Achieving greater potential

Nutritional supplements aren’t just uncontrolled, they’re out of control. The Fibromyalgia/CFS/Lyme patient co-operative store ProHealth offers 341 products for extra energy alone, among a totally bewildering array of natural solutions. Mailouts offer miracles, only just short of promising a cure. There’s some 600 compounds in your blood, and no body wouldn’t benefit from supplementing so as to make a new you – with boosted verve and pep. All supported by laboratory tests, of course.

Energy potentials realised
Energy potentials realised

This proven formula I’m revealing at this link,  is also cost effective. All you need is a copper bracelet, top-ups of zinc, and regular lemon juice. Schooldays science showed this combination will give you extra power!

Charged with energy

The suggestion is nonsensical – as indeed are arthritic bracelets, and there’s minimal evidence for zinc supplementation (low levels are associated with poor nutrition, which should be prioritised instead). Lemon water is rumoured to alkalize your body despite the obvious contradiction of being an acid, however since its flavonoids are beneficial to liver function I’d encourage consumption anyway. The reality is that your system is self-regulatory (no, I’m not going to discuss anomalies such as essential amino acids!), so if your condition is not deteriorating then chemistry is in balance. You can’t simply swallow or inject turbo.  Any supplementation really needs to be informed by a reported deficiency.

To explain by example. Coenzyme Q10 is synthesised by the body and sold in 75-150mg capsules. Sometimes known as ubiquinone, since it’s ubiquitous. Found everywhere, it’s vital to cellular powerhouses the mitochondria. Citing the usually conservative TGA consumer advisory as a firm endorsement:

  • -The elderly have an increased requirement for CoQ10 as levels decline with age.
  • -CoQ10 may support healthy immune function
  • -Protects body from oxidative stress
  • -CoQ10 Converts food energy into ATP to drive cellular machinery and is an essential antioxidant, which regenerates other antioxidants
  • -Tissues that are metabolically active have a higher requirement for CoQ10 such as the heart
  • -CoQ10 may maintain and support cardiovascular health.
  • -CoQ10 levels deplete with Statin therapy
  • -Supplementing with CoQ10 may support healthy cardiac function of Statin users

Thus, it’s safe to assume that lower levels are presented in the over-50s or takers of statins. The question as to benefit of supplementation arises over the caveat ‘may‘, because the evidence base is inconclusive. The 2014 Cochrane Heart group meta-analysis (aggregation of results from clinical studies) is non-committal: “...results presented should be treated with caution and further high quality trials with longer-term follow-up are needed to determine the effects on cardiovascular events.” Yet a decade ago, meta-analysis by Baker Heart researchers concluded strong benefits for lowering blood pressure without side-effects! There has been inadequate funding for investigation of supplemental therapies, consequently your decision is made largely unaided by facts such as outcome tracking and longterm survival rates.

Contrast this difficulty with the ease of practitioners writing scrip for anti-depressants. Whether SSRI, or SNRI/TriCyclicAntidepressant, the intent is elevating levels of serotonin by means of inhibiting reuptake. That is the neurotransmitter being recalled into the neuron for recycling and reuse. Side-effects include suicidation, anxiety, confusion, weight gain, and worse symptoms are reported upon discontinuation. Wouldn’t this warrant a baseline test of serum serotonin before undertaking an addiction? Notwithstanding that this measure is an imperfect indication of levels in the brain, and that the bloods pathology centre takes ages to process such an unusual request, nothing hinders the business of promoting Effexor, Paxil, Prozac, Endep, Lexapro, Zoloft, Pristiq, Cymbalta, etc….

To improve your situation, changed thinking must start at the top. Using your brain. When I wanted more from an engine, a holistic approach included opening up the exhaust to remove waste alongside improved air induction and carby rejetting. Adding a turbo without a corresponding engine management chip changeover is stupid. If you’ve already read our articles on mind&body, then I’d commend ‘Is neuroplasticity in the central nervous system the missing link to our understanding of chronic musculoskeletal disorders?‘ for another fresh perspective.

Author: Geoff suggests further consideration be given to tyre profile & compound offering better traction, and judicious choice of road to fang it. 


CO(ach) says: ‘Command Approved’

No Naval Officer would ever dare to approach the CO with a problem. Every briefing presents the situation along with a proposed solution. Which’d better have consideration of every contingent risk, and mitigation thereof. All that one ever hopes for is an approval to proceed. There’s absolute certainty of such only if the plan has been informed by the grizzled salts, the Senior Sailors (or NCOs). They hold the experience, and the technical knowledge. Nothing else is required to ‘make it so’ except the management of those staff tasked with its execution.

this is not the way out of Flying Fish Cove
this is not the way out of Flying Fish Cove

The role allocation would appear to be perfect, partly because the failures are kept secret. We won’t really know why HMAS Ballarat left Christmas Is port in Jan ’05 with throttle wide open. In reverse (shhh). Extremely funny footage, of the PT class falling over during star-jumps as she grounds, is indelibly preserved in the consciousness of many Seamanship Officers.

Watch out for that reef
Watch out for that reef

This post is prompted by an article in the HR professionals forum HRzone on a workplace without managers. Plans are made at grassroots level, using collegiate input. This collaborative phase lengthens the process, and inevitably choices must be made as to the most worthy opinion. Decisions could be entrusted to the individual, the team, or even directors when strategic matters are concerned. The advantage is that the team is immediately committed to the proposal’s fruition.

But when only you as an individual is involved, the sounding board is very limited. Confidentiality and privacy needs restrict selection of peer opinion, and family usually offer lukewarm approval of anything that doesn’t impact upon them. That’s nice. This is where the coach is invaluable. Vocalising of ideas, teasing out the wishful or emotive thinking, and motivating the undertaking are more readily provided by a counselor than an innovation-stifling expert.

Your plan is doomed
Your plan is doomed

I’ve written before on military leadership. Officer training focuses on strengths development because combat is always a two-way tussle, where there’s too much at stake to come second. Sun Tzu’s sagely advice on preparation, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war” is much like the lawyers adage to never ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer. And how do you ensure success upfront? “Know thy enemy but not yourself, wallow in defeat every time“. The introspective ‘knowing yourself’ is most easily achieved when your character is reflected back – in the same way that a mirror is needed to observe one’s appearance. A good coach helps you look within.

And will save you much hardship when alternatives for ‘finding yourself’, such as solitude in a Himalayan cave, are considered. There has been some discussion regarding desirable qualities and qualifications for a coach of late, and though not mandatory, credentialing for ICF registration sets an appropriate standard. The CO too, has diligently earned their title.

Author: Geoff Kirwood has taken on the world, under cautioned instruction from wife Carole.

Change starts here Î

People have a right to be confused.

Of all creation, humanity has the least certainty as to its intended diet. When low-fat became ingrained as optimal, grains and carbs ruled the food pyramid. Now it’s understood that sugars of all types initiate inflammatory cascades, so gluten-free and paleo are encouraged. In fact, dairy fats increase palmitoleate and are somewhat protective against Type 2 diabetes (T2D), whereas milk increases sugar. The food pyramid is turned on its head: linked Gluten-free Ebola Southpark clip .

© Southpark
© Comedy Central

Dr Michael Mosley guested on SBS ‘Insight‘ in an informed, and amusing panel discussion on avoiding T2D. What’s most interesting in terms of Health Literacy are the audience contributions in the transcript.

“Chapattis is not so bad but you know, for us no meal is complete without rice. You have to have a bed of rice and you put whatever.”

“I mean I never kind of expected it was, you know, when I was going into hospital that I was could going to come out of it missing parts really. [ your vision is affected as well?] Well I know that it’s getting worse, it’s deteriorating….Just a lack of motivation I suppose, even though I know what the effects can be. I mean my father was diabetic as well too, he had a heart attack, died of a stroke a few years ago when he was only 71.”

[So are you happier to be on medication than you would be to go off medication and do the hard work you have to do to get there?] “Yep.”

There are cultural legacies, there’s denial, and there’s a trust that science can fix the problem. Attitudes to glucose that verge on addicted are driving behaviours that harm lives. It shouldn’t surprise that one of the first exercises in Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR course is to mindfully eat a single raisin. Food consumption is typically undertaken on autopilot, whether distracted by TV, or company present, or because we’re driven by some rapacious desire beyond our conscious ken. Instead here sensations are mindfully noted, and emotions observed. Just how do I feel about its lack of freshness?

A case from the program within Aetna Insurance, ‘Metabolic Health in Small Bytes‘ explains the association between stress and eating. Another participant story is contributed by nurse Tandon Bunch, whose weight had blown out by a third as a result of chronic pain, but used their eMindful course to gauge the need for a feed by her hunger.

refuel, but don't be a fool
refuel, but don’t be a fool

Willpower, and the self-efficacy encouraged by the psychologists are often battling production faults in our species. Fatty, adipose tissue releases more leptin, the appetite-satiating hormone. Usually. Aside from genetic mutancies, leptin resistance is also seen alongside insulin resistance (T2D) as a result of unlimited access to energy dense foods. Heart Foundation Approved  on snacks with 71% sugar helped cause this. Having been misled by earlier ‘bad science’*, and damage done thus to regulatory systems, additional discipline is called for.

Advertising entices: ‘You deserve a break today’ M ™

“Make it a double”. An extra shot is a reward for all you’ve done….. unless Quality counts over Quantity? Breathworks Mindfulness for Health sample chapter linked as a download points to the Coffee Meditation in week 1 of the course. Create an awareness of the ingredients’ impact on your senses, extract individual flavour notes, and examine the feelings that arise. Look within, rather than be led astray.

When one is a stranger to oneself, then one is estranged from others too. Anne Wilson Schaef writes in ‘Meditations For Women Who Do Too Much’: “Whenever we stop long enough, we are aware of an inner feeling of emptiness. This feeling is so terrifying that we immediately get busy and try to block it out. We head for the refrigerator and attempt to bury it with food. We try to drown it with drink. We get very active with new projects or activities. We watch television. If we just knew what we need to do to make this feeling go away, we would do it.”  Connect to yourself, and understand the emptiness. It’s that simple, and yet so complex. Changes start not with diet, but with your mind.


* I’ve written a more brutally honest description of industry’s influence at