Wellness : Byron Bay Tea Company
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It amazes me how many people go through life not realising just how fantastic they can feel by making a few simple changes to their diet and lifestyle. Helping people to achieve their optimum state of health, where they feel energised, positive and well, are my objectives as a Naturopath and Herbalist. I strongly believe that what we put into the body in the way of food and nutrition is the fundamental basis for good health. We are what we eat after all. We need adequate protein, carbohydrate, good quality fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre to function well. Additionally, we need an adequate intake of good quality fluids such as water and herbal teas.

I believe that using herbal teas or plants (flowers, leaves, roots, fruits) as medicines is an easy, effective and enjoyable way to keep the body balanced. It can help to stimulate our own healing system and restore and maintain health. So, by now, you probably know what teas and herbal teas will be suitable for you, but what about a healthy and balanced diet to compliment this? This is something that I get asked about often and I can see that many people get confused as they are bombarded with so many fad diets to choose from. I am not into anything radical and like to keep things fairly simple. Sarita's Wellness Eating Plan below is a good starting point for most people – to promote general health and wellbeing. Obviously, our needs change at different ages and stages of life (for example, in pregnancy or with an increased activity as a sportsperson) and Sarita's Wellness Eating Plan can be tweaked in these cases accordingly. We may also have times where we need to detox, lose weight or boost the immune system, for instance. At these times, we can adjust the Wellness Eating Plan to achieve these goals.

In all cases (whether your aim is to improve general health, improve digestion, detox, lose weight, reduce stress and anxiety, improve the condition of your skin or boost the immune system), I believe that if you keep the following tips in mind when you are making food choices, you will be one big step in the right direction. So, here it goes:


Emphasise wholefoods rather than refined and processed foods (for example, wholegrains and legumes instead of bread and pasta).
Eat organic foods wherever possible in order to minimise exposure to pesticides and other chemicals and to increase nutrition. Organically grown foods are a lot higher in nutrition than conventionally grown foods.
Eat a primarily plant-based diet that is wide and varied experimenting with different foods to increase nutrition and reduce potential allergies by eating too much of the same foods.
Eat balanced meals and snacks with an adequate intake of protein, complex carbohydrates and good quality fats.


1. Aim for balanced meals and snacks with 30% protein, 40% complex carbohydrates and 30% good quality fats.
Protein - Examples include fish, seafood, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, soy and legumes.
Complex Carbohydrates - Examples include grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) - EFAs are essential in the diet as they are important compounds not able to be synthesised in our own bodies. Found mainly in fish oils (sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon) and plant oils (like flaxseed and grapeseed), EFAs are a constituent in every cell membrane and improve the integrity and function of the cell.
2. A minimum of 3 cups of fresh vegetables daily. Refer to list below. 
3. 2-3 pieces of fruit daily or 1 cup of fresh fruit. Refer to list below.
4. Limit starchy carbohydrates to 1-2 small serves per day, eg. rice.
5. Water intake of 1-2 litres daily in between meals will promote the elimination of toxins, helping to flush out any acid residues in the blood, lymph and other bodily fluids, and therefore helping to restore the normal alkaline balance of the blood. Use natural flavourings such as fresh lemon, lime and mint in water.
6. Ensure that the diet is rich in superfoods - see below.
7. Follow Sarita's Top 10 Tips for Proper Digestion.
8. Lemon juice - the juice of half a lemon in a large glass of warm water daily. This helps to stimulate the liver and digestive system, alkalising the blood and cleansing the body.  This is particularly beneficial taken in the mornings on rising.
9. Fresh vegetable juice daily with carrot, beetroot, celery, ginger (or other vegetables) and lemon (diluted with half water) will help to support the liver and promote the elimination of toxins from the body as well as being high in anti-oxidants.
10. A smoothie daily with 2 tablespoons of whey protein isolate powder, a handful of berries, half a banana or other fruit, a heaped tablespoon of yoghurt, 1 tsp of flaxseed/hemp seed/coconut oil, ½ cup of milk (soy, cow’s, oat or almond), 1 tablespoon of chia seeds or LSA (linseed, sunflower seed and almond meal). Other ingredients that could be included are carob, cacao nibs, spirulina (or blue-green algae powder) and bee pollen.
11. Drinking BBTC tea & herbal teas throughout the day will have wide-ranging health benefits including to help to cleanse the blood and promote the elimination of   metabolic acid wastes via the kidneys.

Refined foods - any foods stripped of their fibre and nutrients leaving the concentrated sweet or starch powder often used to make white flour products. This includes pasta (all types), bread, cakes, pastries, lollies etc.
Trans fatty acids - from margarine, vegetable shortenings and heated vegetable oils (except for cold-pressed virgin olive oil).
Stimulants - alcohol, coffee and any other recreational drugs 
Preservatives, colourings and flavourings - refined foods often have preservatives added to allow for longer shelf life and additives to ‘enhance’ colour and taste.  These chemicals are best avoided although are present in many everyday foods, such as processed meats, breads, prepared sauces, condiments, lollies and soft drinks.
Foods high in processed sugar- lollies, cakes, poor quality chocolate.
Foods high in salt - chips, salted nuts, pretzels.
Saturated fats - fats from milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt, beef, pork, lamb, poultry.
Natural sugar alternatives - maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, xylitol, stevia.
Vegetables - Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, beetroot, pumpkin, carrots, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchinis, eggplant, capsicum, onion, garlic, leek, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, fennel, rocket, silverbeet, snow peas, avocadoes, celery, mushrooms, lettuce, radish, spinach, squash. Vegetables are high in many vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients essential for general health and wellbeing.
Fruits- Berries, apples, pears, bananas, pineapple, pawpaw, cantaloupe, citrus, nectarines, peaches, apricots, mangoes, grapes, kiwi fruit, lychees, jack fruit etc. Fruits are high in many vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients essential for general health and wellbeing.
Whole grains - Brown or basmati rice, barley, oats, rye, millet, quinoa, amaranth, spelt. Whole grains are high in carbohydrates, fibre and many trace nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium and the B complex vitamins.
Legumes- Soya beans, adzuki beans, butter beans, lima beans, kidney beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils. Legumes are rich in carbohydrates, protein, fibre, essential fatty acids, and many trace nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and the B complex vitamins.
Seeds- Linseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds or LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond meal). These are a good source of essential fats, proteins and many trace nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.
Nuts- Almonds, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, pistachios, macadamias, cashews, and hazelnuts. These are a good source of essential fats, protein, and many trace nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.
Animal protein - Small amounts of good quality, lean and organic animal protein, such as fish, chicken, beef, lamb and eggs. Other protein rich meals include combinations of legumes/beans with grains, grains with nut seeds, and legumes/beans with nuts and seeds.


1. Tea & Herbal Tea
- Green tea acts as a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier, activating enzymes in the liver that eliminate toxins from the body.
- Green tea facilitates the death of cancer cells- anti-cancer.
- Tea has an interesting action to increase mental alertness while at the same time inducing a sense of calm.
- Follow this link for further information on the Health Benefits of Tea.
(Please note that other teas, such as white and Oolong tea are probably just as beneficial (or even more so)- they have just not been researched as much).
Herbal Teas
- Herbal teas have wide-ranging actions to facilitate many bodily processes and treat many conditions. They can assist detoxification, reduce stress and anxiety, improve energy or boost the immune system. The list is endless!
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Including brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, chard, watercress, turnip, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, kohlrabi, and others.
- These vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and nutrients that help to support the clearance of toxins in the liver and should be eaten daily.
3. Carotenoids
Contained in fruits and vegetables that are brightly-coloured yellow, orange, and red- for example, carrots, beetroot and pawpaw.
- These fruits and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants and immune-enhancing phyto-nutrients.
4. Leafy Greens
Including rocket, silverbeet, endive and radish leaf.
- These greens are high in trace minerals and low in calories and can assist digestion due to their bitter taste. They are also high in chlorophyll that helps to cleanse the blood and neutralise bad breath and body odour.
5. Naturally Fermented Foods
Including the following:
- Kombucha- is a fizzy, fermented beverage made from tea containing high levels of probiotics that promotes good bowel health.
- Kimchi- is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables (such as cabbage, scallion or cucumber) containing high levels of probiotics that promotes good bowel health.
- Sauerkraut- is a traditional Eastern European side dish of finely shredded fermented cabbage containing high levels of probiotics that promotes good bowel health.
- Miso- is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans with salt and the fungus kojikin. It is particularly high in vitamin B12, an important nutrient for many bodily processes.  It is also high in lactobacilli- beneficial bacteria for good bowel health.

6. Sprouts
Including broccoli sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, kale sprouts, sunflower seed greens, wheatgrass juice, barley grass juice, oat grass juice, cabbage sprouts, cauliflower sprouts, and others.
- Contain high levels of chlorophyll, supporting many healthy functions in the body, particularly blood-cleansing, which is important for detoxification.
- Act as antioxidants.
- Provide cells with high levels of enzymes supporting digestion, detoxification and with other benefits.
- Contain some essential amino acids.
7. Berries
Including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, grapes, and others.
- Berries are rich in antioxidants and other substances to support general health and wellbeing and enhance immune system function.
8. Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Shallots, and Chives
- Help to remove toxic substances, such as nitrosamines and N-nitroso compounds, which are created in over-grilled meat and during tobacco consumption.
- Promotes the death of cancer cells.
- Regulates blood sugar levels, which reduces insulin secretion.
- Enhances immune function.
- Reduces blood clotting and lowers blood pressure.
9. Herbs and Spices
- Acts as the most powerful anti-inflammatory.
- Helps stimulate the death of cancer cells - anti-cancer and antioxidant.
- Immune enhancing - anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.
- Acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
- Acts against certain cancer cells - anti-cancer.
- Anti-nausea - good support for the liver during detoxification.
Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, and Mint
- Rich in anti-cancer essential oils.
- Assists with digestion.
- Rosemary is a circulatory stimulant.
- Thyme and oregano have anti-bacterial properties.

10. Seaweed
Including nori, kombu, wakame, arame, and dulse (fresh & dried).
- Immune enhancing- stimulates immune cells, such as T-cells and natural killer cells.
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory.
- Rich in trace minerals.
11. Mushrooms
Including maitake, agaricus, shiitake, reishi, turkey tails, enokidake, cremini, portobello, oyster, and caterpillar fungus or cordyceps.
- Immune stimulating - stimulates the reproduction and activity of immune cells, such as natural killer cells.
12. Whole Grains
Including brown rice, buckwheat, wild rice, rye, quinoa, barley, and others.
- Dilutes, binds, inactivates, and removes carcinogens, cholesterol, bile acids, and various toxic substances.
- Balances blood glucose and insulin.
- High fibre content to support proper bowel function.
13. Fish
Caution: Many fish contain high levels of toxins, such as mercury. Generally, the bigger the fish, the more toxins, and the smaller the fish, the less toxins. Deepwater, northern ocean fish are best, including salmon, cod, haddock, mackerel, and sardines.
- Supplies omega-3 fatty acids.
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory.
- Strengthens healthy cellular structure, function, and communication.
- Stimulates immune cells and function.
- Supports cancer prevention and may promote anti-cancer activity.
- Promotes brain and nervous system health.
14. Oils, Nuts, and Seeds
Healthy oils include olive, hemp, walnut, coconut, and flaxseed oils that are not rancid. Coconut and olive oil (cold-pressed virgin olive oil) are the most stable for cooking at high temperatures, but must be consumed in moderation. Tasteless coconut oil is also available should a more neutral flavour be required. Avoid corn, soy, vegetable, peanut, sunflower, and safflower oils.
- Supplies omega-3 fats, especially through flaxseeds and walnuts.
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory.
- Supports healthy cellular structure, function, and communication.
- Stimulates immune cells and function.
- Promotes brain and nervous system health.
15. Cacao (Raw chocolate)
This is the seed/nut of the fruit of an Amazonian tree and the highest antioxidant food on the planet.
- It is the number one source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, manganese and chromium.
- It is also extremely high in PEA[LR1]  (Phenethylamine), threobromine (cardiovascular support) and anandamide (“bliss chemical”).
- Raw chocolate improves cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, is a natural aphrodisiac, elevates your mood and energy, and increases longevity.
16. Whey Protein Isolate
A whey protein isolate is a dietary supplement created by filtering milk protein. Whey is a by-product of the cheese-making process. Whey can be processed to yield whey protein in three forms: whey isolate, whey concentrate, or whey hydrolysate.
- Whey protein isolate has been shown to help increase glutathione levels in the body. Glutathione is a potent intra-cellular antioxidant that is important for detoxification. This can be purchased in bulk at a health food shop.
17. Goji Berries
Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5000 years.
- They contain 18 different types of amino acids, 21 trace minerals, high amounts of antioxidants, iron, polysaccharides and vitamin E, along with many other nutrients.
- Regarded as a strength-building and longevity food.
18. Maca
Maca has been a food staple in the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years.
- It contains more than 20 amino acids, high fibre and a cross section of many other nutrients.
- It is an adaptogenic superfood that increases energy, endurance, strength and libido.
19. Spirulina and Blue-green Algae
- Spirulina is the world’s highest source of complete protein providing a vast array of minerals, trace elements, phytonutrients and enzymes.
- Blue-green algae is a wild-grown superfood that is made up of 15% blue-pigmented phycocyanin, which according to Christian Drapeu in his book, Primordial Food, increases our production of stem cells[1].
20. Bee Products
Including honey, pollen and propolis.
- Bee pollen contains nearly all vitamins, especially vitamin B9 (folate) and all 21 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
- Honey in its organic, wild, raw unfiltered state is rich in minerals, antioxidants, probiotics and enzymes and is one of the highest vibrationary foods on the planet.


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[1] Draper, Christian; Primordial Food, Wild Blue Green Alga with Unique Health Properties, 2005. (cited on www.christiandrapeu.com).