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Motivation: it doesn’t matter WHERE you get it, just that you DO

There is a saying 'Motivation: it doesn't matter WHERE you get it, just that you DO' and I tend to agree.

One thing I know we all suffer from is body dysmorphia - where we see something in the mirror that isn't really there. Often, women see themselves fat and saggy, when in fact that look fabulous, and men all think they look like Sly Stallone when they actually look more like the Michelin man.

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Easter Egg Hunt

In my opinion, the tradition of having eggs at Easter has a lot more to do with MotherNaturesDiet than it does have to do with any religious connection to the 'festival' of Easter. Some say that eggs are a symbol of re-birth, and eggs have been given as gifts, as symbols of new life, for many hundreds of years. Maybe there is some truth to that, but I think there Easter Egg Hunt tradition has more to do with Mother Nature than anything else.

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Avoiding injuries, training and eating ‘caveman style’

One year ago this day, I fractured my spine in two places falling 6 foot onto a concrete floor while training.

To be honest, I have a very high pain threshold, but that accident did hurt quite a lot. Especially after 24 hours, then it really kicked in and for a week or so all movement was very painful and very difficult and very limited.

I guess there is a certain amount of potential danger involved in the way I train. I climb rocks and trees, dangle from branches and bars, jump over things and run over uneven grass and mud. I have suffered a number of injuries, such as twisted ankles, stress fracture in my tibia, shin splints, fractured rib, several fractured fingers and toes, a couple of muscle sprains, compressed disc in my back, muscle spasms and the obvious trashed knee (from running, I had surgery last year) and a variety of cuts and scratches.

Life can be dangerous

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Doing Nothing is a Backward Step

A friend reminded me of this line of thought yesterday, so I thought I would blog about this today.

My friend lamented that he had previously worked hard for 10 months to improve his physical conditioning, but then just 3 months of taking his eye off the ball and all his hard work was lost.

Let me give you an analogy that might resonate with some of you. This is a running story, and I wrote this for a business book I published back in 2009, but it is very relevant to diet and exercise and how we treat our health and our bodies in general.

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Beauty Magazines and Media Pressure

This image tells us a lot about the insane state of the media today. The image shows a fit, sexy, healthy, slim model in the shower, comparing the original image as shot by a photographer on the left (wearing green), and the image on the right (wearing white) is the Photo-shopped version that made it into print.

What does it tell us about modern society, that this woman’s body was ‘not good enough’ for print without the help of Photoshop to make her skin impossibly smooth and evenly tanned?

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Focus on what really matters

If we accept that the broad purpose of 'charity' at a worldwide scale, is to save lives and reduce pain and suffering, then we are at a time when we need to drastically reconsider how we are directing the help we give.

At the end of 2012, there were approximately 905 million undernourished people on the planet. That number is slowly shrinking, by approximately 1 person every 5 seconds. That's 6 million less starving people every year. If we continue at that pace, and if global warming, changing climate patterns and fossil fuel shortages don't cause any new problems greater than they already create today, then in 150 years there will be no more starving people on this planet.

A planet of two halves - too little and too much

But, right here, right now, worldwide 10.7 million people will have died of hunger in the last year.

There are also 1,567 million overweight people on the planet. 522 million of them are obese. Yes, there are more than half a BILLION obese people on Earth.

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Rant - the straight facts

I don’t like to use my blog to rant, but sometimes I feel the need, and it is, after all, MY blog. If I rant and no one comes here anymore to read it, then I learn something. If I rant and lots of people come and read it, then you learn something. Either way, it’s progress.

I never rant at any individual personally, but some days I get wound up, people say things to me and no matter how much I try to help, they just don't seem to listen to common sense. So I feel like ranting today.

I’ve been writing this blog for over half a year now. I’ve been learning about health and nutrition and healthy eating for many years. I spent 20 years being mostly unhealthy. I spent almost a decade trying to get things right, but failing. I have finally spent the last 7 years getting it right. I went from 20 years as an over-weight smoker, a BMI that said I was obese, years of pretty heavy drinking, to a lean, slim, healthy, marathon running fitness freak.

School of life

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Is Free Range Meat Expensive?

I am often asked about the cost of free-range, outdoor-reared, organic meat. Many people question if it costs too much to eat the MND way.

I admit that some organic food is expensive, and some free range meat is expensive, but honestly, personally, I think the investment in my health is worth it. I buy food that nourishes my body, I know the animals have been treated properly, with some dignity and respect, and I know the life of that animal, and hence the food I am eating, has been lived more in tune with nature.

The picture shows a lunch I cooked last week. Pork and greens, quick, simple, yummy. I put a drizzle of olive oil in the pan, chopped up a leek first and threw that in, then I chopped up my pork tenderloin, threw that in, then a handful of kale chopped up (I keep telling you I eat either kale or broccoli every day of my life, often both, often multiple times! I had kale in all my meals the day I made this!)

Quick and cheap, for my main meal of the day

This took less than 5 mins to prepare, and max 5 mins to cook.

My pork tenderloin weighed 395 grams raw (about a pound) it cost just £3.65

So this lunch cost about £4 quid in total, and it was tasty, natural and nutritious. I sprinkled on some black pepper and a sprig of parsley, easy, quick, tasty. No additives. No chemicals...there was even some free mud on my kale. Perfect, I didn't even wash it off.

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Drinking bleach…and other bright ideas…


Today I was thinking, most of the poor health habits that most people engage in, do not have immediacy in the link between cause and effect. There is a crucial disconnect – time.

So some actions that are bad for you, link cause and effect with immediacy. For example, how about stabbing yourself in the arm with a sharp knife. There is an immediate time-connection between the action and the result, the cause and the effect. As you stick the knife in your skin, there is instant pain, then bleeding, then the more you push it in, the more pain, as muscles are cut, and nerves, and down to bone…yeah, you get the message, you’d stop pretty quick right?

Similarly, drinking a bottle of bleach. There is immediacy, an instant connection between the action (cause) and the result (effect). You start drinking, it tastes disgusting, you gag, as you drink, you will start vomiting almost immediately, as your body instantly recognises that it is poison and tries to eject it as fast as possible, to stop it getting any further inside you. Your body knows how bad it is for you, and tries to immediately get it out, violently and rapidly. (Notice any similarity with alcohol?)

So people (most people) don’t purposefully stab themselves with sharp knives or drink a bottle of bleach very often, because they know that there is an instant connection between doing these stupid things and feeling pain and ill-health.

But what if the reaction is somewhat slower?

But there are many less dramatic things that many of us do almost every day, that have a detrimental effect on our health, but the effect lacks immediacy, so we do not see the connection in the same way.

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Most ‘diets’ go wrong in the supermarket

Most diets go wrong in the supermarket...

...or at the corner shop, or the snack shop, convenience store or coffee shop.

You see, healthy eating and healthy living doesn’t happen by accident. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, you have to plan, you have to prepare to succeed. You can’t just leave healthy eating to chance and hope it works out OK.

Big Sugar, Inc.

Sadly the modern Western world doesn’t work that way. It takes planning to avoid 'big sugar'.

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RANT - good health is SO SIMPLE!

I have spent this evening, as I spend many evenings, researching a variety of health related topics. I have been watching a number of videos and reading a few books, all written by or featuring well-qualified and well-respected doctors and scientists. They are all driving me crazy!!

I know I still have a lot to learn, about human biology, about physiology, nutrition, medicine, blood, muscles, food, nature...I will spend my life learning and I am sure I will never know it all. But really, if one more person says that healthcare “stands at the door of a new era” or “we face a paradigm shift in our understanding of human health” or “years of research into human genomics is helping us to unlock the secrets” then I will scream...oh really come ON people!

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New research linking processed meat to increased risk of death

This news story was in the UK papers today, about new research linking processed meat consumption to an increased risk of death.

Several friends have asked for my opinion on this. Personally, as you know, on MND, I don’t touch ‘junk meat’, so it is not a concern for me. I have looked at the reports in the papers – see links at bottom of this article – and I have looked into the research and the original results, to form my own opinion.

Of course, I broadly agree with the notion that processed meats are bad for us. No surprise there, I don’t eat that garbage and MND recommends that you don’t eat it either. The scrappy off-cuts of meat that food manufacturers put into cheap sausages, cheap pork pies and other cheap meats, just like those 99p frozen lasagne dishes with horse meat in them, are the trash end of the meat market, and MND advices you to completely avoid such products.

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My Stats and Blood Test Results - Science Warning!

For any of you who are regular readers of this blog, you will know by now that MotherNaturesDiet is not just another weight-loss fad diet, and it's not just another 'build-a-6-pack' exercise program.

MotherNaturesDiet is a lifestyle, a way to live for supreme good health, abundant energy and healthy longevity. MND is about eating a healthy natural diet, using and moving your body in a variety of healthy ways, it's about getting back in tune with nature and respecting our planet and the other creatures we share it with.

How do we measure 'Good Health'?

MND is about natural good health, and I feel very healthy, but how can I be sure that I AM healthy? There are many ways to measure our health, so I am trying to build a good overall picture of how healthy I really am at the end of 20912 and the start of 2013, after living the MND way for the last year.

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Stop overeating: switch to eating simpler meals using fewer ingredients

I recently wrote about how so many people opt for sugar-laden tasty foods in preference to vegetables, in large part because their media-shrivelled brains crave constant hit after hit, and sweet tasty foods is one big way to get that hit. People have forgotten that food is really just fuel, it is there to sustain us living and breeding and functioning. But for far too many people, food (and the art of creating a meal) has become a leisure activity in its own right.

To many people, eating has become a hobby, a favourite pastime, and a distraction from the many areas of their lives that are less than fully satisfying. In my opinion, (and you must remember that everything on this blog is just that, a collection of my personal opinions) food is just fuel, and it is not meant to be a hobby to indulge in every day.

I have nothing against preparing a delicious meal for a gathering of friends. The 'tribal feast' has surely been a part of human culture since long before we developed language, agriculture and society. No doubt tribes would gather and feast after a successful collaborative hunt millions of years ago. I too enjoy cooking a feast for visitors and enjoying a tasty meal with several courses as the centre of such a social gathering…but I’m talking once or twice per month, not 7 days per week. Too many people treat their evening meal as the highlight of their day, and they focus their attention and energy on preparing that meal and making it as tasty, fancy and satisfying as possible.

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Hot steamy sex…(and steaming hot broccoli)

I thought I should write a headline to get your attention, I hope it worked.

You know, I have noticed that the most popular posts, the ones that are read by the most people, have the most interesting or sexy or controversial headlines.

If I write "Recipe of the week” or “Practical cooking tips” or “Useful exercise advice” then very few people show much interest. If I write something with an interesting title about age, sex, dining out, alcohol, money...these subjects get much more interest. This trend is more visible and prevalent on the MND Facebook page than it is on here.

Now of course, this is nothing new...we all know that 'bad news sells newspapers' and we know that 'sex sells' and we know that gossip and scandal keep the tabloids in print, but it also raises a far more serious underlying trait of human behaviour, and one of the key reasons so many diets fail, and why so few people ever achieve the health or the body they dream of.

The sad truth is...

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Sick of Eating Meat!!!

This ‘headline’ will get the attention of my vegetarian friends!!

I trained hard early this morning, then came home and needed a good breakfast to feed my body after training, and to nourish me for the day, as I went out rock climbing all day and I knew I probably wouldn’t get the chance to eat much during the day.

As you know, if you have been reading this blog, I eat a lot of meat. Animal products make up about 50% of my diet (measured by calories) and fruit and veggies make up the other half. I like meat and when I started on my ‘paleo’ journey it seemed like a treat to have so much tasty meat in my diet...succulent roasts for lunch, juicy sausages and eggs for breakfast, tasty chicken any time, any day, any meal. But I have to say, since I massively ramped up my meat intake about 10 months ago, that novelty has now worn off, and while I still enjoy the majority of my meals, there are days I feel like I can’t handle any more meat!!

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Just Do It. Eat clean. Workout. No more excuses!

Just the other day, I was having a conversation with someone about motivation. This person was like a walking, talking book of excuses...oh, no sorry they were not excuses, to this person they were 'legitimate reasons' why those healthy meals didn't get cooked, 'good reasons' why the wrong things seemed to be in the kitchen cupboards and the fridge, 'genuine reasons' why those hard sweaty workouts were not happening, 'real reasons' why that belly was still hanging over the trousers.

So often, many of us talk a ton of bullshit to everyone who will listen, and we talk the most bullshit to ourselves. I know, I've been there, done that, for years, as I ate pizza, drank beer and rolled up another cigarette I would trip out all the reasons why I hadn't worked out that day or why I 'needed' that beer and that cigarette to unwind from my stressful day.

Bullshit. There are no reasons, just bullshit excuses. In truth, it's all about priorities.

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Controversial Rant - The Diet Industry is ONE BIG CON!!!

Some days I get REALLY annoyed about the whole 'diet industry', it makes me so angry that there is so much misinformation out there. I was looking at another nutrition training course the other day, costing a couple of thousand dollars, and selling itself as ‘cutting edge’ and ‘representing the new paradigm’ in diet and nutrition. This drives me crazy, really, there is NO cutting edge, NO new paradigm, there are no ‘amazing secrets’ or ‘miracle cures’...this is all just marketing speak to get you to buy diet books, supplements, powders, potions and fad exercise equipment.

I get so frustrated – we shouldn’t be looking for ‘the cutting edge’, or ‘the latest thing’, there is no ‘21st century solution’, in fact I would say the majority of the human population has never been so malnourished as they are now, they – WE – have never eaten so badly as we do now...yet at the same time, more humans eat more calories than ever. People are stuffed and fat, but malnourished at the same time, and hence suffering from such a wide array of health complaints, diseases and physical malfunction.

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How can I help you?

Your you have any health related questions you want to ask me?

How can I help you?

What questions do you have about health, nutrition, disease prevention, having more energy and passion, exercise and natural healthy living?

What health challenges do you face?

What diet/cooking/food questions do you have?

What exercise challenges do you face?

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MotherNaturesDiet is a Lifestyle, not a temporary diet

I have been looking and studying, for years, other ‘diet solutions’ and ‘weight loss programs’ and healthy living sites and blogs, and I have been thinking about MotherNaturesDiet and the 12 Core Principles.

When I set up MND, I used the word ‘diet’ in its correct form, meaning ‘the way we should nourish ourselves and the range of food we should eat permanently’ not in its misused modern form ‘a temporary restriction of calories so you can squeeze your fat butt into those new jeans for your summer holiday.’

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