Goodness Graceful Me Vol 4 No 2


Down at the Station

The transition of Graceful Living Naturopathy from Renew You Wellness Centre has been smooth. Still in Mt Eliza and now at Station Street, I remain available to serve you in this wonderful part of the world.

I am available for you far more frequently now. Appointments are still essential, as the set up here precludes drop-ins. However, emergency appointments only require a text and you can usually be seeing me almost straight away or at least on the same day. Late afternoons are available, a boon for those of you who are working.

So I am open pretty much between 10 am and 6 pm weekdays and 10 am to 3 pm Saturdays. However, I display the discretion you have begun to expect from me - I will accommodate you at other times such as evenings if that's the only time to suit you. Saturdays for me are by appointment only, as family times at weekends are important to us all! I also operate on the 'Never on a Sunday Please' philosophy. 

                See me in my new home - I'd love to welcome you. As colds and flu are on the rampage again; don't let these put you off, as acute naturopathic remedies can alleviate their severity by addressing your immunity as well as drying up runny noses and alleviating coughs.

Cheers - Elspeth

Laughter is really the best medicine for stimulating endorphin (feel-good) hormone production, so laugh out loud

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 1 No 2

Food for Thought                  


Well, this year is flying by! Can anyone tell me what happened to January, February and March? Now daylight savings has ended and suddenly the nights are darker and cooler; but we’re enjoying those gorgeous Autumn days full of sunshine, while early Autumn colours are appearing everywhere.This year has started in a most exciting way, with the introduction of monthly workshops. These are on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:45 pm, and are only for about 45 minutes. This leaves the bulk of the evening free, and plenty of time to put the kids to bed (so they can come to the workshops too – we have a Kids’ Corner for them to play). Our first workshop was planned and over in a flash; too quickly for many of you who were interested in attending, so it will be repeated on July 5th. Nibbles and teas are provided at all workshops.

Now that the weather is cooling, it’s time to restock not only the fridge but the types of food that fills it. How pure is our food? Are we simply succumbing to sales pitch and purchasing what’s cheap, such as home brand milk, as a result of the supermarket milk wars, although it has been found to be adulterated and more watery to drink than more expensive milks, according to media reports. Moreover, what are the farmers being paid for all this cheap milk??? They have enough financial battles as it is!

Research your steak sources to avoid the pitfall of cheap cuts literally glued together with meat glue! Does your frozen meat defrost into a pool of bloody water? Your butcher should be able to provide you with good quality meat untainted by meat glue or plumped up with water.

Do the veges on the store shelf look tired, yellowed and wrinkly? Are they dripping with water? Do they last for weeks in the fridge? In each case, they are lacking in fresh vitamin content, so seek fresh, shiny, crisp and colourful veges and fruit. Check under berry punnets for mouldy fruit and lots of juice, both indicators of older fruit. Fresh fruit and veges should make you zing with energy!

How far has your food travelled? Does your frozen food label state international production or is it local, or best of all, home-grown? Low food transport kilometres are smart for this environmentally precarious century. Growing fruit and veges in tubs on an apartment balcony or outside the kitchen door in pots or a garden is an easy and satisfying way to eat your own food. Take a trip to Heronswood for ideas on kitchen gardens, although ours may never look as good!

For the pantry, cook dried beans, chickpeas and lentils instead of purchasing cans. It’s cheaper, and you know they will be additive-free. Just ensure that, except for lentils, all the cooking water is poured on your new vege patch (once it is cold!), to drain away irritating saponins from the beans. Instead of tomato purée, blitz some of your home-grown tomatoes in a blender and add to dishes. You won’t need to add the extra water that purée requires, so subtract this from recipes. Remember, slow food is 21st century! You can enquire about Slow Food Victoria at

So there you are – a few ideas for shopping wisely during Autumn, and save money in the long run (so we have enough left over to pay for electricity!!). Enjoy this beautiful season; there’s plenty of sunshine for those vitamin D-rich walks. Till next time – cheers!


           Now Available

           Herbal teas for your needs:    Relaxation


                                                          Colds and flu

                                                          Skin problems

Individual teas can also be used in pots-pourri

Aromatherapy products:         Body butter


                                                Massage blends for home use


Pumpkins, gourds and melons include button squash and zucchini. Pumpkin soup is always a popular winter dish; don't forget to add a dash of nutmeg and cumin; garnish with coriander

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 1 No 3

Fish and Fowl

Gree tings !

This edition's title, a quote from the Phantom o f the Opera, is nothing to do with masks (although are you presenting a mask to the world, and hiding the real you??). Instead, let's look at food - with winter commencing after a chilly May, those colds and flu's are rearing their unwanted heads once more, and together with an unwlecome increased incidence of whooping cough (pertussis), it's now time to consider warming, cold-busting foods and remedies ...

Full of anti-inflammatory omega-3 oils, essential for heart, brain, skin, bone and joint integrity, fish also assists in warding off those winter bugs. Fish is fast food, only requiring 4 minutes/cm thickness to cook. Fish continues to cook a little once it is plated, so as soon as it becomes white and flaky, it's done. Delicious poached on top of a stir-fry and then served with a sprinkle of sesame seed oil (kept in the fridge) and a traditional squeeze of lemon for a healthy meal. Remember never to cook with sesame seed oil, as it oxidises too rapidly. Canned fish (in spring water) is great with a vinaigrette in a salad or a filling for buckwheat crepes (or mountain bread) with avocado, watercress and sprouted seeds. Enjoy for lunch.

Our mothers and grandparents knew something when they made chicken broth when we were sick. Cooked from carcases or other chicken with the bones left on, the nutrients and marrow from these bones exude as a nutritious, soothing and healing stock. Add lots of veges, simmer for a good hour or two, and enjoy getting better naturally.

Slow Food
Slowly cooked casseroles, stews and soups are warming, highly nutritious, and healing. Add spices such as ras el-hanout or curry combinations to enhance warmth. Spices generally assist digestion, important when your immune system and energetics are trying to cope with bug clearance, and they taste great, also essential on those days when everything resembles cardboard. Make your own stocks (easily done when you cook with the bones) and spice mixes for freshness and quality. Vegetarian options include chickpea, dried bean (pre-soaked and cooked) or lentil casseroles.

Prebiotic Foods
Around 80% of our immune system resides in our gut as bioflora or 'good bugs', not surprising when we consider what eners out digestive system! Flora maintenance is essential for averting and healing of colds and flu, and can be encouraged by what we eat. Such prebiotic foods are plentiful and full of soluble fibre:

Apricots, artichokes (globe and Jerusalem), asparagus, bananas, berries, carrots, chicory, dandelion root, flaxseed, garlic, cold-pressed honey, leeks, onions, oranges, plums/prunes, squash.
Fermented dairy/vegetable foods (sauerkraut, sourdough, unpasteurised pickles, yoghurt, miso, natto, tamari, tempeh, tofu.
Legumes (beans, dried beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, soy).
Green leafies (bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dandelion leaves, kale, lettuces, mustard greens, silver beet, spinach).
Whole grains (barley, buckwheat, kamut, millet, oats, oat bran, psyllium husks, quinoa, brown rice, rye, spelt, wheat).

Good winter health! Enjoy these abundant options!
Cheers - Elspeth 😀

Rose hips abound in vitamin C, assisting in preventing and alleviating the impact of colds and flu

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 1 No 4

Spring Cleaning


Have you noticed blossom appearing already? Lovely to see, together with gorgeous sunny days every now and then to inspire us to go outside and enjoy what the day has to offer. We've been inside a fair bit this year, away from the cold and the rain, and enclosed in multiple layers in the best Victorian style. Do you need to shed a few kilos or Spring clean your body?

Toxicity occurs once the gut is compomised from infections, poor quality food choices, or combinations, including sensitivities or craved foods. Particles leak through the gut wall to where they shouldn't be and overload the system. Signs of toxicity include:

Tiredness or lethargy
Allergies or sensitivities to a myriad of triggers, including pollens (abundant from now) and/or foods
Digestive disturbances, such as bloating, gas, belching, constipation/diarrhoea, cramps and nausea
Poor concentration and short-term memory (what did I come into this room for? I'd forget my head if it weren't screwed on!)
Mood swings (feed the man meat - NOW! I can't cope with all this)
Recurrent headaches
Break-outs, such as eczema and psoriasis flare-ups, and acne
Frequent infections (colds/flus, UTI's or recurring Candida as examples
Recent international travel, where you caught a bug. Even if you recovered, sometimes a few parasites remain to vaguely or dramatically upset the gut with IBS type symptoms

Of course, all these symptoms can be attributed to other causes than toxicitiy, so a Naturopathic visit is pretty important to ensure you have the best possible care.

Available Programmes

At Graceful Living Naturopathy, the 6 - 12 week Shake-It programme for weight loss ensures steady reduction in weight, improved vitality and lasting results. This protein-based programme is designed for exercise correltation to achieve the best results (and tone those pecs). It incorporates varied food choices, combined with meal replacement shakes and protein bars. Chocolate flavours exist for the chocoholics!!

Professional Detox programmes are usually 6 weeks. If you've already undergone a Detox this year, a 2 week Springtime Express Detox programme will eliminate any winter sluggishness (and also shed a few kilos). Refresher detoxes a couple of times a year will keep you healthier and operating at peak energy.

Both programmes are designed to precede optimal nutritional Wellness plans, for continued vitality.

What's Available Now

Initial consultations for Shake-It or either Detox programme are complimentary during August and September.

Cold and flu management - fix it and prevent it

Remember, I'm available at Mornington Peninsula Chiropractic Centre on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Western Port Podiatry on Tuesdays

Cheers - Elspeth

Enjoy a weight loss programme for added confidence on those summer beach days

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 1 No 5

😎 Let the Sunshine In

The sunshine is a bit reluctant this year, but at least we're not anxiously watching the sky for a vestigial cloud or the first signs of a bushfire!

Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is currently a catch-cry, with the media vociferously touting various brands. Up to 80-90% of those of us living south of Sydney are vitamin D3-deficient to varying extents. Normal ranges are detailed as 75-100 nmol/L in literature; however, new research from Queensland and Boston Universities advocate 100-150 nmol/L as normal. Lowest levels (logically) are found at the end of winter, as our Victorian sun is at too shallow an angle to synthesise vitamin D3 in our bodies. Moreover, how many of us work or study indoors during daylight hours, or completely cover up (this includes excessive slip-slap-slopping; if the sun can't get through the barriers, it can't synthesise vitamin D3).

Consequences of vitamin D deficiency include impaired brain function, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, compromised immune function with subsequent increased chance of infections, and increased risk of cancer, including bowel, breast and prostate cancers. Bone integrity diminishes, enhancing risk of rheumatoid arthritis, rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis. Falls risk in the elderly can increase, and deficiencies are implicated in secondary hyperparathyroidism, periodontitis, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. Obesity, particularly when BMI exceeds 30, carries a low vitamin D risk.

Pre-eclampsia risk increases with diminished vitamin D levels, and deficient mums can give birth to deficient bubs. The need for Caesarean sections decline once vitamin D3 levels exceed 80 nmol/L. Profuse head sweats in infants may indicate vitamin D3 deficiency, as may vaginitis during the first trimester of pregnancy. Infertility, difficult births and low birth weight babies can all be a result of low vitamin D.

Vitamin D3 Dosages
Literature promulgates 800-1000 IU/day. Latest research, however, advocates 2000 IU/day as an adult maintenance dose, with 1000 IU/day for children, and at least 3000 IU/day for adult therapeutic correction of deficiencies, for a minimum of 2 months. Naturopathic consultation is recommended rather than self-dosing, as some conditions require specific dosages. Tests can determine your vitamin D3 status, but generally this is unwarranted except in certain cases, particularly as Medicare is targeting excessive vitamin D3 testing at present. Rule of thumb is to supplement during winter, and synthesise from sunlight during summer. Graceful Living Naturopathy always stocks vitamin D3.

Vitamin D Foods
Not a lot. Mainly mushrooms, oily ocean fish (not farmed), butter and fortified milk.

What About Sun Protection?
5-15 minutes 2-3 times a week in summer will instigate adequate vitamin D3 synthesis, with arms and legs exposed. Slight pinkiness is OK, but NEVER BURN. Once you have been out in the sun, THEN cover up and sun-protect. The best time is actually the politically incorrect 9 to 3 slot. Of course, common sense applies - if it's going to be 40 degrees, skip that day! Protect your face, however, when in the sun.

Cheers - safely enjoy the sun!😎

You'll only need a few minutes unprotected on the beach for vitamin D synthesis to occur. T-shirts are then an effective way to cover your back and shoulders

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 2 No 1

🤭Promises, Promises …                 


Summer heated up with a good old-fashioned New Year’s Eve, followed by a typically hot New Year’s Day. With the New Year come THOSE resolutions (usually broken within hours). Superstition states that telling others negates the resolution; you probably want to keep it secret anyway! Let’s go through a few likely resolutions:

Weight Loss

Has Christmas/New Year piggery led to a few unwanted kilos that you’re longing to shed? Did you feel embarrassed at the beach recently? Are you running out of puff too quickly? Have your blood sugars and cholesterol readings been creeping up? Do your joints ache? Is your tummy looking well cultivated? Weight loss IS achievable, and need not be painful – just think ‘no pain, no gain’! I offer multi-faceted approaches to weight loss, according to your needs and preferences, with adequate hydration (excluding tea, coffee and alcohol) and plentiful salads ideal (and easy) as starting points during summer. Now that the festive season is behind us, cutting out the processed, refined carbs (anything white and baked) is more achievable than a month ago; besides, in hot weather we simply don’t need the instant, heating fuel that these carbs provide.

Being Nicer to Others
Too much ‘festive food’ (poor quality carbs and alcohol) and medication can make us irritable, depressed and more susceptible to family arguments.  The liver bears the brunt of breaking down all toxins (including pharmaceuticals) that enter our bodies, and is the traditional seat of anger, so if you’re feeling tetchier than usual, it’s probably your liver telling you it wants a clean-out! Detoxes are frequently performed at home; however, professional advice and oversight ensures that these are done properly. Does your whole gut need a cleanse, or just the liver? Do you feel below par? Do you often feel as if you’re on the point of catching something, or pick up anything going the rounds? Are you bloated, or do you feel sick after eating? These are all indications of specific areas of detoxification. I can supervise your detox in an informed and specific manner; as with everything, one size doesn’t fit all.

I’m Going to be Less Stressed This Year
Stress is another cause of irritability, and is usually caused by a multitude of factors. It is causal in many, many ailments and conditions, such as heart disease, chronic fatigue, frequent illnesses, autoimmune conditions, depression/anxiety, insomnia and obesity. We start the year nice and slowly, then it seems to spin out of control. Many say that several stressors are beyond their control, eg heavy workloads or bosses from hell. Stress management techniques can even assist in coping with these kinds of stressors. Do you say ‘NO’ enough? Difficult to do for many of us. Are we cramming in too much during the week, or do we feel slaves to our activities? Do we do things because we want to, or because we ought to (pleasing others)? Are you at the bottom of your priority heap, with everyone else taking over your life? When you walk in the door, have you trained your household to give you 10/20/30 minutes of ‘breathing space’ before the family hits you with everything that they want/need? Trained families (and your pets) respond very well to this tactic, and it’s never too late to start. Do you take a holiday every year, or an ‘RDO’ every week? A significant cause of stress-related heart disease is over-work; we’re designed to work no longer than 6 days/week.

Summing Up

So many make resolutions that are broken almost immediately, such as taking that extra biscuit for morning tea. Bikkies are NOT a treat; think of a piece of watermelon instead! Mentally chill out in the heat, drink plenty (your urine should be pale straw, clear, and passed several times/day,), and undergo a professional detox to clean up before the year gets too busy. Happy times!

Cheers - Elspeth


The joys of Christmas - family, food and gifts. Think now of nutritious Christmas fare for 2012; you can enjoy healthy food such as stuffed fowl, veges and vine leaves. Hommous and yoghurt dips are always popular and great accompaniments to Christmas lunch. Always include salads

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 2 No 2

Frankincense (Boswellia sacra; B carteri)


If you use an aromatherapy burner, you may have seen or used frankincense oil. The aromatic sap is bled from notches cut in the frankincense tree, a bit like harvesting rubber. The sap is allowed to harden on the tree then collected. It is native to Dhofar in southern Oman, Yemen and Somalia, as well as some in India and Ethiopia, with Dhofar providing the best quality. The resin is a lemon/gold colour, with lesser grades with more grey. You probably won't be able to purchase the finest quality, as Sultan Qaboos has first pick. 

Frankincense is burned over coals in a small pottery charcoal burner, permeating homes with its fragrance and eliminating undesirable odours such as cabbage or cat litter. It has great medical, perfume, religious and funerary significance, and historically was as valuable as gold, vastly enriching the merchants and rulers of Dhofar in particular. The Frankincense Trail extended throughout Arabia and the Middle East, with the traditional camel thoroughfares now limited in troublesome areas. However, modern transport ensures the world now has access to this wonderful substance.

Frankincense is mixed with traditional herbs and flower oils to make bukhur, a lingering perfume which can be burned or applied to the skin once steam extracted as a perfume essence. It is fairly expensive when purchased as an essential oil; if all the aromatherapy oils are the same price, avoid them, as quality will be compromised. Frankincense oil contains terpenes, and is clearing, purifying, restorative, warming, uplifting and revitalising.  As a perfume, it is a base note, anchoring a perfume blend.   It is suitable for skin blemishes, mature wrinkled skin and wounds. It assists in management of asthma and other respiratory conditions, including colds, coughs and flu. Frankincense slows and deepens breathing, beneficial for stress and anxiety. Cystitis can be alleviated, and frankincense can help address metrorrhagia (breakthrough bleeding between periods), although ALWAYS get this checked out by a health professional.

High quality frankincense is anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic (as are all essential oils), carminative, cicatrisant (reduces scarring), cytophylactic (stimulates cellular regeneration), digestive, diuretic, an emmenagogue (helps menses), expectorant, sedative, a uterine tonic, and vulnerary (soothing). Medicinally, the resin is traditionally soaked in water overnight and the water drunk. It assists in management of chronic inflammatory disease states such as rheumatoid arthritis (there are some significant clinical trials for this), ulcerative colitis and psoriasis, as well as gout, hives and hay fever. 

Look out for frankincense to add to your aromatherapy collection - Essential Therapeutics and Tisserand are excellent brands, available through Graceful Living. 20 drops in the bath, 10 in your burner or as a steam inhalation will calm, soothe and assist in getting over Autumn bugs. Enjoy 😀

Frankincense trees naturally grow in scrubby, stony desert terrain, with the best quality from Oman, Yemen and Somalia

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 2 No 3

Hemaview Live Blood Screening


Hemaview is the name of the game this edition. Some of you may be familiar with Hemaview, so please bear with an explanation for those of you less familiar. Hemaview is a haematological procedure which utilises a darkfied microscope, enabling you to see your own blood cells on a monitor. No effort on your part, other than a finger-prick of blood to extract a mere 2 drops or so. Babies can (and have) undergo this quite satisfactorily. What Hemaview does is review your red and white blood cells, platelets and fat particles in your blood, in live time. This can indicate trends in nutritional status, particularly iron, folate and vitamin B12, signs of inflammation and infection, and any indications of oxidative stress. What it will not do is diagnose any condition for you - as Naturopaths, we don't do that anyway. Lots of stuff shows up simply from living in the 21st century! The life is in the blood, as the Bible says; it's so fantastic to be able to actually see that! The healthier your blood, the healthier you are.

This test is amazing, and people (like me the first time) just sit there open-mouthed, to see their blood doing what it's doing!

What's In It for Me?
It gives a more accurate clinical picture of what's going on with you; Hemaview takes a lot of the guesswork out of finding causes for your health story.
You keep a print-out of your Hemaview screen, including pictures ('What's the use of a story without pictures', as Alice in Wonderland said)
You can see improved health status occurring on the spot, when we do serial Hemaview screens. It's really encouraging to see that your health plan is working!
Hemaview reports are fantastic show-and-tells.
For kids (including grown-up ones), lots of chances to see different shapes on the monitor and have fun during your screen - watch out for ET's, ghosts, funny faces, weird faces, diamond rings, galaxy clusters and more!
You can be assured of my professional training in Hemaview; only those who attend specific courses are permitted to practice Live Blood Analysis.

So see for yourself - it's awesome!!
Cheers - Elspeth

Babies can (and have) safely undergo Hemaview, to assess likelihood of gut disturbances, nutritional deficiencies and inflammatory states early on

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 2 No 4



Winter has arrived, colder than for many years and with an abundance of nasty colds and flu. Danger spots are the usual - public transport, educational and child-care centres, workplaces, and passers-by, just for a start. Here are some things you can do to minimise your risk of catching a cold, or of passing on your cold to others:

Cough and sneeze into a hankie or tissue - bugs are airborne and find victims easily

Keep your immune system healthy with a nutrient-dense diet, including lots of garlic and onion, and good quality supplements. Consult your Naturopath for the most effective remedies, as many OTC (over the counter or supermarket) brands contain good nutrients but in an ineffective form which has the drawback of poor absorption and subsequent wasted money

Include an appropriate probiotic (good bugs) to enhance gut immunity. Many probiotics exist, so seek guidance for the best one, as the wrong probiotic can adversely affect your gut instead of doing it the most good. Since over 80% of your immune system resides in your gut, address any gut problems you have to boost your wellbeing this winter

Fish oils are anti-inflammatory and enhance wellbeing. Krill oil is better for joint pain, but choose fish oils for your colds and flu

Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and bugs

Eat lots of unprocessed foods, with a minimum of grains, as these are inflammatory and acid-forming. This means open slather on fresh seasonal fruits and veges; ideal winter warmers include slow cooked hotpots, tagines, curries and soups, especially home-made chicken broth. Processed and refined foods are very inflammatory to the body, lowering immunity. Avoid all food additives, as these are toxic to the body and also weaken your immune system.

Homoeopathics, flower essences and herbal mixtures are specific, effective and gentle

Steam inhalations are traditional remedies for colds and flu. Add 10 drops of eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil to hot water and inhale under a towel

Keep warm. Wear adequate clothing, especially on extremities (head, hands, feet and neck). Be nice and toasty in bed, but not too hot, or you won't sleep well. Ensure a good night's sleep by observing sound sleep hygiene. Go to bed and arise at regular times each day and night, keep your bedroom free from electromagnetic radiation sources (no phone, clock radio or TV in the bedroom, and no fusebox or Smart meter outside your bedroom), and make sure it's not too light or dark. A rested body is a healthier body.

Exercise daily to keep your blood circulating; do 10,000 steps for a winter challenge. Exercise assists in toxin removal and also keeps you warm (and the kilos off)

Manage stressors, as stress lowers your immune system considerably and leaves you wide open to catching something. How many times have you been really busy, and the minute you relax you fall ill? Holidays are great for relaxation - winter holidays up north are popular for many reasons (if you can afford them). Breathe deeply, right from the lower abdomen - observe how a dog pants after a good run and copy it. Effective breathing oxygenates the body and clears the lungs of toxins and mucous, reducing chances of respiratory ailments. Singing is wonderful, as the vibrations literally shake bugs and congestion out of your lungs

If you're infectious, stay home! Going to work/school laden with bugs means passing them on to others and a subsequent good dose of presenteeism (you or your colleagues are at work/school but fairly useless)

What’s Current in the Medical Journals?

A case-control study concludes that 2 cups of coffee/day may be associated with a reduced risk for dementia, so lose the guilt, all you coffee aficionados!

Radiation dose from CT scans in childhood is associated with an increased relative risk for leukemia and brain tumours, according to a study by Pearce et al

Risk factors for subfertility among men in a study by Povey et al included manual work, wearing tight underwear, a history of testicular surgery, and black race. Smoking, recreational drugs and alcohol consumption were not significantly associated with the rate of subfertility.

Cheers - Elspeth

Rug up for winter; Melbourne layering is the way to go! Layers are so practical and easy to don and remove. Wear an extra layer inside and lower the heating a notch to save money this winter

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 2 No 5

Spring is Sprung
Spring – more sunshine, warmth, flowers … and hay fever!! Some of us are hugely affected by Spring time pollens. I’m sure you recognise the signs – sneezing, runny red nose, itchy eyes, and feeling awful. Medically, hay fever is an IgE type inflammation of the nasal mucosa, and is otherwise known as allergic rhinitis. If you suffer hay fever at other times of the year, animal dander, feathers, dust mite, insect particles, fungi and moulds, grasses and synthetic particles may be culprits. When vineyards and farms are sprayed here on the Peninsula, many sufferers notice an upsurge of symptoms. Food sensitivities or allergies frequently accompany hay fever; such foods include eggs, nuts, shellfish, dairy, wheat, fructose, salicylates (important to consider if you have nose polyps) and amines. It’s good to address this common condition, as it predisposes to asthma, ‘catching’ viral infections and chronic sinusitis, which can be more difficult to rectify. Not only that, but successfully managing your hay fever will make you feel human again, sleep better, and wanting to do a lot more things (including going to work).

What Can I Do?
The following nutrients mediate histamine release and subsequent allergic reactions:

Vitamin C:           2g/day as a superb antihistamine

Vitamin E:            400 mg/day to assist vitamin C absorption

β-carotene:          Mucous membrane repair
Quercetin:            250-600 mg three times a day before meals

NAC:                    Assists immune regulation and moodiness

Bromelain:           1-2 g/day assists quercetin absorption; also great for sinusitis

Papain and other digestive enzymes assist in breaking down mucous, easing congestion

Selenium:            200 μg/day to enhance immunity and decrease

Zinc:                   30 mg/day shortens viral infections and enhances immunity

Fish oils:              3g/day to reduce inflammation

Probiotics:          Address any gut flora imbalance, which can exacerbate or trigger allergies

Diet and Lifestyle
Drink plenty of water

Keep salt, omega-6 fatty acids (from meat and evening primrose oil), trans-fats (processed food) to a minimum

Go to town on omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils, krill oil, fish, olive oil, flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin

Enjoy at least 5-10 servings of fruits and veges every day, including onions and garlic

Horseradish is great for drying mucous (sauce or wasabi)

Drink 2 cups of fenugreek tea daily or include in curries and stir-fries

Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory; again in curries and stir-fries, or sliced in hot water as a tea

Check for sensitivities (pathology and/or elimination programmes)

Ragwort sensitivities (learn to recognise it, as farmers regard it as a noxious weed) can indicate sensitivities
to cantaloupe, watermelon and other melons, zucchini, cucumber and bananas, as they share a common allergen with ragwort
If you can, eliminate the offending allergen from your diet or environment (bit hard with pollens). Consider
a carpet-free, drape-free and feather-free bedroom if you are allergic to dust mite, vacuum regularly and frequently wash bedding above 580C to kill dust mites
Vacuum rather than dust, to avoid particles floating in the air

Avoid inhaling diesel fumes, as these can trigger pollen sensitivities

Beeswax can trigger desensitisation – look for old-fashioned polishes, skin care or cosmetics (ask me)

Your Naturopath
I can hep you discover a hay fever-free life again. Besides elimination strategies, nutrition, diet and lifestyle, herbs and homoeopathy work wonders for hay fever. Since the cause of your hay fever is always sought, any gut imbalance must be addressed so we’re not simply patching up the problem.

Cheers - Elspeth

Pollens from grasses are common hay fever and allergy culprits. If you're sensitive, regularly mow your lawn before the grass can flower. Enjoy bush walks away from flowering grasses, and regularly take vitamin C together with bioflavonoids for synergy

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 2 No 6

 All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth 


Well, it’s just about here again – the season of goodwill, comprising shopping, parties, credit cards, end-of-year functions and break-ups, Christmas meals, presents and decorations, and we haven’t even touched on the reason for the season yet (Jesus). So firstly, let’s talk social events. How good do you look after this year? Have things been dropping off the page? How’s the bikini fitting you? Do you feel stuck in a traditional (high calorie) Christmas dinner, resplendent with roast pork (and crackling), turkey (stuffed), Christmas pudding with icecream and/or brandy butter, bit too much champers – the list can go on ...

Christmas Tips so You Don’t Lose the Plot (Entirely)


Plenty of it! Rule of thumb is 1-2 glasses for every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage, for rehydration and to spin out the drinks to keep you legal. Make sure tap water is filtered, and your water bottle is preferably stainless steel, glass or, if you can’t avoid it, plastic (PET numbers 2,4 and 5 only, or HDPE. All other PET numbers are toxic while other forms of plastic are non-recyclable). Water is pretty key in toxin removal, otherwise the intercellular matrix becomes too dry and traps toxins, where they sit bloating you up and making you feel very ordinary. Skin cells dry out with inadequate water, enhancing those dreaded wrinkles.

If you’ve indulged at bit heavily, drinking 3-4 glasses of water before you retire for the night (or what’s left of it) can avert hangovers simply because of toxin removal. Over-indulging in salty foods (chips, peanuts, any processed food) is dehydrating, so back to the water. Plain mineral water is OK if you can verify the spring, eg (genuine) Hepburn Springs.


Check out the ingredients in that tub of icecream; if you’re appalled, don’t eat it! Dinner hosts don’t mind if you decline these days; in restaurants, just leave it on your plate.  Same goes for other party/Christmas fare. Our dog refused to eat BBQ Shapes (the entire range), so we refused too (our pets know what’s not so good for them; if they won’t touch it, why should we?). We all know the nutrient paucity of commercially baked white baked goods, so leave them alone – remember the old saying “Every little nibble goes straight to my middle”? Besides, GM-free status can’t be guaranteed unless specifically mentioned on the label. Choose organic food and snacks where possible, as anything sprayed with pesticides or that has eaten food sprayed with pesticides, has lost a significant portion of its cellular energy, according to plant and animal trials, so where does that leave us? Select wholesome snacks and meals while retaining festivity and the sense of a special occasion, such as:

Snacks/entrées/desserts (a few ideas):           

Macadamias, berry platters, mangosteen, home-made dips with vege sticks, dukkah with rye sourdough, bocconcini/cherry tomato/basil kebabs, flourless chocolate or orange cakes, lemon tarts and tartlets, cheese and fruit paste platters, felafel, fetta/ricotta/spinach filo pastry triangles, stuffed vine leaves, caramelised onion tarts, macaroons, home-made truffles

Mains (a few more ideas):

- Home-made lemon sorbet served in dessert spoons as palate cleansers between courses (sweeten with stevia)
- Roast turkey stuffed with chestnuts or cranberry, shallot and garlic-tossed quinoa
- Roast duck with black cherries or orange (traditional but fantastic)
- Roast lamb studded with garlic baked on a bed of rosemary and coated with a wild honey and seeded mustard glaze
- The Aussie tradition of fish platters
- Watercress salad with pine nuts, Spanish onion rings, black olives and cherry tomatoes
- Green bean, garlic and black olive salad
- Ratatouille
- Baked tomatoes still on the truss
- Stuffed veges (capsicum, zucchini, tomatoes) including a scooped out baked pumpkin served full of roast veges or stuffed with a savoury mix eg rice
- Steamed asparagus and green bean bundles bound with chives


- Talking of teeth, have a check-up if you haven’t during the last 6 months; you want nice pearly-whites at social events (and be able to chew!
- Walk – that’s what our legs are for! Daily, in the sun (when it shines) for vitamin D3 synthesis
- Get enough sleep (see me if you can’t); dark shadows under the eyes are a party killer!
- Pace yourself; don’t cram in 3 parties all in one night then nothing for a week, as you don’t have to do it all!
- Eschew (look this up) commercial baked goods made form white flour or sugar; also avoid canola (no guarantee of GM-free status unless specified). Avoiding canola is difficult, as it’s added to just about everything, but do what you can! I even saw a jar of black olives in canola oil (why not olive oil for olives?)!!
- Poor quality carbs and fats will be stored in fat cells and deplete energy (you want heaps during this busy time). Concentrate on nutrient-dense whole foods, preferably organic – visit a market
- Supplement, particularly if you are over 40. These days, food is only as good as the soil it’s grown in, and that includes organic! Australian soils are depleted in selenium, iodine, and several other trace elements, to our detriment. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for with supplements – ask me about yours if in doubt, and certainly ask me about what you need; different age groups require different supplements for good health
- Praying encourages longevity and is an efficient stress-buster (proven)
- Don’t be too busy for others; we are social creatures, needing the company of others. If you know someone who’s alone, pay him/her a call and arrange for a family or minister to do so. Loneliness at Christmas is our hidden shame, and you may make a new friend. Teens, visit someone in a nursing home – they adore the young, and you’ll find out so much about a lifestyle that you’ve only read about in novels or history books!
- If you’re alone and dreading Christmas, wait for next year to join a club as they’ll all be winding down now. Instead, join a church or gym to meet others (busy at this time of year but not too busy for you; join in carol singing and a Messiah cantata for aerobic, spiritual exercise)
If you get a pet for Christmas, KEEP IT! They’re great fun, and dogs will make you get outside and walk! Pet owners are happier and less stressed than non-pet owners, and live longer. Goldfish are no-brainers – they just swim around and don’t care if you go on holidays for a week or two
- Plant a vege garden; growing you own food is cheap, gives you exercise in the sun, and it’s easy to be organic
- Save money – quit and don’t do drugs
- Alcohol in moderation – safe quantities are 1 standard drink/day for females and 2 for men, with 2 days off/week (yes, I know you’re going to turn your nose up at this one at Christmas). Drivers don’t drink; choose alternatives (not woosy these days)
- Finances – control them! Make your own soaps and other gifts; people love them. Christmas doesn’t have to mean expensive; often the simple little things are the most appreciated, as others love the fact you’ve spent time on them, not rushed out and bought stuff. What about home-made chocolates, bikkies or a cake?
- When we eat out (including at others’ houses) for Christmas, the leftovers are not there, but New Year visitors frequently are. Food gifts are warmly welcome! A cheese and fruit hamper or savoury snacks go down really well


- Observe the lifestyle tips above, eat nutritiously and drink plenty of water (6-8 glasses/day or refill that 600ml water bottle (and drink it) 3 times.
- Learn to say ‘NO’ and mean it; if you’re too busy, you’ll be super-stressed!
- Practice sleep hygiene; again ask me if you don’t know what this is
- Declutter your home; cleaning it for Christmas provides a great excuse. Decluttering includes electromagnetic fields, which can disrupt our hormones, stressing us out. Ask me how.
- Less sensitive employers seem to sack/retrench staff just before Christmas for some unknown reason. If this has happened to you, write your resumé NOW and send it off to everyone you can think of; you want to beat the end-of school or school-leaver’s rush. Many find they need to apply for 100 or 200 jobs these days; if nothing eventuates, what about a career change? Time to enrol in a course for next academic year? Can you work from home? This time of year gives you about a month or 2 to organise office space, advertising etc, while it’s quiet in January. Most importantly, contact Centrelink to start payments asap!
- Enjoy life – laughter keeps you healthier and makes you live longer (fact)

Cheers - Elspeth

Molokhia is a traditional Egyptian soup eaten with rice at festival times such as Christmas. It is made from greens grown by the Nile (imported deep-frozen into Oz), toasted garlic (lots) and freshly made chicken stock. Follow with meats, salads, seafood and whatever else takes your fancy and enjoy the health benefits, particularly if you have a summer cold!

Goodness Graceful Me Vol 3 No 1

Rest and Relaxation


Another year over, another season of glee, gorging and gluttony, and another New Year’s Eve gone by. Last year seemed so fast and busy for so many of us, so a break in January is exactly what we need! Here are some tips to start you off for a slower, healthier 2013 …


We tend to put them off (yes, including me), and take them when ordered by the boss, when we’re just going crazy, or when we’ve saved up for THAT one (the once-in-a-lifetime overseas trip). It’s a bit like putting off brekky till Sunday and then having 7 bowls of porridge all at once – it doesn’t work and it’s unrealistic! Australia has the dubious qualification of being one of the most hard-working countries in the world, even running the risk of out-stripping Japan, which held the honour for years but backed off once they discovered that working 7/7 without holidays was actually killing people! Not a good way to go (and a pretty boring way too, to die of overwork). We’re designed to work 6/7 maximum, so make sure you have that day off a week. Those old enough to remember Sunday closing will remember the tranquillity that went with it. No reason to do anything except go to church and catch up with family! We actually didn’t need to shop every day! All sports were on Saturday, so by Saturday evening everyone could unwind. Claim your Sundays back! If you must work that day, claim another day every week, with no study, work, shopping or organised sport. You’ll feel guilty at first, but get over that and look forward to your mini-holiday every week.

Take regular holidays throughout the year (yes, I’m listening too); even a few days makes all the difference, and won’t eat into those savings for The Big Trip (you’ll be surprised). Funnily enough, bosses prefer you to use all your holiday leave during the year, as it simplifies their budgeting rather than have to account for your stockpiling of annual leave! This will keep your life in balance and avoid adrenal exhaustion late in the year. It also gives time to catch up with friends and family (do you mainly catch up via Christmas cards? If you do, this newsletter is for you!!). Moreover, regular breaks, by reducing stress levels and balancing those adrenals, helps ward off illnesses. How many times do you get sick at the start of a holiday or break? Particularly one you’ve looked forward to for ages – a real bummer, so have small breaks to avert this, and you’ll return to work fresher and with more stamina


Go to bed late, get up early, feed pets, get up kids, feed kids, rush off to work, get home, feed pets, do chores, get dinner, put kids to bed, do more chores, go to bed late, get up early etc … does this sound familiar? What a grind!!! Relax?? What’s that???

 2013 is the The Year of Chilling Out.

 The body works really hard at night undergoing essential repair processes so we can function well the next day and all the days after that. Bit like putting the car into a garage for a tune-up every night; think how well it would run! We all know the skimped car service; things remain or go faulty and we’re forever trying to get them to do it properly! A poor night’s sleep is similar to the botched car service; if the body runs out of time, it’ll only do critical stuff and leave the rest for later. If it runs out of time on a nightly basis, I think you can see how the fine-tuning begins to break down, making us foggy, stressed, full of aches and pains, crotchety and always coming down with something or succumbing to allergies, as repairing the immune system is one of the maintenance jobs our bodies do at night. We also synthesise cholesterol into hormones, vitamin D3, brain food, skin suppleness and bile, to mention a few of the body’s need for cholesterol. That’s why you take stains like Lipitor at night. Research shows that reducing sleep by only one hour each night leaves you with a 20% reduction in alertness and concentration, not what you need driving to work in the car!

Go to bed at the same time nightly (not around midnight), and arise at the same time also; if you must get up ½ hour earlier to avoid rushing like a fly in a bottle first thing (AND have brekky!!!), DO it!! Just do it every day, to teach the brain when to switch off and when to switch on again. If you wake up regularly during the night (even if it’s only to pee), you may be magnesium deficient, so a (good) supplement will not hurt. Magnesium is mandatory if you suffer leg cramps at night, but check with me it’s the correct formulation or you may be wasting your money. Magnesium also needs cofactors and other minerals to work properly, as cramps can be due to other mineral deficiencies. Good sleep hygiene is too detailed to quickly mention here, so see me if you have any sleep difficulties. If you can sleep well, you’ll be more relaxed, healthier, and your family will love you all the more (less telling off because of stress!) 


It’s become a dirty word by the Cancer Council, but we have sun shining on our planet for a reason! It’s also meant to shine on us in moderation! This time of year we don’t need a lot for vitamin D3 synthesis, but we do need 3-15 minutes depending on the temperature. This is especially the case now that so many of us work in caves away from sunlight (office buildings, particularly without windows, surgeries, radiologies, shops, department stores, factories etc). All that gorgeous sun and not a ray shining on us all day long! By the time we go home, the sun’s at too low an angle to have much impact as far as vitamin D3 is concerned! So what do we do?

Back to the day off/week. Get up with the birds (every day), make brekky and eat it outside at the outdoor setting and relax with the paper, a good book, or just observe what’s happening in the garden, courtyard or balcony around you. Listen to the birds, watch the dog eat something you don’t want to know about, tread virtuously on a snail, enjoy the kids’ jokes, get your partner to smile! Organise what you’re all going to do with this wonderful day off, then do it and enjoy every minute! Sunlight also triggers serotonin synthesis, the feel-good hormone. No wonder Mediterranean people are relaxed and happy; we should take lessons!

Food and Drink

Once more, Mediterraneans set a good example. Lots of relaxed, good quality seasonal food and local wine, a nice balance between work and play (try shopping during a siesta), and healthy, happy people. They dance and sing (in public!), are serious about enjoying a good lunch (never less than a couple of hours), then they’re right for working into the early evening before more time off for the evening promenade before dinnertime. A relaxed dinner then more strolling before bed as a family. Everyone does it, so the streets are safe. Relaxation, exercise, leisured dining, and unstressed work. How can we do this?

One of the great things about working at Morning Peninsula Chiropractic Centre is the siesta lunch break (12 till 2), giving time for a relaxed lunch, shopping, a bit of gardening or just resting. From 2 we’re set to go until 6:30 or so, suiting all of you who see us after work. After a good break like that, I go home tired but energised, ready for a pleasant evening. Exhaustion is not experienced. However, most employers are not Mediterranean, giving only a miserly 30 minutes for lunch; barely enough time to gobble something down. No relaxed eating here! Best thing to do is realise that you have a couple of hours up on me late afternoon, so go to the beach or whatever after work (if you’re not seeing me). For lunch, pack something quick and easy, such as a salad, felafel and salad wrap, leftovers, or couscous made with quinoa or millet. Fruit salad is easy, saving you the time of cutting up fruit during that precious half-hour. If you feel you haven’t quite got time to rush around paying bills or shopping, don’t! Enjoy your lunch and pay bills (securely eg PayPal or BPay) over the internet instead of stressing in lunchtime queues. If you have 10 minutes to spare to walk around the block to clear the cobwebs, that’s ideal!

Make the most of your weekly day off – go on a picnic or BBQ, dine at a local café, spend a day at the beach (when did you last do this?), go for an all-day hike or bike-ride, dining somewhere on the way or carrying a picnic. Visit an art gallery or local pottery. Explore your region on foot, both town and country; you’ll be amazed at what you find. For instance, what’s at the end of Arthur’s Lane in Frankston? Where is the street art displayed? Where on the Peninsula is Fossil Beach? Have you seen a peregrine or spotted pardalote? Have you seen the Napoleonic memorabilia inside The Briars? So have a relaxed and safe time this holiday season! Until next time –

Cheers – Elspeth





When did you last do something really simple, such as exploring rock pools for fish, shells, different seaweeds, starfish or anemones? Be careful about putting your hands into pools before you know what's there; anemone stings require first aid, and the blue-ringed octopus hides in rock crevices, is small but deadly. Rule of thumb - if you can't see where you're putting your hand, don't!