Acupuncture and Fertility.

Eating to beat the heat

herbal-medicineOriental medicine (OM) emphasises that we should eat according to the season to stay healthy.

Summer is the season of maximum Yang (expansive, warming, vibrant energy). These days, we often see it as a time to kick back and relax, but it’s worth remembering that in ancient times, especially in an agrarian culture, summer would have been a physically demanding time of year. So diet would have been very important.

So what sort of food should we eat to help cool ourselves down when the mercury starts climbing? Have you ever noticed that when you devour an ice cream, it feels cooling at the time but you actually feel hotter soon afterwards? This is an example of the body trying to restore equilibrium. You put something very cold in your system and the body will try to warm itself up again to counteract this, and will often overshoot.

Oriental medicine (OM) takes a subtler approach. One of the first principles is to eat lighter meals than you would in winter or autumn, as heavy meals are taxing on the digestion and can make you feel sluggish.

Flavour is very important in OM dietetics, with five main flavours identified – salty, sweet, sour, pungent (acrid, spicy), and bitter. Each of these flavours has different energetic properties and has a different action in the body when consumed. The bitter flavour is thought to be cooling. So during summer, it’s a good idea to incorporate some foods with a slightly bitter flavour. Some of the examples recommended in ancient texts are a little hard to come across in the modern supermarket, but equivalents include green leafy vegetables such as kale, Chinese greens, raddichio, and rocket; sprouts; vinegar; and raw cacao. Bitter drinks would include green tea, dandelion tea, and tonic water. The key here is moderation – you would not include all of these at every meal, but just use some of them in small amounts, according to the temperature and how much you feel the heat.

From a broader health perspective, many of these bitter foods are packed with beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants. The bitter taste also helps stimulate the production of gastric acid and bile, and therefore helps digestion. Interestingly, modern Western culture tends to instead favour the sweet taste, overconsumption of which can tax our digestive systems and, in the long term, lead to diabetes and obesity.

applesSpicy foods can also be cooling when eaten in moderation. Think fresh ginger, chilli, capsicum, horseradish and black pepper, as seasoning or in curries. These spices help dissipate heat by bringing it out to the surface. But again – moderation – as if eaten in excess, they can dissipate too much energy, leaving you susceptible to illness in cooler weather.

Other foods seen to have an intrinsically cooling effect in OM are cucumber, tomatoes, celery; and many fruits, including apples, watermelon, lemons and limes. But don’t overdose on these either, especially if you have weak digestion (tendency to bloating or loose stools).

So, as you can see, OM has many dietary strategies to help you keep cool this summer, without reaching for the ice-cream.

Acupuncture – taking the fear out of a dentist’s visit or operation.

acupuncture dentistMost of us feel mildly uncomfortable, if not outright apprehensive, at the thought of a dental procedure or surgical operation. For example, surveys show that around one in five of us are very afraid of dentist visits. This fear can lead us to postpone dental treatment to the point where problems start to build up and we end up needing more work done than we might otherwise. Ouch…!

Poor dental health actually reduces our overall health too – it has been linked to heart disease and dementia – so this situation affects more than just our mouths.

Before operations, up to 70% of us feel anxious, and understandably so. But that anxiety can be counter-productive if it is severe or leads us to avoid procedures we really need.

What if there was a drug-free way to feel less anxious, more relaxed, more in control in these situations?

There is – Acupuncture. Two recent studies looked at the impact of Acupuncture on anxiety before operations and dentist visits.

The first looked at the effect of Acupuncture on surgical anxiety. The study was a “meta-analysis”, meaning that it reviewed all relevant and acceptable studies on this topic. It found that patients who had real Acupuncture just before their operation were significantly less anxious than those who had “sham” Acupuncture (where the researchers used points on the body that are not Acupuncture points or they did not actually insert a needle). One of the trials suggested that preoperative Acupuncture was just as effective as a commonly used anti-anxiety medication, although the number of people in that study was too small to be sure.

The second study looked at how Acupuncture affects anxiety at the dentists. In this trial, the researchers used Acupuncture on points on the ear, comparing real with sham Acupuncture. The volunteers had Acupuncture shortly before their dentist appointment. Real Acupuncture led to a significantly greater reduction in anxiety than did sham Acupuncture in patients waiting to see the dentist. In contrast, a control group who did not have any anxiety-relieving treatment became more anxious as they waited to be called by the dentist, as you might have experienced yourself!

The use of ear points in this study is interesting, as in practice, acupuncturists can retain tiny needles or small ball bearings (affixed to tape so they will not drop off) at these points. This means that the needles or balls are still in place when you go into the dentist’s so you can stimulate them yourself by pressing them to boost the calming effect.

So if you have been putting off that dentist visit or operation, do so no longer! Acupuncture just before the procedure (or if ear seeds are used, up to a few days before) could make it a much more relaxing experience. I would suggest a couple of sessions prior to the procedure so that the points can be individualised for you for maximum benefit.


Tips for staying well this Winter

naturopathy cold fluIt’s always a sad time of year for me when the days start to get shorter and colder! It can also be a difficult time with people that are prone to cold and flu symptoms such as coughs, sore throats, headaches, sneezing and blocked noses, and muscular aches.

If you or your family dread this time of year as you seem to be afflicted with illness, it might be a good time to reassess your diet and lifestyle, and possibly go that step further and see a qualified Naturopath to help you whilst coming in to those colder months.


Include these to help boost your Immune System.

  • Zinc – this mineral is found in most protein containing foods, eg chicken, beef, fish, nuts, seeds (pumpkin seeds are an excellent source). Zinc deficiency can be one of many reasons for repetitive illness, poor wound healing, skin disorders and white spots on your nails. Zinc and Copper are competing minerals, so if one is low then the other may be high, which can then drive the deficiency down further. Another problem can be low stomach acid, which means you are not breaking down proteins efficiently and therefore not absorbing the zinc.
  • Vitamin C – this vitamin is important in preventing illness as well as speeding up recovery times, as it increases the activity of infection fighting white blood cells. Good sources of vitamin C are berries, oranges, kiwifruit, guava, tomatoes, capsicum, dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli.
  • Mushrooms – are also an excellent food source for improving the function the immune system, the best varieties are shiitake, maitake and reishi so add as many of these as possible.
  • Add lots of ginger, garlic and onion to your diet – they have great pathogen fighting properties and are very beneficial to the immune system.
  • Probiotic foods – such as yoghurt (if tolerated), miso, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. A big part of the immune system is in the gut, so ensuring sufficient good bacteria is another way to maximise your immune function.
  • Get outside more – part of the problem with the colder months is that we stay inside to keep warm. By doing this we are missing out on the benefits of sunshine and fresh air, and allowing exposure to harmful pathogens that others in the room may have.


Avoid these if you are prone to infections.

Sugar – it is very important to minimise or eliminate sugar from your diet, as it reduces the capacity of your white blood cells to engulf invading pathogens. This effect has been proven to last for up to 5 hours after eating a high sugar food.

Mucus forming foods – especially if you are prone to congestion and phlegm, the foods to avoid are mostly dairy, sugar and refined foods.


Avoiding illness this winter.

The best thing you can do is to prevent infection. However if you have made all of the mentioned changes to your diet and lifestyle and are still getting sick, it may be time to see a Naturopath that can investigate further and prescribe a herbal remedy and/or appropriate supplementation.


Ice or heat for injuries?

acupuncture fire iceA question I am often asked in clinic is “Should I use ice or heat on this injury?”.

The icing controversy

The conventional viewpoint is that it’s best to ice an injury in the first few hours and to apply heat to a chronic (long-lasting) injury. Ice, along with rest, compression and elevation (R-I-C-E), is seen to limit swelling and inflammation for the first 24-48 hours following an injury. However, the use of ice has recently been questioned by some in Western medicine, and has never been advocated in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In clinic, what we tend to see is that people continue to ice injuries long after this initial period, and that this can lead to problems.

This is particularly true for tendons and ligaments, as these structures naturally have less blood supply than muscles. So ligament and tendon injuries are particularly likely to become longstanding if we interfere with the already low blood flow.

So among some sections of the sports injuries world, for tendon and ligament injuries, RICE has been superseded by M-E-A-T (movement – exercise – analgesia (pain relief) – treatments (that promote blood flow).

Conventionally, ice application is recommended immediately after an injury under the premise that it helps the coagulation process, limiting bleeding from damaged blood vessels. The second reason put forward for icing an injury is that ice can ease inflammation. Thirdly, it has a numbing effect so can help relieve pain.

So let’s look at these aspects in turn.

Stopping bleeding immediately after an injury certainly makes sense. But how long is the window of opportunity for this? One animal study suggests that critical period for preventing secondary injury (from swelling due to bleeding around the injury) may be much shorter than we originally thought – somewhere from 30 minutes to 5 hours, with the first 30 minutes being the most critical.

It’s generally accepted that too much inflammation is a bad thing. But some animal research shows that interfering with inflammation after trauma may be detrimental. It could actually slow down healing. Researchers have found that injured cells produce the inflammatory hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1), which significantly increases the rate of muscle repair. In mice bred to not produce IGF-1, healing after an injury was slower than in normal mice.

How about pain relief? In 2004, researchers looked at all the available studies to try to determine the effectiveness of ice after injuries and surgery. As part of this, they looked into pain relief. They found that while ice helped to reduce pain, the majority of studies showed that compression alone was just as effective. They also noted that there wasn’t much good-quality research into this area.


How Traditional Chinese Medicine sees cold

In Chinese Medical theory, too much cold is not a good thing. In fact it is seen as the root of many problems, with the cold becoming lodged in the tissues, leading to ongoing stiffness and pain.

Of course, in ancient China there were no freezers. Only those who lived in cold or mountainous regions would even have had access to ice. So people needed other ways to treat injuries. Traditional Chinese Medicine has a whole toolkit of techniques to help heal injuries. For acute injuries, a form of massage incorporating acupressure points (tui na), as well as acupuncture and moxibustion (a herbal heat treatment on specific points) can help relieve pain and reduce swelling. For chronic injuries that are slow to heal, as well as the above therapies, techniques such as Tai Chi can be very useful in gently promoting movement and freeing up the area. These forms of treatment correspond much better to the MEAT viewpoint than the ICE protocol – Tai Chi for movement and exercise, acupuncture for analgesia (pain relief), and acupuncture/massage and moxibustion for treatments that promote blood flow, thereby promoting rather than hindering the body’s natural healing mechanisms.


How does heat help after an injury?

Heat is certainly useful in the chronic phase of an injury, as it relaxes the area, promotes blood flow and relieves pain. I generally recommend patients apply warm packs after any swelling has gone down. Another approach is to use ginger soaks or compresses, which also have a warming action. [Link to ginger poultice article]

When used correctly, heat is also very useful in the acute phase of an injury. If you come to see me in the first couple of days after minor trauma, I will perform a full assessment of the injury. Then I will usually burn small cones of moxa, derived from the leaf of the mugwort plant, to apply heat to specific points around the site. I can also teach you how to use this technique at home between clinic visits, to maximise the rate of healing. When used in this way, moxa actually has a slight cooling effect (by encouraging local sweating), but is much gentler than ice. It encourages local blood flow and reduces pain, allowing you to gradually get back to the activities you enjoy. Other moxibustion techniques are useful once the inflammation has started to subside and we are concentrating on regaining range of motion.

Gentle acupuncture using very fine needles at specific points is also helpful in triggering the body’s healing mechanisms.


Heat or cold for injuries – summary.

  • See if you can avoid ice if possible, especially for injuries likely to involve ligaments and tendons rather than muscles – in other words the sinewy parts of the body: ankles, knees, wrists/hands. If you are going to use ice, restrict it to the first 24-48 hours. Make sure any cold compress / ice pack is well wrapped in a towel to avoid injuring the skin from excessive cold. Use for no longer than 20 min at a time.
  • Heat is more useful after this stage, along with gentle mobilisation, depending on the extent of the injury. Be guided by your body and stop any movements that make the pain worse.
  • If you can get in to see an acupuncturist in the first day or so after the injury, this is very useful and may allow you to avoid using ice and speed up recovery.


chocolate heartYou have probably heard or read that chocolate can be beneficial for your health. In pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, chocolate was considered a “food for the gods”, was used in religious rituals and cacao beans were such a previous commodity that they were even used as a form of currency.

Today we are fortunate that chocolate is readily available, but the big problem is that a lot of commercial chocolate you buy is full of things that are best avoided… such as hydrogenated vegetable oils, sugar, artificial sweeteners, additives, preservatives, colours, flavour, powdered milk solids, and much more.

There is a lot of exciting research coming to light about raw cacao, and the benefits of the cacao bean and dark chocolate. These benefits extend to the heart, vascular system, brain, aging, mood and energy. This is in some part due to the fact that raw cacao is abundant in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and many unique properties. Cacao contains twice the antioxidant content of red wine, and up to three times that of green tea. These antioxidants can improve cognitive impairment and produce nitric oxide with some great cardiovascular benefits.

The ORAC Score measures the benefits of antioxidants. Here is a comparison of the ORAC score per 100 grams for some common foods known to have a high antioxidant level, listed in descending order.

  • Dark Chocolate – ORAC 13,120
  • Milk Chocolate – ORAC 6,740
  • Prunes – 5,770
  • Raisins – 2,830
  • Blueberries – 2,400
  • Blackberries – 2036
  • Kale – 1,770
  • Strawberries – 1540
  • Spinach – 1260
  • Raspberries – 1220
  • Brussel Sprouts – 980
  • Broccoli – 890

Another important nutrient found in cacao is theobromine (a chemical related to caffeine). Theobromine was discovered in cacao and a few other plants in the 19th century, by 1916 it had been extracted from the bean and was being used in medical treatment for oedema and angina. In modern medicine the compound theobromine is used as a vasodilator, this means it can dilate smooth muscle such as the blood vessels, bronchial tubes, large intestine. It is also used as a diuretic and heart stimulant. Recent research shows the effects of how theobromine can lower blood pressure as well as help with asthma.

Unlike caffeine, theobromine does not have an addictive nature or have the same strong affects as caffeine has on the nervous system. The cacao bean can have up to 10% of its weight made up of theobromine, the effects of the theobromine on the body can be up to 6 – 10 hours after consumption.

Importantly, as many of you will attest, chocolate enhances the mood and boosts energy.

So what is the best way to obtain the benefits of chocolate without the nasty hydrogenated fats and processed sugars? Raw cacao powder is now readily available in health food stores, along with raw cacao chocolate bars in an amazing variety of flavours.

Or experiment and make your own raw chocolate truffles. These make great Christmas presenters and look great packaged up in a pretty box or cellophane wrap and ribbon.


Raw Chocolate Truffles


  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds (or any other seeds you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (or any other nuts you have on hand – cashews are wonderful too)
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder


  1. Process the nuts in the food processor. Keep processing them until you can’t see the nuts anymore, but stop processing before they get too soft looking.
  2. Add the dates, sea salt and cacao powder. Process again until everything is well mixed and clumped together.
  3. Roll the balls in your hand and form balls. You may also like to roll the completed truffles in goji berries, coconut, cacao powder, etc.

These keep well in the fridge.



Naturopathic approach to alleviating morning sickness in pregnancy

natural-pregnancyMorning sickness is the acute, transient nausea associated with pregnancy. ‘Morning sickness’ is a misnomer – it may occur at any time of the day, though it most commonly occurs soon after waking. It is thought to be caused by increased levels of oestrogen being produced by the placenta and/or by increased levels of human chorionic gonadotropin. Morning sickness usually starts in the first month of the pregnancy, peaking in the 6th week, and continuing until the 16th week. For 50% of all sufferers, it ends by the 16th week of pregnancy. For the other half, it may take up to another month to get relief but some women will have morning sickness off and on for their entire pregnancy.


Risk factors

Some women suffer terribly from morning sickness, while others sail through with minimum nausea. The following factors are thought to play a part in morning sickness:

  • An increase in the circulating level of the hormone oestrogen. Oestrogen levels may increase by up to a hundredfold during pregnancy.
  • An increase in human chorionic gonadotropin.
  • Low blood sugar during pregnancy.
  • An increase in progesterone relaxes the muscles in the uterus, which prevents early childbirth, but may also relax the stomach and intestines, leading to nausea.
  • Intake of alcohol, sugar, oils and meat, which have been postulated to cause a natural trigger of morning sickness in the body as a way of discouraging ingestion of less healthy foods.


Signs and Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of morning sickness include

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Retching, belching, vomiting of sour fluid
  • Poor digestion with abdominal distension exacerbated by eating
  • Poor appetite
  • Fatigue—especially after meals


Diet and Lifestyle tips to help alleviate morning sickness

  • Pregnant women are making the greatest nutritional investment of their lives. It is important to ensure adequate nutritional intake by eating a diet based on fresh, organic wholefoods, incorporating protein, fruit, vegetables, good fats and high fibre foods.
  • Avoid an empty stomach. Eating small regular meals helps to maintain energy levels and may prevent morning sickness.
  • Don’t overeat – large meals can drain energy. Instead of eating three big meals per day, try six mini-meals to spread your kilojoule intake more evenly. This will result in more constant blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • Ginger, in capsules, tea, ginger ale or ginger beer.
  • Peppermint leaf tea, can help relieve nausea and morning sickness or gas.
  • Raspberry leaf tea, also relieves nausea, however is recommended after the first trimester only.
  • Fulfil food cravings.
  • Drink plenty of water – a dehydrated body functions less efficiently.
  • Eat iron rich foods – make sure diet includes iron rich foods such as lean red meat.
  • Ensure adequate, regular, and consistent amounts of sleep each night.
  • Effective relaxation is essential – try techniques such as yoga or meditation.
  • Maintaining a reasonable work and personal schedule is important.
  • Address chronic pain and/or depression.
  • Cut down caffeine.
  • Some women find that aromatherapy can help – with essential oils of lemon, lime, orange and peppermint (a few drops in a vaporiser) can ease nausea.


Improving your chances of conceiving

natural-pregnancyPreconceptual Care

Preconceptual care involves getting both partners into the best possible physical and mental shape to maximise your chances of creating a pregnancy that lasts to full term, and brings you a healthy baby at the end of it. Research indicates that a three to four month programme of healthy living will get you into excellent shape before trying for a baby, help you become pregnant more quickly and reduce the chance of miscarriage.

Preconceptual care is a common sense approach, and when both couples adopt these principles, it can dramatically increase the chances of a healthy conception.


Five Steps to Fertility

For 3-4 months, both partners should:

  1. Eat only health, fresh foods
  2. Eliminate any toxic substances from your system – for example give up smoking and drinking alcohol
  3. Find out which vitamins and minerals you are short of, and top up
  4. Become as fit and well as you can – for example exercise regularly and get checked and treated for any low level genito-urinary infections such as thrush
  5. Reduce the level of stress in your life

Complementary therapy treatments including herbal medicine, reflexology, chiropractic, acupuncture and even counselling can work gently and effectively to eliminate some of the obstacles to conception. Everyone and every couple is unique, and complementary therapies excels at holistically addressing individual health concerns.


Phytotherapy (Herbal Medicine).

Various herbal medicines are available to us to balance and enhance reproductive health, fertility and sexual vitality in both men and women. Herbs can have a potent effect on the reproductive system, and you will get the best results if you see a qualified naturopath or herbalist who are trained in the actions and administration of herbal medicine.


Some herbal remedies especially for women:

Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste Tree) – can assist to regulate periods and balance out the oestrogen and progesterone levels and rations.

Chamaelirium luteum (False Unicorn Root) – this North American herb has an excellent reputation as a tonic for the uterus and ovaries, and a balancing effect on the sex hormones. It is traditionally used for encouraging fertility in women.

Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai) – a traditional Chinese herbal tonic for women to regulate hormones and ovulation. This herb should not be taken in early pregnancy and avoided if there is a possibility you could be pregnant.

Withania somnifera (Winter Cherry) – is strengthening, rejuvenating and an important herb for stress and fatigue.

Asparagus racemosa (Shatavari) – a hormone balancer from India, which also enhances libido in women.


Some herbal remedies for men:

Turnera diffusa (Damiana) – strengthens the male reproductive system and also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac.

Panax ginseng (Korean Ginseng) – a useful herb for impotence, stress, low sperm count and fatigue.



Both prospective parents should consider adequate intake of:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B-complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Boron
  • Selenium
  • Chromium

Where possible, minerals should be chelated and from an organic, natural source.

Finally, positive thinking is important. Whether this is through visualisation, verbal affirmations, hypnosis, meditation or other relaxation techniques, it can be a wonderful way to create change in your body.


Naturopath’s Top 7 Tips to Increase Energy and Fatigue.

7-tipsWhen was the last time you felt really good? And I mean REALLY good!

Remember when as a kid you would have days where you bounced out of bed in the mornings, excited and energised? Do you now struggle to get out of bed, with energy slumps during the day, propping yourself up with caffeine and sugar, and when you get home you only have the energy to watch a little TV and fall into bed?

Can you pinpoint the day that you lost your energy? For many, loss of energy is something that sneaks up on us. The reduction in our energy most often happens so gradually that we don’t notice the change from one day to the next. The sad thing is that we actually get used to feeling low in energy and this becomes our new “normal”.

There is often a biological reason for why we feel so tired. In our cells are very small things called mitochondria. Mitochondria are a little like batteries that produce energy for the whole body. These mitochondria require several specific nutrients in order to produce energy at an efficient rate. If any of these nutrients are not available, or if the mitochondria are damaged, the energy we have available goes down.

So how can you increase your energy?

Ultimately, there is no quick fix that will work in the long term. The solution is to get back to basic good living to take the load off your mitochondria and really improve your energy. When I feel that my energy is low, these are the seven things that I do:

  1. Get adequate, regular and consistent amounts of sleep each night – if you are having trouble sleeping, my best tip is to switch of all technological devices about 90 minutes before bedtime. This includes the tv, computers, smart phones, tablets etc as the blue light emitting from these devices can disrupt the production of your sleep hormone – melatonin.
  2. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Some people find that reducing the consumption of wheat, dairy and red meat improves overall energy.
  3. Exercise regularly – a gentle walk in the morning sunshine can be helpful for those suffering fatigue and insomnia.
  4. Avoid too many stimulants such as caffeine, foods high in sugar and alcohol.
  5. For some people, just making the above 4 changes is enough to put the bounce back into their step. Many people, however, need more intensive support than this. Certain nutrients can really assist here.
    • CoQ10 – is vital for healthy energy production in our cells and protects our mitochondria from day to day damage. Many of my clients notice a real difference when they take this nutrient regularly.
    • Omega 3, found in fish oils – also protects our mitochondria from damage.
    • N-acetyl carnitine and lipoic acid – shovels nutrients into the mitochondria and stabilises blood sugar levels.
    • B Vitamins – essential for energy production for the mitochondria.
  6. Herbal medicines can also noticeably improve energy levels. These include ginseng – there are a few different types of ginseng available, with slightly different effects. I like Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) for men and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosis) for women. Rhodiola is also a good herb to try as it supports the adrenals and balances blood sugar.
  7. Taking care of your emotional and mental health can also enormously improve overall energy levels. This can include:
    • Surrounding yourself with positive and uplifting people, and avoid people who you find draining and toxic.
    • Listen to beautiful music – whatever you find that to be.
    • Search for health, fitness and motivational podcasts.
    • Watching positive television shows and movies – avoid violence, gossip and dark dramas.
    • Reading literature with a positive message and avoiding content that overstimulates or depresses.


Three Day Spring Cleanse.

Feeling sluggish? Low in energy? Perhaps have indulged in excess food and alcohol? Been burning the candle at both ends?

Spring is the perfect time to give your digestive system a clean. Just three days can help you to reset some good habits, revitalize and start feeling fantastic.

fruit juicerBefore you get started

  • To minimise side effects*, cut down on caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks), highly sugary foods, processed foods and fast food in the 5 days leading up to your cleanse.
  • An ideal time to do your cleanse is over a long weekend – Saturday, Sunday and Monday, or whenever you can take time to slow down and nurture yourself.


  • Juicer
  • Blender
  • Saucepan

What to eliminate for the three days

  • Alcohol
  • Processed foods
  • All grains
  • Pasta
  • Sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • All fizzy drinks
  • Sweets, crisps, biscuits, cakes
  • Cigarettes and recreational drugs

shoppingShopping List

This shopping list is for the entire three days so you don’t need to worry about running out of ingredients or working out how much you need.


  • 3 carrots
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 bags baby spinach
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • Bunch of coriander
  • Bunch of parsley
  • 6 centimetres of ginger
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 ripe mango (use frozen mango cheeks if not in season)
  • Lecithin granules
  • Organic flax seed oil
  • Organic, free range eggs

Lunch and Dinner, and Snacks

  • Fish
  • Hommous
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Lemons
  • Pure water


It is best to purchase these supplements from a health food store or your naturopathic practitioner to ensure the best quality and potency.

  • High potency multivitamin and mineral formula
  • Milk thistle
  • “Greens powder” example wheatgrass, barleygrass, spirulina and/or chlorella
  • Epsom salts (for the bath)
  • High-dose vitamin C with flavanoids
  • Good quality probiotic

3daysThe Three Day Routine

Go Slow

If possible, take the three days off work, and tell friends and family you are replenishing yourself and make these days all about you.

Detoxify your environment and avoid harsh chemicals (cleaning products, cosmetics, pollution) and also avoid being around negative, energy-draining people.

Turn the television off for the entire three days, and avoid using any technological devices and electronics including your mobile phone where possible.

Make the most of this opportunity to catch up on some reading, meditate, spend some time in nature and listen to relaxing, uplifting music. Sleep and rest well.


  • Start the day with one of three juices (recipes below) – enjoy a different one each morning. Sip the drink slowly and in a relaxed environment.
  • Follow your juice with one hard boiled egg. Eggs are rich in amino acids and also sulphur – a vital nutrient for your liver.
  • Then take your multivitamin, milk thistle, chlorella, vitamin C and probiotic supplements.

Lunch and Dinner

  • Choose your protein – fish, eggs, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, legumes or hommous and serve up with plenty of vegetables of your choice, cooked or raw.
  • Fill your plates with vegetables to avoid feeling deprived, particularly as you are cutting out grains.
  • Vegetable sticks and snacks make a good snack. Have some fruit (fresh, not dried) if you feel like something sweet, with a half handful of nuts.

Keep Hydrated

If you don’t usually drink much water, now is the time to really increase your water consumption. You can drink warm water if you are averse to cold water. Add a squeeze of real lemon or lime, or some chopped cucumber to make it more interesting and cleanse the palette. Also drink as many herbal teas as you like – chamomile, peppermint, ginger or dandelion are all great options for your cleanse.

Physical therapies and Exercise

Every evening, dry skin brush your body, working towards your heart before relaxing in a restorative Epsom salt bath. The salts work to remineralise your body, aids detoxification through the skin and is also relaxing.

If possible, enjoy a massage and if you want to exercise, keep it gentle and slow. Yoga and walking are perfect options, or take a gentle swim in a natural body of water such as the ocean (but not a chlorinated swimming pool).

Juice Recipes

Digestion Boost

  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ chilli
  • Bunch of coriander
  • 1 red pepper
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 carrot

Juice all ingredients in your juicer, putting the smaller ingredients (chilli, garlic and ginger) down the chute at the same time as the larger ingredients. Serve over ice.

Omega 3 Greens

  • 2 carrots
  • ½ bag of spinach (push through with other ingredients)
  • 1 cucumber
  • Juice the above 3 ingredients, then pour into your blender jug, and add:
  • 1 tablespoon lecithin
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed oil
  • 2 extra handfuls of spinach

Blend on high speed until the juice is smooth and the spinach has broken down into a liquid. Serve over ice.

Green and Mango Smoothie

  • 1 ripe mango
  • ½ bag spinach
  • Big handful of parsley
  • Chilled water

Peel mango, and add to blender first. Put spinach and parsley on top and blend. You’re aiming for a smooth, creamy texture, so depending on the blender, add water gradually until you achieve this result.

Side Effects

When changing your diet and lifestyle, it is not unusual to notice the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Wind
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Aggravation of existing health conditions

Should you become concerned, do consult with your healthcare practitioner.