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Community Challenge

Programme One: Hypnotherapy
Programme Two: Cholesterol Lowering Diet
Programme Three: Kilmacud Gaelic4Mothers & Others
Programme Four: The Ozanam Active Retirement Group
Programme Five: Clondalkin Travellers Primary Health Care Team -Low GL Diet Challenge
Programme Six: Greencastle Fishermen & Blood Pressure Diet with Dr. Dan McCartney

Doctors On Call

Presenter, Paul Walsh

Our reporter, Paul Walsh (lead singer of Royseven and Former Manager in the Health Service) will be heading up our community challenge. Each week he will follow an expert as they road test the latest cures, treatments, alternative therapies and diets for optimum health. From putting Donegal fishermen on a modified 'dash diet' to lower their blood pressure to the Men's shed in Sligo trying hypnotherapy to stop smoking. Health heroes or zeros? We find out.

Doctors On Call
Programme Six: Greencastle Fishermen & Blood Pressure Diet with Dr. Dan McCartney

Dr. Dan McCartney says 'High blood pressure, along with smoking, obesity and high cholesterol; is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, it's very common in Ireland among men and women of all ages. Overall, about half of Irish men and more than one in seven Irish women have high blood pressure. The situation is even worse among our older adults, where two-thirds of men aged 45 years or over and more than half of the women in this age group, have high blood pressure.'

He adds 'The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was originally developed by health researchers at Harvard University in Boston. Rather than focussing on which nutrients were associated with better blood pressure control, they instead became interested in the foods that improved blood pressure. Their research in the mid-1990s showed that a diet which included extra fruit, vegetables and low fat dairy foods such as semi-skimmed milk or natural yoghurt reduced blood pressure significantly. In fact, this improvement was comparable to some of the more effective blood pressure-lowering drugs available at the time, and was not dependent on the person losing weight (although this often occurs as an added health benefit of the DASH diet). Since its initial development, various updated versions of the DASH diet have appeared, many of which have had even better effects on blood pressure. For example, reducing salt intake had previously been shown to decrease blood pressure. Researchers took this information and used it to produce a low-salt DASH diet which was shown to have even superior blood pressure-lowering effects than the original version. As well as fruit, vegetables, dairy and salt intakes, oily fish intake has been shown to reduce blood pressure, while high alcohol intake has been shown to increase it. Finally, increased intake of vitamin D, a critical nutrient for overall health, is also thought to be helpful in lowering blood pressure.'

Dr. McCartney adds 'In Ireland, fruit and vegetable intake is typically quite low, as is our consumption of dairy foods. Additionally, only half of younger adults and two-thirds of older adults consume fish on a regular basis, while average salt intakes are substantially more than the recommended 6g per day in both men and women. The OECD recently reported that Ireland had the sixth highest alcohol intake per capita of the forty countries which they had surveyed, while many people in Ireland also have low blood levels of vitamin D.

'Doctors on Call' challenged a group of Fishermen, the Cavanagh Family from Greencastle, Co. Donegal, to take on the modified DASH diet for 7 weeks under the guidance of Dr. Dan McCartney. The Cavanagh men work on two separate Fishing boats - The Green Isle and The Father McKee and they incorporated six important dietary and nutritional issues over the 7 weeks of the challenge. These were fruit and vegetables, low fat dairy foods, salt, oily fish, alcohol and vitamin D. Dr. McCartney says 'Optimising intake of all of these important food groups and nutrients has been shown to improve blood pressure control. However, research indicates that Irish adults tend to score poorly in relation to all of these dietary priorities. Our six volunteers were asked to adopt a dietary plan which focussed on these critical issues. The fishermen recorded how well they stuck to their diet over this seven week period, and monitored their blood pressure and weight changes over this time.'

See how they got on - Wednesday 18th December 2013 at 20:30pm

Dr. Daniel McCartney B.Sc./Dip. Diet, M.Sc., Ph.D., MINDI
Dr. Daniel McCartney is a professional dietitian. He received his Master's Degree in molecular medicine from Trinity College Dublin, and his Ph.D. in public health and nutritional epidemiology from the Dublin Institute of Technology. He is a lecturer in Human Nutrition & Dietetics at DIT, Adjunct Asst. Professor of Dietetics at Trinity College Dublin and former Public Relations Officer of the INDI, the professional body for dietitians in Ireland.

Daniel's research interests include the role of nutrition in cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis; the major contributors to ill-health and premature death in Ireland and other developed countries. His current research is focussed on investigating how poor maternal nutrition in pregnancy affects the long-term health of babies in later life. This work is being conducted with Prof. Michael Turner and his colleagues at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin. He also has a strong interest in socio-economic health inequalities, and the role of nutrition and diet in addressing these disparities.

Daniel has a special interest in healthcare technology, and along with Stephen Farrell, founded Diet and Health Solutions Ltd., a company which specialises in the development of online software applications for dietary health management.

Dr. McCartney has also developed an App which can assess the healthiness of your diet in relation to blood pressure. With the App you can also receive 'effective, personalised advice on how to improve your blood pressure through dietary change by downloading our blood pressure app.' For more details see MyDietScore.com.

Doctors On Call
Programme Five: Clondalkin Travellers Primary Health Care Team -Low GL Diet Challenge

Under the guidance of Patrick Holford, the 'Clondalkin Travellers Primary Health Care' team were challenged to take on his Low GL Diet for 8 weeks to reduce their chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes. The group were already aware of the health implications of developing Diabetes as two of the group are currently living with the condition and managing it with daily medication.

Before the challenge started we tested the group's weight and body fat percentage. The results showed that the ladies totalled 90 stones in weight, with 45% of their weight as body fat. Patrick says 'This gives them at least ten times the risk of developing diabetes. One's bodyfat percentage should certainly be below 33%, which would equate to a fraction of the risk for diabetes. Our challenge was for them to lose 1 stone (14lbs) in 8 weeks by following my low GL diet. This alone would halve their current risk of diabetes. That's to lose 6 stone and a 24% reduction in body fat in 8 weeks!'

Patrick Holford's low GL diet challenge included

  • A strict low GL diet - 45 GLs a day.
  • Resistance (strength) and aerobic (stamina) exercise
  • Supplementing glucomannan fibre, chromium and cinnamon with each meal

The 'Clondalkin Travellers Health Care' team were also attending weekly 'Zest4Life' support groups with nutritional therapist Anne Owens. For more information visit www.zest4life.com, www.zest4lifeireland.ie

The Results Patrick says of the results 'The group lost 6 stone and 5lbs overall, with the greatest individual weight loss of almost 2 stone (1 stone 12lbs) - that's over 3 pounds a week. The least weight loss for those following the diet was 7lbs, with an average weight loss of around 1 stone (14lbs). Most importantly, the body fat percentage of the group dropped by 24.4%. Losing this much weight and reducing body fat percentage confers a substantial decrease in risk of diabetes and heart disease.'

He adds 'On top of this the women have reported big improvements in energy and overall health. Two women with diabetes now have stable blood sugar levels despite years of suffering from diabetes. One woman with high blood pressure now has normal blood pressure and many reported other health benefits especially more energy, less sugar cravings and better skin.

Patrick Holford's GL Check List

  • Are you rarely wide awake within 15 minutes of rising?
  • Do you need tea, coffee, a cigarette or something sweet to get you going in the morning?
  • Do you crave chocolate, sweet foods, bread, cereal or pasta?
  • Do you often have energy slumps during the day or after meals?
  • Do you crave something sweet or a stimulant after meals?
  • Do you often have mood swings or difficulty concentrating?
  • Do you get dizzy or irritable if you go six hours without food?
  • Do you find you over-react to stress?
  • Is your energy now less than it used to be?
  • Do you feel too tired to exercise?
  • Are you gaining weight, and finding it hard to lose, even though you're not noticeably eating more or exercising less?

Click here (www.patrickholford.com/weightloss ) for the basic rules about low GL eating. These are also explained in more detail, with lots of recipes, in the Low GL Diet Bible [http://www.patrickholford.com/index.php/shop/bookcats/C70/] and Low GL Cookbook [http://www.patrickholford.com/index.php/shop/bookcats/C70/] Click here (www.zest4life.com/burnfatfastexercises) for fatburning exercises Click here (http://www.patrickholford.com/index.php/advice/specialreportarticle/the_superfibres_that_lower_blood_sugar_naturally) to find out about the super fibre glucomannan (http://www.patrickholford.com/index.php/advice/specialreportarticle/chromium_-_the_insulin_helper/) to find out about chromium and cinnamon to support sugar balance.

NOTE: Patrick says 'If you have diabetes, and follow all these guidelines, your need for medication may reduce. That's why it's vital to check with your doctor so they can advise you accordingly. Patrick's book 'Say No to Diabetes' explains how to phase in changes for Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. https://www.facebook.com/patrickholford/app_496882550377552
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpqzBjN5lUY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P087jIyy73Q

Doctors On Call

The Ozanam Active Retirement Group in Mitchelstown were challenged to boost their brain health in just 6 weeks with the help of Prof. Sabina Brennan of the Institute of Neuroscience in Trinity College Dublin.

They group were asked, very simply, to do one thing every day to boost their brain health. Prof. Brennan says 'We all brush our teeth everyday but most of us never spare a thought for our brains.' Having recently surveyed Europeans of all ages she discovered what they feared most about growing old 'Guess what? It wasn't loosing their teeth. No it was losing their memory and their independence. Dentures never got a mention but dementia was cited as the disease that the majority of respondents feared most. And their fears aren't unfounded because decline in cognitive abilities like memory and attention prevent millions of older people from living independently in the community in later life.'

She adds 'But the good news is that scientific research tells us that decline is not inevitable and that simple lifestyle changes can boost your brain health and may even act as a buffer against age-related or disease-induced decline. Many of us see losing our memory as part of normal ageing - in much the same way that people used to see losing teeth as an unavoidable part of growing old. But thanks to scientific advancement and increased awareness most of us know about the benefits of dental hygiene and other factors that impact on tooth decay. And while it is not a guarantee that we won't get toothache or eventually lose our teeth it does mean that we can hold on to our teeth for as long as possible. Similarly building brain health into your daily routine may help you to hold onto vital functions like memory for as long as possible.'

Prof Brennan is also leading a EU wide brain health awareness campaign, funded by the European Commission and our ladies in Mitchelstown were given a sneak preview of the films which are part of the campaign plus they were given Five Top Tips for a healthy brain. These are;

  • Get physically active
  • Stay socially engaged
  • Challenge your brain
  • Manage stress, think young and think positive.
  • Adapt your lifestyle to protect your brain

The Hello Brain Campaign, which is led by Prof Sabina Brennan and funded by the European commission will launch in early 2014 but you can have a sneak preview of the films here...https://vimeo.com/channels/611166
If you would like to learn more about the Hello Brain campaign visit www.hellobrain.eu

Sabina Brennan (PhD) is a principle investigator at the Institute of Neuroscience and School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. She is director of the NEIL Memory Research Unit and assistant director of the NEIL Programme. Her main research interests centre on understanding cognitive decline and she is committed to developing scalable interventions to delay decline and enable independent living in later life. She believes that challenge, novelty and lifelong learning are fundamental to maintaining brain health in later life.

Her own career path reflects this ethos, after 15 years spent working in a permanent pensionable job in Irish Life Sabina jacked it all in to pursue a childhood dream to become and actor. She spent 10 years working as an actor and following a successful stint playing Tess Halpin in RTE's Fair City she decided that it was time to fulfill another lifelong ambition and gave up acting to attend university. She obtained a first class honours degree in psychology and then went on to complete a PhD in Trinity College Dublin. She now combines both her academic and creative sides by using film as a medium to raise awareness and deliver interventions.

The Hello Brain Campaign aims to promote brain health and brain research. Through animated film, smartphone app and web content the campaign aims to help you understand how your brain works and what science is discovering about that remarkable mass of fatty, salty tissue inside your head. 'Why? Because we want you to have a healthy brain.'

'Research is showing that 'modifable' lifestyle factors like physical and mental exercise and social engagement can help to protect brain health and function, and we want you to benefit. Your brain is one of the most complex systems we know of in the Universe, and as with all living things the environment affects how it works. For your brain, that environment is how you live, how physically active you are, how much you engage with other people, how you sleep and eat and whether you occupy your brain with tasks that can strengthen it.'

'Through Hello Brain you will learn more about the cells and structures that allow you to think, feel, learn and communicate. You will learn about how the brain changes with age, and that decline is not an inevitable part of ageing. And you will learn tips and tasks you can do now to help you enjoy good brain health as you get older.

The NEIL Programme
'The NEIL Program aims to develop, evaluate and deliver NeuroEnhancement to older people worldwide. Failing cognitive function prevents millions of older adults from living independently. Our Goal is to enable independent living and improve quality of life by: conducting research aimed at dementia prevention and cognitive enhancement; transforming this knowledge into empirically grounded interventions; and using this information to educate and empower older adults to maintain their cognitive function for as long as possible.' See www.tcd.ie/neuroscience/neil for further information Enhance / Enable / Educate / Empower

NEIL Volunteer Callout
NEIL are currently actively seeking volunteers for a number of our research projects - if you would like to learn more about how you could become involved please contact 01 8968414 and a member of the NEIL team will be happy to give you further information. 'We are looking for 3 very specific types of volunteers (Caregivers, Socially isolated individuals and Volunteers) to take part in current NEIL Research projects: 1. Caregivers: we need people 50+ who are providing care to their spouse or partner with dementia to take part in our DeStress Study which is looking at the health and wellbeing of caregivers of people with dementia. 2. Socially isolated individuals: We're also looking for individuals over the age of 60 who now find themselves spending a lot of time at home and who might be interested in taking part in a study evaluating the benefits of shared mealtimes for our RelAte resech project 3. Volunteers: We need people over the age of 55, who may be interested in being trained as a NEIL volunteer who will deliver this mealtime intervention. '

Doctors On Call

Programme Three: Kilmacud Gaelic4Mothers & Others

Prof. Niall Moyna believes that by increasing your daily physical activity level you can make significant improvements to your health and decrease your risk of heart disease by up to 20% in just 4 weeks. As part of the 'Doctors on Call' challenge Prof. Moyna set the Kilmacud Crokes Mothers and Others team a 4 week training schedule which included some cardiovascular endurance training and simple home based exercises to improve their strength. Over the course of the challenge they were asked to train together as a group one night a week and undertake 2-3 individual training sessions each week. Before and after the challenge began, Prof. Moyna and his team at the School of Health and Human Performance in DCU tested lung function, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and body composition. Prior to beginning the training program the fitness level of the women who were already active was ranked at 5 out of 10. See below the 4 week fitness challenge

Niall Moyna Niall Moyna is a Professor in the School of Health and Human Performance and a member of the Centre for Preventive Medicine in DCU. He received his Master's degree from Purdue University, Indiana, USA and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He completed a three year National Institute of Health post-doctoral Research Fellowship in immunology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre. He was Director of the Clinical Exercise Research Laboratory in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre and later moved to Connecticut to take a position as a Senior Research Scientist in Nuclear and Preventive Cardiology at Hartford Hospital. Niall is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and has a keen interest in Gaelic football and athletics.

Gaelic4Mothers & Others The Gaelic4Mothers & Others is an initiative run by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association to introduce mothers and other women to playing Ladies Gaelic Football. Gaelic4Mothers & Others sees women playing Ladies Gaelic Football in a fun, non-competitive and social environment. G4M+O provides an opportunity for women to get their recommended weekly exercise in a fun way while meeting other mothers in the area. Being a Mother is not a necessity but participants must be 18+ and not currently playing competitively with a club team. ladiesgaelic.ie/games-development/gaelic4mothers/

Training/Fitness challenge for the 'Kilmacud Crokes Mothers & Others' Team:

Duration 4wks
Frequency 4 sessions per wk: 1 in a group and 3 home-based

    Mode Group: High intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • x1/wk running
    . e.g. 3x6x60 m off 40 s cycle with 3 min recovery
    . e.g. fartlek: 100 m on/100 m off
  • x1/wk circuits
    . e.g. bodyweight exercises 30 s on/30 s off
    . e.g. ladders, hurdles etc.
  • Home-based:
  • x1/wk walk/jog
    . walk begin 30 min and progress to 40 min
    . jog begin with 20 min and progress to 30 min
    . or a combination walk 2 min, jog 2 min for 30 min and progressively increase jogging duration and decrease walking duration
  • x1/wk conditioning
    . 3 sets of 8-12 reps of 10 exercises with 30-60 s recovery
    . Glut bridge, press-up on knees, squat, tricep dip, lunge, bent-over row, step-up, shoulder press, calf-raise, lateral raises

Time HIIT: 30 min session with 15 min fun ball-based warm-up and cool-down

WEEK ONE
Tuesday Running: 20-30 min continuous jogging
Wednesday HITT: 3x6x60m off 40s cycle with 3 min recovery
Friday Circuits: 3 sets of 5 exercises; 30 sec duration with 60, 30, 60 sec recovery between exercises and 3 min recovery between sets
Sunday Running: 4 x 4 min run with 3 min walk between each run

CIRCUITS
Exercise Instructions
Squat 1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart
2. Descend into a squat, concentrating on sitting back & putting weight through heels
3. Keep chest out and knees over toes
4. Ascend, driving hips up and forward

Press-up 1. Lie prone on floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width
2. Bend knees and raise body up off floor by extending arms with body straight
3. Lower body to floor by bending arms Push body up until arms are extended

Lunge 1. Stand with feet together
2. Take a large step forward and genuflect
3. Keep upper body erect
4. Don't not let the knee travel over the foot
5. Forcefully push back to bring the feet back together

Tricep-dips 1. Place hands on end of chair with fingers off ends and narrow grip
2. Position feet in front with legs bent and torso upright
3. Lower body by bending arms allowing elbows to point back
4. When slight stretch is felt in chest or shoulders push body up until arms are straight

Step-ups 1. Stand facing step with feet shoulder width apart
2. Place one foot on top of step
3. Extend hip and knee to step up on step
4. Pause briefly at top and focus on maintaining balance and posture
5. Place trailing leg on floor and step down
6. Repeat with opposite leg

WEEK Two
Monday Circuits: 3 sets of 5 exercises; 1st set 60 s duration with 60s recovery; 2nd set 30 sec duration with 60 s recovery; 3rd set 30 s duration with 30 s recovery; 3 min recovery between sets
Wednesday HITT: 3x6x60m off 40s cycle with 3 min recovery
Friday Running: 25-35 min continuous jogging
Sunday Running: 4 x 4 min run with 3, 2, 3 min walk between runs

CIRCUITS
Exercise Instructions
Squat 1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart
2. Raise arms overhead; holding a hurl/sweeping brush can help keep arms overhead and stop them falling forward
3. Descend into a squat, concentrating on sitting back and putting weight through heels
4. Keep chest out and knees over toes
5. Ascend, driving hips up and forward

Press-up 1. Lie prone on floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width
2. Raise body up off floor by extending arms with body straight
3. Lower body to floor by bending arms
4. Push body up until arms are extended

Lunge 1. Stand with feet together
2. Raise arms overhead
3. Take a large step forward and genuflect
4. Keep upper body erect
5. Don't not let the knee travel over the foot
6. Forcefully push back to bring the feet back together

Lunge 1. Stand with feet together
2. Raise arms overhead
3. Take a large step forward and genuflect
4. Keep upper body erect
5. Don't not let the knee travel over the foot
6. Forcefully push back to bring the feet back together

Tricep-dips 1. Place hands on end of chair with fingers off ends and narrow grip
2. Position feet in front with legs straight and torso upright
3. Lower body by bending arms allowing elbows to point back
4. When slight stretch is felt in chest or shoulders push body up until arms are straight

Step-ups 1. Stand facing step with weight in either hand, e.g. bag of sugar, carton of milk
2. Place one foot on top of step
3. Extend hip and knee to step up on step
4. Pause briefly at top and focus on maintaining balance and posture
5. Place trailing leg on floor and step down
6. Repeat with opposite leg

WEEK Three
Monday Circuits: 3 sets of 5 exercises; 1st set 60 s duration with 30 s recovery; 2nd set 30 sec duration with 60 s recovery; 3rd set 30 s duration with 30 s recovery; 3 min recovery between sets
Wednesday HITT: 3x6x60m off 40s cycle with 3 min recovery
Friday Running: 30-40 min continuous jogging
Sunday Running: 4 x 4 min run with 3, 2, 3 min walk between runs

CIRCUITS
Exercise Instructions
Squat 1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and a schoolbag with 2-3 books on your back
2. Descend into a squat, concentrating on sitting back and putting weight through heels
3. Keep chest out and knees over toes
4. Ascend, driving hips up and forward

Shoulder Press
Exercise Instructions
1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent
2. Hold weights, e.g. 2 water bottles, at shoulder height with elbows below wrists
3. Push weights upwards until arms are extended fully overhead
4. Lower weights to shoulders and repeat

Schoolbag Lunge
1. Stand with feet together and a schoolbag with 2-3 books on you back
2. Take a large step forward and genuflect
3. Keep upper body erect
4. Do not let the knee travel over the foot
5. Forcefully push back to bring the feet back together
6. Repeat with opposite leg

Tricep-dips
1. Place hands on end of chair with fingers off ends and narrow grip
2. Position feet in front with legs straight and torso upright
3. Lower body by bending arms allowing elbows to point back
4. When slight stretch is felt in chest or shoulders push body up until arms are straight

Side Lunge
1. Stand with feet together
2. Take a large step to the right, keeping both feet facing forward
3. Shift weight to the right leg and bend knee and hip
4. Do not let the knee travel over the foot
5. Forcefully push left to bring the feet together
6. Repeat with opposite leg

WEEK Four
Monday Circuits: 3 sets of 5 exercises; 1st set 60 s duration with 30 s recovery; 2nd set 30 sec duration with 60 s recovery; 3rd set 60 s duration with 30 s recovery; 3 min recovery between sets
Wednesday HITT: 3x6x60m off 40s cycle with 3 min recovery
Friday Running: 35-45 min continuous jogging
Sunday Running: 4 x 4 min run with 3, 2, 3 min walk between runs

CIRCUITS
Exercise Instructions
Single leg Squat 1. Stand with hand against wall for support
2. Balance on one leg with opposite leg extended straight forward
3. Sqaut down as far as possible while keeping leg elevated off of floor
4. Keep back straight
5. Push up until supporting leg is straight

Arm Raises 1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent
2. Hold weights, e.g. 2 water bottles, at sides
3. Raises weights forward and upward until arms are above horizontal
4. Lower weights to sides
5. Raise weights to sides until elbows are shoulder height
6. Lower weights to sides and repeat

Reverse Lunge 1. Stand with feet together
2. Take a large step backwards and genuflect
3. Keep upper body erect
4. Do not let the knee travel over the foot
5. Forcefully push foward to bring the feet back together
6. Repeat with opposite leg

Bent-over Row 1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent
2. Grasp weights and hold at knee level
3. Pull weights to upper waist
4. Lower weight until arms are extended
5. Repeat

Side Lunge 1. Stand with feet together, holding weights by side
2. Take a large step to the right, keeping both feet facing forward
3. Shift weight to the right leg and bend knee and hip
4. Do not let the knee travel over the foot
5. Forcefully push left to bring the feet together
6. Repeat with opposite leg

Doctors On Call

Programme Two: Cholesterol Lowering Diet

Identical twins, Stephen and David Flynn are chefs who run 'The Happy Pear', a natural health food shop, 2 cafes, restaurant and smoothie bar. They also have a 'superfood' farm, a partnership in a local Cherry farm, an online shop and online education courses. The Happy Pear is based in Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

Stephen and David say; 'We believe in creating: Happier, healthier and more sustainable communities that support the local economy. Does that sound like too large a task for a food store? It's not really. In short, we just want our business to have a soul. We want to bring people together, help the local community and we want to make you smile :) more.'

One of the courses run by 'The Happy Pear is 'The Happy Heart' course which is is an online course designed to help people 'move to a healthier lifestlyle and lower cholesterol in just 4 weeks'. 'The Happy Pear' say 'We have had hundreds of people through our course now with an average drop in total cholesterol of 20% (some drops have been as high as 42%!) most participants lose weight if needed. We put you on a whole-food, plant-based diet for four weeks providing you with recipes, video recipes, and have full meal plans to support you over the four weeks. You are not restricted in the quantities of food that you eat. There are core course topics which go into the science of why the course works and helps you understand why changing your diet can be so powerful.'

Doctors on Call' challenged the Moynalty Drama Group to take on the 'Happy Heart Course' for 4 weeks to see if it would reduce their cholesterol levels. Here are examples of two recipes the group prepared and enjoyed while on the 'The Happy Heart' course. For more information and recipes see www.happyheartcourse.com/

Follow 'The Happy Pear on www.facebook.com/thehappypear
www.twitter.com/thehappypear or www.happyheartcourse.com and www.livingfoods.ie

Doctors On Call

Sweet Potato Falafel Cake

This is a very tasty and delicious recipe, one that kids and teenagers love. It is easy to make and the mix will last 3 days in the fridge. They are fantastic served with the sweet chilli relish, hummus and toasted pitta breads!

  • 500g (4 cups approx) sweet potato
  • 1 tin cooked chickpeas -800g
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley - 15g approx
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander -15g approx
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 3 tsp cumin seed
  • 2 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos/tamari/soya sauce
  • 4 tbsp chickpea/gram flour (you can use any wholegrain flour but the chickpea flour is in keeping with the flavours!)
  • 1 bunch scallions (spring onions)
  • 1 small red onion
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic diced up nice and fine
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 180C (350F, Gas Mark 4).
  • Dice sweet potato up into bite sized pieces and bake for 30 minutes till soft. Leave oven on.
  • Pour chickpeas into a colander and rinse.
  • In large bowl mix together chickpeas, sweet potato, garlic, tamari/Braggs/soya sauce, lemon juice, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, cayenne, salt & black pepper. Blitz together with soup gun/hand blender or else simply mash with potato masher- just ensure everything is mixed thoroughly and that you've gotten rid of most if not all of the lumps.
  • Once blended/mashed together add in the scallions, red onion, fresh herbs and cumin seed and mix through -these are to add texture and color as well as flavor.
  • Then add in your chickpea flour and stir well to combine.
  • Bring mixture with your palms to form four large cakes/ patty's(roughly burger shape). Sprinkle sesame seeds on to a plate 1/2 a tbsp per patty, and press the form patty down in to them, flipping over and repeating to give them a nice coating. Place each patty on baking tray and bake for 15- 20 minutes. Flip over half way through cooking for even outer crispness!
  • Serve with hummus, relish, toasted pitta breads, fresh greens, harissa paste (a chilli paste from Morocco)
Doctors On Call

Pad Thai

One of our favourites! Originally from Thailand this is a real fresh zesty delicious meal full of noodles crunchy veg and flavour! Quick to prepare, light and scrummy!

Ingredients

  • Wholewheat Noodles/ wholewheat rice noodles for 4-6 people (approx. 320g)
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 3 stalks Lemongrass
  • 2 inch cubed piece of ginger (half a thumb size)
  • 1 fresh chilli (deseed it and chop finely - leave the seeds if you like it hot)
  • 150g (1.5 cups) sugar snaps
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 150g (1 1/4 cups) bean sprouts
  • Sesame seeds to garnish (about 5 Tbsp)
  • Fresh coriander to garnish (2 -3 tbsp)

For Sauce

  • tbsp of soy sauce/tamari
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • Juice of 2 limes

Directions

  • Boil the kettle, put your noodles in a pot and cover with boiling water. Boil for as long as the packet says (normally takes less than 5 mins).
  • Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water and put aside ready to use.
  • Sautee onion and garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilli for 10 mins approx on high heat - till onion starts to become translucent and nice smell starts. Add a drop of water to prevent burning or sticking!
  • Add the chopped red & yellow peppers and fry for a further 4 mins continually stirring.
  • Mix up the sauce and stir so the flavors spread evenly.
  • Add the sugar snaps, bean sprouts, noodles and the sauce.
  • Stir until all the noodles are starting to turn brownish and the sauce is well spread through the dish and until everything is hot enough to eat - should take about 4 minutess.
  • Add coriander and sesame seeds to garnish

 

Doctors On Call

'Dr. Terry Deeny says "After 4 weeks on a whole food, plant based diet, the Moynalty Drama Group saw mixed results when we tested their cholesterol levels again. Some of the group saw their Cholesterol levels drop from 5.21 to 4.2 but others saw their levels rise. For instance Mary's Cholesterol level went from 4.7 to 4.9 .

Mary shouldn't be too concerned. A healthy total cholesterol level is below 5 so she's still within the normal range. It's also important to keep the 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol level below 3 and the 'good' (HDL) cholesterol above 1. (note: In patients with Diabetes or at high risk of Heart Disease, cholesterol targets are different)

To improve your cholesterol profile stop smoking, take regular exercise and eat a healthy diet. Saturated fats (found in dairy products, meat, baked and fried food) increase your bad cholesterol levels. Unsaturated fats (found in oily fish, walnuts, avocado and canola oil) increase your good cholesterol levels.

Usually if a medication is started or lifestyle changes made to influence cholesterol, we would wait about 6-12 weeks before re-testing to give these changes time to make an impact. It is impressive to see a change over the 4 weeks of the challenge but those who saw little difference or a small upwards shift in their numbers shouldn't be too disheartened - they may just need more time to see a change.'

 

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Programme One: Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is when hypnosis is used as a treatment for a variety of issues including helping people who want to quit smoking, lose weight, get over phobias or to alleviate pain during child birth.

Sligo based Hypnotherapist Yvonne Henry has been working as a hypnotherapist for over 17 years She holds a Diploma in Hypno analysis and a Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Counselling. Yvonne says "I abide to a high code of ethics as a member of the ICHP."

Yvonne says:

  • 'Hypnosis is...a natural state, like driving a car or reading a good book. Hypnosis is not... a magical state or a controlled state. Most stage hypnotists will tell the person to forget -in therapy you will remember unless you choose not to. As a therapist we use conscious hypnosis.
  • There are many levels of hypnosis from a light state, medium, deep, comatose and somnambulistic. 'I guide the client into a deep state of relaxation in a quiet, private, safe and confidential space. It's like a mental massage using the senses and the client is in control at all times. You will never say or do anything that is not of your ethics or values.
  • 'Habits are either the best of servants or the worst of masters. Master your habits and take control of your life.'

She adds, 'Every behaviour has a positive intention. Often just like a computer programme we need to upgrade/update information, data filed away in our sub-conscious which is no longer relevant or out of date. Hypnosis is a bridge to the sub-conscious. When we are dreaming we are in a state similar to hypnosis. We can access information and easily update information and install new information / suggestions which allows us to live our lives to our full intentions. 'One piece of information I stress to clients especially people who wish to stop smoking .....is .the sub-conscious can only think in positive terms. Focus on what you want in your life not what you do not. This is the power of positive suggestions. When we sit down to watch TV or listen to music, we go straight for what we want... not what we don't want. Smokers know what they don't want but often have not thought about what they want. Nature hates a void and here Hypnotherapy is very powerful. We explore what the person wants in their lives . How will their lives change in positive ways. An example is a healthy environment for the family, a longer life to share with family, more money to have a better quality of life, being able to play football professionally or just kicking a ball in the garden and breathing with ease with your children, are just examples of what smokers want.'

As part of our 'Doctors on Call' Challenge, Yvonne worked with Roddy and James, two members of the 'Sligo Men's Shed' in a bid to help them give up their lifelong smoking habit. She gave each of the men individual Hypnotherapy sessions and also taught them 'Self Hypnosis'.

http://menssheds.ie/

Yvonne Henry D.C.H.. D.H.P.
0874126983
yvonnehenrysligo@gmail.com

Doctors On Call