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Posts from the ‘Mindset’ Category

Chill out…have an ice cream…then get back to your vegetables

It’s summer, hoorah! The sun is shining and I hope you are enjoying the holidays.

Mother Nature’s Diet incorporates Core Principle 12 – the 90/10 Rule.

In rough terms, this means ‘get it right 90% of the time, and chill out over the last 10 percent’.

This doesn’t mean ‘take a cheat day’ or ‘eat well Monday round to Friday lunchtime, then blow it all over the weekend. It means 90% of the calories you consume should work within Core Principles 1-to-11, and then you can relax over the last tenth.

I’ve been away on holiday with my family last week. One particular day, we went for a seven mile walk along cliff tops in the sunshine, we had fresh air, exercise and sunshine, and we picked and ate fresh blackberries along the way. Getting teenage kids to put their iPads down and go for a walk is always a challenge, so several hours out in nature counts as a major win in my book!

It’s been a hot sunny day, and when we finished our walk, the kids wanted an ice cream. There is a quality boutique ice cream parlour just about a mile from where we finished our walk, and it was on our way back, so we stopped by on the way.

I had an ice cream too. It’s summer, it’s a lovely day, I enjoyed my little ‘off-plan treat’ without a hint of guilt.

It got me to thinking, when I eat an ice cream or a soft warm bread roll, or some chocolate, people freak out. I get “Oh but you’re Read more

Reasons to be cheerful…

Depression, it’s become another modern day epidemic.

According to the WHO, the World Health Organisation:

  • Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease
  • More women are affected by depression than men
  • At its worst, depression can lead to suicide

That’s a sad reality.

heard a statistic that shocked me this morning.

In 2016, there were 44,965 suicides in the United States of America, and that figure is likely low, due to under-reporting. Can you visualise in your mind’s eye what 45 thousand people looks like, if they all stood in a big field in one place? Yikes. Suicide rates per 100,000 of population are slightly lower in the UK, but we still saw over 5,800 suicides in the same time period.

It makes me wonder what is going wrong in our modern society that so many people take their own lives, living in such rich, abundant societies. In wealthy nations such as the US and the UK, we supposedly ‘have it all’ in wealth, healthcare, standard of living, yet so many people are so unhappy that their paths lead to suicide. I think about this too much, and it leads me to tears, as a father and as a citizen, it’s such a sad fact of our modern lives.

It makes me think ‘clearly wealth and possessions don’t automatically mean happiness’. I mean, in the US and the UK we have so much that folks in poorer countries do not…

  • Social and political freedoms
  • We have the best modern healthcare
  • Never-before-seen-in-human-history low infant mortality
  • Ubiquitous public sanitation
  • Clean drinking water for all
  • Electricity and heating for every home
  • State healthcare
  • Welfare systems
  • Flushing toilets

Billions of humans live in other countries without these luxuries, we should all be counting our blessings every day!

There seems to be little correlation between wealth and suicide at a national level.

But I meet people every day who are miserable, unhappy, complaining of anxiety and depression. They have warm comfortable homes, modern cars, every comfort and luxury. Their biggest worry is where to take their annual holiday, which episode of some TV series to watch, or which take-away pizza toppings to order. Clearly, depression is not caused by the difficulty of our life circumstances, or at least it’s not that alone.

Which begs the question, and yes I know I am massively over-simplifying things here (come on, it’s a short blog post, not a PhD thesis), if people in rich countries who have freedom and every luxury can be depressed, while people in poor countries with few possessions or luxuries can be happy, then what is causing much of the depression in our society?

Of course, such a huge discussion is beyond the scope of this blog post, and there are many varied causes behind depression. Trauma, abuse, psychological harm, biochemical imbalances, a myriad of social and psychological factors, and while I am unqualified and unskilled in this area, I am sure no two cases are ever the same, and everyone is different.

But I do have some personal experience, having been through depression myself at one time in my life; and I have some knowledge through studies and experiences of how lifestyle and dietary factors can exacerbate some cases of depression, or help alleviate them.

I’m not saying any quack nonsense about “Just cheer up and eat some broccoli and you’ll be fine!” I think we all know it’s a bit more complicated than that…and as I wrote above, there are doubtless no two cases of depression that are the same, with no two same causes and no two same cures.

But there are some things you can do to help ensure that biologically, your brain is working optimally.

  • You can get more sleep. Sleep deprivation is a well known contributing causal factor in many brain disorders, including anxiety and depression. Sitting up til 3am watching TV, checking Facebook on your phone at four in the morning, shift work and chronic long-term sleep deprivation are all no-no’s, and these are factors you can control. Get to bed soon after 10pm, make sure your bedroom is cool, properly dark, well ventilated (clean behind wardrobes to remove mould and excess dust), and leave the electronic devices downstairs – bed is for sleep, love making and reading a book, nothing else.
  • Get more sunshine. It’s a fact that around 70% or so of the UK population are somewhat deficient in vitamin D. The best way to get optimal vitamin D is to expose your skin to the sun, so with most folks working indoors these days, and given our grey weather much of the year, vitamin D can be a real challenge! Whenever you can, get outside and get some skin on show. Eat plenty of oily fish, eggs and liver. Consider having your vitamin D tested and maybe taking a supplement for the winter half of the year.
  • Improve your diet. While it remains scientifically unproven at this point in time, I feel sure that in the future studies will show that diet has more of an impact on mental health than we currently credit it for. Don’t wait, improve your diet now:
    • Zinc plays many relevant roles in brain health, including helping with libido, stress coping, dopamine production, depression and more. Eat plenty of fresh oily fish, shellfish, free-range eggs and nuts to keep zinc high in your diet.
    • Magnesium has been shown to have links to anxiety, learning ability, confusion, irritability and insomnia. Keep magnesium high by eating lots of fresh leafy greens, fish, nuts and seeds.
    • Don’t starve, and avoid the fad diets. Studies suggest that severe calorie restriction can exacerbate anxiety and stress.
    • Your brain is made of mostly fat and water, so ensure you nourish it well by keeping both high in your diet – good fats from oily fish, organ meats, free-range eggs, avocado, grass-fed butter, olive oil and nuts are all good, plus stay well hydrated which helps combat fatigue in many ways.
  • Exercise is a proven way to combat stress, anxiety and depression. Establish a daily habit of taking some exercise, keep it varied and fun, try to find a participation sport you enjoy. Regular movement and exercise has also been proven to help reduce and slow dementia in the elderly.
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation, work over time to develop an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and always try to see all the good in your life – focus on the good, not the challenges.

Maybe you noticed, that all these tips are already encapsulated in the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet, a healthy lifestyle that’s good for both your mind and your body.

I can’t promise you that a jog round the block and a plate full of broccoli will cure anything, including depression, but Mother Nature’s Diet is all about teaching preventive medicine, and living this way can ensure your brain is functioning as well as possible biologically, to help you cope with everything life throws at you, the good and the bad.

Let’s help spread the word to as many people as possible.

To your good health!

Karl

 

Life hacks: the devil is in the detail…

Life hacks.

For the longest time, that phrase has annoyed me. It’s not the actual words, I mean, to be fair ‘life hacks’ sounds kinda cool, it’s the notion of ‘hacking life’ that bothers me.

  • We rush too much these days.
  • We skimp on meaningful relationships.
  • We rely too much on technology.

So the idea of ‘hacking’ life more, seems anathema to so many things I hold dear – the slow food movement, personal responsibility for our own health and well-being, spending time out in nature, relaxing, taking a digital detox, nurturing our personal relationships, offline, face-to-face.

I have written a couple of popular blog posts about this before.

But as I think on it, in many respects maybe the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet are just that – life hacks.

I mean – it’s 12 simple one-liners, taking my 28-year journey of learning, all my reading and studies and the seminars I have attended, all my life experience and the many experts I have interviewed, worked with or learned from, and distilling it all into 12 simple one-line statements for you to follow.

If you have the time, and you want to learn some of what is behind those 12 simple statements, then you can read the short version here, or buy the book here and learn lots more. But if you are pushed for time, if life is demanding, or stressful, then just print off this sheet and do what it says, just follow the 12 Core Principles as you will gain health benefits – weight loss, more energy, resist the signs of ageing and more.

The devil is in the detail

Personally, I am a details kinda guy, I like to read the books, dig into the studies, do the research, I like to find it all out and become immersed in it…

But only for the stuff that interests me.

  • Cancer prevention – bring it on, I am totally into that, I want to read and learn everything.
  • Fitness and strength – yeah baby, gimme those books and studies, I love that shit.
  • Anti-ageing strategies – hell yeah, I’m all over that, I want complete immersion, I am a sponge for learning more.

But…

  • Running my business to be most tax efficient – zzzzzzz can you hear me snoring already?
  • Getting my car serviced – oh dear, is it that time again?
  • My wife wants me to help her pick a new carpet for the landing sand stairs – oh I’m sorry dear I am too busy, I must re-arrange my sock drawer…

You see, the things that interest me, like cancer prevention, weight loss, strength and fitness, anti-ageing, nutrition and diet, I love these things, I have an almost infinite capacity for learning more about these topics. I am the ‘target market’ for that stuff. I want to buy the books, attend the seminars, buy the study courses, meet like-minded people, sign me up baby I’m all over that shit!

But the things that bore me to death, like renewing my home insurance, talking to my accountant about tax, getting the car serviced, booking an annual check-up with my dentist, buying a new carpet or arranging a service for the gas boiler, I don’t want to spend any time on these things at all. I hate these things!

In fact, I would gladly pay someone to help handle these things for me, to free up more of my time to study the cancer prevention, anti-ageing and fitness training.

So I guess this is what life hacking is all about.

  • I don’t want to hack the long walk on the hills.
  • I don’t want to hack cooking that slow-roasted joint of pork.
  • I don’t want to hack time sat in a cancer prevention seminar.
  • But boy oh boy I wanna hack filling out my tax return…

And in fact I DO hack filling out my tax return – I pay my accountant to do it for me.

What about you?

What do you like to savour, go slow, enjoy and immerse yourself in every minute? And what do you want to just hack, to get it done as quickly as possible?

What about your health and fitness?

Do you want to life hack this healthy living thing?

If you want to lose a few pounds, shape up, feel better and have more energy, but the idea of learning about it all bores you half to death, then just do this:

  • Step 1: print this sheet here, print about 5 copies
  • Step 2: stick one on your fridge, one in your wardrobe door where you dress, one near your bathroom or bedroom mirror (the place where you see yourself naked), one in your place of work, and one on the kitchen cupboard that contains the ‘bad things’ (you know, your weakness, those biscuits or chocolate bars or whatever it is)
  • Step 3: Then JFDI – just follow the 12 Core Principles. Don’t ask, don’t question, just trust me for 90 days of your life. You WILL get positive results if you do what it says.

That’s it, simples. Health = hacked.

Or if you are a bit of a secret nutrition nerd like me, and you wanna do some learning, then go buy the book, here, and read it, and I know you’ll learn some stuff and feel inspired.

Want to go even deeper? Come join the MND Life! community and meet like-minded people who also love healthy living and want to be the best versions of themselves that they can be.

Now, maybe I don’t dislike the phrase ‘life hack’ as much as I used to. Perhaps we all want to hack the things we hate wasting our time on, and maybe we want to do the opposite of hack, some kind of ‘slow down, unpack and unpick’, the things we love.

If I can help you to either hack your health, or slow down, unpack and unpick it, now or in the future, then I welcome hearing from you.

To your good health!

Karl

 

STFU, take your HTFU pills, JFDI and GSD…

Imagine a line…

In your mind’s eye (or grab a piece of paper and draw a line for real, if you like) imagine a line, horizontal, left to right, across a sheet of paper.

Draw a big fat dot at each end.

Over the dot on the left end, write “Here, now, where I am, the start point, my reality” or words to that effect.

Over the dot on the right end, write “My goal, my target, where I want to be, where I am trying to get to” or words to that effect, words that mean something to you, to signify the body you say you want, the energetic feeling you say you want, the weight you wish the scales said, the feeling, look, strength, muscle, fitness – whatever it is you said you want…a month ago, as New Year’s Eve was upon us. What was your goal for 2019?

Now you have a line, and the left end represents where you are, let’s call it the start point, and the right end represents where you want to be, the goals you set yourself a month ago, the way you want to look and feel and perform.

Now draw a big circle around the line between the two. (Actually, it’s probably not a circle, more of an ellipse or egg-shape, right?)

In the circle, or ellipse, along the line from the left hand end to the right hand end, write these words:

Lots of work. Hard work. Consistent effort. No excuses. Get it done. Make sacrifices. Sweat, Hurt. Achieve. Feel pride.

The middle bit [ain’t so popular]

It’s been my experience in life so far, that folks all know what the dot on the left hand end looks and feels like, I mean, that’s the here and now, the reality, of course they know.

And folks all know what the dot on the right hand end looks like – it probably looks like the images they see in magazines, or photos of themselves from 20 years ago, or their favourite athlete or sports star.

But it’s the bit in the middle most folks ain’t so keen on.

Folks know where they are starting from, and they generally know where they want to get to, they just don’t like all the hard work and sacrifice in the middle.

No one wants to do the hard work these days. 

If you are one of the few, who ain’t afraid to graft, then the last few lines won’t offend you, they’ll make you puff your chest out with pride and say “He’s right, it takes effort, that’s me, I do that, and I am getting results.”

If you are one of the many who doesn’t like the bit in the middle, the hard work and sacrifices, then the last few lines might have offended you, and if they did, then you can choose to be offended, and bugger all will change, or you can choose to take this blog post as a friendly-but-honest kick up the butt, and you can resolve to double-down on your efforts and get some stuff done.

A lot of folks have already given up on the promises they made themselves less than a month ago.

Seriously, it’s Jan 30th, not even a full months since those New Year’s resolutions, and many folks have already given up. Jeez, I made myself a promise on Feb 4th, 2006, to “change my life and become a healthy person” and I am still holding dead strong to that promise every single day, almost 13 years later. If you can make a month, that’s a pretty poor effort.

A lot of folks need to STFU and stop complaining about everything that’s ‘too hard’ or ‘I don’t like it’ or ‘it feels uncomfortable’ or ‘but it’s raining’ or whatever, and take their HTFU pills (you know, Harden The **** Up pills…) and JFDI.
We ‘Get Stuff Done’ (#GSD – maybe you prefer Get Sh*t Done….) when we quit complaining and letting our excuses stop us, and we knuckle down to the hard work that HAS TO FILL THE GAP to get from the dot at the left hand end of the line, to the dot at the right hand end of the line.

I’ve been #GSD for 13 years now, and I’m still firing on all 4 cylinders, more motivated and more driven than ever.

In that time I could have used every excuse going – young kids, building my business, ups and downs, almost hit bankruptcy, rescued that from the brink, fought and paid huge debts, marital ups and downs, family bereavements, emotional lows, injuries, accidents, financial stress, emotional stress, career success and failure – if you can name it, I’ve had to get through it.

Still here. Still fighting. Still winning.
More details on all that, and how to get the results you want, in this book for you.

We all know the dot at the left end of the line.
If you want to get to the dot on the right end, you have to be prepared to do the hard work and make the sacrifices, that sit along the line in the middle.

Short cuts are bull***t, just distractions. Imagine that line was a map, to drive from, say, London to Liverpool.
It’s about 220 miles to drive from London to Liverpool.
There’s no genuine shortcut. If someone is trying to sell you a “do it in just 50 miles” solution, you have to know that’s b/s.
It just can’t be done.
The only way you are ever going to drive from London to Liverpool, is on the roads, from A to B.

You can tackle it, by the most direct route, and just knuckle down to it and get the job done, and you’ll cover about 220 miles.
Or you can be distracted, by every b/s promise, false start, trick and gimmick, and keep going off sideways, seeking short cuts, quick hacks, and inevitably, you’ll end up spending your life wasting time on the side turnings, driving hundreds of miles but getting no closer to the end destination.

There are no short cuts.
You just gotta tackle the hard work, be consistent, stay motivated, stay on track, and go chase your goals and dreams.

Yes or yes?

So, if you need some help along the way, Mother Nature’s Diet is here for you, with tips and guidance to help you avoid the biggest mistakes that most people commonly make.

Time to STFU, take your HTFU pills, knuckle down and JFDI and GSD.

To your grand success, to you excellent good health!

Karl

Diets; massive weight loss; and the greatest health threats of our time…

I want to share a couple of things with you that I have read recently.

This is a fairly long read, but I encourage you to find a few minutes to read it if you can, it’s harrowing and insightful.

One quote that rings so true…something I have said many times myself, is this…

Tommy writes:

“Here are the two things I have come to believe about diets:

1. Almost any diet works in the short term.
2. Almost no diets work in the long term.

The most depressing five-word Google search I can think of—and I can think of a lot of depressing five-word Google searches—is gained all the weight back. Losing weight is not the hard part. The hard part is living with your diet for years, maybe the rest of your life.”

That’s the truth, and that’s why I teach Mother Nature’s Diet as a permanent healthy lifestyle, not a fad diet, not a temporary eating plan. You need permanent change, to achieve permanent results.

Reading that whole article, as many others I have read, and through my own personal weight loss transformation and the private one-to-one health coaching clients I have worked with over the years, I am struck again and again with one overpowering observation:

So much of the obesity crisis, it’s not that folks fail to understand that “eating veggies is good, eating cakes will make you fat”, or it’s not that folks don’t understand they need to exercise.

People know that stuff.

It’s sadness, it’s desperation, it’s social anxiety, it’s loneliness.
People eat for comfort, for pleasure, to escape.

In all walks of life, people get addicted to all kinds of things – alcohol is the obvious biggest one, but also hard drugs, shopping, online gaming, smoking, sex, pornography, gambling, and food.

So often, we see addictive behaviour to alcohol, or drugs, or food, is really just a lost, confused, hurt, lonely, unhappy person hiding from reality, seeking some comfort, and taking solace, habitually, in their go-to-pleasure of choice.

It starts as just one drink, or just one cake, or just one hit…and we never think it’ll lead to the addiction that it does.

Food, unlike hard drugs, is legal, and easy to buy, anywhere and everywhere.
And food, unlike cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling, isn’t locked behind any kind of licensing laws, age restriction or advertising ban.

While I am still a big believer in personal responsibility, to the food-addicted, morbidly-obese, lonely depressed comfort-eater, food companies and their marketing agencies are like legal drug-pushers, and our society is doing very little to help these people handle their unhealthy habit.

Lots to think about there.

Greatest dangers

Also in the news this week and of great interest, the World Health Organisation (WHO) put out a list of the greatest health hazards we face worldwide. This is worth a quick read, it’s only short.

The take away points to note:

  • Air pollution is becoming a more serious problem every year – my advice? Move to the country, sell that old diesel car, and get your home boiler serviced
  • Anti-vaccine madness…oh for goodness sake, study the science, not the hype, and don’t base important decisions about your child’s health on a Meme you saw shared on Facebook
  • Antimicrobial resistance – could become a very serious issue in the future. When the human race can no longer rely on antibiotics, you could actually die form a papercut. Ditch the hand sanitizer, don’t be afraid of mud, stop obsessing over germs and hyper-cleansing every inch of your home with a dozen chemical cleaning products, and buy top-quality meat, organic, or free ranged, or grass fed, to help reduce antibiotic use in farm animals

Until next week, keeping it real out there!

To your good health!

Karl

Don’t over-think this, permanent weight loss isn’t as hard as many people think it is, here’s a couple of top tips…

Two weeks in to January.

Just hitting week three.

According to surveys, this is the week “most” people give up on all the ‘new year, new me’ stuff, the diet, the weight loss efforts, the gym, all that.

So, if you are still fired up, motivated, enjoying it and pushing forward – kudos to you, well done, you are doing better than most.

But if you are struggling, here are two thoughts from someone who did it, pushed through, stuck it out and lost the weight, 101 pounds of it, and kept it off, now some 12 years later.

Perfection is bull****

Don’t strive for perfect.

Don’t be that person who ate one bad thing, made one small mistake, and then decided that everything had gone to rat sh*t as a result.

I’ve seen that so many times.

January 16th: “OMG, someone offered me a biscuit at work, by the coffee machine, I ate it, oh well that’s the diet screwed then, sod it, might as well cancel the gym membership and order pizza tonight and open a 6-pack of beers!”

That’s dumb.

Don’t be hard on yourself, it was just one small slip up, boo hoo, get over it and move on.

I can assure you, success comes from getting it right 90% of the time, not from being too hard on yourself all the time chasing 100% perfection.

So the only thing you should give up in the 3rd week of January, is this ‘set-yourself-up-to-fail’ idea of chasing ‘perfect’.

Let that go, and you’ll give yourself permission to be humanly imperfect, which is just what you need to be to navigate the crazy times we live in and keep making forward progress.

Consistency

Once you have let go of the trap of perfect, you’ll be far better equipped to survive the ups and downs of life, which is what you need to achieve success with Tip #2 – stick with it, foe the long haul, be consistent.

The number one pitfall for most people, is ‘fad diet mentality’.

A fad diet is just that – a fad. A temporary change in behaviour that will likely deliver you a temporary change in your results.

You eat less for a few weeks or months, and you weigh less for a few weeks or months.
When you return to eating how you always have, guess what? Yep, the weight returns too.

It’s the ultimate frustrating hamster wheel of modern life.

Instead, you need to adopt a permanent healthy lifestyle, to achieve, keep and enjoy, permanent weight loss results.

If your new January regime has involved cutting back on sugary foods, eating smaller meals, exercising more often or drinking less booze, that’s great, well done you. Now understand that sticking to it, making these changes at a level you can enjoy your life and stick to the changes long term, permanently, will give you long-term, permanent results.

If you want these changes to last, if you want 2019 to be the year you finally break the yo-yo diet cycle, then employ these two tips to work to your advantage:

  • Give up on perfection, just ‘be good’ and aim to make progress on your former self. Don’t berate yourself for small mistakes, just keep on moving forward
  • Stick to it. Don’t be an all-or-nothing maniac, don’t be a quitter, just be consistent. Put good new habits in place, at a level you can live with and enjoy, and stick to it through January, February and onward from there

Achieving weight loss isn’t as hard as many people think, permanent results are achievable, you just have to know what to do and apply yourself to it. If you want more help and simple tips and guidance, plus a full 28-day meal plan and home exercise routines for all levels and abilities, check out my brilliant little book on Amazon Kindle and it just might help keep you on track.

To your 2019, your year!

In good health!

Two of this, one of that…

I think today will be the shortest blog post I have ever written.

I am not good at brevity…but today, I will excel…

Today, the message is simple.

You know that old expression we have probably all said to our children, or had said to us by our parents “You have two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion.”

Well, I have ‘Karl’s version’ of that expression:

“You have two legs and one butt, use them in that proportion.”

Try to spend twice as much time on your feet, moving, as you do sitting on your butt, inactive.

Words to live by.

Happy New Year, may the year ahead be filled with health and happiness for you and your loved ones.

 

Alcohol – 7 years without a drink

It’s been seven years to the day since I last drank alcohol.

Best.
Decision.
Ever.

When I quit, my intention was to go for 12 months without a drop. I made it through those 12 months, and then felt so good for it, that I instantly decided to just keep going.

It’s become rather trendy of late to make a big noise on social media about not drinking. We have folks seeking sponsorship for it, asking for a charitable donation if they can go 30 days without drinking. Dry month.Dry 90 days. We have this whole ‘one year, no beer’ movement, I think someone has even managed to make a business out of it.

That’s all good, good for them, I hope they are helping to spread the message to those who need to hear it.

When I quit, I did it for me, and for my loved ones.

No noise, no fanfare, no self-aggrandizing on social media, I just stopped poisoning myself, quietly, and started immediately feeling better for it.

I stopped for my health.

I stopped because I finally admitted to myself that my relationship with alcohol was not a healthy one. I would drink every day, and I was afraid of the thought of evenings going by that I was not having a drink.

If something had that much control over my thoughts, I needed to take charge of that situation.

I stopped to be a better father to my children.

I stopped to be a better man.

It was the right thing to do, one of the best decisions I have ever made.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your health in 2019, I encourage you to look at how you use alcohol. What? When? Where? How much? Why?

If you need any help, you know where to find me.

1luvx

 

Happy New Year! Here, have some free stuff! No catch, just free, for 2019, for you…

Happy New Year!

It’s the first day of 2019, let’s celebrate with some free stuff!

I dunno about you, but my inbox is ram full of folks trying to sell me stuff today, my finger has gone into ‘en masse delete mode’ as it’s all just too much to wade through.

This email is different.

Absolutely free. No catch. No tricks. No b/s. Just free, ‘cos I’m a nice guy 😉

You don’t have to watch a 7-minte video, then put your email address in, then click the double opt-in in your inbox, then agree to the GDPR terms…none of that.
Just links to free stuff.
You don’t have to give me anything.
No catch.
Just free.

Happy New Year!

127 Weight Loss Tips – FREE eBook from Mother Nature’s Diet.
Most folks hit the New Year saying they want to lose some weight. Maybe they just wanna burn off the mince pies and booze of the last fortnight, or maybe they are set on turning around years of weight control issues. Either way, here’s a free book packed with 33 pages of weight loss tips and ideas. No links or clicks or email addresses required, just go here and it’s yours. Enjoy.

The Weekly Weigh-In
Here’s a free newsletter for you. I produce a short weekly newsletter, goes out as an email every Wednesday, usually a 5-min read, with links to find out more if you are interested.
Full of tips, motivation, rants, ideas, news, sometimes funny, sometimes serious.
Sign up for free here (OK, you do have top put your email in for this one, I mean, how else can I deliver an email newsletter to you???)

The 7 classic mistakesmost people are unwittingly making that hold them back from achieving the body, health and fitness they truly desire.
Another free eBook for you.
These 7 big mistakes cover the reasons 95% of people fail at 95% of diets. In my decades of experience, it always comes down to one of these 7 things.
Get your free book here, again, no bull, no sign up, just free.

The 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet
The Mother Nature’s Diet healthy lifestyle is based around 12 Core Principles. Not secrets, not magic, no rocket science, just simple common-sense (but not entirely common knowledge) healthy living ideas.
Learn all about them here – one page for each, short and easy to read, I made it simple for you.

Webinar – Beginners Guide to Mother Nature’s Diet healthy living
How about this, my generosity knows no end…an entire 1 hour webinar, for free, you don’t have to sign up, it’s just ready for you to watch. Go!
I make an hour-long (often more) webinar for my paying members every month, like this one. Today, you get this one for free.
Unlike those b/s webinars you get tricked into, this isn’t 10 minutes of free info wrapped up in a 40-minute pressure sales pitch, no, this is just a whole free hour of useful healthy living advice for you.
Watch, learn, enjoy, right here!

The Mother Nature’s Diet guide to Body Composition
Another totally free eBook for you – how much body fat is too much? How much is too little? How do we build muscle? How do we ‘slow the clock’ and hold back the signs of ageing?
Lots of interesting stuff covered in this book for you.
No sign up, no time wasting, just read it or download it right here.
Free. 100%.

The Mother Nature’s Diet blog – this blog!
I started blogging in 2011. Over the last 7 or 8 years, I’ve written north of 650,000 words. It’s all here. For you. For free.
I look back at a few things I wrote in the early days and I cringe. But I have resisted deleting them, because while I know better now, they reflect the truth of my own journey, my own learning, my own growth.
Three quarters of a million words on healthy living, that’s like 5 novel length books. Free. For you. Here. Go get it.
Some best reads?
White Refined Sugar is an Anti-nutrient
Some popular questions answered in FAQs
What’s gone wrong with our food?
There are many…use the ‘word cloud’ or search box to find topics that interest you.

Mother Nature’s Diet – the book
OK, this one isn’t entirely free, it costs £3.99 (about 5 Euros or 5 bucks US), but that’s a big discount for the Kindle version, so it’s worth a mention.
Check it out here, you can download and read 20 or 30 pages for free, so go for it!

More free stuff, things I make, stuff I do for free –

I make YouTube videos, the goal is to educate and entertain, and occasionally rant, lol.
Go on, head over to YouTube and subscribe, you might like it, a little weekly motivation for you.

Mother Nature’s Diet on Facebook.

On Twitter.

On Instagram.

Please come and join our free friendly Facebook Group.

There you go, free stuff (almost all free…just the book costs a couple of quid!) for you – no sign up, no hoops to jump through, no tricks, catch or gimmicks, just free stuff to help you get 2019 off to the best start.

I hope this email has something you find helpful – if it doesn’t, seriously, you ain’t trying very hard.
If you got to the bottom here, the last line, and haven’t yet found something interesting or useful, then this is just for you, this is what you need…
https://youtu.be/sCX-UlWmNWo
https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2018/04/30/you-dont-really-want-to-change-youre-happy-as-you-are/
https://youtu.be/jb9b-tzGI0E

Happy 2019!!
Go get ‘em tiger!

1luvx

Change your breakfast, change your life

Breakfast. I don’t know why but many people embracing healthy eating and lifestyle change seem to struggle with changing their breakfast.

Maybe because it’s the first meal of the day…perhaps that “I am going to change, I am going to lose weight and feel better, it all starts tomorrow.” always starts with breakfast.

Day 1. Meal 1. Oh s**t. Ground zero. Healthy eating starts now.

People always ask me what to have for breakfast. People have eaten – just as I did – nothing but cereals and toast for years. I did that every day for about 35 years. 

The short answer: switch to scrambled eggs

It’s quick, it’s easy, and I find most people like eggs. With some practice, personally I have got the art of knocking up a few eggs down to just three or four minutes. I encountered one lady who claims to have it down to 90 seconds. That beats me, I have no idea how she does it that quick!

I grab my unpasteurised, grass fed butter, stick a chunk in a pan, pop the heat on, and it starts melting. I grab a bag of spinach from the fridge, throw two or three good hand-fulls in the pan, pop it back and grab the eggs. Crack three or four in. Start stirring. Slice up a fresh tomato on the side of my plate, stir again, turn off heat, serve.

Scrambled eggs, with spinach and tomato. Quick and easy. Four minutes. Done. Could chop and throw in a couple of mushrooms. Optional.
Four more minutes to eat.
Two minutes to wash the pan and put the plate and cutlery in the dishwasher.
Breakfast. Nutritious, healthy, tasty, done in ten minutes.

Questions

Some folks say to me “I don’t have ten minutes for breakfast!”

Really? You might want to re-evaluate how you are living your life. I mean, get your butt out of bed ten minutes earlier. Do you want to be healthier or not? Set your priorities here, now, and stop making excuses.

Some say “I tried that and it just wasn’t filling enough, I need a bit more bulk.” (Stop. Look down, at your own belly – is that the kind of bulk we’re talking about here? ‘Cos it looks to me like you already have plenty there…yes? Maybe it’s time to reappraise that appetite of yours, and recognise that eating too much has been your issue for some years, and to turn that around we need a period of some years where you have to eat too little. Ouch, that hurts. Sorry.) 

But if you do need a more substantial breakfast, you can always grill a bunch of sausages when you have time (Sunday afternoon perhaps) and then keep them in the fridge. Each day, just chop up a couple and throw them in with your spinach and eggs. Voila, breakfast more substantial for only a few seconds extra effort.

Binding

The next objection (obstacle, reason, excuse) I get is “But I can’t eat many eggs, they bind me up.”

OK, I understand, though from my experience, I would say that if you have the rest of the Mother Nature’s Diet healthy lifestyle in place, such as 10-a-day or more fruit and veg, they you’ll have plenty of fibre in your diet, combined with good hydration and regular varied exercise, this should all ensure you have good gut function and once you get in the habit of eating eggs regularly, everything is usually OK.

If eggs bind you up, is it really the eggs? Eating enough fruit? And veggies? Plenty of water? Plenty of movement and exercise? Check all your bases.

Dead boring

This is the one that makes me laugh.

People say “Eggs, sure, I can try that, but what like, the next day? I mean, surely I’m not going to have scrambled eggs every day? Every day, OMG how boring, like the same thing every day, that’s so dull. What else can I have for breakfast?”

Why is this even an issue?! 

Seriously, years trying to help people improve their diet and lose weight, and I never met anyone eating boxed cereals for breakfast who says “Oh God, bloody flakes of wheat or corn, shaped and covered in sugar and chocolate flavour…again, oh how boring!”

No one.

Ever.

I never met anyone who said “I am so bored of this butter dripping off this toast yet again today, ummm with chocolate spread on it, yeah, so boring.”

No one.

Ever.

When people eat sweet tasting cereals and toast (yeah, those processed comfort foods that got you overweight in the first place) for breakfast they seem perfectly happy to eat the same thing for breakfast every single day for 30 or 40 years and they never complain that it’s boring.

Suggest scrambled eggs, and two days in folks be like “And…?”

Get a grip.

It’s real food.

Once you stop poisoning your palate with the ceaseless sweetness of processed foods, after a few weeks you might actually start being able to taste real, fresh foods once again. Suddenly, your life can move beyond everything needing to be sweet at breakfast, and hot and spicy in the evening. Really, life on Earth isn’t all sugar and chili powder, that’s not real fresh food that’s at fault, it’s YOU, you ‘broke’ your palate and you just THINK broccoli is boring, because all you know how to taste is sugar and chili.

Your problem.

Get over it.

Monday to Friday, when time is tight, have eggs.

At the weekend, if you have more time, you can do more. Experiment with fresh fruits, and some nuts. Learn to make nut porridge. Buy a blender or NutriBullet and make a smoothie. Try fresh fish, sardines, or smoked salmon. Or a good old full English breakfast – bacon, eggs, sausage, mushrooms, tomato. Just buy organic, buy quality, no rubbish.

Change your breakfast, change your life.

Get that first meal, on that first day, nailed, and the rest will follow.

Enjoy.

KISS for an easy life…

KISS – keep it simple, stupid.

The KISS idea has been around for a long time, I’m sure it’s not new to you.

But sometimes the age-old ideas, the things we think we already know, get buried so far back in our cluttered minds that it’s good to drag them out again and refresh them.

When you can’t see the wood for the trees, sometimes it helps to go back to basics.

Can’t focus on 12 things at once

The 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet are fabulously simple to grasp, in my humble opinion, but I often find people who like Mother Nature’s Diet and want to live this way who find one major problem with them – there’s 12 of them! Twelve!

Holy moly, how can anyone work on 12 things at once?!?!?

OK, I get it, there’s a lot to take in.

Let me help you

Life is complicated, so let me help you make this a bit simpler.

You’re overweight, or out of shape, or unfit, or unhealthy, or ageing badly, or worried about your future. OK, so you want to see improvements, you want your ‘outcomes’ or ‘results’ to change.

Well, then, you’re going to have to make changes.

You see, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing…
You’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.

What you’re getting, that’s your results. That’s obesity, or feeling unfit, or ageing poorly, or whatever it is that troubles you individually.

So to change your results, you have to change your behaviour. You gotta do something different, to change your outcomes, that’s how this works.

KISS

There are 12 Core Principles. Ignore 11 of them, and just pick one.

Work on that one. JFDI. No excuses, forget the other 11.

Pick one and do it.

Once that’s in, once that’s habit, once you’ve nailed that bad boy and life’s lookin’ rosy, then go pick another and do that.

See. Simples. Aren’t you glad I showed up?

You might start with Core Principle 1. Just cut those starchy carbs and processed grains down, and eat a load more vegetables instead.

That’s it, for the next month just do that, maybe two months, just do that til it’s nailed.

Then pick another.

Boom!

Simple. Don’t get stressed, don’t get confused, don’t get overwhelmed. Just pick one thing and get it licked.

No ‘paralysis by analysis’ here, just steady progress.

Keep it simple, stupid.

Progress, not perfection

You don’t have to tackle all 12 Core Principles in one day or one week. The goal is progress, not perfection.

Every day, I just strive to be a better me than I was yesterday. No competition with anyone else, no race to reach a certain destination in a certain time, just looking to be the best version of me, that’s all.

How about you?

To your good health!

 

The 7 secrets to permanent weight loss…

In my experience of life so far, there really are only a handful of basic good ideas behind success in most endeavours, and that includes weight loss. All the analysis and complexity on top of those few basic good ideas, all the confusion and tricks and gimmicks, well, it’s all just detail, detail broken out of those few basic good ideas.

So you want to lose some excess weight, some unwanted body fat. Let’s take a look at those basic foundation good ideas:

  1. Eat less, and eat better. You know, at the end of the day, eating less remains one of the most reliable ways to lose weight, but you need to combine it with eating better. I mean, sure, a calorie is a calorie and all that, but I just don’t see that the “16 cupcakes per day and nothing else” diet is going to prove to be particularly sustainable long-term, nor particularly healthy. Do you? So eat less, but eat better. Swap out that sandwich for a salad. Swap out the sugary breakfast cereal for some fresh fruit. Cut back on all those starchy carbs, the bread and pasta, and eat more fresh veggies instead. Really, it’s not that hard, is it?
  2. Get some regular exercise. Here the key word is regular. Consistent wins the day. That heroic three hour gym session you did that one time, well sure it made for a good Facebook post but if it was the only exercise you took all month, then it’s not likely to have changed your life. However, if you had instead exercised moderately for even just 20 or 30 minutes every day that same month, then by the end of 30 days that will have been far more beneficial. get out there and move your butt, daily, and see the changes. Get some variety going on, try a new sport or class, don’t just always do the same thing. Remember, consistency wins the day.
  3. Drink more water and less booze. Because most folks in our culture drink far too much of one, and not enough of the other. Often times, what your mind tells you is a hunger pang, is actually a thirsty call for water. Too many people are snacking between meals when they just need a breath of fresh air or a glass of water. And as for the booze…if you are trying to lose weight, cut back, or try stopping completely, try 30 days and see how it goes. If you find it a struggle and can’t do it, maybe that tells you something about your relationship with alcohol. ooh, that’s a whole different conversation there isn’t it?
  4. Get a good night’s sleep. My old mum used to say that every hour before midnight was worth two after midnight. I have no idea if they have ever done any research to see if that’s true, but anecdotally I can tell you from my own experience that she was dead right. Get to bed earlier, try to get seven or eight hours per night, the more the merrier if you feel you need it. Lack of sleep messes up your normal hormone regulation and makes weight loss much harder. Help yourself to shift those unwanted pounds by getting a good night’s sleep, every night.
  5. Stop snacking. Seriously, you are not going to die of starvation in the five short hours between meals. Don’t believe me, reach your hand inside your shirt and squeeze a bit of belly fat. There you go, plenty to keep you going. Right? Like we said in point three above, half the time that’s thirst, not hunger. If you ate breakfast only a couple of hours ago and you have been largely inactive sat at a desk or in a car ever since, then you can’t possibly really need more food in order to survive and keep functioning.

    Either you are feeling false hunger as a result of too much sugar at breakfast (see point one, above); or you are just thirsty (see point three, above); or like most people you are just bored. Ummm…that’s the big one. Most folks snack between meals because cakes are nice, bagels are tasty, cookies are yummy, biscuits are so hard to resist. If fat loss is your goal, you need to break that habit. Eat a proper meal, then you’re all done til the next proper meal. Stop the snacking, you’re using food as a pastime, a leisure activity, a boredom reliever. Stop it, it’s making you fat.

  6. Stop thinking like a dieter. Seriously, get off that idiotic roller coaster. “Oh I’ll just starve for a month, drop a dress size, feel better about myself at the office party, then I can go back to cake and pizza and pile it back on again!” That crap, you do it every year. Stop it, it’s dumb and it’s bad for you. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, like Mother Nature’s Diet, and stick to it. Healthy, enjoyable, sustainable.
  7. Just eat real food. Don’t go out and buy four new recipe books, the ‘inch-loss plan’ this, and the ‘bum-and-thighs’ that. You’ll just end up with hundreds of new recipe ideas to try and it’ll make you think about food all day long! Stick to the basics – eat a portion of protein with every meal. That’s a palm-sized piece of meat or fish, or a couple of eggs. Then fill the rest of the meal with fresh vegetables, or a salad. Really, that’s it, that’ll sort you out for a month or two, and you’ll see the weight fall off.

    A couple of eggs for breakfast, maybe add spinach, a tomato, some mushrooms.
    A salad for lunch with smoked salmon, flaked mackerel or some feta cheese.
    A small chicken thigh and steamed vegetables for dinner, that’s easy.

    See, a serving of protein at every meal, because protein is the most satiating food, so it will satisfy your appetite, and because the high-protein foods, meat, fish and eggs, are the most nourishing foods, providing the most vitamins and minerals. And then vegetables with every meal, they are bulky and fill you up, and provide more nutrients, without adding too many calories. Ideal for weight loss. Really, don’t let the whole cooking thing get too much more complicated than that.

There you go, seven solid basics. It all makes sense, doesn’t it?

Well, go on then.

To your good health!

Karl

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

If you could put a price on it, what is your good health worth?

I think it’s true to say that most people don’t realise the true value of good health, until it’s gone.

I meet people every day who won’t spend the extra money to buy organic, they definitely won’t spend the extra required to buy grass-fed meat or organic, free-range poultry. I meet people every day who say gym membership is too expensive, running shoes and lycra clothing are too costly, and they don’t have time to work out because they are too busy working, because their demanding career comes first.

When it comes to making the best health decisions, price is often an objection.

Yet I also meet a lot of people who have diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, and I have never yet met one person with a terminal cancer or in recovery after a heart attack, who still thinks gym fees are too expensive, or still says buying organic isn’t worth the cost. I’ve never met anyone who has been given a terminal diagnosis, who wouldn’t give you all the money they have to live a few years longer.

It’s true, most people don’t value their good health until it’s gone.

Causes and factors

Of course, the whole subject of what causes cancer or what causes heart disease is generally a bit more complicated than ‘well you didn’t buy organic veg, so now you have terminal cancer’, or ‘you didn’t work out in the gym, so now you are cruising for your second heart attack’. Certainly, in reality it’s a lot more complicated than that.

In the real world, what causes these ill health conditions is usually a combined effect of many such factors and causes, stacked up over a period of time. Of course, a certain percentage of cancers are unavoidable, genetic defects. A certain percentage of heart conditions are congenital defects, there’s little we can do about them. But the truth is that the vast majority of diabetes, heart disease, lung diseases and cancers, are affected, and made more likely, to one degree or another, by our diet and lifestyle choices.

There are many known Read more

The more you just ‘do’, the more you will continue to do 

I observe people quite a lot in my life.

My work is very varied, and involves public speaking, training people, working in groups, coaching people, leading people in outdoor activities, meeting friends and colleagues, mentoring people, working on collaborative projects and so on. Throughout this varied work, over the last two decades, I have observed that it’s only really quite a small percentage of people who ‘just do’ things, compared to a majority who live somewhere on the periphery of action – usually either right ‘on the cusp’ observing, wanting to take part, vicariously living on the edge, but never quite stepping up, or others tend to be further back, watching the action from something of a distance, or even way back, along with the ‘wall flowers’ of our world.

It takes all sorts, as they say.

Allow me to explain what I am talking about.

I find that few people ‘just do it’ as the expression goes. By it, I mean all kinds of things. Most people move into adulthood and fairly quickly settle into a set of circumstances that are familiar and comfortable. When the suggestion comes up to do something different, to push into unfamiliar territory, they default to a bunch of ‘reasons’ (ummm, excuses I call it) to hold back.

It might be trying a new sport, going on a trip, or changing a familiar routine, but people resist new, they resist change, and this can go on for months, for years, for decades. If you are one of those people, maybe you realise, it can go on for an entire life time.

All the excuses

I’ll write using the terms “I” and “you” but these are not about me, and you, they are just generalisations, about many people.

Last weekend I led a couple of friends to climb their first ever mountain, so that seems like a good place to start.

You’ve never climbed a mountain but you have always thought you might like Read more

You don’t really want to change…you’re happy as you are…

You like your life just the way it is. You’re comfortable where you are, you don’t want to change.

Your body, your weight, your health…how you look and how you feel, you are happy where you are, right?

The brilliant, original and funny Larry Winget says this, and I think he is bang on right. Perhaps you are sitting reading this. As you sit there, I’ll bet you are sitting mostly still, not really moving much at all. I guess you are fairly comfortable. I mean, if you were uncomfortable, you would move, right?

If you were sat there and you were uncomfortable, say your left buttock had ‘gone to sleep’ or you had pins and needles in one foot, or the chair side was digging into your leg and making you sore, or if there was a lump or spike sticking out of the chair seat that was painful to sit on, well then you would move, right?

You see, as Larry says, when we are uncomfortable, we move, we shift, we change, until we can become comfortable again. But when we are comfortable, we stop moving and stay put, we relax.

Now apply that to everything in your life.

  • What you see when you are naked standing in front of a full length mirror
  • How you feel, your energy levels, your level of vitality
  • How you look, your body shape, your weight, your muscles, your belly and bum
  • What you have in your bank account
  • How you feel about the job you get up and go to every day
  • How you feel about your relationships…with your spouse or partner, your boss, your kids
  • Your sex life
  • Your performance in your choice of sport or hobby
  • Your performance in bed
  • Everything

You are comfortable with where you are at.
If you were truly uncomfortable, you would move, shift, change.

Every week people tell me how unhappy they are about their weight, or how they look, or how they feel, or their energy levels, or their muscle mass, strength, speed, love, life… but then they trip out all the endless excuses why they can’t eat this, won’t train that, too busy to work this, don’t like to eat that, don’t have time for this, feel awkward doing that…the list is always long, it just goes on and on.

The truth is, they are comfortable, and until they get uncomfortable, they just won’t change.

I’m not saying they are happy. Just, comfortable.

Ouch.

Sadly, all too often, I meet people in their 40s, 50s and 60s, for whom finally ‘getting uncomfortable enough’, is a heart attack, or a cancer diagnosis, or the loss of a loved one.

Don’t be one of them.

Set your goals, keep your standards high, and get uncomfortable enough to make forward progress.

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

Are we struggling with the wrong things?

I urge you to take the time to read this if you want to make sense of your life and the things you struggle with.

What do you struggle with?

  • Your weight? The number on the scales?
  • Your career, your income, your bank balance, your business?
  • Your life choices, balancing family, kids, marriage, career, life? Do you feel empty, or fulfilled, do you constantly question if you are making the right choices in life?
  • Relationships? Love?
  • Do you think happiness is something that you will feel in the future, when you lose that weight, when people accept you, respect you, love you? Will you be happy when you are rich, secure, retired? When you can quit the job? Will you be happy for 2 weeks out of 52 when you are on holiday?

Read this.

Take the time.

Recently, I was reading Ray Dalio’s new book, Principles, and these words struck me, and I just have to share them with you. As always, I’m pressed for time, the last thing I have time to do is type up several hundred words that are not even my own words. But sometimes, you just have to do something that feels important.

Of course, I could do this the quick way, and just photograph the relevant couple of pages from the book and share them in this post saying ‘read this’ – but instead I am going to write the words out, because there is no better way for me to learn this and really take it in, than to write it all out for you. When we share words of wisdom or a passage of text, we not only pass on that gift to others, but we get to learn it and experience it all over again for ourselves. That sounds like a win:win to me.

Ray Dalio – Principles

Context: the author is Ray Dalio. Maybe you have never even heard of him, he’s a superstar in the world of finance, but to the rest of us, he’s largely unknown. In short, he’s probably the most famous and most influential person in the world of hedge funds, ever. He predicted things like the subprime financial meltdown in 2008 and no one else believed him. They do now.

He spent 40 years building a hedge fund company that is ranked by Fortune as the fifth most important private company in the US, Forbes magazine rank him as one of the 100 richest people in the world (he’s worth about $17bn), and Time magazine ranked him one of the 100 most influential people on the planet. He started trading stocks aged 12, he was working neighbourhood jobs for money from age 8, he was not born into millions, he started his company from home working alone, went bust after a few years and had to start again, has been ‘down and out’ in business and finances twice, then became a billionaire. He’s married, got four kids, been through some life drama, and gives away millions and millions to good causes. He’s now retirement age (68) and writing his memoirs and all he learned in life, to pass on after his death. This book is the first half of that work. Seems to me he’s a pretty smart guy.

I’m going to share a couple of pages from his book. This is him closing out the first 120 pages of his book, summarising his life story and then the rest of this book goes on to share the lessons he learned along the way.

Take it away, Ray:

“Watching the same things happen again and again, I began to see reality as a gorgeous perpetual motion machine, in which causes become effects that become causes of new effects, and so on. I realized that reality was, if not perfect, at least what we are given to deal with, so that any problems or frustrations I had with it were more productively directed to dealing with them effectively than complaining about them. I came to understand that my encounters were tests of my character and creativity. Over time, I came to appreciate what a tiny and short-lived part of that remarkable system I am, and how it’s both good for me and good for the system for me to know how to interact with it well.

In gaining this perspective, I began to experience painful moments in a radically different way. Instead of feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, I saw pain as nature’s reminder that there is something important for me to learn. Encountering pains and figuring out the lessons they were trying to give me became sort of a game to me. The more I played it, the better I got at it, the less painful those situations became, and the more rewarding the process of reflecting, developing principles, and then getting rewards for using those principles became. I learned to love my struggles, which I suppose is a healthy perspective to have, like learning to love exercising (which I haven’t managed to do yet).

In my early years, I looked up to extraordinarily successful people, thinking that they were successful because they were extraordinary. After I got to know such people personally, I realised that all of them 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!

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.

 

 

Bumps along the road to success

The path to getting the results we want is never the smooth, easy road we imagine it is going to be.

For almost 47 years old, with a history of 20 years of smoking, heavy drinking and yo-yo obesity, now I am in pretty good shape for a guy my age. I’m healthy, full of energy, got zero health complaints, I’m fit-as-a-fiddle, I train every day and barring a couple of minor muscular niggles, I am fit and strong in every way. ‘Minor muscular niggles’, yeah I have a few of those, currently the main one is a rotator cuff issue in my right shoulder that’s been holding back progress on my bench press for almost nine long months. I used to get frustrated about the aches and pains, but over the years I have now come to realise they are just part of life training over the age of 40, I just have to live with them.

I was having this conversation the other day with a coaching client of mine, we were talking about working around the minor niggles. He was frustrated by a neck/shoulder ache that was stopping him doing his upper body training properly, and I was encouraging him to train more lower body while his upper body strength is compromised. This is life, the journey is never smooth, it never goes to plan, there are always hiccups along the way. My client was having a crap day, he was feeling down about his training, things not going to plan, progress too slow. This week he can’t train upper body properly because of this neck/shoulder ache, all last month he was off running because of a touch of shin splints, he was feeling exasperated, “I just want to get on a train hard every day! It’s not fair! It’s slowing my progress, all these damned injuries!”

The ups and downs

I can empathise, I have been there myself. The road to success is never the smooth journey we want it to be. When we start out on our health transformation, to lose the excess weight and get all fit and healthy, we imagine in our minds that it will all go smoothly. We imagine that after years of not doing the right things, not looking after ourselves, smoking, drinking, eating too much fattening food, not exercising, making the wrong choices, we imagine that once we start ‘being good’ and doing all the right things, then everything will be good, everything will work well, everything will go in our favour. We have some unquestioned mental faith in the depths of our mind that quietly assumes that we are switching from ‘being naughty’ to ‘being good’ and therefore nothing will go wrong, the quiet forces of the universe will line up in our favour and everything will be perfect, it will all go in our favour.

Then we start, and for the first month or two things often start out well, weight falling off, we get over the ‘OMG I am so unfit’ and start to find aspects of exercise that we quite enjoy. Days are early, resolve is high, results come quickly. Oh the joy of it all! And then we hit our first plateau. Down to Earth with an almighty thump.

Success

Two months in, two stone down, the weight loss slows to a crawl and we pick up our first training injury. And so the honeymoon period is over, and the real work begins. What can I say? It’s hard. People reading this who have done it, you’re nodding right now and saying ‘oh yeah, oh brother, I know just what you’re talking about’ and folks reading this now who have never been fat and had to lose it all, you folks who have always been slim, you have no idea what I am talking about.

Hiccups along the way

I had someone came up to chat with me in the lunch break at one of my seminars last year, and he shook my hand and thanked me for a good morning, he said he was feeling inspired and learning some great stuff, and then he said “…but it’s OK for you, I mean look at you mate, you’re in good shape, you’re slim and fit, you’ve got your pecs all squeezed into your tight t-shirt, you’ve got your flat stomach, you run marathons and you lift weights, you rock climb and you play squash, you know how to cook all these healthy meals, you know all about what not to eat…you know mate, it’s OK for you, you make it all sound easy when you are telling us what to do, but some of us have a lot more work to do to be able to do the things that you can do. We’re not all you!” He then went on to tell me of this injury he has to work around, that food allergy he has to watch out for, and this work commitments that he has to fit the rest of his life around. He told me of his unsupportive spouse, his career commitments, his lack of cooking skills and his financial pressures.

I really understand. I truly do understand all those things, all those headaches, hiccups and obstacles we face. Because I have faced them all too. When I am standing up there in my tight t-shirt delivering my seminar, I’m talking to a room full of people, many of whom are at Ground Zero on their health transformation, Day One of their own personal weight loss journey…meanwhile I’m standing up there at year eleven. Year. Eleven. Eleven years earlier I was at my own Ground Zero, Day One on my own personal weight loss and health transformation journey. At that time I too would have looked up at ‘tight t-shirt man’ and thought ‘well it’s OK for you pal, you’re all slim and fit and healthy…’ and I would have thought that guy didn’t understand the challenges I faced.

For eleven years I have overcome all those obstacles myself, every one of them. I have had a gazillion hiccups along the way and I can promise you the road to success is never the smooth, easy, endlessly-upwards journey we imagine it is going to be. I’ve had shin splints, a fractured right tibia, right knee surgery, a fracture in my left foot, a broken toe, every running injury in the book. I ran my first marathon with a fracture in my lower leg still healing. I ran that marathon with only 1 training run in the 12 weeks before the event. I fractured my spine on L2 and L4 in a training accident in 2012. I have had muscle spasms in my back so bad I couldn’t stand up straight and walk. I have had to retire from running completely because of a destroyed meniscus in my knee. I have broken a toe and several fingers in training. I fell over 200 feet down the side of a mountain in 2014 and bust five ribs. I have had pulls, sprains and strains in almost every muscle I can think of. I have had to stop training for a week here, a fortnight there, a month here and three months there more times than I can possibly remember.

I have had running injuries, climbing injuries, cuts, scratches, breaks and bruises. Bike crashes, expensive bike crashes. I’ve ripped clothes, ripped skin, busted bones and shed blood, sweat and tears. I’ve had to juggle it all with family life. Three young children, my own businesses, endless 15-hour workdays. I’ve been through losing my mother to cancer in her 60s, the loss of friends and family members. I’ve been through the sleep-loss of young children, the emotional ups-and-downs of married life, near bankruptcy in business, the highs and lows of recession, and more.

I always say I lost 7 stone 3, or 101 pounds of fat, 46 kilos to my European friends. In reality I have probably lost 200 pounds of fat, counting all the times it went up and down. You lose two stone, then plateau and put one back on again. Then you have to lose that one again before breaking new ground and losing more. And so it goes on.

Consistency

Hiccups along the way? I’ve broken bones, lost loved ones, built businesses and had almost every injury in the book. How come I get to be the slim fit guy in the tight t-shirt teaching the weight loss seminar?
Because despite all that shit, I stuck it out.

I didn’t let those hiccups stop me. I didn’t let the shitty days take me out of the game for good. I never quit.

When it’s all going wrong, we get demoralised, we feel down, we feel like giving up. We hit these plateaus and the voice in our head says “What’s the point? It’s not working any more, you might as well give up.” And “See, dummy, you’re injured again. You didn’t have all this hassle when you were a couch potato, this exercise malarkey is bad for you!! You might as well just stop and go back to the DVD and a tub of ice cream, that didn’t hurt, you didn’t ache all over then!” Those voices in our head would screw us over if we let them, they would stop us every time. We have to learn to master the voices and stay the course. It’s these ups and downs, these plateaus in our progress, these hiccups that derail most people’s weight loss efforts and cause most people’s plans to fall by the way side.

Success is not the smooth journey we imagine. The road forward is fraught with hazards and hiccups. I am sorry, that’s just how it is. When you actually start using your body to work hard after a decade or two of neglecting it…it grumbles back at you! It aches and moans, it creaks and groans. Now and then something breaks, you’re out for weeks or even months with an injury. You have to learn to train around your injuries and aches and pains.
Legs hurt? Train upper body.
Shoulder injury? Work lower body.
Can’t run? Cycle.
Can’t cycle? Swim.
You have to learn to do whatever it takes to keep making progress, no matter how slow.
Just don’t ever quit.

If you want the results, damn the hiccups, you have to find a way. The rewards go to those who stay the course.

Never, ever quit.
That’s how winning happens.

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

Fat shaming, beach bodies and thigh gaps…

Fat shaming, plus size models, beach bodies and the thigh gap – why are we even having these conversations?

I wrote this a while back, when the singer Lady Gaga came in for some so-called ‘fat shaming’ criticism after her performance at the Super Bowl a couple of months ago. Take a look at the pictures of her performing, here in this news article, and see what you think.

First off, anyone who thinks that what they see in these pictures is somehow overweight, or some kind of ‘jelly belly’ or ‘muffin top’ then they have some serious issues around body image perception and they need to get educated on what is a healthy level of body fat. Let me put this in plain English – if you think that is ‘fat’, then you’re part of the problem. Seriously, no wonder so many young people, especially girls, have body image problems and develop eating disorders, when people seem unable to differentiate between ‘slim‘ and ‘muffin top‘.

Time and again, long-term epidemiological studies show that ‘overweight’ is just as healthy, or often healthier, than ‘normal’ weight when it comes to longevity and all-cause mortality. As I have said many times in my live seminars, the truth is that ‘pinch an inch’ is actually healthier than a rippling 6-pack. That’s not to deny that many of us covet low enough body fat to have visible abs, and as such it’s fair to say that ‘vanity goals’ are not without merit – they can support strong self esteem, body confidence and so on, but there is no evidence that ‘washboard abs lean’ is particularly any healthier than ‘normal’.

So what am I saying? I’m saying that the obsession with being thin is Read more

Nah-nah-na-na-nah my addiction is worse than yours…

Regular readers know that for a good few years I was into the world of Personal Development books and seminars and so on…I still am to a less feverish degree. I always remember something Tony Robbins talks about, he used to say how weird it is when people meet and the conversation goes something like this…

Person A: Hi, how are you?
Person B: Ah not too bad I suppose. You?
A: Well I could be better, I mean my boss is a pain in the ass and my doctor says I need to lose some weight, my blood pressure is high.
B: Yeah I know what you mean, my boss is a jerk, and the people I work with are just idiots, every day in that place drives me nuts. And I have this back pain, and I get this cough, and my doctor says it might be hereditary…
A: Yeah well my father died of a heart attack so the blood pressure thing is a big deal in my family, and all the men on my father’s side dies young, and my wife’s no help, she keeps doing this and doing that…and the kids wind me up…so I drink too much…and we’re in debt right now, cos of the car payment and the medical bills…

And so the conversation goes, it’s like “a race to the bottom” to see who has the most shit going on and who can be the most miserable! And we see this all the time, people post a status on Facebook about some injury they got “I went skiing, broke my arm” and underneath a bunch of folks are like “Oh that’s nothing, I went skiing and broke both my legs!” “Oh you guys are amateurs, I went skiing and broke my own head off!” It’s like we are all competing to have the worst crap going on in our lives out of every one we know!

I think people do this, subconsciously, to excuse their failings. I mean, if you believe that life is hard, getting rich is really difficult, finding the wonderful loving partner of your dreams is only for the lucky few, being in great shape and amazing good health requires sacrifice and dedication that few are prepared to give, success is difficult, happiness and fulfillment are hard to achieve – if we all buy into these ideas, then we have excuses for having rather mediocre, or downright crappy, results in our lives. If we convince ourselves it’s all hard, then we are more likely to settle for average.

My addiction is worse than yours

In a similar vein, I have recently seen (on Facebook) a discussion in a Health Group about ‘sugar addiction’ – and these folks were getting so insanely competitive, judgemental and insulting to each other it made me leave the Group. Someone was saying that it’s truly hard to beat this sugar addiction, and in this big Group (15,000 plus members) they were just torn apart – folks writing insults and saying “you know nothing about addiction, I was on heroine for 14 years, nearly died, you just like a cake, eff off what do you know” and then the next person to comment would feel the need to “compete for the bottom” and push further “I spent 22 years in puddles of my own vomit, selling my own sister for drug money, how dare you liken your desire for chocolate bar to the hell I went through” and then the next “I grew up in the sex trade, I was a child slave, I raped my own father, my life was a living hell for 50 years, I sold my soul to the devil himself…” and on and on and on.

Obviously I’m not quoting real people here, but honestly the thread was like that…hundreds of people, throwing insults, belittling each other, belittling that anyone’s addiction to food, or sugar, could possibly be a serious health challenge compared to the way other people’s lives have been wrecked by alcohol and narcotics. It was the ultimate race to the bottom, like we were all supposed to give some kind of kudos to the must messed up person in the Group. It was shameful to read, shameful to be in a Group with people with that mentality.

The voice of common sense

After that episode, a week or two ago, yesterday I saw a post from the frequently-brilliant and frequently-amusing Alex Viada. If you don’t know this man, he’s an outstanding athlete, author and coach at Complete Human Performance, I suggest you check him out and if you are interested in strength training, endurance sport, or both, buy his superb first book. (No, I am not on a commission, I am just recommending this excellent book!)

So to the point of this newsletter today – yesterday Alex wrote this (quote verbatim):

The sugar addiction debate is back, which reminds me of this field’s stunning inability to understand its own purpose.

The question of whether or not sugar is actually “addictive” is moot. Yes, the nonsense documentaries and poor understanding of science that shows dopamine release and pleasure centers lighting up after consuming sugar, and pointing to similarities in how the little bits light up after taking in heroin (this is serious science) are intentionally misleading. But the response completely misses the point.
Who cares that glucose does not and cannot create similar physiological and psychological addictions that many drugs can? The behaviors exhibited by many who struggle with food intake, especially high palatability, calorie dense foods, mirror the behaviors of drug addicts in that understanding the latter gives us an effective model for treating the former. 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!

Gimme the pills…I want value for my money!

“Don’t tell me to look after myself doc, just give me the pills! I want some value for money!”

Some months ago I interviewed an NHS GP for a monthly newsletter that I write called Against the Grain. I publish Against the Grain every month for members of the Mother Nature’s Diet subscription Community. If you’d like to read a sample of Against the Grain, you can download it here – and that sample is actually the first half of the GP interview. If you would like to know more about MND Community Membership, you can learn more here.

Back to our GP. In our interview, he shocked me by revealing that even when he gives patients lifestyle and dietary advice, in a whopping 9 cases out of 10, people just say “Thanks doc, but to be honest that all sounds like hard work, can’t you just give me the pills?”

I personally find this astounding! He has people who come to him every month for years on end complaining of coughs and chest infections, yet they refuse to quit smoking. Are they addicted? Maybe, but the NHS offer a great, proven, successful smoking cessation program, for free, and these people won’t even try it out.

The doctor has patients who come to him obese, smoking, drinking, eating a poor diet, out of shape, complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath. They have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and they are stressed with busy careers. Prime candidates for heart disease and heart attack, yet they refuse healthy lifestyle advice, instead they just want pills, the quick fix.

If you want to read more of that interview in depth, check out that edition of Against the Grain linked above.

I was chatting about all this to a friend the other day. Obviously, here at Mother Nature’s Diet I promote personal responsibility, I encourage people to take charge of their own health and live by the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet as a way to maintain a healthy body weight, resist the signs of ageing and stave off ill health for as long as possible. So I cannot understand this ‘quick fix’ mindset, this notion of ‘just give me the pills’ seems crazy to me. And that’s when my friend came out with something very insightful.

He said “Oh I can totally understand that. I mean, you go to the doctor because you want a solution, you want some pills, because they are something solid, something material you can take away. I mean, we pay our taxes, we pay for the NHS, we want some value-for-money. Don’t just tell me to go home and eat my veg and get some exercise, that’s rubbish, I can call my mother for that advice!”

Wow! What an insight, it had never occurred to me that anyone would think that way! If I visit my GP, I want to understand what has gone wrong, and the best way to fix it, ideally with no surgery, no pills, and a swift return to good health. It would never occur to me to seek ‘value for money’ in that way – personally, i think the mere fact that we have the NHS, a world-leading public health service free at the point of entry for everyone, is in itself all the value-for-money that I need.

But clearly, other people see it differently to me.

So what do you think? Are you one of the 9 out of 10 people who is happy with ‘the quick fix’ or are you the 1 in 10 who is ready to make changes to your lifestyle and diet in order to try to fix your health problems without resorting to prescription medications?

To your good health!

Bashing sugar, bashing carbs, bashing grains…bashing each other?

Bashing sugar, bashing carbs, bashing grains…bashing each other. How is all this in-fighting actually helping anyone?

In-fighting within the ‘nutrition, diet and health’ industry, it seems, is a problem escalating even more rapidly that the much-talked-about obesity epidemic.

My kind friend alerted me to this piece in the news this week, titled ‘Bad fad – Ruby Tandoh on how clean eating turned toxic’ This follows on from a BBC Horizon episode that screened last week, which attacked the trend for ‘clean eating’ and looked at a number of cook books that promote ‘clean eating’ as a diet trend. To be honest I don’t watch TV, I have not watched the show, and a number of trusted friends who watched it have assured me I didn’t miss much! So, I will save my hour for watching something better, like Joel Salatin on farming, or Rhonda Patrick and Bruce Ames discussing micronutrients, or I’ll grab myself some motivation and exercise tips from Erin Stern working a Tabata circuit.

Anyway, back to our clean eating post.

Goodness, where do I begin with this!!!??!?!!

I agree with about half of the article, maybe more, in fact I agree with most of it, the facts and figures and statements about health, food and nutrition, yes I pretty much agree with all of that…but I strongly disagree with the angry, finger pointing, judgemental, aggressive tone of the writing.

Let’s see now, we have a skinny, young, privileged female, who has recovered from an eating disorder, and who blogs to share recipes and sells cookery books, and here she is basically slagging off all the other skinny, young, privileged female food bloggers and cookery book sellers, suggesting that their work promotes eating disorders. Ummm, writers bias anyone? Read more

It’s never a matter of education…

It’s never a matter of education.
It’s always a matter of motivation.

I have been on my own health journey for the last 27 years, and I have spoken to many hundreds of people around the subject of weight loss and healthy living, pretty much every day for the last 11 years, and I have directly worked with people and tried to help people with weight loss just about every day for the last 5 or 6 years, and in all that time and contact, I have never met one single person who didn’t understand that eating vegetables is good for you.

I have never met anyone who thought smoking was good for you.
I didn’t meet one single person who thought beer and pizza was healthy, slimming food.
I have not met a single soul who thought ‘eat more veg, drink more water and get some exercise’ was bad advice.

You see, we all know what to do, we just don’t do what we know.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I revisit this topic, it remains an undeniable truth. These days, everyone knows what they should be doing. We know we shouldn’t smoke, we know we should drink less, we know six pints per night is not healthy. We know two bottles of wine on a Saturday evening is too much and we are going to regret it the next morning. We know that we shouldn’t order take-away food four nights per week. We know we should eat more salad, more oily fish, and watch less TV.

But still we do all of these things. I work with people every day who know the things they should be doing to lose weight, have more energy, and feel better, yet they still engage in those things they know they shouldn’t.

And so it is.
Success in our health endeavours is almost never a matter of education, and almost always a matter of motivation. Read more

At the end of the day, it’s down to you

Everything you say you want, is out there waiting for you, but it won’t come to you, you have to go and get it.

Today we are talking about personal responsibility. Folks are all out there talking about everything they want, but if people expended half as much energy on doing, as they do on talking about it, they might just find themselves getting there faster.

I guess this little mini-rant comes from two separate things.

One is ‘shelf development’ and the other is social media.

Personal development

I’m a big fan of personal development, I go to seminars, buy books and audio courses, listen to motivational CDs in my car, all that kind of thing. Obviously a lot of it is health and nutrition related, as that is my greatest interest, indeed my overwhelming passion, but I also study business growth, finances and more.

Personal development is also known as self development. I guess there is a distinction – personal development might include coaching, mentoring, and personal training, which all involve hiring someone else to help me to develop personally as an individual. Whereas self development might include reading an educational book, listening to a home-study CD or DVD, taking a course or watching a webinar. It’s me on my own, it’s me working on my self, hence self development, alone.

The thing is, I find a lot of people buy all those materials – books, CDs, DVDs, webinars and so on, but never actually read them, listen to them or watch them. This then isn’t self development, but shelf development. All you end up with is a shelf full of wisdom…it shouldn’t be on your shelf, it should be in your head!

Social media

Then combine this trend for shelf development with the world of social media, everyone posting internet memes almost daily admonishing us to ‘Step into your fears’ and ‘Live your dreams’ and ‘You can achieve anything’ and so it goes on and on and on.

Really, I like the positive thinking, ‘dream big’ stuff myself, I honestly do, but I sometimes look at some of the people who are the most ardent posters of all that motivational stuff and their own lives are an absolute mess! I see folks telling us all to ‘live our dreams’ and ‘make our lives a masterpiece’ and they are flat broke, failing through their second divorce, overweight, unhealthy and out of shape, dissatisfied with their lives and working a job that isn’t even paying enough to cover their bills.

I see this every day! It’s crazy.

And it all makes me think – just stop saying it, and damn well do it.

I don’t see successful business leaders and billionaires out there posting ‘Go for it’ Internet memes every day…I don’t see Bill Gates and Richard Branson and Elon Musk buying books and not reading them. The real movers and shakers are too busy doing it to be prancing around on social media talking about it.

So the message here is to take some personal responsibility, and be one of the few who do, not one of the many who talk. Yeah, you could make a meme out of that – it’s a Tony Robbins quote. Thanks big Tony!

 

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

What’s wrong with us?

shutterstock_174268115

Human civilisation is truly at a pinnacle in many ways, the things we have achieved and the strides we have made in technology, medicine, construction and engineering are mind-bogglingly amazing. We can fly people out to space, build offices and hotels hundreds of meters high and perform amazingly complex medical operations. Over the last few hundred years, we have come out of the dark ages and largely fixed all the things that used to kill people – high infant mortality, infectious diseases, predators large and small, and rampant wars on every continent. We now live in times of technology, peace and prosperity (and population!) on a scale the human race has never known before.

And yet, for all our wonder and all we have achieved, something is wrong. In my opinion, something seems to be very wrong.

The biggest disease on the planet now is over-consumption. Folks are eating too much, food has become a leisure activity, hundreds of millions of people are literally addicted to eating sweet, tasty, desirable foods. People are eating their way to a global obesity epidemic (while millions in developing nations still starve), eating their way to a diabetes epidemic and eating their way to increasing rates of heart disease and cancer. Inactivity is arguably a global pandemic, and malnutrition is on the increase among the overweight faster than the underweight.

We now have devices that enable people to have a tube from their stomach out to an external pipe, so that they can overeat, then flush a third of their food directly into the toilet. What on Earth is wrong with us?
http://www.newscientist.com/article/2093802-stomach-tap-to-let-obese-people-empty-their-gut-after-eating
According to that article…the ‘most effective treatment for obesity is gastric bypass surgery’ – that’s a sad state of affairs, highlighting the massive problem we have. High-calorie, low-nutrient foods are a legal drug…where cocaine and heroin may only affect a small percentage of the population, sweet foods and junk foods are a ‘mass market addiction’ and in the UK alone we have gone from a situation where 1.5% of the population were obese in 1963, to 28% of the adult population obese 50 years later in 2013.

This is a sickness that risks engulfing the planet, Read more

Be kind

I saw this in a book the other day, it struck a chord with me.Mental pain quote

I’ve dealt with some physical pain, 20 years of yo-yo diets, in and out of obesity, I’ve bust a bunch of bones, fractured my spine in two places, fallen down a mountain, suffered through some marathons and ultra distance events, I’ve fought through some tough physical challenges, not least losing 7 stone 3, 101 pounds of fat.

But that’s nothing, really, compared to dealing with the mental pain of losing someone you love, fighting depression, or struggling for years to overcome three decades of emotionally crippling low self-esteem.

Don’t confuse physical toughness with mental and emotional toughness. Some people can endure physical pain, some can endure emotional pain. Some people can endure both, and some can endure neither.

It’s easy to recognise physical toughness in a person, and our culture acknowledges these people openly. Meanwhile, many people who have faced, and continue to face, huge mental and emotional challenges, slip quietly among us, unnoticed and often unsupported.

Those people might be in the same room as you right now, working across the desk from you, sitting in the chair beside you, reading whatever you just posted, or waiting to hear from you, quietly hoping you’ll call or email today.

Maybe that person is you.

You never know. Just be kind, please, to everyone.
1luvx

Are you dancing and singing your way through your life?

It’s midday’ish on a random damp November Tuesday.

I’m leaping around my office at my stand-up desk, I’ve got music blasting, I’m dancing, playing air guitar, and air drums, I’m singing (very badly, throat still whacked from delivering a high-energy 2-day workshop all weekend!) and I have oodles of energy.

I’m 45 years old, I run 2 companies and have 3 young kids. My life is busy and demanding.

This is how I am when I’m at work.
I’m driven, I’m motivated, I know what I want out of life.

If you don’t feel this way, do you ever wonder why?
If you don’t feel like leaping and singing and dancing every day, why not, what are you doing with your life that’s draining your energy, sapping your life force?

Do you ever think about that?

If it bothers you, I suggest you attend a MotherNaturesDiet seminar and let’s work on this together.

Just an idea…
Details and tickets – http://www.eventbrite.com/e/central-london-full-day-seminar-with-mothernaturesdiet-enjoy-the-best-of-your-health-best-of-your-tickets-18292556529

I don’t want to ‘hack’ life, I want to live life.

I don’t want to ‘hack’ life. I want to live life. IMG_5429 

I don’t want fast food, I want the nourishment of slow food.

I don’t want to take the short cut to the prize, I want to enjoy the long journey.

I don’t want to make ‘a quick buck’, I’m working daily on making a slow million.

I don’t want ‘cheap thrills’, I want to invest my time and energy in building a lifetime of meaningful experiences, lasting love, fun and excitement.

I don’t want to ‘drive the fast car’, I want to enjoy the ‘slow road’.

I don’t want to ‘know it all’, ‘see it all’ or ‘have it all’, not ever, I want to enjoy a life of learning, unfolding the mysteries, discovering beauty and wonder every day, everywhere I go, til the end of my days. 

I don’t want ‘what comes easy’, I want to relish in the pride and self-respect that comes with what I have worked hard for.
I
 don’t want to take the ‘fast track’ to anywhere, I want to take my time, savour the growth, relish the learning, live in the moment. 

I don’t want to rush through the week, I want to enjoy what I get from the week, in growth, love and learning. 

I don’t want to spend all week trying to find some time to rest, I want to have the energy and zest for life that means I rarely feel the desire to rest nor the need to rest.

I see everyone out there looking for ‘life hacks’, and I have grown to dislike that expression – it sums up this 21st Century belief that life is there to be cheated, beaten, or somehow dominated. It isn’t. In my opinion, life is here to be enjoyed, the planet should be respected, Nature should be loved. We are here to take nothing but joy, memories and learning from the world around, and to give kindness, growth and energy to this gift we have called life.

I don’t want to ‘hack life’ for a minute, I want to slow it down and savour every second, not speed it up to get through as fast as I can.

Someone might say that hacking is about making the most of your time, shortcutting the bits you don’t like, maximising your time for the good stuff.

I get that…but I also think that life would just be better if there weren’t bits in it that we didn’t like in the first place. Instead of spending my time looking for hacks, I spend my time trying to make life so good that I don’t want to hack anything. All I want to do is slow the clock and relish every last second for all that it brings.

But that’s just me, I guess.

1luvx

 

How are you feeding your mind?

If you are a regular follower of MND, you will already know that I’m always trying to get you guys to think about and talk about something other than FOOD!

Food is ONLY 1 piece of the puzzle. Good health and a long life is about MUCH MUCH MORE! Hopefully, those of you who have been to my 1-day Seminar understand this bigger picture.

So beyond ‘feeding your body’…how do you ‘feed your mind’?

In my little home office, I have approximately 500 books. I’ve not counted them all out precisely, but perhaps about 100 are business books, about 100 are personal development books, at least 200 are on nutrition and disease and exercise, and the last 100 are novels, classics, autobiographies, philosophy, travel biographies and history books.

Most are part-read, most have multiple corners turned in, sticky notes and bookmarks poking out.

When I finish books, I either keep them for reference, or gift them to friends or charity shops. Life is too short to read most books twice, so I only keep them for re-reading if they are exceptionally good. I have at least 600 more archived away in my loft. My Amazon wish list has another 700 on it. I would LOVE to buy them all right NOW!

You know, I left school at 15, I had a few ‘O’ levels, going to University was never an option in my family, as my mum would say “we’re not those kind of people”. I went on to work in factories and workshops for the next 12 years. At 27, I ran away and lived Read more

The true POWER in making a proper DECISION

9 years ago this day, mid-morning, I smoked my last cigarette.

This was when everything changed for me.

9 years ago this very hour, I made a DECISION, to be healthy.

Where we are now, all of us here, today, is the end result SO FAR of me making that one decision. MND, this whole blog, the public seminars I deliver, the videos, the MND Members Community, it’s all come from that one firm DECISION.

The root of the word decision comes from the same root as incision – to cut.

Decision, to CUT OFF any other POSSIBILITY.

I decided, 9 years ago, to change my internal belief about who I am. I decided that I am a healthy person. I didn’t say “I want to be” I said “I am healthy” – I walked out of the room, pulled my cigarettes from my pocket, screwed them up and threw them in the bin.

I cut off any other possibility. I didn’t leave the option open “But what if I change my mind, what if I fail, then I’ll have to buy another pack?” or “But this is 6 quid’s worth of fags here, it’s a waste, I’ll finish this pack then stop.” NO. I decided I am a healthy person, and I quit, on the spot, and have never wanted one since.

Previously, I had tried quitting 100 times, but always failed, lasting between and hour and a year, but always went back.

But that day I DECIDED. And it was done. I changed my identity. I became a healthy person, and through that paradigm, I now see the world, MY world. Healthy people don’t smoke, so I don’t smoke.

From that day, everything changed.
I was not the person I am now. I was fat, lacked confidence, I was shy, uncomfortable around women, I was quieter, afraid of public speaking, never revealed any of my own flesh, I was unfit, unhealthy, covered in rash, I was tired, not bouncy.

That one decision changed everything about my life.
It changed who I am.

What is your identity?

Who are you?

How do you want the world to see you?

What DECISION have you been putting off?

MAKE that decision, commit to yourself, BE the person you want to be in your heart. NOW.

Do it now. Do it today. Don’t procrastinate any longer. Become the best version of yourself that you can be.

We’re here to help, we’ve got your back, MND is looking after you.

Decide. Do it NOW.

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

You only know it, if you are living it.

I attended a seminar about wealth creation, and the speaker T. Harv Eker said that – “You only know it if you are living it.”

He meant it in the context of ‘Don’t take wealth creation advice from someone who isn’t rich!’ but I also think it applies to all other areas of life too, including health.

  • I’ve met weight loss coaches who are fat
  • I’ve met people who are broke, telling you how to make money
  • I’ve met fat unhealthy doctors who smoke
  • I’ve met people who help others quit addictions…who still drink
  • I’ve met personal trainers who aren’t very fit
  • I’ve met people teaching ‘how to make millions online’ who haven’t made millions online
  • I’ve met people teaching property investing who don’t own a large portfolio of investment properties
  • I’ve met people teaching relationship skills who are not in a blissful loving relationship
  • I’ve met people who teach marriage success who have been divorced 2 or 3 times
  • I’ve met nutritional therapists who teach weight loss and good health, who are fat and in poor health
  • I’ve met healers who need healing
  • I’ve met therapists who need therapy

I am sick and tired of this bullshit. Is it just me? Read more

Don’t tell me to ‘get a life’ because I don’t eat cake!!

MND TV Episode 4 – ‘Get a life’ Rant!

Warning: contains adult language

Sorry folks, this is a bit of a rant, and I swear a few times in this video. I’m crazy about healthy living, and sometimes people are quite critical of my life choices – I am often told to “Get a life” or “Live a little” because I choose not to eat sugar, drink alcohol or watch TV. In this video, I rant about all of that, and encourage you to see that the ‘stigma’ sometimes attached to healthy eating, suggesting that healthy, clean eating is ‘boring’, is in fact the complete opposite.

http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/09/13/mnd-tv-episode-4/

Please be warned of bad language, and sorry if I offend anyone!

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

No, you don’t have a “sweet tooth”!!!

The second episode of MND TV is ready for you to watch now.

MND TV Episode 2 – how to control those carb cravings. You really don’t have a ‘sweet tooth’!!

http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/09/01/mnd-tv-episode-2/

Warning – this is a bit of a rant, so if you are easily offended…tough shit! Suck it up and get over it!

 

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

‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up’

If you want to get on in life, if you want to beat the competition, you need more energy!

Here is an MND Video for you to watch, link coming up in this post.

I believe that MotherNaturesDiet will help you, wherever you are now, to make forward progress.

It is important to me to help you understand that MND is for everyone. I truly believe it can help everyone. It may not be perfect, it may not be “all things” to everyone, but I think it can at least help. I think that for MANY people, MND offers all the answers, the ultimate long-term sustainable healthy lifestyle.

I’m already super healthy and very fit, I run marathons and go rock climbing, but you may be in a different place to me, and that’s OK, the 12 Core Principles are not prescribed meals and exercises, they are ways of living, and you can incorporate them as much or as little as you want to in your life to make forward progress.

If you are already fit too, and just looking for ‘the next 1%’ or you are seeking ‘the edge’ in your chosen sport or competition, then MND is a way to get your body functioning optimally, to give you more energy to help you get ahead.

Maybe you are unfit, maybe you are over weight and out of shape, then MND will help get you to a better place, MND will help you lose that weight and improve your fitness. Maybe you are searching for ways to have more energy and vitality – MND can help. Maybe you want to resist the signs of ageing and turn back the clock a little – MND can help.

Whatever your goals

Whether your goal is to build big muscles, lose weight, get fitter, run a faster marathon, resist ageing, feel better, stop the wrinkles, have more energy to work at your career and provide for your family, MND can help you to make progress from where you are. I post pictures of me running around mountains and doing a lot of push-ups, but that’s just me, that’s my thing…YOUR thing might be something different, and that’s OK, the 12 Core Principles are just that, PRINCIPLES, to help you live better, live longer, live stronger.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/the-rules/

Whatever YOUR goals, never getting sick, having more energy and feeling great will help you to achieve them, so stick to the MND way and you will make progress.

Yesterday, while I was out on the hills, I made a video about having more energy – watch it here: http://youtu.be/jmRHuRyvfKY

There is a lot of competition for ‘the good stuff’ in life

Every day I hear people complaining that they wish they could earn more. No, scrub that, they complain that they wish they were PAID more. But here is the thing – when we go to work, we need to stop thinking about “what I get paid” and start thinking about “what I EARN”. They don’t just give it to you because they like your face, you have to EARN that pay cheque!! And a lot of people seem to have a problem with the earning bit. To earn it, you have to work, lots. And the problem with climbing the career ladder today, is that someone else is always more eager than you to climb the same ladder. If you want to beat that other person, you gotta show up, you gotta put in the hours, you gotta work. And that takes energy.

It’s the same with chasing a woman, or a man – or keeping the one you already have. It takes energy, it takes effort – if you want the best, you have to be the best! If you want to create, or maintain, a spectacular relationship, you need to show up, be present, be engaged, bring some magic to the table.

It takes energy to stay on top of your game in business, in sport, in performing, in relationships, in all areas of your life.

The fantastic Tony Robbins once said that if you could have one thing to help you succeed in all areas of your life, having twice as much energy as everyone else would be the key, THE one great secret to success in all areas. I think that’s right – you know, as Bebe Ruth famously said, ‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up’.

MotherNaturesDiet –

– Get more from your body, get more from your life.

 

MND all the way folks.
Live better
Live longer
Live stronger

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

Two steps forward, one step back

 

If you were going for a 6-mile run, but you took 2 steps forward, then 1 step back, you’d have to run 9 miles to finish the original distance. 50% more. Right?

Wrong. Think of it this way, if you ran the whole 6 miles forwards (that’s 2 steps forward), then “1 step back” you would have to run 3 miles back again, then you would have to run the second half again to get to the finish, so that is 6+3+3 = 12 miles. 100% more! Double!

BUT, if you really ran 2 steps forward, then 1 step back, all the way, all those little “switchbacks” compound on one another.

2 steps forward, 1 step back

Look at the picture…you go 2 “steps” (little upright bars in this picture) forward, then back a bar, then forward 2, then back a bar. If you just ran in a straight line, this run (20 steps) would be over in 20 steps, but by going 2 steps forward and 1 step back, it takes a staggering 56 steps in total to run the whole 20-step distance!!!

Can you see that?

So it would take 56 miles to run a 20 mile race! That’s a massive 280% more total running!!!

NOW pay attention – this is the important bit, this is what this post is about: – 2 steps forward and 1 step back – this is what people do with their LIVES.

I meet people every day, that want to lose weight, they tell me that they are “good” Monday through til Friday afternoon (2 steps forward), then they “party” from 5 or 6 pm on Friday til they go to bed on Sunday night (1 step back).

NOW do you see why I was going at the maths lesson and my funny little Excel table? 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

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

Are you PROCESS focussed, or RESULTS focussed?

Staying motivated is something people tell me they find difficult.

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

Let me connect together a few strands of thought here.

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

Read more

Are you really hungry…or are you just bored?

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

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

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

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

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

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