{New Recipe} Clarity Oatmeal

{New Recipe} Clarity Oatmeal

Run out of meal replacement shakes or just need a breakfast switch up?

I am a Nutrimeal meal replacement fan (especially the chocolate flavour) so it is unusual for me to have something different for breakfast. But this recipe hits the spot!  It’s wholesome, nutritious, delicious and super easy and quick to whip up in the morning.

OR you could prepare it the night before. In the morning take it out of the fridge to warm up on the kitchen bench for 20 minutes or so before you eat. And if you make it in a mason jar (like in the picture) you could just put it in your bag to go if you are running late.

A note about the picture – I ran out of pecans and substituted them with walnuts. It tasted good but I do prefer pecans in this recipe.  Give both a go and decide which is your fav.

Oats, as you will see below, are naturally gluten-free but come into contact with gluten due to cross contamination during harvest, storage, transport  and manufacturing equipment.

If you are not needing to avoid gluten, use slow-cooked oats or steel-cut oats. Avoid instant oats as these are more processed, and the oat is thinner, which makes them higher in sugar and lower in protein than regular oats.

  • Rolled Oats are rich in fiber, and minerals, including magnesium and zinc. And they’re also naturally gluten-free (if you have a severe gluten allergy or sensitivity, make sure to use oats specifically labeled gluten-free.)  I found certified gluten-free oats at Mrs Flanneries and contaminated-free oats at Naked Foods, Westfield Shopping Centre Chermside.
  • Bananas are loaded with essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They also contain small amounts of vitamin A and iron.
  • Blueberries are rich in anthocyanin pigments. Anthocyanins are a group of flavonoids. These micronutrients act as antioxidants, primarily helping to protect cells and tissues from oxidative damage.
  • Pecans are high in vitamin A and have a good range of the vitamin B group vitamins.
  • Maple syrup is a vegan, natural sweetener that is loaded with healthy minerals. Always look for real maple syrup (none of that processed pancake stuff). Read the label, it should only contain maple syrup.
  • Cinnamon is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it’s just delicious.


Vegan and Gluten-Free

1/2 cup uncooked organic oats*

3/4 – 1 cup boiled hot water

1/2 banana

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup pecans

1 tsp organic maple syrup

Dash of cinnamon


Pour hot water into oats and stir.  Add maple syrup, fruit and nuts.  Top with dash of cinnamon.

*  remember to make this gluten-free look for certified gluten-free or contaminant-free oats


Dietary Substitution:

To make this grain-free substitute the oats with 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, chopped, and 1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds. Add the boiled water and let sit for 5-minutes to soften the nuts.

With love

Vicki xx


100 Life Goals to Create Vitality

100 Life Goals to Create Vitality

Do you feel you could do with a bit more energy?

You eat well, you’re drinking plenty of water, getting a good night’s sleep, and taking high-quality supplements, but you still feel a bit blah?

Then read on because this could be your missing link!

Life goals.  Do you have them?  You know, things that you would like to achieve, do, or have before you drop off your perch?

And if you do, how many are on your list?

Or do you find writing goals intimidating, because you set them but never achieve them?

Recently I was challenged to write 100-lifetime goals. Yes. 100!!

Why? Because if you only have 1 or 2 big things on your list, you could be a little disenchanted if you don’t achieve them!

And when you push yourself to get a list of 100 you will get in touch with what is really important deep down, get to know yourself better, help with the dreaming process, and most importantly create vitality.

Einstein said, “everything is energy”.

When we are vibrating at a higher frequency we are more likely to draw positive things towards us.

Goodness knows at this point in time, with Australians having experienced drought, bushfires, COVID-19 and now as I write, widespread flooding, we could do with an emotional uplift don’t you think?

When I sat down earlier this year to review my 2020, and plan and set goals for 2021, I created an ambitious list that I wanted to achieve this year. I had 23 goals related to business and personal areas of my life.

But when I was encouraged to write 100, and spend time really thinking about what I would like to achieve and experience before I die, the process of doing that expanded my vision of what could be possible! And it made me think of way more fun things I could do along the way to the end game.

This has been such a valuable process for me that I feel compelled to share it with you because it energised my spirit.

‘There can be no profit without a well-defined purpose’.

Richard Branson

Our sense of purpose can come from the goals we set, our dreams, the direction we are heading in, our level of empowerment and motivation.

For some of us, that forward-moving direction is not so clear. We can get stuck in the mundane and live the same life over and over, year after year.

So how do we make changes? We tap into the power of our brains!

The Tools

The two tools that were shared with me:

Draw out your Future

This Tedx Talk with illustrator and comic, Patti Dobrowolski will help you draw out your future. After watching this, get out your coloured pencils and paper and draw it out!

Patti says to look at your drawing every day because that is what is required to keep the vision front and centre. Then after looking at your picture close your eyes to allow your brain “to recycle what it sees and reconstruct and add to it”. Then relax and ask yourself, so what is the boldest thing I could do to get from here (current reality) to there (desired reality)?

I am a pretty crappy drawer but I did this exercise anyway. And it is powerful! Since I did this my brain has been sending me messages about the things I drew. It is reminding me of what is important to me.

So DONT SKIP this!!

Write Out Your Goals – the more the better

Have a read of this blog from Jack Canfield (co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul). Jack will inspire you to write out 101 life goals.

Again, to help keep your subconscious focused on what is important, put your goals somewhere you can review them often. Jack gives a few tips on how to do this.

My list of 23 has now expanded to 32. Over the next month, I will expand my list to 100.

‘You should set a goal big enough that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming’ 

Jim Rohn 

A note about writing big, audacious goals. Don’t judge them. The brain may tell you it is not possible for a person like you. Ignore that and put it on the list anyway. If it is not really what your soul wants, it will drop off the list naturally. Just let the thoughts and desires flow and get them on paper.

I would like to thank Jo Hassan, Vitality Expert, Author, Speaker, and Business Coach for introducing me to these tools and creating a practice that will help me achieve my audacious goals for 2021.

I hope this blog has helped you start dreaming and creating a life that fulfills and excites you.

Let’s make 2021, worth remembering for the things that we achieved during the year.

I would love to hear your thoughts?

  • Do you already have a list of goals you want to achieve before you die?
  • When you drew out your new reality were there any surprises for you in there?
  • How are you feeling now that you have done these two exercises?

Lots of love and dreaming,


NB:  that is Claude at the top of Mt Coolum in 2017.  More regular bushwalking and hill-climbing have made it onto the top 100 list!

7 Tips To Survive The Sugar Season

7 Tips To Survive The Sugar Season

Christmas for me has always been about family get-togethers, hanging around someones home, wearing Santa hats, giving out gifts and tucking into delicious food and wine.  When we were kids, my mother never failed to bake the best Christmas chicken and roast potatoes and we always had Rocky Road,  pudding and custard and a trifle.   My father may have been a health nut but he had a major sugar addiction and it got fed at Christmas time lol.

But as I have gotten older, and my digestion is just not what it used to be, I started to dread this time of year.  Mainly because I found it difficult to resist all the goodies and I would overeat.   I would often feel bloated and hungover and tired afterwards.

Can you relate?

But after following the Sugar Buster guidelines (that’s the USANA RESET program) for the past 18 months, the principles I have bedded down into my eating and lifestyle have really helped me enjoy celebratory foods with ease and less stress.

If you are like I used to be, then you may benefit from the tips and tricks I employ to not fear those tables laden with cheer (as my mother used to call them) and enjoy treat foods and the good company of friends and family.

Remember, if you choose to eat something that you intended not to, do not feel bad about it. This is important! Stress is worse for you then bad food, so enjoy your treats when you have them.  Drop the guilt. Just don’t get stuck in a cycle of eating them.

Surviving The Sugar Season

1. Eat before going out

If you turn up to a Christmas function starving (or any celebratory function for that matter) you are likely to consume everything on the table and fast!  And probably the highest carb foods you can find (read sugar – those crackers you are having with the cheese turn immediately to sugar unless they are made on nuts and seeds).  Ghrelin, our appetite hormone produced in the stomach, tells our brain when it is time to eat.  There is no ignoring that signal when it has dropped too low and a pile of high sugar foods are staring you in the face.  So before you head off to your event, have a protein snack like a handful of nuts with half a piece of fruit, or a couple of eggs or a Nutrimeal shake. Add fibre as this helps with satiety.

2. If you do turn up hungry 

So there was no time for a quick protein snack before the party?  My advice is to have a large glass of water before eating anything then choose fibre first.  Focus on vegetables and salads, with minimal dressing or dip, until a good base of these are in your digestive system. And keep drinking water.  Once the fibre and water is in place, then make selections that look to be the most flavourful with the least amount of sugar (this tip comes from the book Mastering Leptin by Byron J. Richards and Mary Guignon Richards). Leptin, a hormone, acts like a fuel gauge in the car.  When the tank is full of fuel leptin increases and this signals the brain to tell us to stop eating. Fibre rich foods will help that leptin signal get received by the brain so you are less likely to over eat.

Broccolini with olive oil and garlic.


3. Try everything in small portions

Before I hit a buffet table, I have learned to have a little chat to myself. I say “This is not the last meal you are ever likely to eat. You do not need to eat everything on the table” and then I selectively choose what I really want to experience.

If I really do want to sample everything on the table, I take a small tasting of everything and I savour the flavours.  I have had to work hard on this one, because I am a very big eater and I love food and I have been known to polish off a whole bowl of potato chips on my own (they are my achilles heel!) Now I have a few and then move them out of my line of sight.


4. Keep up the water

Start your celebrations by drinking a large glass of water.  Take a bottle of sparkling mineral water with you to BYO events and a lime to squeeze into it. Actually take 2 bottles as once you bring this out you will find everyone else wants a glass of cold sparking water after a lot of party food and alcohol!

Mineral water spritzer with lime.


5. Fibre first

Reiterating tip number 2 again.  Fibre helps keep you feeling full, feeds your good gut bacteria and it also helps clean toxins from the bowel.  Pears and bananas have a high fibre count as do sweet potatoes, greens and salad vegetables. Have a Fibergy shot before you go out.  That is a teaspoon of the USANA fibre supplement in a small glass of water.  Or use psyllium husk (its not as comprehensive in its forms of fibre but it is available from your local health food store).

Start with a “Fibergy Shot” before indulging.


6. Support Your Liver

Your liver LOVES greens so choose any dishes that contain asparagus, avocado, rocket, spinach, salad leaves, green beans, broccoli plus beetroot, cauliflower, lemons and limes.  Take a liver support supplement. More about the USANA brand in the recovery tip below.

Use a good liver support supplement.


7. Recovery

No-one is perfect and this season you may blow your good intentions right out of the water. Don’t despair!  If this happens to you, pull out your recovery plan.  Here are my top tips:

  • Before you go to bed have a big glass of water and pop a couple of Proflavanol C 100 (the grape seed extract and vitamin C wonder supplement. A very potent antioxidant that helps protect your brain cells as well as your heart, lungs and skin) and take 2 x HepaPlus liver support supplements.  The green-tea extract, milk thistle extract and broccoli concentrate in this product protects the liver and helps it function more effectively.
  • Next morning, drink plenty of water and more to flush those toxins out of your system!
  • Try a Green Smoothie (see recipe)
  • Go for a brisk walk or at least do some lymphasizing movements. If you don’t have one of those mini-trampolines to jump on, just move your legs and arms up and down in a pump like action to get the lymph working.  Deep breathing, with a longer breath out than in, gets the lungs pumping. The lungs are one of our detox pathways, so use your breath to get rid of internal rubbish.


Vicki’s Beginner Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie with lime.


  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach (or cos lettuce or a mixture of both)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (or half a green apple)
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and potted
  • 1/2 peeled banana
  • 1 small lemon (or lime) peeled and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander (stems ok but remove roots)
  • 1 cup of filtered water

Method:  Wash all produce. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds).  Add more water if needed.  You can also stir in a USANA Probiotic stick before drinking to increase your the good bacteria in your gut.

Wishing you a very happy festive season. May you enjoy it without overdoing it.

Health Ambassador

6 Health Tips To Do In 2019

6 Health Tips To Do In 2019

Here are 6 easy lifestyle factors that you can add to your daily routine over a few months. You may already being doing some of these. Rate yourself from 1 – 10 on each of the tips. One being low, i.e. you never do it, and 10 being high, i.e. you do this all the time.

Choose one or two that you are not currently doing, and that you feel would make the most impact if you were to add them in. Then take action steps to improve the rating.

Health Tip Number 1:  Greens and live food every day.

Everyone can benefit from adding more raw food, and vegetables into their daily diet.

Greens are loaded with crucial enzymes and are great for the mind, skin, hair, and elimination – we need greens to be going to the bathroom every day. They also help with energy and weight loss.

Easy tips:

  • Have a big salad every day
  • Add greens to your morning smoothie
  • E.g.:  romaine (aka cos) lettuce, kale, spinach, rocket – mix up the greens so you get a range of minerals and vitamins.  

My favourite tip:  I like to make up a salad on a rocket and baby spinach base, I give this a good squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and freshly cracked pepper. I add in cucumber, tomato, olives, figs, pomegranate seeds (or whatever I have in the fridge), a splash of olive oil, and a protein source like a lean meat, eggs or pan roasted seeds and nuts.  When I have this salad regularly, I notice a marked improvement in my digestion.

rocket, berries, live food, salad
Add greens to your smoothie or have a large salad.

Health Tip Number 2:  Add more movement into your day

Regular exercise is an important part of health. But it can be difficult to find the slots on your schedule to exercise regularly.  The most common excuse is I don’t have time!

Several recent studies have shown multiple, short bouts of exercise are as effective as single, longer bouts at supporting healthy blood pressure and maintaining fitness and weight. One study found that three, 10-minute exercise sessions are as effective as a single bout of 30 minutes for general fitness.

Easy tip: 

  • If you struggle to find that 30–60 minute time slot to exercise or get to the gym, think shorter and more often. Take 10 minutes and do brisk walking, yoga, dancing, running, weights. Do this 3 times per day. Aim to get your heart rate up as that gives you more bang for your buck.
  • Try this free app – 7 Minute Scientific Workout. It gives 12 floor exercises, which are done for between 20 and 50 seconds with a 10 second rest between each one. You can choose to do a number of sets. Read about it here: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/.

My favourite tip:  Brisk 30-minute walk around the block, as soon as I get out of bed. If time is limited I just do 10 – 15 minutes.

Health Tip Number 3:  More water

Ever wonder if you really need water?  Well, just think of a plant when it’s not watered. Its leaves are wilted and its growth stunted.  Pour some water on it and it just about dances a jig of joy and immediately springs back to life!

We can often mistake hunger, exhaustion, anxiety and demotivation for thirst.  Aim to drink around 2 litres per day.  It is better to sip consistently rather than guzzle. If you don’t like the taste of water try the tips below.

Easy tips:  

  • Get yourself a beautiful water bottle or tea tumbler, something that you will enjoy drinking from.
  • Try herbal tea infusions like peppermint, or apple and cinnamon. Try a few to find your favourite.
  • Add celery, cucumber or fruits like lime, watermelon and strawberries to up level the taste. (Note, it is a good idea to peel foods that are not organic to avoid the leeching of pesticides into the water).

My favourite tip:  Adding a sprig of rosemary to my water jug.

water jug, rosemary, cucumber
Add a sprig of rosemary to add taste and minerals and essential oils.

Health Tip Number 4:  Eat Before 7pm 90% of the time

This is one of the best natural anti-aging tips out there.  Why? Because our bodies repair and rejuvenate at night.  If its busy digesting food because you ate a big meal at 8pm, 9pm or even later, it can’t heal, repair and renew.  All the energy goes into the stomach to digest instead of going to all the other areas of the body to repair, rejuvenate, and do everything that is needed to be done before you wake up.  

Easy tip:  

  • If you get hungry after 7pm drink herbal tea and/or eat raw veggies, as these have a high water content and will not take very long to digest. 

My favourite tip:  I aim to have my last meal by 6:30 pm and I enjoy an herbal tea at around 8pm.

Tip Number 5:  Self-Care

It is important to take time out for you. It is not selfish to do this. Think of the advice they give on an airplane. Put the oxygen mask on first and then put it on your child.

If you do not take the time to relax, and unwind and refresh, then you may not be able to give your best to your work, your family and your friends. Slow down, to speed up.

Easy tips:

  • Take at least half a day-off per week.
  • Completely unplug and unwind
  • Set a work cut-off time and stick to it.

My favourite tip:  Catching up with friends for brunch on a Sunday or going for a walk in the bush.

Tip Number 6:  Take a break every 50 minutes

This tip comes from Brendon Burchard, High Performance Coach. It is less of a health tip and more of a productivity tip, but as read on you will see how it could improve your health too.

Brendon says that every 50-70 minutes we need to take a break from sitting. If you are someone who works at a desk, or are very sedentary, then this tip could change your life. Literally. It could save you. Sitting is the new smoking. We are made to move and most of us don’t move enough!

A study was done using a productivity app that 4 million people filled in. It showed that the most productive people take breaks every 52 minutes. When you sit in a chair for too long your  posture is compromised and inflammatory cytokines are activated. Activity actually makes us smarter. Exercise activates the brain.

Brendon suggests to get up, walk around, do a vinyasa flow, get a drink of waters,  do stretching, or meditate for 5 minutes. Or you could do a short high intensity exercise routine that would tick off health tip number 2!

You could do:

  • 10 Jumping jacks
  • 4 burpees
  • 10 squats/chair poses

Brendon claims that this practice is the reason why he can write so many books and papers. By having regular breaks, he is more productive.

Easy tip:

  • As soon as your butt is on the seat, set your phone alarm for 50 minutes.
  • When the alarm goes, get up even you don’t feel like it or are in the middle of a task. Take a break from 2 – 10 minutes.

My favourite tip:  I put my yoga mat on the pavers in the back garden and do a short stretching, and down-ward dog sequence. And I get the added bonus of a vitamin D shot! I am also trying the 7-Minute Scientific Workout app.

yoga, stretch, downward dog
Yoga mat ready for a quick floor routine when working from home.

In summary; the six health tips to add in this year.

  1. More greens and live foods
  2. Add more movement into your day
  3. More water
  4. Eat before 7pm 90% of the time
  5. Self care
  6. Have a break every 50 minutes

Remember to rate your self on a scale of 1 -10 (1, Im not doing it and 10, I am doing it regularly.) Be honest with your rating. Sometimes we can know something but don’t actually do it. So observe yourself over the next week and see how you go.

If you implement any of the tips, I would love to hear how you go and what your favourite ones are and if they made a difference to you. Thanks!

Have an awesome 2019!!

Be Healthy….Be Happy


Brisbane January 2019

9 Tips To Reduce Inflammation In The Body

9 Tips To Reduce Inflammation In The Body

One of the most significant medical discoveries of the 21st century is that inflammation is the common thread connecting not just the obvious autoimmune and allergic diseases but most chronic disease, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and depression. In fact out-of-control inflammation causes insulin resistance. The insulin resistance then creates even more inflammation, and the whole biological house burns down.  This is how Dr Mark Hyman opens his chapter on explaining the link between inflammation, insulin resistance and chronic disease (p 98-99, The Blood Sugar Solution).

What is insulin resistance you might be asking?  I was asking this too after diagnostic testing in April 2017, indicated that if I did not address my blood sugar issues I could tip over into pre-diabetes and insulin resistance.

Insulin is a fat storage hormone that like other hormones it is a regulatory agent. It’s job is to regulate or monitor the amount of sugar in the blood. Insulin is made by the pancreas and is designed to reduce the circulating blood sugar by helping cells take in and use the glucose (sugar) from the foods we eat.  It’s primary job is to control rising blood sugar by driving the sugar out of the blood stream and into the cells residing in the liver, muscles or fat.

In order for the body to run at optimal levels, the blood sugar must be maintained within certain parameters. When the level of sugar in the blood is either too high or too low, the body takes steps to “correct” the problem. To combat too much sugar, the body secrets more insulin to remove the sugar from the blood. You can see the problem. If we continually spike our blood sugar by eating foods high in sugar the bodies mechanisms become tired.

Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

Blood sugar needs to be kept in narrow band for sustained energy and good health.

Insulin resistance is when your cells refuse to accept the sugar, so there is too much sugar in the blood and not in the cells where it is used as energy. High levels of circulating blood sugar create a lot of heat and free radicals in the body damaging the cells, which then turns on the inflammatory response.

The scary thing is inflammation that drives obesity and chronic disease is invisible and doesn’t hurt. Not like when you stub your toe or cut your finger. That hurts and you can see the inflammatory process at work healing your injury. It gets red, it swells, it throbs and then it heals.  That is your immune system at work. 

Internal inflammation that is chronic, is a hidden smouldering fire created by your immune system as it tries to fight off the baddies in your body.  It is not until it has done damage like destroyed cartilage (arthritis) or injured your blood vessels (heart attack) that you feel the pain.  

Knee pain indicates inflammation

Internal inflammation

So what triggers inflammation and what can you do about it?  These are the main culprits.

  1. Sugar, refined carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners
  2. Trans fats and too many Omega-6 fats from processed plant oils (such as soybean or corn oil)
  3. Hidden food allergies and sensitivities
  4. Chronic infections
  5. Imbalances in gut bacteria 
  6. Environmental toxins
  7. Stress
  8. Sedentary lifestyle
  9. Sleep deprivation 

Which of these factors is the source of inflammation for you?  The answer will be different for everyone. You must locate all the sources of inflammation in your life and eliminate them if you want to avoid disease.

Nine tips to reduce the inflammation in your body.

  1. Dietary sugars, refined flours, and artificial sweeteners

These are the biggest triggers of inflammation. They cause insulin to spike and start a cascade of biochemical reactions that turn on genes and lead to chronic and persistent inflammation.  The best way to avoid these foods is to eat a diet high in unrefined food sources, lots of vegetables and fruits, legumes, lentils beans and grains that are not highly processed (eg. jasmine rice is more processed then brown rice or wild rice).  

Specifically avoid:

  • Refined sugars, such as white four, white rice and soft drinks (liquid sugar).  
  • Think bread products like hamburger buns and donuts; grains like white-flour pasta and sugary cereal; and sugary drinks like soft drink and sweetened juices. 
  • Also sauces like tomato and barbecue sauce, and jams.  
  • Eat less bread, white potatoes, crackers, chips, pastries, and sweetened drinks.  There is less fibre in these foods and low fibre diets also lead to inflammation. 

Avoid anything with aspartame or Splenda as a sweetener.  Artificial sweeteners disrupt the normal hormonal and neurological signals that control hunger and satiety (feeling full) actually leading to weight gain and therefore increased inflammation.  You don’t want that! 

  1. Inflammatory fats

For your body to work efficiently you need both Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), these are the anti-inflammatory fats, and Omega-6 EFAs, fats which promote inflammation.  These essentials fats need to be kept in balance for good health.  

Problem is, due to industrialised food manufacturing, and the heavy use of soybean and corn oil in so many processed foods (and fed to cattle and chickens), you get way too much omega-6 fats which drives your inflammation up.  Diets low in omega-3’s (think oily fish like salmon and sardines, walnuts, flaxseeds) contributes to the development of systemic inflammation.  

Add to this trans fats from oils that are heated to a high temperature which makes it stable at room temperature and therefore makes foods last longer – margarine and hydrogenated oils that are used in store bought muffins, cakes, crackers, muesli bars etc, and you can understand why you don’t feel so good. 

Your cells don’t recognise trans fats, and therefore do not know what to do with the foods that contain it.  This confuses them, and the messaging (communication network) between your cells gets all messed up! 

Ditch the processed and fast foods for unprocessed foods instead, and choose organic meats that are raised ethically and not primarily on a diet of corn and soybean.  

  1. Food sensitivities and allergies

Acute allergies to things like peanuts and bee stings that cause the throat to swell and shut nearly immediately (known as IgE – mediated responses) is not what this factor is about.  

Delayed, or hidden, allergies (known as IgG-mediated responses) play a significant role in driving inflammation that you may have no idea about.  Being sensitive to certain foods like gluten (a protein in wheat) and dairy create systemic low-grade inflammation in the body that can manifest itself in any number of ways.  

How do you know if you are sensitive to these foods?  Testing does not always tell you, and if you are highly allergic to certain foods you probably know this by now. Go with your instincts.  Tell tale signs are bloating and sometimes tiredness after eating foods that contain gluten.  A stuffy nose, increased mucus, or sinus issues usually are signs that you are sensitive to dairy.  You might also get a slight headache, or experience rashes or flaking of the skin.  Eliminate these foods from your diet for 7-14 days and see how you feel. Introduce them back one a a time and notice any body changes.   Tune into your body and become aware of how certain foods make you feel. 

  1. Chronic hidden infections

These can trigger inflammation. Makes sense as an infection is something that the immune system wants to immobilise and rid the body of. New studies show that infections such as adenovirus (the kind of virus that causes upper respiratory infections or infectious pinkeye) may be linked to obesity and insulin resistance.  If you suspect you have a virus (glandular fever, aka Epstein-Barr virus, is one that lingers in the cell),  look for a functional medical doctor to help treat you. They usually use specific herbs. Also have your teeth checked regularly, and if you have root canal fillings, find a holistic dentist who will inform you about the potential for parasites to live in the root canal and cause infections.  You can boost your immune system in order to suppress and control these latent infections. 

These are the USANA products that we use to boost our immune systems:

  • CellSentials (vital antioxidants and core minerals)
  • BiOmega (fish oil – free of contaminants)
  • USANA Vitamin D
  • Proglucammune (beta glucans, + zinc + brewers yeast)
  • USANA Probiotics (contains 2 probiotic strains clinically proven to reach the lower intestine alive)
  1. Toxins

The increasing load of persistent organic pollutants (such as PCB’s and pesticides) and heavy metals (such as arsenic, mercury and lead) inflames the body.  Replace toxic home cleaning products with non-toxic options, wear gloves when using chemicals and don’t breath in the fumes (wear a mask), don’t heat food in plastic in the microwave, or drink water from a plastic bottle that has been sitting in the car as heat causes chemicals to be leeched out of the plastic into the water or food you are about to consume!

If you have mercury fillings I urge you to read ‘A Mouth Full of Poison’, by Dr Myron Wentz. 

If you smoke cigarettes – quit!  

  1. Chronic stress

Acute stress skyrockets your blood sugar, which is a good thing if you need to act quickly to save yourself from a dangerous situation. However if this stress becomes chronic and your blood sugar levels remain high, inflammation results.  That is why stress is a killer!  Sadly we live in a highly stressed world and most of us don’t know how to relax.  Learn how to deep breath and calm your mind so that you can do this anywhere any time that you feel your stress elevating.  Take time out to just sit and watch the trees move and the clouds pass by.  Read a book, watch funny movies and take a break from listening to the news and watching violent movies. Get out into nature and enjoy the moment. 

  1. Sedentary lifestyle

Can you believe it?  Doing nothing actually can actually make you inflamed! Lack of exercise creates low-grade inflammation in the body.  And regular exercise dramatically reduces inflammation.  Get moving.  Aim to exercise a minimum of 20-30 minutes, three days a week and then increase to five days.  Brisk walking is a good start.  Dancing is marvellous exercise (flat shoes please).   If your knees are shot and you are unable to walk, find a pool to swim in or do chair yoga.   You need to move and move regularly. Find a way. 

  1. Nutritional deficiencies

Studies show that deficiencies in basic nutrients such as vitamin D, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants promote inflammation, and that simply taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement is as effective for lowering inflammation as taking a statin medication, with a lot less expense and fewer side effects.  (p 110, Dr Mark Hyman)

9. Sleep deprivation 

There has been significant research into sleep over the past twenty years and it is now known that adults should get eight hours of sleep each night. But what is really stunning is how a chronic lack of sleep can drive our blood sugar and insulin levels high and destroy our immune systems.  Diets high in sugar impact on our quality of sleep as does not giving ourselves an opportunity to sleep 8 hours. 

Tips:  stop eating three hours before you intend to go to bed, get into a regular sleep schedule, reduce caffeine intake after 12 noon and reduce your consumption of alcohol as this affects quality of sleep. Please find other solutions to taking sleeping medication.  These put your brain into a sedative state, which is not deep or quality sleep required for optimal brain function and good health. If you are taking sleeping pills work with your doctor to wean yourself off them (do not take yourself off them cold turkey. That is very dangerous).  Alternatives to sleeping medications include cognitive behavioural therapy to help rewire the brain, exercise, certain nutrients and avoiding diets high in carbohydrates and sugar, which interfere with the quality of your sleep.

I hope this article helps you in creating a plan to reduce the sources of inflammation in your life.

Be Healthy……Be Happy


Sources used for this article include:

    • Is Your Lifestyle Killing You?  Dr Karen Wolfe
    • The Blood Sugar Solution, Dr Mark Hyman
    • Food As Medicine,  Monash University online course
    • Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker
Peaceful Living In A Stress-Filled World

Peaceful Living In A Stress-Filled World

There was so much fascinating information shared at International Convention 2018. But as stress is something we are all exposed to, I felt you might like to know what Dr Isaac Meza, from Sanoviv Medical Institute, suggest we do to manage it. These are my notes from his workshop on the topic.

But first, what is stress? 

Hans Selye, endocrinologist & scientist, coined stress “The Adaptation Syndrome”. In his research opinion “every stress leaves an indelible scar”.

J. Pizzorno, Jr., M.D., categorised stress as “any type of real or perceived disturbance that can alter the homeostasis and lead to an stress response that is mediated by both the Central Nervous System (CNS) and peripheral organs”.

Therefore stress upsets the normal balance of the body and is implicated in our ageing process. 

But note, Hans Selye made an important distinction…..’without stress, there would be no life’, subsequently it is how we end up managing stress that is important.

Our first response to stress is generally accompanied by physical sensations such as heart palpitations (irregular heart beat), sweating, shortness of breath, tension headache, and nervousness.  All this happens in a second.

All would be good if we only experienced stress every now and then, but in our current lives many are experiencing stressful situations on a daily basis. Think of the morning traffic, an in-box full of email messages just waiting to be read and responded to,  financial pressure, a perception that there is not enough time to do everything on the list.  Running out of coffee can tip some of us over the brink! 

Stress is expressed in the physical, emotional, energetic, spiritual and the biochemical.

If a stressed state persists it can turn into generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) which is characterised by excessive and persistent  worrying that is hard to control, causes significant distress or impairment, and occurs on more days than not for at least 6 months.  Other features include psychological symptoms of anxiety, such as apprehensiveness and irritability, and physical (or somatic) symptoms of anxiety, such as increased fatigue and muscular tension.  

The rates of anxiety disorders appear to be rising, and it affects women more than men and, 43.5% of the American population suffers from mild stress.  Think of that…nearly half the population of American is experiencing mild stress. That is a lot of people!

Be aware; if you are experiencing mild or moderate stress levels you are already in a disease state.  Please read that line again as it is very important! 

If you are experiencing acute stress Dr Meza advised for you to deep breath and elevate your legs. 

According to Dr Meza, chronic and acute stress creates a flood of chemicals in the body, which we don’t experience when we are calm and relaxed.   Therefore chronic stress equals degeneration. It is a factor in:

    • Age related cognitive decline
    • Neurodegenerative disease
    • Cardiovascular disorders
    • Diabetes
    • Central obesity
    • Depression, insomnia, anxiety 

Did you know that chronic stress can create headaches?  

These signs and symptoms are an indication that there is significant free radical damage occurring in the stomach.  Chronic stress will mess with your digestion, impair the quality of your sleep and fast track you to becoming overweight and obese.

So what’s the good news?

Before I get there, I need to tell you that some people are genetically inclined towards chronic stress and anxiety. Yes, thats right. If you feel strung out and have trouble coping it could be your genes to blame.  But are they?  Whilst you may carry the stress and anxiety gene, this does not mean you need to live in this state.  

Dr Meza said that there are things in your environment that can either switch on the gene or switch it off. 

So firstly, what can switch on the stress gene?

    • Unresolved trauma 
    • Holding feelings in
    • Sleep deprivation 
    • Elevated cortisol levels

Assess and Diagnose

How can you know if you are experiencing chronic stress and putting your body into a disease state?

  1. Awareness – we need to know if we are stressed. Because we get used to this way of living sometimes we don’t even know that we are chronically stressed.  Check in on your body.  Ask yourself questions.  Find a Kinesiology therapist to help you identify the causes of stress and imbalance in the systems of your body.
  2. Detection is important to stop the cascade of hormones that is put into play once we experience a stressful situation.  
  3. Epigenetic – do you have the gene susceptibility to stress and anxiety? If you do, what do you need to take to correct it?  The answer is taking B vitamins in the correct doses.  
  4. Max pulse (a machine) can tell if your nervous system is in flight or fight mode. 
  5. Getting your cortisol levels checked as the results can indicate if your stress is chronic or acute. 

Now to switching off that stress gene.  

Prevention and Treatments

Prevention & Treatments

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy to learn strategies to manage chronic stress. There is much research to indicate that cognitive based treatments are very effective.  
  • Appropriate nutrition – eating a diet high in plant-based foods and low on processed foods. This article covers the need for a whole foods diet  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833586/
  • Correct exercise like yoga & other strength based, breathing exercise routines
  • Grounding – this refers to connecting electrically with the earth, walking barefoot can connect you with the earth’s surface electrons. 
  • Meditation
  • Praying

There are other things we can do like:

    • Contact with animals
    • Barefoot in grass – take off your socks and shoes and walk on the grass, get your hands into the dirt by gardening, lay on your back in a park and watch the clouds roll by.
    • Sleeping 8 hours for brain and adrenal healing
    • 6-10 exercises  per day is enough to shut down the cascade of hormones
    • Deep breathing – breath in deeply (raising your stomach), hold for 5 counts and release 4 counts and do this 5 times.

The above actions help to down regulate hormones and protect our tissues from the bombardment of chemicals that are activated when we are in a chronically stressed state.

Sanoviv Recommended Supplements For Stress/Anxiety

  • Multivitamin/Mineral (including B vitamins)
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D
  • Fish oil
  • Melatonin
  • Adaptogens (Reishi, Shitake, Ginseng)

Remember, when choosing your nutritional supplements find a brand that manufactures to GMP’s (Good Manufacturing Processes) and is potency guaranteed which ensures that what is on the label is in the tablet.

If you want to know what I use, drop me a message at vicki@vickiparker.net with the subject line – nutrition for stress and anxiety. 

If medications are needed Sanoviv recommends

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Seotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors 

Remember…..Have Fun.  Enjoy Life. Peace and Love.

Good Sources of Fat

Good Sources of Fat

So you’re supposed to eat good fats. What are good fats exactly?

Good question.  This one used to confuse me & for years I only used extra-virgin olive oil until finally I got it!  I hope this guide helps you choose the right oils & fatty foods.

Remember, whilst eating a high-fat diet can help reduce inflammation, that is only if you are choosing to eat good fats. Eating fats that have been damaged by high-heat or processing, will fan the flames of inflammation in your body and you don’t want that!   Its not just about feeling bad. The underlying inflammation and hormonal imbalance driven by eating the wrong foods drive not just symptoms but diseases and accelerated ageing. 


My New Love. Foam Rolling!

My New Love. Foam Rolling!

Are you into foam rolling yet?

I am a big fan of Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog goop.  Mainly for the food tips and recipes. But the other night when I was surfing goop.com I happened across a video on foam rolling by Lauren Roxburg.

I have a foam roller that has been collecting dust in the corner of a room.  (more…)

Staying healthy whilst travelling

Staying healthy whilst travelling

Next month Claude and I are off to Salt Lake City for the annual convention. This is such an exciting time of the year for us. The fun of travelling, trying new foods, catching up with international friends, being exposed to seminars, workshops and speakers like Tony Robbins and John Maxwell.




We do this every year in August and are getting good at travelling light and staying healthy. (more…)

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