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Simple healthy living – it really ain’t rocket science

I went to my local ‘health food’ store this morning to buy a 2-month supply of nuts. I go there because they sometimes beat the supermarkets on price when buying bulk bags (ummm mental note to self: check online for cheap supplies of quality nuts!!)

Anyway, I looked around at the shelves of “Mass Gain Extreme 10,000 Bulk Up Powder” and BCAA’s and Creatine and hundreds of vitamins and minerals, meal replacement shakes, diet pills ‘n’ powders, slimming aids, ‘natural’ fruit and cereal bars (bullshit, since when did fruit grow dehydrated in a bar, wrapped in plastic with a 9 month shelf life?) and the arrays of fruity flavoured waters and nut butters. In my opinion, it’s all bullshit.

They are selling you crap. I noticed an in-store magazine running a feature article “Whole foods versus supplements, which is better?” – as the store sells supplements, I’m guessing which way the ‘science’ is going to go on that one…

Since when was the working of your body and the growing of our food ALL about science and nothing to do with Nature?

These people are selling a bunch of lies and scare-stories, perpetuated by excess science and a lack of common sense.

Don’t get sucked in.

Look at these pictures.

lemon balmI grow lemon balm in a recycled car tyre in my garden.

Every afternoon I pull off half-a-dozen leaves, drop them in a cup and pour on boiled water, once it’s cooled a few degrees.

Why waste money on lemon tea bags?

In the tyre to the right is mint – I do the same thing. And then I’m growing camomile in the tyre to the left.

The mint doubles up as breath freshener too. In my healthy quest to reduce the chemicals in my life, I gave up using toothpaste in the mornings…now I just brush with water, and eat a few leaves of fresh mint.

Save money on toothpaste and teabags, recycle old car tyres, grow fresh organic produce, put your garden to good use and make it look pretty and smell nice. This healthy living thing, it’s really not rocket science is it?

lemon teaMint tea

Left – lemon tea.        Right – mint tea.

This NATURAL healthy living thing, really, it’s so easy, and not expensive, not compared to satellite TV, a plasma screen and a fancy new car.

It’s about your priorities in life.

Nutrition supplements for kids who are ‘fussy eaters’

I’ve heard a lot of people unhappy about these damn nutrition shakes for kids who are ‘fussy eaters’ lately.

Kids have been fussy over veggies for a long time…since we in the wealthy world had enough choice and plenitude that we COULD afford to be fussy, AND since refined sugar and salt was added to all the processed food out there (including baby foods and formula milk, sorry to say) teaching kids to have a ‘liking for sweet foods’ (otherwise known as a “sweet tooth”) within weeks of weaning off the breast.

The answer to ‘fussy eater’ kids is not to let them eat crap and then ‘top off’ their diet with some powdered processed shake from the local drug store.

The answer is to LEAD BY EXAMPLE like a good parent, and just eat real food, meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts and seeds, and MAKE the TIME to cook real family meals made from fresh whole foods. If you offer vegetables every day, and if your kids understand that dessert is a weekend-only treat, that is only earned once the meat and vegetables are eaten, then in time, those little fussy eaters WILL eat their vegetables.

Offer vegetables early and often to fussy toddlers, study says: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-27635861

This article refers to a study of kids below 24 months of age, but in my personal experience you can change the diet of children any age. 3 years ago I lost my temper with my kids over fussy eating one evening on holiday in a restaurant when they all fussed over literally everything that was put on our table…it was the straw the broke the camels back and I dug my heels in and put a stop to a fussy eating problem that had been building for a long time. Since then, I have worked hard for 3 years to improve the way my kids eat, and it brings joy to my heart now when we sit down as a family and I see them tuck in to a pile of fresh vegetables with a hearty Sunday roast. feed the kids

They are still a way from perfect, and they still enjoy their ‘treats’, but my kids eat real fresh vegetables in one form or another almost every single day, a huge improvement from 3 years ago.

In my opinion, overcoming ‘fussy eating’ in kids takes pretty much the same good parenting skills that apply to most other aspects of raising well-balanced children: It all comes down to putting in effort, giving up your time and leading by example, the solutions are not found by buying some convenience product or blaming the government or the cost of living.

I’m sure this post will ruffle a few feathers…it’s my personal opinion, and I know all our lives and experiences are different, so this is written with all due respect and I welcome intelligent discussion!

 

Too much food causes more death and ill health than too little food

Wow, how dreadful is this. It seems that there is now more death and poor health around the world caused by people eating too much food, than there is caused by people who don’t have enough. That’s a very sad 21st Century problem, and when I think of those who don’t have enough, it makes me feel terribly sad that we have allowed this to happen.

This short post is not the place to discuss farm policies, farm subsidies in the US and EU, food distribution and fair trade.

I wrote this a year ago: https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/03/11/focus-on-what-really-matters/ – noting that there were a little over 1.5 billion overweight people on Earth.

Then this week this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-27586365 – notes that we are now over 2.1 billion overweight people.

Have we added HALF A BILLION, a staggering 600 million more overweight people in just a year?

Does that mean that everyone on earth will be overweight in just a few years?

The research concludes: “Because of the established health risks and substantial increases in prevalence, obesity has become a major global health challenge. Not only is obesity increasing, but no national success stories have been reported in the past 33 years. Urgent global action and leadership is needed to help countries to more effectively intervene.”

Wow, people need my help even more than I thought!

www.MotherNaturesDiet.me – better go spread the word!

 

How to live – health, peace and happiness

The Simple Things

You know, it’s just so easy, it’s just simple things…we have over complicated everything in this world, abundant good health is easy.

Every day I talk to people about the secrets to good health. Every day I read books and papers about weight loss, nutrition, longevity and more. There are so many companies out there selling ‘secrets’ and solutions, supplements and superfoods, home gym equipment and work out routines, and it just doesn’t have to be that complicated.

Good health is really, remarkably simple.

Here it is, all you need to know:

  • Get plenty of fresh air, do things outside, not just on sunny days, get outside all the time
  • Get plenty of sunshine – when it’s out, we should be out!
  • Eat good natural healthy food – lots of vegetables, outdoor-reared, grass-fed, organic meat. Wild, sustainably caught fish. Eggs. Fresh fruit. Nuts and seeds. Herbs
  • Try to grow some of your own food, and teach your kids how food grows, where food comes from
  • Do everything you can to ensure your food is organic, fresh, local. I mean really organic, really fresh, really local. If you can’t always afford it, just do the best you can. All any of us can ever do, is our best at any given point in time
  • Avoid the poisons and addictions of the modern world. Nicotine, alcohol, refined sugar, additives, e-numbers, chemicals, TV, the media frenzy, disrespectful pornography, trash people and trash talk and trashy lifestyles, too much time in front of a screen, too much time online, etc.
  • If you cannot envisage something in its natural state, growing on a tree or bush or root, or running/swimming/flying around, then you almost certainly shouldn’t eat it
  • If something is too heavily packaged, and has a long list of ingredients and a bar code, then you almost certainly should not eat it
  • Know that just because they sell 40 or 50 thousand ‘mostly edible’ products in your local supermarket, that doesn’t mean they are all good for you. Apply the logic of cigarettes (just ‘cos they sell ‘em, don’t mean you should smoke ‘em!) to all that unnatural food and all those products that are so full of chemicals
  • Move your body, stay active. Find an exercise or sport that you like, a little bit of competition, even just against the clock, is good for your body and mind. There are thousands of options out there, find one you like
  • Remove stress from your life in areas where you can. Shout at your kids less, ease up on those ‘rules’. Relax more. Laugh often. Smile at strangers. Be nice and kind to people, even people you don’t know. Tell jokes. Watch funny and inspiring movies now and then. Listen to upbeat music. Actively work at being happy
  • Don’t borrow money to buy things you can’t afford, apart from your home. Save and buy them when you can afford to. Clear you debts. Buy less ‘stuff’. It won’t make you happy. Find ways to be happy with less clutter, We should value each other, not ‘things’
  • Don’t throw anything away. There is no away. Away ends up somewhere. You don’t want a landfill site near your home. Recycle, everything. Buy quality. Less is more. Teach your kids these principles
  • Get a job you enjoy, don’t just be slaves to a pay check. Find your purpose in life, follow your passion
  • Raise your kids with love, don’t bully them. You didn’t have kids in order to prove how you are bigger and stronger than they are. Also, you’d do well to remember that one day, they’ll be bigger and stronger than you
  • Give to charity. If you have no money to give, give your time. Give your wisdom. Give your love. Visit someone lonely. Write a letter. Lend your voice and your signature to a good cause
  • Leave the car at home sometimes. Walk to the corner shop
  • Get a bicycle
  • Allow more time in your schedule and walk places with your kids – try school, every day
  • Use a rucksack, walk to the shop, carry your stuff home without using a car
  • Reconnect with nature. Find the joy in the natural world. Don’t be afraid of a bit of mud and a few bugs, none of it will hurt you
  • Enjoy more picnics, take your kids to places they can splash in a stream. Sleep in a tent and be woken by the sounds of nature
  • Camp in wild places. Camp without a tent, just sleep under the stars. Wake in the middle of a clear night and stare at the sky…the longer you stare, the more stars you will see. It’s amazing!
  • Walk barefoot in meadows of wild flowers and long wet grass. Walk barefoot on sandy beaches
  • Get a pet dog, walk every day, meet people, talk to your neighbours, make friends, smile
  • Climb a mountain. Even just a small one, it’s great fun and the views are beautiful. Standing up on high makes you feel good, that’s scientifically proven
  • Go camping. Take your kids. It’s fun and they will play outside more and meet other kids and not stare at the TV so much
  • Walk in wild places. Disconnect occasionally, get off the grid, leave your phone, leave your email, get lost, go on an adventure, on foot. Meet new people, smile and say hello
  • Love more
  • Don’t hate. Ever
  • Be the change you want to see in the world. Lead by example
  • Vote for the world you want to live in – vote with your words, your actions and your money
  • Smile, often, for any reason or no reason

1luvx

Mothering the Human Race

What is this post about?

If you want to know what MND is all about…this is it. This is fundamentally important.

We, all of us, used to be fed, nourished, by the mother figure in our household. Now we are all-too-often fed by Food Companies.

Our mothers care deeply for our good health. Food companies care about making a profit.

Food companies are not ‘educated’ in healthcare, nor motivated by the health and longevity of their customers.

This change in the structure of our society is at the root of much of what has gone wrong, in my opinion, this is a fundamental cause of the obesity epidemic and rising rates of poor health.

This topic has come up a few times over the last week or two, so I thought I should address it today.

The shift to microwave meals

I was writing about this the other day, there has been a massive cultural shift over the last 40 or 50 years, since the liberated times of the ’60s really, and the boom in consumer electronics in the ‘70s, we’ve seen the rise of convenience foods, the rise of sexual equality, the advent of the microwave and now the rise of the Internet…these trends have shifted women from the home to the work place (no sexism here, I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, just that it has happened) and we have left “feeding our families” to food companies.

We’ve seen a massive decline in home baking, in the art of real cooking, growing our own food, baking bread, preparing sauces, meats, roasts, pies and pastries…and we have seen a MASSIVE rise in pre-prepared meals, packaged foods, convenience foods. As we watch more celebrity chefs on TV, we seem less capable as a nation of preparing our own fresh, basic, healthy meals. We had the advent of microwave ovens, programmable cookers, it’s all led to less “motherly involvement” in cooking, and more “relying on food companies” to feed our families, our children.

The rise of the Internet, coincides with going from the 3 TV channels I grew up with, to the 600 available now, and the rise of “dial for a take away” and pizza delivered by moped. Now people are too busy online to cook. Every day people tell me they don’t have time to cook – they tell me this on Facebook, where they seem to spend several HOURS per day. They say they can’t afford organic food – but they CAN afford broadband and a smartphone. Read more

Olympic Gold running performance!

Olympic Gold…for me!?!?!?!?

Ha ha, I’m playing, of course, as I know that while I’m pretty fit and strong, I’m never likely to compete at sport on the international stage, I’m far too old!

I did come 9th in The Exmoor Marathon a few years ago, 9th overall, but I won it in Vets (aged 40 and above) – that was pretty good!

But here’s an interesting thing, I’ve just been watching a video that a friend shared with me, and it starts out with a very interesting statistic: The winner of Olympic Gold ran the Olympic marathon in 1904 in 3 hours, 28 minutes and 53 seconds. Copenhagen marathon PB aged 40

In 2011, I ran the Copenhagen marathon in 3 hours, 14 minutes and 17 seconds.

If I had put in that run 100 years earlier, I’d have been an Olympic Gold Medallist in my 40s!!!!

AND, in 1904, the Olympic Marathon distance was 1.5 miles shorter! Easy!! I could have hit a 3 hour mara and been a world champ! Gold by a half hour margin!!! Read more

Growing your own fruit and veggies

This afternoon I thought I would plant some fruit bushes in the garden, a job that I was expecting would only take a couple of hours. In the end it took 6!!!

This whole area was just a stony patch of dry ground where some old chairs sat and my kids stacked up old toys and lots of footballs, after I cleared it and started digging, it turned out to be the most stone-filled, root-strewn, sandy and awful soil ever. So, I had no choice but to dig it all out. The whole patch is 7 feet by 7 feet, and I dug out the whole 7 feet by 7 feet to a depth of 9 inches, that’s 36 cubic feet, or exactly one whole cubic meter of stony soil (that’s about 1 ton of soil) dug out by hand, with one fork and one spade. That was a workout!

Then I laid the slabs on sharp sand down one side, the bricks down the other, then refilled with fresh top soil and mixed in lots of manure, compost and some ericaceous potting compost to encourage the acid-loving blueberry bushes to grow.

The actual planting up at the end only took half an hour, but the rest of the job worked out for bigger than I planned! I would not have got up at 6:30 and gone out for an hour’s hard sprint training this morning if I had known I was going to do 6 hours sweaty graft in the hot sun this afternoon! Whatever happened to Sunday being a day of rest!! Read more

Back off those carbs!

One of the things I am most often asked about eating the MND way is why I suggest not eating starchy carbohydrates, particularly grains. I just want to cover that briefly today.

Summary:

  • Why we should avoid eating grains, processed carbs and starchy carbs in general
  • New research indicates that maintaining a fairly high-protein diet reduces signs of frailty in old age
  • Basically, those eating a diet higher in protein, maintained ‘strength’ longer, and those eating a diet lower in protein, reported more signs of frailty in older age
  • It doesn’t seem to matter if that protein comes from veggies or meat or fish, just so long as you are eating one or all of those things
  • Eat the MND way for a nutrient-packed diet with no need for nutrient-poor starchy carbs
  • Just eat plants and animals

MotherNaturesDiet (MND) is a fairly-low-carb diet. MND includes masses of vegetables, many of which provide carbs, so I do not promote MND as “low-carb” strictly, more I promote MND as “no-processed-carbs”. See MND Core Principle 1 – no processed grains, and MND Core Principle 2 – no refined sugar.

Why should we avoid carbs? Why no grains?

Living the MND way involves avoiding all those starchy carbs that other people eat – bread, cereals, pasta, white potatoes, rice, spaghetti, pastries, cakes and so on.

There are many reasons for this.

All grains are members of the ‘cereal crops’ family of plants. These are all a type of grass. Grasses are cellulose plants that humans cannot eat, and these foods are not digestible without processing.

I think Mother Nature designed animals to eat the grasses, then we eat the animals.

Ruminants (cows, sheep, goats, etc.) have a stomach (the rumen, hence their genus name) designed to act as a fermentation tank. Once fermented, they can then extract nutrients from these foods. Humans do not have a rumen and cannot digest grains, hence grains have to be processed in order for us to digest them.

Personally, I think it’s healthier and more natural to let the cow do the fermenting, and then I eat the cow.

The food chain

In Mother Nature’s grand design, it’s a form of ‘upregulation of energy’ – the sun falls on the huge flat surface of the earth, helping the grasses to grow, they absorb the suns vital energy. Cows eat the grass and upregulate the output of the sun’s energy into muscle, or beef, as we like to call it. We eat the cow. We die and our blood and bones and flesh put carbon, phosphorous, potassium, nitrogen and many other minerals back into the soil, to help feed the insects and bugs and help grow more plants, and so the whole cycle repeats.  Read more

Hard training session in the sunshine

I enjoyed an awesome good hard training session today. I woke up this morning planning a run, but when the time came, I felt like I wanted to use my muscles, so I went circuit training at the local rugby club instead – just on my own.

My circuits included:

  • 3 miles of running
  • 1 mile of walking
  • 150 squat thrusts
  • 151 burpees (groan!)
  • 210 push-ups
  • 46 tractor tyre flips
  • 2 * 100 yard farmers walk carrying 254 lb tractor tyre
  • 2 * 200 m flat sprint

This lot took 80 minutes, all with my shirt off in the sun, catching the sun and loving the fresh air and movement.

My legs felt wasted by the end!!

As much as I do enjoy running, and training for big events – races like the London Marathon are fun – I sometimes find the commitment of training for a set event takes the joy out of training. Some days, it’s nice to have that out of the way, so I can get back to more instinctive training. I mean, now I don’t HAVE to follow a set plan, so if I wake up one day and it’s sunny and I fancy a bike ride, or circuits in the fields, or a run, or sprints, then I can do that. Or if one day it’s miserable weather and I want to lift weights at home, or do body weight training in my garage, then I can do that. Training for events limits spontaneity, that’s all I’m saying. On the flip side, training for a set target is excellent for motivation.

Today, sunny circuits were perfect!

 

Are you focussed on the results you want, or just reading a bunch of books?

Are you PROCESS focussed, or RESULTS focussed?

Staying motivated is something people tell me they find difficult.

I was thinking about this, and talking to a friend about this recently.

Let me connect together a few strands of thought here.

  • I often get people say to me ‘Karl, so we are supposed to just eat real, whole food, OK I get that now, you’ve told us that like a thousand times! What else do I need to know? What’s new pal?’
  • People ask me for meal plans, recipes, details about which foods to eat. And I keep saying ‘eggs for breakfast, meat and veg for lunch and dinner, fruit and nuts for snacks.’ and they keep saying ‘What else?’
  • I get the sense everyone is waiting for something else, something BIG and EXCITING! Guess what, there is no more! Ahahahaha really, this is it, this is ALL there is:

Read more

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!! (And other bullsh*t beliefs!)

Forgive me going off on a bit of a rant today, but I was just having this conversation with a friend and I thought I would share this with you, as it’s a relevant ‘case study’ and applies to loads of people.

What is this post about?

  • There are a LOT of people around who are not over weight, so they take an ‘I can eat whatever rubbish I like’ attitude to their diet
  • This is deep-held belief that people have, that if they are not grossly over weight, then there is no further connection between diet and health
  • Last time I checked the scientific literature, slim people still get sick. Slim people still suffer coughs, colds, flu. Slim people still suffer chronic fatigue, tiredness, skin conditions and bowel conditions. Slim people still get heart disease. Slim people still get cancer. Slim people still die! Last time I spoke to one of my Doctor friends, I don’t recall “Not being over weight” as a cure-all solution to living forever and never getting ill.

Conclusions in this post:

  • There are many factors involved in whether or not you are over weight
  • Body fat serves numerous function in your body, some of them are involved in keeping you healthy
  • Eating a diet high in junk food affects your health in many ways above and beyond whether or not you carry excess body fat

Read on to learn more.

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!!

I hear this one a LOT. I could write an entire book (seriously, 100,000 words, 200 pages, no problem!) just tackling this myth and all the threads and sub-topics that come off this. In the interests of time and sanity, I will try to keep this post brief, as you and I don’t have time for a whole book today! Read more

Are you really hungry…or are you just bored?

Next time you buy convenience food – like dropping in to the shop at a petrol station to buy a packet of crisps (that’s potato chips, to our American friends) or a chocolate bar – because you say you’re ‘starving hungry’ and you really must eat something…think again, are you REALLY hungry?

Your body is designed to function through times when food is abundant, and times when there is nothing. A healthy body that is fuelled by real, natural, whole food, can skip a meal from time to time without a problem. Personally, when I get busy, I often skip meals.

Don’t ‘think’ you need to eat just because the clock says it’s lunchtime, don’t think that you need to eat every 4 hours or you will run out of energy.

This popular post about encouraging your body to metabolise body fat for energy, instead of feeding your body cheap carbohydrates every few hours, explains how your body can use fat as fuel.

Don’t be a ‘cheap sugar machine’. Fuel your body with real whole foods for more even energy levels. Re-think what hungry really feels like.

There are some truly unfortunate people in our world who really know what hunger is, and the rest of us need to keep things in perspective. It’s fine to enjoy food when we gather with our friends and families to socialise and celebrate, but don’t get wrapped up in celebrating food itself every day. Food should not be your hobby nor your highlight 7 days each week. Keep things in healthy perspective.

14 years apart…same place…different person forever

Super short post today.

I was hiking with a friend on Brecon Beacons in South Wales the other day, and my friend took this picture on me standing on a rock that juts out over a steep drop. Sadly it was a very cloudy day so you can’t see the glorious view behind me, or the steep drop.

When I got home and looked at this picture, in my mind I knew there were other pictures of me standing in the same place, so I set to looking through old pictures, until I found it.

I had an image from some time around Christmas 2000, a snowy week on the Beacons, and there was me standing in the same place, only there was a bit more of me back then.

Brecon Beacons Xmas 2000Fan y Big April 2014 portrait

Standing in the same place, 14 years and 5 months apart and many pounds lighter…a fitter healthier me!

Eat clean, stay active, spend time outdoors. It’s not as hard as you think.

MotherNaturesDiet works.

 

Orthorexic control freaks…and other symptoms of quitting sugar

What is this post about?

  • A lady quit sugar for one year, and wrote a book about it
  • A reviewer slated her behaviour as orthorexic and obsessive!
  • That same reviewer, on other days, writes recipes for biscuits and pizza

Main conclusions:

  • In my opinion, they are both trying to sell stories to their readers, when they should focus on natural healthy living
  • MND circumvents all this bullshit, and just get’s on with abundant healthy living

shutterstock_160886558

Read on to learn more.

So a lady wrote a book “Year of No Sugar” which seems pretty sensible to me – for MND I preach ‘no sugar’ for life, so one year seems like a good starting point.

She seems like a nice and genuine lady, you can visit her blog here.

However, the book received this utter slating of a book review, titled ‘Year of No Sugar Reads Like a How-To Manual for an Eating Disorder’ – frankly, harsh! Read more

Real world, real workouts, real nutrition – keeping it simple and REAL with MND

As I wrote earlier this week, to help you get through my long posts, from now on I will put bullet points at the start, telling you in brief what the post is about, and in brief, the main conclusions or points that I come to.

This way, if you are short of time, you can read the bullet points, which only takes 30 seconds, and it should tell you the essence of the post – if it sounds interesting, you will find the 5 minutes you need to read the whole thing, but otherwise, the bullet points tell you enough to get the main idea.

I will try to remember to summarize all future posts this way. I hope this is helpful!

What is this post about?

  • We live in a time when we are drowning in information, the Internet offers more health, diet and fitness advice than you could ever read
  • The trouble is, most of it is rubbish!
  • The vast majority of diet and fitness information online, is unnecessarily complicated, usually because someone is trying to sell you something
  • I see far too many people wrapped up in all this time-wasting, complex detail, and yet they don’t have ‘the basics’ covered

Main conclusions:

  • In my opinion, the basics are simple things we can all do – eat real food, stay well hydrated, and demonstrate a solid. basic level of strength and fitness that can be adapted to all sports and fitness programs
  • Be able to run a few miles, do a few push-ups, lift your own bodyweight on a chinning bar – this is simple, basic stuff

Read on to learn more.

The diet and fitness industry online

In recent days, I’ve spent a few hours reading a variety of ‘health and nutrition’ pages on Facebook. I don’t want to put anyone else down, and I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet (well, maybe a bit, MND is the best page on Facebook!!)…but I have to say, there really is a total load of rubbish out there. There are loads of sites promoting supplements, loads focussed on weight loss, loads for body building, there are ‘disease-specific’ support groups, there are ‘tone up your tummy’ type diet pages, but there is an overwhelming amount of noise, with very little practical advice and sales-pitch-free useful information lost in the general hubbub of attention seeking marketing.

I’m not saying MotherNaturesDiet is all things to everyone, but this page is about REAL world stuff. I’m not a personal trainer, fitness model, yoga goddess, body builder or some other health and fitness professional. I’m a ‘normal’ guy, I have young kids, a day job and a busy life. I was fat and unhealthy for 20 years and I smoked and drank and made poor choices. But after 2 decades of making those poor choices, I figured out how to be healthy, and now I am sharing what I know with YOU. Read more

Are all calories created equal?

As I wrote yesterday, to help you get through my long posts, from now on I will put bullet points at the start, telling you in brief what the post is about, and in brief, the main conclusions or points that I come to.

This way, if you are short of time, you can read the bullet points, which only takes 30 seconds, and it should tell you the essence of the post – if it sounds interesting, you will find the 5 minutes you need to read the whole thing, but otherwise, the bullet points tell you enough to get the main idea.

I will try to remember to summarize all future posts this way. I hope this is helpful!

What is this post about?

  • So-called ‘flexible eating’ seems to be the latest popular diet fad
  • The idea is that you can eat pretty much whatever you like, providing you still burn more calories than you eat, so you don’t get fat
  • Here at MND HQ, I think that is downright wrong, and down right ignorant
  • This post looks at the main arguments, between ‘flexible eating’ – “a calorie is a calorie”, and ‘clean eating’ – “all calories are not created equal”

Main conclusions:

  • In my opinion, all calories are NOT created equal
  • Many factors affect your body’s absorption of the calories you consume, and the speed of that absorption, and the chemical make-up of those calories, affect HOW your body absorbs those calories
  • In my opinion, this ‘flexible eating’ is just the latest modern version od calorie counting

Read on to learn more.

Paleo diet, flexible dieting and clean eating

In 2013, the most searched for ‘diet’ online was the Paleo diet. In 2014, I am seeing a rising trend in ‘flexible dieting’ or ‘flexible eating’.

I’m very active in a number of online discussion groups, and in one of those online groups, the subject of flexible dieting comes up as a regular topic. It’s an area I have been looking at for some time now.

The main point of the flexible dieting fraternity is “a calorie is a calorie” and you can eat roughly what you like providing you stay in caloric deficit, then you won’t get fat. They do ‘mostly’ suggest you eat ‘mostly’ good real foods, but there are many proponents of flexible dieting out there suggesting you can eat pizza, chips, ice cream, chocolate bars, white bread, cake and more on a regular basis, daily indeed, providing you stay in caloric deficit – I.E. you burn more calories that you eat. I’m not a fan of this way of thinking, as you know. Read more

Why it’s important to be a balanced, big picture thinker

I know I often write long posts, and you might not have time to read them. So I will put bullet points at the start, telling you in brief what the post is about, and in brief, the main conclusions or points that I come to.

This way, if you are short of time, you can read the bullet points, which only takes 30 seconds, and it should tell you the essence of the post – if it sounds interesting, you will find the 5 minutes you need to read the whole thing, but otherwise, the bullet points tell you enough to get the main idea.

I will try to remember to summarize all future posts this way. I hope this is helpful!

What is this post about?

  • Some people are obsessed with clean eating, while the rest of their life is in a mess!
  • Some people are obsessed with weight training or a certain sport, but pay little attention to good diet
  • Some people eat well and exercise, but the allow other areas of life to stress them out, having a negative impact on their lives
  • Some people do so much endurance sport they never allow time for recovery – and an excess of almost anything can become unhealthy eventually
  • I meet a lot of folks who put in killer workouts and intense training sessions, but then they are ill with colds and flu every few weeks

Main conclusions:

  • You have to be a big picture thinker
  • Take a holistic approach to optimal good health
  • Balance is essential – train with weights, train aerobically, have heavy days, and easy days, eat well, de-stress and look to ensure there is happiness in your life…all these areas are equally important

Read on to learn more.

You have to look at the bigger picture

I see lots of people fixated on just food or just exercise, but I fear they are failing to look at the bigger picture. Supreme good health and abundant energy does not come from putting ALL your attention on just one thing, you have to think holistically.

I often meet people who obsess over ‘pure clean eating’, they are fanatical about eating raw, organic, vegan, local, seasonal and only grown in countries that ban GMO crops. They know a million reasons why you mustn’t cook with a certain oil, because heating it produces some ghastly carcinogenic chemicals, they will tell you that it’s like cooking your dinner in toxic waste! They will tell you everything there is to know about sprouting beans, fermenting vegetables, home made sour dough bread and the nutrient profile of certain seeds. Read more

How eating an extremely nutrient rich diet can help you resist the signs of ageing

I’m putting my opinion and belief out there today. I’m stretching the ‘100% proven’ science a bit here, piecing together facts and theories. Why? Because I believe I’m right, and I think there is value to you in sharing these thoughts.

WHY is nutrient dense food important?

This is an important point that so many people – particularly YOUNG people – overlook. JUST having enough of a certain micronutrient to sustain function is one thing, but having enough LEFT OVER for non-essential jobs inside your body, that’s another thing altogether.

Now, if you are a qualified nutritionist or doctor, just bare with me for a moment, I’m going to massively over-simplify the world of nutrition here for a moment…you won’t like it, but stick with it and you can comment at the bottom if you think I’m wrong.

So there are these RDA’s – Recommended Daily Amounts – of vitamins and minerals. It is suggested that we take these amounts in order to maintain energy, combat disease and stay generally healthy.

Now let’s just take 1 micronutrient, say, Vitamin A (A seems like a good place to start!). Vitamin A does a massive amount of things inside your body – among them, there is thyroid function, skin growth, eye function, protein synthesis, immune system function, calcium assimilation (for bone growth) and much more. Read more

Is the food we eat today, nutrient depleted?

Should we take vitamin and mineral supplements?

I was asked the other day, if we are eating fruits and vegetables from depleted soil, and therefore they do not contain enough vitamins and minerals, and therefore should we all be taking a daily multi-vitamin/mineral complex as a supplement?

If you read my blogs on this site on a regular basis, then you will know that I am broadly against taking dietary supplements, I just think that the majority of people, the majority of the time, don’t need them.

To be clear, there are times when supplements play an important role, particular when someone is deficient or ill, then supplements can be used to restore good health. Often supplements are a “useful tool” in repairing a damaged body. If there is a problem, supplements can help enable or support one function or process, in order to support growth or repair in another function, process or system.

So supplements have a place and many nutritional therapists and other practitioners correctly use supplements to fix deficiencies and restore normal function. Read more