Sugar & Spice & all things nice……

How do you know if sugar is something you have a problem with? It’s hidden in so many different foods, sometimes in plain sight that we don’t even notice when we are eating it.

Do you get an energy slump mid morning and/or mid afternoon?

Do you feel sleepy after meals?

Is caffeine what you need to get you going in the morning?

Do you wake feeling sick &/or shaky?

If you answer YES to just one of these questions then you may need some help. Sugar has crept into so many of our foods, sneakily giving us a high (and come down) as it’s more addictive than cocaine!

It’s a quick fix that actually depletes our body of vital nutrients but keeps us in a cycle of craving more and MORE. Sugar can come in the form of refined cane sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, malt extract, dextrose, corn syrup, agave syrup (just because it’s posh and exotic doesn’t mean it’s not sugar!), and many more chemically named substances. They are hidden in posh coffees, sauces, marinades, nut butters, yoghurts, milk alternatives, some processed meats and many more foods. Refined carbohydrates such as white flour also get changed into sugars in the body so is in the same bracket as sugar cane.

Stress can make us crave sugary foods as our need for vitamin C increases. Historically, before factory processed foods were invented, vitamin C rich foods were sweet (berries, fruit, etc) so we had a craving for blackberries, foraged for them, ate a handful of them as that was all that was ripe, topped up our vitamin C (and antioxidants, as well as other helpful nutrients) and went on our way. Now we reach for a chocolate bar, packet of sweets, biscuit and can eat a whole packet/bar in one sitting. The sugar and other processed ingredients actually cause nutritional stress, compounding the emotional stress we are already feeling. So we reach for more sweet food. Can you see the vicious cycle that can self perpetuate?

Breaking this can be hard, but made so much easier if someone is there for you, cheering you on, with your best interests at heart. If you had someone who was advising you as to how to eat more healthily, start your day on a strong footing, keep going on the right path then it would be so much easier to break the dependence on this addictive substance wouldn’t it?

Well that’s what I’m here for – to help YOU achieve your goal. Many of us have been super stressed recently, turning to foods for ‘help’ or an escape. If this is you, but you know you want to break free please get in touch. We can have a chat about the best way forward for YOU to get off the sugar rollercoaster and back on to a nourishing way of eating. Either call me on 0787 6757339, email contact@carolinewestoll.com or visit https://carolinewestoll.com/contact/I am running a Sugar RESET programme starting 24th July 2020 to help anyone who would like to rebalance their life and break the sugar habit. I’d love to help you too.

4 Skin Care Products, 2 Ingredients, Under £7!

I have a mission – to reach 100 people over the next 3 months and help them make a small step (s) towards living a healthier and more eco-friendly life. We all need to make positive shifts to our lives to help ourselves and the Earth. Please share this post (there is also a sign up link to the email list here) to spread this message far & wide. Today I’m focusing on healthy skin care.

Everything that is put on the skin is absorbed into EVERY CELL in the body. When did you last check the ingredients in your skin care products?  Could you recreate them at home?  Would you eat them?  The answer to all 3 is probably never, no & no. If we are focusing on healthy eating for a healthy body we also need to focus on healthy skin care too.  Non-toxic skin care products are a must.

It’s so easy to make your own products, and therefore know what you are putting on & in your body.  Witch Hazel water & grapeseed or sweet almond oil are the two key ingredients that it’s worth having at home. With these two (and some essential oils if you have them) you can make:

1. Eye make up remover
2. Body moisturising oil
3. Cleanser & Toner
4. Body Spray

1. Make Up Remover – Mix 50:50 witch hazel water with the oil of your choice in an amber, glass, pipette bottle.  Shake well.  Squirt a couple of drops on a soft muslin cloth and remove your eye make up.

2. Body Moisturiser – just pop either grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil in a glass bottle and add a few drops of essential oil (my favourites are bergamot or sweet orange). Shake.  Massage your skin with this blend when you are still damp after a shower.

3. Cleanser & Toner in One – Witch Hazel water is a fabulous toner & cleanser.  Some of its healing properties include helping reduce inflammation associated with rosacea, acne, eczema or psoriasis.  It’s also great at calming sun burn.  It can also help protect against skin damage.  

4. Body Spray – Add 1 tbsp witch hazel water in an 8oz spray bottle. Add 30 drops of essential oil of your choice. Top up with water.  Shake before spritzing your body.

Both oil & witch hazel water can be purchased from The Natural Dispensary and you are welcome to use my discount code CMW5.  Any problems let me know & I’ll send you a link.

I’d love to know if you make your own skin care products already or what you think of these ideas if you get to try them.

Please share this FREE mission with friends and loved ones. I’d love to keep the momentum growing, reaching the ripple effect of this group further and wider.  You can also sign up to get emails direct to your inbox following this link HERE. Thank you for being a part of this x

ZINC RICH FOODS

The immune system uses many nutrients that we need to replenish on a daily basis in order for it to stay strong and resilient. Now, more than ever, our immune systems need our support and we can do this with the food we put in our mouths. Each time we eat something we could potentially be strengthening our defences, it all depends on the food choices we make.

Zinc is one key nutrient that is needed to keep up strong and to help us battle anything that requires an immune system response. As one of the early symptoms of COVID-19 has been reported as being a loss of smell and taste, and zinc plays an important role in maintaining these two sense, it really brings home as to how the body diverts essential resources away from daily tasks to fight invaders. If you are healthy or you are recovering from the aftermath of the virus it’s important to make sure you have sufficient zinc in your diet.

I like to focus on natural sources of nutrients, however sometimes a supplement is needed if you are really depleted. If you are interested in supplementing or have some zinc at home, then it’s best to take it in the evening as it’s utilised better by the body at night. If you are on medication, or have pre-existing health issues do check with myself (a qualified Nutritional Therapist) or your doctor before starting on a new supplement regime.

Natural plant-based sources of zinc, that are not meat or dairy based (these are inflammatory foods and are best to be avoided at the moment, as I feel that the body responds/absorbs plant-based nutrients better during times of stress/overload) include:

  • Hemp seeds
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Oats
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Green peas (my favourite)
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Asparagus
  • Flax seeds
  • Black beans
  • Chia seeds
  • Avocados

It’s really beneficial to have at least one portion (around 80g) off this list per day. If you can get one per meal that’s even better. For example, having 40g of oats with 20g of chia seeds and 20g of flaxseed soaked in homemade hemp milk would be super charged, zinc rich start to the day. A simple, generous handful of spinach in a risotto or curry can give it a zinc boost. Get creative with what you have in the store cupboard or freezer.

As always, if you have any question please do get in touch.

contact@carolinewestoll.com 0044 7876757339

SLEEP – Natural Remedies & CBD Oil

Sleep is something we do for approximately 1/3 of our lives. It’s an important time that the body needs to recharge, repair and regenerate ready for our busy, waking hours.  As we all know, lack of sleep can have a massive impact on our mental and physical state, one bad night can have a negative knock on effect for days after.  In this day and age, it’s common for one bad night to roll into two bad nights, a week of bad sleep, months and even years of not so restful nights.  There are lots of factors like work pressures, shift work, a snoring partner, small children, health issues, menopause, needing to pee, etc that interrupt our sleep, and it’s very easy to get into a bad pattern, but not so easy to get back into a good sleep routine.

Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, exhaustion, adrenal fatigue, increased sensitivity to pain, inability to prioritise, reduced cognitive function and many more issues.  Sleep is more vital than food for sustaining life. We can apparently last 2 months without eating (not going to try that one) but only 11 days without sleep (definitely not trying that one either). 

There are many things we can do to promote a good night’s sleep.  One main thing is to stop screen time at least 30-60 minutes before bed.  The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, TVs and laptops stimulates the brain, suppressing the production of melatonin which is an important hormone in the regulation of our sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm (8).  The blue light keeps us awake, so it’s good to have a rule of no technology in the bedroom.  Also avoiding TV as many programmes after 9pm are full of drama and suspense which can trigger our flight or fight (adrenal) response, waking us up.  Create a peaceful 30-60 minutes before bed where you are slowly winding down from the day and calming the mind.

There is a key period of time when the body needs to be fully resting for maximum healing and recharge and that is between 10pm and 1am.  Try to get your bedtime as close to 10pm as possible to get the most benefit of this reset period. If when you get to bed there are niggly and annoying physical reasons why you can’t drop off then CBD oil can help with some of them.  A racing mind and anxiety (5, 10) can be calmed by a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue whilst focusing on slowing down your breathing. A few more drops under the tongue can help you return to the land of nod if you are prone to waking in the night with a racing mind.  It’s worth keeping a bottle by your bed.

Restless legs are also a common complaint that stops individuals getting to sleep.  This can be caused by a magnesium deficiency (7) triggering muscle contractions and twitches. Try taking a 250mg magnesium supplement* or having an Epsom Salts bath an hour before bed. This will boost your magnesium levels and help prevent the twitching which can stop you falling into the land of nod.

CBD oil has also been show to help improve some of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea (1), where there is an interruption to normal breathing patterns in your sleep.  It has been shown in studies to improve cardiovascular circulation (12) and oxygen supply to the brain, as well as supporting respiratory stability (9).

Those of you who struggle with chronic pain interrupting your sleep, or hindering you falling to sleep in the first place, may find that the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil improve your ability to sleep.  CBD oil has been shown to reduce pain levels due to a positive influence on the pain receptors in the body (2). It can help reduce inflammation and neuropathic related pain (4, 6). It has also been shown to reduce pain as a result of injury (3). The combination of the pain relieving mechanisms of cannibodols and THC (3) working in synergy.

All in all, CBD oil can strengthen and improve your circadian rhythm (11), enhancing REM sleep and generally helping support wellbeing. It also helps to regulate sleep/wake hormones, which, when out of their correct rhythm, can contribute to poor sleep habits.

There are many other lifestyle factors that can contribute to a poor nights’ sleep.  Caffeine can stop you from nodding off, especially if you consume tea or coffee in the afternoons/evenings. Try having chamomile tea or any of the bedtime teas that most of the supermarkets stock now.  Eating heavy and rich meals before bed can cause heartburn and discomfort.  Try to eat no later than 7pm and have a light meal – eat for what you are about to do (lie down and rest).  Breakfast should be a meal fit for a king, not supper.  Having 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a small glass of warm water with your main meals can aid digestion and help prevent heartburn.

When choosing a CBD oil, not all are equal and top quality is a must for optimal results.  When you have the combined ingredients of raw whole CBD and terpenes you get the entorage effect (10), where the amazing benefits that CBD oil on its own are increased and boosted by the addition of terpenes. Terpenes have been shown in studies to have a positive influence on pain management (3, 10), inflammation, and many other benefits. That’s why I chose Spirit of Hemp as it is the RAW, whole plant extract with the beneficial Terpenes.

After years of bad sleep due to having babies, and then small children not sleeping through the night. I’d tried all the nutritional and lifestyle changes which helped a bit but didn’t completely remedy the problem.  When I introduced a few drops of Spirit of Hemp CBD oil before bed, a few more if I woke in the night, and another dose in the morning I cracked the bad sleep pattern in around 2 months.  Now I only need it to help me sleep on the odd occasion. However, I still use it regularly for its numerous other amazing benefits.

I have also had great success with my clients who use Spirit of Hemp for sleep, combined with nutritional supplementation and lifestyle adjustments, where necessary.  They experience a vastly improved quality of life as many other areas that were out of balance due to poor sleep are remedied too as homeostasis in the body returns.

All in all there are multiple factors that can contribute to a bad nights’ sleep. When this goes on for a prolong period of time some help via a good quality CBD oil, nutritional supplementation and readjustment of certain lifestyle factors can lead to a restful slumber. 

Just think what is possible after a fabulous nights’ sleep…….HAPPY DREAMS zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

If you would like help resetting your sleep pattern please get in touch – contact@carolinewestoll.com or 0044 (0)787 6757339

*N.B. as with any supplements please seek advice from a professional health practitioner or your doctor if you are already taking medication to prevent any adverse interactions.

If you’d like to use my affiliate discount code to buy the CBD oil and other products listed here please follow these links:
Spirit of Hemp 15% discount – SPIRITOFHEMP006 www.spiritofhemp.com
The Natural Dispensary 5% discount – CMW5 www.naturaldispensary.co.uk

REFERENCES

1 Babson KA, Sottile J, Morabito D. (2017) Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep. Apr;19(4):23.

2 Hoggart B, Ratcliffe S, Ehler E, Simpson KH, Hovorka J, Lejčko J, Taylor L, Lauder H, Serpell M. (2015) A multicentre, open-label, follow-on study to assess the long-term maintenance of effect, tolerance and safety of THC/CBD oromucosal spray in the management of neuropathic pain. J Neurol. Jan;262(1):27-40.

3 Fine P.G., and M.J. (2013) The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain Maimonides Med J. 2013 Oct; 4(4)

4 Mücke M, Phillips T, Radbruch L, Petzke F, Häuser W. (2018) Cannabis-based medicines for chronic neuropathic pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Mar 7;3

5 Blessing E.M., Steenkamp M.M., Manzanares J., and Marmar C.R. (2015) Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders Neurotherapeutics. Oct; 12(4): 825–836.

6 Grotenhermen, F. and Kirsten Müller-Vahl, K. (2012) The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis and Cannabinoids Dtsch Arztebl Int. Jul; 109(29-30): 495–501.

7 Schwalfenberg G.K. and Genuis S.L. (2017) The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare Scientifica (Cairo)

8 Christensen M.A., Bettencourt L., Kaye L., Moturu S.T., Nguyen K.T. Olgin L.E., Pletcher M.J., and Marcus G.M. (2016) Direct Measurements of Smartphone Screen-Time: Relationships with Demographics and Sleep PLoS One. 11(11)


9 Carley DW, Pavlovic S, Janelidze M, Radulovacki M. (2002) Functional role for cannabinoids in respiratory stability during sleep. Sleep.25(4):391–398.

10 Russo E. B. (2011) Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug; 163(7): 1344–1364.

11 Bih C.I., Chen T., Nunn A.V.W., Bazelot M., Dallas M. and Whalley B.J. (2015) Molecular Targets of Cannabidiol in Neurological Disorders Neurotherapeutics. Oct; 12(4): 699–730.
12 Maroon J. and Bost J. (2108) Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids Surg Neurol Int.; 9: 91.

My wonder nutrient – Magnesium

Yes, you are seeing right, that is a picture of chocolate up there at the top of this article. A Nutritional Therapist recommending chocolate – have you gone crazy and ended up in heaven? No, I really am saying that chocolate, dark chocolate, is a great source of one of my absolute favourite nutrients, MAGNESIUM. I would go as far to say that magnesium is one of my regular saviour supplements. It has transformed my sleep, restless legs, exercise related aches & pains, asthma, general tension, stress and low mood. Yes, really, it has, and I’ve tried LOTS of supplements and therapies since qualifying as a practitioner over a decade ago. I’ve used it with numerous clients too and they have reported similar beneficial effects. Many continue to take magnesium as a daily ‘go to’ support along side a healthy diet & exercise.

Magnesium is an essential nutrient that is used in over 600 processes in the body and by every single cell (there are trillions that make up our beautiful beings) too. That’s a big demand for magnesium. Our soils, farming practicies and, therefore, food are becoming more and more depleted of this wonder nutrient, and our lifestyle choices (sugar, caffeine, alcohol & processed food) add to the reduction of availability of magnesium in our bodies. It’s no wonder that this is one supplement that can really show great benefits when taken regularly (n.b. always check with a practitioner (me) or your doctor about taking any supplements if you are on medication or have a health condition).Stress can use up our magnesium store quickly too, and with a global epidemic of fear and anxiety at the moment, I think that this nutrient is being used up much quicker than normal on a massive scale.Along side dark chocolate, some of your store cupboard treasures that are high in magnesium include:

  • Kale, spinach, greens
  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Avocadoes
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Mung beans
  • Peas
  • Black beans
  • Flax seed
  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa
  • Bananas

You may notice, if you saw my post about zinc rich foods that there are some common foods that provide both zinc and magnesium. By having a portion of one of these every day you are doubling your nutrient boosting munching (well you are actually super charging your nutrition as they also contain a plethora of other nutrients and antioxidants). If you’d like to know more or would like to book an online consultation please do get in touch –

Caroline Westoll
contact@carolinewestoll.com
078767 57339