Archive for the ‘Food Allergies’ Category

Fish – friend or foe!?

Friday, August 30th, 2019

I found this great article by Dr Jill Carnahan regarding our health – and fish! Enjoy!

In the last few weeks, various news sources published story after story of people who contracted a flesh-eating bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus. This bacteria isn’t just a problem for swimmers — it can also infect people who eat raw and undercooked shellfish, especially oysters. And although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are only about 205 cases of V. vulnificus infections in the United States each year, some scientists are already saying that the number could rise due to warming waters from climate change.1

If you’re a seafood lover, these headlines along with the already well-known risks of parasites, heavy metals, and chemicals may have you thinking twice before going to a sushi restaurant for date night. So should you stop eating seafood? The simple answer is no, but read on to find out why the benefits of seafood greatly outweigh the risks, and the steps you can take to continue enjoying seafood this summer. 

Mercury in Seafood

Let’s talk about mercury. 

Yes, it’s true that mercury — in its organic form, methylmercury (MeHg) — accumulates in fish and other seafood. And, as we all know, methylmercury can be highly dangerous. 

At high levels of MeHg exposure, you may experience symptoms of neurotoxicity. A few examples of acute methylmercury poisoning include:

  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
  • Difficulty walking or lack of coordination
  • Impairment of peripheral vision, tunnel vision
  • Slurred speech and hearing
  • Vision changes
  • Muscle weakness

While many people are familiar with symptoms of acute exposure to methylmercury, the symptoms of chronic, lower level methylmercury exposure are less well known. The following are symptoms of chronic methylmercury exposure:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Hypertension
  • Heart rate disturbance
  • Stomach upset
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Hair thinning
  • Impaired coordination

Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and young children are at the greatest risk of experiencing the neurotoxic effects of methylmercury. However, this does not mean that anyone, including those in the “at risk” groups, should eliminate seafood from their diet. In fact, avoiding seafood during pregnancy could backfire due to the deprivation of important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. 

Therefore, the question is not whether we should eat or not eat seafood. Rather, it is about which type and species of seafood we should eat and the quantities we should consume. 

For the “at risk” population, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend a limit of 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from the following list which are lower in methylmercury (less than 0.1 ppm). The asterisk (*) indicates seafood that are higher in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA:

  • Salmon (*)
  • Herring (*)
  • Sardines (*)
  • Anchovies (*)
  • Trout (*)
  • Canned light tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Pollock
  • Catfish
  • Atlantic mackerel (*)
  • Tilapia
  • Mussels (*)

The highest methylmercury levels are found in large, long-lived fish. Therefore, pregnant or breastfeeding women and young children should not consume the following:

  • King mackerel
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • Bluefin tuna

You can find a list of various fish, their omega-3 content, their average mercury levels, and other contaminants in the article Fish Intake, Contaminants, and Human Health: Evaluating the Risks and the Benefits.2 The FDA also keeps a database of the average mercury concentration in various fish and shellfish species here.3

4 Health Benefits of Seafood

Certainly, the most obvious way to avoid the risks from eating seafood is to simply avoid it completely. But is that the wisest choice? 

The fact is, seafood is packed with many important nutrients that many people are lacking in their diet, such as:

  • High-quality protein
  • Minerals
  • Essential trace elements
  • Fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin D)
  • Essential fatty acids (particularly of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA))

Let’s look at how some of these nutrients may benefit your health. 

1. Seafood and Cardiovascular Disease

Although many of the above-mentioned nutrients can be obtained from other foods, seafood is the main source of LC-PUFAs. You may be more familiar with the two major classes of LC-PUFAs — omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 

Both types of essential fatty acids (EFAs) are thought to play important roles in the body. However, while omega-6s can be readily obtained from plant sources, the dietary supply of omega-3 is more limited, except when it comes to seafood. 

One of the most well-known benefits of omega-3s is their association with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, two types of omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been shown to be incorporated into blood vessel tissue, where they influence cell membrane fluidity. Numerous studies have suggested that such anti-arrhythmic effects could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease2 and sudden cardiac death. 

2. Seafood and Infant Health and Neurodevelopment

Let’s talk about mercury. Yes, it’s true that mercury — in its organic form, methylmercury (MeHg) — accumulates in fish and other seafood. And acute mercury poisoning can cause neurological problems, particularly in fetuses and children. 

However, this does not mean that anyone, including pregnant women, should eliminate seafood from their diet. In fact, avoiding seafood during pregnancy could backfire. 

Numerous studies have suggested that maternal seafood and omega-3 intakes can have positive effects on various infant health and development outcomes, such as:

  • Birth weight
  • Length of gestation
  • Visual development
  • Cognitive development

One study indicated that maternal consumption of at least 8 ounces per week of seafood during pregnancy and breastfeeding was associated with improved visual motor skills in their children.3

Other controlled trials have demonstrated independent beneficial relationships of seafood consumption during pregnancy with language comprehension, higher IQ, visual recognition memory, etc. Such effects are likely due to the incorporation of DHA into the rapidly developing brain of infants during the last trimester of pregnancy as well as during the baby’s first two years. 

Additionally, most species of seafood contains several other brain-selective nutrients that are essential for human brain development. At a minimum, they include the following:

  • Iodine 
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Zinc

Still, the methylmercury content does mean that young children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should practice discrimination in their choice of seafood. Because methylmercury concentrations increase as you go up the food chain, certain fish species should be avoided. A list of fish that should be avoided is included in the “Special Considerations” section below. 

3. Seafood and Cancer Prevention

The omega-3 content of seafood has some scientists thinking that they may help prevent certain types of cancer. Omega-3s are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and laboratory studies have shown that they can also increase the sensitivity of tumor cells to conventional therapies and induce apoptotic cell death.4 These LC-PUFAs also appear to have selective cytotoxicity against cancer cells, which means that they can target cancer cells without damaging or killing healthy cells.5678

However, it may be a bit too early to get excited about the prospects of omega-3s in cancer prevention. While some observational studies have shown that higher intakes and/or blood levels of omega-3s are associated with lower risk of certain cancers like breast9 and colorectal cancers,10 others have found no such relationships. Some have even indicated that omega-3s may increase the risk of certain cancers. 

Overall, the data from existing studies show an inconsistent relationship between omega-3s and cancer risk. We will need to wait for results from additional clinical trials to help clarify this relationship.  

4. Seafood and Vitamin D

Vitamin D, better known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is actually a steroid hormone that is produced by the kidneys and is required to control blood calcium levels. It is important for a number of reasons, a few of which include: 

  • Mineralization of bone, which keeps bones strong and healthy
  • Helps regulate adrenaline, norepinephrine, and dopamine production in the brain
  • Mood regulation
  • Regulation of insulin levels, diabetes management
  • Support for the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems

Unfortunately, an estimated 41.6% of the U.S. population has vitamin D deficiency,11 which has been linked to several chronic conditions like hypertension and type 1 diabetes. 

But can’t you just spend some time in the sun to get your vitamin D?

That’s somewhat true. Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D3, a variants of vitamin D. And many people may meet some of their vitamin D requirements this way. However, increased melanin absorbs and scatters ultraviolet rays, which results in reduced conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to previtamin D3.12 For this reason, vitamin D deficiency is more common in darker-skinned individuals. 

Thankfully, sunlight isn’t the only source of vitamin D. Fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, and sardines are great dietary sources of vitamin D. Experts recommend 600 IU of vitamin D daily for most adults, an amount easily fulfilled by 3 ounces of salmon or swordfish.13

8 Tips to Enjoy Seafood Safely

The conclusion is obvious. Seafood should be a part of your diet. But what can you do to make sure you and your family don’t get sick? Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take. 

1. Buying Seafood Right

Fresh Fish and Shrimp

When buying fresh fish and shrimp, the FDA recommends that you should only buy them from reputable sources (i.e., supermarkets, seafood market, etc.). Be sure to look at the origin label — the more information, the better. 

I recommend buying wild-caught seafood whenever possible, but if that’s not an option for you, try to look for the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)14 logo. BAP is a third-party aquaculture certification program that encompasses the entire seafood production chain, starting from the feed mill to your plate. By having the BAP logo, you can be ensured that the seafood was produced in a way that is:

  • Considerate of the health of the animal and the consumer
  • Socially responsible toward the people and communities farming and processing the seafood
  • Respective and protective of the surrounding environment

Some packaging may have temperature indicators to show that they have been properly stored at a temperature below 40°F. If there is no such indicator, look for fish and shrimp that are refrigerated or displayed on a thick bed of ice (preferably encased or covered). Color alone is not a good indicator of freshness. 

The following tips can help you make the best choice:

  • Flesh should be shiny and firm, and gills should be red. 
  • Fresh fillets should have firm flesh and red blood lines. They should also have no discoloration or drying around the edges. 
  • The odor should be fresh and mild. Overly fishy smell indicates the fish is not fresh. 
  • Fish eyes should be clear and shiny.
  • Shrimp, scallops, and lobster should have clear flesh and little to no odor.
  • Do not purchase cooked seafood or smoked fish if it is displayed in the same case as raw fish. They are at risk of cross-contamination. 
  • Keep seafood separated from other foods in your cart and bags. It is best to pick up seafood last and store it in your refrigerator within 2 hours of purchase (1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90°F). 


The FDA issued these guidelines for safely selecting shellfish:

  • Look for a label on containers of live shellfish or shucked shellfish. These tags contain information about the product, including the processor’s certification number. This means that the harvest and processing of these shellfish were done in accordance with national shellfish safety controls.
  • Discard any cracked or broken clams, oysters, and mussels.
  • Live shellfish will close if the shell is tapped. If they don’t, do not select them.
  • Live crabs and lobsters should have some leg movement. Since they spoil rapidly after death, do not select them if you don’t see leg movement. 

Frozen Seafood

  • Ice crystals indicate that the product has been stored for a long time, or thawed and refrozen. Avoid any product with them.
  • Check that packages are tightly sealed and that they are free of dents and tears. 
  • The flesh of frozen fish should be hard and not bendable. 
  • Although seafood frozen at or below 0°F should be safe indefinitely, check the expiration date to ensure the highest quality. 

2. Storing Seafood Properly


Put fresh seafood on ice or in the refrigerator or freezer within 1 to 2 hours after purchase. The refrigerator temperature should be 40°F or below to prevent spoilage. Also, keep raw seafood away from other foods to prevent possible contamination from drips. If the seafood will not be consumed within 2 days of purchase, it is best to wrap it in plastic, foil, or moisture-proof paper or container, and store it in the freezer.

Live shellfish should be stored in the refrigerator. Place them in well-ventilated containers covered with a damp cloth or paper towel. 


Frozen seafood should be stored immediately in 0°F or below until ready for use. Do not remove them from their original moisture-proof packages. 

3. Prepping Seafood Safely


To thaw frozen seafood, place it on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. If in a hurry, place the product in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water before cooking it right afterward. It may also be microwaved on the “defrost” setting.


Seafood should be cooked at an internal temperature of 145°F, which will significantly reduce the chance of foodborne illness. For fish, cook until the flesh is opaque and separates easily from the bone with a fork. Crabs, lobsters, and shrimp should also be cooked until the flesh is firm and opaque. Shells of clams, mussels, and oysters should open as they cook. Discard the ones that don’t open. 

Spoiled seafood can have a sour, ranci, or fishy smell that intensify after cooking. If you notice any of these unusual odors, do not eat it. Any seafood that produces an ammonia odor should also be discarded. 

4. Serving Seafood 

Now that the prep work is done, it’s time to enjoy your seafood! To ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone, seafood should never be left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours (or for more than 1 hour when the temperature outside is above 90°F. Keep hot seafood hot and cold seafood cold. For example, if you’re serving cold seafood (ex: shrimp salad), keep it in the refrigerator or in a cooler if you’re at a picnic. 

The FDA also recommends that consumers keep hot seafood under a heat source if it will be out for longer than 2 hours or discard it after 2 hours. 

5.  Cleaning Up 

Ready to clean up?  Be sure to wash hands, utensils, cutting boards, and plates thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water after handling any raw seafood. Kitchen sanitizers may be used on cutting boards and countertops for additional protection. 

6. Special Considerations When Eating Seafood

As we’ve discussed in the benefits section, seafood consumption is more beneficial than not for pregnant or breastfeeding women and for children. For these individuals as well as older adults and persons with weakened immune systems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the following guidelines. 

  • Eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from the following list which are higher in EPA and DHA and lower in methylmercury:
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Canned light tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Pollock
  • Catfish

You can find a list of various fish, their omega-3 content, their average mercury levels, and other contaminants in the article Fish Intake, Contaminants, and Human Health: Evaluating the Risks and the Benefits.15

  • The highest methylmercury levels are found in large, long-lived fish. Therefore, Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not consume the following:
  • King mackerel
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • Fish caught in local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas may have mercury or other contaminants. Check local fish advisories. If there is no advice available, you may eat up to 6 ounces (or 1 serving) per week of fish from local waters. You should avoid consuming any other fish that week. 
  • Raw or undercooked fish and shellfish (including sashimi) should be avoided. 
  • Refrigerated types of smoked seafood should also be avoided. These are usually labeled as “nova-style,’ “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked,” or “jerky.” The FDA guidelines state that canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood is acceptable. 

7. When in Doubt, Throw it Out

If you are unsure of how long your seafood had been stored prior to cooking, it is always better to throw it away than to risk potentially serious foodborne illness. 

8. Reconsider Raw Seafood

You may have heard of the old rule of thumb: Don’t eat shellfish in months that don’t have the letter R. In other words, you should avoid shellfish in the very months when they’re the most popular — May, June, July, and August.

Unfortunately, abiding by this rule will not guarantee that you won’t get sick. Neither will alcohol, lemon or lime juice, or hot sauce, contrary to popular belief. The only way to kill Vibrio vulnificus and other bacteria in seafood is to cook them thoroughly.  

Eating Seafood is Safer Than Not Eating Seafood

With all the terrible news out there regarding contaminated seafood, it’s understandable that many people are becoming more wary of the potential harm. From flesh-eating bacteria to toxic chemicals that cause neurological problems, you may think that it’s best to avoid seafood completely. 

However, as we’ve discussed in this article, the benefits of seafood consumption far outweigh the risks. Seafood contains many important nutrients, and as long as simple precautions are taken, there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy seafood as a part of a healthy, balanced diet. 

If you’re searching for the world’s finest wild-caught salmon, look no further than Vital Choice. By cleaning and flash-freezing their salmon within hours of harvest, Vital Choice is able to capture that fresh-caught taste and quality that all salmon lovers admire. Check out Vital Choice salmon here!



Men’s Health, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome & New Leaf Natural Therapies!

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Men’s Health is so important!

It’s been fantastic since Congress….  top take-home factoids I’ve been loving are:

  • Men – get your testosterone checked!  If you need, support your testosterone levels with injections or supplements that contain tribulus, zinc, horny goat week (true herb!) etc
  • Testosterone is linked to mood disorders and exhaustion
  • Men born since 1970 have 1/2 the testosterone as those born before…  This is due to environmental toxins.  As I’ve always said, we can’t get rid of the toxins but we can support our detox capabilities with herbs and nutrients such as silymarin, lipoic acid, glutathione, anti-oxidants and vitamin C.  Lots of other herbs too!
  • This lack of testosterone since 1970 is being studied to see if it’s linked to kids with higher anxiety, depression, suicidal rates
  • It’s once estrodial takes over as the main hormone in men that estrodial interacts with environmental toxins and is linked to cancers…  Pre-1970 testosterone levels peaked at around 40 years old, Since 1970’s it’s often in the teenage years/early 20’s, so estrodial is becoming dominant much earlier
  • Adrenal fatigue should be named ‘Burnout Syndrome’ according to Dr Flavio Cadigiani
  • Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome should be renamed under ‘Metabolic Syndrome’ as it’s insulin and inflammation that drive the PCOS, yet women can have metabolic syndrome without the PCOS, therefore many practitioners run out of ability to support clients with painful periods.
  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome – if you get your histamine levels tested, the maximum histamine levels you want are 8.  MCAS is linked to allergies, dizziness, asthma, POTS, anxiety
  • if you get unexplained pain in the brain (migraines), gut, uterus, spinal cord – you could have MCAS…  Pop in and see us!  There are nutrients known to pull stored histamine out of your body.
  • Every thought we have affects our genes either positively or negatively
  • Traumas from childhood can affect our kids / grandkids etc for up to 7 generations!  With kinesiology and universal consciousness techniques we can mitigate these effects.  In fact, studies show that a trauma in childhood activates obesity genes (we’re more lucky if we’ve been traumatised and don’t end up with weight challenges!) and addictive behaviours (are you self-medicating??)
  • Intermittent Fasting is proving to be a fantastic health-improvement tool for longevity!  The most researched and popular Intermittent Fasting time bracket by the speakers was the 18/6.  Off food for 18 hours (say 7pm until 1pm next day…).  Every hour over 12 hours of fasting doubles the benefit of the previous 12 hours!

AT New Leaf we support these issues with

  • detoxification processes including dietary adjustments; acupuncture; kinesiology; supplements & herbs; weight loss detox processes…
  • kinesiology to access information about where the histamines are and what we need to release them
  • emotional support – using Universal Consciousness Processes; kinesiology & LEAP

Talk soon,


0417 643 849

Soy: Safety issues – fact or fiction!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

A Note from Madonna:
Great article from Metagenics on Soy…

I’m in the unique position to have been doing kinesiology for over 20 years…  I always joke I’m lucky to have done my naturopathy first as kinesiology was so much fun.
I’ve got a 15 step process to find allergies/intolerances/substance issues with people:

  • we have Nutripath food testing to find if people have allergies to substances
  • we use the Food Detective blood test in-house to find if people have intolerances
  • I’ve found generally over the years that organic soy is fine!  (Generally, of course!)
  • Georgia and Madonna use kinesiology to target specific substances and see if your body is able to utilise them…
    • if dairy is an issue, is it the casein, the lactose, a DPP4 enzyme deficiency, lectins, hormones?  Is Organic OK?
    • if grains are an issues, is it a FODMAP problem, lectins, gluten, gliadins, DPP4 enzyme deficiency, pesticides, GMO?  Is Organic OK?
  • Enjoy!!!

    Madonna Guy
    You Tube:  New Leaf Health Team
    07 3348 6098

All the Noise About Soy

The world we live in is a melting pot of mixed cultures which has resulted in the spread of many ingredients and cuisines. One such example is the soybean, finding its way onto the plates of many individuals, and offering a blend of protein, fibre, fats and phytonutrients (e.g. isoflavones). Despite a long traditional use in Asia and the scientifically proven benefits of soy consumption, vocal soy critics have cast concern over this eminent legume, confusing many people about whether soy is safe or not. Whilst some objections against soy for reasons such as overt allergy are well-founded, anti-soy arguments based on misinterpreted data have tainted the perceived safety of soy; leaving many individuals hesitant on whether to enjoy or avoid it. However, research offers remedies to several soy myths, enabling them to be busted – read on for details:

Myth #1: Soy is a goitrogen.

Fact: Goitrogens are substances that disrupt the production of thyroid hormone by interfering with the uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland. Soy has previously been classified as a goitrogen; however, this was based primarily on observations yielded from in vitro and animal studies,1 which in this instance offer limited relevance to humans due to differing metabolism between human and animals with regards to soy.2 That said, in situations of inadequate dietary iodine intakes, thyroid symptoms caused by this lack may be amplified by simultaneously high intakes of soy.3 Nevertheless, a comprehensive review of 14 human clinical studies provided little evidence that soy exerts anti-thyroid effects in healthy subjects,4 which is further supported by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).5

In summary, human evidence supports the safe consumption of dietary soy6,7 alongside adequate iodine intake.8

Myth #2: All soy is genetically modified.

Fact: In the past decade, there has been a surge in the production of genetically modified (GM) crops, with soy representing one of those most commonly affected. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are those whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques designed to produce specific traits. It is true that without sufficient data we can’t predict the effects of modified proteins, so selecting non-GMO soy products avoids unknown risks. As such, non-GMO sources of soy are available, and consuming it in this natural and unadulterated wholefood form is always advised for maximal health benefits.

The Humble Soybean Manifests in Many Dietary Ways.

Myth #3: You should only eat soy if it’s fermented.

Fact: In early China, soy was traditionally cooked like a grain. Processing of this legume then evolved across different regions of Asia to become a variety of modes like those illustrated in Figure 1. This included fermenting (to create tempeh, miso and natto), sprouting, grinding to make a ‘milk,’ and the pressing of unfermented bean curd to create tofu. Fermentation is especially favored in Korea and Japan for producing strong flavours, however doing so is not the golden rule for soy consumption. Similar to other legumes, simply softening soybeans with moisture and heat (e.g. boiling) causes the hardy components within the bean to denature. This allows the nutrients to then become bioavailable and absorbable, and therefore allow us to attain the benefits from consuming them.

In summary, soy has not always traditionally been fermented, and it is perfectly safe and appropriate to consume it in its unfermented form.

Myth #4: Soy is a phytoestrogen.

Fact: The term phytoestrogen describes the ability of certain compounds (found in foods and medicinal herbs) to act similarly to the actions of the hormone oestrogen. However, incorrect interpretations of the term phytoestrogen have raised some concern.

As it pertains to soy, experts have corrected the term phytoestrogen, defining the bean instead as a selective oestrogen receptor modulator or ‘SERM’.

Being a SERM, soy communicates with the body similarly to oestrogen as it can bind to what’s known as oestrogen ‘receptors’, which then modulates their activity (the ‘output’). For example, soy isoflavones have been shown to down-regulate oestrogen receptor alpha (ER-?) activity. Given that ER-? is associated with negative events such as tumour growth, SERM compounds (like the isoflavones found in soy) are viewed as beneficial, as they can favourably influence the state of play. What’s more, soy isoflavones also bind to the beneficial oestrogen receptor beta (ER- ?), whose activity is associated with protective health benefits in both men and women.9 In summary, a SERM such as soy does not increase oestrogen levels, but balances oestrogen receptor activity, which can lead to more optimal body function.

The Balance of Soy

It’s important to keep in mind that the health benefits of soy, like many wholefoods, are broad. The soybean is much more than just soy isoflavones – it provides additional health-promoting nutrients including protein, fibre, minerals and B vitamins, all nourishing your body in more ways than one. To enjoy some soy as part of a balanced, check out the healthy Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry recipe below. You too can reap the benefits of this highly versatile legume.



Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry 

Makes 1 serve.


• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 200 g tofu
• 50 g broccoli
• 50 g cauliflower
• 1 clove garlic (cut into small pieces)
• 1 tablespoon of diced chives
• 1/3 cup water


• Heat oil with garlic until garlic is lightly cooked.
• Add cauliflower, tofu and broccoli and stir through very quickly.
• Add water and continue stirring.
• Cook on high heat for approximately four minutes and continue stirring.
• Add a little more water if required to prevent sticking.
• Add chives.
• Turn out and serve.



1. Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: A review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006 Mar;16(3):249-258. doi: 10.1089/thy.2006.16.249.

2. Soukup ST, Helppi J, Müller DR, Zierau O, Watzl B, Vollmer G, et al. Phase II metabolism of the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein in humans, rats and mice: a cross-species and sex comparison. Arch Toxicol. 2016 Jun;90(6):1335-1347. doi: 10.1007/s00204-016-1663-5.

3. Messina M. Soy and health update: evaluation of the clinical and epidemiologic literature. Nutrients. 2016 Nov;8(12):1-42. Doi: 10.3390/nu8120754.

4. Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: A review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006 Mar;16(3):249-258. doi: 10.1089/thy.2006.16.249.

5. EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS). Risk assessment for peri?and post?menopausal women taking food supplements containing isolated isoflavones. EFSA Journal. 2015 Oct;13(10):4246. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4246.

6. Rizzo G, Baroni L. Soy, soy foods and their role in vegetarian diets. Nutrients. 2018 Jan 5;10(1):43. doi:10.3390/nu10010043.

7 EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS). Risk assessment for peri?and post?menopausal women taking food supplements containing isolated isoflavones. EFSA Journal. 2015 Oct;13(10):4246. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4246.

8. Rizzo G, Baroni L. Soy, soy foods and their role in vegetarian diets. Nutrients. 2018 Jan 5;10(1):43. doi:10.3390/nu10010043.

9. Kuiper GG, Lemmen JG, Carlsson B, Corton JC, Safe SH, van der Saag PT, et al. Interaction of estrogenic chemicals and phytoestrogens with estrogen receptor beta. Endocrinology. 1998 Oct;139(10):4252-4263.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome!

Friday, June 15th, 2018


Does histamine control your life?   Are you even aware that it might?  You might have MCAS!!

Much of this information comes from Dr Tania Dempsey and Dr Jill Carnahan in the States….  but it is a Syndrome worth thinking about if you’re simply not getting on top of your pain, allergies, nervous system stresses etc….  Many doctors in Australia are totally unaware of this condition.

What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?

Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s immune system. They reside in all body tissues and form part of the body’s initial defence system. Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect and heal the body, but in a person with MCAS these same chemicals are inappropriately triggered and released and have a negative effect on the body. Amongst the triggers are a variety of different foods, exercise, chemicals, fragrances and stress. Many sufferers struggle to identify their triggers and continue to discover new triggers for many years after diagnosis.

MCAS forms part of a spectrum of mast cell disorders involving proliferation and/or excessive sensitivity of mast cells, it has been identified since 2007. It features inappropriate mast cell activation with little or no increase in the number of mast cells, unlike in Mastocytosis*.  MCAS causes a wide range of unpleasant, sometimes debilitating, symptoms in any of the different systems of the body, frequently affecting several systems at the same time. The onset of MCAS is often sudden, affecting both children and adults, sometimes in family groups, mimicking many other conditions and presenting a wide-range of different symptoms that can be baffling for both the patient and their physician. Often there are no obvious clinical signs since MCAS confounds the anatomy-based structure underpinning the traditional diagnostic approach. Very often Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is hiding in plain sight.

Mastocystosis:  very rare and NOT what we’re talking about here…

Mastocytosis involves inappropriate mast cell activation AS WELL AS an increased number of mast cells. It is a rare but relatively well known mast cell disorder and is currently easier to diagnose than MCAS.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS): When Histamine Goes Haywire…

Mast cells are present in most tissues throughout the human body, especially connective tissue, skin, intestinal lining cardiovascular system, nervous system, and reproductive organs. They are part of the allergic response designed to protect us from threat and injury.  When the body is exposed to a perceived threat, the mast cells secrete chemical mediators, such as histamine, interleukins, prostaglandins, cytokines, chemokine and various other chemicals stored in the cytoplasm of the cell.  These chemical messengers produce both local and systemic effects, such as increased permeability of blood vessels (inflammation and swelling), contraction of smooth muscle (stomach cramps and heart palpitations), and increase mucous production (congestion, sneezing, etc).   Historically, we thought of mast cells only in relation to an allergic or anaphylactic response.  We now know they play a profound role in immune activation, development of autoimmunity and many other disorders, such as POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).  Sadly we are seeing a large increase in patients presenting with mast cell disorders and MCAS.  I believe it is in part do to the onslaught of more pervasive environmental toxins, moulds and chemicals.

Withouts mast cells, we would not be able to heal from a wound.  They protect us from injury and help the body to heal.  Unfortunately, overactive mast cells can cause a variety of serious symptoms.

Symptoms of overactive mast cells may include:

  • skin rashes/hives
  • swelling/oedema
  • flushing
  • asthma
  • itching
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea/vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations
  • anxiety, difficulty concentrating
  • headaches
  • brain fog
  • low blood pressure
  • fatigue

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is a condition symptoms involving the skin, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurologic systems. It can be classified into primary (clonal proliferation or mastocytosis), secondary (due to a specific stimulus), and idiopathic (no identifiable cause). Proposed criteria for the diagnosis of MCAS included episodic symptoms consistent with mast cell mediator release affecting two or more organ systems with hives, swelling, flushing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, fainting, heart palpitations, wheezing, red eyes, itching, and/or nasal congestion.  For a diagram of all of the varied symptoms histamine can cause, click here.

Triggers may be medications, foods, supplements, hormones, opioids, stressors (physical or emotional), cold temperature, heat, pressure, noxious odors, chemicals, insect bites, trauma or environmental toxins.

We commonly see mast cell activation syndromes associated with CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) in response to biotoxins, such as mould, inflammagens, and lyme-related toxins.

Low MSH and Mast Cell Disorders?

As mentioned above, we frequently see histamine intolerance and MCAS in patients with mold-related CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome).  It is interesting to note that a common finding in CIRS is low MSH.  According to this study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, alpha-MSH plays an immunomodulatory role during inflammatory and allergic reactions of the skin.  In addition, there is evidence that MSH induces mast-cell apoptosis(cell death).

Definition of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  1. Typical clinical symptoms as listed above
  2. Increase in serum tryptase level or an increase in other mast cell derived mediators, such as histamine or prostaglandins (PGD2), or their urinary metabolites,
  3. Response of symptoms to treatment
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

Mast cells can be activated by both direct and indirect mechanisms as a result of exposure of the host to pathogens.

Diseases Associated with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis,  systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, bullous pemphigoid, rheumatoid arthritis and others.Eczema
  • Celiac Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome)
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food Allergy and Intolerances
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Infertility (mast cells in endometrium may contribute to endometriosis)
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Mood disorders – anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)
Mast cells are known to be the primary responders in allergic reactions, orchestrating strong responses to minute amounts of allergens. Several recent observations indicate that they may also have a key role in coordinating the early phases of autoimmune diseases, particularly those involving auto-antibodies.

Mast cells are known to be the primary responders in allergic reactions, orchestrating strong responses to minute amounts of allergens. Several recent observations indicate that they may also have a key role in coordinating the early phases of autoimmune diseases, particularly those involving auto-antibodies.

Lab Tests for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) – many of these are as yet unavailable in Australia …  Possibly histamine is as yet the only available, but chat to Georgia about what our Naturopathic Labs can offer….

  • Lab tests specific to mast cell activation for suspected MCAS may include:
    • Serum tryptase (most famous mast cell mediator)
    • Serum chromogranin A
    • Plasma histamine
    • Plasma PGD2 (chilled)
    • Plasma heparin (chilled)
    • Urine for PGD2 (chilled)
    • PGF2a
    • N-methylhistamine
  • Tryptase is the most famous mast cell mediator. Serum tryptase value is usually normal in MCAS patients, but sometimes it is elevated.  Tryptase values that show an increase of 20% + 2 ng/ml above the baseline level are considered diagnostic for MCAS.
  • Chromogranin A is a heat-stable mast cell mediator.  High levels can suggest MCAS, but other sources must first be ruled out, such as heart failure, renal insufficiency, neuroendocrine tumors and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use.
  • Heparin is a very sensitive and specific marker of mast cell activation.  However, due to its quick metabolism in the body, it is very difficult to measure reliably.
  • N-methylhistamine is usually measured in a 24 hour urine test to account for the variability in release over the course of the day.
  • Prostaglandin D2 is produced by several other cell types, but mast cell release is responsible for the dominant amount found in the body.  PGD2 is less stable than histamine and metabolized completely in 30 minutes.
  • Other less specific mast cell mediators that are sometimes abnormal in MCAS patients include Factor VIII, plasma free norepinephrine, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-6.

Treatments to reduce MCAS symptoms and lower histamine

  • H1 Blockers
    1. hydroxyzine, doxepine, diphenhydramine, cetirizine, loratadine, fexofenadine
  • H2 Blockers
    1. Famotidine (Pepcid, Pepcid AC)
    2. Cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)
    3. Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Leukotriene inhibitors
    1. Montelukast (Singulair)
    2. Zafirlukast (Accolate)
  • Mast cell stabilizers –
    1. Cromolyn
    2. Ketotifen
    3. Hyroxyurea
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors – imatinib
  • Natural anti-histamines and mast-cell stabilizers
    • Ascorbic Acid
    • Quercetin
    • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
    • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, krill oil)
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
    • Methylation donors (SAMe, B12, methyl-folate, riboflavin)
  • Certain probiotics decrease histamine production
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus and bifidobacter species 
  • DAO Enzymes with meals – UmbrelluxDAO
  • Decrease consumption of high histamine foods (more on histamine-restricted diet)
    • Avoid alcoholic beverages
    • Avoid raw and cured sausage products such as salami.
    • Avoid processed or smoked fish products. Use freshly caught seafood instead.
    • Avoid pickles
    • Avoid citrus fruits.
    • Avoid chocolate
    • Avoid nuts
    • Avoid products made with yeast and yeast extracts
    • Avoid soy sauce and fermented soy products
    • Avoid black tea and instant coffee
    • Avoid aged cheese
    • Avoid spinach in large quantities
    • Avoid tomatoes, ketchup and tomato sauces
    • Avoid artificial food colorings & preservatives
    • Avoid certain spices: cinnamon, chili powder, cloves, anise, nutmeg, curry powder, cayenne pepper


  1. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, A Review
  2. Mast cell activation disease: a concise practical guide for diagnostic workup and therapeutic options
  3. Presentation, Diagnosis and Management of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome by Dr. Afrin
  4. Histamine and Gut Immune Mucosal Regulation
  5. Dr. Theoharides presents “Mast Cell Disorders”
  6. Diagram of Histamine Symptoms
  7. Mast Cell Aware
  8. A Tale of Two Syndromes
  9. Mold Histamine Connection

LEAP, Learning & Behavioural Issues, ADHD & Dyslexia

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

LEAP Brain Integration at New Leaf Natural TherapiesNew Leaf Natural Therapies LEAPThere is a process called LEAP that is a step by step process of working through neurological issues in the brain – giving an individual access to their full potential and ability.  Madonna has been doing LEAP for around 15 years – and it’s an ongoing learning process for practitioners – since they keep finding out new stuff about the brain!  We use LEAP and other kinesiology processes for:

  • Dyslexia and Nervous system disorders
  • Stage fright, fear of exams, fear of teachers
  • Dislike of learning, dislike of teachers
  • Supporting better learning outcomes
  • Stress and behavioural issues


Learning Enhancement Acupressure Program (LEAP), was developed by Dr Charles T. Krebs in collaboration with clinical psychologists, speech pathologists, neurologists and other health professionals. LEAP is a comprehensive approach to assessing and correcting most learning challenges including dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, and many difficulties with reading, spelling and mathematics.

Neurological conditions involving imbalances in brain function and can affect learning. LEAP addresses these imbalances by re-establishing and maintaining the precise synchrony of the brain.

LEAP  is a program that enhances brain function, learning and all areas of performance. The foundation of all high level performance and learning is integrated brain function because the brain is a multi-modular structure “bound” together functionally by synchronised timing of neural activity. Performance of any mental activity can be considered the “symphony of thought”. The output of each brain module must be precisely “timed” to prevent the harmony of mental function from turning into a dysfunctional state. Loss of integrated brain function literally equals loss of effective emotional and mental processing, the primary source of “stress” in our lives.

The purpose of LEAP Brain Integration is to re-establish brain integration during times of stress.  Sometimes it was never properly established in the first place. The loss of Brain Integration and thus function may only be situational, causing difficulty and stress performing certain functions in certain situations or circumstances (ex. stage fright) or it may be on-going as in the case of Specific Learning Difficulties.

Far too many of us, adults and children alike, experience cognitive deficiencies that are a direct result of the loss of proper brain integration.
LEAP techniques have helped tens of thousands of individuals to overcome these challenges.

What else do we need to do?  The usual suspects!

  • Check for food intolerances upsetting brain integration
  • Check for old stress patterns/survival patterns shutting down brain integration
  • Check for toxicity issues – vaccine toxins, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides etc
  • Check for nutritional deficiencies – there are ALWAYS nutritional needs for kids with learning and behavioural issues.  Always!
  • Reduce the inflammation in the brain, increase the nutrition in the food!

Best testing processes for kids at New Leaf!

  • OligoScan for those kids 13 years and older.  Checks for heavy metals, mineral levels, and how the body’s being affected.  Love it!
  • Looking at your blood on a TV screen – 1 drop of blood – easy to find gut, liver, immune challenges.
  • Food Detective – tests 50 core intolerances within 60 minutes!

Learning Enhancement Programme:

  • $210.00 per month – 9 month plan.
  • Includes 45 minute kinesiology and 60 minute Microcurrent
  • Saves 40% off additional treatments for the child
  • Saves 30% off additional treatments for the family!

Better Balance Plan with Georgia

  • $108.50 per month – 9 month plan.  LIMITED OFFER!!!!  GET IN QUICKLY 🙂
  • Includes 1 hour kinesiology with Georgia
  • Saves 30% off additional treatments for the child
  • Saves 30% off additional treatments for the family!

Foundations of Health with Madonna

  • $151.20 per month for 9 months
  • Includes 1 x 45 minute kinesiology/naturopathic appt
  • Save 40% off additional treatments for the child
  • Saves 30% off additional treatments for the family!

Massage Plan for relaxation with Reenee-Jee or Carole

  • $80.50 per month for 9 months
  • Includes 1 x 60 minute massage
  • Saves 30% off additional treatments for the child
  • Saves 30% off additional treatments for the family!

Call us on 3348 6098 to chat out treatments, plans and how we can help you!!


Choosing a Healthy Pantry: notes on diet, inflammation, acid/alkalising foods…

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

FAcid/Alkaline Balance:

Acid forming foods – this is not as simple as it seems. Proteins cause acid residue, so many acid/alkaline diets eliminate proteins. Fats create fatty acids, anything that turns into sugar (carbohydrates) will make the body more acidic if we’re not utilising the sugar through exercise and metabolism, any foods that we are intolerant to, or have allergies to cause our immune system to release eosinophils (white blood cells) that release acids into the blood stream. Even fruits in small amounts are alkalising, but in large amounts are acid forming. Alcohol, tea, coffee, soft drinks and fruit juices are all acid forming.

So what’s alkalising? Green leafy veggies (assuming we’re not allergic to them), purified water (most town water supplies are acidic).

There are many fantastic supplements that support an acidic constitution such as G-Tox & Calm-X.

Allergies/Intolerances (also acid-forming):

There are many foods considered ‘healthy’ that our bodies can be having issues with, creating inflammatory immune responses, without us even knowing. Our responses simply may be tiredness, bloating, constipation, any type of pain or diarrhoea. Our food detective quickly checks around 50 core food groups (within an hour consultation) for intolerances. Kinesiology can further muscle test core acupuncture points know to be hot-spots for immunity, therefore finding out if the body has issues with foods/substances in foods. When we have allergies, we have increased levels of eosinophils in the blood, which spray acid on the undigested food particles, thereby making the bloodstream more acidic.

The 8 most common food allergies/intolerances (studies show 80% of intolerances are these 8) are:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Treenuts (such as cashews / walntus)
  • Wheat and / or gluten / grains
  • Soy

We also find the immune system may be challenged by:

  • FODMAPS foods
  • Salicylates foods
  • Foods high in amines
  • Genetically Modified Foods
  • Long-life foods
  • Sugar

3 causes of ALL chronic illness:

  • Immune Dysregulation (anything that causes the immune system to be overloaded, or overwork, or underwork.
  • Inflammation: everything, it seems, causes inflammation – stress, lack of sleep, pain, allergies, headaches… find the cause and quench that inflammation
  • Oxidative Stress & Free Radical Damage

We find signs of these 3 causes of disease in our OligoScan, Looking at your blood in real time, VLA BioImpedance & Cholesterol Check:  Ask about our testing packages which give you this information so that you can work on your health!

Eating for Weight Loss & Muscle Gain

Choosing foods which increase glucagon (the fat-burning hormone) and decrease insulin (the fat-storing hormone) and reducing meal size is crucial for weight loss and maintaining our muscle mass. We do several dietary options for weight loss: HCG Weight Loss; Shake It Programme; Keto Programme and by helping people choose general good choices.

Eating is Inflammatory!

The process of eating is a necessary inflammatory process. It’s made even worse if we have digestive issues, chronic health problems or are on medication. There are always studies showing that this food causes this, or that food heals that… but studies with food are often flawed and we have more heart disease, diabetes and chronic ill-health than ever before.

An example of a great combination of food to consume would be, per meal would be: 1 handful of protein, 2-3 cupful’s of vegetables, good fats (a small handful).

A high protein/good fats breakfast (as opposed to toast or cereal) may include eggs/tomatoes/spinach; or protein shake with berries/nuts.

Insulin/Glucagon Ratio to keep in mind.

Eating carbohydrates releases insulin. Insulin is a necessary hormone which helps us to make energy out of sugars in our diet – it’s released with all carbohydrates. If, however, we are insulin resistant, or have too much insulin, it is inflammatory, acid forming, damaging to the capillaries and raises total cholesterol levels (cholesterol is a protective hormone which protects and heals the capillaries from insulin which has created damage) and causes heart disease, diabetes and may be linked with chronic fatigue and cancer..

Carbohydrate Foods:

Carbohydrate foods (breads, cereals, fruits, potato, corn, carrots, peas, sweets, baked goods, sugar, soft-drinks, beers, sparkly wines etc) are the number one reason for weight gain, fatty liver and diabetes.

Carbohydrates release insulin which is an inflammatory fat-storing hormone when out of balance! If you are insulin resistant, carbohydrates are not your friend until you get it under control – ask us about our insulin resistant test.

The best choices for carbohydrates are organic berries, low carb fruits, low GI vegetables. Most health issues will benefit from a low carbohydrate diet.

Avoid white flour, white sugar, white rice, starchy potatoes.

We require healthy small intestines and pancreas to break down and digest carbohydrates.

Good Quality Chocolate/Cocoa/Cacao: Superfood!

Cocoa and cacao are unusually rich in flavanols that help preserve the function of blood vessels. Maintaining youthful blood vessels lowers risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.

The problem with chocolate, of course, is the amount of sugar we have with it. Sugar is inflammatory. High cocoa, low sugar is the key. We’re not talking about Cadbury chocolate here!


A single cup of good quality, organic coffee daily seems to have many health benefits. Decaf doesn’t seem to have the same benefits. Even white tea and black teas have some health benefits. Once we add the sugar it becomes less beneficial.

Green tea has many health benefits including improved fat-loss and fat-metabolism and reducing insulin resistance.

Buy organic herbal teas, tea and coffee – these are drinks with huge amounts of pesticides used.

Too much black tea/coffee is linked with adrenal fatigue.

Dairy & Dairy Alternatives:

Your dairy products may contain growth hormones, since up to 1/5th of dairy cows utilise these hormones. If you must drink milk, buy organic.

Some people have issues with lactose (dairy sugar), and it’s easy to get Zymil which is a lactose-free milk. Some people have issues with casein (the milk protein) and often find A2 milk beneficial.

  • natural, unsweetened, sheep’s, goat’s or cow’s yoghur
  • feta cheese
  • buffalo mozzarella
  • ricotta cheese
  • cottage cheese

We need good stomach, small intestines, pancreas and liver function to break down and uttilise dairy as well as healthy DPP4 enzyme levels.

Dairy Alternatives to consider:

  • almond milk
  • coconut milk
  • goat’s milk
  • oat milk – high in sugar/carbs
  • rice milk – high in sugar/carbs
  • soy milk – buy organic; GMO soy is definitely not healthy.


Eggs do NOT raise cholesterol. Organic/free range eggs should be eaten freely as part of a healthy diet – assuming there’s no allergy. They are high in good fats and protein and help to reverse insulin resistance.

Fats: the good and bad…

Fats are not the bad guys they’ve been made out to be over the past 40 years. Most disease is linked to inflammation, free-radical damage and immune dysregulation. Fats (and protein) release glucagon, which is a fat-burning hormone. Conversely, carbohydrates (sugars) release insulin which is inflammatory and fat-storing.

Trans-fats and hydrogenated fats are cancer forming and should be avoided. These are in packaged foods and long-life foods containing oils and deep-fried foods.

The ketogenic diet – which trains the body to burn fat as fuel (instead of carbs) is based on around 70% fats and proteins in the diet (up to 90% for some people) has been linked to

  • more stamina
  • less exhaustion
  • better muscle mass and quality
  • reversing heart disease and diabetes
  • anti-cancer properties, tumour reduction

For healthy fat metabolism our liver and gall bladder (and subsequently the small intestine) need to be functioning. Once the gall bladder is removed, fat metabolism will never be optimal again.

Fish: Superfood!

Healthy fish is an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids which help prevent heart disease and protect against abnormal heart rhythms. Fish is also high in protein, low in saturated fat, high in unsaturated fat.

Tuna, salmon & sardines are high in EPA which preserves collagen, DHA prevents skin cancer by reducing inflammation, and EPA and DHA both are good for the heart and brain. EPA (in therapeutic levels) is also anti-inflammatory and DHA is for heart disease, eyes and brain.

Where possible ensure you’re not buying ‘farmed fish’ as these are vaccinated and given anti-biotics.

The fish which contain the highest mercury levels (check with OligoScan how your mercury levels are) are:

  • Shark
  • Ray
  • Swordfish
  • Barramundi
  • Gemfish
  • Orange roughy
  • Ling
  • Southern Bluefin tuna

The fish with the lowest mercury levels are:

  • Shellfish including prawns, lobsters & oysters
  • Salmon
  • Canned Tuna

Fresh fruits: eat a rainbow!

Always keep limes or lemons -use to make fresh lime/ hot water in the morning and to have with avocado/ salad or with papaya.

  • Grapefruit
  • Papaya / Paw Paw
  • Kiwi frui
  • Grapes
  • Fresh figs
  • Fresh dates
  • Pineapple
  • Fresh berries of all kinds whenever possible
  • Avocadoes
  • Apples Pears
  • Stone fruits
  • Other seasonally available fruits

Blueberries: Superfood!

Compounds in blueberries (and other berries) mitigate inflammation and oxidative damage, which are associated with age-related deficits in memory and motor function.


Studies have shown cherries help reduce the frequency of gout attacks. Research has shown that the anthocyanins found in cherries have an anti-inflammatory effect. Anthocyanins can also be found in other red and purple fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

Strawberries: Anti-Aging

Organic strawberries are high in vitamin C and protect our genes from damage.

Grains & Breads:

  • brown rice- short grain/ long grain / red/ black
  • brown basmati rice
  • rolled oats for muesli/ porridge
  • pearl barley for soups
  • quinoa when available
  • bread: sourdough, rye, grainy with seeds, or wholegrain

Grains can also go rancid like nuts so are best purchased

Green Tea for weight loss:

Studies show that Sensha Green Tea improves levels of catecholamine’s such as adrenaline and dopamine – and increases fat metabolism. Drink good quality green tea – organic – often! If you want to lose weight J . Studies show those who drank good quality green tea (or equivalent supplement such as Thermoburn) has up to 20% extra ‘fat’ in their stools, indicating better fat metabolism and less fat absorption.

Green tea also helps reverse insulin resistance.

Buy organic and good quality to avoid toxins.

Honey: buy organic!

Seems like a no-brainer – healthy sugar. BUT it’s still sugar to be taken into account with our carbohydrate load throughout the day. Did you know most honey now contains anti-biotics? It’s seems ridiculous, but buy organic honey, not genetically modified, full of anti-biotic honey.


  • lentils
  • chickpeas
  • split peas
  • black-eye beans
  • fresh peas
  • mung beans
  • adzuki beans
  • broad beans (fresh when possible)
  • pea protein powders

Soak legumes overnight, use fresh cooking water and cook well, add a couple of strips of dried seaweed in the cooking water to improve digestibility and mineral content of the dish. Organic canned legumes are also an option.

Legumes and pulses are considered ‘high protein foods’ for vegans and vegetarians – they are still predominantly carbohydrates – so be careful with weight gain – especially through the mid-section as they can be difficult to digest.

Miscellaneous Healthy Foods:

  • Raw honey, preferably local
  • spices; cumin, turmeric, dried or fresh kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, curry powder, etc
  • seeded mustard
  • Tahini paste
  • Nut butters; almond butter; preferably avoid peanut butter as it has few health benefits, often contains sugar and other preservatives
  • Good quality dark chocolate
  • Frozen organic berries for smoothies
  • Olives and capers for salads
  • Small amounts of preservative free dried fruits
  • Whole grain, sugar free crackers
  • Good quality sugar free conserve
  • Sauerkraut
  • Olive tapénade
  • Pesto
  • Hummus


Nuts & Seeds:

Assuming we’re not intolerant or allergic, nuts are a great addition to the diet (not salted and raw!) – calorie and number we eat – take care!. Peanuts have a huge amount of evidence in reducing heart disease, nuts are a rich source of unsaturated fats, with similar benefits to olive oil. They’re also concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, including anti-oxidants. Studies show that people who eats nuts live on average 2.5 years longer.

  • almonds
  • brazil nuts
  • coconut flakes
  • hazelnuts
  • linseeds
  • pecans
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • walnuts



For salads only, do not heat: cold pressed, organic olive oil, flaxseed oil (should be refrigerated), walnut oil

For cooking – cold pressed coconut oil, Tea (camellia) oil, rice bran or cold pressed sesame oil. Most foods should be baked, steamed, poached or boiled, not cooked with oil.

Store oils in a cool, dark place, do not transport in the heat or leave in the sun, or anywhere hot. Avoid margarine.

A small amount of good quality butter is ok.

Olive Oil:

Extra Virgin Cold-Pressed Olive Oil contains polyphenols, powerful anti-oxidants that are linked to low rates of heart disease and cancer and may help prevent age-related diseases. About 50ml daily recommended.

Avocado & Walnut oils are also high in omega 3’s.

Proteins from animals: (if not vegan/vegetarian):

  • organic, free range eggs


  • fresh fish: salmon, tuna, mackerel, fresh sardines, swordfish, other fresh, local, unfarmed fish: steam fish in banana leaf and lemongrass/ ginger/ fresh herbs, poach, grill or bake


  • lean red meat: choose lean cuts of bison, venison and other game meats, or the lowest-fat cuts of beef, preferably grass-fed beef


  • if you eat organ meats, such as liver, they should ALWAYS be organic, as they accumulate toxins easily.


  • organic free range chicken


Red Wine/White Wine:

We all know that red wine is ‘good for us’. There is more resveratrol in Pinot Noir (10 x more than other red wines) and resveratrol protects our genes and slow cellular aging. Also protects against heart disease, diabetes and age-related memory loss. White wine also has some anti-oxidant effects, but less than red wine. Sweet wines have less benefit.

More than 250mls of alcohol daily becomes inflammatory. In looking at your blood on the screen, we see that alcohol in general causes leaky gut, immune dysregulation and oxidative stress when out of balance in the diet.

Soy: Organic

Organic soy is rich is isoflavones – great for skin and preventing collagen breakdown. Also organic soy is high in protein, fibre and low in fat, high in anti-oxidants. There are soy protein powders if soy products don’t excite you.

Vegetables: Fresh: varied according to seasonal availability:

Focus on non-starchy, for example:

  • Dark leafy greens of all types, for cooking (steaming) and salads


  • Asparagus


    • Broccoli: Has many anti-cancer components, supports the release of xeno-oestrogens (hormone mimickers)


  • Brussels sprouts


  • Capsicum


  • Cauliflower: use as rice substitute


  • fresh ginger


  • Fresh herbs


  • Jicama – use instead of potato


  • Mushrooms


  • Okra


  • Onion, chili, garlic, chives


  • Sprouts: alfalfa, radish, mung bean, snow pea, buckwheat, garlic, fenugreek (some or a mixture of these)


  • Squash


    • Tomatoes: anti-aging! Contain lycopene (only released during cooking tomatoes) which is a carotenoid – known to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.


  • Zucchini


Vinegarette recipe

Other seasonally available vegetablesVegetables should be steamed not fried and then dressed with vinegarette, such as the example below:

Place in a bowl seeded mustard, curry powder or chopped fresh herbs + chopped garlic and cracked pepper.

Add 2 tablespoons quality vinegar: apple cider, red wine vinegar, balsamic or similar, and blend with a fork.

Add 6 tablespoons cold pressed, organic olive oil and whisk together. This should make more than enough dressing for a salad or dish of steamed vegetables. Leftover dressing can be stored in the fridge.


Natural organic sugar-free yoghurt may have health benefits due to the beneficial bacteria. When sugar is added, or using non-organic dairy, it may be as beneficial as eating ice-cream!!

Many of the yoghurts designed for children have no health benefits whatsoever.



Additives & Preservatives:

So many ‘healthy food snacks’ – cheese & crackers, muesli bars, fruit juices, peanut paste, yoghurts – have many additives and preservatives. These are hard for the body to recognise and eliminate. They are hormone disruptors – affecting moods and wellbeing in sensitive individuals. Studies show that many children ‘eat’ over 100 additives per day. Aware parents can often reduce this to 40-60. Being really diligent (no plastics, organic foods, all farm-fresh, organic milk) – we can get it to under 10. It’s challenging as there’s no regulation on our foods.

Aspartame – Avoiding sugar?? It’s GMO

Aspartame is a toxic additive used in numerous food products and should be avoided for numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created with genetically modified bacteria.

Banana Chips:

Not a healthy snack. These are deep-fried banana chips. Lots of calories. Heaps of saturated fats.

Canola Oil: GMO

One of the most chemically altered foods, is obtained from rapeseed through a series of chemical actions.


It’s a time honoured tradition – cereal, muesli, oats or toast for breakfast. Yet our energy is getting lower, we’re getting fatter and more inflamed and we don’t have the energy to live life to the full. Starting the day with cereals and toast is starting the day with a high carb breakfast (yes, even oats) – our body then has to utilise the sugar it turns into before we will burn any fat. Some people will get away with this, others won’t.

Non-organic Chicken – bugs galore!

Organic chicken is worth the money. Why? What we eat affects our immunity, our gut, our health. Animals which have been vaccinated and given anti-biotics for much of their lives are basically breeding grounds for super-bugs. Caged and non-organic chickens (and their eggs) often are infected with e-coli and salmonella, since these bacteria thrive in an anti-biotic-laden system.

Corn: GMO

Linked with numerous health issues including weight gain and organ disruption. Around 50% of corn is GMO. The Bt toxin being used in GMO corn, was recently detected in the blood of pregnant women and their babies.

Cotton: GMO

Cotton Oil originating in India and China have serious risks.

Dried Fruits:

Share the same problems as trail mixes. Very high in sugar, with chemicals added which are designed to prevent the fruits from oxidising. Have you noticed bananas or apples going brown once you cut into them? This is oxidation. A normal process which doesn’t happen with dried fruits. Most of the nutritional value has gone once they’re dried and boiled – and with the addition of sulphur dioxide and high sugar levels – not a healthy snack!

FODMAPS (for sensitive tummies)

FODMAPS are ‘fermentable oligosacarrides disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols’. It’s been found as an issues with many people with digestive problems – IBS, diarrhoea, Crohn’s disease, constipation, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), bloating and tummy pain. These FODMAPS ferment in the intestines for susceptible people. Examples of foods in the main FODMAP groups are:

    • Lactose: dairy sugar, Milk, ice-cream, custard, dairy desserts, condensed and evaporated milk, milk powder, yoghurt, soft unripened cheeses (eg. ricotta, cottage, cream, mascarpone)


    • Polyols (eg xylitol, mannitol), : Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Cherries, Nectarines, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Mushrooms, sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), xylitol (967), maltitol (965) and isomalt (953).


    • Excess Fructose (fruit sugars, Honey, Apples, Mango, Pear, Watermelon, High Fructose Corn Syrup,)


    • Galactans/Galacto-Oligosaccharides (in many lentils/beans/pulses): Legume beans (eg. baked beans, kidney beans, bortolotti beans), Lentils, Chickpeas


    • Fructans: (Artichokes (Globe), Artichokes(Jerusalem), Garlic (in large amounts), Leek, Onion (brown, white, Spanish, onion powder), Spring Onion (white part), Shallots, Wheat (in large amounts), Rye (in large amounts), Barley (in large amounts), Inulin, Fructo-oligosaccharides.


Frozen Meals:

Generally not too much excess saturated fats or too much added sugar BUT beware of the sodium content – which promotes water retention and may cause hypertension. Given they are pre-cooked, most of their nutritional status has been lost, so there will be hardly any vitamins & mineral

Fruit Juices:

Juice gives us heaps of energy – but it’s because of the sugar. Fruit juices age the cells 7 x faster. When we drink fruit juices we have plenty of fructose in our system –fructose is the number cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Genetically Modified Foods:

It’s almost impossible to avoid GMO foods, but limiting what we can is a good idea. GMO foods have pesticides, herbicides and anti-biotics within the foods themselves – they can’t be washed off. This changes the way our body responds to these foods and may create allergies and intolerances, or simply overwhelm the immune system and digestive tract.

Gluten/Non-organic: GMO

After world war 1, 2 strains of gluten were genetically modified to create a new super-grain with 2.5 x more gluten. Health problems started. 30% of Aussies have the ‘celiac gene’. Only a genetic test showing you don’t have a celiac gene means you’ll never get celiac disease. Regardless, everyone who eats GMO wheat gets leaky gut within 15 minutes, GMO wheat creates inflammation, ramps up immune responses, causes cell death on its way through the digestive tract. It then comes down to what we eat with the gluten and our nutritional status, as to how quickly we heal after eating. Imagine however, a daily inflammatory response to gluten, meal after meal after meal.

If you must eat wheat – eat organic.
Treat wheat like sugar – not several times per day. Prottect your gut.

Low Fat Foods:

Depending on our health goals, eating low fat foods can be very unhealthy. Keeping in mind our insulin/glucagon ratio we’re aiming for, per meal, eating low fat is actually putting us into a fat-storing metabolism. Take milk as an example. Organic full cream milk has 8.8g protein, 8.8g fat, 15.8g carbs (from lactose) – the ratio is about right 50/50 protein + fat = carbs. Take out the fat, and now there’s nearly twice the carbs – which puts the food into a fat-storing, insulin increasing inflammatory food group.

Muesli/Granola Bars:

For some reason people love muesli bars – these are very high in both sugar and trans fats, which increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. One small bowl of muesli can

Paw Paw: GMO

This may be a surprise but GMO paw paws have been grown in Hawaii since 1999. Europe refuses to accept them. Buy local or grow your own.

Prepared Salads:

Beware the dressings which can contain more sugar than the salad itself – and what’s the point of eating a salad if it has more calories than a burger and more sugar than a coke?

Processed Meats:

Contain many additives and preservatives which aren’t healthy, not to mention the huge amount of salts, which will cause fluid retention and possibly hypertension if other minerals are deficient. Eat in moderation if you can’t avoid.

Soy/Herbicide Resistant: GMO

Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil & flour, soy is modified to resist herbicides. Around 90% of Soy is currently genetically modified to resist Roundup. Massive amounts of Glyphosate is sprayed on soybeans. Non-GMO soy is much more healthy than GMO, which has huge negative health impact.

Sugar: GMO – not so much in AUS yet…

In the U.S. GMO Sugar beets have been introduced since 2009. Sugar in general (regardless of the source) is inflammatory, acid forming, increases risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, immune dysregulation. Sugar is 50/50 sucrose and fructose. Fructose is the number 1 known cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Eliminating sugar in your diet can be life-changing.

Trail Mix:

Very convenient, cost-effective, lightweight and compact. Great snack BUT high in calories, especially with chocolate and extra nuts. The raisins are often candy coated make them sweeter. A small serving is up to 600 calories, with refined carbohydrates and trans fats in the package. contain 600 calories. If you love them, go sugar free, and take into account the calories involved. Read the labels!

Zucchini & Yellow Squash (GMO)

Closely related, these two squash varieties are modified to resist viruses. Farm fresh/organic where possible.

Pesticides/Herbicides – avoid where possible & wash wash wash!

In Australia we still use pesticides that have been banned in other countries. The 12 worst foods for pesticide load are:

  • Peaches


  • Apples


  • Capsicum


  • Celery


  • Nectarines


  • Strawberries


  • Cherries


  • Kale


  • Lettuce


  • Grapes – imported


  • Carrot


  • Pear


Salicylates (if you have an issue):

Salicylates are substances in foods that are naturally occurring ‘aspirin-like’, that also has natural pesticide actions. Therefore, they thin the blood and many allergic symptoms are linked. If out of balance, they can cause tummy upsets, blood noses, leaky gut and ulcerations. Other symptoms are BP issues, kidney & liver upsets, rashes, asthma, tinnitus, central nervous system effects, behavioural issues, incontinence and hypoglycaemia.

Reducing salicylates is about increasing filtered water, eating organically grown, vine and naturally ripened foods, eating a wide variety of healthy veggies & proteins.

Soft Drinks (diet OR sugary):

As soon as soft drink’s swallowed, the pancreas is notified and rapidly begins to create insulin in response to the sugar. Insulin is a hormone the body uses to move sugar from food or drink into the bloodstream, where cells are then able to use sugar for energy. Within just 20 minutes, blood sugar levels spike and the liver responds to the insulin by turning sugar into fat for storage.

Within 45 minutes of gulping down a glass, caffeine from the drink is fully absorbed, and as a result your pupils dilate and blood pressure rises. The body produces more dopamine, which stimulates the pleasure centres of the brain — just like a low-grade line of cocaine.

When the hour chimes, the body begins to experience a blood sugar crash, which is around the same time a person reaches for their next drink, or for another sweet and sugar snack to suffice. Harvard researchers have calculated each additional soft drink consumed increases the risk of obesity 1.6 times

Allergy & Intolerance Testing in Children: key allergens clinically found..

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Allergy Testing in Children: our chief practitioners in allergy and intolerance testing is Madonna Guy..  Madonna has over 20 years experience in natural health techniques and over 6 years experience specificially in allergies and intolerances.  Georgia & Madonna also run the Food Detective testing kit which over a period of 30 minutes shows 60 major food intolerances.

Did you know that there are effective natural treatments, with no side effects for allergies in children, and because at our clinic we do kinesiology to find the best treatment for you and your family… we can quickly and easily determine which supplements and treatments will work the fastest.

The key allergens we find in our clinic are:

  • wheat and gluten allergens
  • rice (is becoming a bigger problem as people are steering away from wheat and gluten)
  • eggs (generally because of eggs in vaccinations…)
  • preservatives, colourings and flavours
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts such as cashews
  • dairy proteins and sugars
  • amine allergies – not handling the proteins in foods, usually due to lack of hydrochloric acid in the gut
  • nightshade family of foods
  • salicylates (aspirin like substances in foods which causing leaky gut in sensitive people)
  • town water supplies

There are others, but these are the ones we find the most in children.

Madonna Guy ND
Naturopath, Wynnum, Brisbane