later post

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendour of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

diet is a relationship between you and your body

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diet is a relationship between you and your body

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some formed humour . or randomised words which don’t look even slightly believable. If you are going embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet. It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.

diet is a relationship between you and your body

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some formed humour . or randomised words which don’t look even slightly believable. If you are going embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet. It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.

diet is a relationship between you and your body

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some formed humour . or randomised words which don’t look even slightly believable. If you are going embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet. It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.

forgive

Forgive to Live

To make a point about forgiveness, Jesus told a parable about a servant who was forgiven a large debt by his king but was, himself, unwilling to forgive a fellow servant a small debt to him. On hearing what the unmerciful servant had done,

“….In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.” Jesus then says something very interesting….

“This is how my heavenly father will treat each

of  you unless you forgive your brother from

your heart.”

What! Does he really mean that I’m going to be thrown into Prison and tortured every time I fail to forgive someone? If this was true then the government would have a real “Prison Crisis” on its hands, with more people locked up in prison than free! Surely he’s made a mistake……..

……….or has he?

As a doctor it’s very common for me to see patients with all sorts of unexplained ailments; headaches, heart palpitations, abdominal pains, insomnia etc. Once the physical causes for these complaints have been eliminated I always like to ask the question, “ Is there anything that you are concerned or worried about?” Often, as the patient opens up they reveal some hurt, bitterness or even hate they have toward someone who they feel has wronged them in some way. The emotional & psychological stress is now being expressed in physical symptoms. This is not news. We know that when we are nervous we get “Butterflies in our tummies.” Or a simple lie can be detected on a machine by monitoring the change in our pulse, blood pressure and the amount that we perspire.

Our bodies respond to stresses of any kind by our pituitary gland in our brain sending a signal to our adrenal glands, which sit on top of our kidneys, to release Cortisol & Adrenaline. These chemicals work together to prepare our bodies for “ Fight or Flight” meaning that they prepare us for fighting or running away. They do this by raising the blood pressure and pulse rate, diverting blood away from the gut and towards the muscles, suppressing the immune system so that we will not bruise so easily when struck. These adaptations, and many more, form what we call a “Stress Response”. It is a perfect way that God has designed to help us respond to a changing environment.

The problem comes when this Stress Response is constantly at work. This happens when we harbor negative emotions toward each other such as bitterness, anger, hate & vengeance the root of these feelings is unforgiveness. When this happens we are constantly releasing cortisol & adrenaline into our blood. This leads to many serious problems:

Hypertension (high blood pressure), as adrenaline continues to over-stimulate the heart and cause the arteries to constrict, our blood pressure slowly rises. This can lead to strokes, heart disease & kidney failure.

Constant high levels of cortisol raise our blood sugar levels and may induce Diabetes.

As Cortisol lowers our immune response, the body then becomes more susceptible to infections & Cancer.

The unforgiving nature can also lead us into Depression, solitude & isolation

It seems evident that by not forgiving we expose ourselves to a life of torment, torture & imprisonment through disease. One man said:

“Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting

your enemy die from it.”

It only hurts us! That’s why Jesus was so keen for us to forgive, so that we could be released from prison.

Nobody says that it’s easy but just think of the debt that has been paid for us on the cross by Christ so that we can be forgiven. Whatever has been done to us cannot compare to that.

“Unless you forgive, you cannot be forgiven.”

Matthew 6:14 & 15

Release yourself from prison today, Forgive & Live.

The Sun, Friend or Foe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a child, Christmas was a strange time for me. I spent months looking forward to getting that very special present. Asking, begging,  pleading for it. Yet after the excitement of tearing off the wrapping paper to expose that wonderful computer game I’d always dreamed of, by the time it came to the Queens speech, at 3pm, I was bored with it and didn’t want it any more. This brings me onto this very seasonal topic because in many ways this is exactly how we treat the Sun. We spend the cold, dark winter months yearning for the bright warm sunshine but as soon as it arrives, we do all we can to avoid it. We stay in the shade, wear large hats and cover ourselves head to toe with factor 100 sun cream just incase one of those sunrays gets through to our skin. Why do we do this?

The obvious answer is that we are all afraid of getting skin cancer. This is, naturally, a real concern we must take the necessary precautions with sunscreen. The question is, are we hurting ourselves by trying to help ourselves? The answer is an emphatic YES!

 

The sun does much more than give us light and keep us warm. It’s one of the most powerful health tools known to mankind.

As the suns rays hit our skin they convert the cholesterol from our cells into Vitamin D that alone is a miracle. To be able to convert cholesterol (which many of us have in excess and is a chief factor in Britain’s No.1 killer heart disease) into such a useful vitamin is truly amazing.

The story does not stop there. Vitamin D is then activated by the kidneys and  goes on to do even more acts of healing. It is able to regulate our immune system, that means it activates and helps to produce more Natural Killer cells. These cells, despite their name, are actually very good for us. They kill off cells that cause infections, and are able to detect and destroy any CANCER cells present in the body. So the more active these cells are the less chance you have of getting cancer!

Studies prove that Vitamin D reduces our cancer risk by 50% especially Prostate, Bowel & Breast cancer. As well as activating the “Good immune” (Natural Killer) cells Vitamin D inactivates the “Bad immune” cells that attack us. They produce antibodies that attack joints to cause Arthritis, nerves causing Multiple Sclerosis, the pancreas causing Type-1 Diabetes our thyroid gland to cause thyroid disease and multiple organs in the case of Lupus.

Vitamin D is able to switch off these cells and therefore halt the diseases. Evidence shows that these diseases are less common or non-existent in countries close to or on the equator. The further you get from the equator, the higher the risk of disease, also the darker our skin, the greater the risk.

Vitamin D is important in building healthy bones too. In Britain, because of the lack of exposure to the sun by children, Rickets the soft bone disease is returning. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium to make strong bones, also vital for adults to prevent Osteoporosis

Given all of this evidence it is important that we get out in the sun. 20-30 minutes 4 times per week wearing a T-shirt is enough after that put on your sun cream. Vitamin D levels last 60 days in our bodies so during the months between November and February taking Vitamin D3 supplements 1000-4000 units is advised. 90% of our Vitamin D comes from the sun but some food contains it:

Soymilk/ Soybeans

Cereal

Salmon

The Sun is truly our God-given friend, but just like all of our friends we must treat it with respect.

vitamin

The Real Vitamin Pills

I’ll always remember the first time that I was told “Father Christmas did not exist.” My older brother took great pleasure in bursting my 6 year old bubble. As he explained to me the truth behind Santa Claus I remember arguing, debating and even trying to prove him wrong. I mean, surely I’ve SEEN him! Or if not seen him, seen evidence of him. But by the end of the day, despite my efforts to prove otherwise, I accepted defeat. It took a while for me to forgive my brother, well we’re at least on speaking terms 35 years later. This  reminds me, however, of how some long-held beliefs become facts in our minds and sometimes despite all the evidence to the contrary we just will not give up on those “Facts”. Well let me burst another bubble:

“Vitamin pills do not work!”

There, I’ve said it. Before you write back claiming that they work for you, let me first explain that this not a personal opinion. This statement is backed up by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) they did the most extensive research on vitamin pills ever, over a period of 20 years using millions of people. When all the evidence came in, they concluded that vitamin supplements were of no nutritional benefit. More importantly they have recently concluded that vitamin pills can have some very harmful effects  including premature death! The only supplements that have been shown to have some benefit are vitamin D3 (see my previous articles), Iron & folic acid in pregnancy. These only work if the body has very low levels.

As a doctor who specializes in Lifestyle & Preventative medicine, many people expect me to prescribe lots of vitamin pills. But just as it would be unethical for me to prescribe medication that I know to be ineffective, it is the same for vitamins.

However I do prescribe NATURAL VITAMIN PILLS:

 

“BERRIES!”

Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries All the Berries! These Powerful Pill-like FRUITS are perfectly designed to deliver the right amount of vitamins, minerals, sugar, water, fibre etc to our bodies in exactly the right dose and proportion. They contain no additives, mixing agents, colourings or flavourings so they are perfectly safe. And please don’t believe the lie that “todays fruit and veg is not good enough because the soil that they are grown on is not as good”. If the soil was not good enough, the fruit would not grow. When you hold in your hand a succulent strawberry, it can only look, smell and taste that good because it has everything it needs to develop.

I’ll end by showing just a few of the health benefits of the not-so-simple Strawberry.

They contain a rich source of phytochemicals anthocyanins & ellagic acid these chemicals fight cancer, aging, inflammation and nerve diseases.

They are high in Vitamin C which aids bone and tissue growth and repair.

They are rich in vitamins A, E & B-complex.

They contain the minerals, potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine there help our blood pressure, anaemia, dental health and a whole host of other problems and the great thing is there are no side effects.

So instead of stocking up on your vitamin pills, stock up on your berries!

choc

SWEET TOOTH, BITTER HARVEST

Sweetie, Sugar-pie, Honey……there’s no end to these sugar-related terms of endearment. To say that someone is Sweet is always a positive, unless it’s a potential girl-friend describing you which translates as “No way!”

Despite our love of sugary terms, we are beginning to understand that our sweet old friend is plotting our bitter end!

Added Sugar, that’s sugar that we consume on top of the natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables, grains etc, is responsible for a whole host of health problems. The word “Added” is key here, our bodies need sugar to survive and this is derived from blood glucose which is a result of the digestion of complex carbohydrates in our diets. Today we consume about 70 Kg of added sugar per year! In 1900 it was 40Kg; in 1800 it was 10Kg; in 1700 it was 1.5Kg! so our consumption has risen to astronomical levels. This is why the western world is now suffering an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc. If you try to kick the Sugar habit you’ll find it an up hill struggle. Because of the biochemical pathways in the brain that sugar activates, it has been shown that sugar can be as addictive as Cocaine!

One of the biggest culprits for this rapid rise in sugar consumption is the advent of the ubiquitous High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)  which is present in many sweet things especially fizzy drinks. This refined form of fructose cannot be metabolized by any cells other than the liver. This is why HFCS is the 2nd biggest cause of fatty liver after alcohol. In fact HFCS programs our bodies to produce more fat!

With all of this information one would think that the best thing to do is to switch to the diet drinks with “zero sugar”. Well if there’s one thing worse than drinking sugary drinks, it’s having drinks with artificial sweeteners. These chemicals such as Aspartame are responsible for minor problems such as palpitations, headaches, abdominal pains etc. More seriously they are implicated in conditions such as brain cancers, seizures, strokes, depression & anxiety. A recent Harvard study showed a link between Aspartame and Leukemia in Men! Artificial sweeteners are especially toxic for children as their brains are developing and are able to absorb the toxin a lot easier than adult brains.

The craziest thing about artificial sweeteners is that all the research studies show that they cause even MORE WEIGHT GAIN than sugary drinks! They increase our appetite for sweet things, so we end up consuming more! So you go through all of those health risks thinking that you’ll lose weight only to find that you put more weight on!

So what’s the answer for those with a sweet tooth?

  • If you must have something sweet, try increasing your fruit intake.
  • Stevia is a natural, non-toxic sweet ingredient.
  • Try to avoid drinking fizzy drinks of any kind, it’s one of the quickest ways to lose that gut.

As a “Sweet tooth” myself I know how difficult it can be to kick the habit, but by cutting down our sugar intake gradually our taste buds start to adapt and eventually you no longer have that craving. So if you want a Sweet Life, get rid of the Sweet Tooth.

eatornot

To Eat, or Not to Eat?

I often get asked many questions as a Lifestyle Doctor. “How do I avoid cancer?”, “What’s the best cure for heart disease?” or “How do I reverse my diabetes?” However, the most common question I get asked is:

“What’s the easiest way to lose weight?” By “easiest” they mean “without exercise!” Now I always recommend a healthy exercise programme along with dieting but the truth is that 80% of weight loss is to do with what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat. Here are 3 of my best tips for losing weight without exercise:

1) Eat more Weigh Less!

Our problem is not that we eat too much, it’s that we eat too much calorie-rich foods. Fruits, vegetables, beans & grains contain all the nutrients we need to live a happy and healthy life. The great news is that they also have very little fat. You can eat large quantities of these foods without putting on weight. So the trick is to eat more of the right food which will help you lose weight.

2) Eat when you’re Hungry!

This sounds like a very simple piece of advice, perhaps even simplistic. The problem is that this is advice that few of us actually follow. Many of us eat when it’s time to eat rather than when we are hungry. Or we’ll eat when we are bored or when watching TV. For many of us, our bodies rarely experience hunger as it has a constant supply of food.

During hunger our bodies are saying “ I really need some energy so if I don’t get it from food I’ll get it from the stores of fat in your body.” That is exactly what we want to happen. You’re your body an opportunity to break down some fat during the day. This may mean eating only twice a day, sometimes only once!

3) Avoid Sugar!

in a desperate attempt to avoid eating fat, many people load up on sugar. Sugar should be avoided for many reasons:

  1. It’s converted into fat.
  2. It increases circulating insulin levels which is a hormone that makes more fat.
  3. It raises your blood pressure and lowers your immune system.

“How do I avoid sugar?” I hear you ask. The best way I’ve found is when you have that craving for something sweet (ie) a biscuit, Say to yourself “Yes I’ll have that biscuit….but in half an hour” (telling yourself you can’t have something only reinforces your desire). At the same time eat an apple. This will slowly release sugar into your blood stream so that in half an hour you’ll have enough sugar in your system to overcome the craving for something sweet. So you:

Don’t

Resist,

Choose to

Have

It but

Delay

It

The D.R.C.H.I.D.I. method. It works!

These are just 3 excellent tips that will lead you onto the path of a healthier you.

Healthy New Year!