The Truth About Sugar Documentary 2015 – YouTube

A brilliant documentary which I recommend to all my weight loss clients.

The Truth About Sugar BBC Documentary


Sugar is not, I repeat not, very good for you but you probably knew that.

In a new BBC documentary called The Truth About… Sugar,  Fiona Phillips decided to take a look at just how harmful sugar actually is. Fiona meets scientists, sugar junkies and people from the food industry to figure out just how dangerous our favourite substance is.

‘I heard a news bulletin the other day from the government’s lead person on childhood cancer and he said if our kids continue eating junk food and fizzy drinks at the rate they are then they’re going to be the first generation to die before us,’ Fiona said. ‘I thought that was so shocking. How can manufacturers be allowed to make a can of Coke with nine teaspoons of sugar it when the daily allowance is six?!’

The problem lies, according to the documentary, not in naturally occuring sugars but instead in ‘free’ and ‘refined’ sugars. ‘You need to watch out for sugar OUT of it’s natural sources,’ Says Fiona. ‘Once removed from it’s natural sources, we’re liable to eat way more of the stuff .’

So what damage can overeating sugar do? ‘It’s packed with pure energy, but no nutrients,’ explains Fiona. ‘So, if you’re packing loads of sugar away and you’re not burning that energy off it’s leading to obesity, it’s leading to type 2 diabetes, liver diesases… Since you can’t burn it off it gets stored as fat and then if it doesn’t get stored as fat then it starts getting stored in your organs and it can be horrendous.’


What’s even worse is that our brains are actually hard-wired to crave sugar. ‘There’s a receptor in your brain that lights up and makes you feel good and it makes you want more sugar. We’re hard-wired to crave all energy giving food because it keeps us going but sugar is just empty energy; it doesn’t have nutrients.’

And it’s not just food to watch out for; obviously Coke and sports drinks are big offenders but other drinks you might not have considered like ginger beer (six of more teaspoons per can) and sweetened water (same per bottle). Also, seemingly healthy drinks… ‘Those Innocent smoothies!’ Says Fiona. ‘I used to think “What would keep me going through the day that’ll give me a bit of nutrition?” And then halfway though the morning I’d have a massive slump and it’s because there’s so much sugar in those smoothies! When you’re overeating sugar, your body is really struggling to get enough insulin out to deal with the sugar and that’s why your pancreas can eventually stop working.’

So what needs to happen to make people sit up and take notice? Fiona reckons it’s the food manufacturers that need to take responsibility. ‘There’s a bit of the interview I did with a woman from a food manufacturer in the programme and I sat there and grilled her for half an hour and she just played the safe thing saying: “Well, you know sugar isn’t bad for you if it’s not taken in large amounts and blah blah blah…” But they need to take responsibility!’ More supermarkets need to up their labelling game, too, ‘It takes me two hours to do a shop because I’m studying food packets and I shouldn’t have to do that. Everyone should be made to adhere to that traffic light system that Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer do so we all know that if we see a “red” by fat or salt or sugar you should not be buying it. But more to the point they shouldn’t be making it.’

Hypnosis Works – YouTube

Hypnosis Works!


Hypnosis registers pretty highly on most people’s skeptic scale, way up there with psychic readings and levitation. The fact that the average person’s exposure to hypnosis has been limited to a stage performer during their college orientation week doesn’t help much.

While convincing a group of people to make animal sounds might catch our curiosity, the truth about hypnotherapy proves to be more nuanced. In this video, hypnotherapist Sasha Carrion unpacks the difference between charlatans and legitimate practitioners in the field. She goes on to explain how a person who’s hypnotized may not be prone to quacking like a duck, but they are more suggestible and therefore able to rewire longstanding neural pathways.

It’s a subject which most of us harbor questions about, and Carrion’s straightforward explanation offers up plenty of thought-provoking answers.







How to Fall Asleep – and Stay Asleep – the Natural Way – US News

Sleeping pills aren’t the first-line treatment for insomnia – cognitive behavior therapy is.

Source: How to Fall Asleep – and Stay Asleep – the Natural Way – US News

Nearly half of all Americans suffer from occasional sleeplessness, and a staggering 15 percent have chronic, unremitting insomnia. We live in a culture where resorting to medication tends to be the first-line treatment. Most people only know about the medications available to treat insomnia: We constantly hear about them on TV, and many friends write about their insomnia sleeping pill use on social media (in the middle of the night). Medications can indeed be helpful for insomnia, and they surely have their place in insomnia management. However, many people are not aware that sleep specialists do not consider sleeping pills to be the first-line treatment for insomnia. Instead, sleep medicine’s gold standard treatment for insomnia is cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia, which is also known as CBT-I.

CBT-I is a non-drug, short-term treatment and has benefitted people of all ages and many types of patients who have trouble sleeping, including those with insomnia related to chronic pain, depression or anxiety. CBT-I consistently produces results that are comparable to, or even exceed, those of sleeping pills. Even one year after ending treatment, many patients continue to sleep well (rates that far outperform sleeping pills).

There are many ways one can engage in CBT-I, starting with self-help tips that I will mention in this post. There are a number of books on the market that focus on CBT-I as well as apps that you can download that will take you through the treatment in a more focused way. If you consistently try the techniques here (or in a book or app) and it isn’t working, consider seeing a specialist who will specifically target treatment to your particular situation. You can find a specialist here. Most sessions with a specialist last between three and 12 visits.

CBT-I is based on the concept that chronic insomnia is sustained by a variety of factors that maintain the problem. Examples of these behaviors are sleeping in, going to bed early, napping, using alcohol as a sedative, caffeine use, worrying about your sleep and tossing and turning in bed. These factors are the focus of the treatment.

The first step in CBT-I is tracking your sleep. Completing a sleep diary for two weeks can bring to light issues with sleep hygiene and sleep scheduling and make you more objective about your overall sleep pattern. There are many sleep diaries available online, but a good one should track your bedtime, wake time, how long it takes you to fall asleep and how much you are awake in the middle of the night. It should also record caffeine intake, exercise, napping, alcohol and sleeping pill use. Look for any patterns in your sleep diary. For example, do you notice it takes you longer to fall asleep on nights where you napped or dozed off earlier in the day?

The next module is sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene should be thought of as the basic building blocks forinsomnia treatment. If you don’t have proper sleep hygiene, the other modules won’t work as well. However, fixing sleep hygiene alone typically isn’t a cure for more chronic insomnia. It is the starting point in treatment. Sleep hygiene rules include limiting caffeine within eight hours of bedtime, stopping alcohol, heavy meals, liquids, nicotine and exercise within three hours of bedtime, avoiding clock-watching at night, engaging in exercise in the late afternoon/early evening, avoiding screens/electronics, winding down within one hour of going to bed and keeping your bedroom quiet, dark, comfortable and cool throughout the night.

Stimulus control is a highly effective and essential component of CBT-I. Insomnia patients often lie in bed watching TV, reading, worrying and thinking. As a result, the bed becomes associated not only with sleep, but also as a place to be awake. The rule is simple: The bed is only for sleep and sex. If you are awake in bed (usually for roughly 20 minutes, but don’t look at the clock – just guess!), get up, go to a different room (or if you’re in a studio, get up and sit in a chair next to the bed) and do something quiet, calm and relaxing in dim light. When you get sleepy again, go back to bed. If you don’t fall asleep after a little while, repeat the process. No lying in bed awake, no TV in bed, no eating in bed, no phones/computers in bed or during the night. Do this throughout the night until your alarm clock goes off in the morning. It is tough, but very effective when done consistently.

The next module, sleep restriction, limits your time in bed, therefore increasing your body’s drive to sleep. It goes squarely against common sense that tells us to go to bed earlier or sleep in during the morning to try and “catch up” on lost sleep. However, it’s this common sense that gets us in trouble. Although books, apps and working with a therapist will give you much more detailed and personalized instructions for stimulus control, the overall principle is simple. If you have trouble sleeping, go to bed later and wake up at the same time every single day. For example, if you only sleep six hours on average per night (based on your sleep diary data), set a fixed wake time daily, count back six hours from that time and this is your wake time. Reassess a week later, and if you’re improving, go to bed 15 minutes earlier each week. Keep the wake time the same. Don’t restrict to less than five hours, and if you have other issues such as sleep apnea, epilepsy, sleepwalking or bipolar disorder, speak with a sleep specialist before doing full-on sleep restriction.

The cognitive module teaches patients to recognize and modify inaccurate thoughts that affect your ability to sleep. A number of my patients have the thought “I must get eight hours of sleep tonight to function well tomorrow.” This thought puts additional pressure on patients to get eight hours of sleep, causing them to be tense and anxious – a state that clearly does not induce sleep. Try to swap inaccurate thoughts for more evidence-based ones. It is quite possible that you might function well on seven hours of sleep instead.

Relaxation exercises can be used to help quiet the mind and relax the body. There are a number of techniques that can be taught, such as muscle relaxation, deep breathing and biofeedback. You must find what works for you, and many websites (as well as therapists) can guide you through techniques. Patients who feel tense before bedtime show the most benefit from this module.

You do not necessarily need to discontinue sleep medication to benefit from CBT-I. Many patients gradually taper off their sleep medications once they have learned alternative techniques for their insomnia. This is a highly effective treatment for many people, but it isn’t as easy as taking a pill. The key is to remember that insomnia develops over time in many people, and it isn’t cured overnight. Consistency is key with insomnia management: The more you stick with the treatment, the better the outcomes.

Heal Your Relationship

If there was one thing you could do to heal your relationships, would you do it?

The one cause: self-abandonment.
When you abandon yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, relationally and/or organizationally, you automatically make your partner responsible for you. Once you make another person responsible for your feelings of self-worth and well being, then you attempt to manipulate that person into loving you, approving of you and giving you what you want. The controlling behaviour that results from self-abandonment creates huge relationship problems.
Let’s look at the various forms of self-abandonment and how they result in relationship conflict and power struggles, or in distance and disconnection.

Emotional self-abandonment.
When we were growing up, many of us experienced much loneliness, heartache, heartbreak and helplessness. These are very big feelings, and unless we had loving parents or caregivers who helped us through these feelings—rather than being the cause of them—we had to find strategies to avoid them.
We learned four major ways of avoiding these core painful feelings of life, and these four ways now create our feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame and anger, as well as relationship problems.
1. We judge ourselves rather than accept ourselves.
Did you learn to judge yourself as a way to try to get yourself to do things “right” so that others would like you? Self-judgment creates much anxiety, depression, guilt, shame and emptiness, and can lead to many addictions in order to avoid these feelings. Self-judgment also leads to needing others’ approval to feel worthy, and your resulting controlling behaviours to gain others’ approval can lead to many relationship problems.
2. We ignore our feelings by staying up in our head rather than being present in our body.
When you have not learned how to manage your feelings, you want to avoid them. Do you find yourself focused in your head rather than in your body, more or less unaware of your feelings?
We emotionally connect with each other from our hearts and souls, not from our heads. When you stay in your head as a way to avoid responsibility for your feelings, you cannot emotionally connect with your partner.
3. We turn to various addictions to numb the anxiety, depression, emptiness, guilt, shame and anger that develops when we judge ourselves and ignore our feelings.
Addictive behaviour, such too much alcohol, drugs, food, TV, gambling, overspending, work, sex and so on, can create much conflict and distance in relationships.
4. We make our partner or others responsible for our feelings.
When we emotionally abandon ourselves, we then believe it is someone else’s job to make us feel loved and worthy. Do you try to control your partner with anger, blame, criticism, compliance, resistance or withdrawal to get him or her to give you what you are not giving to yourself? How does your partner respond to this controlling behaviour?
Many relationships fall into a dysfunctional system, such as one person getting angry and the other withdrawing or resisting, or both getting angry or both withdrawing. In some systems, one is angry and the other is compliant, which seems to work until the compliant partner becomes resentful. In all of these systems, each person is emotionally abandoning themselves, which is the root cause of the dysfunctional relationship.
Financial self-abandonment.
If you refuse to take care of yourself financially, instead expecting your partner to take financial responsibility for you, this can create problems. This is not a problem if your partner agrees to take financial responsibility for you and you fully accept how he or she handles this responsibility. But if you choose to be financially irresponsible, such as overspending, or you try to control how your partner earns or manages the money, much conflict can occur over your financial self-abandonment.
Organizational self-abandonment.
If you refuse to take responsibility for your own time and space, and instead are consistently late and/or a clutterer, and your partner is an on-time and/or a neat person, this can create huge power struggles and resentment in your relationship.
Physical self-abandonment.
If you refuse to take care of yourself physically by eating badly and not exercising, possibly causing yourself severe health problems, your partner may feel resentful by having to take care of you. Your physical self-abandonment not only has negative consequences for you regarding your health and well being, it also has unwanted consequences for your partner, which can lead to conflict and power struggles.
Relational self-abandonment.
If you refuse to speak up for yourself in your relationship, and instead become complacent or resistant, you are eroding the love in the relationship. When you abandon yourself to another through compliance or resistance, you create a lack of trust that leads to conflict, disconnection and resentment.
Spiritual self-abandonment.
When you make your partner your source of love rather than learning to turn to a spiritual source for your dependable source of love, you place a very unfair burden on your partner. When your intent in the relationship is to get love rather than to share love, then you will unfairly lean on your partner for attention, approval, time or sex. When you do not take responsibility for learning how to connect with a spiritual source of your own for sustenance, your neediness can create relationship problems.
Spiritual self-abandonment is related to emotional self-abandonment, in that you cannot commit to 100% responsibility for yourself without a strong connection with a spiritual source of love and wisdom.
Learn to love yourself rather than abandon yourself.
Learning to love yourself is the key to a loving relationship. When you learn to connect with a personal source of spiritual guidance and access the love and wisdom that is always within you, you learn to fill yourself up with love. While self-abandonment creates an inner emptiness that relies on others to fill you, self-love creates an inner fullness. Self-love fills your heart and soul with overflowing love so that, rather than always trying to get love, you can now share your love with your partner.