Reflux Relief for People in a Hurry


Many people suffer from a condition called GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and are often prescribed medication for high stomach acidity. But is this treating the real cause and is it the best treatment?

Stomach pH

It is a well-documented fact that as we age we produce less hydrochloric acid in our stomach. This acid environment is the natural environment for our stomach so that proteins and other nutrients can be largely digested before passing into the small intestine. If we make less of it as we age, why are so many elderly people being increasingly prescribed more medications to lower stomach acid levels, when they are already low? Reflux medications are one of the highest selling medications to the elderly.

An interesting point to note is that these medications can temporarily mask some symptoms (of low stomach acidity), but once the medication is stopped, the symptoms often return and can be a lot worse than before. 

Causes of reflux

When reflux occurs, a burning sensation or bitter, acid taste can be felt in the throat and mouth. This is largely as a result of a faulty esophageal sphincter valve, which is no longer separating the stomach from the esophagus effectively, thus allowing acid to move upwards. Whether stomach acid levels are normal or low, this will still occur if the valve is faulty. 

Reasons for faulty valves

The main reason for malfunction of this sphincter valve is intra-abdominal pressure. This can occur due to:

  • overeating
  • being overweight
  • consuming too many refined, processed carbohydrates
  • bending over or lying down too soon after a meal
  • eating too many spicy, fatty foods
  • a bacterial overgrowth

How to treat reflux

  1. Reducing intra-abdominal pressure will help improve the integrity of the sphincter valve.
  2. Reducing intake of refined, processed carbohydrates
  3. Avoiding overeating 
  4. Losing weight
  5. Avoiding lying down after meals. 
  6. Avoiding spicy, fatty foods.
  7. Providing enzymes & digestives to promote better digestion if stomach acid levels are low.
  8. Being treated for bacterial overgrowth with herbs that knock out the pathogens.

Food for thought.

How To Lose Belly Fat

No amount of daily sit-ups will help you lose belly fat. Some lifestyle, exercise and dietary adjustments are necessary. Incorporate a few changes at a time so you are not overwhelmed. 

Exercise adjustments:

  1. Include HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) one to two times a week, for about 20 mins a session. Muscle tissue burns 3-5 times more energy than fat tissue. So as you gain muscle your metabolic rate increases, allowing you to burn more calories even while sleeping. Note: workout for short bursts of maximum intensity (eg. 30 sec) and rest in between these spurts for a similar time.
  2. Include weight (resistance) training. Perform your sets using the correct technique and at a slightly slower pace, squeezing & holding the abdominals taut during each set. Rest in between. Core-strengthening exercises like “planking” engages a wide group of muscles to improve overall strength. Push-ups are a great exercise to perform in sets of 20 throughout the day. We all need a break from sitting!

Dietary recommendations:

  1. Incorporate more protein in your diet if it is currently low, especially if you are doing weights regularly. We need good levels of quality protein to build more muscle.  Also protein has a higher Thermic Effect of Food. Protein burns about 5 times more calories than carbohydrates or fats.  So including extra protein and less carbs, means you will expend more energy & burn more body fat.
  2. Choose more organic, raw wholefoods containing fibre. This is better for the bowels and will help you feel fuller for longer.
  3. Cut out or reduce processed refined foods that deplete the body of energy.
  4. Add small serves of good fats throughout the day, eg. avocado, nuts & seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, green leafy veg, fish, fish oils. Avoid trans fats.
  5. Greatly reduce alcohol or avoid altogether.
  6. Add probiotics daily to make your tummy balanced, healthy and happy.
  7. Add a serve of fermented foods daily: eg. yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, lassi. Anything that makes the tummy balanced and happy will help reduce bloat and fluid retention.
  8. Add 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar to a 1/2 glass of water once a day to increase your satiety and restore gut health.

Lifestyle suggestions:

  1. Reduce stress: cortisol is a fat-storing hormone that is produced in higher amounts under stress. Incorporate some daily relaxation or meditation (10-15 mins) to improve your sleep and recover your energy.
  2. Get some sunlight exposure each day and feel more grounded. This helps us sleep better at night. Take a walk outside during your lunch break.
  3. At night after dinner, dim the lights and reduce your exposure to blue lights and electronic devices an hour or so before bed. Both of these disrupt your natural melatonin production. This is the hormone that helps us wind down and sleep at night. If you’re wired, you’ll get tired! 

Weight Loss in Adelaide

We are very fortunate to live in a city that is world renown for it’s fantastic restaurants and nearby wineries in Mc Laren Vale and the Barossa Valley. The downside is that with all this high quality, easy to access food and wine, many of us find ourselves a few kilos above our balanced weight. 

This is not just a South Australian problem, but a National problem with over 63% of the population now over-weight or obese (Australian Bureau of Statistics). If you are in this over-weight or obese category, you are part of the majority. If you have tried everything you can think of to lose weight to no avail, you may need some help.

Imagine your car won’t start. You know it has a new battery, a full tank of fuel and new spark plugs, but you can’t get it going. What do you do? Take it to a mechanic who diagnoses the problem and fixes it.

Many individuals are unable to budge body fat despite eating well and exercising regularly. A professional weight loss expert can help. I use a scientific test that provides an overview of your health, to help identify reasons for slow weight loss. This test allows me to target strategies for improvement and provides a means to track your progress.

As with any indulgence in life, in moderation, we can sample the goodness and enjoy the experience of great food and wine that our state has to offer. 

4 Foods that Help Reduce Sugar Cravings

Excluding addictions to alcohol and drugs, the next greatest addiction is sugar. Refined sugar is a very powerful stimulant, which is added to almost all the prepared food we eat. It has a drug-like effect on the body, so people can develop a dependency on it. This is why it is so hard for many people to reduce sugar cravings.

If you are a sweet-tooth, here are a few foods that can significantly reduce your cravings:

  1. Fermented vegetables (eg. sauerkraut,kimchee) help to balance the gut flora, as they naturally contain probiotics. Add a scoop to your salad greens to enhance the flavour.
  2. Coconut oil helps you to feel fuller for longer. This type of fat provides the body with energy, the brain with fuel and burns body fat at the same time. 
  3. Sweet potatoes are a great snack food or training food for recovery. Bake in the oven (skin on), top with coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon.
  4. Avocados also keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Add to smoothies for an energy boost or serve fresh as a snack with lemon & pepper.

5 Lifestyle Changes that Could Prevent 80% of Heart Attacks

Adopt these 5 “low-risk” behaviours to help reduce your chances of heart attack:

  1. A healthy diet – eat freshly prepared wholefoods; avoid refined, processed choices.
  2. Being physically active – choose to exercise each day for at least 30 mins. Include a range of activities from weight training, to interval training (HIIT), to yoga/pilates and walking. Find something you enjoy!
  3. Healthy waist circumference – less than 92cm for men and 80cm for women.
  4. Low to moderate alcohol consumption.
  5. No smoking.

Should I Be Taking Probiotics?

The answer lies in paying attention to your body. If you have any of the following 7 signs, I suggest you take a therapeutic probiotic (high strength) to improve the balance of your gut bacteria:

If …

  1. You have taken antibiotics in the last 6-12 months – you may have an imbalance of good to bad gut bacteria. 
  2. You can’t seem to lose weight, especially belly fat, no matter what – stubborn belly fat is a hallmark sign of Insulin Resistance.
  3. You have digestive issues – bloating, cramping, excess wind, or occasional constipation or diarrhoea, means there is a good chance you have an imbalance.
  4. Your skin is itchy or broken out – probiotics aid in the normal elimination of toxins via your gut. Since skin is an elimination organ, this may suggest you have a bacterial imbalance in the gut.
  5. You crave sugar, refined or processed foods – emerging evidence suggests that “bad” gut bacteria feed off sugar and unhealthy trans fats. By boosting more good gut bacteria,  the bad will be kept in check.
  6. You feel moody or blue – probiotics can alter brain function. Our greatest concentration of seratonin (our good mood hormone) is found in our intestines, not our brain.
  7. You are feeling tired during the day and are not sleeping soundly at night – Melatonin (our sleep hormone) is found in the gut in abundance, like seratonin. We need a balance of good to bad gut bacteria for ideal health.

Will I Get Big & Bulky Lifting Weights?

Many women are reluctant to start lifting weights, because they have visions of turning into female bodybuilders, with veins running through their biceps and chest. Keep in mind that these women are weight lifters to the extreme and their bodies are out of balance. This kind of build is not the typical result of weight lifting, because 99% of women do not have enough testosterone to gain muscle like men.

Having more muscle is a great advantage for many reasons:

  1. Muscle is more dense than fat, so it takes up less space – if you lose body fat and gain more muscle, you will reduce your overall size. You will gain a smaller waist and more toned muscles.
  2. Having more muscle than fat means that you become a better fat-burner, rather than a fat-storer – your muscle mass acts like a furnace, the more you have the better your metabolism  fires up to burn fat.
  3. Lifting weights aids in abdominal fat loss – high levels of abdominal fat (or VAT) increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver and many other chronic inflammatory diseases.
  4. Weight training helps prevent osteoporosis – bones become brittle and less dense with age and inactivity.  Lifting weights puts more tension on your muscles which puts more pressure on your bones. Regular training adds more constant pressure to your bones, resulting in building bone density. We can become stronger rather than weaker.
  5. Resistance training allows you to sculpt your body in a healthy manner – you will have the ability to reshape your shoulders, arms, back, legs & chest, to strengthen your body and overall posture. Prevent ageing by remaining toned, strong and more upright! 



Slow Metabolism? Fire it Up with These 4 Tips …

4 Tips to Fire Up your Metabolism:

  1. Do interval training – periodic fast-paced intervals raise your metabolic rate higher than a steady cardio workout can. 
  2. Drink green tea – this really does impact on your metabolic rate. Some green teas are quite bitter in taste, so find one you like and drink 3 cups a day!
  3.  Build more muscle – lean muscle mass acts like a furnace and helps burn body fat effectively. The more muscle you have, the better the fat burner you are.
  4. Pick up heavier weights – we are never to old to challenge our bodies with weight training. Progress to lifting heavy weights at a slow rate. This causes minor tears in the muscle, which repair and grow if provided with the right amount of protein and recovery time. Your metabolism gets a boost while the muscles repair.

What You May Not Know About Sleep!

Sleep affects every aspect of our life, but for many of us a sound and refreshing sleep completely evades us!

Did you know:

  1. about 30% of us suffer from insomnia at some point in our life
  2. around 25% of children diagnosed with ADHD have a sleep disorder. When poor sleep is addressed, their symptoms disappear.
  3. one night of sleep deprivation can put your body into a diabetic state.
  4. a decrease in sleep of only 1.5 hours per night can reduce performance by up to 32%.
  5. reaction time after staying awake for 17-19 hours is worse than a 0.05% blood alcohol level.

Improving the quality of our sleep is a priority for better health. 

Boost Your Health with Apple Cider Vinegar!

Apple Cider Vinegar has been used in the kitchen and medicinally for a very long time. 

Here are 3 healthful reasons to keep a bottle on hand:

  1. Sore throat – gargle with a mix of apple cider vinegar and warm water, 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1/2 cup of water, to relieve a sore throat. Gargle and swallow. Can repeat this 2-3 times daily.
  2. Sinus congestion – gargling with apple cider vinegar also helps to break up and reduce mucous in the throat and sinuses, helping to curtail an infection.
  3. Acid reflux and heartburn – acid reflux results from having too little acid in your stomach. Improve your stomach acidity by taking 1 Tbsp of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water daily. This can also help to improve intestinal spasms.

Other well documented uses include for weight loss, reducing blood sugar levels, skin irritations and even boosting energy. An excellent first aid product for everyone’s pantry!