have I left anything out? What makes you happy? Add your ideas in the comments below.


All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Super-Power Your Health By Adding Super-Foods To Your Diet

I often recommend that clients add ‘Superfoods’ to their diet because they are power-packed with health benefits. But many people are not really sure what they are.

Superfoods are defined generally as highly nutrient-rich and nutrient-complex foods which are thought to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. They are often foods with high phytonutrient (the component of plants that affects health) or zoonutrient (the health-affecting component in animal products) content, as well as being rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are not processed and although not a specific requirement, you would expect them to be organic or biodynamic.

The compounds in superfoods are so powerful that they can have a huge and significant effect on your health. It is thought that more than half of the suffering of degenerative diseases could be eliminated simply by changing to a diet made up of superfoods.

Diet-related diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and hypertension can be significantly affected by choosing to eat a diet rich in these foods. If they can have such a significant effect on people suffering with these serious diseases, consider the impact they will have if they are included in the diets of people whose health is better, and more particularly, their impact on children.

Using lots of superfoods in children’s diets promotes vibrant good health, and an energy and enthusiasm for life.

On a value for dollar basis superfoods make perfect sense. They are rarely the foods that you find on sale but the benefits they provide for quantity makes them a very smart purchase. Here is a list of some of the best superfoods, although there are lots more!


10 Awesome Superfoods

1.  Apples

There are many superfoods around to choose from. With families and children in mind top of the list has to be apples. But, apples are one of the foods on the“Dirty Dozen®” list. This means they are one of the most highly pesticide sprayed foods and should only be eaten when they are organic or biodynamic. Apples are a super source of antioxidants and vitamin C. They also contain potassium and fibre, and are low in kilojoules. Their secret is in the skin, so it is very important not to peel the apple in order to get the benefits.

Apples are not just great for children, as eating apples also improves mental dexterity and slows both age-related memory loss and bone loss.  Find out some other specific health problems that apples help plus a nice recipe for baked apples right here  as well as here.

2. Avocado

Avocado is another superfood that is easy to include in family diets. Hass avocados which are very easy to find, have the highest concentration and variety of nutrients, with a high percentage of healthy fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants. They are great for your digestive system and also have anti-aging benefits, helping to prevent wrinkles. The antioxidants are highest in the darker green flesh straight under the skin so try not to cut this off. If your children are not keen to eat this delicious fruit try using it as a spread on their sandwiches. Read more about the amazing avocado

3. Goji Berries

Another yummy superfood is berries. Do you know of Goji berries? They have an amazing

Goji Berries are also sometimes known as Wolf Berries

amount of unique nutrients and antioxidants. They have more iron than spinach and more vitamin C by weight than any other food on earth, as well as lots of other goodies. They are fantastic for your immune system and will help any imflammatory disorder. You can buy them as juice or dried. But if you are on a nightshade ( Solanaceae) free diet you will need to avoid Goji berries as they fall into that food family. Here  is some more about goji berries. If you would like to grow your own Goji berries this guy  in Qld sells plants over the internet to all Australian states.

Goji berries are not the only berry superfoods. In fact all berries are little power packed bundles. Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and in particular blueberries all contain lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But, they are another food, like apples, that need to be organic because of the high use of pesticides.

4, 5, 6 &7. Brassicas

There are many other Superfoods such as the cruciferous vegetables. This is a big family that includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, radish, kale, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, rocket (arugula) and watercress.

8. Spinach

Spinach is another superfood that needs to be organic, and it is a great source of iron to boost your energy. Adding any greens to your diet provides many wonderful nutrients and should be eaten every day, but including superfood greens will give an added boost to your health

9. Beans

Kidney, borlotti, butter, chick peas, etc and lentils have nutrients that offer significant protection against a number of tumours as well as the normal superfood benefits. They are also particularly helpful for people with insulin resistance.

10. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds can have a massive effect on lowering your risk of heart attack if you eat them five times a week.


More Superfoods

A few other superfoods are:

  • raw cacao (not everyday chocolate which is full of sugar, and usually dairy products) 
  • quinoa which is a herb that you use as you would a grain
  • chiaseeds which are wonderful when added whole or ground to any food or used as an oil.
  • flaxseed oil
  • cold-pressed coconut oil

Superfood Supplements

The ‘Supergreens’ include Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat Grass and Barley Grass. The nutrients in these are very concentrated and provide you with a shot of goodness. They’re called ‘wheat grass shots’ for more than one reason!

These superfoods come in tablet, capsule or powder form. The powder is easy to add to juice or smoothies. Although it makes it go dark green it doesn’t affect the flavour noticeably.

My own favourite is Spirulina which I think of as the supergreen equivalent of a “multi-vitamin”, a great all-rounder. Chlorella is particularly detoxifying and Barley Grass is very alkalinizing for your system.

The supergreens also come in combination with each other, or you can mix them yourself. I always use them in highish doses when I travel to help to counteract the toll that overseas travel takes on my body.

Superfoods are a wonderful alternative to fast food when you’re on the go. By adding them to your diet you are eating foods just as nature intended.

If you concentrate on increasing the amount of superfoods in your diet rather than trying to eliminate foods you will find it won’t take long before you’ve replaced  the ‘bad food’ with good. Your diet will have improved without the stress of having to consciously avoid foods. Superfood supplements can also be used for short term assistance.

During times when you are under greater stress, physically or mentally, or when you are not getting enough nutrients add the supergreen supplements for as long as you need them.

Here  is an interesting glossary of natural and organic foods if you are unsure about just what some of the ones mentioned are.

What are your favourite superfoods? Do you have any special ways that you incorporate them into your diet?

How do you super-power your own health?



All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

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Related articles

Bring The Positive Into Your Life With Negative Ions

With Spring all around you could be excused for thinking that Love is in the air. While that may well be so in your neck of the woods, it will be sharing that air space with something far more sinister – positively charged ions. These positively charged ions have a dramatic effect on your body and your mind, causing a whole range of health problems.

Salt lamps counteract the bad effects on our health of positive ions

What Are Positive Ions?

Without getting technical, there are two types of ions (charged particles) in our surroundings, negative and positive. (Don’t skim or skip this as I’ll try to keep it simple and having a basic understanding will make lots of things about your family’s health clearer to you.)

An excess of positive ions in the environment affects the health of humans. Positive ions are thought to cause free-radical damage in the body and adversely affect the immune system in many ways.


What Are The Negative Effects Of Positive Ions?

As well as immune system dysfunction they positive ions cause many other symptoms including body pains, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, respiratory difficulties, allergies, asthma, migraine, emotional unbalance, irritability, exhaustion, apathy, anxiety and depression. They can also affect your endocrine (hormonal) system, thus your thyroid hormone production and also increase adrenalin production.

And then all these disruptions can impact on you in many other ways such as poor sleep or learning difficulties.


Where Do Positive Ions Come From?

Increased positive ions in the environment are produced by many of the things that are an ingrained part of our modern lives, such as TV sets (digital sets throw out toxic beams directly in front of the screen for up to 400 metres, including through walls), computer monitors, microwaves, fuse boxes and in fact by any of the electrical appliances and power points in your house and workplace.

WiFi technology, such as mobile (cell) phones, wireless internet, modems and routers, and baby monitors, has greatly increased the presence of positive ions in our lives. The electro magnetic field around each of these hotspots varies from one to the next but can extend for a number of metres.

The term Geopathic Stress is used to indicate the presence of unhealthy earth energies in living spaces and refers to the imbalance of Positive Ion fields. And stress within your body, including your brain, is exactly what high positive ion levels cause.


How Negative Ions Help You

Negative ions on the other hand, help to balance out the effects of the vast quantities of positive ions that are released into the air of our modern homes. It’s thought they produce biochemical reactions in our bloodstream that lead to increased production and release of the happy mood chemical serotonin, which in turn helps to alleviate depression, reduce stress and boost daytime energy.

Other ways negative ions can help you are with detoxification, increased alertness, improved concentration, better breathing, sounder sleep, tension relief and vitamin utilization and they help to strengthens your body’s immune system.

Negative ion balance maintains healthy oxygen levels, promotes healthy cell growth, healthy states of mind and overall wellbeing. Basically, they’re all-round ‘good guys’ and vital to have anywhere you spend lots of time!


How Positive and Negative Ions Affect Your Body

Here’s an interesting comparison from Kiflow between the benefits from negative ions and the damage from positive ions in the environment.

Beneficial Negative Ions Harmful Positive Ions
Blood vessels Dilate blood vessels Constrict blood vessels
Blood Pressure Stabilize BP Increase BP
Blood Increase blood alkalinity Increase blood acidity
Bones Strengthen bones Weaken bones
Urinary tract Promote urination;
increase nitrogen in urine
Suppress urination;
decrease nitrogen in urine
Respiratory Stabilize respiration and make breathing easier Accelerate respiration and make breathing more difficult.
Pulse rate Decrease pulse rate Increase pulse rate
Heart Enhance heart function Impair heart function
Fatigue Speed physical recovery Prolong physical recovery
Autonomic Nervous System Calm and relax nerves Tense and strain the nervous system
Growth Promote healthy growth Suppress and delay growth


Where To Find Negative Ions

There are lots of places where you find an abundance of negative ions including beaches, waterfalls, forests, fountains and mountains. Think of the wonderful lift you experience just by being in these places.

Pounding surf and thunderstorms are great negative ion generators. Of course some of the positive response you feel is due to the natural beauty of these amazing places but much of the uplifting response is from the abundance of negative ions in the air.

Negative ions in these places are measured in tens of thousands but in most homes and offices they often only measure in ‘hundreds’ or even ‘tens’, which may be why you never get that same uplifting feeling at home, work or school.

Negative ions are not the same as ozone and both have a different effect on you.

Benefits of negative ions and damage of positive ions

What’s Negative-Ion-Rich Air Like?

The difference between air rich in positive ions and air rich in negative ions can easily be felt during a thunderstorm.

Have you noticed the build up of tension in the air just before it starts? This is the time when the positive ions are peaking.

Once the storm hits the air produces electrical charges in the atmosphere and fain starts to fall. The air becomes rich with oxygen and explodes with negative-rich ions.

After the storm has passed there’s a feeling of calm and serenity because the rush of negative ions has balanced out the positive ions.

There are many ways to reduce the buildup of positive ions ranging from the cheapest, which is to simply throw open the doors and windows on opposite sides of the room to allow cross-ventilation, to the expensive installation of an Ionizer, but one easy and beautiful way to bring about this ion reversal is to place Himalayan Salt lamps around your living spaces.


What are the benefits of Himalayan salt?

I have lots of Himalayan Salt Lamps for sale at work and am often asked what their purpose is. These lamps, and the salt itself, have a wealth of health benefits.

Lamps made of salt from the Himalayas have enormous health benefits

Himalayan salt is high-quality salt hand-mined from salt caves that were formed 250 million years ago in the foothills of the Himalayas.

The lovely pink colour indicates that it’s mineral rich, and in fact contains 84 minerals and trace elements including calcium, potassium and magnesium. In a country like Australia where our mineral deprived soils lead to food produce that is also low in the minerals your body needs, using this salt is a good way to boost your essential mineral intake.

Unlike table salt, it’s unprocessed. Processed salt is devoid of minerals and only one of the 84 minerals, iodine, is ever replaced.

Even rock salt, which is better than table salt, is no match for Himalayan salt as the elements contained in rock salt are not as easily metabolized as they are in the Himalayan salt which has a unique crystalline structure that enables your body to absorb and metabolize them.

I use Himalayan salt in my cooking instead of processed salt and have noticed that I actually need to use less to get the same effect, perhaps as a result of the presence of the full-spectrum of minerals it contains.

Himalayan salt has a perfect crystalline structure and is the highest grade of natural salt. It contains no environmental pollutants and is importantly, immune to electromagnetic fields.

It’s great added to baths to rejuvenate skin, and to foot baths to detox. Across Europe it’s very common for people to go and spend time inside salt caves to aid their health. Here are the locations of a few.


Himalayan Salt Lamps

Another wonderful way to gain the health benefits of Himalayan salt is to use it in the form of lamps.

Here’s a short explanation of how they work but here and here are more detailed ones.

As the lamp warms up it begins to attract and absorb moisture and the surface becomes moist. The ion field builds up. The heat from the lamp then leads to evaporation and it’s this that creates the negatively charged ions and releases them into the air, where they bind with and neutralize the excess positively charged ions in the air. This helps reduce the ‘electro-smog’ in your air as well as reducing allergens and irritants.

The lamps only release negative ions when they are warmed from the heat of the globe.

If the air is very humid the lamp may ‘weep’ and so should be left lit as this helps to dry them out. During one particularly humid December I woke to find a huge puddle on the floor under one of my lamps sitting right in front of a fan that had been on all night to draw the cooler air into the house. But that cooler air was also laden with moisture!

Himalayan Salt Lamps provide huge health benefits

In addition they are very beautiful, emitting a soft pinkish glow that helps to create a wonderful warm ambience in your home or work. Their colour ranges from light apricot to dark orange and from the softest baby pink to a deep dark rose pink.

There has been much research on the healing effects of colour on our body and mind. Pink is said to soften the vibrant energy of red and support a sense of partnership and love and open your emotional body. It embodies feminine nurturing.

Here are colour therapy descriptions of the characteristics of various pinks “The New Rainbow Colours” if you’d like to know more.

Himalayan salt lamps emit negative ions to help reduce the toxic effect of wi-fi
Salt Lamp Globe Showing Naturally Occuring Striations


How To Use Salt Lamps In Your Home

Placing just one lamp in your home won’t ‘fix it all’ as they have a limited range and so won’t be able to neutralize a whole house.

I have five in my home and one on my desk at work. Place a few through selected areas of your home where you spend lots of time, such as the living area or bedroom as well as near the TV, computer and other high EMF areas to gain the benefits where you need it the most.

They make a beautiful soothing night light for a child’s bedroom, creating a nurturing feeling for the child while at the same time rebalancing the ions in the air, and often improving disturbed sleep.

Salt lamps often improve disturbed sleep.


All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

Transitioning With The Seasons – Autumn Health

Autumn Tints


With the equinox fast approaching we are reaching one of the two points of balance in the year, the other being the Spring equinox. The equinox marks the doorway into Autumn, the season of maturity and benovolent harvest. This is when the activity of Summer has slowed and is the time to begin to focus inward and to turn to slower and gentler pastimes.

Autumn energies are about contracting and gathering inwards. When you slow down in preparation for the stillness of the coming winter, you attune yourself to the more contemplative nature of Autumn which allows for inner reflection, awareness and planning. As you slow become conscious that it’s time to embrace peace and avoid personal dramas in your life as much as possible.

The seasons of transition, Autumn and Spring, are also the time when the body becomes very susceptible to health problems. Making a few adjustments in you habits can make a big difference to how you weather Autumn and in turn how “well you are for winter”.


Eating For The Season

Eating with the seasons is one way in which you can support this transition. Autumn is a time when you need to nurture and support your body in readiness for winter. It is the time when your lungs and colon move into the spotlight. If your health and your immunity is weak then you are likely to experience either coughs, breathing difficulties, sinus problems, or other respiratory problems or gut problems like constipation /diarrhoea.

The lung and the colon are both organs of elimination and relate to “letting go” on all levels. In addition, both these organs store grief and sadness, and if you have these emotions that you have not resolved they will in turn physically affect the health and functioning of both the lungs and the large intestine. Health problems experienced in these organs are sending you the message to “let go”, physically and emotionally.

Many people’s body heats up over the second half of summer. By autumn this inner heat leads exacerbation of dry conditions such as dry itchy throat, dry skin or constipation.

Dry Autumn Illness

If you experience ailments from dry conditions of the organs, like constipation, dry throat or eyes, or excess thirst increase foods to support them. Such foods are seaweed, pears, apples, string beans, tempeh, ground flaxseed, eggs, oysters or clams. Some other moistening foods to add are mushrooms, leeks and root vegetables, baby spinach and cabbage.

Also eliminate, or at least minimise, bitter and spicy foods and coffee, alcohol and cigarettes as they are dehydrating. Spicy food will worsen any problems associated with dryness.

To help clean out your colon increase high fibre foods, particularly whole, unprocessed grains and fibre rich vegetables and fruits. Try replacing white bread with wholegrain or wholemeal breads and white rice with brown rice. Bran is often used for its high fibre content but it can easily irritate the colon. Add more grains, nuts and legumes, like kidney beans.

Spirulina, chlorella, barley grass and wheat grass will help tone your large intestine. And of course steer clear of fast and processed foods which are high in fat and salt and low in essential nutrients and fibre.

This health tip is great for you to adopt at any time


Moist Autumn Illness

Autumn is also the time when you get an increase of illness from an excess mucous forming fluids. If you are experiencing sinus problems use a steam bath with some good quality eucalyptus essential oil added for extra benefit. There are a number of foods that can increase phlegm production including all dairy foods (milk, cheese, ice-cream, cream) as well as eggs.

Autumn is the time to introduce modest amounts of pungent foods to help clear out the mucous in the lungs and intestines. As well as ginger, garlic and coriander you could also eat more mustard, horseradish, onions, celery, cabbage, broccoli, radish, daikon, and seaweeds. You need to use a number of these each day. Lotus seeds and lotus root are also very beneficial for lung health. These helpful ideas may help you deal with nasal congestion.


One of the most simple ways to prevent catching the flu and other respiratory illnesses of the season is to wash your hands frequently, especially before eating.


And If You Still Get sick Anyway…

Keep up your health to protect your immune system but if you do get sick there are a few supplements that will help your recovery.

Vitamin C can be taken in high doses in either a powder or tablet form. When combined with zinc, Vitamin E and selenium it will help fortify your immune system. Make sure to add Vitamin D as most people are low in this important vitamin. With less sun around in the cooler months there is much less chance for your body to synthesize sunlight into Vitamin D.

There are a number of herbal medicines available in tablet form which support immunity. Astragalus membranaceus, Hydrastis Canadensis, Sambucus nigra help the mucous membranes of your respiratory and digestive systems . Garlic is excellent for respiratory illness.

Eating a few cloves of fresh garlic is easy and very helpful at the first sign of a cold. You could try peeling the cloves then dipping them in honey if you can’t face the taste. The cloves need to be both cut and raw. When I feel a cold coming on I supplement with fresh garlic by adding a crushed raw clove on to the top of dishes like pasta, soup or stews. I eat it with the first mouthful without mixing it through the food. This way the garlic is still raw but the taste is not so overwhelming as it is when eating a whole clove.

Don’t forget to drink lots of water. It is worth drinking some of the many herbal teas specific for autumn ailments. Thyme tea is one that can calm constant coughing. Hot water with lemon and manuka honey provides the perfect antibacterial aid to flushing out flu.


Get Active, But Keep It Gentle

This is the time to take part in activities that will boost your immune system and increase the oxygen levels in your blood. This leads to you feeling more alert, more energetic, and more positive, but at the same time does not deplete your vital energy.

Yoga, t’ai  chi or qi gong are very balancing and perfect for autumn. The breathing exercises and stretching (particularly in yoga) will serve you well through the winter.

Try to avoid heavy aerobic exercise outdoors in the cooler autumn months, as it may reduce vital energy or qi, and weaken your system. However, brisk walking, or bike riding (pushbike not motorized!) will increase your lung health.


Clear Your Surroundings

Just as you need to purify the air in your home after having it shut up for winter during Spring, in autumn you also need to keep the air in your home clean in readiness for closing your home up over the cooler months to come. Open the windows whenever you can to catch the last bits of summer warmth.

Bring live plants into your home. Not only do they help to maintain good oxygen levels in the air but many, such as cactus, also help to offset the effects of EMF’s (electromagnetic fields). They are particularly good to place in areas of high EMF’s such as beside the computer.

Positive ions can contribute to many health problems, including irritability, depression, anxiety, emotional unbalance, fatigue, allergies, headaches, and immune dysfunction. Salt lamps are a great way to neutralize the positive ions in the air in your home.

While you’re clearing the air in your home take time to clean out the corners as well so that you have a pleasant clean space to spend the winter. Maybe add a few beautiful colourful items to brighten your home over the darker months ahead.  Try some of these ways to detox your home.


Sleep…Sleep…And Sleep Some More

Lastly, one of the really great ways to protect against the ailments of winter is to get plenty of sleep. This is the time to push yourself to rest, rest, rest. Instead of sitting up at night get to bed early so you can rise earlier in the morning. If you have trouble getting to sleep here are some natural ways that you can help yourself. Simple ways that may help are to take a warm bath or meditate before retiring. But, most of all be conscious that this is the season to be gentle and treat yourself with a little ‘TLC’.

best natural health tips for autumn



All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Spring Is Here – Detox Time

Spring Cherry Blossoms

With the arrival of September comes the stirring of Spring down here in Oz. (For my Northern hemisphere followers there are also steps that you need to take to deal with the change from the warmth of Summer into the cool of Autumn and I will post some pointers for you next time).  Doors and windows are thrown open at the first hint of a warm day letting light and air pour through rooms that have been closed up throughout the dark depths of winter. Second-Hand Shops are flooded with donations as cupboards are cleaned out and goods are discarded. Intentions are set and with the new mindset changes begin to happen. Dogs get walked more frequently, meals start to include more fresh, raw produce, gym programs are set and personal trainers are hired, and many people undertake a detox program to rid themselves of the winter “blahs” and get their energy surging and their bodies trim for the seasons ahead.

Your body’s natural detox system is awesome when it is functioning at full power. But when something breaks down, the toxins are simply not eradicated and build up inside you, stressing every system in your body and leading to lots of health problems that can include bad skin, allergies or arthritis.

At work this week I have begun the Spring Detox Programs and now is the time to consider starting these in your life also. Toxic overloads build up over time and obviously cannot be dealt with by simply eating fruit over a weekend. Also,  doing only a juice fast or detox diet may cause more harm than good, as your metabolic processes will slow down dramatically, and this includes waste removal. The toxins within your body are stored in the fat cells. Increasing  exercise without making any other significant changes can release these toxins into your system as the fat breaks down, but not necessarily adequately flush them out of your body.

To detox properly you need to put a number of things into place and commit to making long-term changes rather than just a 2-day or even week long quick-fix.

There are many ways that you can go about this.

First be honest about what you need to change. Do you smoke? Drink lots of coffee, or soft drinks, which also often contain caffeine, or worse, aspartame? Are you binge drinking, or drinking alcohol on most nights? Are you addicted to sugar or foods high in saturated fats? Are you too sedentary? Are you stressed? Even though you don’t take stress “into your body” it is still very toxic to all your body systems, particularly if it is ongoing.

So to create an effective detox you need to work with the natural body detoxifying processes. At the same time limit the amount of toxins you are exposed to so that you reduce the stress on your detox system, while also strengthening it at the same time.


Fresh, raw, organic vegetables
Fresh, raw, organic vegetables

The first line of defence against toxin overload is in limiting what you put into your mouth. This usually means giving up coffee, sugar, bread, milk alcohol and red meat, but if doing this stops you being able to detox in other ways then it won’t be all that good (although I always maintain even small steps are useful to a certain degree and sometimes the best way to get started). In spite of this, to effectively detox you do need to reduce the toxin intake from food. Eating only organic food is the best option but if it is not possible, at least try to always eat some selected organic foods. You also need to add foods to your diet that will stimulate the liver, bowel and kidneys so they work better, as well as foods that neutralize free radicals like berries, kidney beans, avocadoes, cherries, spinach, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green tea, nuts, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and kiwi fruits to name just a few .

Here are 5 Great Springtime Detox Diets you might like to try. There are lots of  “Top 10 Detox Food” lists around. This list suggests general food groups and this one specific food items, and both are great places to get ideas for changes you can make. But remember they are just a start and you should aim to expand on these lists.

Juicing is a another great way to get optimal health and well worth including in your nutrition plan. How often are you getting the 7-8 serves of fruit and vegetables you need every day, and do you know how big a serve actually is? Juicing offers a way to help you meet those requirements. You can add veges that you don’t normally eat and get a wider range of nutrients and also this means you are able to rotate your foods more. Here is a nice comparison of the different types of juicers available. Check it out before you get one. And then check out these good recipes to get you started. Celery, fennel and cucumbers are good veges to start with as they are easy to digest.  You can add lemon or lime, cranberries or blueberries, or fresh ginger to boost your health and get a great flavour burst. As you get the hang of it you can add superfoods to your juice like Spirulina (my own fave “multi-vitamin” superfood), chlorella, barley grass and maca powder. Use organic veges and fruit, especially if they are one of the ones included on the “Dirty Dozen©” list . Also, drink the juice straight away as it is very perishable. If you need to you can store it for a day in the fridge, in a container filled right to the top so there is no air to allow oxidation to occur. The only drawback about using lots of juices in your diet is that you lose the fibre that is in the fruit and vegetables when you juice them, and so you will need to be very conscious of maintaing a high level of foods with a high natural fibre level in the other foods in your diet.

While exercise is essential to a good detox, gyms are not always helpful or healthy. Their environment is one that for many people simply builds their stress levels and negates any health benefit they would otherwise gain. Running or walking in the open air, or swimming gives you the benefit of aerobic exercise away from the stressful environment.

Eastern exercise like yoga, t’ai chi and qi gong are wonderful ways to exercise as they offer you so much. You will gain all the benefits of other aerobic exercises as well as much, much more. Yoga for example, teaches you to breathe properly, it stretches your muscles which in turn releases toxins, it balances your inner body energy, or chi, it helps to reduce your stress and it stimulates your lymphatic system. It is also very calming for most people and leaves them feeling at peace as well as envigorated. There are many types of yoga and you are sure to find one that suits you.

Detoxing is not just about what goes on inside your body. It is also important to attend to your external body. You are going to like this! Massage, body-brushing and heat treatments are some great ways to stimulate detoxing from the outside.

About half a kilo of toxins leave your body each day, carried out through your skin in your sweat, but this can only happen if your pores are clean. Also, if you are you are using an anti-perspirant then you need to be aware that it will be blocking some of the major drainage pores of your body. The pores can also be blocked by a build-up of dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your skin. Normally they are shed, but this doesn’t occur as well as you age. So, removing these cells is important to detox and body-brushing is a good way to do this. Here is how to do it. Body salt scrubs on dry skin will also help. I make a delicious one from Himalayan Salt and essential and vegetable oils.

Sauna and steam treatments are another way to remove toxins. By the way, when smokers leave a sauna they often leave a yellow tar residue which has oozed out of all their pores on the towels and a fine layer of black tar under the benches. Is that an incentive to stop smoking? I hope so.

Massage detoxes the body in two ways. Firstly, by reducing stress which if prolonged depresses your immunity and therefore your resistance to infections. Reducing stress  can also help reduce cravings. Secondly, it stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic flow, which feeds more nutrients into the cells and removes more waste from the cells. There are a few different types of massage, and while all will be beneficial manual lymph drainage is the most beneficial for detoxing.


So, armed with these few tips to get you off and running, start formulating your Spring Detox plan today so you can get it underway quickly and head out on the path towards a lighter brighter spring you.


All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site.