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Posts from the ‘Exercise’ Category

Are you getting enough?

In our private Mother Nature’s Diet Members Group this week, we’ve had some interesting discussions around the subject of sleep. One of our Members shared this interesting article from the news, reporting on scientists that have made new discoveries in how our circadian rhythms (which help to regulate sleep and hormone function and more) are linked to the movement of the sun – in humans and other species too.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the article, and this further article that is linked, which explains how we are suffering from society-wide sleep deprivation, which is contributing massively to all sorts of ill health, including cancer, and is costing the nation over £30bn per year in lost productivity.

We discuss the value of sleep regularly in our Mother Nature’s Diet Members Group, and ensuring you are getting adequate sleep is covered in Core Principle 10. Sleep is pretty much the best antidote to chronic stress, and in our Members Webinars we discuss the importance of getting enough good quality sleep. Your bedroom should be dark, cool, ventilated, calm and quiet. No electronic devices, no checking Facebook on your smartphone at three in the morning, and no night lights.

It is important to be asleep at night, in the dark, not awake, working or looking at your screen! Research is uncovering mechanisms that show how DNA repairhappens at night, while we sleep in the dark, and this may explain the link between working night shifts and higher mortality.

Gains

It seems pretty certain that sleep is important for many reasons – from stress reduction to combating cancer. There is growing evidence to suggest that depriving yourself of sleep through adult life is likely to leave that adult life, well, shortened.

In addition, another MND Member this week shared this fascinating blog post about a study that took a small group of overweight nonsmokers, and put them on a calorie restricted diet for two weeks, half the group getting adequate sleep, and half the group on reduced sleep. In short, the results showed that both groups lost weight, but most of the weight the sleep-deprived group lost was muscle mass and body water, whereas most of the weight the adequate-sleep group lost, was body fat. So, the lesson learned – if you are trying to lose fat weight, get Read more

The many reasons why we seem to be losing the fight against rising obesity

As I have written before, the classic weight loss advice to ‘eat less, move more’ has fallen from popularity in recent years. Frankly, those of us in this industry still promoting ‘eat less, move more’ as relevant advice in the face of the rising obesity epidemic are seen as rather outdated, rather old-school. As I have also written before, I do believe that the advice should be updated to ‘eat less, eat better, and move more’ which rather improves on, and corrects, the original expression.

But still, it’s far more current to besmirch all that old school talk as being fattist, as lacking understanding, as being outdated, outmoded and out-of-touch. It’s considered politically incorrect these days to suggest that obesity is on the rise because people eat too much and don’t exercise enough, and indeed it’s now becoming popular to say that any so-called health professional preaching such ancient wisdom is poorly educated and lacking in sympathy and understanding for the victims of the root causes of rising obesity.

To suggest that obese people ‘just eat less and move more’ is now seen as being about as constructive and helpful as telling a depressed person to ‘just get over it and cheer up a bit’. It’s now fashionable and politically correct to see obesity as an eating disorder, and to say that anyone preaching ‘eat less, move more’ is guilty of the most heinous of 21st century crimes – fat shaming.

In our complex modern world, with obesity growing at an alarming rate (or is that just changes to the system of classification?) there are many factors we can blame for rising obesity.

I could go on, but I think that’s enough for now.

All of these factors are relevant, they all play a role, they are all true, all valid, ALL OF THEM account for why some people are overweight, and all of them matter. I am not disagreeing with any one of the thigns on that list, or a dozen more, such as the role of environmental pollution, the rise in the number of TV channels, the role of anti-obesity attitudes in our society, the availability and nutritional content of school lunches, the increase in sugar content in foods, and so on and so on.

But here’s the thing. Read more

What’s your reason why? And is it strong enough…

Why do you want to be healthy?
Why should you eat well, exercise, get an early night, drink more water, drink less booze, eat your veggies, cut down on the hedonistic lifestyle, manage your stress, join a yoga class, go running and lift a few weights?
Why would you do all that?
What’s your motivation?
What’s your reason why?

Maybe you want ‘the body beautiful’ – whatever that means to you.
Maybe you want to get your hands on someone else’s body beautiful!
Maybe you want to be bursting with energy.
Perhaps you are striving to resist the signs of ageing.
Maybe you have a family history of ill health and you are making every effort not to follow that line.
Perhaps you want to improve your performance in your chosen sport.
Maybe you want to avoid ill health, the decline of serious illness that comes later in life.

There are plenty of reasons to engage in a healthy lifestyle – do you know what yours is?

Thinking time…

That last question…

Do you know what yours is?

Did you have to think about it, or did the answer Read more

Change, change again, and then change again!

Training!
How is your training going?

Core Principle 9 of Mother Nature’s Diet says ‘Exercise, daily. Move naturally. Variety, moderation, consistency and structure.’

Do you? Move, daily? With variety and consistency?

Let’s focus on the variety bit today.

As a set of basic guidelines, at Mother Nature’s Diet we encourage variety, we encourage you to do some cardiovascular exercise, such as running or cycling or swimming, at least a couple of times per week, and some strength training, such as weights, bodyweight calisthenics or similar resistance training, at least a couple of times per week. With a backdrop of walking every day, and a session or two each week of yoga or simple stretching, this makes for a good balanced week – that’s plenty of variety.

If you are currently inactive, or if you don’t follow any kind of specific exercise plan or training regime, then that basic framework described above should be a good goal to aim for, so get started and stick to it.

But if you are already following a training plan, you do already exercise regularly or play a certain sport, then you need to incorporate variety in other ways. We are talking about including more variety in your training from week to week, month to month, year to year, to keep your body and fitness growing and to keep you interested, fresh and making progress.

Plateau busting

All too often I meet folks who exercise on a regular basis but they are tired, not getting results, fed up because of a lack of progress. This is so common, it happens to almost everyone, and it can be such a frustrating place. Maybe you run and your 10k or half marathon just doesn’t seem to be getting any faster. Your PB has been stuck for two years and it’s driving you nuts. Or maybe you lift and you just can’t understand why your bench hasn’t improved in over a year, despite the fact you train chest twice a week without fail.

Being stuck is often a result of doing the same thing all the time and not creating any variety in your training. The runner who Read more

Step right up! It’s the miracle cure we’ve all been waiting for…

Step right up! It’s the miracle cure we’ve all been waiting for.

It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some. Its name?

Exercise.

At this point, you might think this is b/s, you might think I’m toying with you. But no. I am in fact, quoting verbatim from this page, on the NHS website.

Not snake oil sales tricks, not hyperbole, not lies or sensationalism designed to sell you the latest miracle supplement or piece of over-priced exercise equipment. The NHS. A website giving you sensible advice paid for by your taxes.

Regular, varied exercise really is the miracle cure worth hundreds of billions of pounds that we all wish for…yet it is right there, freely available to us, and many ignore it.

Regular exercise can help prevent heart disease, the global #1 killer.

Regular exercise can reduce your risk of certain cancers.

Regular exercise can improve blood sugar regulation for diabetics.

Regular exercise can help prevent type-2 diabetes.

Regular exercise can help with diabetes management.

Regular exercise seems to help prevent dementia.

Regular exercise can help combat rising obesity.

Regular exercise can help reduce all-cause mortality.

The WHO, the NHS, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes.co.uk, Harvard School of Public Health – these are not quack sources, not snake oil salesmen, these are the biggest names in public health. Exercise is the miracle cure, yet surveys suggest that only around one third of UK adults take the minimum recommended amount of daily exercise (and frankly, that minimum is set pretty low) and a full one third of UK adults get absolutely no exercise at all. Zero. Nothing. None.

Pound for pound, it’s the best and cheapest preventive medicine strategy available. I have written before that fitness is more important than fatness, and Mother Nature’s Diet includes Core Principle 9 – varied daily exercise.

So the questions is – are you doing it?

If not, why not?

To your good health!

Karl

The hard stuff is easy…it’s the easy stuff that so many people find hard

Promoting common-sense based healthy living, the Mother Nature’s Diet way, I travel around the country doing seminars and workshops, I give people one-to-one training and mentoring, and I meet a lot of doctors, trainers, nutritional therapists and other health professionals.

When I started all this five years ago, I would have thought it would be ‘the hard stuff’ that people would struggle with, that was my expectation. By ‘the hard stuff’ I mean overcoming years of low self-esteem, quitting smoking, overcoming the spiral of negative emotions that so often lead to poor health habits in the first place, or learning about nutrition and exercise, learning what to eat and what to avoid. I would have thought that was the hard stuff that most people did not understand, and I would have thought that would be the stuff folks find hard to deal with.

But in reality, when I talk to people who are making changes to their diet and lifestyle to lose weight, get fitter and improve their health, it’s not that stuff they are looking for help with. Far more often, the stuff they want help with is stuff that I think is ‘the easy stuff’. It’s things like – ‘what can I eat for breakfast?’ and ‘how can I find time to exercise?’ and ‘what am I supposed to eat for dinner?’

Seriously, this is the easy stuff!

Let me share with you some simple tips for the things people tell me they find difficult.

What to eat – breakfast

  • We want to get away from cereals and toast. Make scrambled eggs. Once you get good at it, then it only takes three or four minutes, that’s no time at all. I met a lady the other day, a GP, who said she’s got hers down to under 90 seconds! Quicker than me!
  • I like to add greens to my eggs, so I throw in a few handfuls of spinach while they are cooking, it all cooks down in there and adds valuable nutrients to my breakfast. Sometimes I add some mushrooms too, and then a fresh tomato on the side
  • If you fancy a sausage or two, or some bacon with your eggs, that’s great. But organic sausages, high meat content and gluten free, that’s best
  • If you want the bacon or the sausages, but don’t have time to grill them every day, then just grill a batch at the weekend or one evening when you do have time, and then keep them in the fridge – you can grab a couple out, chop them up and thrown them in your scrambled eggs to heat up while you are cooking, it only takes seconds
  • Cooked brekky in under 5 minutes = no excuses
  • Sometimes in summer I like a bowl of fresh fruits for breakfast, with a handful of mixed nuts added to make things a bit more substantial. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apple and later in the season, blackberries too. You might like to add pineapple, watermelon or grapefruit
    If you own a blender, ‘bullet’ or similar, then knocking up a breakfast smoothie a couple of times per week can be a very quick solution – you can even take it with you and drink it in the car!
  • Further ideas if you have time, are on this site

Read more

Fix your diet and live longer…simple, right?

In the spirit of keeping things short and simple, let’s get straight to the point.

I made a little video for you, it’s only 11 minutes, and it briefly explains Mother Nature’s Diet and the 12 Core Principles in the most short and easy way I could! I was aiming for inside 10 minutes…got it in just over 11, that’s pretty good for me!

This healthy living game doesn’t have to be difficult, it really is simple stuff.
Try these –

See how simple this stuff is!

Now of course, if you want ‘complex’ then there is plenty of detail and plenty of science behind it all. You might like to read more about how a sedentary life (that means you don’t do much exercise) can increase the risk of kidney cancer and bladder cancer.

Or perhaps you would be interested in reading about the role of excess dietary carbohydrate in driving health conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

This line stands out “An insulin response with every snack and meal for years can, in genetically vulnerable people, cause insulin resistance with variable expression among people and among different body tissues.” Read the whole (short) article in the British Journal of General Practice here.

As the article suggests, possibly the treatment protocol that has prevailed for decades – a diet based on whole grain ‘slow release’ complex carbs, and taking medications to control blood glucose, may in fact be the wrong approach, doing patients more harm than good. The correct approach, of course…well, that would be Mother Nature’s Diet. Natch.

If you need any further convincing on this topic, you should watch this lovely half-hour video from the highly personable Dr David Unwin, whom I have met and he’s a lovely chap, awarded as ‘Innovator of the Year’ by the NHS, for treating diabetic patients with a low-carb diet.

To your good health!

Karl

Whose job is it to keep you from getting sick?

Oh dear…were banging the ‘personal responsibility’ drum again! Feels like déjà vu…

A while back I asked ‘what saves the most lives – fire fighters or smoke alarms?

Let’s revisit this topic, and dig just a little deeper. It seems to me that in many, perhaps most, areas we grasp the idea that prevention is better than cure. We fit smoke alarms to our homes, we buy soft furnishings treated with fire retardant, we teach our kids not to play with matches, we all do our best not to leave candles unattended and so on. The UK Fire Service spends a good chunk of it’s budget on “undertaking preventative activities to reduce the risks of fire; and carrying out safety inspections of business premises” to prevent fires happening in the first place.

The UK Police service spends time and money on crime prevention, community policing and public safety. The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has become a standard part of doing business in our country, and together with RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) these organisations do good work to reduce injuries and accidents in the UK, in businesses and homes.

And the NHS, to be fair, does promote a healthy lifestyle – they tell us to eat our 5-a-day, they offer resources and advice to help people to stop smoking, they tell the British public to drink less alcohol, and that alcohol contributes to cancer and more, they offer advice on weight loss and they promote regular exercise, clearly stating “Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose.”

So, our national emergency services are clearly ‘bought in’ to the idea that prevention is better than cure. I think we all are – I mean, no one buys a car and never gets it serviced, never has the tyres replaced, never tops up the windscreen wash, never has new brake pads put in, never puts fuel in it. No one does that. After a few days, weeks, months or years, what use would that car be if you never looked after it, never did any maintenance? Of course, it would be useless.

As a society, we get it, this idea that we have to do maintenance on something to keep it running well – worn tyres and worn brakes are a recipe for an early grave should you be required to make an emergency stop in wet weather…yet obesity, a lack of fitness, insulin resistance and high blood pressure are a recipe for an early grave too, and yet so many people will pay to get their car serviced every year, but they never commit to that same level of maintenance for themselves.

Whose job is it to keep us from getting sick in the first place?

RoSPA and the HSE do their best to give us safety advice and to ensure our work places and public spaces are safe, but ultimately is it RoSPA’s fault if I drive too fast on poor tyres in wet weather and I have an accident? No, of course not. That would be my fault.

And so the NHS tell us Read more

Mother Nature’s Diet

Weight loss, nutrition, healthy living…it has all become so confusing in recent years.

It can be hard to know what is the right thing to do.

  • Are you fed up with fad diets?
  • Had enough of the gimmicks, the promises, the bullshit?
  • Are you fed up with being lied to?
  • Are you tired of the contradictory messages, ideas and advice?
  • Are you bored of being sold ‘the magic secret’ to this or the ‘only supplement you’ll ever need’ for that?

All the health experts seem to preach messages that are in conflict with each other.

The internet seems to be awash with self-appointed diet gurus promising you ‘the secrets’ to weight loss, the secrets to fat burning, the truth about ageing well…yet the solutions they offer seem to involve buying some powdered supplements or sticking to some crazy workout schedule.

Mother Nature’s Diet is the antidote to all that conflict and contradiction.

No fads, no gimmicks, no so-called superfoods or supplements.

No starving, no calorie counting, no suffering.

Mother Nature’s Diet is a common-sense healthy lifestyle, not a fad diet, that will help you lose weight, feel great and resist the signs of ageing.

Mother Nature’s Diet is for people who care, people who want the best for themselves, and people who are prepared to put in a little effort to get permanent lasting results.

MND_BOOK_MOCK-UP_hires

Personal responsibility

Mother Nature’s Diet is all about taking personal responsibility, and working on yourself to get the best out of your life, in every way. Whether you are currently aged 30 or 70, if you are the kind of person who refuses to accept that turning 40 means “it’s all downhill from here” and if you believe that we can be slim and healthy and full of energy in our 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond, then the Mother Nature’s Diet way of living just might be the lifestyle you have been searching for.

If you think the right way to live is to eat fresh whole foods, rather than searching for answers in the form of supplements, pills and powders, then Mother Nature’s Diet will resonate with you.

“Doc, can’t I just have the pills?”

A while ago I interviewed an NHS GP about the state of healthcare in the UK, and I asked the questions “Are people working hard to help themselves?”, and I was shocked to be told that while many GPs do take the time to give lifestyle and dietary advice, repeatedly, the reality is that a staggering nine out of ten patients just disregard that advice and ask, “Doc, can’t I just have the pills?”

This is the sad truth – the NHS is going bust because people are not taking personal responsibility.

Nine out of ten people. That is shocking and saddening to me.

If you just read that little story and, in your mind, you thought “I’m the one in ten, I don’t want to just take pills, if there is a way I can help myself, then I will.” If that’s you, then you’ll find that Mother Nature’s Diet is the lifestyle for you.
You will enjoy this book.

Mother Nature’s Diet is the point where lifestyle medicine meets personal responsibility.

  • If you want to lose that excess weight for good, no more fad diets, no more yo-yo weight loss, then Mother Nature’s Diet may be the answer you have been looking for
  • If you are prepared to get outside every day for some fresh air, take long walks at the weekends and switch off that TV from time to time, then you’ll feel right at home living the Mother Nature’s Diet way
  • If you want more energy, and freedom from sugar-lows and the afternoon slump, then Mother Nature’s Diet is for you

Mother Nature’s Diet – the place where preventive medicine meets personal responsibility.
The best version of you: fit, healthy, and full of energy, now and far into your future.

All you need to know

Mother Nature’s Diet is made up of 12 Core Principles, these are 12 simple points to guide you to optimal good health. The 12 Core Principles are easy to understand, easy to implement in your life and easy to follow. Living this way requires no science degree, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I have worked hard to remove the science and complexity, and the end result is purposefully simple, as good health should be. And far from starving, this lifestyle is abundant, you shouldn’t need to suffer in order to be healthy.MND_cover_A42

The 293-page eBook includes a 28-Day Plan, all the details you need to make these sustainable, enjoyable, beneficial changes in your life, to lose weight, feel great and have more energy.

Available for immediate download now.

What people are saying…

“This book is clearly written with passion and integrity, masses of commonsense, a framework of experience and thorough research, and packed with real-life constructive suggestions. If you want to change your life and health for the better, I can only strongly recommend that you buy it, read it and implement it; it’s the best £9 you will ever spend.” – Mrs T, Norwich

“If you care about yourself, if you want to be the best you can then you need to buy this book, it’s not just a way to eat well but also a way to live your life well too … it will be the best investment in You that you can ever make!” – Mrs V, France

“I wanted to crack on with discovering MND… love the no-nonsense, common-sense and pep-talk style – accessible, and am aiming for ‘progress, not perfection’ … thanks, Karl!” – Mrs G, East Anglia

“It’s a good read and I’m 5lb down already and I haven’t even finished the book yet!” – Ms. G, South East

“I have found the book great. Exactly the tool I wanted to learn from and digest (pardon the pun!)” – Mr B, Hereford

“Testimonial! Okay, I need to boast, lol, not for me, but for my other half. In less than 3 weeks of properly following MND he has lost (drum roll please!!!)……. 1 stone! Not only that, but his shape has improved too! Say bye bye to belly fat, and hello to trimmer and more toned!! Oh and best of all, he is finding it a doddle as the MND 12 Core Principles are so easy to follow and implement. Thank you Karl!” – Ms. J, Wales

“I have suffered with irritable bowel syndrome for many, many years. I was told to eat fibre – given Fybogel from the doctor, etc., suffered with lots of painful cramps, bloating etc., going one day being constipated, the next loose. I follow MND and no bloating, and bowels are now normal. Happy days!” – Mrs H, UK

“I’ve been following the MND lifestyle for 4 weeks today – lots of positive changes including over 7lbs lost.” – Mr J, South West

“Listen to Karl! I cut all the rubbish out of my shopping list, my trolley has never looked so healthy. I weighed myself today and I’m 6lbs lighter and I’ve eaten loads this week, not felt hungry and am determined never to follow any weight loss programme ever again, just healthy eating and exercise and no sugar!” – Ms. C, UK

 

“I have lost 5lbs in one week just by following MND and home workouts. I cannot believe it! My stomach has really gone down. I’ve stopped the bread and stuck to the 12 Core Principles. I still cannot believe it. Just having more energy is awesome!” – Ms R, London, UK

“I’d tried paleo, LCHF, considered raw, vegan, not to mention a decade of weight watchers, slimming world and none of it made any sense. All contradicting each other and often within their own ‘rules’. MND 12 CP’s are the way to go – Karl has made them so simple to follow! What I found useful was to write down what each CP meant to me in terms of what to work on. I did that in Jan after the seminar and will do again shortly as I’ve made a lot of little changes in those 6 months.” – Mrs Smith, South East, UK

“Thought I would share this to celebrate!!! Dropped a dress size in 2 weeks!!!!! And can now wear skinny jeans!!!! Am soooooooo happy!!!!!!!” – Rose, UK

“Quitting sugar and alcohol (didn’t drink much anyway) has changed my life. Karl Whitfield changed my life, his MND and 12CP showed me the way and I followed x Thank you x” – Mrs Wade, UK

“I would urge anyone who thinks this diet/way of life is restrictive to do what I did and start with just a small manageable time period to see how you feel afterwards. I guarantee that you will notice a major difference in your body, your health and it won’t seem as restrictive as before, but instead you will discover a new lease of life. I will be doing more and more 4 week periods, until I do more of them than I do more of the bad eating. Thanks for the hard work that goes into MND. It is highly appreciated.”

“I’ve lost 7lbs in 12 days Karl, and yes it is all yum, and beats a sandwich and crisps any day!” – Ms C, UK

“I’m down a dress size in two weeks as I’m no longer bloated and sluggish.
My anaemia is no longer tiring me out so much in the day!!!!
I’m sticking to this!!”

“MND has got me from 20% body fat to around 15% some times under fluctuates slightly but really impressed and not really made many drastic changes just been more aware of what I fuel my body with. Knowledge is power so massive thanks to Karl Whitfield for his… very inspiring … help.” – Mr R, Yorks

“15 weeks in 1 and half stone lost… apparently, so I’m told, I’ve lost it from my back and love handles, neck and face.” – Mr P, Midlands

“MND really does work!” – Ms R, London

Get your copy immediately and start making changes for your best health ever right now!

Eat less, move more…the diet deniers strike back…

Following the last post, this blog has registered it’s first official reader complaint!
A milestone to be sure!

In the last post I wrote about the ‘eat less, move more’ phrase, and how many health and fitness professionals, people I referred to as ‘the diet deniers’ for a bit of a tease, discard this phrase as being unscientific nonsense that has no place in helping solve our global obesity crisis. If you have not yet read that post, you may like to go and read it now.

In that post, I argue that in fact, eat a little less and move a whole lot more is great advice that probably is highly applicable to at least half or maybe as many as three quarters of all the overweight and obese people in our society that need and want to lose some weight. I went on to say that the saying should be revised to ‘eat less, eat better, and move more’ to meet the needs of as many people as possible.

Steve, a really good friend of mine, read that post, and challenged me on my thoughts. You know who your true friends are; it’s the people who don’t mind openly challenging you in the hopes that one, or both of you, might learn something. True friends can challenge each other without fear of upset or conflict, when you share the common aim of learning, when you both just seek the truth.

My friend Steve is a Personal Trainer, and a damn good one at that. He’s young, just turned 30, and he’s in great shape, he looks the part, lean, muscular, fit and strong and healthy. He’s always been in good shape, since playing sport at school, and he’s a highly qualified PT, constantly taking courses, expanding his knowledge base, always learning. Steve is roughly six foot tall, and he weighs a little over 13 stones (he’s around 186 pounds, or 85 kilos), so he’s pretty muscular, athletic looking I would say, and low enough body fat to have visible abs.

He challenged my thoughts last week and said that he thought I was being overly simplistic, he laughed and said “I’m one of your diet deniers! I think a few people should ‘eat less and move more’, but for most overweight people out there that’s not enough, they need personalised help, help with nutrition, perhaps a low carb diet, a ketogenic diet maybe, or they need help with a personalised training plan, they definitely need more than just ‘eat less, move more’.”

Here’s how the conversation followed –

Karl: Sure, all those things will be a big help to a lot of people, and for sure once someone is ‘on their way’ and the weight is starting to come off, they may need those things to keep making forward progress and to get into really great shape. But for a lot of folks, they just need to get started, they need to stop over eating and get out of their sedentary rut, start moving more.

Steve: Nope, that’s not enough man!

Karl: OK, try this for me buddy. I want you to experience something for me. You’re still a young buck, only 30, and you’re very healthy and in great shape. At your age, I know you can do this, I know you can do this experiment for me and come back from it, no long term damage, you’re the expert.

Steve: Go on…? Read more

The diet deniers

Eat less, move more – annoying cliché, or inconvenient truism?

I have been following the diet industry, in one way or another, for almost 30 years now, either as a customer trying to lose weight, or as a professional who ‘cracked the code’ and is now trying to help others.

I have seen trends sweep through this industry – fashions, buzzwords, fad diets of course, that come and go. A few years ago, the phrase ‘eat less, move more’ became ‘the latest thing’ in the media, perhaps rising partly off the back of the popularity of Paleo diets. The increasing use of this expression seemed to rise as a result of press articles summarising the words of doctors, scientists and personal trainers who were promoting studies showing that lack of exercise and the ease of access to hyperpalatable, high-sugar, obesogenic foods were the main societal drivers of the obesity and type-2 diabetes epidemics.

Now, the latest, latest new thing, in the last year or so, has been to decry this expression as the most naïve and pointless weight loss advice ever promoted! It has become très trendy among the educated classes to laugh at the idea that eating less and moving more could possibly be good advice in tackling the rising obesity problem.

Almost every day now I read posts by diet and nutrition bloggers, or I see books from doctor-this and PhD-that, brushing off ‘eat less, move more’ as laughably short-sighted, and “anyone who says that clearly doesn’t understand the complex factors driving the obesity epidemic” and “oh how silly, if only it was that simple” and “telling an obese person to eat less is as pointless as telling a depressed person to just cheer up.”

Well ex-cuse me, you highly-educated diet-snob, but I’ve been both an obese person, and a depressed person, and I can tell you ‘eat less, move more’ worked a hell of a lot more effectively for me than ‘just cheer up’ ever did, so you can stick your PhD where the sun don’t shine pal, because I’m pretty darned certain that about 50% or more of all the overweight and obese people I see and meet out there in the real world damn well need to just eat a little less, and move a whole lot more, and in a great many cases they are perfectly happy to admit it!

Obesity is a multifactorial condition

Now I know the obesity epidemic is being driven by a lot of complex factors. I know some people overeat as an emotional crutch to make up for traumatic or psychologically damaging events that happened in their past, sure that maybe accounts for about 5% of the overweight and obese people out – probably only really 1% or 2%, but I am being generous.

And I know that there are genetic factors, some people Read more

Save yourself a bunch of hassle, a small fortune, and years of poor health – JFDI

This post, in a nutshell:

  • I was a fat yo-yo dieter for 20 years, in and out of obesity, trying fad diets and fad bouts of exercise
  • I finally ‘figured it all out’ and lost 101 pounds of fat, or 7 stone 3, or 46 kilos
  • Now I have spent 11 years obsessed with health and fitness and read 847 books and research papers on all-things-health related
  • I have spent the last five years trying to teach the best of what I learned – no gimmicks, no fads, no selling snake-oil supplements, no bullshit, just the truth
  • Most folks don’t want this truth, it’s too boring. It’s not very sexy, it doesn’t sell
  • Ugly as it sounds, the reality is that ‘most’ doctors and ‘experts’ are disinclined to teach healthy diet and lifestyle modification as preventive medicine. Instead they wait for people to mess themselves up, then when they come for help, they prescribe drugs or surgery
  • And most ordinary people are turned off by honest advice to eat healthily and exercise more, and instead they prefer to live the hedonistic life, wait til shit goes wrong, then take those prescription drugs in the hopes that can fix things
  • This strategy falls apart when the NHS goes bust and everyone has type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer
  • The solution? Follow my boring and sensible advice, follow the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet, and stop using food and alcohol as cheap thrills and anxiety drugs to make up for the fact that other areas of your life are less than fulfilling

The size of the problem

If you follow this blog then you know my back story and there is no real need for me to go through it again. For those who are new to this blog, here is the super-short version. I struggled with my weight from age 14 to age 35, yo-yo diets, exercise fads, in and out of obesity. I smoked for 20 years, drank pretty heavily for 26 years, had skin problems, nasal congestion problems, took prescription meds for 17 years, and fought low self-esteem my entire life. Mid-30s, I started to learn about nutrition and turned it all around. Lost 7 stone 3 (101 pounds, 46 kilos), got fit, ran a bunch of marathons, had some injuries and accidents (including every running injury in the book, knee surgery, fractured spine, busted some ribs, bust a few bones) and then studied and became a Personal Trainer. Long version here.

Along the way, I read hundreds of books, hundreds of research papers, attended dozens of training events, seminars, conferences and more. I learned a ton about health, nutrition, disease prevention, fitness, training, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, weight loss, mindset, personal development, farming, agriculture, the environment, history, anthropology and a whole lot more. Along the way I got really pissed off with all the confusing and conflicting research and advice.

  • Meat is good for you : no, meat gives you cancer!
  • Dairy is good for you, it’s a superfood : no, dairy is full of pus and gives you breast cancer!
  • Running is good for you : no, running trashes your knees and hips!
  • Low-fat is the secret to losing weight and avoiding heart disease – so just eat less fat and more carbs! : No! Fat is essential…it’s the carbs that cause heart disease and make you fat!
  • Coconut oil is good : no, coconut oil is bad!
  • Put butter and fat in your coffee : no, coffee is already bad for you, it’s worse with butter in it!
  • Weight training is good for you : no, weights will make you bulky and you’ll end up damaging your joints and taking steroids!
  • Calories are all that matter for weight loss : no, calories don’t matter at all!

And so it goes on and on and on. I read every book, paper and blog on every topic for 27 years and it all drove me nuts. Every expert disagrees with every other expert! And today, if anything, it’s only Read more

Every master was once a disaster

Every master was once a disaster…it’s worth remembering, that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and few people are great at anything the first time they try it.

I was listening to one of these personal development guru types the other day, a great speaker and author called T.Harv Eker who teaches people how to get rich, and he used the phrase ‘every master was once a disaster’.

The phrase came back to my mind the very next day when I was training with a PT client who was really struggling with the challenge I had set for him. This guy is around 40 and he’s let himself get out of shape; you know, bit of a belly, let the fitness go, not done any strength training in years. He is in perfectly good health, has no heart problems and not morbidly obese, so I was pushing him pretty hard to get through this workout challenge, and he was swearing and cursing and flagging big time.

I could see he was reaching exhaustion, but on each exercise I was pushing him to go one or two extra reps, just to get the best out of him, the best he could do that day. He was swearing at me, sure, but he was mostly swearing at himself.

When we finished the workout, he was hard on himself, berating himself for doing poorly, for being unfit and out-of-shape. He was ashamed, maybe that word is too strong, but he was disappointed by how few push-ups he could do, how few burpees he could do, how few dips he could do. I told him, ‘every master was once a disaster’ and he shouldn’t be so hard on himself now, but instead understand that he has work to do to move from ‘disaster’ to ‘master’ and he should be proud that right now he is taking the necessary steps, doing the work, pushing himself forward, and starting to make improvements.

I do a lot of push-ups, I guess 200 to 500 per day most days. In fact on a good day, I think little of doing 1000 in a day. But it wasn’t always like that. When I first decided it was time to get fit and healthy, I couldn’t finish a single set of 20. I was only 20 years of age. Let’s be absolutely clear, failing to complete even one set of 20, flaking out at less than 15, as a young man aged just 20, that is very poor. I was at ‘disaster’ at that time, but I didn’t beat myself up too much for that. I just said ‘OK, it’s 14 today. OK, let’s shoot for 15 or more tomorrow’ and started making progress from there. Now I do 1000 in a day, no big deal.

The lesson to learn is this: often no one is as hard on us as we are on ourselves. Don’t beat yourself up too much, instead take pride from the fact that at least you are here, you’re reading this blog, you’re trying to live by the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet, you’re working out, even if it’s starting with just one push-up, well done you, that’s one more than yesterday. Just start, and keep moving forward. As I wrote last week, the road to ‘master’ is seldom straight, upward and easy; instead it’s fraught with setbacks and trials and tribulations along the way, but you have started, you have made a move from ‘disaster’ and you are on your way. Master awaits, you just have to keep making forward progress.

Exercise, diet, lifestyle. Keep making progress. Don’t be too hard on yourself, the journey is long, stay the course. Rather than emotionally beating yourself up for errors in days gone by, mistakes you have made that cannot be undone, keep going consistently now, keep making forward progress, and never look back. Consistency is where so many fail. Stay the course.

Whatever your goals, keep chasing them, keep working; and as you move towards mastery, one day at a time, just remind yourself that every master was once a disaster. Keep going, you’ve got this.

 

 

Who is influencing you?

In this post we look at the most influential people in health and fitness…and question if they are the people you really want to be influenced by?

A little while ago, I was catching up on news in my email inbox, and I found this, a list of The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness. I spent some time reading the list, and I was delighted to see some people on there who are positive influences on me, like the excellent Mark Sisson, and the dependable blogger Yoni Freedhoff, and the personal development guru Tony Robbins.

I was delighted to see some of the people I go to for learning, such as the always-brilliant Robb Wolf, the writer I aspire to emulate, Michael Pollan, and the excellent Natalie Jill who makes fitness so easy and approachable for so many people.

So I think there are some great people on this list, there is Dr Mark Hyman, the ever-inspirational Arnold Schwarzenegger, nutrition guru Gary Taubes and the highly agreeable Josh Axe. I am pleased to find two people on the list that I have actually met and shaken hands with.

But I also find some things about this list rather alarming. I decided to look at what skills it takes to become one of the most influential people on Earth in health and fitness. The article defines how they compiled the list –

“A note about our methodology: This list is intended to highlight people who had the greatest impact and reach in health and wellness—they’re not necessarily people we personally endorse.

The order is determined by a long list of criteria. We started with a list of nearly 300 individuals nominated by the Greatist staff and Greatist ambassador network. We then created a scoring system based on the following categories: followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube; studies published; professional degrees and certifications; number of Google News mentions; number of products created (including starring TV and film roles); brand partnerships; and an estimate of how much each person’s career focuses on fitness and health.

We purposefully excluded most health care executives, professional athletes, and spiritual leaders, unless we felt they strongly contributed to health, fitness, or mental health.”

I ran some counts down the list, not exactly scientific, but the best I could do in just an hour or so, and I counted that the list includes, roughly, the following: Read more

Doing what you have to do, versus doing what you want to do…

It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in all the tasks we have to do…and forget to give ourselves time to enjoy.

There is an art to finding balance in how we live our lives.

From a statement like that, we could go off in all manner of directions; around diet and ‘moderation in all things’; around exercise and the benefits of variety; around relationships, careers and more. Rather than exploring any or all such topics in depth, let’s just look at one angle, the work-life balance. And by ‘work’ I don’t just mean ‘career’ or ‘your job’, I mean the broader work-life balance, the balance between always doing what you have to do, versus doing what you want to do. In our modern high-speed lives we always have so much to do.

Some of this is real – that leak in the conservatory roof must get fixed, because every time it rains water is pouring in and it’s making a mess, filling buckets, staining the floor, so this is an urgent task that must be attended to, it’s no use saying “I’ll do that next month”. But many of the things we find ourselves striving to get done are not so essential, or at least not so urgent; often they are self-imposed rules we feel we should live by, or goals we feel we must achieve to fit in, to meet certain social or societal standards, to keep up with the Jones’s. We don’t want our lawn to look unkempt compared to our neighbours; we must attend that parent–teacher association meeting at our child’s school; we must wear certain clothes, look a certain way, earn a certain amount, drive a certain type of car.

Constant overwhelm

It’s not to say there is anything wrong with helping out at the parent–teacher association, or driving a BMW, or having an immaculately manicured lawn, there isn’t, these are all good things. But the problem is, we often find our lives become completely swamped in all these things, between parenting, working full time, trying to stay fit and healthy, keeping up family contacts and obligations, maintaining the home and more, so often we feel utterly overwhelmed with it all. I speak to people almost daily who joke (but they are only half-joking) something like “I go to work for a rest!” Often we find the weekend is busier than the working week.

I feel this myself sometimes…I pour my energy into my working week, it has structure and purpose, I have objectives for the week, and I work hard to get those things done. Working from home I have to be fairly strict about my working time; I have to avoid distractions, family, the kids, things that need fixing, conversations, play, repairs…all the things that come up during a typical week. I have to have the discipline to say “Not now, I’ll put it on my list and deal with it at the weekend” and by the time the weekend comes, I have more to do on a Saturday or Sunday that during the week – so much for rest!

No time for fun at the weekend

This has become our norm as a society. And I don’t know about you, but I am fairly hard on myself for the things that don’t get done. I still don’t find time to Read more

Vote to save our NHS…

There are several ways we can save the NHS – let’s look at the one you and I can do today.

I do not intend to start using this blog to talk politics, so apologies up front for the slightly provocative political tease in the title this week. As we approach a general election in the UK, there is an even greater than usual amount of talk in the media about the NHS being sold off, privatised, deliberately run into financial ruin and going broke.

Sadly, much of this talk is based in the uncomfortable reality that the NHS truly is in huge financial trouble. Doctors working long hours; A&E departments struggling to cope; patients on beds in corridors; nurses forced to go to food banks; the rising cost of treating an ageing population; the huge cost of treating obesity-related ill health; and the massive rise in the cost of treating our diabetes epidemic. These costs, along with the massive and constant cost of treating heart disease and related circulatory conditions and cancer treatments are crippling the NHS, and unless funding is increased, the system faces breaking point.

As a nation, we spend around 19% to 20% of our tax receipts on running the NHS, roughly the same as we spend on pensions. These two things – the NHS and pensions – are the biggest single areas of government expenditure in the UK. Be under no illusion, the NHS is a big deal, we spend many billions on healthcare annually, and no doubt private profit-making corporations would just love to get their hands on some of those big contracts.

But I’m pretty sure we don’t want an American-style system, we really don’t.

It seems that once nationwide healthcare provision comes under the influence of the joint forces of profit making insurance companies, profit making private medical facilities, and profit-making drug companies, then the whole system starts to Read more

Stop reading crap in The Daily Fail!

Stop reading crappy articles in the media! They do almost everyone more harm than good, they really are hopeless, they serve only to sell newspapers and attract online traffic, to help the media site sell to advertisers.

We see all this garbage, news articles like “Drinking red wine does you as much good as going to the gym” and “Drinking coffee helps fight bowel cancer” and “Just 6 minutes of exercise is better for you than hours every day…” and “Eat more cabbage to prevent heart disease” or “Study shows eating sausages cures Parkinson’s” or whatever crap they write. What newspapers and media sites do, is take a grain of truth from a study and turn it into some kind of statement of fact. But the information we start with is NOT a statement of medical or biological fact in the first place, it’s often just an observation…only the dumbass newspaper tries to make it a fact.

The limitations of studies

So for instance, let’s look at a made-up, but realistic, example scenario. Maybe a team of researchers in Canada, or Finland, or California, conduct an observational study, known as a cohort study, to track a large group of people over a fairly long period of time. It may be that they follow 17,450 people for 14 years. At the start of the study, the people recruited were aged 30 to 50 and did not have heart disease, or at least no diagnosed condition or symptoms, such as high blood pressure. The study follows these people’s lives for 14 years, asking them to complete an online survey 4 times per year for 14 years, tracking a couple of hundred questions every time, to understand their behaviour, such as how much they smoke, how much they drink, how many coffees per day they drink, how many times per week they eat fish, how many times per week they eat meat, how many times per week they exercise, and so on. At the end of the study, the researchers primary target is to see how many people developed heart disease or signs of heart disease, such as obesity and high blood pressure.

Once the study is finished, the researchers will have a mass of data about 17,450 people (maybe 20,000 or 25,000 started, but a bunch dropped out along the way) which shows rates of obesity, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and so on, at the start, and rates at the finish, including who developed heart disease or cancer along the way. They also have all this data on what those people ate and did in between times, so they can then look for trends in the data, like xx% of heavy smokers developed xx condition, or xyz% of people who took no weekly exercise, gained the greatest % of weight gain…and so on.

There are many strengths and weaknesses of these kinds of studies, which we won’t look into in detail here. The point is this; often such a study will generate a finding such as “People who drank 3 or 4 cups of coffee per day were at 17% less relative risk of developing coronary heart disease or suffering a myocardial infarction (a heart attack), than people who drank only 1 cup per day or less.”

This makes it to the average trash newspaper or media site as “Good news coffee lovers, drinking 4 cups per day prevents heart attacks!” Read more

Pick up a cow every day, and never miss a day

The secret to getting results is consistency, above all else.

Whenever I am driving, I almost always listen to educational material, audio books or personal development CDs. A few days ago I was listening to a personal development CD and the speaker was telling a great story. When he was a boy, growing up on a farm, he watched one day as his father helped one of their cows deliver her baby calf.

Within no time the calf was standing up and his father said to him “Son, if you come out here tomorrow and wrap your arms around that baby calf and pick it up, then come out here every single day and pick that calf up, day by day you will get stronger, and by the time that calf is a fully grown cow, you’ll be able to pick up a 500-pound adult cow.” The son looked at his father with questioning eyes, and the father added “But son, you must never miss a day. If you miss a day, by the time you come back the next day, that calf will have grown too much and you won’t be able to pick it up, and then you’ll never be able to catch up. Son, you must never miss a day.”

The son came out the next day and picked up the calf, and thought it felt pretty easy. He came out the next day and the next, indeed every day for a week or two. But then it rained one day. And he couldn’t be bothered to go down to the barn, so he missed a day. When he went back the next day he was surprised how much harder it was to pick up the calf. But then he got busy, and he missed another day. And then he came home from school and he was busy playing with his friends. Now he had missed two days, and when he went back to the barn and tried to pick up the calf, he just couldn’t do it, the calf had grown too heavy, and he couldn’t pick it up.

He went to his father and told him how the calf was now just three weeks old but he could no longer pick it up, all because he missed a couple of days. The father said “I told you son, you can never miss a day. If you want to do the impossible, you can never miss a day.” As the speaker goes on to say, most likely he’d have never been able to pick up a 500-pound full-grown cow, but regardless, as a child that lesson taught him the power and value of consistency.

Are you planning to pick up a cow?

If you have goals in 2017, to lose some unwanted weight, to build some muscle, to sculpt and shape your body, to clean up your diet and learn to cook some new, healthier meals for yourself and your family, know that nothing beats consistency.

You wouldn’t rock up at the gym one time, workout for 63 hours straight, then go home and say “Well that’s me done for the year” and expect to look a million bucks the next morning, would you? You’re smarter than that, you know it doesn’t work that way. You only need to go to the gym for 40 minutes at a time, not 63 hours, but you need to work hard in those 40 minutes, make them count, and most importantly, do it five or six or seven times every week. Every week. All year. That’s the way to get results.

You wouldn’t cook three times your own body weight in broccoli one time in January, eat it all in one very long (and rather crazy) day and then say “Well that’s my veggies for the year then” and expect to see some kind of miraculous health transformation staring back at you in the mirror a few months later, would you? But if you just eat two or three servings of green vegetables every single day all year, for most people that would signal significant improvements in their annual diet.

The magic is in consistency. Fad diets and 5-minute-wonders be damned, staying power trumps all.

If you want to be picking up a 500-pound cow by this time next year, just remember you can never miss a day.

Consistency rules. Stick to it.

To your good health!

More gym, less wine

News items telling the public that drinking alcohol has health benefits are a regular feature of the tabloid press, and once again this week I spotted this news item this morning on my Facebook feed:
“Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says”

My goal this week is not to ‘bash alcohol consumption’ specifically, but just to highlight how scientific facts become distorted by the time they find their way into the mainstream press.

The news article linked above clearly attempts to inform the reader that drinking red wine is so good for your heart, that it’s as good as exercise. Of course, if we read down a little way, we find the message is slightly less clear…the research lead is noted as saying that a compound found in red wine, resveratrol, can have positive benefits on your heart and other muscles which may be beneficial for those who cannot exercise. He stresses that for those physically incapable of exercise, a glass of red wine may be beneficial alongside what little exercise they can manage.

So here we have a classic example of how a research er has made a suggestion that “may offer some benefit” to a specific ‘special population’ but by the time it reaches the popular press, the headline is “Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says” with no mention of “might” or “for those who are physically incapable of exercise” and the short article is accompanied by a picture of red wine being poured, captioned with the words “Glass of red wine equals 1 hour at gym.”

Clearly, this is somewhat stretching the truth – to suggest to the population at large that they will somehow derive the same benefits from sitting at home drinking wine, as they would from going to the gym and working out for an hour. How ridiculous!

Resveratrol

So what is this compound, resveratrol?
You can read a little about it hear on Wikipedia.

Resveratrol is a compound found in the skin of the grapes they use to make wine. In the grape skin, the resveratrol is found in much higher concentrations…so why not publish an article saying “eating grapes can benefit your heart” – that would surely be better health advice to give to the general public, yes? In a society wrestling with an obesity epidemic, would that not be more responsible journalism? Read more

Less wine, more gym…

News items telling the public that drinking alcohol has health benefits are a regular feature of the tabloid press, and once again the other week I spotted this news item making it’s way around on social media:
“Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says”

My goal in this post is not to ‘bash alcohol consumption’ specifically, but just to highlight how scientific facts become distorted by the time they find their way into the mainstream press.

The news article linked above clearly attempts to inform the reader that drinking red wine is so good for your heart, that it’s as good as exercise. Of course, if we read down a little way, we find the message is slightly less clear…the research lead is noted as saying that a compound found in red wine, resveratrol, can have positive benefits on your heart and other muscles which may be beneficial for those who cannot exercise. He stresses that for those physically incapable of exercise, a glass of red wine may be beneficial alongside what little exercise they can manage.

So here we have a classic example of how a researcher has made a suggestion that “may offer some benefit” to a specific ‘special population’ but by the time it reaches the popular press, the headline is “Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says” with no mention of “might” or “for those who are physically incapable of exercise” and the short article is accompanied by a picture of red wine being poured, captioned with the words “Glass of red wine equals 1 hour at gym.”

Clearly, this is somewhat stretching the truth – to suggest to the population at large that they will somehow derive the same benefits from sitting at home drinking wine, as they would from going to the gym and working out for an hour. How ridiculous! Read more

Fitness or fatness?

Is it healthier to be slim but not fit, or overweight but physically fit?

Does it even matter?

I spotted this question being debated – rather excitedly to be honest – online in a Facebook Group and I thought I would share it with you.

There are many opinions on this. Some people think we should stop obsessing over body image, and there is too much public pressure on us to be thin. Some people say it’s wrong to assume that an overweight or obese person is either lazy, unfit or unhealthy. Maybe that person exercises and is physically fit, they just happen to be overweight too.

Others point out that being overweight or obese is a risk factor for many poor health conditions, such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is true, being overweight or obese is a risk factor for all these diseases, in fact being overweight or obese is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK, and worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation.

But while being overweight or obese contributes to several of our most prevalent diseases, so does a lack of physical exercise. That’s right, when we look at lists of all the factors causing type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, while we see ‘overweight and obesity’ on the list, in every case, ‘lack of exercise’ is right there on the same list too.

If we dig a little deeper, we actually find out that fitness matters more than fatness, when it comes to all-cause mortality. If you read the short abstract from that study which was published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, you’ll see that overweight and obese people who maintained good physical fitness, lived about as long as normal weight people who maintained good levels of physical fitness too. As the article says “Compared to normal weight-fit individuals, unfit individuals had twice the risk of mortality regardless of BMI.”

So there you have it. It turns out that it’s more important to be fit, than to be thin, if living a long healthy live and avoiding major diseases is your objective.

In a society that values ‘the body beautiful’ so much, and uses stereotypes of slim and lean models for advertising and marketing, it seems we have been putting too much focus on looks and not enough focus on action. If we want to hold back heart disease and cancer for as long as possible, then we should enjoy regular exercise more and stop worrying so much about our bodyfat levels. It seems the 6-pack really is just about vanity, rather than health.

Of course, at Mother Nature’s Diet we already knew this! Our focus has always been on being healthy, and I have said for years that if we work towards being healthy on the inside, our bodies will take care of how we look from the outside.

In my own personal weight loss journey, I wrestled with my weight for 20 years, yo-yo dieting in and out of obesity. All that time my focus was on losing weight to try to look better and feel happier about myself. Only when I changed my focus to being healthy did I finally crack it, and lost 7 stone 3, that’s 101 pounds of fat, or 46 kilos to my European friends.

Living by the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet we focus on eating healthy nourishing whole foods, we don’t count calories, and we aim to stay active and exercise almost every day.

Sounds like we’re doing the right thing if you ask me.
Well done, keep going!

To your good health!

Time to look at your habits…are they supporting you, or not?

I have a friend who used to eat biscuits all the time. He loved biscuits, especially those chocolate-coated ones, and chocolate-chip cookies. But he was overweight, he was out of shape and he knew that he was eating too much sweet food, and he was heading for obesity and likely type-2 diabetes. He also knew that eating three or four biscuits every morning, and then three or four biscuits every afternoon, and sometimes another three or four biscuits in the evening, was making all the rest of his food taste bland, so he wasn’t eating his veggies. He knew he was in danger of letting his ‘biscuit habit’ or ‘biscuit addiction’ take over his diet entirely, to the detriment of his health.

So he changed. he started eating a banana as his mid-morning snack, and an apple as his mid-afternoon snack. If he feels the need for an evening snack, he’ll eat some raisins or sultanas.

At first, this wasn’t easy. Day one was torture Read more

Training in hot weather, hydration and electrolytes

I’m either seriously self-motivated, or seriously crazy!

Yesterday, which was probably the hottest day of the year so far in this country, I trained an hour of killer hard high-intensity bodyweight drills between 1pm and 2pm, the hottest part of the day, with the temp showing as 34.8. I trained outside, no cover, in a field at my local rugby club, crawling around in the dirt and doing sprints and push-ups and lots more.
Alone.
That kind of intensity takes some motivation!

Phew! It was hot!IMG_1714
But then I love training in the heat, and I am conditioned and used to it – but I don’t recommend everyone trains outside in such heat!

Hydration is crucial…but so is getting your electrolyte balance right. I drank around 2 litres of water throughout the morning, and then had a half litre just before training. When I got back, over 40 minutes I had at least another litre, and then I drank around 2 more over the rest of the day.

But just drinking water can actually make things worse, not better. Water rehydrates your body, but if you sweated out lots of ‘salts’ (electrolytes – sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium) then you need to put them back in with the water – otherwise the water replacement simply dilutes your remaining electrolytes even more.

So after training I immediately made lunch – which contained 9 servings of green leafy vegetables and a large portion of mackerel. Oily fish and leafy green veggies are rich sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium. I also added a ton of quality Himalayan rock salt, replacing my sodium. All my electrolytes in large quantities in one meal. By the time I got to bed last night, my body was fully hydrated and my electrolytes in balance, so I had no twitchy restless legs, I wasn’t waking with cramp in the night, or waking with a sore throat feeling thirsty. And not a supplement or sports drink in sight! IMG_1721

Additionally, all that good quality food also provides many other valuable nutrients that would have been depleted by hard training in hot weather – such as vitamin C, zinc and iron.

Yesterday was a bonanza day, I hit big numbers on my fruit and veg intake, even by my standards! I had 6 servings for breakfast, 2 servings of citrus fruit mid-morning, 9 servings of green veggies for lunch and another 8 for dinner. 25-a-day, that’s close to a record even for me! And the good thing is, 90% of it was all home-grown, 100% organic, super fresh, from stalk or stem to my belly in under an hour.

This nutrition thing, I got it nailed! Boom!

It’s hot out there folks, watch your hydration AND your electrolytes!

Time to get some outdoor exercise!

MND TV Episode 12 – Workout with MND!

It’s time to get physical! I like to workout outside, in all weathers, using mostly my own bodyweight plus anything I can find to pick up, throw around, push, pull, climb over, crawl under and jump on top of!

MND TV Episode 12 – outdoor workout time!

In this video you will see:  burpees 2

  • Croc-crawl push-ups
  • 1-arm tractor tyre flips
  • Lunge walk
  • Squat thrusts
  • Tyre flips
  • Corner dips
  • Bear walk
  • Typewriter push-ups
  • Diamond push-ups
  • Regular push-ups
  • Wide-grip push-ups
  • Mountain climbers
  • Burpees
  • Bunny hops
  • Crab crawl
  • Farmers walk
  • Shuttle runs
  • Chins
  • Decline push-upsExercise action image
  • Dips
  • Elbow commando crawl
  • Jumping burpees walk

It’s ALL so much FUN!!

 

Make rest a necessity, not an objective

I spent a few hours on the road again today, and for 3 hours I listened to more classic personal development material. I am so into Jim Rohn at the moment, the guy was truly the master. And I resonate with everything he says.

Today’s Gem: “Make rest a necessity not an objective.”

To me, that is PROFOUND.

See, this is how I interpreted that, and this is what MND is all about.
Too many people are low on energy, they lack the energy it takes to get on, to get ahead, to want more and do more. Oh they don’t think they are sick….not when they are 25, 30, 35 or even the grand old age of 40! No, they don’t think they of themselves as weary, low-energy type people, they just say “Life’s hectic!” “I’m so busy” “Work is very busy at the moment” and the favourite “I’m so stressed out, I just need a rest!” “I need a holiday” and “Oh roll on the weekend!” Read more

Guest post “The day I lost to MLM”

I very VERY rarely post anything written by anyone else…but I like this, and I wanted to share it with you.

I know a super nice guy called Chris Burgess who runs a great business called “Lift the Bar” helping Personal Trainers improve their careers, maintain professional standards and further their education.

Chris blogged this and I wanted to share it with you, I think it is great.

LTB_email3

The day I lost to MLM

Was about 5 years ago, almost to the day

I remember a client telling me that they were cancelling their session with me because “It’s not working”

We’ve all been there, right? Read more

Injuries and recovery

What is this post about?

– I had an accident, fell on a mountain and injured myself

– I believe that I very possibly could have died if I was not as fit and strong as I am – thank goodness for all those push-ups!

– My recovery from injury has been very fast, thanks to my healthy diet and lifestyle (in my opinion)

– I have not rested but instead kept active to speed my recovery

Read on to learn more!

The accident

I was on my annual family holiday down in the South of France some weeks ago, and one day out of the holiday, I slipped away from my family for a day in the mountains on my own. I had an excellent day out; I climbed the highest mountain in the Eastern Pyrenees, I enjoyed stunning views and excellent weather, but I did have a little accident. I tried to find a way down which the map described in French as “passage difficile” and it was a lot more ‘difficile’ than it should have been!! IMG_5060

I was high up, at between 9,000 and 10,000 feet, and large sections of the supposed path were lost under steep snow fields, so effectively, I was forced off the ‘path’ onto some pretty steep rocky ground. I managed to skirt around several of these snow fields, involving some fairly dangerous downward rock climbing, but then got to one large snow field that just couldn’t be avoided. There was one set of footprints/crampon marks in it, and I tried to follow them. I put ‘snow grips’ on my shoes, not proper crampons, but little points that are supposed to help. They didn’t.

In hindsight, looking back, it was very foolish for me to step out on such a steep slope, Read more

Healthy living the MND way is SO easy!!

IMG_3523Living the healthy MND way is really very easy.

Wake up.

Pee!

Wash!

Dress!

Drink a glass of water.

Go for a brisk short walk.

Enjoy a healthy breakfast – remember the MND food rules: no processed food, just eat real food, that’s plants and animals.

IMG_6319

I like eggs with greens for my breakfast, it only takes 5 minutes!

At some point in the day, try to get a work out. Maybe you will go for a bike ride or a swim or a run…

SOUTH DEVON CTS MARAshutterstock_119307160

Or another day, maybe you’ll lift weights, or use your own bodyweight to workout and load your muscles…

 

Make sure you eat whole, fresh, real food for lunch… IMG_6439

…like this picture of liver, kidneys and greens.

 

During your day, make sure you drink plenty of fresh clean water.

 

Make sure you go outside at some point and get some fresh air.

 

Ensure you take time for your friends and family, hug someone, share some love.

 

Eat a wholesome light dinner, again, just eat real, whole, fresh food, shutterstock_143497294
nothing processed with a long list of ingredients that sounds like a chemistry class.

 

Take some time to rest, and get plenty of sleep.

 

There, who said healthy living needed to be complicated?

MotherNaturesDiet – because nutrition doesn’t need to become rocket science.

MND for better living.

Fitness gadgets and gimmicks

I feel compelled to have a bit of a rant today…I’m sorry if I ‘knock’ something you like, don’t take it personally!!

Being a health and fitness freak and keen blogger, I am myself subscribed to many other blogs, newsletters and health or fitness related websites, so I receive LOTS of emails about health and fitness related topics. Some are great, and some are, well, crap. If you are a regular follower of my blog, you’ll know already that I try my best not to ‘name names’ as I don’t like to be negative or put anyone else down, I just don’t think there is any need. So I’m not going to name any person, company or product in this post if I can help it, I’ll be purposefully vague when it comes to names.

There’s an app for that

I read a lot, and for the last 17 years I have been professionally involved in the tech business, specifically in the mobile phone business. Over the last year or two, I have a growing nagging feeling that there are aspects of ‘the smartphone boom’ that are really starting to bother me. Increasingly, I worry that the devices in our pockets are doing so much for us, that our brains (especially the common sense part, and the ‘gumption’ part) are in danger of atrophying away to nothing. I am bothered by the ridiculous range of apps available, and the ridiculous ways they are encouraging people to become lazier, and the ridiculous ways they are filling all our time with nonsense activities. Image for infographic

In the last week, I have read of several truly ridiculous new apps. There is one that’s just been released which links a certain make of car (in the US) with a certain extremely popular make of phone. So you can buy the app, sync your phone with your car, and the app enables you to unlock the car and start the engine from a distance, as you walk towards the car and prepare to get in to it. I am forced to ask the question…WHY? Why the hell does anyone need such an app? Why would any developer/company bother to put up the development costs to make such an app? Are people really THAT lazy or in that much of a hurry?

Another new app helps people find their car, if they can’t remember where they parked it in a car park. This particular app specialises in doing this in places with no mobile signal, so it uses Bluetooth or satellite signals. Oh, however did we survive the last 50 years without such a thing? Read more

Taking a holistic approach to supreme good health

Today, I feel the need to have a little rant. Well, maybe not a rant, more of an impassioned plea, or a ‘call to sanity’ perhaps.

I have a line of thought that’s been rolling around my mind for a few days…not about any one person in particular, but sparked by several separate conversations with several people over the last 2 or 3 weeks, but this stuff applies to ALL of us.

This is so important, I hope I can put it into words intelligently, with care and respect.

Health : Balance : Being an all-rounder

MotherNaturesDiet is all about ‘supreme good health and abundant natural energy’.

  • It’s not a crash weight loss plan
  • It’s not a fad diet (I hate even using the word ‘diet’ because it’s so often wrongly used to mean ‘temporary weight loss plan’ and that is NOT what the word diet really means!)
  • It’s not a ‘6-pack abs’ plan
  • It’s not a ‘build bigger muscles’ or ‘get huge’ ‘get hench’ ‘get jacked and ripped’ plan
  • It’s not just for endurance athletes to help them run a faster marathon or complete their first Ironman
  • It’s not a cookery course
  • It’s not an exercise class
  • But it can HELP with all those things

 

MotherNaturesDiet is a LIFESTYLE to help you achieve supreme good health and have abundant natural energy. The goals of MND are to help you live longer, feel great, have more energy TO DO MORE with your life, to SHOW UP with more vibrancy and energy in your work, your relationships, your family, your chosen sport, your whole life!

Yes, MND will help you maintain a lean healthy body, you can use MND to lose weight, to get ripped, to build muscle, to run faster or further and much more, but only because MND is all about being HEALTHY on the inside, it’s about getting your body working optimally, removing the blocks that are stopping you from making forward progress in any area of your life, so you can do more, be more and have more of whatever you want. So if you WANT to build big muscles, get a 6-pack, run a faster marathon, complete an Ironman, put more drive and energy into your career, put more passion and energy into your intimate relationship, have more energy for parenting, for your chosen sport or whatever else YOU want, then MND will help you to be healthy inside and out, to act as the BASE platform for you to build, be or do whatever it is you want. MND can’t do it all for you, but it will help you to have loads of energy, feel great, not get sick and perform at YOUR best to do whatever you want to do.

This is what ‘supreme good health and abundant natural energy’ is all about. Read more

Why do so many people pay for “6-pack abs secrets”?

The other night, I sat up for hours researching a number of topics, as I often do in the evenings.

I found myself side tracked into reading a ‘marketing case study’ about a guy who sells a series of products online (eBooks, home study courses, CDs, etc.) aimed at “Revealing the true secrets to 6-pack abs” – not the real title, I’m hiding the true identity here to keep my opinion ‘not personal’ – as what I have to say could apply to a number of these online schemes and product offerings.

Anyway, so it all starts with eBooks that promise to reveal the truth about 6-pack abs, and they lead people to buy other products, and so on. But the reason this guy and his products were being written up as a ‘marketing case study’ is because this 1 man and his small team of staff, is making over $1 million USD per month in sales of these products!!! Wow! I’ve sold some online product myself over the years, but nothing close to a million Dollars a month, that is AMAZING!

So I read more, genuinely interested in learning about this case study, and the author of the case study was saying “Abs products really sell, people buy this stuff like crazy”, especially in the US market where this man and his team are based. And I got to thinking, there is a real twisted irony there – the nation that is regarded “the fattest nation on Earth” where now fully two thirds of the population are either overweight or obese, and they are buying up home study books and CDs promising 6-pack abs at an incredible rate! It seems the mathematician in me wants to plot a graph to show “the inverse relationship between buying 6-pack abs products and actually achieving 6-pack abs!”

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

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!

 

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.

 

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

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

London Marathon 2014 – post-race report

Yesterday, I ran the London Marathon 2014.

If you have been following this blog and following my training, you will know that this was a test for me, using a low-volume training program.

This was my 14th marathon [or longer] and it was my first competitive marathon for 2.5 years, as I took a year off running and had knee surgery back in 2012.

Firstly, a very quick ‘race report’

I was awake at 4:30 in the morning, excited, and I couldn’t get back to sleep! A couple more hours sleep would have been nice, but it was OK on the day! We had glorious sunshine in London, wonderful blue skies, which really makes a difference. I know a lot of runners prefer it cool, but personally, I love being out running in the warm sunshine. I ran the marathon for an official time of 3:51:47, which was just 6 or 7 minutes off my target time, as I had hoped for circa 3:45, but that’s not much, so I’m pretty happy with that! And I got a nice medal too! Read more

Has anyone got a copy of this month’s ‘How to Breathe’ magazine…?

I stopped in at Sainsbury’s the other day to buy a bunch of flowers, and I spotted this magazine on the shelf – ‘Womens Walking’

What? Does someone think women need a bi-monthly magazine to tell them how to walk now? Is this a joke? Is it April 1st?

Look, I don’t want to put down anyone who engages in physical exercise – walking is the #1 best exercise going and we should all walk every day and I regularly encourage you to get up, get out and go walk. So I am not down on walking, and not criticising anyone who pro-actively makes an effort to get out and walk more often. BUT, I think this is a classic example of the complete rip-off of the ‘diet and health industry’ that they try to cash-in on healthier lifestyles, by trying to convince people there is some kind of science around going for a walk. There isn’t, don’t fall for it. I did NOT look in the magazine, it would have likely wound me up too much…but what comes next, I can imagine, you probably need special shoes that cost £130 quid, and you need nutrition tips, a hydration pack, blister-resistant socks, a training plan?

IMG_1912The articles  – kit guide, events, routes, weight loss. Folks, please don’t be fooled by the over-complication and over-scientific-complexity of going out for a walk…just walk! Any time, any place, any weather, just go for a walk. Do you think you need a ‘kit guide’ for that? Let me help:

Hydration – take a bottle of water.

Really long walk – take 3 bottles of water.

Fuel on long walks – take some food, carrots, apples, hard boiled eggs.

Lots of water and food to carry – get a rucksack – tends to have an opening at the top, you put stuff in then close it up and carry it.

Looks like it might rain – take a jacket.

Routes – find a hill, woods, a forest, a coastal path, looks for signs that say ‘Footpath’ – and go explore. Buy a local map.

Really, I just don’t think it needs to get any more complicated than that. You don’t need to spend a load of money. Read more

The 12 Core Principles of MotherNaturesDiet are very carefully balanced to help you focus on the MOST important issues in improving overall health.

The 12 Core Principles of MotherNaturesDiet are clustered in 3 groups:

Group 1: Things to quit 12 Core Principles - 3

Group 2: Things to consume

Group 3: Exercise and lifestyle factors

Each group contains 4 Rules. All these rules are brief and purposefully simplified – MND is all about keeping it simple, to help ordinary busy people cut through the ‘diet industry’ and ‘health industry’ marketing bullshit and get to what really works.

You’ll see that there are TWICE AS MANY Rules about ‘what not to eat’ as there are about ‘what TO eat’. This is structured this way on purpose, because I believe it is TWICE as important to get all the crap OUT of your life than to spend all your time worrying about the nuances and minutiae of what you should be eating. Diet perfectionism be damned, just eat real whole foods, eliminate chemicals from your body and avoid ALL processed foods, and you’ll have ‘the diet thing’ 90% licked. Read more

You think my food is boring? Try taking a look at your LIFE!

Someone recently said to me “Oh man I know it’s healthy and all that, but a lot of your food looks really boring, you eat the same thing all the time, eggs and greens, nuts and fruit, meat and veggies, it’s so boring. Don’t you want Chinese take away and pizza and chips and curry and loads of different things every week? Come on mate, you only live once, have some fun! Don’t you get bored?”

Erm, no, I don’t, thanks. Fortunately, I actually have enough going on in my life that I don’t need to look to my evening meal to find something thrilling and exciting in my day. Read more

3 quick Top Tips for a Healthy Weekend

Happy Weekend!!

Here are my top tips for a HEALTHY weekend:

Tip 1: Eat REAL food

  • That means things that grow in the mud or from a tree (think apples, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, pears)…   – and things that run, swim or fly, things that make noises and move (think chicken, lamb, salmon) Read more

Spring Special Offer – Get Excited Now!

Seasonal discounts available NOW on range of MND health and fitness products.

The sun is shining!!! Wooohooo!! The ceaseless rain in the UK seems to be coming to an end, and as spring is coming, here at MND we want to help put a spring in your step!

So grab yourself a bargain right now!

First on the list, we can offer you our revolutionary new health product called ‘Air’! This little beauty offers you a simply life-saving range of health benefits, just look what this fantastic ‘Air’ can do for you:

  • Without this, you’re dead in just 5 minutes! Boo yah, beat that SlimFast!
  • Research shows that every living person on Earth, now and EVEN back in the ‘Golden Era’ of the Paleolithic period, they ALL breathed Air! Boom! Take that ViSalus!
  • Suitable for vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians, breatharians, gnashing meat-eaters, cannibals and pretty much everyone else alive! Kapow! Who’s ya daddy now Multi-Vit tablet? 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

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

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

Eating to Fuel Endurance Training and Long Distance Races

A subject I am often asked about is ‘what is the best food to eat for marathon training, ultra-marathon running, Ironman training’ and so on. I have lots of friends involved in endurance sport, and I have a reasonable amount of experience myself, and there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about fuel for endurance sport. Personally, I have been in long distance endurance events with far more experienced runners than myself and seen them fail and drop out because they ‘got it wrong’ with their fuel, yet in my own experience, such problems are entirely avoidable most of the time.

This post will explain:

  • Why complex carbs are not the best fuel for endurance races
  • Why complex carbs are not required in great quantities pre-race (carb loading)
  • Why gels and bars are not the best fuel to consume during a race
  • How to be ‘a fat burner’, not ‘a sugar burner’
  • Understand how to unlock thousands of calories of energy for long races

Read more

Workout of the Week – The Push-Pull Workout

Monster workout today!

This one is NOT easy!

I call this my ‘push-pull’ workout. The idea is to do to 2 exercise that use different muscles, or direct the force in opposite directions (such as pushing, versus pulling…squatting versus jumping, etc.)for alternating sets, with no rest in between, until completely fatigued.

Read more

2013 Popular Posts #4: The MND Guide to Body Composition – free eBook

  • How do we know what is ‘too fat’? We all know that it is unhealthy to be obese, but at what level does body fat start to become ‘too much’?
  • How do we define ‘too thin’ at the other end of the scale? Being grossly underweight can be as harmful as being grossly overweight. Where is the balance point?
  • Should men all aspire to the stereotype ‘6 pack hunk’ and are women unfairly pressured by the media to be ‘rail thin’ like catwalk models?
  • Is it healthier to be ‘a little chubby’ or ‘skinny as a rake’ or somewhere between the two?
  • Is it healthier to be ‘build like a brick outhouse’ or ‘built like a racing whippet’? IS it healthy to build lots of big muscles?
  • In short, what is the optimum amount of fat and the optimum amount of muscle men and women should aim for in order to achieve supreme good health and longevity?

This little book will answer those questions for you.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/08/13/the-mnd-guide-to-body-composition-free-ebook/

chicken salad

2013 Popular Posts #5: 127 Weight Loss Tips from MotherNaturesDiet

127 Weight Loss Tips from MotherNaturesDiet
– your free eBook

Back in November I published a little book of weight loss tips and this has proved to be the 5th most popular post of 2013.

So many people are looking for good advice to help them lose weight, and they find the ‘diet industry’ awash with rip-off solutions and supplements. Well here is a solution for you, and one that won’t cost you any money, and it doesn’t involve buying supplements, so-called ‘superfoods’ or some new-fangled piece of home workout equipment.

Please download this free book and share it with your friends and family if they are interested in being healthier and losing unwanted excess weight.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/11/07/127-weight-loss-tips-from-mothernaturesdiet-free-ebook/

As you have probably figured out by now, MotherNaturesDiet is the no-tricks, no-gimmicks, common-sense approach to good health and fitness. That’s all you’ll find in this little book, just lashings of common sense and simple ideas, things you can do to lose weight and feel great.

Enjoy!