Garden Court Brasserie and Camelot Restaurants

Chateau on the Park,
189, Deans Avenue
Phone (03) 389 8999

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Mainstreet Vegetarian Cafe and Bar
840, Colombo Street,Christchurch,
Phone(03) 365 0421

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Aqua Gym
459, Cashel Street,
Phone (03) 381 0299

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The Lotus Heart
595, Colombo Street,
Phone(03) 379 0324

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Natures Organics
Opawa Mall, 4/124 Opawa Road
Ph (03) 337 0022

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Forget Me Not Cafe
12, Wakefield Avenue,
Phone (03) 326 6501

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Email us with your sugesstion so we can include it.

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Fact Sheet and Dietary Recommendations
For Premenstrual Symptoms

By Jodie Lea Salter

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) affects many women throughout their reproductive years with a range of troublesome symptoms such as lethargy, tension, irritability, depression, abdominal bloating and breast pain which typically begin 7-14 days before menstruation. The cause of this syndrome remains a mystery and may be complex. Imbalance of ovarian hormones and the endocrine system in the second half of a women's cycle is involved. Dietary and lifestyle modifications can help to manage symptoms and nutritional supplements and herbal medicines offer benefit.

It is important to regulate blood sugar levels. Many symptoms of PMS are similar to those of hypoglyceamia and can often be improved by following a hypoglycaemic diet. 

Hypoglycaemia is an abnormally low level of glucose or sugar in the blood, which is caused by inadequate diet that is too high in refined carbohydrates or that results in impaired absorption and simulation of food ingested. 

A diet of too much sugar, caffeine, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and hydrogenated oils, being dehydrated and skipping meals will create hormonal imbalance. A fiber rich low fat, low salt and low sugar diet is suggested for women who suffer from the symptoms of PMS.

Decrease Sugar - Sugar (sucrose) is a “simple” carbohydrate and although we need simple sugars for fuel or energy, too many sugars can increase the blood sugar level quickly and cause a strain on the blood sugar controls.  Some natural simple sugars such as those found in fruits and vegetables have an advantage over sucrose as they contain other nutrients that aid in the utilization, as such, naturally occurring sugars can be eaten, however too many of these simple sugar can be harmful for blood sugar regulation.

Best to avoid all together anything containing white sugar.  Read labels carefully for clues on sugar content.  If the words:- sucrose, glucose, maltose, lactose, fructose, corn syrup or white grape juice concentrate appear on the label, extra sugar has been added. Remember fruit is ok to eat, however a small piece of protein such as a small piece of cheese or a few nuts with the fruit will help the body's response to the rise in blood sugar.

Avoid as much sugar as possible in all forms ie: jam, malt, white/brown sugar, molasses, artificial sugars, sugared tinned food and frozen dinners, any junk food, (candy, lollies, cakes, sugared biscuits, sugared snacks, refined cereals, pretzels, bottled drinks with sugar, date sugar, tapioca, chocolate, most “health” snacks have sugar, fruits. 

Limit refined Carbohydrates - such as white flours and products made with such, breads/flours, white rice and pasta. Instead choose brown rice, pasta and breads made from whole meal flour, rye, seeds, and nuts.

Increase Complex Carbohydrates e.g.; Brown rice, Whole meals breads, Potatoes, Whole meal pasta, Legumes (lentils, chickpeas) Grains, nuts and seeds.

Decrease stimulants - coffee, tea and tobacco – too much caffeine affects liver and blood sugar levels and can make you feel anxious and irritable. Caffeine consumption has been associated with increased symptoms of PMS.

Decrease alcohol - alcohol causes hypoglycaemic symptoms by attacking the liver and contains simple sugars. Alcohol also strips the body of vitamins and minerals and can make you feel dehydrated, tired and washed out. Alcohol also affects quality of sleep.

Avoid Dairy Products – Dairy products are high in sodium and can interfere with magnesium absorption. Magnesium can help alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS like fluid retention, bloating, mood swings and depression.  Magnesium is high in fresh green vegetables, wheat germ, soybeans and whole grains.

Frequent Meals - It is best to eat frequent meals, every 4 hours (even 2 hours) to help with blood sugar level regulation and weight control.
Decrease Saturated Fats- such as animal fats (red meats) coconut and vegetable oils. Instead cook with cold pressed olive oil. Increase fish consumption. Fish contains EFA's essential fatty acids (omega 3) which are anti-inflammatory oils and can help symptoms of PMS. Flaxseed oil is a good source of omega 3 oil and can be added to vegetables or on cereal in the morning. 

Increase good quality proteins such as fish, yoghurt, tahini, nuts, seeds, tofu, legumes. These will help with carbohydrate (sugar) cravings associated with PMS. If you eat chicken - best to make sure it is organic due to possible hormone contamination.

Increase vegetables - all colours and varieties.

Increase water intake, water intake should be around 2 litres daily, this can consist of herbal teas as well water.  Dandelion tea tastes a bit like coffee and is a blood cleanser, is great for the liver detoxification and contains diuretic properties, which helps with excess fluid build up.

Always eat breakfast. Best to start the day with a good wholesome breakfast, which will help keep up energy levels.  

Restrict Sodium intake: - foods high in sodium are mainly canned and processed foods.

Increase exercise such as walking, yoga, and swimming. Anything you like, get out and move. Fresh air, exercise and sunshine will help alleviate stress and anxiety. Try some relaxation techniques like meditation and relaxing music to wind down after a stressful day.

Keep a symptom diary to chart symptoms throughout the month. This will help you to identify optimal times for implementing behavioral and other changes to manage symptom exacerbations. It can help you to manage PMS

In a nutshell – Keep diet as clean and fresh as possible. Regulate blood sugar levels. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, quality proteins, essential fatty acids - such as fish. Decrease dairy products and red meats, coffee and alcohol. Get plenty of rest and regular exercise. Drink lots of water and relax. Your partner will love you for it. 

Suggested Supplements that can be affective for PMS include:-

B complex + 50-100mg B6 daily with food
Flaxseed oil – 1 tablespoon daily
Fish oil/EPO – 1000 –3000mg daily
Magnesium 200-400mg day
Calcium – 1200mg-1600mg daily
Antioxidants formula -  A,C, E and Zinc
Helpful Herbal Medicines are Chaste Tree, Chamomile, St Johns Wort, Dandelion 

It is best to consult a qualified Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritionist for individual treatment plan and correct administration of vitamins/minerals and herbs.



Weighing In

Effective weight reduction

By Jodie Lea Salter N.D



Being overweight is common in our society and with so many diet ideas and books it is hard to know what to do. Getting back to the basics and following a few easy guidelines will not only leave us feeling better about ourselves over the long term but it can help us lose weight and keep it off.


•  Never starve yourself or miss a meal , this only lowers the body's metabolism. Metabolism is important for long term weight loss as it is the sum total of all biochemical reactions that occur in the body to produce energy. The BMR or basal metabolic rate is the idling speed of the body's metabolism, that is, how our bodies use energy throughout the day. To lose weight effectively ideally we need to try and increase our BMR and metabolism so that the body uses our fat stores as the fuel for energy production. Dieting, skipping meals and not doing enough exercise usually cause the metabolism to slow down. Missing meals not only decreases metabolism but also unbalances our blood sugar levels. Low blood sugars can make us feel depressed, anxious, low in energy and generally unwell. Diets that rely just on decreasing calorie intake can lower the body's BMR and we can enter a cycle whereby eating less food actually lowers the body's need for food and therefore we must eat even less food just to avoid putting on weight. These diets can be effective for the first 2 weeks, however they are not recommended over the long term because they can reduce the body's muscle cells and leave the body feeling tired and lethargic. Regular eating and increasing exercise can reverse the bodies metabolism so it can run efficiently and can leave us feeling toned, strong and full of energy.
•  Exercise is vital for weight loss but doesn't necessary have to be boring.   Finding something that we like doing is important. Any form of movement is good for the body. Try walking, swimming, bike riding, gardening, dancing, anything that gets you moving. Exercise increases energy levels and metabolism and helps to decreases stress. The increase in BMR can last for several hours after exercise. Movement is good, use your body anyway you can. Exercise tones your muscles and turns excess fat into muscle. Muscle tissue burns calories at a higher rate than fat stores so the extra calories the body needs for energy will come entirely from the breakdown of fatty tissue.
•  Eat regularly – eating smaller meals more regularly is a good way to manage your weight and regulates blood sugar levels. Regular blood sugar levels help increase our energy and can stabilizes the body's metabolism because the body doesn't feel like it is starving.    
•  Decrease simple carbohydrates, which are easily digested sugars found in white breads, white flour products (pasta) and white rice. Stick to whole meal flours and brown rice. It can be beneficial to stay clear of carbohydrates after 4pm in the afternoon. Dinners should be light and simple such as a piece of meat, chicken or fish with lots of veggies and salads.
•  Decrease Alcohol. It is nice to have a glass of red while making dinner as this can help the body relax and prepare digestion. However, alcohol is a high calorie substance and high in sugar. Too much alcohol can deplete the body of essential vitamins and minerals, which are leached from the body in order to break the alcohol down. It has no nutritional value and can prevent weight reduction. Too much alcohol can make us feel lethargic, irritated and bloated. Other reasons to reduce alcohol consumption is that it is a diuretic, increasing urination and loss of water causing dehydration and loss of B group vitamins , zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Alcohol can act as an appetizer and often results in people over eating foods that are dense in calories.
•    Li mit fat intake.   Fatty foods have are high caloric foods. If you eat a surplus of food, especially fatty foods and do very little activity to burn the excess the rest will be stored as fat.
•  Avoid fried foods as much as possible, steaming, grilling or baking is better.
•  Use Cold pressed Olive oil for cooking.
•  Eat plenty of vegetables and 4-5 pieces of fruit per day. Eating fruit mid meal and as snacks is a good idea, but a little bit of protein eg/ couple of almonds or some yoghurt, will help keep our blood sugars regular.
•  Eat lots of salads, summer is the perfect time for salads and there is so much you can do with them, so many different varieties. It doesn't take long to chop up a few raw vegetables and you can use any left overs the next day. Add some tinned tuna/salmon/cold meats or low fat cheese and lunch is served. Quick and healthy. This helps avoid the lack of time, just get a quick burger scenario.
•  Drink plenty of water . Aim to drink around 8 glasses a day.
•  Decrease Coffee.   Enjoy a coffee, but try not to use it as a meal replacement. The positives of coffee are that it helps us to keep alert, increasing neurotransmitters, but plays with our blood sugars.   Sudden surges in blood sugars increase our cravings for sweets and excess sugar easily turns into fat.
•  Decrease sugar and sugary foods, especially soft drinks, chocolates, cakes
•  Add protein foods into the diet. Small amounts of protein should be added to each meal. 5-6 x per day. Smaller meals regularly will regulate blood sugar levels
•  Avoid takeaway foods - most takeaways are loaded with hidden fats, that's why they are so yummy. Takeaways should be minimized if not avoided.
•  Don't deny yourself your favorite foods. If we are following the other tips for weight reduction and lifestyle factors there is no reason not to enjoy the good things in life as well. It's just that we may like these things a bit too often. So don't deny yourself, enjoy your food it is your medicine.
•  No one else is going to do this for you, only you. You are in charge of your life, you are responsible for your health. Losing weight and feeling good are also important for health in general, you may possibly be saving money on medical bills later and investing in your future, so you will be able to enjoy it,


In a nutshell – don't deny yourself, eat smaller meals more often, decrease saturated fats and carbohydrates in the diet, exercise more, preferably an 1hr of brisk walking per day and drinks plenty of water.



By Jodie Lea Salter B.Nat,.AdvDip Nat, Dip Nutr,.Dip Bot Med
     Registered Naturopath
For references and more information:- Please contact me via email: soulsticenz@yahoo.co.nz 

A travellers guide to keeping fit and healthy eating away from home.Whether you are visiting  on business or holiday,  back packer, corporate traveller or tourist, Christchurch offers you a wealth of easily accessible exercise and keep fit options.

From swimming pools and aquajogging, mountain biking and on road cycling, roller blading or in line skating, jogging, trail running, golf, yoga, pilates, through to gyms and health clubs.

If you're on a diet eating out is no problem. Vegetarian, gluten free organic and low fat choices are o offer at many restaurants and cafes thoughout the city.

If you're self catering you will find a wide range of Heart Foundation approved  low fat, low salt products as well as certified organic produce in supermarkets and specialist health food shops.



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