Latest Event Updates

Grow Your Own Health

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Here are some more details about the Grow Your Own Health Workshop that I’m holding here on June 15th.

If you’ve ever wanted to grow your own fruit and veggies and don’t know where to start, this is the perfect workshop for you!

Topics include;

  • What you need to get an organic garden happening
  • Composting & worm farms
  • Soil management and the importance of soil pH testing (bring a small sample of soil, from 5cm below surface, for testing)
  • Companion planting
  • Home made plant fertilisers and soil improver’s
  • Plant positioning

No matter whether your garden is large or small or if you have a balcony with pots, you can grow your own food.

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You might be thinking why have a garden workshop in winter and not in spring, but the reason I am holding it now, is to show you how to grow the best garden from a soil full of wonderful nutrients which will be ready to plant in late winter, early spring and will be producing later in spring and into early summer.

The workshop will run from 10.00 until 1.00 and will include something delicious to eat as Greg Higgs, chef from Momo’s Cafe at Organic feast in east Maitland, will be there to cook for us!

The cost is $80 which includes the workshop, delicious food and soil pH testing.

Places are limited, so book and pay now to avoid disappointment.

Looking forward to showing how much fun gardening is!

Sophie
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Dark Chocolate Really Is Good for You!

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Chocolate Strawberry

Dark chocolate contains healthy fats.

Cocoa butter, which is extracted from the cacao bean and incorporated into most reputable dark chocolate bars, is mostly monounsaturated and saturated fat, with very little polyunsaturated fat. And because most of that saturated fat is stearic acid, widely known for having neutral effects on LDL cholesterol.

Dark chocolate contains lots of polyphenols, particularly flavanols.

When it comes to polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity, cacao outweighs antioxidant rich acai, pomegranate, cranberry and blueberry. The most studied polyphenol in cacao is epicatechin, a flavanol.

Dark chocolate and blood pressure.

Epidemiological studies show that dark chocolate consumption may help to lower blood pressure. Cocoa consumption also associated with a possible improvement to arterial flow in smokers. Dark chocolate rich in flavanols may improve endothelial function and induce vasodilation.

Chocolate Heart

Dark chocolate and cardiovascular disease.

Having cocoa powder mixed with hot water or milk has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and raise HDL cholesterol levels (the good one).

Dark chocolate and insulin resistance.

A study of hypertensive, glucose-intolerant patients received either 100 grams daily of high-polyphenol dark chocolate or 100 grams daily of zero-polyphenol white chocolate, for fifteen days. The group fed the dark chocolate had improved beta cell function (insulin secreting cells in the pancreas), increased insulin sensitivity, lowered blood pressure and improved endothelial function, while white chocolate did none of those things.

Dark chocolate and fatty liver.

It is thought that cocoa may have therapeutic value in individuals with early stages of fatty liver disease that hasn’t become severe.

Dark chocolate and UV damage.

One study found that feeding high levels of dark chocolate to healthy people over twelve weeks doubled their resistance to UV damage.

Similarly, another study found that a group fed cacao with a high flavanol content had greater resistance to a given UV dosage than a group who were fed cacao with a low flavanol content (who actually saw no benefit at all) over a six and twelve-week period.

WHICH CHOCOLATE IS BEST?

Seeing as how most of chocolate’s benefits stem from the polyphenol content, and most of the studies that saw large effects used “high-flavanol” dark chocolate, you should be looking for chocolate with high polyphenol counts. Dutch processed, or alkalised, chocolate lightens the colour, removes some of the bitter compounds, and gives it a milder taste. Those “bitter compounds,” you see, are the flavanols. Without the bitterness you’re missing most of the beneficial polyphenols.

One of my favourites is “Loving Earth” chocolate, with 62% organic and raw cacao. They use agave syrup instead of sugar, so that makes it even better for you. It’s not as high as some of the brands you find in the supermarket, but it’s raw and organic, so there will be more antioxidants as a result. You can buy it at Organic Feast or other good Organic Shops.

They also make a high quality raw cacao powder (raw – Hot Chocolatewhich is actually fermented – or roasted, but never Dutch processed), try making coconut cacao milk. Mix half a can or carton of coconut milk with a couple tablespoons of cacao powder. Heat on the stove until almost simmering. Add sweetener (raw honey, maple syrup or stevia) to taste and, if you’re adventurous, a bit of cayenne, cinnamon and turmeric! Yummo!

Grow Your Own Health Workshop Saturday June 15th

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Ever wanted to be able to walk out into your own garden and pick some fresh organic veggies, herbs or even fruit, but didn’t know where to start?

Gardening

I’m holding a workshop on Saturday the 15th of June that will show you how easy it is to do just that.

We will talk about what you will need to get an organic garden happening, how to make compost, worm farming, soil management, natural plant fertilisers and soil improver’s, plant positioning and companion planting.

Flowers and veggies

Topics will include:

  • What is organic gardening?
  • Composting & worm farms
  • Importance of soil pH testing (bring a small sample of soil, from 5cm below surface, for testing)
  • Companion planting
  • Home made plant fertilisers and soil improver’s

ID-10092100, lavender flower

Greg Higgs, chef from Momo’s cafe at Organic Feast (who is also my darling husband), will be cooking  something yummy for us on the day.

Food

I will post more details soon.

Please let me know if you are interested in doing this workshop.

How to help reduce colds and flu’s this winter

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The weather is starting to get that lovely chill during the night. Great for a better night’s sleep, but a sign of the colder weather that’s not too far away! And with colder weather comes cold and flu season.

Icicles and Falling Snow

There are a number of ways to prevent a cold or flu, or if it’s too late, reduce the severity of it.

Keeping the body constantly supplied with the right nutrients and minimising the stressful effects of poor dietary and lifestyle choices is the best way to boost the immune system and build a strong resistance to any pathogen it encounters.

Natural Cold and Flu Prevention Natural Illness Prevention & Treatment   Beat the Cold, Flu and Fever Faster

Other ways we can help our body’s to avoid having a compromised immune system are;

  • Optimise vitamin D
  • Feed the body lots of quality nutrients. Lots of fruit and veggies. Think chicken soup!
  • Avoid white flours, processed foods, sugar, flavourings and sweeteners. There are no nutrients in these, they just deplete the body further and suppress the immune system.
  • Avoid dairy to reduce mucous production
  • Get enough quality sleep
  • Regular, moderate exercise
  • Add garlic to your diet, the more everyone eats, the less we’ll smell it on others! It’s antibacterial, antiviral, antibiotic and anti-fungal!
  • Plenty of hot, herbal teas. Honey and lemon, nettle, thyme, ginger, chamomile, peppermint and elderflower
  • Use cinnamon in your diet. It’s blood sugar stabilising as well as antiviral and antibiotic
  • The good old fashioned steam bowl with a drop of eucalyptus or tea tree oil and a towel over your head
  • Diced onion steeped in honey for a few hours, then a teaspoon of the liquid regularly to help with a chesty cough. Add garlic for a more potent effect.
  • Herbal mixtures, vitamins and minerals are also available to help fight colds and flu’s. These can be customised to suit your particular symptoms. Call me for further information
  • 0409 506 477

Yellow poppies