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Posts from the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Smokescreens, lies and marketing bull…

There is a lot of disingenuous, deceitful and totally misleading information being promoted online in the name of so-called healthy living.

Let’s start with a hypothetical example.

Imagine a bodybuilder who built a huge, powerful, heavily-muscular physique over a period of years taking anabolic steroids, growth hormone and weekly testosterone shots. After a decade of this, he quits all the drugs and goes clean. Six months later he does a photo shoot and interview for a magazine, posing his huge muscles and claiming “See what clean, natural bodybuilding looks like!” and the interview is full of talk about how he is ‘clean’ and doesn’t take steroids. The interview conveniently neglects to talk about his decade taking steroids, and focuses instead on how he is ‘natty’ or ‘clean’ and doesn’t use drugs. The interview implores young lifters reading that they too can look like this guy if they lift hard and stay away from steroids.

Of course, the ‘stay away from drugs’ message is great, but the article is bullshit, outright lies. The guy is promoted as ‘clean’ when his physique was built on a decade of steroid use, and there is no way other lifters could ever reach his size without the same level of ‘chemical enhancement’ that he used.

Now, this is a hypothetical example, but the reality is that these disingenuous marketing tricks are used in diet and health promotion every day. You might say ‘sure but what harm is it doing…promoting the no drugs message is good, so why not let it be?’ and of course I would agree that promoting the ‘no drugs’ message is good. But that same magazine packs every other page with adverts for protein shakes and other supplements, selling these products to readers who want to emulate the physiques they see in the articles. It’s selling false promises, in my opinion.

No smoke without fire

If someone smoked for 40 years, then felt rough one day and decided to quit, then three years later was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer…well, would you blame the smoking? Right, of course you would. He or she may not have been puffing on a cigarette during the 15 minutes before being told the fatal diagnosis, but anyone can see the 40 years of smoking, despite the three years they quit, is the likely underlying cause.

Yet we see this flawed logic being used every day to promote certain diets, lifestyles, supplements and so on.

Let’s check out a great real life example.

The vegan bodybuilder

In 2014 PETA, the sometimes-infamously-aggressive People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (as it goes, I am very much in favour of treating animals ethically) started using a vegan bodybuilder by the name of Jim Morris to advertise the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle.

They photographed his lean, muscular 77-yr old physique and made posters proclaiming Read more

Diet…or lifestyle? It’s a commitment thing…

Mother Nature’s Diet is not ‘a diet’ – not in that fad diet sense of the word. Mother Nature’s Diet is a healthy lifestyle.

There’s a big difference.

In short…

A temporary diet, comprised of temporary changes to what you eat and how you move, will generate temporary results.
Quit the diet, lose the results.

Live a healthy lifestyle, all the time, and get improvements in your health, that last all time.

See how this works?

Wrong way of thinking

Lots of folks say to me, something like…

“What am I supposed to do? What should I eat? This Mother Nature’s Diet thing, where’s the diet bit, the menus, the meal plans, the recipes? Tell me what to eat every day? How long will it take me to lose two stone?”

This is the wrong way of thinking. Folks need to stop focusing on what they eat in order to lose unwanted body fat. Better to spend time thinking about what not to eat. Better to think more about exercise, water, sleep, stress reduction…placing all our attention on what we eat is not the optimal way to focus on fat loss.

Generally speaking, you can’t eat your way thinner. Better to think you need to un-eat your way thinner.

Lifestyle

All the people I know who ‘go on diets’ and all the people I meet who are forever searching for ‘the diet that will work’, they are the people who are still not happy with their body weight and shape.

Ever searching. Never finding peace.

The people I know who are happy with their lean, strong bodies; the people I know who have lost weight permanently and they are at peace around their food, these people don’t ‘follow diets’ but they live a healthy lifestyle.

Today, next week, next month, next year.
It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
Sure, it changes, it evolves, as these people learn new nuances and distinctions (because these kind of people like to keep learning, always) but they never stop ‘healthy living’ because they are committed to looking after themselves.

Commitment

And that’s the name of the game.

All-too-often, the people flitting from one fad diet to the next, are doing it out of some kind of sense of duty (they feel grudgingly obliged to try to make some effort to lose some weight) or they are doing it in pursuit of some short-term, temporary goal, possibly something vain or superficial like a desire to drop a dress size for the office Xmas party, full-well knowing that the weight will go straight back on over the following holiday season. Or they just want to tone up for the beach while on summer holiday, but then they couldn’t care less after August.

I’m not judging or belittling such people, merely trying to highlight the fault of this mindset.

If you treat your health, and your body weight and shape, as something to be manipulated a few times per year to fit around your party schedule or your summer holiday, then it’s no wonder you are not getting the lasting results you say you want. How would your marriage or career be working out if you took that approach in that area of your life?

The folks who maintain their desired body weight and shape all year round are the folks who skip the fad diets and commit long term to a healthy lifestyle.

That’s commitment.
Commitment to healthy living.
Commitment to eating well all year round.
Commitment to moving your body every day.
Commitment to yourself.

Commitment to achieving the right results…the approach that lasts, in your business, your marriage, your parenting, your health and fitness.

So how about you?

Are you committed to healthy living?

If you are honest enough to admit that you are not committed…I applaud you!
If that’s you, and you want to change, try reading this short free ‘7 Classic Mistakes…’ ebook, it highlights this ‘fad diet thinking’ problem and some other mistakes many dieters make.

If you are committed to healthy living, then you will love the Mother Nature’s Diet book, it’s full of wisdom and truth and it very much speaks your language. Get yourself a copy today and get reading.

And if you are real healthy living geek like me, and you want to connect with a like-minded tribe and expand your knowledge to the nth degree, come check out MND Life! and join our friendly club, complete with as much nutrition-nerd, health-geekery as you can handle.

So, what are you waiting for?

Go on then.

To hell with fad diets and temporary results…

I was frustrated…

For years, because…

Weight loss, nutrition, healthy living…it had all become so confusing. All the experts and their opinions, they all seemed to contradict each other!

It all left me feeling exhausted. It can be hard to know what is the right thing to do with so much conflict and complexity.

Mother Nature’s Diet is here to save you!

  • Are you fed up with fad diets?
  • Had enough of the gimmicks, the promises, the b/s?
  • Are you fed up with being lied to and hard-sold 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. How can you make sense of it all?!

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

In my popular book, I help you make sense of the confusion. This book is the end result of 28 years spent figuring it all out, and now it’s here for you in common-sense plain English.

Check it out here!

This book is the breath of fresh air we all need to take control of our health, lose weight and feel great.
…not to mention tackling the major public health challenges we face in the Western world today – obesity epidemic, type-2 diabetes out of control, NHS struggling to fight off bankruptcy and privatisation.

The solutions are all in this book! 

Click on the link and download your copy today, you can get started immediately!

So, go on then, treat yourself to the best version of you in 2020!

To your good health!

Karl

Is it all your own fault or not?

It’s frustrating, but often I find myself writing about the great hotly-debated topics of the health and weight loss industry…

  • ‘Calories matter’ versus ‘calories don’t matter’!
  • ‘We should all go low-carb’ versus ‘carbs are not the whole story’!
  • ‘Exercise is crucial as a weight loss tool’ versus ‘you can’t outrun a bad diet’!

Oh how these arguments go round and round and get turned inside out and upside down daily; every opinion being ‘proved’ every way by some credentialed expert quoting a study here and a study there! It’s no wonder the general public are fed up with it all and utterly confused!

And so often, arguments come down to playing ‘the blame game’ – that is, who is to blame for rising obesity? In crude terms – is it all your own damned fault, or not, that you’re fat?

Two sides to blame

I recall the clever and well-respected Dr Mark Hyman tweeted about his new book release.
But what more stirred my thoughts on this topic was equally clever and well-respected author Nina Teicholz’s retweet, and the comments it generated.

We see one side of this story, the likes of Dr Hyman, Nina Teicholz (both of whom I like, follow and respect) and many others saying that in broad terms, governments have given the public poor dietary advice over the last 40 years. They have been telling us to place carbs at the bottom/base of our food pyramid, to get 30% to 50% of our calories from grains and starches, and they have largely ignored mounting evidence, until very recently, about the dangers of added sugars. These guys argue that food companies and the sugar industry have lobbied governments and paid off scientists to distort and hide the truth…dietary fat has been painted as the bad guy, and after 40 years, we have obesity and type-2 diabetes epidemics as a result.

They conclude “It’s not the fault of Americans that they are fat and sick!”

But interestingly, plenty of people see the other side of the argument – that in fact people still have free will to decide what they put in their mouths. People still have free choice whether they watch TV, or go to the gym. During these years that the obesity epidemic has grown, people have had free choice whether they buy fresh meat and vegetables in the supermarket and cook a meal, or whether they order a pizza or Chinese take away.

So, who is right? Have governments failed their people? Have food companies piled it high, sold it cheap, and spent a fortune on advertising? Have we lived through times where far more money has been spent on designing hyper-palatable foods, and on advertising those foods, than has been spent on research into effective weight loss protocols and helping educate the public about healthy living?

Or, have people failed themselves, failing to exercise personal responsibility for their health outcomes? Have people failed to buy the foods they know are healthier? Have people failed to exercise regularly? Have people passed off the blame for their own apathy?

I see this battle rage daily in the media, on the health blogs and groups I follow and I see everyone looking for the answer. Personally, I think the problem is that everyone is trying to prove they have the answer. I don’t think we are going to come up with the answer. I think both sides of the argument have an answer. Perhaps both are right. But perhaps neither are right all the time, for all the people.

Despite the facts that all these scientists and authors, doctors and experts should not need to be reminded, the truth is that as they publish their books and blogs, they constantly seem to forget that one size does not fit all.

Over the years as I have learned about health, fitness and nutrition, this has pretty much become my number one guiding principle. There just is not one answer for all people. It’s not possible, there is no one single solution for any problem in health, weight loss and nutrition.

Seriously.

  • We all know someone who smoked for 20, or 30, or 40 years yet didn’t develop lung cancer.
  • We all know someone who is overweight, stressed, doesn’t exercise, and drinks too much, yet they haven’t had a heart attack.
  • We all know someone who eats loads of sweet foods yet they are not overweight and don’t have type-2 diabetes.
  • We all know someone who does no exercise yet they remain slim and lean. (Yeah I know, we all hate that person!!)

The point is, even the things we think are “a certain sure thing” are still proven wrong time and again by people who don’t fit the norm. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in any aspect of health, weight loss and nutrition.

Reality time

I believe, that the observed and worrying reality in obesity trends is caused by many factors. I can certainly tell you that for myself, for my own 101-pound weight loss (46 kilos of unwanted fat, 7 stone 3 in old-English language) I just needed to eat less, and move more. I ate and drank too much, and I ate and drank the wrong things, and I did too little exercise. I can tell you that I have been driving around the country delivering my health seminar for the last six years and people come up to me all the time during those talks and say “You are the kick-up-the-butt that I need! I eat too much and don’t workout, it’s all my own silly fault! Thanks for being honest with me!”

This is no judgmental fat-shaming, this is just what people say to me of their own free will.

But that is only some people. Not all people.

On the flip side, other people eat pretty well and make efforts to be active, yet they can’t seem to win the weight loss battle.

For many people, government guidelines that were created over 40 years ago, have failed to change with the times. The reality is that today, car ownership is up and people are far less active than they used to be when dietary guidelines were established. I think that for many people, they are consuming far too much starchy carbohydrate and just not leading active enough lives to burn up all those calories.

Food manufacturers have done nothing to help, they have positively made things worse. Far too many processed foods are now promoted in big-size servings, they have too much added sugar, convenience packaging and high-spend advertising promotes over-consumption.

There are many factors behind the obesity epidemic in the US, the UK and across Europe and elsewhere. We could talk about psychological and societal factors, economics, obesogenic environments, hyper-palatable foods, carbohydrate tolerance and sensitivity, and many more factors besides (all covered in my books if you want to learn more) but one reality stands over them all – one size does not fit all.

All factors are ‘the’ cause for one person, but no single factor is ‘the’ cause for everyone.

So the point of this post is to say to you – if you are overweight, and struggling to win the battle, which factor is ‘the’ answer for you?

And if you need some help figuring that out, let me know.

To your good health!

Karl

Chop, pop, sizzle, boom…

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

I get this question literally all the time.

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

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

Quickie stir fry

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

That’s pretty much it.

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

It’s that simple.

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

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

Experiment. It’s easier than you think.

Oven baked?

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

Roast?

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

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

Short of time, or going out for the day?

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

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

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

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

You learn to cook, and so do they.

Don’t be afraid of experimenting.

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

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

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

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

To your good health!

Karl

Free help for those who want it

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

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

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

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

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

It’s all so bloody confusing!!

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

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

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

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

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

Bottom of the income ladder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freshly-updated website, lots of goodies for you

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

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

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

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

But Karl, you are selling stuff too…right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So there you have it, something for everyone.

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

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

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

Happy New Year!! Good health for all!

Karl

Just do it… (yes? no? annoying?)

Just do it.

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

Here’s the thing.

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

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

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

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

Here’s the thing.

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

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

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

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

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

Now, just do it

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

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

Just get on with it.

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

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

Just get on with it.

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

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

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

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

Just do it.

Less talk, more action

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

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

Just start.
Today.
Now.

Just get on with it.

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

Are you completely in control of your relationship with alcohol?

You booze, you lose.

I think that deep down, an awful lot of us quietly know that we are drinking more than we really should.

If that includes you, I want you to know that you could feel so much better. Less brain fog, more energy and vitality, and less likely to develop cancer, dementia, liver disease and more.

I’ve written a new book for you, and I just wanted you to know it’s now available online. This is not a book about alcoholism. It’s the book you should read before things get that bad.

For the millions of people trapped in alcohol dependency, I believe there are multiple millions more who are not there yet, but perhaps they might be on their way, or at the very least they are drinking in a way that is harmful to their health, depleting their mental capacity and draining their energy.

It’s those people who need to read this book.

Drinking alcohol contributes to over 200 health conditions and mental health problems. It’s an insidious poison that’s silently harming millions of us, and most people are unaware of the role of alcohol in cancer, depression, erectile dysfunction and more.
For many years I was drinking far too much, then a friend challenged me to try 30 days without a drink, and now almost eight years later I enjoy the benefits of being teetotal every day.
In this book, you’ll find no system, process or method. No preaching or lecturing. No guilt or sufferance. Just an honest look at the role of alcohol in our lives, for the huge number of people who drink every day, and hate to admit that they don’t like to miss a day.

This book is the first in a series I will be publishing over the next year or so, the ‘One hour wisdom’ series. Short books, big ideas. The books are purposefully short, designed to be read in 60 to 90 minutes, because time is such a precious resource. I think we need to tackle complex topics, grasp the basic ideas, and take away something actionable, without having to wade through 500 pages to get there.

This short and accessible book will help you to evaluate your relationship with alcohol, and will encourage you to test that relationship, to see who is in control.

It’s time to end the brain fog, time to escape the social hypnosis, lose some weight, improve your health, have more energy, and free yourself from the endless-loop cycle of drinking, because you deserve better.

It’s time to put yourself first, for a brighter future.

Start right now.

Check the book out on Amazon UK here.
And on Amazon US here.

To your good health, to your sobriety, and to your future,
Karl

The role of dairy foods in your healthy lifestyle

I’ve put together an educational webinar for you to answer all the questions I get around dairy foods.

There is so much misinformation circulating online about diary foods that we need to cut through the nonsense and get to the facts.

In this webinar we look at the role of dairy foods in a healthy diet. We answer questions that include:

  • Are dairy foods ‘natural’ in a human diet?
  • What about animal welfare?
  • Should I eat dairy foods for calcium?
  • Will drinking milk help me have strong bones in older age?
  • Is their cruelty in dairy farming?
  • I saw a vegan video saying drinking milk is like drinking pus, is this true?
  • What do they mean by ‘pus’?
  • Is milk full of antibiotics?
  • Do I need dairy in my diet for protein?
  • Is milk full of growth hormones that they feed to the cows?
  • What’s the difference between dairy in the EU, the UK, and the US?
  • What is pasteurisation, and why do they do it?
  • Is raw milk safe to drink?
  • Should I go for grass-fed cheese, butter and milk?

All these questions and more are answered in this comprehensive webinar.

You can watch the full webinar here.

A free bonus, no sales pitch, just free.
Please let me know if you have any questions, or if there are confusing topics you would like me to cover in future webinars.

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

Chill out before you peg out…

Why stress is so bad for you and you need to sort it out.

It’s all about your hormones

Everything in the human body interacts with everything else.

There is virtually no system or function that operates in isolation, everything is interconnected by your central nervous system (kinda like the wiring in your supercomputer), your blood (the river of life) and by the chemical signals and instructions that blood carries around, in the form of hormones, proteins and other compounds.

Hormones arrive at an organ or a certain type of tissue or cell, and deliver instructions telling those tissues or cells what to do. When hormone signalling works well, like signalling in a computer or on a railway network, all is well. When signalling is ‘shot to shit’, just like on a road or rail network, all hell breaks loose, and we either have major crashes, or everything seizes up in grid lock. That’s how important hormones are.

You have hormones that govern when you feel hungry or full; hormones that make you happy or sad, angry or calm, lively or relaxed. Hormones and minerals between them regulate many complex processes in the body including appetite, blood pressure and elimination of waste.

Fight or flight…rest and digest

You have likely heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response. When you feel fear, when you sense some imminent danger, your body releases a rush of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol are the ones you will have heard of) and prepare you to either fight, physically, or to run away. Yes, this all dates back to caveman and the proverbial sabre-toothed tiger, these hormonal systems have been keeping us safe since we climbed down out of the trees in East Africa seven or eight million years ago.

When those stress hormones flood your body, they trigger a whole bunch of things to happen. They divert your body’s energy resources away from things like ‘fighting off the common cold’ and ‘digesting breakfast’ and ‘making my hair nice and shiny’ in favour of more immediately useful functions like ‘run like f***’ and ‘fight the tiger/wrestle the alligator’ and so on. In effect, what this means is, a flood of stress hormones shuts down your immune system, your digestive system and your anti-ageing, beauty systems, in favour of stuff that’s going to keep you alive for the next ten minutes – the ability to punch, grapple and run. You feel awake, alert, strong…but inside, other systems have been put on hold temporarily for you to do that.

Now, can you see, that if you spend half your life living in a stress response, then you spend half your life with compromised immune function, compromised digestive function and compromised anti-ageing functions?

Can you now see, how 30 years of chronic stress can lead to:

  • Poor immune function – catch coughs and colds all the time
  • Poor immune function long term – increased risk of cancer and heart disease
  • Poor digestive function – IBS, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation, poor absorption of minerals and other nutrients
  • Weak anti-ageing systems – look like shit, bad skin, hair, nails

Chronic stress, through hormone havoc, takes a toll.

In broad terms, hormonally, the opposite bodily state to fight or flight, is rest and digest.

Now that makes sense, doesn’t it?

You can see how we evolved such systems millions of years ago. There are times we need to be ready to fight, or take flight, such as out on the hunt, and then there are times we can rest, and divert our body’s energy to digest, such as when we are relaxed around the safety of the camp fire.

Biologically, you can’t do both at once. It’s black and white. North and South. They are opposites. You can’t do both at the same time.

Now you know why they say you shouldn’t eat when you are in a highly agitated state, when you are totally stressed out. It’s because digestive processes require vast amounts of your body’s energy – to produce stomach acid, without which you will not digest proteins properly; to power peristaltic action, moving your food down through your bowels ready for elimination; to increase blood flow around the gut, ready to take the nutrients from your food and move them to your liver and from there off all around your body.

You see, digestion takes a lot of energy (that’s why you feel sleepy after a big meal) and your body cannot be on high alert, ready to fight, if all that energy is working on digestion. So, when the alert signal comes (when stress hormones are released), blood flow is diverted away from the gut and sent to the muscles instead, and digestive function is compromised.

And we are not even starting to talk about many of the subtler nuances here. In ‘fight or flight’ your body is trying to raise blood sugar, to fuel your muscles…in ‘rest and digest’ your body is trying to lower blood sugar, as part of the natural ‘digest and file away’ process of replenishment.

 


This is an extract from my new book, Mother Nature’s Dietavailable on Amazon right now, and for Kindle download.

For 334 pages of common-sense and clear science in plain English, all complete with a 28-Day Plan to get you on the right track, losing weight and feeling better, grab your copy right now –

Amazon UK
Amazon US

To your 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

Free help for those who want it…

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

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

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

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

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

It’s all so bloody confusing. And all so bloody frustrating!

  • I personally spent 20 years lost in that confusion
  • I yo-yo dieted as I tried every fad, followed every trend, read all the diet books
  • I ended up overweight, confused, and with knackered knees (yes, it was the running!!)

So, out of this confusion, the ‘health guru industry’ has emerged (ummm, maybe I am a part of that…whaddya reckon?) and suddenly we are told the answers we are searching for are in this £99 pound diet plan called “The 7 Magic Secrets to weight loss”, or the answers are in the £39 per month gym plan “Total New Body” or such like, or you just have to sign up a mere £397 for this 6-month group coaching course and all will become clear to you as they reveal “the secrets the doctors don’t want you to know” or whatever. You know, there’s lots of this stuff out there, I’ll bet you’ve seen the adverts.

And that’s OK, I guess, these folks are all just trying to earn a living, just like me, and so good luck to ’em. Providing they are selling something genuine, and providing it works, at least for some people, then I guess that’s OK. But here at Mother Nature’s Diet, I see things a little differently.

I don’t think you should have to pay to learn the basics, to have the basic knowledge of how to be healthy. I don’t think there are any ‘secrets’ or ‘magic formula’ – I think that most people need a little guidance, to cut through the dietary and nutritional confusion, and then there is just common sense, personal responsibility, and good old fashioned hard work.

For that basic knowledge, I don’t think people should have to pay. They should teach this stuff at schools, leisure centres, health centres and pharmacies around the country, for free. Because there are a lot of folks out there who can’t afford to pay.

Bottom of the income ladder

Sadly, the reality of our society is, that Read more

Part 7 – New tests & treatments

Continuing in our 10-part mini-series looking at the human microbiome and gut health, today our friend Dawn, from New Dawn Health, will explain what tests and treatments are now starting to become available and even commonplace as we understand more about the microbiome.

Dawn writes:

The microbiome is like a barometer – it reflects if all will be calm or if a storm is brewing. Today’s post looks at some of the tests and treatments currently available.

The most common way to assess your microbiome is via a comprehensive digestive stool test. It can be done privately, and your GP can order one for you (with good clinical justification). This will give you a thorough overview of the health of your gastrointestinal tract. It evaluates how well you digest and absorb your food; it identifies some of the yeasts, bacteria and parasites and what short chain fatty acids they are producing. It also reports on levels of gut inflammation, pH, food fibres and if there is blood in the stool. I use this private test regularly in my Nutritional Therapy work. Clients find it very helpful to see for themselves the microbes they have and how well their gut is functioning. They are also very reassured to see how those markers of gut health improve with nutritional interventions.

The very latest private stool testing identifies microbial RNA (ribonucleic acids) produced from anything and everything living in the gut. It uses new technology called metatranscriptome sequencing. Compared to older technology, this can identify all the bacteria (not just some) plus the yeasts, bacteriophages, parasites, fungi, and viruses, (and names them for you), which older stool testing doesn’t. In addition, the test identifies all the metabolites being produced and the ones missing. The app-based report gives dietary recommendations and foods for improving your unique gut health based on the results. I am about to do this test on myself, so I will keep you posted!

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As you now know, the vast majority of microbes should be in your large intestine, or colon. However, in some people with upper abdominal bloating, feelings of fullness, pain and fluctuating stool (all very common symptoms) there is a test to see if large amounts of colonic microbes have moved upwards into the small intestine. The test is called a Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) test and you can do it yourself at home. It’s a breath test to capture the gases (hydrogen and methane) given off by the bacteria after a test drink. This is not a test commonly done on the NHS.

Have you heard of faecal transplants?  Hospitals are now transplanting filtered faecal microbes from healthy individuals into those with diabetes, obesity, Crohns and ulcerative colitis (UC) to rapidly improve their microbiomes. The results to date are very promising and this is likely to be a fast-expanding field of gastroenterology. I know, you think it sounds rather yukky, but anyone with debilitating Crohns or UC will tell you, if it offers relief from a lifetime of pain, steroids and drug side effects, it’s more than worth it.

I appreciate the sometimes awkward, personal side of bowel and digestive issues, and I know it can be difficult to talk to people about such problems. If you have any concerns, you can talk to me, I am a trained and qualified Nutritional Therapist, as well as being a practising osteopath for 24 years.  We can talk in total confidence, and trust me, I have heard it all before and I just might be able to offer an understanding ear and some helpful advice. If you are at all interested and want testing, please contact me and I’ll arrange to have tests sent out to you at home, and I’ll explain to you how testing is quick and easy.

Look out for Part 8 tomorrow, when I’ll explain the difference between probiotics and prebiotics, and how and why you need both in your diet. See you then.

Original Post on NewDawnHealth.me here.

– Thanks Dawn!  🙂