Healthy Winter Tips – 2 Essentials

Healthy Winter Tips – 2 Essentials

2 Essentials To Staying Well This Winter – Healthy Winter Tips

Healthy Winter Tips – Did you know the key to wellness this winter is a great inner terrain? How do you tell if your inner terrain is NOT right?

  • Low energy, especially morning and mid afternoon
  • Feel inflamed, achy
  • Brain fog
  • Craving sugar
  • Feel irritable, restless
  • Gaining weight around middle and can’t lose it

If this sounds like you… immune problems may already be there or not far away.

Sore throat, chesty cough, blocked nose? On antibiotics, have thrush? Have an autoimmune disease – asthma, psoriasis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis…..?


The Reflux-Relief Alkaline Soothing Smoothie

The Reflux-Relief Alkaline Soothing Smoothie

alkaline anti-reflux smoothie

Smoothies are a great, simple way to get in the extra nutrition you need. – Livestrong

Acid reflux (or GERD) affects 60% of the adult population within any given year.

That’s huge.

And here’s the thing: you can absolutely treat both the symptoms AND the cause with dietary choices.

Living alkaline, without question, prevents and reverses reflux.

And if you suffer from reflux, or if you want to prevent it… or if you just want to get more alkaline, this smoothie is just the thing you need!


The Reflux-Relief Alkaline Soothing Smoothie!

I LOVE this smoothie because it is alkaline, easy to make, delicious and tastes quite different from the normal alkaline green smoothies.

Containing loads of spices, it’s smooth, creamy and a real treat.

It’s optional whether you want to keep this as a ‘milky/creamy’ tasting drink, or add the kale/greens for extra alkalinity and reflux-busting calcium. Maybe try both and see which you like the best!

Preparation Time: varies
Serves: 2

The Reflux-Relief Alkaline Soothing Smoothie Ingredients

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 Inch ginger root (or 1tsp ground)
1 tsp cinnamon (ground)
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 bag or 10g loose leaf rooibos tea
1 small handful almonds
1 small handful walnuts
1 tbsp chia seeds
250ml coconut cream
250ml almond milk (unsweetened)
½ avocado

1 handful of kale/bok choi/watercress
1 vanilla pod

[Note: if you don’t have a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix, Nutribullet you will need to soak the nuts overnight, or for at least 4 hours beforehand]


First, start by infusing the milks with the chai flavours. On the stove, with a very, very gentle heat, combine the coconut milk, almond milk, turmeric root, ginger root, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and the teabag (or leaves).

Bring to a gentle simmer and turn to the lowest heat for 5 minutes.

Once the flavours have infused, and it smells amazing, strain into a blender to remove the tea leaves/bag. Add the ginger to the blender too.

Add the avocado, chia seeds, coconut oil, almonds, walnuts and greens (if using) and blend until absolutely smooth.

This can be served warm or chilled and to serve, sprinkle with cinnamon and/or nutmeg.

Why This WORKS for Reflux (GERD)

This is a fantastic smoothie for reflux because it contains everything you need to combat this condition:

  • Calcium: Calcium makes the lower oesophagal sphincter tighten. This helps keep stomach acid where it belongs. To boost your intake of calcium (a highly alkaline mineral), this smoothie contains heaps of kale (or other greens), chia seeds, almonds and almond milk which are all super-high in calcium, and delicious!
  • Coconut Oil: A tablespoon of coconut oil each day is a great way to prevent acid reflux from acting up. It is antimicrobial and helps to clean the bacteria out of your oesophagus. It heals the damage caused by acid reflux and kills the harmful bacteria in your gut that cause inflammation.This fat will also help your body produce chloride.You need this for your body to make stomach acid. Surprisingly, not having enough stomach acid can actually be a cause acid reflux. Without enough of it, you won’t be able to fight off bacteria…or properly digest the foods you eat.
  • Ginger: Ginger is scientifically proven to help combat reflux. In a 2008 study ginger was found to be up to eight times more effective at killing bacteria that can cause acid reflux than a lot of OTC drugs.Ginger doesn’t stop your body from making stomach acid. It simply helps keep it under control and because of its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, ginger can make the lining of your stomach stronger.The benefit of this is that when reflux starts to rear it’s ugly head, the ginger will stop it from causing anywhere near as much pain as it normally would.
  • Alkalinity: All of these ingredients are incredibly alkaline-forming and feature high on the list of alkaline foods.

Try, enjoy and let me know the results it gives you!


Inhibition of gastric H+, K+-ATPase and Helicobacter pylori growth by phenolic antioxidants of Zingiber officinale.; Siddaraju MN, Dharmesh SM.; Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Mar;51(3):324-32.


Potential Benefits of pH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease; Koufman, JA; Johnston, N; Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 2012; 121;


Low Acid Diet for Recalcitrant Laryngopharyngeal Reflux: Therapeutic Benefits and Their Implications; Koufman, A; Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 2011; 120(5):281-287;



Autoimmune Specialist Melbourne

Autoimmune Specialist Melbourne

Autoimmune Specialist Melbourne – Gut, Thyroid And The Immune Connection

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease is a genetic predisposition, which runs in families but can skip one or more generations and affects more women than men. When Autoimmune Disease is diagnosed, a patient can be affected with more than one symptom. – Thyroid Foundation

If you have a thyroid condition, it is 90% likely to be an autoimmune disease.

This means that your own immune system is attacking the thyroid gland.

Autoimmune Specialist Melbourne  – As with any autoimmune disease, the immune system turns against one’s own body parts – in the case of rheumatoid arthritis it’s the joints, Coeliac’s it’s the gut, Type 1 diabetes it’s the pancreas, multiple sclerosis it’s the nerves, lupus it’s the joins and muscle tissue, and the list goes on.

In the case of thyroid autoimmune diseases, it’s called thyroiditis – it can either be Hashimoto’s which is an autoimmune disease that makes the thyroid hypo (slows it down) or Graves’ Disease which causes hyperthyroidism (or an overactive thyroid).

It’s well known now that people with one autoimmune condition are more likely to develop two or three other, more debilitating autoimmune conditions.

Statistics show that 50% of people with Hashimoto’s Disease will develop other autoimmune diseases, many of which can be far more debilitating.

It is therefore essential to restore the functioning of the immune system in order to manage the state of the immune system and hence your thyroid challenges. To restore the immune system one must, of course, restore the health of the gut.


gut and immune system



It has been estimated that the gut wall contains about 80—85% of the immune system. The good bacteria in the gut engages the lymphoid tissue, a very important part of the immune system.

There are tons of lymphocytes and other immune cells in the gut, which protect the body from viruses, bacteria, and other invaders. If the bacteria in the gut is damaged or abnormal, there are far fewer lymphocytes, and the immune system is compromised.

This can lead to the person developing chronic viral infections, allergies, chronic colds, autoimmune disorders, and the like.


What you need to know about the gut.

Everyone has bacteria in their digestive tract, or gut, that is essential to the function of the human body. A healthy adult has about 1.5 – 2 kg of bacteria in their gut, both good and bad.

The different types of bacteria live in harmony, with the good bacteria keeping a tight control on the bad. Normal levels of bacteria, or flora, in the gut protects against invaders, undigested food, toxins, and parasites. It keeps the gut wall protected, takes an active part in the digestion and absorption of food, and is essential to the immune function.

It helps to transport vitamins, minerals, water, gases, and other nutrients through the gut wall into the bloodstream. The bacteria also actively synthesizes various nutrients.

When the good and bad bacteria in the gut get out of balance also called a dysbiosis (i.e. more bad than good), a whole host of negative reactions can occur in the body.

Undigested foods can leak through into the bloodstream causing food allergies and intolerances, vitamins and minerals may not be absorbed, leading to deficiency, causing the bad bacteria to produce a whole host of toxins, and the immune system to not function properly.


Bloating, constipation, gas, diarrhea, acid reflux, pain, burping?

It’s NEVER “normal”.

Do you often experience bloating, gas, constipation, acid reflux, burping or bouts of diarrhoea?

It is so common for so many people that we have grown to believe that it’s “normal” to have frequent or chronic digestive issues. It’s very important to understand that it is not only “not normal” but it’s detrimental to your immune system (remember, this is where the immune system starts) and therefore also your thyroid health.

If you look at the picture on the left you see villi; these are hair-like projections located in the ileum – which is a part of the digestive tract.


Autoimmune Specialist Melbourne - villi

Normal Villi (left), Inflammed Damaged Villi (right)










The villi are instrumental in digesting carbohydrates, proteins, and fats without causing irritation of the intestinal walls.

The villi are also responsible for the absorption of the vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. The picture on the right is showing you a damaged form of the villi which is common in people with chronic digestive issues.

When we say “chronic” it does not have to mean you must be in a constant and debilitating pain – it just means you are frequently (say minimum twice per week) challenged with any of these: constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, acid reflux, burping or intestinal pain.


What is “leaky gut” and why does it matter.

The intestinal walls are often irritated in those with intestinal permeability also known as “leaky gut”.

The term “leaky gut” is a non-medical yet very real and descriptive way of saying that the lining of the intestines is damaged and undigested food particles “leak out” to the blood stream and create havoc in the body.

This havoc is largely created by the immune system launching an attack on one’s own body parts when there is food “leaking out”.

Some of the food particles, like gluten, are said to look very similar to the thyroid gland cells and this is why so many people with thyroid conditions do well when they stop ingesting gluten.


Autoimmune Specialist Melbourne - leakygut


Autoimmune disease and a compromised gut create a vicious cycle.

A person suffering from an autoimmune disease invariably has gut issues.

The more inflammation in the autoimmune system, the more severe the gut issues. In a self perpetuating vicious cycle leaky gut flares up autoimmune conditions, which in turn further damages the gut lining.

Diagnosing leaky gut is not easy and the list of symptoms can be very long. It includes conditions like constipation, intestinal pain, diarrhoea, headaches, skin problems (acne, eczema), frequent colds, stubborn weight gain, urinary tract infections, insomnia and the list goes on.

Things that have a negative effect on gut flora:

Antibiotics and other drugs.

Diet, especially sugar and processed food.



Other: physical exertion, age, alcoholism, pollution, etc.


Why do I need to change my diet?

Diet is an important component of a person’s health. The food that one consumes affects the type and amount of bacteria in the gut, the functioning of the immune system, and vitamin and mineral levels, among other things.

Poor diets can lead to improper digestive system functioning, food allergies and intolerances, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and toxins leaking into the bloodstream and therefore, into the brain and nervous system.

All of these things can lead to a plethora of different health problems ranging from autism, depression to thyroid dysfunction.

When we change our diet, we start to cleanse the body. We begin to repair the gut lining, dispose of built up toxins, restore immune system function, and we see our health starting to shift.

Symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, constipation, difficulty concentrating, diarrhea, insomnia and so on start to disappear. Once the immune system is repaired, the thyroid is no longer under any attack and our body can heal.


A stricter diet is often necessary.

If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s or Graves’ Disease, it’s very likely that a simple diet improvement might not be enough at this point.

Generic advice dispensed by mass media, like “eat whole food”, “unprocessed” and “local” might not be enough.

Food allergies and intolerances may be simmering away which need to be uncovered so digestive issues can be resolved.

That’s what I’m here for your Naturopath Autoimmune Specialist Melbourne  – to decode it all and formulate a plan that works for you!   So, CLICK HERE to book in for a face-to-face or phone/skype consult to get you started today.



resized chia porridge v3

I love this recipe so simple and easy to make….no saucepans involved and packed with nutrients!

Is also dairy & wheat free for all those with food sensitivities or intolerances.

Chia seeds are a superfood which has a wide range of benefits-

  • Improved colonic health & bowel regularity
  • Decreased gaseousness
  • Decreases reflux & heartburn
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Improves diabetes
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Increases energy & endurance