Gbiota centres for reversing T2 diabetes

Colin Austin 11 September 2018 © 


This is an invitation to set up your own Gbiota retreat for diabetes reversal.

I see this as a major opportunity to make a major contribution to people’s health and make a good and rewarding living in the process.

I start with a very brief description of how a Gbiota retreat operates but the bulk of the content is the technology underlying the Gbiota system.

Part 1 The Gbiota retreat for reversing diabetes

The aim of a Gbiota retreat is to provide accommodation and support where diabetics can go for a period (typically between two to four weeks) to learn how to reverse their diabetes.

It is expected that a typical retreat will house six or so guests. It is preferred that guests are accompanied by a partner to provide ongoing support.

Diabetes cannot possibly be reversed in two weeks so the focus is on education so when a guest leaves they are equipped to carry on with the process.

It may well be in a rural area run by an individual, more probably a couple but even a group with an interest in caring for people, healthy eating, growing food and cooking.

The careers will grow food using Gbiota beds (or have food grown for them in Gbiota beds which were developed to improve gut biology), prepare a range of foods for the diabetics to choose from and organise exercise and relaxation.

Guest are fitted with a continuous blood sugar monitor when they arrive as this is an essential part of diagnosis, rectification and developing a diet, exercise and relaxation routine best suited to the particular individual guest.

The three key components are
- change the diet to one free of the toxins which harm the gut biology and with adequate trace minerals and phytonutrients,
- have adequate exercise
- reduce stress levels.

There is no forced food reduction and food is provided on a buffet style but guest are asked to photo everything they eat (with time code).

After each meal the blood sugar traces are analysed looking particularly at the sugar spike and the rate of recovery which together indicate the level of insulin resistance.

Meals times are arranged for intermittent fasting which is a proven technique for reducing blood sugars.

It has been found that some people will go into a state of stress if they get too hungry causing a cortisol induced sugar spike. Snacks are normally discouraged but may be advised if this stress spike occurs.

Exercise is an important part of the reversal - the amount of energy burned in exercise is relatively small but is proved to lead to a major reduction in insulin resistance.

Walking is an excellent exercise for diabetes but dancing and exercise to music can give a high intensity burst of energy.

Stress is a major component of diabetes. Various forms of relaxation may be provided depending on the host but may well include meditation, yoga and tai chi all of which have proved valuable in reducing stress (as has any exercise).

A Gbiota retreat is an independent financial operation. They will receive training and information on the Gbiota system and will be expected to share information on their practical experiences.

They will have a license to use the Gbiota name (a registered trade mark) and make a contribution to the general improvement and wider promotion of the Gbiota technology.

They will be expected to maintain standards to protect the image of the Gbiota name.

The global chronic disease epidemic

You just have to look at the numbers to realise the scale of the diabetes epidemic. In round figures one person is diagnosed as diabetic every minute and 4,400 diabetic amputations every year - just in Australia - which is just 0.3% of the global scene.

The sheer numbers defeats the current medical system - almost a million sufferers in Australia, thirty million in the US and well over a hundred million in China and India.

The scale of diabetes is just mind blowing - it is no wonder that the medical profession is overwhelmed. And it is getting worse. There are simply not enough doctors to properly treat the number of diabetics so they focus - quite rightly - on the immediate problem of controlling the high blood sugar which leads to blindness and amputations.

You get diagnosed, a six minute consultation with your doctor - pills are prescribed, may be a visit to a diabetic nurse and that’s about it.

But pills don’t reverse diabetes they just treat the symptoms.

But many people can reverse their diabetes by focusing on the root causes and you can be part of the solution as I will explain.

Part 2 Changing the paradigm

The conventional medical paradigm is that diabetes is incurable - it cannot be reversed and simply gets progressively worse. There are plenty of scientific experiments and practical evidence that shows that this is not true - I wrote an article called ‘Choise’ on my web which reviews the mass of scientific evidence that diabetes is reversible. If you want an excellent overview read ‘The Diabetes Code - Prevent and reverse diabetes naturally’ by Jason Fung.

Can you really cure diabetes?

Diabetes is not an infectious disease like the flue so it is not strictly valid to use the term ‘cured’. People who get diabetes typically have a genetic propensity to get diabetes and that propensity will not go away. However it is generally possible to restore insulin sensitivity which means the harmful effects of diabetes will disappear and people can live a normal life provided they watch the key three factors diet, exercise and stress.

Or in plain English you won’t go blind and have you legs chopped off but will always have to take precautions against a reoccurrence

My introduction to diabetes

My wife - Xiulan - is a qualified doctor; she was a respected surgeon in China. She was healthy in China but within three years of coming to Australia was diagnosed as diabetic. (T2). She started to lose her eyesight and as a result fell down a flight of stairs and broke multiple bones in her foot which after an initially successful operation started to turn black and we were threatened with amputation.

We were told that diabetes is not curable - you will need progressively stronger medicines until you need insulin injection - you face blindness and amputations and will probably die young - it’s it just part of being diabetic - get used to it.

Now let me tell you that if you want to get someone’s attention tell them they will go blind, have their legs chopped off, will have needles stuck into them several times a day and die young.

Together Xiulan and I have spent eight years as a combination of doctor and engineer being obsessive in working out how to reverse diabetes.

The result - I must tell you that she has not gone blind, has not have her food chopped off, she can see fine, her blood sugar levels have come right down to normal.

I asked our doctor for help in our project to reverse diabetes - his reply was everything is fine just carry on what you are doing - it is working.

The diagnosis

When my wife Xiulan was first diagnosed as diabetic I had no idea what diabetes was.

But we were fortunate that she is a doctor - but I am not - I am an engineer and you would be perfectly justified in asking what an engineer is doing trying to reverse diabetes.

I have spent much of my life in developing innovative technologies; I was at the start of computer aided engineering and built up my company to become the largest exporter of technical software in Australia - a highly successful multi-million dollar international company so at least I can claim some technical competence in the field of technical innovation.

Changing the paradigm

I have pioneered innovations which were to challenge the conventional wisdom. I know about changing paradigms from the school of hard knocks. I am now challenging this paradigm that diabetes cannot be reversed. There is a wealth of research and practical experience supporting this change of paradigm - it just has not filtered down to wider community - as yet.

Two questions that challenge the old paradigm

There were two questions which worried me about Xiulan’s diagnosis.

First - she is thin and eats carefully and I am a natural pig and eat anything and everything that is put in front of me - why does she get this so called irreversible disease yet I don’t?

Next - when I was a kid diabetes was virtually unheard of but now it is a global epidemic - what has changed.

It seemed to me that what we were being told could well be an outdated paradigm and it was time to investigate further.

Part 3 An engineer and a doctor investigate diabetes

We both delved into the literature (English for me Chinese for her) to find out all we could about this monster - diabetes.

Medical researchers, practitioners and engineers think differently.

Engineers design machines and really there are just two types of machines, those that generate power (from a lawn mower engine, jet engine or power station) to those that use power like a sewing machine or monster mining machine and those that are a bit of both like a car.

I understand thermodynamics and looking at the human body as a heat engine gives a very different view to the medical view.

The human body as a heat engine

So what do I - as an engineer - see when I look at the human body as a heat engine?

Well first it is not very powerful - it can turn out about 100 watts on a continuous basis. It is also not very efficient. One litre of fuel can push a one tonne car some fifteen kilometres - it would take a whole sack full of energy bars for people to do the same - far more than the energy in a litre of fuel.

But there is another side - it can produce many times its steady state power for a short burst - a particularly useful feature when confronted by a ferocious bear and is no doubt why I am here to write this.

It is also incredibly tolerant of fuels; look at what different people eat all over the world everything from almost pure meat, fish, seals, or a whole range of different plants.

Whatever we eat the body seems to have the ability to turn it into sugar which is a primary food source. Even if it fails it can still run on ketones as an emergency source.

It also has a remarkable capacity to repair itself - as bits wear out it just regenerates new bits. It is also under continuous attack from little nasties which it normally just fights off.

It can also have sex and reproduce itself - beats my engineering skills hand down.

I wish I could design a self-repairing machine that runs on almost any fuel that would last for eighty years and reproduce itself ad infinitum.

But here comes the contradiction. The primary fuel source for the human machine is sugar - it is our primary fuel source and many dieticians say we should cut it out of our diet - yet sugar is a key factor in diabetes - so what goes on here. The only explanation is the control system.

Comparing a car with the human body

This may seem a silly thing to do as the human body is much more complex than a car but nevertheless it is a useful intellectual exercise - as I will show.

We put petrol into the fuel tank of the car, we do not put it in at exactly the same rate as we are using it - that would be ridiculous - the petrol tank is a store so we fill it up maybe once a week to use later as needed.

Our bodies are a somewhat similar we eat a meal and it goes into store for use later.

Here is where the differences start. The petrol we put in the car is a highly refined fuel ready to burn. By contrast the human body is incredible.

We can bung a whole range of different foods - fish, meat, wheat, rice, vegetables, fungi and much more into our mouths and our guts will process it into fuel we can burn for energy (sugar) and chemicals to rebuild our body our flesh, bones, blood and chemicals so our immune system can use to fight off the continues range of attackers.

As soon as the body senses the food it instructs the pancreas to send out pancreatic enzymes to help convert the food into a complex array of useful chemicals.

One up for the human body!

Storing the energy

The next difference is how the body stores the energy - unlike the car it does not have one tank it has many stores.

Initially the energy is transferred from the guts to the blood where the sugar levels are normally controlled by the hormones insulin and glucagon. But our bodies will then convert the sugar to fat and transfer it to various part of the body for storage.

But we have stores for different lengths of time - the blood and muscles for immediate use - the liver for quick access - and in layers of fat around out body to provide for a time when no food is available - our emergency store.

Our butts are a major storage for emergency food as well as being attractive to the opposite sex - a sort of public display of your energy bank balance rather than your monetary bank balance.

Two up for the human body!

Pumping the energy

In a car a small pump takes petrol from the tank and pumps it to near the engine for immediate use - the float chamber in a carburettor is store for immediate use.

Our hearts do the same job as the pumps in the car (and much more) while the energy in our blood and muscles are our immediate energy store.

Energy for immediate use - variable loads

Our car needs fuel at very different rates - lots of fuels when accelerating from traffic lights, overtaking or climbing a hill, less fuel when cruising and hardly any when slowing down or going downhill.

Our bodies have exactly the same problem of a highly variable fuel load - high when running from a bear or more recently catching a bus, moderate when digging the garden and not so much when sleeping or watching TV.

In a modern car there is a fuel injection system which is controlled by a small computer which reads information form a bunch of sensors - engine speed, throttle opening, temperature, atmospheric pressure and others and then processes this through a clever piece of code to decide how much and at precisely what time in the cycle to inject fuel into the engine.

It is worth noting that somewhere there is a code cutter who developed the code who knows exactly how it works.

This little computer in the car is extremely effective giving power and fuel efficiency not thought possible years ago and with a remarkable smoothness of operation - it is so good that most people are not even aware that is there is this little controller doing such a fantastic job. This is important - just wait.

A suburb control system - one up for the car!

Our bodies have the same problem of a varying load as the car - in fact we have a far greater range of energy output than an engine - just ask any frustrated bear that failed to catch us - but we also have to self-repair, rebuild worn out parts and fight of nasties.

Energy for longer term use

Our bodies have also evolved to handle long periods without being refuelled.

Nowadays we generally eat three times a day and may even have snacks between meals - but we don’t need to - we could if we wanted - mange comfortably on one meal a day of even once a week if we trained our bodies or can even go for a month or more without food. But we just like eating - it makes us feel good - so why not?

What happens when there is no fuel

When a car runs out of fuel is just stops - it is no good patting it on the bonnet and saying just one more kilometre to the next servo -you can make it.

Our bodies are much smarter - they can go into a state of shut down so we can remain alive - if not doing much - for extended period of time.

Multiple points for the human body!

Victory for the human body

This is a remarkable victory for the human body over the car- we have this simply amazing control system of incredible sophistication.

But there is one other difference.

We (or at least someone) have a very good understanding of the control system in heat engines - we can take our spluttering car to a garage and they will put it on a diagnostic computer and it is soon fixed.

Our incredibly sophisticated control system

Our guts contain trillions of cells which each only have a minute bit of intelligence but they can communicate and work together like the thousands of ants or bees in a nest.

This is called communal or swarm intelligence - is common in nature.

Our guts can communicate with our head brain by the vagus nerve and interact with our conscious intelligence and a complex array of hormones which send signals around our bodies via the blood stream.

There is a gradual progression from our conscious intelligence to our unconscious intelligence. We have no conscious control over our pancreas (or most parts of our body) but simply by just looking at a picture of a delicious meal is enough to start our pancreas churning out those enzymes to start digesting the anticipated food.

We go to the pictures and watch films which physically activate our fear hormones -cortisone and adrenaline to pump our blood full of sugar - or watch a different film to activate testosterone even though that dinosaur or sexy partner is nothing more than an image.

We have this totally amazing control system which has watched over our species for thousands of years and is the major reason why we are here today.

There is just one little problem - we have no real idea how it works and we have screwed it up.

In fact we have screwed it up in two ways. We use powerful chemicals in our food production which get into the food chain and damage our gut brain and we have developed a food system which has created irresistible craving which override our natural control system in our head brain e.g. we have become food addicts.

The root causes of the diabetes epidemic

These are the root causes of the causes of the diabetes but modern science has shown that this can generally be reversed by diet or more precisely by restricting food intake. At first we burn up excess fat stored in our muscles and liver so we become insulin sensitive again, then later the fat in the pancreas burns of so we can more effectively generate insulin.

We screwed it up

For thousands of years our complex control system has worked well for us regulating the right amount of energy for immediate needs and to make sure our fuel tanks are topped up without overfilling (being too fat is not helpful when running away from a bear).

When I was a kid I cannot remember anyone worrying about diabetes or even were aware it existed.

We knew all about the childhood infections, mumps, measles etc. and our parents even went out of their way to make sure we got infected while young. As a kid I was taken to chicken pox parties where young kids would catch the ‘infection of the day’ and ‘get it over with’.

People were worried about tuberculosis and were terrified of polio.

But diabetes - what’s that? A few people were fat but diabetes was not an issue.

Now this bit of nostalgia is important in the detective work. I read that rice, bread and potatoes are the cause of diabetes - now people have been eating rice, bread and potatoes in various parts of the world for thousands of years without diabetes being a problem. In trying to understand the real cause of diabetes we have to look at what has changed in the last thirty years or so.

It is easy to say that we eat the wrong sort of food or simply too much. But that is not the final answer - we have to keep on asking why - why do we eat the wrong sort of food or too much - and keep on asking why until we reach the real cause which is we have compromised our control system.

The control system

Now I know a bit about control systems - my first job as an engineer was working for a company which made control systems for power stations. Despite that being sixty years ago we had some pretty neat technology.

If the power load changed or the fuel supply got off track we would sense that something was out of kilter (an error) and analyse not just the error but the rate of change of error and whether the error was accumulating over time, (proportional, derivative and integral control).

The body has exactly the same issues with control as a heat engine, the heat engine stores energy in a tank and releases it for use on demand, nowadays usually determined by some form of solid state control. When we drive our cars we do not pour fuel into the tank at exactly the same rate as we are using it - a quick fill as we accelerate from the traffic lights.

We do not eat at exactly the same rate as we are expending energy, we store fuel for immediate use in our muscles and liver and when we need energy first use the energy stored in our muscles and when that runs low we use the fuel stored in our liver. That process is managed by our super sophisticated control system. We don’t have high blood sugars simply because we ate too much sugar (although that does not help) it is because we have screwed up our control system so it can’t do its normal job that it evolved to do.

By comparison with the control system I am used to in engineering the control system in our body is super sophisticated. On a quick read through the literature you soon come across insulin (which releases energy from the blood for immediate use by the muscles and if there is extra energy tells the body to store it as fat), ghrelin the hunger hormone (eat) and leptin the full hormone (stop eating), you also soon find dopamine and serotonin - the happy hormones which play a crucial role in deciding what and how much we eat.

But keep on reading and you soon find there are numerous hormones which are involved in this control process - each one fulfilling a specific function.

Code cutting

But I spent much of my commercial life cutting computer code - so I try and imagine what this code may look like for my body. If I want to write the ‘leptin’ code to say stop eating when I am full I need to go to some address where there is a number which tells me how full I am. Where is this address?

But that is just the start of my coding problems. Our bodies are a mass of interconnecting logic systems and we have these sneaky hormones - like dopamine and serotonin - which tell me that if I just eat just one more piece of cheese cake it will give me a climax better than any organism - regardless of my leptin code telling me I am full.

But that is just the control system that fills my tank - which is the easy bit. The real problem is controlling the energy flow to the muscles on a second by second basis. If I am climbing a steep hill I have some hormone tell my body to release fuel - maybe from my liver but it that is empty from my fat store under my skin and if that is empty from my ultimate reserve - by butt. And when I go down the other side another bunch of hormone says cut back on the fuel.

And if my blood sugars get out of control - which is a highly dangerous situation for my body - I get a burst of insulin to drop it down. But insulin also makes me store fat so if I have had an over exposure to insulin my body may be so blocked with fat that the insulin does not work as per specification. That’s early stage diabetes.

But if that has been going on for a long time my pancreas will also be full of fat so it may not be able to make insulin anyway. This is later stage - and much more serious - diabetes.

What makes it worse is that if a ferocious bear comes along - or the modern equivalent of the boss catching you using Facebook in works time you are flooded with cortisol and adrenalin to run away from the bear of clear out your desk and look for a new job.

On top of all this our bodies are doing calculations to work out how much energy we need to store away in case there may be no food later, bears do this real well putting on masses of fat to get through winter, we get fat in winter too or we may have a baby inside us which needs feeding.

Our control system is a pretty clever and complex system.

Understanding the complex system

The bad news is that modern science has not - as yet - developed the understanding of how this highly complex system works so I cannot cut the magic code and reverse diabetes.

So the standard approach is to try and override our inbuilt control system with an external control system by deciding how much and of what type of food we should eat.

I don’t know how many diet books I have read saying to only eat 258.34 grams of carbs or whatever (they all say different things anyway). We have been told to eat less and exercise more for donkeys years - and is just has not worked.

The reason standardised diet don’t work is that that our control system decides that we need some particular type of food which it does not have, some vitamin or mineral. It sends out signals that we needs to eat by making us feel hungry then it directs all the incoming food to be put into store somewhere - maybe our muscles, liver or our pancreas (which then makes us diabetic).

We don’t get fat simply because we eat too much - we get fat because our control system thinks we are missing out on something so makes us hungry so we eat more. It is the other way round to what the dieticians tell us.

No wonder we have this paradigm that diabetes is not reversible.


mmediate and longer term storage and supply of fuel

There is a theoretical problem with the control by diet approach - we have two issues to control - the short term release of fuel to supply our immediate energy needs and the longer term control to make sure our fuel tanks are full.

The conventional theory says we should be able to solve these by careful control of our diet and indeed in the short term we can lose weight by diet. The problem is our bodies have a nasty habit of overriding our attempts at diet - if it feels that this has been going on for too long.

A crude approach to dieting (or calorie restriction) put us it direct conflict with our super sophisticated control system (which has that special hormone - dopamine - which give us greater pleasure than a full on orgasm. Our diet does not stand a chance long term.

I am still waiting to find a paper which has discovered the ‘feed me or else’ hormone.

Our refined system of controlling appetite

Our bodies have a highly refined system of controlling our appetite - telling us when we are full and when we are hungry and how much food we should store as fat for periods of food shortage and when this can be released. It does this by complex system of hormones and nerve signals.

We have two systems of intelligence our guts and our head brain which communicate together to take these critical decision on when and what we should eat.

Our gut brain is incredibly complex with trillions of cells communicating with each other and like some giant supercomputer processing thousands of lines of codes. In reality we have very little scientific understanding of how it works - we just know it does.

Our gut and head brains

For thousands of years our gut and head brains have been doing an excellent job of regulating our food and energy supplies.

The core of the diabetes epidemic is that we have compromised how this system works.

There are two basic problems.

Damage to our gut biome from toxic chemicals

The first are the chemicals used in our industrial agriculture. There is still some debate whether these chemical damage our bodies although there is evidence that chemicals like glysophate may cause cancer. We do know that many chemicals are actually in our food supply and go straight to our guts.

Whether or not they damage our bodies will be debated for a long time yet but what is beyond debate is many of these chemicals can cause major harm to our gut biology which plays a crucial role in producing the hormones which control our fuel supply.

Restoring our gut biology is the first problem we have to solve.

The Gbiota beds were developed to grow plants in a biologically active soil rich in trace elements and nutrients.

I developed Gbiota beds from a previous innovation of mine - Wicking Beds. They are much more suited to commercial scale growing than Wicking bed and have a much more active soil biology which is an important step in improving gut biology.

We hope to encourage guests to adopt either Wicking or Gbiota beds when they leave the retreat by providing training on how to make and operate them.

Similarly with cooking - food selection and preparation is an important part of reversing diabetes so we hope guests will participate in both growing and preparing food which makes us healthy.


The second problem is that we are eating food which our bodies have - as yet - not evolved to manage properly. We are exposed to combinations of sugar, fat and salt and ingredients which our bodies do not understand but find extremely attractive.

Our brains are flooded with dopamine so we end up craving specific tastes which we would never have experienced in our evolution. We have become addicts to certain foods and sugar would be a major culprit.

But blaming sugar is not that logical - sugar is our primary energy fuel so it makes little sense to just simply blame sugar and say we should not eat it at all. That would be as logical as saying that the fuel injection control system in our car is broken we should not put fuel into the tank. That stupid - just fix the fuel injection system controller.

Doctor overload

Our bodies are so much sophisticated that no one really understands how they work - and this is the real cause of the diabetes epidemic. If we have diabetes we simply cannot go to the doctor and be connected to a diagnostic computer and be prescribed a cure. The doctor will do his best and suggest that we try this pill or try that diet and may be try a bit of exercise - but no systematic cure.

Medical procedures

The medical profession thrives on procedures - they have procedure for most illnesses which have been tried and tested and proved over thousands of cases.

And it works - I have had several major operations and have come out alive and well every time because of the well tried and tested medical procedures. Medical procedure work!

If you walk into the doctor’s surgery with diabetes the doctor has no proven procedure which will reverse your diabetes - you will be told this is a chronic irreversible disease - I am sorry but we cannot cure you.

If he had enough time the doctor may be able to try a whole series of experiments on you and eventually reverse your diabetes but the reality of the diabetes epidemic is there are simply not enough doctors in the world to spend the time to experiment with the billion and a half people in the world with diabetes.

Part 4 Reversing diabetes at a Gbiota retreat

Honest food

I would love it if there were an ‘honest food’ movement. But when it comes to being social agitator I am at the bottom of the pile - a mutterer. I mutter about the scams the banks and insurance companies pull, about pyramid selling on the internet, about printer ink cartridges costing as much as a printer, the dishonesty of the tobacco industry. But I don’t demonstrate, join any organisation or really do anything other than mutter that this is not right and they (the magic they) should do something about it - but I don’t do anything - just mutter to my mates over a glass of red.

But food is different - people are going blind, having their legs chopped and dying young and the dishonesty in the food industry is a significant factor. Can I just mutter?

Technology has changed the world

Technology has changed the world bringing great benefits but Governments who typically follow rather than lead haven’t worked out how to manage the power of the giant multinational corporations.

But it is just not these mega corporations. There is no magic plant from the Brazilian jungle - no fermented caterpillar guts from the Himalayas (yes I have seem these promoted as a magic cures) yet almost daily I see clever promotions for these mythical cures from some obscure source.

Again I would be just a mutterer saying that healthy food is a basic human right and there should be honesty in the food industry so people don’t go blind, have their legs chopped off and die if it were not for one thing.

It was MY wife

And that one thing is personal - it was MY wife who nearly went blind and had here leg chopped of and was told she would die young of a heart attack. Had it been someone else’s wife I would have muttered that it was terrible and they should do something about it - but it was MY wife.

Again I would still be a mutter if it were not for one further thing. I know how to measure the effect of diet, exercise and stress using continuous blood sugar monitoring.

I have a granddaughter who loves chips and ice cream. I could tell here that was unhealthy - but she would either ignore me (as granddaughters do) or I would spontaneously develop a school bag shapes dent in my skull. And that’s because I cannot demonstrate to her that this is not healthy eating.

Engineers love to measure

I studied all the literature I could find and would tell my wife that to reverse her diabetes she should eat this but not that and she should exercise more etc.

Here reply was I am a doctor you are just and engineer so I will do it my way.

But that all changed when I fitted here with a continuous blood sugar monitor.

The first triumph was exercise. She could see the graph and it was plain as plain could be that exercise was leading to a major drop in blood sugar levels. Now she walks every day.

Then came the vanilla and chocolate cupcake saga. She buys them from the local super market and she just loves them and it was as plain as plain can be that these were causing major spikes in her blood sugar levels.

I thought about trying to persuade her that eating cupcakes was not helping her diabetes. Even though a cupcake sized dent in my skull would be less painful that a school bag shaped dent I decided against this and did some homework.

My first problem was that I understood that sugar was our natural fuel source and was therefore not intrinsically bad - it is just too much sugar for our control system to handle.

But I came across a very good book called ‘The Sugar blockers diet’ by Ron Thompson which taught me that if you eat certain foods - particularly vegetables - with or before high sugar foods that they will block the sugar from rapidly entering the blood stream. I thought that sugar blockers I could help her slow down the rate of sugar absorption so that she could eat her favourite cupcakes without the dreaded sugar spike.

It was not a 100% success - she can only eat half a cupcake at a time but I still give that a 98% score. And she is happy which it and that’s the main thing.

We can also look at what foods make us feel full or hungry. I know I can eat a monster meal and still feel hungry but if I eat a few nuts I stop felling hungry. This is an important part of the Gbiota testing - if we know what foods make us feels full (and I am sure we are different) then we eat that food so our control system says stop eating which works while just depriving our control system of food by some artificial diet does not.

The next stage was intermittent fasting. Now I don’t have diabetes and am a natural pig. I try and avoid pigging out in front of Xiulan but when we go to China I really do pig out and put on weight.

When I get back to Australia I go onto intermittent fasting simply by having an eating window of between fourteen to sixteen hours. I adjust my window to give the rate of weight loss required. For me - it works like a dream - bit slow but sure.

For Xiulan this was a disaster - her blood sugars shot up and we quickly realised she was going into hunger stress and her body was pumping out cortisone which raised blood sugar levels.

When is a disaster not a disaster?

You may think that this was a disaster but for me it was a success. Xiulan and I have very different metabolisms. I have always been sceptical about these formulae put out by dieticians saying eat so many grams of this or that. We are all different so need different diets and levels of exercise.

Using continuous blood sugar monitoring we had a way of tuning the diet and exercise levels which worked best for a particular individual.

We can take advantage of the scientific knowledge we do have right now to run a series of tests to help guests find an individual solution which works best for them.


OK we know we need to fix the control system but we don’t fully understand how it works so we can’t. So we have two options -

We can wait until science has really unfathomed the mysteries of our control system
or -
We can be pragmatic and use the best technology available to us right now which is the Gbiota retreat.

Every year around the world there are hundreds of thousands of people who have a limb amputated or go blind because of diabetes.

Is it really the moral approach to wait until science has solved this complex and very difficult problem - that could take years - while the pile of chopped of limbs keeps growing?

Is that really the way to go?

Having faced amputation of Xiulan leg and taken the pragmatic approach and now have a healthy wife I have no option but to promote the pragmatic approach with the Gbiota retreat.

It is time for me to stop muttering and develop an action plan.

The pragmatic approach

There is a saying that science is the art of truth and engineering is the art of ignorance.

Engineers over the years have created amazing and useful contraptions without fully understanding everything. Engineers did not develop the steam engine because Carnot developed the laws of thermodynamics - exactly the opposite Carnot developed the laws of thermodynamics because engineers like James Watt - using an instinctive understanding - had proved that steam engines worked and were useful.

It is common in the world of technology and science that an engineer will find out how to make something that is useful work then seeing it is useful science develops the understanding which leads to much better devices.

Testing and re-testing

Engineers do this by testing and re-testing there contraptions until they get them to work. Typically with a lot of failure - if you don’t like failure don’t become an engineer.

Engineering is all about testing until the contraption works. When I was younger I had old cars which often did not start. Did I immediately pump up the tyres - no that would be stupid.

I would first see if there was enough power in the battery to turn the engine over fast enough. If yes I would check for a spark, and if that was Ok check if there was enough fuel or too much causing flooding - and if all looked good check for a stuck valve by testing compression.

No magic - no super science - just systematic testing until the car started.

The Gbiota philosophy

That simple philosophy underlies the Gbiota approach. We have continuous blood sugar monitoring as a test method which has taught me so much about Xiulan’s diabetes.

I learned which foods gave sugar spikes, I learned that exercise - just an evening walk had a big impact on her sugar levels, I learned if she cut back on food from too rigid intermittent fasting her body would go into stress - out would come the cortisone and her blood sugar would rocket up.

No magic just systematic testing to find out what works and what did not.

That is the simple approach of logical deduction that a Gbiota retreat host can learn.

You don’t have to be a qualified doctor to see that when Jill has porridge for breakfast that her blood sugar escalated but Bill can eat pretty much what he likes as long as he goes for a long walk afterwards and device a strategy to reverse diabetes - then test and improve to refine the strategy.

This may be not the standardised procedure of the medical world but is an effective way of reversing diabetes.

Working with doctors

The aim of the Gbiota retreat is to work with doctors by providing a service for their patients that they don’t have time to do themselves.

The Gbiota host works with the guest by conduct a series of tests - using continuous blood sugar monitoring as a measure - searching for a combination of diet, exercise and relaxation - providing support and analysis to try and find a procedure that will work for that particular individual.

An empathetic host can provide the time, empathy, and support that the overextended medical system simply cannot provide.

Xiulan and I cannot set up Gbiota retreats all over the world - even if we wanted to. We are getting old. But we can help potential hosts set up their own Gbiota retreat by providing education, documentation and support so that other people can set up their own Gbiota retreat. With the internet we could have Gbiota retreats running all over the world - and that would make a real difference to the diabetes epidemic.

If you have read so far and think you may be interested in establishing your own Gbiota retreat please email me or likewise if you may like to visit a centre as they becomes established please email me.