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How to eat your skin beautiful

 

Have you ever wondered about the secret behind people with that beautiful ‘glow’ is?  Well I’m about to let you in on it and the best part is, ANYONE can achieve it!

Our inner beauty flows through to influence our outer beauty in more ways than one. Just as our internal thoughts transpire to become our external reality, the internal state of your body will be expressed through your external appearance.

Two of the best reflectors for how well our body is functioning internally are our energy levels and our complexion

The two body systems that are the most significant in determining our health and day to day function, are the digestive and nervous system’s. If we experience imbalances in either of these systems, the effect will be felt systemically and impact on the function of the other body systems. Just how much, depends on how chronic and significant the dysfunction within the digestive and nervous system’s.

The gastrointestinal tract or ‘gut’ as it is commonly referred to, has a surface area equivalent in size to that of a size of a tennis court. But it is what lines our intestinal tract that is arguably the most powerful and influential body organ of all…..trillions and trillions of good bacteria, known as intestinal flora. These colonies of intestinal flora, out number our body cells by a ratio of approximately 10:1, resulting in their power over how well our digestive, nervous system and around 70% of our immune system, functions.

Friendly intestinal bacteria are not the only organism occupying our intestine. A naturally occurring fungus known as Candida also forms a part of the eco system within our gut. Like any eco system, if the natural balance is disrupted, the effect will be systemic. Einstein predicted that ‘if bees were to become extinct, man would only survive a few years beyond’, because of the intrinsic role bee’s play in the food chain, helping to pollinate around 70% of all the crops on the planet.

So when the ratio of ‘good’ to ‘bad’ organisms within the gut falls in favour of the bad – a condition referred to as ‘Dysbiosis’ will develop. Dysbiosis occurs when hostile organisms such as Candida, bad bacteria and parasites outnumber the friendly intestinal flora. This will have a systemic impact on the function of our hormones, immune defences, metabolic rate and neurological function – better known as the ‘gut brain connection’.

So if you are experiencing problems with say your skin, in the form of acne, eczema, even dark circles under your eyes or dry, dull complexion, this is simply a mirror of your internal health, stemming from dysfunction within the digestive and nervous system primarily. So applying a topical cream will fail to address the underlying cause of the problem at a cellular level. The root cause of skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne or eczema, stems from chronic inflammation, starting within our gut.

Our diet will also have a major influence over our immune and hormonal activity. Particularly highly acid forming foods, as these will commonly exacerbate inflammation associated with many skin conditions.

Consuming pro-inflammatory foods such as artificial additives and sweeteners, refined sugar, gluten – the protein present in certain grains such as wheat, casein – the protein present in cows dairy which is highly mucous forming, caffeine and alcohol, causes excess acid production, triggering an inflammatory immune response to the antigens within these foods and inducing a wide variety of physiological and neurological symptoms.

Poor digestion can also trigger inflammation within the gut, in particular low hydrochloric acid levels within the stomach. This causes undigested food particles to accumulate and ferment (rot) within our intestine, promoting the over growth of Candida – imagine the inside of a compost bin…. damp, gassy and rather smelly!

So by using your complexion as a reflection of your ‘interna’l health, you can influence it’s appearance and the rate at which your skin ages, by taking care of your insides, by adopting a healthy diet and maintaining healthy digestive function. That my friends is the TRUE secret to beautiful skin.

So stop turning to miracle creams and potions in the hope they will hold the key to glowing skin and eternal beauty and turn your attention towards working from the inside out. It’s as simple as paying attention to what you put in your mouth each and every day and this will flow through to how you look and feel!

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Haloumi and avocado boats

 
Vegan – Vegetarian – Sugar FreeDairy Free – Low GI – Medium GI

I made this dish up one day after staring aimlessly into my fridge wondering what on earth I was going  to eat for lunch!  When suddenly inspiration was born from the slab or haloumi and coz lettuce hiding amongst the jars of various condiments. Thankfully one of those condiments was a little jar of homemade coriander and macadamia nut pesto. I had no sooner gently pan fried a couple of pieces of haloumi in  virgin coconut oil and placed them inside a few leaves of coz lettuce with avocado, drizzled with the home made pesto and a squeeze of fresh lemon and WHALAH! lunch or a light snack is served!

What you’ll need… 

  • around 100  – 200 grams of haloumi cut into 2cm thick slices ( preferably use sheep’s haloumi over cow)
  • Coz lettuce or witlof
  • 1/2 to 1 avocado – thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • wedge of fresh lemon
  • cracked pepper to taste
  • Pesto

How to make…

  • Lightly pan fry the sliced haloumi in both sides, in a little extra virgin coconut oil on low to medium heat, until a light golden brown
  • Remove from the pan and place on a kitchen towel to drain
  • Arrange your washed and drained witlof or coz lettuce leaves on a plate
  • Top the witlof or coz lettuce leaves with the avocado slithers and haloumi
  • Drizzle with a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice and a dollop of pesto if you have some handy
  • Garnish with fresh herbs and or snow pea sprouts
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Which foods should you buy organic?

 

There’s a lot of talk about whether eating organically produced food is worth the money and health benefits. This is something I get consulted on regularly, including a recent article I contributed to for Fernwood Gym’s magazine.

My advice when it comes to buying organic food, at the very least stick to organic eggs and chicken (you can read why here) and avoid non-organic varieties of ‘THE DIRTY DOZEN’ fruit and vegetables – created by The Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Some of you may have heard a bit about the The Dirty Dozen recently, but not understand exactly what it is. Put simply, it is a list of the fruits and vegetables found by the EWG to contain the highest levels of chemical pesticide residue.

Any food that has been contaminated with chemical pesticides, herbicides or fungicides will pose a hazard to your health, but some foods will be more heavily contaminated than others, which is what the Dirty Dozen list seeks to reveal. If your budget does not allow for buying all your fresh fruit and veg organic, you can at least avoid those with the highest levels of chemical residue, by purchasing organic varieties of those on the Dirty Dozen list.

The Dirty Dozen for 2013

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cherry tomatoes
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Grapes
  6. Peppers / capsicum
  7. Nectarines (imported)
  8. Peaches
  9. Potatoes
  10. Spinach
  11. Strawberries
  12. Blue berries

Dirty Dozen Plus: Kale/collard greens and Summer squash

Personally I am surprised raspberries did not make it onto the list, because they are notorious for the high levels of chemical fungicides they contain, so I recommend adding them to the Dirty Dozen list and only purchasing organic, especially if you are feeding them to your kids or using the frozen varieties regularly to your morning smoothies.

The EWG have also put out the list of fresh fruit and veg with the lowest levels of chemical residue referred to as THE CLEAN FIFTEEN….nifty name eh. These are the fruit and veg you could compromise on buying non-organic if your trying to stretch the budget or finding it difficult to find organic varieties.

Asparagus

The Clean Fifteen for 2013

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Sweet corn
  6. Eggplant
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Kiwi
  9. Mangoes
  10. Mushrooms
  11. Onions
  12. Papayas
  13. Pineapples
  14. Sweet peas (frozen)
  15. Sweet potatoes

Now one vegetable I am going to over ride in this list is sweet corn, more so if you are living in the United States, because so much of their corn is genetically modified, something I DO NOT advocate. Thankfully in Oz we tend to avoid producing GMO’s….for now.
I’ll also add citrus to the clean fifteen as I tend to buy non-organic lemons, limes and grapefruit when my orchid is not bearing these fruit (and I don’t use any sprays), because I generally remove the skin and add the juice to my morning Green Goddess juice or to salad dressings each day.

So folks, when it comes to prioritising which foods to eat organic, avoid the dirty dozen, always buy organic nuts, and milk if you are a consumer of the cow juice  as well as chicken and eggs, to avoid the anti-biotics. If you cannot justify the price of organic beef, at least avoid feed lot raised beef and look for grass fed over grain fed. Follow this list and you will be avoiding the worst offenders for chemically contaminated food.

Do you believe in buying organic food? If so how much of your weekly shop includes organic food or is at least free of chemicals?
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Toasted Coconut Sheep’s Balls

Toasted Coconut Sheep's Balls

 

Did I grab your attention? Here’s a nothing naughty treat that’s bound to win the little kids and big kids over in place of ice cream! You can whip this recipe up in 5 minutes flat with just a few simple ingredients.   If you have been following my EYH program and feel like it’s safe to introduce a little sweetness back in, this recipe will do the trick.  It’s kind  a of mix between frozen banana yoghurt and sheep’s balls….ok maybe not the latter, but I’ve coined this recipe as such because I swapped the cow’s yoghurt for sheep – which contains the less problematic A2 protein so it’s a win win if you’re looking to maintain a low allergy, low sugar diet.

GF – Gluten free, CDF – Cow’s dairy free, AC  – Anti Candida, LS – Low Sugar – Diabetic Friendly

What you’ll need…

  • 4 ripe frozen bananas, peeled and chopped
  • 250 grams plain sheep’s yogurt
  • 1 – 2 tsps of natural vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of toasted desiccated coconut

How to make…

  • Add chopped frozen banana along with all other ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, adjust sweetness to taste
  • Scoop a desert spoon portion of the mix and roll in the toasted coconut
  • Place on a plate, lined with baking powder
  • Place coconut balls in the freezer until ready to serve
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One Man’s Incredible Story Part II

 

You may recall Fred’s story from my last post about his journey to recovery from acute, debilitating anxiety, simply through changing his diet and fixing his gut and replenishing nutrient deficiencies. As you may recall Fred had suffered major anxiety as far back as his childhood, along with ADHD and later on, alcoholism and chronic fatigue. The Dr’s answer to Fred’s search for answers….. dose him up on a cocktail of chemical uppers and downers,  as well as more misdiagnoses than underwear changes!  There is no doubt that some of the pharmaceutical medications he was prescribed brought Fred back from the brink of near death and managed to ‘stabilise’ him from suffering panic attacks that left him convulsing and too scared to leave the house, but what the medications failed to address was the deep underlying cause behind his neurological imbalance’s, nor provided him with any real quality of life, thanks to their associated side effects.

You see, no one had questioned Fred about his diet or digestive function, nor his sleep patterns – the very things that were screaming out the real cause of his anxiety.  When I first saw Fred I observed his teeth, as well as his tongue, finger nails and complexion.  I also palpated his abdomen to assess for any discomfort or pain – the kind of examination sadly more typical for Dr’s in our grandparents era or amongst traditional medicine practitioners.  Even in the absence of pathology we can glean a lot of information about what’s going on inside our body.  It turns out Fred had no enamel on his teeth, had weak nails, with white flecks and his tongue had a white to yellow coating at the back, with red pin prick dots at the front and dental indentations or scalloping, along the sides.  What did all this tell me about Fred’s health you ask?  Well for one, Fred’s guts were damp and inflamed, thanks to undigested food that was busily rotting or fermenting inside them, he was deficient in B vitamins and zinc, he was unable to digest or absorb his food properly, thanks to  low hydrochloric acid production and ‘leaky gut’ and his biggest giveaway as a candidate for silent celiac….no tooth enamel.

Silent celiac does not necessarily present symptomatically like typical or diagnosable celiac disease, in that sufferers do not experience the usual gastrointestinal symptoms of acute abdominal pain and cramping along with diarrhoea, upon the consumption of any foods containing gluten.  Sufferers who undergo a biopsy of their intestine will only be diagnosed as a celiac in the presence of completely atrophied microvilli (small finger like projections  that line the small intestine, designed to aid absorption of food) as opposed to any variation in the integrity of the gut wall.  Many celiac’s also struggle to gain or maintain weight, due to the damage caused by gluten to the lining of their small intestine, however in the case of Fred, he had in fact gained 20 kilo’s in excess weight, despite his poor appetite, due to the impact the pharmaceutical medications and undiagnosed silent celiac disease, was having on his thyroid function and metabolic rate.  What pathology and conventional medicine are failing to realise, is that you don’t have to be diagnosed with celiac disease to suffer gluten intolerance, a condition that is fast reaching epidemic proportions and far more common than celiac disease.  Like celiac disease, gluten intolerance or sensitivity, carries physiological and psychological impacts that can be just as severe and damaging to our health, and just as systemic in the organs it effects.   As I mentioned in part one of this post, Fred was suffering an ‘inflamed brain’ because of the inflammatory immune responses triggered by gluten.  This chronic inflammation from gluten, can decrease blood flow to our frontal lobe or executive centre – the part of the brain that governs emotions such as empathy and compassion, focus and comprehension, sequencing and even short term memory.  In the case of Fred, his gluten sensitivity or silent celiac symptoms were profoundly impacting on his neurological and emotional state, to the point it was devastating his life and relationships.

One of the main reasons why so many sufferers of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are going undiagnosed, is because food sensitivity testing, including testing for celiac disease, is extremely inaccurate.  For this reason I rarely rely on pathology testing to diagnose food intolerances or celiac disease, instead I implement my eating program   with patients, in order to switch off the inflammatory activity and balance the immune system.  Fred had been previously tested for celiac disease, so it came as no surprise to me to hear the result returned a false negative, resulting in his Dr dismissing gluten as an issue in his diet.

Repairing the digestive system with a specific nutritional gut repair and detox program  in combination with following a low allergy diet is the first place to begin in restoring balance to the brain’s neurological balance and function. In addition to removing all dietary sources of gluten, be sure to watch out for the hidden sources in many processed foods and personal care products. Many people who are gluten sensitive or celiac, are unknowingly exposing themselves to gluten through using common bathroom products such as chemical based shampoo and conditioners, body wash and moisturises in the form of hydrolysed vegetable protein.

After 7 mths following my eating program and eliminating all sources of gluten from his diet, alcohol and cigarettes, in combination with repairing his gut and replenishing his nutrient deficiencies, Fred experienced the following:

  • Chronic constipation improved to 2 bowel movements per day from 2 per week
  • Insomnia improved to the point he could sleep through most nights and wake around 7am ( previously he was lucky to average more than 4 – 5 hrs)
  • He lost 20 kilo’s
  • He no longer experienced chronic bloating and flatulence
  • He felt motivated and focussed – I recall Fred once told me he had never thought beyond a day or had any desire to plan for a future, as he didn’t feel he had one.
  • His enjoyment and passion for things in life returned
  • His energy improved by around 80% enabling him to start exercising and return to full time work
  • His complexion improved and the whites of his eyes became brighter
  • He was able to wean off all four of the pharmaceutical medications he was taking for his anxiety and balance his neurology with a combination duet and specific  nutrients in therapeutic dosages, with no debilitating side effects
  • And of course his anxiety improved to the point where not only did his anxiety attacks stop but he could function at a level that he had not experienced in life before.

I received an overwhelming response to part 1 of this post, as many of you emailed me wanting to know more about nutritional medicine options for treating anxiety and depression – two of the most prevalent neurological disorders today, an epidemic that is projected by the institute of Functional Medicine to be the number one disability in  the world by 2020 after heart disease.  If modern medicine continues to ignore the underlying links between diet, digestive function and nutrient deficiencies to these and other neurological conditions, I believe we are failing to provide the full spectrum of necessary health care and treatment to sufferers of mental illness and enable them to truly heal and optimally manage their condition. As a result sufferers will endure a life like Fred did – unable to experience life to the fullest.  As you have witnessed in reading Fred’s story…you don’t have to be a diagnosed with celiac disease, for gluten to wreak havoc on your physical and mental health and your life.

If you have a family member who suffers from a mental illness, stay tuned for my upcoming post on the physiological and psychological effects, this can have on your health.

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Homemade Chocolate

 Gluten free, Dairy free, Diabetic Friendly, Low Suagr, Vegan, Anti Candida

If you love chocolate but have been trying to get off sugar then you will love my recipe for the homemde stuff! But first, I want to get your expectations right….chocolate in it’s healthy state is NOT sweet like normal milk chocolate because the whole idea behind eating raw dark chocolate is to reap the nutritional benefits of the raw cacao, which is rich in minerals such as magnesium and antioxidants and because it’s so low in sugar and dairy free, you will only need a small piece to nip those sugar cravings in the bud and get your serotonin hit! I’ll let you can play around with the sweetness because if this is your first time trying raw dark chocolate, you may get a bit of a shock if you dive straight into it and never eat it again, so I suggest each time you make this recipe, trying using less and less sweetener, in an effort to desensitise your palette to sugar! Remember you can use stevia or rice malt syrup, stevia being the preference because it has not impact on insulin. Rice malt syrup contains glucose but NO fructose, unlike other sweeteners and that’s the form of sugar you need to watch because they body will convert it to fat more easily. Happy chocolatiering!

What you’ll need…

  • 80 grams Cacao butter
  • 40 grams virgin coconut oil
  • 75 grams high quality cacao powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons rice malt syrup or 1/3 cup xylitol – adjust sweetness to your personal taste.
  • 1 tsp. natural vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup goji berries or toasted almonds or raw macadamias
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, toasted
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds.

How to make…

  • Melt the cacoa butter & coconut oil over a low heat.
  • Remove from the heat as soon as it is melted, do not leave it on the heat
  • Add the sifted cacao powder to the saucepan and whisk the mix until the cacao powder and cacao butter and coconut oil are completely combined.
  • Add the rice malt syrup or xylitol and vanilla essence to the saucepan and combine well using a whisk
  • Pour the chocolate mix in to a slice tin or rectangle cake tin, lined with baking paper and use a spatula to spread to around a 3- 5 cm thickness.
  • Top the chocolate with the shredded coconut, toasted almonds, macadamia nuts, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, OR dip fresh strawberries into the chocolate and place on greaseproof paper
  • Refrigerate the chocolate until set.
  • Remove from tin or mould and cut into bite size chunks, keep them small as this chocolate is very rich so you will only want a small serve at a time.

NB – Store it in the fridge at all times.

Makes around 100gms of chocolate

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Top 10 tips for staying trim, dining out

 

It’s an age old quandary….how can we be healthy and still dine out?  Well the good news is YOU CAN!  It’s all in the CHOICES you make. I know for many folk, eating out for corporate lunches and dinners can all be part of ‘the job’, but eating out doesn’t have to lead to the expansion of the waist line.  Even the most hardened fine diner will struggle to argue it’s difficult to stay trim and eat out,  if they stick to these simple rules. So follow my tips and you won’t go wrong!

  1. Choose your restaurant wisely –  Avoid the obvious like the fast food diner, that’s just a no brainer. Go for restaurants or cafes that prepare food from scratch, using fresh wholefood ingredients – those in their ‘natural’ state, vs being processed.
  2. Avoid arriving to a restaurant ravenously hungry Now I know this might sound like an oxymoron – go out for a meal and avoid arriving hungry, what the??  I’m simply suggesting you try and nibble on some healthy snacks before you go out to dine, that way you will be less likely to over eat or crave unhealthy foods .
  3. Arrive hydrated –  Many of us mistake thirst for hunger, so be sure to get your water quota in before your meal, but AVOID DRINKING WATER 20 MINUTES EITHER SIDE OF EATING. Drinking water with meals will dilute your stomach acids, making it difficult to digest your food. If you feel like having a drink before your meal, order it well in advance of eating and choose something like a soda and bitters with fresh lemon or lime.  The bitters will help to stimulate your stomach acids for good digestion.
  4. Say “NO” to the bread and chips Most of us fall into the trap of nibbling on the complementary bread or chips commonly served before a meal.  Not only is the gluten in the bread a problem, (you can read more about why here), but bread and potatoes can be very fattening because of the high starchy carbohydrate content, not to mention the unhealthy vegetable oil often used to fry the chips.  Look at chips or bread as “a minute on the lips, but a life time on the hips!”  If you feel like nibbling while you wait for your meal, go for fresh olives instead.
  5. Order a side (or two) of fresh steamed Green’sGreen vegetables are a rich source of fibre, leaving you feeling fuller, for longer.
  6. Avoid starchy carb based meals –  such as pasta, pizza, or risottos – the high starch carbohydrate content will create a surplus of energy that the body will store as fat, unless you plan on jogging home afterwards!
  7. Avoid Alcohol  or at least limit it to one glass with no added sugar as alcohol is a sure fire way to pack on the pounds. Now it is true that wine, red wine in particular, actually aids digestion because of its natural acidity, however because alcohol is technically toxic to the body, the liver will always prioritise processing alcohol for elimination, over food.  So if you eat and drink a lot in the same sitting,  your food is more likely to under go incomplete digestion and accumulate within your intestine, leaving you feeling bloated and perhaps even a little gassssy!
  8. Order two entrées   – Now it’s true there is no fun in dining alone, so if everyone else is ordering an entrée and a main,  I recommend  going for two entrée’s and choose the healthiest options!
  9. Order like cave man from the menuBy this I mean stick to clean and lean sources animal protein and green veg…such as lean cuts of red or white meat, even better,  go for fish as it’s easier to digest. If you do eat meat,  look for grass fed beef over grain fed, organic chicken and wild fish over farmed – which salmon and Barramundi tend to be now days.  Of course if eating out is not something you do often, then non-organic sources of animal protein are a better choice than starchy carbohydrates.
  10. Skip the desert  – sugar will always be your undoing if your trying to keep the weight off, so either skip it or have a nibble on a shared cheese platter, stick to the goat and sheep cheese varieties over cow (without the crackers), or order some low sugar fresh berries if they happen to be on the menu.

Do you have any tips you stick to when eating out to help keep the waistline in tact? Why not share them in the comments section below.

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One Man’s Incredible Story…Why he quit gluten

For those of you who have seen me as a patient or have read my e-book Eat Yourself Healthy In 28 Days, you’ll be familiar with my stance on gluten.  Gluten is something we are hearing more and more about and the impact it is having on our health.  If you missed my first post on gluten, you can read it here to bring you up to speed.  But in this post, I wanted to share with you a truly inspirational story about one man’s journey with his health and the life changing impact when he quit gluten. For the purpose of this post I’ll refer to him as Fred!

Fred was a man in his mid 30’s and when I met Fred he had been suffering severe panic attacks that at times left him convulsing and too scared to leave the house.  He also experienced depression and anxiety that followed him everywhere, in fact  Fred couldn’t recall a moment where he didn’t feel anxious to the point he could not even walk into a crowded restaurant or drive in heavy traffic at times. In his plight to find answers, Fred sought the advice of countless Dr’s and the only treatment they could offer were prescription drugs….. at one point being prescribed up to 5 different pharmaceutical medications, including SSRI anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotics and a pycho-stimulant drug containing amphetamines, with side effects that included dizziness, nervousness – (remember this was a man  that suffered severe anxiety and panic attacks) , weight loss caused by appetite suppression, as well as increased heart rate, low blood pressure and decreased libido.  In fact when I discovered he was on this particular drug, my research revealed it had been banned in many countries because of its links to increased risk of cardiac arrest and that it was in fact contraindicated with anti-depressant SSRI drugs – which he was taking. Basically Fred was on a daily chemical cocktail of upper’s and downer’s that left him with no motivation, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and of course anxiety.  But as far as his Dr’s were concerned Fred’s case was being successfully managed because the severe panic attacks had been brought under control.  Meanwhile Fred was far from functional and struggled to go to work more than a few days a week and spent much of his time in the day sleeping and watching TV and awake much of the night.

When I see a patient, no matter what condition they present with, I conduct a thorough assessment of their eating, sleeping, digestive and lifestyle habits, along with comprhensive pathology testing. In the case of Fred, he was lucky to sleep more than 3  – 4 hrs a night and never before midnight, was constantly constipated – averaging 2 -3 bowel movements a week and ate no more than two meals a day – thanks to the appetite suppressant effects of the pycho-stimulant drug he was taking. But Fred enjoyed a healthy appetite for  beer, averaging 15 cans a day! If you do the math, that’s 105+ units on any given week –  up to a packet of cigarettes a day and consumed a diet based mainly on processed foods and gluten, whether it was from wheat based products or hidden sources in the processed food he was eating. It became very clear Fred wasn’t just a functioning alcoholic, but also a GLUTEN ADDICT and what I describe as an undiagnosed SILENT COELIAC and most likely had been, since he was child, judging by his medical case history. Fred was a high school dropout and had been written off by the conventional schooling system as a lazy, disruptive and unable to learn –  classic ADHD behaviour.

Interestingly enough Fred had never developed a coffee addiction, usually typical with a case like his, because of the action caffeine has on the stimulant hormone dopamine, nor has he ever had a huge appetite for sweet foods, something I expected because of the effects sugar has on the neurotransmitters (brain hormones) serotonin and dopamine. BUT Fred was in fact replacing  sweet foods with alcohol and what could have been expressed as a coffee addiction, was being satisfied by the effects of the pycho-stimulant.  Fred was also addicted to salt which I diagnosed as a symptom of the severe stress his adrenal glands were under, thanks to the effects of the pycho- stimulant drug ( a stronger version of Ritalin).

Pathology revealed he was severely adrenally exhausted (you can read more about adrenal exhaustion here), deficient in essential nutrients such as vitamin D, B12, magnesium, selenium, and essential fatty acids, all critical to the proper functioning of the brain in the form of neurotransmitter and energy production.

In essence Fred’s brain was a walking, talking cluster F*#@ of dysfunctional biochemical reactions, dictated by the effects of his diet, alcohol and nicotine addiction and lifestyle habits, capped off by the effects of the prescription medications. So it was my job as his practitioner to slowly unravel the maze of biochemical chaos that he had been enduring over the years and assist in the rewiring process, through a combination of overhauling his diet, replenishing major nutrient deficiencies and importantly – fixing his gut –  another significant underlying issue contributing to his health predicament.

Now for all Fred’s foibles one thing he did not struggle with was compliance, in fact he turned his addictive personality traits towards a determination to heal his body and be able to function as best he could.  So there was little resistance from him when it came to implementing the exact dietary and nutritional medicine treatment protocols, I prescribed him. The thing that saddened me most about Fred’s case when he first came to me, was the fact not one Dr, therapist or teacher – when he was at school – had ever considered Fred’s diet, lifestyle, or digestive function – or lack of – as playing a part in his condition.  Instead Fred was just medicated more and more heavily, until eventually his symptoms also became a product of his medication.

In my eyes, Fred was a clear cut, text book case for silent Coeliac disease, amongst other things.  Sure he was a pretty good candidate for ADHD, a social alcoholic, which were likely contributing  factors to his anxiety, depression, and associated behaviour, but these conditions / symptoms were  in fact resulting from the fact Fred had an ‘inflamed brain’, which was being triggered by an inflamed gut and these were resulting from severe silent Coeliac disease.

Now because this is a long story and being succinct is not always one of my strong points,  I am going to break it into two parts, so you can read my part II to this post, where I explain about the tell-tale signs that lead me to diagnose Fred as a ‘silent’ coeliac and his inspirational journey to recovery here.

If you or someone you know can relate to Fred’s story so far, I’d love you to share your story below as I believe Fred is not alone in his case and the more people share, the more we can all help each other towards over coming situations like Fred’s and change lives. So don’t be afraid, please speak up and leave a comment below. 🙂 to recovery from anxiety here.

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