Seasonal Sniffles – 7 tips to support your body

GET WELL SOON

Well school started 2 weeks ago for our family. As I suspected the sniffles went round like wildfire. We are at the end of a week of runny noses, coughs, temperatures, headaches and such like (no not the C-word, just a funky cold). It happens every year, but I have a feeling that this year was a bit of a stronger dose as the children hadn’t had their immune systems tested for 6 months due to isolation. The immune response is a bit like a muscle, it needs to be flexed and check that it works. On a daily basis we are warding off minor bacteria, bugs, viruses, etc via our skin, lungs & digestive system without even knowing. However, staying away from others and not adventuring as much as normal as directed by the UK government has meant that the kids’ immune systems had a bit of a bigger stretch than normal this September.

It’s a good thing, as it helps clear toxin build up & makes them stronger for the coming winter. When they had the normal childhood illnesses they changed so much during the deeper infections. It was as if they grew up after emerging from chicken pox and the other common infections.

So in light of the past week of caring & nuturing our two lovelies, here’s a reminder of my top tips for caring for your body when going through seasonal sniffles:

  1. REST – don’t divert vital energy away from your immune response by staying busy. STOP and rest as much as you can.
  2. DRINK – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate with water, herbal teas, fruit teas to flush out toxins and waste products from the invader and your immune response.
  3. EAT LITTLE & OFTEN – grazing is best when you are ill. Eat foods that are easily digested and don’t overload the system. Soups, stews, fruit (our favs are raspberries & grapes) and (green) veg all help support your body detox.
  4. SLEEP – cat napping, grabbing 40 winks, etc all help support your immune system, especially as our night time sleep can be sporadic when we have a cold.
  5. TIME – this is the best healer. Don’t forget to convalesce when you are over the worst. Get your energy back to 100% before going full pelt again.
  6. FRESH AIR – open a window if you can (and stay warm). Some essential oils we love to help clear congestion – peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree. A few drops in a bowl of hot water by the bed can help clear a stuffy nose.
  7. Lastly, avoid eating foods that are going to contribute to mucous and congestion – foods containing REFINED SUGAR, DAIRY & REFINED WHEAT are all mucous forming. There’s enough gunk generated by the viral invaders and your immune system. Don’t give your body more work to do.

Be kind to yourself and support this amazing defence system. Take care x

RESET Programme invitation & an exciting new feature

I hope you are well and life is treating you gently at the moment.  We had a little break away last week, going on two camping trips.  After listen to what kind of journeys various friends have been on over the past few months it’s really clear that different coping mechanisms have been used to help traverse this challenging time.  Things like cheeky glasses of wine most nights, sweet treats and various forms of comfort eating are common coping mechanisms that have slotted into daily life. These can have knock on effect on sleep, energy levels, mood, depression, immune system and our general health. 

They seem to slip in far to easily but it can be harder to cut them out especially as the main contributing factor to leaning on them as a crutch is still affecting daily life.  HOWEVER, that’s where I’d love to help you.  Over the next couple of months there are two opportunities where we can work TOGETHER to get you back on track, as I know YOU know it’s not really helping you in the long run.  Lets make some simple POSITIVE changes to your daily life to help you feel better & more in control of how you look after yourself.

The RESET 1-2-3 programme where we work together to reset:
1 – dependency on sugar (alcohol is included in this)
2 – a deep restful sleep
3 – flagging energy levels

Now, we are all human so I am not under the illusion that the foods/drinks under category 1 should be cut out completely but we can work on swapping to healthier options, reducing the mindless munching/drinking and discovering the real reason for reaching for these crutches. 

As a special new feature in my programmes you will receive a week menu plan tailored to your dietary needs FREE .  Whether you are a meat eater, hate eggs, love vegan food, etc  you will get this daily meal plan included in the cost of the programme for FREE in the RESET 1-2-3 programme running in August & September.  This should help give you structure and support to break those habits that are not serving you.

The 3 week guided programme costs £89 (including the FREE bonus meal plan) and I’d love you to join me.  You will get:

  • a 1:1 call with me prior to starting, 
  • Week meal planner bonus (FREE)
  • Daily support and encouragement
  • Simple yet effective tips as to how to break those unhealthy habits
  • Guidance and daily access to me with any questions
  • Cost effective ways to rebalance your daily routine and body

If you know of someone to buddy up with it’s always helpful to have a loved one to keep you accountable and work with.  Please share this offer with anyone you know who might benefit from some TLC.  The share button is at the bottom of the message.

There are two dates that the 3 week course is starting on, so choose from either 31st August OR 28th September, drop me a line and we can book you on.  Any questions please let me know.

Has your sleep changed since lockdown?

In this mini-series to help support you through the exhaustion that has set in for some people due to the global pandemic, we are focusing on SLEEP 😴. Has your sleeping pattern/ability changed during lockdown?

Sleep is an important time that the body needs to recharge, repair and regenerate ready for our busy, waking hours. Lack of sleep can have a massive impact on our mental and physical state. It 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).

When we are under stress for a long time the fight or flight hormones that keep us on alert during the day and that should diminish in the evening don’t drop as much as we need them to in order to have a deep restful sleep, so we are constantly like a meerkat at the top of a mound, keeping watch for danger.

If you don’t sleep well do you know what the reason is? Is it because of busy mind, a snoring partner, restless legs, small children, health issues, menopause, the room is too light, needing to pee, etc that interrupts your sleep. Have a think and try to find the cause of your restlessness. If your sleep pattern has changed since lockdown then it might be because of stress, changes in food choices, or too much alcohol maybe. It’s always helpful to know the WHY as it’s then easier to work out the cure.

In the next blog post I will cover a few key things you can do to help combat a bad nights sleep.

Munching & Chewing

Lets take a step back. The other day I posted about heartburn and on reflection realised I missed a massive and very important part of digestion. Ironically, this is something many of us miss out too – CHEWING properly, the bit between thinking about food and it entering the stomach.

How often do you chew your food so it is like a liquid before you swallow it? Are you fully present when you are eating? Are you tasting every morsel and bite, savouring the deliciousness of it? If the answer is no to any one of these you could be missing out on a key part of digestion.

Chewing helps two fold –

1) manually breaking down food to smaller bits using your jaw muscles & teeth

2) By starting the breakdown of carbohydrates (one of the main contributors of energy to the cells) into smaller molecules by mixing saliva, containing important digesting enzymes, with your food.

If you miss out these key actions the stomach has to work harder and it doesn’t have teeth!

If you eat when you are distracted (watching TV, scrolling through your phone, etc) you will most likely not be chewing enough. By being fully present with your delicious meal you will chew well, eat slower (swallowing less air = less internal gas) and potentially feel the need to eat smaller portions.

Take note when you next have a meal as to whether you are a speed eater or a slow grazer. Slow and stead is much better when it comes to your digestion.

Love your GUT

If there was a part of your body that was responsible for 80% of your immune response, that generated it’s own vitamins (some B’s & K), that helped detox, aided hormonal balancing, could make you happy, would you nurture & love it more knowing that it did these things without you having to think about it?

Well, great news, there is! THE GUT 

It is the only organ that can work independently of the brain. It doesn’t need the brain’s input to work and it contains it’s own set of neurons & nervous system. 90% of the flow of information between the gut and the brain along the vagus nerve is upwards, from the gut up to the brain. Think about that for a moment. Maybe the gut is the real brain of the body?!?

95% of the feel good hormone serotonin is manufactured in the gut.

It’s such a key part of the body that we often fill with junk and still expect to work.

There are <2kg of bacteria in our gut making up the microbiome, containing more than 10 times the number of cells in our actual body. These different strains of biota perform all the tasks above and so much more. Their population size, health and function are all determined by the food & drink we consume, which feeds us & them.

2 SIMPLE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR GUT POWER
💛Eat food that encourages good bacteria to thrive
💛Take a probiotic

If we are eating rubbish food then the more undesirable bacteria will enjoy this feast and start to dominate, negatively affecting your health. Your balance of different strains of gut flora is as unique as your finger print.

We can hugely influence this vital area of the body with how we nourish our self. Its more important than EVER to keep this area strong, vibrant and working properly. Not just because it’s a vital cog in our immune response but because it also helps keep our mood buoyant in amongst the roller coaster of life we are on at the moment. Luckily the gut responds very quickly to positive changes, so it’s never too late to alter your diet.

💛There are prebiotic foods that the good bacteria LOVE – onions, garlic, chicory, artichoke, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apples, flaxseed, & seaweed. By having one or more of these foods a day you will be encouraging your own good bacteria to increase in numbers.

💛Probiotics are also a fabulous way to encourage your good bacteria to increase in population size. Probiotics should contain a few different strains of Bifidobacterium & Lactobacillus (two key strains of gut biota) with at least 4 Billion of these good guys in each capsules. They must be taken for 28 days in a row as they don’t linger in the gut, they act as cheerleaders to our own good bacteria encouraging our in-house residents to swell in population size.

That’s why looking after your gut and strengthening this important part of our being is integral to all my work, especially the 4 week Immune Boost Programme running again in August. If you’d like to explore if this is something that may help you please get in touch either by commenting below, sending an email to contact@carolinewestoll or calling 0787 6757339.

💜💙💚💛🧡❤️ Love your tummy ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

Heartburn – do you suffer from this?

This is something I see very frequently in practice. The majority of cases are not actually too much acid but too LITTLE acid (get in touch if you would like me to chat you through this common issue).

Insufficient amount of stomach acid can be due to illness, infection, wrong food choices, over consumption of fatty foods, lack of zinc, etc and once the stomach acid levels drop you can get caught in a vicious cycle.

Stomach acid is a key area of digestion. It breaks down protein, helps protect the body from pathogenic invaders and helps create the right environment lower down in the intestines for the good bacteria to thrive. It’s so important it’s in balance and you have sufficient amounts.

Here are my top tips to overcome heartburn & keep the stomach in balance. Please share these with anyone you think may benefit.

🔥 Sip a small glass of warm water, 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) and 1 tsp of honey with your main meals. This mimics stomach acid helping you digest your food properly & start being able to produce your own sufficient levels of this vital digestive juice. (This is also a good remedy if you suddenly get struck with heartburn.)

🔥 Eat small meals so you don’t over burden the stomach.

🔥 Focus on boosting your zinc levels as this nutrient is key to naturally boosting your own stomach acid levels – Check out my post about zinc rich foods here.

🔥 Keep a food diary to see if there are any trigger foods or combinations of foods. Rich, fatty foods can sometimes trigger acid reflux.

🔥 If reflux is something that you struggle with at night, eat a small light supper. Avoid alcohol and sugary puddings as these can trigger inflammation & reflux.

I’ve helped many people find a way to manage their heartburn, rebalance their digestive juices and over come reflux symptoms. If this is something you struggle with please get in touch as I’d love to help you.

When was the last time you got excited about food?

When was the last time you got excited about eating? Did you know that the first stage of digestion is thinking about food?

Here are 3 tips to help get your saliva flowing again and take the pressure off the relentless meal-making at home.

Over the past few months, being at home more, has meant that meal times can be a HUGE chore. Thinking what to cook (depending on the ingredients in the kitchen), preparing the food, serving it up, having fussy members of the family not liking certain things (aaarrrrgggghhhhh), and clearing up afterwards. It can feel like a massive chore that is on constant loop.

Even though restaurants & takeaways are reopening & it’s good to support local businesses but not every night, even though you might be tempted. Here are three tips to help you over coming this tedium and get excited about eating again.

1) How about batch cooking and popping a whole meal in the freezer? No significant extra prep time or washing up on the night that you do double the portions AND a bonus ‘free’ meal on a night when you can’t be bothered to cook from scratch

2) Ask a family member to cook instead. Even young-ish kids are capable (maybe with some supervision). It maybe a simple meal but a very important life skill for them to learn. They can even do the washing up and then have more appreciation for all that you do many times EVERY DAY!

3) Do a meal swap with a nearby family member or friend who is in your bubble. This is a slight take on no 2 BUT is a bit like having a dinner party without the need to sit at the table with someone if you are not ready for that kind of thing. Cook your favourite meal and share it with someone you love.

Get excited about food again as it’s an important first step of the digestive process.

If you find this or any of my posts valuable please share them far & wide so others get the help they might need 

Are you exhausted but you can’t switch off?

It’s been, what feels like, a gazillion weeks since lockdown began and many people are finding that exhaustion has hit along with poor sleep and not being able to switch off. Is this you?

These are all common effects of being stressed for a long period. No one can have avoided the massive lifestyle changes that have happened this year. Even if you’ve been going to work throughout, your work load, what you have to juggle and just getting weekly shopping has been challenging.

This long term dramatic shift can lead to adrenal fatigue. When we are faced with an emergency or big challenge the body releases many hormones to help us deal with the situation – our fight of flight response. When the challenge lasts for a prolonged period of time we can become exhausted, our vital reserves that feed this emergency response get depleted and are just generally fatigued. If you have been struck down with the Covid-19 virus then the nutritional resources that supported your immune response will have been put under strain too.

There has also been some strong astrological activity going on, uncomfortable situations arising, issues that have been simmering in the background quite rightly boiling over, disbelief in governing bodies and so much more. It’s been such an emotionally & physically busy time.

So many people are struggling with exhaustion at the moment. I would like to focus on this and areas that can be adversely affected by prolonged stress over the coming weeks.

Like you, I’ve panicked, then decided not to live in fear, had life change dramatically, had financial challenges, been trying to support family emotionally & nutritionally, so have not been immune to all the shenanigans or the adrenal strains.

However, immense gratitude for the big & little things in life, my family, daily walks in nature, the garden have all kept my internal light & faith in humans burning brightly. My wish is that I can help you all feel that too, no matter what your journey over the past few months has been. We all have an amazing uniqueness & the right to shine brightly.

Over the coming weeks, leading up to my next Immune Boosting Programme, starting on 21st August to super charge your immune system before autumn, I’ll work on showing you easy ways to support your gut (not just for nutrition but for emotional balance too), adrenal system & sleep.
If you know of anyone who might benefits from some support please invite them to like this page , join my facebook community or direct mailing list (links below) so they get some free advice.

There are also two child-focused immune webinars coming up in August. If you are interested in joining please let me know private message to contact@carolinewestoll.com.

If you would like 1:1 I’m here for you, just drop me a line either by email (contact@carolinewestoll.com) or phone 0044 787 6757339. I’d love to hear from you, don’t suffer in silence.

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5 Top Tips to help overcome Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms

Do you struggle with digestive issues? Have you been diagnosed as having IBS? Even with a diagnosis are you struggling with your symptoms? IBS can affect every part of your life, lead to anxiety, depression, affect your immune system (80% of our immune response is in the gut) and mean you can’t live your life to the full. Despite there not being a conventional remedy for this condition, it is possible to restore harmony. I know because I’ve done it.

My gut lead me to train as a Nutrition & Wellbeing Practioner. Not gut instinct but an unhappy digestive system, as I struggled with my digestive health for many years until seeking the help of a nutritional therapist and I finally found digestive balance & harmony. I know how debilitating IBS can be on both being able to live a ‘normal’ life and have the energy to adventure (something else I love doing). After 6 weeks of starting my treatment programme way back in 2001 I realised how amazing I could feel and wanted to help as many others discover how their diet & lifestyle can support them in living life to the full too. Rebalancing IBS can be tricky but with help, guidance and full support it IS possible.

I’m offering a FREE discovery call if you’d like to explore how we could work together to help you gain harmony & balance – (0044) 7876757339 or email contact@carolinewestoll.com

I did a video recently for Spirit of Hemp’s Wellbeing Moments series & talked through 5 ways to help rebalance an unhappy digestive system. Check out these simple ways to help rebalance your digestive system. If you would like to try a very high quality CBD oil to help reduce anxiety and/or pain then here’s a little gift for you, my affiliate discount code – 15% discount code SPIRITOFHEMP006 http://www.spiritofhemp.com

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.