Mystery weight gain was food intolerance

Linda Monk, a 59-year-old accountant from Sussex has always been slim.  Then in her mid-50s she started piling on the pounds no matter how hard she exercised.  Then suddenly her general health started to decline and she also began suffering a myriad of symptoms like swollen ankles and puffy under eyes. 
Then after reading about a simple over the counter test she found out the cause – food intolerence.  She amended her diet and she regained her figure and her health.
Here, a beaming with health Linda (pictured) tells Elixir her story:


“I have always been slim and taken pride in maintaining my figure. However, when I hit my mid 50s, I noticed my weight starting to creep up. To counter this, I started to exercise more and eat less, but nothing worked and I continued to put weight on around my hips.
I was soon an extra stone heavier than I had been before – something that was very noticeable on my 5’4″ frame. I also noticed that I was developing cellulite (something I’d never had before), my ankles were swollen and my eyes were puffy and surrounded by dark circles. This, coupled with the fact that my favourite clothes no longer fitted me, really was upsetting me. I just didn’t know what to do next.
It was then that I started to feel ill. Initially I just put this down to the stress I was experiencing at the time and the fact that I was unable to sleep. However, it wasn’t until I felt really sick after eating some chocolate one Mother’s Day, that it started to click that I could be intolerant to something I was eating.
After doing some research online I discovered the YorkTest website. Impressed by the testimonials of former customers, I decided to take the test.
The service the company offered was fantastic; I received my test in the post a couple of days after I initially spoke to the company and my results were sent back within a week – they revealed that I had severe intolerances to soy and dairy.
I found the free consultations with the YorkTest nutritionist very helpful and she was able to advise me on the best ways to remove dairy and wheat from my diet.
Within a short time, the extra weight I had put on had gone. My cellulite and dark circles completely disappeared and I was able to sleep at night. All my other symptoms improved and I started to feel well again.
I can’t describe how much better I feel compared to before and I can eat as much as I want without worrying – it’s like being a teenager again! It is definitely the best money I have ever spent!”
About YorkTest
YorkTest offers nutritionally supported food intolerance programmes from £250, including its unique Food and Drink Intolerance Programme.  For anyone wanting to know whether food-specific IgG antibody reactions are present the ‘First Step’ pre-screen is available, currently on offer at £9.99.  If the First Step result is positive you can choose to proceed to one of YorkTest’s comprehensive food and drink intolerance programmes.  Home-to-laboratory test kits can be purchased from YorkTest by calling 0800 074 6185 or visiting
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The real detox

Yogatastic Don’t spend loads of money on detox packs or string yourself out on a disgusting syrup, juice and pepper concoction – commit to something which actually works…

Every year we say we will stop eating when we feel full, or have one or two fewer glasses of wine but it never works.Well now the forced excess is all over and it’s time for punishing ourselves with the latest detox and weight loss fad. Or is it?

Losing that bloated sinking feeling and getting yourself back on track for 2011 could be much simpler than you realise.

We know the celebrities all endorse various detox/weight loss plans and we understand why. They are under a great amount of pressure to look good and above all, be the slimmest they can be, which prompts drastic measures in even the least neurotic and anxious of people. For those of us living our mundane (cough) everyday lives, such drastic action is not required: a few little tweaks can make all the difference.

Here are six quick tips to banish that ‘jabba the hutt’ feeling:

1. Make sure you get enough sleep. When you are tired your body wants the high energy, quick fix food which is very bad news for your blood sugar level and waistline. Tired people are also less likely to have the energy to exercise. Tired people always look older: perhaps the most effective inducement to get enough shut-eye. Need any more reasons?!

2. As above, high energy/sugar food is very bad news for you (unless you are a super-duper fit athlete who burns a gazillion calories a day). Eating high sugar foods sends you up into the stratosphere for about 20 minutes until you crash back down to earth and into the biscuit cupboard. We don’t need to give it up completely, just reduce portion size and be careful not to eat your treat after dinner as those calories will be going nowhere fast.

3. Raise your heart rate for at least 15 minutes a day. We all have some lonely exercise equipment or one of the many computer console exercise programs to hand for a quick endorphin boost, so requires no extra spenditure.  It gives you a little extra energy to go about your business and you don’t have to trek to the gym to spend time with other sweaty people. Yuck.

4. Alcohol. We’re sorry to have to say this but if you want to feel better within a week, any delicious alcohol-based beverage is out. Alcohol is full of sugar. Wine is quite probably the healthiest of all the marketed beverages but still, as above, we know it is hard to restrict ourselves to just the one glass. So we advocate cutting it out for just a little while. Your liver will give thanks and you will very soon notice you are much less sluggish with better skin.

5. Fruit and veg. You may have heard the news, you may not have done, but here it is; we do not have to eat 5 portions of fruit or veg a day. Of course it is advisable to eat as much as you can without stressing or obsessing if for no other reason that by eating something green, you are not eating a big cake or pork pie. Fruit is nice as well. You may have forgotten how nice it is with all those sugar laden treats out there but if you manage to cut back your sugar intake you will rediscover just how naturally beautiful many fruits are. Try to eat the actual fruits instead of getting juice – the fibre helps slow the flow of sugar into your bloodstream.

6. Supplements. The most important are fish oil/omega 3 capsules which come with a side helping of Vitamin D – perfect for sharpening the old brain functions and making us feel less depressed about being mid-winter. There is no Vitamin D RDA and although we probably get enough help from the sun during summer, we need to supplement like crazy in winter. If you are over 50 you should be taking a Vitamin D supplement all year round. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to all the old life threatening bad pennies of heart disease, diabetes and cancer and more research needs to be done to see exactly what deficient people are missing out on. As far as other vitamins are concerned: if you can manage a small daily dose of vitamin C, this will also help to reduce your chances of getting a bad cold.

See, not a massive change, but will help you start to feel loads better and you might be inspired to effect a bigger change in your lifestyle. It doesn’t take much to get your body back on track – our organs, especially our main detox organ – the marvellous liver – are very resilient and do their very best job with just a little help from us.


Do we need yet another weight loss pill?

Smaller waist circumference neededResearchers have recently found a direct connection between the ‘fat’ gene and increased body weight. But how will this improve our health?

The researchers, at Oxford University, have found a direct connection between the ‘fat’ gene (fat mass and obesity-associated gene) and increased weight. The research was published in Nature Genetics.

This gene was found to have multiple variants in 2007 – meaning that its variance in the population could provide an explanation for obesity – so scientists have been searching for its precise connection with obesity since then.

The leaders of the research project have said that the new findings could be used to develop an anti-obesity pill, but any pill resulting from these new findings wouldn’t be available for a long time yet.

The important question is – what would this pill be? Would we take it at birth to make sure we didn’t suffer from obesity? Would it turn into another vaccine we had to line up for at school?

Do we need another magic ‘lose all your ugly fat’ pill?

The diet industry is growing as quickly as obesity levels, which would indicate that something is not quite working.

In 2008, nearly a quarter of adults (over 16 years of age) in England were obese (had a BMI over 30). Just under a third of women, 32%, were overweight (a BMI of 25-30), and 42% of men were overweight.

Amongst children (2-15 years of age), one in six boys and one in seven girls in England were obese in 2008. The number of overweight children was also around one in seven. 

The NHS predicts that the number of overweight and obese people is likely to increase.

The Foresight report, a scientific report used to guide government policy, has predicted that by 2025, nearly half of men and over a third of women will be obese. 

Surely this tells us there should be a greater focus on changing the core reasons for obesity – the decrease in physical activity and increased intake of processed foods. We have to change the focus of our lives from convenience and speed – just look at how well convenience has treated the USA if you need any further evidence.

Most of us spend the majority of our day sitting in front of a computer, then fight to get a seat on the train so we can sit in front of the TV with our dinner. Hands up if you have two or more takeaway dinners a week?

Everything is geared towards us having to expend less and less energy, which is very bad news for our weight and health.

The reason for obesity is clearly much more than a greater susceptibility to the smell of food.

Sorry, we cannot blame our genes for this one.

Anyone for a cup of tea?

_MG_6396[1] [320x200].JPGThe menopause can be a very difficult time, but help may be at hand in the shape of a good cuppa.

Tava Tea Wellness Blend uses organically grown whole Sencha, Wuyi Cliff Oolong and Puerh tea leaves of the best grade possible.

These tea leaves contain a vast array of powerful nutrients and have been used for health and healing in China for over 5000 years.

The tea has also become popular amongst women keen to reduce the physical effects of the menopause in addition to promoting general well-being and soothe aches and pains.

The tea’s ingredients increase the drinker’s metabolism and reduce food cravings, which become a problem during heightened hormonal activity associated with the menopause.

Case study 1 – Trudy Leigh, 50, from Loughton, Essex

Trudy gave Tava Tea a try after gaining weight during the early stages of the menopause
She said: ‘I’d always been a slim woman at just over eight stone, but after starting the menopause I gained weight almost overnight. It was a new and uncomfortable experience and no matter what I did, including almost starving myself, I couldn’t shift the extra pounds.’

Trudy has been sipping four cups a day and lost half a stone in three weeks.

Case study 2 – Nicola Chapman, 51, from Bristol

Nicola was having a bad time with hot flushes, she ‘felt uncomfortable, short of energy and embarrassed at turning red and having to fan myself in public. Since drinking the tea I’ve seen my hot flushes decrease to once or twice a day, it’s made a world of difference.’

Dr Tim Thurlings, who developed the tea’s unique blend, said he’s delighted to be able to help women during what can be a particularly difficult time.

He said: ‘The blends of tea we use are proven to have positive effects when it comes to losing weight and promoting feelings of well being  – something which can be particularly important for women going through a time of substantial physical and emotional change.’

‘Not only does the tea speed up the metabolism and help with hot flushes, it also helps reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of developing some forms of lung cancer.’

This means anyone can benefit from a cup of this particularly saintly brew…. So, who’s going to put the kettle on??


Drinking water helps you control your weight

tapandwater.jpgYou are probably all well aware of how many glasses of water you should be drinking a day. However, despite all the publicity, we are still not drinking enough and it is impacting on our health. But maybe not in the ways you might think.

A recent review undertaken by Jodi Stookey, an epidemiologist specialising in nutrition, focused on the effect and importance of drinking water in efficient exercise and weight loss. Ms Stookey is based at the Children’s Hospital of Oakland Research Institute (USA).

The review showed that we are not aware of the effect which sugary drinks have on our insulin production and general calorie intake. Whenever you drink or eat something with significant calorie content, insulin is prompted to take care of it. When insulin production is triggered, fat burning in our cells is halted. Therefore water, containing no calories, does not prompt insulin and promotes hydration and energy use. Tea and coffee also have minimal effects on your blood sugar.

The review also pointed to the source of our bad habits – we all know that children like sweet things but those children are growing up to be hooked on sweet drinks and food as adults. If we concentrate on getting our children to drink as much water as possible and reduce intake of sugar, perhaps we can help halt the growing obesity epidemic.

One research project looked at water consumption in two groups of school children, where one group (the control group) were not encouraged to drink any extra water, with the other group having specific teaching about water and water fountains installed at their school. At the end of the school year, it was observed that the children in the water promotion group consumed on average 1.1 extra glasses of water per day compared to the other group. The prevalence of overweight children had increased by 1.9% in the control group and remained relatively stable in the water group (0.1%).

Speaking of her research, Jodi Stookey said: “This is the first review of its kind to highlight the potential link between drinking water and weight control. Water is the only liquid that is indispensable to our bodies. It is recommended that you drink 1.5 litres of water per day, not only to ensure that our bodies function properly, but also for weight management as part of a programme of physical activity and good eating habits.”


International Kurotel Longevity Centre & Spa – Brazil


Kurotel Centro de Longevidade e Spa
Rua Nações Unidas, 533
CEP: 95670-000
Gramado – RS – Brasil
T: + 55 54 3295 9393
+ 55 54 3421 9393

The Kurotel specialises in a number of treatments including anti-ageing, weightloss, stress and quitting smoking.

For example: Kur Method was specially designed to improve the quality of life – which means having the correct weight for your height, emotional balance, managing your stress, enjoying yourself; therefore finding balance and getting closer to the person you want to be. Kur Method focuses on self-awareness, predictive medicine and on the development of a life style with healthy habits, so as you feel you are having the best time of your life.