Do you have a food intolerance?

Written by MARABOND on November 8, 2011

First it is important to differentiate between an allergy and an intolerance.

 

An allergy is a fast response (within minutes) by the body’s immune system to a perceived invader. Symptoms are typically immediate, dramatic and visible: coughing, sneezing, vomiting, migraines, watering eyes, rashes, swelling tissue, hives, or severe (but rare) anaphylactic shock. However other symptoms like the gastrointestinal responses nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can be delayed for hours or even days.

 

On the other hand, food intolerance is a slow onset reaction, taking hours, days or even weeks to appear. It is an inability to properly digest certain foods. It can be caused by the immune system response, lack of enzymes or abnormal chemical breakdown. Symptoms include cramps, diarrhoea, flatulence, bloating and also it can damage the lining of the intestine allowing foreign particles into the bloodstream (leaky gut).

 

The long term consequences include low resistance to diseases, skin irritations, respiratory distress, and also deficiency of vital nutrients like iron and/or calcium causing anaemia or osteoporosis. Other signs are headache, fatigue, migraine, inability to concentrate, sleep disorders, mouth ulcers, urinary problems, weight fluctuation and obsessive (addictive) eating.

 

Australians are known to be one of the most frequently allergic people in the world, 4.1 million Australians (19.6% of the population) have at least one allergic disease, like Rhinitis (hay fever), Asthma, Eczema and others like food allergy including food induced anaphylaxis, most commonly to peanut, shrimp (prawn), cow’s milk and egg.

 

In the USA, although 25% of people think they’re allergic to certain foods, studies show that about only 6 percent of children and 2 percent of adults have a food allergy. However, this does not take into consideration that there is NOT one test that can detect accurately food intolerances, except to sufferers of Coeliac disease, who can receive a referral to a gastroenterologist for a gut biopsy.

 

And then just to add to the equation, many people think they have an intolerance, when they just have an OVERLOAD of the same compound, for instance gluten is overly consumed in our diets these days. For instance, some people just have Wheat bix in the morning, pastry for lunch, biscuits, and more pasta for dinner. Therefore, a chronic constipation may be only a a way for our body to say ‘STOP, give me break!’

 

If you suspect you have a food intolerance, I would suggest you keep a food diary for at least a week, recording all timings, quantities, and symptoms, then you consult with a nutritionist or naturopath who can help you to find the cause and also find a yummy diet that reduce or eliminate the culprit.

 

Do not feel overwhelmed and disheartened. Today there are so many products to cater for intolerances, the most common ones are wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free and egg free. I know a person who cannot eat gluten, eggs, soy, dairy and still cooks beautiful food and in fact wrote a cookbook for food intolerants which I recommend for some clients.

If you suffer from a intolerance, you may have to reduce processed foods, but for our health this is a positive move anyway!

 

Some people may resume eating the food that caused the intolerance, after some gut treatment, others like coeliacs are better eliminating the ingredient totally, as the long term risks are greater than the inconvenience.

 

Seasonal Food Guide

Written by MARABOND on October 10, 2011

Everyone knows that seasonal and locally produced foods are better for you!

Nobody wants to eat a 3 months stored apple, without any taste. Surprise, surprise!

I found these seasonal guides in Sydney, worth checking if you live in the area, otherwise search online for a guide locally.

Also see very easy inspirational seasonal recipes:

 

http://www.sydneymarkets.com.au/produce-info.asp

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Do you need a Spring detox?

Written by MARABOND on October 6, 2011

Toxins are not new, they can be naturally produced and eliminated when digesting a meal or exercising, most are harmful substances that pollute our bodies and make it work harder. What is is new is the amount and variety of such substances these days.

 

It is well known that we have amazing natural resources to get rid of toxins from our bodies, the most obvious systems are our skin, liver, bowels and kidneys.

 

However, our bodies are very intelligent, and when overloaded and unable to cope, will give signs that need some action. If you answer YES to some of these questions, you may benefit from a detox program:

 

  • Are you often constipated? Any diarrhea? Flatulence? Bloating? Water retention?
  • Are you constantly tired?
  • Is your skin spotty or dull? Any skin rashes? Eczema?
  • Other allergies or intolerances?
  • Is your hair dull?
  • Do you suffer from headache or migraine?
  • Do you have aches and pains in your joints or muscles?
  • Do you suffer from catarrh and sinus problems? Hay fever?
  • Do you have problems sleeping? Concentrating?
  • Do you suffer from depression, anxiety or mood disorders?
  • Any immune disorder?

Other reasons to detox include if you over consumed alcohol and/or Winter fatty foods. Spring is a great time to re-start your body clock!

 

Note that the need to lose weight should not be the main reason to detox, however a detox program may be beneficial to break yourself from unhealthy habits, and feel the difference after a few days!

 

 

Which program is best?

 

There are many detox diets and programs that promise miracles, packages in the shops and pharmacies which say that it is recommended by naturopaths, but certainly do not give their names or credentials!! Whatever you do this Spring, DO NOT go on the Lemon Detox Diet. I don’t want you to experience a serious drop in metabolic rate, lose muscle mass and possibly harm yourself.

 

Also there are situations where a detox program can be very harmful, for instance if you suffer from diabetes, after flu or any illness, if you are under extreme stress or recovering from an addiction.

 

There are many types of healthy detox programs, you may choose to go to a good health retreat like Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, which is not just pampering. You may choose to stay for a minimum of a week, eat organic food and learn a lot about your health, a huge immersion which will bring benefits back to your daily life.

 

Or you may choose to work with a nutritionist of naturopath and have a program designed to fit your needs, budget and lifestyle, with or without supplements. The length of the program can also be tailored to your needs; to feel the benefits it is usually recommended as a minimum of 5-7 days and maximum of 21 days. Also when you finish it, a entire healthy week day or detox meal can be incorporated in your life for maintainance.

 

What to expect?

 

 

I also suggest a preparation of 1-2 days before you start the program, to reduce the called ‘cleansing crisis’. Side effects depend how toxic you are, how your body responds, and the length of the program you choose, and may include tiredness, headaches, nausea, feeling cold, bad breath, furry tongue, differences in bowel movements and irritability. These signs can be very positive and indicate your body is eliminating toxins.

 

Again, it is good if you have a professional you can call, and discuss your side effects to keep you on track.

 

After the program finishes, I also suggest you not rush for a sugary treat, a coffee or a glass of wine, allow your body to enjoy the benefits.

 

Speaking of benefits, it is difficult to measure them, but common ones are better metabolism, digestion, circulation, skin, hair, energy, ability to cope with stress, mood enhancement, usual feeling of relaxation and inner energy!

 

 

 

Other considerations?

 

 

If you choose to embark yourself in a program, use the time to reflect, de-clutter your home/office, rest, incorporate a bath, a lymphatic drainage or relaxing massage, meditate, write a journal, so you can detox your mind as well !

 

If you have questions and want to discuss your needs, feel free to call me.

 

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Supplements: Do you need them?

Written by MARABOND on August 21, 2011

As a nutritionist I worked in a vitamin shop, very good training, but I found so many customers spending heaps of money in supplement they do not need… I was so lucky that I worked in a place where I could recommend someone to STOP taking a supplements…

 

I remember once a friend/client came to visit and asked me about this new formula and asked me ‘ Should I take it?’, when I enquired what she was taking at that moment, the list went on and on, and after a chat, I recommend her to give her body a break, stop taking supplements for 2-3 weeks, and eat heaps of fruit and veggies.

 

Having said that, there are people who desperately need a supplement, such as smokers, overly stressed people, or even people who exercise a lot… or to treat symptoms or the whole person, with a boost of vitamins, to prevent future issues, like reducing sugar cravings to reduce the chance of diabetes…. but what supplements are best?

What do I need?

I usually take a client health history, and while this can take 45-60 minutes, it helps to identify the priorities for treatment in the short and long-term, it also helps to avoid wrong assumptions. It is virtually impossible to offer this type of service in a vitamin shop, and remember that most people who work there are students, and instead of spending your cash on supplements you do not need, I recommend you to find a good professional, nutritionist or naturopath and use their knowledge for your long term health.

How much to spend?

I also recommend to buy the best supplement your pocket can afford. You would not buy fish from a cheap fish monger, would you? Why thousands of people continue buying cheap fish oils? All have 1000 mg of omega 3, right? Ok, I’ll clarify, look for the active ingredients in the fish oil, EPA and DHA, some only have 12% of EPA, when others have 40%, which one do you think would have a good anti-inflammatory effect? Which one do you think would have been tested for mercury, arsenic and other nasties in the sea/fish?

Another good example, is that some clients keep spending their money in calcium supplements, in a form which is calcium carbonate, the worst absorbable calcium in the market,only because the calcium comes from a well known manufacturer, part of a big pharmaceutical company, and advertise everywhere.
Please, if you need calcium, just go to a best formula.

My advice here is to spend wisely, get professional help to choose, and if possible buy a practitioner only formula.

Where to get help?

Again, if you need help to prepare yourself for a competition, consult a nutritionist or dietitian, who can help with sport nutrition, most personal trainers do not have this training, and by getting help with the right professional your optimise your health and workout.

 

Find an accredited nutritionist at www.atms.com.au or www.australiannaturaltherapistsassociation.com.au/

 

Enjoy your life, eat healthily and drink lots of water.

 

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Sports hydration

Written by MARABOND on August 21, 2011

Why do I need to drink water?

 

  • The body is 72% of water, the brain is 70% and the muscles are 70%.
  • Even mild hydration can cause hunger, fatigue, headache, short-term memory loss and slow concentration.

 

When to drink water?

 

  • Start your day with water, and then between meals. Avoid drinking during meals as it may dilute the acids and enzymes and slow digestion.
  • Drink continuously during exercise (usually up to 60 minutes)
  • If you are exercising more than 60 minutes, consider a sports drink, or even better an electrolyte sport solution, such as Endura, to replenish the minerals lost during perspiration (potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium). Lack of these minerals may cause cramping, increase recovery time, dizziness and faintness. If you are a athlete consider talking to a nutritionist to get a “practitioner only” sports formula.

 

How can I prepare for a big event ?

  • Ensure you are well hydrated 2 days before the event.
  • Drink 250 ml of water every 15-20 minutes, 2-4 hours before the event
  • Practise drinking during training for the big day !!!
  • Consider a carbohydrate loading if the event is long.
  • Maximise absorption by taking sports drinks or sport electrolyte solution in small sips during the event.

 

Alternatives?

If you get tired of drinking water:

  • Add pieces of fruit for a taste and leaving in a jug of water in your fridge, such as pieces of apple, watermelon, orange
  • Add chlorophyll drops to change the taste of water
  • Try herbal juices such as green, fennel, lemon grass, yummy!!
  • Remember that good vegetables and fruits also have heaps of water !!!

 

Avoid or reduce caffeine, alcohol, sugary drinks and they dehydrate and reduce your performance in sports.