Category Archives: Health/Medical

Can Food become an Addiction

Trying to lose weight is for most of us a mammoth task and one that rarely turns out as we planned. We all have good intentions but invariably end up eating all the wrong unhealthy foods. Food addiction can become a very serious problem as certain foods can only lead to addiction, irrespective of how hard you try to curb the cravings.

What is food addiction?

Just as drug addicts and alcoholics are addicted to drugs and alcohol, food addicts are addicted to junk food and unhealthy foods.  There are many world class treatment centres in South Africa, particularly some of the rehabs in Cape Town. Certain areas in the brain are triggered when pleasant tasting foods are consumed which contain sugar, fat or salt. This releases chemicals such as dopamine which causes you to continue eating no matter how hard you try not to.


To suffer from food addiction does not mean that you have no willpower but is a result of biochemistry in the brain. This type of addiction is similar to other eating disorders such as bulimia and obsessive overeating. The results of food addiction can be devastating and can lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and depression. Apart from the physical problems, it will also destroy your self-confidence and make you very unhappy with your own body. Food addiction is serious and could even result in death.

What are the symptoms of food addiction?

It’s hard to believe that there are people that actually “suffer” from food addiction, when there are so many people dying of starvation in Africa every day.  As there is no scientific diagnosis like blood tests, for food addiction, we can only consider the behaviour patterns to diagnose the problem.

We will consider a few common or basic symptoms that are distinctive to the food addict.

  1. If you just finished a good healthy meal and feel you have had enough to eat but you crave for more unhealthy food.
  2. As soon as you start eating the unhealthy food you crave, you discover that you have eaten much more than you wanted to.
  3. Even although you feel guilty about eating certain unhealthy food you still continue eating them and you find it difficult to stop.
  4. You keep making excuses to yourself as to why you should be eating those types of foods.
  5. Even though you have tried, you find that you are unable to resist the craving for the unhealthy foods.
  6. You never share your problem with others even your own family.
  7. Although you see that your weight is increasing and it worries you, you are unable to control the craving. You can’t stop even when it is causing harm to your body.

If you have answered yes to 3 or 4 of the above you may have an eating problem. If the figure is 5 or more then you might consider getting help for a food addiction. Ixande Treatment centre is a world class Cape Town Rehab that has been in existence for nearly 20 years.

Is there help for the food addict?

It appears that it is very difficult for the food addict to break the habit. A food addict still needs to eat every day and can’t really avoid the issue altogether; to completely stop eating junk food is very difficult.

You need to make a definite decision to avoid unhealthy foods permanently and to try and not give in to any cravings.  To assist you it will be worth it to make a few lists. The lists can contain positive thoughts and a list that reminds you of things you should try and avoid. Make sure you keep it in your wallet or on the fridge door for easy reference.

The list of things not to do can sound a bit harsh, but this isn’t about weight loss or a simple issue. It is a serious addiction problem and must be treated as such.

Here is a very basic example of what you can write down on a list:

Positive thoughts:

  • I will lose weight
  • I will live longer
  • I will have more strength and feel better.

Be aware of what not to do:

  • I should not eat cake at a birthday party.
  • I should not eat ice cream when offered.
  • I should not be allowed too many carbohydrates with my meal.

It is important to write all these thoughts down even if they sound strange, and then take the two lists next to each other and ask the question “Is it worth it”. Then if you have answered “yes” you can be sure that you will succeed in managing your addiction, but you must stick to your decisions.

It is also important to have a list of “Trigger Foods”; these are foods that trigger your cravings. These types of food need to be avoided altogether.

In today’s world there are fortunately restaurants and even fast food outlets that offer healthier food choices. Try to go to these outlets and to make the healthier menu choices at restaurants.

One thing to remember at this stage is not to go on a diet. The fight to overcome your food addiction is hard enough and you don’t need extra pressure that sticking to a diet will make. Rather seek to live a healthier life by changing your lifestyle and making sure the changes are sustainable.

If all this is not solving your problem then you must turn to a professional for help. A psychologist or psychiatrist can help you with your food addiction. Please remember that there are also support groups that could help, these groups are able to encourage you in your quest for healthier living.

Innovative entrepreneurs assist European volunteers and interns in Africa

Africa simply does not benefit from endless financial aid from first world countries. As the saying goes, rather teach a man to fish for a lifetime than give him a meal for a day. African Sunrise Volunteers is comprised of some innovative entrepreneurs that are making it easier for students and scholars to volunteer in Africa or complete an internship in Africa. It is extremely common with First World learners to journey to a remote African country like Ghana, Senegal or South Africa and offer freely of his or herself, working with local community projects and helping the disadvantaged and / or underprivileged uplift themselves. There are lots of internship and volunteer emplacement specialists on the internet that can be of assistance with supporting students serious about finding the right project placements. Typically these kinds of organizations can assist the intern with settling in, supplying them with residence, putting these folks in initiatives that his or her studies or life skills can best be put to use.

Luckily through conferences like the Global Forum for innovation and entrepreneurship, like minded people are able to come together and share ideas and innovative new ways of approaching problems that need to be solved. Learning to be a volunteer in a foreign country is not necessarily for everybody. It requires a certain kind of person who is able to freely give of themselves and share their knowledge and certification to improve the lives of substantially less privileged. Having said that, an increasing number of scholars are making the choice to do it which is fabulous to hear that there are a great number of generous people about. There has been a steady build up of application submissions by individuals ready to volunteer in Africa. Cape Town is rather popular with scholars wishing to complete an internship and good intentioned individuals willing to volunteer and participate in the initiatives and ventures being monitored by Charity Organizations in the area. African Sunrise Volunteers are the real thing, giving  quality guidance to their applicants and diverting their commitment all the way through to the projects that will actually make full use of their expertise. Volunteering is all about offering up your efforts toward a worthy cause, absolutely free. It is a chance to help other folks who are in need that hopefully will benefit from your schooling, abilities and experience.

Cape Town is a popular option for plenty of people, most likely due to the natural splendor, the nature, the mountains, the weather and the diverse cultural heritage.  African Sunrise volunteers is a volunteer and intern positioning agency which specializes in helping persons from overseas in finding the optimal spot for them. African Sunrise facilitates their volunteers and interns by providing all of them with secure effective placements, positioning interns or volunteers in tthe most relevant projects best suited to their particular skills. For those who have studied psychology or have an interest in psychology, you will be slotted into a course that your skills can be used.
African Sunrise Volunteers offer you a base entrance time-span of 3 months at a package rate.

This three month package covers :

  1. • Assistance with organizing your Visa papers should you choose to stay for longer than three months
  2. • A wonderful outing to the Cape Point Nature Reserve as well as the penguin sanctuary at Simonstown
    • Reliable Lodging for the period of your internship
    • Project placing with a program which makes use of a person’s interests or ones knowledge
  3. • A bequest to the programme you are working on as a valuable outcome of your time and efforts
    • A mentor selected to be with you on your programme
    • A fabulous Introduction Day where everyone is encouraged to socialize and also have some fun
  4. • The specifics that belong to the contact person at African Sunrise who’s available Around the clock to help you out
    • An authorized sim to make use of in South Africa, making it simpler to stay in contact with new friends and colleagues.

volunteers in cape town

Please check the African Sunrise Volunteers website for updated information regarding the specific projects and programs that they are currently engaged with. Support these innovative vibrant people who have shown their commitment to helping the less fortunate through providing a very reputable placement service.


Southern Suburbs Psychologist’s Innovative Approach

Are you feeling tired all the time, low on energy and struggling to cope with ordinary day to day activities ? Its quite possible that you may be suffering from depression. There are many tell tale signs of depression that present themselves, here a just a few :

  • Increased Alcohol intake and behaving recklessly
  • Persistent negative or defeatist thinking
  • Feeling exhausted all the time for no apparent reason
  • A general feeling of overwhelm and helplessness
  • You may feel abnormally irritable and short tempered
  • You find yourself isolating from friends and family
  • Your appetite and sleeping patterns have changed noticably
  • You struggle to stay focused and complete ordinary tasks

It’s quite possible for many people to not realize that they are actually depressed until the depression reaches an overwhelming level, according to southern suburbs psychologist, Anita Prag. Anita is based in Bergvliet in the southern suburbs of Cape Town but has patients from Meadowridge, Constantia, Tokai, Diep River as well as many other suburbs in Cape Town.

The symptoms of depression vary from one person to another but the aforementioned ones are the most common. Recent statistics have shown that more than three hundred and forty million people worldwide have suffered from depression at some or other time in their lives. Untreated, people that suffer from depression can be at risk of committing suicide or harming themselves and others. Anita is an experienced and well qualified psychologist that has treated many patients struggling with depression during her time as a qualified clinical psychologist.

anita prag psychologist bergvliet

After completing her Masters Degree in Psychology at the Stellenbosch University, Anita served as a psychologist in DRC where she treated many soldiers struggling with depression and trauma related to conflict and stress experienced while fighting in the war torn country.

Anita went on to open her own private practice at 117 Main Rd, Bergvliet, in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. Anita treats patients of all ages from all walks of life, including children, adolescents and the elderly. She believes in a holistic approach to dealing with her patients. Not all patients are the same and therefore there is no hard and fast rule of how to deal with each person and their particular difficulties they may be experiencing in their lives. The most important thing is that the patient feels safe and trusting in the therapeutic environment. Without trust between the psychologist and the patient, there is not much hope of making progress. Anita first completes a thorough intake with each patient, making sure to record all relevant information concerning the patients history. Anita has experience in treating patients that are suffering from depression, anxiety, life difficulties relating to divorce or loss or the breakdown of interpersonal relationships. It is recommended that if you are a resident of the southern suburbs that you visit her website, where there is some in depth information about her practice and the areas that she focuses on. Anita Prag is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and is contracted to all Medical Aid schemes. Anita strives to provide a safe and contained environment where patients can learn about themselves, grow through their difficulties and learn new coping skills.

Claremont dentist keeps up with technological advances

We all know that technology is moving faster and faster with new products and innovations being released all the time. Buy the latest gadget today with all the bells and whistles and guaranteed in a month or two, something better with more features will be released. Technological advances and new innovations are not limited to mobile phones. These leaps ahead are seen across all industries and the equipment that is being used. The medical and dental industries are not excluded. The costs of staying abreast with technology in these industries is exorbitant. Local Cape town dentist, Dr P. Singh, chatted to us about the need to stay abreast with technological improvements. The Claremont dentist explained the costs involved for a newly qualified dentist in South Africa, who wants to start his own practice. For a dentist that has just qualified at dentistry, the capital required to start his or her own practice runs into millions of rands. In most cases many of these newly qualified dentists will already be in considerable debt, having to pay off their bank loans for their tuition fees. Dr Singh has been been based in Claremont for over seven years  now and has a broad customer base. Having all the very  latest equipment is not necessarily essential but it is still important for dentists in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa to stay abreast with technological developments in dentistry. The dental association of South Africa is well organized and helps it’s members stay abreast with global technological innovations according to Dr Singh. The Global Forum held in South Africa 2013 showcased technology and innovative strategies in many fields including dentistry. Besides servicing the areas of Claremont, Newlands and Kenilworth, Dr Singh is also conveniently situated if you are looking for dentist in Rondebosch. The dental practice is situated right in the center of these four suburbs and provides convenient traffic free access.

Claremont Cape Town

Please contact us via our contact page or email us on to give us feedback or recommend local businesses in your area that are showing innovative uses of technology in their field.

Cape Entrepreneur provides sober house in Cape Town

Still with the conference theme of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, we thought we would cast our eyes in the direction of a relatively new but much needed healthcare sector. Substance abuse and the treatment and rehabilitation of these people is a global concern and Southern Africa is by no means an exception. Every year, more and more people world wide are being accepted into rehabilitation centers for substance abuse, including alcohol, street drugs like cocaine and heroine, and pharmaceutical , prescription drugs. Addictive behaviors extend still further into process addictions, like online gaming, gambling, sex and love addiction and so on. Underneath any addictive behavior lies an obsessive compulsive tendency to follow through with an action, regardless of how clear the negative consequences are to that person, Rehabs isolate these people for a period of time, give them some tools they can use, then send them off afterwards, to reintegrate back into society. Many of these people are not yet strong enough to cope with all the triggers of their previous lifestyles. Something as random as smelling the sulfur from a burning match might cause a rehabilitated addict to recall some kind of euphoric experience related to their drug use, and that’s a very strong trigger fro a potential relapse.

sober living in Cape Town

Scotswood Retreat was founded by Cape Town entrepreneur, Julia Finnis-Bedford, at a time where innovative ways of looking at dealing with helping people transition smoothly from rehabilitation centers, back into normal healthy living, was much needed.  Scotswood Retreat is a large tranquil, Victorian Farmhouse, set on six acres of private estate in Constantia, Cape Town.  The retreat has a total of eight beds available. The rooms are comfortable with feather duvets, there’s a fantastic large lounge area complete with original log fireplace, and french doors that lead out onto the enclosed private garden and swimming pool. Free DSTV and WIFI facilities are included in the fees. There are professional staff on site, lockers where valuable can be safely stored if needed, a registered recovery assistant, addiction counseling if required, relapse prevention group meetings every Wednesday, Evening meals are cooked Sunday to Friday and the house is serviced three times per week. The house is conveniently located to Malls, Coffee Shops and restaurants as well as AA and NA meetings in the area.

Julia Finnis-Bedford and her team, Sue Van Der Wath, Louisa Baronetti and Ruby Weber, are a skilled and dedicated team whose strengths compliment each others.  A job well done by this Cape Town entrepreneur, in using innovation to help addicts find their way home. So, if you are someone you may know is looking for peaceful sober living in Cape Town, I recommend you follow the links in this article to Scotswood Retreat.