how to be healthy

3 things you should eat everyday & other wisdom with Amy Ritchie

It's been a while since I've shared wellness words with you, and it's all because I've settled into life as a Physiotherapist in Melbourne, Australia, after leading retreats in Bali. So now I'm all nestled in, here's an incredible interview with our friend holistic nutritionist Amy Ritchie who tell you why you can't hate yourself healthy, and other gems.

What is healthy eating?

This one is tricky. I think often we want to the know the 5 foods we need to eat all the time to be “healthy.” Because this is easy. The real work is looking at who we are as eaters.

We can’t talk about healthy eating, or achieve wellness, without addressing our relationship with food. You can't hate yourself into healthy! Choosing foods from a place of respect for your body rather than hate & restriction is healthy eating.

Enjoying a treat without experiencing shame afterwards is healthy eating. 

Why are food pics and cooking shows taking over social media?

We’re visual & we have short attention spans. I love getting inspired by food shows & photos but it needs to leave the screen and get to your kitchen! It’s easy to feel like you’re making steps to being healthy by pinning recipes, but then never actually making them. Get inspired, find one good recipe and then make it! You can pin more later.

I also get curious as to how this plays into overeating. There’s a phase of digestion referred to as the cephalic phase. In this phase seeing, smelling and thinking about food begins the digestive processes in the body. You have a physical response to seeing pictures of food (salivating at a picture is a real thing!) So try to follow healthy food accounts and look before eating not before bed. It may actually be a good way to ramp up digestive function!

What are your 3 favourite things to make? 

Eggs are a go to for me in the morning and lately I’ve been loving them scrambled with some raw garlic, turmeric, cherry tomatoes & arugula (I think you call it rocket). 

I’m also on a collagen/bullet-proof coffee kick. I blend 1 tbsp organic ghee (clarified butter) + ¼ tsp vanilla extract + 1 scoop collagen powder + 1 cup organic French press coffee. It’s heaven - frothy & delicious. The type of fat in butter & coconut oil is more readily used for energy and the collagen powder provides protein.

I also make a lot of wild rice. It’s a great alternative to pasta, white rice or other heavy carbohydrates. It takes a while to cook so I recommend soaking it for at least 4 hours prior, which will also improve digestibility. 

Here's a collagen powder I like: http://www.vitalproteins.com/user/nutritionbyamy

What's the biggest question people ask you about how to eat well?

What can I do to help with sugar & carb cravings. 

What's the biggest thing everyone needs to work on when it comes to nutrition?

Eating real food and not getting to caught up on the logistics.

Real food doesn’t contain ingredients, real food is ingredients.

It doesn’t usually come in a box, or pre-made. Don’t stress red quinoa or white quinoa, kale vs spinach or steaming vs baking. These things matter much less than eating a variety of unprocessed foods daily. 

If you had your way - what are 3 things every one should eat once a day?

Holistic Nutrition is all about what for whom – but for ME: salmon, turmeric, dark chocolate. 

What's your favourite treat?

Definitely chocolate. In all its forms. Pistachios are a close 2nd. 

What is your BEST tip about healthy eating and nutrition?

Listen to your body, get curious. Slow down and pay attention to how you feel after eating. Nobody can ever know your body better than you do. I ask my clients to listen for the whispers. This means hearing and responding to the subtle signs that your body is struggling, before it has to shout. 

Learn more about Amy, and follow her for the most delicious healthy recipes you've ever seen at: www.amyritchie.ca

In Melbourne? Want to learn more about healthy eating and great, nourishing food?

Come to our One Day Wellness Retreat on June 17th! The food will blow your mind, and it's incredibly healthy!

Liver Detox, Self Worth & Taking the Food Out of Junk Food

Dr Libby's Surviving to Thriving Workshop

The other night I went to an incredible workshops with Dr Libby Weaver, biochemist extraordinaire and wellness advocate. Much like Aprivé Wellness, Dr Libby blends scientific evidence with fun stories and meaningful wellbeing tips to help women live their best lives. 

Last night's workshop focused around women in particular, and featured everything from the importance of liver health to the danger of oestrogen dominance. Most interestingly, Dr Libby answered her own question:

"Why do we do what we do when we know what we know?"

I learned the answer during the workshop, and here are other things I learned.

Dr Libby Queenstown

1. People and the decisions they make are healthy, not food itself

Dr Libby points out food (whole, real food that is) is just food, it's your choices that determine health. She's also keen to remind everyone that junk food isn't food. It's just junk. 

2. Nutrition is vital for the biochemical reactions that drive everything in your body

To convert one chemical into another, which the body can use, we need nutrients. Nutrients are what we get from real food. Take broccoli for example: Broccoli is broken down into a special kind of medium, which also helps your liver process oestrogen. Without broccoli, this reaction is stalled. Why don't you want to much oestrogen? Read on....

3. Your liver needs a cleanse. Trust me.

Liver cleansing and beetroot juices have been around for ages, but apart from helping recover from a champagne binge, no one is really sure why livers need cleansing. 

Alcohol isn't the main reason your liver needs cleansing. Fat and oestrogen is.

In the old days, alcohol was the main reason livers developed fatty liver disease. Now though, it's occurring in many women, even children. What does this mean?

 It means there is less viable liver able to process the incoming fats, cholesterol, oestrogen and alcohol, so it's working at lower capacity and is overloaded. Uh oh...

What happens when you liver is overloaded?

First up, think of the liver as a 2-phase funnel. Dr Libby uses her arm to depict a liver. Imagine your forearm is the input, where trans-fats, alcohol, cholesterol and oestrogen come in. At the wrist is phase one, where every substance undergoes a change, call it A1. After A1, imagine your palm is phase 2, where the changed substance A1 chooses a pathway down one of your fingertips, one of 5 different pathways.

Nodding our heads at the workshop, Dr Libby went on, explaining what happens when the liver is backed up. After a substance comes into the liver and undergoes a change (becomes A1) sometimes there's too much traffic for it to filter down one of the five pathways. So! It sneaks out a trap door and gets back into the blood stream.

Our body isn't skilled at processing these altered substances (A1) and a good example is oestrogen. After it become altered, if it is forced to sneak out the trapdoor, the altered oestrogen enters the blood stream. Unfortunately it can't be processed, and has been linked to oestrogen-dominant cancers like some breast cancers. Not good.

How do you cleanse the liver?

You need to free up the traffic that's blocking those five pathways.

1. Decrease cholesterol, alcohol and trans fats to slow down the flow of substances coming into the liver.

2. Decrease your oestrogen levels. How? Decrease your stress levels; this helps increase your progesterone levels which is your body's anti-anxiety hormone. When progesterone levels increase, oestrogen decreases and they level out. This means there's less oestrogen flooding into the liver, and none has to sneak out the trap door!

Thinking of the info I learned from Dr Libby!

Thinking of the info I learned from Dr Libby!

4 Wellness Tips I Learned from Dr Libby

1. Eat Greens Everyday

Dr Libby has a green juice every morning, and finds it the easiest way to increase her veggie intake.

2. Say "No" Without feeling guilty

Seeing hundreds of women every year at her Beautiful You Weekends, Dr Libby encounters so many women who feel overwhelmed, flustered and stressed, but who wear a mask of serenity to hide it all. Her antidote is to get you to say 'no' more often. Not a guilty no, where you beat yourself up for not being able to help a friend, attend a seminar or walk someone's dog, but a content, strong 'NO!' Give it a try.

3. Listen to your body. She knows best

For the first time, Dr Libby shared her own personal story in this seminar about a battle with gluten intolerance where she lost excessive weight, and was very ill. She says she didn't go to the doctor for four whole months, but if she'd listened to her body, she would have gone earlier. Libby wants you to listen to your body, and trust your intuition as it is almost always right about what you need to look after yourself.

4. if you don't value yourself - you won't look after yourself

This was the most profound part of the workshop for me. As a wellness consultant, I chat with women about habit change and many do incredibly well. But this fact is absolutely true, and I had never thought of it so clearly.

Everyone knows what they should to do look after themselves, so why don't they do it? Because they don't think they deserve to be their best selves. If you truly believe you are precious, and valuable, and special, you're more likely to treat yourself to the best gift - health. If you're not sure how to start valuing yourself, come to one of our retreats. It's the perfect place to start!

Dr Libby is a truly brilliant speaker, and the other night's workshops was no exception. She truly listens to women, and looks at what she can do to help you have more energy and be your best self. I feel so privileged to have attended this event for Aprivé Wellness and our Health & Wellness blog for Queenstown.com. Thank you Dr Libby! Amazing as always.