Mark and Toni’s 2019 Learning Odyssey. A Final Reflection, Future Planning and a Greater Purpose.

We all have a story to tell, but whether we chose at any time to tell it is an entirely different matter. Each of us continue on journeys, in life, with families and friends, in our work and at our play. Finding its meaning and learning the messages from what happened, what we felt, how we would do things differently as a consequence of those experiences. Most times we do these things tacitly, tweaking a recipe, choosing a different route to drive to avoid traffic or ending a negative relationship. The time occasionally arises when more thought and process may be required. Also testing this process, the new knowledge gained through learning and research, rather than taking things at face value from others without knowing the evidence or truth.

So, how to tell my story? How do I put it into logical sense, describe and discuss the process, its importance to us and the affect it has upon our practice and ways you’ve changed to move it forward. Finally, the claim to new knowledge, what you’ve learned and how you tried, maybe even be unsuccessfully, needs to be disseminated in the written word or spoken voice, even both. This is the world of action research or inquiry learning and the journey I’ve chosen to undertake.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. Robert Burns, To a mouse.

This quote from Robbie Burns clearly sums up the lessons learned whilst on our odyssey. Expect the unexpected also rings an accord. The plan was hatched nearly a year ago, it’s embryonic nature began with just a single flight back to UK with the possibility of working back in the UK in mind. The thought of re registration and working in a Brexit uncertain UK rapidly made us think twice as to the wisdom of such a venture. We extended the trip and decided to make in multiple weeks. The home and job move from Blenheim to Nelson made the opportunity even more logical and the hiatus between them both, ideal.

We traveled from Nelson, via LA to the UK, from there onward to the Mediterranean, Central France and Champagne. The UK leg saw us visit Brighton, Fareham, Shepton Mallet, Wells, Scotland and High Wycombe. The US leg saw us in Portland, Colorado and San Francisco.  Along the way we drove, flew, trained and bused to varying locations that marked our path of discovery and learning. We were very fortunate to have the assistance and collaborative support of so many amazing friends along the way. Our gratitude and thanks go to Deb, Pat and Isa, Hanna and Ralph, Dave and Rachel, Lynne and Philippe, Anni-France, Andy, Sue and Chris, Audrey, Sally, Tracey and Neil, Mike and Pauline, Mark and Rose, Dan and Carola and Jack and Peggy. Their kindness and time afforded to us made it all possible.

The trip went as planned, not much to this point, has gone wrong. The strongest, most lasting impression I have of venture is that of climate change and sustainability. Ironic and a tad dark of me considering the carbon footprint that trails behind us. “That Humbleman” Ollie Langridge we found in the early days of his 100 day climate change protest outside the Bee Hive Parliament Building as we made our way from Wellington to Auckland. His message through social media has been following us along the way. His determination to persist and engage with the public and politicians for a cause greater than himself is inspiring. His demonstration continues.

The link to the environment, sustainability, food waste, climate change is becoming more apparent to many around the World. Talking to bee keepers, wine makers, healthcare professionals and farmers on this trip has made me consider my own position. It may not affect me in my lifetime significantly but for my children and their children I am deeply concerned. Can we affect change in our professional lives to undo, halt and prevent further environmental catastrophe? Our plan is to join the Green Party of New Zealand and become more active within it, look intently at our work and home place behaviours and encourage change. We have downsized to one car, walking and cycling will very much continue to be part of our life, if not more and we will look at our use of single use plastics and the use of clinical gloves at work.

With environmental considerations comes the question of what nutritional behaviours we adopt. In the 8 weeks of this trip has come the news that we allegedly need to eat less red meat, the Brazilian Rain forests are being destroyed by fire to clear land for grazing and pasture to feed animals as our global dietary change. Do we need to eat less? Do we need to eat to need rather than feed or greed? Do we need to eat less meat and more plant based foods? What evidence is there for such a dietary changes? Is saturated fat bad? The best way forward I feel is to gain more knowledge on these matters.

We both had the intention to be more socialable. We have spent many years really just getting on with our lives without association to a greater cause or community. The search for community, for a more meaningful use of our time, we hope has been joined with the need to support the worlds struggling bee colonies and those supporting food education and growing food. I’m hoping it will keep us rooted to the land, make us think more than once or twice about going away frequently to find purpose away from where we live.

Clinically things are about to change for both of us, more so for me I suspect. Working for Gerry at Quinn Dental, Nelson is going to be a professional journey into a greater professional purpose. The need to determine how I fit into this dynamic and progression clinical scene will be a challenge. My initial thoughts were to follow the oral myofacial therapy and buteyko breathing study route. The practice however, already has clinicians working in these fields so I feel a working knowledge is essential only presently. I’m more inclined to feel a greater knowledge of lifestyle and nutritional change regarding dental and metabolic health improvement are essential. My learning journey begins there.

Our website,, needs some tuning I agree. I need to add more posts related to the dental and metabolic health research I’ve undertaken on this long odyssey. Prof. Tim Noakes, a nutritional expert from South Africa and of nutritional controversy fame has written a two part position paper on Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS) that I feel is entirely appropriate to dental and systemic health. More on this intriguing subject when I eventually post it. I will also add reflections on crucial nutritional related dental subjects over the course of the next few months. I’m going to change me of the landing pages as week, to reflect the changes and lessons learnt from the odyssey and the first few days of clinical practice in Nelson on my return, some very significant to the remaining eleven or so clinical years I have left before I retire clinically. I will also add a page about my embryonic journey into bee keeping and another about an eBook I intend to write about alternative professional continuing learning.

So, my plan is thus;

  • Have greater awareness of the environment, sustainability and climate change improvement. Travel less and settle permanently in Nelson.
  • Investigate bee keeping and join the local community that promote and support it. Find an allotment or lease a bit of land to grow vegetables. Align with people who similar views and causes.
  • Be more sustainable in my clinical practice.
  • Undertake an Action Research Project entitled ” The future of Dental Hygiene, alternative learning and Dental Health, a more functional, sustainable and whole approach?” and continue to post related research @, especially regarding recent nutritional dental research.
  • Publish this research into an eBook eventually.

Finally, and more immediately, is the time needed to adapt, acclimatise and relax into my new clinical role, learn the new ropes and develop my practice. Mouths tend to be the same but practice dynamics, personalities and cultures are all to often unique. Hope I settle in quickly and comfortably. TTFN.


My Spirituality Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist.

Spirituality is defined as “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” It is “the measure of how willing we are to allow some power greater than ourselves to enter our lives and guide us along our way.”hjuxt

After writing My Depression a few weeks ago, several readers asked me to talk about my spirituality. They had questions like, “Are you religious?”; “What do you believe in?”; “Do you accept a higher power?”

The subject of spirituality is charged with emotions on many levels. Sometimes, people take their emotions about their spirituality to the extreme and become intolerant of those who don’t believe as they do.

Let me begin by saying that I respect everyone’s beliefs. However, I have a problem when some individuals try to push their beliefs on me or shun me because I don’t believe what they believe. Please be considerate of my beliefs. As all of you know, your spirituality is a very personal thing, and so is mine.

My Belief

People with a strong religious belief system take comfort in their faith and its tenets. My comfort stems from my strong spiritual belief in our immortal soul. How I differ with most is that I do not subscribe to specific religious doctrines. I don’t align myself with any organized religious group. However, my deep spirituality rests in my unwavering belief that we are created by a higher power and that we are on earth for many purposes.

I believe all of us are immortal souls “residing temporarily” in a mortal body. Dr. Michael Newton has written two excellent books that detail his research regarding the immortal soul – Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls[1].

I believe that our souls were created by an incomprehensibly superior, all-encompassing power. Our soul exists within a physical body here on earth. Our soul’s purpose is to experience important lessons – so many life lessons. After death, our soul returns to its spiritual home with other souls. After a while, our soul may return in various human forms many times at our discretion to complete our learning process. I also believe that we all are going to the same place eventually to become One with the ultimate creator of the cosmos.

This belief is comforting to me. I can’t prove this belief to be true, but there is much documented evidence that suggests that my belief is universal for humanity. Evidence from documented writings like Dr. Raymond Moody’s book, Life After Life[2], and Robert Monroe’s personal experiences and journey in his final book, Ultimate Journey[3] – both explain the beauty and marvel of our soul’s home in the universe. Here is a 2-minute interview with Dr. Raymond Moody from 2016 on

My Priorities

My priorities at this moment in my life are to provide for my wife, live a quality life, enjoy the moments, and create new memories. I will clear my plate of extraneous demands, follow a path that is right for me, and dive into my bucket list – all the while striving to manage my malignancy called IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma.

But when it is my time to transition from today’s earthly existence to my spiritual existence, I know where I am going. Eventually, my next incarnation will be determined by what lesson or lessons I need to learn going forward in my soul’s journey.




Reflection End of Week 1- Mark and Toni’s 2019 Learning and Growing Odyssey.


So it begins

As we both sit on the 07.15 Eurostar in carriage 4, seats 21 and 22 we listen intently to the ambient pulsing noise of the electric train, stationary, soon to leave London St.Pancreas on the high-speed journey south to Avignon, Provence, France. The gentle hum blends with accents and languages of passengers, just like us awaiting the beginning of a journey, odyssey or just a vacation. The procession through passport control and customs to the train platform had been mercifully swift and virtually stress free, very much in stark contrast to LAX, those who have trodden that path know exactly my sentiment. Finally a nudge, the long-awaited jolt hails its departure, and ours.
Introduction and Context
How was our first week, the week that was the anticipated jet lag reset? A bit of context seems appropriate at this point. Toni and I have just left the blanket of vines that is Marlborough, our friends and colleagues, to live and work ( in the order we hope ) in Nelson. Many reasons have facilitated this change of scenery. New work opportunities, better shift patterns and to practice in a different way,  a more functional and holistic method and means, more of how we are developing both individually and professionally. Our family, less our middle lad Dale, are there too, as well as our adopted family. Dale, sadly to us remains in Blenheim, as an assistant brewer at Renaissance, to him our best wishes and love. We don’t own a home but rent, that boat sadly sailed long ago. It is an important point to note that probably the greatest topic of idle conversation in New Zealand is exactly that, success or failure in life is determined by that it seems. For us, however, not so, we intend to find a route to an alternative horizon. That is obviously part of our journey too but not now. We stored our possessions and hauled over to Tasman. Contracts signed, hands shaken, optimism topped up.
In Wellington, Sunday, 30th June, 2019. Another subject matter confronts us. Facebook “Thathumbleman”.
The Route
Many months in preparation, we decided to begin in Wellington, our cultural hub, it having sustained us during our time in Blenheim, a beacon of hope and culture we understand and enjoy. Then the long flight to London, a car hire and cabin booked in the North Downs for 3 nights, and short stay with friends in Cheriton, Hampshire. Beyond lies a French experience in Provence, The Dordogne and The Loire Valley in France. Designed to head north from the Mediterranean through a variety of traditional food regions and cultures, we intend to embrace and be part of the scene wherever we are. We then return to the UK and onward to Portland, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado, USA. Returning via San Fransisco to New Zealand at journey’s end.
Preamble, Concepts and Aims
A night’s rest in Wellington followed after number of blood tests taken the day before, a waist to height ratio, weight and blood pressures were also done.  How we achieve improvements in all will be determined by behaviour, nutritional and movement changes. We both feel relatively well, although you never quite know do you after reaching 50 years and some. Still we do move a lot with plenty of sunshine all year round in the north of the south island. Our FitBit data will testify to that fact. However, stress is synonymous with and at times significant in our lives of late.  A history of family illnesses, house moves and financial strains have taken their toll. But, we are still a unit, still together and believe our road we tread will be meaningful and changing.
We do take supplements, Magnesium for bone health, Vitamin K2 mk 7 for calcium metabolism and heart health and Astaxanthin, a strong anti – oxidant. We probably drink too much alcohol being honest, I love craft beer and Toni, Rose. How we will change that behaviour to a less harmful state is a real challenge. More on that subject to follow I’m certain. I believe we eat healthily, previous learning has led us to a vastly reduced free/ simple carbohydrate intake, less bread but baked at home or from a friend using whole grains, sourdough yeast and a whole lot of love. We have grown and intend to continue, our own vegetables, mushrooms and made some functional foods.
We have also starting a fasting programme, a modified 16/8 method. It began with a test run in Wellington the previous Sunday. It is adapted for the benefit of our work routine with an 8 – 10 hour eating window and a 14 – 16 hour fasting window prior. We hope for some weight loss, better mitochondrial function and reduction in HBa1C/ blood glucose. Intended for everyday of the week, we however will try to stick to 5 days as a weekly minimum. We do enjoy breakfasts and croissants in France will be difficult to avoid, especially with Dave and Rachel’s honey, that to come.
The food journey involves what we believe is a whole/real food concept, complex carbohydrates with an onus on quality, seasonality, locally sourced, functional ( affording an additional  general health benefit ) and foraged. Quality fat and protein combined with green vegetables cooked with healthy oils, and salads, of course. No waste and smaller portion sizes are also on the menu. Eating out is at a premium as we are on a tight budget.
On the Road
We set off from London and headed to Puttenham, a little village lost in time in the North Down’s of Surrey. En route we stopped to eat a small Kebab, we were tired and jet lagged and hadn’t had much sleep. the opportunity to eat something tasty and “fast” overruled everything else. We took the smallest menu and we drove the Kebab to a quiet gentle spot in a nearby church yard. It wasn’t so much a religious experience or perhaps nutritional either but it was critical. I don’t think God would have minded either in the circumstances.
The Thoughts of Prof. Grant Schofield, Nutrition and Sports Performance Thought leader, AUT, New Zealand

 Secrett’s Food selection, Wednesday, 3rd July 19

We set out to find locally sourced, seasonal and optimally nutritional food, low human interference, avoiding processed and ultra processed foods and drinks ideally. Apart from the above and the occasional treats in a weak moment we did well. It was interesting to see how food is presented in the Supermarkets, sadly covered or encased in plastic for obvious reasons but not for, it seems, our health. The burgeoning problem of microplastics and food miles adds to the conundrum of how to safely and ethically keep food fresh on the shelves, avoid waste and sustain shelf life. A paradoxically demonstration of this was Tesco’s and Secrett’s at Milford, Surrey. Secretts is a small food and grocery concern had most items as nature intended, the smell rich and the colours vibrant. Costly, yes but not much. Much of the produce grow literally on site or very nearby. The cheeses and cream are stored very much like Tesco, in a chiller. It seemed alive with understatement but rich in how, not so long ago, it was done. The big commercial stores were brash and alluring to the bargain, 2 for 3, half price and this or that percent off, ease of parking with additional alluring benefits like cheaper petrol. Have we become this disconnected and convenience seeking? Do we seek pleasure in volume or satisfaction in the perceived bargain? I’m not sure what to expect in France but from previous experiences we’ll stick to the local markets where at all possible and find places, we hope, like Secretts on our journey.
Movement and Mushrooms
Ancient distance markers along the A30 and a remarkable daily FitBit data achievement
The week involved a lot of emotional sentiment, I lived as a young boy in Surrey and as a family for several years too, up until 2013. We had moved here in 2006 to heal following a huge medical drama. We both walked a lot, along the Wey Navigation and to Guildford too. We had a dog and an allotment, it kept us sane in that dark time. This time, however, born of our previous life experiences in Surrey we decided to forage some food for our first dinner and a container of both Chanterelles and Ceps were soon in hand. With Sourdough Toast, local Broccoli, market place black pudding we were suitably satiated the next day.


Our First Forager’s Dinner for sometime – Chanterelles, Ceps, local Bacon and Black Pudding, Sourdough Toast with local brocoli with a Chilli from yesterdays Dona Kebab… Nothing wasted
Nature Bathing 
Walking in the woods, or “nature bathing” is an important component of well – being and mental health and physical health improvement. Learning we are part and not separate from nature is important in my opinion, whether just to be or abide with it or harvest is fruits, be they mushrooms, berries or nuts is a decision for the individual but for me it makes the experience come to life and whole. Importantly when picking free food it takes your experience and knowledge to the next level. You need to study and reference critically literature on what you take for obvious reasons. You have to put your life literally in your research and judgement of nature, just like our fore fathers and ancestors. You begin to see the trends and time tables of their fruiting, their locations form in you memory for the next season. Importantly too you learn the association between the seasons, the trees and the fruit, the links between the Holly, the Oak or Pine with Chanterelles and the associations with Ceps and Fly Agaric.
Walking the Wey Navigation.
Meditation and Mindfulness via Sam Harris
Being present is a hard thing to do. Your mind works over time without your authorisation. It can be a menace at times especially when you want to focus. Toni and I are trialing an app by the author Sam Harris into a guided meditative journey. In simple steps and short timings initially it is making what feels daunting relatively straight forward, not easy. It also allows you to see distraction as just a moment in time and not an occasion to feel a failure. The incorporation of awareness of sounds was funny this morning as we were at the railway station, but still, it made sense. The days will continue to full of thought but some mindfulness too.
Garden and Go(o)dness

The Seasons In Sculpture, RHS Wisley.
Wednesday took us to RHS Wisley Gardens, a moment to find fruit and vegetable gardens and community allotments. The gentle English passion for gardening eludes me. If it is grown it either has to be used in the kitchen, eaten or sensual and healing, like Lavender. I found Wisley interesting  as it gave us both a commitment to return to the allotment in Nelson for locally grown and seasonal product with others, creating a community with friends to barter, exchange and be closer to nature and the food journey. The greater the nutritional benefits when grown locally with a lesser carbon foot print too. Other interesting things were learned there too regarding the medical benefits of certain plants. I am a convert to the thought too that gardening itself undoubtedly, whether plants eaten or not, brings great well – being and satisfaction, as well as community to all who participation and even those who don’t but just see and get pleasure and relaxation from its presence.
Seeds and Good Reads, Wisley.
Ralph and Hanna
Ralph and Hanna are two gentle souls who have been an indirect part of our lives since 2003. Both immigrants like us, they came to the UK from Africa. They are massively in touch with their health and well – being, super aware of the nutritional values and foods and are reflected in their life style behaviours after reflecting upon what was making them less well and engaging in crucial research as citizen scientists. We spent a great late afternoon, evening with them in discourse and celebration. They cooked a low carb feast and shared the experience outside in their garden. Perfection. Their Sauerkraut was particularly impressive with the addition of carrots and garlic, and a little less salt than indicated by their experiences in fermentation. We’ll put that to good use. Thank you guys so much. We’ll on their advisement look into rich sources of vitamin A for a greater nutritional health benefit too.

Us, Hanna, Ralph and their amazing Sauerkraut.
Belief and Me
Thursday brought us to Winchester, the Anglo – Saxon capital of Britain before the untimely intervention of William of Normandy in 1066, the later prevailed and Saxon Harold perishing. The Cathedral itself dates back to 1079. It’s a timely place to think about your health status and the fragility of life. In the west wing of the building lies Author Jane Austen, a truly literal heroine and genius. Her untimely death at such a young age should be testament to all of us to be mindful regarding our health and well – being but also to explore and cherish our innate potential for creativity and legacy. Spiritually the Cathedral does nothing for me but as a monument to man’s ability to engineer and construct vast structures it is very impressive. Surely both nature, the nature of man in science and spirit are a testament to a higher, more creative and unifying purpose, perhaps more so than religion?
Also, as a footnote, and very much like gardening, it appears as a place where people come to gather, to abide and commune, for protection, support, in faith and belief in a higher cause, greater than themselves and act/ behave in the interests of others as a collective. My “church” has a similar philosophy but less of a traditional, human construct but a reverence of power and majesty of nature and the cosmos itself. I understand and respect their belief systems, but wonder if they’d understand mind as kindly? There is a deep impish side to me, brought about perhaps by too many Sunday school moments in my early years. Scratching messages in wood and on stone has always absorbed me, fortunately I found a few “gems” at Winchester Cathedral to add spice to its regaled history.
Reverence, Remembrance and Irreverence revered.
Food for Thought 1 “Watercress”
In Bighton, a little north towards to A31 road lies an extremely rare natural feature, chalk and flint streams, clear as day, gently pulsing through the Hampshire countryside. The water itself has become the source of a very powerful raw natural super food, namely Watercress. Ironically We’d brought some the few days previously thinking it was locally only to discover it had been imported from Spain! How crazy is this? I’m certain this is only to tip of the iceberg so to speak. The growers are a company called, ironically, The Watercress Company and their website is an amazingly successful attempt at promoting the health benefits with referenced and sourced information set out in a clean logical way. I recommend you read it. Super food it is and blog to this effect will follow soon. I hope to visit their operation in Dorset soon.


Food for Thought 2 Dave and Rachel – Honey Bee Good
Dave and Rachel are our family. They’ve been there for us always. We are proud and lucky to call them our dear friends. They have recently moved to Cheriton for lifestyle and health reasons. Rachel is still in dentistry but is gradually moving on and rightly so as her and Dave have become passion project Bee Keepers. The are not only this but have a very ethical approach to the care of their hives, colonies and products. They share their knowledge and support others who have swarms at no cost to themselves. They produce a raw premium product which is a super food packed with antimicrobial products, vitamins, minerals and proteins. Honey has one flaw from a purist nutritional perspective, Fructose. A natural monosaccharide ( Oligosaccharide ) it has become less of a season offering that presented itself to hunter gatherers historically to an over used, even abused product that is almost in everything, all year around. This has created health rated problems of chronic and huge proportions. I love honey and in New Zealand we apparently produce the best and have the best husbandry practices. If we ate it sparingly, as a health product, a raw super food can we claim its healthy for us? Another blog post needs attending to me thinks. Thanks once again to Dave and Rachel Annette, find their Facebook page at HoneyBeeHappy. They are the best.

Dave and Rachel’s Pet Honey Passion Project in Action and Production

Food for Though 3 Cheese
Finally, yesterday we travelled to London to be near to departure point of our journey to France. We stayed in a “Shed Up Attic Throw” but it was very near and very cheap. Suffice to say when in London go to Borough Market. Like homing pigeons we scented food and drink and flew towards it. Borough Market has a history, this it keeps true today. It is a centre of gastronomic desire, of a global food culture exposition. Along with line caught, locally sourced fish, wild mushrooms, truffles and meats or every description abides Neal’s Yard. This historic cheese monger allows the public to taste it’s wears and greats you with a big, wait for it, cheesy smile. Once again, cheese has been underrated as a super food, has it been dealt a bad press? Has to the low-fat movement and fears of heart disease, poor epidemiological research playing a tragic role in the delivery of bad health and nutritional information, resulting in damage to our metabolic and systemic health globally.? I believe so. Think of a super food and what do you want? Energy? Safe sugar? Macro and micro nutrients in abundance? Colonies of beneficial bacteria? A culture ( sorry for the pun ) of history going back centuries? Cheese has it all in spades. A blog awaits in line here too.

A Cathedral of Cheese, Neal’s Yard, Borough Market, London, 4th July, 2019
To Conclude
So back to the here and now, in carriage 4, seats 21 and 22 on the high-speed journey of a life time, 240 Plus KM/H awaiting arrival in Avignon at 14.15 pm. I’m eating Sourdough Baguettes with soft, “walking” Coulston Bassett Blue Cheese and Iberico Ham and Avocado. Our hopes for Provence? More of the same, well – being, peace and adventure. We’re in southern French nutrition heaven and it sure feels good. We wish you all Bonjour and Sante.

Captain’s Log Supplemental

Look at Watercress, Honey, Cheese and Mushrooms as nutritionally rich foods, benefits and short comings, Offal as a rich source of vitamin A and continue meditation to live long and prosper.

A Reflection on Previous Action Research Learning – 2017 – A Holistic/Whole Initial Journey into Dental Health Nutrition. Part 1.

Am I a holistic practitioner? what is a holistic practitioner? Should it be renamed? And, if so, to what? Our professional guidance alludes to some of the answers. I started to feel a change come upon me several years ago and this was a part of my first attempt at moving forward where there seemed no external learning available from primary or secondary dental sources. The journey took shape in the form of Action Research which is similar to Inquiry Based Learning (see the menu for information regarding this under Action Research and Life Long Learning).

In 2017 I completed an Action Research project and presented it to a professional audience twice, in Nelson and Auckland. I had undertaken similar research before and presented and published. This, however was slightly different as I was quite a way out of my professional comfort zone. Learning journeying into other health related subject matter, namely systematic, metabolic and nutritional topics was like a swim in the wild deep waters.

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I can honestly say that there wasn’t much more I could have done better in terms of content. Delivery was awkward, I’m good at that. I was pleased that it went beyond the dental aspects and explored more of the nutritional and political aspects of the debate. Since then a lot more has been written, discussed and debated and moving on to the next project I feel it needs to so still dwell on the previous a little to incorporate new learning experiences. The project really enlightened me with new knowledge, a lot was new and has since been incorporated into evolving my oral health facilitation in a stronger way. Moreover it has deeply enshrined in me the oral, systemic, nutritional and lifestyle model of improving oral health with the link to well-being and nutritional behaviour changes in the dental context. There seems so much more to learn and this I will now try to do.

Moving Forward

Where is my next learning journey? I’m struggling a little to find the way ahead. There appear to be a few routes where my “weaknesses” or “learning needs” are going to be targeted.

  1. Learning more about optimal nutrition, fasting and various beneficial dietary trends and behaviours.
  2. Oral and gut microbiome, the connection between them and the negative and beneficial effects of optimal / sub-optimal nutrition ( energy dense nutritionally dense foods ), sleep, lifestyle behaviour change adaptation and well-being.
  3. Mental health improvement in relation to dental health improvement.
  4. Oral Myology.

I have now moved to Nelson, I’ve left a really good practice in Blenheim with a great team and have been amazingly fortunate to find another. I’m especially looking forward to learning about oral facial myology and working with dentists, orthodontic auxillaries and all the support staff at Quin Dental. A very big thanks goes to Deb Pratt and very good friend and ama.zing colleague, I owe you more than one. My journey continues.





Thought Leaders – Robb Wolfe – Nutrition, Community and Lifestyle.

Robb dives into and offers insight on topics ranging from evolution, economics and thermodynamics, to living a life that matters and how your gut can influence your overall happiness. 

Robb debunks the notion that one size fits all and discusses how we our gut and body benefit when our nutrition, lifestyle and community all align.

Supplemental – The Big Vitamin D Mistake. A study.

Since 2006, type 1 diabetes in Finland has plateaued and then decreased after the authorities’ decision to fortify dietary milk products with cholecalciferol. The role of vitamin D in innate and adaptive immunity is critical. A statistical error in the estimation of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D was recently discovered; in a correct analysis of the data used by the Institute of Medicine, it was found that 8895 IU/d was needed for 97.5% of individuals to achieve values ≥50 nmol/L. Another study confirmed that 6201 IU/d was needed to achieve 75 nmol/L and 9122 IU/d was needed to reach 100 nmol/L. The largest meta-analysis ever conducted of studies published between 1966 and 2013 showed that 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <75 nmol/L may be too low for safety and associated with higher all-cause mortality, demolishing the previously presumed U-shape curve of mortality associated with vitamin D levels. Since all-disease mortality is reduced to 1.0 with serum vitamin D levels ≥100 nmol/L, we call public health authorities to consider designating as the RDA at least three-fourths of the levels proposed by the Endocrine Society Expert Committee as safe upper tolerable daily intake doses. This could lead to a recommendation of 1000 IU for children <1 year on enriched formula and 1500 IU for breastfed children older than 6 months, 3000 IU for children >1 year of age, and around 8000 IU for young adults and thereafter. Actions are urgently needed to protect the global population from vitamin D deficiency.

Supplemental – Magnesium

According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we used to have a lot more in our diet. Just a century ago, we consumed about 500 mg of magnesium per day. Today, we’re lucky to break 200 mg.

Many things contribute to our deficit, such as drinking bottled water (which is often stripped of minerals in the filtering process), and our general aversion to magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, greens, seeds, and whole grains.

Stress burns up a lot of this mineral, as does sugar, caffeine, prescription drugs, and even common supplements. Our food is grown in magnesium-compromised soil. Chemical fertilizers high in potassium and phosphorus inhibit magnesium.

Pharmaceuticals may temporarily address symptoms, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. But if the root cause is a lack of magnesium, drugs can never heal the underlying problem.

Almonds, bananas, avocados, fish, and pumpkin seeds are all high in magnesium, but cocoa tops the list. 

However, cocoa is usually paired with sugar, which robs us of magnesium. To get the most magnesium from your chocolate, go dark.

Whole Dental Health

Whole Dental Health for a Progressive, Creative and Sustainable New World


Brewing techniques, beer and the ins and outs of running a small brewery in Northland NZ.

Pinotoriously Hoppy NZ

Pinot in all its glory, cool Kiwi craft beer plus shitz and giggles of course.

dharma shed

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts there are few – Shunryu Suzuki

The Science of Human Potential

Understanding how to be the best you can be. Professor Grant Schofield.


Conversations to take learning forward


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