Study on Carb Addiction Enrolling Participants

#TastingHappiness DonutWe are enrolling participants in our study on carb addiction. Attention fellow Whole30 and LCHF fans, Paleo, Banting and Keto-Warriors of the Cape, you can become the proof of the pudding with our help!

As you probably imagined already, Nutrition is a constant topic in our house and we like to look at it from a few different angles.Ann my wife and Liefie is currently doing her Masters Thesis in Neuro Psychology and guess what: our plates are at the centre and what we’re trying to prove is that the gut-brain connection does really exist and is at the core of (even) psychological disease.
I will just post a short introduction here and leave the rest to the .PDF (Participant questionnaire and info), should you be curious or even dare to participate. All you need to do, is follow a closely guided Whole30 (again?!) and fill out a questionnaire before and after. We will help recording your status quo before and after by taking a few measurements.
Easy as pie!
aka: the ‘Tasting Happiness Study’ or #TastingHappiness Study

Exploring the efficacy of nutritional intervention (LCHF diet – low carb & high fat diet) to improve the ability of self-control and regulation in carbohydrate-addiction, curbing addictive behaviour while facilitating positive physical and mental health.

“This paper proposes a ‘treatment option’ (and possible diagnostic measure) concerning carbohydrate addiction, which I believe to be the core element of not only physiological stress on our organism as a whole, but also of detrimental psychological consequence. Stress leads to a systemic communication breakdown which we call disease. What if we knew that a main stress factor could be alleviated by nutritional intervention as opposed to a lifelong prescription of costly drugs and a still ‘untimely’ death?” (Ann Kistenmacher in her Study Aim & Motivation)
Call us to arrange an info and intro session for a small group at:
We will explain the reasoning and what the study of carb addiciton practically entails. Basically every self-confessed carb-addict can participate after the status quo (Day 0) is recorded and the intake questionnaire is filled.
Participants can attend a #WalkAndTalk once a week and are invited to participate in a #TastingHappiness FB Support Group (by invitation only).
You may of course share with your #SweetToothed friends and people you think would survive a little challenge like this. Afterwards you might want to join my alumni group #CarbAddictNonAnonymous and tell others how easy it actually is to handle carb addiction after you have survived the first 7-14 days and stayed strong to finish the Whole30 challenge.
Chat soon
Christoph

Chocolate Affair

… and taste buds in love.

Jean-Pierre is probably the guy I adore most for his wonderful craft of being a chocolatier. You can see his love for chocolate in the presentation of his stall at the market and you will taste the finesse of subtle flavour selection in every piece of Fortain chocolate. But can you really appreciate it? Or do you find yourself gobbling away whole slabs of chocolate because it’s just so overwhelmingly tempting?

Saturday 19th (and 26th) January, 14:00 (after the Paleo Gourmet Session) at the Demo Kitchen

Join us for a true and sensuous Chocolate Affair at the V&A Market on the Wharf: Jean-Pierre and Chris will take you on quest to discover all your taste buds and senses, one at a time… slowly and cautiously in the beginning but wildly passionate in the end!

An honest love affair can not be bad for you, can it? So learning to love chocolate in moderation, being able to savour every bite, will reveal the true taste and benefits to you.

Take home a special treat for your liefie in exchange for your appreciation of chocolate.

Jean-Pierre established Fortain Chocolatier in South Africa in 2012. Jean-Pierre Fortain, third generation chocolatier, shares his knowledge and know-how, gathered at “De Groene Poort” baker and pastry school in Bruges, by teaching South Africans the art of making Belgian chocolates.

Looking forward to get messy with you 😉

Tell us about your Chocolate Affair on the ThinkFood FB page and you stand a chance to get a very special Nutty Treat from JP!

Cholesterol Denialists do not Eat Eggwhite Omeletts

Reading the newspaper and following tweets, I found last weeks news extremely exciting and have come to believe that I was meant to write this looong, overdue blog post about chocolesterol. It began with me attending a lecture offering CME (continued medical education) points, listening to one of the signees of THE letter sent to the Cape Times earlier this month (September 14, 2012): Bottom line: according to the writer, every diabetic should be on a by now low cost statin (cholesterol lowering drugs) – regardless, while the aim of the therapy should be to decrease the ‘bad LDL cholesterol’ below a ridiculously minute number. Not a single word was lost on ‘lifestyle changes’ like nutrition, exercise, sleep or smoking cessation.
Three days later, the Cape Times headline was: “Noakes goes too far – doctors” with statements like: “Having survived ‘Aids denialism’, we do not need to be exposed to ‘cholesterol denialism’.”. Allow me to explain why nobody should ban cholesterol and ignore its quintessence. What’s good about it and when it can be bad for you? Who is at risk and what should you test for?
To many of you, statins might have been suggested by your physician already. But have the risks involved been explained to you? No possible alternatives that lower your cholesterol? Look out for a separate post relating to statins specifically. Cholesterol first.

Know your enemy

Lowering the amount of cholesterol in an otherwise healthy body is like trying to make a cheesecake taste good with low fat cream cheddar cheese.
Cholesterol is the precursor to all steroid hormones, which account for numerous physiological functions your body needs to maintain a normal, healthy state. Cholesterol keeps your cell membranes flexible. If ever you tried surfing or scuba diving – remember your struggle with the wetsuit? Nothing happens without stretch. Sufficient cholesterol makes your inner membranes feel like the newest cutting-edge-dolphin-skin-like-stay-warm-forever-nano-technology-wetsuit! Whereas pop-a-pill-swallow-a-fortune-lowered-cholesterol-levels make you feel like you want to get out of your twentyfive-year-old-salt-crusted-sun-bleached-cracked-30-40-30-millimeter-drysuit after a chilled 2.5 hour sunrise surf session at the secret arctic ice break. Good thing is, you probably won’t remember. Because cholesterol is crucial for your marbles running smoothly, maintaining normal memory function even at the old age of 35 requires some. 25% of cholesterol is not in your brain for nothing.
Talking about marbles – cholesterol will guarantee an in-built Underberg-like supply of bile acids necessary for normal, smooth and regular digestive function.

Of course you can spend a fortune on supplements, but chances are, they are just being flushed down the pipe because your body can’t absorb them without bile salts being present (forget about the gut-microbiota influence). Fat soluble vitamins E, D, K and A, which we can not live without, are essential! Proper nutrition and a lekker working digestive system supplies plenty of that. On top of it, the integrity of your gut lining depends on cholesterol. Vegans sometimes develop a leaky gut or other intestinal disorders because they are lacking vitamins E, D, K, and A.

Everybody knows vitamin D is made from sunlight?

Keep in mind that the happy-hormone serotonin receptor in your brain is dependent on cholesterol, and low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive and violent behaviour, depression and suicidal tendencies. Guess what the precursor of Vit D is? Sun exposure always makes me happy – because it can, BUT only with cholesterol.
Cholesterol is similar to a Prestik-like band aid used to repair wounds and irritations on the arteries. Recent studies show that vitamin D is a potent antioxidant, helping to detox the body and protect arteries too.
Other steroid hormones are found throughout the body and you decide for yourself if you would like to limit their building blocks or suppress their level to a big-pharma-suggested-and-truthfully-tested minimum:
Pregnenolone is also a precursor to all other steroid hormones.
Glucocorticoids are necessary for blood sugar regulation, being extremely important for your power houses, the mitochondria.
Mineralcorticoids are the key to balancing your minerals, maintaining a perfect and very sensitive homeostasis. This in turn adjust blood pressure quickly and counteracts a loss of minerals e.g. through sweating.
All your sex hormones are made from cholesterol. If you are male, testosterone (an androgen) is your driving force and regulates your libido and muscle mass, amongst other things. Ladies fight with estrogens and progesterone on a monthly basis.

Important steroid hormones with cholesterol as their precursor

But surely my doctor is right to warn me about cholesterol

Now that we have established the importance of cholesterol and that it can’t be entirely bad, there surely is a risk involved regarding high cholesterol. To be more precise: cholesterol is one of several risk factors for the development of CVD (cardio vascular diseases). Arteriosclerosis is an inflammatory disorder combined with oxidative stress. Risk factors for heart disease are the ones that contribute to inflammation as well as oxidative stress:

  • nutrient deficiencies
  • poor blood sugar control (extreme highs and lows)
  • smoking
  • high homocysteine levels
  • depletion of NO (nitric oxide)
  • psychological stress
  • high iron levels
  • microbial infection (sometimes under the radar!)
  • a diet high in trans fatty acids (slap-chip-fat)
  • excessive refined carbohydrates (i.e. millie, mazah and macaroons)
  • too much omega-6 fatty acids and too little omega-3s. Don’t you know the ratio?
  • little or no exercise

Any kind of inflammation or free-roaming radicals will inhibit NO synthesis, which is vital to protect against heart disease on several levels. Cholesterol never travels freely through your body. Being a fat, cholesterol is not soluble in water-based environments such as the blood and needs a carrier. Together with other fatty acids and proteins, Lipoproteins are formed. Standard lab tests only distinguish between HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein). Good, since both are necessary. LDL is only harmful if cholesterol particles become oxidised. But you can not oxidise cholesterol since only polyunsaturated fats within the lipoprotein particles oxidise. This oxidised fraction of LDL particles triggers inflammation and the clogging of arteries.
High levels of cholesterol are caused by chronic infections, inflammation and stress, simultaneously  increasing the risk for heart disease. Hence you will seldomly find elevated cholesterol in patients with heart disease.
But do NOT assume that cholesterol causes arteriosclerosis – the underlying condition does! The ‘oxidative response to inflammation’ hypothesis is well-supported by current research. Everything we know about heart diseases fits this hypothesis and is widely accepted by the research community. Problem being, it has not reached our physicians, dietitians, the media and the general public yet.

Conflict of Interest

Without believing in conspiracy theories, I do however know how money dictates messages and opinions in our media. Articles about health are paid for by whoever is buying the ad space. Most of the opinion makers are incentivised and hampered. Have you ever wonder who buys the sweets on the counter of your physicians rooms? Workshops and additional education is happening in pompous venues with a never ending supply of fine finger foods to feed the pot bellies of the benefitiaries present. Studies are being funded in expectancy of creative interpretations of the results – statistically validated with a double-blind magnifying glass. Outcomes not supporting the desired result are simply excluded and never appear in the abstracts of studies (always read the full text if you want to judge!). Even universities depend on support from the industry to build new laboratories. Legal advisors of our jurisdiction usually are on the payroll of relevant companies. Be weary of treatment advice from an advisor who is likely to be at risk himself. I personally wouldn’t trust an overweight dietitian either.

Scientific opinion is in favour of reducing cholesterol in the diet as a key preventive measure of cardiovascular disease, says the dean of UCT’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Marian Jacobs. 

Do’s and dont’s for your hearts health

  • Tackle your stress. Manage it by learning to say no and employing a relaxation technique which resonates with you.
  • Get out and play for 30min every day.
  • Maintain your ideal body weight. Neither to heavy nor Biafra-style.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid other toxins in your environment.
  • Limit intake of high glycaemic index foods (sugar, starches, grains, pasta, cereals).
  • Eat meat, fat and offal from grass-fed organically reared animals.
  • Cook with butter, lard, coconut and palm oil. Use olive oil for salads and warm dishes.
  • Avoid processed foods. Be careful if they contain polyunsaturated vegetable oils (canola, safflower, soy) and trans fats.
  • Read the labels.
  • Free range organic eggs are particularly beneficial and full of nutrients. Especially the yolks which are best eaten raw.
  • Snack on raw dairy products. They are rich in probiotics, nutrients, enzymes and much desired fats. If you can’t tolerate pasteurised dairy, you might get away with raw milk or goats milk products instead.
  • Consume cultured foods regularly (yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickels). Through fermentation they contain a wonderful mix of probiotic cultures to maintain a robust gut flora.
  • Add a capsule of salmon or cod liver oil to every plate. This will boost your levels of vitamins A, D and K. Butter is a good source too.
  • Increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and do limit the intake of omega-6s as they become pro-inflammatory.

We do talks and Q+A sessions for you, your friends, family members and loved ones that have been diagnosed with “high cholesterol” or fear that they will be. If you are wondering whether they should be concerned, what diet and lifestyle changes they should make, whether they should take the statin they are supposed to be taking, and what the natural alternatives to statins are, you should attend. We compiled a short list of things you should test for (more specific than a shot gun cholesterol test) your risk to suffer CVD:

Suggested tests to assess CHD (coronary heart disease) risk

Note: not all the tests should be performed. Only if a thorough assessment reveals a potential risk depending on age, health status and other factors (i.e. family history of CHD, smoking, exercise, etc.) a more detailed inquiry might be suggested. Speak to your physician about it.

Individualised nutritional plans paleo style

We write individual nutritional plans according to your individual metabolic status and health assessment. We are glad to have wonderful drugs such as anti retro virals, antibiotics, vaccinations and selected cases even statins. But they should always be our last resort for a number of reasons. If you still need convincing, you can always call and get a pep talk from us… start reading, listening and learning now!
Tim Noakes on carbohydrates * Noakes goes too far – doctors * Heart disease theory an error – Noakes * Is Tim Noakes the Malema of Medicine * Fat flies over Noakes diet
The comments are full of affirmative testimonials (if they havn’t been discontinued, which recently happened on Health24!) of people who tried a low carb, Atkins, Dunkan, Zone or paleo kind of approach to increase their well-being without suffering starvation. If you don’t trust the establishment, rather enroll in a personal scientific experiment with n=1 (n is the no. of participants in a clinical study). Follow the guidelines mentioned above for 30 days consequently and see for yourself. If you have done so already please comment and become part of a peaceful and fascinating health revolution.

Egg yolks? But they’re full of cholesterol!

Eggwhite omelette with transfatty french fries and half a cherry tomato

To finally bust the myth about eggs, yolks and cheesy egg-white omelets, I suggest you listen to mastermind Chris Masterjohn’s Cholesterol 1o1. Chris is very involved in gathering supporting research for the Weston A Price Foundation. He is one of the wittiest cholesterol skeptics in the blogosphere. In this podcast he explains why we should not be concerned about egg yolks and heart disease. No reading required!

Guten Appetit!

Find more information:
You are also welcome to attend one of the Cholesterol Q+A sessions we are currently hosting. Please check our FB page for details, drop us a mail or give us a shout to find out when and where. I am always happy to present to your group, class, company, department, band, tribe, club, union or whatever your cluster may be know as. Other topics include:

  • ThinkFood – Real Food by Choice and Weight-loss by Chance.
  • ThinkFoodAI – Autoimmune Diseases and Leaky Gut. Benefits of an AI Protocol

Weston A. Price Foundation
http://www.westonaprice.org
The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics
http://www.thincs.org
The Cholesterol Myths
http://www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm
High Cholesterol And Heart Disease — Myth or Truth?
http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Does-Cholesterol-Cause-Heart-Disease-Myth.html

ThinkFood30 MOTW challenge

To all the survivors of the festive season. Completely knackered or in the need of a proper detox? No need to book in into a fancy rehab resort in Knysna, ThinkFood! Together with the The V&A Market on the Wharf (MOTW) we’ll get you back on your feet, ready to face another year:

New Years Resolution ThinkFood30 Challenge

We all know how frustrating it is to face another year, realising that your New Year Resolutions havn’t actually changed much. It seems as if trapped in a continuum with a slight downhill slope, which most of us just perceive as getting old. A few more aches and pains, a bigger pair of pants and more stress at work. ThinkFood30 combats a lot of apparently age, stress, chronic condition related symptoms by alleviating the causal factors: food – which you can’t just stomach anymore.

Exclude the usual suspects involved in allergic or gut-disrupting reactions.

These inflammatory food-groups unbalance your hormones and disrupt your bodily homeostasis – in other words – you are way off balance and your body will show you that it’s not doing all that well by getting bigger, being sore and clouding up your head. If you’ve ever had one of those days when getting out of bed already needs convincing, getting your limbs into gear without pain takes about half an hour, your eyes won’t open up widely enough to spot the most recent pimple and it’s hard to remember where you’ve put your cup of coffee, try ThinkFood30 instead of waiting on unfulfilled New Years Resolutions. Eliminating certain food-groups will allow your body to heal, recovering from the otherwise constant fire you were feeding: systemic inflammation.

Combating systemic inflammation will change your life.

Your metabolism isn’t slower than somebody else’s or you weren’t genetically blessed with a faster one, everyone can optimize their metabolism according to their own needs. This will change your relationship to food, your own body, your habits, your sleeping patterns and your mood-states – not just because you look all ripped and pimple-free, but because your brain chemistry is set on positive, high volume capacity again.

Paleo Gourmet sessions and kick-off talks

ThinkFood and MOTW challenges the market community to a New Years Resolution that will work– and you don’t have to do on your own. Are you a staff member, a vendor or a friend of the market? Let us help you lead a healthier life, enabling you to actually fulfill those resolutions instead of just thinking about them. You are welcome to join us for one of the two kick-off talks in January.

ThinkFood30 kick-off info talk will give you all the details. We will explain the What and How and Why:

14th Jan 2013, 10:00, Mezzanine Level at the V&A Market on the Wharf or

22nd Jan 2013, 17:30, Mezzanine Level at the V&A Market on the Wharf

For those of you who think they’ll suffer deprivation… fear not! The Sue-Ann and the MOTW demo kitchen have Paleo Gourmet sessions lined up for you so you can ease into it, learn a bit about the Paleo diet, while Sue-Ann will prepare a 3 course meal in true primal manner for you:

Sat 12th January, 12:00-13:00 at the MOTW demo kitchen,

Sat 19th January, 12:00-13:00 at the MOTW demo kitchen,

Sat 26th January, 12:00-13:00 at the MOTW demo kitchen

Please contact Sue-Ann for more details on the Paleo Gourmet sessions and Chris for the info talks.

Some celebrities of the market community are already committed and can’t wait to get cracking!
Check out our Facebook page for the latest gossip.

UPDATE 12th Jan 2013:

Today Sue-Ann announced her ThinkFood30 Challenge officially during our first Paleo Gourmet session at the Demo Kitchen… have a look what you have missed and join us next Saturday for another hands-on Paleo Gourmet session. You will learn a lot about the “Paleo diet” and Chris will answer all the questions you might have!

Spinach and lots of eggs in our Kitchen Aid Mixer


Sue-Ann A!llen Hands-on in her demo kitchen
— at Market On The Wharf.


Seared Tuna


Dressing the plate…
— at Market On The Wharf.


Seared Tuna Salad with Avo and Bacon. I can testify it’s even more addictive than carbs 😉
Tuna: Fish on the Wharf
Bacon: Angus Meat
Avo: Bossini Brothers
— at Market On The Wharf.


Bacon topped frittata… yummy?
— at Market On The Wharf.

See Sue-Ann Allen growing while we are feeding her the Paleo way during the ThinkFood30 challenge
— at Market On The Wharf.

Character trees – Season’s greetings

Character tree. Love you mum!

As opposed to a lot of you who have had the main festivities of the year already, Happy Hanukkah! I am constantly reminded of (by now) Christianity’s biggest marketing event calling me to get prepared. Although I have developed a red/green intolerance over the years living in a European Winterwunderland, where”Jingle Bells” and “Last Christmas” hit the shops every year right after the gruesome orange Halloween pumpkins – I still end up hunting down Christmas presents at the very last minute. I hope you don’t suffer the same fate! Here comes a bit of advertising from my side, so bear with me. And its only the next paragraph, so do read on… And it’s practically for your own good….

Park your hubby and your kids off at the ThinkFood Testkitchen

Need a plan to get some shopping time off for yourself? Combine your Xmas shopping with a visit to the new Market on the Wharf, dropping off the kids at one of our workshops at theThinkFoodTestkitchen. Hosted for every age, they are all about having fun in the kitchen, loosing inhibitions about food or cooking and learning a few secrets – you WILL turn that rabbit food into a salad!
To make it worth your money and give you enough time to shop husband/wife/kid/grandma-free..;), the workshops span over 3 hours (2 hours for the younger kids). You will learn a lot about the foods you are preparing, how they benefit your health and leave our kitchen with a goodie – certainly not hungry.

Nutritional intervention in autoimmune diseases

Last year all started falling into place. Firstly building a multitude of good relationships in Germany and UK, followed by consecutive public talks thereafter. On my return to SA, I had the pleasure of attending an awe-inspiring conference: Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice. More than 100 like minded wholistic/ alternative health care professionals took part from all over South Africa, US and India!!! You can not imagine the immense reassurance I felt at being able to rely on a wealth of knowledge, expertise and willingness within countless professional experience of like-minded practitioners. Scientific back-up when the help of a specialist is needed is a necessity now confirmed without a doubt.
It seems like I have finally landed in SA and there is no stopping the avalanche of paradigm shifts (video in German though) within the medical establishment. I see governments changing their guidelines and medical aids adopt a more open-minded approach – after all, everyone has a wish open from Santa.
My personal focus has widened its goals and I want to tackle the bigger picture, train the trainers more and more to get help out there quicker. I am going to have a slot as part of the regular Thursday lectures for doctors and other healthcare professionals at the Christian Barnard Memory Hospital in January (Thur 24th Jan, 07:00): Nutritional Interventions in Autoimmune Diseases. Had to share that with you, am very proud of that one (thanks Nic).

Do. Or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

While supposed to be Xmas shopping for others, the whole shopping thing turned in on me as usual. Diaries of all things. Not looking for one, but browsing through different kinds of diaries, one literally called out to me. An unusual choice for me, as this particular diary is of a rather big format and I am used to a smaller one to encrypt with my tiny hand writing. But this was Yoda speaking to me – giving me my motto for 2013: Do. Or do not. There is no try.

I certainly didn’t want to keep that piece of wisdom to myself. In case you want to share some nutritional wisdom or need a reminder yourself: “To go cold turkey there is no need.” (Chris), we have ThinkFood30 for you to share!

It’s all about patience in life

The call in-and-ou-ternet diversion I introduced forces the caller to be extremely patient. Although it has been ringing forever on your side, I only receive one tiny little ring on mine, just when you finally decide to hang up. Please try to always use my mobile number first (+27 74 1167 394) or send me an email which I will respond to as soon as I get a chance.

Character trees

Thank you all for your amazing feedback, excellent suggestions and continued support. Believe it or not, just sharing your big or small successes (bad pun, sorry, I couldn’t resist) more often than not makes my day.  A huge Thank You to Hanna, Ann and Rita, who always manage to not burst into tears when the Xmas tree arrives late afternoon on the 24th, just before dinner is ready.

Guten Appetit

Chris

ps. I will be off over the crazy days, returning in the 1st week of January, helping to resolutionize 2013

Ess gezunt – the global fresh produce trend

Fowl, rabbit and duck will be available at MoW

Borough market is London’s oldest fresh produce market. You will find fresh game, fruit and veg here every Thursday to Saturday. Having been there you will notice where Greg Anderson got  the inspiration from: this charming market and it’s community spirit. Like London, we will have our own resident Cook Sista at the Market on the Wharf: Masterchef SA 2012 runner up Sue-Ann Allen.
Modena’s Mercato Coperto, not being Italy’s biggest market, but -being Modena – having the world’s best aged balsamic vinegar selection. We are curious what our local vineyards will have to offer and think the vinegars will go well with an olive oil tasting. Go to the Market on the Wharf website and subscribe to their newsletter to be the first to know as slot’s might be limited for these exclusive tasting events.

Caviar Schwarz Rot Gold

Yeliseyevsky… sounds russian to me! The czarist splendor with it’s crystal chandeliers and Art – a befitting home for delicacies like Siberian dumplings and countless different caviars. Being a pleb from the Platteland, I’d love to taste more than 7 little pearls on my Salmon Roses… who’s over there sometime soon?

Mercat de la Boqueria is probably Spain’s most Mediterranean market and you will find Barcelona’s top chefs up early in the morning picking shell fish, colourful game birds and pencil-thin asparagus for their menu. Like Boqueria the MoW will have it’s own cooking school. Have a look at our ThinkFood workshops that will make kids forget that they don’t like vegetables, teach your teenager how to eat healthy, and prove to you that carrots aren’t round. Look up our  timetables on thinkfood.co.za and book now (8 entrants only!).

nom nom – a little lamb from Down Under

MoW’s compatriot in the southern hemisphere is Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market http://www.qvm.com.au/. Not only will you find whole lamb sides and Tasmanian seafood, but you can easily see the influence on Australia’s kitchen while listening to an Asian vendor with an Aussie accent. They have cooking classes every Sunday. If you’re ever feeling homesick, go to Tribal Tastes and dig into their South African products: 100% natural, preservative free, gluten free, dairy free, low GI & sugar free. I would love to see some Kilishi (West African biltong look alike) offered at the Waterfront too!

Our green yardstick for real food should be the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Like Capetownians the citizens of San Francisco are rather health conscious and the Paleo avalanche was probably kicked loose in a little box (CrossFit gym) in Northern California: Robb and his team strike a balance between performance, health and longevity by integrating sound nutrition, smart training and the benefits of a community oriented fitness approach.
You can have a look at Robb Wolf‘s best selling book The Paleo Solution in MoW’s library of cook books.. you should actually just buy one to give to your dearest family member in need for a sustainable health solution – xmas is around the corner. Give me shout and I will join you on the market to compile a healthy food basket to go with it.

Having listed all these famous fresh produce markets, I need to mention Union Square Farmer’s Market in New York even though it still remains on my bucket list. The last and only time I’ve been in the Big Apple, I was still campaigning for Big Pharma at an advertising agency. The one instance in terms of food in NYC I hold in dear memory is Katz’s Deli. Not exactly Paleo – I know – but I would risk my gut going a little leaky anytime for one of their famous pastrami sandwiches… the bread/meat ratio being very favourable: Ess gezunt and add a pickle!

ThinkFood workshops at the Market on the Wharf

In partnership with the V&A Market on the Wharf we are hosting health conscious cooking classes. Learn what food can do for you (Diabetes, Arthritis, ADHD, Chronic Fatigue, Hormonal Imbalances, Vascular Disease, etc) and how to prepare and optimise meals for your individual needs. ThinkFood workshops make kids forget that they don’t like vegetables, teach your teenager how to eat, and prove to you that carrots aren’t round.

Grown ups will enjoy: ‘Eat some more’, your teenagers: ‘Plastic Food?’, or your kids; ‘Catch a carrot’. ‘Paleo Principles’ demonstrates rather than talks about primal cooking, while demand specific (auto-immune conditions etc) workshops will be catered for. 
Look up our timetables below and write us a mail with the subject of the workshop and date you’d like to attend. Fee’s for a workshop including the food and a goodie are R400,-/pp for the 2h workshop (Catching a carrot) and R550,-/pp for our 3h workshops (Eat some more, Paleo Principles, Plastic Food). Please click on the workshop in the calendar below for more details:

ThinkFood Beginners Guide

Here is your Beginners Guide to survive the one month of ThinkFood30 and it’s probably going to change your life for good:

Chuck it. Buy it. Cook it. Walk n sleep.

Chuck it

Self discipline is an honourable trait, but not to be tested here. Chuck the bread, rice, pasta, oats, sodas, chips, snickers, cookies, soy sauce, ketchup, baking mixes, cans and soup concentrates. And don’t forget about the ice cream in the freezer. Desperate times call for desperate measures and you will remember the long forgotten ice cream when the time comes. Sorry. Gone.

Buy it

Since you can’t farm it, you’ll have to buy it. And now that you’ve got ample space, cram it full of

Protein

Meat of free ranging and pasture raised animals. Not in a warm fluffy overcoat wrapped in ‘mammas pies’ wrap but bare and naked.
Land
Pig, Beef, Lamb, Game
Water
Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Sardines, Crab and Crayfish… all the smelly stuff.
Air
Chicken, Duck, Ostrich, Turkey, Eggs

otherwise canned tuna in olive oil will do for a quickie on the road.

Vegetables

If your neighbour grows organic veggies… otherwise the supermarket will have plenty. Get as much organic as you can. An ‘inorganic’ avo has about one third of the nutritionally valuable content left compared to the organic. No, organic is not all just a marketing ploy and overpriced. It takes hard work to produce good food. In spite of that, you will probably be surprised that your weekly shopping bill will not add up to more than usual. What veggies?

Rainbow colours for the rainbow nation. As varied as you can get and bear to eat. I hate peas.

Fruit

This is where it gets a bit ‘unconventional’ if it hasn’t already. Eat fruit more sparingly than you are used to, especially if you are wanting to lose weight. Fructose isn’t a good player for all, in fact, not at all good for most. If need be, keep to melon, berries, citrus fruits, good old apples – hands off pink ladies. Depending on how far they needed to travel to arrive on your table, their nutritional value will be. Bananas will make you smile, but leave them to the sporty folk for now or start running.

Fats

Olive, coconut, palm oil, gee and lard, avocados and avocado oil, macadamia nuts and oil, almonds, walnuts… BUT if you’re standing on the scale every morning or you are chronically inflamed, take it slow on the nuts. Do the nutcracker version, you won’t eat as many.

Spices

You won’t believe how much more you taste with decent amounts of oil in the preparation, so all those braaivleis mixed spices will kill your taste buds. Chuck it. Keep the basil, coriander, oregano, thyme, maiorane, rosemary, onions, garlic, chives, parsley, sage, lemongrass, dill, aniseed, cumin, celery, lavender, licorice, curry, piri piri, chili, curcumin, cinnamon, 3 differently coloured pepper corns, sesame seed and oil, ginger, juniper, lime leafs and what not. Who said salad was boring?

Drinks

WATER, bubbly, non-bubbly, flat, bubbly, bubbly and non-bubbly. At mealtimes, yes, you may have ONE tea with your meals, isn’t that great? Hey, you can choose which one: herbal chamomile, mint, rooibos or green tea… inbetween meals the tap is your best friend and you might want to add some mint leaves, lemon slices, cucumber slices or strawberries for flavouring (NO, NOT FOR EATING). As you might have guessed by now, alcohol and coffee is not a good idea during the ThinkFood00 protocol. Not good at all. Not even a drop.

Cooking

What’s that? Easy. Don’t despair. Even I discovered I can cook. It’s quicker than waiting at the McDonald’s Drive Inn. Pan. Heat. Oil. Quick fry. Salt&Pepper. Dish. Knife. Fork. Eat.
One handful of protein(100-200g)
Two to four handfuls (an abundance!) of vegetables – raw, steamed (it gets better) or fried! The final touch is a dash of truffle oil, olive oil, and avocado or a (small hands only and no stacking!) hand full of unsalted nuts.
Short and Sweet:

  • Protein: 1 hand
  • Vegetables& salad (not pasta, rice or mielie salads) 2-4 hands full
  • Fruit: one portion a day, preferably not in the evening
  • Nuts: small hand per day
  • WATER. Tea with meals, not sweeteners, none at all not even the ‘natural stevia’!

Exercise

Everyone can walk, even if you don’t want to. You don’t have to run on the treadmill or kill yourself on the circuit, take a walk in beautiful Cape Town: Table Mountain, Mouillie Point, Sea Point, V&A, Long Street, Government Gardens, Kirstenbosch, Camps Bay beach, Clifton, Noordhoek, Rhodes Memorial… need I carry on? Take it easy. If you are not used to training, take it slowly and if in doubt, consult a fitness coach. The first 1-3 weeks are different for everyone. Your metabolism readjusts itself and some people suffer from fatigue, others from headaches or haziness, while others excel and feel better than ever. Listen to your body and what it tells you.

Sleep

No artificial light sources in the room please. Yes, that does include the TV. And the computer. And the iPhone. Switch it off. Put it somewhere else. Get used to a natural dark-light rhythm and fall asleep without the TV on. The last email gets checked an hour before bedtime. No compromises. No Tweets. 8-9 hours would be great and waking up on time without feeling like annihilating the alarm clock is even better.

Questions? Confused or exceptional case? 

I suggest you read our links before you ask anything or decide anything. A prerequisite to successful treatment is not a programme or an analysis, but your will to wanting to make it better and understanding why you have to do what you are being told. There is no half-way or exception in this case. It will not work and we will be wasting our time. So if you’re good and serious we’re here and waiting. And we will try all in our might and to the best of our knowledge to advise and assess condition-relatedly.

Conventional quick fixes and symptomatic treatments are one thing. Think Food is the other.

Payback

Sorry. No buy one and get twos. But we would love to get feedback from you. Recipes, questions, corrections, queries, experiences, problems, successes… without you we would not have gotten this far and we direly need your input to help others and update our profiles. Please tell us your story on our Testimonial page. Thank you.

Gefilte Fish

We are based in Sea Point in the heart of the Jewish community in the Cape. When I went shopping yesterday the whole of Sea Point seemed abandoned. Everybody was at home celebrating the Jewish new year. L’Shana Thova

A traditional dish for Shabbat and holidays is Gefilte Fish (German: Gefüllter Fisch). Because more and more people from the community are avoiding wheat and grains these days I would like to offer a gluten free alternative for this traditional recipe.

Gefilte Fish Gluten Free

 

1 pound halibut ore hake filets, skinned and boned
½ pound salmon filets, skinned and boned
2 Tblsp grapeseed oil
1 large onion, rasped
2 free range eggs
1 teasp sea salt
1 teasp ground black pepper
1 Tblsp agave nectar or honey
1 Tblsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1 cup grated carrots
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • The fish is cut into large chunks and placed in a food processor
  • Pulse until finely ground; do not puree!
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan
  • Saute onion over medium-low heat until soft and transparent, cool.
  • Pulse onions, eggs, salt, pepper, agave and lemon juice into fish mixture
  • Pulse in dill, carrots and parsley
  • Refrigerate mixture for 3 hours
  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil
  • Shape fish mixture into 1 ½ inch balls; wet your fingers in cold water
  • Drop balls into boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through
  • Place balls in a baking dish and refrigerate to cool
  • Serve with Horseradish Sauce and garnish with fresh sprigs of parsley

Leaking Brain or Leaky Gut? Part 3 – Diagnosis

By the time a cognitive impairment (memory, attention, etc) manifests itself, a certain amount of damage has been done… otherwise no overt symptoms would be observable or experienced. Inflammation is the cause of virtually everything that ails us, and certain hormones like insulin or cortisol, influencing and modifying inflammation, are big players. 

What you put in is what you get out. Diagnosis. 

It should be clear by now, that a good look at the inflammatory state of the body, stress as well as nutritional building blocks supplied plus environmental influences such as toxins, relate to a communication failure of some sort. Depending on the type of failure and the system affected, the breakdown will take its toll. This article has but vaguely touched on the actual processes within digestion and the usage and essentiality of certain building blocks. Cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease arise out of the same thematic pool and are just as problematic within the scope of neurodegenerative diseases affecting memory – so are gene expressions and DNA mutations, but will have to be included in another discussion. 

The ‘take-out’ so far is: Imbalances are the precursors to the signs and symptoms detected by diagnosing. 

Next to Neuropsychological assessment, concerned with the individual’s attention and concentration, visuo-motor and visuo-spatial, construction abilities, language abilities, executive functioning and intellectual abilities, assessment in relation to memory (according to currently practiced medicine) focuses specifically on testing the individuals capacity to retain information and the use thereof for adaptive purposes. Neuropsychological memory assessments are commonly started by obtaining information about the patient’s attention and concentration abilities, including the use of a Digit Span Test or the Serial Sevens/ Threes test (Lezak, Howieson&Loring, 2004). 
A comprehensive memory assessment usually includes the orientation of time, place and person, assessing the learning and retention of meaningful information resembling a conversation (verbal recall tests, e.g. Wechsler’s Logical Memory Stories), the rote learning ability (free and recognition trials rendering a learning curve as in the Auditory Verbal Learning Test or the Californian Verbal Learning Test), the Complex Figure Test assessing Visuo-spatial memory (followed by a recognition trial on availability) and remote as well as personal & autobiographical memory (Lezak et al, 2004). 
In order to scope a patients strengths and weaknesses in their totality, three aspects are commonly considered according to current assessment methods: 
  1. A delay trial is necessary to examine learning and possible slowed integration ability of new info, 
  2. Continuous Rehearsal Prevention is achieved by interference during delay, manifesting whether recall following delay was of studied material, or of info held in continually rehearsed temporary storage, 
  3. Test learning by recognition cued tasks to determine whether reduced retrieval is due to a retrieval problem or a learning dysfunction. (Lezak et al, 2004

The inclusion of a rather vague but poignant glimpse of the important influences such as nutrition in the disease progress is but one factor to be considered as part of an interconnected web impeding on optimal functioning. Despite the crumbling health systems around us, we are adhering to a system of differential diagnosis, biochemical homogeneity and pharmaceutical therapy as the answer to most chronic lifestyle and long-latency deficiency diseases (Hyman, Baker&Jones, 2010). The current paradigm of diagnosis and classification of diseases into organ system pathologies (in correspondence to medical specialities) becomes less useful considering the basic mechanisms of dysfunction in the human body. 
‘One disease can have multiple causes, and one initiating factor may cause multiple diseases’ (Hyman et al 2010 p.59
As we have seen in the formation of plaques, the development can be triggered by multiple factors including insulin resistance, folate deficiency, occult infections, heavy metal toxicity, stress and other factors  increasing inflammation. Having barely touched on nutrition-genomics, proteomics, as well as metabolomics must not be forgotten. For a detailed elaboration on the topics of an integrated, functional medicine approach to disease and health please consult the referenced ‘Textbook of Functional Medicine’ (2010). 

In many cases, a single nutrient catalyses hundreds of chemical reactions, where suboptimal levels lead to molecular and cellular dysfunction. 

Contrary to stipulated RDA’s, higher dose administration of vitamins and minerals might not be at all wrong, especially considering the evidence of sub-optimal nutrient status contributions to long-latency deficiency diseases, which have reached epidemic proportions: cardiovascular, cancer, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative disease and immune dysfunctions. A protocol of having homocysteine levels checked in conjunction with performance on function tests (elevated homocysteine has been directly linked to dementia, causing direct damage to the hippocampus) in the knowledge of high homocysteine co-occurring with high levels of inflammation, could be extremely useful as well as being a reliable function predictor (Colman&Perlmutter, 2005). 
High inflammatory markers as well as the assessment of toxin exposure can only add to any diagnosis in order to optimise treatment: e.g. usage of ‘good’ fats versus trans saturated fats (lipids are essential for any brain) and vitamin supplementation to decrease the free radical attack – are both proven methods of slowing down the progression of neurodegenerative disease/ dysfunction (Colman&Perlmutter, 2005). All degenerative diseases of the brain benefit from reducing the free radical attack and cooling down inflammation. Not only is this possible by correctly administering supplementation, but by keeping the insulin levels (generally assessing chemical system imbalance) in check and advising on optimal nutrition in light of the respective individual’s concurrent disease deficiencies. 

If the patient takes all supplements and drugs (if so prescribed) necessary, but continues to pass his mealtimes at McDonalds (or even adheres to std. government heart healthy fat free diets) and rather watches Rugby than plays it, the Healthcarer’s efforts will be in vain. 

The Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi stated in his later years: ‘Whenever we seperate two things, we lose something, something which may have been the essential feature’ (Szent-Györgyi, 1988, p.193). Transition is needed from an acute care, reductionist model to a systems model based on networks of biological function and biochemical individuality. The core clinical imbalances needing to be addressed and considered in relation to any disease or mood/ cognitive dysfunction are: Hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances, oxidation-reduction imbalances and mitochondriopathy, detoxification and biotransformational imbalances, immune and inflammatory balances, digestive, absorptive, and microbiological imbalances plus structural imbalances from the cellular membrane function to the muscoskeletal system. Functional tests will serve to support the results of imbalance testing, aiding to assist in determining the extent or progression level of the damage – and making a final decision on what treatment the patient can benefit from most. 
I have always found it difficult to look at any diagnosis from a viewpoint of absolute determinism based on one causal domain, knowing that a brain is just as individual as the body – both manipulated by the environment, various inputs and stressors, psychosocial factors etc. 

All technical advances the human race has made within our organic systems biology seem to lead us back full circle: that the human body is better equipped and far more capable of self-repair than any patented drug ever put on the market – if only we would let it.

It does not simply self-destruct or happen to be schizophrenic, be born with autism or loose its memory. What we put in is what we get out. 

Related articles:
1. Banich, T.M., Compton R.J. (2011). Cognitive Neuroscience. USA: 3rd Edition 
2. Wadsworth Colman C., Perlmutter D. (2005). The Better Brain Book. Kindle Edition 
3. Embry, A. (July 7th 2010).  PDF: New Studies Show the MS Drugs Don’t Slow Progression. 4. Retrieved on 10.07.2012 from http://www.direct-ms.org 
5. Guyton, A.C., Hall, J.E. (2006). Textbook of Medical Physiology. Philadelphia: Elsevier 
6. Saunders Hyman M. , Baker, S.M., Jones, D.S. (2010). Functional Medicine and Biochemical Individuality: A Paradigm Shift in Medicine. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S. Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp. 55-60. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
7. Lamb, J.J. (2012). Homeostasis: A dynamic Balance, In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S. Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.93-96. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
8. Lezak, M.D., Howieson, D.B., &Loring, D.W. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press 
9. Liska, D.,Lukaczer, D. (2010).  Web-like interconnections of physiological Symptoms.  In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S., Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.97-99. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
10. Liska, D.A., Quinn, S., Lukascer, D., Jones, D.S., Lerman, R.H(2006). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach. 2cond Edition. Gig Harbour: Institute Of Functional Medicine 
11. Runow, K.D. (2011). Der Darm denkt mit (The GI thinks). Munich: Südwest Verlag, Random House 
12. Runow, K. D. (2012). Wenn Gifte auf die Nerven gehen (When Toxins attack Nerves). Munich: Südwest Verlag, Random House 
13. Sult, T. (2010). Digestion and Absorbtion. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S.,Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.435-444. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
14. Szent-Györgyl, A. (1988). To see what everyone has seen, to think what no one has thought. Bio Bull, p.193 
15. Tatum, J. (2010). Psychosocial influences. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S., Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.137-140. The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
16. Vasquez, A., (2010). Organ System Function and the Underlying Mechanisms: The Interconnected Web. In Jones, D.S., Quinn, S., Textbook of Functional Medicine, pp.99-103. Gig Harbour: The Institute Of Functional Medicine 
17. Wolf, R., (2011). The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. Kindle Edition