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Posts tagged ‘Muscle’

Myth busting – Part 6

Continued from Myth busting – Part 5

Myth: OK, so gorillas might not be a great example, but cows are vegans, they eat only grass all day long, and look how big and strong they get! Clearly, a low-fat, meat-free, plant based diet is the way forward!

Truth: Cows eat an extremely high-fat diet! And they are not vegans!

Yeah this one will really mess with your head! Yes, cows eat an 80% fat diet, through a very similar set up as described in Myth busting – Part 5 for the gorilla. Cows and gorillas are both fermenters, so in some ways cows and gorillas have more in common, from a digestive perspective, than humans and gorillas.

Cows are ruminants, they have multiple digestive chambers inside (you’ve heard ‘cows have four stomachs’ right?) the first of which is called a rumen. When they eat grass and leafy plants, it all goes straight down into the rumen, where the process of ‘rumination’ (hence the genus name, ruminant) begins. Rumination involves bringing the food up and down between the mouth and the rumen, generally four to five times for every mouthful.

A cow’s rumen is an amazing thing. This fact blows my mind: in a single cow’s rumen, there are more bacteria then there are human being’s alive on the whole planet! Boom! Mind blown!

And on top of all that bacteria, there are billions of protozoa and digestive enzymes too, and this is still only in the first of the cow’s four major digestive chambers. Traditional tribes used to understand that the lining of a cow’s rumen is so nutritionally dense, they would kill a cow and eat the rumen lining, throwing the muscle meat to their dogs. Yes, they ate the organs and stomach lining and gave the sirloin steak and fillet steak to their dogs!

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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

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

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

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

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

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 #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/

Training hard to resist aging and weakening

Some of you regular readers may have noticed a lot of recent posts related to working out, perhaps with more focus on strenuous workouts and less on the gentle workouts. This is not always the case, here on MND I talk about the need for regular gentle exercise – walking, outdoor play, an easy bike ride, a nice swim – but I also talk about the need for more strenuous exercise.

I am 43 years old. I keep myself super-fit. As a benchmark, at any time, with no warning or preparation time, I could bang out 500 push-ups in an hour and then jump up and run 20 miles. That’s a level of fitness which I maintain pretty much year round.

However, I notice that a LOT, I mean the vast majority, of people I meet in my age group, do not maintain anything like that level of fitness (in fact, most people I meet in their 20s and 30s too) and most people consider me to be rather ‘extreme’, an exercise addict and some kind of ‘fitness freak’. But if you re-read this old post from a year ago, and think about our ancestors before 15,000 years ago, they HAD to be this fit all the time, throughout their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

Mortality rates in our ancient ancestors

While there has been much discussion about ‘caveman’ not living to a ripe old age, the data is not straightforward and should be carefully analysed. Read more

Changing Body Shape – Burn off the fat, build the muscle

As stated on my website, the goal of MotherNaturesDiet is: To inspire and help as many people as possible to find the best natural way to achieve supreme good health and abundant energy.

 

My definition of supreme good health and abundant energy is this:

 

  • Free from pain, disease, immobility and any obvious illness
  • Abundant vibrant energy
  • Resisting the signs of premature aging – maintain youthful looks and energy levels
  • A good level of basic fitness, strength and flexibility
  • As a minimum, a balance of moderate physical ability across a range of functions
  • Attractiveness – clear skin, not too fat, not too thin, bright healthy looks, a fit sexy body
  • Natural virile healthy sexual function and high libido
  • Longevity – I want to live a long, healthy life, free from disease and disability
  • Age well – maintaining excellent levels of physical and mental ability well into my old age

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Changing standards in what it takes to be a ‘muscle man’

This is Charles Atlas, the original strong man of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Charles Atlas was considered to be ‘huge’, a hunk of a bodybuilder, and the epitome of masculine development and peak fitness.

It fascinates me….just 60 years ago, this was the epitome of “phwoar what a muscle bound hunk of health and fitness he is” yet today’s media would say this is “smooth, barely athletic”.

The media set impossible standards…women are expected to be rail thin like catwalk models and men are pressured to have square pecs, washboard abs, rugby-player thighs, bulging biceps and a big square jaw. The ridiculous ‘Hollywood standard’ that we are all supposed to meet is driving our young women, and men, to exercise obsession and eating disorders.

Read more

The MND Guide to Body Composition – free eBook

How do we know what is ‘too fat’?

How do we define ‘too thin’ at the other end of the scale?

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’?

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.

Download your free book here: The MND Guide to Body Composition. 2013.

A few words from the start of this little book… Read more

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, and some time I will write a blog post just about push-ups! I love all the ways they can be performed.

King of upper-body exercises

I once started writing a list of how many different ways I know how to do push-ups. I listed over 40 types of push-up! But of course, all of those types can be performed – wide ‘grip’, narrow ‘grip’, incline, flat, decline, one-leg, with weight vest on or off, fast tempo or slow tempo, on knuckles, palms, finger tips…so 40 plus styles, quickly multiplies to over 300 plus possible variations on the bog standard push-up.

My personal ‘mainstay’ is a fairly wide stance standard push-up, with my hands out slightly beyond shoulder width. I do these all the time, probably about 1000 per week every week just as part of my regular varied routine, often far more. You have to be careful with a wide stance/grip, as it can strain the shoulders, so it pays to build up for many months before doing loads of wide-grip push-ups, just to ensure you don’t upset your shoulders. My push-ups record using this slightly-wider-than-shoulder-width stance is 1014 good form push-ups in 59 minutes and 58 seconds. 1000 in an hour, happy with that. I ached for 2 days after, it was a killer workout, I was drenched in sweat!

Anyway, I will write more about push-ups another day, but for today, I wanted to share with you a new training tool I made which is just awesome for training chest using variations of push-ups.

Read more

My Stats and Blood Test Results – Science Warning!

For any of you who are regular readers of this blog, you will know by now that MotherNaturesDiet is not just another weight-loss fad diet, and it's not just another 'build-a-6-pack' exercise program.

MotherNaturesDiet is a lifestyle, a way to live for supreme good health, abundant energy and healthy longevity. MND is about eating a healthy natural diet, using and moving your body in a variety of healthy ways, it's about getting back in tune with nature and respecting our planet and the other creatures we share it with.

How do we measure 'Good Health'?

MND is about natural good health, and I feel very healthy, but how can I be sure that I AM healthy? There are many ways to measure our health, so I am trying to build a good overall picture of how healthy I really am at the end of 20912 and the start of 2013, after living the MND way for the last year.

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Sick of Eating Meat!!!

This ‘headline’ will get the attention of my vegetarian friends!!

I trained hard early this morning, then came home and needed a good breakfast to feed my body after training, and to nourish me for the day, as I went out rock climbing all day and I knew I probably wouldn’t get the chance to eat much during the day.

As you know, if you have been reading this blog, I eat a lot of meat. Animal products make up about 50% of my diet (measured by calories) and fruit and veggies make up the other half. I like meat and when I started on my ‘paleo’ journey it seemed like a treat to have so much tasty meat in my diet...succulent roasts for lunch, juicy sausages and eggs for breakfast, tasty chicken any time, any day, any meal. But I have to say, since I massively ramped up my meat intake about 10 months ago, that novelty has now worn off, and while I still enjoy the majority of my meals, there are days I feel like I can’t handle any more meat!!

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Back-to-back over the last 6 years

In several recent posts, I have mentioned that I have gained about a stone (14 pounds, 6.3 kilos) in weight over the course of 2012, and my chest measurement went up 2 inches in that time. With my chest measurement up, it seems as though much of the weight I have gained is muscular weight, and that was my plan, as I have been training my upper back to try to increase that desirable 'v shape' male torso, and also to increase my pulling strength, for rock climbing.

Now I have added some strength and muscle, one of my goals for 2013 is to cut my body fat from the current level, which is about 11.5% to 12%, down to below 10%, without losing any muscle mass.

The V-shaped back

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2012 in Review, 2013 The Year Ahead

Happy New Year to you all!

New Year’s Day seems like a good day for me to assess where I am and how I’m doing.

I have lived on MotherNaturesDiet for most of 2012. I was formulating the rules during the first half of 2012, and living by them fully in the second half of the year.

My aims since the start have been to live on an all-natural diet, adhering to my 12 Core Principles, and it has always been my hope that living this way will prove that this is the best, healthiest way to live, eat and exercise, and that living on MND will help me achieve my best health and best shape ever.

So how am I doing?

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Respect for your age

I have been pushing some pretty intense workouts the in recent weeks, training hard with weights, and I notice how when I really work my muscles hard, it now takes me at least 3 days to stop aching and fully recover. I don’t mind pain, I could train after 1 day or 2 no problem, but I will get progressively weaker. In order to train and get progressively stronger, I now need 3 days between really heavy, intense workouts.

It's an age thing!

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Age and sleep

This week has been extremely busy, and although I am used to working long hours, I admit to feeling a little weary. I get up at about 6 every day, and I either train early or start work right away, and I pretty much keep at it til about 7pm. So 12 to 13 hours of work, only stopping to eat and exercise, then I spend an hour or so between 7 and 8:30 eating and chatting with my kids and putting them to bed, then I work again from 8:30 until about 11 most nights. I get to bed around 11:30, maybe read a book (about nutrition or exercise or disease prevention, of course) for a few minutes, and then sleep around midnight. No two days are the same, but that's a typical average kind of day.

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