Health Blog

fireworks2015-3HAPPY NEW YEARS

Do you have a new years resolution? Then maybe this will help:

What happens if this year we started to make our pledge based on our values and not an outside goal? What happens if we start acting on our promise to self now? What if we reflected more often and reminded ourselves of how well we have done and what we have achieved in ourselves monthly instead of yearly?

In life, to me health is everything. Health not just in the framework of having no disease but being and living our full potential; mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

printdsc00707My goal is to be healthy at all levels of my being, for me this will always encompass real food, plant based medicine, a deep understanding of how food affects my body and what I can do to help it.

What does it mean to you?

Clean water, fresh air, connection with loved ones and nature, as well as movement, music,   meditation and laughter are important components to being healthy and reaching our full potential.

Can you see the importance of these and other practices in helping you reach your goal?

As humans we need a group of people around us to help. So if you are wanting to get fitter, healthier or anything to do with you and your health, its time to pick up the phone and call to book an appointment with me, your friendly Naturopath.

AS a Naturopath I can help you navigate your way from where you are now to where you want to be

DSCN3491So what-ever you choose to do this summer, what-ever your resolution may be, I hope this year you see the importance and value in you. Make time for you and nourish the amazing human being you are.

Starting with clean air, fresh water and ‘real food’

:)

Wishing you all the very best in life this year

Regards from- Kimberley

Copyright (2016)

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EASTER is coming around fast, so I thought I’d share with you a gluten free variation to the traditional hot cross buns.

20160316_142000Gluten FREE: HOT CROSS BUNS!!!

Equipment:

Baking tray
Baking paper
teaspoon
tablespoon
measuring cup
mixing bowls
wire rack
icing bag or creativity…

Ingredients for bun:

200g rice flour
100g buckwheat flour
150g chickpea (besan) flour
1tsp celtic or himalayan salt
6tsp mixed spice
1 sachet gluten free dried yeast
2 large organic/free range eggs
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp melted coconut butter
4 tbsp clear honey
1tbsp lemon or orange juice (fresh)
100g sultanas
100g currents
250-300ml Almond and coconut blend milk/OR rice milk

Ingredients for icing:

Icing options 1:
1/2 cup per-soaked raw cashews
1/2 lemon/orange juice

Icing option 2: (**As in picture)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2-1tsp gluten free vanilla essence or lemon/orange juice
1tbsp coconut oil

Icing option 3:
85g Icing sugar
lemon juice

METHOD:

1. Sift flour into mixing bowl (rice, buckwheat and chickpea flour).

2. Stir in yeast, salt, mixed spice, currents and sultanas to flour blend

3. Make well in the centre and add eggs, melted butter, coconut oil, honey, lemon juice, dried fruit, and enough almond/coconut milk blend OR rice milk to make a soft sticky dough

4. Spoon out into 12-14 large spoon fulls of dough onto the tray, a few centimeters apart.

5. Cover with oiled clingfilm/cling wrap and leave in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours to allow it to rise and become puffy. 15-20minutes before it is ready turn on the oven to ore-heat to 220 degrees Celsius.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the hot cross buns are golden brown

7. Transfer to wire rack to cool

Icing Option 1.

8. Blend the per-soaked cashews and a small amount of the juice in a blender until it has a smooth creamy texture.

9. Spoon out into icing bag and make a cross on each of the buns, Alternatively use a spoon and knife to create the cross on each bun.

Icing option 2:

8. Blend the almond meal, small amount of essence or juice and coconut oil with a spoon to make a smooth paste

9. Spoon out into icing bag and make a cross on each of the buns, Alternatively use a spoon and knife to create the cross on each bun.

Icing option 3:

8. Mix the icing sugar with enough of the lemon/orange juice to make a thick paste

9. Spoon out into icing bag and make a cross on each of the buns, Alternatively use a spoon and knife to create the cross on each bun.

ENJOY!!!

FOR other top tips for EASTER! Scroll down and check out last years post!

Remember to READ Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Regards from Kimberley Nightingale.

It’s CHRISTMAS time

Wishing you a wonderful and Safe Christmas day.

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The First thing that comes to mind when I think about this time of year is ‘FOOD’ :) the smells and tastes of my most favourite treats available but once a year….My heart and spirit lift at the thought of being able to eat all this amazing food..:) How will I fit it all in I wonder..and not regret my choice?

So to help you get the most out of this moment in time:

Top tips for all this Christmas:

  • Eat in moderation and be mindful of what your body actually wants and needs.
  • Take a moment to stop breathe and be present.
  • Remember what is most important in life, you don’t need to do everything!
  • Enjoy the simple things
  • Love life :)

Christmas Tips:

*Christmas Cake: Yummy! We all have our favourite recipes and at times like these its important to enjoy things we don’t get that often. Just remember moderation!

IF you want to get your creative juices flowing and are happy to experiment with your Christmas cake recipe here are some slightly healthier alternative ideas for some of the ingredients:

  • Coconut oil, olive instead of butter or make half of the portion coconut oil instead of butter.
  • Just don’t add the alcohol, depending on recipe you can use citrus fruit juices instead or reduce the portion size.
  • Instead of brown or white sugar use less processed forms like Organic rapadura (panela) sugar, coconut sugar, honey, agava, stevia or xylitol (portion size much less than normal sugar), OR try increasing the natural dried fruits in recipe.
  • Chia seeds are great to add to help with binding, and in some cases can be used as an egg substitute, or added in addition to egg to add some extra minerals and fibre.

*Platter to share:

Who said we had to stick to the traditional cured meat and cheese platters. With the shift towards healthier eating, you will find all over the net creative and fun ways to present and eat healthier food options on platters.

  • You have your veggie tree platters- get the kids involved and make a Christmas tree out of cut up veggie’s, dip and fruit… its heaps of fun
  • My old favourite Home-made dips with carrots, and other vegetables. Spices are your friend here when making your own dips…the possibilities are endless
  • Platters with marinated artichoke hearts, capsicums, olives, mushrooms …really any vegetable you can marinate. Use good quality cold pressed oils
  • Dried and fresh fruit…though given the sugar high we usually get with all the sweet treats…veggie alternatives are great to get in as much as possible.
  • Sushi platter
  • OR a combination of all of the above with nuts and seeds

If you have young kids or are just feeling artistic here are some  Fun way’s to be creative with food…

Decorations for the tree:

  • Salt dough modelling: Is basically flour salt and water combined to make a dough that once molded to the desired shape is put in the oven, backed and then painted.

You can do all sorts of things with it from decorations for the Christmas tree, to wreaths for the door to bowls and picture frames. Made out of food…it is a great way to get the kids into food, be creative and spend time with you in the kitchen while you do what you need to do for the Christmas celebrations.

‘Dough Craft in a weekend’ by Moira Neal is a great book to have a look at if you are interested, along with the many sites and videos available online.

Note: With little one’s as you know be be mindful of chocking hazard’s. As for the rest of us other ideas:

  • Pomanders: Made from citrus fruit.

How to make:

  1. Take a lemon, orange or lime and lightly puncture the skin of it in an attractive pattern enough that it makes it easier to push the cloves into it.
  2. Stud the cloves into the holes and tie with a ribbon as a Christmas ornament. Note: as it dries it releases a citrus smell.. If you don’t want it to go off and you want a more fragrant smell then before tying the ribbon on coat it in orris root powder and your favourite herbs ie cinnamon powder and allow to dry out in a flat basket lined with foil for 3-4 weeks rotating in the spiced powder every so often. Make sure you place the basket away from dampness and moisture to avoid it going mouldy. (2)

 

Something for Santa:

If your anything like me and like your sleep:

DRINK ideas:

For those of us that can have milk:

*Full cream organic, homogenised milk gently warmed with cinnamon and spice…is not only a traditional Santa’s treat but also a great old remedy for helping to get back to sleep.

For those of us that can’t or don’t have milk:

*A cup of caffeine free herbal tea: my favorite nightcaps are Chamomile on its own or with a hint of lavender or ginger. Lavender is bitter in taste so I only add a little, Lemon verbena is pleasant too and a nice one to add in.

*My favorite all rounder though is: Almond/hazelnut milk gently warmed with ginger, cinnamon spice…

SMALL TREAT ideas:

Small portion of Rice pudding or buckwheat pudding…believe it or not light Carbs late at night can help make it easier to get back to sleep.

Carrots for the Reindeer …Spiced Carrot with hummus dip

¼ banana and small tub of yogurt or portion of Kefir

Spiced nut/seed snowball

MESSAGE for Santa:

A wellness wish for Santa…Your Kids might surprise you with what they come up with!

This Christmas I hope you take time to smell the roses, enjoy all that life has to offer. Look after yourself and enjoy ‘IN Moderation’ :) all the great food.

Regards from Kimberley.

Bibliography available on request

READ Disclaimer at end of this page! + NOTE: Not all suggestions are suitable for everyone, depending on your child’s age and your own food tolerances, some of these suggestions need to be avoided. So use your own best judgment on age appropriateness and own food tolerance. Ie. Whole nuts, large and sometimes small chunks of food can get lodge in airway so avoid choking hazards in young kids. If unsure ask qualifies health professional to get clarification on age appropriateness and food suitability for your child.

All the best, Regards from Kimberley Nightingale.

 

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WINTER: Ear Candling….

Copyright 2015 NNH

Copyright 2015 NNH

 

Its winter time! With the cold chill in the air it can seem difficult to avoid the coughs and sniffles of this time of year. BUT it doesn’t have to be. There are many things you can do to help minimise the risk and improve your wellbeing in winter.

Ear Candling is one way to help clear the mind and the senses along with re-stimulating the energy and circulation of blood and lymphatics in and around the head and ear region. This has the effect of helping to move earwax out of the ear, for some people improve symptoms of sinusitis, help reduce ringing in the ears and enhance your overall immunity.

It is a wonderful relaxing experience that I just love having done. Like all things there is a small percentage of people that ear candling needs to be avoided in, so by booking in to see your Naturopathic practitioner it is a great way to ensure Ear candling is the right thing for you this winter. Many people are surprised at how pleasant and helpful this process is. Often not wanting it to stop because they find it so relaxing.

Ear candling is a traditional practice and can help to relax and unwind you in a very short period of time. The Ear candles used are hollow tubes made from linen, bee’s wax and essential oils that are designed to draw and cleanse the ear canal while simulating the acupressure points in the ear. This offers a natural and non-intrusive alternative to syringing, hydrogen peroxide flushing of the ear, and using cotton buds to move earwax from the ear canal and may assist in a number of ear and head related conditions.

Like always consult with your Naturopathic practitioner to ensure that this is the best thing for you. And while your there find out how your diet, and herbal remedies may be of assistance to you.

All the Best- from Kimberley

Planting seeds…..

st-mays-thistle3

St Marys Thistle….In Australia is a noxious weed. Which I find quite funny, as most herbal plants are thought of as weeds. Because let’s face it…there not local…and they grow like crazy…and survive just about anywhere…

So what might this be telling us about weeds? Dorothy Hall one of my idols always talked about how this survival instinct was a sign of how nutrient rich and vital these plants were…able to grow where other plants couldn’t or to stay alive when others had given up. [4] They say in teaching of natural medicine philosophy that herbs are more than the makeup of its constituents, that there is a living vital force to everything and I certainly do believe this. This vital force is part of what gives us life…and if plants give their life force to us when we ingest them…then would it not be better to get this from really vital plants? [6]

I used to joke that the only thing I could grow was weeds and it turned out that was perfect for my choice in occupation… :)  I was reminded the other day of why sometimes letting the experts grow and make these herbal tinctures is so important. Not just for the obvious therapeutic quality and standards, but also for ensuring safe eco-friendly management so as to not continue seeding where there creates imbalance with the natural flora.

St Mary’s thistle is one of these herbs and is prickly to touch; stinging nettle its other name explains it all. With its brilliant purple flower that explodes with colour like a disco ball of light…you more than likely have seen them in fields near you, in wetlands, on the side of tracks and abandoned farmland. [4]

Traditionally this herb was used for treating liver ailments [7] whereas now it is being recognised and used for other things as well. Which is why I really love this herb and am fascinated by all the new information coming out on it. Like most weeds this fantastic herb is full of nutrients and life giving qualities. It is so nourishing and repairing to the whole being. I just love it…

When bought from a trusted tea manufacturer, as a tea you still get some of this amazing therapeutic value and I find I enjoy it best when added to some dandelion and chicory tea for an evening bitter digestive aid. Don’t wild craft this herb, and always consult with your Naturopath before consuming any herbal remedy to make sure its right for you.

NOTE: Picture attached: there are different types of thistle. I’m not a botanist and therefore am no sure on the type of thistle this plant is. I took it while out walking and initially thought it was St Mary’s thistle, but on closer inspection it may be a different variety of thistle. Don’t Wild craft unless you really know what you are doing. I always purchase my herbs from a reliable manufacturer with experience in this area.

References/Bibliography available on request

READ Disclaimer at end of this page!

Regards from Kimberley Nightingale.

 

 

Planting seeds…..

 

updateYou don’t have to look very far to find dandelion growing in our parks, our lawn and sidewalks. Which is why this herb like most are viewed as a weed to all except kids and me :) So instead of poisoning this plant or ripping it up and simply throwing it away, I like to utilise it!

It has a brilliant array of uses and is a fantastic addition to the home remedy kit.

Traditionally believed to be a lucky plant able to grant wishes people would use this herb in ceremonies and to treat many ailments like digestive complaints to skin troubles. Dandelion was and still is used as a food. The leaves would be incorporated into salads for its rich nutritional properties, the roots would be used as a tea [1,2] and is a great substitute when blended with chicory for coffee… Granted not exactly the same but similar in taste and with added health benefits, why wouldn’t you try it!

With its bright yellow flower that turns into a white sphere of seeds you may remember blowing the tops off it to make a wish as a child…I sure did…And what fun it was and still is!

What’s fascinating about this herb is the many emotional uses it was traditionally used in including helping to cleanse the body of bitterness, anger and resentment allowing for increased self-assertiveness and a clearer sense of self with empowered action resulting [2]. It always seems fascinating to me how this correlates with the traditional use and physical actions of the herbs; And has been experienced by some when even having it as a tea regularly…

Dandelion is very cleansing to the system especially the liver which is viewed as the organ that stores anger and bitterness…. Its bitter taste helps to stimulate digestion and is a wonderful addition to everyday life as a tea or salad green.

We’re right for the person I love to use it in clinical practice as part of treatment for conditions such as Arthritis, gout, psoriasis and varicose veins to name a few because it is wonderfully supporting, and cleansing to the system. Using the herbal tinctures and/or tablets of Dandelion are a lot stronger and there are a lot of other factors that need to be taken into account when using the herb in this form and dose. Therefor always see your Naturopath first when wanting assistance with any of these conditions.

For my own personal use i will sometimes pick fresh dandelion leaves for my garden salad. As sprays are poisonous i always ensure that the herb i pick is safe to consume, meaning it is not sprayed (ever), and that i am ensuring i have picked the correct herb. Sometimes herbs can look similar to another species that isn’t safe to consume. So its very important to make sure that the dandelion is what is being picked.

Or even safer is to simply enjoy as a tea bought from a good quality producer. This plant provides a lot of value and as a salad another food for the table that’s inexpensive.

Enjoy

Bibliography/references available

Remember to READ Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Regards from Kimberley Nightingale.

 

It’s EASTER time

Wishing you all a wonderful and safe weekend.

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When it comes to Easter the first thing that go through my mind is CHOCOLATE and TREATS! But like most people it is soon followed by an air of guilt shame and that’s not going to be good for me…BUT is it?

We all celebrate and do things a little different. For some of us Easter may be a sacred and religious time, for others just another day or a chance to spend time with family and friends. Whatever you choose to do this Easter weekend, I wish you well.

Top tips ideas this Easter:

If you are going to have chocolate this Easter, make sure you choose the best quality and one you really enjoy. Eat in moderation and take pleasure in the sensations and taste of the food.

If you have little one’s try encouraging them to do this too.

The key concept to remember is ‘Everything in Moderation’. Our relationship with food is like no other, there are so many layers to it, from the food itself and the nutrients it provides, to the quantity of that food we consume to our emotional relationship with that food and the cultural qualities that surround it.

In the West Often treats like eating chocolate can stir up emotions of guilt and shame because of the judgments of society and stereotypical view that chocolate if bad, fattening etc as well as our judgments of self.

The thing is Chocolate in and of itself is not bad. It’s just that our idea of chocolate is more sugar, wheat and dairy than actual cacao….

The most nutritious form of chocolate is dark chocolate where the FIRST ingredient is Chocolate (cacao)…This in moderation provides all sorts of health benefits. AND when you eat organic you don’t get the chemicals and pesticide residue often associated with chocolate.

There are chocolate alternatives like carob which also provide wonderful health benefits and when made into a paste with a bit of quality butter and cream over strawberries make a yummy treat.

If you’re more of a sweet tooth and this just won’t float your boat, than make sure you eat quality food and when you do treat yourself to your favorite sweet treat mindfully eat it and ENJOY each bite. Life is too short to waste on guilt…When you do this you’ll often eat less, ‘in moderation’…which is the key message here for all..

But who said Easter had to be all about chocolate anyway!

If you have young kids or are just feeling artistic than craft activities like painting hard boiled eggs with food colouring or poking a small hole at the top of the egg to drain its contents before painting can be a whole day’s fun.

With little one’s as you know be be mindful of chocking hazard’s. As for the rest of us other ideas:

Make Easter eggs out of healthy alternatives:

  • Fruit and nut balls made into Easter eggs rolled in coconut flakes.
  • Using Easter egg moulds you can make fruit blends icy pols by sticking them in the freezer.
  • You can cut fruit into egg shapes, hollow out and fill with berry smoothies…or make fruit jelly from agar agar (a nutritious jelly like substance) in the shape of an egg or add it to the centre of fruit you’ve earlier hollowed out. The list goes on…. Be creative have fun and eat well, good quality food and ENJOY the day.

Read Disclaimer below + NOTE: Not all suggestions are suitable for everyone, depending on your child’s age and your own food tolerances, some of these suggestions need to be avoided. So use your own best judgment on age appropriateness and own food tolerance. Ie. Whole nuts, large and sometimes small chunks of food can get lodge in airway so avoid choking hazards in young kids. If unsure ask qualifies health professional to get clarification on age appropriateness and food suitability for your child.

All the best, Regards from Kimberley Nightingale.

 

Planting seeds…..

 Calendula officinalis (Copyright NNH)


Calendula officinalis (Copyright NNH)

Calendula is one of my favourite herbs, Why? …because it is brilliant at helping sooth irritated skin. A Very healing herb, you more than likely have already heard of it or even used it as a topical cream.

Calendula, or Marigold as it is otherwise known is a sun herb, meaning traditionally it was used to lift the spirits and mood. What I find even more superb about this herb is that traditionally it is considered to have a special affinity to the female reproductive tract. [2] I just love this herb…which you may hear me say often. But this one is really something special.

This slightly bitter sweet flower is great to add to salads or as edible decoration to deserts as it adds a splash of colour and heaps of great nutrition to your diet. Calendula as a strong tea can be gargled to help heal inflamed and ulcerated gums. This is especially great during pregnancy when you might be more prone to bleeding gums… though this can also be a sign of nutritional deficiencies which will need to be addressed. Your Naturopath and Nutritionist will be able to help you with this. Calendula can also be used in baths and as a cream on itchy sore skin or infused into oil and added to dishes,  OR simply enjoyed as a hot beverage. [3.]

These wonderful uses added with its beautiful bright yellow orange petals is why i think it a great addition to add to your home remedy garden.

WHATS More…DID you know that:

Calendula is very cleansing, working wonders on the lymphatics, hence great for women …Interestingly Calendula flowers traditionally were ‘planted in organic gardens every so often to cleanse the soil from eelworm pests and nematode’[4 p247], as an herb used medicinally it has a similar cleansing action in the body..

Herbs really are amazing! And i Love using them in every day practice and AT home…Plants that are easy to grow and can be used for home remedies are always good to have at hand, but think, just how much more you get out of them when their in therapeutic form? THIS is why seeing your Naturopath is great because you get to experience these herbs safely and under the close care of someone skilled in the field of herbal medicine.

Herbs work on physical, emotional and mental level. This means that not all herbs are for everyone and especially when you are taking them in high dose (therapeutic levels) it is always essential that you consult with your qualified and skilled Naturopath and Herbalist (like me) to make sure this herb IS the right herb for you!

For me I find this herb works well in combination with other herbs to help you get results for a variety of health complaints. In tincture form you get a lot more power to the punch if you get what I am saying. Because of this its important to not self treat, instead see your Naturopath or herbalist, this way you get all the benefits in a herbal mix, perfectly tailored to you and your needs.

Calendula is very versatile, and I love it. With a small bunch of petals steeped in hot water I sit here sipping this pleasant and refreshing herb. Subtle to the taste but ever so good. I hope you enjoy the experience of planting seeds….and the herb Calendula officinalis

Enjoy- Regards from Kimberley

Bibliography/References available
READ Disclaimer below.

Planting seeds…..

marigold close up

Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Chamomile and Calendula. Easy to grow from seed. Beautiful in colour and a fantastic and essential addition to your home garden remedies…..

I use these two herbs often in clinic because I just love them. So versatile in their use they bring such a positive and uplifting feel to the mix.

This week I finally managed to get these herbs up and growing in the herb garden. Only trouble was that each time I looked less and less were there…Finally found out what was happening…who was eating them… Birds! Instead of eating the apples or pears freely accessible the birds were enjoying these herbs in preference… What does this tell you?

These herbs are amazing. Chock full of nutrients and with multiple therapeutic actions for many health conditions as well as cosmetic uses, they are an essential plant for your home garden remedies…Calendula flowers and Chamomile flowering heads can be added to salads and made into herbal teas. You can also add them to creams and make topical lotions from them for all sorts of conditions and ailments.

Try growing the traditional Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis/Chamaemelum nobile) and Calendula (Calendula officinalis) plant or check them out from your local tea producers or health food store.

If you do decide to grow them for culinary and medicinal purposes always make sure they are the traditional/correct variety and not the newer hybrid forms.

Bibliography/References available

Regards Kimberley Nightingale

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is intended for educational and general informative purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual, and should not in any way be taken as clinical advice, guidance or treatment and should not replace or substitute what your treating practitioner has recommended, professional medical care or advice. Always consult your treating practitioner first. Take responsibility for your actions and use this only as general information and opinion.

This blog is not a peer-reviewed journal or a final archive of my writings. This means that while the ideas and thoughts are often helpful and the product of a long gestational period, the writing itself is not. It is essentially as it came from the keyboard, referenced where possible afterwards, edited and corrected afterwards only when necessary to address mistakes that grossly effect the intent. This is my opinion on general topics not clinical advice. Therefor if you use the content I accept no liability for your reaction and outcomes. Always seek professional patient-practitioner care by a qualified health practitioner and do not use this as a substitute.

Though I will often attach bibliography and references used to acknowledge sources and aim to ensure the content is as accurate as possible, the content in my blogs is still my personal opinion and views on chosen topic and should not be viewed as clinical advice or recommendations, it therefor provided no warranties, and confers no rights. Do not confuse reading my blog as client-practitioner relationship this blog is informative and educational only…and should not replace what your treating physician recommends, including me if I actually am your treating physician in clinical practice.

This is because not all herbs are right for everyone, not all recommendations are right for everyone. So consult your health professional.

The inclusion of any reference material, links does not imply my endorsement of the linked site or its affiliates, or any products, services, information, content or other materials presented on or through their websites and I am not responsible for anything on their sites, material nor accuracy of any information and content on/in it.

Thank you and good day.