Monday, November 23, 2009

Phthalates in premmies IV tubing

I wanted to share an article with you further to my Phthalate article,
which highlights the problems associated with phthalates in IV tubing in hospitals, and more specifically in premmies IV tubes. If you have watched the documentary "The disappearing Male" you will have noticed it mentioned in there also. I've written to the Australian Medical Association for their opinion on this, as some hospitals in Canada and the US are already banning phthalate containing IV tubing in hospitals, and for a list of hospitals who do not use phthalates in their IV tubes. If anyone else is interested in writing and asking them also, let me know.

Thanks Rachael

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Age of Stupid - A documentary on climate change

The Age of Stupid is a 90 minute documentary on climate change directed by British filmmaker Franny Armstrong. It starts with the state of our devastated world in 2055 when a world archivist goes back to the world video archives with the question: "Why did humanity not do anything about climate change when there was still time to avert disaster?"
See link:

So what can we do? Join others at -

Also have a look at where Australia stands on the UN climate summit due to take place in Copenhagen in December 2009, is this really where most Australians stand? We're at the back of the race with Nigeria and not far behind the United States, I'd rather see us up there with the Maldives, but then we know why the Maldives are up there don't we? If the sea level rises beyond predicted estimates the Maldives won't exist.

Join the cause and have a look at the documentary.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Phthalate - hard to even begin to pronounce, so what is it?

"The Phthalate Syndrome"

Most of us by now (I hope) have heard of BPA (Bisphenol A) a toxic chemical used in plastics, including, of all things babies bottles, which I'm pleased to announce Canada has actually done something about, banning BPA from babies bottles (Go Canada!). Australia on the other hand, "keeps a close eye on issues related to the migration of chemicals from packaging and into food" (Food standards Australia New Zealand, link -

BPA is an "endocrine disruptor" - something that mimic's the bodies hormones and has been shown to cause reproductive and neurological damage.

Phthalates (Pronounced - THAL-ates) are organic chemicals produced from oil and predominantly used in PVC to make it soft and flexible (think children's toys, the soft, squidgy plastic type). Phthalates look like a clear liquid, much like oil, and have little or no smell and as such are ideal for adding to nail polish to help reduce chipping, perfumes to help the aroma linger longer and are, disturbingly, also used in pharmaceuticals to create an enteric coating on capsules or tablets, and this is just a few examples.

So you may be asking why I'm telling you about Phthalates? Mainly because, like BPA, phthalates are believed to be "gendeer bending" chemicals, chemicals that alter the hormone balance in our children and especially our little boys. See below for a description on phthalates;

Also please have a read of the following two articles written about phthalates and the effect these chemicals are having on our boys, basically feminising them;

The reason I write about these things is to help make people aware of the detrimental affects of the "Industrial age" not only on the environment but on us humans. Knowledge gives us power, power to make choices. Choices that are definitely better for our children. Of the 80,000 chemicals we use today, 85% of them have NEVER been tested on the human body. That's staggering, and as a result we're starting to see the effects of that. The largest effect will be on us as a species, already there's a significant decline in male fertility, in women having male children and an increase in male babies being born with genital defects.

So please, if you have a male in your life (and we all do), watch the doco "The disappearing Male" it's FREE to watch online -

Thanks Rachael

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

GLUTEN - An Introduction.

I have to tell you that I am always surprised when I meet people who don't know which foods contain gluten, but that's only because my life revolves around which food contains gluten and which doesn't. Sometimes I feel like there's a secret sub culture existing beneath the gaze of the rest of the world - the "Gluten Free" sub-culture of which I am a part.

My son, Adam, developed eczema at the grand old age of 6 weeks and for the next, almost, 2 years we spent time trialling both myself (whilst breastfeeding) and then Adam on elimination diets. Gluten is tricky, on our initial "Gluten free" elimination diet his eczema didn't improve and it was only on the second trial about a year later that we noticed a difference, the reason, gluten can take about 6 weeks to leave your system, and for some people it may take longer.

So what is gluten?

Gluten is the main protein found in many grains (see list below) and can be broken down into two parts: glutenin and gliadin, it is the gliadin, a prolamin, (simple protein) that causes adverse reactions in certain people. An intolerance to gluten may result in an inability to absorb essential nutrients in the small intestines.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms displayed by sufferers include; diarrhoea, constipation, cramping, vomiting, weight loss, fatigue, gas and bloating. As damage to the intestinal lining continues through the continued consumption of gluten and lack of treatment allergies may appear and poor digestion and malabsorption can worsen potentially leading to a condition called "Leaky gut". Leaky gut is where the sensitive lining of the bowel wall is eroded allowing a passage of microbes, toxins and undigested food (including allergens) into your system which may again lead to further illness and immune disorders.

Many people associate Coeliac Disease with a gluten free diet and this is correct, Coeliac's disease is an auto-immune disorder caused by a digestive reaction to gluten, but, not everyone with a gluten intolerance has Coeliac disease, like my son. Adam has a gluten intolerance but does not have coeliac disease. A gluten intolerance for him displays as eczema predominately, along with pain in the belly and loose stools. His symptoms increase the longer he is exposed to gluten.

So what do you do if you discover you are gluten intolerant or have Coeliac disease, well the best thing to do is eliminate gluten from your diet, and, reading food labels is essential. Gluten is found in many common foods including bread, slices, pizza, cakes, pasta, biscuits and flour, and, can be found in a multitude of pre-packaged foods, condiments, sweets, drinks and even some supplements and vitamins. Eliminating gluten from your diet is the first step in the treatment, seeing a natural therapist to help repair the lining of your gut is also recommended.

Following is a list of grains that contain gluten -
- Wheat
- Rye
- Kamut
- Barley
- Couscous
- Bulgar
- Spelt
- Oats and Oatbran
- Malt
- Matzo
- Triticale
- Udon
- Semolina

Gluten, part 2, will continue with recommendations on food alternatives, dietary advice and recipes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Food Labelling and the problem with additives

Do you read the labels on the food you buy?

Labels are available on all food packaging, and, are there to help you make an informed choice about the food you buy. Food labels give us a listing of the ingredients in the product, from greatest to smallest in weight. They also list any chemicals and additives that may also be present in the food. Labels are a great way of being aware of what you are eating and making an informed choice.

I'm a big label reader. I try not to buy anything that has preservatives in it and I choose not to buy foods that have too many "extra" ingredients in them that aren't actually food.

There has been scientific studies performed that suggest foods with additives may help contribute to A.D.D (Attention deficit disorder) and A.D.H.D (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as well as general concentration and learning disorders, tiredness, irritability and stomach upsets. This is just the tip of the list though, potential problems also include asthma, eczema, allergies and food intolerances and as a result it's best to avoid as many of these additives as possible.

I'd like to share some websites with you that may be of interest for further reading;

This one is a great one for mum's and dad's -

How to read labels -

And finally, this one gives you a run down on all the potential additives;

Food labels are a good thing to get educated about, especially when feeding your growing children.

The Future of Food - Introduction

Please have a look at this link.

I found the doco frighteningly disturbing from start to finish, the idea that food can be patented is wrong in so many ways. please have a look, it will get you thinking at the very least.

The DVD is available at -

On the road to self sufficiency

I don't know about you guys but I like the idea of self-sufficiency. And I don't just mean being able to grow my own herbs and veggies and collect my own eggs each morning, I also mean being able to make my own yoghurt and pancakes, pasta sauce and cakes etc.

I like the fact that I don't need to buy a jar of pizza sauce or a tin of pineapple (not that I have a pineapple tree, but I do have a local organic shop that sells pineapples) when I make a pizza, I do still buy the base (a gluten free one), which I will work on changing soon.

When I used to make cakes I used to buy a packet mix and hey presto withing minutes I had a cake sitting in the oven cooking. Now when I make a cake it takes time, but I feel it also takes a lot more love. I remember years ago sitting in a Nutrition lecture and my lecturer talking about the idea of making your food with love, how when you take the time to make food you are also instilling the love within the food. "when you cook.... you are providing more nourishment than packaged food ever could" *

Self sufficiency also saves money, lots of money potentially. When I consider the money I used to spend on yoghurt per week compared to now, it's pretty staggering. I reckon I was in the ball park of about $15 a week, just on yoghurt. Now I pay about $3 a fortnight. Making yoghurt is so easy, and so worth the half an hour it takes and you don't need anything fancy to make it (well apart from a sweet thermometer, if you don't have one). Here's a recipe for you to make your own yoghurt -


(Makes 1 Litre)


½ - ¾ Cup good quality commercial plan yoghurt, or ½ cup yoghurt from previous batch

1 litre pasteurised whole milk, unhomogenised

A sweet (candy) thermometer


Gently heat the milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and then allow to cool to about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir in yoghurt and place in a shallow glass, enamel or stainless steel container.
Cover the container (I use alfoil)and place in a warm oven (a gas oven with a pilot light or electric oven pre-heated to warm and then turned off) overnight.

In the morning transfer to the fridge, the longer the yoghurt is kept out of the fridge the tarter it will become. I think the longest I have left it out is 24 hours.

The final ingredient may be (is generally) thinner in consistency than commercial yoghurt.

Have a try, you can also add honey and pureed fruits if feeling a little more adventurous. This would be done at the adding yoghurt step.

So once a week, to start off with, try making something from scratch. You'll find out how much fun it can really be and if you have children, get them involved, an interest in healthy, wholesome, nourishing food from a young age is a fabulous thing.

* Quote is from a cookbook called Wholefood by Jude Blereau

Monday, August 10, 2009

Treating Asthma and Allergies Naturally

Please find below an article written by a good friend, Winona, her specialty as a Naturopath is treating Asthma and Allergies. She's having fantastic results with her patients.


Asthma and Allergies Changes in the air For many people, especially children, drugs such as bronchodilators and nebulisers are a familiar part of life well before their 3rd birthday.

Autumn is not often thought of as a time for asthma and allergies; however any change in season and especially colder temperatures can set them off.

Most people are well aware of the symptoms of asthma - a wheeze and/or cough accompanied by varying degrees of breathing difficulty. Sometimes, particularly in very young children, there is no audible wheeze just a nagging but exhausting cough. Some children will cough so much that it causes them to vomit. It's important to note that a wheeze doesn't have to be loud to be a problem. Tiredness is also often an underlying symptom - this is caused by reduced oxygen levels and the extra effort needed in trying to breathe, which can also lead to poor sleep.
Some asthma triggers include:

Dust, pollen, dry air, air pollution, allergens, mould, pets, exercise and weather change.

House air-conditioning, household chemicals, colds/flu's, emotions, food, heating, hormones, medications, sex, smoking and stressful events.

Preservatives, especially 220, 221, 222, 223 and 224, tartrazine, colourings, additives etc.

So what's actually happening?

Asthma occurs when a particular part of our immune system is out of balance. Our immune system is designed to protect us from infections and keep us healthy. Allergy occurs when your immune system mistakes something that is normally harmless as being a threat and while 'protecting' you from it, creates a strong inflammatory response. This response is what produces the symptoms you experience as an allergic or asthmatic response. In asthma this inflammation presents as difficulty in breathing.

So what can we do about it? When treating asthma it's not simply about using a band-aid solution and ignoring the underlying problem. It's about finding out why your body is triggering a response and how to avoid this happening in the first place. It is a common misconception that this problem begins and ends with the lungs alone. The health of the body in general, and in particular the immune system, needs to be looked at as the first step in understanding the real nature of asthma.

How natural therapies can help... Natural therapies works extremely well on a preventative level with absolutely no side effects except effective asthma management and a healthier you! We build up your immune system and gastrointestinal system (GIT) to prevent the attacks happening in the first place! Having a strong and healthy GIT full of good gut bacteria (probiotics) and a lesser controlled amount of 'bad' bacteria, as well as a healthy bowel lining will prevent many triggers being able to cause a reaction. A first line of defence against asthma and allergies is to detoxify and repair your bowels, cleanse your blood and get that liver detoxing your body from harmful toxins! Get yourself clean and stay that way!

There is a very unattractive term us natural practitioners use called 'leaky gut' sounds gross, well it is. This sounds like something is leaking out of the gut and it is - harmful and harmless substances are leaking through your gut lining, into your blood stream, without being converted into compounds your body can actually utilise for better health. When your immune system picks up these unconverted foreign particles it mounts a very strong immune response showing itself as either an allergic reaction or an asthmatic reaction.

Babies and children... One of the most important reasons that you breastfeed your child for at least the first 6 months of the child's life is because of the benefits of your colostrum. This amazing superfood helps build the babies immune and digestive system. If you cannot breastfeed I highly recommend using goat or sheep's milk formulas, and a good quality children's probiotic, which are readily available at natural health food stores. Our bodies have a much easier time digesting the proteins in the goat and sheep's milk than from a cow - simple!
In terms of children with asthma their little bodies may not have a strong enough immune or digestive system to correctly respond to allergens, certain foods and food additives - which if we're being honest we too frequently allow into children's diets. Many children also have a hard time digesting dairy and wheat, and these are 2 very common triggers for asthma and allergies. If you do have a child who is prone to asthma or allergies it is often worth cutting dairy and wheat out of their diets to at least see how their symptoms change or don't. It is difficult sometimes and certainly made difficult by advertising, but natural food sources are always the best alternative for an asthma and allergy prone child.

Oh, I cannot stress strongly enough the wide spread effects sugar has on a child's health. Think of it as a 'toxin' next time you give them a lolly or some cordial....READ your labels! Have you ever seen a child whose behaviour gets better after a sugar fix?!

Ok let's talk about the drugs and their effects on your body:
Firstly I need to stress that it is essential to have a reliever/puffer/ on hand in case of sudden attacks and severe cases of asthma. Combining drug therapy with natural medicine can be the most beneficial therapy. In the case of a severe asthma attack getting to the emergency department is imperative. Fast efficient medical treatment saves lives.

Bronchodilators (Relievers) work by opening the airways and relaxing the smooth muscles which surround the airways enabling easier breathing.

Continual use of Bronchodilators however is discouraged because their overuse increases airway sensitivity, worsening the underlying asthma. It is also important to know that aerosol drugs often contain propellants such as fluorocarbons, and that many elixirs contain preservatives, artificial colouring, sugar and flavours (including tartrazine). Hey I think I mention those words under triggers causing asthma and allergic attacks...hmmmm?

Preventers of which there are two types, non-steroidal and steroidal work by reducing inflammation in the airwaves.

Long term side effects of inhaled steroids...are you ready...

Puffiness, increased appetite, mood swings, raised blood pressure, thinning of bones, yes you read it folks thinning of bones, easy bruising, slowed growth, glaucoma and cataracts. Wow?! Scary stuff really. As mentioned earlier I strongly recommend having a puffer on hand in case of emergencies - it can save you or your loved one's life. Otherwise let's deal with the causes naturally and without harm to the body! There are so many alternatives that need to be looked at before you or your child is put on a drug based asthma management plan. Drugs can make asthma worse by covering up the symptoms rather than fixing what is the root problem. Mucolytics work on breaking down the mucous. There is some danger with this drug as a significant increase in liquefied mucous may occur after use and bronchospasm can worsen. It may cause side effects such as mouth inflammation, nausea and excess nasal mucous. Finally, medications are exempt from labelling laws; therefore additives are not listed on the bottles. In my professional opinion the best alternative is to use medications only in emergencies and instead to focus on creating healthy bodies.

The reality is that asthma and allergies are an increasing problem in our society. In Australia we have one of the highest rates of asthma in the world. In fact over 10% of the population suffers from asthma in some form. There is a lot of evidence coming to light that as we increase our exposure to preservatives, chemicals and medications we will see a further increase in the prevalence of asthma and allergies. There are healthy alternatives.

So my best advice to you is to seek naturopathic help for the prevention and control of asthma and allergies naturally!

Winona can be contacted at

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Weston A. Price Foundation

I'd like to introduce you to a fabulous website filled with loads of interesting, highly useful information for everyone, it covers a wide range of topics and is definitely one of my favourites.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Something a little lighter - a recipe!!

Okay here's a recipe I like to share, it's not gluten free unfortunately, (I will endeavour to add a few gluten free recipes very soon), it is, however, free of sugar and designed to curb those sugar cravings we all get every now and then.

Tahini Cocoa Balls

1 Cup Soaked Oats (12 hours soaking)
10 Soaked dates (short time only)
½ Cup Raisins
1/2 - 3/4 Cup Tahini
¼ Cup carob or Cocoa powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 – 3 Tsp Honey (optional)
Desiccated coconut

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor and place in the fridge for up to 1 hour after blending to let set.
Once set roll into balls and then roll in coconut

Store in fridge to keep firm and enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The rise of Autism

Autism is on the rise and rise and rise, but why?

Controversy surrounds the debate on Autism, but something is sure happening to our children - is it genetics, is it the increased administration of multiple vaccinations or is it our persistent use of products that contain chemicals? And why is it much more prevalent in boys rather than girls?

In Australia, on average, 1 child in every 160 aged between 6 - 12 years in on the Autism Spectrum disorder. (See Report - "The Prevalence of Autism in Australia" link - )

In 2005, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) admitted that autism is an epidemic, with a spike of 1,500% in the last 20 years! This would seemingly eliminate the genetics debate, as a genetic mutation can only be passed from one generation directly to the next.

Here's an article on Autism that you may be interested in -

Another reason for the spike in Autism may be due to Vaccinations -

I'd like to recommend 2 books to you, if the above topics are of interest to you -
"Healing the New Childhood Epidemics" By Kenneth Bock, M.D.
"Changing The Course Of Autism" by Dr. Bryan Jepson

And also 2 great websites with further information or treatment options -

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The disappearing Male - a documentary

Please take the time to have a look at a documentary called "The disappearing Male" it's free to watch online, was produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and runs for approximately 45 minutes. The link is ~ ~

This is something that is very close to my heart, having a little boy. But I definitely feel it is something that we ALL need to be aware of. The effect chemicals have on us on a day to day basis is just staggering, again I'd like to draw your attention to a previous blog of mine called "Slow death by plastic", it's all related and all very scary.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jelly Bush Honey - Australia's own active honey.

Did you know that Australia has an active honey, one that is equivalent to New Zealand's Manuka?
I didn't. But today on a visit to my local farmers market I discovered that we do. Australia's active honey is called Jelly Bush Honey, it comes from the tree species Leptospermum, the same species that manuka honey comes from. Apparently out of the 10 species we have in Northern NSW, 3 of these have been discovered to be active. Jelly bush honey has the same uses as manuka honey and may be used medicinally for cuts, bites, grazes, any open wounds and it appears to work wonders on ulcers, especially when nothing else does. Studies have shown that honey derived from active leptospermum trees has antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal and antimicrobial properties to name a few.
Have a look at the following articles -,25197,25653017-30417,00.html

Also next time you see a bee in the garden, give it a little word of thanks. Albert Einstein once predicted that if bees disappeared humans would soon follow. And we may well have the opportunity to find out if this is true. Bee populations across the world are dying, some are being decimated by a small mite called varroa destructor, Australia is the only Country in the world who's honey bee populations are varroa free. But there seem to be other reasons also, reasons scientist are not completely aware of, bees, like frogs may be an indication of how well our environment is coping, so perhaps we should take note.

"Slow Death by Plastic"

A new book in which the two authors undertook experiments on themselves to assess the toxicity of every day life - have a look at their website. I'm definitely going to buy the book.

Link -

Also have a look at the following youtube video of the authors being interviewed on Daily Planet (a U.S programme).

Link -

Food Inc. the movie

Have a look at the trailer for the new movie Food Inc.

As the caption says - "You may never look at dinner the same way"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Naturally Nurtured is born

So it's time to actually put my fingers to work and start blogging - this is a first for me.
I'm new to blogging and I'm sure way behind the times, it took me a while to even understand the concept of blogging, I am now enlightened after a few trips to wiki and a few searches on google. Don't get me wrong I'm not computer illiterate, but I use my computer the same way I use my mobile phone, as long as I can make a phone call, text someone and use the calculator I'm happy. I'm sure there is a multitude of hidden extras on my laptop that I am unaware of. Take the term laptop for instance, do people even use that term anymore, because I really feel like I'm the only one that does? When did a laptop become a notebook? Anyway, after all that you may be asking.... So why am I now here? Well for a number of reasons, mainly due to a concern for us as a species and the world as a whole.

Firstly I should tell you that I am a mother, a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist and Massage Therapist, along with many other titles, wife, cook, friend, daughter, sister, aunty, gardener, chook chaser, obsessive book reader and seeker of the truth. So what does all this mean? It means ultimately that I like being aware of what I am eating, what I store my food in, what medications I subject myself and my family to, what I buy in general and my impact of the world. But mostly I just want to share with other people the effects we as a modern, industrialised world have on each other, and I would like to share information I find with other people who may not have thought to even consider looking at something like that. I'm interested in many things, so this blog will cross a wide range of topics. I'm interested in helping save animal species, the effects of malaria on 3rd world countries, the fact that bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in babies bottles but has just been listed as toxic in Canada. So just come along and have a look and we can share together. Welcome.