February 07, 2017

Posted in diet, fruit, healthy food, heart disease, vegetables, weight loss

Why is everything we do vegan?

You might now by now that I am not an extremist.  I am not extremely one way or another, like an extreme vegan or extreme paleo or extreme anything.  I like to drink beer every now and also enjoy a bacon and egg roll (generally not together, but each in their right time).  Our offering is focused on short term kick starts like juice fasting, healthy salads and now we have our intermittent fasting programs.  You might still ask, so if you are not an extremist, why is everything you do all vegan?  Good question.  Here is why….

  • In several studies, vegan diets tend to provide more fibre, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. The diets also appear to be richer in potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E.
  • Many observational studies show that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes than non-vegans. Also, a range of randomised controlled studies have shown that vegan diets were more effective more weight loss than the diets they were compared to, with one study showing that participants lost more weight on a vegan diet compared to a calorie restricted diet. 
  • A vegan diet may help to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics, and also reduce their risk of poor kidney function by substituting meat for plant protein.
  • Lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and legumes and fibre are linked to a lowered risk of heart disease. Observational studies comparing vegans and vegetarians to the general population demonstrate the vegans may benefit from a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure.  And vegans may have up to a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.


Like I said, I am not advocating for everyone to become vegans for all their life.  But, there are benefits that could be gained from adopting some vegan habits, even if it is just 3 days every month!

How does fasting contribute to cell renewal?

There is now evidence that fasting could help contribute to regenerating new cells in the body to help fight against disease and ageing.  One of these studies looked at how prolonged fasting (for periods of 2 to 4 days) not only helped protect the immune system but also helped to induce immune system regeneration in people who had undergone chemotherapy. 

Here is how it works:

When you starve your systems tried to save energy and one of the things it can do is to recycle a lot of immune cells that are not needed, especially damaged ones.  So the white blood cell count does go down, but then when food is re-introduced back into the diet the cells come back.  Prolonged fasting has also been associated with lower levels of a particular growth-factor hormone , IGF-1, that has been linked to aging, tumour progression and cancer risk. 

This research seems to have supported the recent study that showed that a low calorie diet that mimicked a fast can yield a wide range of health benefits including cutting belly fat, elevated stem cell renewal in the brain and slowed ageing.  The study looked at a group that ate normally for 25 days/month and for 5 days per month did a low calorie diet based mostly on fruits and vegetables, with plant based fats and very little animal based protein.  It’s about re-progamming the body to enter a slower aging mode but also rejuvenation through stem cell based regeneration!  Exciting times ahead!

 For more info, check out these links:


A fast way to live longer

Did you see Catalyst last week?  Thank you to Jo for alerting me to it being on TV, admittedly I was in bed at 7pm on the night that the show was televised but she told me the next morning.

The basis of the show was investigating how some people can live longer than others and whilst a lot of their research focused on the DNA, they also discussed some research surrounding other ways to extend life.  I am not one to propose we live the rest of our lives taking pills to live longer, but the show did discuss another method, one we all have easy access to, that could increase our longevity and most importantly, our health into those extra years. 

The show looked at the presenter who attempted a diet that was designed to mimic a fast, so it was essential low in protein and sugar but also had good healthy vegetable fats, like from nuts.  The aim of mimicking the fast was to get the body into maintenance mode by reducing the growth signals it gets from certain food types.  The professor explains,

“Enough protein is very important, but people are now eating 50%, 100%, 200%, 300% more than normal and this is pushing the system to try to grow but there's no growth. And so the consequence could be that you put an accelerator on all these systems and you just really push them to the limit and then they fail.”

 The results have been quite remarkable with improvements in inflammation, dermatitis, a major reduction in tumours, improvement in cognitive function, and a reduction in visceral fat (this is the bad fat around your middle section) without a loss in muscle mass.

The professor explains what they think is happening, “One is the killing of a lot of bad cells, but also a lot of not-so-bad cells but they may have been old. So you fast and every day of the fasting, the organs are getting a little bit smaller and they're getting rid of cells because they have to save energy. Then eventually when you re-feed, these organs and cell systems, they have to return to normal and that's really a remarkable way to replace and rejuvenate almost every component of the body.”

 So it is this process of fasting 3-4 times per year for 5 days that could have an incredible impact on the liver, the blood system and many other systems in the body, in a way, making our body act the way it did when we were young. 

Now I am sure you are probably busting to know what the diet was?  From the Catalyst website, they explain it is very low in proteins (like no animal proteins – so no dairy, meat, etc) but with almost 50% made from carbohydrates from vegetables and the rest made of healthy fats from nuts.  The amount of calories was approx. 700-800 per day with unlimited herbal tea and lots of water. 

A similar dietary composition can be achieved with a Low Fruit Cleanse, we have vegetable soups, juices and nut milks that can create a similar fasting diet that may help you live longer and stronger.  Contact us for any questions!

Why wait til Monday to start

Today is a good day, a great day in fact. The days are getting longer, the mornings are lighter, the birds are chirpier and this weekend is forecast to be above 20 degrees for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane! Good times!

So why wait to get started on being healthy? There are plenty of reasons to start tomorrow:

Just over 3 months til Christmas holidays, and if you plan on going somewhere where a swimsuit is mandatory, then that is not a lot of time to get into shape

Spring time is the best time to get inspired about changing something for the better in your life. It might be your health, your wealth, your education, or your relationships. Starting something new and exciting is as energizing as a holiday.

The fruit gets sweeter and more abundant which makes eating fresh and clean so much easier and much more delicious

Warmer nights means eating salads is suddenly not crazy talk. I know in the depths of winter, sometimes the idea of only eating a cold salad or juice seems like the most ludicrous thing you have ever heard. But what a difference a month makes!!

August 28, 2015

Posted in detox diet, diet, good food, healthy, healthy food, pantry

Spring clean your pantry

After the winter clears and the weather warms, I often look at my cupboards and think, “What on earth did I buy that for?”. Or more appropriately, when did my partner sneak that into the grocery basket. I found a box of choc chip cookies, some packet pasta, 2 minute noodles among other nasties that I care not to mention. Winter tends to get me at my weakest, I hate the cold and definitely understand the appeal of tasty quick naughty things that make you feel better (only briefly though). But when the winter breaks, and salad is not such a dirty word, then it is perfect timing to Spring Clean your body with a cleanse, but also Spring Clean your pantry. Here are my tips:

Look for anything that you are storing for a rainy day – if it is there, you are 100% guaranteed to eat it at some point. Maybe you get home from work and you missed lunch and it is the first thing you see, and 10 cookies end up disappearing in 2 minutes flat.

Donate whatever you don’t want to eat to the needy – all the prepackaged stuff can be donated, it will help them a lot and you don’t feel guilty for being wasteful and throwing it in the bin.

Organise what you do want to keep – get it all out and sort through it so you know exactly what you do have. I found 10 tins of chickpeas in our cupboard, as my partner seems to think we eat more of them than we actually do, so I have stacked all 10 together as I know I can make some yummy healthy dishes with lots of chickpeas!

August 05, 2015

Posted in almonds, cashew nuts, cashews, diet, healthy, magnesium, weight loss


I learnt something new today. I already knew they were very healthy and very versatile little things, but I didn’t know exactly how they grew. Cashews come from a fruit called the cashew apple, they are a funny looking little combination of fruit with the little nut attached at the bottom. The nut is enclosed in a shell, and they must be shelled as the inside of the shell contains a caustic resin.

Just a quarter of a cup of cashews contains 98% of the RDI for copper, which plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes including iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, development of bone and connective tissue, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin.

That same quarter of a cup has 29% of your RDI of magnesium. You might have read a few weeks ago when we talked about the importance of magnesium in maintaining good bowel health, but magnesium is also vital in healthy bones.

Magnesium is well known to help with muscle cramps, it works by balancing the calcium and preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell. This rushing in is what causes the excessive contraction in cramps, but also could cause things like migraines, high blood pressure and heart muscles and airway spasms.

I love cashews not only because of their health benefits, but their versatility. Regular customer of ours will know we use them in soups, to provide a creaminess that is almost like dairy. But in my own home I used cashews as a flour replacement. Just using the blender to grind them up and put them in your muffins, banana breads and slices. They will produce a consistency that is a lot more moist than normal, but gluten free and delicious.

Is it really better to go for diet drinks over the “normal” version?

So you have decided to jump on this quitting sugar bandwagon, which is great! But you love your soft drink and you figure “easy, I will just start drinking the diet version” but really you should be considering giving up soft drink, period.

Here is why:

Most diet drinks have got aspartame as the replacement sweetener. This is something you should look to avoid as the chemicals that make up the artificial sweetener aspartame may alter brain chemicals, nerve signals, and the brain's reward system, which can lead to headaches, anxiety, and insomnia, according to a review in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Aspartame ranks 200 hundreds times sweeter than table sugar. Splenda? 600 times. In fact, brain scans show that diet soda alters sweet receptors in the brain and prolongs sugar cravings rather than satisfies them

Diet soft drink may get you drunk a lot quicker than drinking normal soft drink. An Australian study in the American Journal of Medicine concluded that if you mix diet soft drink with booze, for example, vodka and diet coke, your stomach empties out faster, causing a drastic increase in blood alcohol concentrations.

It can make you fatter. Apparently a study in Diabetes Central showed that that drinking two-thirds of a diet soft drink before eating a meal primed the pancreas to release a lot of the fat-storing hormone insulin.   This triggers your body in fat storage mode and leads to you gaining weight.