My experience

I’m a qualified General Practitioner (MBChB Pretoria), certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and certified Diabetes Educator. I’ve successfully completed a course in Clinical Nutrition and am currently studying for my Master's Degree in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine through the George Washington University.

My years of expertise has afforded me the privilege of standing on the Advisory Board for DNAnalysis Biotechnology, an innovative genetic testing laboratory in South Africa. I also have strong links with The Compounding Pharmacy of South Africa and Fagron Compounding Services, who both provide high quality, customised products to meet the growing worldwide need for tailor-made medication.

After years of experience in various UK hospitals, working under world-renowned specialists in the specialities of Ear, Nose and Throat, Orthopaedics and Emergency medicine, I returned home determined to make a difference in South Africa, in whatever way I could. I spent a further 4 years working in both State and private health care systems in a variety of specialities, trying to learn and choose a medical speciality that I could commit to, for my future.

What seemed to be a frustrating lack of direction and time-waste, ended up with the creation of a well-rounded, open-eyed doctor with a broad base of knowledge and experience, and, for the first time, asking the correct questions!

I eventually, and reluctantly, opened my own practice as a conventional GP in Bellville, Cape Town in 2008... not sure of where it would lead me. To my surprise, I loved working with local families and making many, new friends. I am immensely grateful to those that have encouraged and supported me over the years as I walked this journey, even though it often takes me away from the people that helped get me here.

A year or two into my new practice, I was invited to a functional medicine seminar in Cape Town - not really knowing what it was, but interested enough to give up a day to find out. After the first hour, I started looking for escape routes and exits for a sneaky getaway. BUT... by teatime, the surgeon who was speaking on the day, had blown my mind with some concepts that in all my years as a doctor, had never made as much sense as in that moment. I was too scared to leave, in case I missed the next life-changing thing he taught. Images of hundreds of patients flooded my mind as I thought of all the people that could be helped by some really small, but logical changes. Here was a surgeon who had stopped operating, because he had discovered that the majority of his patients could be healed WITHOUT CUTTING THEM OPEN.

On that day, I knew I would never practice medicine the same way again!


Over the years, I’ve consulted with countless clients struggling with persistent weight gain, chronic illness, mood disorders and fatigue. I decided to take a “whole-listic”, logical approach to treating chronic disease - using safe, natural solutions that are designed to restore health at seed level.

For the past 40 years, we’ve been eating foods geared towards preventing heart disease, but have unwittingly set ourselves up for an era of increasing diabetes, obesity and a myriad of other conditions!


And now, we all want to know why our bodies aren’t working properly? Plus, to compensate for this poor diet or for a quick solution, we’re consuming supplements and/or medications that may or may not be making any difference. At what cost?

I decided that things needed to change and I wanted to be a part of the change. I began researching everything I could about food, nutrition and lifestyle. This process is ongoing, as everyone is different and everyone responds differently to treatments.
The next big job was to sift through the mountains of confusing, and often contradicting, information regarding what is actually healthy and unhealthy. Health and weight-loss have become such big money spinners that one can’t simply trust every label or product that claims to be able to “cure” you. Industry recognises the despondency in the market place and lack of knowledge and all too often promises miracles with virtually no responsibility or change required on your part.

Labels like low GI, low fat, gluten-free, fat burning, low cholesterol, added fibre, added vitamins, etc. attempt to attract you to foods that promise whatever the market seems to want at the time. We see this happening with the Low Carb High Fat or ‘Banting” approach and the influence it has on marketing and purchasing trends.

This experience resulted in me losing 23kg of body fat that I didn’t even know I had. What an eye-opener to realise the denial and blindness even a doctor, “who should know better” can have.
 

This motivated me to start BetYaLife and a series of talks called the “Nutrition Revolution Sessions”. This represented one of the first “whole-istic” health and weight loss programmes in South Africa, that placed the emphasis on the health changes rather than on the weight loss.


This subtle change meant that weight loss came as a result of sustainable change, reversing chronic disease and uprooting the cause of the problem. This also meant that, although weight loss might be slower, the all to common chance of regaining the weight, was minimised.

I threw myself into researching everything I could about the body we get old in, as well as the nutrition and lifestyle modification that can help it age MAGNIFICENTLY. This became something of an obsession and involved much study, travel and expense in addition to working at my practice 6 days a week.

What I discovered about our food was just plain scary. Unsurprisingly, the changes and processing of our foods have rendered them unrecognisable from their original ingredients and the value of the food has been destroyed in an attempt to make food last longer and taste “better!”
 

It became obvious to me that we are swapping good nutrition for handfuls of pills to make up for sedentary and convenient lifestyles. Somehow, we’ve been duped into thinking it’s the same thing.


In addition to this we take more handfuls of supplements and vitamins even though few of us are truly convinced of their value. Which is why we all have half empty bottles of some or other wonder potion in our cupboards!

An unexpected obstacle to a better way of living, was the reluctance of people to change their thinking or to spend time planning and preparing meals. We live in a convenience era, no question! Change that isn't easy, is seldom sustainable. It remains interesting to me how few of us recognise the connection between the food we eat AND drink, and our chronic medical condition, low energy levels and behaviour/mood disorders.

Another common misconception is that eating properly is too expensive.
 

The truth is that when you eat properly, you eat less food in general and even less often.
I am convinced that eating well is not more expensive and will save you a fortune over time, on health costs.

 

 

"I can never know everything, until I know everybody!

We're all so unique and amazing!"

Come visit me soon - click here to book an appointment.
I look forward to meeting you and "walking the path to better health, with you."

Warm regards,

Dr Grant Fourie | MBChB | CDE