VLOG: Q&A with Lovewell’s naturopath and clinical nutritionist Maria Harpas – Part 2 of 4
Teresa Palmer: Hello guys! We are excited to be back again for one of our wellness V-logs with our favorite nutritionist Maria Harpas from Natural Health Medicine.
Maria Harpas: Thank you again.
Christiane Duigan: Thanks for coming.
Teresa: Welcome back. Thanks for driving up all the way up to the Adelaide hills to be with us.
Maria: Beautiful drive. Beautiful drive.
Teresa: We’ve really been enjoying doing this and we are full of so much knowledge and we are very, very grateful.
Christiane: Thank you and I’m grateful to everyone too for writing in and letting us know your questions and how and Maria will do her best to ask those. First one I’m going to ask because it’s quite relevant. Me and my family, you know, we’re in the wellness industry. My husband, and he’s really into fasting and you know, we did have a question about ‘Should I fast?’ and ‘Who is it for?’, ‘How do I do it?”. And so, I was curious. Do I jump on this trend and fast as well? Could you do a little bit about that?
Maria: Yes. So, there’s a lot of research for fasting. It’s actually an old, traditional naturopathic thing to do. I think in the seventy’s, there were fasting people for days and days. You know for therapeutic purposes.
Teresa: I thought you’re going to say for religious purposes. My mom fast for religious reasons.
Christiane: Oh, yeah.
Maria: I lot of religions fast. They sort of go back in… you know, it’s interesting and then it went out of vogue. I think when we decided that we needed to eat.
Teresa: Every 3 hours and yeah.
Maria: Yeah, that’s right there some really good benefits because it helps control blood sugar levels. It can help weight management for people as well. It gives the digestion a break as well.
Teresa: Ah, that’s great.
Maria: Maybe. So that’s good. And helps that macrobio that is needed for everything.
Christiane: So you say it helps regulate blood sugar levels where I would have thought that eating regularly was good for that.
Teresa: I’ve heard that too. So I was like all this conflicting stuff. You don’t know which one to listen to.
Maria: Yeah. And it is definitely there are some individual issues. And there’s people that shouldn’t fast. But in terms of when you’re checking blood, a lot of people just check their blood glucose levels but really you need to look at insulin as well because that’s what you can’t see. And it really does drop insulin levels. And insulin is big cause of diseases as well. So it’s good. And it helps manage weight. But there is people that shouldn’t fast definitely. You know in pregnancy, and children, teenagers should not fast.
Teresa: If you’re underweight.
Maria: Yes. If you’re underweight. No way. [2:51-2:52] shouldn’t fast. But there’s also some health conditions like people with Gilbert syndrome which is an inability to clear Bilirubin. That makes it worse. Gout is worse when you fast. So you have to be cautious around those things. And if you take medication you got to be careful as well.
Teresa: And I’m sure if you’re fatigue, you shouldn’t.
Maria: Definitely. That will a drain on fatigue where you’re tired all the time. And we want you eating consistently.
Teresa: AbsoluteIy. Yes because I’ve heard about that one where you stop eating at a certain time. Actually, I think I heard about this from James. I think you stop eating, this is like maybe 2 years ago he told me. At 6pm you don’t eat again until 10 or 11am. So you sort of fasting over night as suppose of fasting during the day which I find a lot easier.
Maria: And they normally say it’s a 16 hour fast.
Teresa: Ahh, okay.
Maria: But you can start you know with less time fasting. So you can you know maybe do 12 hours and then go a bit higher if it’s appropriate.
Christiane: So why would you do it?
Maria: Yeah. To help digestion. If you wanted to. If you want to control blood sugar levels. So there’s some research that is… because we use to tell people when we first started to eat through-out the day all the time to help blood glucose and insulin levels then they found out that’s wrong like a lot of things in this industry. But we’ve seen a source study where they got diabetics to eat just two large meals a day and all their blood sugar insulin levels were all improved.
Teresa: Really?! I like that cause I feel like that’s what I do. I’ll have a massive dinner and then I have what I call my brunch and I usually have that around 10 or 11. I have a really big one and then why [4:56]
Teresa: No [4:59-5:01]. And children can’t do that obviously.
Maria: No, no. And don’t even… my 19 year old, he plays sport and he’s really into it and he wanted to fast and do it but I said no no no no no. Whether he listens to me or not.
Teresa: Yeah. That’s a whole lot out there. So we also had another question and I think it relates to a lot of people have been talking to is recently is when once you hit a certain age whether that’s 40, 45, your metabolism start slowing down a little bit. People are saying that they feel stuck and they can’t lose that extra bit of weight that they’ve been wanting to shed for a while. Talk to us about that cause weight is a really an interesting thing, isn’t it? Sensitive topic.
Maria: Yeah. It is, isn’t it? And it’s normally, because aesthetically you want to be in a certain weight. But I think definitely, in terms of disease and cardiovascular health and other chronic diseases being agile, feeling like you can move around. You do want to have your weight at a normal level. And it does get harder as you get older.
Maria: Definitely, [6:16 – 6:17] but you want to look at, you can actually, if you feel like you’re doing all the right things like that you’re eating three good meals a day, and that you’re not overdoing your calories, and that you’re sleeping well, and exercising and doing all of that and you’re not shedding then you should go off and check four main things that I’ll say. Insulin is one for sure and blood glucose. Because insulin can be really high even though your blood glucose is normal. Inflammatory markers – so CRP and ESR should be checked because that can contribute to…
Teresa: [6:56] keeping away.
Maria: Yeah. Cortisol levels. So your stress hormone. So you check that. And see where if that is in the morning. You can do more exotic cortisol testing but that’s a good start. And your thyroid.
Teresa: Of course. Yeah.
Maria: And often the thyroid is not checked correctly. Just the TSH is checked, but you need to go a bit deeper and check T3, T4 in your thyroid antibodies as well. And they need to start to get a good idea where problems might be.
Teresa: Yeah. It’s so funny cause stress is an interesting thing, isn’t it? I mean, it’s so detrimental to our health. And more and more studies is starting to show that. But some people when they are stressed out, this is what happens to me. I lose weight and that is a problem for me. I get stressed. I’ve been doing so much and I end up losing weight and feeling really depleted. But then other people, their body reacts in a different way. So I was hoping it’s important to mention to not being in a state of comparison to. And there are also some really beautiful documentaries that my friend Taryn Brumfitt. She has a great documentary called ‘Embrace’. It’s also about learning to cultivate self-love and embracing your body but ensuring that you have a healthy relationship with food. So it is wonderful if you can learn to love the skin that you’re in your body. So many of us are lucky enough to be able bodied. I think that’s something that we have to really focus on. But also, we are grateful for our health but also knowing that if we’re cultivating self-love, we have to fill our bodies with good healthy food and make good choices.
Maria: Yeah, yeah, that’s right.
Teresa: You can’t just “I just love myself. Burgers, fries, ice cream!”
Maria: That’s right. No, that doesn’t work. Little steps and make some good changes.
Christiane: And that does time nicely with the next time question we had was around stress and anxiety. Sorry.
Teresa: She’s having anxiety reading the question.
Christiane: I’m peeing on this video. How do you deal with it? Yeah, if you could give us some steps on how to help that in our daily lives.
Maria: Yeah. I think the first thing is getting some good routine. I think that’s a big one with stress and anxiety. First get your routine right so that you are eating well and it’s consistent and sleeping well. But then also, I think we’ve talked about it on another video. Thinking and accepting that loss got challenges. And so when you accept that then you don’t get so upset or stressed about it when they do come. You know. Does that make sense?
Maria: It’s really important. And again, it always comes back down to making sure that you sleep long. You know, enough hours, and that you are exercising and looking after yourself. And don’t try and fit too much in the day.
Maria: I always used to do that. And still do it sometimes.
Christiane: One interesting thing that you know I try and do for my anxiety is breathing. Just loving the breath in the moment. You know if I if I’m reacting at a kid or a mistake I made or whatever it is. The traffic.
Christiane: Just breathing and that just helps change my state of mind.
Teresa: I wish babies could learn to do that.
Teresa: Self-regulate babies.
Maria: And being in the present, isn’t it? Just being in the present and being okay with now.
Teresa: She is not okay.
Maria: No, no.
Teresa: I might have to pull her in a second. Yeah, okay, that that, that’s great. That’s really handy and I find that incorporating some positive things for your mental health like yoga or meditation, slowing down. That helps reduce our anxiety and stress levels as well.
Teresa: Yeah. Definitely challenging.
Teresa: Yes. So, I have allergies to grasp. But I don’t really have any…
Teresa: Yeah, I do. But I do not have any food allergies per say but so many people do. And do you think that it’s imperative for people to be tested for allergies?
Maria: I don’t think everybody has to be tested for allergies because allergies are different to food intolerances and so, we would test someone for allergies if they have symptoms like rashes, eczema, asthma, high fever. They’re your traditional allergy type symptoms. And then yes, then you want to sort of test or even if you’ve got someone that is continually getting sick and you can’t work out why.
Teresa: That’s what happened with your situation with Charlotte.
Maria: Yeah. And going okay we need to check what’s going on with [11:59] check all the immune markers in that instance.
Christiane: Where would you go to check and test for an allergy because when I went through that with Charlotte, of course, you know, I came to you but you know, then you have to be referred to specialist which just all got so difficult.
Maria: Yeah. Because with children then, there’s a bit of a duty of [12:17] when we were working with the GP, she wasn’t happy not to go to the specialist. So that’s why we have to go down that road. But you can just get no blood test to check food. A doctor can do a food staple. So you can first see is it food or is it airborne? So that’s the start.
Teresa: What about the poop one where you poop for like 3 days and then you have to send it off for the diagnostic testing. I’ve done that before.
Christiane: Yeah, why there’s so many? There’s a breath, there’s a finger.
Maria: Well, they will give you different information really.
Teresa: The poop span is where I found out about my grass allergy and funnily enough, garlic but I ignore that one. I’m not going to give up that.
Maria: Those tests normally tell you your micro-bio, [13:07], pathogens and parasites and things like that. But then there’s the breath ones that tell you if you’ve got a lactose intolerance or fructose intolerance or SIBO, that small intestinal bacterial overgrowth where the bacteria go from the large intestine up into the small and they still fermenting. So they stopped cause damage. And the gut.
Christiane: Yeah, if you think you do have one or have any questions, Maria does a 15 minute free consultation so yet, get more info.
Maria: More info. More individualized. Yeah.
Teresa: Well, thank you again for this insight and your beautiful wisdom.
Maria: Thank you. Thank you.
Teresa: We are much better for us.
Maria: Thank you.
Teresa: And we will see you next time.
Teresa: Bye guys.
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