The Easiest and Healthiest Breakfast ever

Easter was originally considered an ancient pagan festival. The word Easter originates from Eastra, which is Saxon for the goddess of spring who was honoured at this turn of seasons. Though we now are surrounded by bountiful chocolate bunnies and eggs, Easter reminds me to once again embrace the humble goodness of the chicken egg.

On Saturday, Emma Morano of Verbania, Italy died at the ripe old age of 117 years. What was the secret to her longevity as a super centenarian? Let me tell you now, it wasn’t Weetbix, puffed cereal or the other standard things we tend to breakfast here in Australia. It was three chicken eggs a day! Two raw, and one fried. Hopefully in bitter, ghee or coconut oil for all those good fats.

Raw eggs contain a nutrient power-house, and in Chinese medicine are considered a jing tonic, which means they nourish the body deeply forking-lasting health, energy and fertility. Eating a raw egg a day can assist the body to eliminate stored toxins and keeps the vital enzymes and nutrients intact.

My Italian grandmother told me that I must eat a raw egg a day to strengthen my immunity, and she was right. It really made all the difference and it is a super quick and very nourishing way to start the day. Traditionally, British women always ate raw eggs during pregnancy as it was an economical and essential way to get all your goodies in.

image

In the South of Italy, beaten egg or as they exotically call it Ouvo Sbattuto, is the staple breakfast for the young to the old. Traditionally it is made with a dash of marsala (alcohol), which I believe is to kill any bacteria that could exist in the egg.

As a principle invest in the best and freshest eggs you can find. For more info on this recipe, wander here and please take the plunge and try it, it will change your life!

Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food – Hippocrates.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture, Ivanhoe, Melbourne, Northern suburbs

 

 

Seasonal foods for late Summer in Melbourne

Just as the romantic, balmy evenings wane and summer romance ends, so does the beautiful produce that graces our tables. Before you resign yourself to the winter that ensues; remember to savour the last of late summer produce that tends to be sweet and juicy to moisten our bodies in preparation for autumn 🍂. Autumn is the season where pathologies influenced by dryness arise such as cough, rhinitis, hay fever and eczema.

IMG_0129

Eating in season is a great way to reduce your shopping bill given seasonal produce is available in abundance thus costs less. Given it is fresher, this means it is also full of vitamins and minerals. Eating late summer produce at this time of the year provides the body with energy, the right balance of yin, yang, vitamin salt and minerals required to healthily get through to autumn.

Here is a list of some of my favourite seasonal fruits and vegetables to be enjoyed now in Melbourne:

  • apples
  • banana
  • berries
  • fig
  • grapes
  • pears
  • avocadoes
  • basil
  • beans
  • capsicum
  • carrot
  • Chinese greens
  • cucumber
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • lettuce
  • spring onions
  • Green peas
  • spinach
  • sweet potato
  • tomato
  • zucchini

As Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”. Don’t worry there are herbs 🌿 and acupuncture to back this up!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Celebrating 6 months of success: thanks to you! 💗

To all my wonderful patients, friends, family and everyone who has supported my home clinic in the past six months.

Sending you a gracious 💓 bomb to sincerely thank you for all the support to be able to transition from big mumma clinic at Fertile Ground to very quiet, intimate and independent space in Ivanhoe.

image

It’s been a great experience, from commuting to East Melbourne to stepping through the front part of my house into my clinic office. This means I don’t walk as much however it certainly is convenient.

Thank you to all my beautiful patients for making the consistent effort to continue your treatment with me from all over Melbourne, some as far as Mentone, Derrimut (bless you) & beyond.

Thank you Andrew and all my family have been very supportive with looking after the kids.

Thank you gorgeous patients for being über patient despite the pitter patter of small feet and the random bang and clunk that we gracefully speak over. I trust you have enjoyed being greeted by them and their occasional administration of alcohol swabs and moxa stick waving.

Thank you to my patients, family, friends, community at Ivanhoe Primary School and Ngaio and Kevin at House of Fertility & Healing in Sydney for all your referrals!

I am really loving my practice at the moment, it is an honour to look after you all and watch you grow and blossom in good health. I will always endeavour to provide you with the best professional service and treatment possible, while walking my talk.

Lots of love,

Ilana Sowter 💗💗💗

 

Pregenvy 😡😢💔

Pregenvy (def): strong emotional jealousy and desire to conceive which is aggravated by people falling pregnant around you at the drop of a hat.

This is what I reckon and coin the term as.

A strange thing occurs when you finally surrender to that maternal urge that you are ready to have a baby 👶, before you have even told anyone, perhaps not even your partner, your receive a text from your best friend with a 4D ultrasound picture of her 12 week old baby.

You walk out that door and then notice a lady with a massive bump waddling past you. After sometime talk of babies, trying to conceive, ovulation predictor kits, ovulation (egg) week and what seems like endless rounds of sex in the bedroom followed by the comedown of getting your period can all get a bit much.

When the trying to conceive fertility journey takes its time and thus its toll on you its time to check in and do some inner work. The reality is a lot of women (and men) face this challenge at some point in their lives. Why? Because in our society today we aren’t used to waiting for what we want anymore.

Get married? Organise wedding.

New career? Work, study and make it happen.

New car? Save up and buy it.

The baby does not work like this. Sometimes they come easily, take note that some people who tell you how they got pregnant so quickly will conveniently forget that it took six months of trying, endless testing and two rounds of clomid to achieve this.

Health on both sides, woman and man is essential. Just because your friend’s cousin got pregnant when she was drunk and lives off Macdonalds doesn’t mean health isn’t important nor that you child will be healthy being conceived this way. Parents who nurture their health three to six month days prior to conception can ensure their child will benefit from this, as research consistently shows.

Chinese medicine, acupuncture, cleansing and Chinese herbs are excellent for pre-conception health.

Having a good supportive team around you is vital, a supportive and loving partner, or friends or family if you are doing it on your own, a good GP, a great and experienced health practitioner (like me) and a clear, conscious self to follow intuition and make good decisions.

Then back to the pregenvy. Remember that the mind leads the body and is very powerful. Try to see the pregenvy in a different light. I believe pregenvy happens because we are so focused on the baby that we see it everywhere and compare ourselves to others.

Focus on yourself, loving yourself to the point that you are confident a new soul would love to live and grow within you.

Call your friend and congratulate her on her wonderful news, try your best to be excited for her because that will be you soon too.

Smile at the lady with the big bump walking down the street.

Enjoy all that intimacy as before you know it there will be sleepless nights and booby fests.

Be grateful you have a period, some women NEVER get one.

Trust in god and the universe, if you are meant to be a parent it will happen at the right time in the right way.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

 

 

 

Treating sinusitis naturally with herbs and acupuncture

Sinusitis is the infection and inflammation of the sinus passages. In Chinese medicine the nose opens from the lung, and sinus problems are usually due to an imbalance in the lung energy but can also be spleen (digestive) related.

It is very important to have infections treated in the body because long-term they can cause problems at the organ level and to related structures and tissues. Prevention is better than cure.

Chinese medicine is excellent for sinus infections and poor immunity as we have many effective methods and tools that can boost the lung and spleen Qi (energy) to overcome the infection.

If you have chronic sinus issues and it doesn’t matter how much zinc, vitamin C or antibiotics you take it won’t resolve; then you need to look further and try something different.

Cupping involves the use of glass cups which create a suction on the skin so that when they are removed fresh blood and lymph nourish the area locally. It enhances breathing and can remove phlegm and mucus.

image.jpg

Acupuncture is deeply relaxing and allows the body to enter an intuitive state, improve circulation and blockages which are causing the chronic condition. Famous points used include ‘Ying Xiang’ which means welcome fragrance and is located at either side of the nostrils.

Lifestyle and dietary advice are also pivotal given you may be doing things to aggravate the condition such as consuming cold foods and drink.

Chinese herbs help immensely, they clear the damp, heat or cold in the lung and then herbs to direct this to the nose such as Bo He and Hou Po may be used.

Its never to late to start treatment for chronic sinusitis, and if you tend to suffer from poor immunity during winter, book in before the cold weather settles in to get your best results.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Cosmetic acupuncture: a natural alternative to Botox?

Are you feeling and looking, haggered, worn out? New shops are opening all the time in Ivanhoe but never really survive, the ones that seem to do well are … the beauty salons! So many of us prioritise beauty and how we appear above everything else.

If you are looking for a natural alternative to Botox or anti-wrinkle treatments, cosmetic acupuncture is worth trying.

image.jpg

The benefits of cosmetic acupuncture are not only to improve blood and lymph circulation to the face but also treat your underlying imbalance and constitution, after all if your organs are working at their optimum internally then externally the face and skin will flourish and glow. A healthy inside reflects a healthy outside. This way the results of the treatment will look authentically good rather than fake and not only will you look good, you will feel  great too!

Like my recent post on the Mei Gui Hua Cha (rose bud tea), the Chinese have been using natural methods to preserve and elongate their beauty so they look much younger than they are. It’s time learn about these tricks of the trade!

In the photo above you can see the precious Jade roller, which I also incorporate into my treatment which gently invigorates the skin and enhances the cosmetic acupuncture treatment.

Next time you are thinking of trying some anti-wrinkle or Botox treatment, consider a package of cosmetic acupuncture… You will be pleasantly surprised!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Butter is a superfood hero💫

I seriously can’t believe how many people still think butter is bad for you!!! They say it is fattening or unhealthy. Butter is SO delicious and nutritious it should be in everyone’s fridge for good health.

image

My favourite butter and the best I believe available in Melbourne is made by the biodynamic cows of Paris Creek dairy. My granny says it tastes just like what butter used to taste like 70 years ago.

Why is butter so good for you?

It contains vitamin A, Lauric acid, lecithin – note lecithin metabolises cholesterol. Grass-fed butter in moderation will not increase your cholesterol levels, margarine and vegetable oils will.

It also contains minerals, Vitamin D, E, K, Activator X and the good fats it contains are great for your hormones.

Butter is a glorious superfood! It even has anti-cancer agents, strengthens bones and prevents tooth decay. It can balance blood sugar and the fats it contains are also essential to children’s brain and nervous system development. It has properties of anti-stiffness factor which prevent calcification of the joints, arteries and pineal gland.

Who can benefit from butter?

Everyone! Babies over 4 months, children, teenagers, women and men, pregnant and breastfeeding women, it’s also great for fertility and balancing hormones. I recommend 1-3 tablespoons per day. It is probably the only dairy food that lactose intolerant people can efficiently digest.

So I urge you to try some real, organic, grass-fed butter and enjoy and feel the goodness!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, northern suburbs

Gut health & immunity: kefir, curd & benefits

The weather is often hot then cold in Melbourne and many people are consequently suffering from cold, flu and poor immunity at the moment as I’m sure you’re aware!

img_0124

Enter kefir or fermented milk as super probiotic to replenish your gut bacteria and restore immunity. The theory is that if you are getting sick all the time it is can be due to a deficiency of your natural probiotic flora thus your natural immune defence system is too weak to defend the body from invading pathogens. This explains why some people are more prone to recurrent respiratory or gastrointestinal illness than others.

You can easily make your own kefir at home, you just need a tablespoon of kefir “grains” to start with, which are little white bits full of the kefir culture that will ferment your milk. You can inherit these from a friend or buy them from places like GPA whole foods.

For any friends, family or patients reading this, please ask me for some kefir grains and I will lovingly pass them on – I have heaps!

How To Make Easy Kefir – add one tablespoon of kefir grains in a sterile, clean glass jar then one cup of the best milk you can find, such as goats or full-cream organic, unhomoginised milk. Screw the lid on then place in a dark place (it will die when exposed to light), mine lives in my cupboard. Leave it to ferment for 12-24 hours then pour half in a cup and drink, and top up with a cup of milk again and repeat the process. NB. Only use a plastic or wooden spoon when dealing with the grains, they react to metal.

If your prefer creamy, sweet kefir, ferment it for less time. If you are hardcore like me and love strong, sour, highly fermented kefir then leave it longer.

Along with herbs and acupuncture for immunity, kefir is a key adjunct. It is also suitable to take during IVF, pregnancy, post-partum and for kids too.

Some studies have found that kefir is more effective than therapeutic probiotics, and I love to think my little jar of ❤️ holds the key to good health and happiness.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

 

Wild Rose🌹: mei gui hua for pain, beauty & pms

Admiring this stunning rose today made me think of the herb mei gui hua or dried rose buds (rosa rugosa) that are used in Chinese medicine often for women’s health, periods and fertility.

image.jpg

The rose is the universal symbol of love has been used for medicine purposes for centuries. It is fragrant, clearing, and mild in nature which makes it ideal for nourishing the liver, moving qi and blood and most importantly clearing stagnation: which in Chinese medicine is a common reason for why we present with pain or illness.

You can make a straight tea or blend the dried rose buds with other herbs such as ginger, peppermint or calendula for men or women.

Benefits of rose tea include it regulating the qi as to calm stress and move tension. When taken regularly it can support good metabolism and weight loss for those with endocrinological disorders: think thyroid. Long-term use of Rose tea clears the complexion and benefits the breasts, you know for that pre-menstrual tension breast pain? Lastly it can ease constipation and help the period flow. Given it performs these functions it would be best taken from 36 weeks onwards in pregnancy.

Drink some special rose tea tonight to your good health!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Sleep, wellbeing & acupuncture

Sleep! It’s so essential. As we get older it can change and become more difficult to stay asleep or fall asleep. Not being able to fall asleep can be due to blood deficiency, we say not enough blood in the body to nourish the heart and Shen to fall asleep at night. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are excellent tools for helping people with sleep problems naturally.

IMG_1603
Acupuncture for sleep

Sleep is vital for life, this is when our organs regenerate and heal themselves. Sleeping well keeps us young and gives us good energy to live our life to the fullest. Chronic illness can occur when we don’t rest enough and burn ourselves out.

If you have things on your mind that interfere with resting, having a coaching session to support you resolve and successfully deal with the challenges in your life is a positive and constructive way to manage these kinds of issues. As Louise Hay says every time we pop a pill for a physical ailment we are effectively telling out bodies to shut up.

Did you have a good night sleep? Hopefully you did, because the early work gets the bird.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe