Reaching the Summit

wellness summitSaturday was Wellness Summit day. Nine speakers, a whole spectrum of health – home, diet, exercise and self. We heard stories of survival and incredible achievements.

As Dr Laurence Tham said “don’t follow the trail, create the trail so others will follow you”.

Saturday’s speakers have certainly created their own trails.

White Gold
We’re sugar free so were really looking forward to hearing author and health advocate David Gillespie, and he didn’t disappoint.

Did you know sugar was once called white gold, and in the 1830s people consumed around 1 teaspoon of sugar a day? According to David today the average Australian diet includes around 35-45 teaspoons… a day. And most of that sugar is hidden in everyday food such as sauces, yoghurt, dressings and “healthy” drinks like juices. Think of it as sugar by stealth.

Food companies argue that everyone is putting sugar in their products so they are just doing the same to compete. Does that make it right?

David is well known for advocating that fructose is the bad component of sugar. There was a stunned silence over The Wellness Summit listening to the adverse effects fructose can have on your body:

  1. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  2. Interference with your appetite control by affecting insulin and leptin, making you eat more
  3. Increases in uric acid production which can lead to gout and kidney damage
  4. Accelerated ageing (sugar wrinkles!)
  5. Possible contributor to depression and Alzheimer’s disease
  6. Suppression of your immune system by up to 60% for 6 hours after consumption making you more susceptible to infection and chronic disease (heard about the hit on GP’s after the Easter choc binge?)
  7. Not cancer causing, but it can feed a cancer. Cancer cells fuel on glucose (as every cell in the body does) but fructose greatly helps the cells to multiply

So what do you do besides giving up as much fructose as possible?

Keep it REAL
Cyndi O’Meara author of “Changing habits and changing lives” had plenty of great advice.

The simplest being – eat REAL food. Cyndi highlighted one fast food company that lists 16 ingredients in its chicken breast. When did a humble chicken breast become more than just one ingredient; chicken?

Other advice we loved:

  • Get more sleep and follow the sun. Don’t go to bed with TV and computers.
  • Eat seasonally. Buy from your local farmer, butcher and fish manger and get to know them.
  • Grow your own fruit and vegetables, have some chickens in the backyard. Get involved in community gardens
  • Go bare foot in the house and wherever possible. Have your body in its most natural state (Dr Brett Hill spent the entire conference shoe free) — and decrease contaminants brought into your household on the soles of shoes (Nicole Bijlsma, Healthy Home expert).
  • Exercise like a caveman, practice functional primal movement patterns. Walk/run, twist, pull, lunge, bend, squat and push things (Dr Brett Hill, resident Caveman).

And remember that food has two important roles: 80% of the time it’s for health and nutrition and 20% of the time it’s for fun. Thanks Dr Damian Kristof, we couldn’t agree more!

But the biggest point was it begins with YOU. When you lead by example you can influence your circle of family, friends, community who can go on and influence others. Who knows, even the world…

Thanks to the Wellness Guys for such a great day of learning. Check out their podcasts at thewellnesscouch.com

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