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Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar fasciitis

You can use a frozen water bottle instead of a Pediroller.plantar fasciitis 2

 

The towel stretch is a particularly helpful exercise as it strengthens the tendons in the arch. You can use a hand-towel and start with you foot at the bottom end and try to scrunch the towel up with your toes until you’ve got the whole towel.

To make it more challenging, then try to push the towel away from under your foot, with your toes until it’s all out from underneath.

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Fibromyalgia – it’s not all in your mind!

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Fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes a broad spectrum of symptoms.

These include;

  • Pain,
  • Fatigue,
  • Headaches,
  • Memory issues, including brain fog
  • Sleep problems, including poor sleep quality and restless legs
  • Stiff joints, especially on waking
  • Lower abdominal cramping,
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Numb or tingling extremities
  • Heightened sensitivity to noises, bright lights and temperature changes

What causes Fibromyalgia?

Even though there is no definitive cause of Fibro, there are a number of potential possibilities such as;

  • Food sensitivities or allergies
  • Chemical sensitivities or allergies
  • Viruses including; Epstein-Barr, Ross River, influenza, hepatitis B & C, Herpes, Lyme
  • Hormonal imbalances (such as hypothyroidism)
  • Poor digestion
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Spinal misalignments
  • Stress; physical or emotional
  • PTSD
  • Drugs; pharmaceutical and recreational
  • Neurotransmitter deficiencies
  • Genetics

Risk Factors;

  • Being female (80 – 90 % of sufferers are women!)
  • Family history
  • Genetic defects including MTHFR
  • Rheumatoid conditions such as; R.A and Lupus
  • Excess blood vessels and extra nerve fibres known as Arteriole-Venule (AV) Shunts in the hands, legs and feet. AV shunts regulate body temperature and blood flow. In sufferers of fibro, there are not only up to 2-8 times more nerve fibres but the AV shunts are up to 4 times larger. This may be why fibro sufferers feel worse in the cold.

Diagnosis;

There is no definitive test for Fibromyalgia, but 100% of sufferers have pain at multiple sites (see diagram). Other specific symptoms for diagnosis include; 87% have general fatigue, 76% suffer from stiffness, 72% have sleep disorders, 62% feel they hurt everywhere, 60% feel anxiety and stress and 52% feel swelling in tissues.

Fibromyalgia tender points

How to Treat Fibromyalgia;

  1. Address previous virus issues.
  2. Remove any foods that may be causing sensitivities. If these are unknown, I recommend a hair analysis test by Naturopathic Services which tests for 500 foods and household items. For more information check out this article; https://equilibriumnaturalhealth.com/2016/11/23/nightshades-food-sensitivities-pain-autoimmune-disease-ibs-and-leaky-gut/
  3. Avoid foods that cause inflammation, check out this list; https://equilibriumnaturalhealth.com/2015/06/17/inflammation-and-how-foods-and-drinks-can-exacerbate-it-or-improve-it/
  4. Improve digestive function, particularly if there’s bloating and excess wind.
  5. Improve gut bacteria with a practitioner only brand probiotic.
  6. Repairing gut lining.
  7. Support liver function as well as adrenal function and work on stress reduction techniques.
  8. Natural supplements that may help to reduce the severity of the symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. These will be assessed on an individual basis, but may include;  Acetyl L-carnitine, magnesium, EFA’s, vitamin D, anti-inflammatories, herbs for pain and inflammatin and to address any virus infection.
  9. Address lifestyle changes such as; exercise, massage (including Lymphatic drainage as well as Remedial, depending on the individual),  acupuncture.

 

 


 

Sjögren’s Syndrome

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Do your eyes feel dry, your tongue is cracked and your mouth is dry? Do you have trouble swallowing dry foods or find it hard to talk sometimes?

32710133 - cracked skin

Sjögren’s is an auto-immune disorder that often affects the mucosal linings throughout the body.

Diagnosis is through a blood test for antibodies to extractable nuclear antigens, specifically;

  • anti-La
  • anti-Ro

Sometimes the test may come back negative, but you may still be suffering from Sjogren’s symptoms.

Symptoms of Sjögren’s auto-immune disorder vary from person to person but may include:

  • a dry, gritty or burning sensation in the eyes
  • dry mouth
  • difficulty talking, chewing or swallowing
  • a sore or cracked tongue
  • dry or burning throat
  • dry or peeling lips
  • a change in taste or smell
  • increased dental decay
  • joint pain
  • vaginal and skin dryness
  • digestive problems
  • dry nose
  • fatigue

Diet for Sjögren’s;

As inflammation is one of the main problems with Sjögren’s, following a low inflammatory diet is important. Making sure you get enough EFA’s (essential fatty acids) is really important as is eating moist foods rather than dry or drying foods.

Include plenty of moistening foods;

porridge

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and Vegetables

Eat all the colours of the rainbow to maximise the anti-oxidants and to ensure you’re getting the most phytonutrients possible. Anti-oxidants help reduce inflammatin and the fibre will support bowel health and beneficial bacteria. Eating as many raw as possible will ensure maximum anti-oxidant content too.

Make sure you’re getting plenty of healthy fats.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats contain omega 3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory. You can get them in most oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna as well as extra virgin olive oil, certain seeds, raw nuts, and avocado.  Add ginger and garlic, which are also anti-inflammatory foods.

Eat plenty of fiber.

Cereal and fibre

Foods high in fibre help reduce inflammation, detoxify the system, help keep the bowels healthy and help promote the replication of benenficial bacteria.

Include a tablespoon per day of flaxseeds, slippery elm, psyllium husks or LSA. Sprinkle them on soaked oats as a Bircher muesli will be a wonderful start to any day! See recipe here, https://equilibriumnaturalhealth.com/2016/05/04/bircher-muesli/

Eat organic and grass fed meat

RAw meat

When an animal is exposed to any chemicals, either in herbicides or pesticides or in their feed,the toxic chemical is stored in the fat of the animal. This is why it’s important to eat organic and grass fed meat. They are also more anti-inflammatory than grain fed and non-organic. Just be aware that meat eating in the wrong blood type can be pro-inflammatory.

Good Foods for Sjögren’s Syndrome

Vegetables Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, and kale.
Fruits Apricots, apples, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, Kiwi, lemon, honey dew melon, pears and papaya
Grains Quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, millet, tapioca, red rice, sorghum, amaranth, and brown rice
Protein Eggs, chicken, turkey, lentils, split peas, bee pollen, spirulina, and legumes
Herbs/spices Sea salt, carob powder, peppercorns, and turmeric
Nuts/Seeds Sesame seeds, walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, cashews, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and tahini
Fish Trout, mackerel, sardines, salmon, and tuna
Others Herbal tea, coconut water, seltzer, yerba mate tea, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, walnut oil and purified water

What Should Be Avoided in Sjögren’s Syndrome Diet?

fatty foods

  • Foods that are high in hydrogenated or Trans fats. These are highly inflammatory foods and should be avoided. Red meats are often avoided because they contain arachidonic acid that is very inflammatory (especially in the wrong blood type). Trans fats are bad for you all around and can also cause heart disease. These are found in margarine and pastry.
  • Processed foods and refined oils. Foods like canola oil and corn oil are too high in omega 6 fatty acids which, when digested, turn into arachidonic acid, causing inflammation. Processed foods such as corn syrup, lollies, pasta, breads and cakes are high in carbs that raise the blood sugar quickly. Then there is an inflammatory response when insulin is released by the pancreas in response to the high blood glucose levels.
  • Spicy or sugary foods. Foods that irritate the mouth by being too spicy or citrus fruitsshould be avoided in a Sjögren’s syndrome diet. The mouth is already dry and tender and these things increase the irritation of the mouth even more. Sugary foods (as well as artificial sweeteners) should be avoided because the reduced saliva means you have a greater risk of tooth decay.
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol. Both alcohol and coffee should be avoided because they make an already dry mouth even drier. Stick to water and other beverages. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics which means you will be losing more fluid, when you urinate, than you are putting in.
  • Preservatives. Foods that are highly preserved can cause inflammation in the body.
  • Wheat. Wheat products contain gluten, which, in many people with autoimmune diseases, is not very well tolerated. Wheat itself can be pro-inflammatory.
  • Foods that are allergenic. This includes foods that cause allergies in many people, such as dairy products, peanuts and eggs. People with autoimmune diseases will experience more inflammation when they eat these highly allergenic foods.
  • Other foods to avoid. Stay away from tough meats as they can cause irritation of the mouth and pain with eating. Also stay away from popcorn, carbonated drinks and crispy breads because they do not go well with having a dry mouth.
  • Be aware of salicylate intolerance with Sjögren’s.  see my article here; https://equilibriumnaturalhealth.com/2016/08/24/salicylates-in-foods/

Copyright: photojog / 123RF Stock Photo

Raw Vanilla Drop Cookies

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Sesame

Ingredients;

  • 2 cups dried, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup tahini (hulled or unhulled both work)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (liquid)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic or Himalayan sea salt (optional)

Raw drop cookies

Method;

 

  1. Add all ingredients into large bowl except the shredded coconut.
  2. Stir with spoon until well mixed.
  3. Once combined, add shredded coconut. Stir again until well combined.
  4. Drop cookies onto a tray with baking paper or greaseproof. Cover and freeze for at least 30 minutes. (Cookies will harden when cooled.)
  5. Store leftover raw vanilla drop cookies in the fridge or freezer.

Cauliflower Rice – Paleo, G.F, Low Carb

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Ingredients;

1 x head of cauliflower, trimmed of outer leaves and cut into florets

Either blend in a food processor for 30 seconds or until it resembles rice, or grate with a hand-held grater (avoid grating your knuckles though!!)

Cook;

Either;

Roasted;

Toss the “rice”, with a drizzle of olive or coconut oil and spread it out to a thin, even layer onto a baking tray.

Roast the ‘rice’ at 200C for 12 minutes, stirring it in the tray halfway through cooking. This dries the rice out, giving it a light, fluffy texture and intensifies the flavour.

Microwaved;

The easiest cooking method is in a microwave, but as I’m not  afan of microwaves, I wouldn’t be recommending this unless you’re really pushed for time.

Place the cauliflower “rice” in a heatproof bowl, covered with an inverted plate to cover (please don’t use cling film in the microwave…ever!), for three minutes on High. Give the “rice” a stir half way through cooking.

Stir-Fried;

Stir-fry the cauliflower “rice” in a drizzle of olive oil or some coconut oil, for about 5 minutes. This method can cause the “rice” to be a bit soggy and clump together a bit, but it gives it a nice flavour.

Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_lenyvavsha’>lenyvavsha / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Beetroot and Black Bean Burgers – Vegan

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Having seen these at the supermarket the other day, I decided to try my own version, without the preservatives and flavourings! Let me know what you think.

40527968 - veggie beet and quinoa burger with avocadoIngredients;

  • 1 x large onion (finely diced)
  • 2 x garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 2 x 400ml cans cooked black beans or 1 x cup uncooked black beans or adzuki beans, soaked and cooked (= 3 cups)
  • 1 x large beetroot grated
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour, oat bran, or cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (or add extra cumin)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup crushed walnuts or almonds – optional for added protein
  • 2 x tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms- optional

 

Method;

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, or gently pulse in a food processor until combined. Only mix enough to combine, if it’s overdone the mix will get too sloppy.
  3. Press the mixture firmly into a 1/4 cup measuring cup and place it on an oven tray that’s been greased or lined with baking paper. Flatten the burgers.
  4. Bake the burgers for 15 minutes (fan forced if you have it) or 20 minutes if you don’t.
  5. Turn the burger patties over and bake for 5 more minutes on the other side. They may need extra time if they are thick or you like themn firmer. You can put the wholegrain buns in now so they get deliciously warm and crunchy.
  6. If you prefer a browner, crisper burger patty, finish them off either under the grill, on the BBQ plate or frypan with a bit of coconut oil.

Notes

  • You can keep the pre-cooked patties for another night either in the fridge or freezer (if freezing store with baking paper between) and finish them off on the BBQ or in a frypan.
  • Alternatively, you can cook half the batch now and par-bake the other half for 15-20 minutes at 190 degrees celsius then freeze as above. When needed, simply place the frozen patty on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake at 190 celsius foir another 25 – 30 minutes

 

Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_sarsmis’>sarsmis / 123RF Stock Photo</a>