Browsing Tag


Nourish your Body

Have you been Doctored?

December 2015

“We have been taught our whole lives to be consumers of modern medicine.”

Dr Andrew Saul

Why is it we believe whatever a doctor says is gospel?  Why is it that doctors are put on a pedestal by society that their opinion is taken as fact?   How often do you seek out a second opinion after you have received a diagnosis?   How often have you blindly accepted the prescription written out for you and just taken the pills because the doctor told you to…?

I am not a fan of the medical profession….   Modern medicine certainly has its place particularly in emergency situations or if surgery is required however most doctors simply treat symptoms (usually with drugs) and rarely do they dig deeper to find the underlying cause (how can they when they give you 15 minutes…)  They also, like all of us, have certain beliefs and views which are based on the particular line of study they have chosen to undertake.

Prior to the marvels of modern medicine what we now call “alternate” medicine was the only way to treat any ailment or illness.  Using herbs and food was all our ancestors had available to resolve health issues and in many cases they did.  There is no doubt that with the advent of modern medicine (which was only some  200 years ago by the way) we have now conquered many fatal diseases however outside fatal there is still very much a firm place for addressing some health issues simply through food and supplementation.  How often do we consider this first?

Some doctors have provided us, and continue to provide us, with truly miraculous cures and back in the 1800s they would have appeared to be gods.  Just imagine 1,000s of people dying of the plague and then a doctor comes along with a cure that stops nearly all deaths!  Perhaps this is the reason that we have elevated all doctors to this god like status.

Recently I had a little medical issue with the women’s only area of the body as all us girls encounter at some time in our life.  I do have a wonderful GP that I have seen for 5 years within a medical practise that I have attended for 10 years.  Yes; despite my view on the medical profession I do believe it is important for my health to have a good doctor that knows me and my medical history.  I rarely visit the doctor’s office but as my health is my number one priority in life when I do need a doctor I want it to be the best possible.

My doctor is not one to try and diagnose outside her capacity as a GP and will refer me on to a specialist immediately without delay if she feels I need a more specialist care.   She also refers me to the best of the best; she is well connected and keeps up to date with her profession to ensure quality referrals and care for her patients.  She also ensures I have all the necessary tests done prior to my specialist’s appointment so bloods, ultrasound etc.  She’s a good doctor!  Of course she is, she is my doctor 🙂

I waited 6 weeks for my gynecologist appointment.   Who looked at my test results asked me a few questions gave me only one option to resolve my issues, which was a hysterectomy, and then proceeded to tell me that as I am a bodybuilder she would not touch me!  She advised that it would seriously damage my pelvic floor which would make lifting heavy very difficult for me.  Really?  This is all in a matter of 15 minutes!

I walked out seriously confused and perplexed.  With the issues I was having there was potential that I would not be able to achieve my fitness goals for 2016 and yet if I take the only option offered to me I would not achieve my goals anyway.

This wasn’t the first time the medical profession had told me that my weight lifting days were over.  Back in 2013 prior to my second competition I was told the same thing.  My knees were causing me so much pain I was having difficulty with every day activities like going to the bathroom….  I went to bed every night with pain killers and ice.  I was having 10 glucose injections in each knee weekly plus physio, baths; I was in serious pain!  I was told I had knees of an 80 year old and the only solution was two knee replacements and that my training would consist of swimming for the rest of my life.  Pfffffft!

Prior to the internet access to alternate treatments, opinions, options could only be obtained by seeking out a second opinion.   We even call it opinion rather than fact and yet we rarely seek it out!  I know googling symptoms is not always a pleasant experience but given we now have access to endless amounts of information on any topic why do we not use it?   Seeing a second specialist can be a serious hassle; obtaining another referral, waiting for the appointment, the cost, etc.  But isn’t our health kinda worth it?

I started asking around a few people both in the fitness and alternate therapy field and was receiving conflicting information.   If you ask enough people about any illness or ailment you will receive conflicting information and this alone should warrant seeking second opinions and further investigation rather than just accepting what the first doctor you see recommends shouldn’t it?  Doctors are no different to all of us, they have their own beliefs and views and really, unless your life is in danger or you need surgery isn’t it worth obtaining an opinion from someone who doesn’t administer drugs for a living? (and often gets paid commission from the drug companies…)

I decided to go back to my GP and ask for another referral.  Lucky for me my doctor knows me well; she knows I am just a tad determined and tenacious when it comes to my training 🙂  And to point, it is always good to have a GP that not only knows your health but knows your character.    So with the knowledge that maybe a hysterectomy is needed she refers me to the Head of Gynaecology at a private hospital.

Yes; more time to wait, yes more expense, as I am a private patient, but I would rather spend the money on the best health care possible than a Prada handbag….  Or the latest iPhone 6…  And for me, I needed to explore all avenues before I was prepared to give up my fitness goals.

So my new gynecologist looked at my ultrasound results, blood tests and gave me two options to resolve my issues…  With a hysterectomy being the last resort!  He explained that just whipping out organs is an old school approach and he would recommend a much smaller, less evasive, less expensive, day surgery procedure prior to making a decision on a hysterectomy.  He also recommended that given my symptoms are escalating rapidly that the procedure be done sooner rather than later.    And on the point of damaging my pelvic floor, for either option, and giving up weight lifting?  He responded professionally but I could see in his facial reaction that he thought the first opinion was complete waffle.   He said your pelvic floor is intact as you have not had children and he could assure me he would be keeping it that way…

Just think of the impact to me, my body and my life if I had accepted the first opinion.  In this case, I could not turn to alternate medicine to resolve my issues however I can still ensure the medical profession is working for my best interests.    If you have not watched the documentary Doctored yet I highly recommend you do.   The truth about the pharmaceutical industry and the influence they have on the medical profession will shock you.  Click here to watch now!

“The medical profession just treat disease. They don’t go back to the primary cause of a lot of things, because they can’t.”

Dr Ian Brighthope from Food Matters

Nourish your Body

Health is Wealth

October 2015

“Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingrediants, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise”

Mike Adams – Hungry for Change

Have you factored in additional savings for retirement to cover health care costs? I am serious. You may have planned for a certain level of income when you retire but have you added additional savings for potential health care costs?  Or are you going to rely on the overloaded Medicare system?  Or maybe the aim should be to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible….?

​I grew up in an age where we worshiped the sun.   I was taken to the beach every weekend in the summer where my mother would sun bake and us kids would play.  All day mind you.  Sunscreen was never used, rather we would lather ourselves in baby oil to ensure a deeper, faster tan.    This later morphed into me being an adult obsessed with having a tan and I was a no sunscreen beach bunny for some 38 years.  Being tanned in summer was a must; you were considered unhealthy if you weren’t. 

​Today, although many still seek out a tan, we are warned and educated of the connection between skin cancer and sun exposure.  Government funded as well as businesses promoting sunscreen products are everywhere you turn during the summer months.  Schools now insist on children wearing hats to protect from the sun in the playground.  So where was all this hullabaloo when I was a child?

​Go back to my parents’ generation and they were brought up to believe that smoking was cool.  It projected an image of confidence and charisma; everyone smoked!   Gosh even when I started working in the mid 80’s we all had ash trays on our desks!  Smoking was socially acceptable and once again a part of life.  So where was all the truly disgusting warnings of the dangers of smoking we have today?

​I highlight these two examples to not only show how society has changed but also how heavily influenced we are by marketing, advertising and the media.  The medical community may have been aware of the dangers of excessive sun exposure and smoking but it wasn’t until too many of us starting getting seriously ill and dying that the messages we were being given were forced to change.  I think we are all well aware of the legal issues tobacco companies have faced.

The current wave of misleading messages comes from the food industry and we are now beginning to see the repercussions and serious illness of a poor diet.  Serious repercussions!   The technological age we now live in has seen us demand everything in life faster and faster; this includes food preparation.  We no longer have the time our grandparents did to prepare a healthy, wholesome meal from scratch so we grab a frozen TV dinner or packet noodles or canned whatever or take away on the way home.   But who is policing the ingredients of this fast food?  The business who is trying to profit from your purchase….?  How do you really know there is nothing harmful in this man-made, processed, manufactured, pretend food?   Does the manufacturer even know?  Do you recognise and understand all the substances that are on the ingredient list?

“The problem is we are not eating food anymore, we are eating food like substances.”

Dr Alejandro Junger

​We tend to forget that our bodies are almost identical to our stone age ancestors.  Do you recall seeing supermarkets and packaged food in the history books….?  And while the human race has come a long, long way our bodies have not modified much for thousands of years.   Our poor bodies just don’t know how to digest and process all these foreign substances.   You have to give it to this incredible, miraculous machine we own though; it tries damn hard to process all these toxins, some it does and some it stores until it can figure out how to.  And guess where most of these toxins are stored….?  In your fat cells!  And the body will create more fat cells to store more toxins…  And it is not just toxins in food our bodies are trying to cope with; its chemicals in cosmetics, deodorants, hair dye, cleaning products, air fresheners, air pollution..  the list goes on and on!  If you are not taking supplements to assist, consciously adding detox regimes into your routine and exercising regularly then over time these toxins are now causing these chronic diseases.

​Disseminating this knowledge to the general public however is not yet main stream.  In my opinion there are a few reasons for this.  Doctors are not really educated in nutrition, they are trained to diagnose and cure symptoms and once they have a diagnosis we are then given more toxins aka drugs to try and combat whatever ails us.  And we blindly take whatever pill we are prescribed.    We have been brought up to put our utmost faith in everything a doctor says and prescribes.  Prior to the internet the only way to obtain a second opinion was to actually see another doctor.  Now we have this wonderful tool called Google where we can research and get information from thousands of doctors and studies and also research alternate treatments.  And yet we still choose to believe the one doctor we go to.  Shouldn’t taking drugs be the last resort…?  Unless of course your life is in immediate danger. 

“We have been taught our whole lives to be consumers of modern medicine.”

Dr Andrew Saul

Once again in this age of immediacy we are always looking for a quick fix.  Drugs have provided us with near instant pain relief, soldiering on when we have the cold or flu and so many other magic pills that allow us to continue life because we don’t have time to be sick.  I know I am certainly guilty of indulging in pain killers to ensure I can keep training!  But with the immerging warnings about resistance to antibiotics have we not abused this modern day dare I say luxury?  Maybe if we improved our health through proper nutrition and didn’t get sick we wouldn’t need so many drugs?

Or maybe we are just not ready to hear this information; change is hard!  And lets face it, we have created a life where we are all so time poor that making the effort to eat real, whole food is too difficult.  I spend a couple of hours on a Sunday preparing my food for the week.  I get up very early to not only train but to ensure I cook my breakfast from scratch and cut up my food fresh for the day ahead.  And the dishes….  I seem to spend my life with my hands in rubber gloves!

And then there is the cost… Packaged processed food is cheap!  We have designed our budget around this food and as organic whole food is not yet mainstream (it used to be!) it is more expensive.   Most people are horrified at the amount of money I spend on food and supplements.  But I don’t see food as something I spend money on; I see it as an investment in my body.   It is my insurance policy so I not only don’t have adsorbent health care costs in my senior years but that I have quality of life.  Plus I enjoy premium, illness free health now, as much energy as I had when I was 20 and I seriously don’t look anywhere near 50 if I do say so myself 🙂

​I think another factor is taste.  You would be amazed at how many things I make myself swallow for the sake of my health.  I sometimes gag when I have my apple cider vinegar I hate it so much! But I still have it every single day.  We have become a society where food is only about taste.  I am not saying that good food tastes bad because it certainly doesn’t!  But I hear all the time I don’t eat green vegetables I don’t like them, I hate the taste of _____ fill in the blank.   Is the wide range of food we have so easily available not another modern day luxury?  What if we wound back the clock and you could only grow, catch and kill your own food….?  If your life depended on it would you not eat that brussel sprout?  Sorry to break the news to you but your life kinda does depend on it!

​The momentum is slowly building and the quote attached to this blog is from Food Matters who have created a movement to educate and inform.  But until there is more regulation in the food industry and there are warnings on processed manufactured food as there is for sun exposure and cigarettes we are continually being bombarded with clever, confusing marketing to persuade us to eat more crap.

Please take the time to watch some of the movies from Food Matters.  Hungry for Change and Food Matters are their main movies and are really worth a look. And the founders are Australian!

So next time you decide to spend some of your savings on a Prada handbag or Jimmy Choo shoes or the latest iPhone 6 have a think about your priorities.  Are they for short term satisfaction and entertainment or a long term investment for your future self?   What sort of quality of life do you want in your senior years?  When would be a good time to start preserving your health?  Now while you still are young? Or later when things have already started to break down….?

“Remind yourself that health is wealth. And should you lose yours, NOTHING will be more important than getting it back.”

Robin Sharma