Jodi, a Perth based Functional Naturopath, chats about family health, simple tips and ways to ensure your always on track to keeping you and your family well.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. It is in no way a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. Please consult your health care professional for individualised health information before embarking on any new health program.

Is sleep more powerful than diet and lifestyle? 

YES! The most powerful cleanser and antiaging agent! And its free!! Here are some key points of information to convince you to prioritise your sleep as the first step of the day not your last.  

What is so important about sleep? Isn’t there plenty of time to catch up on sleep later?

Unfortunately sleep debt never really gets repaid. So, prioritising your sleep is one of the most important steps to start your day. Let’s talk about why! 

During sleep, we store memories, make associations and solve problems. We clean out disease causing plaque through our glymphatic system (a lymphatic cleaning system for our brain), repair cells and create new neuronal pathways for improved understanding, memory and concentration. 

Health benefits of sleep are vastly fascinating and far reaching, from immune system rebalancing, fighting malignancy, preventing infection, reforming metabolic state, regulating appetite, maintaining a healthy microbiome, and lowering blood pressure plus lots lots more. 

There are 2 different types of sleep which we cycle through every night. REM (rapid eye movement) known as the dream state and NREM (non rapid eye movement) known as deep sleep. REM takes care of our creativity and problem solving and NREM is when the real healing and repair happens. A few health associations between the 2 types: 

  • REM promotes learning, memory, understanding of social circumstances and challenges. 
  • NREM is important for learning and memory, and bodily functioning and repair of cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, energy balance, and immune systems. 

Inadequate sleep just for 1 week can cause a disruption of blood sugar regulation, causing pre-diabetic looking clinical data. It also increases your risk of coronary arteries getting blocked, it also contributes to all major psychiatric conditions including depression and anxiety. Lack of sleep also contributes to making you feel hungrier, despite feeling full you still will want more. It also has been proven to significantly reduce your lifespan. 

As we age we get less and less deep sleep ( NREM ), at a time when you need repair and renewal the most, we are getting it the least. The less NREM the less cleaning and less repair which leads to more loss of function of the brain and therefore less ability for NREM. 

Why am I so tired all the time? 

When we fall asleep at night our brain mass removes the accumulation of a substance called adenosine, this adenosine creates a sleep pressure, this sleep pressure builds in the day to make us sleepy ready for bed at night. The problem occurs when you don’t get over 7 hours sleep at night this mass cleaning doesn’t take place and the left over is this sleep pressure remaining for the next day. There are other health reasons you could be tired, read on and contact me for a more individualised approach to your health issues.  

Will coffee fix my tiredness? 

Unfortunately no, the way coffee works is it blocks adenosine (the sleep pressure substance ), then when you crash after a coffee and the effects of the coffee wears off the continuous build of sleep pressure once again hits you and you feel sleepier than before. 

How about sleeping pills and alcohol? I seem to sleep well with these? 

Sleeping pills and alcohol will not improve your sleep. 

Alcohol stupefies us into sedation, not sleep. It may seem like you sleep well when you have had a few drinks, however it is only the sedation of the prefrontal cortex and then other areas of the brain. The electrical brainwaves that alcohol induces in sleep is very different to the normal sleep brainwaves. Not only is the initial sleep not real, the whole night is disturbed with lots of small sections of wakefulness therefore not restorative and definitely not health promoting. Alcohol also is one of the most powerful suppressors of REM sleep, which is dangerous long term and has some very serious health and psychiatric consequences.

Now to sleeping pills. These, like alcohol are sedation agents, not sleep promoting agents. They work very similarly to alcohol, and as you are aware now is not ideal for optimal sleep. The brainwaves in sleep when taking sleeping pills is very different compared to a sleep without taking them. As with alcohol they find they are deficient in the deeper brainwaves. Therefore, short term health consequences of forgetfulness, drowsiness, slowed reaction time, very poor memory and concentration and continued worsening insomnia. To very serious long term effects such as mental disorders, and various disease states and illnesses. 

Last but not least, stress and inflammation. 

Lets talk stress.. the evolutionary fight or flight response that now wreaks havoc with the whole body and all of its processes in the modern day fast paced lifestyle. 

Stress is a vicious cycle with huge sleep consequences and vice versa. The stress hormone cortisol impacts the ability of the body to rest, digest and repair. With increased stress and lack of optimal sleep we get stuck with our “on”switch permanently turned on. This maladaptation can become deadly.  An overactive sympathetic nervous system causes blood pressure increase, a further increase in cortisol, which then further increases blood pressure, it shuts off growth hormone, which means no repair of the body and blood vessels. This can eventually lead to cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders and even psychiatric issues.  

How can you optimise your sleep? 

  •  Reduce your exposure to unnatural light after sunset. Blue light from your devices including smart phones and TV reduces the release of melatonin (the sleep inducing hormone), preventing you getting to sleep quickly. If you need to use them after dark, you can get blue light blocking glasses and blue blocker filters like FLUX on your devices. 
  • Get to sleep before 10:30/11pm. 
  • Get as much early morning sun as you can, as it’s rising. This triggers the circadian rhythm and regulates light and dark stimulated hormones. Preparing your body for a much better restful sleep at night. Don’t use sunglasses in the morning.  
  • Don’t exercise 2-3 hours before bed.
  • Have a hot shower or bath before bed, this drops your body temperature. We sleep better at a lower body temperature and lower room ambient temperature. 
  • No coffee or stimulants after 10 am – the long half life (takes a long time to clear the liver) in coffee can stop you falling asleep later in the day. 
  • Have complete darkness in your room while sleeping, we have light receptors on our skin, just a small amount of light can disrupt the quality of our sleep. 
  • Go to bed at the same time every night. Sleep 7-9 hours every single night !!!!!

Having trouble sleeping? Or just want better sleep naturally to optimise your health? Contact me or book a consult! 

7 simple things you can do around your home to improve your family’s health! 

Your home is your sanctuary, your place of rest and recuperation, of fun, sharing, excitement and love. What if the home you live in, the place you spend over 70% of your time was keeping you sick? 

Today, we spend more and more time inside our homes, offices, schools and less time outdoors, not only does this impact our immune and endocrine (hormone) system diversity, strength and function, these environments are huge influencers on the health of us and our family.

1. Make sleep your number 1. 

Our bodies are dependent on a rhythm, known as the circadian rhythm. The time that we sleep and wake up, the light during the day and exposure to blue light can all impact our hormones and the daily health of our bodies. 

Sleep should be number one on your health list everyday. Its one of the most important health promoting activities we can give our bodies.

Small steps to optimize sleep includes stopping your caffeine and any stimulant intake before 10-11am. Stay away from unnatural lights including devices after dark as much as you can (these significantly reduce your melatonin – sleep hormone). Exercise no closer that 2-3 hours before bed and get as much natural morning first sunlight to regulate hormone levels in the morning. 

These strategies are all simple, free and more effective than any supplement you can take. 

Read more detailed information about sleep here. 

2.Buy a water filter.

Those who have heard me at workshops or lectures know I bang on about water a lot. Rightly so! Water is life, the human body is made of over 70% water. It is a cleanser and a very simple was to optimise our health, to keep us fluid and removing toxins every day. Pure water is key, clear of all contaminants. So, tap water is not an option! Water you drink needs to be free of heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs, bacteria and microbes, fluoride, chlorine, micro-plastics plus much much more! The best options therefore are to buy a good filter or distil your own water or get a source of filtered spring water. Those I recommend are reverse osmosis systems, water distillers or companies that can deliver reliable pure spring water to your door. Keeping in mind the plastics in the packaging. Want to know more information? Read more information here.

3.  Reduce your microwave usage. 

Microwaves reduce the nutritional value of food and change your food into potential carcinogens (cancer causing substances), they decrease red blood cells, increase cholesterol levels and increase inflammation and white cell count (immune dysfunction) in your body, they can also affect your heart beat, your heart rate variability and increase heart issues. Think again the next time you are heading for the microwave, opt for the stove and wait just a few more minutes to save your health! 

4. Spend more time away from your devices.

Ever had the feeling of overwhelm, a pressure headache you can’t get rid of or feeling so exhausted that you can’t get out of bed in the morning? 

Electromagnetic field radiation could have a big part to play! Symptoms can appear in many forms! From headaches and poor sleep, anxiety to mood changes and even digestive issues to cancer or tumours. 

These are some small measures you can take to reduce your exposure. Do not sleep with your phone or electrical devices anywhere near you! Put them on airplane or turn off and turn off all wifi routers in the house. Getting a home or personal EMF harmoniser, my kids both wear one and my husband and I do also. We also have EMF harmonisers on our devices we are using regularly. If you want to know more information about EMF health danger’s you can read more here. 

5. Clean your air!

Water damaged homes, pets and dust can all make us unwell anything from hay fever to autoimmune issues. Constant exposure to these can cause long term chronic inflammation, that can lead to chronic illness and immune dysfunction. 

What can you do? 

-Get a good air filter, one with a HEPA filter and carbon is the best option for mould, dander from pets and dust. Use when you are sleeping so your immune and inflammation levels can rest and repair. 

-Clean regularly and use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter in it. 

-If you have or have had water damage in the home, make sure you get it fixed by a professional.

6. Detox at least once a year.

Detoxing is so important at a minimum of once a year to keep our toxic load low and allow for other areas of the body to be cleaned and repaired avoiding cellular malfunction and illness to occur. Detoxing doesn’t have to be hard. A personalised approach and working out your individual toxic load is a starting point as well as the state of your health and micronutrients. The main point of detoxing is to give the liver and lymphatic system a chance to clean and mobilise toxins and cells to repair. You service your car.. so you need to service your body. Ask me to find out more, I will be holding a guided yearly spring clean detox in August. You can sign up here. 

7. Keep chemicals in the home to a minimum. 

Let’s talk cleaning, furnishings, personal products, cooking agents even toothpaste and hand wash. 

Cleaning is necessary I realise, although most of us wish it wasn’t.  However, there are a lot of cleaning agents that can harm the health of our family and pets. These include hormone disrupting phthalates in all fragrances in soap and toilet paper, neurotoxic perchloroethylene in spot cleaners, carcinogen ( cancer causing substance)  triclosan in antibacterial agents and toothpaste, lung toxin ammonia in polishing agents, lung irritant and thyroid disruptor chlorine in tap water and cleaning agents plus more!

So whats the solution?

We don’t need complicated products to clean the home. Enjo and Norwex are companies that sell you cloths and mops that only require water. Apart from this you can use a basic mixture of 8 drops oregano essential oil, mixed with some vinegar and natural dishwashing liquid to wipe over surfaces. 

Join a health in your home workshop to learn more. 

For more tips, join a workshop, listen to my podcast and follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Feel free to ask me questions below:)

Lots of love

Jodi

In this second episode, Paul and Jodi discuss the key areas required for optimal health, work life, health in your home, sleep, importance of community, chemical load on the body and allergies as well as the power of simple aspects in nature and movement. Enjoy!

Why Detox? Plus how to do it safely and effectively! 

What is detoxification? 

Well, let’s think of it as a spring clean, a vacuum and a mop, an oil change, a spruce of the engine … I think you get my point;) We need our bodies to work efficiently so it can carry out its huge job of keeping us well and alive. If it is clogged it won’t do as well as it can, which as you can imagine will lead to tiredness, poor concentration, poor food choices, poor sleep as well as illness, aging and disease. However, a lot of information out there is wrong about detox, especially when it comes down to you! As the individual, your body functions very differently to the person next to you. So, the Instagram post promising you will lose 5kg in 2 days, it may just make you feel more sick and clog up your body more. Let’s read on and I will explain..

Why do a detox? 

• Increased Longevity

• Anti-aging

• Reduce illness

• Reduce injury and promote healing

• Reduce inflammation 

• Repair and regeneration

• Boost immune function 

• Increase energy

• Optimise your sleep 

Who is the boss of detox?  

The liver! Every minute the liver filters approximately 1.6L of blood, within this blood contains hundreds of chemicals that are processed and excreted throughout our sweat, stools, urine, saliva, lungs, hair, nails and skin.

We come in contact with these chemicals and toxins all day. These include fumes from cars, heavy metals, pollutants and toxins in our unfiltered water, pesticides and by products in our food, artificial preservatives and colourings, xenoestrogens from plastics that wreak havoc with our endocrine system, dust mites, moulds, specific environmental and work place chemicals.  

Yes, the liver is made for detoxing and we naturally do this every minute of the day. However, what our liver didn’t bargain on is the amount of pressure we put on it to perform, the number of chemicals and toxins it has to deal with along with the bad lifestyle choices we make, its drowning!

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, we can give our most prized possession a helping hand, a well-deserved holiday so it can get back on track and look after you the best it can.

So, how is a safe detox done? 

The safest and more effective way is a customised approach with the support of a health professional who can make it sustainable long term and ensure the littlest amount of side effects possible. A small amount of short term discomfort such as headaches or bad breath can be experienced, however this is a small price to pay for long term benefits. 

So, this is what a detox looks like!

Short term dietary changes, herbal medicines to assist the elimination and process toxin removal safely and efficiently, specific nutraceuticals to give antioxidant benefits of protection, and cofactors to boost depleted stores. Our enzymes, neurotransmitters and cellular processes can then all re-establish optimal function, and your body will be thanking you with increased energy, improved digestion, less injuries, reduced inflammation and clearer thinking.

You will also receive detailed education including reducing your toxin exposure, information surrounding importance of water, when to eat your meals and what long term changes you should implement. 

Clinical Testing is used to track your progress and assess your initial health state. Testing includes blood pressure, pathology testing, urinalysis and constitutional assessment Other functional lab tests are used for testing allergies, heavy metal exposure, pesticide and xenoestrogen exposure as well as intestinal permeability and microbiome diversity for markers of a strong immune system. 

Who is detoxing for?

Anyone can start a detoxification program under professional guidance. Individual assessment is important to maintain a safe detox based on your current state of health. 

How often should we do a detox? 

A detoxification program is recommended twice a year, however there are many other ways to detoxify. It can also be implemented over two dedicated days every week, or you can adopt ways to detox every day and reduce your exposure to toxins. This way you can optimise your body’s ability to function at a higher level and detox more effectively and more regularly. 

Contact me for a consultation and I can get you started! 

Whoops! My bacteria made me do it! (Gut health and the real reason you are so bloated and gassy)

Gut is a very loose term for the whole digestive tract, pretty much anything you put in your mouth and the tunnel it goes through to come out the other end. I do love all talk digestion and poo, as a naturopath it’s a big focus and rightly so, since it’s the system that fuels all the rest! 

We now know that 75% of your keeping you well, immune system lies in your gut, 90% of your feel good happy hormone, serotonin is produced in the gut, your control centres for absorbing nutrients, minerals and water and the protection against pathogens and bacteria is in your gut, your enteric nervous system is in your gut and is connected to the largest cranial nerve, which talks to your brain and vice versa. We also know that we have over 39 trillion bacterial cells in the body living in and on us, compared with only 30 trillion human cells in the body.  

So, I have lots of bugs living inside me and on me? 

Well yes! It’s a great thing, as long as those bacteria are behaving themselves and you are looking after them. If not you may be getting those unfortunate gassy symptoms, pain from bloating, even bad breath and nausea.  These bad bacteria over populate, the by-products produced by these such as methane and hydrogen can ramp up, and cause the unfortunate increased size of your stomach and discomfort you feel.  These symptoms can be a warning sign that some imbalances are happening and that you need to get to the cause before it turns more sinister. 

Feeding the good guys and starving out the baddies.

What makes it go so wrong?

Eating a standard diet high in processed foods, sugar and low nutrients unfortunately feeds mostly the bad guys, and increases inflammation. As does the lifestyle we live, that may include smoking, alcohol, high stress, lack of movement and environmental toxins. So, feeding these bad guys what they want makes us crave more of that. Feeding the cycle making you more and more bloated. 

When you change your diet and nourish your body, you will eventually get an increase in the good guys, however, consulting a gut specialist like a naturopath you can push this process along so you get faster results. 

Let’s talk about inflammation. 

It’s the number one issue when it comes to aging and disease! So, where does inflammation come from? Good question! It happens from poor food choices, the intolerances we have to foods, the stress and lifestyle choices we make, the viruses and bacteria that imbalance our body, plus lots more. What does this do to your gut? it’s not pretty. Histamine reactions are one issue, autoimmune can be another, dysbiosis (imbalance of the bacteria), leaky gut (holes in your intestinal wall), toxin overload from reabsorption of metabolites and the endo (internal) and exotoxins (external). These causes of inflammation further increase bad digestive symptoms and overgrowth of the bad bacteria. These issues can be easily and quickly resolved with just a little dedication and knowledge. 

So how can I look after my friends? 

Lucky for us our bodies are very forgiving and love to look after us. The intestinal cells turn over new cells every 4-5 days. So, in a way a fresh start every week. 

Treating imbalances comes down to removing the causative factors, the poor lifestyle and diet choices, the intolerances or allergies to foods and giving the intestinal cells a helping hand with medicinal supplements such as glutamine, aloe, turmeric and slippery elm which are some of the many ways you can help. 

Diet is a massive part but it’s not everything, and it may not rectify the unfortunate damage that’s already happened straight away. An antibacterial protocol is sometimes needed to push out the bad and allow the good to thrive. A gut repair and refeed protocol as well as a gut health diet that focuses on your key issues. Functional testing for identifying what bacteria and possible parasites you have may also be needed.  A functional naturopath like myself will be able to give you direction on the how’s and when. Doing this correctly can ensure you don’t get unbearable symptoms as well as making sure you are looking after and refeeding your good friends. 

Don’t forget!

These bacteria we talk of are also on your skin, in your mouth and in your hair. So not only do we need to look after our inside friends but also watch out for those on the outside. This is where reducing your chemicals in your personal care products and toxins within the home and work environments come in. (look out for my next workshop on health in your home to learn more) 

Be kind to yourself! 

We are all human, so some of these changes can seem overwhelming and bearing in mind a habit can take up to 21 days to form or break, so more often than not it’s a mental and emotional issue we need to be working through as well as the external influences. 

So the next time you ask yourself…

Why am I so bloated? My bacteria did it! Why am I so gassy? My bacteria made me do it!! 

If you need support to get your gut health back on track, give me a call on 94468322