Groundhog BASIC – what we should all be doing all the time

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Because I constantly refer back to this basic approach, which is fundamental to my protocols,I call it Groundhog! In the film 'Groundhog Day', this refers to a time loop – this too is another sort of loop that bears constant repetition! The point here is that Groundhog done well, and in a timely manner, will prevent acute illnesses developing and chronic diseases getting a foothold.

It is also the case that Groundhog will change through life as we are exposed to new infections and as our defences decline with age.

  • All should do Groundhog BASIC all (well most) of the time
  • All should be prepared to upgrade to Groundhog ACUTE to deal with unexpected and sudden infectious challenges (get that 'First Aid box' stocked up now! See Groundhog ACUTE)
  • All will need to move to Groundhog CHRONIC as we age and acquire an infectious load

Diagram of how the Groundhogs 'work'


Groundhog BASIC

Groundhog BASIC element Comments
The Paleo-Ketogenic diet – high fat, high fibre, very low carb. Probiotic foods like kefir and sauerkraut

No dairy or grains. No snacking.

See my book My book - Paleo-Ketogenic: The Why and The How
A basic package of nutritional supplements – multi-vitamins, multi-minerals and vitamin D 10,000iu A good multivitamin and Sunshine salt 1 tspn daily with food.

A dessert spoon of hemp oil

Vitamin C Take vitamin C 5 grams little and often through the day - I suggest one teaspoon of ascorbic acid in your litre water bottle

Sleep 8-9 hours between 10pm and 7am More in winter less in summer
Exercise at least once a week when you push yourself to your limit BUT CFS/ME sufferers please see Exercise - the right sort in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome It is anaerobic exercise that produces lactic acid and stimulates new muscle fibres and new mitochondria
Herbs, spices and fungi in cooking Use your favourite herbs, spices and fungi in cooking and food, and lots of them! Yum yum.
If fatigue is an issue - address energy delivery mechanisms as best you can See my book “Diagnosing and treating Chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalitis: it's mitochondria not hypochondria”
Heat and light Keep warm. Sunbathe at every opportunity.
Use your brain Foresight: Avoid risky actions like kissing (see below!), unprotected sex.

Caution: Avoid vaccinations. Travel with care. Circumspection: Do not symptom suppress with drugs, treat breaches of the skin seriously.

Oscar Wilde knew the dangers of kissing, perhaps for different reasons than the risk of infection, when he wrote that:

“A kiss may ruin a human life”

Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance 16 October 1854 - 30 November 1900

Pregnant and breastfeeding Women and Children

All Groundhog regimes are safe, indeed desirable, for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Children under the age of 12 should halve doses of supplements and take a 'children's multivitamin' such as Biocare Children's Complete Multinutrient.


It is so important to have all the above in place and then at the first sign of any infection take vitamin C to bowel tolerance and use iodine for local infections (see Groundhog ACUTE) because:

  • You will feel much better very quickly!
  • The immune system will not be so activated that it cannot turn off subsequently. So many patients I see with ME started their illness with an acute infection from which they never recovered – the immune system stayed switched on.
  • The shorter and less severe the acute infection the less chance of switching on inappropriate immune reactions such as auto-immunity. Many viruses are associated with an arthritis – so called ”palindromic rheumatism”. I think of this as viral allergy.
  • The shorter and less severe the acute infection the less the chance that microbe has of making itself a permanent home in your body. Many diseases from Crohn’s and cancer to polymyalgia and Parkinson’s have an infectious driver.

Note – palindromic rheumatism is rheumatism that comes and goes. The word ‘palindrome’ was coined by English playwright Ben Johnson in the 17th Century from the Greek roots palin (πάλιν; "again") and dromos (δρóμος; "way, direction"). The first known palindrome, written as a graffito, and etched into the walls of a house in Herculaneum, reads thus:

“sator arepo tenet opera rotas” – “The sower Arepo leads with his hand the plough.” [idiomatic translation]

Much of the graffiti (graffito is the singular of graffiti) found in Pompeii and Herculaneum is somewhat bawdy, some of it focusing on what the local ladies of the fine houses would like to do with certain named gladiators or indeed vice-versa….the authors leave it to the readers to do their own research!

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