How much better than you are now, would you like to be?

1 Comment

How much better than you are now, would you like to be?

Evolution is a constant, and our species has already demonstrated how it can change its course of evolution through many years.

The discovery of fire enabled us to cook food, which in turn allowed us to grow stronger and increase our brain capacity. 

This growth in our thinking,facilitated our ability to create tools to shape our environment.

We were then able to build cities and learn to express ourselves through writing, art and music. 

Todaywe have reached a whole new level in Human Evolution.

What if- with a few changes to your genes- you could improveyour memory, think faster, or develop a stronger body with increased stamina?

Maybe you would like to be more attractive, or to live a longer and healthier life? 

Perhaps your greatest desire is to be more creative?

Is this a fiction or a real possibility

Evolution is a success story.

Everything that we know as living beings, came about because we adapted to our environment to survive.

We- as humans-are the result of millions of years of evolutionary success. 

What is evolution in brief?

Evolution is about passing on the Genome, from generation to generation, adapting constantly and fine- tuning to our environment. This is evolution as we know it.

But have we reached a new way of evolving?

There are 3 possibilities :

1. We have reached our apogee in our evolution as human beings.

2. We are still evolving the natural way.

3. There is an intriguing, frightening and exciting possibility... The Neo Evolution.

What is the Neo Evolution?

An evolution that is guided and chosen by us as individuals in the choices that we will make.

Meet the CRISPR technology

Hacking our DNA has never been so close to a reality. There is a new technology in town and we have now a second path of evolution available to us...

We are entering the era of NEO EVOLUTION

We now have the ability to quickly alter the code of life, and it has given us an unexpected power over the natural world.  

How does it work?

Researchers have simply adapted a mechanism called CRISPR-Cas9 that we have in nature to protect us from viruses invaders. 

They discovered while studying how a virus infected bacteria, a natural immune system that cuts the invader's DNA, to then store it, on to what we could call a Genetic Memory Card.

If a new attack of this invader occurs, a copy of this Genetic Memory Card is created,  to form a sequence that recruits an enzyme design to cut the viral DNA of the virus, preventing it from reproducing.

This has the effect of rendering the virus "harmless".

Scientists have unlocked this process and understand how to adapt this mechanism to disable genes or insert new DNA into any organism.

And it might be one day as easy as executing a Copy and Paste on your computer!

The question is : should we use it? 

Today, already certain cultures have self- directed their evolution- for example: by choosing to control the sex of their population.

But in tomorrow’s world, the choice will be much wider, so that, without regulation, the huge potential of this new DNA revolution could be overshadowed by fear or misuse.

Imagine if North Korea’s Kim Jong II, decides to build an army of super- humans with double the muscle mass of a normal human and the endurance of a wolf... 

This may seem far- fetched, but already in China, at Guangzhou General Pharmaceutical lab, beagles grown from edited embryos have developed with double the muscle mass of their " normal " cousins. The application at a human level would be no different.

But before thinking of the worst- case scenario…

In which areas of life could we apply this technology for the " better"?

There is already a great deal of "successful"  research andmany experiments.

These are mainly in 4 areas :

1. Treating Diseases : 

Researchers have already had great results in treating diseases such as AIDS, promising results for the Zica virus and many others.

2. Altering Ecology:

The spread of Malaria could be significantly reduced by introducing disease- resistant genes into the wild mosquito population.  

3. Transforming Food:

In certain areas of the world where food is scarce, developing drought-resistant crops could be a solution.

4. Editing Humans? 

We are not there yet …many questions need to be answered and important regulations established.

The DNA-revolution has already started.

It is moving fast, making the changes explained above a very real possibility.

The Human Genome Project- which started in 1990- took 13 years and cost 2.7 billions dollars to develop.

Today, you can do the same job for about a 1000 dollars in just few days.

This means it is becoming increasingly available to everybody.

After all, wouldn't you like to know which changes you could make to optimise your life, if this technology was made available to you? 

Are you ready for a Directed Evolution?

Are we, as a species, ready to handle such responsibilities? 

Meanwhile, the reality today is that you are the designer of your own lifestyle.

You can already alter the expression of your genes to improve your health and performance, and maybe soon, you could become the designer of your own biology. 

Would you not eliminate the disease factor of your offspring if you were given a chance? 

No more diabetes, a greatly reduced risk of cancer…

“ A HEALTHIER CHILD, FOR YOUR PEACE OF MIND.”

Could this be the catch- line of a CRISPR commercial campaign of the future ? 

Would you not be tempted to have super attributes, or hyper capabilities?

Would you not want to live to 120 years of age with no health problems whatsoever?

Would we have the Super – Human Olympics in 2036?

These may be irresistible attractions for many of us, and they have now been made possible, as fictional as it may seem. CRISPR has sparked an explosion of research and heated ethical debate, BECAUSE of its reality. 

But with any power, comes responsibility.

It is up to us- as humans-to make the right choices for the better of mankind.

 

 

Copywriting by Amanda Hills ( @AmandaHLondon )

1 Comment

From Clear Goals To Long- Lasting Results

Comment

From Clear Goals To Long- Lasting Results

By Thomas Olivier (@gensmartme)

These days, there is so much information available to us, that we somehow need to sift through and adapt, or information overload may lead to paralysis, and ultimately- passivity.

Unfortunately, this can also lead us into following the latest trends and ‘ quick fixes’, without achieving any real results.

Whether you want to lose weight, optimise your health or improve your performance, learning how to filter information and improve clarity is a crucial thing to do.

So how can you avoid the information trap and  paralysis, and increase your chances of success?

Your Goal Must Be Clear!

The Olympics are once again an amazing example of success stories about athletes who from a young age, no matter what conditions or environment they are in, set themselves a clear goal.

Here is a beautiful story of Julius Yego, favourite to win the Gold in the Javelin, who first taught himself thanks to YouTube video tutorials!

http://atlantablackstar.com/2016/08/11/this-kenyan-olympic-javelin-thrower-taught-himself-with-youtube-videos-now-hes-a-champion/

Julia Yego has a clear goal in mind; he wants to be the world’s best javelin thrower and he will stop at nothing until he achieves it!

When you have a clear head and a clear goal, you have all you need for the the job in hand.

When it comes to your health optimisation, the goal should not be that complex, as it is not merely an end on its own, but a journey.

Your goal here is to improve your health on a daily basis.

The first thing is to realise that we are a generation who seek the ‘ Quick Fix’, which takes us away from the real point of optimum health for life.

We see health optimisation as a short-term affair, squeezed between our ‘ real-world” responsibilities.

We tend to seek out the fast, feel-good factor to reassure us of a healthier future, when actually, Health Management should be an everyday business- a way of living our lives to their fullest.

But How Do We Do It Right?

It is time to revise your goal and make it your own!

"We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves"- Galileo Galilei.

It's all about YOU!

You must first seek what is it you are really looking to achieve and dig deeper.

The Power Of An Insightful Goal Vs A Toxic Goal

If your goal is simple weight loss after those holidays, you may be looking to shed a few pounds and trade some body fat against muscle mass.

The reality here though, is that it may not be enough to simply shed body fat or achieve a Six –Pack. 

My point is, that you need to make your goal GREATER if you really want to achieve that goal.

For example- if you grab a copy of Men’s Health magazine, with a fitness model on the cover, selling you the formula: ‘ Achieve A Six- Pack in 6 weeks’ , or: ‘ Biceps Of Steel In Just A Month’,

You are setting yourself a goal that you will have to do in a set time.

This is a TOXIC goal, because if you do not achieve it, it is a bit like drinking salty water- it just makes you more thirsty! It also sets you up to fail- which makes all of us feel bad.

The toxic goals, are the goals that will diminish your quality of life as soon as you set them.

They are based on an idealised future concept, because they are promoting a present feeling of dissatisfaction- ie: ‘ I wish I had those abs’.

Many people struggle to make progress on toxic goals, because most of the time, they don't deliver the results we are hoping for. We then feel demoralised and de- motivated.

In contrast, when you have proper insight, and dig deeper towards a more meaningful goal, you will be much more likely to stick to it, because it will make sense to you and will be tailored to your needs. 

A PERSONALISED Goal Leads to Clarity And RESULTS!

The first characteristic of a Personalised Goal, is that solutions are designed for you, as opposed to you trying to fit into a pre-designed notion.

Personalisation, also means the goal is adapted to your lifestyle, your voice and your control, representing a shift away from a very structured generic programme, to a bespoke solution for you.

Revise Your SMART Goal

In the GenSmart methodology that I use with my clients to get the sustainable results they want, we focus on a SMART Goal (Specific, Measurable,Achievable, Realistic, Timed )

The’ GEN’ of GenSmart, refers to GENOMIC- which surely makes it personal!

However, what we really focus on, is implementation of new behavioural patterns based on our clients’ unique bio- markers.

This really is the KEY to sustainable health optimisation.

Optimising someone’s health and creating new habits is a process- where we can assess, track,monitor and adjust, as well as having trouble-shooting strategies in place.

Once you have your clear goal, from your own insight, and you have made it SMART- you must then set up your micro- goals and tasks.

We help you set up goals by order of priority, with the GenSmart methodology.

In the GenSmart method, we focus on one priority at a time, tailored for you, so that it tells you the ONE most important thing you should do next to make progress.

Delivering that information gradually, through individual ‘micro’ goals, will maintain motivation and ingrain healthy habits.

It works WITH you to identify an ongoing series of specific, personalised, achievable goals, and tracks your overall progress towards your health mastery or other specific goal.

Your true path to success starts with your own insight.

Personalisation for CLARITY of that goal, will offer you greater motivation and adapting a methodology that gradually leads you to the achievement of your goal, will guarantee you are proactive and more involved in its achievement.

Do you want to know more about the GenSmart methodology?

Submit you interest in the soon available Pre- Order option of your copy of my book now!

CRACKING YOUR HEALTH CODE

Copywriting by Amanda Hills ( @AmandaHLondon )

 

 

 

Comment

Is There Such A Thing As A Sport Gene?

Comment

Is There Such A Thing As A Sport Gene?

 

By Thomas Olivier (@gensmartme)

The Olympic Games Rio 2016 have started and already a lot of world records are being broken, raising the bar once again on what a human can achieve.

What determines the talents of these Olympians?

Whilst I believe we are all born athletic, some athletes have talents far beyond the rest of us, that allow them to beat world records.

Is this in their genes, or is it the continual practise, over and over again, that makes them real champions?

It is in fact a combination of both, as the latest research suggests. 

In athletic performance, the ability of an athlete is a result of the combination between his genetic gifts and his environment. 

In other words, although deliberate training and other environmental factors are critical for elite performance, they cannot by themselves produce an elite athlete.

Individual athletic potential is determined by our genetic make up, AND the thousands of hours of training that allows this genetic potential to be realised.

Could we then identify potential future athletes via genetic testing?

Nowadays, it is clear that GENETIC TESTING is becoming as easy as swabbing the back of your mouth or spitting into a tube.Thanks to the growing science of Genomics, we can now unlock the hidden secret of our genes.

We can use this information to screen for heritable diseases, test for lifespan optimisation, explore genealogy or even identify character traits- such as the ‘cheating’ gene (yes, there is such a gene! ) However, having those results, does nothing in itself to bring to fruition the abilities we are predisposed to.

In fact most of the time, results may be inappropriately utilised to assess the talent of young athletes.

So using genetic data as a decision-maker for determining a child’s future sport is,in my opinion an improper use of genetic information.

"A cell is a machine turning experience into biology"- Steve Cole.

Certain genetic variants with markers such as VO2 max, strength, fast twitch muscles for power, slow twitch for endurance and recovery ability, have been used as markers to predict talent in sport. 

However, using these markers to determine if you are more suited to a particular type of sport or another, would be to limit your potential.

Moreover, the different combination of skills learned from different sports, ultimately transfers over to the sport that pro- athletes eventually play or participate in exclusively.

Therefore, despite the growing trend in genetics-based talent identification, as well as genetic testing to selectively place an individual in a specific sport, I strongly believe that these alone should not be promoted or carried out, as they may undermine the realisation of an athlete's full potential.

There is currently no scientific basis for predicting what sports or activity an athlete will excel at based on their genetics.

There is no such ‘triathlon gene’ or ‘ power lifting gene’.

Being genetically inclined towards say, a Power Event, does not necessarily mean you will excel in Power Lifting.

Therefore your ideal sport, as recommended by your own genetic make up, has no real scientific value.

Human traits-including sports performance-are a complicated puzzle, where genetics is only one piece. 

With this in mind, a genetic test related to performance, should be use as a tool, in conjunction with your goals and chosen sport, to determine the best training and nutrition plan possible.

From genetics to improving your performance

Getting your result from a simple mouth swab, should be the beginning of your journey towards improving your performance.

We now understand that genetic testing isn't an end product, but a tool to provide you with recommendations on improving aspects of your performance that are grounded in the last two decades of scientific discovery.

From this genetic knowledge, an athlete will have a clear idea of how to improve his training, diet and recovery plan. 

It is also important to make sure optimal environmental conditions are in place, as these are absolutely essential for high- performance athletes.

In summary, although our Genome encodes all the information of our bodies, there is no such thing as a “sport gene.” 

Becoming an elite athlete in a specific sport, is a complex interplay between genetics, environment and life experiences. 

Genetic testing is now becoming almost a common thing, and will soon become widely available. Therefore, it is important to understand that it isn't an end on its own, but a tool, to better empower ourselves  in making the right choices- the choices that ALIGN with our genes.

 

Comment

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Looking After Your Health And Wellness

Comment

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Looking After Your Health And Wellness

If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you may understand that one of the key principles which I preach is :

Your health and wellbeing is your responsibility and being PROACTIVE is the key. 

We are usually born healthy, and being healthy is our natural state.

We are born to thrive as human beings that are full of energy, biochemically wired to make the most of our lives with the most advanced tool ever created: the human body. 

We are the result of billions of years of evolutionary success. It is about time we started to act like it, and take responsibility for our health in order to live our lives to the fullest.

Let's look at the word ‘ RESPONSIBILTY’ itself.

It means the ability to choose your response. To be accountable. To have a duty to deal with something, or have control over it.

We are responsible for our own lives and our own behaviour.

We have the ability to make things happen, or to choose not to. 

Being PROACTIVE, allows you to recognise this responsibility.

You cannot somehow shift the blame for the condition you are in, you have to accept that it is a response to your own actions, a cause and effect correlation, and that you are responsible –whether you feel overweight, or unhealthy.

It may sound harsh,but it is a fact.

Your environment also has its influences. 

We all know by now that life isn’t straightforward.So whatever the environmental or social conditions you are in, or whether you are being reactiveor passive, you will be affected by your environment. 

However, if you choose to be PROACTIVE and adhere to its principles, your mindset will allow you to assess and readjust things correctly, choosing and being responsible for your actions.

Here are 5 common misconceptions and 5 rules you should apply, that will set you on the right path towards a more positive and PROACTIVE outlook on your health.

1-Aim For Plenty Over Restriction

We live in a world of abundance.

Restricting yourself isn't a pleasant thing and may drive you crazy in the long run. You can eat plenty- but plenty of the right, nutritionally dense food with all the nutrients your body needs.

Chances are you will feel more full- and for longer - by eating 400 calories of greens and vegetables than 400 calories of chicken.

Not only will the volume will be enough to literally fill you up, but the nutrition and fibre content will keep you fuller longer.

Restrictive and replacement diets are not only unsustainable, they will likely lead you to the vicious circle of Yo-Yo Dieting, which is designed for quick results, not long term success.

In addition,you will most likely gain a few pounds from where you started, when you return to normal eating. The reason for this, is that a restrictive diet resets your metabolic  "thermostat".

It seems a bit arrogant to think that a simple cut in the amount of calories you take in will outsmart your brain's survival mechanism, when it took millions of years to fine-tune! 

Let me explain.

Just like your thermostat at home, if you set the temperature inside to 20 degrees, whatever the weather outside, whether that be -10 below or 30 degree above zero, inside will remain the same constant 20.

Your brain works in a similar way.

Known as HOMEOSTASIS, it is your body’s mechanism to keep your physiological processes stable, no matter what. 

When it  comes to your energy expenditure, if you reset your thermostat to, say, 500 calories less for 12 weeks, when you stop that restriction, the 500 calories on top will be seen as a surplus.

This will cause you to put on weight-especially if you are sedentary-simply because your brain will have adapted to its new environment.

So think abundance of good nutritious food, stop counting the calories and ditch the restricting dieting! 

2-Stop Learning And Start Implementing

To know, and not to do, is really not to know!

There is no real benefit in learning what you are made of and what gene variants you possess, if you do not pay attention and apply the recommendations that go with it. 

The benefit is in the IMPLEMENTATION of your personalised recommendation.

Knowing the solution is a great start, but implementing the new habits, is what will REALLY make the difference.

 

3. Aim To Create New Habits, Instead Of Willpower

Stressed, tired or overwhelmed? Chances are, your willpower goes out of the window, and you may be prone to ‘emotional eating’.

Certain gene variations in two hedonic genes: DRD2 and OPRM1, may directly affect the brain’s Dopamine functions and lead to emotional eating.

If this is you, do not count on your willpower, as that diminishes throughout the day, when tiredness takes it tolls on you. Instead, emotional- trigger management is the best strategy for dealing  with emotional eating, and builds the right habits over time.

4. Strive For Consistency, Over The Big ‘Catch Ups’.

If you are tempted to give your small, but regular, workout a miss today, chances are, it will lead to the failure of your goals over time. 

It may seem insignificant to miss just one day, but it is actually the repetition of making the right choices CONSISTENTLY- day in, day out- until you reach your desired outcome, that will make the difference.

One lesson I have learned throughout my coaching career, is that consistency is the KEY to results. 

You will get more results from 15–30-minute sessions every day, than two or three big hour-long sessions per week. One session a week will not bring you any results in the long term. 

Strive for consistency. It is the hardest way to create a habit, however, it is the REAL path to success.

5. Giving Up Too Soon…, Just Show Up!

JUST SHOW UP! What is easy to do, is also easy not to do – so show up and go for it! 

No matter how you feel, or what excuse your emotional brain will find, just show up! 

Create the HABIT.

Fifteen to thirty-minutes of exercise releases Dopamine, and will help switch your thoughts to the “happy zone”.It will be difficult at first; however, your body will very quickly begin to ask for this, and the habit will soon settle in your daily life.

Do you want to be proactive? take action now and feel free to ask any question or claim your complimentary session here!

Comment

3 Simple & Holistic Tips For Living A Healthy And Happy Life

1 Comment

3 Simple & Holistic Tips For Living A Healthy And Happy Life

1-Earthing

Did you know that walking barefoot can strengthen your immune system and may contribute to a longer life?

Your immune system functions optimally when your body has an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth. So Earthing may be the Ultimate Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory.

Grounding or Earthing is defined as placing one's bare feet on the ground- whether it be dirt, grass, sand or concrete (especially when humid or wet). When you ground to the electron-enriched earth, an improved balance of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System occurs.

The Earth is a natural source of electrons and subtle electrical fields, which are essential for proper functioning of immune systems, circulation, synchronisation of biorhythms and other physiological processes and may actually be the most effective, essential, least expensive, and easiest way to attain antioxidants. 

There is an emerging science documenting how conductive contact with the Earth, which is also known as Earthing or grounding, is highly beneficial to your health.

Some of the recent evidence supporting this approach, involves multiple studies documenting Earthing's improvement in blood viscosity, heart rate variability, inflammation, cortisol dynamics, sleep, Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) balance, and reduced effects of stress.

Who Can Benefit The Most? 

Genetic studies in people who live past their 80’s, have identified favourable polymorphisms that are associated with an extended lifespan. The most consistent of these gene variations are found in genes that are involved in lipid metabolism (APOE and CETP) and antioxidant systems (FOXO3A). 

While those of us with these favourable genes may have won the genetic lottery, the rest of us can still reap the benefits of longevity and wellbeing by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Earthing is one of these choices. 

If your gene variation isn't optimal, make the most of the beautiful summer’s day and consider walking barefoot in nature. 

This could be a great add- on to a diet rich in antioxidants, and will switch on those genes to mimic the beneficial effects of the optimal gene variants.

2- Food as meditation

Could your food be a vehicle for Meditation? 

How Does It Work?

In many cultures, food has always been highly respected and seen as a daily Transcendentalexperience that we should be grateful for.

By contrast, in our rushed Western world, food is often eaten on the move, and only seen as a way of keeping us going. 

We tend to enjoy the culinary experience only for the special occasions, where we may enjoy a gourmet prepared meal in a great setting, and be ready to spend a fair amount of money on it.

How About Treating Food As A Daily Ritual?

On top of the obvious benefits of a nutrition-rich meal, being mindful of how and what you are eating, could benefit you in many ways; from better digestion- with higher absorption of the key nutrients, to a way to disconnect for a while from your daily burden.  

Simply use all of your senses and take your time whilst eating.

Be present and mindful, without the distraction of any devices.

The Hedonism Gene And The Fat Gene

Practising Mindful Eating is particularly helpful if your MC4R & FTO gene variants are a high risk. 

MC4R is a strong obesity candidate gene, significantly associated with energy intake and expenditure.

The impact of this gene variant is associated with higher intakes of total energy and dietary fat, as well as greater snacking in children and adults, greater hunger and a higher predisposition to eat large amounts of food.

Learning to eat a smaller plate, at a slower pace and being Mindful whilst doing so, will re-educate your approach to food. Studies have shown that Mindfulness Eating alone, is one of the best and most successful weight management solutions. 

It has been suggested that the FTO gene plays a role in appetite regulation and that it is associated with energy expenditure, energy intake and diminished satiety. 

Certain gene variants have also been linked with higher BMI, body fat percentage and waist circumference, especially in individuals with a sedentary lifestyle. Overweight individuals with these variants, are at increased risk for insulin resistance andDiabetes, especially when there is a high fat intake.

Knowing this, is half the battle won. 

The real deal, is then to implement strategy to build new habits, both in eating the right type of food and in implementing Mindful Eating.

The right food choice and the right approach to food will help greatly in avoiding both disease and obesity. 

3- Get Out There And Dare The New!

The Dopamine connection raises fascinating links to impulsivity and sensation-seeking behaviours.

Certain genes governing Dopamine functioning, have been implicated in behaviours such asgambling, drug use or binge eating, all of which can also lead to depression. One of the best ways to trigger Dopamine, is to dare to explore the new, or to engage in fresh activities.

We are wired to explore!

The benefits of exploring new territories and experiencing different activities, will not only make your life more exciting, but will prevent you from mood swings and the growing concern of depression. 

Who Can Benefit The Most?

Those people for whom the COMT Gene isn't optimum.

The COMT gene, responsible for your Neurotransmitter and hormone balance, has a role to play in your daily mood and performance.

It can therefore have a negative impact on the results we seek to reach if not regulated. 

A lack of these chemicals in our brain, can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness and anxiety.

Due to higher Oestrogen , when tired or stressed, this can worsen, leading to panic, irritability, obsessive-compulsiveness, phobias, and sleep disturbance.  A nutritious diet rich in Viatmin B food, exercise, and botanical interventions, can nicely neutralise these symptoms and protect against hormone-related diseases.

However, it is not only the active form of Folate- L-Methylfolate, that is important for producing brain-communicating chemicals called Neurotransmitters- such as Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine. Outdoor activities, social bonding and again- walking and/or exercising in nature- have proved to be some of the best anti- depressants out there! 

So drop the pills, take off your shoes, go explore, and dare the new! 

1 Comment

WHICH IS THE BEST DIET AND TRAINING PLAN?

Comment

WHICH IS THE BEST DIET AND TRAINING PLAN?

If you happen to look for diet or training planson the Internet, be ready for an avalanche of information. 

At best, you will see a few things that contradict each other.

At worst, you could find yourself about to buy the latest pill that promises you will magically look like the fitness model promoting it, in just 8 days... 

At that point, you may decide to ask an expert.

However, on seeking the expert's opinion, you will find that views are again divided.

Here is a fact: Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches just LOVE to get into long discussions on this subject.

"It's Paleo! That is the best! 

“No, it's Carb Cycling.”

"No no...intermittent fasting is far more effective!” 

And the same thing happens when you ask about the best training programme for fat loss, strength building or...well, anything else.

"It's HIIT!"

"No, it's cardio every time!”

"Crossfit is the best.”

But, you know, once you've been a coach for any decent length of time, and you've seen all the diets and training protocols come full-circle, you come to realise that there's only ONE programme of diet and nutrition that TRULY works for people.

...THE ONE THAT IS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR YOU!

Not only is a PERSONALISED approach common sense, but it will also avoid a lot of frustration.

So what can you do to avoid the guess work?

Simple.

Have a plan tailored to the unique you; a plan in accordance with your genes. ( Read more here about why personalisation )

What Can You Learn About Your Optimal Nutrition And Diet Plan?

Go for the Nutrition FIT not fix.

Looking for your optimal diet is now possible,by looking into a number of well-researched gene variations that impact metabolism, absorption and storage of fats and carbohydrates, as well as eating behaviour. 

The process is simple.

We analyse these SNPs ( gene variations )  to understand how your individual GENETIC profile will impact your response to whatever is believed to be the three most effective healthy eating plans.

For example-Low Fat, Mediterranean, and Low Carbohydrate. 

Research suggests that individuals do respond differently to different food combinations and no ONE way of eating is right for everyone. 

So drop the low calorie diet-it isn't about restriction!

Here are the key metabolic processes you willwant to know about before embarking on any diet plan.You will also need to ensure you find out about the genes involved in key metabolic processes.

• Obesity Risk / Insulin Resistance

• Binge Eating

• Carbohydrates And Obesity

• Fat Absorption

These findings will form the basis for your successful diet plan. We can then adjust it to fit your lifestyle andpersonal preferences.

It is important to emphasise that being overweight increases risk factors for both poor health and various chronic diseases.

Weight management and healthy eating are integral to long-term health. 

The more unwanted fat we have, the greater the risk of chronic inflammation and storage of toxic substances in our body, which will impair our health in the long term.

What about your training plan? 

When it comes to fitness, we can now examine various biological areas that impact training responsiveness and sporting performance.

These include: Soft tissue remodelling, inflammation, blood flow and respiration, energy production and fuel metabolism.

Athletic success depends firstly onpersonalising a training strategy that optimises your genetic potential, and secondly on choosing the right lifestyle, nutrition and environmental interactions to optimally express your inherited genes.

A DNA test will report on the following areas:

 Structural Integrity Of Soft Tissue

• Inflammation & Oxidative Stress

• Blood Flow & Respiration

• Energy During Exercise

• Fuel During Exercise

• Caffeine Metabolism

• Muscle And Bone Composition

• Aerobic Capacity

• Power/ Strength Potential

Once we have the knowledge of all thevariations in genes involved in these biological areas, we can use it to personalise a training programme.

We can then gain as much as possible from sessions by exploiting potential advantages, as well as identifying any weaknesses that need to be worked on.

This insight can also be used to make appropriate training and nutrition choices in an attempt to prevent injury and optimise recovery in order to perform at one’s best. 

One of the first reasons people give up 6 weeks into a new training plan, is because of injury!

So whether you are an elite performance athlete, a recreational athlete looking to maximise your fitness potential and reach peak levels of conditioning or a beginner athlete just starting out, this will put you on the right track to achieving your goals.

In addition, individuals building exercise programmes specifically for weight management, will benefit just as much.

Watch the information trap and go beyond, foryour personalised plan.

It is important to make clear here, that a DNA test is not a quick fix.

Just having the test done, will in no way contribute to weight loss. 

You will need to stick to the plan, whilst makingit as enjoyable as possible, building on consistency and personalised habit implementation. 

The DNA information by itself has almost no value. And here's why :

The information trap

The information trap

 

I always encourage my clients to be resourceful, and realise that once a programme is tailored to your genes, there areplenty of options to choose from, along with the knowledge that you are doing all the correct things!

The growing and exciting field of GENOMICS can help us to better understand your genetic profile, so that we can recommend a healthy eating plan that will guarantee you better results

If you need help finding out this crucial information and understanding it, as well as the support in implementing your plan, get in touch.

We will be there to monitor and support you every step of the way.

Need the extra help to start your personalised journey?

Take action NOW, and grab your 20% off any of the DNA tests or packages by entering the promo code : Allaboutme

Complimentary consultation offered for the first 3 people to TAKE ACTION!

 

Click here to start your own personalised journey.

Comment

5 Ways To BIOHACK Yourself To Your Full Potential

1 Comment

5 Ways To BIOHACK Yourself To Your Full Potential

 

 

"Humanity is a process.We are not really beings but ‘becomings’.”
Kevin Kelly  
Improving our lifestyle to reach our optimal best is not a fiction from a futuristic movie. It is now very possible.The constant and exponential evolution of technology and growing access to information, make this even more of a reality.

In today’s blog, we will explore what we can do to optimise our health by looking at the exciting and growing trend of BIOHACKING.

So what is Biohacking? 

A Biohacker has observed that his health is his responsibility. 

He sees his or her body as both a blessing and a complex system that can be probed, analysed, understood, and tested.

By adopting such a mindset, a Biohacker, using controlled experimentation (i.e. biohacking) is able to pursue self-development and deeper self-understanding.

Isn't one of the fundamental objectives of life to recognise yourself and never stop learning how to become a better version of who you are?

So what can you do to BIOHACK yourself?

To get you started, here are 5 areas of life you can "Biohack" to unleash your true potential and upgrade yourself to a whole new level. 

1.NUTRITION

The Basics:

Don't think of food as a simple source of energy, but as a complex variety of functional "tools"  to repair, build, support and enhance your key biological processes.  It is important to understand that the food you eat today, will have an impact on your future. Nutrition is your fuel and tool for tomorrow. The growing and fascinating world of NUTRIGENOMICS is constantly proving how important your food choices are in determining your health, by sending the right message to your genes.

Make It Personal :

Do your genes predispose you to certain imbalances that could lead to degenerative diseases?There are a few genes you should know about that could potentially add 10 healthy years to your life by adjusting your diet, lifestyle and environment according to their variation. For example, if your detoxification system isn't optimal, you have a higher risk of getting certain types of cancer. Optimising your nutrition-  firstly by eating organically to minimise or remove the toxic loads from pesticides and other chemicals- then by adding cruciferous and allium vegetables, will help to support your detoxification pathways, and would be a great start.

More on KEY GENES to add 10 healthy years to your life here

2. EXERCISE

The Basics:

Think of exercise as a replacement for the active lifestyle we have lost in the last century by becoming sedentary, and as a way to challenge yourself to new heights on a daily basis. Exercise is a basic of optimum health and not a quick fix to lose weight.  

Make It Personal:

What type of training is best suited to you? 

What will your body most respond to- whether you want to lose weight or build lean muscles ( also essential when trying to lose weight ). Certain gene variants can determine if you are more suited to power or endurance exercise, whether you should take extra precautions because of your high injury risk and how much recovery you may need in order to optimise your performance. ( more here )

3. WORK:

The Basics:

Whether you work in an office or from home, or are always on the go, make sure to optimise the ergonomics of your chair, stand up every 30 minutes, and walk & stretch every 2 hours. Track and fix your posture throughout the day. 

Make It Personal: 

Make your work environment productive and look at eliminating stress as much as possible by being organised and focusing on one task at a time.

Investigate your CTRA gene variant.This gene variant can lead to chronic stress and social isolation. It is expressed in ways that may be unhelpful to your health, causing inflammation to increase and immunity to decrease.

With an excellent wellness programme in place however, this gene expression can be positively influenced.The productivity of your office  environment can significantly improve, and your work/ stress related cost decrease.

A DNA based Wellness Programme can improve workforce wellness in a sustainable way. Find out more here

4.SLEEP

The Basics:

Think of sleep as both the only way to fully regenerate and the only way for the brain to unload the toxins caused by the trillions of daily biomechanical reactions it undertakes. Making sure you get your 7-8 hours of sleep is essential in order to maintain optimum health.

Your bedroom should be set for the optimal sleeping experience, from the mattress to the colour theme and  lighting.

Make It Personal:

Are you an early bird or a night owl?  

Do you do your best work in the morning, winding down in the evening towards a relatively early bedtime? Or are you a night owl- tending to wake later and perhaps gaining in energy and focus as the day progresses, preferring to work and play in the evening hours?

PER1 gene is part of a group of genes that affects circadian rhythms.

They are strongly linked to circadian timing, and to the tendency towards living as an owl or a lark.

We can all do ourselves a favour by paying attention to our natural tendencies for sleeping and waking, and using this information to make our daily schedules work for both our sleep and our health. 

5. MIND:

The Basics :

A healthy mind is at peace with its environment. Being overwhelmed on a daily basis can have disastrous long term consequences. 

When the mind/ nutrition correlation is strong , other daily habits can be implemented to keep your brain healthy and your mindset in the right place.

Make It Personal:

Working memory, executive function and higher IQ can rest in the variation of a common gene, COMT. This gene also controls oestrogen, neurotransmitters and toxin elimination, and is responsible for anxiety and mood swings.

If your variant isn't optimal, you would be strongly advised to stimulate dopamine, adrenalin, and norepinephrine levels via exercise, outdoor activities, meditation and social interactions.

More on brain enhancement here:

I believe that if people embrace the health awakening that is happening now, and tune in to a more personalised and proactive approach to their health and wellness by adopting the principle of BIOHACKING, that  daily life can be drastically improved.
Dare the new!

Get in touch, and let's upgrade you to a whole new level!

1 Comment

5 reasons you still hold on to your body fat

1 Comment

5 reasons you still hold on to your body fat

5 REASONS  YOU STILL HOLD ON TO YOUR BODY FAT

 

The  Health Alliance forecast on Obesity is alarming. It is reported that 69% of women and 76% of men may be overweight or obese within the next decade.

These are staggering statistics. 

It is important for you to realise that the problem of obesity has many contributing factors.

The “Eat Less And Move More,” mantra is far too simplistic to address this increasing problem. Whilst this is an excellent basic guideline, it is clear that there is much more to add to the equation. Many other lifestyle factors such  as stress, sleep deprivation, the presence of chemicals  in the environment or in the food you eat, as well as the over-use  or mis- use of antibiotics, may all, individually or together, disrupt the gut microbiome, predisposing you to remain overweight. 

Given that this is a little more complex, we need to take a closer look at the bigger picture. 

Many of my clients, suffer from stubborn belly fat. Despite trying many different diets and trends to help eliminate this spare tyre, they often fail to get the desired results and become increasinglyfrustrated.

But the reality is, until they are able to find out the underlying reason as to why the fat is there in the first place, chances are, the outcome they want will be very difficult to reach. 

Back to the SOURCE.

Here are 5 key reasons why you still hold on to your bodyfat :

 

1-POOR FATTY ACID METABOLISM

Fats don’t make you fat.  We know that by now.In fact, a low-fat diet will be MORE likely to put you on the wrong path. 

However, certain gene variants- like the APOE or the FTO gene- may represent an obstacle to you in regulating your energy expenditure or your fat absorption.

If your body is not able to use the fats as a fuel source (burning fat that gets into the cell), then it will have no choice but to store it away.  

If your cells lack a couple of important nutrients, then the process of burning fats to produce energy will not be effective. In order to burn fatty acids, our cells require Carnitine and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).  

The first step- finding out what your gene variants are, and if you are able to burn fats correctly,will definitely be a big advantage.

The second- is to change the fats that you are eating from bad, inflammatory fats,to good sources of fat. 

Good fats do not promote inflammation, and can be found in wild fish, organic coconut oil, avocado, cold-pressed olive oil and clarified grass-fed butter.

2-POOR GUT HEALTH

Many people who are overweight and dealing with stubborn belly fat, are often also dealing with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome- including bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

All of these symptoms- along with many more- can be signs of poor gut health.

Humans normally have a population of bacteria present in their digestive tracts, located in their mouths and large intestine.

Sometimes these bacteria can be overfed, and expand into the stomach and small intestine due to poor dietary choices and low stomach acid. 

While in the small intestine, the bacteria can steal the important nutrients in our foods, leading to a reduced level of nutrition entering our bloodstream.

If you are eating well and still not losing weight, you may be dealing with a bacterial overgrowth leading to a lack of nutrients getting into your cells.

Probiotic and prebiotic treatments can then be applied, as well as a 12 week gut- health promotion "diet.”

3-HORMONAL IMBALANCES

There are countless people who are dealing with some sort of hormonal imbalance.

This can include imbalance in insulin levels, adrenal hormones, sex hormones and brain based hormones. Again, certain genes- like the COMT gene among many others- can give us an understanding of possible predisposition.

Chances are you know someone who is dealing with Diabetes, Thyroid dysfunction, Infertility, or Adrenal fatigue. All of these conditions are often the result of hormonal imbalances.

Our hormones control the metabolic processes of our cells, their ability and rate of energy production, mood, and storage or usage of fat and carbohydrates.

All this is part of a complex network that may impair your desired weight.

A functional medical approach can help you to complete the testing and determine if a hormonal imbalance is at the root of your persistent weight gain.

4-NOT EATING ORGANIC FOOD AND INCREASING YOUR TOXIC LOADS

Pesticides and herbicides are all over the food you eat, so that farmers can reach and surpass quotas set out by distributors. 

The adverse  effects of these chemicals are numerous, and are harmful both to the plants and your health.

Some pesticides have been proven to impair hormones, causing them to function far lessefficiently and wreaking havoc in regulating certain functions, such as the insulin level in your body. We live in a toxic world, and it is already hard for your body to cope.

This is even more true for people with a predisposition of certain genes in relation to detoxification pathways, such as GSTM1.

If this is the case for you, it is a must for you to reduce your toxic loads, by avoiding pesticides and adopting a diet that supports the natural process/ pathways of your detox system.

 

Here are some foods that support detoxification and gut health: ( food to support detoxification & gut health )

It is important to try to keep these chemicals from entering your body, so choosing to eat organic food can help you to lose the weight that you are having trouble getting rid of. 

5-DIET HIGH IN SUGAR AND WRONG CARBS

Let's make it clear, carbs aren't the enemy here, but processed carbs- ie, foods that contain high levels of sugar and refined carbohydrates are. 

These “foods” cause spikes in insulin levels, leading to fat storage if the sugars are kept in the bloodstream and not used for energy production immediately.

 If your gene variant predisposes you to struggle to regulate your insulin levels, over the years, this will become more and more of a problem and will cause imbalances. 

Choose unprocessed foods, foods higher in protein and good quality fat content, rather than high carbohydrate options.

If you are doing all the right things and do not seem to get results, always look at the source.

Acquiring the knowledge and prioritising what is more likely to keep your unwanted fat at bay, is the key to optimum health.

Maintenance is then all about living and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

To sum up: The  basics of health do not rely on restriction and exercise, but on a more personalised approach.
Imbalances resulting in stubborn body fat, CAN be fixed through appropriate diet, lifestyle and environmental intervention. 

 

Time to be Gensmart #GenSmart

@gensmatme

1 Comment

The genetic of tall

Comment

The genetic of tall

Within the 37.2 trillion cells in our bodies, there are 6ft of instructions,ingeniously coiled in each single cell, in a beautiful double helix molecule called DNA.  

There are enough DNA instructions in your body to travel to the moon and back 6000 times! DNA is like a gigantic book, which is made up offour letters: Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, and Thymine (A C G T) that appear in a certain sequence to form sentences called genes.

Certain gene codes for your eyes will instruct to build different pigment colours, following your gene variation (assemblage of the lettersACG&T), some will code for blue and others for brown, green or almost infinite variations in between.  Your DNA makes you who you are, from your eye colour to many other physiological traits that make you the unique and exciting person you are.

While there’s no such thing as beauty genes, since the perception of it changes from one person or culture to another, some people seem to have won the genetic lottery and literally stand out from the crowd.

Let's take a closer look at one of these genetic traits that has been praised throughout history and is perceived as an advantage in our western society.  

Being tall!

As a matter of fact, taller people are more likely to be picked in sports teams, be more popular, get more jobs, and earn more money...

In Europe, the land of giants is The Netherlands where women reach almost 1.71m (5.6ft), and men 1.84m; their ‘tall’ attributes remain a mystery to scientists.

But here are some clues on the genetics of being tall.

Could the answer only be encrypted in our genes?

According to recent studies by Liggins Institute PhD student William Schierding who screened 700 genes, 68 are known to be involved in height.

When the heritability of being tall is evident, taller parents tend to have somewhat taller children than shorter parents.  However your genes are not your fate, and your genes alone aren't entirely responsible for your height. 

Here are clues to add to the genetic equation of being tall: 

Nutrition

A popular explanation for ‘tall’ nutrition is a calorie-stuffed diet rich in meat and dairy products.

Lifestyle

Your lifestyle, diet (nutrition) and environment will have an impact on the expression of your genes, impacting your final height.

Environmental factors

Your environment often dictates results.  Natural selection, in addition to good environmental conditions may help explain why some people or nations such as the Dutch are so tall.

The Epigenetics of tall

The growing current of Epigenetics, literally meaning ‘around your genes’, is the discovery on how your environment can re-write your gene expression as well as the one of your future generation.

What do we know so far?

Living healthily will grow your future generation taller.

When your genes offer a ‘menu’ of your predisposition, your environmental condition will have an impact on the way they express and can change over generations.

The average human height has increased in industrialised countries,ranging from the United Kingdom and United States to Japan, with gains of up to 10 centimetres over the last 150 years, as a direct result of the lifestyle, dietary and environmental improvements.

In the near future, advances in gene editing will probably allow us to choose the adult size of our babies. For now we understand that the major drivers behind increased adult stature are: improved nutrition, health, and a better quality of life that sends the right information to your genes to reach new heights. 

Comment

Can alcohol be good for you?

Comment

Can alcohol be good for you?

Can alcohol be good for you?

 

Numerous scientific studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption (defined as 1-2 drinks per day) is associated with reduced risk for heart disease.

The summer season is kicking in, and our social time will increase.  The culture of alcohol consumption in the UK makes us one of the top contenders on the scoreboard of alcohol consumption.  

Between colleagues, team sports and friends, we like to have the drink to help us unwind from our busy life and create some positive social bonds, or just having a laugh.  It then seems almost counter intuitive to advise against any alcohol consumption.


However, what do we know so far?  Is alcohol a real poison?  Do you know your gene variants can play a role in preventing you from the negative effects of alcohol consumption?  Can alcohol have some benefit at all?

 

The possible benefit of Alcohol

 

Several possible explanations of the benefit of alcohol have been proposed.  Resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in red wine has been shown to protect against heart disease.  This is where the ‘French paradox’ originated, but this does not explain the cardio protective benefit also found with moderate consumption of beer and spirits.

Meet your CETP gene

‘Cholesteryl ester transfer protein’ (CETP) is a plasma glycoprotein that mediates the transfer of cholesteryl ester from high-density lipoproteins (HDL) to triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in exchange for triglycerides.  Several genetic variants at CETP locus have been identified and they have been generally associated with increased HDL-cholesterol concentrations.

Consequently, it was originally thought that these gene variations could be life extending, because the higher HDL would be cardio protective.  Moderate alcohol consumption also increases HDL cholesterol (the ‘good cholesterol’), a negative risk factor for heart disease.  This variation would therefore ‘alcohol proof’ your heart from alcohol consumption to some extent and reap the benefits of the rich anti-oxidant content found in wine.

Benefits have also been attributed to the physiological mechanisms whereby alcohol prevents the tightening of the blood vessels and blood clotting, and therefore prevents heart attacks and strokes.

Another growing current of the Genomic revolution called Meta Genomic proves that social behaviour, connecting with people switches on and promotes healing genes.

So some social time at the local pub with your friends now and then is good for your health!

However the poison is in the dosage....

Alcoholism is a serious matter; it destroys millions of lives and tears families apart.

So what can trigger the negative effect of alcohol consumption, both physiological and emotionally?  Where do you stand?  Can your genes predict your behaviour and addiction?

Certain gene variants in genes that are involved in the brain’s emotion and reward centres increase an individual’s chances of forming addictive tendencies and may lead to alcoholism or other types of addiction.  Mainly if you are feeling stressed, tired or overwhelmed, you will tend to run on autopilot, leaving little chance for your willpower to manifest.

Variations in two hedonic genes, DRD2 and OPRM1, directly affect the brain’s dopamine functions and lead to emotional eating or drinking.  It can also play a role in becoming addictive to something.

Being proactive by creating a new pathway and building new habits upon the trigger that leads us to ‘lose control’ is crucial for those who have these variations.  

Being proactive and learning to make the right choices, as well as creating a favourable environment will play a role in preventing any addictive behaviour that could lead to the suffering of an imbalanced life, as well as the health and social disconnection and implications of any addiction.

Other genes like the COMT gene, which regulates the body’s metabolism and detoxification of the chemical transmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline in our brain play a role here.  Some of us have COMT genes that clear the brain of dopamine rapidly and efficiently and others have a slower and steadier response.


The slow variant of variation can lead to Depression, Alcoholism's drinking buddy, which will make things even more difficult to change in the long run.

Individuals with a higher risk of genetic variants (the slower response) should refrain from drinking alcohol and instead boost their heart-healthiness and increase their HDL levels by losing weight if overweight, and increase their level of antioxidants by eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as maintaining the basics such as regular exercise and good nutrition.

They should also quit smoking and consume more omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in their diet to further protect the heart.

It’s your health and your responsibility.  While drinking on a social level occasionally is part of life's precious pleasures, there is a fine line when it becomes too regular and drifts towards the edge.  This sets a path to more serious and damaging health problems related to alcohol, both physiologically and mentally.  Knowing what your traits and tendencies are will put you back in charge and hopefully lead you to become more proactive in taking preventative measures by making the right choices.


So know who you are, where you stand and enjoy it!

 

 

 

Comment

Do you even track?

Comment

Do you even track?

Do you even track?

For most of us, training or improving one's health involves going to the gym and making an extra effort with good nutrition. 

Shortly after beginning, something called life and ‘priorities’ will take over and quickly put an end to your good intentions.  At worst, within weeks you will completely move on from your good intentions, and at best if you’re self disciplined, you will push until reaching a plateau and repeat the same cycle over and over again without getting the results you want.

What could you add to the equation to keep you going and get the results you are hoping for, whether it’s improving your health or overall fitness and physique?

 

It’s time to track it all down!

Track it or lose it.

Keeping a record will make a difference as well as keeping you on the right path.

What to track?

Depending on the goal you have set, it is better advised to track more than 1 key area, as most will have interactions between them, i.e.: weight loss does not go with just tracking fitness, nutrition is crucial here too. 

Here are a few areas to start with:

Measuring Fitness & Physique

So let's focus more on how you track progress and the actual progression side of training.

If your goal is weight loss and looking better for the holiday season, then we want to track your body-fat percentage. 

Scales are not the best indicator of results for weight measurements; in fact it could lead you to make the wrong assumptions.  Body fat measurement is more accurate, as you can put on weight and actually look and be leaner.  Muscles are 7 times heavier than fat.  With 100g of fat lost you may have taken on 700g of muscle, which is crucial to burn that extra fat to start with.

We could add to this a few points of body measurements like: waist, upper thigh, hips and chest. Visual progress is also helpful, yes I do mean the before and after picture that most trainers use for their promotions.  It does not have to go on Facebook though and can be kept private!  Here are some guidelines on how to do it yourself.

You might want to look at the nutrition side of things too and make sure you are getting your Macronutrients ratio right (protein/carbohydrates/fats).  This requires a bit of organisation, having an idea of what is enough will avoid you the process of weighing your food etc.

For the time-poor there is also a great food delivery service that does all the hard work for you and delivers right to your home or office. 

Measuring Performance

Tracking progress isn’t super complicated.  You just need to be intentional and consistent. 

Know the goals you are trying to accomplish within every training session that fit into your overall training goals for that time of year.  Based on those goals, track the parameters that will help you to identify your progress. 

If your goal is speed or agility, then once a week track either sprint or agility drill time during that portion of your training session.

Measuring Health

What can I track for health? 

Biomarkers. 

Biological health is a mix of optimal physical, physiological and biological functions.

It has never been a better time for it.  The public health system is in crisis and many alternatives are now available, from private care to all sorts of different services offered by practitioners like myself are increasingly becoming more common and accessible.  It’s simply a response to a failing system that needs an alternative.

In his brilliant book ‘The patient will see you now’, Dr Eric Topol demonstrates how we are now in an area of democratised medicine, where we have immediate access to our own data and can generate much of it and be in the driving seat of our own health.

So what can you track for health?  Here are a few biomarkers for tracking core clinical imbalances.

  • Cellular transport: HDL (cholesterol - leads to cardiovascular disease) 
  • Detoxification:  biomarker GGT 
  • Defence: biomarker Hs-CRP (leads to chronic inflammation) 
  • Cellular communication (hormones): biomarker haemoglobin A1c (long term imbalance can lead to type 2 diabetes) 

There are many others that can also be checked. 

All of these biomarkers are easily influenced and can be rebalanced by adjustments in your lifestyle behaviour, environment and diet.  

  • Macro-micro-Nutrients / vitamins and mineral levels

Any imbalances in one or several of your nutrients, vitamins or mineral levels will in the long term influence imbalances in one or several of your key physiological processes. 

Tracking and creating a positive feedback loop

Tracking your progress will not only keep you on track but will also allow you to appreciate the milestones you have set for yourself and enjoy the rewards that goes alongside.

This will create a positive feedback loop, which will fuel your motivation to keep you going further and further.  

I have seen clients who started out being unhealthy and overweight, who have achieved milestone after milestone.  They have not only reaped the rewards of a healthier lifestyle but it has made a positive impact on many other areas of their lives, including improving their relationships and sex life (let's not be shy here!), to turning their careers around and trying new activities that a few years ago they would never have considered or thought possible.

Personalise your tracking

Now once again, it is all down to you!  We are all unique, and your aspirations and the tweaks you need to make in order to reach your goal will be unique to you.  There is no one magic formula.

What's your zone?  What group of food(s) should you avoid?  What key health area(s) should you treat as a priority?

It all starts with you as a pro-active individual, so before setting a goal with milestones and rewards, know your own ‘shortcuts’ and avoid the frustration of guesswork, which is a massive contributor to people giving up on their goal.

We are in the era of personalisation and it is about time you treat yourself as unique individual.

Please leave a comment, tweet me @gensmartme or email me at hello@thomasolivier.co.uk with ANY questions about this post  —  if anything wasn’t clear, if you want me to be more specific about your situation or any other questions you have. 
Thank you for reading!

Comment

5 Ways to Enhance Brain Performance

Comment

5 Ways to Enhance Brain Performance

5 Ways to Enhance Brain Performance

 

In the action-thriller blockbuster movie Limitless released in 2011, a writer takes an experimental drug that allows him to use 100% of his mind, making him evolve into the perfect version of himself.  Everything he read, heard or saw was instantly organisable and available to him.  As a former ‘nobody’, he meteorically rose to the top of the financial world.

While this is pure Hollywood fiction, we all would reap the benefit of a healthy and optimised brain, which would help us to reach top performance in our daily life.

Research shows that the COMT gene has an impact on your mood and brain performance. 

This gene is responsible for the active form of folate (L-methyl-folate), important for producing brain-communicating chemicals called neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine among others.  A lack of these chemicals in our brains can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness and anxiety, as well as memory loss and slower cognitive functions.

Whether or not your COMT gene is optimum, what can you do to reap the benefits of a fully switched on brain?

Here are 5 ways to optimise your brain:

Nutrition

Nutrition and botanical interventions can nicely neutralise these symptoms and protect against hormone-related disease.

Key intervention would be to increase insoluble fibre, managing the quality of fat intake, with a preference for olive oil as a dressing or for cooking.

Watercress is a great hormone regulator and we should create a habit of having it regularly in our diet within our daily green intake.  Go for the bitter version, which contains higher Phytonutrients (cancer fighters), helping prevent disease and keeping your body working properly.

As mentioned above, the active form of folate is important to produce brain-communicating chemicals called neurotransmitters.  Folate-rich foods include: dark leafy greens, beans, liver and avocado.  Something to be aware of is that caffeine can stimulate or magnify anxiety symptoms. 

Green tea and herbal adaptogens are two of many ways to healthily drive motivation and performance.  Matcha tea is delicious and a very rich antioxidant!  It’s packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg, provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium, while boosting your metabolism.  It also supports detoxifying both effectively and naturally, is rich in fibre and chlorophyll, in addition to being a mood enhancer, aiding concentration. Matcha tea ticks all the boxes and I recommend you to add it to your daily routine.

To optimise our brain we need a folate rich food intake with vitamins B12, B6, B2, B3, choline, serine, and magnesium.

Lifestyle

Promoting mood-boosting activities goes hand in hand with nutrition.  Exploring, hiking, starting a creative or new type of exercise will trigger dopamine to kick in and regulates hormones.  To paraphrase last week’s blog about longevity - "A walk in nature is proven to create a phenomenon called Neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells).”  Exercise, including resistance weight training can also do the trick.

Sleep more

Science still has a lot to learn about how sleep deprivation affects us.  Research is starting to paint a bleak picture, especially in light of new studies suggesting that a crucial function of sleep is to purge the brain of biochemical waste products that are the result of conscious brain activity.  This means that not sleeping enough could be contributing to the build-up of harmful proteins like beta-amyloids, which could in turn predispose us to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

So how do you fix your bad sleep habits?  Not easily. It requires nothing less than a major lifestyle change.  Recovering from one night with too little sleep is easy, but recovering from chronic sleep deprivation requires nothing less than chronic sleep restoration.

Practice mindfulness

Take 10 to 15 minutes each day, set them aside, and designate them as your time for not doing anything.  For instance, you can sit in your office chair and close your eyes for 10 minutes and focus on your breathing, just the ins and outs of your breath…and that’s it.  For a lot of people it is considered as time wasted, but do it regularly and within a week or so you will realise how much more efficient, focused and productive you have become.  Leaving you with a lot of time saved. 

Research shows that mindfulness exercises help improve your attention and your focus.  It’s like a muscle; it starts growing stronger and bigger.  Soon you will be able to focus much more easily, and for longer stretches of time.

The uprising of Nootropics

Coming back to the Limitless movie, hacking our brain through pharmaceutical drugs seems to be less and less like fiction.

Sometimes called smart drugs, Nootropics are compounds that enhance brain function, and they’re becoming a popular way to give your mind an extra boost. 

According to one Telegraph report, up to 25% of students at leading UK universities have taken the prescription smart drug Modafinil, and California tech start-up employees are trying everything from Adderall to LSD to push their brains into a higher gear.

However you may understand that with so many ways to enhance your brain function, many of which have significant risks, it’s most valuable to look at Nootropics on a case-by-case basis. 

There are a good dozen pharmaceutical grade drugs being used to enhance brain function, but personalisation here once again is key, as the side effects will vary from one person to another.

Another thing to take into consideration with Nootropics is the non-regulated supplement industry in the UK, which allows some companies to promote pre-made Nootropic stacks that contain ingredients like blue agave (fructose!), food colouring – and even pieces of metal.  So don't forget to read your labels!

Before trying Nootropics, I suggest you start with the basics: 

Clean nutrition, good lifestyle habits with lots of movement and exercise, removing all things that reduce cognitive performance.  Then try herbal and natural Nootropics like Gingko and certain essential oils.

 

Comment

Can you unlock your fountain of youth?

Comment

Can you unlock your fountain of youth?

Can you unlock your fountain of youth?

Genetic studies in people aged 90+ have identified favourable polymorphisms that are associated with extended lifespan.

The most consistent of these polymorphisms are found in genes that are involved in lipid metabolism (APOE and CETP) and antioxidant systems (FOXO3A). While those of us with these favourable polymorphisms may have won the genetic lottery, the rest of us can still reap the benefits of longevity and healthfulness by making healthy lifestyle choices that mimic the beneficial effects of these genetic variants.

What lessons can we learn to live longer and healthier from people who have lived the longest?

Here are 7 elements to add healthy years onto your life.

Nutrition

The obvious solution is to remove any processed food, excess alcohol and cigarettes from your diet. What else can you do?

Here are some facts gathered from people and communities that live the longest:

  • 95% of their food comes from plants, which are organic and have no pesticides.

Pesticides tend to kill the natural defences of the plant and its phytonutrients, which are vital for our own cell defences. Plants rich in phytonutrients will keep your cells healthy. Go for all the colours you find. The palette of phytonutrients is vast and the more colour you get, the more phytonutrients your body has on its palette.

  • Increase your plant based protein intake or minimise your animal based protein.

Plant based protein digests more easily in your digestive tract and always has a full spectrum of minerals and micronutrients too.

  • Snack on good things such as nuts. 

Snacks aren't bad! As long as you eat good things and have reasonable portions. Go for nuts and berries and top up with "superfoods" such as Goji berries, Chia seeds, Cacao nibs, etc..

  • Add beans and legumes, which are prebiotic food and will keep your digestive tract healthy andyour immune system strong. 

Be cautious however; in the vast array of beans and legumes, you may find some that you can’t tolerate.  Proceed by elimination.

Environment

A non-toxic environment is best to prevent illnesses. It can be difficult in a big city like London for example, when commuting by Tube exposes you to your yearly rate of toxicity! Ranging from Mold to all sorts of pollutants and chemicals. We can’t really avoid it nowadays; we live in a toxic world!

However being proactive, by setting up your environment with non-toxic products is a start (using organic cleaning products, eating organic food, food that helps your body to detox).   This, as well as a daily sweat will do you favours.

Lifestyle

Do you have a hobby?

Participating in a hobby that engages you both physically and mentally is particularly beneficial.

The baseline of optimal health requires you to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, which is easily tracked nowadays; you just have to carry your phone.

Ideally walk in nature, which is proven to create a phenomenon called Neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells). For a long time scientists have been wondering how to achieve this, spending millions in research, to then realise that a simple walk in a natural environment was doing the trick! 

Another example proves that healthy solutions are simply common sense and not rocket science. Hobbies needn’t be expensive either.  Gardening, bird watching and photography are examples of outdoor hobbies in a natural environment, which also get you moving.  Psychologist Michael Brickey, author of the book Defy Aging, notes that hobbies reduce stress and provide a sense of accomplishment.

Social Life

People who live the oldest are all part of small villages who have strong bonds within their communities.  Engaging in deep conversation and laugher with good friends is not only one of the best ways to relieve the damage of stress, but it is also proven to strengthen immunity and cognitive functions.

Sleep

When the body has its own detox system, your brain hasn't.  A recent study found sleeping was the only way the brain could get rid of the extra clutter that will impair your brain health and cognitive function in the long term. During sleep, the neurons in the brain become less active and undergo repair. Without repair, these nerve cells are unable to function properly and as a result people find that they have trouble with memory and concentration.

Many other tissues in the body also undergo repair during sleep, and sleep is also important for proper hormone balance. Aim for 7-8 hours sleep per night. With our current hectic lifestyle, it’s sometimes tricky during the week, therefore sleeping an extra hour or two on the weekends can help make up some of this deficit.

A Positive Outlook

Being grateful of what you have, no matter your circumstances, will shift your mindset to a more positive outlook. A positive outlook will generate happier thoughts and feelings, which will positively influence your behaviour. Spending time with like-minded people who have a positive outlook will put you on the right path to a healthier lifestyle and healthy ageing.

Get Personalised

Whether you have food intolerances or a genetic predisposition you should be aware of, it’simportant you adjust your lifestyle, diet and environment to your physiology. Knowing yourself will definitely give you an extra edge in healthy ageing.

Step out of your comfort zone, implement new habits in your lifestyle and see results. Remember, there is no rush; this isn't about a quick fix, but improving your health bit by bit over time.

Get started now on the right track! Find out what your genetic health tells you and learn what you can do about it.

I’m offering 20% off DNA health and packages until the 15 of June! Simply reply to this email to manifest your interest or order directly from the site.

It’s your health, your responsibility.

Comment

Farmaceutical vs Pharmaceutical

Comment

Farmaceutical vs Pharmaceutical

Farmaceutical vs Pharmaceutical

For a very long time Nutrition has been perceived as simply fuelling the body, and counting calories has been its measure. We are now rediscovering the virtue of food, and in the past decades countless research has reinforced an old saying by the father of medicine Hippocrates: "let food by thy medicine".   The core belief is that food is the vehicle to give the right tools to our body to reach optimal health thanks to their biochemical components.

Nowadays we can testify to the ultimate stand off between plants and pills, between traditional and ‘modern’ healthcare. The healthcare system is returning to its origins within herbal medicine, trying to mimic millions of years of evolution to create symptomatic relief. The key questions are: which is better - Pharmaceutical or the latest Farmaceuticaland how can I apply its benefits?

What are the differences between the two?

Mainly one is patented, and the other is open source.

Pharmaceutical is a massive industry and has reached worldwide revenue of over a trillion dollars.  According to a new report from Global industry analysts however, the global herbal remedy market is forecast to reach $107 billion by 2017, showing constant growth in the last couple of years. 

The paradox is over the last 30 years, 877 molecule drugs have been introduced worldwide and 61% can trace their origins back to natural products.  Furthermore of 121 prescription drugs used across the world to fight cancer, 90 of them are derived from plants!

What does this tells us? 

The Pharma industry model is about ownership and holding patents for molecules after molecules after molecules... Patents are great for securing things, but in my opinion patents should not have their place in trying to heal humanity from its diseases. 

Patenting plants is impossible, they belong to nature…but extracting and trying to isolate and reproduce every chemical within a plant and expecting it to have the same healing power is current practice.  Nevertheless can we really be that arrogant to try to recreate millions of years of evolution? 

This is where research in the healthcare industry fails all the time, despite billions having been spent.  Plant medicine is safer and more efficient. 

Countless scientific papers from peers and reputable organisations are proving this all the time; however this is considered as ‘quack’ medicine somehow, despite having been the only medicine used for centuries and remains a mainstream practise in the East.

Let's stop the debate here, breathe.... and move on to what you need to know and what you can do about it.

It’s evident that throughout your life, the most profound influences on your health, vitality and wellness aren’t how many doctors and experts you have visited, pills you have taken or even surgery and various therapies you have undertaken. 

The most profound influences are the cumulative effects of the daily decisions you make about your diet, lifestyle and environment and the expression of your genes. 

While pharmaceutical medicine, representing a trillion dollar industry treats the symptoms, the now called ‘farmaceutical’ looks at addressing the cause and influencing the symptoms by treating and rebalancing certain bodily systems such as blood glucose, immune tolerance, antioxidant process, detoxification and brain chemistry to name but a few.  

It’s time we learnt about the food we eat and how it affects our bodies and the expression of our genes.

The power of functional nutrition:

We won’t go through each and every vegetable or plant you will find in your supermarket, but let's put things into practice...

Imagine you learn through DNA testing what your ‘weaknesses’ are among the 7 keys of wellness and that their balance is essential to your overall health.

let's remind here that chronic illness are a result of one or several imbalances in one of these key core physiological processes. 

Let's say your genetic predisposition for several of these key processes is not optimum and in the long term their imbalance will have an impact on your health. 

Here we will choose:

1. Methylation (cell repair): that can lead to various cancer and mental health degeneration.
2. Inflammation: chronic inflammation being the cause and source of almost all degenerative diseases.
3. Immunity / Defence
Before ‘reacting’ to the development of the disease(s), functional nutrition should be applied to prevent disease in the first place. 

Why? By being proactive with your health, it is proven to most likely prevent you from becoming sick and falling into the reactive ‘sick care’ system and the pharmaceutical products that go with it.

Bimolecular compounds found in plants sweet talk to your genes.

What if you could organise your grocery shopping based on this knowledge? What would it look like?

Methylation: 

What are the nutrients to promote cellular health

(click to see infographic )

Inflammation:

What are the nutrients to switch off chronic inflammation?

(click here to see infographic )

Immunity / Defence

What are the nutrients to support your defence system?

(click here to see infographic )

A personalised approach on top of the basics.

The basics:

Before running, it is essential to learn how to walk.

Functional nutrition is crucial to reach optimal health, however we must get the baseline right first.

As a baseline, maintain a Mediterranean diet (as seen in inflammation infographic), walk 10 000 steps a day and do 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. In your Aerobic zone ( 220 - ( your age ) )  It may sound clichéd, but without this your chances to reach your peak health will be jeopardised.

Stick to the baseline first, and then add specific foods to meet your own nutritional requirements, avoiding an adverse immune response to achieve your optimal plan.  

Remember, your health is your responsibility, you have not been taught optimal health.  Start with yourself, become a self-educated individual and put an end to chronic concerns that kill millions every year, despite being preventable.

Would you like to know more about Functional nutrition? Join the GenSmart Academy opening in June 2016.

Email "I am GenSmart" at hello@thomasolivier.co.uk to receive a voucher for a course of your choice!

 

Comment

Ditch the beach body seasonal fads and make healthy change for good!

Comment

Ditch the beach body seasonal fads and make healthy change for good!

Summer’s almost here! The beautiful days have definitely arrived – even in the UK, which means gyms, magazines and manufacturers of ‘health’ products and supplement companies will do their best to grab your intention to repeat the same cycle again and again. 

This cycle is an 8 to 12 week period in the year where losing weight is our key focus.  Our conditioning that opts for a quick fix over sustainability also reinforces this.

Soon we’ll have to wear t-shirts or short sleeves and skirts or dresses for the ladies and we're not yet ready!  Or at least don't feel ready.  The clock is ticking and we have to get results fast... We want results and we want them fast, most of the time regardless of the long-term effects.

Does this sound familiar? The knee-jerk reaction does not come entirely from you; you have been conditioned to react this way...

Body beach ready or operation quick fix?

We tend to forget that weight loss is a by-product of health optimisation.  We see health optimisation as a short-term affair, squeezed between our ‘real-world’ responsibilities. We tend to seek the fast, feel-good factor to reassure us of a healthier future.  Health management and optimisation on the other hand is an everyday business, a way of living to the fullest.

The standard paths that have become widely available and accepted by the masses tend to take the form of short-term fixes; you will find them in the headlines of any health magazine or the health section of the newspaper at this time of the year. 

You will most likely be drawn into a plethora of information from different sources and be tempted to opt for the quick fix, ego-fuelled options created by advertisers to sell you a product. 

Everybody is looking for a magic pill, the latest research that will save us all, the latest workout or the best diet and there is a new one every week to feed our demanding appetite.

You just have to go to your magazine retailer or Google ‘weight-loss solutions’ to find extra-quick solutions thanks to a miracle plan or products. While some will get you results fast, almost none will give you lasting long-term results you can maintain.

So what should I really look at doing?

Cultivate the lifestyle, and drop seasonal trends.

There are 4 pillars for you to change:

1. THE FOUNDATION

Environment: Environment dictates results

Your environment will dictate your results. By creating a healthy environment you are increasing the likelihood of your success. When spring comes after a long winter, we naturally make the appropriate changes to the contents of our wardrobe and our bedrooms. In other words, we reshape our environment to adapt to the current weather conditions. Well, here it is no different. We shape our environment with regards to our nutrition and training. You must condition your environment to your success.

Mindset: Mother of all aspects of success

Your mindset and self-image needs to adapt with regards to (and in conjunction with) your goals. If somewhere deep inside yourself you don’t feel confident about your ability to succeed, that core belief will sabotage your efforts. 

2. THE BUILDING BLOCKS

Nutrition: Half the battle is in the kitchen

It’s time to stock up on whole and fresh foods. You will eat what is available to you, so make sure that what is available is your personalised healthy food. This is a very simple principle, but it is crucial.

Training: Train smart, live easy

Your fitness is another key element that requires attention on your optimal health and weight loss journey. Long-term health is an investment in your body that might not pay noticeable dividends for weeks or even months. Don't think of training as a means to lose weight. That mindset is unsustainable. Instead, view working out as a way to feel better.  ‘No pain, no gain’ is an old adage and more relevant to bodybuilders who want to significantly increase in mass and muscle definition. Instead, we are looking at training smart to live easy.

A 15-20 minute daily session of metabolic exercises is much more efficient to lose fat, than a 1h session or class 2/3 times a week to deliver results. Cultivate the habit and organise (block) the time for it.  20 minutes is less than 0.20% of your day, there is no excuse!

Need a winning plan? Feeling ready to make a real change?

Let me help... 

For the most courageous action takers, I am offering a 30 minute consultation, giving you a precise plan and a free month’s access to my online training platform for any 3 month plan booked.  Complete with unlimited access to my personal vault of video workouts and nutrition plans.

Text me on 07896 952 414 and it’s game on!

Available until 22nd May 2016 only! 

Get it done!

Comment

YOUR GENES AND STRESS AT WORK, HOW DOES IT WORKS?

Comment

YOUR GENES AND STRESS AT WORK, HOW DOES IT WORKS?

Your Genes and Stress at Work

 

DNA is now understood to hide the secrets of our health and is the key to our own uniqueness, determining everything from our eye colour to the way we react to coffee.  

Taking a mouth swab to establish how stress can affect you at work (or in your life) and tracking your results by taking blood samples appears to be confined to science fiction movies.  

Nevertheless on a warm July day in 2015, fifteen members of a premier advertising agency interrupted their busy schedules and lined up in their office to do just that.

Do you struggle with some semblance of ‘work-life balance’?  Is there a way to learn how to transform your high levels of stress into wellbeing?

The method:

We now know about the well studied effect of mindfulness to help increase focus, develop a better relationship with emotions, and cultivate a capacity for compassion.

The science behind:

What could happen at a cell level, at the level of gene expression, or how can we improve the stress level and wellbeing of anyone after completing a 12-week intervention?

Epigenetics (‘above’ or ‘beyond’ genetics) explores the fact that while the genes we inherit from our parents do not change, how they express themselves in our bodies does, and can be influenced by several environmental factors – including our lifestyle.

At any given moment, a gene may either be active or turned ‘on’ or inactive and turned ‘off’. What we eat, how we move, how much we sleep and how we manage our stress can directly affect this switch, one way or the other.  Herein lies the immense power and potential of lifestyle for our health and wellbeing.

Though we may inherit a genetic predisposition to various chronic diseases – like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, anxiety, depression, auto-immune disorders, among others – we are empowered through the choices we make each day, to keep those from turning into reality.

So what can we do about stress management?

Meet CTRA the stress gene.

The effects of chronic stress and social isolation have been proven to be directly to a set of 53 genes related to inflammation and immunity (called Conserved Transcriptional Response to Adversity or CTRA). This gene set is expressed in a certain way (with inflammation going up, and immunity going down) when we are stressed and under the ‘fight or flight’ response. A decreased expression of this gene set signifies a healthier outcome for the body in the long run.

Other studies in humans have also shown that interventions such as meditation can both suppress CTRA gene expression profiles, as well as improve levels of interleukin-6, a biomarker of systemic inflammation.

The bottom line and something to explore:

A DNA based wellness programme can improve workforce wellness in a sustainable way. 

Step 1: 

Explore at the average expression of the CTRA gene set for the group, staff or executives of a company. 

Step 2: 

Implement a 12-week corporate wellness programme based on mindfulness and optimise nutrition and lifestyle. 

Step 3:  

Look at the average expression of this set of genes for the group, after completing the 12-weekprogramme.

The anticipated results:

A significant lower expression of inflammatory genes should result, with a greater expression of genes boosting immunity and a more engaged workforce with a sense of ‘flourishing’.

Work Related Stress Costs in the UK Economy is Nearly £6.5bn Each Year!

What Steps Should Businesses and Employees Be Taking?

The astounding cost of work related stress to the economy reached a massive £6.5bn last year, demonstrating how prevalent an issue stress in the workplace has become in the UK.

Last year there were 10.4 million days lost to stress, with the cost of 'sick' days being £618 meaning workplace stress totalled £6,427,200,000. With presenteeism also on the rise, meaning employees coming to work disengaged, tired, unmotivated and too stressed to work, businesses could see these costs rise if they don't take action.

A pro-active company can significantly reduce these costs and reap the benefits of grateful ‘optimised’ staff.

Are you stressed at work?  Would you like your HR department to get in touch to discuss a corporate wellness programme? 

Contact me to contribute towards a happier, healthier workforce and a more health rewarding,inspirational workplace.

Hello@thomasolivier.co.uk.

 

Comment

Should I take supplements?

Comment

Should I take supplements?

With so many supplements on the market, the weekly promising miracle pill that will cure every ailment possible, it can be pretty confusing to know what vitamins and supplements are worth being taken. Here is for you some valuable informations that will lead you to the right choice.

The gloomy reality.

It is a real fact, the food we eat have lost a lot of its nutritious content and is loaded in chemicals before ending up on our plates. 
I attended a talk where various fruits or veggies bought from our local supermarket,were put at test, send to the lab for analysis, the outcome was outrageous. The orange send to the lab had less vitamin C than a Ham sandwich! 
This is real and it has a massive impact on our health.

How did we get there?

We are not longer eating food, but food like products, poor in nutrients but rich in chemicals and calories. When french fries have 20+ ingredients and are made in a Lab, well you will need a lab to digest it. Furthermore you will not give your body the necessary vitamins and mineral to perform normally.
Food depletion is real and the main causes are:

Extensive use of pesticides and herbicides on fruits and vegetables
Hormones and antibiotics in farm animals and their feed
Food processing and long-term storage

How can you make sure to Nourish your body optimally?

First, buy biologic products as much as you can, this will already remove the nasty toxins that are directly linked to all sort of cancers and that we are buying from the shelves. 
500 man-made toxic chemicals were found in a single cell of a healthy 30 year old British woman. This is representative of the majority of the population.
We have invented over 50 millions Chemical over last few decades, and unfortunately the list is growing every second! A lot of them are being used as fertiliser or conservatives which will not be the case if you buy biologic.
There is thousands of health shops where you can source from, or even online options that delivers directly to your door. No excuse!. Locals farmer markets are a wonderful alternatives too which will help support your community and it is a much pleasant shopping experience. look them up on the internet there is one in every area of London.

Do I still need supplements?

Yes! In today highly toxic world, you may consider that you need to support your diet with the most complete and balanced formula of antioxidants available for the least.
The food is no longer enough, even if we buy biologic, there is still the toxic load that you will find in the air we breathe, that your body is fighting on a constant bases, which creates free radicals, that are the main cause of chronic inflammation, which is the main cause of the growing " disease of our civilization"  degenerative diseases.
This is why you need supplement, to help those 37.2 trillion cells of yours to do they work properly so you can thrive as the wonderful human being you are and prevent yourself from degenerative diseases that are the represent the first cause of death in the world.


Snake oil or real vitamins ? 

Remember that vitamins and minerals are food, not drugs, and work together to enhance the body's immune System. A fully functioning immune system goes a long way to have a disease free body. 
However! Another reality is 54% of the supplement available on the UK market do not dissolve! In other term, they are not breaking down therefore the body cannot metabolism them. 

What shall I consider when buying supplements?


Do the company’s scientists have a real knowledge of human cell technology? It is important to understand that unbalanced and incomplete nutritional supplements are generally ineffective in promoting better health and are often at best a waste of money.

Are the dosages used those that are shown by current medical and scientific research to have protective or therapeutic benefits? Many don't. 

Are the products manufactured in a food and drugs administation (FDA) certified facility that follows good manufacturing practice (GMP) to the same standards used by the pharmaceutical industry? This is very rare and shows a good commitment to quality.

Are the products listed in any medical reference such as the physician desk reference? 

Do the products meet the stringent specifications of the British pharmacopeia with regard to potency, purity, disintegration, dissolution, packaging and labelling? 
One recent study showed more than half the supplements tested didn’t even dissolve effectively. 

Are the ingredients in their most easily absorbed forms as they are in nature?
(Bioavailable)? 

Do the manufacturers laboratory test and guarantee the potency and quality of the products? If so, this will be stated on the label and in their literature. Is it manufactured in-house?

Do the products contain a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, other antioxidants and their
necessary cofactors? For example bioflavonoid complex, turmeric extract, glutathione precursors, inositol, coenzyme Q10 etc..


One recent independent study collating the views of 12 of the world's leading nutrition experts judged 100s of products against a theoretical maximum of 100%.   

The world's top selling multivitamin scored only 3.2%!!
One supplement company scored 96.1%

DO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DESERVE TO  BE TAKING THE SUPPLEMENT JUDGED TO BE THE BEST OR ARE YOU SELLING YOUR HEALTH TO THE LOWEST BIDDER?


Be in touch if you want guidance on on your personalised supplement strategy 

Remember, Your Health your responsibility.

Helping you live fully and to your fullest because it is the real way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment

WHAT MAKES YOU A NIGHT OWL OR AN EARLY BIRD?

Comment

WHAT MAKES YOU A NIGHT OWL OR AN EARLY BIRD?

How would you qualify yourself?  Are you an early bird?  Someone who likes being up and active in the early morning?

Do you feel mornings are more productive and do you wind down in the evenings towards a relatively early bedtime?  Or are you a night owl?  Someone who tends to wake up later, gaining energy and focus as the day progresses?  Someone who likes to work (and play) in the evening hours? 

You would think it is all about building habits either one way or the other; however it seems the tendency is deeply ingrained within us. 

We are all familiar with the importance of a good night sleep. For some time now, scientists have discovered the circadian rhythms that regulate the sleep-wake cycle and many other bodily biological processes.  These cycles are crucial for maintaining our overall health. 

Here is a diagram explaining what happens during your sleep cycles.

Now that we know for sure the importance of sleeping, the question remains – what influences and regulates these cycles? 

Meet the ‘wake up’ gene, PER1 that is believed to be responsible for activating the body’s biological clock in the morning.  This gene directly influences our sleep patterns and circadian rhythm. 

Following your variation of this PER1 gene, it will determine your tendency towards living as a night owl or an early bird.

Studies have shown significant variation among people.

• 60% of the population has a variant called adenine (A)

• 40% of the population has a variant called guanine (G) 

As each individual has two sets of DNA chromosomes:

• 48% of the population will have a combination of A and G

• 36% of the population will have two As

• 16% of the population will have two Gs

According to the study results, people with the AA genotype—the early birds—tended to wake up 60 minutes earlier than those with the GG genotype. The third group—AG—tended to split the difference and wake right in the middle of this 60-minute timeframe. 

So what does it mean for us and how could we use this information to better our health? 

Learning about how our individual genotype affects our circadian timing, this information could be applied in any number of ways to manage health and the treatment of disease. 

Knowing this, we could create sleep-healthy schedules, particularly for shift workers and people who travel frequently and experience jet lag. 

You could rearrange your workload and only work on your most important projects when you are the most productive, either during the morning or evening depending on your gene variant.Or prevent bad habits from kicking in.  For example, if you know you are more of a night owl and have an early wake up, you can schedule a power nap in your day.  

Finding out what our natural tendency is in regards to sleeping and waking, could help us to shapeour daily life around what we are naturally predisposed to. Giving us a chance to use this information for the better of both our productivity and health.

 

Comment

SHOULD I GO PALEO?

Comment

SHOULD I GO PALEO?

Is the Paleo diet right for you?

Your genes not only decide what you look like, they also decide which foods are best for you.  The major diseases of today – type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and obesity stem from a mismatch between our genes and our diet.  This means eating the wrong food for your genes increases your chances of developing these health problems.  On the other hand, eating a diet tailored to your genes will improve your health in a sustainable manner.  

A good example is the relationship between your TCF7L2 gene and refined carbohydrates.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in people with genetics that are incompatible with modern food and lifestyle.  People whose ancestors ate diets least similar to today's Western diet are at greatest risk for the condition, with a polymorphism within the TCF7L2 gene being the strongest genetic risk factor.

People with the ancestral allele(s) in this gene do not handle refined carbohydrates as well and may be better suited to similar diets such as pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers.  This is also called the Paleo diet, which became a trend amongst gym goers and the Cross Fit crowd.

So what is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet reflects an eating pattern of our pre-agricultural ancestors and is characterised by the following:

• Emphasises vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and eggs

• Limits grains and added sugars

• High fat, protein and cholesterol

• Low carb and low glycaemic load

For people with diabetes linked to their TCF7L2 gene (which is often associated with lower BMI and not insulin resistance) the Paleo diet may offer benefits. 

Diets with a lower glycaemic load (GL) that limit desserts and milk reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes for this group. 

These dietary patterns and choices align with the Paleo diet. 

 

In contrast, for the majority of diabetes cases (which stem from being overweight and obesity with insulin resistance) the Paleo diet could be harmful. Because of the higher fat and protein content, the diet seldom meets dietary guideline recommendations. 

Here we are talking about the relationship between your APOE gene and dietary fat.

People with the APOE4 gene variant need to be particularly careful about following a Paleo diet as they can develop high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases when the level of fat in their diet is too high. 

Genetic variation in the APOE gene strongly influences the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cholesterol levels. 

There are three common types of the APOE gene. Each is associated with different levels of cholesterol in the blood and risk of dementia:

• APOE2: lower levels of cholesterol

• APOE3: normal cholesterol metabolism

• APOE4: higher risk for high cholesterol levels

Your heritage influences your likelihood of having E2, E3 or E4 and therefore your risk for high cholesterol and heart disease. 

One of the principles of functional nutrition that I like to repeat to my clients, is that you are not doomed by your genes! Your gene predisposition does not mean in any way that you will develop the disease associated with it. 

However by not adapting your diet to suit your genes and correct any imbalances, this will lead you on the wrong path. 

Research has shown that people from Nigeria have the highest frequency of the E4 allele (31%). However they have one of the lowest disease rates associated to its gene variant. So we have something to learn here from their diet.

The traditional Nigerian diet consists primarily of starchy root vegetables, grains and an abundance of fruits, while including very little animal meat. 

Adhering to a low-fat (especially low-saturated fat) and low-cholesterol diet allow people with the E4 genotype to thrive without high cholesterol and heart disease.  However, when people with E4 alleles consume a ‘Westernised’ diet, with higher cholesterol and sodium and low potassium, disease emerges.

The traditional Nigerian diet might present beneficial nutritional patterns for people with the APOE4 genotype. It also happens to perfectly align with heart healthy dietary recommendations by the American Heart Association.

So here are some guidelines for an APOE4 diet:

Gene Diet for APOE4:

• Strictly limit saturated fat to less than 7% of total calories.

• Limit dietary cholesterol to less than 200 g/day.

• Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

• Include an abundance of whole grains and complex carbohydrates in the diet.

• Choose fish and poultry instead of red meat.

• Get enough potassium (4,700 mg/d) while limiting sodium intake.

Cholesterol isn't the evil for us all.

Interestingly, a major update in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2015 lifted the restriction on dietary cholesterol intake (originally 300 mg/day). 

This is because for most people, cholesterol may not be a big problem. 

In fact, cholesterol-rich foods can be beneficial for people with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.  However, for people with abnormal cholesterol metabolism, such as those with APOE4, this revised guideline does not apply; limiting fat, saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods, such as eggs, shellfish, red meat and dairy, is critical for these people to minimise their risk of heart disease.

Genetic testing can shine light on the root causes of disease and helps us to more precisely formulate dietary, lifestyle and environmental changes to better optimise our health and prevent the development of degenerative diseases that represent the first cause of death in our society. 

 

So what's your best diet?  Get in touch and ask your genes here

 

 

Comment

3 DECISIONS TO BETTER YOUR HEALTH

Comment

3 DECISIONS TO BETTER YOUR HEALTH

3 Decisions to Better your Health

 

To me there is nothing worse than a person who is chronically ill and unhappy, yet I see and hear about this phenomenon every day.  This results from imbalances one has lost control over, most of the time as a result of an unbalanced lifestyle forced by our current way of living and a passive approach to health.

Without control over our health, we take it for granted, without proactive ‘self health’.  Our health is our responsibility to maintain.  We'll never live our lives fully and chronic diseases representing the main cause of death in our society will strike after a build up of years of poor decision-making or an accumulation of bad habits.

But how do you cultivate proactive health?

What’s the point of achievement and success to then lose the most precious thing needed to enjoy it all, your health?

For nearly a decade, I’ve had the privilege of learning and coaching people to regain control of their health.  Reflecting on the success achieved, I’ve found that virtually every time people make three key decisions that dictate the quality of their lives.

If you make these decisions unconsciously, you’ll end up like the majority of people who tend to be out of shape physically, exhausted emotionally and with worrying symptoms as the years goes by.

But if you make these decisions consciously, you can literally change the course of your life today.

 

Decision 1: Make it personal to you

 

At any given moment, millions of things compete for your attention.  We tend to address the little things in life one after the other, without really focusing on ourselves.  Where the focus goes, energy flows.

What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.

How much did you spend the last few days thinking about what you could do to improve your own wellbeing?

Which area do you tend to focus on more on your daily life?

If you examine your daily habits, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?

Rather than focusing on what can be done in the future, before you tackle the mountain of things you need to do at work, thinking of all the things you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for, and some of it has nothing to do with money.

You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, freedom of choice and your healthy mind.

Developing a habit of appreciating your health is a first step. You can create a new level of wealth and emotional well-being simply from doing that.  But the real question is, do you take time to deeply feel grateful of your healthy mind and healthy body?

Creating a personal relationship with your own physiology and being grateful for it is the first step of acknowledgement.

If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life.  You can influence many aspects of your life, but you usually can’t control them.  Your health however can be one of them.

When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision.

 

Decision 2: Figure out what I need to do

 

This step will lead you from a ‘passive’ state to a more proactive mind-set.

Let me give you example of a passive state: How many of you know someone who takes antidepressants and is still depressed?

How many people do you know with high cholesterol that take medicine for years and still have a high reading?

How is this possible?  The drugs should make people feel better.  It’s true that antidepressants come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side effect.

But no matter how much people drug themselves, if no other actions are being taken, the source of the imbalance will remain.

The focus therefore should shift to what to do to make necessary changes.

A proactive approach to lifestyle, diet, environment are most of the time enough to make those symptoms disappear within a timeframe of 6 to 12 weeks, for good if the right habits implemented are truly installed.

A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.

See here for more details: (blog) 

So take control and always remember: action equals change.  Make sure to prioritise and find support if needed.

Once you have became proactive towards your health, it creates an emotion in your mind and that emotion leads to a state to make your third decision.

 

Decision 3:  Build, what will you do?  

 

The actions you take on a daily basis shape your health.

If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and transform them into empowering actions.

Building habits that are right for you.

The baseline of optimum health is simple.

- Eat whole and nutrient rich food as opposed to processed calorie dense food

- Move! Walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day

- Spend a minimum of 20 minutes a day of vigorous activity

- Avoid consuming too much alcohol etc.

 

Start here as a habit and once the baseline of optimum health is achieved, its time to get more personalised.

What areas of your health are imbalanced?  What are the daily lifestyle, diet and environmental mini habits that could fix it?

It’s very useful to know where you are now to make the appropriate changes.  This is now possible thanks to genomic and functional medicine and it has never been a better time for you to regain control of your health.

Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start today, and shift your health from a degenerative state to an empowering one.

 

It’s not rocket science. Being healthy is easy, we are born this way, but we forget it is our responsibility to maintain.  If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, then you’ll have a pathway to help you create permanent positive changes.

What is your winning plan? be in touch now to find out how to start your health journey the right way.

 

Comment