It’s common that when most of us experience skin issues that we look to creams and topical applications to help reduce the itchiness, dryness, or redness that is occurring. There are companies that make lots of money selling expensive products claiming to benefit your skin – we’ve been trained to think that there’s a next best product to lather up with and it will solve our skin issues.
But most of the time, it doesn’t work.
Do you want to know why?
Skin issues start in the gut.
A healthy microbiome is a trendy topic these days with shelves lined with probiotic supplements and probiotics such as kombucha and lacto-fermented fermented products increasingly on the shelves.
While you may have heard about the benefits to your digestion, what you may not know is that your gut microbiome influences a variety of health outcomes such as regulating mood, immune function, nutrient absorption and your blood sugar.
In recent decades, the overgrowth of a naturally occurring yeast in our bodies, Candida albicans, has been recognized in the naturopathic and holistic realm as a condition that leads to many health complications and diseases.
Despite criticism that candida overgrowth – or candidiasis – is a fad diagnosis, it continues to be attributed as contributing to many systemic and polysystemic (meaning involving more than one body system) disorders and diseases, including the development of allergies.
I don’t know when I first tried falafel. Quite honestly, it may have been post-bar during my university days.
I love chickpeas. I love them almost any way they are served: masala, roasted, in salads, hummus… if it’s chickpeas you can pretty much guarantee I’ll love it.
I learned how to make falafel a number of years ago when someone gave me a cookbook that had a recipe for them. Since then I’ve modified it so that they hold together better. It’s gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan.
I’ve written about gluten in my post Gluten: The Good The Bad and The Ugly and there I talk about my experience with gluten sensitivity.
In this post I wanted to delve a little deeper into my experience rather than all of the scientific aspects. I adore exploring the science of nutrition, but it’s just as important to get the personal side of things.
Have you ever eaten a sunchoke?
Maybe you’ve seen them at the grocery store, arranged next to the root vegetables or with the ‘specialty’ produce in a small quantity.
Maybe you’ve even been visually repelled by their knobbly structure, which is often caked in some soil.
I agree, sunchokes are not the most aesthetically pleasing vegetables, but after reading this post and checking out the recipe at the end, you’ll want to give them a try – they have the most delicious flavour!
Refined, processed sugar has a direct and immediate action on the functioning of our immune system.
It can make illnesses worse, it can hinder the healing process and it can create and feed illness including allergies and autoimmunity.
How does this happen? Read on to find out…
Did you know that we humans are not just a single organism, but that we are an ecosystem?
Micro = small;
biome = a community occupying a habitat. Thus the microbiome is a community of small organisms (microbes) that occupy the habitat of our human bodies. Making us a living, breathing, walking ecosystem!
Thus the microbiome is a community of small organisms (microbes) that occupy the habitat of our human bodies. Making us a living, breathing, walking ecosystem!
Our specific mélange of microbes living in and on us is called the human microbiome. We all have a slightly different mix; the health and diversity of which depends hugely upon our diet, our thinking (mind-body connection), how we came into this world (natural birth vs Cesarean section; breastfeeding; introduction of solid foods…), how often we’ve taken antibiotics, where we live, what toxic exposure we have, and more.
If you are currently or have been a client of mine you have likely learned about and gotten recipes for chia pudding. The reason: it’s so good for you AND it’s so delicious!!
Read on for the recipe!
A while back I wrote a post about ‘true allergy’, or IgE-mediated hypersensitivity. Those are the allergies that we often recognize as having the potential for anaphylaxis, and if they don’t they at least trigger a bad histamine response which leads to what most of us relate to as allergy: swelling, redness, itchiness, rash, etc. I also promised a follow-up with a post on ‘sensitivities’. Well, I’ve finally posted it! If you want to go back and read the first post, you can find it here.
You’ve asked and I’m delivering… finally going to start posting some of my recipes up here!
The first one: No Bake Snack/Protein Bars
I’ve been making this recipe for about a decade. I don’t remember where I initially got the idea for it, but I know I had been looking to make a healthier and more affordable alternative to the protein bars or sports bars that we can purchase.
I played with the ingredients until I had something that I really liked and found portable, and I haven’t changed it much since.
When I used to do long group rides on my bike I’d take a few squares of this in my back pocket. I stored them in the freezer, so they would be easy to grab-and-go while still frozen, but they’d thaw just enough to be perfect for eating when I wanted them!
They are gluten-free, vegan, refined-sugar-free, dairy-free… they can really be ‘free’ of anything that you don’t want in them! And they can also be loaded up with anything you really DO want in them!! The beauty of making your own!
In keeping with this month’s allergy theme, let’s look at the difference between an allergy and a sensitivity. As many of you may have noticed (and perhaps it has confused you), there is a distinction that is made in the healthcare world.
The ‘Coles Notes’ version: what is labelled a ‘true allergy’ is known as an IgE hypersensitivity. What is labelled as a ‘sensitivity’ is known as an IgG or an IgA hypersensitivity.
What I’ll emphasise here is that one is not more ‘real’ than the other. They both cause problems and can impact your long-term health by causing inflammation which leads to chronic disease. However, the big distinction is that one (IgE-mediated hypersensitivities) can cause one thing that the medical sciences haven’t seen in the other types: anaphylaxis.
And if you have heard of this, you know it could lead to sudden death. Oh yes, chronic inflammation leading to chronic illness eventually leads to death as well. It just takes a long time. No matter, both types of hypersensitivities are very much worth learning about and getting under control so that you may not only lower your risk of having an anaphylactic reaction, but also so you can live a healthy, high quality, and long life.
So for my nerdy, but tamed down, synopsis, read on…