Cough? Cold? Catarrh?

Day 59, Project 365 - 12.18.09
William Brawley / Foter / CC BY

It seems that all the cold, wet and windy weather we have had recently has also brought with it a nasty cough, cold and catarrh. We have seen a lot of people with really heavy chesty coughs and nasty catarrh that they have really been struggling to shake. We have even had people asking us on twitter, what they could try to help shift their cold! So I thought we had better have a quick run through the best ways to protect yourself and what to try if you have been struggling to shift that cold and cough.
Firstly protection. Keep your immune system working well – the best way to ensure this is to use something like Natures Aid Immune Support Plus . This formula contains all the important nutrients which support immune health. It also contains Beta Glucans, which improve immune function, Garlic, which is a natural anti bacterial and Elder, which supports the health of your mucus membranes! All of this together means that Immune Support plus should help you avoid the worst of the infections.
Secondly shifting a cold and cough that just won’t budge!
Help your immune system clear the infection with some Echinacea – a well known immune boosting herb, which can help to fight the symptoms of colds and flu. My favourite is A.Vogel Echinaforce, because it is made with fresh herbs, not dried ones, so in my opinion, it’s more potent.
Then clear that mucus off your chest. Many people who have been struggling with this chesty cold, have had to resort to anti biotics because the infection got so bad. However, even after the anti biotics have cleared the infection, they are still left with a chesty cough! This is actually because, whilst anti biotics do help fight infection, they do not expel mucus. The good news is that we have been seeing some great results with A.Vogel’s Bronchoforce – a combination of Ivy, Thyme and Eucalyptus, which is designed to help shift chesty and mucus coughs, by clearing the mucus out of the chest. The other problem with a nasty cough is the fact it can keep you awake at night or result in you straining your muscles because you just can’t stop coughing. Bronchoforce helps with this as well thanks to the anti spasmodic action of the herbs it contains.
So don’t keep suffering – let natural remedies help you recover!


Breakfast & The Sugar Question

Elle est de retour!
meehanf / / CC BY-NC

Last week Jenny wrote about the shocking amount of sugar that is found in our everyday foodstuffs, particularly our breakfast cereals. We also got some wonderful feedback on our Facebook page about peoples thoughts on the best healthy and unhealthy breakfast foods. So what is the key to getting the best nutrition out of your morning meal?

1. Check the packaging: If your breakfast comes out of a packet (e.g. muesli, cereal, yoghurt), check the information on the side for the ingredients and nutrition information. This is the first thing you should do. Get to know what you’re putting into your body at the start of the day.

2. Add protein: If you find yourself feeling hungry or sleepy mid morning and/or if you have problems losing weight, it is possible that you are not getting enough protein at the start of the day. Protein slows the release of energy in your body, keeping you fuller and awake for longer. Great protein rich breakfasts include eggs, beans, muesli or porridge with added nuts and seeds, peanut butter, cold meats or fish.

3. Can you add vegetables?: It’s not common place to see veg in a cereal bowl of course, but if you want to add an extra punch of nutrition to your breakfast then there are lots of ways to add in veg. Spinach and eggs is a well known combination, poached or fried; tomatoes, peppers, onion or celery all go great in omelette or scrambled eggs.  Beans or cooked tomatoes on toast. If you have a cold breakfast, would some fresh green leaves go well alongside it?

4. Don’t over do the fruit: Don’t forget that fruit is very sugary. It is natural sugar, but still sugar nonetheless. If you do have fruit, make sure it is no more that a portion (a handful or a small glass of fruit juice) and take care to balance it with protein based foods as well.

5. Hydrate yourself: A cup of tea or coffee is needed to wake us up in the morning, but they can effect the absorption of essential nutrients when taken alongside a meal. With that in mind, limit yourself to your wake up brew and if you are still left with a thirst, look to herbal teas or water to put the fluid back in your body. Coffee and tea tend to act as diuretics so they can leave your body feeling dehydrated if you rely on them as your main morning drinks.

If you have any questions about how you could up the nutrient content of your breakfast, contact us or post a question on our facebook page. We are always happy to give out ideas!



Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Mrs Magic / / CC BY-NC-SA

Big news at the moment is…SUGAR! Finally people are starting to realise that sugar is one of the leading causes of weight issues, these days it’s probably more of a problem than fat. It’s no surprise to us, as we have been advising people who want to get healthy to try and cut sugar out of their diet for years, but this is not always made easy by food manufacturers and there are a lot of misleading claims made about the health of certain products. One of the adverts which annoys me the most at the moment is the one that is trying to sell Nutella to us as a health food, telling us it contains nuts and slow release sugars…ok maybe it does, but that does not alter the fact that the product itself is 55% sugar and therefore probably not the healthiest choice we could be making. Then again maybe I shouldn’t get upset about that, after all most of us would expect chocolate spread to be high in sugar, like many people may not be surprised that coco pops are 35% sugar. What may surprise you though is that cereals which are held up as healthy and good for people trying to lose weight are also high in sugar. For example All Bran contains 22% (that’s nearly a 1/4 as sugar) and Special K contains 6.8g per serving, which is actually more sugar than you would find in a McVities Chocolate Cake Slice! On top of this did you know that a weight watchers digestive biscuit has more sugar in than a standard digestive?!

The problem with all this is that when you eat something which is high in sugar, the energy from that food is released very quickly into your blood stream. Your body then produces insulin, which tells the cells of your body to take the sugar out of the blood stream to make energy. However, when you eat more energy than your cells actually need, insulin will store the rest of that sugar for later. Most of that excess sugar will be stored in the fat cells around your middle. Is it any wonder then, that despite their best efforts many people struggle to get the weight off eating foods they are told are healthy?

Weight issues are not the only thing affected by this high intake of sugars either. We see a lot of people with bowel issues, bloating and wind, who are surprised to learn that we believe the sugars are feeding the fermentation in their guts which is causing the problems. Cutting out sugars in those situations can make a massive difference – one girl I saw recently had been struggling with bloating and pain for years and was shocked that such a simple step made a massive difference to her in just two weeks!

Cutting sugar down then could be a key to weight loss and bowel problems, but we know it is often easier said than done – sugar is addictive and many people struggle with sugar cravings and sugar dips which affect their energy levels and their mood. There are things that you can do to help though and getting on top of those cravings and keeping your blood sugar levels balanced is a real key to this. We tend to suggest using a supplement like Higher Natures Metabolic Balance to start off with. This supplement is designed using nutrients like chromium and magnesium to help support healthy blood sugar levels, which will in turn reduce fat storage, and sugar cravings. Once the sugar cravings are more controlled, a low sugar diet is easier to stick to and weight loss tends to follow. When we see people for our weight loss clinic then, one of the first things we do is work with them to get as many sugars out of their diet as possible, get their blood sugar levels balanced and get rid of their sugar cravings and it is surprising how quickly this can be achieved. Using a low sugar diet alongside Metabolic Balance can knock those cravings and the cycle of fat storage and low energy levels on the head and give weight loss a real kick start.


Love your Liver – Detox and Lose Weight

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I read this week that film actress Gwynth Paltrow was saying that the best way to detox and lose weight was to limit your calorie intake take to 300 per day!! Not Possible!! Someone living a normal life, with jobs to do and children to run around after, cannot possibly function properly on 300 calories a day! Not only that, as we all know, when following a diet which restricts calories so hugely, the weight may come piling off quickly, but, it piles back on even quicker!
Actually, one of the best ways to detox AND lose weight is to follow a sugar free diet, which has plenty of fresh vegetables and protein rich foods like beans. Ideally you should Focus on foods like flax seeds, beetroot, walnuts, oily fish, garlic, greens and tomatoes and whilst avoiding alcohol and fizzy drinks. Drink plenty of water and limit tea and coffee. This limits all the stimulants and things that strip your body of nutrients. It also ensures that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs to heal itself and cleanse the tissues.
But as well as this it is absolutely vital to look at the health of your liver. Any detox diet which does not look at cleansing the liver, is not going to work as well as you would want it to. Your liver is your body’s main detoxifying organ – it breaks down all the wastes and eliminates them. It deals with all the chemicals and medications. Therefore, you can detox your tissues with juices, or cocao or lemon juice etc, but unless you clean your liver out, those toxins are not going to leave your body as effectively as you would like.
Your liver is also your main metabolic organ. Signs of a sluggish liver, to a practitioner of natural medicine will include weight gain, bloating, indigestion, skin problems, low energy, bowel problems and sugar cravings. Boosting the liver function then could be really useful – not just in ensuring that your body is detoxing properly but also in helping shift a few excess pounds. The best way to support your liver in my opinion is with Vogels Milk Thistle Complex This combines milk Thistle, which has been reported in clinical trials to help promote the regeneration of liver cells, with artichoke, which helps lubricate the bowel, easing bowel issues. Artichoke also helps with indigestion symptoms and bloating, making it a great addition to this remedy. Milk Thistle Complex also contains dandelion, which again with the breakdown of fats. Taking a course of this whilst following the simple dietary guidelines I have laid down, should help you achieve what you want from a detox, without starvation or feeling awful. We do have a free diet sheet available to support this – if you would like it, please contact us and we will email it to you.


Bloating? Sluggish? Lose weight & feel great

Bloating? Sluggish? Struggling with Irritable Bowel? Read on and learn how to banish bloating, ease IBS, lose weight and feel great, with a our New Year, New You, Detox .
In the diet:
Cut out sugars – including fruit and fruit juices – for a couple of weeks. This is because sugar feeds the fermentation process that causes the bloating and wind. It also leads to sugar cravings. So cutting it out of your diet for a few weeks can help flatten your tummy and keep sugar cravings in check.
Also cut out alcohol and limit tea and coffee, whilst increasing herbal teas and water – this will help to flush your system out. Again easing that bloating feeling. For those who would like it we do have a diet sheet available to help with this – if you would like a free copy, please contact us to let us know, we will email it to you.
Additional help:
Make sure your bowels are working daily – this is important because your bowels are the main elimination route for toxins. You are never going to effectively detox if you are not emptying your bowels each day. To help with this if it is a problem try some Coloclear Extra – a capsule which combines great fibres with things which help improve bowel function like Aloe Vera. We have had some great results with this, one lady who was only going to the toilet once a week swore that it was Coloclear that got her going to the toilet normally again!
Kill off ‘bad’ bacteria – it is often thought that it is a build up of the putrefactive, fermentative bacteria which lead to many of the symptoms of IBS, including wind and bloating. Using a supplement like citricidal, which is a natural anti fungal and anti bacterial supplement, over a couple of weeks could help to reduce their numbers and therefore in turn reduce bloating and wind.
Boost up your good bacteria – as well as killing off the fermentative bacteria, you need to make sure you have good levels of your friendly bacteria, which are involved in maintaining a healthy bowel function. This will ensure that the unfriendly bacteria you have killed off with the citricidal have no room to grow back and also that your guts are in the healthiest state possible. One of my favourite good bacteria supplements is Higher Natures Pro-Bio Daily a robust pro biotic which is not killed off by stomach acid and works hard to boost your colonies of good bacteria in the gut.
We have often found that addressing these simple issues has made a big difference to how our customers feel – one girl who had been struggling for years with bloating and IBS told us that she felt better than she had in years after only two weeks of this – so it’s definitely worth a go. To give this a go for yourself, click here.