Archive for January, 2009

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January 31, 2009 at 2:20 am Leave a comment

Sugars that Heal??? That doesn’t sound right!

We’ve been bombarded by the media with warnings about the evils of consuming too much sugar. “Sugars That Heal” sounds like a contradiction in terms to us.

It is true that too much of the wrong kind of sugar is NOT good for you. If you need convincing of this, read 124 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health by Nancy Appleton at

As with most things though, moderation is the key! Unfortunately, there is a lot of sugar hidden in processed foods that we don’t even know about (unless we’re a diligent label reader), so moderating our sugar intake is difficult.

However, it turns out that not all sugars are bad! The “Sugars That Heal” are glyconutrients – also known as saccharides or plant sugars (very different from the white stuff you put in your coffee each morning). Glyconutrients are one of the most important breakthroughs in recent medical science.

Glyconutrients are essential for immune system function and inter-cellular communication within the body. A study published in Harper’s Biochemistry reported that the body needs eight specific sugars and that only two of them are prominent in our modern diets. (1)

Every cell in every system of every human organ requires these eight essential sugars. We don’t get all the glyconutrients we need from our modern western diet, even when we concentrate on eating fresh, raw plant foods. Some reasons for this are:

– Green harvesting of produce – bananas and tomatoes are green even as they are shipped!
– Agricultural food crops are grown in mineral depleted soils
– The use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives
– Modern food processing and methods of packaging.

We are consuming an increasing amount of foods which are calorie dense but nutrionally inadequate. Look at the average diet of children today – soft drinks, processed cereal, pizza, lollies, fast food and their favorite and often only source of vegetables: French fries. Could this be why we are seeing a dramatic rise in ADHD? Autism has gone from 1 in 10,000 children to 1 in 150 in just ten years. Adult-onset diabetes is occurring at epidemic rates in children as young as eight.

Adults are not faring any better with their food choices, as this quote from the Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health shows:

“It is recognized that dietary behaviors influence the development of many chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, some cancers (e.g. breast, colon, prostate, stomach, and cancers of the head and neck), type II diabetes mellitus, and osteoporosis. Recommendations for healthful dietary behavior include limiting consumption of high-fat foods, having a high intake of fruit and vegetables, increasing fiber, and controlling caloric intake to prevent obesity.” (2)

The high incidence of obesity, heart disease, cancer and type II diabetes show the lack of success dietary changes are having in preventing disease.

What can take us from this downhill spiral of poor nutrition and its consequences to the sought-after state of vibrant health and wellness? Glyconutrients provide the missing link in nutrition to boost the body’s immune system, and increase energy levels. These “sugars that heal” are certainly a good news story.

You may be asking yourself : ‘What diseases do the glyconutrients treat?’ The answer is: NONE! Glyconutrients don’t ‘treat diseases’, their role is to improve cell to cell communication and thus promote optimal health in your body.

From my own experience having battled with chronic fatigue I know that I had an immediate improvement when I began taking glyconutrients. After continuing to take glyconutrients for four years I now enjoy better health than I have ever experienced in my life before.

Are these “sugars that heal” really a better solution for vibrant health and wellness? I encourage you to find out for yourself. Go to if you would like to see product information, or email me if you have questions:

(1) Murray RK, Granner DK, Mayes PA, Rodwell VW (eds): Harper’s Biochemistry. Stamford, Appleton and Lange; 2000:677-677.
(2) ( Author Info: KAREN GLANZ, JAY MADDOCK, The Gale Group Inc., Macmillan Reference USA, New York, Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health, 2002 found on the web at

January 31, 2009 at 2:04 am Leave a comment

10 reasons you can’t lose weight

The longer you have been over weight the more difficult it can be to lose unwanted body fat. The problem is in reality quite complex, as multiple factors interact to catch you in a cycle of weight gain. I don’t want to oversimplify it or trivialise the difficulties you may be experiencing. However, have a look at the lists below to see if you can identify something which will help you.

10 reasons you can’t lose weight:

1. You are an emotional eater
2. You skip meals and only eat one large meal a day
3. You have a sedentary job and don’t exercise
4. You engage in negative self talk
5. You don’t plan your food intake
6. You drink your calories in carbonated drinks, juices or fancy coffees
7. You eat energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods
8. You try diet after diet and your weight yo-yos up and down
9. Most of what you eat comes out of a packet
10.You are doing long sessions of cardio

If you want different results, you need to do something different. Here are some suggestions:

1. You need to reframe what food means to you – food is fuel for your body
2. You need to eat small frequent meals to boost your metabolism
3. You need to increase your activity level by doing something you enjoy
4. You need to speak encouragingly to yourself and use positive affirmations
5. You need to plan ahead to treat yourself to your favourite food or sweet treat
6. You need to drink mainly water
7. You need to substitute high GI foods like jasmine rice and white bread with low GI alternatives like basmati rice and multigrain bread
8. You need to adopt a lifestyle of eating Low GI foods
9. You need to observe the rule “if it grows – eat it, if it doesn’t grow – don’t eat it. Choose mainly fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, legumes, nuts and whole grains.
10.You need to switch to high intensity exercise and add in some weight training

Other things you can do:

Take responsibility for yourself and your decisions by acknowledging that you have a choice. Realise that INTENTIONS equal RESULTS. If you are not getting any results, it could be that you have a hidden agenda which is sabotaging your efforts. Counselling may help. Strengthen your WHY so you can make good choices when temptation comes.

Make yourself accountable to someone for your results, reporting to them on a weekly basis. Focus on fat reduction, not weight loss – throw away the scales and get out the tape measure. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and the fat reduction will be a natural by-product.

If you are following all the suggestions above and still retaining excessive amounts of body fat, a visit to your GP is in order. You may be one of the small percentage of people who have a thyroid problem, liver problem or hormonal imbalance that interferes with your body’s normal functioning.

Be proactive in working for better health, you have the power to change – don’t accept the status quo.

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January 30, 2009 at 3:52 am Leave a comment


Would you like to be fit and healthy? What is it that is stopping you?

Maybe you say “I can’t exercise because”:

  • The dog is too old/too slow/too fast/doesn’t walk well on a lead

  • The weather is too hot/too cold/too windy/too wet/too humid

  • I don’t like running/walking/cycling/swimming

  • My kids are too little/too big/too whingey/too sleepy/too hyper

  • I don’t have time/energy/motivation/money/the right equipment

Be honest, do these sound a bit like excuses? Are there any of these “reasons” that have not been overcome …….. by someone …… at some time?

Here are some strategies for overcomers:

  • If walking the dog is not an option, choose another activity

  • If you don’t like the weather, choose an indoor activity

  • If you don’t like running/walking/cycling/swimming, choose an activity you enjoy (ballroom dancing, boxing, judo, fencing, tennis, golf …..)

  • If the kids don’t fit in with what you want to do, do your exercise at home in the morning/evening when the kids are in bed

  • I don’t have time – the truth is, we all have 24 hours in a day and we assign time to the things which are really important to us. Why not make a time in your diary for exercise the same as you would book and keep an appointment with a doctor/dentist/physiotherapist? That way you are making your health a priority.

  • I don’t have energy – having had chronic fatigue myself, I know that sometimes this can be literally true. The strategy that worked for me was to make sure I did SOMETHING every day. Not doing exercise because I didn’t have the energy to exercise did not make me feel any better and over time I got worse. If I did something I felt better both physically and mentally and over time I got better. Exercise actually energises you (it is just getting started that is difficult). Some days all I could do was the stretches I would normally do before an exercise program, but I at least did that much. Gradually I was able to do more and more.

  • I don’t have motivation – you DO have to find your OWN why. If your why is strong enough, you will find a way. When motivation is lacking, accountability can help. How about making an appointment with a friend to exercise together? That way you have to show up or you’ll be letting them down. Reporting your progress to a coach on a weekly basis can also be motivating.

  • I don’t have the money – the good news is exercise is one thing that can cost you NOTHING! Going for a walk or run is free. There are many exercises you can do at home without any equipment that will give your body an excellent workout. Some exercise you can even get paid for, eg delivering newspapers!

  • I don’t have the right equipment – I would suggest you save up for an elastic band and a basic set of dumbells, but there are plenty of really challenging exercises using your own body weight for which you don’t need ANY equipment. Some that come immediately to mind are squats, lunges, push ups, star jumps, burpees, and plank hold. Moving your own body weight can be plenty challenging – how many of these exercises have you mastered???

Did you notice my use of the word “activity”? Some people really don’t like the whole exercise thing, but being fit is not all about being a bodybuilder or marathon runner. To increase your fitness level, try increasing the amount of ACTIVITY in each day.

Our modern world is turning us into couch potatoes – we go home from sedentary jobs and sit and watch TV! Try to build more activity into everything you do during the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from the shops and walk. Find an activity you enjoy and get your body moving. Your body will thank you for it.

January 29, 2009 at 12:10 am Leave a comment


If you have tried diets before and found that they do not work over the long term (your weight creeps back up when you finish the diet), my advice is to forget about diets and focus instead on building new eating habits based on LOW GI EATING.

What is Low GI eating?

In very simple terms, the Glycemic index and the Glycemic load are ways to measure the effect food has on our blood glucose levels and the rise and fall of insulin in our bodies. When we begin to have a basic understanding of how our bodies respond to eating Low, Moderate, and High Glycemic foods, then we can make food choices that will support us in attaining our ideal body size.

The Glycemic Index (GI) measures how quickly foods that contain carbohydrates raise your blood glucose level. The GI is measured by taking a person’s blood glucose levels at regular intervals. Foods like cooked white potatoes have a high GI because they raise blood glucose at almost the same rate as eating pure sugar. Foods like raw broccoli have a low GI because it takes a long time for those carbohydrates to increase blood glucose levels. When we eat high GI foods, our bodies respond by releasing insulin, the hormone that transports glucose to your cells.

Here’s why this is so important: Our bodies are in fact designed to use glucose as our fuel. When we eat low GI foods, this fuel is absorbed at a gradual pace, allowing our body to burn this fuel as we need it. On the other hand when we eat high GI foods, they are converted to glucose very rapidly, which will often trigger a release of too much insulin into the blood, otherwise known as an insulin reaction.

During an insulin reaction, the body is cleared of glucose, causing an energy crash. This usually causes cravings for more fast acting high GI carbohydrates. In addition, when too much glucose is in the blood – the excess is stored as fat. This negative cycle is common in our western society where high GI foods are the norm – I am sure you have experienced it. This cycle is the foundation for being overweight and/or being obese. In order to achieve healthy blood glucose levels, learn the difference between low, moderate and high Glycemic foods. Once you have this awareness begin to eliminate the high GI foods from your diet and replace them with low and moderate GI foods whenever possible. For example, replace potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, sugar with low GI alternatives (for example, basmati rice instead of jasmine rice).

Want more information on low GI foods? Go to for a list of foods and their GI. You will also find some great low GI recipes at

Put yourself on the road to health and vitality – with low GI eating.

January 28, 2009 at 5:08 am Leave a comment


Let me tell you why I’m convinced that DIETS DON’T WORK!

Do you go on a diet and lose weight, only to put it all back on when you return to “normal” eating? Have your weight loss efforts left you feeling discouraged and disappointed? Have you given up on ever achieving the body shape you desire?

The good news is, you didn’t fail – your diet failed you!

Some fad diets give quick, temporary results that make for good marketing, but result in the yo-yo effect in the long term. A friend of mine shared with me that through successful dieting she lost 30 kg last year – which I thought was fantastic, but then she told me that she weighed more at the end of the year than she did at the beginning! That is because she dieted, lost 5 kilos, put it back on, dieted, lost 5 kilos, put more back on, etc throughout the year. My friend had been successful with her diet, but her short term success set her up for long term failure. Yo-yo dieting plays havoc with your metabolism and your health. She didn’t fail – her diet failed her.

Many diets are not sustainable in the long term. If you are on a diet which is very restrictive, you may through willpower and determination stick with it for a period of time, but you are going to feel like you are missing out. Depriving yourself of foods you love only increases your desire for those foods. Worse still, if you focus on a drastically reduced calorie intake you may even feel hungry. If you don’t eat enough food, or don’t eat often enough, your body goes into “starvation mode”. It starts to store all it can and develops fat reserves to see it through the perceived scarcity of food. Again, your diet has failed you.

For these reasons, diets don’t work. They are setting you up for failure. A better strategy is to gradually make changes in the type of foods you choose to eat, replacing unhealthy foods with more supportive, low GI alternatives. I strongly recommend low Gi eating as the way to go. You can enjoy a wide range of foods and it is a way of eating that can be sustained for life. You are never on a diet. You are not deprived. You are not hungry. Imagine never having to go on a diet again!! I talk about Low GI eating in another blog.

Another way that diets fail you is by making you focus on losing WEIGHT. When you diet and lose weight you may be losing excess water, muscle and even bone density rather than losing FAT. In a reduce kilojoule diet, half of the weight lost was fat and half was muscle. This loss of lean muscle mass makes it harder to lose weight and harder to maintain the weight loss you have already achieved. The odds have been stacked against you. Again, your diet has failed you.

I recommend that you focus on FAT REDUCTION. If you are building bone density and building muscle mass then your weight may actually be going up, but your body fat will be reducing. Take your measurements instead. A reduction in size around the waist is proof of a loss of fat – that “spare tyre” is not made up of muscle!  When your clothes start to fit better you feel better! So throw away the scales and take out your tape measure.

If you think a diet is your answer to achieving the body of your dreams, then the diet is bound to fail you. Dieting alone won’t do it. You need to help your body burn fat by revving up your metabolism. Small regular meals throughout the day is one way to boost your metabolism. The most important thing though is to increase the amount of activity you do each day. Adopting a strict diet whilst living the life of a couch potato won’t get you the results you want. You MUST increase your activity. Your goal should be to increase your lean muscle mass, because this helps you to burn more fat.

In summary, don’t diet. Switch to Low GI eating. Don’t try to lose weight, focus on fat reduction. And increase your activity level.

Acknowledge your past efforts and know that you are not a failure – your diets have failed you.

Put yourself on the path to success. Contact me – – I’d love to help you.

January 27, 2009 at 10:57 am 1 comment

Hello world!

I hope that you will find information on this site which will challenge, inspire, and inform you in your quest to be the best that you can be. It is my aim to assist you to attain a level of health which will let you do all the things you want and live life to the full as you “mature”. I think age is just a number and getting older does not mean you have to suffer with arthritis, lose muscle tone and bone density or live in a fog of forgetfulness. I believe strongly in proactive health and I take full responsibility for where I am at in life and the quality of life I enjoy.  I have recovered from chronic fatigue and I have a story to tell.

In my future blogs I will share with you the things that have worked for me in terms of nutrition, exercise and mental attitude, in the hope that you will find something useful.

Be your best.

January 27, 2009 at 10:48 am 2 comments

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