The Colourful Magic of Food – What You Need To Know

The Colourful Magic of Food – What You Need To Know

Susan Byrne Feature Bioflavanoids

These days, there’s a lot of hype about organic, raw food.

But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? It sure is! There’s a reason naturopaths and the health conscious are paying more attention to how they prepare and cook their produce. It all comes down to a phytonutrient called bioflavonoids (also known as flavonoids). These are mainly found in the natural pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant color. Flavonoids are decomposed over time, and this process is accelerated by cooking. This is why “fresh is best” is more than just a catch phrase. It’s imperative for getting the most from fruits and vegetables.

World’s Healthiest Foods says that up to 80 per cent of flavonoids can be lost in the cooking process.

So, what’s so good about flavonoids?

These naturally occurring substances are an antioxidant superpower. They help the body absorb vitamin C and protect your cells from free radical damage.

Dr. Gary Heiting says that flavonoids, combined with vitamin C can:

– prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and infections

– reduce the harmful effects of diabetes

– have certain anti-ageing effects

-improve blood circulation and liver function

– decrease blood cholesterol

There are currently 6000 different flavonoids.

by Kirsten Macdonald Ponderings Magazine Australia

Some of the best ones are Quercetin which prevents seasonal allergies, Rutin which helps ease bruising and other bleeding abnormalities, Apigenin which may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and anthocyanins which has potential eye benefits.

These magical disease-fighting machines can be found in most fruits and vegetables but as a general rule, the more colorful the food is the higher its bioflavonoid component. Foods that are blue or purple like blueberries, blackberries and red cabbage are very rich in flavonoids. However, they’re also found in dull colored foods such as onion, garlic and buckwheat. The best news of all is, red wine and dark chocolate are full of flavonoids too!



The bad news is that cooking can decompose the flavonoids, leaving your fruits and vegetables drained of their nutrients.

The way to tell if your food is losing nutrients is by its color. Your food is losing its phytonutrients if its normally vivid colors start to fade while being boiled or cooked.

The more fresh fruits and vegetables are the better. If you look at the cultures that live the longest, their cuisine celebrates fresh, locally grown, seasonal ingredients rather than the imported and packaged. For example Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world. Chiyo Miyako just died last year as the oldest person in the world at 117 years old.

We can also be wary of how we prepare our food.

The skins of fruits and vegetables are often where the flavonoids are concentrated. So, to help retain the flavonoids, it is better not to cut up fruit, which damages the skin, until you are ready to eat it.

We don’t all have the time or the means to grow our own produce or the money to buy organic food from health stores. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t get the most out of our fruits and veggies. Little things like cooking veggies and cutting fruit less can ensure we’re getting the most flavonoids food has to offer. Healthy is being mindful.

As a naturopath, I am so passionate not just about helping people get balanced and healthy but also education.

So many people I meet don’t know about bioflavonoids. Many  are not sure how to practise healthy eating habits that keep these valuable sources of nutrition in tact, it’s all about getting the most from our food. But it is also about identifying when you are lacking them as well so you can remedy the body and bring it back into health.

Susan Byrne:

Susan Byrne is absolutely passionate about health and wellbeing with a focus on people being empowered and lifted in the knowledge that they are healthy and happy. Susan specializes in women and children’s health. Susan has over 20 years health experience and in-depth qualifications in Nutritional Health, Herbal Medicine, Supplementation and Flower essences including a Bachelor of Health Science, Dip. Herbal Medicine and Dip. Nutrition as well as being a member of the NHAA. She is a well known public speaker on Naturopathic subjects and is an advocate for women’s welfare. Click here to speak with her about your health needs. 


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  by Jasmin Pedretti    This week I was asked to write about Angels.    ...
The Hipster’s Guide to Turmeric

The Hipster’s Guide to Turmeric

Featuring Your Naturopath Susan Byrne

I think that TURMERIC is genuinely one of the marvelous spices in our world. You don’t need a bicycle basket and manicured beard to know this is true.

Turmeric uses and applications are abundant, and we are just starting as a western society to recognize these.

So pull up a recycled chair with a handstitched Guatemalan cushion and let me tell you the real deal about Turmeric- the decadent product of nature.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a herbal spice that is held in high esteem for its bountiful health endorsing properties as well as its culinary uses. It has always been a favorite herb of Chinese, Ayurvedic and traditional medicine and the methods of TURMERIC  as a therapeutic herb dates back thousands of years.


The energetics of turmeric on our human body is warming and bitter, so this makes it a fabulous circulatory stimulating herb as well as a liver and gallbladder stimulating tonic. Let’s face it when we are getting around everywhere on a unicycle or a vintage bike we need all the sustenance we can get right?

The wonderfully bright cadmium yellow of TURMERIC comes from its primary active ingredient Curcumin. It’s a boss.


Even though the active ingredient is Curcumin,  as any good herbalist will tell you we don’t just use one element of a medicinal herb when we are using it as herbal therapy, as it is the constituents of the whole beautiful herb that has been born to work together to achieve the beneficial result. Herbs, when used for herbal medicine, have energy derived from the plant source. Therefore it is much preferred by the human body than chemical-based medicine and TURMERIC  is a prime example of one of these herbs.

Holistically the herb works so well because it needs every part of its chemical compound to function optimally. (Say that 10 times quickly with a mouth full of marbles.)



TURMERIC’S bio-availability(the proportion of a drug or other substance which enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so can have an active effect)  is quite low though, so taking TURMERIC with black pepper is advised. Black pepper (Piper nigrum) contains piperine, and this acts as an excellent bio-enhancer and may increase TURMERICS bio-availability up to an astonishing 2000%. You only need to use a pinch of black pepper for this result to occur.  



Most of us know TURMERIC  for its anti-inflammatory properties but did you know that TURMERIC is also

  • anti-oxidant
  • anti-coagulant (reducing the risk of blood clots)
  • liver protective
  • decreases blood cholesterol
  • improves protein digestion
  • increases ligament flexibility
  • reduces period pain
  • blood sugar regulator
  • assists with settling down the inflammation associated with asthma (2)
  • is a potent antagonist of numerous cancer-causing cells (1)
  • neurological supportive
  • cardiovascular supportive
  • immune system supportive
  • aids in metabolic health
  • may be favorable to healthy thyroid function
  • may promote longevity
  • may be supportive in decreasing inflammation of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • There is even evidence suggesting that TURMERIC may inhibit replication of H.I.V.1! (2)

So herbal medicine strikes again and in a form available to us all every day.

Enjoy your latte! x


½ to 1 teaspoon of organic turmeric

½ teaspoon of organic cinnamon

grated organic ginger to taste

pinch of organic black pepper

honey to taste (add when finished boiling)

1 cup of milk (organic cows, almond, rice, coconut )




  1. Blend all powdered ingredients into the milk of choice
  2. Place in small saucepan and bring to boil.
  3. Add honey.
  4. Pour into a hand pottered cup with a saucer made from repurposed banjo strings and most of all-
  5. ENJOY!


(1) FOOD YOUR MIRACLE MEDICINE, Jean Carper, Collins Publisher

(2) DR. ATKINS VITA-NUTRIENT SOLUTIONS, Robert C. Atkins, Fireside edition.

About Susan Byrne

Susan Byrne is absolutely passionate about health and
well-being with a focus on people being empowered and
lifted in the knowledge that they are healthy and happy.
Susan a specialization in Women and children’s health.
Susan has over 20 years of health experience and in-depth
qualifications in Nutritional Health, Herbal Medicine,
Supplementation and Flower essences including a
Bachelor of Health Science, Dip. Herbal Medicine and Dip.
Nutrition as well as being a member of the NHAA. She is a
well known public speaker on Naturopathic subjects and
is an advocate for women’s welfare.

Food Glorious Food- A Warriors Tale

Food Glorious Food- A Warriors Tale

Is it just me or are there are a lot of people scrambling to make a buck from the wellness industry? Well, let me tell you well before many of them crawled from the primordial slime of promotion- one goddess was striking a mighty and genuine sword against the big boys of unhealthy food and the SUGAR menace before it climbed notoriety. Leaving a brilliant career, and putting her money where her passion lies, not for the bank account but the PURE FIRE of WANTING CHANGE! I know right? Awesomeness.

That woman was television producer turned Food Warrior and entrepreneur Emma Dumas.

She is on the path of good, and she has been impressing this for years, in a Food Industry that spits people out quicker than you can Snap Crackle or Pop.

A few years ago I was at a junket of sorts, a PR “place” and I was not all that comfortable or terrific and this gorgeously funky, funny chic came bouncing in with little micro-packets of the best tasting muesli I had ever eaten. There was a story to the muesli, littered with ardent and real anecdotes of a woman on a mission and a message. She began this food journey all the way back in 2004, before the wave of anti-sugar messengers. She was before her time, which in this world of commercial ideas and the hedonistic planet of food glorious food: is pretty cool.

Before you knew it, we were sharing each other’s story and clicked; it was a positivity scale of 200+. We were both overcomers of ill-health and both armed with a dark sense of humor and it became apparent we would keep in touch. She is one of the most grounded and funny women I have met in a really long time.

The Muesli LeaderboardIt has been the people like Emma who have given me the inspiration to reimagine Ponderings, so to interview and speak with this excellent human who has overcome obstacles, or smashed through them, swum, dug, crawled, some even crying and bleeding to the other side making wisecracks.

Her why? Years ago she discovered (quite a while before the “others”) that sugar was enemy number one, and she had a crack at making some healthy muesli for her friend and personal trainer Donna Aston. “They couldn’t find a breakfast to complement their fitness programs. That’s why I created The Muesli.  It’s the most important meal of the day. So if you’re investing in getting fit and losing weight – it’s important to enjoy a quality breakfast.”

You see I didn’t know this until I met Emma, but the majority of Mueslis on the market are PACKED with sugar. They don’t follow the 1 Line Rule. (ON ANY NUTRITION PANEL, CHECK ONE LINE, SUGARS. IF IT’S MORE THAN 5g/100g (5%), MOVE ON.) Or they are toasted, and all of the contents lose their nutritional quality. They are often “filled” with cheap bits and pieces instead of being nutritionally dense and rich.

All these years later and Emma and her partner with the help of their families are kicking butt and taking on the Sugar industry. Emma she is super excited about the path The Muesli is taking, as it is opening, even more, doors and eyes and created a team of people so passionate about  fixing the bodies of Australians and then moving it towards  a global scale.

Susan Byrne Leaderboard

No stranger to success, Emma comes “armed with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physical Education, with 5 Carols By Candlelight, 3 ARIA Awards & 4 Logie Awards broadcasts, Series 1 of Frontline, The World’s Greatest Commercials, Great Escapes, Oz Encounters – UFO’s in Australia, plus 5 years producing The Panel, then a series of Thank God You’re Here & Santo Sam & Ed’s Cup Fever (World Cup 2010), under my belt – I couldn’t see why producing a beautiful premium and naturally sugar free muesli should be any different!”

Leaderboard Ponderings 3

“It’s been interesting and I’m certainly in it for the long haul.  Turns out there’s a lot to the food industry and working in it, that does in fact, bear similarities to working for the Australian television networks.”

To see more about Emma and what makes her tick, check out her interview with the gorgeous Sarah Mackay from eco-candle company Time to Thrive.

How to Say Goodbye to Sugar Without Suffering

How to Say Goodbye to Sugar Without Suffering

by The Potentialist Maggie Wilde

When you Google the term ‘Sugar Free’ you’ll find over 13 million responses. There are pages and pages of sugar free diets, substitutes, recipes, chefs and desserts. There are umpteen sugarless products for diabetics, chocolate, beverages and more.

However, when scrolling through  the results to find something… anything to help manage sugar withdrawals, or guidance to stop cravings, or to retrain your taste buds and rewire your brain to make being sugar free easier to handle, there was a big fat unsweetened zero.  I gave up searching after page 12.

As a previous sugar addict, I know how hard sugar was to give up; I see it everyday with clients who reach out after failing miserably. They give in to cravings just to stop the headaches or anxiety, the highs and lows that many people experience when they quit.

So how do you manage sweet cravings without severe withdrawals and cave ins naturally? Here are my 3 top tips:

Substituting actual sugar with a non-sugar replacement doesn’t solve the longer-term challenge. Our beautiful brains are a chemical hungry maze. The more sweet things we drink and eat, the more our brains remind us to seek more sweet. Whether it’s sugar or a sugar substitute, the brain doesn’t know the difference. Swapping sugar for a substitute doesn’t stop us wanting more sweet treats. It just means we ingest more chemicals on our quest to be healthier.


The key to becoming sugar free is not in the substitution of sugar, it is in re-training our brain and taste buds to stop triggering us to want it. Wouldn’t it be easier to say goodbye to sugar if we didn’t actually crave something sweet?

To do this we need to interrupt the triggers that cause the cravings in the first place. We need simple strategies to retrain our brain to disconnect the attachment. For example, if you learned to respond to emotional impulses by reaching for something sweet, then it’s important to ‘comfort yourself’ in more healthy ways as you become sugar free.

Tip 1:

When sweet cravings dance their merry way across your brain and taste buds, take a deep breath and follow this simple strategy.

    1. Slowly roll your eyes one way
    2. Roll them back the other way
    3. Blink 3 times and take another deep breathe in.

The intensity of the urge will reduce. If the intensity is still above a 3 on a scale of 1-10, repeat the same sequence until the craving drops below a 3.

Tip 2:

Some key information to remember about ‘sweet treats’ is that early in life we learned that emotional needs were satisfied with food. More often than not it was something sweet (honey on the dummy or pacifier or a cookie and a cuddle).

  • Emotional needs will never be met or satisfied by food which includes sugar and it is this realisation that will help those cravings.
  • We can see that the solution to a sweet craving is to provide an emotional response i.e. give yourself an inner hug, comfort yourself as you say “I am the kind of person who loves my body back to health”
  1. Then roll your eyes one way, back the other way and blink three times. Take in a deep breath… repeat until the craving is below a 3.

Tip 3:

Choose Inspired Action Language rather than ‘Have to’s.

  1. If you say “I choose to be sugar free” instead of “I have to be sugar free”, your brain will not trigger the resistance that often occurs when we don’t like being told what to do. We’re programmed from a young age to dislike being told we have to do something.
  2. So whenever you are offered something sugary, remember to use inspired language such as “I choose to…”, I get to…” or I’m free to… “

Please note: Your taste buds will adapt faster than you think, so use my Eye Rolls consistently for the first 2-3 days, drink lots of water to avoid the sugar withdrawal headaches and reach out if you need assistance.


Sometimes it is good to know that the most simple steps can be implemented especially now in the field of neuroscience which is providing some incredible brain training science to help people understand the pathways and patterns of the brain. When these practices are implemented we see incredible results fast for people switching off sugar cravings! Sugar Free September doesn’t need to be be torture month!

Unleashing Your Potential

Maggie Wilde

For more information about Maggie and her amazing programs CLICK HERE

The Mind Body Connection

The Mind Body Connection

You may have heard of the Mind Body Connection, this unique turn of phrase used to describe some mystical or fad wellness existence that has us scratching our heads and wondering what, how, when and who? We have asked Andrea Lane, an accredited Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapy practitioner and author who specialises in transforming lives for emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Who better than give us the run down on what on earth this jargon is and does it really help?  

So what is it and is there science behind it? How can it benefit you on a daily basis and how on EARTH do we obtain it?

The Mind and how it impacts the body

Our thoughts and feelings play an important part in influencing our physical health.  Thoughts impacting health is not just a theory thought up over turmeric lattes and mandala classes. It is science. How so? Well, when we have a particular thought or feeling it affects our nervous system by using neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are a naturally occurring group of compounds in our body which act as neurotransmitters or messengers as a simpler term. They carry messages back and forth between the mind and the body. They are involved in a wide range of brain functions, including analgesia, reward, food intake, metabolism, reproduction, social behaviors, learning and memory. (

Neuropeptides are constantly changing their configuration that reflect the changes in our emotional state. (Anastasia Christidou) Therefore when our emotional and mental state is out of balance, these neuropeptides may create physical symptoms that appear in the body.  

The interesting thing is that when each thought is associated with a particular emotion, and if that emotion builds prevalence it will build up more of these neuropeptides. Imagine it gets stronger each time it is triggered.  A meta-analysis of about a hundred smaller studies confirms that when this emotion build up is experienced long term there arises the risk of a whole range of diseases. Some of these can include heart disease, headaches, asthma, arthritis, skin disorders, etc. When that emotion is triggered, a peptide is released within the physical body.

Ponderings Leaderboard

Our physical body can be changed by the emotions we experience as our organs, tissues, skin, muscle and endocrine glands all have peptide receptors on them and can access and store emotional information.  An amazing point of reference is Human Givens by Joe Griffin, Ivan Tyrell  where unexpressed emotions are examined and with evidence to show that they are literally lodged in the body.

Therapies that encompass the Mind Body Connection

Therapies such as Visual Emotional Repatterning – The Bilateral 5 Eye Movement Process, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Tapping, EMDR, Brainspotting access the part of the brain and body where the emotions are created and stored that assists in discharging and the releasing of them.

Negatives if we ignore the Link:

In recent times our perception of the body has changed from what appears to be a vehicle for the mind to live in, to a process that is in constant flow of neuro information and energy.  The fifty trillion cells in the body are constantly communicating with each other as they carry out countless of functions to keep you alive. Studies have also shown that nothing holds more power over the body than the mind. Expanding our self-awareness is to harness the unlimited power of the mind.  When our self-awareness is narrowed such as when one is feeling stuck in trauma, anxiety, or depression it creates a stress state, the information flow throughout the mind and body is impacted.

Being stuck in toxic emotions can create a negative feedback cycle between the mind and body. As a result to cope we often take on non- nurturing habits such as over eating, poor food choices, denying ourselves exercise, drinking, nail biting, gambling, drug use, to help us cope which in turns creates more internalized pressure and stress.  

Leaderboard Ponderings 3

Becoming aware, the path to happiness and wellness

As Deepak Chopra states if we expand our awareness of ourselves and the world with more compassion and understanding our energy is free to flow which creates more energy, vitality, being open to new possibilities and a new reality. I believe this translates locally within our own body, then those around us, then so on, expanding to the greater community. Being conscious of our mind and our body helps to establish a firm and evolving connection- and ultimately wellness and happiness. Meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices are well-known tools that allows for the expansion of this conscious awareness.

Ultimately if you deal with the emotion or feeling and the thoughts will change naturally.

 Aussie Author-10If you would like to find out more about your Body Mind Connection you can contact Andrea here.

If this article interested you- please feel free to share it! Sharing good news, helpful news and information that can help other’s in some way is why we create Ponderings. Also feel free to leave positive feedback or questions in the comments below.


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