Issue 174

Digestion: As the old Adage Goes, you are what you eat: By Kathleen Murphy ND at Healthwise!

Naturopaths and other complementary health practitioners will often spend a significant amount of time addressing your digestive function. Particular attention is focussed not only on the food you're eating, but how you're eating it, and how your body is receiving it. This is because it is the cornerstone of good health.

When your digestion is working well, your body is able to easily break down the food you're eating, absorb essential vitamins and minerals, process waste products and expel whatever's left over. You will be able to taste and appreciate the food and drinks you consume, feel a sense of hunger when appropriate, and feel a sense of satiety and wellness after eating.

Good digestive function means adequate production of hydrochloric acid, enzymes and bile when you ingest a meal. Before we are able to utilise the nutrients in our food, our body needs to break it down into smaller particles, easier for absorption - which will nourish cells and be used as fuel for energy. This enables your body to best process the food, passing it through to the next stage of digestion. By getting things right from the start, your body is going to continue the process of digestion more effectively along the rest of the path - preventing conditions such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea and constipation.

When your digestive function is not working well, you can not break down food efficiently, meaning you won't get the nutrient value you require, digestion may be sluggish, resulting in reflux, bloating and a sense of heaviness after food. You may develop deficiencies. You may experience pain or gas in the abdomen and constipation or diarrhoea. Poor digestion plays a role in many other diseases. If your nutrient needs are not met, due either to inadequate diet or digestion, then your body's ability to function and repair itself will gradually deteriorate and, ultimately, poor health with follow.

Digestion is an ongoing process - occurring even when we're not eating. We often only become aware of it when there is something wrong. Think about what you're eating - what are you putting into your mouth? The quality, quantity and variety of food you consume is paramount to your health. This is the fuel your body uses to function and the basis of your nutrient and mineral intake.

Look at your environment - the time you take and place you sit when you're eating affects your mood and subsequent digestion of food. Eating in a relaxed environment as well as allowing time for a meal will promote better digestion. Stress affects the nerves of the digestive system and can upset the intricate balance of digestion. In some people stress slows the process of digestion, causing bloating, pain and constipation while others may need to frequently empty their bowels and the stools may be more loose and watery. Stress can also worsen some conditions such as peptic ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome.

Try not to eat in a rush - The process of digestion starts in your mouth. Take time and eat slowly, chewing each mouthful well. Relaxing while you eat helps the nerves of the digestive system, stimulating enzyme production, and food that is well chewed is easier to digest than larger pieces.

Avoid overeating - eat moderate portions and avoid putting too much stress on the digestive system. When too much food is consumed at one time, it has to stay in the stomach waiting its turn in the small intestine. That's what causes the bloated and heavy feeling you get when you've eaten way too much food. Smaller, more frequently meals are better for digestion and for your metabolism. You should never walk away from the table feeling 'stuffed'.

Eat regularly and try not to skip meals - this will prevent overeating due to hunger and prepares the digestive system for regular meals.

Fibre - this helps keep the food moving through your body. That's important because you don't want a build-up in your intestines or stomach. Fibre also softens the leftover parts of your food, making them easier to excrete. Make sure to combine fibre with plenty of water, another essential component of healthy digestion.

Reduce the intake of processed foods - these generally have little nutritional value or sufficient fibre. Processed foods often contain large amounts of saturated fats, salt and preservatives - all of which can be harmful to the body.

Drink plenty of fluids - especially water. Water is essential for all body processes, it helps to dissolve and absorb certain nutrients, encourages passage of waste through the digestive system and helps soften stools.

Drink less alcohol - alcohol can inflame the lining of your stomach or oesophagus or cause symptoms of heartburn. Excessive intake of alcohol can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.

Stop smoking! - smoking lowers the pressure at the junction between the stomach and oesophagus, promoting backflow of stomach acid into the oesophagus (reflux) - which can result in heartburn and other complications. Smoking also aggravates peptic ulcers and inflammatory conditions of the bowel, and is linked with an increased risk of many cancers.

5th Floor Morris Towers 149 Wickham Terrace Brisbane City

07 3839 1077


Spice Up Your Life: By Ananda Mahony ND at Vitale Organic Skin Care

Common spices used every day in kitchens are more than just flavoursome ingredients. Many also have significant therapeutic value and when used regularly can help maintain wellbeing. This article looks at the healing and culinary qualities of 5 common spices: Ginger, Tumeric, Cumin, Cinnamon and Black Pepper.


This spice comes from the underground rhizome of the ginger plant. Traditionally, ginger has been used to remedy symptoms arising from gastrointestinal issues. It works primarily by relaxing and soothing the intestinal tract. Ginger is also warming to the digestive system so useful for sluggish digestion.

Research has shown that ginger effectively reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating. This action is also helps to safely reduce nausea in pregnancy. The good thing is that ginger is extremely safe, and only a small dose is required.

Ginger has also shown a reduction of inflammation and swelling in trials for arthritis. Regular cooking with ginger will help reduce generalised inflammation within the body.

Cooking Tips

Fresh Ginger contains more of the anti-inflammatory gingerol compounds than dried so use fresh ginger in cooking rather than dried ginger. Used in tea, mixing the ginger with honey and lemon juice, its pungent effect may help to relieve sinus congestion and assist with digestion.


From the root of the Curcuma longa plant comes Tumeric. Traditionally called "Indian saffron" because of its deep colour Tumeric has a history of use as a spice, therapeutic remedy and clothes dye.

The deep yellow or orange flesh of Tumeric are largely responsible for its therapeutic effects. The active constituent in Tumeric is known as curcumin and it has shown in many studies to have a powerful antiinflammatory effect. When compared to drugs such as hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone, curcumin has exerted similar anti-inflammatory activity without the same risk of side effects.

Recent research Curcumin has shown to be a safe and effective treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. This effect has been seen in doses as low as the amount required for a good curry!

Another great benefit of including Tumeric in cooking regularly is that it has a powerful detoxifying effect. It works by enhancing the liver's ability to detoxify chemicals.

Cooking Tips

Keep fresh Tumeric in the fridge and the powdered form in a cool, dark cupboard. Use it for soups, curries and bean dishes such as Kedgeree (see recipe below). Be warned, Tumeric will stain if it comes into contact with your hands or clothes.

Black Pepper

The berries of the pepper plant (Piper nigrum) are picked when half ripe and dried to create Black Peppercorns. Pepper has a stimulating effect on the digestive system which is why it is often added as a spice to foods. It works by stimulating the taste buds which has the effect of increasing hydrochloric acid (HCl) secretion in the stomach. An increase in HCl leads to more effective breakdown of foods and therefore increased bioavailability of nutrients. For this reason, pepper has been used in some traditional Ayurvedic herbal combinations to increase the absorption of the other herbs.

Black pepper also acts to reduce pain and gas build up in the gut which is likely also a result of increased HCl production. The hot taste of pepper has the effect of increasing sweating which promotes toxic elimination through the skin.

Pepper used to add flavour to food however, as with everything, too much of a good thing can be detrimental. A good guide is that you can taste the heat of added pepper but your mouth doesn't feel hot or burnt.


Cinnamon is a well known spice with an extensive history of use as a pungent and sweet flavouring agent as well as a medicine. It is the inner brown bark of the cinnamon tree, which is available as a form known as a quill or as ground powder.

Health Benefits New research has shown that cinnamon may significantly help people with type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes improve their ability to regulate their blood sugar.

Studies have found that cinnamon improved the ability of fat cells in diabetics to respond to insulin and greatly increased glucose uptake by the cells.

In a human clinical trial published in Diabetes Care, 2003 volunteers with type 2 diabetes were given doses of cinnamon powder, in capsules after meals. All volunteers in the trial responded to the effects of cinnamon with an average blood sugar level of 20% less than the control placebo group, some even achieving normal blood sugar levels.

The results of this study demonstrate that intake of 1 (equivalent to ¼ - ½ teaspoon daily), 3, or 6 g of cinnamon per day reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. The long term implications of this study suggest that regular inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Cinnamon research in a completely different area has also yielded positive results, this time for brain function. In one study chewing cinnamon flavoured gum or just smelling cinnamon enhanced study participants' brain activity by improving cognitive processing. The specific outcomes were that tasks related to attention processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor speed were all improved.

Cinnamon can be added to cereal, shakes, stewed apple and other sweets as well as savoury dishes such as lamb casseroles.

Cumin Like Tumeric and Black pepper, Ccumin seeds have a beneficial effect on the digestion. Cumin works to stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, compounds essential for good digestion and nutrient absorption. It is no surprise that these three spices are so commonly used together to create delicious dishes that have the added benefit of supporting the digestion.

Add Cumin to curries, bean and lentil dishes, vegetables and dukkah.

Kedgeree Recipe

Kedgeree is a spicy flavoured lentil dish without the heat of a curry. It is light enough to eat in spring and summer and contains lots of delicious spices.


o 1 cup of mung bean lentils

o 4-6 cups of water

o 1 onion

o 1 teaspoon minced garlic

o 1 teaspoon minced ginger

o 2 teaspoons coriander powder

o ¼ teaspoon astafoetida powder

o 1 teaspoon tumeric powder

o 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

o 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

o 2 bay leaves

o 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

o 2 tablespoons of ghee

o 1 cup of chopped, mixed vegetables eg. broc, cauliflower, carrot, Brussel sprouts, zucchini, eggplant etc o Salt and pepper to taste (usually a good dash of each)

o Fresh coriander as garnish & yoghurt


o Soak mung bean lentils overnight in water. Scrunch them in the water before rinsing to get rid of the woody flavour.
o Put the lentils in 4-6 cups of water with the ginger, garlic, bay leaf and spice powders.
o Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the tomatoes and other vegies. Cook for half an hour.
o In the meantime chop the onions and fry in the ghee until almost soft and clear. Add the mustard and cumin seeds to the onion and ghee and fry for an additional 5 minutes on a low heat. Make sure the seeds don't burn.
o Add the ghee mix to the lentil & vegie mix. Take care as the fat hitting the water may spit. Stir through.
o Serve into bowls. Top with yoghurt and fresh coriander leaves.

Ananda Mahony ND is a naturopath and holistic skin care expert. She specialises in Food as Medicine as well as the treatment of skin conditions.

83 Latrobe Terrace (at Sowelu)

(07) 3367 3233

Lifestyle Health Clubs : 7 Clubs on the Southside!

The Lifestyle Health Club has been established for over 25 years and is still under the same management. Our centres are non-intimidating and we have friendly and helpful staff to help you with your needs and desires regarding your health and fitness goals. Our facilities have with the latest up to date equipment that is constantly maintained to ensure our members are enjoying a safe and happy workout. Our professional staff will assist and motivate you to ensure your health and fitness goals become a reality.

The team at Lifestyles Health Club look forward to seeing you here soon to get you started looking and feeling like the person you know you can be!

We approach your goals with strict confidence and will help design a personalised program to suit your own needs. This is achieved by using a combination of strength training, cardio vascular activity, flexibility and a healthy eating plan all designed by our qualified Personal Coaches.


* Our number 1 priority is you.

* We are fully equipped with the latest fitness equipment

* Flexible and varied timetable.

* The Nautilus program is exclusive to Lifestyle Health Clubs - achieving fantastic results in just 24 minutes.

* Flexible membership payment plans, pay up front with no more to pay or join on our direct debit system.

*FREE programs and assessments every 6 weeks.

* Family orientated centre with am/pm child minding.

* Lifestyle Health Clubs are family owned fitness centre that have been keeping its members fit and happy for over 25 years.

*Professional service and advice.

JOIN 1 LIFESTYLE Health Club & you are instantly a Member of all Lifestyle Clubs



BROWNS PLAINS 07 3806 7200

REDBANK PLAINS 07 3814 4455

SPRINGWOOD 3208 7439

CORNUBIA 07 3806 4788


RACEVIEW 07 3281 6779

How to Set Achievable Goals : by Clayfield Counselling!

This month we thought we would address the issue of New Year's Resolutions; we all at some time in our life make these statements. For many it is the year they want to shed those excess kilos that accrued over the previous year, to other it may be to quit smoking or to learn how to let go of the past.

The problem we all face is that after the first few months we can sometimes lose motivation and fall back into habits of old. This is because you may not have set realistic goals. For instance in relation to weight you may be a size 18 if your female or a 4XL if your male and you say that this year I'm going to be a size 12 or a Large instead. When the motivation wanes and the goal looks like its further and further away from achieving we all fall into the trap of it may just be too hard, maybe I'm not cut out for it, or consider their inability to reach their goal weight as a sense of failure. The truth is that goal setting and achieving those goals is like a staircase unless each goal is manageable the end can sometimes seem impossible.

You need to set "SMART goals", these goals are a five step process and will be outlined below:

Be Specific You need to be able to describe exactly what you want to achieve, to lose weight one might say I want to lose 20kgs or consider how many times a week you want to exercise for instance I want to exercise three times a week for one hour incorporating cardio and weight training into my regime. If you want to quit smoking say I want to reduce my cigarette consumption by 5 cigarettes each fortnight till I am no longer smoking.

Measurable You need to know when you have achieved it and be able to monitor your progress as you go along, for instance buy a calendar and call it your weight loss calendar and at the beginning of each week note how much weight you've lost. If you want to quit smoking instead of approaching it from a packet a day to none, gradually reduce your intake if you smoke 20 smokes a day break it down to 15 cigarettes a day for a fortnight, then 1o for the next weeks. Then gradually have days that you don't smoke.

Attributable: You own the goal, it is something you want to achieve and will so adopt the attitude that "If it's to be, it's up to me". By starting a diary or calendar, it shows that you are doing what you set out to do and acts as a form of motivation. Each kilogram or cigarette that you lose or cigarette that you don't have is your perseverance, own your goals. Always remember the reason you set the goal and remind yourself daily why you have set that goal.

Realistic Make sure the goals that you are setting are realistic, there's nothing more difficult to achieve than "pipe dreams". If you're a size 20 or 4 XL don't expect that a size 10 or Medium is a healthy weight loss. By setting such unrealistic challenges only serves to demotivate, if necessary break your goal into realistic chunks and discuss your weight loss plans and cutting back on cigarettes with a health profession.

Time Limit The most important of all of these steps is setting a time limit to achieve your goals. For instance you may choose an anniversary or event as your deadline to lose weight, but be realistic if its only a couple of months away recognise that it will be difficult to achieve and may demotivate you and you develop a case of "why bother?" syndrome, or "Nothing ever works out, may as well give up"


Now that you know how to set your goals it is important to consider certain aspects of your life which you feel needs improvement, you need direction before you can decide what goals you want to set.

The goals you set need to enhance and contribute to your overall quality of life. Consider the following aspects of your life and decide whether you are satisfied with it or may wish to improve aspects of.


Self image




Self growth





Instead of being unrealistic consider only three of the most important areas of your life that you would like to achieve and follow the 5 steps as shown above.

Useful tips

Keep a diary or a calendar that you can always refer to
Surround yourself with people who will motivate you to change your life
Set SMART goals


07 3862 6622

699-713 Sandgate Rd


Holistic Education College: Brisbane, Mackay, Townsville, Byron Bay, Sydney and Distance Studies!

The Holistic Health Centre has been operating for the last 20 years from two central locations in Brisbane City & New Farm. We provide a range of natural therapy services to the individual & corporate clients.

The centre also offers courses & training. It is an accredited college which practices under the name 'the Holistic Education College.' This college has been operating since 1996 and specialized in Remedial Therapy qualifications, such as: " Certificate IV in Massage " Diploma of Remedial Massage " Diploma of Shiatsu & " Diploma of Aromatherapy

These courses are available as on-campus study in Brisbane, Mackay, Townsville, Byron Bay & Sydney, as well as distance studies anywhere in Australia. Holistic Education Courses offer nationally recognized qualifications and are delivered in a hands-on/practical fashion. The Holistic Education courses have been developed based on our 20 years experience as a Holistic Clinic. The course are relatively short (3 to 12 months) & classes are available part time & after hours.

Our courses teach a range of massage techniques, creating multi-skilled therapists who can cater for a range of needs in the market place. Holistic Health Centre graduates are well positioned to find employment anywhere in Australia in both natural therapy clinic & day spa environments. Graduates may also find employment at the Holistic Health Centre clinics, or chose to work independently.

The course also delivers lectures focused on creating an understanding of the structure of the natural therapy industry & how to set up your own successful business, and provides information on insurance, associations & health fund policies.

The Holistic Education College provides unique courses that are designed to fast track students' entry to the workforce with an effective outcome. We believe that the sooner you can start working the better! As a therapist your training will come to fruition and your experience will expand on the job. More information can be found on or call 07-3229-5820

My Health Specials: Fitness & Weight Loss Centres!


Click Here To Find Your LOCAL Fitness Centre

Click Here To Find Your LOCAL Weight Loss Centre


Goodlife Health Clubs

Since we started Goodlife Health Clubs in Queensland in 2002, it’s been our goal to create a welcoming environment where fitness, health, nutrition and wellbeing go hand-in-hand. Our clubs are for Real People, designed to ensure you’ll never feel intimidated or on display. Still proudly Australian-owned and operated, we now have 33 clubs around the country (and more opening soon), over 90,000 members and one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry, proof that our original goal was one you share too. Backed by a management team with over 50 years experience, our customer-focused approach demonstrates our belief that a visit to your local club should leave you feeling fantastic, inspired and ready to take on the day. Now’s the time: get up, get moving and get into the good life at your local club.


Short and Sweet:Warm Chicken Salad!

Serves 4

Warm chicken salad


2 Chicken breasts skin and fat removed Dressing 1 medium Spanish onion 2 whole eggs 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar 2 cloves of garlic (crushed) 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard Sea salt Freshly ground pepper Salad 1 small bag of mixed lettuce leaves 1 bunch of rocket ½ punnet cherry tomatoes halved 1 Avocado sliced


Dressing: Into a jar, put 2 whole eggs, 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Put lid on and shake well. Cut chicken breast into strips and cook in hot pan with some extra virgin olive oil until the firm to touch. Combine the salad ingredients and top with the chicken pieces. Drizzle the dressing over the top & season to taste.



Laughter is the best medicine!

On a beautiful summer's day, two English tourists were driving through Wales. at the town of:-


They stopped for lunch, and one of the tourists asked the waitress,,, “Before we order, I wonder if you could settle an argument for us. Can you pronounce the name of where we are, very, very, very slowly?” The girl leaned over and said, “Burrr gerrr kiiing.”

.Quote of the week!

Share our similarities, celebrate our differences Scott Peck

For a Good Cause: Why Support the RSPCA?

The RSPCA is a community based charity that works to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection. RSPCA Australia is a Federation of eight independent State and Territory RSPCA bodies called member Societies. RSPCA member Societies do much of the hands on work traditionally associated with the RSPCA such as the operation of shelters and the Inspectorate plus community education and fundraising. RSPCA Australia is home to a strong science and campaigns team, with a particular focus on farm animal issues. RSPCA Australia is responsible for facilitating national campaigns and events and representing the interests of animal welfare with Government and industry across all areas..


In the next issue of "Naturally Happy"


  • D-STRESS!!
  • DETOX!
  • Kick Start 2010!
  • Short and sweet!
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My Health Specials provides this information for your personal education and enrichment. Information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. Nor should the information replace the advice of your health care practitioner. Always seek professional advice if suffering an illness. My Health Specials Pty Ltd and all parties involved in the conception, production, ongoing maintenance and operation of Naturally Happy accept no liability and no responsibility for any damage whatsoever arising from or in connection to your use or operation of the website or information contained in this e-magazine.