Category Archives: Health and Wellbeing

10 ways that minerals have changed my life

 

 

I get asked regularly in what ways minerals and the ‘Root Cause Protocol’ have changed my life… there are SO many, I struggled to shorten this list… but here’s something to have a think about.

    1. Migraines are a thing of the past. I used to get them from food, from hormonal shifts, from my neck being “out”, from twisting at the wrong time. I was always inflamed and I was a super-responder to histamines from food and stress.I no longer fearing migraines from the food I eat. Just yesterday I drank a full milkshake with dairy, cream and more – no migraine today. Mangos and bananas have been a LONG-term triggers – I now freely use them in my cooking.


      A few years ago – look at something with high histamines = migraine 24 hours later. A mouthful in the past of those triggers would have been a blinding migraine where I would be in the ‘migraine shadow’ for days after it left.Now – histamine reaction? What is that? It’s not a common thing for me now. If I do get an inkling of a reaction – what do I do? Take some minerals!

    2. Saving on medical costs. Our family rarely visits the Doctor for typical sicknesses and even a-typical sicknesses. We rarely get sick now, and if we do, we kick it with our own immune system, quickly.


      We have transitioned from spending $1000’s each year on various specialists, medicines for asthma, eczema, winter sicknesses, etc… to none – we do spend some on our mineral supplements and whole foods to deliver our ‘medicine’ (“let food be thy medicine“), but the cost is nothing like we used to spend!

    3. Skin conditions – BE GONE! No more eczema on my son (years of treatments before that, which never touched it)…… or dermatitis on my husband’s hands (15+ years worth of history – gone in 3 weeks).
    4. No more asthma and breathing related problems for my kids.

      My twins had been on preventative medications for years, two extreme bouts of pneumonia including hospital treatments. One of them literally spent 6 months straight on antibiotics as a toddler/preschooler and many times after that on shorter course. No medications have been needed in 3 years+.
    5. My youngest and originally sickest child has NEVER required ANY invasive treatments, despite a serious diagnosis at 4 months old. I started introducing mag when she was less than a year old. I slowly transitioned into adding more minerals to my regime, which helped her.We have watched our  “allergic to the world” child grow and develop as ‘normal’ (whatever that is!) as we introduced more minerals to her and I.She started our journey having 15 ‘safe’ foods (both for her and me, since she reacted via my milk) and I suspect still reacting to some of those at a low level.We were told by the time she started school at 5, she may have 30-40 foods she would tolerate.Children with her diagnosis of ‘Eosinophilic Oesophagitis’ frequently have heavy intervention and challenges in their development – hospital visits, medications, elemental formula, very restricted diets, many days away from childcare and school (etc). Instead, my daughter has never had a hospital visit, never drank elemental formula, never needed to see a doctor for an infection, or anything except her early childhood checks, vaccinations (though that’s another story) and occasional blood tests as we check her progress with her minerals.


      She starts school in early 2018 and she can eat all except for about 30-40 foods now… and realistically, she probably can have many more of those on occasion without issue.

      Her body is strong and resilient – we have even had other parents comment on how little time she is away from kindy even during the peak of sickness seasons!

    6. Clarity of mind – the brain fog is gone! I didn’t realise until the fog started to clear, just how foggy my mind had become for the years before…I can now cope with stress better than ever before – without a big metabolic crash, migraine or tiredness hitting! 

    7. My digestive system works more effectively! Not only do I not get histamine responses now, but food generally ‘sits’ better too and goes through my body without causing discomfort. I never realised how much certain foods did this to me until it stopped!
    8. Leg cramps are a thing of the past…. for both myself and my husband.
    9. Regular, pain free periods (sorry guys, I’m sure the females in your life will be happy to hear about that!). I have a history of PCOS and longer/irregular cycles, cramping and headaches/migraines tied in…. no more!
    10. Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain that I have had for over 20 years has almost completely GONE. It used to contribute to the migraines I dealt with many times each month… to many visits to my favourite osteopath, chiropractors, massage therapists, you name it just to keep it manageable.Now I have one maintenance visit to Bowen Therapy once every 4-6 weeks, and I don’t stagger to her door each month as I would for the other therapies!

 

 

If you would like to understand more, why not come along to the workshops we have scheduled next February? OR join into our retreat? Find out more here.

Root Cause Protocol Tour - www.rcpworldtour.com

Filed under Health and Wellbeing, Iron Dysregulation, Mineral Balance

International Health Coach Week 2017!

This week coming is ‘International Health Coach Week’ – and we want to help coach you to better mineral health.

Feel like you need to keep digging for answers?

Have you ever wanted to learn more about minerals, to get help you to understand?

Thought “wouldn’t it be great if there was someone I can talk to who could help me understand?”…

To get help so you can have a light bulb moment or two…….?

Well now’s your time to get learning! In the next week, Morley Robbins and I have scheduled TWO learning sessions scheduled to help you connect the dots, to help you understand and to support you taking control of your own health! The investment in better health is $25 US for each session.

To find out more or to book in, click on the session titles (Session 1, Session 2) and below. Sessions will be approximately 1.5 hours total including question time after the main learning session.

Please note – these sessions will have attendees from all around the world. To try to make this as easy as possible for everyone, I have included some major timezones so you can work out what your local time will be. If you aren’t sure which time to choose, please reach out for assistance!

Session 1 (now completed!)

Timezones:
Brisbane – 9:30am Wednesday 15th February
Berlin – 12:30am Wednesday 15th February
London – 11:30pm Tuesday14th February
US Central – CST – 5:30pm Tuesday14th February
US Pacific – PST – 3:30pm Tuesday 14th February

Session 2 (now completed!)

Timezones:
Brisbane – 8:30am Saturday 18th February
Berlin – 11:30pm Friday 17th February
London – 10:30pm Friday 17th February
US Central – CST – 4:30pm Friday 17th February
US Pacific – PST – 2:30pm Friday 17th February

Filed under Health and Wellbeing, Iron Dysregulation, Magnesium, Mineral Balance

Why did I persevere with breastfeeding a reactive baby?

I just replied to a post in a special group where many Mum’s are in the same shoes that I have been in for the last 3 years…it got me thinking it was time for a new post.

Why do Mum’s like myself, continue to endure the challenges that come from breastfeeding a baby who reacts to the foods we eat? To keep taking more and more foods (it seems) away, when you never know when it will stop?

The poor Mum who asked it has a very unhappy 4.5 month old, and was curious on what had kept other Mum’s going.  She’s not the first person to ask me this… and I thought I would share, because I’m sure someone else will read this who needs a little encouragement to continue the hard work!

SO these were what came to mind…

1) Since she was so reactive, we expected formula would make it worse even the hydrolysed ones

2) Couldn’t afford formula (though its not as if the Dr’s visits etc are cheap… but then we could have had formula AND that)


3) We would have to challenge foods/triggers directly with her, whereas I could lessen the blow by doing it through me

4) It unlocked insight into my own health and made me a healthier person (though this took a lot longer to realise)

5) The protection to her digestive system from the easier-to-digest food and probiotic component I provided… the increase in minerals she needed as I healed me was apparent in her

6) (and this should probably be higher) the comfort I could provide when she was reacting. To be able to breastfeed her, and often feeding in bed and continuously feeding so I got *any* sleep….. if she was formula fed and reacting, I had no way to comfort her pain besides potentially more drugs

7) Related to 3… could challenge foods and find safe ones while she was exclusively BF so that we had some insight into what would be safe foods for her to wean onto.

You have to decide to keep going for reasons that are relevant to you. Only you can decide. Do NOT let others decide for you, to tell you that you have to do give up feeding because your milk is “bad”… especially if you feel that there’s more to it than that.

You need to trust your gut. That is the real root reason I think I continued. It felt right, and stopping didn’t.

Good luck Mummas!

Filed under Health and Wellbeing, Reactive babies and children

It’s time to share… where did all this start?

Have you ever stopped to realise that something that has been a pretty harrowing experience in your life, was the best thing that could have ever happened to you?

That’s what this “little” story is all about.

I’m actually not really sure where to start, because while my road to discovering our family’s underlying health conditions started after the birth of our third child, there really were warning signs years before in my older children’s health, and dating back to my own childhood and beyond…

So, I’m going to start this current part to the story when our youngest was born, and with time, I’ll go back and cover the other realisations I have had since.

Her arrival has meant so much more than just the joy of another child in our family. So much more than the joy we get from seeing her growing up into a gorgeous little girl with personality plus. She’s meant that ALL of our family – within our own direct family unit, but also further afield… and many families outside of our network, have come to learn more about their health.

All from one little girl… and a somewhat determined mother I suppose too…!!

Let’s backtrack a little to October 2012. I was due with my third child… I had just completed the sale of our business of nearly 10 years, and had literally JUST finished the majority of the handover process the day before she ended up arriving.

Her siblings are twins, at the time they had just turned 6… they had significant health issues at birth (premature) plus silent reflux which caused no end of pain for our eldest (“K”) and all of us who didn’t get sleep in blocks longer than 40 minute stints until they were nearly 1. Food intolerances were found, more drugs (& different types used) and voila, reflux gone. Problems gone, right? Maybe not… but at the time we thought it!

By the time I got to the arrival of our youngest daughter “L”, I was much more armed with knowledge to push the typical “its reflux and that’s just the way it is” with her.

I had a natural delivery – VBAC too after being pressured into a c-section with the twins… so a big achievement in itself. I specifically requested no antibiotics to be given to either of us unless absolutely necessary… and it wasn’t needed – BONUS! (My research had taught me that AB’s during pregnancy and just after birth could lead to gut imbalances and reactions, so I fought hard for this).

Lydia newborn 15 October 2012

Just minutes old… photo credit to Jen Shipston from The Heart of Motherhood (http://theheartofmotherhood.com.au/)

One step forward, two steps back…

Catch 22 came, when our gorgeous little 8 pound (3.6kg) munchkin arrived, she was tongue tied and didn’t feed properly, which I am sure contributed to me getting mastitis. We had the tie snipped when she was 4 days old, but the damage was already done…

By the time she was 8 days old, I was on Augmentum as I had tried every non-AB option I could in combination with guidance from my midwives. Within 24 hours, she was a screaming mess.

Worth noting here that this is what I feel to be an extremely significant (backward) step in our journey. To this point she had been fairly content and feeding ok (within the realms of expectation for a tongue-tied newborn!), sleeping “ok” as a newborn will, etc. Then she just stopped sleeping and would only do so if completely upright. Projectile vomit, horrible explosive nappies… it was never-ending. I had been used to two severe reflux babies… and handling this ONE child, was more work than they were.

By the time she was 2 weeks old, a friend suggested me looking at becoming gluten and dairy free – it had helped her with her second child a couple of months before. This seemed fairly logical as we knew the twins had reacted as babies to dairy… but I had never gone to the extent of removing it from my diet (even though they were breast and/or express milk fed, I didn’t connect the dots for it – even though I realised other foods which definitely impacted on them like onion and garlic!).

Sooooo… from that day, my world changed. Dramatically.

Have you ever seen how much gluten is used in every day foods you buy? Have a look at the labels of every single product you buy. I bet if you have a ‘standard’ Australian diet without already being restricted… foods you buy have either got dairy, or gluten, or both in them.

She did improve at least a little with this, but was still overall very refluxy and reactive.

Next step was what I had tried to avoid… reflux medications.

….step 1… Infant Gaviscon

Credit to my GP here… he wanted to try the ‘gentler’ things before the strong medications I was asking for… to help ease the symptoms while we worked out triggers. He never once suggested I wean her to formula to help. He never once tried to coerce me into doing things that I didn’t want to do with the exception of trying to slow down the heavy meds… I didn’t understand at the time, I just wanted pain relief for my baby, but, I quickly realised it was worth a try.

It did actually help at the time to ease the symptoms, especially while she was probably in withdrawals, as was I no doubt too. Not thinking straight. After a month of varying uses of it and regularity of doses, etc… plus gradually taking out obvious triggers from my diet that came along… it was time for the ‘big guns’.

….step 2…. Losec (Omeprazole)

This medication actively reduces the amount of stomach acid which is going to burn and hurt in an individual with reflux. It makes a difference in pain and is used so commonly in children and adults alike. They are called “proton pump inhibitors” (PPI).

By reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, it also means that food particles may not be broken down into the smallest unit they can, and then if gut damage exists (which clearly in L it did, and many other babies with reflux it does too)…… these larger molecules can then go into their blood stream and put a massive strain on their bodies to break them down where they shouldn’t normally need to.

It also has serious impacts on health when used long-term, but these parts don’t get talked about. Mineral deficiencies they cause…. making food intolerances worse… yep… awesome. These parts were never discussed more than a glean… by multiple physicians. More about that later.

….step 3…. Zoton (Lansoprazole)

For some reason, the way my kids responded to the PPI drugs wasn’t “normal”… they didn’t actually get much relief from Losec, it helped a little, but didn’t solve a lot long-term. All of them ended up on Zoton and that’s where the changes in behaviour happened at least… pain relief… rest… recovery… (and some more mineral deficiencies)

This is the medication that helped us to find baseline with more significant diet changes… this is what let us see the huge amount of inflammation that was happening in L’s body… but its also what probably contributed to a longer recovery.

Luckily when she was about 8 months old, once I had gone through very extensive dietary changes beyond the dairy and gluten, a single pharmacist clued me up to the magnesium deficiency that would be created by her ADULT doses of this drug. A tiny little baby, borderline failure to thrive… and she was barely kept “maintained” reflux wise on something which actively pumps magnesium out of the body’s stores.

As quickly as I humanly could, we dropped the medication. Weathered the withdrawal symptoms (everything gets worse for a bit!) and found she was remarkably happy off them, but using the gaviscon again to manage symptoms of flares. At the same time, or soon after, we introduced magnesium via epsom salts, and via transdermal magnesium for me…. and that then led to a whole different path.

So beyond the gluten and dairy, then medication… what did I do to help her?

That’s for another day… please check by and I’ll link to the next post soon.

Filed under Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Health and Wellbeing, Mineral Balance

Magnesium… where do I start?

OK so I get asked ALL the time where to start with magnesium supplementation. There is no one single “best” option – it all comes down to the individual and the need they are trying to fill.

Transdermal

Firstly, I would suggest for the most sensitive individuals especially, starting with magnesium only on your skin is likely to minimise reactions and start your body adjusting to having some magnesium available.

Epsom Salts can be sprinkled into a bath or even a bucket with some warm water (for a foot soak) and are a great way to help in detoxing and short-term magnesium boost in the body. It DOES NOT help massively with replenishing deficiencies, as it is only in the body a short time. That is, it can help ease the excess lactic acid in sore muscles, facilitate reduction of inflammation due to exertion or injury, and generally helps muscles to be able to relax, but the magnesium won’t necessarily be available long enough to increase stores in red blood cells.

Magnesium Flakes/Magnesium Chloride/Magnesium Oil can be used in the bath as well, or in liquid. Magnesium chloride in water is what is sold as magnesium “oil”, or you can put it into alcohol and make a less tingly, quicker drying ‘alcohol rub’ – see recipe here. You can even use mag flakes/oil to create a magnesium cream!

Oral magnesium

This area is absolutely huge, and no two people who know anything about magnesium, probably agree…

I would recommend getting guidance before adding too much of ANY oral magnesium. Certain types WILL have a quicker laxative effect than others and all types can disrupt electrolyte balance.

The main types I have found best to focus on are…

  • Ionic (liquid) – generally mag chloride
  • Glycinate (tablet, capsule or powder)
  • Malate (tablets or capsules)
  • Bicarbonate (also known as ‘mag water’)
  • “Magtein” – Magnesium threonate
  • Orotate

Please see my note lower down about types I do NOT suggest.

The long version…

For those who like ‘the details’… this is for you. I will cover some background on each of the types I have used or researched to be suitable for most people, and you can make up your own decision from this and other reseach what will fit in best!

Ionic Magnesium (mag chloride) is added in with water or other food or drink to consume. It isn’t affected by heat and comes as a concentrate. I have found this to be a lifesaver for ease of use for ALL of the family and how effective it is.

When we started it, it was easy to introduce slowly (to adjust tastebuds to it and reducing toilet visits!) but also to be so gentle on the body.

The bottle may say to have 5ml/tsp daily, but, my experience in my family and with clients tells me it’s better to start with (say) 0.5ml once per day for adults, and build up. I found I started with a matter of drops for my kids, and increased from there.

My youngest was about 2 when we started – she had around 1-2 drops per day to start, then increased to about 5 drops morning and night in water. The older kids got more from the start and we have continued to increase their quantities ever since as they grow.

For Australian readers, Amenas Daily Boost is a very good product for the mag, potassium, some sodium plus trace elements like boron. Another great option with a similar composition is ‘Ancient Lakes Magnesium‘ which is available in Australia, USA and UK.

“Anderson’s” and “Aussie Minerals” are options for those in the US also.

I started out sourcing my ionic magnesium at my local Health Food Store – so don’t be afraid to ask them if they can order it in. They may not stock it, but may do if there is demand.

There are other liquid magnesium supplements similar to those mentioned above, but I am not necessarily personally familiar with them. My suggestion is to read labels, be aware that they aren’t always what they seem to be, and to discuss with your health care provider.

 

Magnesium Glycinate is often found in products as ‘magnesium chelate’ – worth checking the product you can access is not combined with less desirable types too.This is often used to help relax the body to encourage sleep.

My personal experience has been very positive for glycinate based chelates – it’s often very gentle-on-the-stomach types which is also well absorbed. There are a few variations in forms you can access.

  • Doctors Best Magnesium from iherb is my family’s ‘go to’ tablet for this type of mag. It’s well tolerated and well priced.
  • Natures Own magnesium chelate is an Australian product available at supermarkets or chemists.
  • Jigsaw Health have a capsule option – “Magpure Glycinate” with no fillers or other components – great for those who are super-sensitive and may not tolerate products like Doctors Best
  • Jigsaw Health also “MagNow” – a powdered mag glycinate that comes with potassium and sodium, and is palatable for kids or those who can’t take tablets/capsules

I found it best to start with only one tab/capsule each day… then to build up – take it slow (read below for how I increased!)

I first added one before bed – it encouraged deeper, restful sleep. Some time later, I added another in the morning.  You may find that one morning and one at night works for you… or you may feel that you want to increase it some more beyond that.

If you find it negatively impacts your sleep, you could try one in the morning a day or so later. Most people will sleep better at night having had this type of magnesium… but some will be better on other types as it may not suit their bodies.

Magnesium Malate is another form which is readily available to most and is said to energise. I use it in the morning for this reason, though in my experience I find it helps to maintain energy throughout the day (I do use a ‘slow release technology’ option – “Jigsaw mag malate, with SRT b-free“). Others find ‘Source Naturals‘ as a suitable option – we didn’t find that fitted well with our family.

My family do really well having some malate in their routine – we started with glycinate morning and night, but seem to have further improved by introducing malate too having a mixture of types each day.

 

Magnesium bicarbonate, or mag water, is a liquid mag you can make yourself (see how here) or in some countries, you may source it within mineral waters. I find it refreshing to have in my drinking water throughout the day (about 1/4 of it, 3/4 filtered water).

I started out only adding a smaller amount to my drinking water, and increased as I got used to the flavour change and as my body started to crave more.

My youngest LOVES to “steal” my water too with this in.

 

“Magtein” – Magnesium threonate – said to be good for brain function over other types, but I’m not convinced it’s any better than the other types. It seems to be a lot of good marketing with some level of truth. It does help many with focus and concentration, but so do the other cheaper/easier to access types.

Magnesium orotate – I haven’t personally used it, but it’s a form many find helpful as an option.

 

Forms of magnesium I DO NOT recommend

Magnesium citrate is commonly found in laxative magnesium options and can really cause havoc on your ‘ceruloplasmin’ levels, as well as simply being an irritant. There are better ways to get laxative relief!!

Ceruloplasmin contains a critical antioxidant enzyme and we want more of it in our body to help us every day, not less. The following quote is a little insight into “why”…

You want to stay away from citrate. It has a very known impact in the body and in the mitochondria. It disrupts the functionality particularly of the liver’s ability to make ceruloplasmin. It’s not a well known reaction, but it is there.

You can watch a video which covers that, or read the associated transcript here.

 

Magnesium oxide isn’t very bioavailable in the forms it’s often presented in – you can mix it with water to make ‘milk of magnesia’ – it’s more available to your body then… but use caution here.

It’s a laxative – actually a great alternative to citrate, just be mindful that it’s still just a crux – not solving WHY constipation is there. That needs you to look at deeper mineral balancing aspects including potassium intake and much more.

But what do YOU supplement with Kristan?

My personal experience with introducing magnesium was back in about August 2013 and was taking a small amount of a basic magnesium supplement (to use up some I had purchased along the way to help with my aching neck!)… and then to add in just FOUR sprays of magnesium oil to my skin each day. I did that for one week, then upped it to SIX sprays per day.

Each night I would apply the sprays to the soles of my feet before bed. That’s it! I did have to deal with sheets which got the mag oil on it (later could be stopped by wearing socks, but I’ve never been a big sock-wearer at night)… but you know what, after 3 weeks, and only increasing to 8 sprays per night between my two feet… I had a baby who slept the whole night through, and I had never felt better sleep-wise!

NOTE: I had put *none* on her… it was all via me, and then her being a breastfed baby… nothing else was varying in our lives… we both ate the same food every… single… day… and if I stopped the magnesium, she would revert back.

I then gradually increased week by week with the spray, and from time to time I added some ‘Natures Own’ Magnesium capsules. One at a time, reducing the number of sprays of the mag oil I did each day for a while until I adjusted. I was very paranoid by this stage of not overdoing anything new (about 11 months of being on a very limited diet will teach you to be careful!)…

Within 6 months I was taking or applying more than 1000mg worth of elemental magnesium (ever heard the term “equivalent to xx mg elemental magnesium” ?), spread across three different forms of magnesium. I spread it through……

  • Doctors Best Magnesium tablets (after I used up my Natures Own ones – cheaper from iherb and it has a combination of mag sources which I responded to extremely well)….
  • Magnesium Oil (I ended up DIY my own with magnesium flakes + water)
  • Amenas Daily Boost ionic Minerals

I have evolved that over time and now use:

  • Jigsaw mag malate in the morning
  • Doctors best mag (glycinate) at night
  • Amenas Daily Boost morning and night
  • Mag water throughout the day
  • Mag cream or mag-a-hol on my skin each night before bed

Please DO NOT start doing that amount of magnesium quickly nor without getting guidance. This is MY story, and it may not be something that will work for you.

HOW MUCH do I need to take?

The Magnesium Advocacy Group I am a part of on Facebook has discussed this topic many times – the amount to take. The general guideline discussed is a maintenance level of magnesium which is about 10x your weight in kilograms, in the unit of milligrams (mg) – so a 50kg person would look at needing a maintenance dose of 500mg of elemental magnesium. I am a lot heavier than 50kg, but no where near 100kg… but I found that I hit ‘gut tolerance’ (laxative effect) from oral magnesium when I got around 1000mg elemental magnesium between the three types I use. So this level is helping me to improve my deficiency and to feel in the best health I can be.

If I used one more of one type than the others, I wouldn’t feel as good and balanced. No matter how many times I hoped I could do it in a simpler way. That’s just how my body worked best at that stage (early 2013)… I have adjusted it along the way in times of stress increase (more mag!) or when I’m relaxed (less mag).

I still do a combination of all three each and every day. Now I can get away with missing some here or there and I’m ok, but if I don’t get doses fairly regularly over a matter of days, I will start to notice a dramatic change.

There are national guidelines on Magnesium, and I encourage you to review them if you are cautious on this. It is a LOT lower than what I have talked about here… and interestingly, those national guidelines are a LOT lower than what they were in days gone by. Say the 60’s? Since when have our needs for magnesium reduced?

To me it seems like its been easier to drop the recommended amounts and the ‘normal’ ranges for testing to reflect on the results being seen, not the actual amounts that the body needs nor what has been previously set for good reason!

A little note on children…

My children all get varying amounts of the same three magnesium sources… but they also get the magnesium flakes and epsom salts added to their bath water every single time they have a bath. The change in them when we consistently use it is amazing and warrants its regular use!

For everything except their baths, I still broadly use the guide of 10 x their weight in kg… so a 30kg child will need about 300mg of magnesium each day to MAINTAIN their magnesium levels, not to fix deficiencies…

In my experience, it has been massively beneficial to give them magnesium, but start small too and go up in smaller amounts.

HTMA and full testing is highly recommended in my experience to make sure you give them co-factors of other things they may need beyond just magnesium.

 

Supporting your body when starting magnesium…

You cannot launch yourself into taking a huge dose of magnesium because you decide you are really deficient. It will only make you feel sick and/or end you up on the toilet.

You should ease into it steadily – increase each week as the body adjusts. If you take a lot suddenly, your body will potentially pump out a lot of electrolytes to offset the sudden increase, and you may end up feeling dehydrated, with a headache and feeling very much like the magnesium was causing a reaction. It kind of was. Start slow, and increase in small steps.

Also, supporting your adrenal system sufficiently and consuming enough electrolytes is critical. Electrolytes are the salts which make your cells work. They go in and out of your cells continuously and allow transfers of all the important components in and out… not enough electrolytes = headaches, sickness and feeling pretty yuck!

Have you always had it drummed into you that salt is bad? Salt as most people refer to it (sodium) as well as other types of salts are absolutely critical to our body being able to function from day to day. I challenge anyone who blindly believes that salt is the sole cause of high blood pressure – and encourage you to read up on mineral imbalances and how much things like magnesium will naturally help to reduce BP.

This video gives an amazing insight into how salts and electrolytes are important to the body.

I use the ‘Adrenal Cocktail‘ a lot… its been a big part of my journey looking into mineral balancing – finding that my adrenal system was nearly exhausted when I was first tested in early 2014… and on its way to better health in late 2014/early 2015! I don’t need quite the same support now as I did when I started, but its really just changed (regular testing is important!).

 

 

Where to go beyond magnesium?

There is so much more to regaining health and balance in your body beyond magnesium… mineral balance is a complex part of the human body – it underlies every single part of how your body ticks! It is also very individual… so while we all need lots more magnesium as a general rule, we do NOT all need the same thing with other minerals and vitamins.

I have an extremely good personal experience and seen a huge change in our family from using Morley from rcp123.org for our consults. He has taught me so much and unlocked a massive amount of how our WHOLE family ticks health wise, all the way through to my Mum and her Mum….

I learned so much with my own consult back in early 2014, that I have since encouraged dozens (hundreds?) of others to work with Morley, and have since gone on to do my own training and now work with Morley myself.

I also work with clients to educate and empower them, just as Morley did with me.

Mineral consults are more than just giving you a label of a certain diagnosis for Pyroluria or a syndrome or disease… it helps you understand your individual biochemistry and mineral “make-up”, what stress does in your body and helps you to see where  you need particular support.

Please don’t hesitate to drop me a line here, I’m here to help!

– Kristan.

Filed under Health and Wellbeing, Magnesium, Mineral Balance

Magnesium and our soils…are our gardens a symptom of our bigger deficiency issues?

I wonder how many of my readers are gardeners… I’ve loved to garden since I was a teen… I would be the one planning out the pretty spring bulbs, the flowers, the veggie and herb patch. Though ironically enough, many of the edible things I really didn’t know what to do with…

Now that I’m finally forcing myself back into my garden after some years of being unable to care of moving/work/newborn/intolerant-to-the-world child/back to work…… and I happen to be learning about magnesium deficiency at the same time… its had me reading on a different level.

A week ago I was watching a special presentation by ‘Gardening Australia’ about feeding your garden. Nourishing it. They had a little snippet where they talked about magnesium and iron deficiencies in plants, and how they manifest.

Magnesium flakes

Magnesium Chloride/magnesium flakes…

I have started my research tonight to find the video, but instead found a story from a few years ago that they did. You can find it here. To quote them:

Look carefully for mottling on the leaves of plants because this is an indication of magnesium deficiency, which is really common in Australia. It affects a range of plants including gardenias, rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, roses and citrus. The solution is to get some Epsom salts. Take half a litre of water, and put in half a teaspoon of Epsom salts, then shake and stir. Either water it on plants or you can foliar spray it.

So its recognised that mottling on leaves (and in the story I saw last week, they added to this, more below on that)… that its magnesium deficiency you will be seeing. How is it solved? Epsom Salts.

Humans become symptomatic in many different ways – food intolerances, behaviour, mood/depression, auto-immune conditions and so much more… but epsom salts (mag sulphate) is a very good way to assist most who are deficient too.

So with a little more searching, I found the transcript from their site here

GREENING THE LEAVES
Jerry Coleby-Williams

JERRY COLEBY-WILLIAMS: Gardeners often take the green colour of plants for granted. That green colour is caused by a pigment called chlorophyll and chlorophyll allows plants to capture sunlight and convert it into food – it allows them to grow. But quite often, iron and magnesium which are essential for producing chlorophyll, can be deficient in our soils. Now those deficiencies can progress in two different ways.

Iron deficiency first appears on new young growth and if those leaves grow yellow, it’s a good chance you’ve got iron deficiency. Magnesium tends to develop on old leaves and if older leaves grow yellow, but the young leaves remain green, magnesium is the key suspect. Now how do you treat these deficiencies?

Firstly for iron, you use iron chelates and you can water that in around the roots of plants – once in spring and once in autumn. With magnesium, that’s slightly different. It’s very soluble in water so you can often apply dolomite at a rate of one handful per square metre in autumn and that will last the plant right the way through a year, but in tropical climates with heavy rainfall, you can use Epsom salts and you apply that as a spray by diluting 1 teaspoon full of Epsom salts in a litre of water and you can spray that over foliage once a month during summer.

If you put those two treatments together, you’re plants will be greener than green and they’ll be super efficient at capturing that sunlight and converting it into growth.

….and for good measure, I managed to find the video… here.

So… if its recognised in every day gardening… and its recognised in everyday farming when it comes to livestock too (I’ve had many conversations with those with horses and other types of farm animals about the critical need for magnesium supplementation given our soils)… HOW is it not more widely seen in the human population?

Do humans really think that we are all that different from animals and plants?

We are, afterall, just biochemical beings like them… we eat food to turn it into energy and waste… energy to grow, repair, think, do. If Magnesium is not there… we can’t do any of those and we get other chronic health conditions sneaking in…

Just some… food for thought….!

Until next time!

K.

 

PS A few weeks ago I put some magnesium chloride onto my (edible) garden, including my choko vine, herbs and citrus trees… you know what? They were all setting fruit and had the strongest growth I’ve seen in a couple of years! Unbelievable. Some of these were in pots which are probably overdue for a fertiliser topup. Others are in soil which has been improved with organic matter and were already growing fairly well.

All are probably stressed from the extremely dry conditions we have now, but, without changing the watering pattern at all (occasional sprinkle by us), they have gone crazy. Twelve months of waiting for a single choko to set… despite 1000’s of flowers, never one… but within a week of the mag chloride, several setting and a few surviving the local ‘wildlife’ to be taken by us!

Don’t underestimate how much you may need to help your own garden along……..

Filed under Health and Wellbeing, Magnesium, Mineral Balance

A Stitch in Time: Why Start Now

We’ve all been part of discussions about babies and toddlers and their various health conditions why they are unsettled generally, getting reflux etc. Parents are often desperately trying to find a medicine to fix their child. My experience, those I chat to on a number of forums online and elsewhere, plus my clients, is that dietary changes are actually easy for young children and in fact, these kids can go from ‘reflux’ or ‘colic’ to dream babies.

Why not try food as a solution, while your kid is still a little one?

Often the order of things is child gets sick, parent treats with pain killers, reoccurs or doesn’t help enough, so they visit the doctor, get antibiotics, which help for that round but either don’t eliminate the infection fully and/or never treat the base cause for the irritation. Inflammation. Irritants from allergies or intolerances (food or otherwise). Then this keeps happening, they get offered grommets, adenoids/tonsil removal and things may improve for a while. Look they are better!

Hurrah! Then school hits as a major stressor. The child can’t concentrate, sit still, or are disruptive. Maybe they still bed wet. Maybe they are very emotional all the time. Maybe they are on the border between being diagnosed as ADHD or Autistic, or maybe they are none of these but are just not well a lot of the time, quiet, slow weight gain, etc. Physically and/or mentally they are struggling. Things get desperate, Mum (sorry Dad, its more often Mum) hears about an elimination diet to get rid of food intolerances. They go through much trial and tribulation because now the child is older, they struggle with catering for school lunches, excursions, birthday parties, special events like Christmas or visiting family who don’t understand. You name it. But they get results…. and often they find that kids who  did the elimination  are new kids. Assertive, learning quickly, willing to help, concentrating. SLEEPING. This is wonderful, of course … they might have found it easier to do all this before the kids got mobile!

What’s my opinion antibiotics and medical intervention? They are necessary for those who are very ill, but offer little in the way of long term solutions or full ‘health’. They don’t help you work out the true causes to the ever-growing list of symptoms.

Can these common childhood problems be prevented from reoccurring and needing ongoing treatment by standard ‘medicated’ methods?

My family is living proof.

So, when you look at your toddler, thinking its too hard to consider looking at diet now because you’re too tired and overworked…maybe think about giving it a try because after a matter of days or weeks, your child may be sleeping through the night without wetting the bed, fighting at meal times, eczema, asthma, reflux, or simply being ‘unwell’ and clingy all the time or crying. There is a massive payoff to all your hard work. In my case ­ waking up at 8am and realising that I had an awesome night with our ‘reflux’ baby – priceless!

Get started with the ‘FAILSAFE’ or the RPAH Elimination Diet and consider addressing wheat and dairy within that (as these often make inflammation worse!). At worst you have put a bit of effort to feed your child a low chemical diet for a matter of weeks… and they may stay the same. Or, they may surprise you and improve beyond what you could have imagined.

Toddlers are pretty accommodating with food, you may tell me you have a picky kid, but, I bet I could make Failsafe food which they will eat. If I can, you can. Trust me, it’s a whole lot easier to start even younger with a baby on early solids giving them swede, choko and celery than it is arguing with a 7 year old who is asserting their independence!

I offer coaching to help parents who are overwhelmed, in the midst of sleepness nights and behaviour problems… trust me, you can do it without me… you just might prefer to have someone alongside, giving you a hand. There are online communities to help you along if you want to research before going forward… or dietitians who are experienced in the FAILSAFE/RPAH side of things (beware, plenty are not! You risk taking a lot longer by doing one food type at a time, or by them not being at least aware of the benefits of the full elimination-diet.

Once you determine intolerances, their little bodies can rest, the inflammation response by the body is reduced, and you have a fantastic place to start healing and working on fixing the underlying cause/s… gut health… mineral balance… combination of the two. While the body is irritated by food or environment, the capability for the body to recover is that much harder.

Goodluck! Don’t forget to ask for help and guidance… please don’t do it alone.

Filed under Failsafe, Health and Wellbeing

Exciting Announcements April 2014

 

Pear Jam_sml

I’ve got an extremely exciting newsletter this month – with a special offer from Thermomix, some interesting links and some recipes too… I hope you enjoy!

Biggest news of all?
  • Firstly that I’m soon to be the Group Leader for Ipswich – bringing cooking classes to the area as well as building a team of consultants to support the region!
  • Secondly the massive ‘bowl blade lid’ offer – half price at qualifying demos THIS MONTH ONLY! Book now 🙂
  • Lastly that the Deferred repayment/interest free offer is nearly finished… so get in quickly if you wish to take up the offer (7th April!)
If you have trouble opening the newsletter, please drop me a line and I can email it.
You can view it online…here
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, queries or if you are ready to purchase or host a demonstration.

 

Filed under Health and Wellbeing, Mineral Balance, Using the Thermomix

Mineral Balance, food intolerances/allergies or chronic illness and how these relate… (part 3)

(Continuing on from part 2 – here)

Vitamin D, Calcium and so many minerals… absorption can’t happen without magnesium… !

They diagnose low Vitamin D, despite many of us (in Australia at least) getting plenty of sun. They tell us to take the oral Vitamin (often D3) but don’t realise that it needs to be taken when there is sufficient magnesium in the body to absorb it… or your D3 levels are likely to never go up!

They tell us that calcium is so critical for strong bones, but they don’t tell us that without magnesium, it often cannot be absorbed either. Vitamin D3 and calcium need magnesium to be absorbed. That doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be TAKEN at the same time though. A small subtlety… but an important one.

Magnesium needs to be present in the cells to absorb nutrients from your digestion…. but if you take it at the same time as Calcium and D3, it may hinder absorption of all.

Some are familiar with magnesium… know that taking it when you are getting leg cramps may help. Take apparent megadoses of it… but you know what? You need the elemental magnesium, not just the total magnesium listed on the label. Sometimes it can say 400mg of magnesium, but it may have only 4mg of elemental magnesium in it! It also may not be well absorbed depending on the type.

There are so many complexities to how magnesium works in the body, how it is absorbed and how it helps the body to function once its there… but where to start?

Magnesium oil. Magnesium Chloride.

Put this on your skin, and it is well absorbed. It bypasses the need for the gut and gets to work in your body. Start slow, use 4-6 sprays per day in the first week. Then increase by 2 sprays per day, each week. So week 1 = (say) 4 sprays per day. Week 2 = 6, week 3 = 8 and so forth. Each Magnesium Oil spray will be a different concentration, but, the one I use is 66mg of Elemental Mag per 4 sprays… so I’m working towards the suggested total of 5 x my body weight (in pounds) in milligrams. So for a 150 pound person, that would be 750 mg per day TOTAL. So if you are taking any other supplements with magnesium, that would be included.

If you want to minimise tingling/stinging, spray only on the soles of your feet. Perhaps just before bed, or while watching tv/doing quiet activities in the evening and then wipe off the oil residue before bed.

(I started on my feet and have worked out since that my belly doesn’t tingle, so I put all of mine on there now, and wear an old shirt to bed so it doesn’t go on my sheets/good PJs)

For us, I noticed a change quickly. My breastfed baby started sleeping ‘through’ when I was up to 8 sprays per day. If I have deviated from that, she has started waking again. Tested several times sadly! In times of stress, you may need even more.

Something I noticed, and I didn’t fully think of this until much later. I started to tan on my feet for the first time in my 30-something years of life. Where was I putting the mag oil? On my feet. I wasn’t out in the sun any more, I wasn’t doing anything different to other recent years… it was only spring time too – not hugely intense sunlight… but… I developed a sun tan. Fancy that… more magnesium, more conversion of sunlight in the body to all the ‘good stuff’…?

Once you get started and see a difference, consider having a hair analysis done and getting some guidance on your own personal mineral status… more about that on another post, but if you are desperate NOW… go to ‘gotmag.org’ and have a look around. Get Morley to do an assessment for you…!

Some useful links about Vitamin D and absorption:

  • Magnesium, vitamin D status and mortality: results from US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 to 2006 and NHANES III: Click Here
  • A very interesting ‘take’ on how so many physicians demand their patients to take Vitamin D, and explanation as to why they probably don’t improve! Click here
  • Some more information about Vitamin D/mineral absorption: Click here

Filed under Calcium, Health and Wellbeing, Magnesium, Mineral Balance

Mineral Balance, food intolerances/allergies or chronic illness and how these relate… (part 2)

Magnesium and Zinc…

(Continuing my discussion from Part 1)

When we overdo it, we get run down and can experience low zinc and magnesium as a direct result of stress. Copper often then shoots up and it prevents us getting the other two back to optimum levels again. We get run down, constantly sick. Just start to get better again, BANG, sick again.

We get problems with depression, reoccurring low moods. How we think starts to change – feeling more negative, submissive, doubting ourselves. Anxiety may kick in (read more here). Our mood starts to negatively cycle back onto our body, self image often takes a hit. We don’t exercise as much, or are too busy doing one thing or another. More stress. More depletion of minerals.

We just get on with things, just survive. Our digestion doesn’t work properly because the metabolic pathways with the right enzymes become dysfunctional because the raw ingredients (minerals) it needs to happen, are low or absent.

More critical pathways shut down or slow. We get kidney stones and gall bladder attacks as our bodies are unable to process the chemicals fully in our body with what we are consuming and the minerals present in our blood. Our bodies work overtime trying to keep our blood sugar stable. We put more weight on, eat more comfort food. Get more depressed because we are overweight. Our bodies are in survival mode, but it looks like we are purely overindulging.

We don’t have time to exercise. Its too hard to get started, our chronic illnesses now stop us from doing more than a little bit, and with all the images around of skinny, fit people doing it ‘easily’… we start to doubt we CAN even do it.

Even if we do manage to exercise, it takes SO much more effort to lose the weight. Our metabolism seems to be so slow. We take supplements to fix this, that and the other. We take broad multivitamins but they are so broad, they don’t necessarily address the deficiencies anyway and often give us things at the same time which can compete for absorption. Tests that Drs carry out often don’t pick up the root mineral balance issues due to poor choice of tests, or looking too narrowly at only certain things.

How can we move on from this depletion? Get a good base picture to begin with. Look at practitioners who do comprehensive Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) and will do a consult with you. I am currently getting assistance from Morley at GotMag.org

Some relevant links to this discussion…

  • One of my favourite Magnesium information websites… Got Mag
  • Read more on the brain and magnesium/mineral balance here
  • Want another more scientific explanation on The Stress Cycle and what I’ve covered? Check this out…
  • Have insomnia problems? Sleep not come easy? Check out Magnesium’s role in that… here.
  • Stress, Natural Enemy of Magnesium, Calcium, and Zinc…here. (Though I don’t necessarily agree with the supplementation suggested because I think its such an individual thing which needs to be reviewed by an experienced person/practitioner)
  • Adequate mineral levels can reduce stress… here.
  • Magnesium is being researched to help with concussion recovery. Just for interests sake! Check it out here.
  • Magnesium and migraines… interesting read here. (Worth noting: I recently had great success with supplementing minerals when I had a migraine – no painkillers. )
  • I have a number of other magnesium links on my other page which covers things I often mention in passing when I’m talking to people about Thermomix’s… scroll down to the heading ‘Magnesium’ and have a look here.
From http://www.thedietandfitnessblog.com/tag/magnesium-pills

From http://www.thedietandfitnessblog.com/tag/magnesium-pills

The next post in this series can be viewed here.

Filed under Calcium, Health and Wellbeing, Magnesium, Mineral Balance, Zinc