FIRE Diabetes

Team Members

Meet the team behind "FIRE Diabetes in 40 Days".

Dr Stef Snyman is an Occupational Medicine Practitioner and Health Professions Educationist with a passion to help reverse insulin-resistance and the risk it poses to employee health, functioning and productivity. He works in an interdisciplinary team to solve complex problems related to insulin-resistance and other non-communicable diseases.

At ICanFunction Health, Stef heads up an international team developing cutting edge technology to enable a person to direct, own and share information related to their functioning and context. This application will facilitate a person-centred, bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to the provision of health and social services. It will act as catalyst for shared decision-making, common goal setting and the continuity of care.

Stef is married to Helena, and they have two kids, Christiaan (11) and Isobel (9).

Dr Frank Muller (or Doc Frank as he is popularly known) is a board-certified medical doctor and pharmacologist. Despite his academic background and training, he has spent the past quarter century helping thousands of people live healthier lives, free from medication, by using simple, natural solutions anyone can implement at home.

In 2002, Doc Frank was listed in “2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century” as well as “Who’s Who in the World“. He was a regular contributor to the SA Journal of Natural Medicine (while it was still in print) and other magazines and newspapers. He has been a consultant to the British Commonwealth and a guest lecturer in Community Health at the University of Stellenbosch. He is the founder and CEO of Integrow Health (Pty) Ltd, an online wellness company.

Frank is married to Ami, and at the last count they had 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls.

Dr Phumzile Mmope is a strategic communication expert, consultant and sought-after speaker on strategic and leadership communication, employee engagement and brand management. She is recognised as a highly adaptable strategy professional with a proven track record as a higher education executive director. She is passionate about inspiring, influencing and empowering leaders to communicate and lead better.

She believes that communication is a skill that can be honed, no matter how long a person has been a leader, and that leaders who communicate effectively become confident leaders who succeed in taking people with them rather than forcing change. Following a rewarding career spanning two decades in higher education, she continues to take up space as a thought-leader in strategic and leadership communications and has transitioned into strategic communications consulting.

Phumzile’s daughter, Sunshine, is the light and joy of her life. She is a student at Stellenbosch University.

Renowned TV celebrity Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, is the chef-patron at the Viande Restaurant at the newly-renovated Grande Roche Hotel (Paarl) – and of FIRE Diabetes in 40 Days!

Pete trained at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Umhlanga Rocks, Kwazulu-Natal. He lived and worked at some of the top restaurants in London for nine years. Pete returned to South Africa in 1999 and assisted in opening the restaurant at La Couronne Hotel and Winery in Franschhoek (now Mont Rochelle). Has worked in Namibia, Bangkok, Hanoi, Sydney and Oman. He launched the Kitchen Cowboys cooking workshops in 2003 in Cape Town.

Pete is author of three cookbooks, A Life Digested, Kitchen Cowboys, and Blue Restaurant. He was a judge on MasterChef South Africa for four seasons and currently judge on Ultimate Braai Master (season 6).

Pete is married to Elize.

Dr George Roux is a psychologist and pastoral therapist with a passion to care for the carers. He specialises in the management of burnout, anxiety and depression. George is a seasoned marriage counsellor.

When he is not busy in his private practice, he facilitates groups of pastors, school masters or healthcare workers to build resilience, to cope and to live full-filled lives.

George lives life to its fullest. He often goes fishing and camping. His is married for 38 years to his co-adventurer on the journey, Talma. They have 3 adult children.

Prof Gerda Reitsma is a Health Professions Educator and Higher Education specialist. She was a full-time lecturer for over 30 years at the NWU, teaching undergraduate and post-graduate students. She also established the Centre for Health Professions Education in the Faculty of Health Sciences. She has a background in nutrition and food product development, and later developed mentorship programmes for lecturers in higher education. Gerda herself has completed the FIRE journey and it is her passion to help as many people as possible to get their health back.She is currently an independent higher and health education consultant and has joined the FIRE team to add her expertise and support in developing and presenting the FIRE programme. Gerda has two adult children, a daughter who is in her final year of food photography and chef training, and a son who is married to the best daughter-in-law a mother can wish for. They are both computer engineers and work as software developers – mom’s go-to for IT help.

Dr Stephen Schmidt, physician and gastroenterologist, has been in medical practice since 2000. He also conducted research in drug development for 25 years.

Stephen’s expertise lies in helping the FIRE Diabetes team solve complex medical problems relating to the gut, liver, heart, and pancreas. He has a special interest in fatty liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and conditions related to insulin resistance.

At heart, Stephen is an educator. He taught medical students at Stellenbosch University and ran a continuous medical education academic club for 12 years. His sound knowledge of how physiology and biochemistry relate to health and disease, make him an indispensable member of our team.

“Medicine is a discipline in flux, and major changes are taking place in the approach to health. That is why I am excited to be part of the FIRE Diabetes team, to assist participants to prevent and reverse disease.

Stephen is married to Susie, and they have three adult kids (two daughters and a son).