Canggu, Bali, August 2016

Buddhist Monastery, Banjar, Bali, August 2016

Yogi at Hindu Monastery, Kauai, Hawaii, March 2014

Why Some Superfoods are Not Being Absorbed By Your Gut


Quickly becoming staples in our diets, superfoods are often touted as the secret weapon to longevity. But did you know that some of these superfoods are not being absorbed adequately by your body, and may even wreak havoc on your digestive system?


There is a conundrum when it comes to superfoods – your body can potentially benefit immensely from them; however, if not consumed correctly, you may be flushing them down the toilet as your body lets them pass right through you without absorbing the important nutrients. However, with a little research, you can maximise the nutrition your body can gain with the right pairing or natural processing such as sprouting or fermenting.

A Tough Nut to Crack

Take nuts and grains. All seeds, nuts, grains, even the mighty chia and flax are coated with digestive barriers such as phytic acid and other inhibitors that make it hard for it to digest. Flax, for example, is hard for our bodies to break down so we have been told to mill or pulverise it in the hopes of achieving greater absorption. Unfortunately however, milling a grain does not remove the outside barriers that protect the seed, so these ‘super-flours/powders’ may still negatively affect your digestion. This is because the acids that coat the seed are often the culprit of digestive issues such as indigestion and leaky gut.


When it comes to grains, you can give your body and digestion a leg up by consuming them in their sprouted form. When you soak grains to sprout them, the harsh outer coating of the seed is broken down when the seed germinates, changing the nutrient profile. Sprouting literally produces proteolytic enzymes that assist the body in breaking down the carbohydrates and proteins. It also can double or triple the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and proteins found in the grain or seed while lowering the calories.

Pairing Up

Pairing certain the superfoods with the right partners can also be helpful when amplifying the nutrients. For example, matcha has a high antioxidant profile and is great at revving up your metabolism. However, when a matcha latte is made with dairy, you might as well throw that in the bin. The calcium from the dairy prevents the body from absorbing the antioxidants and minerals from the tea. It’s best paired with a non-dairy milk or warm water.

The same goes for Turmeric. Turmeric is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties however, it’s incredibly hard for the body to digest. Pairing it with black pepper or healthy fats makes it more digestible and fermenting it takes it one step above that as it metabolizes the curcumin and 300 other powerful compounds outside of the body allowing for quicker absorption into the blood stream.

Jayta Szpitalak is a Nutritionist, Psychologist and Found of Fermentanicals. To find out more, view their website here

Article from


Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, 

chaos into order,

confusion into clarity ...

it makes sense of our past,

brings peace for today,

and creates a vision for tomorrow.


Melody Beattie

Dame Helen Mirren on Why She is a Feminist

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images 

The actress recently opened up as to why she identifies as a feminist


Considered to be acting royalty (and not just because she won an Oscar for playing the Queen), Dame Helen Mirren has always been a trailblazer for women in the arts.

This week she received the Crystal Nymph award, for her small-screen work at the Monte Carlo TV Festival, adding to the every-growing collection of accolades that Dame Merrin has received.

In promoting the event, Dame Mirren also opened up to The Hollywood Reporter as to her ‘feminist awakening’ and how the arts are changing to include more female voices. “There is a pressure mounting behind a dam, and I hope that that dam is finally bursting in terms of women directors and women-led dramas,” she said.

Reflecting on her career, Dame Mirren commented on how attitudes have changed dramatically since she first started her career on British television in the lead role on Prime Suspect, however there still remain some challenges for women to overcome. “I think it’s becoming embarrassing to turn someone down because they’re female. The mind-set has changed,” she said. “Unfortunately there are dinosaurs, and there are some dinosaurs that are 50 instead of 80.”

Dame Mirren has also been working to fight ageist prejudice when it comes to ideas of beauty and seeing older women in films. “Film and television should be for all ages,” she said.

At an earlier graduation speech at Tulane University, Dame Mirren called on students to identify themselves as feminists, saying that she herself initially wasn’t sure about the movement. “I always was a feminist, and I did identify as a feminist… but in the early days of feminism, the late ‘60s and ‘70s, there was a political ferocity about feminism I couldn’t identify with,” she explained. “Now in retrospect I understand how important that ferocity was.”



Preserve 2 pristine polar regions

Add equatorial rainforests (intact)

Set aside 4/10ths of the world's oceans

Sprinkle with reallocated military spending

Whisk in 1 energy revolution

Season with sustainable agriculture

Add fresh, clean drinking water

Let cool.


Recipe compliments of GREENPEACE


Bio Blends
Bio Blends

Do you desperately await your period's arrival each month so you can be alleviated from frustrating symptoms? Or do you struggle through the week your period arrives? Maybe it's both. If yes, you need to know that you don't need to suffer in this way. 

Your periods are supposed to just turn up - no uncomfortable symptoms or feeling like your usual personality upped and walked out the door. It is possible to stop your monthly silent turmoil.

It starts with recognising your symptoms and what your body might be trying to tell you.

If you are at the end of your cycle years and in a perimenopause, menopause or post menopause stage, it's also possible to experience a smoother transition - provided you give your body what it needs. Find out more about how to support your body through the stages of menopause here.

For those of you with period problems, here are some of the reasons why you may be experiencing such discomfort - and what you can do to support your body.

Bio Blends


If you suffer from headaches or migraines, especially premenstrually, this can be due to an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone and/or compromised liver detoxification pathways. This simply means your liver isn't able to efficiently process the substances your body no longer needs. Tension can also lead to headaches - holding your body tightly can affect blood flow.

To support your body, amp up your intake of anti-inflammatory fats from foods like oily fish and walnuts. To address the cause of your premenstrual headaches, balancing sex hormones and modulating your response to their natural fluctuations through your cycle is key - and this is where herbs can really make a difference. Cycle Essentials contains paeonia and licorice, two beautiful herbs that help to re-establish healthy sex hormone balance. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which is great for your sore head! 


Bio Blends

Increased appetite 

For many women, in the days before their period arrives, it can feel like no matter how much they eat, it's never enough to satisfy their ravenous appetite. During this time, they may also crave sugar or find that they are predisposed to emotional eating.

This change in appetite can be due to sex hormone imbalances. Low progesterone can affect our mood (progesterone is an anti-anxiety agent and an antidepressant), and for many women, a low emotional state can lead to emotional eating. An excessive production of insulin can also interact with our sex hormone balance and can drive changes in our appetite and cravings. This is one of the processes linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). 

If this sounds like you, then you may like to increase your intake of nourishing fats as these will keep you satiated for longer and help you to avoid the blood sugar rollercoaster that comes with consuming sugar. Cycle Essentials acts to re-establish healthy sex hormone balance as well as modulating the stress response. 


Bio Blends

Abdominal pain 

Cramps and abdominal pain in the lead up to or during your period can be painfully debilitating. They can be due to menstrual blood clots, which is often related to too much estrogen. It's the passing of these clots that contributes to the pain. 

The best way to bring high levels of estrogen back to an optimal level is by supporting the liver to process any old forms of estrogen that may be cycling around our body, and by increasing your progesterone levels to help even out the delicate dance between estrogen and progesterone that occurs in your body each month. It can also be beneficial to make sure you are getting enough magnesium as this nutrient will help to relax your muscles and work to reduce the severity of the cramping. 

In the Bio Blends range, both Cycle Essentials and Liver Love work with your body to assist these processes - the herbs in Cycle Essentials support great progesterone production and help to relieve painful menstruation, and Liver Love supports your liver to detoxify any old forms of estrogen the body no longer requires. Cycle Essentials can also be wonderfully supportive for women with endometriosis. 


Bio Blends


If you experience acne or pimples with your period, particularly if they appear around your jawline, it can indicate an imbalance in your estrogen and progesterone levels. It can also be due to elevated androgens, which tends to affect women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). 

In addition to balancing sex hormones, usually the liver and digestion also need additional support as they are involved in the detoxification and elimination of our sex hormones and other problematic substances. Our skin is simply another pathway for elimination. 

In the Bio Blends range, both Cycle Essentials and Liver Love work with your body to help prevent hormonal acne. The herbs in Cycle Essentials work synergistically to modulate sex hormones, and have been shown to regulate ovarian production of androgens, while Liver Love supports your liver to detoxify any old forms of estrogen that your body no longer requires. 


Bio Blends

Breast pain 

Swollen or sore breasts in the lead up to menstruation can indicate excess estrogen and/or low progesterone.

You may like to look at the things in your life that are causing you stress and what you can do to reduce these stressors, as our body's natural stress response hinders adrenalproduction of progesterone. Even just a busy life with no downtime can activate our stress response. The combination of food and herbs Dr Libby chose to use in Cycle Essentials provide your body with additional support to rebalance your progesterone and estrogen levels. Liver Love also works wonderfully alongside Cycle Essentials to support estrogen detoxification and elimination. 


Bio Blends

Mood changes 

Mood changes with your period can leave you feeling like you swing from feeling happy, to sad, to angry - all in the space of what feels like about three seconds. The causes of such drastic mood changes are often a combination of low progesterone, high estrogen and high cortisol, a stress hormone. 

To support your body, mind and soul, embrace restorative practices such as diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, tai chi and meditation - stress reduction is essential to support optimal adrenal production of progesterone. Eliminating caffeine can also be hugely beneficial - try eliminating this for two menstrual cycles to see how it affects you. 

Cycle Essentials can provide additional support as it helps with optimal production of progesterone, which has powerful anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects, and the herbal ingredients also work together to support the adrenal glands, which produce many hormones, including stress and sex hormones.


Bio Blends

Fluid retention 

It is not possible to gain three kilos of body fat in a day, yet for those women who suffer from fluid retention it can certainly feel like that is the case. If you experience fluid retention around your period this can be due to many factors, including poor progesterone production, sluggish lymphatic flow, mineral deficiencies or a congested liver. 

To support your body to restore balance from fluid retention you want to make sure you are making enough progesterone as this hormone acts as a diuretic (among many other functions), assisting your body to eliminate the excess fluid. The combination of food and herbs in Cycle Essentials will work with your body to produce optimal levels of progesterone. To stimulate your lymphatic flow, daily walks, diaphragmatic breathing or bouncing on a trampoline can be helpful and be sure to increase your intake of leafy greens - both to amp up your mineral intake and support your liver. 


Remember, the symptoms our body gives us are its way of letting us know when it needs some extra support. 

If you suffer from uncomfortable symptoms associated with your period, you may benefit from taking Cycle Essentials. It can often take two to three menstrual cycles for noticeable changes to take place in your body so you may like to take advantage of our special three-month bundle offer here

We hope the above offered you some insight into where your body may need support. 

With warmth, 

The Bio Blends Team 







We recently received this email from one of our customers who had been having a terrible time with her periods – while our hearts went out to her for just how much she had been suffering, we were thrilled to hear about the changes she has experienced. We’ve included the email below with her permission. 


Hi Dr Libby and team, 

Ever since I was a teenager I have had terrible periods although they have worsened over time. For many months each year I had extreme back and chest pain for about two weeks leading up to menstruation. Then the day that I started, I’d usually either pass out or vomit and experienced extreme body temperatures (I would suddenly start sweating from every pore making puddles of sweat on the floor in minutes) due to the intensity of the pain. My cycle was not regular so I never knew when I was going to experience these symptoms. It's really hard to explain to colleagues that I didn't need an ambulance after passing out at work! I have tried many different things through the years to alleviate these symptoms...extreme diets, cutting out caffeine and alcohol for months, several different birth control pills, massage, constantly taking pain medication so it was always in my system just in case, Chinese herbs and I even went to a doctor to discuss removing my ovaries. Some of these had a small effect on the pain level experienced, but nothing seemed to "fix" me. 

 I decided to try your cycle pills. I thought "why not try them, I have tried everything else." I ordered them as a birthday present for myself and I honestly can't believe how well they have worked. I actually experienced menstruating last month without any pain leading up to it and hardly any pain during it. This has never happened to me in my life (I just turned 36)! I am so excited to have found something that actually seems to be working for me. Thank you to you and your team for developing such a life changing (for me anyway) solution. 

Thank you very much for your expertise and dedication to women's health! 





Winter Solstice: 21st June to Spring Equinox: 23rd September


Being accountable to another helps us to stay on track with our developments. We need a mountain to climb. Our success for achieving these goals lies with whom we choose to climb the mountain with us. This is no rickshaw ride! We all have to apply effort to make the changes for humanity. It's vital that we gather loved ones around us, building on the love & loyalty of being close. 

Being blood connected is not a requirement but being strong in spirit & likeminded is. We are redefining what 'community' means to us. No longer is this only in reference to our physical location. We are broadening our range of connecting with others. Technology offers us the freedom of friendships anywhere on our planet. This has become an incredible network. Information spreads like wildfire; spontaneously it reaches every corner of the world. We are rapidly moving into the Aquarian Age - the age of information. For now this is the digital realm, with breakthroughs about to come. 

The above information is taken the New Zealand Moon Calendar 2017




"You are enough.

You are so enough

it is unbelievable how enough

you are."

Marisa Peer

WELLINGTON APOTHECARY Therapeutic Teas have arrived at the YogAlign Studio in Mount Maunganui

Choose from Calming, Revitalising or Detoxifying Therapeutic Herbal Teas



NZ$16.00 - 50 grams
A blend of herbs traditionally used to support the nervous system, calm the mind and improve sleep quality. Contains passionflower, skullcap, withania root, damiana & rose petals.


NZ$19.00 - 50 grams
A blend of herbs traditionally used to build strength & vitality. Tonic tea blend also helps to enhance memory & alertness. Contains ginko, gotu kola, kawakawa, rosemary, licorice & hibiscus.


NZ$26.00 100 grams
A blend of herbs traditionally used to support the liver, clear the skin and maintain a healthy weight. Contains cleavers, green tea, dandelion root, schisandra berries & fennel seeds.
All dried herbs in our tea blends are wild crafted or sourced organically when available. Non organic herbs may be used when organic herbs are unavailable.

Ascension Meditation Courses

Typically taught over a weekend, our one course gives you everything you need for a powerful, self-sufficient meditation practice. We also do the course in different formats such as mid-week, evenings or residential.

Course hours

Our standard weekend format is Friday evening 7 pm – 9:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm (finish times are approximate). For a course of an alternative format please see the registration.

Course fee

$NZ395 (incl. GST) is our standard fee.

Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Hamilton  Weekend, June 9-11
Register Now

Tauranga  Weekend, June 16-18
Register Now

Omokoroa Weekend, August 4-6
Register Now



I make up batches of buckwheat crepes in advance and freeze them. It makes a stunning breakfast come together very quickly – even on a weekday! My instructions for scrambled eggs will ensure you have gorgeously creamy eggs and a breakfast to rival any fancy café fare.

1 cup (145 g) buckwheat flour

1 cup (250ml) milk (dairy or non-dairy will both work)

¼ cup (60ml) olive oil or melted butter

3 free-range eggs – lightly beaten (for crepes)

¼ teaspoon salt

8 free-range eggs (for scrambling) – lightly beaten

200g slices Regal smoked salmon (feel free to add more than this to each plate!)

Ghee or butter for cooking eggs and crepes


To serve: finely chopped chives, avocado slices


Whisk the buckwheat flour, milk, oil, eggs and salt together in a large bowl until smooth. 

Heat a spoonful of oil in a sauté or crepe pan over a medium heat. Pour ¼ cup of batter into the pan and swirl the pan a little to spread the mixture thinly. Cook for 1 minute before flipping, and cook for a further minute. Watch the temperature of the pan. You are aiming for lightly golden. Repeat until all the batter is used. Add additional oil as needed. Store completed crepes, covered, in a warm oven until ready to use, or make up to 24 hours in advance.

Crepes can be reheated gently in a warm sauté pan or in the oven on a low heat.

Season the beaten eggs with salt. Heat a large sauté pan over a low heat. Add three tablespoons of butter and wait until melted and foamy. Add the eggs, leave to sit for 5 seconds and then use a spatula to gently move the eggs around the pan. Use long swirling motions, bringing the eggs in from the outside of the pan into the middle. Once the eggs are 80 percent cooked, remove from the heat (they will continue to set).

Place a warm buckwheat crepe on each plate and divide the scrambled egg among these. Add two slices of smoked salmon to each, sliced avocado (if using) and fold crepe over. Garnish with freshly chopped chives.


Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Prep time 15 mins. Cooking time 15 mins.



Shoulder Anatomy Animated Tutorial

In this episode of eOrthopodTV, orthopaedic surgeon Randale C. Sechrest, MD narrates an animated tutorial on the basic anatomy of the shoulder.


The Candida-Fighting Tropical Fruit You Didn't Know Could Heal Your Gut

April 29, 2017 

With its unmistakable golden cone topped with spiky green leaves, the pineapple is an emblem of the tropics. First cultivated by indigenous people in South America, the pineapple caught the attention of the Europeans, who brought it around the world, from the Philippines and India to Africa and Hawaii, where it took root and flourished. 

In Cuba where I'm reporting from, pineapple cultivation is on the upswing for export to Europe, supporting the incomes of farmers growing this fruit on the island. In modern times the most common variety of pineapple has been Smooth Cayenne, evidently because it's consistent cylinder shape made it well-suited for canning. Today, as fresh pineapple is in vogue, more varieties of the fruit are gaining popularity. 

You would think that this fruit, bursting with sweet flavor and enchanting aroma, would have some very special nutritional qualities. And you would be right! And vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium are just the beginning. Pineapples are also packed with the enzyme bromelain, which was discovered in 1875 and takes its name from the family Bromeliaceae to which the pineapple belongs. Renowned for its ability to fight inflammation, bromelain is often called pineapple protease. 

Naturally, pineapple has been prized in traditional folk medicine, which has inspired intensive nutritional study in recent decades. So what does the literature say? Here is a look at what the science has turned up on pineapples and their powerhouse enzyme:

1. Pain and inflammation relief. 

Because of the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of bromelain, the earliest studies were on arthritis. Subsequently, an investigation from the University of Reading found an improvement in stiffness and function in acute knee pain for people using bromelain.

2. Liver protection. 

Research from Benin in Africa discovered that the fruit was helpful in correcting liver damage in laboratory rats. This means it can help support our detoxification pathways, which is never a bad thing. 

3. Multifaceted inflammation fighter. 

review from India and Malaysia explained that bromelain decreased key inflammatory mediators in numerous studies. For example, bromelain helped down-regulate an important component of inflammation called COX-2. In another example of its therapeutic impact on inflammation with soft-tissue injuries, bromelain was able to help athletes recover from bruising more quickly. 


Photo Credit: iStock

4. Digestion support. 

Pineapple has been long praised as a digestive aid because of its potent enzymes. In a rather dramatic example of this, a study appearing in the Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology said that drinking pineapple juice led to the dissolution of undigested food in the stomach due to the enzyme in the juice.

5. Improves bowel cleansing. 

Cleansing is paramount in prepping for a colonoscopy since an incomplete cleanse can lead to unsuccessful procedures. A study from Turkey discovered that adding pineapple juice to the cleansing regime significantly helped to clear the tracks for colonoscopies.

6. Fights diarrhea.

Research from the University of Maryland School of Medicine indicates that bromelain can fight diarrhea from GI infections such as the notorious E. coli. The authors concluded that "It may be clinically useful as an antidiarrheal drug."

7. Fights yeast like candida. 

Yeast infections are a major health concern. In a lab experiment done in Germany, bromelain demonstrated an ability to support the immune system and kill candida. 

To learn more about delicious fruit, vegetables, and herbs that can help reduce inflammation, check out the anti-inflammatory program in my new book, The Allergy Solution.





“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things - that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It's a discipline; you have to practice it.” Steve Jobs

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