Could nail varnish be to blame?

I wonder whether the current pandemic of painted finger nails could be involved in increasing breast cancer rates? Nail varnish contains some really nasty chemicals and everything we put on our bodies ends up in our blood stream. When I was doing Aromatherapy training decades ago, I proved this theory by taping a slice of garlic to the sole of my foot. It could be smelled on my breath within minutes.

The breast cancer/nail varnish question came up on a recent training day with my professional association. Chris Astill-Smith mentioned that long-term exposure to low levels of an irritant can be worse for our health than a short, sharp exposure to a larger dose. I also knew this from my Aromatherapy training – and personal experience. I managed to sensitise myself to lemon type essential oils by diffusing the delicious essential oil May Chang day after day. Sensitisation is much longer lasting and potentially more dangerous than an immediate reaction. Chris also said that traces of the chemicals in nail varnish can be found in the lymph nodes in the armpits. This really got me thinking … about a client of mine who has had breast cancer and who always has her nails beautifully manicured and varnished.

A few days later, my beautiful stepdaughter was chatting with a friend and I overheard that another of their friends has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  All this got me thinking … and googling. It seems there are very definitely strong reasons to NOT have permanently painted finger nails. This article explains why. And this research does too … and this study looked at just one chemical: TPHP.

The picture on the left shows three of the nasty toxins in commercial (ie, non-natural) nail varnish brands. These are all Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – ie. they interfere with normal hormone function. Breast Cancer UK launched a campaign called Ditch The Junk this year aimed at highlighting the potential cancer-causing toxicity of so-called beauty products. Nail varnish is top of the toxic list. (Another really worrying chemical is Triclosan – found in handwash. It’s almost impossible to find a handwash without it in.)

I think it’s time to think twice before painting your nails! Let’s go back to the natural look please! Rub a little coconut oil into your cuticles and push them back with a cotton bud, then buff up your nails with a soft cloth. Wear your natural nails with pride – and protect yourself against cancer. It’s a win/win.

 

Cook for Health

On 8 July 2017, twelve lovely eager people cooked up a storm of delightful dishes at St Aldhelm’s Church Centre. They made two different types of slaw, nori rolls, hummus, chorizo omelette and courgette muffins. At the end of the evening, we all tucked in to the tasty and nutritious breakfast and lunch alternatives.

I introduced myself and shared how my health has been turned around by eating like a hunter-gatherer – my version of the Paleo diet. I showed them all the blouse I’d bought 4 years earlier – I didn’t try before buying and when I got it home it didn’t meet anywhere near in the middle of my body! When I wear it now, it has enough room in it for at least half another person! Cook for Health is not just about losing weight, it’s also about gaining health and vitality, as well as having the energy you need to lead the life you want.

Cook for Health is about learning how to make simple everyday dishes which are nourishing and tasty and will keep you healthy, slim and full of energy. It’s not about exotic ingredients or fancy knife skills … it’s about basing meals around great veg (generously supplied for this particular evening by Dorset Riverford), good sources of protein and healthy fats. Cook for Health will change what you eat and therefore your health!

Here’s what some CfH participants said: “very inspiring – feel motivated to have a go!” “very informative – especially for someone who doesn’t know where to begin” “incredibly interesting – more classes please” “loved the new ideas – could listen to you talk about nutrition for hours!” 

Next weekly course starts: Thursday 14 September 2017 – 6-9pm at St Aldhelm’s Church Centre, Weymouth, Dorset. Cost: £95 for five weeks (includes all ingredients)

Bonus! On 28 September 2017, the evening will be led by Ben Oakley – Ben is an expert in change – he’s a life coach and he uses techniques from NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnotherapy to help people get the life and health they want. The transformations he achieves are nothing short of incredible – and he does it in a fun and humorous way. I’ve invited him to lead this Cook for Health session because I often see a reluctance in clients to change their eating and/or lifestyle habits, even though they know it will be good for them. Ben will share practical skills to help make the changes you want, easily and happily. Read more about Ben’s work

Systematic Kinesiology: a case study

C was referred to me by her chiropractor in November 2016. At her first visit, we recorded the following 8 main symptoms/issues to address. Last week I asked her to rate her level of improvement after Systematic Kinesiology sessions with me:

  1. Tired all the time – even on waking/after 9 hours in bed.
    General tiredness 90% better, on waking about 60% better.
  2. Fear of fainting – 70%
  3. A sensation like an air lock at the bottom of ribcage, bubbles in throat. 100%
  4. Belching and indigestion – 90%
  5. Eating a restricted diet (no wheat, yeast, mushrooms, dairy, vinegar, oranges, cocoa, chocolate, oats, eggs) – 90%
  6. Difficulty (fear of) driving – 60%
  7. “often anxious/stressed”. Not doing hobbies.
    “This is tricky as stressed at moment (due to a life event), had improved, but not now.”
  8. Pain in nape of neck – 60%

What did Systematic Kinesiology (“SK”) do to help C?  In every kinesiology session, I address whatever comes up as a priority for the person, at that time. With SK I am seeking to establish a ‘silent dialogue’ via gentle muscle-testing. I can then look in the four realms of health: structure, bio-chemistry, emotions, energy – to see what needs to be addressed. I then muscle-test a choice of nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, essential oils and Bach flower essences. When I have identified all that tests positively, I balance the person using techniques which include lymphatic massage, neuro-vascular work, acupressure points, meridians, chakras, etc. I then re-test to make sure the balance has worked. At the end, I check all the remedies and supplements that have come up in the session and make recommendations.

In C’s case, in the first session, wobbly blood sugars showed and Chromium and Fish Oil supplements were what I recommended. We also did a lot of emotional release work using Bach flower essences, affirmations and tapping. I made up a bottle of Mimulus flower essence and gave C some tapping and affirmations to do for homework. At the end of the session, we also muscle-tested some of the foods C had removed from her diet years before (as a result of Vega testing) and she agreed to try reintroducing wheat, eggs, cheese and butter.

At the next visit, C reported driving was “a lot better”, the ‘air lock’ sensation was “not as bad”, no big belching, she wasn’t waking up hungry in the night, she’d been eating wheat and eggs nearly every day with no ill-effect and she’d got her first period in four months (an unexpected improvement). In this second visit, we checked more foods, did more stress release work and some structural work on her jaw. The flower essence which was helpful this time was Hornbeam. Again, I gave it and some stress releases as homework.

At the third visit, C reported the “air lock” sensation had gone, tiredness was better, driving was ok, digestion was “better” and she was very happy with the new foods she was eating (especially chocolate!). At that visit, we worked on balancing female hormones.

So, in just three sessions we made massive improvements. C chooses to continue to come every 4-5 weeks since – for a ‘balance’ and to address whatever issues come up. At visit 7, C reported that she felt ‘vibrant’ and that she hadn’t felt ‘this good for 3-4 years’. She’s continued to make steady progress, despite some life events which have increased stress levels.

Here’s what C says about kinesiology: “don’t understand really how it works! but it does! My diet has really improved so very much, it was such a negative thing for me, but my progress has been rapid and very positive. I am still working on the stress-related elements as these are quite deep-seated and so I expect they will take a while to resolve, however I have made really great progress. My lifestyle balance is improving every time I see Jane.”

It’s been a huge privilege to help C with her health – I love what I do! Contact me to see how I might help with your list of symptoms. I practise Systematic Kinesiology in Weymouth and Dorchester, Dorset.

Allergies & intolerances – June 2017 special offer

Our young cat Sam made my eyes and nose stream when we first rescued him.

Does your pet make you sneeze? Are you missing out on cuddles with your cat? Is grass pollen season a nightmare time for you? Are there foods which give you indigestion or bloating?

If so, there are lots of Kinesiology techniques which can help alleviate or reduce the symptoms of allergies and intolerances. Hay fever, pet allergies, food intolerances … they can all be tested for and symptoms improved with relevant kinesiology techniques. (We can also test for supplements to support your immune system.)

As hay fever season is well and truly upon us, I’m offering a 55-minute “allergy” appointment for £25 during June 2017. You will need to bring a small amount of whatever gives you symptoms – grass seeds, pollen, pet fur, foods, etc etc. This price is for existing clients only – all new clients will need to have an initial assessment appointment first (1.5 hours at £50).
I used to get awful hay fever type symptoms from just about everything and kinesiology has really helped me. I hardly suffer at all now and never need to take an anti-histamine – thank goodness. However, when we rescued our little cat Sam last summer, my eyes and nose were streaming within days. I went to see my kinesiologist with some fur from his brush. We established that the Energy Mismatch technique was relevant (my body was confused and treated him as an enemy of my immune system). She did a fix there and then and I repeated it for homework, along with cross-crawling with the little packet of fur on me. Within a week I had no more symptoms and I can now give him all the cuddles he deserves!
Contact me ASAP to book in for June – let’s see how kinesiology can help alleviate your symptoms!

Meridian Massage

Sculpture and photo by Ian Grist – copyright belongs to him.

I’m very excited to announce the launch of my new service – a massage treatment combining kinesiology and aromatherapy. It’s unique and incorporates all my training and experience in one therapeutic and pampering session!
Here’s what clients have said about Meridian Massage so far:
– “First Jane used kinesiology to find out that my stomach meridian was out of balance. She then tested & found specific aromatherapy oils that would rebalance me. Using those beautiful oils she then gave me a wonderful relaxing massage that left me relaxed and energised. Jane then retested and I was balanced again. Highly recommended!” MA
– “It was lovely. I felt very relaxed and calm afterwards.” MW
Contact me to book in – you definitely deserve it!

My thoughts on vegetarianism

Veg & fruitI couldn’t possibly be as biased as The Two Fat Ladies (a BBC cookery programme from the 1990s – see clips of their hilarious comments on vegetarians here) but I must admit to having a couple of concerns about vegetarian diets. I’m talking here about ‘western’ diets … not traditional vegetarian diets around the world.

I think the main issue is protein. It’s a really important macronutrient (fat and carbohydrate are the other two macronutrients) made up of combinations of 20 amino acids, of which 9 are “essential” which means we must eat them in our diet. We need amino acids to make new cells (something we’re doing every day, all day long). If there aren’t enough or the amino acids required, the new cells we make will be faulty … and this leads to disease. Cancer is a defect in cell reproduction … to learn more about how we make new cells from amino acids (protein), watch this brilliant video.

Closeup view of a bunch of upright ears of ripe wheat harvested for their seeds and used as a staple grain in foodstuff or as a winter feed for livestock
Whole grains are a source of protein but can cause digestive problems and intolerances.

The fact is protein from animal sources is “complete” (contains all the 20 amino acids we need). Vegetarians will argue that they can get these from combining whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds … yes, they can. However, I have only ever met one vegetarian whose diet consists of vegetables and these foods. Most British vegetarians seem to live on “replacement” foods – highly processed, manufactured from goodness knows what stuff made to look and taste like meat or carbohydrates with dairy (jacket potato and cheese, pizza, pasta, etc). These foods are low in lots of nutrition, high in anti-nutrients and people can end up overweight, lacking energy and really ill.

There are usually two main reasons why people choose a completely vegetarian diet here in the UK. One big reason is animal welfare. I get this. I love animals. In fact, all my babies have had four legs and fur! I would never buy eggs from caged hens, having kept hens myself. And I buy the best animal products I can afford – as close to the source as possible, whenever possible. However, it is a fact of life that human animals are higher up the food chain than farm animals … in fact, we give farm animals life … we engineered their species in most cases … in order to sustain our own lives. That’s just the way it is – and always has been.

egg
Eggs contain 13g of “complete” protein

The other reason for being vegetarian is because of the mistaken belief that meat is bad for us and that fat is the enemy of health. This is a leftover piece of bad science from the 1960s and I sincerely hope it will be lost forever soon. Read more about why fat is NOT the enemy in my article.

I admire and often refer to Dr Adamo’s work on blood type diets. I know it works for me – I’m O+ and I definitely feel best on a diet of meat, fish, eggs and vegetables. Dr Adamo says those with blood group A are likely to be healthier on a diet lower in animal products and higher in whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. However, complete proteins are still required – we need all the amino acids every day.

Here’s some helpful information:

  • the recommended daily intake of protein is 0.75g per kilogram of body weight (you may need more if you exercise regularly or you’re looking to gain weight/muscle). So, if you weigh 75kg, you need 56.25g of protein per day. Two eggs provide 26g of complete protein (you’d need to eat 1kg of cooked brown rice to get the same quantity of protein and it would still be lacking in some amino acids)
  • amaranth, quinoa, soya, dried split peas and chickpeas are the best sources of vegan protein
  • eating eggs, cheese and a combination and wide variety of whole grains, pulses (lentils, beans, peas) and nuts and seeds every day is the best way vegetarians can ensure they get all the amino acids
  • read more on the Vegetarian Society‘s website

Pulses and grains contain naturally-occurring chemicals which can cause digestive problems and intolerances. If they give you excessive amounts of indigestion, bloating and wind, book in for a kinesiology session with me. We can look at food intolerances and ways to get your gut healthy again. If you live too far away from me, taking a course of probiotics with a prebiotic may help. I can recommend this product. Contact me and I’ll send you a discount code for ordering from this website.

 

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!

new-years-eve-1905144_1920Happy New Year! Wishing you a happy and very healthy 2017!

If you’ve woken up this morning with a groan … and you’re thinking you must do a ‘detox’ this month, here are my thoughts and tips. This is the first article of five I will write. You could take them as a step-by-step approach to a cleaner, brighter, fresher and healthier new year.

What I mean by ‘detox’ in this article, is giving your body’s systems and organs a rest – a break from rich food & drink – so that your cells can regenerate fresher and fitter than ever. This puts a sparkle in your eyes and a spring in your step – you’ll have more energy, better immunity … and looks.

The digestive system
The digestive system

The liver is our powerhouse of detoxification – it filters our blood at the rate of about 3 pints per minute – removing dead and faulty cells, bugs, inorganic chemicals, fat globules, etc. It then detoxifies these by using enzymes to convert them from fat soluble to water soluble – so they can be eliminated from our bodies via urine, sweat and faeces.

So, the first step in giving your liver a helping hand is to help clear the elimination pathways. There are four main exit routes from our bodies:

  1. large intestine (bowel, colon) – faeces
  2. kidneys & bladder – urine
  3. skin – sweat
  4. lungs – respiration (breathing)

urine-colour-chartAll four of these eliminatory organs/systems have one fundamental requirement in order to function – WATER. The lungs require a litre of water at all times in order to exchange gases in and out of the blood (the purpose of respiration). When exercising or in warm weather, our skin can sweat out a litre per hour. Urine is the most obvious watery route and is a good indicator of dehydration – it should be pale, light yellow – almost clear. If it’s yellow, orange or dark and cloudy – you urgently need to drink more water! Few of us meet our body’s requirements of 6-8 glasses (1.5-2 litres) per day of pure water. It’s such a simple yet powerful step towards better health. Read why in my article here.

STEP ONE – your homework today is to drink more plain, pure water – today and every day from now on. Here are a few tips on drinking water:

  1. Like a pot plant that hasn’t been watered for some time, if you drink 8 glasses today it will just go straight through you – you will probably spend most of the day on the toilet. Increase water intake slowly – if you don’t currently drink any water each day, drink one tall glass today, two tomorrow and the next day, then three, etc etc.
  2. Sip water over the course of the day – don’t down whole glasses at a time (think pot plant).
  3. Don’t drink within 20 minutes of a meal – especially before, as this can dilute digestive juices.
  4. Choose bottled mineral or filtered water to avoid added chemicals. I like the taste of the water from these Wellness Carafes which I also sell in my clinic.
  5. Herbal teas count as water. Your liver loves herbs – especially bitter tasting ones such as dandelion, nettle, mint and green tea. Don’t overdo any of them though – vary them throughout the day. You could also drink hot water with a small slice of lemon (if you like the taste – try removing the outer skin if it’s too bitter).

TOMORROW – I’ll be writing about how you can support elimination through your skin. You’ll be amazed by this vital organ – it’s literally the frontline of your body!

 

What is it with crisps?

checkoutI needed some extra income this summer so I’ve been working weekends on the checkout at a supermarket. It has really brought home to me the message that WE ARE WHAT WE EAT. Spend any amount of time looking at people and their shopping and you can clearly see the absolute correlation between health and diet.

One of the things that has shocked me most is the ubiquity of crisps. Just about every shopping basket contains a bag of crisps – of one size and type or another – from posh hand-cooked named potato varieties to strange puffs of something unrecognisable and flavoured like an exotic meal. There is a whole aisle of the supermarket dedicated to these savoury snacks.

CrispsAs a nation, us Brits must be eating our bodyweight in crisps each year. Why on earth do so many people buy sacks of 24 bags of crisps? (The quantity of non-recyclable packaging alone makes me feel queasy.) I wonder … is it because it’s only a small, light bag that we think they don’t count as food? Or that we can get away with eating them? Worse – why do we think every British adult’s and child’s lunchbox should contain a bag of crisps? Why does a supermarket ‘meal deal’ always include a bag of crisps? Do we think they are adding something to our nutrition? Or do we just believe they’re harmless to our health?

Crisps are BAD food. For a start, they wreak dental havoc because they are basically just starch – their digestion starts with the saliva in our mouths and they stick to our teeth better than sweets or chocolate. They are deep-fried at high temperatures in oil. (Don’t be duped into thinking the oils are healthy because they have pretty made-up names!) Any seed oil at high temperature becomes unstable (begins to create free radicals) and re-heating creates even more instability. Free radicals are most definitely a huge threat to our health. The ‘free’ (hanging on by a thread) molecule bits scavenge our body’s cells for a mate – at any price. They will even steal molecules from our very DNA to try to stabilise themselves. This is what causes diseases like cancer. Read the ‘Processes’ part of this Wikipedia article for more detail.

Unrecognisable ingredients!
Unrecognisable ingredients!

Furthermore, the ‘bad fats’ they contain cancel out the ‘good fats’ (omegas) in our diet – and the average UK diet is already very low in these essential fats. Finally, the flavourings they are coated with are high in artificial flavourings, sugar, artificial sweeteners (why??) and of course salt. Artificial chemicals are alien to our bodies and have to be neutralised and processed by our liver. A single serving pack of ready salted crisps contains at least 0.5g of salt. That isn’t a problem in itself but I bet crisp eaters are eating more than one of those little bags a day and I bet they’re also eating plenty of other foods high in salt – preserved meats (bacon, sausages, etc), ready meals, convenience foods (pasta sauces). So one of those little bags could well take them over the 5g recommended daily salt intake – for an adult.

Yes, crisps can be tasty but before you tuck in, please remember they are not food – in fact, they are anti-nutrition! If you’re in great health and your diet usually consists of lots of fresh vegetables and good sources of protein, then you can probably afford to ‘treat’ yourself once in a while. Otherwise, please leave them out of your daily diet!

If you want a salty snack, open a jar of olives or try one of these favourites of mine:

  • Tamari Seeds: put a handful each of (raw) sunflower and pumpkin seeds into a frying pan on medium heat. Stir all the time – do not allow them to brown! You will see the seeds begin to swell and puff up – at this point, remove the pan from the heat and drizzle on a teaspoon of tamari (wheat free soya sauce). Stir quickly and well. Leave to cool before serving.
  • Salt and Pepper Cashews: melt a teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add two handfuls of raw cashew or cashew pieces (they’re cheaper!) – stir continuously – don’t let them burn. As soon as they begin to turn a golden colour, remove from the heat and sprinkle on sea salt and fine black pepper to taste (do NOT stir). Leave to cool before serving.
  • Linseed crackers – get my recipe here.

All of these recipes should be stored in an airtight jar for a few days only (if there’s any left over!).

Raw Slaw – you can live on it!

raw slaw 1This recipe is ideal if you want to (a) get more nutrition from your diet, (b) cut down or cut out carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, etc, and (c) lose weight. It can be made either savoury or sweet. When I first started seeing a kinesiologist and she shared this recipe with me it was to replace breakfast cereals and gluten free bread. I was really sceptical about eating raw veg for brekkie but even my husband loved it and said it was better than muesli because it’s not as dry or bland.

Raw vegetables contain lots of vitamins, minerals and natural sugars – as well as two extra beneficial ingredients: the tiny fibres which feed the ‘good’ bacteria in our guts; and lots of active enzymes which we need for great digestion.

raw slaw basicsI love this recipe so much I probably eat it three times a week – but most often for lunch now, especially on the go. It’s great to pack in a lunchbox with some sardines or mackerel – what a nutrition-packed meal! That won’t give you an afternoon slump!

Here’s how to get some raw slaw in your life. The basic ingredients are nearly always carrots, cabbage (any kind) and beetroot. I get a weekly veg box delivery from the delicious Goldhill Organics so my raw slaw ingredients vary quite a bit. I use my ancient but trusty Magimix processor to grate the root veg and thinly slice the cabbage – but it works fine with a hand grater and a knife. Here’s a list of all the veg/fruit I can remember adding to the basics in my raw slaw:

  • turnip
  • kohl rabi
  • fennel root
  • spring onion
  • peppers
  • red onion
  • apple
  • courgette
  • celery

raw slaw 3When I worked in an office I used to take this for lunch most days. To save time, I grated big batches of carrots and beetroot in advance and kept them sealed in a box in the fridge. Each morning, I then added the extra ingredients and topped and dressed my slaw. If you store it dressed, it gets a bit soggy.

Toppings: add raw nuts, seeds and a little dried fruit for extra nutrition. I always add sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Cranberry and almond was my favourite breakfast version. (Make sure your dried cranberries are not coated with vegetable oil and/or sweetened with sugar!) You could also add walnuts, brazils, pecans, cashews, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, dates, raisins …

Dressing: drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, add plenty of raw cider vinegar and choose from tamari (wheat-free soya sauce), lemon, lime or orange zest and/or juice. You could also add flaxseed oil for extra omegas.

Suggested combinations:

  • breakfast/brunch version = the basics + cranberries + almonds
  • savoury version = the basics + spring onion + seeds + the dressing + tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
  • the basics + grated apple + celery + sliced dates + walnuts – with goat’s cheese
  • the basics + sliced fennel + cashews – with fish
  • the basics + sliced peppers + seeds – with feta cheese

Let your raw slaw imagination run wild!

Zinc – the “polite mineral” that could change your health

fruit-1254253_1920As two-times Nobel prize winner Dr Linus Pauling said: “You could
trace every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”  If that’s the case then Zinc would be the crucial mineral to supplement, in my opinion. My lovely kinesiology teacher, Rosie Dowbekin, describes Zinc as ‘the polite mineral’. Zinc says to calcium and magnesium: “no, you go first – you’re so important”. Yet Zinc is found in every tissue of our body and is required for 2,000 of our bodies’ vital processes including protein and carbohydrate metabolism, normal immune function, healthy hair, skin and nails and brain function.

A report was published in the USA in 1936 which showed that soil was becoming depleted of minerals as a result of increasingly intensive farming. (If soil is depleted then the vegetables and fruits grown in it are, and so is the grass and silage eaten by livestock.) Imagine what has happened to the soil in the last 80 years! We have had to resort to massive quantities of chemicals and genetic modification to produce our food. So, not only do we not eat enough natural foods, but they’re lacking minerals anyway.

Most people rely on refined and processed foods as the staples of their diet – bread, pasta, pizza, biscuits, cakes, etc. Refined (white) flour has had a large percentage of its mineral content removed – up to 77% of Zinc. We are simply not eating anywhere near five a day of vegetables – it’s more like 2 on average (and for some kids, scarily – none). Stress, pollution, food additives, alcohol and smoking all deplete minerals or prevent their absorption.

How do you increase your Zinc levels?

I recommend this food-state supplement from Cytoplan – I take one a day. If you suspect you have been depleted for a long time, it could take six or even 12 months of supplementation. If you want to keep topped up by eating better, then buy organic vegetables and fruit – they not only have less chemicals on them but they are grown in a natural way that respects and maintains soil health, which in turn grows more nutritional food. I get a weekly box delivery from Goldhill Organics – I love the freshness, quality and taste. Oysters and other fresh seafood are very high in Zinc but so are green vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as meat.