All posts by Jules

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

Insulin Resistance and Belly Fat

Insulin Resistance and BellyFat
In a normal metabolism, when we consume carbohydrates, the pancreas will release insulin that carries the glucose (broken down carbohydrates), into the cells to be used for energy output.
When the body has been exposed to prolonged, excessive carbohydrate intake, and the pancreas has had to pour out increased loads of insulin, eventually the cells become less and less sensitive to the insulin and will no longer allow the insulin to carry the glucose into the cells.  The result is that there are high levels of insulin in the blood, a condition known as hyperinsulinemia. This condition is not yet diabetes but left untreated, may become type 2 diabetes.

If the insulin cannot carry the glucose into the cells, the body senses that there is too much sugar in the blood and the pancreas produces yet more insulin, eventually wearing itself out, much like constantly revving your car engine. This becomes Type 2 diabetes.

High levels of insulin, even before the official diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, has far reaching and damaging effects on the body.

Insulin resistance plays a role in the following conditions.
– increased risk of prostate and breast cancer
– Hypertension
– Heart Disease
– Weight gain
– Difficulty losing weight
– Stroke
– Metabolic Syndrome
– Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (infertility)
– Increased triglycerides and decreased HDL
– Affects thyroid health

While factors such as exercise levels and obesity do play a part, not all insulin resistant individuals are obese. Other factors are involved, as greater than 50% of individuals with IRS are not obese, and individuals may have normalized insulin levels while still remaining overweight. The combination of genes and lifestyle may affect the individuals response to insulin.  Nutritional intake may play a huge role in either offering some protection against insulin resistance or indeed, propelling an individual towards this. Apparently, the ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake varies widely from person to person, with the degree of obesity only one factor, and each individual needs to be assessed with unique response in mind.

It is insufficient to simply look at fasting glucose to measure diabetes risk or status. Other factors need to be measured to fully understand the individual, particularly when the individual is experiencing symptoms such as:

– Belly fat
– Inability to lose weight no matter what the calorie intake
– Thyroid disturbances
– Sugar or carbohydrate cravings
– mid afternoon slump

What to do about it?

Consult a lifestyle coach or Functional Medicine Practitioner.  Correcting Insulin Resistance is not a linear approach and each person is different. Certain toxins such as mercury play havoc with Insulin as well as the receptor sites on the cell membrane, for example, as well as mistakes in eating timing and food choice.  Some basic minerals such as magnesium deficiency also affect the efficacy of Insulin and the integrity of the receptor site.
Once the status of the individual has been properly assessed, a program of nutritional and vitamin support that will re -sensitise the cells to insulin, plus an exercise regime that may easily be incorporated into the unique lifestyle of that individual, is required.  Stress is also a factor in managing insulin resistance, as well as the impact on the thyroid.  Success is elusive without a multi- pronged approach.

What can I do immediately, before consulting with a Functional Practitioner?

1. Increase Fibre
2. Drink more water

Turning 50

I recently turned 50 and it was as though I fell off a cliff.  One day all was going perfectly with my health and the next, I could barely read a paragraph of my novel without wondering who the people were, let alone study.  Measuring my hormones was a revelation.  I found I had almost zero Progesterone.  Who knows how long this had been dropping off.

I thought I would share the signs and symptoms of low Progesterone with you all… especially those of you who are 45 and older.

If you find you are ticking almost every box, there is hope! While hormones are not to be treated lightly and careful discussion with your doctor is required, as well as time well spent with a Functional Medicine Practitioner or nutritionist, there are several steps you can take for yourself, in order to ameliorate any symptoms you may be experiencing.

  1. Cut out sugars and high GI foods.  These inflame the body and make the brain fog, tension, anxiety and hot flushes worse.
  2. Remove alcohol.  A moderate intake of alcohol is 3 glasses a week. Anything more than that means the liver has to use up precious detoxification enzymes on neutralising the alcohol when these enzymes are better served helping the body process and remove hormone metabolites.  Estrogen dominance occurs when our estrogen levels are high in relation to out progesterone. It is even possible to be Estrogen Dominant with very low levels of Estrogen, simply because we may have even lower levels of Progesterone. Too much Estrogen that is not being metabolised, increases the risks of endometrial and breast cancer.
  3. Eat broccoli and cauliflower. They have a special phytonutrient called Indol-3-carbinol that is very protective against breast cancer.
  4. Add fibre to your diet.  A properly functioning gut will eliminate estrogen metabolites.
  5. Add freshly ground flaxseeds for their lignans.  Also protective against estrogen metabolites.
  6. Keep your weight down or make a special effort to lose weight.  Fat is able to synthesize Estrogen and if one is not eliminating Estrogen metabolites properly, the continual exposure to these metabolites will increase risk of cancer. Click here for a course on weight loss.
  7. Keep Insulin levels down.  Insulin promotes cellular proliferation, as does Estrogen and this contributes to increased risk of poor health.  See the free lecture on Insulin and how it impacts on your health:  Click Here.
  8. Add exercise to your day.  Even 10 minutes daily, while you are waiting for the dinner to cook, will positively impact on mood, well being, blood flow, insulin levels and sugar metabolism. Pump up the music and dance or run up and down stairs 10 x, or skip for 3 minutes.  These are all activities that require no equipment, just determination.
Gentle Exercise
Gentle Exercise

Signs and Symptoms of Pregesterone Deficiency

· sleep disorders
· anxiety
· irregular menses
· hair loss
· cramping
· acne
· low sex drive
· mood swings
· depression
· excessive bleeding
· Infertility
· Thyroid dysfunction or disorders
· Depression
· Fibrocystic breasts
· Weight gain
· Gallbladder disease
· Low blood sugar
· Panic attacks
· Water retention
· Irregular menstrual cycle
· Blood clots during menstruation
· Magnesium deficiency
· Vaginal dryness
· Breast tenderness
· Muscle cramps, sore muscles
· Insomnia
· Dry cracked heels
· Sugar cravings
· Low basal body temperatures
· Cold hands and feet

Turning 50
Hot flashes

Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen Deficiency

  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Memory lapses
  • Difficult concentrating
  • Joint pain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Dry skin (which can lead to premature aging, wrinkles, and brown age spots)
  • Loss of libido
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Vaginal infection
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Low self Esteem

My own experience has a happy ending. I responded very well to a bio-identical Progesterone cream which my doctor and I are continually monitoring.

Discuss the safety profile of synthetic hormones with your doctor. Synthetic hormones have a very poor safety profile, particularly unopposed estrogen, in other words a synthetic estrogen given with no progesterone.  If you are on an estrogen replacement, talk to your doctor about adding progesterone (not progestins.  These are synthetic and do not have a good safety profile).

I hope this post also helps you.

In Vitality


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’.