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Sugar is Public Enemy #1 – stop blaming meat and fat!

A friend of mine shared this link with me this morning:
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/its-the-sugar-folks/
Just read the article, it's pretty clear, even though the smart ones among us have known for years that refined sugar is bad news, here is yet more evidence, but will anyone listen?

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Over-coming a ‘sweet tooth’

Earlier, I found myself dipping a teaspoon into the jar of chocolate spread (kept in JUST for the kids you understand...and actually it wasn’t a teaspoon, it was my finger, but I was trying to sound civilized and sophisticated and not admit to behaving in a way that my mother would be ashamed of...) and thinking ‘Damn, why am I craving something sweet today? I thought that if I ate enough protein and fat, and ate plenty of good natural healthy food so that I wasn’t hungry, then I wouldn’t still crave sweet things…?’ and I was instantly agitated and cross with myself, and spent the next ten minutes beating myself up mentally for my own weakness.

To be clear, since I gave up grains and other starchy carbs, my cravings for sweet tastes have subsided a lot

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Rapid Crash Weight Loss – is there a healthy way?

I received an amusing email today. A friend who is single suddenly has a hot date lined up and wants to quickly lose weight and look tip-top as rapidly as possible. The email said (slightly tongue-in-cheek of course) "Any thoughts on how I lose 3 stone in 5 days?" and I laughed, a lot.

I can totally empathise with this situation. I have found myself in a similar situation many times in my life when I have had occasion to suddenly panic at the thought that I have some hot date or important meeting coming up when I want to look my best and there is no time to lose weight and get in shape. I am sure most of us can empathise with this feeling to some degree.

It may be a date with a hot woman

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Train hard, eat well, sleep

I trained hard today, in my home gym, lots of body-weight moves, but using my OLD body weight. I have a weight vest which puts 5 stones (70 pounds, 32 kilos) extra on my frame. I like to exercise wearing this vest, as it reminds me that I lost all that fat, and more, over the years.

No wonder I found 20 push-ups hard work back then. 20 push-ups now wearing that vest is hard work! Without the vest, I can bang out sets of 50 no problem, but the vest really makes a big difference, just 20 is hard work.

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Exercise while you travel

When away from home, as well as finding it harder to stick to a clean diet, many people find it harder to fit in regular exercise.

While I was on holiday with my family, I didn't have my home gym available, and there was not a commercial gym to be found for miles around, so I had to improvise. The good thing about being experienced in using my own body weight for exercise, is that I can usually work out any time, any place, without too much trouble.

Squat the kids!

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Giving things up…

MND is all about giving things up, it's 'the diet of reduction', it's all about keeping things simple and getting back to basics.

When taking on MND as a change in lifestyle, you will give up many things that are not nourishing you.

Interestingly, a friend of mine raised a good point last week, that when embarking on a new ‘diet’, or healthy eating plan, or exercise regime, many people focus all their attention on the things they are giving up, and not on the things they will gain. I think this is a key point where so many people fail on ‘diets’

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Horse meat in our food supply – why you only have yourself to blame, Joe Public

I have been avoiding writing about this horse meat scandal in the UK, but I can’t keep quiet about it any longer.

I am not the only nor the first to voice the broad opinion that ‘you the people wanted cheap food, you wanted to be able to buy a microwave dinner for 99p, you wanted a whole box of frozen burgers for just £1.99, what the hell did you think you were getting? Did you relay expect high food safety and quality standards when you were demanding such ridiculously cheap goods?’ I want to say ‘Shut up and quit complaining, you get what you pay for in life.’ But that doesn’t say enough, to state it like that sounds aggressive and ignorant, when perhaps ignorance is the problem in the first place, so this needs a little more explanation.

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Naturally reared meat versus ‘junk meat’

With my deep interest in nutrition and good health, I have obviously read many books about food and whether or not we should eat meat, versus a vegetarian diet. There are many books, The China Study (largely the text behind the movie “Forks over Knives”) being one of the most prominent examples, which show the virtues of avoiding meat, and these books promote a vegetarian diet.

Obviously, I am a meat eater, and I do enjoy meat, I like the taste and I have found myself left wanting when I have lived on a vegetarian diet in the past. But I don’t eat meat JUST because I like the taste, and if I saw evidence that I genuinely believed, proving that meat was bad for me, compelling me to reduce my intake of animal products, then I would consider cutting right back on my meat consumption or even giving it up altogether.

Show me the evidence

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The 3 major problems with most ‘diets’ and health ‘experts’

I think that most ‘experts’ in health, diet and nutrition are well-intentioned, but many are making the whole healthy lifestyle thing more complicated than it needs to be.

As you can imagine, with my passionate personal interest in all things to do with health, nutrition, food and longevity, I read a LOT of books, blogs, articles and magazines, and I listen to many hours of videos, presentations and seminars on health related topics. I have to say, the vast majority of the material I read and listen to, fails to win my complete support because of any one or more of these 3 most common problems.

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We wouldn’t feed pizza to a rhino, so why are we feeding it to our children?

Think about the so-called food available to us today.

Imagine you are visiting the zoo, and you see the zoo keepers feeding the animals. They put the food out for the big rhino, buckets of roughly chopped up vegetables, perhaps some pieces of fruit, and all seems well. During a demonstration talk, the keeper offers the rhino a jam doughnut as he cracks some joke about "even this big guy likes a treat each day" and most of the spectators laugh as the rhino eagerly gobbles down the doughnut. A few people would quietly be thinking 'you shouldn't give things like that to an animal, it's cruel' but they don't say anything, they keep their opinions to themselves for fear of appearing to be an extremist.

But now let's say things are different, let's picture a different scenario. Imagine if our rhino is kept in his muddy, grassy enclosure and fed bucket loads of pizza, burgers, chips, pies, pastries, cakes, ice cream, chocolate bars and biscuits. Every day the public visit this zoo and watch the keepers fill our rhino's drinking trough with cola or beer or milkshake, and the ground of his enclosure is littered with chewing gum, pizza crusts, cheese sandwiches and cookies. What would the vast majority of zoo visitors say then?

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KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

You know, everyone wants to try to over-complicate this whole health and weight loss thing, but in my opinion, that just isn't necessary.

I often feel sorry for ordinary folks trying hard to lose weight and be healthy, but stuck in the quagmire of books, diet programs, conflicting advice, confusing messages, and so on. Of course, all these celebrities, doctors, publishers, companies (who make supplements) all offer their big complex 'solutions' because they are trying to make money - diet books sell, supplements sell, pills that promise to increase the rate at which you burn fat, sell.

The truth is, in my opinion, that 99% of all that stuff is just not necessary.

Caveman didn't need a 'diet system' to be healthy

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Eating a Paleo Diet

If you have read the Rules and My Story pages on this site, by now you will understand that I am a big fan of the primal/paleo movement, but I want to be clear about what this all means to me.

I broadly agree with all the fundamental principles of the paleo movement, but I think there are a lot of people out there who have jumped on the paleo bandwagon as 'the new Atkins' diet and they are using this as an excuse to feast daily on bacon and steak and all-you-can-eat meat, but they are paying little attention to the health aspects of living a life more in sync with our bodies natural biological origins.

True paleo means a deep respect and connection with Mother Nature

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What to eat for Dinner

As I noted in the previous post, talking about lunch, my evening meal is NOT my main meal of the day. I have my main meal at lunchtime, and I eat quite light in the evenings. This works for me in lots of ways, and I have been doing it for several years now and have got quite used to it. Now, I hate to eat a big meal in the evening, and go to bed feeling full, it disrupts my sleep and makes me feel fat and uncomfortable.

I like to go to bed feeling, well not hungry, but ‘bordering on getting peckish’. I admit it’s a bit of a balancing act...go to bed too late and hunger starts getting to me before I have a chance to fall asleep! But if I get it right, I sleep so much better and wake feeling clean, lean, empty. No more sweating in the night. No more feeling dry and thirsty in the night. Digestion is one of the most intensive internal processes in your body, your digestive system uses a huge amount of your own energy...it’s thirsty work, and demands water to help, hence why we often wake thirsty and dry in the middle of the night after a big evening meal.

Vegetable soup

So in the evenings, I have a bowl of homemade vegetable soup most days...

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What to eat for Lunch

Any of you regular readers will have seen numerous posts before detailing some of the meals I make myself for lunch.

I acknowledge that as a self-employed home-based worker, I have the flexibility to make lunch my main meal of the day, which is something many of you would struggle with, if you are based in an office, shop, factory or warehouse. I appreciate that flexibility. But still, you can copy some of my lunch ideas, cook them at the weekends and take them in to work, eat them cold, microwave reheat them, or just use them for your dinner ideas.

For me, lunch is my main meal of the day. Because I am home based, I tend to work out in the middle of the day (not every day, I also train first thing in the morning some days) and then I have a large late lunch, my post-training meal and biggest meal of the day. But your routine might be different. Maybe you go to the gym after work, then have your main meal as your evening meal, so just take these lunch ideas and make them your dinner ideas. Not really rocket science, is it?

Post-workout protein

Lunch needs to contain a big hit of protein for me.

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What to eat for Breakfast

One thing people ask me often is what food I eat on a daily basis – people seem to want more recipes, more actual meal ideas. OK, that’s easy, so let me give you some more ideas by running through a typical week.

Breakfast is difficult for a lot of people – time constraints are often a problem, and a lot of people can’t handle a big breakfast, and other people can’t face cooked food first thing in the morning, preferring something cold and simple. My favourite breakfast is a smoothie, and I start the day with a smoothie several times per week. My other favourite breakfast is eggs, and I have eggs several days per week too.

Sample smoothie ideas...

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Is it Healthy to be a Tough Guy?

Tough Guy race, winter edition, Jan 2013.

On the last Sunday in January, I ran in the Tough Guy winter race, which was a cold, muddy race on a farm near Birmingham. I have run a few off-road events before, so the mud and the 'puddles' were nothing new to me, but Tough Guy has a well-earned reputation for being the hardest event of the genre, worldwide, and it deserves that reputation, it is a tough challenge and many fail to complete the whole course. Of the 5000 crazy men and women who entered the race, only 4500 started, and only 3500 finished.

I enjoyed it, for the most part, as much as anyone can enjoy the cold water. I guess we rarely truly enjoy these things at the time, but I do feel very pleased and proud with myself afterwards! But there was one bit that was an extremely unwelcome surprise.

The torture chamber

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WoW – Workout of the Week

This week, I am working out first thing every day…I have so much work to do, if I don’t get my exercise in early morning then I just know that it won’t happen at all.

I am up sharp at 6am every morning this week, and straight out in the dark, jogging over to the rugby club near my home, which is just half a mile away, and then I run laps of the 2 fields near the entrance.

At the start of the lap, there is a high gate, and then at the other end, so halfway round the lap, I set up a big heavy tractor tyre sitting on the grass in my path. On each lap I flip the tyre 10 times over, then run on to the gate end, where I put my feet up on the gate (about chest high) and do 25 decline push-ups.

The workout

I run 8 laps, so the total workout is...

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Moving this blog to a new home

When I set up MotherNaturesDiet.com, about 9 months ago, it was my first blog ever, and I knew nothing about blogging, so I was just learning as I went along. I thought a blog, was a blog, was a blog, and I was not aware of the massive differences between the different blogging sites and the software they use.

It turns out, I picked a rubbish place to start, and that's why this site is so ugly!! I have learned since then, and I recently built a new site at www.KarlWhitfield.me using WordPress, and it is SO much nicer and SO much more professional, the new site looks clean and smart, so I am going to now totally start again with MND.com and create this over on WordPress too.

I have registered www.MotherNaturesDiet.me on WordPress, and I will start building there. Once I have moved the whole thing over, then I will redirect this domain name to point at the new site, so eventually (and this could take easily 6 weeks or more to complete) then both domain names will all end up in the same place, and this ghastly green mess can be closed down!

So I won't be posting much over the coming weeks, sorry, but there is already about 100,000 words on here, and the more I add, the more I will have to then move to the new site, so it makes sense to stop adding here, and just get "settled into my new home" so to speak then start again.

Making MND my permanent lifestyle

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