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Insight Natural Wellne

A Naturopath that can come to you!


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Lifestyle Factors which influence your metabolism

Posted on August 14, 2016 at 6:35 PM


Skipping Meals 

There is a common misconception that skipping meals or dieting is a good idea when trying to lose weight. Nothing could be further from the truth! Missing meals, fasting or cutting out all fat intake can actually encourage the body to store fat, as your metabolism slows down. Eating regularly throughout the day is important. A good quality, substantial breakfast, to break the overnight fast, is fundamental to kick start our metabolism in the morning. Ideally, eat within about 1/2 hour of rising, and regularly through out the day to ensure you’re body maintains it’s metabolism and doesn’t go into starvation mode. Grazing through the day is ideal. Either having your normal meals and including snacks or having regular smaller meals through the day are best. Small, regular meals ensure that you have a constant supply of energy maintaining metabolism and blood sugar levels. Avoid eating late at night or too close to bedtime when you’re body is getting ready for rest. Morning and earlier in the day, is when your body needs maximum energy to sustain it and maintain your metabolism. So eat your larger meals early in the day like breakfast and lunch and make them smaller as the day progresses.


Drinking water and keeping the body hydrated is an absolute priority in maintaining health and beauty. It’s essential for our skin, cells and the elimination of toxins. Aim for between 1.5 to 2 litres per day, increasing that amount when you are exercising or it’s hot. When your body is dehydrated, it slows metabolism so keeping up your water intake is paramount.


There’s no escaping it! Without regular, cardiovascular and resistance exercise, optimizing your metabolism is extremely difficult. The benefits of exercise are broad, having a positive impact on body, mind and soul! By increasing your cardiovascular fitness and building muscle, you’ll boost your metabolism. The more intensely you train, the more you’ll increase your metabolism. However, going for a brisk walk will still make a difference but if you’re serious about giving your metabolism a swift kick start, regular intense training session is ideal. Increase gradually if your just starting out. Walk briskly for 20-30 minutes a day and as your fitness increases, increase the length and intensity of your training aiming for about 45 minutes at least 4-5 times a week. Varied training like boxing, weight training and intense dancing are great to push yourself and get maximum benefits. Train as hard as you can for as long as you can, as your increased metabolism can last for several hours after your training session. Interval training is a great way of pushing yourself to your maximum intensity. Running on a treadmill or at an oval are ideal. Warm up by walking, building up to a light jog for a few minutes, then run as fast as you can for a couple of minutes, then go back to a light jog or brisk walk for a couple of minutes to recover and repeat. It doesnt matter what your fitness level is, the main thing is that you get yourself moving and fitness will soon come. Dont give up.

If you would like more information or a detailed plan for you contact us today on 03 5979 8807.


Heather Lavery


Insight Natural Wellness



Posted on July 18, 2016 at 5:55 PM

There's been a lot of talk lately about the whooping cough vaccine especially because of recent outbreaks.

You've probably heard about it even more if your expecting a new baby or you know someone that is. A  lot of new parents are making the decision that if you dont have your whooping cough vaccine then you dont get to come meet the baby and have cuddles.

Sound Familiar? I've had a quite a few people come and ask me should I get it? What do I do?

I won't tell you what to do either way. I am pro choice and this is your personal choice to make. What I can do however is give you all the information/evidence that goes with this vaccine so that you can make an informed decision.

Interestingly enough the number of people getting the vaccine has increased, yet so has the number of outbreaks. Why?

Well, back in 2013 the FDA actually conducted a study on this due to the number of outbreaks that were occuring even though people were getting vaccinated. The study actually found  that although individuals immunized with an acellular pertussis vaccine (whooping cough) may be protected from disease, they may still become infected with the bacteria without always getting sick and are able to spread infection to others, including young infants who are susceptible to pertussis disease.

Even more so when you get the vaccine, people go through a process called Virus Shedding. This means that an individual sheds the virus for weeks or even months afterwards and are essentially contageous to this disease. On average for whooping cough it is 4weeks but this also depends on the individual. And please not this also happens with other vaccines especially the live ones such as MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), rotavirus, chicken pox, shingles and influenza.

So even though you, your friend or family member may have gotten the vaccine they could still pass this onto the new born especially if they only had it within the last month.

So bottom line: If you or one of your friends have recently have had this vaccine or any other for that matter. DO NOT go/let them near the baby. If you choose to get vaccinated thats fine but use your smarts so that way we dont have anymore of these outbreaks. 

In addition to this if you are worried about side effects etc but still want to get the vaccination give us a call as there are many ways we can support your system.

The Health Star Rating....Is it Accurate?

Posted on July 14, 2016 at 5:50 PM

If you've been walking around the supermarket lately wondering how some products received the Health Star Ratings they did, you wouldn't be alone!

While shopping on the weekend I noticed something that I thought was a bit odd. The Sultana Bran Bud Cereal has a Health Star Rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. ​

I presumed, given the very high rating, that this must be some seriously super healthy cereal (as you would expect from a food given 4.5 stars), but not so!


Here's what I found:


The ingredients of Kellogg's Sultana Bran Bud Cereal are as follows:


Wheat bran (29%), wheat flour, sultana filling (20%)(sultanas [10%], invert sugar syrup, humectant [glycerol], flavour), sugar, Hi-Maize™ corn starch, colour (caramel I, 160a), salt, rosemary extract, vitamins (vitamin E [soy], niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin, folate), skim milk powder, minerals (iron, zinc oxide).


And the Nutitional Panel looks like this:

Firstly, let me say that the serving sizes of most breakfast cereals are quite misleading. 1 cup of this cereal is not really very much at all! Most kids let alone adults would easily eat 2 cups worth, so you can't really read much into the amounts under the 'Quantity per Serving' column. I generally always read my labels according to the 'per 100g' column - that way it's a level playing field when doing comparisons and it allows you to see easily what percentage of a product that nutrient makes up.


So for this particular product, sugar makes up around 24% of the product. Not much of that sugar content is due to the dried fruit as you'll notice on the ingredients that only 20% of the product is the sultana filling, (which may sound ok until you realise that only 10% of that 20% is actually sultanas, the rest of the sultana filling is made up of sugars etc. 10% of 20% is only 2%!)

So if a someone has just 1 cupful of this cereal in the morning, they will be getting 10.7g of sugar (that's over 2.5 teaspoons worth), but if you eat serving sizes you'll be heading off  with about 20g (5 teaspoons) of sugar in your bellies and brains.


So how is it that a product that is so high in sugar (which we know to be so damaging) can get such a high Health Star Rating?

In a very simplistic explanation, foods under the Health Star Rating are given baseline negative points based on the amount of saturated fat, total sugars, sodium and energy in the product. They then receive positive points to counteract that based on the protein, fibre, fruit and vegetables content. The total point score gets converted into a Health Star Rating.


So I can only assume (for it's beyond me how this system works after seeing many poor examples!), that this product was given positive points for it's sultana content !!, it's fibre content, and for some of the nutrients that have been added in to it. That's not enough to counteract the negatives in my eyes......


Here's a few other examples of how the system is failing


A plain Greek Yoghurt gets 1.5 stars while Beer Battered Chips get 4 stars! Doesn't make a whole lot of sense!


Coconut Oil receives 1 star while Jaffas receive 3 stars.


Woolworths Select Straight Cut Chips get FIVE stars! What the HELL!!!!


Oh - and did I mention that the system is voluntary! And that it really only applies to packaged, processed foods, not all the lovely fresh fruits and vegetables!


There are many other flaws to the system and how it rates foods, but my biggest concern is that once people see a high Health Star Rating, that they will no longer feel the need to check the label. They will trust the system, without realising that the system can't always be trusted.


So next time you're doing your shopping, just remember that fresh is best! Ditch as much of the processed stuff as you can, and load your trolley with whole foods, that aren't processed, then you won't have the headaches of having to label read all the time!

And.... when you do buy something packaged/processed - DON'T trust the Health Star Rating!! Look at the ingredients and the nutritional panel for yourself and make your own educated decision.


Heather Lavery


Insight Natural Wellness


The Journey to optimal Health is not a sprint... It can take time

Posted on July 6, 2016 at 8:15 PM

Chronic illness took a while to appear - if often started long before you noticed symptoms, so why is that we expect to get better in the space of days or weeks?

High cholesterol? Give me a statin

Hypothyroidism? Quick give me thyroxine.

Anxiety? Here have some valium or antidepressants/antianxiety medication


The problem with this approach is that while it may improve symptoms, or blood markers, in a short space of time (and don't get me wrong, sometimes that is exactly what we need to do in the short term), it doesn't fix the cause of the problem, and it's these underlying issues that take a lot longer to resolve.


People have become very used to this symptom control style of healthcare, so now even in the natural medicine world, results are expected to be quick - but unfortunately that's not always possible. Reversing damage in the body can take time. Sure - sometimes there's a quick fix - particularly if your problem is a recent one, but for long standing health issues sometimes change can take anywhere from weeks to months to years - but generally with improvements occurring all the time along the way. But the longer you've had the issue the longer it will take to fix.


Chronic health problems is like peeling back the layers of an onion. Once you peel back the layer of those first symptoms and start to resolve them often you uncover other problems in the layers underneath. These aren't set backs, they are issues that have been there for a very long time - but they have been masked by the other layers of symptoms.


Naturopaths look holistically at health and work to uncover what's driving the symptoms you're experiencing. For example is your thyroid issue caused by nutrient imbalances? Is it due to excessive intake of goitregens? Is there other issues such as stress or other hormone imbalances involved? Is it because you have Hashimoto's (an auto-immune disorder)? And if it is Hashimoto's, what were their factors that may have initiated the condition?

In an initial appointment, we spend around an hour with you taking a full health history. While some of the questions we ask may seem irrelevant, THEY'RE NOT. The answers you provide give us clues as to what is happening inside your body which enables us to find the best way to help you. Sometimes that requires further testing, which may seem like another delay, and an unnecessary expense - but may be an essential part of helping you get well again.


So remember, the results you are looking for may not always be as quick as you would have liked, but making lasting health changes is worth the wait.

Heather Lavery