Tip 1. Eat 'real food'

The definition of food is ‘any nutritious substance eaten to maintain life and growth’. The problem is that many of the items in our pantry have been grown in substandard soils, are sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, dried, heated, frozen or processed with preservatives, flavourings, high sugar, trans fats and colourings. In short most consumables are not nutritious at all and many are in fact detrimental to health.  
So my first step to a healthy life is ‘eat real food’ – that which is as close to nature as possible. The three main food groups required for human health include protein, fat and carbohydrates. In these foods are found everything necessary to keep the human body functioning optimally. 

Remember the reason we eat is to stay alive. Eat foods that will keep you healthy longer. 

Proteins (amino acids) are the building blocks of life growing and maintaining our structure including our ligaments, muscle, organs and skin. There are 9 essential amino acids (complete proteins) mostly from animal sources. The other 11 amino acids are non essential as they are made in the body and also gained by eating nuts, fruit, vegetables, legumes and grains.

Carbohydrates provide fuel for energy to keep us moving and even thinking. There are three types of carbs – sugar, starch and fibre. The best type to eat are unrefined simple (fruit, vegetables, dairy) and complex (starchy veges and fibre) while sugars should be limited to vegetables and fruits.

Fats (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and essential fatty acids) are essential and the best sources are natural and unprocessed. They grow and maintain our cell membranes and organs. Avoid highly processed trans fats which are associated with many diseases, as they can damage the cell membrane permeability.  


Tip 2. SLEEP - better than medicine. 

Our body heals on many levels while we sleep.

Rest activates the parasympathetic nervous system enabling the body to digest nutrients and maintain and repair our memory and brain function, energy levels, mood, the immune system and our ability to cope with stress. Night and day affect the body in different ways, called the circadian rhythm (a 24 hour cycle) where a number of hormones have different roles.

  • As daylight diminishes the pineal gland in the brain secretes melatonin which induces sleep.
  • Early in the night growth hormone is secreted which helps the body to grow and heal.
  • Serotonin is releasedand consolidates memories and nurtures the brain.  
  • Cortisol is available close to the time of waking, elevating our blood glucose levels in time for new activity and adding a ‘bounce’ to our step.
  • The morning light seeping in through our retina then signals melatonin to dissipate for the day.

If we ignore our natural rhythm and go to bed too late, these hormones are upset, and under perform.   This can affect our ability to handle our emotions and to think straight. It can contribute to high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and a number of anxiety illnesses.

How much sleep do we need?

Each individual’s sleep requirements are different and people seem to need less sleep as they age – but a good night’s sleep, whoever you are, should leave you waking up refreshed. It is better to go earlier to bed than to sleep in. Non Rem (rapid eye movement) sleep happens between 11pm and 3am and this is when our body regenerates and repairs.


Dreaming occurs at intervals throughout the night during REM (rapid eye movement sleep) and may give the brain a chance to work through the days events in dream imagery, perhaps even eliminating an overburden of thought from that day– in a way clearing the neuron network.

Dreaming is hindered by the absence of vitamin B6 in the body.

Sleep can be enhanced by:

  1. Reducing your daily stress – this increases Cortisol production in the evening giving you a second wind and thereby reducing the morning Cortisol which gives you that get up and go
  2. Write down your jobs for the following day so they do not weigh on your mind
  3. Go to bed in a darkened room (as light disrupts the circadian rhythm).
  4. Don’t go to bed hungry
  5. Reduce coffee intake
  6. Take Magnesium to help the body relax, Tart Cherry juice which contains melatonin, Chamomile tea or herbs such as Passion Flower and Kava.
  7. Deep breath or do some gentle exercises prior to going to bed to put you into a parasympathetic state