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Posts tagged ‘Exercise’

Prevention is infinitely better than cure

Here at Mother Nature’s Diet I teach healthy living to anyone who will listen, delivered as a blend of common sense, science-in-plain-English and real life examples from my own experience.

The goal is to live a preventive medicine lifestyle.

Does it work?

Hell yeah!
To quote this study:

“15 [studies] were included in the meta-analysis that comprised 531,804 people with a mean follow-up of 13.24 years. The relative risks decreased proportionate to a higher number of healthy lifestyle factors for all cause mortality. A combination of at least four healthy lifestyle factors is associated with a reduction of the all cause mortality risk by 66% (95% confidence interval 58%-73%).”

So they looked at 15 studies, covering more than half a million people, over 13 years. All in, adherence to healthy lifestyle factors (good diet, regular exercise, drink less alcohol, don’t smoke, avoid obesity) demonstrated a clear reduced risk of all-cause mortality. Folks maintaining at least four of these factors enjoyed a 66% reduction in mortality risk.

Healthy living during the decades before you become ‘old and sick’, helps you not to get ‘old and sick’ – live healthy now, you live longer. It’s so simple!

Take smoking OUT of the equation, and see this study:

Quote “CONCLUSION:
Adherence to cancer prevention guidelines for obesity, diet, physical activity, and alcohol consumption is associated with lower risk of death from cancer, CVD, and all causes in nonsmokers.”

So if we isolate these healthy living factors separate from smoking, in this study of 112,000 nonsmokers followed up for 14 years, adherence to a healthy diet, regular exercise, drinking less alcohol and avoiding obesity led to a substantial reduction in cancer mortality, heart disease deaths and all-cause mortality.

Jeez, it’s simple stuff.
Like I keep saying, HALF of our chronic disease burden is ENTIRELY preventable through dietary and lifestyle interventions.

  • No one wants heart disease
  • No one wants diabetes
  • No one wants to be obese
  • No one wants cancer

I cannot promise anyone a cure, but my life’s mission is to teach people how not to get these problems in the first place. Let’s start by slashing our chronic disease burden in HALF in a single generation by education our population in preventive medicine lifestyles.

1luvx

Vote to save our NHS…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you planning to pick up a cow?

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

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

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

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

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

Consistency rules. Stick to it.

To your good health!

The Weekly Weigh-In

Would you like to receive our free weekly newsletter, The Weekly Weigh-In, delivering simple common-sense health advice to you in one easy-to-read weekly email?

We think most people are suffering ‘information overload’ these days, drowning in too many emails, too much news, too many things to read. We don’t want to add to that overload! A lot of companies are out there mailing you daily, we think that’s too much. If you would like us to stay in touch with you, we’ll just drop you The Weekly Weigh-In once a week, including news, views, announcements and more. No hard sell, not too much to read, absolutely no spam.

A large part of the whole ethos of Mother Nature’s Diet is to offer you a lifestyle that takes the confusion and complexity out of healthy living, so we send out a free, brief, email newsletter once per week, that you can opt out of any time you feel you have had enough. The Weekly Weigh-In newsletter offers you links to the most interesting or relevant health news of the week, exercise tips and words of motivation and encouragement. The content varies every week, sometimes it might cover disease prevention, sometimes gardening tips for growing your own fruit and veg, and sometimes it might cover longevity and resisting the signs of ageing.

Every issue will be short, simple and honest – you won’t need a PhD in nutrition to understand it and you won’t be bombarded with daily sales emails – we hate spam just as much as you do. If we want to tell you about an upcoming seminar or a new book release, we’ll pop it on the bottom of the newsletter for you with a link to find out more if you’re interested.

If you would like to receive this free weekly newsletter, please visit this page and sign up, it’ll only take a moment.

 

More gym, less wine

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

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

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

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

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

Resveratrol

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

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

It’s never a matter of education…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Less wine, more gym…

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

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

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

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

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

Fitness or fatness?

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

Does it even matter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To your good health!

Are we normalising obesity?

The rising obesity problem is a subject that is constantly in the news these days. As with every ‘latest thing’ that comes in and out of the public consciousness, when a topic is hot, we find every journalist and blogger out there writing about it, and opinions become varied, multitudinous and often contentious. And so it is with obesity.

In recent years we have seen many opinions about obesity, and read much shared research. We see that obesity can be blamed on genes, and we can read that childhood obesity is down to parenting, not junk food. We might read in the news that obesity could be classified as an eating disorder, or the next day the news will tell us that obesity is caused by poverty. We read that in the US, obesity is being treated as a disease, and we see obesity being blamed on something called obesogenic environments. Another day we may read about the obesity-promoting role of hyperpalatable foods, and we are constantly reading that sugar is to blame for obesity, and other addictive foods. We see the obesity epidemic blamed on the giant corporations of the food industry, and we may have even read that obesity is socially contagious.

Amid all this, while many derogatory words have been written about obese people over the years, now we see the tide turning. Many journalists and bloggers are now reporting that fat shaming does no good, it only makes things worse, it hurts people, and it’s time to stop blaming obese people for their condition; we must be more understanding and supportive. It is suggested that obesity is actually just a learned set of behaviours. We are seeing new reports that obese people are treated differently, to their detriment, by the doctors, and some experts are saying that if you put together everything above, then it plain isn’t your fault if you are fat.

Normalising obesity

It certainly is a contentious topic. I’m not going to go through all those news articles linked above and address each one of them in turn, giving my analysis and opinion on them all, that would take many pages of writing. Suffice to say that some of those articles I broadly agree with, some I largely disagree with, and most, or perhaps all of them, I would say contain some truth, but not ‘the only truth’.

The weight problem in the UK is accelerating rapidly. Official data from 2013 shows that 26% of men in the UK are obese, and 67% of men in the UK are either overweight or obese. For women, those figures are 24% and 57%, respectively. Of all the large, populous nations in Western Europe, the UK is the fattest. In the United States, the problem is even worse, with 71% of men and 62% of women overweight or obese.

To give that data some context, 50 years ago, in the mid-1960s, obesity in the UK stood at around 1.5% (1.8% men, 1.2% women, in 1965).  Read more

Myth busting – Part 2

Myth: Cholesterol is bad for you

Truth: Cholesterol itself is a naturally occurring compound, an essential part of YOU! Only high LDL and VLDL cholesterol is associated with heart disease risk factors.

Whole books have been written about ‘the cholesterol myth’, lots of them, and I’ve read several. The truth that I always come back to is this – cholesterol is a naturally occurring sterol lipid (that’s a fancy name for a fat-based chemical compound) that is an integral part of every cell of every animal on Earth. Your body needs cholesterol to maintain cell integrity for all cells in the human body. Cholesterol is also an essential precursor in the production of a number of hormones, and it has other functions in our bodies too.

Cholesterol is an essential element of all cells in all animals. Your brain and nervous system, organs and muscles, none of them would work without cholesterol. It is so important, that if you don’t ingest any from dietary sources, your body can make its own.

So I think: if cholesterol is so important, vital to all animal life and so omnipresent in all animal life forms, how on Earth Read more

Be someone

Someone lost half a stone.
Someone else lost 8 pounds.
Someone else lost a stone.
Someone feels the best they have in years.
Someone else is bursting with energy.
Someone quit smoking.
Someone else quit drinking.
Someone quit sugar.
Someone feels great!
Someone ran a PB.
Someone else quit feeling so tired.
Someone feels like a new woman.
Someone else feels like a new man.
Someone had a good healthy poo!
Someone else has seen marked reduction in symptoms.
Someone keeps smiling at everyone else.
Someone feels new hope.
Someone started a new job.
Someone else started a new relationship.
Someone looks younger.
Someone else had softer skin.
Someone feels younger.
Someone else looks slim.
Someone is happy.
Someone else is no longer depressed.
Someone gave someone hope.
Someone gave someone else some praise.
Someone felt encouraged.
Someone felt motivated.
Someone felt inspired.
Someone else felt a new strength.

I run a very active Facebook Group for people who follow MotherNaturesDiet. As a Private Closed Group, the members have a secure place to share their personal lives, and they regularly post results as they pursue a better life living the MND way.

YOUR posts make me smile. Thank you.
It’s the little things.
It’s progress.
It’s personal growth.
It’s why I do what I do, it’s why I am here.

MotherNaturesDiet
– Live better
– Live longer
– Live stronger

‪#‎itworks
‪#‎sofar2015rocks
‪#‎keepgoing
‪#‎bestyeareverbestyouever

Yours,
Karlos
1luvx

Training in hot weather, hydration and electrolytes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This nutrition thing, I got it nailed! Boom!

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

Time to get some outdoor exercise!

MND TV Episode 12 – Workout with MND!

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

MND TV Episode 12 – outdoor workout time!

In this video you will see:  burpees 2

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

It’s ALL so much FUN!!

 

Make rest a necessity, not an objective

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

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

To me, that is PROFOUND.

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

MND TV Episode 10 – a few quick thoughts on stress

MND TV Episode 10 – a short intro to the topic of stress.

We all hear about stress all the time, and we know stress is bad for us, but many people don’t really know exactly what this means and how it all affects our health.

This short episode of MND TV explains what stress is, how stress hormones affect us and how this all fits together with the big-picture MND way of thinking!

http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/10/28/mnd-tv-episode-10/

We NEED to educate people

Recently, a friend of mine blogged and his thoughts whipped up quite an interesting exchange of opinions.

In short, he basically noted that in the days after Christmas, ‘everyone’ was moaning of coughs, colds, bad guts, headaches, tiredness, gas and feeling bloated, and he commented that he tries to tell people that they are stuffing themselves with junk, and that leaves them feeling ill, but he said ‘people get so easily offended’. Then he said ‘we need to educate people’ and this use of the word ‘need’ whipped up some very interesting feelings and thoughts.

Serving ego

Others felt the use of the word ‘need’ was an ego-driven emotion, “we need to educate people”, suggesting that he was holding some kind of higher moral ground. I have seen this discussion crop up a few times before…and I find this a very interesting topic. There certainly is an element of the health and fitness industry who take this moral stance, they tend to be young, male and stacked with bulging muscles (but not always fitting that precise stereotype!) and they often treat others with a somewhat condescending attitude. They do assume some kind of “I have a right to educate you, whether you asked it or not” as if having muscles and a 6-pack makes you a ‘better person’ than someone overweight or out of shape.

However, I actually do think that ‘we’ (those enjoying abundant good health) do ‘need’ to educate those with health challenges, we just have to do it without the ego, the attitude and without giving anyone the feeling that we are trying to take some kind of moral stance, judging them for the mistakes they may or may not have made.

I believe that many people unwittingly fail to understand that their food and lifestyle choices are hurting them. Read more

MND App is now available – hoorah!

For a long time, people have been asking me if I can deliver a daily motivational message to their phone, to help keep them on track, inspired and motivated to eat clean and exercise every day.

So, in response to those requests, we have developed the MND App, available now on iOS and Android – for free – and including a daily push message delivered at 7am every day straight to your phone.

App Store graphic

Download for iOS: http://bit.ly/MND_iOS

google-play-600

Download for Android: http://bit.ly/MND_Android

The App includes lots of MND content – the 12 Core Principles, recipes, exercises, a chatroom to connect with other MND followers and much more.

Download it now and get involved!

Enjoy!

 

 

You only know it, if you are living it.

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

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

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

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

Guest post “The day I lost to MLM”

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

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

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

LTB_email3

The day I lost to MLM

Was about 5 years ago, almost to the day

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

We’ve all been there, right? Read more

Injuries and recovery

What is this post about?

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

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

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

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

Read on to learn more!

The accident

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

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

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

Healthy living the MND way is SO easy!!

IMG_3523Living the healthy MND way is really very easy.

Wake up.

Pee!

Wash!

Dress!

Drink a glass of water.

Go for a brisk short walk.

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

IMG_6319

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

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

SOUTH DEVON CTS MARAshutterstock_119307160

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

 

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

…like this picture of liver, kidneys and greens.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

There, who said healthy living needed to be complicated?

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

MND for better living.

Fitness gadgets and gimmicks

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

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

There’s an app for that

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

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

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

Taking a holistic approach to supreme good health

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

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

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

Health : Balance : Being an all-rounder

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

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

 

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

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

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

Two steps forward, one step back

 

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

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

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

2 steps forward, 1 step back

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

Can you see that?

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

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

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

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

MND is 3 years old – the story so far.

Today is my birthday!

I am 44 years young today, and inside I am literally bursting and screaming with stuff I want to say and do and share with you.

Apologies if the below is all over the place, I just have a lot to say today and I’m kinda ‘blurting this out’ in a big mess of words and pictures, so it might not be terribly coherent, but who gives a damn, it doesn’t have to be coherent, it has to mean something, and it has to help you to be the best you that you can be, and nothing else really matters.

Summary of this post:

  • Elsewhere on this site, is ‘My Story’ in words. Below is a shorter version of ‘My Story’ but more in pictures
  • Changing your life and your body is a journey – it takes time, but it’s worth working for
  • What is MND and what’s it really all about?

I started MND 3 years ago, the first year was “formulating the 12 Core Principles” while I was living about 95% as per MND, it was still in the refining stage, and then I set the 12 CP in stone and have been blogging about it since this day 2 years ago, my 42nd Birthday in July 2012.

3 years of living the MND way – then and now

I’ve been living the MND way for 3 years now…the first year it was all still evolving, the last 2 years I have been living completely by the 12 Core Principles.

If you haven’t yet read My Story, and if you have half an hour spare and want to read about my long journey ‘from fat to fit’ then please follow this link and check it out.

During my decades as a fat guy, I was pretty camera-shy, and I spent years hunting down and destroying pictures of fat old me, so I don’t have many. If I had ever known there would come a day that I was no longer ashamed of how I looked, I might have gone to some effort to keep more of them! Read more

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

Olympic Gold running performance!

Olympic Gold…for me!?!?!?!?

Ha ha, I’m playing, of course, as I know that while I’m pretty fit and strong, I’m never likely to compete at sport on the international stage, I’m far too old!

I did come 9th in The Exmoor Marathon a few years ago, 9th overall, but I won it in Vets (aged 40 and above) – that was pretty good!

But here’s an interesting thing, I’ve just been watching a video that a friend shared with me, and it starts out with a very interesting statistic: The winner of Olympic Gold ran the Olympic marathon in 1904 in 3 hours, 28 minutes and 53 seconds. Copenhagen marathon PB aged 40

In 2011, I ran the Copenhagen marathon in 3 hours, 14 minutes and 17 seconds.

If I had put in that run 100 years earlier, I’d have been an Olympic Gold Medallist in my 40s!!!!

AND, in 1904, the Olympic Marathon distance was 1.5 miles shorter! Easy!! I could have hit a 3 hour mara and been a world champ! Gold by a half hour margin!!! Read more

Hard training session in the sunshine

I enjoyed an awesome good hard training session today. I woke up this morning planning a run, but when the time came, I felt like I wanted to use my muscles, so I went circuit training at the local rugby club instead – just on my own.

My circuits included:

  • 3 miles of running
  • 1 mile of walking
  • 150 squat thrusts
  • 151 burpees (groan!)
  • 210 push-ups
  • 46 tractor tyre flips
  • 2 * 100 yard farmers walk carrying 254 lb tractor tyre
  • 2 * 200 m flat sprint

This lot took 80 minutes, all with my shirt off in the sun, catching the sun and loving the fresh air and movement.

My legs felt wasted by the end!!

As much as I do enjoy running, and training for big events – races like the London Marathon are fun – I sometimes find the commitment of training for a set event takes the joy out of training. Some days, it’s nice to have that out of the way, so I can get back to more instinctive training. I mean, now I don’t HAVE to follow a set plan, so if I wake up one day and it’s sunny and I fancy a bike ride, or circuits in the fields, or a run, or sprints, then I can do that. Or if one day it’s miserable weather and I want to lift weights at home, or do body weight training in my garage, then I can do that. Training for events limits spontaneity, that’s all I’m saying. On the flip side, training for a set target is excellent for motivation.

Today, sunny circuits were perfect!

 

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!! (And other bullsh*t beliefs!)

Forgive me going off on a bit of a rant today, but I was just having this conversation with a friend and I thought I would share this with you, as it’s a relevant ‘case study’ and applies to loads of people.

What is this post about?

  • There are a LOT of people around who are not over weight, so they take an ‘I can eat whatever rubbish I like’ attitude to their diet
  • This is deep-held belief that people have, that if they are not grossly over weight, then there is no further connection between diet and health
  • Last time I checked the scientific literature, slim people still get sick. Slim people still suffer coughs, colds, flu. Slim people still suffer chronic fatigue, tiredness, skin conditions and bowel conditions. Slim people still get heart disease. Slim people still get cancer. Slim people still die! Last time I spoke to one of my Doctor friends, I don’t recall “Not being over weight” as a cure-all solution to living forever and never getting ill.

Conclusions in this post:

  • There are many factors involved in whether or not you are over weight
  • Body fat serves numerous function in your body, some of them are involved in keeping you healthy
  • Eating a diet high in junk food affects your health in many ways above and beyond whether or not you carry excess body fat

Read on to learn more.

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!!

I hear this one a LOT. I could write an entire book (seriously, 100,000 words, 200 pages, no problem!) just tackling this myth and all the threads and sub-topics that come off this. In the interests of time and sanity, I will try to keep this post brief, as you and I don’t have time for a whole book today! Read more

14 years apart…same place…different person forever

Super short post today.

I was hiking with a friend on Brecon Beacons in South Wales the other day, and my friend took this picture on me standing on a rock that juts out over a steep drop. Sadly it was a very cloudy day so you can’t see the glorious view behind me, or the steep drop.

When I got home and looked at this picture, in my mind I knew there were other pictures of me standing in the same place, so I set to looking through old pictures, until I found it.

I had an image from some time around Christmas 2000, a snowy week on the Beacons, and there was me standing in the same place, only there was a bit more of me back then.

Brecon Beacons Xmas 2000Fan y Big April 2014 portrait

Standing in the same place, 14 years and 5 months apart and many pounds lighter…a fitter healthier me!

Eat clean, stay active, spend time outdoors. It’s not as hard as you think.

MotherNaturesDiet works.

 

Real world, real workouts, real nutrition – keeping it simple and REAL with MND

As I wrote earlier this week, to help you get through my long posts, from now on I will put bullet points at the start, telling you in brief what the post is about, and in brief, the main conclusions or points that I come to.

This way, if you are short of time, you can read the bullet points, which only takes 30 seconds, and it should tell you the essence of the post – if it sounds interesting, you will find the 5 minutes you need to read the whole thing, but otherwise, the bullet points tell you enough to get the main idea.

I will try to remember to summarize all future posts this way. I hope this is helpful!

What is this post about?

  • We live in a time when we are drowning in information, the Internet offers more health, diet and fitness advice than you could ever read
  • The trouble is, most of it is rubbish!
  • The vast majority of diet and fitness information online, is unnecessarily complicated, usually because someone is trying to sell you something
  • I see far too many people wrapped up in all this time-wasting, complex detail, and yet they don’t have ‘the basics’ covered

Main conclusions:

  • In my opinion, the basics are simple things we can all do – eat real food, stay well hydrated, and demonstrate a solid. basic level of strength and fitness that can be adapted to all sports and fitness programs
  • Be able to run a few miles, do a few push-ups, lift your own bodyweight on a chinning bar – this is simple, basic stuff

Read on to learn more.

The diet and fitness industry online

In recent days, I’ve spent a few hours reading a variety of ‘health and nutrition’ pages on Facebook. I don’t want to put anyone else down, and I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet (well, maybe a bit, MND is the best page on Facebook!!)…but I have to say, there really is a total load of rubbish out there. There are loads of sites promoting supplements, loads focussed on weight loss, loads for body building, there are ‘disease-specific’ support groups, there are ‘tone up your tummy’ type diet pages, but there is an overwhelming amount of noise, with very little practical advice and sales-pitch-free useful information lost in the general hubbub of attention seeking marketing.

I’m not saying MotherNaturesDiet is all things to everyone, but this page is about REAL world stuff. I’m not a personal trainer, fitness model, yoga goddess, body builder or some other health and fitness professional. I’m a ‘normal’ guy, I have young kids, a day job and a busy life. I was fat and unhealthy for 20 years and I smoked and drank and made poor choices. But after 2 decades of making those poor choices, I figured out how to be healthy, and now I am sharing what I know with YOU. Read more

Why it’s important to be a balanced, big picture thinker

I know I often write long posts, and you might not have time to read them. So I will put bullet points at the start, telling you in brief what the post is about, and in brief, the main conclusions or points that I come to.

This way, if you are short of time, you can read the bullet points, which only takes 30 seconds, and it should tell you the essence of the post – if it sounds interesting, you will find the 5 minutes you need to read the whole thing, but otherwise, the bullet points tell you enough to get the main idea.

I will try to remember to summarize all future posts this way. I hope this is helpful!

What is this post about?

  • Some people are obsessed with clean eating, while the rest of their life is in a mess!
  • Some people are obsessed with weight training or a certain sport, but pay little attention to good diet
  • Some people eat well and exercise, but the allow other areas of life to stress them out, having a negative impact on their lives
  • Some people do so much endurance sport they never allow time for recovery – and an excess of almost anything can become unhealthy eventually
  • I meet a lot of folks who put in killer workouts and intense training sessions, but then they are ill with colds and flu every few weeks

Main conclusions:

  • You have to be a big picture thinker
  • Take a holistic approach to optimal good health
  • Balance is essential – train with weights, train aerobically, have heavy days, and easy days, eat well, de-stress and look to ensure there is happiness in your life…all these areas are equally important

Read on to learn more.

You have to look at the bigger picture

I see lots of people fixated on just food or just exercise, but I fear they are failing to look at the bigger picture. Supreme good health and abundant energy does not come from putting ALL your attention on just one thing, you have to think holistically.

I often meet people who obsess over ‘pure clean eating’, they are fanatical about eating raw, organic, vegan, local, seasonal and only grown in countries that ban GMO crops. They know a million reasons why you mustn’t cook with a certain oil, because heating it produces some ghastly carcinogenic chemicals, they will tell you that it’s like cooking your dinner in toxic waste! They will tell you everything there is to know about sprouting beans, fermenting vegetables, home made sour dough bread and the nutrient profile of certain seeds. Read more

London Marathon 2014 – post-race report

Yesterday, I ran the London Marathon 2014.

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

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

Firstly, a very quick ‘race report’

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

Processed food, your mitochondria, and ageing

I was reading a research paper over breakfast this morning, and yet again found ANOTHER good reason to eat clean and avoid processed foods and junk foods. I’ll quickly share it with you before I get stuck into my learning for the day.

A vast majority of processed foods broadly tend to be:

  • made from processed grains
  • they have had components of their original make-up removed (often natural fats) in order to extend their shelf life (leave the natural fats in, and the foods would go rancid)
  • for these reasons, they tend to be energy-dense (lots of calories, mostly carbs) and nutrient-poor (lacking vitamins and minerals)

This is a gross over-simplification, but it reasonably accurately describes foods such as bread, pasta, white rice, cakes, pastries, burger buns, snack bars, cereals and almost all packaged convenience food and almost all non-perishable snack foods.

So the food delivers energy, I.E. it gives you calories, but it fails to deliver nutrients the way Mother Nature intended. If you eat 600 grams of cabbage or broccoli you get some calories, but you get a bunch of vitamins, minerals and enzymes too. If you eat 600 grams of white bread, you get the calories, but very little of the nutrients (and those you do get, are synthetic, added in a factory, and hence far less bio-available to your body, because they are not ‘packaged’ naturally in balance with their relevant digestive enzymes, etc.).  Read more

Sticking to your Healthy Eating goals and avoiding temptation

Earlier today, a dear friend called me and asked me about motivation, and about how I ‘stick to it’.

My friend wanted to know how I manage to stay on the right track, I keep making the right choices and I don’t give in to temptation. My friend asked me if I would write about this, for all of you to read.

Well, yes I will. For today, I’ll just touch on this topic briefly, then another time I will write much more. This topic of controlling your own urges and the mental struggle of  

The truth is, we all KNOW what to do, but we don’t DO what we know.

  • We ALL know that it is healthier to eat a plateful of steamed green vegetables than it is to eat pizza or Chinese take away
  • We ALL KNOW it is healthier to have a glass of water, than a cola or a beer
  • We ALL know that it is healthier to eat salad, than burger and chips
  • We all KNOW that it is healthier to go for a walk rather than sitting on the sofa all evening staring at the TV

But we still sometimes make the wrong choices. WHY? Read more

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

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

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

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

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

Hydration – take a bottle of water.

Really long walk – take 3 bottles of water.

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

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

Looks like it might rain – take a jacket.

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

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

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

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

Group 1: Things to quit 12 Core Principles - 3

Group 2: Things to consume

Group 3: Exercise and lifestyle factors

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

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

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

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

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

3 quick Top Tips for a Healthy Weekend

Happy Weekend!!

Here are my top tips for a HEALTHY weekend:

Tip 1: Eat REAL food

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

What’s gone wrong with our food?

What’s gone wrong with our food? Why are we so obsessed with nutrients?

For tens of thousands of years we humans were quite happy and quite healthy (and of mostly fairly normal body weight) just eating real whole foods, namely plants and animals.

Then ‘they’ came along and started poking around with microscopes and test tubes and Bunsen burners, and suddenly everything was broken down into science, and eventually they vilified animal fats. So everyone cut out animal fats, and fat was labelled bad, but the finger pointed specifically at saturated fat from animal sources. So people ate less red meat, and they cut out butter and in response the food companies made margarine, and started adding lots of extra sugar (because with no fat, the food tasted bland) and these odd ‘engineered chemical fats and oils’ to various foods. Then after a decade or two eating those, as people got fatter and diabetes and heart disease rates soared, then they changed stance, and now trans fats and cheap vegetable oils are vilified as the baddies, so we should all go back to butter and ditch the margarine.

And the people asked “But we stopped eating animal saturated fats, years ago, because they were bad…right?”

The people wanted to know “what is it that is supposed to be so wrong with animal foods? How come all that research linked high rates of disease to the consumption of animal foods?” Read more

London Marathon 2014 Training Plan

I ran a nice half marathon in the SUN shine this morning – yes, SUN! Wow, that was a real treat after the last few weeks/months!

I ran a decent pace, not fast but not slow, running an average of 8:16 min/miles, which equates to a full marathon time of 3:37, which is a good solid time.

http://www.strava.com/activities/113607387?fb_source=708 (this link should take you to my run on Strava – sorry if you can’t see it, maybe only people who are registered on Strava can see it???) Read more

Stand Up!

Lower back pain is a major health problem for many millions of people. Along with colds and flu, lower back pain is one of the biggest causes of lost working time in the Western world today. In my opinion, ‘most’ straightforward lower back pain problems are caused by sedentary lifestyles, poor posture, people spending far too many hours sitting down, and too many people having ‘uneven weight distribution’ in the form of a big fat belly! That comment is slightly tongue-in-cheek, I am not a qualified back-care specialist, and I appreciate that there are many other reasons for back pain. The spine is a complex structure, and the ‘core’ of a human, and understanding backs is a complex science for which I am not trained.

However, I think sedentary lifestyles and desk jobs, and comfy sofa’s in front of the TV, have created a generation of people who spend the majority of their waking hours sitting down, and this causes a lot of lower back problems. I personally suffered from lower back ache for several years. I had a ‘desk job’ between 1998 and 2006, and in those 8 years, my weight fluctuated between ‘normal’ and ‘overweight’ to just touching ‘obese’ in 2003 and again in 2005/6. Over that time, the combination of a 20-pound belly out front, and sitting on my behind for 15 hours per day, I suffered my share of lower back pain. Nothing debilitating, just a near-constant low level ache, worse on some days than others. Read more

I’m not smelly…but what about you?

Now, if you are new to MotherNaturesDiet (MND), you are probably going to think this post is a little weird, but stick with it, it all makes sense once you get to the end. If you already know me and you have been following MND for a while, then you’ll probably be thinking, judging by the title of this piece, that I have a valid point to make and you know I’ll get to it in my own sweet time!

I have been running for a few years now. In the warm weather in spring and summer, I wear just a short sleeve running top, or no shirt at all if it’s really warm and sunny, but in cold weather, I wear multiple layers to keep me warm. Since I lost the excess weight I carried around for 20 years, I’m no longer ‘wearing’ my 2-inch thick layer of fat that used to keep me warm, so it takes me a while to warm up these days, and I hate being cold, so I always favour being too hot over too cold, every time. I’m the weird runner who thinks a hot sunny day is perfect running weather, even for an event like a marathon, when most regular club runners prefer a cool overcast day.

In early 2010 I bought the Gore running top that I am seen wearing in this picture.

SOUTH DEVON CTS MARA

Read more

Eating to Fuel Endurance Training and Long Distance Races

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

This post will explain:

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

Read more

Who is MotherNaturesDiet for?

  • What is MotherNaturesDiet really all about?
  • Who is this for?
  • What is the goal?

I am often asked what MND is all about, who is it for, who should follow MND and why?

I have spent a long time thinking about it all.

I have dear friends who have pointed out that on the one hand, I ‘preach’ moderation and clean living: I tell people to practice clean eating, to de-stress, I promote calm living in commune with Mother Nature, I tell people to de-stress, relax, walk in the woods, enjoy the mountains, get some fresh air and sunshine and chill out, I recommend that we all pay off our debts, treat our bodies with respect and love more.

Then on the other hand, I myself train like a maniac 5 days per week, I regularly try to motivate you with posts about my tough training sessions. I cycle miles and miles, I run marathons and ultra-marathons, I run over mountains, I rock climb, I have a climbing wall up the side of my house, I have done 1000 push ups in an hour and I throw 250 pound tractor tyres around several times per week.

People say to me “there seems to be a conflict” and I think about this myself, and I have finally figured out what it’s all about. Read more

Workout of the Week – The Push-Pull Workout

Monster workout today!

This one is NOT easy!

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

Read more

* * * * ANNOUNCING New Year Special January Health Program * * * *

Yes folks, here it is, just for you, the MND January special – this 31-day weight-loss plan will help you to:

  • Lose weight
  • Look better
  • Feel great
  • Drop a jeans size
  • Get fitter
  • Undo all the damage done over the holidays

All you have to pay is £0.00p per month and follow this precise plan:

1: Eat clean, eat real food, nourish your body: Read more

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

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

This little book will answer those questions for you.

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

chicken salad

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

127 Weight Loss Tips from MotherNaturesDiet
– your free eBook

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

2013 Popular Posts #8: Awesome chest training tool

I just love training my chest. I’m not aiming to be huge, not like a body builder or weight lifter, I just want to be reasonably strong, and capable, good functional strength, and look pleasing. Push-ups are my all-time favourite exercise. I love everything about push-ups!

This post shows you a tool I made for training at home using just push-ups to develop a full strong chest. The post explains what it is, how to make one and how to use it.

Read more…

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/07/07/awesome-chest-training-tool/