Meet the Team

Karen Thomson

Founder

Karen is a recovering cocaine and sugar addict, and has worked closely over the years with Prof. Tim Noakes to develop the Harmony Eating and Lifestyle Program (HELP), in conjunction with Harmony Addictions Group. HELP is the world's first inpatient program treating sugar and carbohydrate abuse as an addiction. As a health and lifestyle pioneer, Karen has been interviewed on shows such as Dr Michael Mol and Doctor's Orders, and has been featured in articles relating to sugar addictions in publications like Cosmopolitan, Women's Health and Sarie.

Karen's belief systems are based on the premise of empowering body, mind and spirit with authenticity, balance and mindfulness. She extends these principles to form the foundations of her programs, HELP and Sugar Free Revolution, as well as in her new Sugar Free: 8 Weeks to Freedom from Sugar & Carb Addiction and in her role as co-host to The First International Low Carb High Fat Health Summit.

Janelle

Biokineticist

Janelle's passion for Biokinetics lies within Chronic Disease Management and Lifestyle modifications. She believes it is imperative to look at a client individually, to slowly change behaviours and work closely with other health professionals if need be, to formulate a winning plan to achieve a happier body, mind and soul for client.

She assists her clients to achieve their goals through guided, motivated and compassionate exercise interventions in the pursuit of healthier lifestyle behaviours. Janelle completed a Bachelor of Science at Rhodes University, continuing studies at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to receive a Honours degree in Biokinetics.

After completing her Biokinetics internship at Stellenbosch University, Janelle worked at Mediclinic Panorama for one year, where she was exposed to a variety of chronic and orthopaedic conditions. She then worked in a gym environment for 3 years and became involved with HELP at the same time. She has since opened her own practice VURV Lifestyle in Hout Bay to pursue her passions and continues to work as the Biokineticist of HELP.

Farahnaaz Petersen

Addictions Counsellor and Trauma Specialist

Farahnaaz is a senior addictions counsellor and a certified Trauma Professional. She currently works as Clinical Director at Harmony Addictions Clinic. Farahnaaz has worked in the field of addiction for 15 years in various capacities. Her strength is her compassion for and insight into those who suffer from addiction and related disorders. Farahnaaz is also in recovery from addiction and an eating disorder.

Bridget Surtees

Registered Dieticians

Bridget Surtees is a Registered Dietitian. She obtained her qualification from the University of Cape Town, an undergraduate BSc and a post graduate Medical Honours in Nutrition and Dietetics. She has worked abroad in both the UK and Australia and now more recently Cape Town. Bridget has 18 years of experience as a Clinical Dietitian and has worked with people of all ages including neonates to the elderly. Her areas of expertise include Paediatric Nutrition, Eating disorders and nutritional therapy for people with the metabolic syndrome.

She believes in a whole, healthy food approach for everyone - no refined carbohydrates, no packaged foods, no added sugars. Eating this way, we will naturally be eating a lower carbohydrate and higher fat diet. She believes that there is not a “one size fits all” approach to nutrition. In some individuals, their medical history will dictate a very low carbohydrate approach to eating, where as others may tolerate higher levels.

She currently runs her own private practice and is also the resident dietitian at the Harmony Addiction Centre in Hout Bay, where she works with clients who have eating disorders and/or sugar addictions.