Top 10 Steps to a Healthy Home: a guest post by Nicole Bijlsma

Toxic exposure is all around us but most people aren’t aware of how they are being impacted, even in their own home. Nicole Bijlsma has delved deeply into this, as she explains in her book Healthy Home Healthy Family:

“As I sifted through the research, three things became apparent: firstly, there was an incredible amount of information about the health hazards in the built environment that was documented in the scientific literature. Secondly, corporations with vested interests had a significant influence in the way exposure standards for chemicals and electromagnetic fields were established and regulated. Lastly, there were various governmental and non-governmental agencies in various countries around the world willing to tackle these issues; unfortunately, Australia was not one of them.”

So how can we avoid it when it’s right where we live? To help us not only become aware of the hazards but also do something about them Nicole has kindly shared her top 10 tips on how to avoid toxins in the home that impact your family’s health.

Nicole’s Top 10 Steps to a Healthy Home

  1. Take your shoes off before you enter the home as this will reduce toxicants like pesticides and traffic-related air pollutants being tracked onto carpets
  2. Get rid of the clutter, because it restricts air flow, increases the dust load and encourages house dust mites and pests
  3. Use a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter and motorised head to reduce the allergen load (house dust mites, mould, pet and pest dander) in the home.
  4. Dust your home with a slightly damp microfibre cloth followed by a clean, dry tea towel.
  5. Reduce the chemical load in your home. Air fresheners, perfume, pesticides, solvents, paints, cleaning and personal care products contribute to poor indoor air quality.
  6. Use the sun to air pillows and mattresses, pet bedding, chopping boards and soft toys.
  7. Store food and beverages in glass, stainless steel and lead-free ceramics. Avoid plastics, pewter, highly coloured ceramics, ceramics with a corroded glaze and leaded crystal.
  8. Ensure electrical appliances are at least 1 metre away from your bed, favourite couch and any other areas where you spend time in order to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic fields.
  9. Chlorine and fluoride in drinking water are associated with health risks. Use a water filter.
  10. Mould is caused by dampness and moisture. Find the moisture first and then remove the mould with a damp microfibre cloth.


Nicole BijlsmaInspired by her own fertility health issues, Nicole Bijlsma has spent the past 15 years researching health hazards in the home. She has become a building biology expert and she shares her knowledge in her best selling book, Healthy Home Healthy Family. But Nicole is not just stopping there. She’s on a mission to help millions of people by developing a Healthy Home Tool as part of her current PhD. You can help her by buying a copy of her book or donating.

Time for a cleanse?

by Sonia Millett, FGHG Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver’s energetic function is responsible for removing toxins from the body, as well as many other important metabolic functions. It regulates and carries Qi (body’s vital energy), stores blood (which carries Qi throughout the body) and supplies blood to the muscles. While we sleep, blood returns to the liver to be cleansed.

The Liver is also important in functions such as optimising immune system and weight loss. With all the Christmas and New Year celebrations just gone by, plus holiday food to boot, it is likely that you’ve had an increased consumption of greasy and heating foods, as well as alcohol. This can make your liver sluggish.

Some TCM tips to cleanse your liver, detoxify and feel more energized, include the following:

Use Acupressure
TCM theory states that certain acupressure points help aid digestion and stimulate the liver. Breathe deeply and apply firm pressure to the points, starting with 2-3 minutes daily and building up to 10 minutes. Apply up to several times/day & alternate sides of the body where possible.

Liver 3 – Located between your big toe and second toe – start at the webbing and slide your finger back about an inch, until you find a cavity just before where the two toe
bones meet.

Spleen 6 – Four fingers above the inner ankle bone along the back of the tibia. Stimulating this point on both the legs can help improve flow of energy and blood throughout the body. It is often used treat gynaecological disorders, and can be a great point to use in between acupuncture sessions, or while on holidays.

Include some ‘Sour’ foods in your diet

According to TCM, sour foods help nourish the Liver. A glass of lemon water has a diuretic effect, which can help you flush toxins from your body.

Include some Ginger & Turmeric in your diet
Ginger may help strengthen digestion, nourish blood, improve circulation, and have antibiotic and antibacterial effects. Turmeric may help decongest the liver, and clear heat from the body. Simply add a little freshly sliced sliced ginger or a dash of turmeric to teas, curries, porridge and soup.

Have an Acupuncture session
The New Year is a great time to add acupuncture to help improve your digestion, activate sluggish Qi, and get you started on any health-related New Year’s Resolutions.


Sonia_M_colour2Sonia Millett is an experienced Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist with a strong focus and additional training in fertility, IVF Support, pregnancy pre-birth and labour treatment. Sonia has helped hundreds of couples improve their health and achieve their goals – maximising their chances of conceiving, or ensuring a smooth pregnancy and labour. Sonia has trained with four of Australia’s foremost Chinese Medicine gynaecological/ obstetric experts (S. Clavey, J. Lyttleton, D. Betts & K. Wolfe). She has over 8 years of clinical experience working in, and managing several dedicated fertility/pregnancy clinics in Melbourne.

Time for a mini-detox?

written by Gina Fox, Naturopath

Get ready for an internal Spring clean!

After a cold winter with lazy time on the couch the kilos can creep on.  Even if your weight’s the same this is a good time for a mini-detox to re-boot your body and feel energised and ready for more activity as the weather starts to warm up.

The concept of detoxing seems to get a lot of negative press.  Mainly this is due to a lack of understanding of what most detox programs hope to achieve.  Most of the negatives focus on the fact that our bodies can detox themselves through normal elimination pathways so further efforts in detoxing are not required.  There also seems to be a need to criticise the notion of “toxins” in our bodies.  So, we’d like to clear a few things up and show you why a detox can be a fantastic thing – if done correctly.  There are all manner of detox approaches out there from the sensible to the ridiculous.  We’re talking about eating clean, simple and wholesome foods that our bodies will thrive on. Here are our tips on getting it right and keeping it sensible, real and achievable.

A detox basically involves some kind of elimination – usually things commonly known to make us feel less than amazing in one way or another (fatique, bloating, mood and blood sugar swings, dehydration, etc.).  Common exclusions are refined sugar, soft drinks, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, wheat, dairy, red meat, processed foods, fried foods and baked goods.  Eliminating these things means that while you are detoxing, your diet remains light, fresh, wholesome and very healthy and your body has less heavy processing to do on a day to day basis.

Am I likely to feel worse before I feel better?

Let’s face it, the adjustment period may be challenging to get through (cravings, headaches, nausea, fatigue, constipation or diarrhoea etc. usually kicks in on day 1-3 and usually lasts no longer than 3 days) but it will be worth it.  And once you break the habits and addiction cycle of some of these foods and substances, you will most likely find the cravings all but disappear as your body adjusts and begins to enjoy all the benefits of your hard work and perseverance. Cleaning up your diet and lifestyle with a detox is only challenging in the short term. Your body will thank you for it and reward you with a healthier, more vibrant and energetic you.

And to top it all off…..

The truth is, a few days, weeks or even a month of a detox program, restricting your diet and some lifestyle choices can make huge inroads to a healthier you.  The real goal is taking the pressure off: just giving your body time and resources to rest, recover, heal and make time for all the other things it is capable of doing – like making babies or running or healing your skin problems.  When your body is overloaded, these things get shunted down the hierarchy while it deals with more pressing issues. Restricting certain foods  whilst choosing to eat only fresh, whole, organic foods during your detox enables and boosts your natural detoxification and elimination pathways and lets your body heal long standing problems that it hasn’t had time to get to because it is so busy processing the things that don’t work for it.  After a short period of adjusting most people notice improvements in metabolism, immune system, energy levels, sleep, general bodily comfort, weight loss, appearance – particularly brighter skin and eyes, fresher breath and most importantly, smoother, easier, formed and satisfying bowel movements!

Finally, we believe one of the best things that can happen as a consequence of a detox, is that you notice or learn something that really works for you: a new recipe or food that you love, or you might notice how much you like plain water with lime instead of coke, or you might discover how tired alcohol is really making you and without it, you don’t need so much coffee either!  And then maybe one or two of these things become incorporated into your daily life – not just the detox period.  If you do a detox 2 or 3 times a year, that adds up to a continuous improvement process that really adds up over time and leads to an exponentially healthier you.

For help with a specific detox program book in with one of our FGHG naturopaths.



Gina Fox, Naturopath, FGHG

Gina is a naturopath with over 15 years’ experience. She trained under Francesca Naish (author of Better Babies) and has a Masters in Reproductive Medicine. As well as being an experienced clinician she is a speaker, naturopathic lecturer and student clinic supervisor.

Gina is highly skilled in providing naturopathic care for women’s health issues, pre-conception health, infertility, IVF support, pregnancy care and through menopause.