Brown rice is very nice

Have you been kind to your insides lately? Try some nice brown rice…

Biodynamic brown rice is a nutritionalist’s dream. Brown rice is a wholesome food which can meet our protein requirements quite adequately when combined in a variety of interesting and delicious ways. It has far more protein, calcium, B vitamins and iron than its pale, insipid, white counterpart, and also has the added benefit of containing vitamin E, found in the rice germ of whole brown rice, which is absent in white rice.

A bowl of cooked brown rice in the fridge guarantees quick, nutritious, satisfying meals. For example, beat a free-range egg into 2 cups of cooked rice, add a handful of toasted sesame seeds or poppy seeds, and spread into an oiled pie dish, fill with steamed veggies and top with silken tofu or sunflower seeds and warm through in the oven or under a griller. Alternatively, for breakfast try this perfectly combined protein dish for a particularly delicious start to the day. Remember to chew well! Enjoy and taste each mouthful.

Breakfast rice

1 1/2 cups raisins (chopped figs are a delicious substitute)

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

1 cinnamon stick

11/2cups apple or pear juice*

5 cups leftover cooked brown rice

1/2cup almonds or walnuts, loosely chopped and lightly roasted

Simmer raisins, lemon rind, and cinnamon stick in juice for a few minutes, until raisins are plump. Add rice, simmer few more minutes, turn off heat, add nuts, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with soy, rice or oat “milk”.

A few tablespoons of seed mix on top and a dollop of yoghurt, is highly recommended! This dish will easily feed six or provide a weekʼs worth of breakfast for one.

Look after your insides for a happy long life!

10 tips for overcoming fatigue

You can overcome fatigue. It’s easier than you think…

1. Drink at least 2 litres of water each day. Simple dehydration is a frequent cause of fatigue. It takes water to transport nutrients, to chew and digest food, to create blood, to move muscles, to breathe, to think!

2. Optimize the nutritional benefits from your diet. Make your diet work for you not against you. Remember to vary your grains (don’t over rely on wheat), include at least 7-8 green and orange vegetables, and at least three pieces of fruit a day.

3. Never skip breakfast. Eat a high-fibre wholegrain breakfast daily. What you eat for breakfast determines how you will feel for the rest of the day.

4. Decrease stimulants; i.e caffeine, alcohol, sugar. Try eliminating tea and coffee entirely for two weeks and notice the difference in your quality of sleep and energy levels.

5. Eliminate refined carbohydrates such as white bread, processed cereals, cakes and biscuits. These are empty foods and energy robbers. Eating these can frequently result in a mid-afternoon slump and shakiness.

6. Check for food allergies and sensitivities. Symptoms can include poor concentration, irritability, abdominal pain, headache, sinusitis, excessive thirst and dark circles under the eyes.

7. Obtain a minimum of seven hours sleep each night. If insomnia is a problem use appropriate nutrients, relaxing herbs and meditation to encourage restorative sleep.

8. Make a commitment to exercise 45 minutes per day, five days per week. Aerobic exercise increases levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenalin and serotonin, all of which have a positive effect on mood and energy. Energy creates energy, where is yours coming from?

9. Reduce stress. If stress is a problem, additional nutritional supplements such as magnesium, the vitamin B group, vitamin C and herbal medicine may be temporarily necessary to protect against adrenal exhaustion.

10. Mental fatigue is exhausting. Slow down thinking, incessant mental chatter is exhausting! Find a meditation technique that works for you.

You’ll find many more ideas and information on overcoming fatigue in my book, “REVIVE, How to Overcome Fatigue Naturally”.

Magnesium and Migraine

Got a headache? It may be easier than you think to say goodbye to them for good…

A number of clinical trials have established a clear link between magnesium and the development of migraine. Magnesium is involved in the release of nitric acid, a chemical that dilates blood vessels, as well as a number of migraine related receptors and neurotransmitters. Studies show that up to 50% of migraine sufferers are deficient in magnesium during an acute attack and that the infusion with magnesium gives rapid relief.

In a placebo controlled, double blind randomized study, attack frequency was reduced by 41.6% in the group taking 600 mg magnesium daily over 12 weeks and by only 15% in the placebo group. Drug consumption for symptomatic relief and the number of days with migraine were also significantly reduced by the supplementation of this mineral.

All magnesiums are not created equal. The best forms of supplemental magnesium to ensure effective absorption is magnesium aspartate, orotate, diglycinate, or citrate. Beware of magnesium carbonate, oxide (very dependent on hydrochloric acid) or sulfate (laxative effect).

Libido Lows

Need to spice things up in the bedroom? Here’s some natural and simple steps to help..

Low libido refers to decreased sexual desire, and can be classified as primary (lifelong) or secondary (acquired after normal sexual functioning). It may also be generalized (not limited to certain situations or partners) or situational. Risk factors include interpersonal issues, alcohol and drugs, certain medications (OCP, SSRIs and bet-blockers), depression, anxiety, fatigue, and hormonal imbalances (decreased androgen levels). Fortunately most cases of low libido respond terrifically to herbal medicine and key minerals.

The first herb to consider treating low libido in women is Shatavari (asparagus racemosus). This herb is highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine for its rejuvenative action on the female reproductive system and was said “to give the capacity to have a hundred husbands”!!

It has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac, menstrual regulator, to promote conception and help prevent threatened miscarriage.

Shatavari contains steroidal saponins which suggest its activity on the female reproductive system may be due to subtle modulating of oestrogen activity.

I normally would also include Dong quai and Rehmannia into a herbal libido mix, as these herbs are regarded as feminine tonics, used to balance hormonal irregularities. Tribulus (tribulus terrestris) may also be added as it increases testosterone which is the controlling hormone for libido in both genders. It also increases luteinizing hormone (LH) and FSH, as well as DHEA.

For males the herb of utmost relevance is Tribulus, due to its action on testosterone. Damiana is also normally added to herbal mixes for low male libido as it is used for impotence, sexual inadequacy and is also an aphrodisiac Studies confirm that damiana and tribulus can help improve male sexual performance.

It is crucially important to also check for zinc deficiency, as low red blood cell zinc, goes hand in hand with no sexual desire, in both sexes. Zinc also supports normal healthy sperm maturation.

Wheat sources

Are you on a wheat free diet? You may be surprised to see where wheat can hide….

It is interesting to ponder that of the 8,000 species in the grass family, only a small number play a significant role in the human diet. Other than sugar cane, these are the cereals – wheat, barley, rye and oats.

Many of you would have attempted a wheat exclusion diet along the road to good health, and no doubt discovered this grain is insidious! It is often found lurking in fairly benign stock cubes and even soy milk (think malt), and at times can even be discovered sneakily lolling around in rye sourdoughs and children’s sweets. Outrageous indeed! So what follows is a comprehensive, but by no means exhaustive list of possible wheat sources. No excuses now for any slip ups in that wheat exclusion diet!

Flour, bread, pasta, cereals, noodles, biscuits, cakes, breadcrumbs, spelt, kamut, couscous, burghul, semolina, tritacale, wheatgerm, wheat bran, soy sauce, thickener added to soups and salad dressings, malt, soups with noodles or spaghetti, imitation meat products (such as gluten dishes found in some Asian cuisines), hot dogs, imitation crab meat, ice- cream (check labels), ice-cream cones, cottage cheese with modified starch, licorice, beverages such as beer, ale, malted milks, cereal coffee substitutes, Worcestershire sauce, MSG, modified food starch, vegetable starch, natural flavourings.

The lesson is obvious. READ ALL LABELS. The less processed the food the better, less opportunity for unwanted and unnecessary wheat additives.

You can feel better today!