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Posts from the ‘Travel’ Category

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

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

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

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

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

Constant overwhelm

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

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

No time for fun at the weekend

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

MND home cooked food on a budget

What is this post about?

- Eating the MND way on a budget

- Cooking ‘real food’ when away from home with restricted resources

- Managing with only the most basic cooking facilities

- Travelling and still eating healthily - and affordably

- Eating to fuel lots of exercise

MND on holiday!!

‘Team MND’ recently took a holiday - a week hiking in the French Alps. We rented a small and very basic apartment and went hiking every day,  which was great fun. I’ve not got time to write an extensive trip review, and I don’t suppose you want to read it anyway! So I’ll stick to the relevant and interesting stuff.

We hiked for 5 days, covering between 11 and 17 miles per day, and climbing an average of 4500 to 7000 feet per day. On average, we spent about 10 hours out on the hills each day, and our average daily mileage was 14 miles, and 6000 feet of ascent, 6000 feet of descent. Read more

Beware of seemingly healthy options

Whenever I am travelling, I look at food that is available 'on the road' in my quest to try to help people make healthier choices.
This blog shows a classic example of how hard it can be to make the right choice.
This Vanilla Bean & Maple Syrup Smoothie caught my eye, the label design and the words, create the impression of a fairly healthy snack option.
SUMMARY of this post:
• This product is 10% protein, 17% fat and 48.5% sugar
• There are 11 teaspoons of sugar in this product
• There are so many calories in this small drink, that it would exceed the meal size for a number of calorie-controlled diet programs
• Beware the seemingly healthy options. Packaging can be deceiving, and indeed it is often purposefully designed to do just that
• The big companies pack sugar into everything
• If it has a label, you probably shouldn't eat it. Real food doesn't have a label

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Exercise while you travel

When away from home, as well as finding it harder to stick to a clean diet, many people find it harder to fit in regular exercise.

While I was on holiday with my family, I didn't have my home gym available, and there was not a commercial gym to be found for miles around, so I had to improvise. The good thing about being experienced in using my own body weight for exercise, is that I can usually work out any time, any place, without too much trouble.

Squat the kids!

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Moving this blog to a new home

When I set up, about 9 months ago, it was my first blog ever, and I knew nothing about blogging, so I was just learning as I went along. I thought a blog, was a blog, was a blog, and I was not aware of the massive differences between the different blogging sites and the software they use.

It turns out, I picked a rubbish place to start, and that's why this site is so ugly!! I have learned since then, and I recently built a new site at using WordPress, and it is SO much nicer and SO much more professional, the new site looks clean and smart, so I am going to now totally start again with and create this over on WordPress too.

I have registered on WordPress, and I will start building there. Once I have moved the whole thing over, then I will redirect this domain name to point at the new site, so eventually (and this could take easily 6 weeks or more to complete) then both domain names will all end up in the same place, and this ghastly green mess can be closed down!

So I won't be posting much over the coming weeks, sorry, but there is already about 100,000 words on here, and the more I add, the more I will have to then move to the new site, so it makes sense to stop adding here, and just get "settled into my new home" so to speak then start again.

Making MND my permanent lifestyle

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Cooking in India

Hey folks, sorry for my lack of posts, obviously I am travelling and I am working very long hours here, and to be honest, when I am not working, I just want to spend time with my friends here and explore this wonderful country, so blogging here on MND has not been #1 priority! Sorry about that!

Yesterday I had a chance to cook which was most excellent. I managed to create a 99% MND-approved carb-less meal, and proved tpo my friends that we don't HAVE to have rice, bread and potatoes with every meal we eat!

We found a butcher selling boneless skinless chicken breast fillets for about £4.50 per kilo (half the price we pay in the UK), which is NOT prohibitively expensive to the Indian wallet. That same butcher was selling chicken thighs, minced lamb, minced chicken, leg of lamb and shoulder of mutton, all at affordable prices. So myth #1, 'big cuts of good fresh meat are hard to come by out here, and silly expensive' is not true. Sure, such meat would be beyond the reach of the poorer half of the population, but for anyone wealthy enough to have a PC and be reading my blog, then eating an MND diet in India IS possible.

I cooked an Italian style meal, chicken and veggies in pesto with herbs, it was nice, simple, easy, and tasty. My friends said they loved it and will eat this way often going forwards.

A vegetarian adaptation for MND

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Eating MND in the carb-centric world

Eating by the low-carb MotherNaturesDiet (MND) 12 Core Principles is hard enough living in's way harder here in India.

Back home in the UK, the typical supermarket is a carb-jungle. Cereals, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes are everywhere, and all those so-called food items in tins, packages, bags, boxes and shrink-wrapping, are loaded with refined sugar and processed syrups, the worst crap carbs of all. However, in the UK we do have options, and there are plenty of choices for buying meat, fish, fresh organic vegetables and fruits, and other foods that fit to the MND plan.

Here in India, eating revolves around carbs.

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Camping and Pizza Express

I took two of my kids camping and hiking for the weekend, and it was great. In terms of healthy eating, we did pretty well...however the visit to Pizza Express definitely strayed 'off plan' for me!!

We left for our trip straight after the kids finished school on Friday afternoon, and after almost 5 hours in the car, we finally reached our campsite. I had pre-cooked a meal earlier in the day (a tasty chilli) made using organic meat and veggies, so I just re-heated it for a late supper when we arrived.

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Teaching our children

I am going with two of my kids for the weekend, I am taking my two sons camping and hiking for the weekend - and I can’t wait!

We are heading for The Peak District, for 2 nights camping, eating wholesome food, fresh air, hiking, rock scrambling, sunshine (wishful thinking??) and fun outdoors.

For the kids, this means no TV, no games machines, no junk food.

For me it means no email (heaven!), no screen, no Internet (can I survive???) and lots of Daddy-bonding with my boys.

Core Principle 11 says - time outdoors in nature. That’s what this time is all about. This weekend we are all about Principle 11…I hope to engage my boys in the beauty and wonder of nature, the thrill of water, rocks, mud, forests, hills…while feeding them good food and keeping them fit using their bodies. This is a big part of what fathering is all about, I can’t wait!

June 2012 Health Retreat visit in Spain

I just returned from a lovely week at the wonderful Obsidian Retreat on the Costa Blanca, in Spain. Obsidian is a great place full of lovely friendly staff and guests and I enjoyed a fabulous week drinking healthy green juices and soaking up the sunshine. I have know the owners Andy and Carol for a few years and they have become dear friends of mine, they are such a great couple, deeply passionate and enthusiastic about helping people rediscover good health.

The retreat is mainly focussed on weight loss and diabetes reduction, promoting an alkaline vegan diet, and raw food and juicing. I personally don’t need to lose weight and I don’t have diabetes, but still I can thoroughly recommend a week relaxing at Obsidian just to enjoy good food, good health, good company and good weather. It’s a great place to detox and de-stress and enjoy relaxing in a healthy environment.

I enjoyed loads of delicious nutritious juices, and some wonderful salads and vegetarian evening meals. I lost 4 pounds over the week, despite trying not to lose any weight, and I am sure my body enjoyed relaxing walks, chilling by the pool and soaking up the sun. Many guests go to Obsidian to quickly lose a lot of weight, and those choosing the all-juice option typically lose about 10 or 11 pounds each week they are there. Many stay for several weeks. This weight loss is very fast, but it’s healthy, as the juiced raw green vegetables provide all the wonderful nutrients your body requires.

Picture shows me with one of my lovely new friends pinching what’s left of my belly - I was complaining about my tum, because I can’t yet see my 6-pack, and she was teasing me!