I remember all the fad diets that was so prevalent in the late 20th century – the Atkins diet – the business man’s diet - the grapefruit diet and many more. It was almost obligatory for any woman who took pride in herself – to have a body like Twiggy. And by the mid 1980's – men followed suit, and if you did not frequent a gym and looked like Charles Atlas – you were not acceptable. We stuffed ourselves with everything from salad leaves to strange concoctions of flaxseed and yoghurt flavoured with green powder, testosterone, amphetamines and ephedrines (remember Nobise?) and other chemicals – all to no avail, as our weight seemed to be like a yo-yo simply oscillating up and down. In our own eyes – we were still “fat” or “ugly” and should look like the fashion magazine front cover model. 

Although this has changed to a large degree - this skewed perception of social acceptability still has a rebound effect on us – psychological as well as physical. We are talking belief systems and general framework of reference – and these sometimes refuse to budge from our cellular memory. It is firmly entrenched and will take a miracle to dislodge. Not helping this condition (?) is our fast paced lifestyles, convenience food culture and socio-economic conditions – we simply cannot afford good food. Or so we thought. 

Health is the responsibility and choice of the individual – you choose between being well or not well. Fad diets will always be there as part of a money making system – it is designed to pique interest through clever advertising and efficacy claims, endorsed by a couple of notables, and viola you have a money spinner product or publication. This is unfortunately the truth. It has become a business model with strong overtones of cultism. Because – like it or not, looking good, or feeling good about yourself, is important in the total spectrum of wellness perception. It is therefore important that any healthcare practitioner minister not only good health – but also positive mental, psychological and physical self -regard. 

Self inflicted low grade depression as a result of negative self-regard is becoming endemic – and it is the result of social and environmental pressure brought along by our forebears. We all know the old Sufi proverb – “give me a baby and I will hand you the man at age 7”. Nothing can be more true than this – if we look at the developmental stages of Erikson we can clearly see how belief systems are hatched during these developmental years. If mother thinks she is fat and ugly – we will accept that as truth and may develop the same belief system about ourselves – simply because mother is going to project it upon us – at some stage, or some vindictive bully at school tells us we are fat and ugly and will never meet a special person. If we then adopt this as truth – well, a disaster is brewing. There will be some reaction to these statements later on in life. And – it is an unconscious adoption of a belief system, ensuring that we mostly remain unaware of our own actions. 


It may be for many reasons that the ego causes this adoption – and we will not venture there now, but suffice to say, it influences our social interactions to such an extent that it may make us socially dysfunctional, unable to build strong healthy relationships and live with authenticity. 


This makes the task of the health care practitioner so much more difficult – and may explain why ethno medicine practitioners need to be all rounders. Counselling a client is a major process of any recovery diet. It may even require a counsellor to find, through subtle questioning techniques, the actual traumatic event where the belief system had it origin – the “a-frame event” as I call it. Many people are obese because of emotional trauma as well as physiological distress – and their dietary and physical/emotional habits and behaviour patterns will reflect this. We all know the possible manifestations of trying to deal with trauma and the power of unconscious defence mechanisms – and overeating and physical under activity is certainly some of them, driven by emotional mechanisms.


The question still remains – how do we help those that knock on our doors for help with weight management? In the preceding paragraphs I have tried to explain a little bit about the actual reasons we become obese – which is psycho-somatic in most cases. Here are the culprits in our nutritional processes and metabolism:


Convenience foods 

Bread and wheat

Hydrogenated Vegetable oils 

Pasteurized Milk products 

Refined sugar 

Consider that a normal hamburger contains all of the above – and that every food product that you purchase from a fast food outlet – contains at least 3 of those components.

Consider the following as well. Vegetable oils (excluding olive and coconut) melts at a higher temperature than your normal body temperature.. You now have a substance that is still solid in the body – in other words, it is not water soluble in the body. This has the following result; your cells get smothered by a film of oil which cannot be dissolved by the body – simply because it is still in a solid atomic/molecular state. Once this happens – the body has already released tons of insulin to carry the sugars extracted from the ingested food to the cells for metabolism to commence – and the cells now – cannot get access to the sugar because of being coated in oil. The only thing the mitochondria (which manufactures the cells energy) can do – is to revert to fermentation for its energy – and a viscous process ensues. Ketone bodies are now trapped - and the ATP/Krebs cycle function of the mitochondria is disrupted. 

The liver now converts the excess sugar into fats – and stores this in the body because the cells thinks that there is a shortage of food. As you dip further into that packet of chips and hamburger, with a coke on the side – you fuel this condition and sooner or later you are obese, and you start developing diabetes myelitis type 2. In short – the body has decided that there is a possible famine and it needs to store each and every little bit of fat it can to help in lean times.  

So many individuals are gluten (actually glutinous protein) intolerant and are not aware of it. Gluten also lines the small intestine walls – as does casein in milk, and disallows absorption of nutrients into the body. It does worse in the ileum and duodenum – which is responsible for absorption of Vitamin B12 and iron respectively. These are essential for our system – and without it we can suffer from a lack of red blood cells and neural disorders can occur. 

So both milk (casein) and wheat (bread – gluten – yeast) are potentially bad for us – simply because modern baking techniques and flour bleaching has now excluded iodine (which kills pathogens and manages the total metabolism of the physical system) in favor of bromine (which is a dangerous preservative and pesticide). Milk is bad because all the beneficial flora and growth factors in the milk has been killed by radiation and pasteurization. It is even illegal to sell or consume non pasteurized milk. 

So – by now you have gathered that we do not get enough iodine – which is essential for normal cellular metabolism and hormone secretion/functioning. You would also notice that pro-biotics – thirty years ago abundant in milk – is now absent, because the pasteurization process destroys it. You now have to rely on yogurt to get some fermented lactobilii into the gut ecology, or rely on freeze dried pro-biotics which are only 30% effective. And to make it worse – the pH of the stomach (which is very acid) destroys most of these beneficial flora before it reaches the small intestine. 

The problem with this is the meeting of sugars and bread (yeast) in the stomach – it promotes the growth of bad-boy flora – like candida albicans, which eventually over-runs the good flora and causes more problems with absorption. Eventually, candida albicans may become a systemic invasion with the result that the total body ecology is affected. 

You now have a situation where the body extracts protein and amino acids from the meat protein in the stomach (which is acid), and no nutrients from the small intestines (which is alkaline). This causes an imbalance in the total gut ecology – and symbiosis (which is a natural balancing process) is disrupted. What ensues is dysbiosis. The very complex interplay of nutrient/vitamin/mineral absorption is disrupted, and malnutrition is the result. 

The body reacts to this by trying to adapt to the process – causing serious health issues, the most prominent of them Syndrome X – or Metabolic Syndrome. Symptoms includes obesity, cardiovascular decline, arthritis, leaky gut syndrome, yeast overgrowth, calcium re-uptake syndrome and the onset of diabetes type 2, to name but a few. 

This is where the recovery diet kicks in – tailored to correct these life threatening conditions and restore balance to the total ecology of the organism. Correcting this imbalance is easy – and should not really be called a diet. It is more a habit change brought on by social conditioning – and reassertion of a healthy lifestyle consisting of moderate exercise, food content changes and corrective supplemental orthomoleculars, can make us feel better, perform better and be healthy. 

At Nu-Life Wellness we can help you set sensible targets, implemented at your own pace which will have a positive effect on your general health and well being. It is not uncommon to observe dramatic changes in the overall physical state of clients within weeks – given they adhere to the recommendations. Positive physical and emotional changes are guaranteed – as the process of consultation also has a psychological counselling component which prepares the client with an infusion of positive energy and couching. 


Wellness is our human right – ignoring it because of fear of change, is like signing your own death warrant and succumbing to detrimental health conditions willingly. This, according to the WHO (World Health Organization) is becoming an epidemic – in short, almost 70% of westerners now suffer from Metabolic Syndrome, a condition that can be avoided. This robs us of “positive affect”, a new psychological umbrella term that describes physical, mental and emotional wellness.

So eat right, shape up and be healthy! You will not believe the change in your general physical and mental condition. Naturally and without side effects! The proviso – it has to be a conscious decision and you are guaranteed success. 

Visit us at shop 31a Pretty Gardens Centre in Bloemfontein for more information.