Don’t Just Do It – KEEP Doing It..!

By Anne Laing


While running along the beach this morning I listened to a business interview on my iPod. I couldn’t help thinking about the parallels with this and the weight-loss journey many of our clients are on right now.

The gist was, there is never going to be a perfect time in your life to get your health into shape. There will always be injuries, unexpected emergencies and time constraints to disrupt you.

The secret (so the interviewee said) was making small changes each day, and always trying to do them better – rather than give up when you think its not working.

Being better next week than you were in the last week is all that is required.

If you can achieve just 1% better eating and exercise habits each day then that’s 100% improvement in 100 days!

In business many people want to go from A to Z overnight, but there are NO short cuts in business, just as there are NO shortcuts to physique success.  You have to follow the tried and true process of A+B+C+D+E+F success steps, and that’s the only way it ever happens.  It is when people get to D+E+F,  they start to give up because it gets tough.

I get that, and believe me it gets tough for every single person in business, exactly as it is for losing weight and getting in shape again. Self-doubt sets in, boredom, you feel disempowered because you have Aunt Mable’s genes, you are missing out at social occasions, your metabolism is rigged against you, and it seems sooooo easy for everybody else.  This is all distraction and diversion, and it’s when most want to quit – yes, it happens to us all.

Some of our greatest changes happen when we surround ourselves with supportive people, and we allow them to hold us accountable.


So the secret is not just doing it, but to KEEP doing it. It’s like digging for gold. People will dig down a little way and not find anything so they dig another hole, and then when they don’t find anything they dig another hole, and another, and still find nothing.  This goes on until there are holes all over the place – but the gold is there at the bottom of most every hole!

Dieters often give up too early and become too impatient to keep building on even the smallest successes.

You are not alone if you think like this; the diet industry is huge and can derail your resolve with the next new miracle fat gadget or super food around each corner.

Success comes not with stopping and starting, but in doing just one small thing each day, and taking the journey up one step at the time.

Keep talking yourself into success, rather than out of it.

Fluoride: What About Our Children..?

child smiling

Why is the Fluoride debate even going on in South Canterbury (“Clean” & “Green” New Zealand), when the rest of the world knows better?

By Tim Bean & Anne Laing –

If Fluoride wasn’t being dripped into our drinking water, it would have to be disposed of as highly-regulated hazardous waste. Is there not enough cancer and other diseases in South Canterbury already..?

The chilling effects on babies and young children…

We are not all the same and cannot be medicated all the same.  Current research continues to deliver evidence that calls into question the safety of the use of fluoride in drinking water. With children’s brains developing at great speed, any chemical disruption can prove to be irreparable.

Sadly results showed that children suffered from toxicity by fluoride exposure significantly worse than adults.

Infants who are given formula made with fluoridated tap water may consume up to 1,200 micrograms of fluoride, or about 100 times more than the recommended amounts. Such “spikes” of fluoride exposure during infancy provide no known advantage to teeth, but they do have plenty of known harmful effects on the brain.

Babies given fluoridated water in their formula are not only more likely to develop dental fluorosis, but may also have reduced IQ scores.

In fact, a Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have “significantly lower” IQ scores than those who live in low or no-fluoride areas.

A number of prominent dental researchers now advise that parents should not add fluoridated tap water to baby formula.

Consider athletic children – and adults – who are likely to ingest much larger quantities of water than the sedentary child as they re-hydrate during and after sports.

Not only will children be drinking it but they will be bathing and swimming in it – maybe for their entire lives.

We know so little about the finely tuned human physiology, why expose our children and grandchildren to this known health hazard – when all we need to do is clean up their diets?

Some of the documented effects that repeated exposure to fluoride has on the brain include:

  • Increased aluminium uptake in the brain, resulting in poor memory and retention, difficulty in learning and permanent long-term damage. Aluminium is the element found in elevated quantities in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
  • Reduced brain lipid content. (Brain lipids determine protein function)
  • Damage of membrane lipids can contribute to depression and anxiety disorders.
  • Excess fluoride has detrimental effects on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, leading to limited joint mobility, muscular degeneration and ligament calcification
  • Fluoride can accumulate and adversely affect function in the pineal gland (located deep in the centre of the brain).  The pineal gland produces melatonin, which helps maintain circadian rhythm and regulate reproductive hormones.
  • Fluoride also influences Hippocampus function – an area of the brain associated with memory. This organ also plays an important role in spatial navigation, or orientation.
  • Purkinje cells (large nerve cells in the cortex of the brain) can be damaged by Fluoride.
  • The toxic effects of Fluoride quickly overwhelms the body’s immune defences, leaving it vulnerable to disease.

It is well documented that our forefathers had much healthier teeth and gums than we do today – all without floss, toothpaste, Fluoride or even mouthwash…!

What’s changed?

Our modern diets are largely to blame – shifting from meat, vegetables and nuts, to one that is dominated by simple carbohydrates, sugar, refined foods and grains.  The composition of bacteria in our mouths has also changed.

We see it everywhere; parents feeding high-sugar ‘energy’ drinks to children at sports events, coaches giving out sweets and chocolate bars after rugby games, children taking biscuits and cakes in school lunches.

Follow the money……

Who stands to gain from selling Fluoride to our Councils, and do the Councils even have a mandate to mass-medicate the population? Actually No.

The fluoride added to most water supplies is NOT the naturally occurring variety, as some may have you believe, but rather fluorosilicic acid, which is captured in air pollution control devices of the phosphate fertilizer industry. (Long before fluoride came into its own as a so-called cavity preventer, it was used as a powerful insecticide.)

As FANNZ reported:

“This captured fluoride acid is the most contaminated chemical added to public water supplies, and may impose additional risks to those presented by natural fluorides. These risks include a possible cancer hazard from the acid’s elevated arsenic content, and a possible neurotoxic hazard from the acid’s ability – under some conditions – to increase the erosion of lead from old pipes”

There’s no doubt about it: fluoride should not be ingested. Read it on any toothpaste tube, it says “DO NOT INGEST”.

In 1990 the New England Journal of Medicine found that fluoride was instrumental in causing gastrointestinal disorders. Our gut is already severely under stress with processed foods and environmental toxicity with 1 out of every 2 people suffering from this distressing condition.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4 out of every 10 American adolescents now have dental fluorosis – that unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride.

Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy.


The same study also found that treating osteoporosis with fluoride actually increases the fragility of bones and the rate of hip fractures.

Meta-analysis of total damage to teeth in all juvenile populations in New Zealand shows no discernible difference in tooth health between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. In other words, it has no observable positive effect on dental health, as advocates would assert. In fact, when comparing countries where it has not been added to the drinking water, decay is actually less than in fluoridated areas!

Please read and watch these two excellent articles by experienced NZ dentists.

To make the best independent choices, you should become informed.

Internet Resources where you can learn more…

I encourage you to visit the website of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and visit the links below:

10 Facts About Fluoride: Attorney Michael Connett summarizes 10 basic facts about fluoride that should be considered in any discussion about whether to fluoridate water. Also see 10 Facts Handout (PDF).

50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation: Learn why fluoridation is a bad medical practice that is unnecessary and ineffective. Download the PDF.

Health Effects Database: FAN’s database sets forth the scientific basis for concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of ingesting fluorides. They also have a Study Tracker with the most up-to-date and comprehensive source for studies on fluoride’s effects on human health.

It’s Getting Harder to Breathe Around Here…


By Anne Laing & Tim Bean –

Having recently moved to Singapore from the UK, we have been overwhelmed by the dense clouds of smoke pollution that roll over from the illegal burning of Palm Plantations and Rainforest in Indonesia.

You leave home with your mobile, keys, travel card – and pollution mask! It’s thick, choking, and interferes in every aspect of daily life.

Outdoor exercise is a hazard; parks, pools, schools and businesses are closed, and adults and children have horrible, hacking coughs and bloodshot eyes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that air pollution at these levels leads to respiratory infections, heart disease and lung cancer, as well as feelings of depression and anxiety.

This is no life for young children who have their school, play and sports activities disrupted, and who will have elderly smoker’s lungs by the time they are teenagers!

Although a great deal of rhetoric abounds, in Indonesia there is a strange apathy that exists over cleaning up this mess – or stopping it from occurring.  One imagines there has to be a deliberate intention and a great deal of accelerant to get ‘rain’ forest to burn, so this is far from accidental – and yet it continues to happen every year.

Burma deforestation

Photograph: Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

The scorched-earth method of clearing land employed by farmers and plantation-holders continues to hold sway.

Most irritating of all? Over there they call it “the haze”, a sweet euphumism for toxic pollution, yet there are over 1,000 hot spots still ablaze at the time of writing.

According to the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, the fire has destroyed 1.7 million hectares of land in the Indonesian parts of Borneo, Kalimantan, and Sumatra.

The fires have also affected the lives of over 28 million local residents, and economic damage is currently estimated at $47.5 billion, said a spokesman for the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB).


Orangutans in the haze shrouding the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation Camp (Photo: Antara Foto/Reuters).  Orang-utans could soon be extinct due to destruction of their Indonesian forest home. What on earth are we doing…?

On a side note, PepsiCo has recently committed to cutting ‘conflict’ palm oil from its supply chains everywhere – all except Indonesia. It seems that PepsiCo’s “commitment” does not extend to its operations in the world’s biggest palm oil producing country.

Such a meaningless gesture fails to break the link between PepsiCo’s products and the destruction of the rainforest, currently endangering orang-utans, elephants, tigers and rhinos, and abusing the rights of local communities and workers – all in the pursuit of palm oil production.

So what can we do?  Try not to buy products with palm oil on the label – often called vegetable oil – Palm oil is simply not good for your health either!

Vote with your wallets, and with your thumbs, Big Business has responded to pressure before – and may do so again.

Please sign the petition here: 

Many thanks,

Tim & Anne

Keeping an Eye on Your No.1 Asset

Untitled1By: Anne Laing

Why is it that as executives or entrepreneurs we are willing to invest our money, time and attention on the maintenance of our cars, properties or businesses, yet rarely invest the same amount of time or effort into the condition of our bodies?

Most of us will have experienced the perfunctory medical check where a doctor takes your blood pressure, weight, height and some routine blood tests. We dust our hands and think, “good for another ten years!”

My mother-in-law had one of those recently and was relieved when several days later she had a reassuring call to say she was in good shape for her age. But, just a month later she was diagnosed with colon, liver and stomach cancer and told she had only weeks to live, rather than years.

When you’re faced with the imminent possibility of dying, you become very focused on maximising your chance of survival, for yourself, for your family and for your business.

It is only now you really realise how much you will actually lose without your health.

You also realise that having ‘key man’ insurance isn’t going to mitigate your business longevity.

Suddenly looking after health cannot be put off until later, when the time is right, when business is better, or when things have quieted down.

What you look like on the outside is not always a clear reflection of what is going on inside, as many lean, stressed executives have found out.

The pressure of challenging markets, longer hours and downsizing companies combined with high personal outgoings puts unnatural pressure on our ancient physiological structures.

Those who continually whizz through the day without a thought for their optimal cellular renewal–with coffee to start the morning, packaged lunches on-the-go, more coffee, and a bottle of wine to wind down in the evening–risk more than only burnout.

These are all fertile breeding grounds for heart attacks, strokes, aneurisms, dementia and cancers. It doesn’t happen overnight; these diseases manifest themselves after many years of neglect.

To stay on top of your game, get into the driving seat of your health, become a student of your wellbeing and take charge!

As we have so recently experienced, the impact of enforced downtime is wide-ranging and often devastating.

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Plastic, Not-So Fantastic….!


By Anne Laing:

On any given day in the City….

Many people start the day by scooping their processed cereals from a plastic bag into a plastic bowl, and soak it with milk poured from a plastic container.

They then follow up by squeezing toothpaste from a plastic tube onto a plastic toothbrush, and scrubbing it around their mouth.

The morning coffee on the way to work is sucked through a plastic lid.

Lunch may be a salad from a plastic container eaten with a plastic fork, or plastic-wrapped sandwiches, washed down with spring water from a plastic bottle.

A quick pick-me-up soda mid-afternoon is slurped from a plastic bottle, or siphoned from a plastic-lined can through a plastic straw!

After working all day on a plastic computer keyboard and squeezing soap from a plastic dispenser to wash their hands, they come home and microwave a ready-meal in its plastic tray and plastic covering.  Or alternatively heat some soup or rice in it’s very own plastic pouch.

Not to mention our grocery purchases (including organic!), which come wrapped in, or contained in, ever increasing amounts of plastic!

Here’s the thing – plastics are made from petro-chemicals, which are highly toxic. You shouldn’t be putting them in your mouth, near your food, or on your skin.

…and the GOOD news is…? 

Well, on the “up”-side, toxin levels do drop quickly when eating habits are changed…

This is good news for those who feel helpless to protect themselves and their children from the chemical contamination that now seems to be affecting our hormones from conception to the grave.

A new study shows clearly that changing how we eat not only reduces our toxic burden, but does so very quickly.

In the study published in the March 2011 Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, the Silent Spring Institute teamed up with The Breast Cancer Fund to measure levels of serum (blood) Bis-phenol-A (BPA) and Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DHEP) levels in participants.

(Both are hormone-disrupting chemicals found in petro-chemicals and many plastics, and especially in canned foods and food packaging.)

Bisphenol A is potentially hazardous because it mimics elevated female oestrogen hormones (there are three in all), which sets the scene for many cancers.

When participants in the study eliminated canned, microwave or plastic-packaged foods from their diets, BPA levels and DEHP levels immediately dropped by as much as 55%.

This is an encouraging change, and makes it well worthwhile switching to choose foods that are free from plastic as soon as you can.

Although not measured in this study, phthlalates are another hormone-disrupting chemical found in food packaging.

Remember… “microwave safe,” that means it’s safe for the microwave and safe for the container, but not necessarily safe for your health!!

I have just arrived back from New Zealand, where the government has left the food industry to happily regulate itself for decades…  From I’ve observed it has become the land of the plastic food wrapping and, comparing scarily similar increases in breast and prostate cancer rates, this has definitely has not worked out better for national health!

Yes, it’s all down to costs, but I wonder when food producers will finally acknowledge the potential impact of plastic packaging on our health, and their role and responsibility in helping, or harming, it.

These products keep making the health news, and mass blood sample studies now clearly show that we are all exposed.

There is no quick easy answer to environmental toxicity except to be as aware and educated as you can.

Never forget: Your health is your most important asset, and you have to take responsibility and control of everything you put in, on or near your own body.

An elephant in the room, called ‘Eating Habits’


By Anne Laing

News: “Doctors should use cholesterol-lowering statin drugs more widely to prevent heart attacks and strokes, according to Britain’s healthcare cost-effectiveness watchdog”.

Comment: Would it not be cheaper to prevent the causes of high cholesterol, than to mass medicate?  Despite what the pharmaceutical companies tell us (yes the same Big Pharma that has been exposed this week for influencing NHS policies), the cost to the country of supplying the nation with statin drugs runs into hundreds of millions of pounds, and may, in the long run, cost more lives and misery than they save.

Surely prevention and education is the key. Figures published in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society probe the more interesting question of how many people were eating diets that meet the recommended targets.

The answer is that only four men in a thousand were meeting the five most commonly cited targets recommended by the World Health Organisation (relating to intake of fats, sugars (less than 10% of total daily intake), salt, and fruits & vegetables.

Women were doing a little better, with twelve in every thousand meeting the five targets. Overall, a healthy diet was being eaten by fewer than eight per thousand adults, which is less than 1% of the population.

A good diet comes with hundreds of good side effects, Statins come with hundreds of worrying side effects, some very serious.

These cholesterol-lowering drugs are also linked to an increased risk of cataracts, memory impairment, diabetes and sexual dysfunction!

In independent studies, patients taking statin drugs reported side effects such as muscle pain, nausea, and nervous system problems.

It seems their acceptance by doctors is based largely on fear and misinformation.  They have limited training in preventative health and drug companies pull the strings.

Taking higher doses of the statins Simvastatin (Zocor), Atorvastatin (Lipitor) or Rosuvastatin (Crestor) also increased risk of acute kidney injury by 34 percent, a condition that can be sudden, and fatal.

Statins are also linked to diabetes, liver damage, memory problems, muscle breakdown, reduced sensitivity to other medications, and more…

“When man makes it, it always comes with side effects. When we eat properly, it always comes with benefits”

Just read the side effects….!


Increased risk of Diabetes,



Difficulty sleeping

Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness



Nausea and/or vomiting

Abdominal cramping and/or pain

Bloating and/or gas




Mass medicating those over 50 will cause an extra load on our environment.  Wash-out from the contraceptive pill, Viagra and Prozac, just to name few, are already polluting our waterways.

Is cholesterol even the bad guy these companies would have us think?

Some of the world’s top scientists and specialist doctors now think it isn’t. Cholesterol is vital for hormone development and the normal reference range for a healthy lifespan is much higher than we’ve been led to believe…

A diet high in coloured vegetables, lean protein and low in processed food and drinks as well as moderate exercise will lower high cholesterol.

Research has demonstrated the simple lifestyle changes are far more effective, and safer, for primary heart attack prevention than statin drugs.

So why is this issue larger today than ever before, when we are supposed to be living better and healthier?

It surely is the elephant in the room!

Part of the problem, not part of the solution…

We are up against it, with the huge pharmaceutical companies on one side trying to medicate all our ills (real, or as imagined by them), and the massive sugar, palm oil and processed food companies on the other side telling us the benefits of processed food from a packet – both pushing our health in completely the wrong direction.

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“I Don’t Eat Meat – I Eat Fish!”


By Anne Laing

We all dream of holidays on tropical beaches, with blazing sun and warm clear waters lapping at our feet.  Yet this idyllic scene is coming under increasing threat, as mankind’s impact on the oceans of the world threatens to destroy this wonderful marine environment and ecosystem.

Even now as I run alongside the Thames I see raw sewage discharged and floating off out to sea.

The health food industry has a lot to answer for in this destruction. We often wonder why so many people proudly state they don’t eat meat, but eat fish??

Part of being healthy is knowing where your food comes from, and being educated on how it was reared.

Know that the marketing budget is huge for those businesses that deal in fish and fish products, and of course our own supplement industry is one of the worst offenders!

So much of our fish has been exploited, contaminated and depleted, that as fish oil supplies run out marketers and processors have turned to Krill as the latest miracle cure and the next marine source to plunder.

Krill are tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that are approximately 1 to 6 centimetres long.  They live in the ocean, where they feed mainly on phytoplankton.  They’re near the bottom of the food chain and are eaten by whales, seals, penguins, squid and fish.

The recent popularity of krill oil supplements has raised concerns that it could threaten the population of its predators who rely on this food source to survive and flourish.  It’s like pulling the rug out from under a stack of carefully balanced chairs.

Our oceans used to be a finely balanced ecosystem that operated successfully for aeons before we humans came along.  How can we possibly believe that plundering hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fish from these waters every year will not affect this self-governing balance?  What have we ever done to actively restore fish stocks in the ocean?

Simply applying quotas and restrictions does not replenish what we have harvested thus far in the pursuit of fishy foods.  We have to be more responsible for future generations and clean up our act, and our attitude, towards the oceans.

Supporting the destruction of our natural aquatic ecosystems by continuing to eat depleted fish species, and over-supplementing with fish oils and extracts, is not the responsible way forward in our view.

You can read more about this here