Christmas is the time of year when sugary and alcoholic indulgences may seem inescapable. If you have diabetes, you will be especially nervous about succumbing to these ubiquitous sweet temptations, but this doesn’t mean you should feel excluded from enjoying your own tasty slice of healthy festive treats. On the contrary, it is essential to be well equipped with better-for-you alternatives to treat yourself a bit, so you are less likely to break your routine and wreak havoc on yourself. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself! Many of the following suggestions are equally relevant for non-diabetics if you just want to maintain good health or watch your waistline over the holiday season.


Sun protection is a major concern particularly in New Zealand and Australia, the two countries with the highest rates of melanoma in the world. This is where the ozone is thinnest and offers the least protection from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays. Despite the fact that concerted campaigns since the 1980s have encouraged us to ‘slip-slop-slap’ on the sunscreen, the incidence of skin cancer (or more specifically melanoma) seems to be increasing, and not just in older people who may have been unaware of the dangers in their youth, but also in children and young adults, especially females.


A recent article in the NZ Herald recommends protecting the skin with supplements with lycopene and lutein – both antioxidants proven to reduce the DNA damage from sun exposure. The article also cites a recent study conducted in Germany, which tested two groups, one taking tomato-derived nutrients high in lycopene and the other taking lutein. Both groups were placebo controlled. In each group, subjects took the supplement or placebo for 12 weeks, and then swapped and took the other for 12 weeks, with a two-week ‘wash-out’ period in between.


We published an article a few years back on ‘Gender Bending Chemicals’, a class of substances collectively known as ‘endocrine disrupting chemicals’ (EDCs). We cited new research at the time indicating that EDCs – found in many everyday items from household plastics to cosmetics and food – interfere with our natural hormonal balance, causing a huge number of serious health problems, such as hormone related cancers (breast and prostate cancer), an increase in rates of ADHD, autism, obesity, diabetes, as well as childhood leukemia, birth defects, infertility and asthma, to name a few. The endocrine system is a signaling system that secretes hormones responsible for regulating many essential bodily functions and there are really serious consequences if it doesn’t work.

Woman With Back Pain

It’s estimated that over 80% of New Zealanders will experience back pain of one sort or another at least once. So if your back is giving you problems, you’re certainly not alone in your battle. Back pain can have many different causes, however most of them boil down to issues with the muscles that support the spine and the spine itself.


Although neurogenesis inevitably slows as we get older, scientists are discovering that growing new brain cells can be stimulated in adults by adjusting lifestyle and diet.

Resveratrol and Alzheimer's Disease

Most people are familiar with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and know that it affects short-term memory, and in the later stages even long-term memory goes. It also results in a loss of cognitive functions involved in language, recognising people, judging distances, and often culminates in dramatic changes in personality.

SAD (2)

Have you heard of seasonal affective disorder? Often called SAD, well, I think it is a complete misnomer, people who suffer from this have no disorder, it’s our environment that’s the disorder. I always feel more energised on bright sunny days with blue skies compared to grey August days. I always feel better in summer compared to winter, and its nothing to do with cold or the season.

healthy fats

What sort of image do you conjure in your mind if I speak of eating fat to stay healthy?Chances are that you would think I’m spouting nonsense. You would perceive fat much like a modern scourge of society, lurking in the same aisle as alcohol and tobacco, something to steer clear of as much as possible in order to stay free of disease for longer.


Gardasil is a vaccine supposed to protect against the cancer-causing strains of HPV (human papillomavirus), a sexually transmitted virus linked to cervical cancer. Currently it is subsidised in New Zealand for girls up to the age of 20, and recommended at age 12, in three doses over six months.

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