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



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


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:



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!

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Good Food Colouring

I remember when I moved into my current home. I loved the bright spacious rooms with the neutral colours and clean lines. I was happy to leave the house that way. Why ruin such lovely rooms with unnecessary clutter…. such as furniture? After sleeping on the floor for a couple of nights…. I relented on the furniture, but only the most necessary of items, I still liked the almost monochromatic look.

It wasn’t until I went to the neighbours similar home that the scales fell from my eyes! They had plants, paintings & pictures which gave a wonderful colour and warmth to the house. They also had interesting furniture which added to the whole ambience of each room. My “White House” may look good, but with colour and character it could look Great!

“The Swan is beautiful, until it stands

next to the Peacock.”

This reminds me of the special Olympic year we had in London 2012. London hosted the Greatest show on Earth. Those five coloured Olympic rings signify the multi – Colours, Creeds & Cultures from all over the world. We were reminded of the Worlds beauty in diversity.

Those five Olympic rings also reminded me of the colours of nature, especially the plants, fruit & veg that we eat. It is an amazing fact that our food is designed to be attractive to us with colour. Even more amazing is that the atomic reason for the colour in each fruit or vegetable is the same thing that provides its antioxidant properties!

In the Olympics we saw certain nations dominate certain events: The Jamaicans dominated the sprinting, the Africans dominated the middle & long-distance races, the Aussies dominated the swimming and the British…… hosted the games.

Just like the nations, different colours of food have different strengths:

Blue, Purple, & Black– ie Blueberries, Figs & Eggplant- contain flavanoids, Vitamin C & Resveratrol. These boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and help make healthy skin & bones.

Yellow & Orange – ie Apricots, Carrots & Lemons – contain Beta-carotene, lycopene & potassium.

These reduce prostate cancer risk, lower blood pressure, protect our vision.

Green– Broccoli, Apples, Spinach – contain Chlorophyll, Folate & Fiber. These boost digestion, reduce cancer & heart disease risk.

Red– Strawberries, Tomatoes & Peppers – contain Lycopene, Hellagic acic & Hesperidin – These prevent prostate cancer/enlargement and lower Cholesterol levels.

So whilst enjoying this New Year, remember to eat a plateful of colour each day…….

……….and I don’t mean Smarties!


The Autumn of Life

Ok so summer is over! If you can really call the months of constant rain and misery summer. We now have to wait until next year for even the hope of that unfamiliar yellow orb in the sky to grace us with its presence and offer us a little heat. We now move into autumn “the Evening of the Seasons”. Although it means that summer has passed, there are still many great things about the Autumn season. It’s a time of harvesting, of reaping in the crops which you’ve cultivated over the passed year. A time to literally enjoy the fruits of your labour. It’s also a time of vivid colours where the leaves change from shades of green to all the colours of the rainbow:

How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and

                              colour are their last days.

                                                           ~John Burroughs

As we enter into this sad/happy season I’m always reminded of how it mirrors the autumn seasons in our lives, especially the autumn seasons in our health. What will my autumn days be like? What will be the fruits of my labour? What sort of light or colour will I have in my last days?

This is a common question for many men. What sort of shape will I be in when it comes to the autumn of my years? When we look around there is much to be concerned about. We see the elderly unable to walk for themselves, taking a bucket load of tablets for a long list of conditions and probably worst of all, we fear the possibility of Dementia.

The great news is that none of these illnesses are predetermined and there is much that we can do in the spring & summer to provide a great autumn.

I’ve recently been invited to lecture at the Loma Linda University in California. Loma Linda is a unique place in the US because it is the only area in the US to have the title “Blue-Zone”.

There are 5 blue zones on the planet. They are areas where people tend to live longer & healthier lives, they have 10x the number centenarians as the average community in that country. The question must be, Why?

Well, when you look at them there are several things that strike you immediately.

  • They have a very low fat, plant-based diet, almost vegan. They don’t drink alcohol or smoke.
  • They exercise regularly. Last time I was there I met a woman who was 102 who walked for 2hrs each day. When I asked her how long she had been doing this she said “ 80 years!”
  • They spend a lot of time with their family & church.
  • They have a weekly rest day, the sabbath.

These are just some of the habits that make them into the healthy people that they are with very low rates of cancer , heart disease, diabetes or dementia.

Sowing a good seed leads to reaping a great harvest in the autumn of life.