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Chop, pop, sizzle, boom…

Talking with a new coaching client last week, she said to me “The trouble is, I never know what to cook. You say to eat ‘plants and animals’, and stay away from processed foods, but I never know what to actually do?”

I get this question literally all the time.

I am no chef, and don’t consider myself to be particularly talented in the kitchen, but I do OK, and I create some tasty, and healthy, meals.

Here’s what I do. And I’m keeping this purposefully simple. Because that’s part of the ethos of Mother Nature’s Diet, to keep healthy living simple for everyone to understand.
I keep cooking simple, because if it was complicated, I wouldn’t find the time to do it.

Quickie stir fry

  • Pick a choice of meat or fish – pork, chicken, lamb, prawns, whatever you fancy
  • Pick a style or nationality of cuisine – maybe you want to create Italian, Malaysian, Moroccan, whatever
  • Google “what spices used in Greek / Indonesian / Argentinian / Kenyan dishes” and spend five minutes getting a feel for what flavours and spices work, and typically what vegetables work well with those flavours
  • Assemble these bits – the meat/fish, the vegetables, the herbs and spices
  • Heat some coconut oil or butter in a pan
  • If using onions, chop them up and get them going first (usually)
  • Brown off the meat
  • Throw everything else in (generally speaking)
  • Stir fry for five minutes
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as you go

That’s pretty much it.

Think in terms of one third of the meal is meat or fish, two thirds is vegetables.

It’s that simple.

  • Want to achieve a Mediterranean flavour – try tomatoes, garlic, olives, basil, herbs de Provence, tomato puree, that sort of thing.
  • Aiming for a Malaysian or Indonesia flavour – try coriander, cumin, peanut butter (buy one that is organic, 100% nuts, no palm oil), a splash of chilli.
  • Want Moroccan? Try ginger, cumin, paprika, sultanas, apricots, cinnamon, black pepper and chilli.
  • Love Persian foods? Lamb or chicken, onions and green veggies, ginger, cumin and coriander, delicious.
  • Go for an Indian feel with cumin, chilli, coriander, experiment with coconut.
  • How about some classic combinations – lemon and ginger. Sweet chilli. Lime and coriander.
  • Try frying off finely chopped spring onions with chestnut mushrooms, pine nuts, flaked almonds and some mixed herbs, add to chicken and peppers for wonderful flavour.
  • Combine a green curry paste with coconut milk, chilli and cumin for a Thai.

These are jusy my own ideas. You can create your own too.

Experiment. It’s easier than you think.

Oven baked?

As above, but instead of stir frying everything in one pan, combine your meat or fish with the sauce and spices in an oven dish, and while that bakes for half an hour or so in a medium oven, you can steam your veggies separately to go on the side. (To make those spices into a suace, just add them to tomato passata or a tin of chopped tomoates. Voila, instant ‘sauce’.)

Roast?

Couldn’t be simpler, slow roasted joints (lamb, pork, try venison) are so tasty and tender they need virtually no seasoning, just foil the joint, roast for a few hours in a low to moderate oven, and add lots of veggies on the side.

If you are feeling a tad more ambitious, try my Moroccan slow roasted lamb dish here.

Short of time, or going out for the day?

Use a slow cooker – same as all the above, but combine it all (with enough liquid) in the slow cooker, stick it on low for 8 or 10 hours, and come home to the amazing smell!

The point is, cooking meals from scratch using fresh whole foods is easier than you think.

Just experiment. Pick some meat or fish, pick some veggies, pick a flavour, and have a crack at it.

Once you have done this a few times, it’s a breeze, and kinda fun. You can get your kids involved – have them pick the meat and nationality/region/flavour, and then get them in the kitchen to help and learn as the dish comes together.

You learn to cook, and so do they.

Don’t be afraid of experimenting.

In the last month, for weekend family meals with my wife and kids, I’ve made pesto pork, Thai coconut chicken, satay beef, peanut mackerel (yeah! that worked!), vegetable curry and some sort of Indonesian chicken (I am sure an Indonesian person would say it was more Malaysian or Thai or Vietnamese or something!)

I never write down what I do, so it comes out different every time, but that’s all part of the fun!

Just have a crack at it. One third meat or fish, two thirds veggies, quick Google search for ideas, and away you go. Don’t over think it, keep it simple and fun. Healthy whole foods based family meal in 30 or 40 minutes, no worries.

Let me know what you come up with! If you use Facebook, join our MND Group and share your creations in there!

To your good health!

Karl

You have a choice…

Two years after I wrote this original post, it’s every bit as relevant now as it was then.
Well worth a re-read!

To your good health!

Mother Nature's Diet

You have a choice…
But a lot of people don’t realise this.

Sorry, today the topic is rather morbid – disease and death. I am working on a presentation called ‘You have a choice’ and so I thought I would share the basic idea with you.

Over the years, the things that kill us have changed. 20,000 years ago, our caveman ancestors were killed by predators, accidents and infectious diseases. High infant mortality was almost certainly the #1 cause of death.

Then for a long time, in more recent history, it was wars, poverty, infectious dieases and malnutrition that was killing us.

But through technology, medicine and public sanitation, many of those things have been sorted out.

Now, what kills most humans is NCDs. Non-commincable diseases.

‘Non-communicable’ means they are not infectious, we don’t ‘catch’ them, they ‘develop’ inside us. Worldwide, around 55 to 60 million people die every year…

View original post 702 more words

Free help for those who want it

One of my goals since I started Mother Nature’s Diet has always been to help as many people as possible for free.

I honestly believe that good health is our birthright, and it should not be something we have to pay for.

I think ‘they’ have made the world of diet, weight loss, healthy living, ageing, fitness, disease prevention and other related areas, all so super-complicated in recent decades.

  • They spent years telling us that fat is bad, then fat is good and sugar is bad.
  • They told everyone to go running, then they say everyone has knee and back problems from running, and we should all be lifting weights.
  • Cholesterol is bad, no no cholesterol is fine.
  • Too much sugar causes diabetes…no no there is no evidence that sugar causes diabetes.

And if you read The Daily Fail or certain other newspapers, then over the years they have run headlines telling you just about everything causes cancer or heart disease or makes you fat!

It’s all so bloody confusing!!

I personally spent 20 years lost in the confusion.
I yo-yo dieted as I tried every fad, followed every trend, read all the diet books.
I ended up overweight, confused, and with knackered knees!

So, out of this confusion, the ‘health guru industry’ has emerged (ummm, maybe I am a part of that…whaddya reckon?) and suddenly we are told the answers we are searching for are in this expensive online diet plan, or the answers are in the over-priced gym plan, or sign up just for our custom-designed meal delivery service and all your problems will be solved.

And that’s OK, I guess, these folks are all just trying to earn a living, just like me, and so good luck to ’em, but here at Mother Nature’s Diet, I see ithingsa little differently.

I don’t think you should have to pay to learn the basics, to have the basic knowledge of how to be healthy.

Because there are a lot of folks out there who can’t afford to pay.

Bottom of the income ladder

Sadly, the reality of our society is that the people with the most money, talking in broad demographics now, tend to enjoy the best health, and the people at the bottom of the income ladder, sadly, tend to suffer the worst health, overall.

Our obesity and type-2 diabetes epidemics, manifest highest in low-income socioeconomic groups, that’s true in the UK, the US,across Europe, Australia and other countries. Smoking rates are higher in low-income groups. Heart disease and reduced life expectancy are a bigger burden in low-income groups than among the wealthier citizens of our lands.

Because of this, I have always, since the first day I started Mother Nature’s Diet back in 2011, offered the basics of the 12 Core Principles for free. Always.

Now of course, I do offer additional ‘products and services’ that cost money, but the fact remains that the basics are there for free. The difference between my approach and so many others out there, is that they all tend to offer “the secret formula to this” or “the 21 steps to that” or “the 7-part plan for success” all as benefits you get once you pay up and join the program.

At Mother Nature’s Diet, I give you the 12 Core Principles for free right up front.
No catch.
No secrets.
Just free.

So, if you are skint, and you want to get healthy but you can’t afford to blow a bunch of cash doing it, all you need to know is here – 12 Core Principles – for free. That page offers you links through to 12 further pages, where you can read all about the steps you need to take to improve your health.

Some people might say “Ah but the lifestyle is expensive…”
I don’t agree.
We take the money most people spend on alcohol, take away food, cigarettes, loads of body sprays and fancy cosmetics and toiletries, and confectionery and junk food, and we spend that money instead on organic veggies and free range eggs. Once you learn how to reallocate your spending, it can be done.
We all have choices.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Freshly-updated website, lots of goodies for you

I am constantly updating my website at MotherNaturesDiet.com and there are lots of fabulous free resources available for you.

I truly hate these sites you visit and the pages are bloated with ads, you can’t watch or read anything without signing up and being spammed daily, every mouse-move seems to cause another pop-up to appear…it all drives me nuts!

We don’t have any of that crap at Mother Nature’s Diet.
When we say it’s free, it’s free. No email, no sign-up, no catch. Just free.

Please, share these completely free resources with anyone you know who might need or want the help. You and they have nothing to lose, and only improved health to gain.

But Karl, you are selling stuff too…right?

Erm, yeah, I am. I mean come on, a guy has to earn a living you know…

Now of course, what I can give away for free is “the information” so to speak, but I can’t afford to give away all my time and effort for free too. I mean, if I spent all my time helping everyone for free, how would I feed my own family?

You can get the information for free, but if you want additional motivation and inspiration and a chance to meet face-to-face and ask questions, then come to a live seminar or attend a retreat and you’ll get all that and more.

If you read those free pages online explaining the basics of the 12 Core Principles and then you want more, you want the details and the science and long explanations behind those Core Principles, then you need to buy the book and get all the details and lots more besides.

MND book on Amazon UK here.
MND book on Amazon US here.
How To Quit Drinking book here.

Or if what you really need is ongoing support and encouragement, a ‘tribe’ of like-minded people to help you stay the course and stick to your new good health practices until they become habit, then you might like to join MND Life! our community subscription, where you’ll get more education, motivation and support every day, to help you along your journey.

But the basics are, and always will be, available for free.

So there you have it, something for everyone.

I have long believed that healthy living has become far too over-complicated, and we need to keep it simple for those who most need the help.

For those who can’t afford the books, the courses and the seminars, please, pass on the links now, and help them to cut through all the noise and get some simple, honest, common-sense based, scientifically sound good health advice.

That seems to me like a good way to get 2020 off to the right start.

Happy New Year!! Good health for all!

Karl

Just do it… (yes? no? annoying?)

Just do it.

– So cliché it’s annoying?
– Over-used?
– Just makes us think of a certain brand of footwear and clothing?

Here’s the thing.

I follow a lot of health experts, food bloggers, doctors, fitness professionals, I am a member of many groups, I attend a lot of seminars, lectures and conferences, and I see and hear a lot, I mean a LOT, of talk.

I don’t see or hear anywhere near as much action.

  • All these folks debating low-carb versus high-carb.
  • The LCHF (low-carb high-fat) folks locked in mortal combat with the Registered Dietitians still promoting high-carb diets as promoted by our government.
  • Folks raving about the wonders of ketogenic diets.
  • Other folks saying ketogenic diets don’t work.
  • Folks talking about the benefits of juicing.
  • Other folks saying juicing is a silly fad diet.
  • I hear people espousing the benefits of weight lifting so vociferously they are starting to claim that cardio is harmful and their clients should only ever lift weights.
  • I hear other people equally enthusiastic about running and cycling, shunning weight training.

Oh and so it all goes on and on and on…arguing, posturing, postulating. (The cynic in me could argue that these ‘experts’ all have a book to sell and an online course, seminar or program, so they all have a bias, a vested interest in promoting ‘their way’ but that’s a topic for another day…)

Here’s the thing.

Amid all the conflicting opinions and contradictory advice, many members of the public are more confused than ever.

There are days I look around the diet, health and fitness industry and just despair at the public-facing messages that are out there. Credentialed doctors putting down the beliefs and ideas of other credentialed doctors. Editors of medical journals publishing editorials telling people not to trust most of the research published in medical journals. Doctors, PhDs and nutrition experts publishing and blogging dietary advice in complete opposition to the advice that our governments and public health services promote.

Seriously, how the hell are ordinary members of the public supposed to have any confidence in any of them?

The vast majority of ordinary, hard-working men and women just want to lose 30 pounds, shape up a bit, feel like they have a bit more energy and do their best to resist the signs of ageing. They must look at all these TV shows and diet books and see all these conflicting, arguing experts, and just throw their hands up in hopelessness and despair.

“Sod all these doctors who don’t agree with each other!” and just pour another glass of wine, open a box of chocolates, and turn the channel over and watch something else.

Now, just do it

If that’s you, then I say sod them all. Ignore them all. Just do it.

Just pick one thing that sounds right to you, and run with it. If you have been eating lots of carbs (you know, cereals, bread, pasta, rice, all that) for the last ten years, and the end result now is that you are 50 pounds over weight, well then try six months without cereals, bread, pasta, rice and spaghetti, just try it – starting today – and see how you get on.

Just get on with it.

If you know you eat too much sugar, just try a 30-day sugar free challenge. No cakes, no biscuits, no chocolate, no beer, no wine, no sweets…30 days.

Come on. You’ve got this. You can do this. It’s just 30 days.

Just get on with it.

If you are overweight and out of shape and you know that one of your downfalls is that you never take any exercise, then just do it, get out there and move your backside.

Come on, 30 days, exercise every day. It might be ten minutes, it might be two hours, just do something every day.

Sod all the experts, just do what you enjoy, just make sure you do something every day.

  • Feel like running? Then run.
  • Fancy lifting some weights? Then lift some weights.
  • If you are coming from doing nothing, then doing anything is an improvement.

Just do it.

Less talk, more action

Stuff all the experts.
Stuff all the conflicting advice.
Stuff all the confusion and contradiction and industry in-fighting.

Stuff the lot of ’em.
Just go do what you gotta do.

Just start.
Today.
Now.

Just get on with it.

To your good health! Happy New Year! May 2020 be YOUR year!