Coconut oil, butter, extra virgin olive oil, ghee -  what on earth are we supposed to use?  One day coconut oil is bad.  The other day it's good.  How to we navigate this world of fear-based journalism when it comes to our health?  Read on to find out more...



Thrive wants to help you make 2017 your best year for gut health with this two-week reset that is going to help you get rid of all your gut junk and feel so good, you'll never start the year needing a detox again!



The response to POOP month has been overwhelming!  Turns out Poop is everyone's favourite topic -- not just mine!  Truth be told - I'm not surprised. 

Poop is like sex.  When it's good, it's gooooooood!

And when it's bad -- it just leaves you feeling grumpy & unsatisfied.

So, that's why on TUESDAY, JANUARY 10th, I'm launching:


This 2-week re-set is for people who want to kick off their New Year by getting rid of all their old gut-junk and starting fresh! 

This is more than a detox.  This is the poop and the dietary lifestyle you've always wanted!

And until January 31st, I'm offering it at a bargain of HK$450 (regular price HK$1200).

It includes:

  • A two-week REALISTIC & DELICIOUS meal plan for improving digestion & facilitating detoxification PLUS dietary guidelines to follow so that you can keep to the plan even when travelling or out for business meals.
  • Over 25 POOPtastic, family-friendly recipes for the meals suggested in the plan,  specifically crafted for gut-healing and improving digestion.
  • Recipes come with information on exactly how they impact and benefit detoxification & digestion so that you are armed with the tools to create your own gut healing recipes.
  • A targeted supplement protocol that includes my secret weapons to help you slough away all your gut-junk and lower gut inflammation.
  • A list of my favourite grocery suppliers in Hong Kong so you know exactly where to buy all the ingredients.
  • Lifestyle recommendations to improve gut motility & detoxification.


  • 25% off your first consult with me to get down & dirty with your specific poop issues (optional add-on, regular price HK$950).
  • 5% off the GI MAP STOOL TEST (optional but highly recommended if you have chronic gut issues, suspect candida or some kind of pathogen, regular price HK$4,750).
  • 5% off BIORNA QUANTICS Food Sensitivities Test (optional but highly recommended to rule out inflammatory foods as triggers for bowel inflammation, constipation, diarrhoea & other forms of bad poops, regular price HK$2,995).
  • 10% off Nuzest Clean Lean Protein & Good Green Stuff.
  • Discounts off professional grade supplements.

What can you expect from this programme:

  • To poop beautiful, elegant, soft, brown poops daily and effortlessly; 
  • To feel more energised and less bloated;
  • To improve your digestion, absorption & detoxification;
  • To kick start a sustainable, healthy diet with a truck load of recipes that will help you achieve all your health & wellness goals for 2017, including sustainable weight loss.

Buy the programme on Tuesday and start it whenever suits you but DON'T kick off this promising year by procrastinating.

Pooping fabulously is a worthy goal for 2017! 

Bad poops are often a symptom of stress, dehydration, digestive insufficiency, bacterial imbalances and/or infection (viral, parasitic or bacterial).   Bad poops are also accompanied by other digestive discomforts:  frequent bloating, burping, tooting, cramps and feelings of exhaustion particularly after meals.  

This is no way to live!  

Left too long, all these bad pooping habits lead to nutritional deficiencies because your gut gets unhealthier and more vulnerable to toxicity.  As a result, your immunity is compromised and over time this could lead to serious illness.  In fact, there is plenty of research that ties autoimmune diseases like hypothyroidism to leaky gut; and there is plenty of emerging research that even ties diseases like Alzheimers & Parkinsons to nutritional deficiencies that are rooted in a compromised digestive system.

So, don't let another day go by without fixing your poop!  Go through these profiles now and let me know how your poopy crumbles. 

1. NO POOP: If you regularly skip a day without going to the toilet - this is not normal and not good.  Your gut needs a daily clean in order to stay healthy, make immune cells and serotonin.  Constipation is a sign of food intolerance, dehydration, lack of fibre in the diet, lack of fresh fruits & vegetables and an excess of processed foods.  Regularly constipated individuals have issues detoxing cholesterol, hormones and other fat-soluble compounds like heavy metals from their body.  So if you suffer from high cholesterol, PMS, oestrogen-related illnesses or heavy metal toxicity -- an integral part of the solution is to get your POOP ON with my Reset Programme.

2. GOAT PELLET POOP:  Those tiny round balls make such a splash but are actually the most unsatisfying of all poops.  All that effort and out comes NOTHING. The Goat Pellet is almost always a sign of dehydration and my Programme goes head-to-head to transform this poop. 

3. THIN POOP:  Contrary to popular belief, thin poops do not happen when you eat less.  Unfortunately, thin poops are generally the result of a food intolerance and/or the fact that you are stressed out of your skull and your gut is literally cringing.  Lifestyle changes, like the ones I describe in my Programme, together with eliminating your highly inflammatory foods could make the world of difference.

4. MONSTER THICK POOP: These take a while to make their painful exit and are accompanied by heaves, grunts and fair amount of squinting.  When they finally do emerge, you can't believe that your belly was ever able to house such a monstrosity and you immediately weigh yourself to see if you're actually a few pounds lighter.  These Monster Thick Poops are generally not very smooth and look like a warty bitter gourd or boulderish clumps.  They are a sign of constipation (see#1 above).  This Programme prevents poop from getting impacted in the gut and taking too long to exit.  

5. SLIMY, STICKY POOP:  The kind that sometimes needs a little butt shake to let loose and leaves skid marks on the porcelain.  Slimy, sticky poop is full of undigested fats and is generally foul smelling.  You might notice mucous in it too.  Slimy poop generally also floats to the point that it's embarrassingly impossible to flush down the bowl. Not to mention the amount of toilet paper you have to go through until you get a clean wipe!  This poop is definitely the most antisocial of the lot.  It is a generally a sign of pancreatic enzyme and bile deficiency and it needs sorting out.  The GI MAP test helps you understand how strong your enzyme activity is. And that info together with the dietary, supplementation & lifestyle recommendations in my Programme could make your poop social again.

6. WATERY POOP: A.k.a diarrhea.  If this is you regularly - you need a GI MAP Stool test ASAP.  If this is you on and off for a reason you cannot specify - you also need a GI MAP Stool test ASAP.   You might also need to do some food intolerance testing to determine if something like gluten or dairy (common culprits) is setting your off.  However, you definitely need to rule out bacterial, viral and parasitic infection.  Left unchecked, you can suffer from dehydration and severe nutritional deficiencies.  Let's get you sorted.

Make 2017 your year for fabulous gut health.  GET YOUR POOP ON with me today!  

Sign up now and get Thrive's Signature POOPTASTIC Reset for HKD 450 with all the amazing discounts that come with it!  

Offer expires January 31st, 3017.  After that, it'll be on sale at the regular full price of HK$1200.

Canadian Thrivers interested in this programme, I'm adapting it for the Canadian market and offering it at CDN$50.  Please email me with your interest & questions and I'll hook you up!

If you live outside of Hong Kong or Canada, you can still benefit from this programme. Get in touch so I can do some research in your area and come up with a POOPTASTIC plan for you.

This programme is not suitable for pregnant or lactating women.  It also caters more to people who include animal protein in their diet.  If you are vegetarian or vegan and you are interested in this programme, please get in touch.   


Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice.  Need help to stay regular and improve digestion?  Contact her now.

Please join her Facebook group "Thrive Nutrition Practice" for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.






 Thrive Nutrition Practice: fighting the war on smelly toots & poops

 Thrive Nutrition Practice: fighting the war on smelly toots & poops


The Christmas meal weekend approaches and the biggest fear in everyone's mind is:


How will I get through Christmas dinner without undoing my pant button & letting out a very smelly toot or blocking the guest toilet? 


Because inevitably, there's always someone in the gathering who anonymously releases their special scent into the room or leaves to go to the powder room for an unusually long time.  And the problem really is there's not always a baby or a dog to sit next to and blame.

Aren't Christmas holidays the best?  YES THEY ARE!!!  And lucky for you, this three-step plan is is going to help keep you smelling like roses throughout the holiday season.


By the time we turn 40, our body produces less than half the stomach acid it did when we were teenagers.  That is not good news for digestion because less stomach acid means slower digestion.  Slower digestion means more chance of food putrefying in the gut, which leads to smelly toots and poops.  NOT GOOD.  Drinking a glass of water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon stimulates the production of stomach acid and the bitter from the lemon, helps your liver push out bile to emulsify the fats in the food and further improve digestion.


If I know I'm going out for a big heavy lunch or dinner, I make sure to take a little digestive enzyme pill with me and pop it in during my meal.  As we age and our digestive fire decreases, we need a little help with extra rich foods.  Digestive enzymes supplement those your body naturally produces so that you can digest and absorb your food better and more efficiently.  


If ever you needed another reason to cut coffee out of your life - let me tell you, that coffee is a massive contributor of stinky toots & poops.  It halts digestions so that your food just festers in the gut.  Instead of coffee, why not offer your guests a beautifully scented ginger-cinnamon tea to aid digestion, reduce flatulence and lower inflammation in the body.


  • 1 knob of ginger about the length of your index finger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-6 cups of freshly boiled water

Put the ginger and cinnamon in a teapot and pour over the freshly boiled water.  Cover with lid and let steep for 10-15 min.  Serve with some lemon wedges. 

These three steps together with a daily dose of fibre to help boost gut motility and keep you regular will help keep your festive home free of unwanted odours this Christmas.

This is Thrive's last post before Christmas and I'd like to take this chance to thank all of you for reading my blog, for liking mu posts, sharing them and giving me encouragement and feedback.  I love this little community and wish you all a wonderful Christmas.  See you again before New Year!


Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice.  

Please join her Facebook group "Thrive Nutrition Practice" for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.










Almost two years ago, I went to Vietnam and came back with the worst case of the runs I've ever had.  I waited a week and then when I didn't get any better, I went to the Adventist Hospital.  (For those of you reading outside of Hong Kong, the Adventist Hospital is one of the top private hospital here).

To cut a long story short, the Adventist ran 3 stool tests on me and caught nothing.  My doctor told me to do a colonoscopy and that I most likely had Irritable Bowel Syndrome ("IBS"). 

I knew in my gut (so to speak) that I didn't have IBS and I went to see Miles Price, Chief Functional Medicine Officer at Biorna Quantics.  At the time, he ran a Comprehensive Stool Analysis and lo and behold, we found 3 parasites, a whole host of bad bacteria and yeast issues.

Miles Prices helps us understand why that is.

Q:  Miles, thanks so much taking the time to help us understand our gut health better.  You helped me through that horrible gastro infection and I shudder to think what would have become of me if I had gone down the route of a colonoscopy and potential IBS misdiagnosis. Could you please explain to us in more detail why the stool test I did with you turned up the parasites, bacteria & yeast when the THREE stool tests I ran with the Adventist could not?

The standard tests you do at hospitals do not go in depth at analysing the gut microbiome. We now know that the gut microbiome houses hundreds of species of good and sometimes bad bacteria and to really appreciate accurately what is happening there it’s best to choose a specialised lab which conducts a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis. (CDSA).

The standard hospital stool test usually identifies only 1 or 2 pathogenic species together with occult blood. This really doesn’t serve any use at all from a clinical perspective as we need to explore all aspects of potential pathogenic activity. A CDSA test does analyse nearly all potential pathogens together with good bacterial counts and levels of inflammation, immune activity and digestive function.

Q:  What's amazing is how fast the technology is advancing in this field as well.  That stool test I did with you almost two years ago is no longer the best in class. Can you tell us why Biorna's GI Microbial Assay Plus ("GI MAP") is the most advanced stool test available on the market today?

Biorna's GI-MAP test covers more pathogen identification than any other CDSA test out there. When evaluating the microbiome we need to cast the net as wide as possible to see what is causing the issues. GI -MAP evaluates viral infections which no other lab does and has advanced DNA screening techniques which are more reliable at giving true positive infections in the gut.

 Q:  Is it easy to do?  

Yes – it’s just a one day sample needed. That’s it. A set of clear instructions come in the box and we even provide a link to the video that describes how to use the kit.

Q: Who performs the analysis on the samples and how long does it take to get the results?

The analysis is done by a lab in the USA called Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory and the results take around 2 weeks to return.

Q: Doing a stool test when you have an acute problem, such as a potential parasite infection, is obviously a no-brainer.  But can you describe other instances in which you would recommend a stool test?

A Stool test can be valuable when someone has general gut issues, bloating, gas intermittent bowel movement, constipation or acid reflux. Gut problems can not only arise due to pathogens, a client may have gluten sensitivity, low pancreatic output, inflammation or low good bacteria and these markers are helpful to understand when putting together a complete picture of gut health.

As we will soon (by Jan 2017) be measuring leaky gut levels, a stool test is invaluable in supporting clients with auto-immune diseases (like Hashimotos thyroiditis) as it can help find the trigger (gut pathogen) and track progress of (zonulin marker) any gut healing protocol which is given to the client.

Q:  How does the knowledge gained from the GI MAP help practitioners & clients develop a digestive health plan that works?

It helps practitioners develop a systematic protocol in removing any pathogen/ antigen which is triggering the inflammation or gut dybiosis, then rebuilding the gut with good bacteria and specific nutrients to get the gut back to normal function. It also serves as a benchmark in assisting clients understand if progress in gut healing has been successful or not, by repeating the stool analysis 3-6 months after a gut healing protocol has been implemented and seeing any improvement in the gut biomarkers.

Q:  Miles, you've got over ten years of experience in helping people deal with digestive, autoimmune and many other health issues.  How do you as Biorna's Chief Functional Medical Officer support the doctors, practitioners, nutritionists and other clinicians who use the GI MAP?  

What we offer is support in GI-MAP interpretation with specific gut healing protocols according to the clients’ needs. If the practitioner or nutritionist is looking for specific supplementation we can help with that also with supplying pharmaceutical grade supplements which support all aspects of gut health. We want to ensure that the practitioner / nutritionist has utmost confidence in conducting and interpreting the test. This will help grow their practice and reputation as a great Functional Medicine practitioner.


Thanks so much Miles for sharing your expertise with us and I look forward to working with Biorna on making the GI MAP test and your other tests available to people who want a more functional and holistic approach to their health.

Let's start the new year with an optimal plan for digestive health.

Because, we're not just what we eat.  

We are what our body is able to absorb.  

If our gut isn't working optimally, we are exposing ourselves to physical and emotional upsets.  

In honour of POOP month, I am offering my clients an exclusive 5% discount on Biorna's GI MAP test.  

Don't miss this opportunity to get to the bottom of your digestive health issues.  On the back of the results, I will develop a full nutritional protocol, complete with gut healing recipes, dietary, supplementation and lifestyle recommendations.  

Pop me an email and give yourself the gift of health this Christmas.

Offer expires on 31 January 2017.  


Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice. Please join her Facebook group "Thrive Nutrition Practice" for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.


POOP Your Way to Happiness

                                     Thrive Nutrition Practice: Get Your Poop On

                                     Thrive Nutrition Practice: Get Your Poop On


I am so excited it's POOP month!

Of the three pillars of Thrive's nutrition trifecta (SLEEPLOVEPOOP) -- POOP is definitely my favourite.  And it's even more special that POOP month has coincided with my favourite time of the year: Christmas!

Since moving to Hong Kong, I listen to Bing Crosby's White Christmas with misty eyes and think about how pretty my parent's cherry tree looks the morning after a snowfall.  But I have to say, Hong Kong does Christmas beautifully as well.  The city's decorations are gorgeous and with the temperature a balmy 15 degrees, it's even possible to look fashionable.  BUT, the one thing that seems to suffer - no matter where I'm spending Christmas - is my digestion.

All the rich food, mulled wine, mince pies, Lindt chocolate, gingerbread cookies, champagne, panettone, hot chocolate and Christmas log cakes make it so hard to keep the bloating down, the toots neutral and the morning ablutions regular.  And that's a problem because by the time the holiday season comes to an end, I've got a few angry pimples, a couple extra inches around the waist and an absolutely miserable temperament.

WHY is that?

Our gut is not just a hosepipe for our waste.  It's the centre of our immune & detox function.  Plus, 90% of our serotonin - our body's happy hormone - is made in our gut.

If our bowels aren't getting a daily cleaning, they're going to be too congested to help us make our happy hormone cocktail. And who wants to be the Grinch who stole Christmas? Or even worse - the miserable sod who shows up to work on January 2nd looking grey and pessimistic.

Over the course of this month, I'll be sharing with you my favourite tips and recipes to keep you regular over the holidays, so that you can end and start the year feeling like the Christmas Star you are.  But in this post, I just want to start off with the basics.

  • DRINK 2.5-3L OF WATER DAILY.  The number 1 reason for constipation is lack of water consumption.  I'm just over 5ft tall and I need 2.5L of water a day for my body's biochemical processes and to stay regular.  So, I'm going to go crazy and say that most of you reading this, need 3L+.  Water cannot be substituted for anything. When out for Christmas cocktails, try to have 1-2 glasses of water for every drink to help keep your body & gut hydrated and things moving along.
  • SNEAK IN SOME FIBRE.  During the holidays I like to incorporate a breakfast smoothie to the morning routine so that I can get an extra helping of fibre by adding chia seeds and flaxmeal.  If I know I'm going to be eating out or going to a cocktail, I make sure to have 1-2 tspn of psyllium hulls with a big glass water before I head out.  This gives me some comfort that my fibre intake is on track and that I'll be able to poop out any unwanted toxins the following day.
  • DAILY PROBIOTICS.  Super important to make sure that the good bacteria keeps outnumbering the bad bacteria in the gut.  The increase in sugar and refined carbs during the holidays puts you at risk for a proliferation of yeast in the gut.  And no one wants a yeast infection for Christmas!

It is so easy to get sick during the holidays.  The weather gets colder.  Our sugar consumption increases, which is bad news for immunity because sugar uses the same transporters as Vitamin C to enter your cells.  But drinking water, sneaking in some extra fibre and taking a daily probiotic will help ensure you maintain your daily bathroom date. 

So this holiday season, get your POOP on!

Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice.  Please join her Facebook group "Thrive Nutrition Practice" for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.