Healthy Aging Resources

Live Life to the Full in Optimal Health

  • Aug 14

    On the 5th May 2011 I find out that I have an ‘under-active’ or ‘low’ thyroid (also called hypothroidism). This post explains the program I embarked on to overcome my under active thyroid.

    Read my post: How to support your thyroid

    August 2012: I have since learned the following from Dr Steven Gundry 





    My symptoms (and there are many others): Being overweight and feeling the cold terribly (it is now winter in New Zealand).

    I had no idea that my thyroid was not healthy, but once I found out it explained why I find it difficult to release weight (my metabolism was not working correctly).

    Program for under active thyroid

    The program I was put on involved taking my usual nutritional supplements (advanced quality multi minerals/vitamins, vitamin D3, CoQ10, vitamin C, Calcium/Magnesium tablet, grape seed extract and omega-3 capsules) and adding in Iodral (iodine). Once the Iodral is finished, I have been advised to eat seaweed (add to food, sprinkle on salads) to keep up my iodine levels.

    I set a goal to walk for one hour every day using wrist and ankle weights (I did not achieve that every day – more like 4 out of 7 days due to the winter weather and other commitments).

    I ensured that I was drinking 1 1/2 litres of water daily.

    I avoided products containing soy.

    Three months later and my thyroid is ‘normal’.

    This means that I now will find it easier to release the 10kgs of fat that has been clinging to my body.

    My goal is to release fat so that I can reach a healthy weight by Christmas Day 2011 and then I can wear a beautiful dress I have hanging in my wardrobe, that at present is too small for me.
    I am looking forward to letting you know when I have reached that goal.

    Update April 2013 – I am slowly getting closer to my goal weight of 64kgs, currently just over 67kgs.  I am finding that it very easy to keep to Dr Steven Gundry’s Diet Evolution program. I have dropped a dress size.  My ‘wheat belly’ has shrunk. I can wear skirts again because my backside has shrunk! I have heaps more energy and I feel very happy.


    April 2013

    June 2011
    June 2011


  • Jun 30

    How do we find out if our thyroid is healthy?  I had given no thought to this question so was surprised to find out that I have an ‘under active’ or ‘low’ thyroid (also called hypothroidism). Learn what you can do to support your thyroid health.

    According to Doctor Ray Strand, Hypothyroidism or under active thyroid occurs when the thyroid gland is destroyed or is not producing needed amounts of thyroid hormone. This condition has also been called myxedema due to the potential harm possible to the body when there is no thyroid hormone. Patients can become edematous (filled with fluid), weak and fatigued, intolerant to cold, experience abnormal weight gain, notice changes in their skin and hair, and may suffer from total body pain. They can also develop congestive heart failure as well as significant increase in their cholesterol levels.

    Learn more:  What does the thyroid do and where is it located?

    My main symptom is being overweight (which of course leads to other problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer), the other symptom is that I  feel the cold terribly (it is now winter in New Zealand). There are other symptoms so the best thing to do is to get screened.  (List of symptoms from the Mayo Clinic here.)

    There are two ways to get the health of our thyroid checked out – the usual way is by a blood test.  But this may not be as accurate as a Thyroflex test  – in this video, Naturopath David Holden explains the Thyroflex test.

    The other test that I had done was the VLA Test and that indicated that I need to exercise more to build up more muscle.  My healthy low-glycemic diet and the supplements that I take have kept me in good health – so the ‘only’ thing I need to work on is exercise.

    The nutritional supplements to support a healthy thyroid are advanced quality multi minerals/vitamins, vitamin D3, CoQ10, vitamin C. Plus “Iodral” with supervision from your doctor or Naturopath.  I also take a Calcium/Magnesium tablet, grape seed extract and omega-3 capsules.  I am ensuring that I am drinking 1 1/2 litres of water daily and avoiding soy products for the time being.

    My blood test results showed that my blood sugar levels are slightly elevated – again exercise is the key here too.

    The exercise I enjoy is walking (so much so, I have a website ‘Short Walks in Auckland‘), however I hate walking in the cold and wet of winter.  But I must get out walking every day for one hour – so I will.

    For sufferers of Hashimotos, Dr Steven Gundry suggests the following: “Most gluten free foods are made from corn, rice, and potatoes, all of which are lectins which contribute to Hashimotos. Please eliminate all grains, all peppers, potatoes, milk and milk products. You can have goat and sheep products. No pseudograins like quinoa! No Advil or Aleve. No stomach acid suppressants like Prilosec or Nexium. You will start to heal.”

    My goal is to release fat so that I can reach a healthy weight by Christmas Day 2011 and then I can wear a beautiful dress I have hanging in my wardrobe, that at present is too small for me.

    I am looking forward to letting you know when I have reached that goal.

    This is a photo of me on holiday in Australia last week:

    Healthy Aging Resources

  • Sep 25

    Combined Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin C Supplementation Improves Vascular Health

    Grape seed extract (GSE) is rich in flavonoids including epicatechin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to prevent the oxidation and disappearance of phenol compounds. Recent clinical study demonstrated that the combination of GSE and vitamin C supplement can improve vascular health in people with clinically diagnosed CVD.

    Scientists at Boston University School of Medicine and USANA Health Sciences recently conducted a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled crossover study to examine the effects of GSE in combination with ascorbic acid on the effect of vascular indices including endothelium-dependent vasodilation.

    A total of 42 patients with coronary Artery Disease were treated with an acute dose of GSE (450 mg/day) plus ascorbic acid (1500 mg/day). After a 2-week washout period, patients received either an active (same total dose) or placebo treatment daily for 4 weeks (2 tablets in the morning and 2 tablets in the evening). Blood samples were collected and vascular testing were performed 2 and 4 hours post treatment (Acute) respectively. Tests were repeated after 4 weeks (Chronic) with the last dose taken the morning of the final day of a particular treatment (Acute-on-Chronic).

    The study found that treatment (Acute, Chronic, and Acute-on-Chronic) with the combination of GSE and vitamin C significantly increased serum vitamin C and plasma epicatechin level; Decreased SIN-1 induced 8-isoprostane formation indicating an increase in Plasma Antioxidant Reserve; and improved endothelial function in the peripheral microvasculature (capillaries and arterials).

    This finding is significant because oxidative stress is associated with a variety of chronic degenerative diseases including CVD. Thus, treatment with GSE plus vitamin C significantly increases the capacity to guard against the detrimental consequences of oxidative stress in the plasma. The role of endothelial dysfunction (decreased blood flow) in CVD is well established, therefore the finding that GSE plus vitamin C improves endothelial function (increased blood flow) suggests that GSE plus vitamin C supplementation work in a complimentary fashion to improve indices of vascular health by providing both antioxidant protection and improved microvascular endothelial function in patients with clinically diagnosed CVD.

    Source: Shenouda SM al; Grape Seed Extract Plus Vitamin C Improves Indices of Vascular Health 2009; USANA Clinical Research Poster;; Accessed 6 Sept 2010.

    Disclaimer: The information provided in the article is strictly educational. It may not be used to promote USANA products, nor is it intended as medical advice. For diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, please consult your health care professional. This information may be copied and freely distributed only if all text remains intact and unchanged.