New Year, New Resolutions?


Every year, we get a lot of emails (and leaflets!) urging us to pursue lofty new goals in the new year. New year, new life, new skinny body and so on…

It is true that a new year brings with it an almost implicit encouragement to start afresh, leaving behind all the negatives of the past. However, it is also true that most “new year resolutioners” fail. According to U.S. News (possibly not the most reliable source, but the figure matches our own experience), about 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.  This means that you and your new year resolutions will also most likely fail!  

The reason is probably that it is hard to change habits, particularly when we work by ourselves. without any support or without the right tools to improve our health and lives.

1) Failure or Temporary Setback?

If you have ever followed any successful people, you know that “failure” is just a temporary phase before a new effort begins. Successful people look at failure in a different way, they see it as a temporary setback providing data which informs their subsequent efforts.

We too can take note of any temporary setbacks, notice what went wrong, readjust and shoot again for our goals. No beating ourselves up over a temporary setback: it is just wasted time and wasted energy.

As Yoda says in the latest Star Wars movie, “The best teacher, failure is”. In fact, some claim this movie is all about failure….



2) Consider Your Why

Decide why this new goal is important to you.  The bigger and better the “why?”, the easier you will find to commit to it (again and again, as needed). Typical “big why’s” are wanting to enjoy one’s retirement, being able to play with one’s children or grandchildren, making a difference, reducing pain …)

3) Support

Consider professional support. Successful people acquire the right tools (and people) to support them on achieving their goals. When you hire someone who has the right knowledge to hold you accountable, you are more likely to succeed. So invest in the health program. Invest in yourself!  You are worth it and so are your health and goals.

Consider my Pilates training, yoga for stress (and weight) management, vitality circuits for ladies, and my “lifestyle upgrade” educational programme: or contact me to find out how I can support you in achieving your goals.

(Currently) FREE TOOLS to help you make and keep resolutions:


4) Timing

You do not need to wait until a new year to adopt a new goal. Every moment of each day is a new opportunity to start afresh. This is why I have a “new year, new you” leaflet on my main page all year round. Your new year can start from whenever you want, though generally … sooner is better than later.

Let me know how I can support you reach your goals.

Happy New Year!



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It is GRATITUDE Time – Today and Every Day!


It is Thanksgiving today in the US, when families and friends gather to enjoy a (hopefully healthy) meal and reflect on how grateful they are for everything they have. A good tradition indeed!

However, it is important to practice gratitude daily and not just once a year. Why? Because an attitude of gratitude carries significant health benefits!

Health Benefits of Gratitude

Research has shown that people who express positive emotions such as gratitude and appreciation regularly, activate the relaxation response and shut off the stress response among other things!.

Chronic stress is a major determinant of chronic illness. It is said that 90% of visits to the doctor are caused by stress!


Several studies have shown a link between gratitude and a significant increase in energy and vitality.


Feeling grateful helps people sleep better and longer. This has been shown by research in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research . This is likely because “you have more positive thoughts before you go to sleep,” says Seppälä (who was not involved in the study), which may soothe the nervous system.

I would say that practicing gratitude reduces stress and cortisol levels, which reduces sympathetic activation and increases parasympathetic activation, thus improving the amount of good quality sleep.

Hence, counting your blessings, is much more effective than counting sheep!

According to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, spending just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, participants found they slept better and longer.


Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health.  They also exercise more often.

In a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researchers asked people to rate their levels of gratitude, physical health and psychological health. They found positive correlations between gratitude and health-boosting behaviors like exercise and healthy eating, suggesting that giving thanks helps people appreciate and care for their bodies.

Gratitude is linked with less pain and fewer physical symptoms. When we are in a “thankful” mode, we release tension and “trust” the universe. Muscles release, the body can repair and rebuild again. We also make better decision, which links in with the following point…


Gratitude reduces toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.

EMPATHY, NOT REVENGE. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kindly, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback.: they experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.

WILLPOWER. “Gratitude replenishes willpower” (a concept similar to patience) says Susan Peirce Thompson, a cognitive scientist specialising in the psychology of eating.  Thompson claims that cultivating feelings of gratitude can boost your impulse control, helping you slow down and make better decisions. If you find yourself slipping, Thompson recommends leaving the table to jot down a quick list of things you are grateful for, as this can help you clear your mind and reset your willpower.


A 2014 Journal of Applied Sport Psychology study found that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance.

Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons: rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs, grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.


Gratitude reduces stress and even helps overcome trauma.

A 2006 study in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A 2003 study  in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all you have to be thankful for, even during the worst times of your life (such as wars), fosters resilience..


Showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2104 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.

According to a study in the Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology, feeling grateful toward your partner (and the other way round) can improve your relationship in many ways, including feelings of connectedness and overall satisfaction as a couple.

Better social networks are in turn linked to better health, resilience and longevity.


Gratitude leads to much more sustainable forms of happiness [than cake], because it is not … immediate gratification; it’s a frame of mind, says Seppälä.

If you regularly engage in expressing gratitude and thankfulness, you are likely to see results.

HOW DOES IT WORK? (the science bit)

“Gratitude works because, as a way of perceiving and interpreting life, it recruits other positive emotions that have direct physical benefits, most likely through the immune system or endocrine system.”

Research shows that when we think about what we appreciate, the parasympathetic [calming part of the nervous system] is triggered and that can have protective benefits on the body, including decreasing cortisol [“stress”] levels and perhaps increasing oxytocin, the bonding hormone involved in relationships that make us feel so good.


Take-Away Points:

This is a long list of AWESOME results for something that is FREE and takes only a few minutes a day, plus has NO nasty side-effects whatsoever!

  • How often are you currently practicing gratitude?
  • Would you consider starting a gratitude journal, spending 5 minutes a day thinking about and writing down the things you are grateful for in your life?
  • This is a simple way to help yourself, to reduce stress and boost your yealth.
  • Even if you don’t feel grateful by nature, you can learn, starting with little things. It will still benefit you immensely.
  • For more ways to cultivate gratitude, see the Harvard article:



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Roundup Weedkiller Linked To Global Epidemic of Fatal Kidney Disease

Roundup Weedkiller Linked To Global Epidemic of Fatal Kidney Disease

Photo credit: Ed Kashi for La Isla Foundation/VII

The mystery of what is causing thousands to die each year from a fatal kidney disease may now be solved, with evidence pointing to the world’s most heavily used herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) as the primary culprit.

A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health proposes a link between the herbicide known as Roundup (aka glyphosate) and a series of mysterious epidemics of fatal chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu) affecting several poor farming regions around the world.

The extent of the health problem is so massive that the Center for Public Integrity found that CKDu has killed more people in El Salvador and Nicaragua than diabetes, AIDS and leukemia combined, over the past 5 years on record.

Titled, “Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka?,” researchers hypothesized that while glyphosate is toxic, it alone is not capable of destroying kidney tissue on the scale recently observed in rice paddy regions of Northern Sri Lanka, or in El Salvador where it is the second leading cause of death among men. They propose glyphosate becomes extremely toxic to the kidney when it mixes with ‘hard’ water or heavy metals like arsenic and cadmium, either naturally present in the soil or added externally through fertilizer inputs. Hard water contains ‘metals,’ such as calcium, magnesium, strontium and iron, along with carbonate, bicarbonate, sulphate and chlorides.

The new hypothesis explains a number of observations connected with the disease, including why in afflicted regions like Sri Lanka there has been a strong association between the consumption of hard water and the occurrence of this special kidney disease, with 96% of CKDu patients having consumed hard or very hard water for at least five years.

The image below shows how closely water hardness and the prevalence of CKDu overlap:

The discovery of a ‘new disease’

According to the study, a “Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown etiology (CKDu)” was discovered among the rice paddy farms in Northern Central Province of Sri Lanka in the mid-1990s.  The condition spread quickly to other farming areas, and now afflicts 15% of working age people in the northern part of the country, or a total population of 400,000 patients with an estimated death toll of around 20,000. Watch the videos “Mystery in the Fields” and “Cycle of Death” for 5 minute documentaries providing additional background information on afflicted areas around the world.

CKDu does not carry the same known risk factors as chronic kidney disease, which include diabetes, high blood pressure and glomerular nephritis, an inflammatory kidney condition. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Health introduced criteria for CKDu in 2009, including:

  1. No past history of, or current treatment for diabetes mellitus or chronic and/or severe hypertension, snake bites, urological disease of known etiology or glomerulonephritis.
  2. Normal glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbA1C ˂ 6.5%).
  3. Blood pressure ˂160/100 mmHg untreated or ˂140/90 mmHg on up to two 
antihypertensive agents.

Owing to the fact that geographical and socioeconomical factors play such a central role in determining risk, it has been assumed that environmental and occupational factors are the main causative agents and therefore that CKDu is a form of toxic nephropathy, i.e. chemically-induced damage. The authors point out that even the World Health Organization conducted studies to determine  the origin of CKDu, and that the general consensus is the disease as multiple causes, including:

  • Exposure to arsenic
  • Exposure to cadmium
  • Exposure to pesticides
  • Consumption of hard water
  • Low water intake
  • Exposure to high temperatures (and resultant dehydration)

The authors, however, propose: “Whatever hypothesis that is propounded should be able to answer the questions as to why CKDu is confined to certain geographical areas of Sri Lanka and why there was no CKDu in Sri Lanka prior to the 1990s.”

Roundup Weedkiller (Glyphosate) The Likely Culprit

The study goes on to detail how since 1977 political changes in Sri Lanka lead to large scale importation and application of agrochemicals, especially for rice paddy farming. They propose that 12-15 years of cumulative exposure to low concentration kidney-damaging compounds, along with their increasing bioaccumulation within the environment and human body, could explain the sudden appearance in the 1990’s of clinically identifiable CKDu.  They hypothesized the existence of a so-called Compound “X” as the incriminating agent, which they determined would have to have the following characteristics:

  • A compound made of recently (2–3 decades) introduced chemicals to the CKDu endemic area.
  • Ability to form stable complexes with hard water.
  • Ability to capture and retain arsenic and nephrotoxic metals and act as a “carrier” 
in delivering these toxins to the kidney.
  • Possible multiple routes of exposure: ingestion, dermal and respiratory absorption.
  • Not having a significant first pass effect when complexed with hard water.
  • Presenting difficulties in identification when using conventional analytical methods.

Following an extensive search they arrived at glyphosate, which is the most widely used herbicide in Sri Lanka, as the likely culprit. They describe how glyphosate’s half-life can increase from several weeks in normal water to many years in hard water, as it forms hard to biodegrade glyphosate-metal complexes (GMCs).  GMC exposure can happen in two ways: consumption of contaminated hard water, or it can form within the human body following glyphosate’s entry into circulation. Farmers (and their families) are at constant risk of exposure through skin or inhalation, in addition to untreated drinking water.

The study describes in depth the way in which GMCs may evade the liver’s detoxification mechanisms and damage the kidneys. This is in addition to the over 20 distinct modes of toxicity we have indexed on the database on glyphosate harms.

Finally, the authors discuss evidence that glyphosate may be behind similar epidemics of chronic kidney disease of unknown cause in Central American countries of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and India.

To read the entire open access study visit this link:

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One Apple a Day… BUT: Pesticide-Free + With Peel


Fresh, crunchy apples

It is October and apples abound everywhere.

They are crispy and tangy, lovely stuff, particularly when fresh (like now) and from your own (or a friend’s) garden and when free from pesticides.

Need some more reasons to consume apples?

  • Apples reduce cancer risk

An Italian study with over 7600 participants, eating one or more apples every day was associated with a reduced cancer risk compared with eating less than one apple a day. The biggest reductions were seen in cancers of the mouth and throat, larynx, colon/rectum and oesophagus (Ann Oncol, 2005; 16: 1841-4).

  • Apples might protect against cancer

In one Hawaiian study, there was a 40-50% lower lung-cancer risk in participants with the highest intakes of apples, onions and white grapefruit compared with those who consumed the lowest amounts of these foods. The decreased risk in lung cancer was seen in both men and women and in almost all ethnic groups (J Natl Cancer Inst, 2000; 92: 154-60).

University of Wisconsin research found that apple peel (high in antioxidants, known to have anticancer effects) can slow the growth of prostate and breast cancer cells.

Green tea is also helpful. Both green tea and apples are rich in polyphenols, compounds that have a protective effect which blocks a signalling molecule called VEGF. This molecule is the main driver of angiogenesis (blood vessel formation responsible for cancer growth), as well as the build-up of plaque in artery walls, which has been seen as the cause of heart attacks and strokes. This process is not a theory: it was actually observed by researchers from the Norwich BioScience Institute in blood samples. The polyphenols also activate another enzyme that helps promote nitric oxide in the blood, which helps widen blood vessels and prevents arterial damage.

  • Apples promote cardiovascular health

Research at Florida State University randomly assigned 160 postmenopausal women to one of two groups: one ate 75 g of dried apple per day (equivalent to two medium-sized apples); the other ate the same amount of dried plums (prunes).After six months, the dried-apple group had:

  • Eating apples might prevent strokes. A decade-long study in The Netherlands discovered that eating white fruits and vegetables, such as apples, pears and cauliflower, basically halved the risk of stroke. On the other hand, green, orange/yellow and red/purple fruits and vegetables were not linked to stroke incidence, the researchers found (Stroke, 2011; 42: 3190-5).
  • Apples effect on heart health may be partly due to quercetin, a potent antioxidant present in apples, onions, berries, red wine and other foods and drinks (but apples are a better souce). Research has shown that as quercetin intake increases, the risk of heart disease decreases (Adv Nutr, 2012; 3: 39-46).
  • 24% reduction in LDL, or ‘bad’, cholesterol levels compared with levels when they started the trial (J Acad Nutr Diet, 2012; 112: 1158-68).
  • a) significantly lower total cholesterol levels than in the prune group
  • b) better cardiovascular results might be obtained adding green tea to apple consumption
  • Apples can help reduce weight

Eating an apple before a meal could help you lose weight, according to some evidence. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University discovered that people who ate an apple 15 minutes before lunch consumed 15% fewer calories than those who ate nothing beforehand and ate less than those who had apple juice or apple sauce.Feeling of fullness: there is something about the whole solid fruit, not just the fibre, that is important for the satiating effect (Appetite, 2009; 52: 416-22). So, eat your apples whole for full benefits.

  • Apples can help reduce blood sugar and diabetes risk

In another study, 411 overweight women with high cholesterol were told to eat either an apple, pear or oat cookie three times a day for 12 weeks. Results: the participants who ate fruit (apples or pears) had significant weight loss (1.22 kg) after 12 weeks, whereas those eating the oat cookies saw no significant weight loss. Fruit eaters also had significantly lower blood glucose levels compared with the cookie eaters (Nutrition, 2003; 19: 253-6).

In a study about flavonoid intake, apples were the only flavonoid-rich food associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Women eating one or more apples a day had a 28% lower risk of having type 2 diabetes compared with those who ate no apples. The results could be due to antioxidant compounds in apples such as catechins (also found in green tea), beta-carotene and vitamin C  (J Am Coll Nutr, 2005; 24: 376-84).

A 2015 study involving 200,000 men and women also found that apples reduced diabetes risk, although it concluded that blueberries and pears also had similar protective effects (Am J Clin Nutr, 2012; 95: 925-33).

  • Apples reduce asthma risk

Utrecht University (NL) published a study of over 1,200 children and their mothers showing that women who eat apples during pregnancy might be able to protect their children against developing asthma.Results showed that apples were the only food (among fruit, vegetables, fruit juice, wholegrain productgs, fish, dairy products and fat spreads) that was beneficially associated with asthma. The mums who ate the most apples during pregnancy were significantly less likely to have a child with asthma or wheeze than those who ate the least apples (Thorax, 2007; 62: 773-9).

Another study (this time of 1601 young adults in Australia) reported that apple and pear intakes were associated with a decreased risk of asthma and a reduction in hypersensitivity of the lungs (‘bronchial hyperreactivity’). On the other hand, total fruit and vegetable intake was not associated with asthma risk or severity, so this protection seems to be apple and pear specific (Am J Clin Nutr, 2003; 78: 414-21).

  • Apples for Alzheimer’s, Osteoporosis and Gastro-Intestinal Problems

A 2011 comprehensive review of studies on the health effects of the humble apple concluded that apples may even help to guard against developing Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and gastro-intestinal problems (Adv Nutr, 2011; 2: 408-20).


Eat your daily apple (at least one). Your health will benefit.


  1. A type you will consume.

2. A type that is high in phenolic compounds

Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) researchers concluded that the antioxidant activity of apples differed from one variety to another and was positively associated with the level of phenolics – in other words, the apple varieties with the higher levels of phenolics tended to have greater antioxidant activity (Nutr J, 2004; 3: 5).

Of the 10 most commonly consumed varieties in the US, Fuji apples had the highest total phenolic and flavonoid compounds, followed closely by Red Delicious, Northern Spy and Gala, whereas Cortland and Empire apples were among the varieties with the lowest amounts of phenolics and flavonoids.

3. Avoid pesticides

Please note that non-organic red delicious are often the most loaded with pesticides! And in general, 80% of apples have pesticides residues on them, so apples from your own (or your neighbour’s!) garden, apples from sources you trust or buy organic.


Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2015; 59(3): 401



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Caffeine – is it good for us?


Caffeine and Insulin

* Caffeine affects insulin sensitivity, which may protect you from developing Type 2 diabetes,

* However, if you already have diabetes, caffeine can cause a rise in blood glucose

Caffeine in Non-Diabetics
A 2011 cross-sectional study published in “Diabetalogia” investigated the effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on insulin sensitivity in a group of non-diabetics. The study showed a positive relationship between caffeine and insulin sensitivity.

Caffeine on Type 2 Diabetic Men
A 2004 study published in the “Journal of Nutrition” tested the effects of caffeine on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar in a group of men with Type 2 diabetes. This study found that, while caffeine increased blood insulin levels, it did not improve blood sugars. In fact, blood sugars were elevated following the ingestion of caffeine.

Tags: caffeine, diabetes, insulin

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Aluminium + Glyphosate (Roundup)? Anxiety, depression, autism, coeliac disease


How aluminum and glyphosate (Roundup) collaborate to cause anxiety, depression, autism and celiac disease

Dr. Stephanie Seneff,
Senior Research Scientist,
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Dr. Stephanie Seneff – Toxic effects of glyphosate – YouTube

– Glyphosate (Roundup) is sprayed on wheat even right before the harvest. This (at least partly) explains the epidemic in gluten intolerance, particularly in the US

– Glyphosate disrupts gut bacteria causing a deficiency in beneficial bacteria and an overgrowth of pathogenic forms

– Glyphosate depletes minerals like cobalt, zinc, molybdenum, and manganese by caging them; and thus it depletes serotonin and GABA levels, leading to symptoms of anxiety and depression

– Glyphosate disrupts cytochrome P450 enzymes in the gut and liver, with devastating health consequences

Two key problems in autism (unrelated to the brain yet clearly associated with the condition) are both linked with glyphosate exposure:

  • gut dysbiosis, and
  • disrupted sulfur metabolism/impaired sulfate transport
Glyphosate & Autism -

Glyphosate & Autism –




Tags: anxiety, depression, autism, coeliac, glyphosate, Roundup

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HPV vaccine – Good News?


Don’t we need protection against the HPV virus?

The HPV virus has NOT yet been proven to cause cervical cancer

  • Only “remnants” (“fossils”) of the HPV virus have been found in women with cervical cancer. This is at most an association, and does not prove causation.
  • Some scientists point out that humanity has successfully dealt with genital warts for thousands of years simply thanks to the immune system.

The HPV vaccine has not been proven to reduce cervical cancer incidence

The HPV vaccine has already given rise to extremely serious side effects (including deaths and paralysis) worldwide

  • So much so that some countries (like Japan) have halted their vaccination programme

In short:

why are the “powers that be” forcing this dangerous vaccine on unsuspecting young women when its need has NOT been clearly established and when the safety of this vaccine is so strongly in doubt, given the high rate of very serious side effects?

Are we sacrificing young maidens for “the greater good”? Find out more here:

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Arthritis Due to Aging or “Wear and Tear”? Think Again!


Ever been to the doctor with some kind of joint pain just to be told that it is “just wear and tear” (*shrug*)? I would probably be a millionaire if I had a tenner for each person that told me a story along these lines.

And yet, arthritis (particularly of the knee) is not just something that happens when we get older. Instead, new research suggests it is a preventable disease.

Arthritis has little to do with ageing or even ‘wear and tear’—instead, it is more likely to be caused by environmental factors, such as air pollution.

While cases of arthritis have doubled in the past hundred years, this epidemic is NOT due to us living longer or being heavier, which are just untested assumptions. (Read on…)

Researchers from Harvard University inspected the skeletons of 1,581 people from the 19th century who were aged 50 or over. They then compared them to those of 819 similar people who lived in the 20th century. After taking into account age and body mass index (BMI, a standard measure of obesity / overweight), it turned out that cases of knee arthritis had doubled in the later group, meaning neither age nor body weight are associated with the increase, and that this increase has to do with something else instead.

Big differences between the two centuries include the rise of industry and pollution, two world wars but also progressively more sedentary jobs and a change in agricultural and dietary practices which may well have had more of an impact on the disease than aging or weight increase.

It is also interesting to know:

  • Numerous studies have failed to find a direct relationship between pain and age.
  • Many chronic pain disorders occur less frequently with advancing age according to population studies.
  • Migraine pain, as well as low back, neck, and facial pain, is less common among older adults that it is among their younger counterparts.
  • Pain does not always progress. In a large cohort of patients with peripheral joint osteoarthritis, radiographic joint space narrowing worsened over 3 years, but this did not correlate consistently with worsening pain
  • The degree of pain experienced is more strongly associated with depression in older patients compared with younger adults. This may indicate another alternative explanation for factors involved in the arthritis epidemic.

How to avoid arthritis?

  • Eat well, mainly plant foods and ideally organic
  • Avoid / cut down on sugar and processed foods (particularly omega 6 fatty acids).
  • Avoid pesticide and chemical exposure in the air, food/water and on your skin
  • Exercise (particularly in a group, check out our Leicester classes!)
  • Practice gratitude – stay positive
  • Maintain a good social network

Holistic Fitness Consultant


(Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017; 10.1073/pnas.1703856114)

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Why is staying active this summer vitally important?


By guest editor: Keisha Coggins

Keeping the body moving is vital through all seasons, however summer tends to be the time where we relax the most. Despite knowing the benefits of rest during this period, to keep off the aches and pains is best done while we are active through these summer months.

Here are a few insights of the effects of inactivity versus activity.


  • Inactivity amongst individuals is the leading cause of deaths in developed countries. (WHO, 2002)
  • One study analyzed the global effect of inactivity on the increase of diseases. The researchers estimated that physical inactivity accounts for 6% of the burden of heart disease, 7% of type 2 diabetes, 10% of breast cancer, and 10% of colon cancer. Inactivity also causes 9% of premature mortality. These staggering statistics put the true dangers associated with inactivity into a global perspective. 
  • Studies have found that people who spend more time each day watching television, sitting, or riding in cars have a greater chance of dying early than people who are more active.


  • Getting regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. It lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, and it can also help control stress, improve sleep, boost mood, keep weight in check, and reduce the risk of falling and improve cognitive function in older adults.
  • Regular physical activity helps the body function better – it keeps heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other diseases at bay, and is a key component for losing weight.
  • Research has found that physical exercise has been valuable in the prevention of cognitive impairment, dementia in old age and has shown a “positive impact on brain metabolism… and general mood and sleep” (Mantura et al 2017)

Summer is a great time to utilise the weather and any outdoor sports or classes that will be running. Keeping active will be one of the best decisions you can make this summer.

Keisha   Keisha_LetsDoLeicester_250w

Emanuela’s comment:

Thank you, Keisha!

Cartwheels at the beach are great for some!  If are nowhere near a beach (or don’t want to risk a cartwheel), walking outdoors, especially in green areas, and playing in the park (or garden, if you have one), are great options to stay active and promote health this summer.

Involve the whole family! Make it a game…

For more structured exercise options, remember that we are keeping our classes going over the summer: Pilates and yoga are running throughout the summer and tai chi and vitality circuits are also available most of the summer!

Holistic Fitness Consultant


Dunstan, D.W., et al., Television viewing time and mortality: the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Circulation, 2010. 121(3): p. 384-91.

Matura, S. et al (2017) ‘Effects of aerobic exercise on brain metabolism and grey matter volume in older adults: results of the randomised controlled SMART trial,’ in Translational Psychiatry, 2017; 7 (7): e1172 DOI:10.1038/tp.2017.135

Patel, A.V., et al., Leisure time spent sitting in relation to total mortality in a prospective cohort of US adults. Am J Epidemiol, 2010. 172(4): p. 419-29.

van der Ploeg, H.P., Chey, T., Ding, D., Chau, J.Y., Stamatakis, E., Bauman, A.E. Standing time and all-cause mortality in a large cohort of Australian adults. Prev Med, 2014. 69C:187-191. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.10.004.

World Health Organisation, (2002), Reducing Risks and Promoting Healthy Life, Online: 31st July 2017 Access at

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Merck Admits… Shingles Vaccine Can Cause Eye Damage AND Shingles


Merck Pharmaceutical’s shingles vaccine “Zostavax” was introduced in 2006

It was soon recognised that the vaccine could cause chickenpox. A study showed that, within ten minutes of being vaccinated with the shingles vaccine, Zostavax, 50% of those who had taken part in the study had skin samples testing positive for Zostavax VZV DNA, and could potentially infect unvaccinated individuals with chicken pox. So much for unvaccinated individuals putting others at risk! [1]

In August 2014, another side effect was added: shingles! You could not make this up. The vaccine that has always been aggressively marketed to prevent seniors from contracting this excruciating condition was found to actually cause shingles in some individuals. [2]

In February 2016, the FDA approved the addition to the label warning of another potential Zostavax vaccine side effect: “Eye Disorders: necrotizing retinitis”. [2]

Necrotizing retinitis and keratitis cause inflammation and scarring of the eye tissue and can lead to permanent vision loss, unless treated quickly. WebMD reports that:

  • 20 individuals (children and adults) developed keratitis within a month of receiving a chickenpox or shingles vaccine.
  • Keratitis symptoms for adults developed within 24 days of vaccination, while
  • symptoms in children began within 14 days of vaccination.

“Researchers concluded there is a probable relationship between the vaccine and the eye inflammation”. Worryingly, researchers do not know why the shingles shot may cause keratitis, though the condition has been linked to autoimmune disorders. 

The connection between vaccines and autoimmune disease has been widely acknowledged, most recently by medical researchers worldwide in a compilation of studies published in 2015 in the medical textbook, Vaccines & Autoimmunity

“UCLA researchers found that only one in 175 people who get the vaccine will be able to dodge a shingles flare-up”[2]. 

  • Merck claims Zostavax is 50% effective: in the placebo group, 3.3 percent of the study participants developed shingles, compared to 1.6 percent in the vaccine group. These are quite low incidences. So, while that is a 50% difference,
  • the real, absolute risk reduction is just 1.7 percentage points. That is peanuts!

Side Effects

According to its current warning label, Zostovax’s most common side effects are “headache, redness, pain, itching, swelling, hard lump, warmth, or bruising where the shot was given.”  However, more serious “side effects” include:

  • allergic reactions, which may be serious and may include difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • chickenpox
  • fever
  • hives at the injection site
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • nausea
  • rash
  • rash at the injection site
  • shingles
  • swollen glands near the injection site (that may last a few days to a few weeks)

And these are only the recognised ones!

In the meantime, pharmaceutical companies get paid $150-$300 a shot for this seriously questionable shingles vaccine that can give you shingles!




Posted in Eye Disorders, Older Adult, Shingles, Vaccines | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment