Tag Archives: Functional Medicine

Why Don’t they make Wine Flavored Water?



Wine flavored water please?

Drinking water is the first action we can take that will make a huge difference to our health.

1. Water helps the kidneys to clean out metabolic toxins. An unhealthy, overweight body leads to a greater toxic load on the kidneys. Water flushes this out, keeping kidneys functioning. 
2. Toxic overload on the kidneys means the liver must take up the slack. As the liver’s role is to metabolize stored fat, it cannot perform this function fully if it is also handling the toxins the kidney cannot deal with.
3. A poor water intake leads to constipation and an accumulation of toxins that leach back into the system, resulting in sluggishness, bad breath and again, an overloaded liver.
4. Water prevents fluid retention. If salt intake is too high, the body will retain water to dilute the salt. In addition, if water intake is too low, the body will perceive this as a survival problem and retain every drop it can. This leads to misleading weight gain, as well as swollen ankles and legs. 
5. Water assists muscles to function optimally. The greater the muscle performance, as well as the higher the muscle mass, the higher will be the basal metabolic rate. 
6. Water helps to alleviate headaches caused by dehydration.
7. Water improves the tone of your skin. 
8. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with the bladder lining. 
9. Water lubricates your joints and reduces joint stiffness and pain. 
10. It helps to suppress the appetite by offering a calorie free option to ingest instead of food.

How much water is enough?

We need to drink between 8 – 10 glasses of water per day. The easiest measure of whether we are drinking enough is to always ensure that our urine is clear or a very pale yellow, with no odor.
Don’t wait till you feel thirsty. We may be desensitized to the sensation of thirst, so drink water anyway.
If you are trying to lose weight, drink a glass of water an hour before each meal.

Wine and cooldrinks do not count!.

What about cool drinks and fruit juice?

Wine flavored water-unhealthy choice
Unhealthy fluid choice

All juices, including fruit juices, will just make you fatter without adding even one, tiny smidgen of benefit to your body. 

8 Reasons to give up cool drinks and fruit juice

1. Juices, including fruit juices are LOADED with sucrose and high frutose corn syrup. They are poison to your system and although fructose has been touted as being a healthier choice, this is a myth of epic proportion. Fructose is particularly bad if you are trying to lose weight or if you are diabetic. Giving even diluted fruit juice to your children will not only result in them developing the taste for the sweetened fluids, but will start, at an early age, the liver degeneration that fructose brings with it. 
The most ubiquitous form of fructose found in foods and drinks is ‘’high fructose corn syrup’’. Sugar and HFCS are not equivalent in the body. Using HFCS, which is sweeter than sugar (and cheaper as well), beverage manufacturers add what amounts to 17 spoons of sugar to a can of cool drink. This adds up to a staggering amount of sugar.

In addition:
– As there is no chemical bond between the sucrose and the fructose in HFCS, the body does not actually have to digest them and so the sucrose impacts directly on the insulin, resulting in huge spikes of insulin, and the fructose goes directly to the liver triggering lypogenesis, which is the formation of fat and cholesterol. When an overload of fructose is repeatedly sent to the liver to be metabolized, it causes cirrhosis of the liver similar to that of chronic alcoholics. 
– Fructose from HFCS also erodes the lining of the intestines, leaving small holes where toxins and partially digested proteins that should remain in the gut, are now able to flow out into the blood stream, leading to inflammation and allergic responses.
– Fructose neither stimulates insulin, nor Leptin, therefore does not help regulate appetite, which is handled by these hormones. 
– Fructose, from fruit, has a similar response in the body as does HFCS but this is minimal if we eat the fruit whole and do not just drink the fibreless juice.

3. Drinking a can of fizzy cool drink a day can accumulate to an added pound of fat a month and studies have shown that people who drink diet drinks do not lose weight. The chemicals in these drinks cause a cascade of hormonal and physiological responses that can actually lead to weight gain. Naturally the reverse will also apply. If you drink regular cool drinks and you make the decision to stop and drink water instead, you will exponentially accelerate your weight loss. A can of cool drink can contain anything between 90 and 150 calories per drink.

4. Canned and other sugar based drinks ( including the tonic in our G and T ), are highly acidic. As a result they cause more tooth cavities than eating sweets. As well as this, the high acidity leads to increased risk of osteoporosis. The higher the percentage of phosphates in the cool drink, the lower the level of calcium. Calcium and phosphate are inversely related to each other. The higher the intake of phosphates, the more the body will pull calcium from the bones to try and supplement the calcium deficit. Canned drinks are very high in phosphates.

5.High phosphoric acid in canned drinks promotes kidney stone formation 

6. Research has also shown that drinking more than 1 soft drink a day is associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome describes a group of symptoms such as elevated cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, elevated blood pressure, central obesity or low levels of LDL, (good cholesterol). Having 3 or more of these symptoms increases your risk of developing diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.

7. A high intake of sugar leads to an increased risk of early breast cancer.

8. Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder

May I swap to sugar free cool drinks?

Sadly the answer to this is NO!

Sugar free cool drinks contain aspartame or similar chemicals. The aspartate in aspatame is a neurotoxin that actually kills off neurons. Long term use of any product containing aspartame may lead to chronic conditions such as:
• Memory loss
• Epilepsy
• Multiple sclerosis
• Parkinson’s disease
• Neuroendocrine disorders
• Aggravation of diabetes
• hypertension

Aspartame also causes increased levels of phenylalanine, leading to decreased serotonin. This causes emotional disorders such as depression, as well as schizophrenia and seizures in sensitive people.
Furthermore, the ester bond in aspartame breaks down to formaldehyde and methanol,
Of even greater concern is the fact that a 1litre aspartame sweetened beverage contains about 56mg of ‘methanol’. The US Environmental Protection Agency states that methanol is considered a poison and limits the consumption to 7.8mg per day. If one adds all the hidden aspartame laden products such as chewing gum and diet foods, it is possible to consume as much as 250mg of aspartame daily. The symptoms of methanol poisoning include:
• Vision disturbances
• Headaches
• Nausea and stomach upsets
• Muscle weakness
• Memory lapses
• Behavioural disturbances
All artificial sweeteners have a similar reaction in the body. It does not matter what the manufacturers call them! A healthy alternative is a plant called Stevia but even Stevia will decrease your sensitivity to insulin so save it for special occasions.

Some interesting facts about water usage.

• A bath uses about 90litres of water
• A shower for 5 min about 40 litres
• Running water while brushing teeth 10litres
• Toilet: each flush 15litres

It takes:
• 10 Litres water to make a sheet of paper
• 40 Litres to make a loaf of bread
• 140 Litres to make a cup of coffee
• 1300 Litres to make a kilogram of wheat
• 4800 Litres to make a kg of pork
• 10855 Litres to make a pair of jeans
• 15500 to make a kg of beef
• 16600 to make a kg of leather

We would save more water not eating a kg of beef than we would if we choose not to shower for 6 months!

What about my coffee?


Wine flavored water-coffee

Coffee, in particular the caffeine contained within, stimulates the central nervous system and is a wonderful beverage if we are feeling sluggish and need a wake up and in moderate quantities, coffee is considered to be reasonably safe but drinking coffee does have several health risks worth knowing.
• Caffeine is addictive
• Over 1000 chemicals can be found in roasted coffee and at least 19 of these are known to cause cancer in rodents.
• Coffee can damage the lining of the gastro intestinal organs, resulting in gastritis and ulcers
• Caffeine in coffee can cause anxiety and irritability as well as sleep disorders
• Certain chemicals in coffee have been shown to raise the levels of LDL, thus raising cholesterol.
• Caffeine in coffee is able to cross the placental barrier and affect unborn babies, whose systems are unable to excrete the chemicals as adult systems can.
• Heavy coffee drinking during pregnancy has been linked to a greater incidence of stillbirths 
• Coffee causes an increase in homocystein levels. Homocystein is a risk factor in cardiovascular disease.
• Caffeine increases the levels of cortisol in the body and increased cortisol is linked to increased  visceral fat.
• Caffeine dehydrates the body, increasing the effects of skin wrinkles and ageing
• Some studies have linked coffee drinking with an increase in hypertension.
• Coffee affects the absorption of iron
• Examples of other products that contain caffeine are tea, cola, chocolate, red bull
• Caffeine saturates all body tissues and fluids, including breast milk. The half-life of caffeine is  4-6 hours.
• The amount of caffeine in coffee and tea varies based on brewing times and methods. General    guidelines for beverage caffeine content include the following:
• Brewed coffee (8 oz) – 120 mg
• Instant coffee (8 oz) – 70 mg
• Iced tea (8 oz) – 60 mg
• Hot tea (8 oz) – 60 mg
• Caffeinated soft drink (12 oz) – 50 mg

Well, at least may I have some alcohol!

Wine flavored water-alcohol

Moderate (2-3 glasses a week) use of alcohol can be a pleasant, generally safe experience but long term or excessive use of alcohol can lead to:

• Liver damage such as cirrhosis or alcoholic hepatitis.
• Increased risk of cancer in multiple organs
• It increases the risk of cardiovascular events by causing a deterioration of the heart muscle as  well as raising blood pressure, blood lipids and risk of stroke.
• It compromises the immune system
• Causes physical abnormalities in the developing fetus
• It leads to sleep disorders
• It drains vitamins
• Alcohol offers no benefit to the body in terms of nutrition
• It is ONLY a source of empty calories. Even the anti oxidant effects are outweighed by the  systemic damage.

The Toilet is my Friend

The Toilet is my Friend!


The toilet is my friend-toilet frog
Toilet Friend

Fibre is what cleans out the lower intestines and adds bulk to food. The best news about fibre is that:

• It helps keep you full
• It contributes no calories to your meal
• Helps you lose weight faster
• By helping your body transport fat and calories through your digestive system, it causes some calories and fat to be    excreted in your faeces.
• Soluble fibre coats the intestines, reducing the amount of fat absorbed.
• It takes longer to eat.
• It moves food quickly through the lower intestines, minimising the time toxins remain in the system
• Helps prevent constipation, haemorrhoids and diverticulitis
• It helps to balance cholesterol levels
• It slows the impact of carbohydrates, preventing sugar cravings and insulin spikes
• It lowers risk of developing colo-rectal cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and haemorrhoids.
• Leads to a more efficient absorption of water and minerals

Generally between 18g to 24grams of fibre are beneficial, with 25g –30g being optimal. It is found in bran, psyllium, vegetables, pulses, lentils and oats. When fibre is added to a diet, weight will begin to go down while the converse is also true, when refined foods are eaten, weight will either remain high or begin to climb. Initially though, if you are used to more refined foods and you swap to high fibre, you may experience some windiness. This is because fibre is fermented in the large intestines by the bacteria living there and this process produces methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. These side effects, while initially uncomfortable, are just part of the transition process and will settle as your diet improves. Introduce fibre more slowly into your diet and this will minimise the problem. Sometimes, as soon as we ingest more fibre, we become constipated. This usually happens if we are not drinking enough water. You can avoid this by increasing your water intake.

Soluble and insoluble fibre.
Insoluble fibre is the husk type fibre. This acts like a broom and ‘sweeps’ the colon clean. It can sweep quite quickly so we need the soluble fibre to slow it down. Soluble fibre absorbs water and forms a gel like colloid in the stomach. This slows down the time it takes the stomach to empty and this contributes to how soluble fibre decreases the glycemic impact of the meal. The food enters the intestines more slowly and from there, more slowly into the blood. Without the carbohydrate sugars spiking in the blood, the insulin also rises more slowly.
• Introduce the fibre slowly, over a four-week period.
• Vary your intake of veggies and fruits.
• Stay away from all processed foods. These do not benefit the body in any way.
• Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
If you are being treated for any health disorder, please check with your doctor before beginning a high fibre diet.
Do not overdose on fibre. Too much may cause the body to become depleted in minerals and vitamins.

Foods that are rich in fibre include fruits, vegetables, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, whole meal bread, nuts, seeds, and bran. Foods that are high in soluble fibre are fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans, and outs. Foods high in insoluble fibre are: whole meal bread, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables. It is best to eat a combination of soluble and insoluble fibre.

Some interesting facts about your colon, called your large intestines.

• It is about 6 feet long
• It serves to dehydrate liquid waste material
• Your appendix is attached to your colon
• Your rectum is a storage pouch that retains feces until your large intestines contract to expel the contents.
• Your colon is contracting all the time in moves called peristalsis.
• Your emotional state affects your colon health.
• While 90% of the water you take in is absorbed by the small intestines your colon also has special cells that reabsorb water and some nutrients, as well as cells that release mucous that lubricates the large intestines.
• When waste material moves through the bowel too quickly for water to be reabsorbed, you will experience diarrhea.


When waste travels too slowly, too much water is absorbed, leading to constipation. Constipation leads to the development of little pouches in the colon wall, called diverticuli. Small bits of old feces can get lodged within these pouches, leading to diverticulitis and other problems.

Causes of constipation

• Sporadic, small meals that do not elicit peristaltic contraction of the intestines
• Not excreting when you feel the urge to do so.
• Poor water intake
• Poor fibre intake
• Poor intestinal health
• Stress

Preventing constipation

• Eat 3-4 larger meals during the day, not 5 smaller meals. This promotes the stretch receptors in the stomach, which, in turn, trigger peristalsis
• Do not suppress or delay the urge to go. The longer the waste remains in your bowel, the more water will be absorbed from it. In addition, the toxins will also be reabsorbed.
• Drink lots of water
• Consume plenty of fibre rich food
• Consume healthy fats, particularly omega 3.
• Maintain healthy bacteria in your intestines by taking probiotics
• Maintain low stress levels

What is Functional Medicine

Functional medicine looks at the interplay between our genetic inheritance, our lifestyle, stress and our nutritional status with regard to the condition of our health.

Specifically it looks at exactly how the nutrients we are deficient in, the toxins we are exposed to, and the choices in our present diet, may lead to many chronic diseases that never seem to clear no matter what medication we are taking.

We often have an idea we are doing something that is causing ill health but we have no idea what to change. FM offers solutions to the problem and advice on how to implement the solutions. FM does not treat any one specific disease. It turns your body into a fully functioning, healthy system and the chronic diseases tend to take care of themselves within the healthy body.

Functional Medicine investigates the underlying cause of the dysfunction as opposed to just suppressing symptoms.

i. It’s the difference between turning off the stove and just putting a lid on a boiling pot. 
ii. It’s the difference between treating the fire instead of blowing away the smoke.

FM is based on the cell and its function within an entire system no matter where that cell lies – whether it’s in your brain, your heart, or your bones. To create and maintain a healthy cell, we ask two questions.

i. What do you need more of – real food, sleep, exercise, nutrients, etc.
ii. What do you need less of – medications, stress, alcohol, toxins, allergens, food allergens etc.

Five common things that make us sick are toxins, diet, stress, allergies, and infections.
We help you rebuild your system just like we would rebuild a city, using basic building blocks. 

We need quality raw materials to build an infrastructure, and we need access to a power plant – (healthy mitochondria).  We need your cells to be able to communicate with each other (healthy hormones) and we want to be sure your cells have a sewage system.  We need an effective transport system to bring in raw material and get rid of rubble (vascular and lymphatic) and we need to protect our city with good defenses. (Immune System)

In FM we investigate the sources of your poor health. Are your cells protecting you from the outside? Or maybe are they attacking you themselves. What are you doing to nurture yourself (one of the most important things we can do for our health)?  Where are your weak points and where do you need to reinforce.

We want to know about YOU. What went on during your childhood, your family history, your life patterns? All  those are factors that  affect how you are doing today. 

We want to know what you do to chill out and how you create movement in your life.What you eat and drink and what you are doing for love and meaning in your life. We don’t focus on your disease, we focus on you and creating a vibrant, health ‘you’.