Unlocking Potential: A Blueprint for Your Child’s Success in 2024 and Beyond

As we step into the year 2024, the landscape of parenting continues to evolve. Amidst the ever-changing world, setting realistic expectations for your child is crucial for their well-being and development. Balancing encouragement and realism create a foundation for growth, resilience, and a positive mindset. Here’s a guide to setting achievable expectations for your child in the year ahead:

Embrace Individuality:

Recognise and celebrate your child’s unique qualities, talents, and interests. Each child is different, and setting expectations that align with their individual strengths fosters a sense of self-worth and confidence. Encourage them to explore their passions and develop their own identity.

Promote a Growth Mindset:

Cultivate a growth mindset by emphasizing the value of effort, perseverance, and learning from mistakes. Teach your child that challenges are opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable obstacles (Dweck, 2006). This mindset fosters resilience and a positive attitude toward learning.

Focus on Effort, Not Just Results:

While achievements are important, placing undue emphasis on outcomes can create unnecessary pressure. Encourage your child to put effort into their endeavours and celebrate the journey of growth rather than solely focusing on the end result.

Set Age-Appropriate Goals:

Tailor expectations to your child’s age and developmental stage. Setting age-appropriate goals ensures that your child’s capabilities align with the expectations you’ve set. This approach encourages a sense of accomplishment and prevents feelings of inadequacy.

Encourage Open Communication:

Foster an environment where your child feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns. Open communication allows you to understand their perspective, address unrealistic expectations, and collaboratively set achievable goals.

Establish a Realistic Academic Plan:

Academic success is important, but it’s essential to set realistic expectations based on your child’s abilities and learning style. Work with teachers to understand your child’s academic strengths and challenges, and develop a realistic plan that supports their educational journey.

Balance Extracurricular Activities:

Extracurricular activities play a vital role in a child’s development. However, overloading their schedule with too many activities can lead to stress and burnout. Strike a balance that allows them to explore interests while leaving room for relaxation and downtime.

Teach Time Management:

Time management is a valuable skill that contributes to achieving realistic goals. Teach your child how to prioritize tasks, set manageable deadlines, and allocate time effectively. These skills will serve them well in both academic and personal pursuits.

Celebrate Progress, Big and Small:

Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s progress, no matter how small. Recognizing their efforts and achievements boosts confidence and reinforces a positive attitude toward personal growth.

Seek Professional Guidance:

If your child is facing challenges beyond your expertise, don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance. Teachers, counselors, and other experts can provide insights and support tailored to your child’s needs.

Support their mental and brain development with proven Phytochemicals supplement.

In the fast-paced world of 2024, where demands on our cognitive abilities are higher than ever, giving your brain the support it needs is essential. Enter NeuroVance from MNI, a proven solution developed to optimise and support healthy brain function. This unique supplement contains a blend of plant-derived phytochemical ingredients, providing your brain with a physiological advantage during times of stress.

NeuroVance stands out for its commitment to harnessing the power of nature without resorting to sedatives or stimulants. The plant-derived ingredients work synergistically to enhance cognitive performance, providing a natural and sustainable solution for those seeking to unlock their cognitive potential.

Your brain, often the unsung hero in the story of overall well-being, can succumb to neglect. The symptoms of a neglected mind may manifest in various ways, such as difficulty concentrating, fatigue, tension headaches, and burnout. NeuroVance, from MNI,  steps in as a proactive measure to counteract these symptoms, offering a tailored approach to brain health.

The unique blend of phytochemicals in NeuroVance serves as a support system for your child’s brain, promoting optimal function even during challenging times. By addressing the root causes of cognitive fatigue and stress, NeuroVance empowers you child to face the demands of daily life with renewed focus and resilience.

In a world where the mind often takes a back seat to other priorities, NeuroVance encourages a shift in perspective. It recognizes the hard work of your child’s brain—the tireless orchestrator of their daily activities—and provides the support it needs to thrive.

As you navigate the complexities of 2024, consider NeuroVance as your ally in revitalising your child’s mind. Say goodbye to the struggles of difficulty concentrating and fatigue, and hello to a renewed ‘sense of cognitive vitality. It’s time to prioritise your child’s brain health and unlock the potential within. With NeuroVance, give your child’s mind the care it deserves, and embrace the journey of cognitive empowerment in the years ahead.

In conclusion, setting realistic expectations for your child in 2024 involves a thoughtful and adaptable approach. By embracing their individuality, promoting a growth mindset, and fostering open communication, you create an environment that encourages them to thrive and embrace the opportunities that the new year brings.

Improved and approved weight loss solution

Fighting the fat is a daily battle for many of us (recent stats suggest up to a third of South Africans are overweight or even medically obese) The fight is a source of constant torment. Not just because of feelings of low self-worth, but because we all know that being overweight can lead to all sorts of health issues including type 2 diabetes.

Lifestyle changes are always recommended to regain a healthier weight, but in the modern world, let’s face it, not all of us have the time or the capability of exercising more frequently or planning healthy regular meals. Some of us could use a little help.

At MNI, we carried out extensive research into the underlying causes of weight gain and the reason so many of us find it difficult to successfully lose weight sustainably, management of our blood sugar metabolism and levels of insulin production or resistance. We researched quality ingredients with proven proficiency in managing blood sugar levels and to combat insulin resistance. Then we researched and developed the perfect blend of these ingredients to perfect a unique formula that is a scientifically- proven and trusted aid to weight loss.



And now we’ve made AntaGolin more effective than ever. We’ve made that unique blend even stronger by adding Phlorodene to enhance glucose metabolism. Phlorodene is a propriety formulation prepared from the bark of apple trees which is proven to help block the reabsorption of glucose in the kidney. This in turn and in combination with our other quality ingredients, helps lower blood sugar and combats insulin resistance which assists with bodyweight reduction and blood sugar control.

Taken in conjunction with lifestyle changes, AntaGolin could help take the weight off your patient’s minds as well as their bodies.

Available without a prescription, AntaGolin’s can be used from the age of 12years old and now comes in a thirty-day pack.

We provide additional information and useful lifestyle advice on managing weight loss at https://www.mnilifestyle.co.za/metabolic-syndrome/insulin-resistance/  and detailed AntaGolin product information at https://www.mnilifestyle.co.za/antagolin/ There are also meal plan guides available. For any additional questions please feel free to use the ‘ask our expert’ facility, also available at www.mnilifestyle.co.za

It is also worth remembering that high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance can be a trigger factor for Metabolic Syndrome.

AntaGolin from MNI.

Proven Healthcare Solutions Providers


A stronger approach to cholesterol management

We all know that living with high cholesterol can lead to all sorts of anxiety and stress about the potential health repercussions. Repercussions that can be very real. Real, but manageable, and hopefully avoidable.

That is after all why the Medicinal Nutrition Institute invested so heavily in researching plant-based ingredients, establishing the optimal blends of Continue reading “A stronger approach to cholesterol management”

AntaGolin and insulin resistance

Insulin is natural hormone which plays a major role in regulating your use of energy. Its primary role is as a signal which tells cells what to do with glucose, a form of sugar and the main fuel substance in your body. When you eat, your food is broken down into micronutrients, amino acids and glucose. After a meal, the amount of glucose in your blood stream rises, which leads to insulin production by an organ called the pancreas. Upon receiving this signal, body parts such as your liver, fat cells and muscles begin to absorb the excess glucose and use it as energy. They do this through receptors on their cell surface, which bind to insulin and promptly activate a cascade of events that change the metabolism of the affected cells. As a result, blood glucose levels remain stable, allowing your body’s energy equilibrium to stay in place.

If you do not use much energy, eat too much, or have a diet based around energy rich food stuffs, such as fats and simple carbohydrates, it is more difficult for your body to use all the glucose as energy. Your blood glucose therefore rises rapidly after a meal. This causes your pancreas to increase the amount of insulin produced. As this continues, your cells start to become resistant to insulin, forcing your pancreas to produce even more. If this carries on, your cells continue to become resistant, and eventually your pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to keep glucose levels stable. Blood sugar then begins to rise above what can be considered normal. At first this happens in the early morning (which is why fasting glucose is measured), and then progresses to become too high after every meal (impaired glucose tolerance). At the last stage of insulin resistance, your glucose levels become raised throughout the day, leading to type 2 diabetes.

Because insulin controls how the body stores excess glucose, it also controls how the body creates adipose tissue (fat). In an insulin resistant state, your body is programmed to convert glucose to abdominal adipose tissue and to ensure the body does not use fat for energy. Insulin resistance therefore increases your weight, and weight gain makes you more insulin resistant. Insulin resistance can be reversed, and this is why early intervention and treatment is paramount.

In order to treat insulin resistance, lifestyle changes are necessary, and a healthier lifestyle should be adopted. There are also a number of medications and supplements which can help restore insulin sensitivity. MNI seeks to address insulin resistance on both fronts, through our insulin friendly, scientifically formulated Insulin-friendly (C.A.P.E.) meal plan, and through AntaGolin. AntaGolin is formulated to combat insulin resistance through a unique combination of plant based ingredients, which have been shown by research to improve insulin sensitivity and control blood glucose levels. Use AntaGolin to improve insulin sensitivity and to assist in maintaining normal blood glucose levels.

Read more about AntaGolin Click here.
To purchase AntaGolin online: Click Here.
Download your FREE Insulin-friendly (C.A.P.E) meal plan: Click Here.

Inactivity and your health – Sitting could be just as bad as smoking

Why is sitting bad for you?
It is not only sitting, but inactivity (sedentary behaviour) in general that is bad for you. Until about 200 years ago, people were not inactive for more than 5 hours a day (excluding sleeping), and most periods of inactivity were broken up relatively often with movement. These days, our work environment, how we spend leisure time (watching TV, spending time on the computer or phone) and how we travel, can lead to some of us remaining inactive for up to 15 hours a day.
This lack of movement is one of the main reasons that so many chronic diseases have become more common. Physical inactivity is bad for us – surprisingly even for our brains – resulting in reduced muscle mass and strength, metabolic problems, and lower fitness. In fact, some reports suggest that sitting could be killing even more people than smoking. Specifically, sedentary behaviour, including sitting and TV watching, has been associated with increased all-cause mortality, reduced heath in general, and over 35 chronic diseases and conditions.

What counts as a sedentary lifestyle?
Inactivity is defined as any activity where we our metabolic rate is less than 1.5 times of that when we are resting and we are in a sitting or reclining position. Light physical activity, classified as strolling, cleaning the house, or cooking food, does not fall under this definition. In general, inactivity while standing, or even squatting, does not seem to be as detrimental – most likely due to the fact that major muscle groups are still active. In order to be sedentary, you need to be inactive for long periods of time – typically over an hour. In order to be classified as living a sedentary lifestyle, these bouts of inactivity need to add up to more than 6 hours a day – the point where studies have suggested that a significant risk for disease begins developing.

What happens when I’m inactive?
It is important to note that all of the following are independent of the amount of exercise you get, and therefore you might be at risk even if you exercise regularly. When you are sedentary, your muscles, especially the big ones in the lower part of your body, bear less weight and experience abnormal activation patterns. This leads to stress and strain on the back, neck and shoulders, as well as less blood flow to muscles. In addition to strain, your muscles switch off, decreasing your metabolic rate, and leading to metabolic changes, such as decreased sugar and fat metabolism.
These changes resulting from inactivity set in rapidly, and even a day of inactivity can reduce insulin sensitivity by 39%. Immediately after becoming sedentary, calorie burning processes slow down to about 1 calorie per minute (5% above basal energy expenditure). After an hour inactivity, enzymes involved in fat and glucose metabolism lose activity, resulting in fat deposition instead of metabolism. Within a week of adopting a sedentary lifestyle, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides begin to rise. Within two weeks of sitting muscle degeneration begins to set in, even if you work out. After a year of inactivity (while still exercising), effects such as weight gain, bone degeneration and high cholesterol, become noticeable.

What specific diseases are caused by a sedentary lifestyle?
A sedentary lifestyle has been associated with at least 35 chronic diseases, many of which you will recognise as being caused by other unhealthy habits imposed through our modern lifestyles. Prolonged inactivity has also been linked to chronic and increased inflammation, which can lead to numerous diseases, including those following, and has been heavily linked to metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Metabolic syndrome (MetS)
Metabolic syndrome has been widely associated with inactivity, as sedentary behaviour results in widespread changes in metabolism. Indeed, each extra hour of sitting may be associated with up to 19% increased risk of developing type II diabetes, and if you are inactive for most of your day, your risk of developing metabolic syndrome may be as much as 75% higher than if you weren’t.

Inactivity leads to worsened blood glucose management and insulin resistance. This happens rapidly after becoming sedentary, and insulin resistance has been one of the most significant conditions related to inactivity. In fact, people who sit the most have double the risk of developing type II diabetes, and a gain an additional 10% for each hour of inactivity.

Obesity or weight gain is most likely linked to a sedentary lifestyle for two main reasons. Firstly, due to less energy use and metabolic changes, and secondly, due to habits that are often associated with sedentary pursuits, such as snacking while watching TV. Not only is fat storage increased while sedentary, but its deposition is also altered. Most of this fat is deposited around the organs, such as the heart and liver, or is abdominal, which is extremely dangerous and further leads to MetS and other health issues.

Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease is one of the most well supported disease areas associated with prolonged inactivity. Indeed, the risk of cardiovascular mortality increases by at least 5% for each two hours of sitting time, and some reports state that people who sit the most are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
Specific conditions associated with sedentary time include heart attack, increased blood pressure, pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis, venous thromboembolism, as well as increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

A number of cancers have been associated with inactivity, including colorectal, breast, endometrial, ovary, and prostate cancer. Research suggests that inactivity for at least 7 hours a day may result in at least 13% likelihood of dying from cancer. A main determining factor may be weight gain, leading to insulin resistance, chronic inflammation and hormonal disruptions, all of which are known to lead to cancer.

Impaired mental health
While research is still unclear in some cases, a sedentary lifestyle has been associated with a number of mental conditions. It has been reported that the risk for developing a mental disorder is increased by up to 31% in adults who watch more than 6 hours of TV per day compared to those who watch less than one and a half hours. This is likely due to both physical factors and psychological factors. Physical activity stimulates numerous biological pathways linked to mental function, maintenance and growth of neurons, reduced inflammation, release of mood modulating chemicals, and is often associated with better mental stimulation). Psychological factors related to inactivity, especially in terms of leisure time pursuits, include impaired social relationships and isolation in general. Of course, in this context, the type of sedentary behaviour is important, and activities, such as reading, playing board games, and crafts, that stimulate mental function are encouraged, especially in the elderly.
Specific conditions which have some evidence of being linked to a sedentary lifestyle include depression, anxiety, reduced academic performance and IQ, impaired memory and concentration, poor social performance, and low self-esteem. Sedentary behaviour has also been linked to worse mental aging (of up to 43%).

Musculoskeletal disorders
Our bodies are not designed to spend long periods of time in a sitting posture, and only use as much energy as is needed. Prolonged inactivity can therefore result in unusual neck and back curvature, back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and other issues such as carpel tunnel syndrome, muscle degeneration and osteoporosis.

Reduced sleep quality
Poor sleep patterns and quality are associated with many detrimental health impacts, including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and poor mental health. Increased inactivity has in turn been associated with poor sleep quality, duration, frequent waking and apnoea, further adding to the risk of a sedentary lifestyle.

Will doing exercise help?
Exercise can result in improvements in many areas of health, but it appears that many bodily changes during inactivity are independent of the level of exercise – so even if you work out every day, sitting for the rest of it can put you at higher risk of developing this range of diseases

How can I reduce my risk?
The best way is to move as much as possible. Even a minor improvement is better than nothing, so stand up, walk, move your limbs, and change posture as often as possible. Breaks as short as a few minutes every hour can lead to a major improvement in the body’s metabolism and risk reduction, not only improving your health, but also your comfort, work performance, and concentration

It is suggested that at least 2 to 4 cumulative hours of light activity in place of sitting should remove most of the risk associated with a sedentary lifestyle. This would be best implemented as breaks of a few minutes every half an hour, where light to moderate activity is undertaken, although even just standing up can help.
Although standing can help to reduce the effect of inactivity, don’t overdo it. Movement is more important. Standing still for too long can result in discomfort, and a number of cardiovascular disease risks. The most important rule to remember is “everything in moderation”, extremes are bad.

Some simple suggestions to become more active include:

  • Stand up and do something whenever your job or leisure time allows it – while eating lunch or taking a phone call, during the advertisements on TV, while your game is loading, take walking meetings, or walk to your colleague’s office instead of emailing.
  • Some people might like to use a standing desk, with a highchair to sit at for brief periods when you become tired.
  • Park further away from the office or mall, or use the bathroom on the next floor.
  • Use the stairs whenever you can.
  • Move your limbs around while sitting.

Read more about AntaGolin Click here.
To purchase AntaGolin online: Click Here.
Download your FREE Insulin-friendly (C.A.P.E) meal plan: Click Here.

Help Your Child Break Tasks Into Small Manageable Sections Or Parts

Large tasks often seem overwhelming before starting. The sheer amount if work and lack of structure can make them seem like they cannot be completed. This anxiety often leads to procrastination, as children fret about how to get started. Depending on a child’s concentration levels, tasks viewed as overwhelming can include anything from getting ready for school to a complex multi-part assignment. The following strategies can be applied to large or small tasks, and adapted according to your child’s preferred style of working, learning and concentration levels.

Goal setting is a teachable skill, as is the ability to breakdown tasks into smaller goals. This form of organisation, called “chunking”, involves starting an assignment, task or homework through first deciding what needs to be done, identifying each small step involved, and then assigning a timeline/deadline to each goal.

Through tackling smaller goals, anxiety will be reduced, instructions made clearer and motivation increased as a sense of accomplishment can be felt when each small step is completed, rather than only at the end of the assignment. Children are also more likely to stick to smaller deadlines which require less time and concentration. Teaching them these skills is essential to helping them stay organised and deal with the increasingly busy and demanding world as they grow up.

Which exact method, how much time should be allocated to tasks, how far they should be broken down and how to represent deadlines will depend on your child’s personality, learning style, concentration ability and motivations. Use the following as an overall guide, and experiment with the above factors to see what they do best with.

Step 1: Define the task/Identify the problem

A simple example of what would be household chores:

What am I supposed to do?

  • Feed the dog
  • Clean my room

A more complex example would be when presented with an assignment, decision or task. Exactly what should be done is not always obvious. The first step to completing the task is identifying and explicitly stating the larger or overall goals and questions.

This step is especially important for more complex, larger assignments and activities. Help your child understand exactly what it is they need to do, or what the end goal of the assignment is. Jot down and have them give quick answers to questions like:

  1. What am I supposed to do?
  2. What are the questions that are being asked?
  3. What type and how much information do I need?
  4. What should my finished work look like?

For example, if your child receives a multiple part assignment such as:

You have learned about some of the people who changed science so that we can live in the world we do today. Your assignment is to write about one of these people, their discovery and how their discovery is used in our daily lives. Your essay should be 3 pages long. You will then be required to present this to the class in a 5-minute presentation, using a visual aid of your choice (like a model, experiment, drawing or poster) in a mini science fair.

Essay due date: 2 weeks time
Science fair: 4 weeks time

What am I supposed to do?

  • Write a 3 page essay about a scientist, their discovery and how it helps us today
  • Write a speech about a scientist and their discovery using a visual aid

What are the questions that are being asked?

  • What is the history of the scientist?
  • What did they discover?
  • Where/how is the discovery used in my life?

What should my finished project look like?

  • The essay should be
    • Introduction (one paragraph)
    • Body (2 and a half pages)
    • Conclusion (one paragraph)
  •  The speech should be
    • Introduction (1 minute)
    • Discussion (3 minutes)
    • Conclusion (1 minute)
    • The visual aid should be
      • A model
      • An experiment
      • A drawing
      • A poster

What type and how much information do I need?

  • Information on their life (2 paragraphs)
  • Information on their discovery (2 paragraphs)
  • Information on its modern uses (2 paragraphs)

Or if they need to do chores:

What am I supposed to do?

  • Feed the dog
  • Clean my room

Step 2: Break down the task/problem into smaller goals

Once it is clear what should be done, the next step is to break down each major goal into smaller chunks. This can be done over and over until each small piece is manageable and achievable. Depending on your child’s ability to focus or work schedule, the size of each piece of work will vary, but should each be something they can manage in a normal day.

As they become older or more used to tackling tasks in this manner, the size of each can be increased according to what they feel they can handle, and perhaps a single chunk might span over an entire week or month. Helping them do this part themselves will aid them in understanding what is feasible and how to identify smaller questions leading to a bigger goal.

Following the example of the essay from above, smaller questions and goals might be:

Which scientist do I want to choose?

  1. Which discovery did I like most?
  2. Can I think of how it relates to one of my hobbies or interests?

What questions do I want to ask?

  • Is there any information on their life before they went into science?
  • When and where was he/she was born?
  • Where did they go to school?
  • Were there any events that happened that inspired them?
  • How did they get into their field?

What was their major discovery?

  • What does it actually mean?
  • What did other scientists think about it at the time?
  • Why was it so important?

How did this discovery make a difference in the world?

  • Did the discovery lead on to more discoveries?
  • What did the discovery get used for?
  • Are there any examples of its use in things that I do/see/use every day?

3. Find information on each question
4. Put this together in an essay

  • Write about their life
  • Write about their discovery
  • Write about how their discovery changed the world
  • Write introduction
  • Write conclusion

5. Revise and review

  • Mark errors or where changes or details are needed
  • Correct these
  • Reread and repeat

6. Hand in

In terms of homework or chores, it might be best to schedule a daily routine, based around what subjects or tasks your child does best in and enjoys, what they find difficult to concentrate on and what they might need the most help with. Depending on the type and amount of homework or activity it could also be useful to use some of the techniques for larger assignments discussed above, like defining the problem and breaking it down into smaller goals first. Try and place the different subjects at times when it best suits their concentration levels, and alternate between subjects they find interesting and do well in with ones they don’t.

Taking homework as an example:
1. Start with maths homework
2. English homework

  1. What should my poem be about?
  2. What words does the teacher want me to use?
  3. What words rhyme with these words?

3. Science homework
4. Art homework
5. History homework

  1. Read the background material and make notes
  2. Do the worksheet

Or for chores:
What am I supposed to do?

  • Feed the dog
  • Clean dogs bowl
  • Open a can of food
  • Put half the can in the bowl
  • Put the other half in the fridge
  • Clean my room
  • Take dishes to the kitchen
  • Put toys back in the toy box
  • Make bed

Step 3: Define these chunks as individual tasks and give them a timeline/deadlines:

By doing this, your child can focus their energy on tackling one specific question or goal at a time. It will also give them a sense of achievement and progress toward the goal, and keep them focused. It is important to take into account your child’s strengths and weaknesses in helping set deadlines or deciding on the length of time allowed for each task.

If your child is good at remembering or looking for information, but has trouble writing, they will need more time for writing the actual essay than doing research. If they have concentration difficulties, they may need to spend more time on each goal. Most importantly, things almost always take longer than you think they will. Rather schedule too much time, both to ensure deadlines are met, as missing deadlines can be very demotivating, while finishing early is often accompanied by a greater sense of achievement.

Depending on your child’s preferred style, these could be represented on a mind-map, checklist (this can give younger children a great sense of achievement as they check off the tasks they have completed), calendar or any other form that your child might like.

Once again, taking the assignment as an example:
1. Choose the scientist (day 1, 15 minutes)
2. Find information on each question

  • Is there any information on their life before they went into science? (day 2, 1 hour)
  • What was their major discovery? (day 3 and 4, 1 hour)
  • How did this discovery make a difference in the world? (day 5 and 6, 1 hour)

3. Put this together in an essay

  • Write about their life (day 7, 1 hour)
  • Write about their discovery (day 8, 1 hour)
  • Write about how their discovery changed the world (day 9, 1 hour)
  • Write introduction (day 10, 30 mins)
  • Write conclusion (day 10, 30 mins)

4. Revise and review (day 11 and 12, 1 hour)
5. Hand in (day 14)

In terms of homework:
1. Start with maths homework

  • Do 5 questions (or every 20 minutes) and then have a short break until you are done

2. English homework

  • Work for half an hour and then take a 5 minute break

3. Science homework

  • Do 5 questions (or every 20 minutes) and then have a short break until you are done

4. Art homework

  • Take a 5 minute break every 30 minutes

5. History homework

  • Read the background material and make notes
  • Take a break
  • Do the worksheet

Step 4: Help your child stick to these deadlines, and revise whether the exact strategy is working

This will especially be necessary at the beginning, while your child learns to stick to their timeline and before they begin to feel more motivated and focussed as a result of meeting deadlines and feeling less anxious. They will also begin to learn what works best for them in tackling these goals, but bear in mind that this will be a period of experimentation, and may still be accompanied by some difficulty if a particular strategy is not working.

Check in with them regularly for the first few tasks. Ask them what they like about how their work is structured and what they don’t. Perhaps they are having difficulty using a calendar, but feel their times between breaks are perfect. Adjust according to your child’s needs, and allow them to start leading the process. After a while, give them more space, until they are able to complete the whole process by themselves.

View our Neurovance products or ask our experts any questions!

How to boost your metabolism

Key points:

  • In the presence of insulin resistance your metabolism in effect slows down.
  • With the world-wide increase in obesity, insulin resistance has become an important new therapeutic target.

Refusing to eat during a hunger protest, Bobby Sands, the famous IRA hunger striker, died in a prison hospital after 66 days from self-imposed starvation. During the summer of 1981, another nine of his compatriots protesting the same cause died in the same manner. On average, each striker survived for 61 days without any food, quite an amazing feat if one considers that they had very little stored energy, since most of them were skinny to start with, having had to endure repetitive periods of punitive prison rationing before they started their strike.

Man the machine

In order to survive periods of famine, humans have become so efficient at storing energy that an averagely built individual can virtually run an entire marathon by burning glycogen only, the body’s stored form of glucose, without needing to burn a single molecule of fat. The hormone that to a large degree enables us to become so astonishingly energy efficient is insulin.

When food supplies were unreliable and periods of famine posed a genuine threat, insulin protected our forefathers from starvation by helping them stockpile energy reserves in the form of body fat. Besides having a highly efficient biochemical system to absorb and distribute energy, we also have a highly effective container to store energy in, namely the fat cell or ‘adipocyte’. Starting life as a diminutive microscopic structure, fat cells can easily expand thorough the progressive accumulation of fat to reach massive proportions by cellular standards.

Metabolism – the body’s energy furnace

All biochemical processes that take place in the body are initiated and controlled by a complex communication system that relies on a variety of different messenger molecules. These convey a myriad of biochemical instructions to every part of the body. Hormones and neurotransmitters, for example, fulfil this function. In addition, various other chemicals contained within pharmaceutical drugs or medicinal plants also achieve their therapeutic effect results through the same mechanism.

Depending on their design, messenger molecules deliver their biochemical instruction either broadly to a large ‘audience’, or more selectively focused at a very specific level. They can also either overrule and cancel another’s instruction, or amplify and strengthen it. Of importance to health is that equilibrium is maintained at all times, since many disease processes such as diabetes and heart disease arise from either a disruption or defect in one or more of these pathways.

Metabolism is a complex process which involves the regulatory activity of various different messenger molecules. It is often assumed that the thyroid gland is in charge of metabolism. This is far from correct, since the numerous regulatory tasks that insulin performs relating to carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, as well the ability to overrule virtually all other messenger molecules involved in the process, makes insulin the single dominant regulator of metabolism.

The biology of survival
Insulin performs several different functions that may lead to the accumulation of excess body fat. Firstly, insulin regulates fat production. After a meal, when the quantity of glucose that enters the system is more than what can be used for immediate energy requirements, insulin promotes the conversion of excess sugar into fatty acids. These are subsequently grouped as larger molecules called triglycerides and then transported to the fatty tissue for storage.

Within the environment of the fat cell, insulin fulfils the role of storeroom manager. By biological design, insulin’s tasks are firstly to fill each storeroom to maximum capacity, and then to keep stock levels as high as possible by actively blocking the release of fat. Inside each fat cell another messenger molecule called ‘hormone-sensitive lipase’ (HSL) plays an opposing role to insulin. Acting as the dispatch manager of the warehouse, HSL has the sole task of releasing as much fat from the fat cell as possible so that it can be shipped off to fuel the body’s metabolic furnace. In the presence of insulin, however, this biochemical function is overruled and fat therefore effectively stays trapped. Only once insulin leaves the warehouse, so to speak, can HSL perform its duty.

The bottom line is that insulin not only helps you to gain weight if you consume too many calories, but when levels are chronically elevated as in the case of insulin resistance, a biological defect is created which makes it more difficult to lose weight.

The revenge of the fat cells

Two major mechanisms contribute towards weight gain. Not only do existing fat cells increase their fat content, but new fat cells or adipocytes are continuously being generated through a proliferation process called adipogenesis. Individually, newly formed fat cells also start accumulating fat within their interior which collectively leads to accelerated weight-gain and the slow but progressive enlargement of the total fat mass. In a more advanced state, this process leads to the distortion of normal fatty tissue, commonly referred to as cellulite.

In the past, fat cells were accredited with only two main functions, namely that of storing calories for later use and preserving body temperature via improved insulation. However, in the presence of excess body fat, fat cells also assume a new biochemical communication role by starting to produce and release various messenger molecules called ‘adipokines’ and ‘cytokines’. These messenger molecules have a detrimental effect on many other tissue types and ultimately start to interfere with the normal biochemical regulations that take place within the body. Some adipokines initiate the process of new fat cell formation, whilst others cause insulin resistance.

By releasing adipokines and cytokines fat cells in essence assume the role of an endocrine organ that is almost like certain cancerous processes starts to function independently from the body. The end result is that you are virtually held hostage by your own fat cells. A vicious cycle ensues during which you become increasingly more biochemically as well as physiologically altered.

Could you perhaps be insulin resistant?

According to US guidelines males with waistlines over 102cm in diameter and females over 88cm are highly likely to have some degree of insulin resistance, especially if they are struggling to control their weight. European guidelines, however, are more stringent and predict that males over 93cm and females over 79cm are statistically more prone to insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance can be managed

Do not underestimate the biological consequences of insulin resistance. If your ambition is to lose weight, we suggest that you follow a therapeutic goal which will enhance your metabolism during which your body’s biochemical processes are optimised in such a manner that it simultaneously alleviates insulin resistance, suppresses the storage capabilities of fat by existing fat cells and also prevents the continual formation of new fat cells. Therapies able to regulate both the size and number of fat cells over the long term have therefore become a new therapeutic approach to help treat overweight and obese individuals.

AntaGolin is a natural product that helps to combat insulin resistance by assisting your body to regulate blood sugar more efficiently. When taken at a supplementary dosage over the long term, AntaGolin helps to control your body fat level more effectively. When taken at a higher dosage (see dosage instructions), studies have shown that AntaGolin in conjunction with a structured weight-loss programme can help you to lose weight more effectively. Because of its blood sugar regulation ability, AntaGolin is an ideal long term supplement for pre-diabetic and type 2 diabetic subjects. Read more about AntaGolin

Download your FREE Insulin-friendly (C.A.P.E) meal plan: click here

Mortality reduction – Apples compete with Statins

Key points:

  • Science formally proves a 150-year old health proverb true.
  • Compounds in apples have significant health benefits.

Healthy lifestyle choices like regular exercise and proper nutrition are generally considered the first steps toward a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, many physicians also prescribe statins, a class of drugs that lower cholesterol levels and protect against hardening of the arteries. Previous studies have found a clear correlation between these drugs and a general reduction in mortality from vascular causes.

Proverb measured against science

‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ has been a public health message delivered by parents and teachers since the 19th century. Apples, a rich source of phytochemicals such as polyphenols, are widely consumed and epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with a reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes. In the laboratory, apples have been found to inhibit cancer cell proliferation, decrease the oxidation of fats and lower cholesterol.

In a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), researchers from the University of Oxford released their findings on whether the proverbial Victorian wisdom of an apple a day could compare with the more widespread use of statins in primary prevention.

To determine whether a daily apple can have a similar protective effect against vascular mortality as statins, adults over 50 years old in the UK were prescribed either a statin or an apple a day. In a surprise finding, apples managed to rival statins in preventative medicine when it comes to lowering the burden of cardiovascular disease. With a similar reduction in mortality, it was found that a 150-year old health promotion message is truly able to match modern medicine and is likely to have fewer side effects.

Apple-polyphenol supplements

RyChol, a natural product developed to help combat high blood cholesterol levels and help you to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, contains a blend of various plant-derived (phytochemical) ingredients that have each been recognised to help lower blood cholesterol levels in a unique and individual manner. Its multi-modal pharmaceutical action is achieved through the selective blocking of various biochemical pathways that are involved in saturated fat digestion, cholesterol absorption as well as cholesterol excretion. Taken at the recommended daily dosage, RyChol delivers the equivalent of apple polyphenols that will equate to that contained in apples. Read more about RyChol


  1. Briggs ADM, Mizdrak A, Scarborough P. A statin a day keeps the doctor away: comparative proverb assessment modelling study. BMJ 2013;347:f7267 doi: 10.1136/bmj.f7267 (Published 17 December 2013)
  2. Boyer J, Liu RH. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutr J. 2004 May 12;3:5.
  3. Nagasako-Akazome Y, Kanda T, Ohtake Y, Shimasaki H, Kobayashi T. Apple polyphenols influence cholesterol metabolism in healthy subjects with relatively high body mass index. J Oleo Sci. 2007;56(8):417-28
  4. Pandey KB, Rizvi SI. Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2009 Nov-Dec;2(5):270-8.

Heart-healthy foods outperform a low-saturated-fat diet

Key points:

  • Focussing on your saturated fat intake alone may not be in your best health interest.
  • Additional health benefits can be obtained from a slight change in current thinking.

Combining foods with recognised cholesterol-lowering properties has proven highly effective in lowering total serum cholesterol and reducing ‘bad cholesterol’ (LDL) levels by as much as 35%. Unknown, however, was how effective this diet would be in a real-world situation or how advantageous it would be compared to a standard diet low in saturated fat.

Low fat versus heart-healthy foods
To find out, researchers in Canada conducted a study on participants with known high cholesterol. The two groups were assigned to eating either a reduced saturated fat diet, or a diet rich in foods that the Food and Drug Administration has recognised as being able to carry a heart-healthy claim for their ability to lower serum cholesterol levels. These are plants rich in ‘phytosterols’ or natural plant fats, structurally similar to cholesterol, or sticky fibres like oats, barley and psyllium.

After 6 months, foods with recognised cholesterol-lowering properties resulted in a significantly greater LDL-cholesterol reduction compared to the low-saturated fat diet, and almost equalled the reduction in cholesterol levels that were observed in some of the earliest trials on statins, prescription drugs which lower cholesterol.

Heart-healthy foods
Plant- or phytosterols are present in all vegetable food sources, especially oils and nuts, as well as in minute amounts in food products from animal or fish origin. Although phytosterols and cholesterol have similar chemical structures, phytosterols are poorly absorbed, which explains why the levels of phytosterols found in plant-eating fish and animals are naturally low.

By competing with cholesterol for intestinal absorption, phytosterols naturally reduces the intake of cholesterol absorption, leading to decreased blood LDL-cholesterol levels and thereby lowering cardiovascular disease risk.

However, results from recent research have now recognised numerous other biological roles for plant sterols and stanols, including the protective effects and mechanisms of action of phytosterols on certain forms of cancer. Phytosterols seem to act through multiple mechanisms of action, including inhibition of carcinogen production, cancer-cell growth and through the promotion of ‘apoptosis’ or natural cell death of cancerous cells. Moreover, the consumption of phytosterols by healthy humans at level of up to 2 g per day does not cause any major health risks.

Phytosterol supplements
RyChol, a natural product developed to help combat high blood cholesterol levels and help you to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, contains a blend of various plant-derived (phytochemical) ingredients that have each been recognised to help lower blood cholesterol levels in a unique and individual manner. This includes a rich source of phytosterols. Its multi-modal pharmaceutical action is through the selective blocking of various biochemical pathways that are involved in saturated fat digestion, cholesterol absorption as well as cholesterol excretion. Read more about RyChol here or download your free copy our Cholesterol-lowering guidelines here.

Related articles:
Breast cancer versus heart disease. Woman perilously misguided.
Mortality reduction – Apples compete with Statins.


  1. Jenkins DJ, Jones PJ, Lamarche B, et al. Effect of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods given at two levels of intensity of dietary advice on serum lipids in hyperlipidemia. JAMA 2011; 306:831-839.
  2. Katan MB, Grundy SM, Jones P, Law M, Miettinen T, Paoletti R. Efficacy and safety of plant stanols and sterols in the management of blood cholesterol levels. Mayo Clin Proc. 2003 Aug;78(8):965-78.
  3. Nguyen TT. The cholesterol-lowering action of plant stanol esters. J Nutr. 1999 Dec;129(12):2109-12.
  4. Woyengo TA. Anticancer effects of phytosterols. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;63(7):813-

The Scary Truth – Are You Insulin Resistant?

The Scary Truth – Are You Insulin Resistant?

This condition is so pervasive it is estimated that 25% of people in the USA suffer from insulin resistance and South Africans are not far behind. Sadly, many people are completely unaware that they have insulin resistance until it develops into type 2 diabetes bringing with it severe health problems and increased risk of heart disease, cancer, kidney damage and even Alzheimer’s.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin, produced by the pancreas, is a hormone that is responsible for enabling glucose from food to be burned for energy. Its function is crucial for the health and function of the body’s cells and how energy is used.

When the body is functioning normally the metabolic system works in perfect harmony, producing the right amount of insulin when needed. Unfortunately, the balance can be tipped by our modern lifestyles of stress, lack of exercise and high carbohydrate foods, bringing with it an overproduction of insulin in order to cope. Chronic surges of insulin over an extended period exhaust the body’s cells and they longer respond properly, making them resist insulin entry. As a result, even higher levels of insulin are needed to have the proper effect and the pancreas continues to produce more and more insulin. This condition raises blood sugar levels and eventually leads to type 2 diabetes.

Signs of Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance often goes unnoticed for years, especially in the early phases so what are some of the warning signs of elevated insulin levels?

  1.  Weight Gain

Obesity and, especially excess fat around the waist, is a common sign of insulin resistance. Indulging in consistently high-carbohydrate, low nutrient foods as well as sugary treats means the body has to secrete more insulin to lower blood sugar levels.

  1. Hunger and Cravings

It may seem strange but insulin resistance means that even though there is too much glucose in the blood, the body is unable to convert it into energy. The body then wants more and nothing satisfies like sugar or carbohydrate rich foods to give that kick.

  1. Elevated Blood Sugar

When the glucose in your blood is no longer being properly processed, the body’s blood sugar level rises bringing with it excessive thirst, fatigue and a frequent need to urinate.

  1. Acne and Large Pores

There is increasing evidence that shows that insulin, together with other growth hormones can increase skin sensitivity, potentially leading to problem skin.

  1. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Research has also revealed that many women who suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have high levels of insulin which can cause the ovaries to produce more androgen hormones such as testosterone resulting in fertility problems.

  1. Hair Loss

Because insulin helps to regulate hair growth, insulin resistance can cause female pattern baldness or patches, especially in the front and sides of the head.

  1. Swollen Ankles

High levels of insulin result in the kidneys holding onto sodium and water making the ankles and other areas such as the abdomen swell or bloat.

  1. High Blood Pressure

Another side effect of high insulin levels is an imbalance in sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium which causes arterial constriction, raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart disease.

The Good News

  • Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to begin to reverse the effects of insulin resistance.
  • Physical exercise plays a vital role because the body burns glycogen (a form of glucose in your muscles) during exercise, improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Simply changing your diet to one with only healthy carbohydrates, cutting out sugar and consuming the right proteins and vegetables will help you lose that tummy fat and can begin to restore insulin balance. Download our eating program here. (https://www.mnilifestyle.co.za/download-your-free-meal-plan/).
  • Breakthrough supplements such as AntaGolin contain natural ingredients that have been shown to combat insulin resistance.