The first time I walked into Longiva, I looked and felt like a pufferfish. I was overweight, and everything hurt – my knees, my ankles, everything. I was wobbling around like an old lady. Even my socks were getting too tight for me and I had to get my wedding ring cut off. I was in dire need of some help.

The weight gain caught me off guard. I had no idea what was happening. Just eight months ago, I had been at my goal weight of 64 kilos. I was fit and certainly not limping around. I had gone from trim to blob.

What I really couldn’t understand was why I had gained 10kgs practically overnight. I was still exercising every day – riding, squash, treadmilling, walking, etc. and following a high fat, low carb diet, but I was suddenly overweight.

I looked like a person who binged on Netflix and pizza, even though this couldn’t be further from the truth. I didn’t recognise my pufferfish reflection. Who was this person who had taken over my body?

I was beyond frustrated – I really couldn’t exercise any more than I already was and my diet, as far as I knew, was healthy.

At first, I blamed it on middle-age – at 53 it must be menopause. Everyone gains weight as they get older, right? Tests later on showed this to be true (to an extent.) My hormones were running wild, causing me to gain weight and all this pain I was in, but I’m jumping ahead. The point was that I was not about to resign to being fat and wobbling around.

I realised that there was no way I could fix this on my own, so I made an appointment with Dr. du Plessis, integrative health expert, and Ezette Oosthuizen, registered dietician at Longiva. I wasn’t looking for a quick fix but I did want to figure out what was going on so that I could get back to my old self.

Through the powerful combination of science, as well as good old-fashioned talking and really listening to me to get a true sense of who I am as a whole (mind, body and spirit) they got to the bottom of it.

A DNA test (which sounds really scary but it’s not) gave the the scientific facts about what was going on. It clearly showed what foods I could eat and which foods I should avoid.

In addition to the DNA test, Ezette prescribed an Elimination Diet with recipes that were really a game-changer for me. It seemed that I was allergic to cheese. I found this incredible as I have loved cheese all my life and never had allergic reaction to it, or so I thought. I never felt hungry or deprived during the Elimination Diet and the weight was finally coming off! My joints felt less strained and I regained all of my energy and some more.

But it was more than just the diet, Ezette and Dr. du Plessis were incredibly supportive throughout this entire process. Dr. du Plessis always got back to me when I had a question or a concern and

Ezette was a true cheerleader throughout the process. She tweaked recipes for me and answered my e-mails. Her care made all the difference between staying the course or not. She didn’t just send me a diet and leave it at that. She supported me the entire time – I never felt alone.

Ezette inspired incredible changes in my diet and in my life. For example, I’ve always had at least 6-8 cans of Diet Coke a day for the last 25 YEARS! With her support and help, I’m now down to ZERO and I don’t even miss it!

Thanks to the honest care and commitment of Dr. Du Plessis and Ezette Oosthuizen who were determined to figure out why I had become a pufferfish in pain, I am no longer one and I’m nearly back to my goal weight and old self.I owe them a debt of gratitude



10 + 13 =



Dr Gys did an assesment and he prescribed vitamins and supplements for me, and I’ve been taking them now fo 30 days. I feel fantastic, I really do. I feel like I have the old Julie back! JULIE GRIMSHAW YOU MAY ALSO LIKE Longiva Medical Institute is an integrative...

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Your health will always come first. Their expertise is remarkable, facilities pristine and yet the most welcoming rooms. Always a great experience! ALICJA GRZESIAK YOU MAY ALSO LIKE Longiva Medical Institute is an integrative health and wellness clinic designed with...

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Longiva Medical Institute is an integrative health and wellness clinic designed with the modern individual in mind.


152 Western Service Road, 
Woodmead, Johannesburg, 
South Africa