6 Sugar Craving Tips

Sugar cravings are extremely common. Many people crave sweets, but they may also rely on refined carbohydrates such as breads and other baked goods. The resulting blood sugar spikes and dips leave you feeling fatigued and can cause symptoms such as anxiety, dizziness, headaches and brain fog.  The good news is that some simple tweaks in your diet can nip those blood sugar fluctuations in the bud. 

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Good Sleep & How to Get it

Our busy lives mean that we are constantly on the go. We juggle many tasks and responsibilities, and strive to be as productive as possible. Does this sound like you?

It is estimated that around 50% of adults experience occasional insomnia, with approximately 10% of adults suffering from chronic insomnia.

In an age where being busy has become trendy, the importance of sleep is often forgotten. We all know that we need to sleep, but it pays to stop and consider the quality of your sleep as well as the quantity.

Sleep is not just about resting. It is during sleep when your body excretes growth hormone and melatonin levels rise – this leads to tissue regeneration and antioxidant activity respectively. When you are asleep, your body resets its metabolism, regenerates bone and connective tissue, regenerates your liver, breaks down fat stores, and supports blood sugar regulation. A lack of sleep causes an imbalance of cortisol levels and even alters your appetite hormones, meaning that you are more likely to overeat during the day.

Not getting enough quality sleep, therefore, is associated with many conditions including diabetes and obesity, imbalanced cholesterol and triglycerides, increased cardiovascular risk, accelerated ageing, poor concentration and memory, lowered immune function, stress, irritability, anxiety, depression and low mood.

There is good news though, as fortunately there’s a lot that can be done in terms of lifestyle to support good sleep.

What can you do?

·      In the evening, dim the lights and stop using screens (computers, tablets mobiles) at least 30mins to one hour before bedtime – this is very important as blue light stops your body producing melatonin.  Read a non-electronic paper book or novel – something relaxing or journaling.

·      Include good quality protein in each meal – this helps your body produce neurotransmitters to support good mood and good sleep

·      Avoid alcohol if you experience sleep problems

·      Magnesium and potassium rice foods can help relax the body – A little avocado or organic yoghurt.

·      Don’t eat a too close to bedtime – finish your last meal of the day by 2 hours before bedtime to give your digestive system a rest

·      Avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks after lunchtime

·      Have a cup of herbal tea after dinner – for example chamomile, lemon balm or passionflower

·      Go to bed and rise around the same time each day – this ensures your body gets into a rhythm and you may not even need an alarm clock to wake you in the mornings

·      Move your body daily – exercise is as important for good sleep as it is for overall health

·      Make sure you are exposed to sunlight during the day – this supports your circadian rhythms and helps you produce the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin, which is then converted to the ‘sleep hormone’ melatonin

·      Wind down before going to bed – you may like to have a bath or read a good book

·      Make sure your bedroom is dark and not too hot

·      Write down any worries in a journal before going to bed, so that you can put them out of your mind

·      Have a relaxing lavender essential oil bath 1 hour before bed

·      Make sure you have a comfortable supportive bed.

How can a naturopath help?

Naturopaths are well equipped to support your sleep. They can:

-       Identify any underlying causes of poor sleep – this can include health conditions, medications, stress & lifestyle factors etc

-       Prescribe an appropriate magnesium

-       Prescribe a tailored liquid herbal remedy to ease restlessness, anxiety etc and promote good sleep

-       Prescribe homeopathic melatonin if indicated

-       Advise you on what further foods to eat to support good sleep

If you have trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or wake unrefreshed, get in touch to find out more about how I can help you.

Wishing you good rest and sweet dreams!


Naturopath BHlthSc. (Nat) NHAA ECNH

If you are struggling with sleep difficulties, please call me I’m happy to help you.

Christine Carley is a qualified naturopath supporting her clients with gut health, stress, anxiety and fatigue.  She has a strong commitment to her clients and offers ongoing holistic treatment plans.   She has been facilitating mindfulness practices for 17 years.  She currently practices at Western Health Collective & her private practice.


Click to make a booking:

Western Health Collective, West Footscray 9687 5670

Love Thy Health, West Footscray  0409 027 221

This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice.  All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant.  Please see your practitioner for personalised health treatments and advice.

Embracing Menopause

As women, we go through different cycles in our lives; each cycle to be embraced and celebrated.

How do you think of menopause?  Is it a time of relief from monthly menstruation?  Or perhaps it comes with a feeling of loss of fertility and uncomfortable symptoms.

Menopause is a beautiful time in a woman’s life when the body’s hormonal levels shift, just as nature intended.

What exactly is menopause?

Menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menstruation. The average onset is at around 50 years of age, but it may occur earlier or later. A woman has around 1 million eggs at birth. The follicles which house the eggs during each cycle release oestrogen and progesterone. As the number of eggs decline over the decades, oestrogen and progesterone levels drop.  At the same time, the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone by the pituitary gland increases, resulting in increased amounts of androgens.  These androgens can be converted to oestrogens by fat cells in the body, although overall oestrogen levels are still much lower during menopause than they were during the reproductive years.

So what is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the time prior to menopause, during which many women ovulate irregularly due to decreased oestrogen levels, and resistance of the remaining follicles to ovulatory stimulation. It is during perimenopause that many women experience symptoms such as hot flushes, headaches, vaginal changes and mood swings.  It’s important to note that not every woman will experience all of these symptoms, and each woman experiences their symptoms to a different degree. That’s the beauty of the human body, we are all different and unique.

Beyond the physical

In western societies, menopause is often regarded as a negative, declining time. We would do well to adopt the viewpoint of more traditional cultures, which regard menopause with respect, and as a symbol of wisdom and positive change. Research even suggests that a woman’s expectations and views of menopause have a direct impact on the severity her symptoms.

So embrace this amazing time of your life, accept the natural transformation that is occurring in your body, and know that natural therapies have much to offer during this time.

How a naturopath can help

A naturopath can assess your individual hormonal balance, through clinical presentation and/or functional testing. A naturopath has many tools to help you balance your hormones for a smooth transition into menopause. They can:

Advise you on the correct foods to eat (and which foods to avoid) to support your health and wellbeing

Prescribe a tailor-made liquid herbal remedy to relieve symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleeplessness, anxiety and depression

Prescribe supplements including minerals, vitamins, bioflavonoids and essential fatty acids, depending on your individual needs

Provide lifestyle recommendations to help your body and mind adapt to the changes in your body

Identify and address any other underlying conditions which may be responsible for your symptoms (such as underlying infections, impaired thyroid function, digestive issues, stress etc)


What you can do

1.     EAT RIGHT

With decreased oestrogen levels, phytoestrogens (plant compounds which modulate oestrogen activity in the body) are especially helpful for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Although phytoestrogens vary chemically from oestrogens, they can bind to oestrogen receptors in the body and so have a similar, although weaker, effect than oestrogen itself. In this way, they can balance the effects of too little (or too much) oestrogen. Phytoestrogens are found in flaxseeds, berries, nuts and legumes. Soy beans contain particularly high levels, but always choose organic soy in order to avoid genetically modified crops. Flaxseeds are also anti-inflammatory and have been shown to combat vaginal dryness which many women experience during menopause.

Avoid caffeine, which can contribute to decreased bone mineral density and deplete the adrenal glands. Choose herbal teas instead – sage is great for hot flushes, and chamomile is helpful for restlessness.

Eliminate processed foods and refined sugar, which can promote the presence of candida, and further increase the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Adopt a clean wholefood diet instead – vegetables, fruit, whole grains, vegetarian protein, nuts, seeds, legumes.

Avoid saturated, trans and hydrogenated fats. Replace them with healthful unrefined monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – nuts, seeds, avocado, eggs, olives.

Monitor how your body responds to spicy foods – chilli and other spices may cause heat in the body and aggravate hot flushes.


Regular exercise is of immense benefit to peri-menopausal and postmenopausal women. It reduces the frequency and severity of hot flushes, supports cardiovascular health, prevents weight gain, increases bone density, and boosts mental health. You need not do rigorous exercise every day, even just taking the dog for a walk or doing some yoga in the garden will provide benefits. Mix it up, with a combination of cardio, resistance training and stretching.


Make sure you are surrounding yourself with supportive people during this time. Be kind to yourself, and listen to what your body needs – this may be more rest and sleep. Treat yourself to a soothing bath, lay the to-do list aside for one day, and do what nurtures your soul.


For more information on phytoestrogens, herbal medicine, meal and snack ideas, and a sample daily diet to support your body during menopause.


If you are struggling with your menopausal symptoms, please call me I’m happy to help you. Christine Carley - Qualified Naturopath BHlthSc. (Nat) NHAA ECNH

Christine is a qualified naturopath supporting her clients with gut health, stress, anxiety and fatigue.  She has a strong commitment to her clients and offers ongoing holistic treatment plans.   She has been facilitating mindfulness practices and for 17 years. 

Western Health Collective, West Footscray 9687 5670

Love Thy Health, West Footscray  0409 027 221

This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice.  All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant.  Please see your practitioner for personalised health treatments and advice.


10 Cleansing Tips for the Holiday Season

If you are going to get silly this season …hey I know I am, and I am a naturopath!  We all know excess sugar, fatty food and alcohol can take its toll on your body, mind and spirit.

So here are 10 tips to hopefully help ease the pain… if you are going to drink,  eat and play hard …so to speak.

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Flu Season Preparing Yourself

Melbourne and surrounding states are going through one of the worst flu seasons on record.  The Victorian government report week ending 13th Aug, states the number of laboratory confirmed influenza cases is 160% higher than at the same time in 2016.   In Melbourne pediatric viruses have lead to a 70% rise in adult pneumonia. 

Not only do we have people with the flu, we have people with conditions that come about post infection, such as pneumonia, bronchitis and those people effected by this with compromised immune systems.

Lowered immune resistance can also lead to further illness susceptibility.   The aftermath is a body and an immune system that has basically had a hammering!  :(

What can you do?

1.     Keep your fluids up - sip hot immune boosting drinks.  Include bone broths, organic chicken soup, miso & vegetable soup for vegetarians.  Include warm water with lemon and Manuka honey drink – see recipe below.

2.     Eat lightly to allow your body to reroute from digestion to fortification

3.     Ease your aches and pains – Take warm baths with magnesium chloride or Epsom salts.

4.     Most importantly REST REST REST & SLEEP - Take the day off before it really hits and be early to bed to keep your immune system functioning optimally.

5. Reduce Stress - excessive stress can decrease immune function and make you more susceptible to the flu.  Deep breathing, gentle yoga and meditation can help reduce stress in every day life.

Over the counter medications generally treat the symptoms of cold and virus.  Botanical medicines including including antivirals immune stimulating herbs as well as nutritional supplements help support the body's ability to implement its natural defenses.

How Can a Naturopath Help?

1.     Prescribe a personalised liquid herbal remedy – including antibacterial, antiviral and immune boosting herbs to support your immune system.

2.     Support your gut– 70% of your immune system is located in the mucousal lining of your digestive system.

3.     Prescribe appropriate dietary advice and nutritional supplements which may include Vitamin C, A, Zinc & garlic.

The main goal is to work with the bodies defense system and enhance immunity rather than suppress symptoms with analgesics.

So the first step is early intervention to avoid getting sick.   As soon as you feel a tickle or sore throat, or your child comes home sick and you think “oh no here we all go again”.   Or for goodness sake, someone coughs on you on the way home!    Get in fast and book an appointment.  We have TGA approved herbal remedies to help support your immune system.


Apple Cider Vinegar Drink For Cold and Flu:






Western Health Collective

571 Barkly St West Footscray  




Love Thy Health (private clinic)

0409 027 221  ONLINE BOOKINGS


0409 027 221 ONLINE BOOKING




Inflammation - Manage Your Pain Naturally & Effectively

Chronic inflammation causes significant damage to your body and if left untreated, causes cellular damage and functional tissue loss associated with long term pain conditions.  Find out how a naturoapthic herbalist can help you.

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