This page has moved to a new address.

An Aussie Mum's Guide To Eco Friendly Babies

An Aussie Mum's Guide To Eco Friendly Babies: July 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lack of posting...

Hey guys, sorry the posts have been a little slow lately!  We are preparing to 'move house' to a new domain!  The new website is and is pretty much up and running.  I still have to sort out soem kinks in older posts but the new site should make it much easier to find old posts or research certain topics.

Go over now, and have a look!  Hope you enjoy the new site, and please leave a comment on the welcome post when you drop by :)


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Facebook Page Updated

For those who haven't checked out the Facebook page, jump on and have a look!  There are lots of great link to Natural Health and Eco articles and it's a great way to have some input on the blog.  I've renamed the page All Natural Families and we now have our own URL-

Jump on, like the page and please leave a comment or two!  I would love to hear from my readers- do you like the blog or have some feedback on it?  Want to see more or less of something?  Got a burning question?  Have news or a link to share?  Also feel free to advertise pages as long as they fit into the Natural Health and Sustainability category.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Hi Guys. sorry it took me a while but things have been pretty crazy around here!  The winners of the Fusion comp have been drawn, using a random number generator.

The Winner of the Energy Multi is Vicki and Pam has taken away the Stress and Anxiety!  I have sent emails to both of you guys to let you know :)

Thank you so much to Fusion, they not only provided the prizes but some info I can post out to the lucky winners about their chosen products.

The Fusion Hair Tonic and Skin Tonic have now been officially launched and are in store today!  The Hair Tonic is an updated version of the Women's Balance that has been used for hair growth, as it stimulates the flow of blood and nutrients to the scalp.  We've had some great feedback in store about the WB formula so we are expecting the Hair Tonic to be even better!  I will be getting some info in on the brand new Skin Formula, but I know we have some readers from the Fusion crew so if they are listening in, feel free to post a comment with some more info!

Congratulations to the lucky winners, and a big thanks to all the entrants.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Out and About and a Whole Lot Happier

We all know how hard it can be with small children- no time for exercise, socialising or 'me' time.  It can be stressful and overwhelming and those very things that will make us feel better- getting outside, going for a walk, releasing some endorphins with a good workout- can seem like monumental tasks.  Lack of exercise and Vitamin D (from sunshine), along with few social contacts can contribute to post natal depression, run-of-the-mill depression, and a general tendancy to avoid the outside world.  Getting into a fitness routine-preferably one that involves going outside- can do a world of good for you and bub.  Suzie Tjin (B.ExSci, B.Ed.) has written the following article on just this topic:

Nature AND Nurture...and all while you get fit!

The first few years of parenthood can be hectic (OK, so perhaps that was the understatement of the century)! With regular feed times, nappy changes, play time, nappy changes, housework, nappy changes, the battle at sleep times, and yet more nappy changes, a Mum’s job is never done! But who is looking after you? You are the go-to person after all, so there’s no time for feeling under the weather!

Getting outside amongst nature and being active are so important for both your physical & mental wellbeing! Studies suggest that those who regularly get amongst leafy surrounds generally have a more positive state of mind – couple this with the endorphins you experience during an ‘exerciser’s high’ and you’re on your way to a happier & healthier you! Why pay for an expensive gym membership with lengthy contract periods, only to avoid going because it’s ‘too macho’ ‘too busy’ or you feel too self conscious? Your own natural gym is at your doorstep – it’s the footpaths in your neighbourhood, the park down the street, the park bench down the road or the hill down the block. Don’t have any exercise equipment? Think again! If you have a baby or toddler, you have all the equipment you need! A simple walk or jog with the stroller, or a few simple baby lifts and you’re on your way to fit town....And bubs can benefit too!

By carefully selecting the movements you do with bubs, you could provide the vestibular stimulation that’s linked with improved balance, coordination and strength development. By incorporating both fast & slow, bumpy & flowing movements, you enable bubs to improve their head control, adopt appropriate posture and develop the strength required for crawling and walking. Better still, doing such exercises outside with other mothers allows bubs to explore their surrounds and learn the skills required for appropriate social interaction. Even if you decide to go it alone, bubs is assured to appreciate the time spent outdoors, so do yourself a favour & get amongst it!

Suzie Tjin (B.ExSci, B.Ed.) runs Mums and Bubs Fitness at North Lakes and Redcliffe, a group class for mums and their little ones held in the great outdoors.  It's a great place not only to get fit, but to socialise with other mums!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Does Your Child Need a Multi?

Nearly every big vitamin brand makes a kids multi and most parents who buy them do so for pretty valid reasons.  Picky eaters or restricted diets, low soil quality, increased exposure to germs and pollutants- but how do you know if your child needs a multi, and which one do you choose?

Firstly, what is your child likely to be lacking?

Iodine deficiency is very common in Australia- Iodine is essential for brain development, hormone production and energy and is of particular importance for kids, pregnant women and menopause.  To combat rising levels of iodine deficiency, most breads now include an potassium iodide and you can also buy iodized salt- neither of which is easy to absorb.  The best source of iodine is seaweed and how many Aussie families use seaweed in their daily diet?  The best way to top up iodine levels is to sprinkle a teaspoon of kelp, wakame or dulse powder over dinner (don't mix it in before as heat destroys a lot of nutrients).  These seaweeds also contain calcium, iron and magnesium. The best way to describe the taste is slightly salty and 'like the ocean'.  Once you try it you'll see what I mean.  You don't need much so it's easy to blend into various dishes.

Another thing we don't eat a lot of in Australia is oily fish, kind of silly considering we live on a great big island.  Though a great source of omega 3, many people are currently avoiding seafood altogether due to the Fukushima power plant meltdown.  It's pretty easy to get omega 3 from your diet though- just make sure to include lots of wholegrains, and you can use flaxseed meal or chia seeds for a super boost.  These can be added to breakfast cereal, yoghurt or a smoothie.

Iron is a little trickier; most people assume low energy is caused by iron deficiency but they don't realise too much iron can cause the same symptoms.  Before supplementing iron always check with a naturopath or doctor.  Meat has the highest concentration and easiest to absorb iron, but it's easy to get through vegan sources as well, like the seaweeds mentioned above, pepitas, sesame seeds, soybeans, tofu, lentils and spinach.

Calcium can be a concern for parents who live a vegan lifestyle, or have kids who are intolerant/allergic to dairy or just plain don't like it.  Again, Google can be your friend and using 'vegan' in the search term will pull up all the non dairy calcium option.  Chickpeas, tofu and non-dairy, calcium fortified milks (including almond, buckwheat, rice and quinoa) can easily replace milk in the diet.

The other thing you can do is look at the food you eat, and how it's prepared.  A varied diet rich in fresh, organic produce will maximise the nutritional content.  Cooking foods in a microwave destroys nutrients so stick to steaming, stir-frying and baking where you can.  Raw is great too- add things like capsicum, broccoli, beetroot and other colourful veg to raw salads.  You can add superfoods to the diet too, things like blueberries, spirulina, wheatgrass, chia and goji are all packed full of great nutrients for a healthy body.

Sometimes despite best intentions a supplement is needed.  Kids with digestive disorders or special needs, those on a very restricted diet, limited access to fresh, healthy food or kids that just don't eat enough.  How do you pick from the array of bright boxes and bubblegum flavours?

1. Look at what's NOT in your kids multi- there should be no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colours or flavours.  Make sure they use natural fruit flavouring and stick to natural sweeteners like Xylitol and stevia.

2. Look at the type of ingredients- are there lot's of oxide (heavy metal, hard to absorb) based minerals or are they chelates and citrates (much easier to assimilate).  If you are after a specific ingredient like magnesium, is there enough?  You might have to consider a more specific product than a multi.

3. Look at the dose and how to administer it- a one-size-fits-all dose of one a day for 2-12 year olds mean the 12 year old is probably not getting nearly enough for it to be useful.  Age specific dosing is always better.  Compare the quantities of a few ingredients between brands and consider taste too.

4. Check for allergy ingredients and other things you want to avoid.

So far, all the best kids supplements I've seen are practitioner only brands like Metagenics, which means you need to see your Naturopath or Herbalist to get them.  It's definitely worth it though- much better dosing, powder formulas for easy administering and better quality ingredients.  The only off the shelf product I really, really like is the Natural High Supershake, which is more a superfood/protein powder than anything.  I also like Lifestream Ultimate Veggies to give a boost to the diet.  Both are food based for maximum absorption and range of constituents.

Whether you use a single multi for your kids or a tailored supplement regime, they will always get the best out of life if their diet is good.  So eat up, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine and enjoy life to the fullest :)

5 Days Left for Fusion Giveaway!

Don't forget to enter the fusion comp to win one of two great Fusion products! To enter, complete this quote off the Fusion Health Facebook page about Whole Body Tonic: "It's like a __________ for all you organs!"
Email the answer to

For T's and C's see the 'Fusion Giveaway' post

BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Natural therapies are not just for healthy kids, or for treating colds and tummy upsets.  Yoga, osteopathy, naturopathy, homeopathy and a multitude of therapies are now being used for Down syndrome, Asperger syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and other conditions.  One aussie mum who knows all about the huge (but often dismissed) benefits these therapies can have is Kristen Morrison.  Her story is here (copied directly from her website, with permission).

Down syndrome – there is hope!

I woke this morning to my son trying to ‘bite mummy’s nose’ with Dad’s glasses case.  I buried my nose in his delicious soft neck – ahh the smell of your own child’s skin! It’s kind of irrelevant to me now that as well as being cheeky and smelling divine, my son has Down syndrome.
Then I read today’s news. Two families from my home town are taking their doctors to court because they had children with Down syndrome – their diagnosis was not picked up during pregnancy.
The Herald Sun says ‘ Victoria, people can sue for compensation for the continuing costs of raising a child to the age of 18, where the child was born as a result of negligent care’.
I am not one to judge.  Human challenges are many.. daily.. for all of us, and we all respond differently. I hear stories every day about how different parents react to a situation like this and I feel for every one of them.  It’s hard!
I had no idea I would react the way I did when my son was born.  I don’t know how I would have reacted had I been told during pregnancy. But for me, research into healing was therapy – for me AND my son. Others find a situation like this utterly anihilating.
I TOTALLY understand!
There is a common thread through the articles I’ve read today – everyone I’ve seen interviewed, every interview I have read, talks about the FACT that Down syndrome equals health issues. The FACT that it is to be avoided – at all costs, better screening is the solution. Avoid it.
On Channel 9′s Today Show, Mia Freedman talked about children with Down syndrome having ‘enormous health problems’.
I can honestly say that our experience of Down syndrome has not fitted this mould in any way.  I know there are plenty of people who will say we got lucky, everything we did is placebo – our successes would have happened anyway.
We have worked our guts out to help our son since he was born! But apparently we got very lucky that he has no heart defect, no thyroid problems, no mobility or vision issues.   We got lucky with his hearing, lucky with his ability to walk, lucky that he has only had to go to emergency once in his life (when he had a nasty cold) and has had no other serious illness.  We got lucky that he has no food intolerances or behaviour problems, lucky that he now speaks, lucky that he cuts with scissors at 3 and could read words at 18 months.
That’s pretty lucky.
And that’s exactly why I wrote my book.  It’s a case study. It’s only one child’s story, I understand this doesn’t constitute a double blind scientific study. But I felt the need to tell others what we did, what supplements and therapies I selected for him and what results we achieved in his first few years.  We observed miracles I had thought impossible. And now I read more and more stories from other parents who are doing some of what we have done and are observing similar improvements.
I guess they got lucky too.
I produced a documentary about our experiences to bring awareness for other parents that Down syndrome is NOT a life sentence. Children with Down syndrome DO respond to natural and alternative therapies very well.
I want others to know what is possible for their kids.  Or for the kids of people they know.  This is a human problem.  Humans should know there is something that can be done to make things better.
My son delights us just as our daughters did at 3 1/2.  He steals my wallet and runs away, wants to cook all the time and counted ’3 white utes’ on our walk yesterday. We love him to pieces.
Click here to watch the documentary – Part 3 shows my son at 3 1/2.  And no, he doesn’t have mosaic Down syndrome (the mildest form).  Trisomy 21 – the most common kind.
Here’s to healing!

Kristen took her experience, knowledge, research and passion and brought it all together to write the book 'Naturally Better'.  It details her personal journey and the therapies she used to help her gorgeous son beat the odds, despite facing those 'enormous health problems'.  The book is written in a way that not only lets the reader share the close relationship between Gryffin and Kristen, and learn about the practical applications of the various therapies for Down syndrome, it also gives great advice and information to help us raise our kids to be the best (and healthiest) they can be.  

At the heart of this amazing story of hope lies the sad fact that today, the Australian Government gives little or no funding either to parents wishing to use natural therapies to assist their children, or to the research on how these therapies can be effective, or applied.  This is a topic I could blog about for hours- funding the research into or the use of natural therapies could save the country millions of dollars spent on conditions like the ones mentioned, but also cholesterol, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and immune conditions.  With the correct application we could prevent so many degenerative or lifestyles diseases, and stop unnecessary reliance on prescriptions medications which often just cause more problems.  We could also offer so many more effective treatments for kids with Down syndrome, ASD, Asperger syndrome and ADHD- without the need for Ritalin!

In response to the needs of families in similar situations to hers,  Kristen along with Sarah Delarue have co-founded the GROW foundation.  With the help of sponsors, the foundation gives families the opportunity to attend the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, USA.  The Institutes teach parents to provide home based therapy to help kids see, hear, read and walk.  GROW also lobbies the Australian Government to provide funding for natural therapies, something that is desperately needed if we are to become a truly healthy nation.

I'll leave you with a quote from Kristen:
"We as parents have the instinct to help our own children, and these instincts can – in my opinion – be honed, validated and fine tuned. All we need is education and some encouraging results – instead of being expected to just ‘take a pill’ or accept a professional’s word unquestioningly. I am meeting so many parents who are feeling deflated because of their child’s diagnosis and who have been left thinking they can’t make a difference, but they can! And I am LOVING being able to help them get the confidence to research their own healing campaigns for their kids. (And I’m now hearing some stunning results too!) Natural health options have remained the world’s best kept secret for many years, now the internet allows us to share our own family’s experiences and help others have similar benefits."

If you would like to help the GROW foundation please jump on the website to check out the fundraiser packs or see their Facebook page.  You can buy the book from their website, or on Kindle!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fusion Giveaway!

The lovely staff at Fusion Health stumbled upon my blog and sent me an email a little while ago.  They have kindly donated a Stress and Anxiety and an Energy Multi formula for me to give away!  

To enter, you'll need to pop over to the Fusion Facebook Page.  Alfonse, the National Sales Manager says the Whole Body Tonic is his favourite formula, because "It's like a ______ ________ for all your organs!".  

Complete the sentence and email me the answer at 

Make sure you tell me which of the two products you'd like!

The two formulas provided are both great, and suitable for just about anyone.  The Stress and Anxiety is a gentle, nourishing formula that helps stress, worry, low energy/fatigue and related symptoms like nervous dyspepsia.  I've given it to my daughter when she was having a few issues at school- it's so gentle you can use it from the age of six, and yet seems to be so effective for just about any person or situation. 

Energy Multi Advanced has a select combination of vitamins and minerals at doses specific for boosting energy levels.  Combined with herbs like astragalus, gotu kola, ginseng and green tea, it will protect the body from the effects of a busy lifestyle or stress and fatigue.  It also helps the digestion of protein, carbs and fats to make sure you are getting the most out of your diet.  

Stay tuned- Following the success of the Alopecia story, they are releasing two new products- a Hair Tonic and Skin Tonic, I'll keep you posted!

Competition T&Cs: Only open to Australian residents.  One entry per person.  There is a total of two prizes to be given away.  Entries must be received by 5.00pm Sunday 17th July and will be notified by email by the end of this month.  Winners will be selected by lucky draw, dependant on the correct answer being supplied.  Dates may be extended and if this happens it will be posted on this blog.  Amy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Weight Loss Pills

Everyone puts on a few kg's over winter, so it's no surprise the market is glutted with new pills and potions for weight loss.  Hungry?  Take a pill!  Don't want to exercise?  Take another pill!  They can't really do any harm, can they?

Think again.  Apart from being ENTIRELY unsuitable for pregnant/breastfeeding mums, they really aren't that good for healthy people either, if taken long term.

Most of these metabolism boosters work by supercharging your adrenals.  The stronger it is, the better it works. It's ramps up your energy levels, body temp and the rate you burn fat- all well and good, for the first couple of weeks, if you can avoid the side effects (some people get the jitters, insomnia, shakes, headaches, nausea and a temper).  The issue comes after being on them for a few weeks.  Your poor little adrenal glands are being stimulated to the point of exhaustion.  They stop functioning on their own and start to crash.  You'll feel tired after the last dose wears off and the 'buzz' you first got when taking them has worn off.  You can increase the dose (most of these supplements tell you to start on a low dose and increase it later) or keep plugging away with something that no longer feels like it's working.  Or you can try a different or stronger formula.

I'm not saying these magic bullets don't have their place.  If they are used wisely, they can be great to kick start you on a new way of eating, keep you motivated or get you past a plateau that would otherwise have you giving up.  But, only use them for short periods and try healthier options first.  If you have been using stimulant based weight loss pills for a while, you can help your body to recover by taking a gentle ginseng formula to restore adrenal function, getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of water.  Keep energy levels up with good nutrient intake, focussing on B vitamins, CoQ10, Magnesium and Vitamin C.  Try a dietary detox- eliminate caffeine, sugars and processed foods for a couple of weeks and stick to fresh, unprocessed foods and lean meat.

If you look at the ingredients of most weight loss pills, they seem familiar enough- things like capsicum, bitter melon, peppers, grapefruit, caffeine and cinnamon all feature on the labels.  If you include or increase these foods in your diet they can help pick up a sluggish metabolism, warm you up from the inside (great in winter) and have other benefits, like being really high in antioxidants and other nutrients. Cinnamon will also help to balance blood sugars and stop cravings.  You can do this every day, and suffer no ill effects (though go easy on the caffeine!).  Combining these foods with a healthy eating plan and some exercise can make a huge difference to your waistline, but also to your energy levels, digestive system and overall health.  Don't forget, your metabolism is higher if you are a little cold!

An Aussie Mum's Guide to Eco Friendly Babies