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Posts from the ‘Public health’ 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

Lockdown, love, nature, air and the future

I don’t dare use the “U” word…

Unprecedented.

Until 2020, most people would go from one year to the next without encountering the U word.

Now it seems as though it’s the most overused word in the English language and everyone is bored of hearing it.
But, the truth remains, these really are unprecedented times.
I’m almost 50 years old and we’ve certainly never experienced anything like this before in my lifetime.

Lockdown has meant many things to many people.

  • Loss
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Emotional pain
  • Financial pain
  • Loneliness
  • And more besides

To others it’s meant…

  • Time
  • Connection
  • They’ve slowed down
  • They’ve smelled the roses, for the first time in years
  • They’ve sat out in the sun, topped up their vitamin D, relaxed and reduced stress
  • They’ve taken walks with their kids
  • Made all those long chatty phone calls to old friends they have been meaning to catch up with
  • Been for a bike ride with their daughter
  • Made LEGO with their son
  • Made their first jigsaw puzzle in 15 years
  • Had a lie in
  • They’ve walked in their home-city streets in the cleanest air they can ever remember
  • They’ve enjoyed the peace and quiet in their town, with 60% of the usual traffic gone from the roads
  • Air pollution is down
  • Greenhouse gas emissions, by some early accounts, have regressed to 2009 levels
  • Cities can breathe again
  • Skies are clearer
  • Noise pollution is down
  • Stressed executives are now working from home, not getting up at 5.30am for the 90-minute rush hour commute
  • As a nation, we are realising, it’s not the movie stars, golf pros, rock stars and premier league goal scorers we stand out and applaud every Thursday evening
  • The new stars are nurses and doctors, power grid engineers, delivery drivers, school teachers, farmers, sewage engineers and water treatment plant workers

Locked in our homes, isolated from all our normal social movements, it’s not the rock concert or star-studded movie or the big match we miss so much as…

  • Hugging mum
  • A walk on the beach
  • Laughing over sillyness with best friends
  • A picnic in the park
  • Walking in nature
  • Camping with the kids
  • Sunday lunch with granny and grandad

I wonder, as countries release tight social movement restrictions, how we might have changed.

  • Will the stressed workaholic now see that time with the kids is actually more important that a new Mercedes?
  • Will that long commute now seem like a chore just not worth the price?
  • Will some kids realise that kicking a ball around in the park has always been better than PlayStation and Xbox?
  • Will we see that 500 channels of 24/7 TV, is a poor form of entertainment compared to walking over hills and cliff tops?
  • Will we put down some of our apps, and spend more time cooking, hugging, and laughing with our families?
  • Will more people now see, that our “natural capital”, the inherent value to our wellbeing in our woodlands, hills, beaches, parks and natural places, is worth more than this year’s dividend, a new car, or the latest consumer electronics?

They say “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” – and when we’re locked in our homes, and access to nature is restricted, we re-discover how important our natural capital really is.

  • Clean air
  • The beauty of nature
  • The sounds of birdsong
  • Holding hands
  • The leaves on the trees
  • Hugging
  • Dew-soaked wet morning grass beneath your feet
  • Sunshine
  • Laughter
  • Friendship

I hope we find ‘new good’ in our ‘new world’ as we adjust to our ‘new normal’.

How has lockdown changed you?
How has this time in our lives made you think?

Stay home, stay safe, stay sane.

Karl

Pandemic 2020: a summary of this week’s mini-series

Part 5 (5 of 5)
Coronavirus: Your health and your future after lockdown.

Over the course of this week I have shared a series of news updates with you, trying to summarise the present pandemic crisis in terms of your health, where we are now, and what you might like to focus on going forwards in order to protect yourself as much as possible.

I hope you have read the whole series and found them useful. If you have any questions, please do feel free to ask.

Your health and your future after lockdown.

Part 5 of 5 – Friday: 

Summary of the week, and your best steps forward for a safer, healthier future

On Monday I shared a summary of where we are so far, I provided you with lots of links for those who wanted to watch/read/learn more, and I listed some of the most clearly identified risk factors associated with the most severe outcomes for patients with Covid-19.

On Tuesday, I bullet-pointed the most pertinent point, that I believe everyone needs to understand. That is, when lockdown is over and we all go back out to get on with our work and our lives, the virus will still be there, and it will reach us. Lockdown won’t make it go away. It’s incredibly unlikely that a cure is coming any time soon. A vaccine might be two years away, or it might take the next 30 years or more. A world that includes coronavirus, but no cure and no vaccine, is the new normal, you had better get used to it.

On Wednesday, in Part 3, I drilled home the key point of this whole mini-series, that unless you stay home for the next decade, at some point in time it’s highly likely this virus will enter your body. When it does, the degree to which you suffer any symptoms, depends largely on how healthy you are. Therefore, whatever age, gender, ethnicity, colour, size or shape you are, the best thing you can do right now is start working on being healthier.

And on Thursday, in Part 4, I shared with you a massive list of (around 61) resources, mostly free, you can use to help you live a healthier life, and to reduce your risk in the new world order.
You can significantly improve your chances of only suffering minor symptoms with Covid-19 by being healthier.
People who are obese, diabetic, have poor metabolic function, poor cardiovascular fitness, and poor immune function, all face greater risk of suffering severe outcomes.

Closing thoughts – no, not sugar coated

This week, I have tried my best to give you a fair, unbiased, scientifically backed-up, referenced, up-to-date picture of the pandemic so far.

I’ve tried to give you clear, plain-English facts, not overly-dramatic, but I’ve not shied away from ugly truths.

I’ve tried to give you a ton of resources, many free, some paid for. If you chose to read all that has been offered, you’ll have hundreds of pages of reading to work through, and multiple hours of free, quality video from intelligent, trusted sources. I can assure you, every link I have provided this week has been read and vetted – it’s all solid and not a word of scammy fake news to be found. That’s my job, that’s what I do, I sift the crap from the truth and only give you the good stuff. That’s what my customers pay me for.

I hope this mini-series has been useful, and valuable to you.
If you have any questions, or if there is any way I can be of help to you, please feel free to ask.

To your future.
For now, stay home, stay safe, stay sane and stay healthy.

Karl

Living with coronavirus: your strategy in our new world, step by step

Part 4 (4 of 5)
Coronavirus: Your health and your future after lockdown.

This week I am sharing a series of news updates with you, trying to summarise the present pandemic crisis in terms of your health, where we are now, and what you might like to focus on going forwards in order to protect yourself as much as possible.

I hope you have been following this series so far, and I hope you are finding it useful. If you have any questions, please do feel free to ask.

Your health and your future after lockdown.

Part 4 of 5 – Thursday: 

Strategy for the future, step by step

On Monday I shared a summary of where we are so far, I provided you with lots of links for those who wanted to watch/read/learn more, and I listed some of the most clearly identified risk factors associated with the most severe outcomes for patients with Covid-19.

On Tuesday, I bullet-pointed the most pertinent point, that I believe everyone needs to understand. That is, when lockdown is over and we all go back out to get on with our work and our lives, the virus will still be there, and it will reach us. Lockdown won’t make it go away. It’s incredibly unlikely that a cure is coming any time soon. A vaccine might be two years away, or it might take the next 30 years or more. 

On Wednesday, in Part 3, I drilled home the key point of this whole mini-series, that unless you stay home for the next decade, at some point in time it’s highly likely this virus will enter your body. When it does, the degree to which you suffer any symptoms, depends largely on how healthy you are. Therefore, whatever age, gender, ethnicity, colour, size or shape you are, the best thing you can do right now is start working on being healthier.

The healthiest possible version of you will ride out this storm in the best possible shape.

What can you actually do?

Prevention, that’s the name of the game.
Our goal is to get you healthier, to prevent Covid-19 from making you unwell.
Over the last 3 days, we’ve set the stage, so I am not going to repeat it all here.

We’ve seen evidence to suggest that all these factors make for the most severe outcomes in Covid-19 patients:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure (and other markers for heart disease)
  • Poor metabolic function/metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems (this will include poor cardiovascular fitness)
  • Lung problems (this might include smoking, and being unfit and in poor physical shape)
  • COPD
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune problems
  • Poor gut function (precursor and underlying causal factor in autoimmune problems)
  • Vitamin D deficiency

Our strategy going forward should be to do everything we can to reverse or mitigate these factors.
We’ve discussed that you can’t change your age, your sex or your ethnicity…but you can lose weight, improve your immune function, and improve your cardiovascular fitness, all of which will be of massive benefit to you.

So what can you do?
Let’s get straight to it.

Quit smoking

  • Seriously, just quit. Covid-19 is a lung disease for goodness sake. It’s very bad news for smokers.
  • Get help, it’s freetalk to your GP, even with social distancing in place you can access services to help you.

Drink less alcohol

Smoking, drinking, and eating junk food. Is it part of your personality?

Lose weight

Gut health and immune function

Would you just look at all ^ ^ ^ this ^ ^ ^ !!!
I did promise you back in Part 1 on Monday that every part of this series would include a ton of links to free help.
Hours of blogs, videos, webinars, free books, all to help you to be healthier and fitter so you don’t get sick when coronavirus reaches you, in 2020 or 2021. I’m really tryign to help.

Improve your fitness

All of the above – just get healthy!

Wash your hands!

  • Seriously, it’s just not a tough thing to do. Wash them often, properly, with warm water and soap, for like a whole minute, every time you are about to leave the house, and as soon as you come home. And consider wearing gloves when you are out. And clean that mobile phone sometimes!

Vitamins, supplements, protection

Holy moly!!!

That’s ^ ^ ^ a lot of stuff for you!

Tomorrow, in Part 5, the final part in this series, we’ll summarise the whole thing in brief and recap on the key take-aways. (After this, today, I’ll keep it brief, pinky promise!)

Until then, stay home, stay safe, stay sane and stay healthy.

Karl

Covid-19 Part 3: You, vulnerability, and your best defence.

Part 3 (3 of 5)
Coronavirus: Your health and your future after lockdown.

This week I am sharing a series of news updates with you, trying to summarise the present pandemic crisis in terms of your health, where we are now, and what you might like to focus on going forwards in order to protect yourself as much as possible.

I hope you have been following this series so far, and I hope you are finding it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Your health and your future after lockdown.

Part 3 of 5 – Wednesday: 

You, vulnerability, and your best defence.

On Monday I shared a summary of where we are so far, I provided you with lots of links for those who wanted to watch/read/learn more, and I listed some of the most clearly identified risk factors associated with the most severe outcomes for patients with Covid-19.

Then, yesterday, I bullet-pointed the most pertinent point, that I believe everyone needs to understand. That is, when lockdown is over and we all go back out to get on with our work and our lives, the virus will still be there, and it will reach us. Lockdown won’t make it go away. It’s incredibly unlikely that a cure is coming any time soon. A vaccine might be two years away, or it might take the next 30 years or more.

Today, in Part 3, the shortest of this 5-part series, I just want to drill home the main point of the whole series.
I have already mentioned it in both Part 1 and Part 2. But, for clarity…
Unless you stay home for the next decade, at some point in time it’s highly likely this virus will enter your body.
When it does, the degree to which you suffer any symptoms, depends largely on how healthy you are.
As we saw in Part 1, there are a few risk factors you can’t change, such as age, ethnicity, gender and so on.
And there is a segment of the population who have serious underlying health conditions. If you have a long-term heart problem or lung problem, or if you are a cancer sufferer or such like, no amount of “eat a healthy diet and get some exercise” advice is going to be of much help in mitigating the health risk Covid-19 presents. For these people, lifestyle modification is going to remain a key defence strategy. That’s not much fun, I’m sorry.

For everyone else, there is lots you can do to make yourself healthier, and reduce the likelihood that Covid-19 will put you in hospital.

In the vast majority of cases seen so far, it appears the health (and age, yes) of the person seems to be the major determining factor in how sick they get.
As we detailed previously, in Part 1, the people suffering the worst outcomes from Covid-19, including death, are the elderly (usually with underlying comorbidities) and those with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and more. We saw that obesity, COPD, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, poor immune function and vitamin D deficiency are all likely to lead – even in the young – to more severe symptoms and outcomes with Covid-19.

Allow me to repeat myself, please:

Covid-19: The degree to which you suffer any symptoms, depends largely on how healthy you are.

You can’t change your sex, your age or your ethnicity, but you can lose weight, get fitter, improve your cardiovascular fitness, improve your gut health and hence your immune function, and you can get out in the sunshine to top up your vitamin D.

Yes, it’s that simple.

My good friend and fellow PT said to me yesterday “Karlos old mate, I like your work, but you write in big fancy words, trying to sound all grown-up and scientific like a doctor. Some days mate, you just gotta tell it like it is, in plain English.”

He’s right.

OK, in plain English.

  • Over the next few years, this coronavirus will enter your body.
  • If you’re young and super healthy, there’s a high chance you won’t even notice and you won’t be ill at all.
  • If you are obese, diabetic, unfit, out of shape and you eat a shit diet, it’s going to make you very sick indeed. It could even kill you. Especially if you are male, and over 50, and Asian, and an ex-smoker.
  • Wise up, now, and get to work on making yourself healthier.
  • Stop procrastinating. No, the government are not going to pop round and give you a pill for this.
  • It’s down to you. Get to it. NOW.

Is that English plain enough?

Where to start?
Yesterday, at the end of Part 2, I listed a buch of free resources you might like to start with.

Here’s some more stuff for you.

Want to start by losing some weight?
Here – Free help for those who want it
Here – The 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet It’s 10,000 words, that’ll take you about 90 minutes to read through. It’s a concise summary of what I learned in my 28-year journey from fat to fit. I wrestled obesity, yo-yo diets, smoking and drinking for two decades, then I lost 101 pounds of fat (7 stone 3, 46 kilos) and got all fit and healthy. It took me 28 years to learn it. It took me hundreds of hours to nail the message down to 10,000 words. It took me several days to write it. And here it is – fucking free! (plain enough English, Joe mate?) If I can put in 28 years learning, blood sweat and tears running marathons, climbing mountains and lifting weights and facing my addictions and emotional demons, then go to the trouble of spending several days writing it up for you, and give it to you free, don’t tell me you don’t have time to read it!
Here – Mother Nature’s Diet in all the detail, complete with 28-day Meal Plan and home workout program.
Here – Nail the basics

Want to get fitter?
Hit me up, hire me as a PT, I’m “all stick and no carrot”, so be prepared for an arse kicking.
I asked one of my clients yesterday what she gets from training with me, she said “Karl gets me training even when I don’t feel like it, and I always feel better for doing so! Some good giggles along the way too.”
Want it for free? YouTube, go for it, if you have the motivation, there are a million free workouts on the Tube.

Want to improve your immune system?
Check out my friends great video (just 5 minutes) and upgrade your shopping list. She even made a FREE recipe book for you too, full of recipes that include all the foods you need.

Want it all in one package?
Weight loss, healthy living, better health all around, following a plan designed to minimise disease, improve heart health, improve gut health, boost your immune system and resist the signs of ageing. Includes actual workouts to do online together, complete with full instructions and warm-up, and downloadable meal plans. All in one place. Do it now.
Seriously, no excuses, over the next few years, your life may depend on it.

Tomorrow, in Part 4, like a healthy-living-link-fest, we’ll list everything you can do right now, while you’re at home on lockdown, to lose weight, improve your metabolic function, improve your immune health, improve your fitness and set yourself on a new path to a healthier future.

Until then, stay home, stay safe, stay sane and stay healthy.

Karl

After lockdown – Part 2: The pertinent bit you really need to know

Part 2 (2 of 5)
Coronavirus: Your health and your future after lockdown.

This week, I will be sharing a series of news updates with you, trying to summarise the present pandemic crisis in terms of your health, where we are now, and what you might like to focus on going forwards in order to protect yourself as much as possible. I will include links to some free resources (and a few paid products that can help you) for you every day.

Your health and your future after lockdown.

Part 2 of 5 – Tuesday: 

The pertinent bit that everyone really ought to understand.

Yesterday I shared a summary of where we are so far, I provided you with lots of links for those who wanted to watch/read/learn more, and I listed some of the most clearly identified risk factors associated with the most severe outcomes for patients with Covid-19.

If we had to summarise yesterday’s post in two sentences, it might be to say:

“Our world has changed; there is a new disease around and there is a high likelihood that at some point over the next few years, everyone is going to be exposed to it. The degree to which that might make you ill, depends on a few factors you can’t change (age, gender, ethnicity, ex-smoker status) and a few factors you can change – obesity, metabolic health, cardiovascular health and immune system health.”

The point of this post is to clarify the most important bit that I feel a lot of people don’t yet fully appreciate.

Again, for brevity and clarity, I’m going to bullet point this for you – I want the points to be clear, not lost in waffle:

  • Lockdown isn’t going to last forever.
  • When lockdown is over, and we all start going out again, to work, to socialise, to get on with our lives, many of us will then become exposed to this virus.
  • If it’s “not safe” for you out there now, in May 2020, what makes you think it will be safe for you out there in August, or November, or February next year?
  • It won’t be.
  • As explained in the lengthy and detailed webinar I shared yesterday, lockdown and social distancing is designed to suppress the peak, to save the NHS (and other health services in other countries) from being overwhelmed with high demand.
  • As John Cairns quite famously pointed out in November 1985 in Scientific American, (Quoted by Siddhartha Mukherjee here)  “In the history of medicine, no signficant disease has ever been eradicated by a treatment-related program alone. If one plotted the decline in deaths from tuberculosis, for instance, the decline predated the arrival of new antibiotics by several decades. Far more potently than any miracle medicine, relatively uncelebrated shifts in civic arrangements – better nutrition, housing, and sanitation, improved sewage systems and ventilation – had driven TB mortality down in Europe and America. Polio and smallpox had also dwindled as a result of vaccinations. The death rates from malaria, cholera, typhus, tuberculosis, scurvy, pellagra and other scourges of the past have dwindled in the US because humankind has learned how to prevent these disease.”
  • My point is: don’t think we will go into lockdown, sit home for 12 weeks, then come out and just go back to normal, “oh yippee everyone is safe again, they have a new pill that can cure this thing.” Nope. No major disease has ever been eradicated through cure – only through prevention.
  • So, lockdown is meant to suppress the peak, the surge. If tens of thousands of elderly, immune compromised and vulnerable people all got sick with Covid-19 at the same time, the NHS would be overwhelmed, and would have no capacity (beds, doctors, nurses, drugs, surgeons, etc.) to cope with all that they normally do – helping with heart attacks, cancer patients, car crashes, and so on.
  • In such a surge, not only would Covid-19 sufferers die, but so would many other people, through lack of resources to help them and treat them.
  • You can see, lockdown is essential to save lives, and there may be further lockdowns in the future (we don’t yet know if this virus will be seasonal or not).
  • But lockdown is not a cure. It won’t cure the disease or make the virus go away. All lockdown is doing is slowing the rate of spread.
  • It buys the NHS some time, to build new health care capacity.
  • I believe, that most of the ‘old, existing NHS infrastructure’ will then go back to doing its’ regular work, while the new capacity will come online to treat Covid-19.
  • It’s going to take some time to make, test, manufacture and roll out, a safe and effective vaccine. This might be 18 months, but it could be 18 years, or more, we just don’t know.
  • (Taking influenza as an example, in 1918 the pandemic killed many millions. Since then, a century of research and development, and we still have to ‘best guess’ a new batch of vaccines every year, and flu still kills half a million people every season. Please understand, coming out of lockdown doesn’t mean a vaccine is just around the corner and everything is going to be OK.)
  • And we can’t stay locked down for the long term, as the economic cost to the UK, and to the world, will ultimately cost more lives than we are trying to save.

I am sorry, this isn’t exactly cheery bedtime story stuff, is it.

Summary

Remember, yesterday in Part 1 I set out the basic facts we know so far, and concluded that the best thing you can do to help yourself is to use this time at home on lockdown to start working on yourself, start working on being the healthiest person you can be.

Today in Part 2, the pertinent bit that everyone really ought to understand is this:

  • There is a new virus around, and it’s not going away.
  • After lockdown, it’ll still be here.
  • Lockdown won’t cure it.
  • It’s incredibly unlikely that a ‘cure’ will be invented any time soon.
  • A vaccine might be two years away, or two decades, or more.
  • After lockdown, you have to go back out, to normal life, and when you do, you will be exposed to this virus.
  • How much the virus harms you, is partly (largely) determined by how healthy you are.
  • Time to focus on your own good health, it’s the best defence you have. More on this tomorrow, in Part 3. 

If you are ready to start taking your health seriously, if waiting for Part 3 tomorrow seems like a delayed opportunity, why not dive in to some of these free resources and get started today.
Subscribe to my blog.
Join my newsletter.
Download some free ebooks.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Learn about the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet.

If you really want to get your game face on, check out my book now and order a copy ASAP while you have time at home to read it and implement healthy changes into your life right away.

Tomorrow, in Part 3, and on Thursday in Part 4, we’ll look in more detail at what you can do right now, while you’re at home on lockdown, to start getting healthier, improve your metabolic function, improve your immune health and improve your fitness.

Until then, stay home, stay safe, stay sane and stay healthy.

Karl

Coronavirus: Your health and your future after lockdown. Part 1

Coronavirus: Your health and your future after lockdown.

This week, I will be sharing a series of news updates with you, trying to summarise the present pandemic crisis in terms of your health, where we are now, and what you might like to focus on going forwards in order to protect yourself as much as possible. I will include links to some free resources (and a few paid products that can help you) for you every day.

Your health and your future after lockdown.

  • Part 1: What we have learned so far. Facts that matter, in brief.
  • Part 2: The pertinent bit that everyone really ought to understand.
  • Part 3: You, vulnerability, and your best defence.
  • Part 4: Strategy for the future, step by step.
  • Part 5: Summary of the whole week, brief and visual.

Part 1 of 5 – Monday:

What we have learned so far.

I have a lot to share this week, and I am sure you have better things to do that read self-indulgent waffle, so in the interests of keeping it brief and valuable, I am delivering this in the shortest, bullet-point style that I can.

If you want to read the lengthy version, and the research, follow all the links and ‘fill yer boots’ as there is plenty to take on board.

This post I wrote back in mid-March is a good place to start.

  • That post lays out how this pandemic is different from regular flu, why it’s different and who should be most concerned.
  • That post was written when the death toll in the UK was just 104 people, and it addresses the question “With only 104 deaths, is this a big deal?”
  • In the 46 days since that was written, the death toll in the UK has risen to 28,446. So, yes, this is a big deal. I send my condolences to all the friends and families of those 28,446 people.
  • It’s not too long, read it here if you need a refresh on the basic facts.

Next, for a complete primer on the novel coronavirus and Covid-19, you might like to watch this complete webinar.

For my Mother Nature’s Diet (MND) customers (MND Life!), I spend hours researching, checking endless news sources, speaking with doctor friends, trawling papers on PubMed, and digging through scientific references, and I write newsletters and blogs that present, to the best of my ability, facts that are proven and can be backed up. I make lengthy webinars, taking tens of hundreds of hours of books and research and scientific papers, and condensing it all down into an hour or so of straight talk, in plain English. This is what my customers pay me for.

I recently did just this for Covid-19. The end result was a 2-hour webinar presenting, at the time I made it, 9th April, the best information available.

I’ve made over 100 hours of these webinars over the last four years. Many of my customers said my Covid-19 webinar was excellent, full of facts, clarity, myth busting and some ideas about the future. I think this webinar is useful, so I am sharing it with you here.

Recorded on 9th April 2020, this two-hour webinar provides a summary of Covid-19 to the present time.

  • What is it?
  • How does it spread?
  • Who is most susceptible?
  • Myth busting.
  • What steps can you take to protect yourself?
  • After the lockdown, what does our future look like?

Here, again, is the webinar.

The core lesson to be learned, is that this lockdown is no holiday; there is no “just sit home, wait it out, and in a few weeks it’ll all blow over and everything will be back to normal” – not so.
The reality is that there is now a new infectious disease in our world, that we do not have a vaccine or a cure for, and so it may be months, years, or decades until we have one or the other, and until then, Covid-19 represents a serious health threat to the elderly, the weak, the sick, those with underlying health conditions, lung problems, poor metabolic health and sub-optimal immune function. (See below.)
At some point in time, unless you stay isolated, this virus will enter your body, and how you handle it when that happens, is going to depend on how healthy you are, as an individual. More on this is Part 3 and Part 4.

It’s relatively early days still with Covid-19. It can take years, decades, to complete rigorous studies and run medical trials to test our solutions, cures and more.
So, please take everything in that frame of reference. Little, so far, is “proven beyond doubt” and it will likely be months, probably years, before we iron out what is fact from what is coincidence, observation or fiction.

Risk factors for more severe illness with Covid-19

With that caveat in place, it looks so far like there are certain risk factors that determine the difference between someone testing positive for Covid-19 and showing no/mild symptoms, and someone ending up in hospital and possibly facing death.

There seems to be fairly extensive evidence that obesity is a major risk factor for more severe outcomes.
Here – The Lancet
Here – Imperial College London
Here – The Lancet
Here – EASO: The European Association for the Study of Obesity
Here – World Obesity Federation
Here – CDC, USA
Here – BBC, UK, via YouTube
Here – Diabetes.co.uk
Here – Telegraph, UK

Closely connected with obesity, there seems to be increased risk of severe outcomes for Covid-19 cases in diabetics and those who suffer from metabolic syndrome.

This pertinent quote from that text, highlighting that age, heart disease, diabetes, lung problems, COPD, asthma and obesity are all conditions placing persons at greater risk of more severe outcomes:

“Results – The median age was 72 years [IQR 57, 82; range 0, 104], the median duration of symptoms before admission was 4 days [IQR 1,8] and the median duration of hospital stay was 7 days [IQR 4,12].
The commonest comorbidities were chronic cardiac disease (29%), uncomplicated diabetes (19%), non-asthmatic chronic pulmonary disease (19%) and asthma (14%); 47% had no documented reported comorbidity.
Increased age and comorbidities including obesity were associated with a higher probability of mortality.”

In unattractively-plain English, that last line says “if you are older, and obese, you have a much higher likelihood of dying.”

It seems certain that Covid-19 causes major problems with oxygen saturation.
With lung function compromised, and oxygen transport low, it seems all persons with lung diseases, heart disease and cardiovascular disease are at increased risk of more severe outcomes.

Immunosuppressed or immune compromised persons seem to be at increaded risk too.
That might mean folks taking immunosuppressant medications (such as cancer patients, or those suffering severe autoimmune conditions) or people with compromised immune function, again may be a result of another underlying condition (such as cancer, Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis) that includes sub-optimal immune function as a factor or symptom.

There also seems to be growing evidence that ethnicity plays a role in risk. It seems that ethnic minority groups in the UK are at an increased risk.

This is a complex topic. It may be linked to underlying vitamin D deficiency, a topic I have written about many times before, and some experts are calling for immediate advice to all minority groups to begin vitamin D supplementation.

Another complex topic is income and inequality. It seems the lowest income peoples are at the greatest risk from Covid-19.

At this stage it’s impossible to demonstrate proven causes, but wealth inequality is often correlated with worse disese outcomes, for many poor health conditions, as lower income peoples living in more deprived areas are more prone to the effects of lower nutrient-quality diets, more mental health problems, often more alcohol abuse, obesity, less exercise, lower air quality, less access to outside space and so on.

Summary of risk factors

Some factors are beyond our control, some things we cannot change.

  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • You may be an ex-smoker, like me
  • Gender: you may be male, like me
  • Wealth inequality

These things are all acknowledged risk factors.

Additionally, if you have COPD, or suffer asthma, or have some other long-term underlying lung problem, it’s unlikely that we can effect any major, rapid improvement through lifestyle and dietary changes.

But, some things we can influence.
Some things you can work on while you’re at home on lockdown, or longer term while we are living in an uncertain world, awaiting the development of a safe vaccine.

  • You can manage your weight and keep your body mass in the healthy range.
  • You can work on your fitness, which helps heart health, cardiovascular health, lung function, and stable, efficient metabolic function.
  • You can clean up and/or optimise your diet for improved gut health, which is a major control of immune system function.

This is Part 1 of 5. Over the next 4 days, the rest of this series of updates will focus on the factors we can work on.

In order to reduce our risk of more severe outcomes, we know we should be healthy and if you are obese or overweight, now would be an excellent time to focus on weight loss.

We also know that poor immune function is a major risk factor. So, we want good immune function.

And finally, we know that fitness is a huge boost to our health. We know that being fit helps us to have a healthy strong heart, healthy cardiovascular system, and healthy lung function. We know that exercise has long been promoted by the NHS as a ‘miracle cure’ for many of our physical ills and mental health problems, and we know that exercise, combined with a healthy diet, aids weight loss.

So, there is much we can do to help protect ourselves.
If you have been paying attention, you’ll have figured it out by now – the goal is “be healthy”!!!!

Now we have laid the foundations, I’ll be back tomorrow with a shorter, punchier message, AKA “The pertinent bit that everyone really ought to understand.”

Then, in Parts 3 and 4, later this week, we’ll look in more detail at what you can do right now, while you’re at home on lockdown, to help protect yourself.

Until then, stay home, stay safe, stay sane and stay healthy.

Karl

This won’t “all be over soon” and lockdown isn’t the end of the story…

Coronavirus and Covid-19: where we are at so far, and what does the future look like after the (this? First?) lockdown?

Here at Mother Nature’s Diet HQ, I run a members-only monthly subscription club called MND Life!

For my members, I make two webinars every month, and some other content.
These webinars, about all aspects of health and fitness and disease prevention, are normally locked away in our members-only password-protected portal.

Last week, I made a webinar about coronavirus and Covid-19.

It turned out to be a long one, almost two hours, but my MND Life! members tell me it’s one of the best I have ever made.
I have decided to share it here for you, because it’s important stuff.
The core lesson to be learned, is that this lockdown is no holiday; there is no “just sit home, wait it out, and in a few weeks it’ll all blow over and everything will be back to normal” – not so. The reality is that there is now a new infectious disease in our world, that we do not have a vaccine or a cure for, and so it may be months, years, or decades until we have one or the other, and until then, Covid-19 offers a serious health threat to the elderly, the weak, the sick, those with underlying health conditions, lung problems, poor metabolic health and autoimmune conditions.
At some point in time, unless you stay isolated, this virus will enter your body, and how you handle it when that happens, is going to depend on how healthy YOU are, as an individual.
I suggest you watch the webinar to learn more.

I urge you to take time to watch this, because there is some solid guidance in here that may help you later this year or next.

Please feel free to share this with friends and family if you want to, if it helps you.

Coverage includes: 

Recorded on 9th April 2020, this two-hour webinar provides a summary of Covid-19 to the present time.

  • What is it?
  • How does it spread?
  • Who is most susceptible?
  • Myth busting.
  • What steps can you take to protect yourself?
  • After the lockdown, what does our future look like?

Please remember I am not a qualified doctor. The value of my work at Mother Nature’s Diet is taking the overwhelming mass of information and condensing it down into plain simple English for folks. There is a ton of b/s circulating on social media – part of the value of what I do for my MND Life! members is cutting through the crap, doing the research for you, so nail down the basic facts you can trust. The content of this webinar represents my best knowledge to date, but in time as we learn about the virus, everything I say may prove to be wrong.

All intelligent comments and questions welcome.

Watch the webinar for free, in full, right here.

Note: in time, once I am tested for C-19, I will share my test result here for your interest.

Login, or join up, to MND Life! here if you are interested in learnign more about healthy living in every area of your life.
There has never been a more important time to take your healthy seriously.

To your good health!

Karl

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Opinion and Facts

Coronavirus (COVID-19).
A few thoughts. Entirely my personal opinions, and please remember that I am not medical qualified or trained.

Firstly, my thoughts go out to anyone sick, anyone who has loved ones who are sick, and anyone who has suffered loss in this unprecedented international crisis.

Secondly, that word, unprecedented, you have likely heard that quite a few times in recent days.
And it is most certainly true.
This crisis is unprecedented, no one alive today has lived through anything like it. This is the biggest health challenge we’ve faced here in Europe since the second world war. It’s not that a pandemic virus was unexpected, indeed a variety of experts have written a variety of books over the last 12 years warning that something exactly like this would happen. But expecting something might happen, and it actually happening are two very different things.
This disease is new, and the speed, scale and scope of it’s spread and it’s effects are unknown and unpredictable.
The scale of the challenge is unprecedented, and the details of the disease unknown.
Please remember that when you are feeling frustrated or angry that “they” aren’t beating it or doing enough to fight it. “They” are our elected officials, and if “they” had taken billions more in taxes from us every year for the last decade to stockpile ventilators and face masks and a hundred other things that “we may or may not need, at some unknown time in the next year, or ten, or thirty” then everyone would have been in uproar.
Please be patient, tolerant, and understanding. Please show compassion and trust that the experts are trying their best to navigate this enormous challenge.
This is going to be hard on everyone.
They don’t have all the answers yet.
You’re not the only victim; someone else has got it worse than you; someone else is dying; be patient.

Thirdly, I want to extend my thanks, respect and gratitude to all those ‘front line’ workers and ‘key workers’ who are working round the clock to help fight this disease. From the nurses and doctors treating patients, the care workers and hospice nurses helping the elderly and sick every day, to the farmers producing food, the truck drivers getting it the shops, and the folks who keep the shops open, the lights on and the petrol stations open.
There are a thousand professions involved in keeping our infrastructure functioning, and a thousand more working to fight this monumental challenge, and I am very grateful to them all for their hard work.

Social media and armchair professors

Beware of Facebook, in particular.

When our news was saturated by Syria or the immigrant crisis, suddenly everyone with a Facebook account thinks they are a political expert. When Brexit was 24/7 everyone seems to write like they have a PhD in economic policy. Now with COVID-19 every armchair commentator thinks they are some kind of epidemiological expert.

It’s immensely difficult to sift through the noise to understand what’s true. This pandemic, more so than Syria, the immigrant issue, or Brexit, is astronomically fast moving. Three weeks ago I thought it was far less serious than I think today.

The media is in frenzy.
Social media is out of control.
It’s not helped by the way so much is stated by wannabe experts “You must do this…” “We should all do that…” rather than “In my opinon…” and “I’m not an expert but I think…”

The health challenge

To the best of my knowledge, from my own efforts to establish what is factual, the seriousness of this illness appears to depend “almost entirely” on the health of the individuals.

That is, some people (many people) have tested positive and they continue to show no symptoms at all.
Hardly a great “global killer”.
But to the weak, those with underlying health problems, those with compromised immune function, this can represent a 10% or greater chance of death, and that’s extremely serious and worrying.

So far, the overwhelming majority of cases, and deaths, are in the elderly, the weak, the vulnerable. Circa 81% of cases exhibit ‘mild’ symptoms at most, and virtually all deaths have been among the elderly and those with underlying health conditions (can be of any age).

To many, to pretty healthy people, this disease is unlikely to cause symptoms any more serious than a regular cold or a bout of flu (which is not very nice).
But that statement needs to be taken seriously – flu is a massive global killer.
Every year, flu kills between 200,000 and 700,000 people worldwide.
Just run that again, flu kills half a million people per year. HALF A MILLION.

So far, COVID-19 (recognised as a similar-behaving type of virus to influenza, a “related virus” if you like) has claimed 8700 lives, not a patch on regular annual flu season. But we must understand this is a new virus, we do not have a vaccine for this, and it might take a month, or more than a decade, to develop one that is safe and effective. Millions of vulnerable people could die in that time.

It’s important to understand that word – vulnerable.

Influenza kills half a million people per year, and it’s the weak, those who suffer compromised immune function, who become overwhelmed.

To someone healthy with a strong immune system, this disease may mean you cough for two weeks and then get better. But to someone who has cancer and their immune system is already battered by their disease and their chemotherapy treatment, it can bring premature death. To an elderly person with depleted lung function, this disease can bring pneumonia and death.

Regular flu season kills half a million per year. COVID-19 might kill half a million people over the next year, or it might kill far less, or it might kill far more (God forbid), I have no idea, but the point being, it’s the same family of diseases, the same causal pathway, the same threat to the vulnerable.

So what is different between this and regular flu?

The key difference is that we’ve (we, being the scientific and medical community) been battling flu and it’s variants for the last century. It comes in moderately-predictable seaonal patterns, and most all countries have systems in places to protect the vulnerable, especially vaccinations.

I personally do not believe that millions upon millions of normal healthy persons in the 10 to 60 age range need an annual flu jab…but should the weak, sick, and elderly have a jab? Absolutely, yes they should.

With COVID-19, we do not have a vaccine.
Scientists could probably make one tomorrow, but it then may require 1 to 20 years of testing to know if it’s safe, before rolling it out to millions of people. We can be certain labs the world over are buzzing with activity 24/7 right now as teams of scientists work round the clock on trying to make this happen as fast as possible.

So, taking the above into account, is COVID-19 more or less of a danger than regular flu?
To healthy folks, it’s probably about the same.
To the sick, weak, immune compromised, it’s considerably more serious, primarilly because we lack an effective vaccine.
To those people, regular flu is also a massive threat, it takes half a million lives per year…but the difference is, we have vaccines, and the weak and sick need them and should take them. If we did not have them, half a million might be several millions.

Social distancing and self-isolation

Is it neccessary? Yes, it is, and we should. At this stage, you have surely seen all the charts and graphs explaining “squashing the peak”, how slowing the spread of this virus is about helping national health services to cope with the outbreak. There are only so many hospital beds, ventilators, masks, doctors and nurses. They simply cannot cope if everyone gets sick at once. It was and still is overwhelm in Italy, and other countries are trying hard to avoid that happening.

Any social distancing that us strong, young, healthy folks do now, is more about slowing the spread to protect the elderly and vulerable, than it is about avoiding any illness for ourselves.
This is about slowing and controlling the spread…so that as the weak and elderly become sick, the health service can cope with treating them, and avoid them becoming fatalities. Experts suggest that in time, over this year and next, everyone will get this virus at some point…the key point now is stopping everyone getting it at the same time.

So, please be sensible, if you are coughing, take the week at home; if your kid is coughing, keep them in the home for the week. It’s not difficult to make common sense decisions.
Panic buying 96 rolls of loo paper isn’t clever, it just denies ordinary folks their regular weekly needs, and hypes the media frenzy even more.
Sensible decisions, not silly impulse decisions.

Is this really a big deal?

Some folks have been asking “Is it really such a big deal? Only 104 people have died in the UK, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not so many…doesn’t flu kill thousands every year anyway? So is C-19 any worse than normal flu season?”

The answer seems quite straight forward to me.
Yes, as outlined above, flu does tend to kill between 200,000 and 700,000 people per year worldwide. But imagine this – imagine C-19 is a “new flu” that we have never seen before. The half-a-million people who die from flu every year, might be one million, or two million, if we didn’t have vaccines, couldn’t predict the pattern, and hospital services had no time to prepare for a predictable outbreak.
That’s roughly what we are seeing with C-19.
It’s new, unknown, unpredictable, and we don’t know much about it, and we don’t have a vaccine for it.
If C-19 was “a new flu” then compared to regular flu season, this could rip through the weak, the elderly, the sick and the immuno-suppressed, and take several million lives.
So yes, this is a big deal, slowing the spread so that health services can cope, and giving scientists time to develop a vaccine and learn more about antibodies, will likely save millions of lives.

These are just my evolving thoughts, as I observe and try to understand this unfolding situation.
Yes, I have a child with a cough, at home off school.
Yes, today all the schools closed, so now my whole gfamily is home.
Yes I have lost money in my business, through cancellations.
Yes, I think this is serious, far more serious than I thought a month ago, or two weeks ago.
No, I haven’t panic shopped for anything.

This post ^ ^ ^ ^ does not say “coronavirus isn’t a threat, it’s just like normal flu, so stop worrying”.
This post says “normal flu kills half a million people every year, but thanks to vaccines and predictability, our health care professionals stop that figure from being several million. COVID-19 isn’t yet predictable, and we don’t have a vaccine, so it’s like flu was in 1918…and that’s actually pretty scary.”

Can you see the difference? In layman’s terms, it pretty much is “just like flu” but without 100 years of knowledge and expertise, and that makes it very worrying for the vulnerable.

These are my best efforts at understanding this thing so far.
I teach folks weight loss and fitness, I am not a doctor nor epidemiologist, so please take my thoughts with a big does of caution, and remember I am not medically trained, so I may be wrong, and I am just trying to learn, without sensationalism or bias.

As I try to understand more, I’ll share my thoughts going forward.

To your good health, stay safe out there, please follow the advice and guidelines,

Karl

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

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

Are you making progress, or making excuses?

For the last six years or so, I have been driving around the country meeting people and delivering talks about healthy living.

Most places I go, most folks I meet, in general, most people want to lose some weight.

First we have to be specific – it’s body fat we want to lose, not just ‘weight’.

I mean, rapid weight loss is easy…you could lose 25 pounds by tomorrow if you just chop one leg off, but that’s probably going to ruin your week overall, so I don’t think it’s a very smart idea.

It’s body fat that most folks want to lose.

Calories in, calories out

You’ve heard this bit before.

There are many diets, many systems, many protocols, but the overwhelming majority of them work on the basic principle that you have to eat a little less food, and generally eat “better food choices” (we’ll come to that in a sec) and you might have to move your tush a bit more.

Eat less, eat better, move more.

Really, that’s it, that’s how diets work.

Eat better food choices, that’s definitely a part of the equation. One size does not fit all, we are all different, and so some of us are going to do well on one certain diet, such as low-carb, while others may not.

Some aspects of eating ‘better’ will apply to most people –

Of course, there is a strong argument to say that these are all just examples of “eat less” – cutting these foods from your diet will almost certainly cut your calorie intake.

And so it is, the amazing secret to losing weight. You have to consume fewer calories than you use.

Really, in the vast and overwhelming majority of cases, folks became overweight in the first place because they went for a prolonged period of time (maybe a few months, maybe a few decades) consuming more calories than they were burning.

Now, to burn off that unwanted fat weight, they have to put that process into reverse for a prolonged period of time – maybe weeks, maybe months, maybe a few years.

No doubt, some folks are reading this and screaming…

It’s a bit more complicated than that!!

Sure, it is, but don’t let that stop you trying.

That’s not me being facetious or flippant, just trying to help you to see the true path forwards.

There are a thousand experts out there offering you a thousand reasons why you are overweight, and a thousand excuses why it’s not all your fault, and a thousand reasons why diets won’t work and won’t help.

In one way or another, for one person or another, they are all right.

But as I already said, one size does not fit all, and while each and every reason, or excuse, may fit for someone, it does not mean that every reason fits for everyone. It does not mean that every reason fits for you.

  • Sure, that man was beaten daily by his father as a child and he eats as an act of rebellion.
  • Sadly, that lady was abused when she was young, and she eats as an escape.
  • True, that other man was raised in poverty and his parents instilled unhealthy food habits in him which now lead to habitual over-eating.
  • Indeed, that lady has a thyroid problem, or a glandular condition, or a hormone imbalance, and it makes weight loss very difficult.
  • Certainly, that guy has a genetic predisposition to obesity, and certain food types (such as carbs) exacerbate his weight gain.
  • Sure, that girl has a metabolic imbalance caused by years of eating certain foods when she was growing up.
  • And yes, that man takes prescription steroids for his skin condition, and they promote weight gain.
  • And on and on.

Yes, these are all true for someone, but none of them are true for everyone.

So, in the short time and small space I have available in this blog post, let’s not debate every possible reason in exhaustive detail, but let’s understand and agree that those conditions broadly only affect a very small percentage of the population. Not even 1% have a glandular condition, the true number is tiny.

For the overwhelming majority of folks, losing weight means you gotta eat fewer calories, you gotta eat better, by opting for fresh whole foods, not processed hyper-palatable foods, and you gotta move a little more, by keeping busy, and playing some sport or enjoying some exercise.

For the few who are struggling against those problems, let’s offer them our understanding, our kind support, and a helping hand.

For everyone else, for the 90%, stop looking for justifications, stop looking for excuses.

Just get on with it.

Go on then, get cracking.

 

It’s going to take longer than you think…

Weight loss.

Or more specifically, fat loss.

I hate to keep beating the same drum, but the truth is, this is a topic that is a top priority for so many people.

Personally, I lost 101 pounds of fat, that’s 46 kilos to my European friends, or 7 stone 3 in old English language.

I know a few things about fat loss.

I wrestled with my weight my entire life, from age 14 onward, and yo-yo diets (year up, year down, repeat) were part of my life right through my 20s and most of my 30s.

In this post, I am going to share with you a few simple truths that I wish someone had told me back at the start of my own personal weight loss journey.

  1. It’s going to take longer than you think. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. At first, you will make rapid progress…but please know that the first ten pounds come off way quicker and easier than the last ten pounds. Those last ten pounds take freakin’ for-ever and they’ll drive you nuts.
  2. There is no absolute 100% right or wrong one way, there is no perfect one diet, there is just the way that works for you. Some folks will count calories, some folks will cut carbs, some folks will take up yoga, or running, or lift weights. They are all variants of ‘eat less, eat better, move more’ and the right one, is the one that you stick to, the one that works for you. If you need a hand getting started, I believe that the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet are a great place to start and will get positive results for pretty much everyone.
  3. It took years to put that excess weight on, years of making small mistakes every day, that extra beer, that missed workout, that sugary dessert. Accept that it’s also going to take a fair bit of time to put all that in to reverse and turn it all around. I’m saying ‘get real, if you have been obese for 20 years, it’s going to take more than 90 days to get that 6-pack’ – know that now, so you have realistic expectations down the line. As a PT and health-coach-for-hire, I have seen this so many times. Folks hire help, and they have utterly unrealistic expectations, like turning around 35 years of obesity to “beach body fabulous” in just six months. It’s like setting yourself up for failure and disappointment from the get-go.
  4. If you do things to try to make it happen faster, like starvation diets, crash weight loss, exercise six hours daily like a maniac…that is unsustainable behaviour, and it will likely create unsustainable results. Starving crashes weight off, but not in a sustained and healthy way. You’ll probably feel like crap, look like crap and pick up every cough, cold and bug going. When they’ve had enough of that crap, most folks end up putting the weight back on. Exercising like a maniac sure burns a few calories, but you’ll end up exhausted and picking up frustrating injuries, which stop you from training, and stalls your progress.
  5. You can’t outrun a bad diet. That phrase is popular these days, to the point of becoming a cliche, but it’s pretty much true. If you are aged 18, or 24, you can probably out-train a poor diet. If you are 40 or 45, or in your 50’s, no way, you can’t do it. Truth is, you have to get your diet right, that’s 80% of the game, then build an active lifestyle and exercise at least five or six days per week, that’s 20% of the game.
  6. You’ve got to take the long view. Just get it in to your head that you need to commit to a healthy lifestyle, for good, for life, for ever, and that’s all there is to it. Fad diets are all about temporary behaviour changes that deliver temporary results. Some folks become exercise addicts…but if they still eat a bad diet, as they age, eventually that plan runs dry. The only way to ditch the unwanted fat weight and get and stay healthy for life, is to live a permanent healthy lifestyle. Trust me. I know. I did it.
  7. If you want to know how to do the same, it’s all here, just waiting for you to commit and get started.

So, go on then, get cracking.

To your good health!

Karl

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

Mother Nature’s Diet – finally available in paperback!

Fad diets are a waste of your time.

But healthy living doesn’t have to be like that…

You can lose weight and feel great without the starving, the suffering and the expensive supplements.

Mother Nature’s Diet, now (finally, hoorah!) published in paperback and available on Amazon, will show you the way.

A better way.

Well researched and complete with a 28-Day Meal Plan, and detailed home workout plans, the book includes all you need to push into a new, enjoyable healthy lifestyle.

No more fad diets.

Simple, achievable, common-sense based healthy living.

You’ll love this book because it’s packed with real-world experience, practical tips, and straight forward advice to help you get results.

Grab your copy now, here:

Here in paperback – UK.
Here for Kindle – UK.
Here in paperback – USA.
Here for Kindle – USA.

“It’s the missing link between academic books and commercial ones.” – Mr G, London

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

“Fantastic guide to living a healthy life. If you are looking to make lifelong sustained change and become the best version of you then look no further.” – 5* Amazon Review

To your very good health!

Karl

Eating Beef and Climate Change: The real story is [finally] on the way

Climate change is a complex topic.

There are lots of reasons why it’s taken us, the human race, collectively, something like 40 years to finally grasp and accept that this is real, it’s happening, and it’s possibly the biggest threat to our own existence we have ever faced.

Among those reasons…

  • Is the fact that it’s not a simple picture. It’s complex, it’s happening over long time scales, what we think of as lifetimes, and that makes it hard to grasp and understand that our every-day actions make a difference.
  • Variance clouds our understanding.
  • Oil companies, allegedly, have spent billions on promoting confusion and denial. There is a lot of money in fossil fuel, and a lot of people don’t want to face change.
  • The science is also really quite dry and boring, it’s all CO2 this, and ppm that. It’s not very sexy, not very rock ‘n’ roll.

Society-wide, we can grasp simple issues, and we humans like simple solutions. If it can be explained in one line (both the problem and the solution) then folks get it and grab it and run with it.

For example, David Attenborough fronts a beautifully-filmed new show, we see turtles trapped in plastic rings, whales and sea birds with plastic in their stomachs, and here come the one liners:

  • Problem: plastic pollution in the oceans is killing all this beautiful wildlife.
  • Solution: society must give up single-use plastic.

Folks get it, and jump in to action.

Suddenly, almost overnight, UK supermarkets start charging people for plastic bags. Schools and cities start banning plastic drinking straws, and everyone you meet is suddenly on an anti-plastic crusade. That’s all great, single-use plastic is a problem that needed addressing, so I am glad to see these moves, but tackling this plastics headache is distracting the public from the real big issue that needs our focus – CO2 emissions.

The devil is in the detail

As I said, one of the problems is, climate change is complex. Most of our environmental issues are not straight forward, they are nuanced. Even the plastic pollution problem is nuanced.

  • In reality, a large percentage of the plastic pollution in our oceans comes from fishing industry waste.
  • Much of the plastic in our oceans comes from discarded fishing nets, fishing line, buoys, tackle and other waste.
  • Of the remaining portion of plastics polluting our oceans, the vast majority is waste that comes from rivers and beaches in developing nations, particularly in Asia
  • It’s easy for consumers in developed nations to see a viral video on social media and blame the folks living in Asian or Latin American countries for the problem. But in reality, the people throwing plastic bottles into waterways in impoverished Asian cities, do so because they have no other choice. They live in slums, there is no waste collection, there is no running water, they don’t have hot and cold taps, flushing toilets and kerbside recycling like we do. They buy a plastic bottle of water, refill it as many times as they can until it splits, then discard the broken bottle either on the land or in a river.
  • The problem is poverty, not lazy litter louts.
  • When you have nowhere else to throw your waste, and your biggest concern each day is keeping your children alive, trash ends up in the river, it’s the least of your worries.
  • So, consumers in developed nations cutting down on supermarket plastic bags might help slightly reduce our own landfill burden, but it isn’t really going to make much difference to the plastic pollution in our oceans. What will help is –
    • Tighter controls on fishing industry pollution
    • Design innovation in fishing equipment
    • Consumers making better choices when buying fish, purchasing only sustainably caught produce and shunning trawling
    • Helping developing nations continue on their journey out of extreme poverty
    • Putting pressure on the big global manufacturers of processed foods and drinks to shift the cheapest products to use biodegradable packaging materials
  • Meanwhile, along the way, as we have demonised plastic bags, people are now shifting to using more paper bags instead. The thing is, it creates more carbon emissions to make a paper bag than it does to make a plastic bag.
  • If I bring home fruits or vegetables in a paper bag and the bag gets slightly damp in transit (fruits and vegetables can often be a little damp when fresh) then by the time I get that bag home it is holed and useless, and goes in the recycling bin.
  • But the plastic bag would not have holed, it is more resistant to damp, and then I may use that bag again for something.
  • You see the irony, we’ve created more carbon emissions to manufacture the paper bag, which has been used only once, where I could have used a plastic bag three or four or five times, all with considerably lower emissions.
  • The anti-plastic crusade has become a distraction from what really matters – carbon emissions.

That’s an example of nuance. That’s what I am talking about. Folks running around thinking they are “saving the planet” because they use paper bags instead of plastic, and they have ditched plastic drinking straws, are well-intentioned, but missing the point that really matters.

See what I mean, this stuff is complex

That example, the plastics issue, is one of many.

The palm oil story is nuanced too.

Read the detail here.

In short, while it’s right that we should look to reduce our use of palm oil because of deforestation and habitat loss, if we all switch en masse to other oils, we’ll need multiple times as much land to grow the required crops for those alternatives.

Therefore, the solution is to use sustainably-farmed palm oil, not just to boycott palm oil altogether. Even better, I suggest adopting the Mother Nature’s Diet lifestyle and reducing/eliminating your consumption of foods that use processed oils completely.

You see, nuance is everything. Wealthy Westerners just ditching plastic bags and boycotting palm oil is knee-jerk reaction stuff that makes the wealthy Westerners feel better about themselves but actually does little to address the real problems.

Maybe you noticed that the real answers to our problems often come down to the same things:

  • Consume less manufactured and processed ‘stuff’ (less plastic crap, less throw-away stuff, less overly-packaged foods)
  • Shop for sustainability (in bags, in plastic goods, in fish, in farmed foods)

Interesting.

Meat, beef, and climate change

And so, with that rather long but necessary preamble about the complexities of climate change and its causes, and how the problems and solutions are rarely straight-forward, but nuanced, and too hard to explain in a one-liner, let’s move on to the point of this post – meat eating and the environmental impact of raising animals for meat.

Once again, this is highly nuanced.

I strongly, very strongly, urge you to please read this press release, it’s just a six or seven minute read, not long: Study: White Oak Pastures Beef Reduces Atmospheric Carbon. The middle bit uses a few sciencey-sounding terms, but stick it out, it’s very important.

This is very, very big news.

I want to keep this simple, so allow me to abbreviate everything to bullet points.

  • We hear all the time that eating beef is bad for the environment.
  • People like me, promote eating grass-fed meat.
  • But the media is full off stories about plant-based diets. It’s very trendy at the moment to be a vegan. The narrative being thrust upon us from every angle is to ‘eat less meat to reduce your carbon footprint’.
  • People challenge me and the idea of eating pasture-raised meat…
  • I respond that it is nuanced. I say factory-farmed meat is causing greenhouse gas emissions, but pasture-raised meat, grass-fed meat, is the opposite, and offers environmental benefits.
  • My line doesn’t fit with what is trendy and popular right now. Most people are afraid of standing out, so they follow the herd and the ‘eat less meat’ message

Let’s stop for a moment and analyse just why factory-farmed meat is causing greenhouse gas emissions:

  • All-too-often, particularly in countries in North and South America and in Asia, forests are cleared to grow crops such as corn (maize) or soybeans.
  • There are emissions from the deforestation, from the ploughing, the sowing, the harvesting, and then the trucking of the crops to the cattle.
  • The cattle live in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) or ‘feedlots’ causing concentrations of methane and other emissions from the vast pools of manure.

This is a very brief version of all this, cutting out lots of detail.

Done this way, cattle farming does emit greenhouse gases, it also makes for miserable cows, diseased cows, and lower quality meat.

But people like me have spent the last seven years arguing that grass-fed cattle, pasture-raised, do not contribute to global warming. Again, in over simplified terms:

  • No clearing of forests.
  • Cows range on grasslands. (Crops are grown on arable lands, but cattle can range on grasslands. There is twice as much grassland available worldwide as arable lands. Cows will happily graze on lands that are not suitable for growing crops and vegetables, so it makes sense to keep the “veggie growing land” for growing veggies, and use the “great for grassy meadows” land for grassy meadows, full of cows and sheep!)
  • No ploughing, sowing, harvesting and trucking – so none of the emissions from those tractors, harvesters and trucks.
  • Also, ploughing soil destroys the mineral content of that soil, reducing it’s ability to hold water and carbon. Ploughing releases stored soil carbon into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. No ploughing = leave the carbon in the soil, and help the land to hold more water.
  • Cows graze the grass, no trucking food around required – cows have legs, they walk to find the food!
  • Happier, healthier cows. More nutritious meat and dairy.

I have been saying for years, it’s Mother Nature’s way, it’s a win:win. Healthier animals, healthier land, healthier humans, everyone wins.

IMG_8371

Now, that press release

Quantis, an environmental research firm, have conducted a lengthy and detailed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of grass-fed beef and shown that raising meat this way produces a net carbon win – the cows poop helps build topsoil, sequestering more greenhouse gases in their lifetime than they emit when they burp and fart.

This is massively important.

This is what me, and super farmers like Joel Salatin, of Polyface Farms, and Allan Savory, and the Soil Association, and the Sustainable Food Trust, and my friend Christine Page at Smiling Tree Farm, my mate Chris Jones at Woodland Valley Farm, and a thousand others have been arguing for years – sustainable, regenerative agriculture is an environmental fix, a part of the solution, where factory farming is an environmental disaster, part of the problem. Nuance. The devil is in the detail.

This LCA, this is critical. For years, farmers like Joel Salatin have argued that pastured livestock help to build topsoil, where ploughing depletes it. For years these guys have argued that healthy topsoil sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, locking it underground for decades, even centuries, where ploughing erodes topsoil and diminishes it’s carbon-holding capacity.

But they lacked the hard science. An LCA is an important piece of work. An LCA looks at every facet and factor and measures every possible input and output. An LCA is the gold standard, it’s how we really understand what’s going on.

As the press release explains, now that LCA has been completed, the science is in, and it shows that grass-fed, pastured livestock, sequesters more carbon in its lifetime that it emits.

Want to “save the planet”? Eat MORE meat – just be sure it’s 100% grass-fed.

Rising oceans…or loss of topsoil?

Additionally, it bares repeating (I have been banging on about this for soooo long now) that we are depleting topsoil, worldwide, at an alarming rate. Since the industrialisation, automation and mechanisation of agriculture, we have already lost one third or more of the world’s topsoil, and we have between 40 and 100 harvests left in various parts of the world, before we lack enough fertile topsoil to grow crops for human food.

Think about that for a moment. In 70 years, what will your children and grandchildren eat, if there is no topsoil left? Seriously, think that through. We’ve already depleted ocean fish stocks terribly. If we all go “plant based” now, we’ll only accelerate topsoil loss. In 60 or 70 years, if there is no fish, and we can’t grow crops any more, what will your children eat?

The great fear of climate change seems to be rising sea levels, but I suspect that a human population of 10 billion, lacking the fish stocks or topsoil that enables us to feed ourselves, will find the collapse of agriculture will be our undoing sooner than rising seas. (That’s not to belittle the half-a-billion people who live in places that will quickly be affected by even small rises in sea levels, such as Bangladesh, The Netherlands, many Pacific islands and Asian coastal regions.) You had better start that vegetable plot in your back garden now, and show your kids and grandchildren, they are going to need to learn how to feed themselves.

Solutions

As I said at the start, climate change is complex. If it were dead simple, we would have fixed this mess by now. It’s not simple, it involves politics, science, economics, emotions, international cooperation, it’s complex, it’s nuanced, it’s going to be expensive and it’s going to take time, and it’s likely to get pretty ugly along the way.

But this press release is a turning point, because it provides concrete scientific proof that animal agriculture is not the problem, but can in fact be part of the solution.

What matters?

  • The message “eat less meat” is wrong.
  • The message should be, as I have argued since 2011, “shop for sustainably-farmed food, plants and animals”.
  • Grass-fed beef and lamb, woodland ranged pork, free-ranged chicken, can be a benefit to the environment.
  • Factory farmed meat is harmful to the environment.
  • All industrialised factory farming, of plants and animals, is harmful. Raping the land for profit is wrong. Working with the land, working in harmony with natural nutrient cycles, working with Nature, can sustain us while nurturing the hand that feeds.

The rather brilliant Diana Rodgers is working hard to make a film about just this. To counter these one-sided, unscientific, vegan-propaganda Mock-u-mentaries we have seen in recent years, such as Cowspiracy and What the Health?, Diana is working closely with the also-totally-brilliant Robb Wolf (Paleo Diet fame) to make a movie that explains how pastured livestock can benefit our health and planetary health, how farming can be kind and nurturing, and how we can build a sustainable food future that is good for all of us.

PLEASE support Diana and her project. Please donate a few pounds, Euros or Dollars here to help make this movie happen and to extend it’s reach – we need, for the sake of our futures, as many people as possible to understand this message, this is hugely important.

Nuance is everything.

“Eat less factory-farmed meat, but eat more 100% grass-fed meat.”

The UK government has become the first in the world to officially declare an environment and climate emergency. As the world finally seems to be paying more attention to these problems, it is more important than ever that we make sure we are giving people the right information to help them make the right lifestyle choices and changes.

As you have seen in this post – with plastic bags, drinking straws, palm oil, and beef – nuance is everything. We must ensure that our governments and the public understand the correct actions to take to help create the massive shifts in consumer behaviour that are required.

“Eat less meat” is not the right message. “Eat less factory-farmed meat, but eat more 100% grass-fed meat.” is the right message. Nuance is everything.

To address all of these points, and many more, you can follow the complete Mother Nature’s Diet lifestyle. Less palm oil, less plastic, less manufactured and processed food, and only sustainably-farmed meat and vegetables. It’s all in my book –

Here in paperback – UK.
Here for Kindle – UK.
Here in paperback – USA.
Here for Kindle – USA.

For further reading:

Debunking Cowspiracy

Carbon sinks and carbon sequestration

Working with nature, for solutions

Why giving up meat isn’t the answer

Learn more about Mother Nature’s Diet – buy the book, take the online course, join the movement.

All you need to know to find sense among the confusion…

Mother Nature’s Diet, the book, is here – to save your sanity!

I don’t know about you, but I find the world of diet, health and nutrition has become more confusing than ever recently.

There seems to be so much conflicting and contradictory advice going around.

  • High carb or low carb…
  • High fat or low fat…
  • Meat is good for you, or meat gives you cancer…
  • Dairy is a superfood, or dairy is cancer promoting…
  • Calories matter…no, calories don’t matter…
  • It’s our gut flora…
  • They’ve been telling us the wrong thing for decades…
  • Type-2 diabetes can be reversed…

A lot of people are fed up and confused, and just don’t know what to believe any more.

It seems that many people have lost all trust in the science and ‘the establishment’ as we are increasingly being told that the mainstream dietary advice that governments and Dietitians have given us for the last 40 years has been wrong, and has contributed to rising obesity and type-2 diabetes across the UK.

If that’s how you feel, I can empathise

For 16 years I was doing it all wrong. I was focused on trying to lose weight, but I knew nothing at all about diet and nutrition and I was getting it all wrong. I yo-yo dieted for 16 years.

Eventually, between my mid-30s and mid-40s, I spent 12 years learning, and getting it all right. I lost 101 pounds (that’s 46 kilos or 7 stone 3) of unwanted body fat, built 20 pounds of muscle, got fit and cleared up my health problems.

Along the way, I became obsessed with health and nutrition, I became a qualified Personal Trainer and I read 847 books and research studies, learning about everything from cancer prevention to building muscle, from anti-ageing to running a faster marathon.

I created Mother Nature’s Diet and the 12 Core Principles out of that life-changing experience.

And now, I have written a book for you, Mother Nature’s Diet, to share with you the very best of everything I learned along the way.

  • Cut through the confusion
  • Make sense of the conflicting advice
  • Learn how to resist the signs of ageing
  • Have more energy
  • Lose that excess weight without starving or suffering
  • Look and feel your best
  • Resist ill health and degenerative disease

It’s all in this book, your plain-English, common-sense guide to weight loss and healthy living. No nonsense, no gimmicks, no fad diet behaviour. Just honest sensibly healthy living advice. What works, rather than what crap they want to sell you.

I am biased, but I suggest you just go here and buy it now. I mean, why not?

Amazon UK Paperback
Amazon UK Kindle edition
Amazon US Paperback
Amazon US Kindle edition

It’s the no-gimmicks, no-fad-diet, no b/s, common-sense healthy lifestyle guide that the Western world needs right now.

If you have any questions, please just give me a shout!

Go on then.

To your good health!

Karl

They keep asking the same questions…

I have been writing at www.MotherNaturesDiet.me for around seven or more years now, and I have been promoting the 12 Core Principles for about six years.

As I always say, Mother Nature’s Diet is not a fad, it’s not ‘a diet’, it’s not some temporary, calorie-counting, short-term behaviour. Mother Nature’s Diet is a sustainable, abundant way to live your life long term for supreme good health and abundant natural energy.

As I have said and written many times before, I did not dream up the 12 Core Principles as some cutesy way to fleece a few folks out of a few quid buying into some bull***t ‘diet plan’, I didn’t knock them up in 20 minutes on the back of a beer mat down the pub one evening!! In fact, quite the opposite! The 12 Core Principles are the end result of my personal 27-year journey, where I spent around 16 or 17 years ‘getting it all wrong’ and then 11 or 12 years finally getting it all right.

From an unhappy, unfit, obese teenager, I went through 17 years of yo-yo diets, smoking, drinking, disease, medications, exercise-as-a-weight-loss-tool, injuries, broken bones, laziness, junk food, recreational drugs, personal dramas and physical exhaustion.

17 years of mistakes, searching for, but not finding, permanent answers.

Always the yo-yo. Exercise or starve 20 or 30 pounds off, then yo-yo it back on as soon as I was too exhausted to keep fighting, and I would crash back into the comfortable familiarity of the junk food and the beer.

And then, finally, between my mid-30s and mid-40s, now 11 or 12 years of doing the right things. I learned about nutrition, I became a fully qualified Personal Trainer, I attended dozens of seminars, lectures and conferences, and I have read well over 850 books, research papers and reports on health, longevity, nutrition, food, exercise, fitness and disease prevention.

The 12 Core Principles are the end-result of those 27 years of experience and learning, and I believe they offer a framework, a way to live healthily for a long life, in excellent health, free from disease and with plenty of energy. The goal of Mother Nature’s Diet is to add years to your life and life to your years.

I have always promoted the 12 Core Principles as a Read more

Why we have an obesity problem Part #2

A while back I posted Why we have an obesity problem.

If that was Part #1, this is Part #2.

I was visiting my local Post Office the other day. It’s a busy little sub-Post Office counter built at the back of a neighbourhood convenience store, as many Post Office counters are these days. It’s almost always busy, and customers form a queue along one of the aisles of the shop. Here is the view as I stood in the aisle awaiting my turn to be served.

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Great, ‘the £1 zone’ is right there, where folks who just want to post a parcel or buy some stamps or apply for a drivers licence, have to stand and wait to be served.

I grabbed a packet of cookies and turned them over to see the nutrition label.

Check this out:

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This twin-pack of ‘vanilla flavoured cookies with chocolate chips’ weighs 400 grams net weight. As you can see, the cookies deliver 495 calories per 100g. In round numbers, this is 2000 calories – for £1. (For my readers outside the UK, at current rates, £1 sterling is €1.14 Euros, or $1.29 USD at current, Feb 2019, exchange rates.)

2000 calories is the recommended daily intake for an adult female in the UK, wishing to maintain body weight (not gain or lose).

2000 calories, your entire daily intake, for £1.

Let’s just check the ingredients label to see what these cookies are made of.

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Now, remember the way an ingredients list works – the items are listed in descending order, from the item that makes up the greatest percentage of the contents, down to the minor items listed last.

These cookies are made of – refined wheat flour, palm oil, sugar, chocolate chips (which are made of sugar and more palm oil) and then some coca butter and then lesser items.

Broken out by macronutrient, the 2000 calories in this £1 pack consist of:

  • Just over 50% sugar – 262 calories of carbs out of 495 calories per 100g. (Carbohydrates contain around 4.1 calories per gram.) They list “of which sugars” as a sub-set of the carbohydrate, but given that the ‘non-sugar’ is just refined wheat flour, once inside your intestines it is broken down and absorbed as glucose just the same as the refined sugar, so to your blood, to your metabolism, it’s all sugar. Out of 2000 calories – approx 1060 calories of sugar
  • After the flour and refined sugar, the only other substantial ingredient is the palm oil (not the best thing to be eating) which contribute the overwhelming majority of the calories from fats in this product. (Fats contain around 9 calories per gram.) SO we get around 212 calories of fat (palm oil) per 100g. Approximately 43% of this product is fat
  • Out of the total 2000 calories in the pack…it’s 53% sugar, and 43% fat – and that fat is not a healthy fat like you get in fresh fish, olive oil or avocado, that’s fat from palm oil
  • As for this ‘food product’ providing any possible health benefits…like vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids…forget it

We have an obesity problem in this country, and that problem is a burden that is unfairly heaped onto low income families, and this is a big part of what is causing that problem. Crap food, refined sugar, refined plant oils, and cheap processed grains, are everywhere – cheap food, easy to buy, in our faces, tempting, tasty, packed and displayed to make our kids nag and pester for it.

While 90% of people I meet say they “can’t afford to buy organic” fruits and vegetables, but convenience stores are punting 2000 calories of sugar and fat for just £1, we are never going to solve the problem.

Public Health England needs to sort this out. Food manufacturers and mass market retailers are one of the most potent forces driving the obesity problem in the UK, and there can be no doubt that the abundant availability of cheap sugar is also exacerbating the type-2 diabetes problem too. This puts an increasing burden of poor health on to poorer families – the government should be subsidising bloody fish and vegetables, and taxing the hell out of sugar and palm oil. Clearly, with 2000 calories on sale for £1 (how do they even do that? The cost of overheads, the packaging, the shelf space, the store staff???) this is not happening, and we have a food system that enabled unscrupulous manufacturers and retailers to dump a mass of cheap, health-damaging ‘food products’ on to the market without any sugar taxes or other barriers to stop them.

Shame on you Public Health England.
Shame on you UK govt.
Shame on you food manufacturers.
Shame on you major food retailers.
Shame on all of you. Our NHS cannot afford to treat this burden forever. We have to rebuild a country that understands ‘prevention is better than cure’.

 

Smoking, death, decisions, goals, consistency and success – in that order

When I tell ‘my story’ in writing or at my seminars, I often say that “I was trying to lose weight and be healthy, but getting it all wrong for 16 years” and then, from my mid-30s, I started getting things right. The day I started getting things right, was 13 years ago today.

13 years ago today, on the 4th Feb 2006, I was 35 years old, over weight, out of shape and in poor health. I weighed 220 pounds, that’s 99.8 kilos (or 15 stone 10 in old English money) and I had a BMI of 29, and my bodyfat was 25%. This wasn’t my heaviest, I had been 15 to 30 pounds heavier at various times in my teens, my 20s and just three years earlier in 2003, in my 30s.

By this point, 2006, I had been yo-yo dieting for 19 years. I had smoked for 18 out of the previous 20 years, I had quit hundreds of times – some lasted a day, some a week, some a month, once I even managed a whole year off, but then it somehow crept back in. I could never quit based on rationalising to myself.

  • If I told myself “it’s a waste of money” that didn’t so it. I had a good job, I was earning plenty, and I mostly smoked roll-ups in those days (roll-your-own) so my dozen smokes per day probably only cost me about 10 quid per week, it was pocket change to me then
  • If I told myself “it’ll kill you one day” that didn’t do it either. I was only in my 30s, I couldn’t really imagine being like my granddad, who has smoked all his life and passed in his 70s from emphysema
  • If I told myself “it’s not good for you” that wasn’t hitting any emotional triggers for me. I had used jogging as a weight control on and off for years, so when I really put in the effort, I could haul arse for a few miles round the block (my excess weight battering my right knee, that later ended up in surgery) so I told myself it was OK, I was fit enough
  • No matter how hard to tried to quit smoking, it always crept back in, every time, after hundreds and hundreds of attempts to quit

So, at this point, early 2006, I was smoking again, drinking far too much, unhealthily overweight, not exercising regularly, unfit, out of shape and my body was covered in itchy red hives, an unsightly rash caused by a condition called urticaria.

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I had a good job, I loved my kids, my life was ‘on the up’ in terms of growing my career, my family, my wealth…but they say the real wealth is health, and I knew all was not well. Read more

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 3 – Microbiome and your immune system

Today, in Part 3 of this short series on gut health, you can learn more about what all those billions of microbes and bacteria are doing down there in your gut, when things are going well…and when they are not!
Read on…

~*~*~*~*~

About 70% of our immune cells are housed in the lining of our gastrointestinal system, or gut. Our gut is the biggest immune organ of the body. Likewise, it’s also where the majority of our microorganisms reside. This is not a coincidence. It makes complete sense. The food we eat is the largest exposure of foreign material that we bring into our body, so it makes sense for our immune system to reside in our gut. The outside world is literally experienced through the filter of the gut microbiome (and of course through our lungs), defending us against unwanted microbes and toxins.

Read more

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

Quick, run for that mince pie!!

Christmas is almost here! Yippee!!

It’s Christmas Day tomorrow, we are right in the middle of prime-time “calories central” as we round out the ‘office party season’ and start the ‘family feasting’!!

I’m not stupid, I know that late December is pretty much 100% the worst time of the year to promote healthy living, abstinence from alcohol, and ‘stop eating sugar’ advice!!!

I know! OK! I get it!

(It’s OK, I’m sure you’ll love me again come January 2nd…)

In the interests of trying to remain popular, I’m not going to say a word about alcohol (you are probably sipping a drink while reading this now, so relax and enjoy yourself.)

Let’s just talk about sugar.

As you stock up the kitchen cupboards with boxes of mince pies, big tubs of Cadbury’s Roses, Celebrations, Heroes and Quality Street, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and all the other sugary delights that are so popular in this country, just spare a thought for how much exercise you might have to do to burn that stuff off.

(If you have heard the expression ‘you can’t outrun a bad diet’ and ever doubted it, you might find this quite interesting.)

  • A standard deep-filled Sainsbury’s mince pie contains 262 calories (according to Sainsbury’s website as of this morning) and an awful lot of sugar
  • Few people understand how many calories we burn when we exercise
  • Roughly speaking, a 10.5-stone woman of 40’ish, jogging for 30 minutes, will burn approximately 267 calories (we are all different, this is an average figure, so if that is 10.5-stone of lean muscular athlete, the data will be a little different.)

Yes, you are reading that right. You have to go out jogging for half an hour just to burn the calories in one little mince pie!

OMG!!

  • How about that after-lunch Christmas day or Boxing day sit-down on the sofa, watching a movie while cuddling that big tub of Roses or Celebrations? Obviously the size and content of all the different sweets varies, but on average you are likely looking at 40 to 50 calories per sweet, so a dozen sweets can quickly clock up 500 calories, and it’s all sugar!
  • For a 14-stone man, that’s about an hour and a half of gentle cycling, or two hours of golf, to burn through those 500 calories. Just a dozen Roses!
  • And as for the Christmas cake, a modest slice of Tesco Finest iced-top fruit Christmas cake delivers around 400 calories
  • A 12-stone woman would need to do 40 minutes in a step aerobics class to burn through that one modest slice of cake

Obviously, I hope you enjoy your Christmas, enjoy time with family and friends, and enjoy ‘a little of what you fancy’ over the holidays. But while you are indulging this week, surrounded by boxes of chocolates, mince pies and sweets, you might want to think about scheduling in plenty of time for some additional exercise…or join the masses on Jan 1st moaning they are “feeling fat” and regretting their holiday excesses!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!

To your good health!

Karl

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

Palm oil, hype and misleading news…time to get the facts…

Social media in the week of 12th November 2018 = Palm oil and orangutans.

OMG, so much hype.

Seriously, it’s time to nail down the facts.

The British supermarket Iceland re-used an old promotional video made by Greenpeace some time ago. Iceland never intended or realistically expected this advert to run on British TV, and it was not banned because in fact, being of ‘political origin’ (that is, Greenpeace is a political activist group, not a commercial company like Iceland) the video in fact immediately contravenes advertising standards in the UK. It was never going to pass as an advert, Iceland knew this from the get-go, and to then suggest they made it as an advert and then it was banned, is, at best, disingenuous.

Please get the facts on this issue from this excellent and clear post from Suw Charman-Anderson on Facebook.
My thanks to her for this post.

This whole ‘Iceland banned advert’ thing is just a huge, clever, relatively inexpensive bit of PR for Iceland.
You may like to know that formerly, on a previously published (early 2018) version of this list, from Ethical Consumer magazine, Iceland featured as worst British supermarket for palm oil products.
The list now shows no mention of them on “Best…” lists, but notes that they have made a commitment going forwards…I suspect, this whole PR stunt is in danger of backfiring on them, and this is a rapid knee-jerk reaction to mitigate it all turning into a car crash of negative publicity. I hope to see them hold strong on their promises in 2019.

What we need is a clear understanding of the facts.
This WWF blog is clear, balanced, and free from hype. Please read it and understand the issue.

Fact: It’s a freakin’ disaster to be chopping down forests in the tropics to make chocolate spread and peanut butter for the rich in Europe and North America, and causing the extinction of the Sumatran tiger and orangutan along the way.
But, ditching palm oil and switching dumbly to other oils will only make things worse!

Guess what…there is a solution.

Wanna know?

Stop eating ****ing chocolate spread!!!!

Wow, revolutionary!

Now let’s see, all those millions of folks out there on social media sharing posts about how much they care about orangutans…do they (you?) all care enough to just stop buying chocolate spread?

Boycotting palm oil is not the answer, it’s just not that simple

The answer is to buy sustainably-farmed palm oil, or, even better, reduce your consumption of processed foods to a minimum thereby reducing the need for the palm oil, or any other oil, in the first place!

See, who knew (I bloody did) that once again, the correct, and best solution is sustainable agriculture not ‘herd mentality bulls**t’ that might do more harm than good.

For what it’s worth, Mother Nature’s Diet is pretty close to an “as low as you can go palm oil content” lifestyle.
Core Principle 3: minimise processed foods (there goes the chocolate spread)
Core Principle 2: eliminate refined sugar (there goes the confectionery)
Core Principle 7: eat plants and animals (we base our diet mainly on fresh whole foods)
You see, the Mother Nature’s Diet way eliminates many of the products that include palm oil from our shopping trolleys, our use of the stuff is minimal, just a bit of shampoo or washing powder…that’s about it.

Once again, Mother Nature’s Diet and sustainable agriculture: good for you, good for the planet.
See how this works?

You can reduce demand for palm oil by eating local, seasonal, fresh whole foods, by eating the Mother Nature’s Diet way.
Less processed food, less imported food, more seasonal fresh whole foods.
As I always say in my seminars and webinars, the Mother Nature’s Diet way is the best combined lifestyle approach to optimal good health, and care for the environment and animal welfare, farmed animals and wild animals, all in one, it’s all in the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet. 

Why not learn how to change your life, and our planet, for the better, and remove most of your demand for palm oil products at the same time?
Just get yourself a copy of the book, read up, and make some simple diet and lifestyle changes. 

And no, I’m not “hijacking the palm oil hype” this week just to try to sell a few copies of my book. I started Mother Nature’s Diet and wrote my book in the first place because of the damage being caused – to our health and our planet – by the modern Western diet and the unsustainable nature of intensive industrialised agriculture.

So, now you know the facts.
If you care about the rain forests, if you care about the Sumatran tiger, if you care about the orangutans, it’s time for you to prove it.

To your good health!

Karl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But here’s the thing. Read more

Really, it’s not rocket science…

Mother Nature’s Diet is based on the exceedingly simple, but thoroughly researched, 12 Core Principles.

I say ‘exceedingly simple’ because I believe that to be true. I believe that losing weight, having plenty of energy, avoiding ill health and feeling great truly is exceedingly simple, and after 20 years of being overweight and out of shape, drinking and smoking, being unfit and suffering health problems, now I have ‘found my way’ I am amazed how simple it all is.

However, that is only my own personal perspective. And it seems, among the thousands of people that I meet every year, that most people would not agree with me. Most people seem to really struggle, as indeed I did for 20 years, before I figured out what to do. So the question then becomes, what changed for me, from my two decades of struggling, to suddenly turning a corner and finding things so much simpler?

(Note, I say ‘simple’ but not ‘easy’. Healthy living is simple, but not always easy.)

No guidance

You see, when I changed, it took me several years, and a lot of trial-and-error,because I didn’t have a handy guide like the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet to point me in the right direction. I had to read all the contradictory diet ideas, try everything out, see through all the glitzy snakeoil sales pitches and fad diet marketing tricks, to find what really worked, so it took me some time.

Beyond the ‘how to’ I also changed my mindset. It wasn’t some glorious shining epiphany moment, it wasn’t a ‘eureka’ moment, I didn’t ‘see the light’ one day and suddenly ditch breakfast cereals and start eating broccoli. More, it was a series of slow dawning realisations, occurring mostly but not exclusively between the age of 30 and 40, as I slowly realised that if I carried on the way I was, I would almost certainly suffer obesity and type-2 diabetes through my 40s; I would likely have high blood pressure and be a prime candidate for heart disease in my 50s; and quite likely die young of cancer in my 60s, as many in my family have done before me.

So my mindset changed, I reaffirmed that I had so much to live for in my life, I ‘woke up’ to see clearly that no one else is out there looking after my health, it’s down to me. I realised that there is no government minister or department charged with helping me to look and feel my best and resist ill health and the signs of ageing. My GP doesn’t make house calls to ask how I feel today. The NHS, the food manufacturers, the drug companies, the local farmer, none of these people wake up in the morning tasked with ‘making sure Karl doesn’t develop heart disease’ as one of their goals for the day. No, I realised that only one person can do something about making sure I don’t develop heart disease a decade from now – me. And it starts with taking proactive steps today, tomorrow, and every day.

“An apple a day…keeps the doctor away”

If you never put any money away, never save any, then you are not going to be surprised 15 years from now if you have no savings. Right?

If you never get your car serviced, never do any car maintenance yourself, and never pay any attention to warning lights that light up on the dashboard, so no oil change, no air in the tryes, no radiator top up, then you won’t be too surprised a few years down the line when your car breaks down.

Well your health is the same. If you do no maintenance, then why act surprised when things break down? If you don’t eat an apple a day, and yo don’t get some exercise, and you don’t do any of the things we know we should do for good health, it seems obvious that at some point, things are going to break down, and go wrong. We know the saying isn’t “Three donuts a day, keeps the doctor away.” We know that. Yet folks out there eat donuts every day instead of apples. We know we should exercise every day, we know we should stop smoking, drink less alcohol, drink more water, eat our veggies, and we know that fish is good for us. But how many folks don’t follow these simple tips?

Take charge…or perish

No one else is out to look after your good health, you have to take personal responsibility and look after yourself.

Apathy is a killer.

After my mindset changed, and I took personal responsibility for my own future, then I made quick progress, losing over seven stones of unwanted fat (101 pounds, or 46 kilos of body fat), getting super fit and healthy, coming off my medications and quitting smoking and drinking completely.

And I figured out the 12 Core Principles that I now share with you, to help you get there quicker, and easier, than I did.

Core Principle 1 – cut back on all those starchy carbs, most folks eat far too much of that stuff and they don’t lead high-energy lives that burn all that sugary fuel.

Core Principle 2 – quit the refined sugar, it’s a modern-day dietary disaster.

Core Principle 3 – reduce your reliance on processed foods, switch to fresh, ideally local, whole foods, better for you, better for the planet, better for animal welfare, better for farmers, better for everyone.

Core Principle 4 – stop smoking and drink less!

Core Principle 5 – get out for some fresh air every day.

Core Principle 6 – drink plenty of water, be sure you are well hydrated.

Core Principle 7 – just eat fresh whole foods. Vegetables, fish, eggs, meat, fruits, nuts, seeds and really not much else.

Core Principle 8 – focus on quality, not quantity. Buy organic, buy sustainably farmed.

Core Principle 9 – get some exercise, every single day!

Core Principle 10 – chill out, work a little less, laugh a little more, reduce stress and sleep more.

Core Principle 11 – spend more time out in nature, enjoy the countryside, make it a habit.

Core Principle 12 – get the above right 90% (or more) of the time and then chill out over the last 10%. Your long term results will not be determined by the 5% or 10% of the time you skip a workout or eat the pizza and ice cream. Your long term results come from the 90% to 95% of days that you DO workout and you do eat the veggies and fish. Get it right at least 90% of the time, and stick to it, consistent simple healthy living will win the day.

Really, it’s not Rocket Science…

So my question to you is this: what’s stopping you?

If you just refuse to take your own health seriously, and you can’t follow such simple steps to take care of yourself…why not? What needs to change about your mindset?

My invitation to you is this – take your health seriously, before something serious takes your health.

To you and your future!

Karl

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise.

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

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

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

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

Regular exercise can reduce your risk of certain cancers.

Regular exercise can improve blood sugar regulation for diabetics.

Regular exercise can help prevent type-2 diabetes.

Regular exercise can help with diabetes management.

Regular exercise seems to help prevent dementia.

Regular exercise can help combat rising obesity.

Regular exercise can help reduce all-cause mortality.

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

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

So the questions is – are you doing it?

If not, why not?

To your good health!

Karl

Do this, live longer. Odds on. It’s simple.

If you have attended one of my live seminars, you will have heard me explain, in as much detail as I had time for on the day, that I believe the Mother Nature’s Diet lifestyle offers you the best all-round sustainable healthy lifestyle for avoiding heart disease, stroke, all-types of cancer, type-2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and more.

The 12 Core Principles have been worked out and put together from my own 27-year journey through obesity and poor health to the outstanding good health and abundant energy that I now enjoy, combined with the hundreds of books and studies I have read, dozens of courses and seminars attended and everything I have learned meeting with experts and learning through observation, trial and error.

I believe that MND offers the best all-round preventive medicine lifestyle, the best way for most people to live to extend life, avoid all causes of premature mortality, improve farm animal welfare, help conserve our environment and mitigate climate change and enjoy protection against the signs of ageing. I teach that I believe we all have more choice in these matters than we know.

In my live seminars, or in our MND subscription Members Group, I often explain that I think over half of all chronic ill health in our country is broadly avoidable, for most people. Of course, there are details, and exceptions, but I do believe that over half of all heart disease, stroke, cancers, type-2 diabetes and more is entirely preventable. Cancer Research UK suggest that around 42% of UK cancer is easily preventable, and I often say that I believe their data to be conservative.

So, to that end, you may be interested in this study from Canada which looked at all cancer cases in the Canadian province of Alberta in 2012, and calculated that 41% of cancer cases could have been avoided through lifestyle and environmental modifications.

Again, personally, I would imagine this data to be pretty conservative.

This is not the first time I have shared such research with you. There is growing evidence to support these claims.

Here’s the point, and I’ll keep it plain and simple and short for you. HALF of all the cancer and heart disease in our society could be avoided. HALF. Mother Nature’s Diet is a simple, easy-to-follow, sustainable lifestyle, it costs you nothing to follow the site, follow the blog, follow the 12 Core Principles, yet it could massively reduce your cancer risk and extend your life by a decade or two.

Half of all cancer
Half the misery
Half the tears
Half the loss

I invite you to take your health seriously…
…before something serious, takes your health.

1luvx

Karl

Stay sober, have sex and eat chocolate

Some people look at the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet and they tell me it all looks too hard, too limiting, too restrictive. Broadly speaking, I work hard to make Mother Nature’s Diet as simple, accessible and sustainable as I can – I think it’s all based on common sense, I think I have taken lots of science and given you some simple easy steps to follow, and I think it should prove beneficial to almost everyone.

I’m big on common sense, and on keeping things simple, and natural, avoiding overly-complicated solutions, expensive supplements and complex guidelines to follow. Mother Nature’s Diet is all about sustainable lifestyle choices – no fad behaviour, just sensible long-term healthy living.

Making changes

I am constantly suggesting that you drink less alcohol, because alcohol consumption in our society is, in my opinion, too high, and most people do not realise it is a risk factor for cancer and other health problems. New research now shows that even moderate alcohol consumption is a risk factor for adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline. Folks, we all need to drink less. A glass or two, four, five or more times per week is not ‘moderate’ and we need to cut down.

However, there is good news around chocolate. While we all need to drink less alcohol in order to resist cognitive decline, research really does seem to support the fact that eating a bit of dark chocolate has quite the opposite effect and can be good for cognitive function as we age. This is good news! Drink less alcohol, but feel free to eat some good quality dark chocolate! Hoorah for dark chocolate! Just remember, it’s the high cocoa content that is beneficial, so make sure you buy high quality dark chocolate, not the sugar-filled cheap milk chocolate! While you are at it, shoot for Fairtrade, and organic!

Research also suggests that maintaining muscular strength is another way to defend against cognitive decline. In my blog posts and at my live events, I tell you to lift weight, or do bodyweight exercises (like push-ups, squats and crunches) to maintain muscular strength as you age. I often say this advice is more important for ladies of 50 and over, than it is for men of 40 and under. That is to say, as a stereotypical generalisation, that younger men rarely lack muscular strength, but older women frequently do. Ladies, this is important – use your muscles! Use it or lose it!

You may not like weight training, but there are plenty of ways to use your muscles without hefting barbells in a gym full of sweaty grunting types. You can take up a sport you enjoy, join a yoga class, workout at home in front of a home-workout DVD, or engage in our other favourite home workout – bedroom athletics. Research has linked a regular healthy sex life in women with living longer. That’s got to be good news then!

And all that dark chocolate, sex and weight training…or weight training, sex and dark chocolate, depending on which order you like to put it all in, is bound to help you experience a range of positive, happy emotions. That’s good news too, because research now shows that people who experience a range of positive emotions, seem to suffer less systemic inflammation, which is a key marker for so many chronic health problems, from irritable bowels to heart disease.

So, you see, I think the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet aren’t so bad after all –

  • Drink less booze
  • Eat some dark chocolate
  • Hit the gym and enjoy some weight training
  • Have more sex
  • And enjoy it all

See, that’s not so hard, is it?

This healthy living thing isn’t as bad as you might think. At Mother Nature’s Diet we don’t count calories and we don’t starve, instead we eat plenty of delicious, wholesome good food, including dark chocolate, and we enjoy our regular exercise, including good sex, and we like to get a tan and we get plenty of healthy sleep.

No fad diet mentality here, no deprivation, no misery.
Just sensible, sustainable healthy living.

What’s not to love about that?

Fix your diet and live longer…simple, right?

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

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

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

See how simple this stuff is!

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

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

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

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

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

To your good health!

Karl

Whose job is it to keep you from getting sick?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so the NHS tell us Read more

Mother Nature’s Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No starving, no calorie counting, no suffering.

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

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

MND_BOOK_MOCK-UP_hires

Personal responsibility

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

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

“Doc, can’t I just have the pills?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All you need to know

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

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

Available for immediate download now.

What people are saying…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how the conversation followed –

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

Steve: Nope, that’s not enough man!

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

Steve: Go on…? Read more

The diet deniers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obesity is a multifactorial condition

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

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

Brexit and booze

Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about politics! I’ll keep my views on Brexit to myself.

This is the first in a series of posts that will eventually come together as a short series on “ignoring the elephant in the room” and as the series builds, you’ll see how the posts all connect together, to highlight ‘gross national stupidity’ and the ignorance our media perpetuates by spreading lies and misinformation.

£350m per week for our NHS

As surely everyone in the country can remember, during the Brexit campaign, the Leave campaign drove around Britain in a bus touting the slogan “We send the EU £350 million per week, let’s fund our NHS instead. Vote Leave”

Brexit bus

This was one of the cornerstone arguments of the Leave campaign – stop giving money to the EU, and give it to the NHS instead.

This post is not about politics, but you may have followed in the news how this £350m GBP promise has been pulled apart and rubbished…the £350m figure does not account for Britain’s EU rebate, it’s a gross figure not a net figure, and it fails to account for everything our nation gains in return for EU membership. Scholars have largely proven that in fact, once the UK leaves the EU, there will be zero surplus cash available for the NHS, quite a lot less that £350m per week.

At this stage, at time of writing, there is no sense exploring that issue any further because:

  • Until the Brexit negotiations are complete, nothing is certain and we can’t know whether the UK economy is going to be better off or worse off
  • That’s not the point of this post

What’s this got to do with health?

Read more