health and wellness blog

What Dr Google Doesn’t Know About Bloating 17.02.18

Have you been feeling like a beached whale lately? Bloating can make you feel uncomfortable and embarrassed but there’s no need to suffer needlessly.

 Susie was worried about her constant bloating and consulted Dr Google for possible causes. As she didn’t think that it was due to swallowing too much air, she came to see me for further health advice.

 There are many natural solutions for bloating and digestive discomfort. Firstly ensure that you’re having a regular bowel motion to eliminate excess food waste and toxicity in the body.

Reduce your consumption of highly processed and sugary foods which are low in fibre and can result in reduced bowel flora (bacteria), as this leads to increased fermentation and gas formation in the bowel.

Avoid too many soft drinks (especially diet drinks), and drink plenty of pure filtered water daily to flush your digestive system of accumulated toxins.

Eating too fast or when stressed can also have a negative impact upon your bowel health by reducing or increasing bowel transit time and contributing to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Excessive use of medications such as anti-biotics are also well known to contribute to bloating and discomfort after eating by affecting the amount of healthy bacteria in the large bowel.

If bloating is worse around your menstrual cycle, then this is probably due to a hormonal imbalance and requires an assessment by a health care professional such as an experienced Naturopath.

 After discussing Susie’s health concerns with her and analysing her diet and lifestyle, I concluded that her current diet was lacking in soluble fibre from fresh fruit and vegetables, that she was drinking insufficient pure water, and she required probiotic supplementation to repopulate her bowel with healthy bacteria to keep the unhealthy bacteria and yeasts in check and prevent gas formation. I also tweaked her diet and reduced her wheat and dairy intake which was possibly causing inflammation of her digestive lining, also known as Leaky Gut Syndrome or increased intestinal permeability.

 So in summary here are my top 5 tips for a bloat free day:


  1. Include probiotic foods such as sauerkraut and kefir into your daily diet which increase your body’s natural bowel flora (bacteria) and help keep your bowels regular, immune system healthy and reduce gas formation and bloating.

  2. Drink 1.5-2 litres of filtered water daily to aid bowel detoxification, and reduce consumption of caffeine, alcohol and soft drinks which are dehydrating, acid forming and irritating to the digestive system. Herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices are also good sources of hydration.

  3. Exercise regularly to improve abdominal circulation and ensure a daily bowel motion which is your body’s primary method of daily waste removal. A minimum of 30 minutes brisk walking 4 times a week is a good start, and a regular abdominal massage will also aid digestive wellbeing.

  4. Reduce your wheat and cow’s milk intake as these foods contain large protein molecules (gluten and casein respectively) which are irritating to the gut, and are known to contribute to bowel issues such as constipation or diahorrea, bloating or flatulence if consumed in large amounts.

  5. Eat slowly and when relaxed to allow your body to digest food efficiently, preventing poor digestion and fermentation of food. Also practice mindful eating where you observe and chew each mouthful carefully without outside distraction from the TV or the internet.


To find out what is causing your bloating and what you can do to relieve it, contact me for an online or in-person Naturopath consultation (including your personalised diet and lifestyle recommendations), and finally experience a bloat free day!


Is Your Heartburn Due To Low Stomach Acid? 17.12.17

Heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common digestive disorder causing pain in the esophagus and discomfort after eating. Unfortunately the acid-suppressing drugs such as proton pump inhibitors used to treat heartburn, have been linked to dangerous side effects after long-term use such as an increased risk of stroke and bacterial infections. 1.

Despite a burning sensation in your chest, heartburn is often caused by too little stomach acid and not too much. And Hypochlorhydria, or a low concentration of stomach acid, has in fact been linked to a long list of health disorders which affect brain, digestive, and immune function. 2.

Low stomach acid can also lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and subsequent bloating, due to the bacteria fermentation of undigested food in the digestive system. There is also the possibility that SIBO contributes to heartburn by creating increased intra-abdominal pressure, leading to dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. 3.

Common symptoms of low stomach acid include:
• Heartburn
• Bloating after meals
• Burping
• Flatulence
• Upset stomach
• Constipation
• DiarRhoea
• Food sensitivities
• Increased infections

A simple home test to check your stomach acid level which should be acidic or a low pH compared to the small intestine and esophagus which are alkaline, is to take 1 tsp of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar or 1 tbsp of Fresh Lemon Juice in a 1/3 glass of filtered water 20 mins before a meal containing animal protein, and observe if it helps to improve your digestive symptoms and to reduce bloating after meals. Avoid this test if you suffer from a peptic (gastric) ulcer or sensitive teeth, and trial at least 2 hours apart from antacid medications.

For further information and assistance with your health issues, contact experienced Naturopath Wendy for a personalised natural treatment plan.




Natural Remedies for Bloating and Digestive Health 17.10.17

 Are you experiencing regular bouts of bloating or flatulence (wind) after meals? Do you find certain foods or drinks make you feel uncomfortable? Do you wish you could find a natural solution to your digestive discomfort? Well read on for my top tips for a healthy gut – digestive system:

 There are many natural solutions for bloating and digestive discomfort. Keeping a daily food diary is the first step to help identify your food triggers, followed by a food sensitivity test to pinpoint your individual food allergens such as the in-clinic Food Detective test which provides a personalised list of your food sensitivities and only requires one small blood sample.

 Many people benefit from reducing their intake of high inflammatory foods such as wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar. These foods are commonly eaten and can contribute to digestive pain and bloating by irritating the delicate small intestinal lining where most of our digestion occurs, and thus contributing to “leaky gut syndrome” or intestinal inflammation. 1.

 The large protein gluten which is found in higher amounts in wheat products such as bread, and casein proteins (also known as A1 and A2) found in dairy products such as milk, are also inflammatory and can exacerbate leaky gut. Lactose (milk sugar) can also be an irritant to some people and can lead to lactose intolerance. Digestive symptoms such as constipation, diahorrea, irritable bowel and bloating can then occur, particularly if these food groups are consumed frequently. 2.

 There have been many species of bacteria isolated in our gut flora over the last decade, linked to all sorts of health benefits including improved immunity, digestion and absorption of nutrients, healthy bowel motions, as well as improved moods. Unfortunately frequent use of medications such as antibiotics, steroids, vaccines and pain relief medications can all deplete these vital healthy bacteria and allow the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria, yeasts and other pathogens which in turn affect our immunity and overall health.

 So what are some foods we can eat to aid digestion and help prevent bloating? The probiotic rich foods such as fermented vegetables (sauerkraut), non-dairy yoghurt or kefir (coconut), miso (fermented soybean paste), and non-wheat sourdough bread (rye or rice are options) are all beneficial in feeding healthy gut bacteria and aiding digestive health.

 And by reducing our consumption of foods and drinks high in sugar and yeast such as bread and alcohol, we can allow our healthy bacteria to thrive. High quality probiotic supplements which contain multi species of healthy bacteria such as the Naturopath brand Multiflora probiotic, are also beneficial ways of supplementing our own bacteria and helping to relieve bloating and flatulence.

 For further information on what you can do to aid your digestive health contact Wendy today for a detailed health and lifestyle plan tailored just for you.





 Does Your Child Suffer From Frequent Illnesses? 17.08.17

As a parent you worry about your child’s health and their ability to recover quickly from bacterial and viral infections. Did you know that there are many natural products that can help your child to build natural immune resilience and help prevent re-occurrence of common childhood illnesses?

  • A good probiotic or healthy bacteria-bowel flora supplement, is crucial to support your child’s immunity from the inside out. Did you know our digestive system is comprised of hundreds of different bacterial species, all of which doing a very special job to keep us happy and healthy?

  • Common medications such as Anti-biotics, Vaccinations and Over-The-Counter Pain Relief can disrupt this natural balance leading to digestive issues, skin and immune problems. An imbalance of gut bacteria can even affect our mental and emotional health due to the delicate brain-gut connection. Contact wendy for the best quality probiotic for your child.

  • Zinc and Vitamin C are two essential nutrients for immunity as well as digestive and skin health. Both of these important nutrients have multiple uses in the body, but their immune functions are crucial. Zinc is commonly found in animal foods such as oysters, red meat and liver, as well as nuts such as brazils, almonds and cashews. Vitamin C is abundant in many fruits and vegetables.

  • As these may not be foods your children often eats, a supplement is an ideal way to add Zinc and Vitamin C in your child’s diet, supporting their immunity in a tasty and efficient way. See wendy for a Naturopathic high quality and tasty Zinc and C supplement.

  • Cod Liver Oil has been used for many years as a natural lung and immune tonic. These days there are tasty versions which your child will enjoy. Cod Liver Oil has the natural benefit of fat soluble Vitamins A and D, as well as anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamin A is a mucous membrane tonic which aids the lungs, eyes and skin and is very safe at the right dose.

  • It is naturally found in liver and egg yolks, and it can also be converted from yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots as needed. Vitamin D is another vitamin that is crucial to immune health and is often lacking due to our liberal use of sunscreen. The body converts natural sunshine via the skin into Vitamin D, as well as obtaining it naturally from sardines, eggs and dairy products. Ask wendy for a high quality child friendly Cod Liver Oil to add extra A, D and Omega 3 to your child’s daily diet.


That’s only a few of the many natural supplements and foods available to help support your child’s immune system this Winter. Contact Wendy for further advice and to book a consultation for your child or yourself today.

Naturopathic Wisdom #1 17.07.17

Have you heard of tongue cleaning? It is an Ayurvedic (Traditional Indian Medicine) practice performed on waking to remove bacteria and fungi from the tongue to improve oral health. As the tongue represents the first stage of our digestive system, it can give an indication of the health of the rest of the body. What colour is your tongue in the morning?

You can use a specialised tongue cleaner such as the one pictured, or an old toothbrush which you disinfect after use with colloidal silver or a tea tree solution. Brush or scrape your tongue gently from the back to the front, rinsing your mouth and the cleaner each time. Once completed, clean your teeth normally before oil pulling. More on that next time. Happy tongue cleaning!

Naturopathic Wisdom #2 17.06.17

For those of you who have read my earlier post on Tongue Cleansing, here's the follow up technique for improved oral health and breath. After first Tongue Cleansing each morning, clean your teeth (or after oil pulling if you prefer) then place 1 tablespoon of extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil in your mouth, and swish around your mouth for up to 20 minutes before spitting out.

You may need to first soften the coconut oil in your mouth if it's still firm, and you may not reach 20 minutes on your first few attempts, but just swirl the oil around your mouth for as long as you can. Spit outside or into the bin as the coconut oil may harden again in the colder months if you spit it down a drain.

You can use other oils such as olive or almond but coconut tastes the best and is more anti-bacterial, and you can 1 drop of an essential oil such as oregano, cinnamon or cloves to the coconut oil before oil pulling for further anti-bacterial activity. The benefits of oil pulling are whiter and cleaner teeth by reducing plague, and improved oral health such as healthier teeth, gums and breath. Why not give it a go today and let me know how you go!

Naturopathic Wisdom #3 17.05.17

Now that your mouth is cleansed after tongue cleansing and oil pulling and you have cleaned your teeth, it's time to rehydrate with 1 to 2 glasses of filtered water with lemon. Squeeze 1/2 small or 1/4 of a large lemon into your glass/s of water and drink slowly.

If you experience a burning sensation after drinking then your stomach acid maybe too high, and I suggest you substitute the lemon for a pinch of Celtic sea or Himalayan salt in your glass.

The benefit of adding lemon, apple cider vinegar or salt to your water is to help alkalise your blood pH level and reduce pain and inflammation in the body. When your pH is more alkaline (around 7) then your energy increases, pain and stress decrease and you're able to digest and assimilate your food more efficiently.

So start your day off right with a glass of room temperature lemon water for digestive wellbeing.

Naturopathic Wisdom #4 17.04.17

Are you chewing your food well? Chewing is the important first stage of digestion and is essential for the improved assimilation of nutrients from your food. After all your stomach doesn't have any teeth, so if you're not chewing each mouthful at least 20 times, you won’t be breaking down your food efficiently.

Saliva is rich in enzymes and starts the digestion of carbohydrates in the mouth, as well as aiding oral pH and reducing tooth decay. So next time you eat a meal, remember to chew your food well, and your digestive system will thank you with improved health and reduced bloating. Happy chewing!

Naturopathic Wisdom #5 17.03.17

Do you drink any liquid with your meals? For optimal digestion, it is recommended to only drink fluids up to 30 mins before and 60 mins after eating, to avoid diluting your natural digestive enzymes and thus interfering with your digestion.

If you need a drink during a meal, just take a few sips of a digestive tonic such as a teaspoon of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or Swedish bitters in a 1/3 of a glass of warm or room temperature water, and reduce the salt content of your meals which increases natural thirst. Vegetable juices are best drunk slowly up to half an hour before other foods, to prevent bloating if mixed with protein due to the juice's natural sugar content.

Naturopathic Wisdom #6 17.02.17

To improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients it is recommended to sit and relax for 5 mins before eating each meal. You can take some deep breaths, listen to some peaceful music or just close your eyes and give thanks for your food.

Of course sometimes we are busy and are not able to eat in such ideal circumstances, but if you can focus on relaxing before you eat, it will greatly improve your health. So turn off the TV, switch off the phone, and disconnect the computer whilst you properly appreciate and enjoy every mouthful of your meal.

Naturopath Wisdom #7 17.01.17

Do you suffer from burping or bloating with meals? You may benefit from a traditional remedy such as Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice. Take 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or start with 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in 1/3 glass of warm water about 20 mins before meals 2 to 3 x daily.

These natural remedies naturally stimulate your body to produce more stomach acid, which is vital for digestion particularly of protein, and also to prevent bacteria from passing through to your gut. Apple cider vinegar (sometimes called Apple cider) is produced from fermented apples and is not alcoholic but quite tart to taste.

It is best taken diluted in water and if you have sensitive teeth, you can drink it through a straw. Give it a go and see if it helps reduce your burping and bloating which are often a sign of low stomach acid. However avoid if you have a stomach ulcer or you experience burning pain.

Naturopath Wisdom #8 17.12.16

Are you Acid or Alkaline? Did you know your Stomach has a pH of 2 whereas your Small Intestine is 7? Your Blood pH is ideally around 7 also but if it drops below this to 6.7 or less it becomes to Acidic and difficult for your body to maintain balance and prevent bone mineral reabsorption.

Naturopath Wisdom #9 17.11.16

The 80:20 rule for healthy digestion. Eat until 80% full and treats only 20% of the time.

Naturopath Wisdom #10 17.10.16

Probiotic foods for digestive wellbeing. Kefir, yoghurt, miso, sourdough, sauerkraut, kimchi etc.

BONUS Digestion Tip #1! 17.09.16

Food combining is an old Naturopathic adage that involves eating protein, carbohydrates and vegetables in the right combination at each meal for optimal digestion.
Ideally Protein is eaten with Vegetables, and not solely with Carbohydrates or Starchy Vegetables such as potatoes. This allows our digestive system to work more efficiently at absorbing the maximum nutrients from our food and helps to prevent bloating.

Vegetables can be eaten with Protein OR Carbohydrates, and Fruit is best eaten alone at least 30 minutes prior or an hour after other foods. This sounds tricky, but if you keep this important Tip in mind it can help with stubborn digestive issues.

Fats are usually ok in small amounts with any meal, and can aid fullness preventing overeating, as well as providing essential nutrients. In this case a little goat's or coconut yoghurt with your fruit is acceptable, and can slow down the release of natural sugars into the bloodstream, aiding energy levels.