Skip to content

Archive for

What’s gone wrong with our food?

What’s gone wrong with our food? Why are we so obsessed with nutrients?

For tens of thousands of years we humans were quite happy and quite healthy (and of mostly fairly normal body weight) just eating real whole foods, namely plants and animals.

Then ‘they’ came along and started poking around with microscopes and test tubes and Bunsen burners, and suddenly everything was broken down into science, and eventually they vilified animal fats. So everyone cut out animal fats, and fat was labelled bad, but the finger pointed specifically at saturated fat from animal sources. So people ate less red meat, and they cut out butter and in response the food companies made margarine, and started adding lots of extra sugar (because with no fat, the food tasted bland) and these odd ‘engineered chemical fats and oils’ to various foods. Then after a decade or two eating those, as people got fatter and diabetes and heart disease rates soared, then they changed stance, and now trans fats and cheap vegetable oils are vilified as the baddies, so we should all go back to butter and ditch the margarine.

And the people asked “But we stopped eating animal saturated fats, years ago, because they were bad…right?”

The people wanted to know “what is it that is supposed to be so wrong with animal foods? How come all that research linked high rates of disease to the consumption of animal foods?” Read more

London Marathon 2014 Training Plan

I ran a nice half marathon in the SUN shine this morning – yes, SUN! Wow, that was a real treat after the last few weeks/months!

I ran a decent pace, not fast but not slow, running an average of 8:16 min/miles, which equates to a full marathon time of 3:37, which is a good solid time.

http://www.strava.com/activities/113607387?fb_source=708 (this link should take you to my run on Strava – sorry if you can’t see it, maybe only people who are registered on Strava can see it???) Read more

Do supplements work?

As you know, here at MND I take a pretty hard line on supplements – personally, I believe that unless you are an extreme athlete, or suffering from ill health and need to repair, or living in/through particularly hard times or a tough environment, then I don’t think supplements are needed for MOST people. I believe that if you are healthy, and eating a balanced healthy diet, following the 12 Core Principles of MotherNaturesDiet then really supplements should not be necessary.

Supplements companies quote a lot of very ‘borderline’ research in their marketing materials, and they often use very ‘suggestive language’ and desirable images to convince you to buy the products.

This graphic is VERY interesting!! supplements snake oil

This chart shows a large number of popular supplements that are available, plotted in rank of how much real scientific evidence there is to support their effectiveness. (This graphic is not from me here at MND, full credit to the source, with thanks.)

Supplements ‘have a place’ in helping people heal from ill health, or in helping athletes perform at the highest level (in terms of replacing minerals lost in extreme training, mostly), but for most people, I think supplements are a waste of money.

I think a good clean diet high in top-quality organic whole foods, gives you all you need.

A few supplements are worth having. For example, many of us do NOT live near the sea and do not get enough fresh fish in our diet (me included!) so a daily cod liver oil supplement makes good sense. And while I think I personally eat a great diet rich in anti-oxidants (I estimate I eat 10 to 12 portions of fruit and veg per day, mostly veg), for most people there is a strong case for including more anti-oxidants in your diet.

Still, in my opinion, most supplements are ‘expensive urine’ – the body does not metabolise the nutrients the same in supplement form as it does in whole foods, and for many/most people, half the supplements ends up down the toilet within a few hours.

Previous posts about supplements that you may like to see:

Beware of health and wellness industry rip offs

Meal Replacement Drinks – the Bad, The Worse and The Plain Ugly

 

It’s the sugar!

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have written about sugar MANY times before.

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

Health warnings on foods containing sugar and artificial additives

Sugar and the Insulin Response – in plain, simple English

Of course, if you follow a healthy lifestyle, then you likely already know that refined white sugar is the ‘villain of the hour’ in the health and wellness industry, and quite rightly so! For the last few years, the evidence against sugar as the real ‘bad boy’ of the modern Western diet has been mounting.

Following that trend, you will be interested to see the results of a new research study that was posted just last week. The authors of the study wanted to see if the ‘anti-sugar rumours’ were based in truth, so they set out to study links between sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the United States, collecting and collating data from several surveys published between 1988 and 2010. Read more

Stand Up!

Lower back pain is a major health problem for many millions of people. Along with colds and flu, lower back pain is one of the biggest causes of lost working time in the Western world today. In my opinion, ‘most’ straightforward lower back pain problems are caused by sedentary lifestyles, poor posture, people spending far too many hours sitting down, and too many people having ‘uneven weight distribution’ in the form of a big fat belly! That comment is slightly tongue-in-cheek, I am not a qualified back-care specialist, and I appreciate that there are many other reasons for back pain. The spine is a complex structure, and the ‘core’ of a human, and understanding backs is a complex science for which I am not trained.

However, I think sedentary lifestyles and desk jobs, and comfy sofa’s in front of the TV, have created a generation of people who spend the majority of their waking hours sitting down, and this causes a lot of lower back problems. I personally suffered from lower back ache for several years. I had a ‘desk job’ between 1998 and 2006, and in those 8 years, my weight fluctuated between ‘normal’ and ‘overweight’ to just touching ‘obese’ in 2003 and again in 2005/6. Over that time, the combination of a 20-pound belly out front, and sitting on my behind for 15 hours per day, I suffered my share of lower back pain. Nothing debilitating, just a near-constant low level ache, worse on some days than others. Read more

Act BEFORE disaster strikes…don’t wait UNTIL it happens

Earlier today, a friend reminded me just how hard it is to convince people to make healthier diet choices while those people are seemingly healthy and active.

The trouble is, the net effect of poor dietary and lifestyle choices may be doing harm on the inside for many years, without those ill effects showing up on the outside. The body may be doing it’s job, keeping things working inside, but the damage is likely accumulating, out of sight, out of mind.

I really want to help people, long term, to understand this point. Ignoring health advice and warnings (about sugar, alcohol, nicotine, processed food, additives, the sodium nitrite in processed meats, etc.) now, can and almost certainly will, cause an accumulation of toxic side effects inside the body. In time, these affect “gene expression”, and rising cancer rates, among other major health problems, are a direct effect of this scenario. I want people to understand that waiting til the Dr says “I’m sorry Mr/Mrs X, but we have found a mass on your scan.” is TOO LATE. People get the bad news, then start shouting “why me?” And “it’s not fair” and “help me NOW”

They are right, it’s sad and not fair, but it happens, and global cancer rates are forecast to more than double over the next 30 years or so.

Diet is not the sole cause, but diet and lifestyle largely determines the state of the ‘biological environment’ inside the body. This environment then affects ‘gene expression’. In over-simplified terms, think of it like this: if you have any kind of genetic pre-disposition to a condition, such as breast, cervical, lung, liver or prostate cancer, that genetic pre-disposition may NOT come to reality if your inner environment is super-clean…however, a ‘dirty’ inner environment is far more likely to promote that pre-disposition to express itself.

Waiting until you are diagnosed to say “oh God please help me now” is like asking for a band aid after the cut has been made and blood is gushing out. I want to help people see the knife coming and avoid that cut in the first place.

Prevention is better, less painful, and more effective, than cure.

Over the next decade, as I develop MND into a business, from Day One, 10 percent of all profits MND ever makes will go to a non-profit foundation, the MND Health Foundation. Once funds permit research to begin, this not-for-profit will research links between diet and cancer prevalence, among other topics. I hope, in some way, that MND will one day help to reverse these rising cancer rates, through prevention and education.

I have written on related topics before. For more, please see:
Pills are not the answer!

Drinking bleach…and other bright ideas…

Focus on what really matters

8 Years Without Cigarettes! Yippee!!

I quit smoking, after “trying” for more than a decade, eight years ago this week! The last cigarette I smoked was mid-morning on Feb 3rd, 2006. Now, they are gone forever! Hoorah!!

I appreciate that many people find quitting really tough. I know. For a long time, that was me, too. Then, once I MADE a FIRM DECISION, it was easy, and I have never looked back.

Prior to that, I had ‘tried’ many times, justifying that I ‘should’ quit because it was a waste of money or it was bad for my health, but those justifications just never empowered me enough, and I quit literally hundreds of times over 10 or 12 years and it would last between an hour and several months, then I would go back.

But, 8 years ago this week, I made a decision to change my identity, in my own psyche. I DECIDED that I was committed to good health so I changed who I saw myself as, to “health freak” which automatically meant ‘non-smoker’ was a core part of the new me. With that mental reference, I just quit. I took the pack out of pocket, crushed it and dropped it into a bin, and have never wanted one since.

That day, my life changed forever.

All my changes for the better, all my positive changes from the unhealthy old me that wanted to change but didn’t know how, to the new me for whom health and longevity has become my life’s consuming passion, all those changes started right then, as I decided to quit smoking. It all started that day, that hour, because in my BRAIN and in my HEART, I changed my identity, I said to myself with belief and conviction, that I am a healthy person, who wants to be healthy, look healthy, have more energy, shape a nice strong lean body, be fitter, live longer and not get sick. I changed my own identity, and since then, everything has slowly fallen ‘almost effortlessly’ into place.

The last 8 years have been incredible, and I can hardly describe the depth of changes in my life that have come from that humble start.

Onward to the next 8!! Yippeeee!!!

Stay healthy folks, stay happy!

I’m not smelly…but what about you?

Now, if you are new to MotherNaturesDiet (MND), you are probably going to think this post is a little weird, but stick with it, it all makes sense once you get to the end. If you already know me and you have been following MND for a while, then you’ll probably be thinking, judging by the title of this piece, that I have a valid point to make and you know I’ll get to it in my own sweet time!

I have been running for a few years now. In the warm weather in spring and summer, I wear just a short sleeve running top, or no shirt at all if it’s really warm and sunny, but in cold weather, I wear multiple layers to keep me warm. Since I lost the excess weight I carried around for 20 years, I’m no longer ‘wearing’ my 2-inch thick layer of fat that used to keep me warm, so it takes me a while to warm up these days, and I hate being cold, so I always favour being too hot over too cold, every time. I’m the weird runner who thinks a hot sunny day is perfect running weather, even for an event like a marathon, when most regular club runners prefer a cool overcast day.

In early 2010 I bought the Gore running top that I am seen wearing in this picture.

SOUTH DEVON CTS MARA

Read more

Statistics can be misleading

Here’s a miscellaneous thought for you.

In my constant pursuit of greater knowledge and understanding of all things related to living a long healthy life, I read a lot of scientific research articles, blogs, books and papers. The more I read and learn, the more I have come to the conclusion that if we wanted to, we could twist almost any data to present almost any conclusion we want.

Often times I find an article that appears, from a quick read-through, to be intelligent, well written, lacking any obvious bias and backed up by solid references. Then I dig deeper on topics within such articles, and find all kinds of conflicting research elsewhere and then I start questioning the author, and the motive behind what has been written. We (authors) all have a ‘motive’ when we write something. It may be to find a cure for an ailment, it may be to help people lose excess weight, it may be to sell a supplement, it may be to resist the signs of ageing, it may be to sell a piece of sports equipment, it may be to oppose an opinion the author read elsewhere, it may be to convince the readers to see things the way the author sees them. Read more