Electro-sensitivity for children. We sho

Electro-sensitivity for children. We should follow the French example!… http://ow.ly/KzBvM

Chefs moan about new freefrom food regs.

Chefs moan about new freefrom food regs. Sigh. Good overview here from Alex: http://ow.ly/KbILJ

Five Healing Mistakes Everyone Makes

Brain iconI really found myself nodding enthusiastically through a recent blog post from Jordan and Steve at SCD Lifestyle. They acknowledge that everyone makes some common ‘mistakes’ (I hesitate to use that word myself, actually) when they are trying to heal. They focus here on healing gut issues as that’s what they had themselves, but you can apply these five to any kind of healing, I think.

The one, as you know, that I am focused on myself in our TGF world is number 5.

Mistake #5 – Thinking This Isn’t Also Psychological

As S & J say in their post, many of us resist this idea – not least because we have had ‘it’s all in your head’ shoved down our throats enough times! However, I wish I had accepted this idea a lot sooner than I have – it took me about 8 years, oops! – because I now believe that healing has to come from both physiological and psychological sides combined. Of course, I knew that on one level but I never really did much about it in any formalised or consistent way.

Too often, we are so focused on the biology and pathology of our illness that we lose sight of the psychological side. Sure, we know we feel anxious and depressed because of how we feel – but have we considered the, often hidden, psychological causes underpinning some of our chronic symptoms? Have we considered the impact of thoughts and beliefs in our illness? Can we turn our attention to the illness, accept it and stop fearing it so much, thus calming the amygdala down and, ironically helping to calm symptoms?

It’s tough to do, I know, but it has to be a part of the healing ‘journey’ in my view. It takes time, commitment and determination to do – this is no walk in the park with a few ‘positive’ thoughts here and there. This is consistent, calming and brain changing neuroplasticity encouragement.

In fact, on that point, there is a fascinating documentary based on the work of Norman Doidge, he who wrote The Brain That Changes Itself. If you need more knowledge or trust in this area of why brain work is so important, do watch it: it will truly blow your mind! It’s a bit over-produced for my liking as a staid Brit (!), but the message it gives you is very hopeful and, for me, that message was game-changing.

I realised, for the first time, that my brain patterns and reactions were not set in stone. If I could somehow get my brain to see food as non-threatening again, or simply calm my reactivity down somehow, that had to be helpful in healing. That’s what I am working on anyway. Who knows if it will work – this is not a short job I am discovering! But, as I write, I have had no migraine reactions for almost 2 months, which is astounding – that’s gone from about 2-3 a month. Sure, I’ve got other symptoms going on but that is a big one. I SO hope it is a positive sign of healing and I have everything crossed!

Here’s the video for you:

Anyway, do have a read of the post here and do read my Healing Series (from the oldest to newest post preferably) if you haven’t already. I promise: at some point, you will need some of this advice – when you’re ready for it. And I hope it takes fewer than 8 years for you!

Top 5 Gut Healing Mistakes (everyone makes at least one)

SCD Lifestyle are one of my TGF Resource faves for you. They have some very useful stuff including a Free Guide and the great value Surviving To Thriving ebook and audio package.

Shop Changes Afoot

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Genova and Regenerus Tests Available, All Others, Ebooks etc Are Suspended for a Bit!

On the shop http://www.purehealthshop.co.uk, you will see that some tests and the ebooks, reports etc come up with a message saying they cannot be ordered at the moment. Sorry about that: major shop changes are afoot!

The vast majority of tests come via Genova and Regenerus and all of those can still be ordered (see message about the £0.00 prices here); other tests should be available again by mid-April. Ebooks etc will be available from early April. Apologies for the delay and hassle – thank you for bearing with me; it was either this or shut the shop completely for a month!

First biological proof that ME is real -

First biological proof that ME is real – Telegraph http://ow.ly/K0mpR

Nutrient Tests Update

test iconJust to let you know that I have been updating my nutrient testing recommendations for you in the light of new research and consequent changes in the lab tests offered.

One of the main changes is doing zinc now in plasma rather than white or red blood cell. Four of the labs have said the same thing: that their tests suggest plasma methods are now good enough to find zinc levels effectively and that this method has overtaken red blood cell methods.

I have still kept the red blood cell Doctors’ Data Minerals 1 test because some of you may need it for comparison purposes and it’s a good test anyway. But, from now on my main mineral test recommendation will be the Toxic & Essential Elements in blood from Genova. Why? Because, rather cleverly in my view, they measure the different minerals in different ways according to which method is most effective for each mineral. Clever.

I’ve summarised my recommendations for you in an updated Nutrient Testing FAQ. Here’s the general gist:

Nutrient Tests Overview

This blog post might help generally: Which Lab Tests Are Best?

This is a really complex field and you would think it would be so easy! The fact is that different nutrients are best tested in different ways. However, there are some good all-rounders. 

There are basically two main ways of testing nutrients: functional testing using amino acid analysis and metabolic testing to find functional issues with nutrient use in the body OR testing actual levels in blood, urine or hair etc. Nutreval below does both. I am often asked to choose between the different methods. Put simply: I can’t. It is like comparing apples with eggs, or something like that! They do completely different things, but both will give you an idea of where nutrient levels might be an issue. 

Functional Tests

I rate the Nutreval and the ONE Test, which is a smaller version of the Nutreval, but often gives people a good indication of what’s going on. I like these particularly because they give you a suggested supplement level protocol based on your results – people find that useful! Check the sample reports on the test pages and see what you get with each one. In effect, Nutreval includes body level testing as well as functional testing, extra antioxidants and fatty acids on top of everything you get in the ONE test.

Body Level Tests

This is quite complex and there seem to be dozens of ways of looking for nutrient levels. To make life even more complicated, different tests are best for different minerals. 

My main recommendation nowadays for minerals is Genova’s Toxic & Essential Elements Blood Test because it measures the different minerals in the different ways, which I think is rather clever of them. (Incidentally, you can do this via Urine too but I think blood is better myself for the main minerals; this one might be useful if on a chelation programme though eg, for toxic metals). 

I would combine the Elements blood test with the Vitamin Profile and  Vitamin D status for a comprehensive look at nutrient levels, maybe adding the Anaemia Profile and Essential Fatty Acid Balance too if necessary (ie. fatigue, inflammation, pain, neurological issues present). 

As an all-rounder and particularly good at assessing antioxidant status, Spectracell is a cutting edge test using intracellular white blood testing. I have had good results with it. 

You can also use hair testing, but I find that best for looking at the heavy metals (see below) and for the mineral ratios eg. of zinc and copper or calcium and magnesium, for example.


I told you this was complex! If in doubt, go for an overall test – either the ONE, Nutreval or Spectracell OR the Toxic & Essential Elements (blood), Vitamin Profile and Vitamin D. Add things like Anaemia or Fatty Acid levels as needed. 

On the page, I have also included a summary of toxic metal testing eg. for mercury etc.

Hope that helps with this complex testing field!

Meditators Keep More Little Grey Cells

Meditators lose less ‘grey matter’

Meditation may help us hold on to more ‘grey matter’ in the brain, and keep us mentally sharp as we get older, a new study has found.

People who have meditated for years seem to lose less of the brain’s grey matter—the tissue that contains neurons—than those who didn’t, say researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

When they looked at the brains of 50 long-term meditators, and compared them to 50 non-meditators, they found significant differences in the amount of grey matter between the two.  “We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions (of the brain) that had previously been associated with meditating.  Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain,” said lead researcher Dr Florian Kurth.

Each group was made up of 28 men and 22 women aged from 24 to 77, and those who meditated had been doing so for between four and 46 years.  MRI scans were used to monitor the brains of the participants, and although all the older people in the trial displayed some loss of grey matter, it was far less in those who meditated.

(Source: Frontiers in Psychology, 2015; 5: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01551)