Meet the team

Needing an inspired supporting cast?
Look no further. The SFR team is here to guide you every step of the way.

Karen Thomson– Founder, Author and health & wellness Ambassador

Karen ThomsonKaren has 8 years of experience working at The Harmony Addictions Group in Hout Bay, Cape Town. She founded HELP: Harmony Eating & Lifestyle Program, the first sugar and carb inpatient addiction program using Low Carb High Fat nutritional approach, with Prof Tim Noakes in 2013. Her passion lies in identifying the deep-seated interest in the relationship between people’s self-belief and their addictions and assisting them in empowering themselves in body, mind and spirit.

She is also the author of the bestselling book ‘Sugar Free: 8 weeks to freedom from sugar and carb addiction’ which was published by Jonathan Ball Publishers in February 2015.

The success of HELP and her background in food addiction inspired her to initiate the inaugural Old Mutual Health Convention in Cape Town, in February 2015. The Convention sought to bring healthy eating habits to the forefront of global nutrition.


“It’s her unfailing enthusiasm and profound optimism for the future in the face of logic that makes her such a special individual!” says Prof. Noakes, when asked about what she brings to the party. “She was the star of the Convention. Her courage to stand-up for her insights into sugar addiction, despite criticism, is what gave the Convention its initial impetus.” Courtesy of The Real Meal Revolution

Emily Maguire – Qualified Nutritionist

Emily is a qualified nutritionist (holding a BSc in nutrition) with an MSc in Obesity Science and Management. Her passion lies within all things nutrition, but particularly looking at alternative dietary options available specifically for the treatment of obesity and its co morbidities.

Emily is currently on a world tour, visiting LCHF and Keto experts in every continent and soaking up as much knowledge as she possibly can.

Emily and Karen have joined forces to bring you the 30 day Sugar Free September challenge. They are also collaborating on a book which will be released internationally in 2016.

You can book a consultation with Emily here.

Jemima-Faye – Health and Fitness Ambassador

JemimaJemima-Faye is a runner, writer, entrepreneur and recovering addict living in Cape Town. Jemima struggled with eating disorders for many years until she started working the 12 Step program at the age of 19. This spiritual program found a degree of serenity, however she maintains that the real peace and freedom from obsessive food habits that she gets to enjoy today only came later; with self-discovery, mindfulness and an introduction to a sugar-free lifestyle.

Soon after taking up endurance running 3 years ago, Jemima went on the hunt for a nutritional lifestyle that would suit both her recovery and her training. She had her first introduction to a sugar and crab free life when she attended a talk by Prof Tim Noakes, a talk of principles that resonated with and worked for her. Jemima credits a LCHF lifestyle with saving her spiritual life and allowing her to successfully juggle her career, her training, her health and her ability to offer her experience and support to sugar-free initiatives.

Bridget Surtees – Registered Dietitian

Bridget Surtees
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 whereas 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.

Christopher Causey – Eating Disorder Counsellor and Trauma Specialist

Christopher received his B.A. Degree in Human Services from Saint Leo University with undergraduate focus in Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy, and his Master’s Degree at Webster University with a concentration in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral and Experiential therapies.

Chris is also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) which allows him expertise in facilitating specialized SLA and COSA groups. Chris has extensive clinical knowledge and expertise in eating disorders, trauma resolution, sex and love addiction and co-occurring addictions. With this he is able to treat many clients and conduct many different styles of groups.

Chris is also well known for his meditation and mindfulness facilitation as well as use of heart centered breath in a modified Holotropic Breathwork modality suitable for beginners, experts, and trauma survivors alike – combined with techniques of Soul Gazing and energy work.

He is frequently asked to share this technique with clients and staff. He is facilitating this practice in Intensives, the Marion County Community, the Los Angeles area, and also available for private groups (please contact for more information and availability 310.926.1369). He firmly believes in practicing a treatment modality that encourages a healing connection between mind, body, and spirit, through the efforts of fostering personal empowerment and body acceptance.

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.