Thursday, 30 July 2009


I'm not really sure where I'm going with this blog post today, but feel the need to cover the whole topic of the dreaded SUGAR substance again.

Boring, freaky, wierdy, antisocial, mad, crazy, are just a few of the adjectives that have been used to, yes, me! And that's by my friends. All because I took sugar out of my diet. And when I say sugar, I also mean refined carbohydrates (pasta, bread, rice) and alcohol as the body converts them to a form of sugar to be digested.

It is by far the hardest thing I have ever attempted to do in my life, no exaggeration. Therefore, in some situations I have succumbed.Sometimes I have to admit it's because I don't want to be different (although in normal circumstances I do quite like this).

Chocolate bars, chips, glasses of wine,fresh bread and butter, tortilla chips and dips, champagne, mints after a meal, a latte with friends in Starbucks, popcorn and coke in the cinema - all of these foods are now the norm in our daily lives, and are, in the main, part of sociable eating. To take all of this out(and more) is, I'll admit, damn near impossible.

I keep being told that we only get one life and we should just enjoy it! My God, I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. I love my life, I love all the opportunites we get, all the choices we have etc. etc. but shouldn't we be able to do this without eating sugar? Does it really have such a hold on us?

I read an article in a magazine the other day in which a journalist had been challenged to give up sugar for one month. Thats all. She did it eventually but with lots of false starts, and then feelings of irritablility, lethargy, spaceyness, moodiness, major cravings and more. This sounds more like someone withdrawing from cocaine, or serious alcohol intake than just plain old sugar.

Sugar is found in almost ALL processed (or CRAP) foods. Try reading some labels next time you're in those dreaded middle aisles in the supermarket and you'll be amazed. Even in what could be considered the most savoury meal, sugar will be present.

Why is this necessary? because those nasty food giants have worked out that by adding the right combinations of sugar, salt and fat to foods they can create insatiable feelings (ie. we never feel satisfied) so we crave more. The Pringles advertisement strap line 'Once you pop you can't stop, is very, very accurate for those reasons.

So, what happens in your body when you eat these foods is that, because they are nutritionally lacking, and have just the right chemical combination, your body wants more. But its more than a want - its a need. It's an overwhelming urge for more. Try eating one chip from a whole plate of them. Once you've tasted one and it activates that 'need' within you ie through your taste buds, you literally can't stop without physically removing the plate from within your grasp.

David Kessler, an Amercian who worked with Bill CLinton to take on the tobacco manufacurers has just written a book - THE END OF OVEREATING, and it's about this very topic. How the food manufactuerers are making stuff thats impossible to stop eating. Its great for their profits, but terrible for our waistlines.

Apparently from an insatiable point of view these are the top foods to be avoided at all costs :
Pringles, French Fries, Starbucks Mocha Frappucionos, Snickers, Kettle chips, Chocolate chip cookies, Flapjacks (unless home made),biscuits (especially chocolate ones). I'd add anything alcoholic to this list!!

The thing is and now this is serious. Sugar causes health problems, in excess.Apart from it making us fat, it makes us bloated - this is because glucose is stored in water in the body (short term) as glycogen in the muscles and tissues, so when you take it out of your diet you literally deflate!

It can also lead to syndrome X which is a resistance to insulin that can increase the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, and I think everyone knows that this is one of the biggest diseases of our time, and is rapidly rising in numbers.

So, the big food giants should be shot, in short.They are ruining the nations health, to line their own pockets. Not quite that simple I guess, as we can all say NO, but as I've just outlined it IS NOT THAT EASY. If it were we wouldn't need millions of diet books, self help books,low fat and low sugar processed foods (by the way avoid these, they're just as bad) and everything else that makes up the whole 'diet industry' - also doing well out of us thankyou very much!

This blog rambles abit today. I'm not apologising. It's my blog and I can ramble if I like!! I hope you've got something out of it, and it makes you think a little. If I could challenge you to attempt to take sugar out of your diet for one week and see what happens that would be just great. Please give me feed back. Don't resort to smoking to fill the gap however, as someone I know did. Couterproductive, big time!

Right, now back to my life; how to avoid all the available alcohol in our holiday home (particularly Pink Camel Valley Champagne), and the nibbles that will be out to go with it tonight.........aaaaaaaargh!

Monday, 27 July 2009


I'm about to go away for a couple of weeks on holiday with my family and the last thing I need (a, because it's my job and b, because I've worked hard at it) is to lose any of my fitness/muscle tone.

It's very easy when we go away from our normal existence to indulge and think "Oh what the hell"; but holidays are short lived and however enjoyable ,most of us will return a few weeks later, look in the mirror and wish we hadn't been couch or pool potatoes for the whole time.

Today's blog details a time saver workout that ANYONE can do ANYWHERE. It won't take up hours out of your family time, or deprive you of relaxing in the sunshine, and if you do it in the morning it's out of the way, and that box can be ticked.

I love to get up early and workout in the fresh air overlooking the sea. I find it hugely motivating and exhilarating to have a breathtaking view to look at whilst pushing my body out of its comfort zone.

Other than a pair of trainers there is NO EQUIPMENT REQUIRED, and as much as I miss my punch bag, weights,bosu ball, stability ball, kettlebells,and all the other paraphenalia I have collected over the years to add variety to exercise, for two weeks I can manage perfectly well without it.

Skipping ropes require minimal room in the suitcase, and will provide an aerobic workout that'll tire you pretty quickly, and resistance bands too. Running and brisk walking are great to do anywhere and if you're lucky enough to be on a beach try volleyball, bat and ball, boule or anything that gets you up and moving. Swimming is a superb all over body exercise and a great cool down when you've had too much sun.

Back to the workout for today - this can be adapted to your personal fitness levels and ideally done every other day, with a run/swim/walk on the days in between. Work on the basis though, that anything is better than nothing!

Sets : x3 of each exercise
Reps : 10-15 of each exercise

Warm up for 5 minutes, a brisk walk is good, or marching on the spot.

Body Weight Squats
Forward lunges
Lying bridges
Push ups
Tricep dips
Side plank

Stretches to finish - important.

Remember : if you're somewhere hot you need to drink lots of water, and before you get thirsty. Also try to workout in the morning when it's cooler - and because you've done it for the day then! And ENJOY! Our bodys are made to move - yes really.

Good Luck and have a good holiday, I know I will. RX

Sunday, 5 July 2009


A real quick blogpost today, full of bullet points - What Can You DO Today To Start You On A Healthier Track?

* Reduce the processed foods you eat and particularly microwave meals bought in little plastic tubs. Never microwave plastic pouches, Tupperware or other plastic containers. There is evidence to suggest that the plastic seep into the food and we in turn eat them. They are in the main, non nutrient foods in the first place anyway.

* Keep food in plastic out of the fridge also. Use glass, ceramic or stainless steel. This applies to milk bottles too - decant if you have to.

* Drink filtered water only. Have a water filter attached to your tap, or your fridge water supply, and use a filter kettle for your hot drinks.

* Eat 1-2 portions of brassica vegetables each day, this revs up the ability of the body to de-tox environmental chemicals - they include, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, collard greens, cabbage, sauerkraut and kale etc.

*Avoid CRAP foods (caffeine, refined, alcohol, processed) - those aisles in the supermarkets full of packets. Nasty.

* Cut trans fatty acids out of your diet - mostly found in foods found in the middle supermarket aisles, see above point. Again, nasty.

* Eat clean foods, organic where possible. Think hunter, gatherer. If not organic go for locally grown produce. Clean foods help your immune system 'army' to fight off any invading cancer causing free radicals.

* Follow a detox protocol which avoids filling the body full of chemicals - eat clean, drink clean, stop smoking, reduce alcohol, use natural, organic skincare products, and household cleaning products (you can smell the nasties in these a mile off), use skin brushing techniques prior to bathing,drink herbal teas rather than regular tea and coffee. This will all help reduce your overall toxic 'load' which will otherwise stockpile the rest of your life.

* Read Detoxify Or Die by Sherry Rogers, MD.

* Buy glass bottles to carry your drinking water around in.

* Help to spread the word to friends and family about the pervasive power of plastics to destroy health.

* Reduce the use of over the counter drugs and medicines to fight minor ailments, which will probably go away on their own given time (and if they don't look for a more natural cure that works on the cause and doesn't just suppress the symptoms). The liver has its work cut out to detox the combination of OTC drugs placing stresses on the body.Prevention is way better than cure - diet, exercise, stress reduction, hydration, positive thinking, good sleep.

*Move your body, that's what we were designed for. Sitting down for eight hours a day helps us store toxins, reduces muscle tissue efficiency, encourages an unhealthy immune system and basically enables the body to forget how it should work.

* Read Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek for excellent, detailed information on how to detox your world.

NB. Cancer is caused 95% by diet and environment - protect both of yours because your health is a gift to be cherished at all costs.

I really hope this is food for thought, and of use to ALL readers.

If you need further detail on any of the above bullet points, leave a comment and I'll elaborate.


PS. FREE RADICALS : basically immune system 'invaders'. They come in many shapes and sizes, there are bacteria, viruses and fungi as well as parasites amongst others, all out to reduce our line of defence. They are potentially dangerous chemicals which we can mine-sweep with good antioxidant nutrients. When they take hold we are in danger of dis-ease.