The 12 rules of Christmas: Christmas tips to survive the food and frenzy.

By Andrea Cullen

I am going to make the shock assumption that most hard-working triathletes know how to eat a balanced and supportive diet to reward the hard training that their bodies agree to.

But just in case here is a reminder:

A well thought out nutrient dense diet is imperative if you want to go long and hard for a long time without injury, illness or burn-out 😊.  All the various vitamins, minerals, plant and food based antioxidants, amino acids from protein, fatty acids, resistant starches from specific carbohydrate foods, prebiotics and compounds with long names that research keeps identifying in natural foods are important for our health and for the cells, organs, brain, muscles, tendons and ligaments, tissues and even our gut microbiome to function optionally. Food is not only fuel but also provides the structural and supportive ingredients to allow the body to operate, recover, and repair from daily life and training. Don’t forget salts and water; these are very important also.

Nutritious food also aids hormone balance, immune system function, and the correct balance of bugs in our guts (these form our first line of defence against bacterial, yeast and viral infections and they also are involved in the digestive process, making some vitamins and neurotransmitters, and gut healing substances called short chain fatty acids; wow!).

This diet that we call balanced looks like a diet based on mostly plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds; with some whole grains such as oats and rice for example, along with a moderate amount of protein from animal, fish, eggs, and dairy foods. We need all of these foods for various reasons and in varying proportions depending on the work that we ask our bodies to do and our unique and individual constitutions.

No one diet is perfect, and this can make the journey rather confusing in how we find the optimal for us. However, for most of us a fad diet, an extreme diet, or a diet eliminating a major food group is rarely needed. The first rule is to choose natural and un- to minimally processed foods with the least amount of chemicals, additives, preservatives and sweeteners added. Yes, your body works hard but no this doesn’t mean that you can just eat anything as a response because we need more than calories. Junk food is mostly empty calories and is lacking in goodness; furthermore, it comes packaged with other stuff that we just don’t need.

Many athletes make the next step an extreme but what if you focused on improving your diet by making choices directed by quality, source/location and ethics and perhaps upgrading your cooking or fermenting skills.

Our bodies have this amazing thing called HUNGER to tell us when it needs food and sometimes this directs what foods we desire (i.e. cravings for meat or fat or carbs), and SATIETY which is fullness, and this tells us when to stop. If you pay attention, you can learn a lot about what the body needs. This intuitive system works best if you avoid processed foods, junk choices, eating without taking the time to allow the digestive system to operate correctly and excess stress; all of which interfere with this intuitive signalling system. At the end of the day survival is what matters and nothing screams chocolate bar and cake better than eating on the go and emotional stress.

So here are my 12 rules of Christmas

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Proper bone broth

I made some bone broth over the weekend.

Yes it is a labour of love; cheap to almost free to make until you count the man hours and electricity!! But oh so worth it to have the result of a broth that is so dense with healing amino acids that it solidifies in the fridge.

Ingredients

I kept mine simple. I also made a large volume of it to make use of the time I invested and so that I could freeze several batches for use later in soups, casseroles and stews. 

  • Bones from the local butcher – I used three knuckly joint bones that had an open end long bone with bone marrow at one end and a big joint at the other. The bones were large and messy (cartilage and fat and sinew) and this means you get the best results as they are full of soft tissue and ligaments that break down their nutrients into the broth. Hard clean long bones are great also but you will not get as much nutrition released from a solid bone no matter how long you boil it for. Bones just don’t disintegrate no matter what claims people make for adding vinegar (not unless the poor animal had osteoporosis!). It does all seem a bit yucky I can appreciate this, but this is also ethical eating where we use more of the animal and waste less.
  • Vinegar –  this can be cider or wine. I used 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar as it was the first one in reach in my cupboard.
  • 1 onion – roughly sliced
  • 1 carrot – peeled and roughly sliced
  • Optional diced fresh chili, ginger, garlic, and/ or fresh turmeric (this time I used a fresh red chili and a couple of cloves of garlic)
  • Mixed dried herbs
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground dried turmeric
  • Filtered water – a lot
  • Large stock pot with lid
  • Strainer/ sieve
  • Fat separating jug (I’ve spoken about this fantastic kitchen aid before; see here:https://andreacullenhealthsolutions.com/2013/08/15/bone-broth-for-healing-how-do-you-do-yours/)
  • Seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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PEMF for Lymes disease


Hi all,

Lymes disease and its complications is something that I am seeing increasingly in the clinic.

It is a complex condition, requiring a multi-disciplinary approach of medical support and advanced medical diagnostics, functional diagnostics (e.g. more specific gastrointestinal, hormonal, adrenal, nutrient, or thyroid profiling), diet, nutritional supplements, herbs, osteopathy or cranial osteopathy, optician review and finally energy medicine from both hands on therapy and devices such as PEMF or Rife. This list isn’t exhaustive.

I will not go into a details in the post about specific recommendations, as I believe every patient is highly individual and I take every symptom seriously and on their own context. However, I refuse to put Lymes in a box and I strongly believe in supporting the emotional mind-body link, beliefs and perceptions, symptoms from other perspectives, lifestyle and life path choices and finally to work on healing the condition from the inside out: working on the resilience of the patient and their innate immune strength.

Lymes, just like all bacterial, viral and parasitic conditions is constantly trying to evolve faster than the tactics we use to kill it. This makes it terribly important to avoid solely relying on killing it with drugs and supplements or herbs (ie an outside attack)  but to also raise the bodies natural capacity to withstand and then beat the infection.  Just like it does with many viruses and bacteria that cross its path on a daily basis.

A strong, healthy and resilient body is everything.

Hand in hand with this is healing and repairing the body (ie diet, lifestyle, movement, gut health, herbs, supplements if needed) so that it can recover from any damage caused by the infection; raising its energy to defend and heal, and nourishing the body so that it can thrive once more. Once energy is adequate making the body strong with movement and exercise is important (and for many more reasons); and finally getting outdoors into nature is an important part of the healing journey.

This all is a start!

There are many other strategies and skills that we work on in the clinic. I am not a Lymes expert, but I will take a whole body supportive approach to build you back up again and if its needed for your best care I will also work alongside your Lymes expert or medical doctor. I feel a broad approach is vital.

Here are a few links that you may find interesting or that you may not have come across before:

Dr Pawluk writing on Lymes disease and PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency therapy). I have a PEMF device in the clinic.

And here is an interesting article on the mind-body link

http://ezinearticles.com/?Chronic-Lyme-Disease—Metaphysical-and-Spiritual-Aspects&id=3056426

PS I do think Lymes is real; and I do think physical symptoms are real, and yet I also see a spiritual journey and a person in front of me that is terribly hard on themselves. I think if I was to give lymes a one liner it would be I SEE YOU, I SEE YOU ARE UNIQUE AND GIFTED IN A WORLD THAT IS NOT THE EASIEST TO THRIVE IN AND ONE THAT YOU DONT ALWAYS FEEL SEEN OR ACCEPTED IN.

Love,

Andrea

magnesium – are you deficient

Hi all,

here are some quick links to some good information on Magnesium.

MAGNESIUM

by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND

to read the original article please click here:

Gauging magnesium deficiency symptoms: https://drcarolyndean.com/2010/06/gauging-magnesium-deficiency-symptoms/

Follow the links recommended here: http://drcarolyndean.info/

I recommend that when purchasing a magnesium product you avoid magnesium oxide, and choose an aspartate, citrate or malate. Epsom salts baths are also wonderful and please increase your intake of green leafy vegetables.

Love,
Andrea

“Something is wrong – what do I do now?”

Hi,

here is a quick video that I put together discussing some things to consider when we get a bit of bad news about our health. How do we feel about it? What do we consider as our options? Who do we go to?

If anything I just want to instill a bit of hope that you can take charge of the journey and weight up your options, follow your intuition, seek advice and support from many excellent therapists and doctors. Build up a team so to speak! You have options from:

  1. Medical doctors and consultants.
  2. Nutritional therapists.
  3. Functional or integrative therapists.
  4. Medical herbalists
  5. Manual therapists such as osteopathic and chiropractic and Bowen therapy experts.
  6. Reflexology, acupuncture, aromatherapy, sound therapy, homeopathy, tree and flower therapy (something close to my own heart).
  7. Energy healing modalities from technologies such as PEMF or from hands on therapists practicing energy healing.

Etc. I do recommend when possible to work with someone with a medical or science background so that they can understand both sides of the great divide that we know as holistic and conventional. A pretty crazy divide if you ask me as there are merits to all approaches and additional benefits from approaching your illness or diagnosis with a ‘team’ approach. Seek what feels right. Although I do recommend that you give any therapy and therapist sufficient time, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with seeking multiple answers.

Build allies on your journey

I always suggest that you blend physical and healing treatments with mindfulness, self-awareness and acknowledgement of emotions. Something I use often in my clinic is a TIME-LINE and clients find this very insightful to make a road map of factors that came before an illness or diagnosis.

Never quit on the journey forwards; the body given the right tools, love and support will always strive to heal.

Much love,
Andrea

PS you may find this interesting: http://www.healing-art-community.com/emotions-and-diseases/

 

Stress is the trip switch….

Journeys in Healing

When stress goes up, often many of us play this out in food and diet.

We get a little bit more controlling, a little/ lot bit more judgemental and hard on ourselves, we set harder goals for weight and performance based on well… punishment and many of us feel a little more unsure in our bodies. the stress battle play out in the worst of internal battles… invisible to almost everyone in your circle except the most intuitive.

for the purpose of us being open, honest and supportive for one another… if it feels right. How do you manage this and rein it in? how did you move forwards… what advice would you give?

When all form of control and certainty leaves us and overwhelm sneaks up; we often subconsciously start to control in other areas. It is human nature.

With practice we can become better to catch ourselves, laugh…

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