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Possible Reason’s for weight Gain.


Weight Gain – Everyone knows it is a simple matter of amount and type of food in v amount of exercise and energy used right?

When your body is healthy and fit with all systems functioning normally – the answer is yes. But very often there are hurdles and loops we have to untangle before we can get long term results. If you have been doing everything right; but with no real results. One of those following reason’s could be yours. How do we know and what can we do?

The main reasons are one of the list below – though for some it could be a combination of two or more.

  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Medication
  • Stress
  • Digestion Problems’
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Hypothyroidism (Low thyroid Function
  • Hydration
  • Nutrition – lack of

Let’s have a look at some of the reasons individually.


Our body’s hormones are usually not thought about until they go wrong. When they are working as they should – life is easy. But when they are out of balance due to genetics’ or because we have had to take medication – there is no denying what they normally control. Why would we change our hormonal function? We take medication to suppress our hormones for everything from skin problems to birth control. Some of us take medication to work with the balance of our hormones because of irregularities you might have naturally. Too much, too often, too painful periods etc.  For most of us – when we come off these hormonal medications – our bodies re adjust and work better – In the expectation that when we need them – and stop the medication – they will know what to do.

And usually – they do. But when we are too sensitive or the cause of what the problem was has not gone away – our hormonal balance can be even worse or the same as before we started.  Menopause is another time when weight loss due to hormonal changes can cause weight gain. Side effects can be weight gain, fluid retention and lethargy to name a few. When you have a hormonal imbalance all the right diet and exercise may not allow you to lose weight.

There are herbs that help with hormonal imbalances – Talk to your natural health practitioner today.


Some medications have the side effect of weight gain. Check with your pharmacy (or on line) to receive the pamphlet about the medication that you are on. Using Natural Health to help support weight loss while on medication that causes it can be difficult. As there could be contra indications to taking herbs/nutritional supplements. Read the label and talk to your health practitioner – while always taking care to watch for changes in your body or the initial condition. Always tell your Dr.



–       Sleep disturbance

–       Weight gain/loss

–       Fatigue

–       Pain

–       Emotional, anxious, agitated, irritable, depressed

–       Reduced mental ability, concentration, memory, ability to make decisions or solve problems

–       Poor or increased appetite, food cravings

–       Reduced sex drive, substance abuse, overwork


Stress can wreak havoc on your health. When you are under pressure, your body reacts by releasing adrenaline. Adrenaline increases your heart rate and blood pressure, causes your muscles to tense, and slows your digestion. This physical response prepares your body to respond to the stressor in one of two ways: to either confront the problem or find a way to escape it. Hans Selye, a well known stress researcher, referred to this as the ‘Fight or Flight’ response. There is another serious effect that stress has on the body. When your body’s adrenal glands release hormones such as cortisal and norepinephrine, these hormones instantly mobilise and use electrolytes and nutrients such as magnesium, potassium. B vitamins, vitamin and amino acids. One of the minerals the body uses the most during stress is magnesium. When your body releases adrenaline, it simultaneously releases magnesium. Magnesium helps the muscles, including the heart, contract and relax, it creates energy for the body, and it helps buffer some of the jarring effects of adrenaline.

If you experience stress, especially chronic stress, it is important to replenish nutrients and help the digestion system to function normally to counter any weight gain.


As we have seen – digestion can be effected by stress, medication, and hormonal imbalance. But we could also have poor digestion genetically or because of poor food choices.

Weight gain is the usual side effect. Though energy levels and immunity will also be lowered. Digestion as a cause to weight gain is a quicker ‘fix’. If you have symptoms of bloating, wind, pain or cramp in your abdomen, too loose or dry bowel movements or less than at least 1 movement a day – there are easy to take over the counter natural herbs and whole food supplements that can be taken. Talking to your local health store team would be the best. As symptoms vary and with that the recommendation and how often to take it. The results can be quick with not only better metabolic function leading to better well being. Weight loss, energy and stronger immunity being some of the benefits you could feel.


Long term stress leads to adrenal fatigue. When you reach this point, your digestive system and hormonal balance are often so fatigued. Weight loss is then a goal ever harder to reach.

How did we get here?

Which form of stress plagues you?

–       Acute

–       Episodic acute

–       Chronic


Acute Stress has an immediate onset, instantly throwing the body into crisis control mode. In an acutely stressful situation, such as a minor traffic accident, a looming deadline at work, or an argument with your spouse or loved one, you are assessing the stressor and developing the best strategy for solving the problem.


The second type of stress is episodic acute.. An example of this form of stress includes ongoing worry about finances, work etc. It also encompasses ‘Type A’ behaviour, which is characterised by competitive drive, anger or impatience with others, and the need to attain personal perfection in all tasks. Studies show that Type A individuals are more prone to heart attack compared to those who are calm.


The third type of stress is chronic, which simply means it’s an ongoing, unrelenting form of stress. Examples of situations that contribute to chronic stress are job and family pressures, sleep deprivation, and strainedroles at work or at home. Chronic stress, because it is an unrelenting form of stress, poses the most serious risk to your health and should be addressed immediately.

When you have adrenal fatigue you need to make some urgent life changes.

This health pyramid is a good goal.


HEALTH Pyramid



Hormonal Balance

Nutritional Balance




How to survive the everyday stress of today.

–       Be in the present

–       Health pyramid

–       Multivitamin

–       Omega 3 fish oil/krill oil

–       Correct deficiencies – B Complex, D, C, Zinc, Magnesium

–       Colostrum, probiotics, digestive support

–       Amino acids

As your adrenal system gets stronger as your life moves through the stress level and your body is nurtured back to health – then your body can again become receptive to weight loss (or gain if you loose weight with this much stress)




Hypothyroidism (low thyroid Function) can affect your entire body, so the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism can be very diverse.

Fatigue; weight gain; outer thinning of eyebrows, feet soles hardening and cracking; hair loss are just a few.

Low thyroid can be supported through supplements. Talk to your health care professional today. Some of whom will have a low thyroid risk questionnaire. Weight will be very hard to lose with a low thyroid function.



Weightloss 101. The easiest way to make a change and start losing weight is to drink enough water and have more NUTRITION. Drink a glass of water before every meal/snack. Before every coffee/black tea/sugary drink/alcoholic beverage. You will be less hungry. Drink less alcohol. Not crave the wrong sugary energy drinks as much and be less affected by the alcoholic beverage. And because you are not drinking those drinks for thirst anymore – might be able to limit them completely. Hunger is often confused by the body as thirst. When you drink enough water – and this is the case for you – then you will eat less and crave less to. Mid afternoon mind fog is often diminished.

Add some mineral drops ofr a drop of lemon/apple cider vinegar for taste if you do not like water. This also aids in digestion.


Adding a nutritional smoothie to your daily intake will make that difference to weight loss  if there is not enough in your daily diet. Whole green foods in a powder that taste great and are easy to make up are now a stable item on your health store shelf. Important to choose one that is easily absorbed, nutrient rich with no sugar and added nasties. When people who did not drink enough water or have enough nutrition  added hydration and a nutrient rich smoothie to their daily diet. Weight loss occurred.

If your weight gain trend is due to other factors – these two changes would still be the first I would recommend to change and do.

If plate serving size is one thing you also need to exchange. A smoothie before your meal is an easy way to moderate your food intake –


  • Drink enough water
  • Eat meals regularly – choose food wisely
  • Find out what is stopping you to be able to lose weight.
  • Do a detox

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Fermented Food – the nutritious diet

Did you know? If you ferment veggies at home, you can provide your family with simple, affordable, nutrient-dense, probiotic foods that support a healthy body and a healthy mind. It’s easy!

Fermented Foods
Fermented Foods

Want to boost your immune system, increase the nutrient content in your food, improve your mental health and detox your body? Fermented vegetables are for you!
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Fermentation is the process that occurs when the natural bacteria in a vegetable break down the food’s complex elements into more digestible forms. When fermentation occurs, vegetables become easier to digest, allowing your body to work less, while reaping more benefits. And those benefits include higher levels of available nutrients, and live cultures of pro-biotic bacteria (kind of like the good stuff in yogurt). These pro-biotic bacteria can improve your digestion, boost your immune system, improve your mental health, and detox your body.

Worried that fermenting is risky? No need! Fermented veggies are actually safer than raw vegetables, because the fermentation process actually kills off any unwanted or dangerous bacteria that may exist on the food prior to fermentation. According to the USDA, there has “never been a single case of food poisoning reported from fermented vegetables.”

Fermented foods have been around for eons. Fermentation is an ancient art that pre-dates writing and agriculture. It’s often considered to be the practice that first ushered our ancient relatives from the natural world, into a culturally driven world. In fact, the word ‘culture’ is another word for fermentation. Sandor Katz, who has written several books on the subject, calls it “a health regimen, a gourmet art, a multicultural adventure, a form of activism, and a spiritual path, all rolled into one.”

And the good news is that it’s a simple process that even the most novice cook can accomplish.

To get started, you’ll want to choose vegetables that are fresh, local, and organic, as your ferment will be only as good as the ingredients you start with. You can ferment any vegetable, but some work better than others. It’s best if you experiment and find a mix of vegetables that you enjoy. Here at the OCA office, we like to mix as many fresh organic veggies together as possible. Not only does this create a variety of textures and flavors, but it also creates a wider variety of beneficial bacteria in the end product.

If you are looking for a good place to start, cabbage is easy to process, and makes a great ferment. Raddishes, carrots, turnips, apples and beets also make good ferments. The fermentation process creates a wonderful flavor that is often refered to as “sour.” But you can add more or different flavors in any way you want. Onions and garlic are great additions, and you can use fresh or dry herbs, and spices, too. The best approach is to experiment until you discover what combination of flavors you like most.

Here’s how to get started.

What you need
• Fresh vegetables
• A knife or grater
• A glass or ceramic jar for fermentation (quart sized, wide-mouth canning jars work well)
• A smaller jar that fits inside the fermentation jar (small jelly jars work great)
• Salt
• Clean water
• A clean towel
• Rubber band to fit over the mouth of the fermentation jar
• Herbs and spices (optional)

What to do

• Chop/shred/grate vegetables, salting lightly as you go. You want to get all of the vegetables as uniform in size as possible. This way, they ferment at the same rate. Vegetables like carrots and radishes do well grated, while it’s best to slice up that cabbage or onion. As you chop or grate the vegetables, add small pinches of salt. But not too much—fermentation only needs a little. Try tasting as you go. The vegetables should taste only slightly salty.

• Mix the veggies well. You want to make sure that the salt is spread out evenly throughout all the vegetables. Taste the veggies, and add more salt to taste if needed. If you are going to add any herbs or spices, add them now.

• Let the vegetables sit for 5 to 10 minutes. As they sit the salt will start to draw the liquid out of the vegetables.

• Squeeze the vegetables to release their juices. Take handfuls of vegetables and squeeze as hard as you can, keeping the juice that comes out. You want to get as much juice out of them as possible.

• Tightly pack the vegetables into the fermenting jar and cover with collected juice. As you fill the jar with the vegetables, be sure to pack them down tightly to the bottom of the jar. This will help release more juice, and remove any air bubbles that get stuck in the vegetables. Add any remaining juice once the jar is filled. Be sure there is enough liquid to completely cover the vegetables. If you need to, use a mixture of salt and water to bring the juice level up over the vegetables. You don’t need too much salt for the water, just enough to make it taste like seawater.

• Fill the smaller jar with salt water, then place it on top of the vegetables in the fermenting jar. The purpose of the second jar is to hold the vegetables under the liquid in the jar. This will help the fermentation process by preventing “scum” from forming on the top of the ferment.

• Cover the fermenting jar with a clean towel, and secure it with the rubber band. Using a towel to cover the jar ensures that gases can escape, without letting any dirt or bugs get in.

• Let it ferment! Put the jar in an easily accessible area, and keep an eye on it. In about 24 hours you will begin to see air bubbles in the vegetables. This is how you know it’s working. After a few days, the ferment will start to smell sour. Taste it at every stage. This will help you determine how fermented you like your vegetables. Some people like “young” ferments that have only fermented a few days, while others like “mature” ferments that have been fermenting for months. If there is a white layer of “scum” that forms just scrape it off. It’s ok if you don’t get it all. When you like the flavor, remove the towel and smaller jar, put a lid on the fermentation jar and put it in your refrigerator. When the ferment cools down, the fermentation process rapidly slows, and you will be able to enjoy your fermented foods for several weeks or longer.

That’s it! Now you know the secret to unlocking the true potential of your vegetables. To learn more, check out Sandor Katz’s book “Wild Fermentation,” available through Chelsea Green Publishing. Good luck and happy fermenting!

By Kaare Melby
Organic Consumers Association, January 23, 2014
Kaare Melby is social media coordinator for the Organic Consumers Association.

Continue reading Fermented Food – the nutritious diet

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