Tuesday, 10 September 2019

What to Expect in a Natural Medicine Consultation

You will be given time to tell your story.  It's important that a full and detailed picture of your health concern is considered.  In the world of Holistic Natural Medicine we consider the events around the onset of an illness to be very important, especially in chronic disease.  It's amazing just how many patients recall a specific event be it physical, mental, emotional or environmental that arose just prior becoming unwell.  This is important because we are not machines held together with sinew and connective tissue as much as complex multifaceted beings that are affected by physical, emotional and environmental catalysts.  So when you come in for your session we offer you the space and time to share your story.

Most of my patients arrive as a last ditch effort to save their health.  They feel let down by conventional medicines inability to treat chronic disease and are seeking non-pharmaceutical ways to improve their health because the drugs don't work or because they cause more problems.   Somehow the patient has gotten lost in an array of disconnected appointments consulting physicians that only assess parts of themselves in isolation to one another and fail to see the individual nature of their illness.   Others just want to find out what is causing their anxiety or bloating or chronic pain and are open to look holistically to address their concern.  Many patients see me to find out if nutritional deficiency or food sensitivity or toxicity is the cause of their problems.  Some patients turn up not knowing what to expect.  They have just heard that a "natural" approach may help.

I use the initial consultation to gather as much information about the patient as possible and I do this in a range of ways.   I get the patient to detail the onset and progression of their complaints and tell me in what ways it affects their lives.  Next I ask them what outcomes they would like.  In complex cases I ask patients to prioritise their top three health goals. This allows us to work together on a common goal.  So now it's not a patient/doctor relationship so much as a patient/doctor team activity. The more trust there is the better the results.  It's as simple as that.

After I gather this information I run a range of clinical non-invasive tests to identify likely causes and drivers of their illness.  This includes but is not limited to, Urinalysis, Nutrient Deficiency, Dietary Deficiency, Absorption capacity, Food Sensitivity, Toxicity, Mineral Status check and Systems check.  This is the part where I ask like a zillion questions to understand where the imbalances may lie.  After this I perform a physical examination including assessment of Tongue, Iris, Vital signs, Nails and Abdominal palpation and auscultation.  I also make note of how the patient walked into the room to observe their movement and gait as well as the sound and timbre of voice.  In some cases I will make note of test results they may have brought in or suggest additional testing to gather more useful and targeted information.  It's really quite comprehensive and rather a lot to squeeze into an hour.  But it is important to be as observant and thorough as possible.

After I have gathered all this information I compile it in an easy to read handout for the patient.  I step out what is needed in order to become well, why they should change their diet, how herbal medicine can help, why some acupunture will integrate their body even more.  Almost everybody that comes in needs to get a water filter and move their mobile phone away from their bed head.  Mine is a thorough and detailed holistic overview of a patients health status at the time of consultation explaining how diet, lifestyle and environment are affecting their body' s capacity to heal. 

I always include a set of detailed instructions and suggestions on how best to adjust their diet and lifestyle to modulate their internal environment for the better.  It's amazing how many patients appreciate the thorough nature of this approach.  I will prescribe a course of therapeutic nutrients, minerals and herbal medicine as needed being very clear to let the patient know that I have studied pharmacology and am up to date on drug/herb/nutrient interactions. 

I adhere to the Hippocratic oath all physicians take, "do no harm".

Some cases require integrative care models to achieve better outcomes such as working in conjunction with an acupuncturist, massage therapist, counsellor and GP.  Patients love this level of care, detail and support.   In a lot of cases it's the missing link, putting together all the pieces of the puzzle and stepping back to take a look.




Thursday, 13 June 2019

Why Probiotics may be the Last Thing You Need!

Building a Better Microbiome

The human microbiome (MB) is simply fantastic! It is made up from a combination of micro-organisms including, bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa that exist in and on the surfaces of your body. The majority of these organisms reside within your gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and weigh up to 2kg in a healthy adult.  Building a better microbiome will have a lasting and positive effect on your whole health.   Let me share with you some tips on why this is important and how you can achieve excellent results.

The Microbiome population in the adult gut weighs 2kg!

 Imagine your microbiome as a complex eco-system, like a beautiful rainforest, made up thousands of different species, both symbiotic,  pathogenic and opportunistic.  It is a dynamic environment, constantly influx, and involved in a complex array of biological functions including neurotransmission, immune modulation, nutrient production, hormone signalling and energy production to name just a few.

 These microbes occupy many locations on and in your body and many of the subgroups of microbes are unique to you and your social group.  Importantly, these populations can be greatly influenced by environmental factors like diet and lifestyle. 

Around 98% of the genes in your body belong to non-human microbes

You are literally a walking ecosystem!!



The prognosis of chronic health complaints is affected by the health of  your microbiome

  It's a hot topic right now and there is certainly a lot of information on the web as to how one should best ramp up the health of their gut microbes.  Probiotics are one such option and there are many fantastic strains that can be used to modulate your internal environment.  But often there are other things like finding the right diet to suit your needs, tweaking habits that improve digestive function such as meal times and thorough chewing and reducing consumption of things that can reduce beneficial microbe numbers such as alcohol, sugar and highly refined and processed food.

The scope of what one can achieve by tweaking one's diet is quite remarkable


Why all the fuss?
Our gut microbes produce metabolites that directly orchestrate biological functions within our body.  Appetite, Mood, Behaviour, Energy production, Inflammation and immune function appear to be the results of the chemical messages that our microbes produce.  Our microbial diversity is what makes us unique and allows our bodies to flourish, grow, repair and combat illness.  It's not so much the numbers of particular species that are important compared to the overall diversity. A well balanced plant-rich whole food diet will keep your microbes happy and when your microbes are happy it usually follows suit that you are too.  


At Eluvi Natural Medicine we  are focused on helping people repair damage that has been hindering their health

 There is significant evidence to suggest that our microbes influence emotional responses such as Anxiety, Depression and Stress Response.  Our MB affects neurotransmitter production of Dopamine, Serotonin, Adrenalin, Nor-Adrenalin, and GABA.  There is also evidence to suggest that microbes can affect the important tight junctions in our Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) which protect our brain from unwanted infection.   The gut really is the seat of all health.  

 Sadly though, our MB cops a significant amount of damage and stress from preventable and reversible factors.  A poor diet with lazy choices can adversely affect your good bugs.   For example, a low fibre diet will result in less food for the microbes that live in your large bowel and when they starve they are unable to produce an important contingent nutrient called Butyrate which plays a significant role in immune and inflammation regulation.   Many chronic illnesses can be improved by increasing Butyrate production which is facilitated partly by the microbes that inhabit your large bowel.

We have helped thousands of people repair their microbiome and restore their health and vitality using a systematic and evidence-based system of traditional, holistic natural medicine. eluvi.com.au

 Other lifestyle factors that affect your MB include sedentary behaviour and unnecessary medication, both natural and pharmaceutical.  This can result in your digestion becoming sluggish leading to over-fermentation and putrefaction ultimately giving rise to a state of Dysbiosis or germ overgrowth.  This type of functional damage will result in an internal shift in your biology that has the propensity to sustain biological and physiological functions that are not compatible with health.  There is evidence to suggest that this type of imbalance gives rise to opportunistic microbe populations, the ones we don't want to get out of hand to proliferate and dominate the internal landscape, shaping and influencing key system functions for the worse. 

Alterations in beneficial microbe populations have been linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Allergic diseases and reduced Immunotolerance 

 Alterations in your MB may be contributing to a multitude of neurological and mood altering conditions, psychiatric symptoms, obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, allergy and food sensitivity as well as impaired immune function.  Looking after and building a better microbiome is highly beneficial for overall health.  Hippocrates was correct when he stated more than 2500 years ago  All Dis-ease Begins in the Gut!

 
Patients love that we are available for consultation and support when they undergo a microbiome restoration.  

We can show you how to build a better microbiome and tailor an individual diet to support your boy's needs.  Maybe you've made changes in the past to your diet or lifestyle that resulted in a positive effect. A month without the booze, quitting sugar, or increased your exercise.  How did you feel when you committed to changes that enhanced your wellbeing?  

You might be surprised to know that a few simple dietary changes is all it takes to make your microbes feel as if all their Christmases have come at once


Repair work is part of the key
when you work with a suitably qualified practitioner you can find your path back to wellness.  For example, when we undertake a microbiome restoration in our clinics we embark on a comprehensive fact finding mission to understand what external and internal influences are disrupting the balance of the individual.
 We assess for underlying inflammation, parasitic infestation, hormone imbalance, geopathic stress, immune dysregulation, and which organ systems are most imbalanced.  We need to determine to what extent nutrient deficiencies play a part.  There are complicated biochemical pathways to consider including cellular, hormonal, electrical and biochemical signalling.  Once this is determined we can then target the area that needs most work and focus on repairing damage to your microbiome.  Trust me, you can't google this. You simply need to consult someone who knows what they are doing.


Hoping your ailments will resolve by taking a probiotic without addressing the underlying cause/s is like tipping water into a bucket with holes and expecting the water not to run out!

Probiotics are the last thing you need!
 Your attention should be directed to move beyond simply re-inoculating the gut with probiotics.  This is an overly simplistic approach that often leaves people with very little to show by way of therapeutic effect.  Don't get me wrong, probiotics can be beneficial, we use them everyday in our clinical practice but it's vital that the correct strains are used, at a therapeutic dose to match individual needs and...at the right time in the course of treatment.   Simply buying a probiotic and presuming your health complaints will all dissolve into the ether is simply naive.




Our clinic offers individualised and highly successful microbiome restoration programmes
that will help your body re-establish its natural state of balance.



If you’re suffering physical, mental / emotional, immunological or metabolic health concerns  taking an individual approach to repairing and rebalancing your microbiome will yield great rewards. We look forward to working with you.  

Reference material and relevant links
Reduced Immunotolerance and the Role of the Microbiome

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Concepts of Chinese Medicine: Part 1. Holism

Holism in Chinese Medicine

NB: These notes are intended to convey key concepts that are part of Master of Chinese Medicine study I am undertaking at RMIT - Melbourne.  

Chinese Medicine (CM) is more than 2000 years old with a rich history of change and development within the many dynasty periods.  Central to CM is the concept of holism, how things function in relation to each other.  The practice of CM is largely based on observation, patterns of harmony and rhythm, in the natural order of the universe, within the seasons and within humans. 

Chinese Medicine is based on treating patterns of disharmony within the body.

Yin Yang Theory

Explains how things function in relation to each other and the universe.  How the parts of the whole fit together in harmony and balance.  Yin and Yang is about parts of a whole that are inseparable. They inter-consume each other in a dynamic manner. The seed of Yang is within Yin, and the seed of Yin is within Yang. 

Yin can be described as feminine (relative to masculine), shady, dark, quiet, introverted, interior, a state of resting, a downward movement.  The front of the body is more Yin relative to the back, which is more Yang.  Yang can be described as bright, expansive, hot, upward, expansion, stimulation. The back of the body is more Yang relative to the front.  

The aspect of relativity is an important concept to grasp when it comes to Yin Yang theory.  For example it can be said that Hot water is 'Yang' compared to cold water, which is 'Yin'.  However cold water is 'Yang' relative to ice-cold water.  The point is, the two are never static and in fact it is their dynamic flux and movement that gives them vitality.  It can be said that when Yin and Yang seperate life itself comes to an end.
  


Yin and Yang represents inter-connectedness of all life

4 Aspects of Yin Yang Relationship

  1. Yin and Yang are never in a static 50/50 equal split, but rather move in a dynamic and constantly in a changing balance.
  2. Yin and Yang are in opposition but they are inter-dependant, one cannot exist without the other. For example, there cannot be expansion without contraction, day without night and rest without exertion. 
  3. Mutual consumption of Yin and Yang.  Balance is maintained by adjusting relative levels of Yin and Yang. If one is out of balance it will affect the other and as a result they will recompense to maintain balance.
  4. The inter-transformation of Yin and Yang. This change happens are certain stages of development. For example, Summer changes into Winter, Day changes into night, happiness changes into unhappiness, movement changes into rest. 

4 States of Yin Yang Imbalance

  1. Excess Yin - excess Yin induces a decrease of Yang
  2. Excess Yang - excess of Yang induces a decrease of Yin
  3. Deficiency of Yin - induces an apparent excess of Yang relative to the deficient Yin 
  4. Deficiency of Yang - induces an apparent excess of Yin relative to the deficient Yang
                
                                         Image result for 4 states of Yin Yang imbalances

Application of Yin Yang to Medicine

CM treatment is aimed to balance Yin and Yang. Illness in its physiological, pathological, diagnostic and treatment can be reduced to Yin Yang theory.  
  • Tonify Yang
  • Tonify Yin
  • Eliminate Excess Yang
  • Eliminate Excess Yin 


 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Building a Better Microbiome


 The human microbiome (MB) is simply fantastic! It is made up from a combination of micro-organisms including, bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa etc that exist in and on the surfaces of your body. The majority of these organisms reside within your gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and weigh up to 2 kg.  Building a better microbiome will have a lasting and positive effect on your whole health.   Let me share with you some tips on why this is important and how you can achieve excellent results.

The Microbiome population in the adult gut weighs 2kg!

 Imagine your microbiome as a complex eco-system, like a beautiful rainforest, made up thousands of different species, both symbiotic and pathogenic.  It is a dynamic environment, constantly influx, and involved in a complex array of biological functions.  These microbes occupy many locations on and in your body and many of the subgroups of microbes are unique to you and your social group.  Importantly, these populations can be greatly influenced by environmental factors like diet and lifestyle. 

Around 98% of the genes in your body belong to non-human microbes
You are literally a walking ecosystem!!




Why all the fuss?
 Your MB is intimately linked to your brain function, immune system, gut function, involved in nutrient absorption and nutrient production such as vitamins, hormones, neurotransmitters, probiotics and contingent nutrients like butyrate.   Our microbial diversity is what makes us unique and allows our bodies to flourish, grow, repair and combat illness.  A well balanced plant-rich whole food diet will keep your microbes happy and when your microbes are happy it usually follows suit that you are too.  
At Eluvi Natural Medicine we  are focused on helping people repair damage that has been hindering their health

 There is significant evidence to suggest that our microbes influence emotional responses such as Anxiety, Depression and Stress Response.  Our MB affects neurotransmitter production of Dopamine, Serotonin, Adrenalin, Nor-Adrenalin, and GABA.  There is evidence to suggest that microbes can affect the important tight junctions in our Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) which protect our brain from unwanted infection.   

 Sadly though, our MB cops a significant amount of damage and stress from preventable and reversible factors.  A poor diet with lazy choices can adversely affect your good bugs.   For example, a low fibre diet will result in less food for the microbes that live in your large bowel and when they starve they are unable to produce an important contingent nutrient called Butyrate which plays a significant role in immune and inflammation regulation.   Many chronic illnesses can be improved by increasing Butyrate production which is facilitated partly by the microbes that inhabit your large bowel.

We have helped hundreds of people repair their microbiome and restore their health and vitality using a systematic and evidence-based system of traditional, holistic natural medicine. eluvi.com.au

 Other lifestyle factors that affect your MB include sedentary behaviour and unnecessary medication, both natural and pharmaceutical.  This can result in your digestion becoming sluggish leading to over-fermentation and putrefaction ultimately giving rise to a state of Dysbiosis or germ overgrowth.  This type of functional damage will result in an internal shift in your biology that has the propensity to sustain biological and physiological functions that are not compatible with health.  There is evidence to suggest that this type of imbalance gives rise to opportunistic microbe populations, the ones we don't want to get out of hand to proliferate and dominate the internal landscape, shaping and influencing key system functions for the worse. 

Alterations in beneficial microbe populations have been linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Allergic diseases and reduced Immunotolerance 

 Alterations in your MB may be contributing to a multitude of neurological and mood altering conditions, psychiatric symptoms, obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, allergy and food sensitivity as well as impaired immune function.  Looking after and building a better microbiome is highly beneficial for overall health.  Hippocrates was correct when he stated more than 2500 years ago  All Dis-ease Begins in the Gut!

 
Patients love knowing that we are available for consultation and support when they undergo a microbiome restoration.  

We can show you how to build a better microbiome and tailor an individual diet to support your boy's needs.  Maybe you've made changes in the past to your diet or lifestyle that resulted in a positive effect. A month without the booze, quitting sugar, or increased your exercise.  How did you feel when you committed to changes that enhanced your wellbeing?  

You might be surprised to know that a few simple dietary changes is all it takes to make your microbes feel as if all their Christmases have come at once


Repair work is part of the key
when you work with a suitably qualified practitioner you can find your path back to wellness.  For example, when we undertake a microbiome restoration in our clinics we embark on a comprehensive fact finding mission to understand what external and internal influences are disrupting the balance of the individual.
 We assess for underlying inflammation, parasitic infestation, hormone imbalance, geopathic stress, immune dysregulation, and which organ systems are most imbalanced.  We need to determine to what extent nutrient deficiencies play a part.  There are complicated biochemical pathways to consider including cellular, hormonal, electrical and biochemical signalling.  Once this is determined we can then target the area that needs most work and focus on repairing damage to your microbiome.  Trust me, you can't google this. You simply need to consult someone who knows what they are doing.


Hoping your ailments will resolve by taking a probiotic without addressing the underlying cause/s is like tipping water into a bucket with holes and expecting the water not to run out!


Probiotics are the last thing you need!
 Your attention should be directed to move beyond simply re-inoculating the gut with probiotics.  This is an overly simplistic approach that often leaves people with very little to show by way of therapeutic effect.  Don't get me wrong, probiotics can be beneficial, we use them everyday in our clinical practice but it's vital that the correct strains are used, at a therapeutic dose to match individual needs and...at the right time in the course of treatment.   Simply buying a probiotic and presuming your health complaints will all dissolve into the ether is simply naive.




Our clinic offers individualised and highly successful microbiome restoration programmes
that will help your body re-establish its natural state of balance.



If you’re suffering physical, mental / emotional, immunological or metabolic health concerns  taking 
an individual approach to repairing and rebalancing your microbiome will yield great rewards. We look forward to working with you.  

Reference material and relevant links
Reduced Immunotolerance and the Role of the Microbiome

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Hydration is key to resolving eczema


Could Dehydration Be Affecting Your Health?
A typical adult will have about 45 Litres of water in their body distributed in muscle, fat tissue, bones and teeth. Water has multiple functions in the body and is vital in key metabolic functions. Commonly though, many people may be poorly hydrated which can affect their health and wellbeing. Many health complaints will be stubborn to improve if hydration is low and critical functions such as wound healing and immunity may be compromised.


Being well hydrated will benefit your digestion, allow your brain to think faster and help your skin glow like you’re on the cover of glossy magazine. Water helps your body perform thousands of metabolic processes every hour, orchestrating a fascinating and complex array of chemical, hormonal and neurological messages, all silent and truly magical. Cells that are well hydrated communicate clearly and quickly with each other, activate enzyme pathways, uptake nutrients and remove wastes effectively.

In short, your entire body loves being bathed in nutrient-rich fluid. Sluggish bowel problems, skin conditions andevenfatiguecanbegreatlyimprovedbyensuringhydrationisoptimal. Recently a gentleman consulting me for nutritional help suffering hypertension saw a noticeable drop in his blood pressure after we diagnosed and treated his dehydration.
Despite this,poor hydration is often missed in many health assessments. So how do youk now if you are poorly hydrated? 

To check your hydration pinch the skin on your sternum and then let it go. The more slowly it springs back into place the lower your hydration. Regular sweating will reduce total body stores of water and every cup of coffee takes two cups of water out of your body. Diets high in alcoho land salt will also be prone to poor hydration. In some people the urge for constant snacking is a misdirected cue that your body needs more water. It’s important to be aware of these factors.
So, how much should you be drinking?

 In warm months and for adults who do moderate exercise then between 2.0lt and 3lt per day may be needed. Inthecoolermonthswhensoupsandstewsareonthemenu anywhere between 1.5lt - 2lts per day may suffice. Children, depending on age and activity levels need between 1⁄4 and 3⁄4 of adult portions. It is also worth considering that excess hydration can occur and lead to depletion of minerals in the body. If you have been suffering poor hydration then it may benefit asking your health provider about mineral repletion which can help you rehydrate your body quickly.

By Tim Howden
Paediatric & Family Naturopath 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Why Digestion is Vital for Your Child to be Healthy

Why digestion is Vital for your child to be healthy.


The digestive system is perhaps the most important organ system of the body.  I would like to share with you why this system is so important and what you can do to ensure your children have a strong and robust digestive system.  A healthy functioning gut is vital to your children growing healthy and remaining healthy throughout their whole lives.  


Lets face it, being a modern day parent can be pretty tough at times especially if our children don’t seem to be thriving as they should.  A healthy child will make your job as a parent that much easier, especially if you can see how they are thriving.  Let me share with you why your child's digestive system is so important.


Key facts about your child’s digestive system
  • It contains more than 500 million nerve cells and more brain cells than the brain itself!
  • Helps regulate nervous system function and equilibrium.
  • Contains over 85% of the body’s immune cells.
  • Has the highest cellular turnover rate in the body - which means it is highly influenced.
  • Manufactures key vitamins and nutrients for the body to use

The digestive system is the central hub to the way your child's brain functions, how their immune system manages threats and their overall nutritional status.


“All Disease begins in the Gut”        -     Hippocrates (2500 years ago)


Here are a few tips that can you use to ensure this system is healthy in your child.

  1. Ensure their diet is free from synthetic, highly refined pseudo-foods.  If your grandmother wouldn’t recognise it as food then don’t feed it to your kids.
  2. Ensure there is natural diversity within the diet.  I tell children in my consulting room that they’re body needs to eat a minimum of 15 different types of food each day.  These must be all colours of the rainbow.
  3. Give your child a minimum of 3 serves of protein per day.  Use varied types including, lean meats, fish, nuts, eggs, legumes, beans & tofu.  Protein will support a robust appetite and ensure lean muscle development.
  4. Use fermented foods in the family diet. These act as pre-biotics which are fuel for your body own flora.  Examples include, Whole Yoghurt, Sauerkraut, Kim Chi, Kafir and Tempeh.
  5. Consult a qualified naturopath to help resolve any ongoing digestive complaints or concerns that may be related to the function of this system.  Naturopathic medicine has excellent tools to support optimal function of the digestive system.


So there you have it a brief outline on why your child’s digestive system is vital to your child's whole health.  Have questions? Then why not gives us a call so we can help.
Tim Howden ND BHSc MNHAA
Paediatric Naturopath

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Food as Medicine

Navigating your way through the supermarket






As a parent I often feel overwhelmed in the supermarket.  It's a busy place that can be confusing, noisy and confronting.  Our choices are often influenced by clever marketing ploys that try to sell us products we may not need and with children this is amplified with them vying for lollies and other questionable items.  So what do we do and how can we arm ourselves with tools to make the supermarket trip as productive and trouble-free as possible?  Here are some tips to help you make healthy choices for your whole family.

Get focused  

Be clear on your objective.  If this is to buy healthy nutritious food then you need to know what to include and what to avoid.  Being clear on this will work in your favour and you'll feel great about providing good quality foods that contribute to good health.  


What Foods Does your Family Really Need?

A variety is the answer, real, living foods.  We can refer to these as "whole foods" which are foods that are as close to their natural state as possible with minimal processing.  But that doesn't quite fit the bill since many people don't know what oats or buckwheat look like.  So let's keep it simple.  If your grandmother wouldn't recognise it as food then don't buy and don't eat it.  I realize there are exceptions but for all intents and purposes I'd like to keep this article simple and straight forward. Especially if dad is doing the shopping, since he'll want to get in a out as quick as possible with maximum efficiency.  

Your family needs a wide range of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates (includes grains), protein, fermented foods and good quality water.  That's it...it's not rocket science.  Here is a little diagram to outline these groups along with a list of healthy options. 

Healthy Fats

Butter, Coconut oil, Olive oil, Flax seed oil, 

Avoid
Canola, Crisco, Vegetable oil, margarine, peanut oil and everything else that is not written above.
These oils to avoid form trans-isomers in the body which are pro-carcinogenic.  All cells in the body require a healthy fatty bi-layer to generate possitive messages in and out of the cells. Degenerative diseases and auto-immune conditions are partly a result of poor quality fats.  

Complex Carbohydrates

Fruits, vegetables, rice, oats, barley
Keep breads and pasta to a minimum.  1- 2 serves per week.  More than this can result in body acidosis and inflammation.  

Protein

Lean meats (Non-deli) Fish
Tofu, Tempeh, Lentils, Chickpeas
Beans (mung, butterbeans etc)
Nuts, Seeds, Yoghurt, Eggs, Quinoa

Avoid
Caged hens, all deli-meats which form carcinogens and are excessive in sodium and preservatives, large predatory fish (Shark, Flake, Marlin) as they have elevated levels of methyl mercury, 

Fermented Foods

Miso, Soy sauce (Organic please), Kim Chi, Sauerkraut, Apple cider vinegar, yoghurts (Plain full cream natural tub set).

Water

Spring water is ideal otherwise get yourself a quality water filter to remove unwanted heavy metals, flouride, pesticide residues and chlorine.  These things do not contribute to health.  In my practice I find that around 20% of my patients are poor absorbers of water.  For these people I suggest using herbal teas or adding a few drops of lemon juice (from a lemon) to the water.

Meal plan  

Its best not to arrive at the supermarket without knowing what you want.  And if you want your kids to eat more variey encourage them to prepare meals, get involved with cooking and express the types of things they's like to eat.  This way they feel in control, responsible and generally cool about eating. Meal planning also works well for professional parents who don't want to feed their family TV dinner.s  Pre-cooking, freezing, slow cooking and getting other family members involved can help make it easier to prepare healthy delicious meals. 

Make a list  

When you work from a list it does two things.  It saves you money because you are not buying items that you don't need and two it keeps you focused and not distracted by the advertising flashing and sounding itself around the super market.  You can stay in the zone and not be controlled by the advertising company's desire to sell you what you don't need. Simple, but effective. 

Use a chemical maze code breaker

This is one of the best apps you can use if you are a health conscious shopper.  It enables you to decipher the numbered codes on the ingredient pannels.  This is important since some number additive are safe for human health while others are linked to cancers, behavioural and neuro-developmental health concerns, allergic reactions and other serious health problems.  When you use this App you can make the decision on whether you are confortable letting your family consume certain additives.

Choose your shopping time wisely

Depending on where you live and your work schedule some times to shop may be more hectic than others.  If you can consider shopping after 8pm at night, it's quieter and more easy to get in and out, plus parking is usually better.  Alternately, early in the morning around 6:30am - 7am is similar.
Its best to avoid shopping around 5pm or when your or the kids are hungry.  This leads to tension, congestion in the shop and an increased tendency to buy poor quality snacks.

Finally

Enjoy seeing how healthy your selections are compared to other trolleys at the registers. Be discrete about this but be proud to know that 100% of everything in your trolley is healthy to eat.  Once you master the art of shopping this way it will become second nature and more importantly your are influencing your children by positive reinforcement.  

All the very best and happy eating.

Dr Tim