Monday, 17 May 2010

RISKS - Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

To Laugh is to risk appearing foolish.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
To live is to risk dying,

But risks must be taken,
Because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing,
does nothing, has nothing and is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he simply cannot learn, feel,change,grow,love and live.
Chained by his opinions,he is a slave,he has forfeited freedom.
Only a person who risks is FREE.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


I've had a sore throat for the last week or so on and off (very unusual for me but have been pushing it out on my bike and think my immune system needs a boost) and one of the most soothing things I've found is Manuka Honey, straight from the spoon, or dissolved in a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon.

Manuka honey is an amazing substance and worthy of its own blog post!
It comes from New Zealand, from the Manuka bush which is covered in flowers for four weeks of every year. During these four weeks bees are extremely busy gathering the honey from the Manuka Flower - this bush produces a strongly flavoured honey (very different from traditional honey we eat in this country), rich in texture and very very tasty!

It has amazing properties, the main one being antibacterial, hence it helping my sore throat. And the measure of how high the antibacterial qualities are lies in the UMF level. My recommendation is to go no less that UMF20 which indicates a high antibacterial compound.

Manuka honey is not just good for sore throats and a tasty food for spreading on toast etc. Its antibacterail qualities are said to support the bodys defense system in the gut (70% of the immune system is held here) , and also encourages the growth of good pro-biotic gut bacteria. Great for keeping away winter chills and ills, and has even been provedn to be good for healing wounds, and promoting healthy skin.

It also is said to have antifungal properties, so all in all is a worthy addition to any medicine cabinet; and its 100% totally natural unlike most of the packets and bottles found in medciine cabinets!!

A quick blog today but hopefully of interest!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


OK so here's a contentious issue - should we be worried about the pesticides on/in our foods? Do they harm us or they perfectly harmless and a valuable addition to modern farming?

Well, I've had a look into the subject and am sincerely of the opinion that we should avoid them where at all possible.If you have the time or the inclination a great book to read (especially for you Lucy) is Detoxify Or Die, By Sherry Rogers who is an American MD.

Not to go into too much detail here and now, but, some scientists are of the view that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health. Sherry Rogers goes on to say in her book that because the body doesn't know what to do with these 'foreign substances' they are held in the soft tissue, and that's where they start to accumulate and do damage(particularly in the breat and prostate area).

Damage can occur especially during foetal development and early childhood, so these are specific times to really watch what you're eating and what you are feeding your little cherubs (if you have any choice over what they'll put in their mouths!).

Scientists have enough knowledge on the subject now to know about the long term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides.

But how do we do that?

The government advises we eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and really this is the minimum amount; far better to double it!

However, if we're not careful the very foods we eat thinking they're good for us are the ones that contain the greatest amounts of pesticides! Dilemma! So below is a table taken from that lists the Dirty Dozen - IE those containing the highest levels of nasties, so aim to buy organic, and the Clean 15, those that are lowest in pesticides and can be bought and eaten non organic.

Bell Peppers

CLEAN 15 :
Sweet corn
Sweet Peas
Cantaloupe melon
Sweet potato
Honeydew melon

Research by the Environmental Working Group has found that people who eat five fruit and veg a day from the Dirty Dozen list consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat from the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily.

By the way, rinsing food does help to reduce pesticides but doesn't eliminate them totally; peeling can help too but then valuable nutrients can be lost with the skin.

The best approach : eat a varied diet, rinse all produce and buy organic where possible particularly from the Dirty Dozen list.

Hope that was useful. Bit tricky to get organic blueberries and strawberries in Wetherby!?

Saturday, 1 May 2010


I've been really struggling to find motivation for exercise (and most other things come to think of it) over the last couple of weeks; yes it happens to Personal Trainers too!! So todays blog is about how I got back my va va voom, big time.

I find that if I have something to aim FOR then I'm much more inclined to stick to a regular pattern of working out - it's specific rather than random. This can be applied to most anything in life too I think.

So, my aim is to achieve three challenges : I've signed up to do the Coast to Coast bike ride in July, from the glamourous Workington to Sunderland! (not quite Brighton to Paris).It's approximinately 160 miles over two days, with a nights camping in between. Its sponsored and I'm doing it for the RNLI.

The second one is a Swimathon over a twelve week period in September when I will swim the equivalent of the Channel; 22 miles. I'm doing it in the comfort of my local pool though!

The third one doesn't need massive amounts of training for but should be loads of fun. A friend and I ahve signed up to do the PINK Aerobics day in Hyde Park on October 3rd. Lots of aerobic classes back to back with some great instructors and funky music!This one is for breast cancer reserach.

I've prepared two written training schedules to keep me on track, and am only on week one, but so far so good! I always find writing things down make them more likely to happen.

As well as a training plan, a training log is a great tool to get used to filling in. You can record your food intake, how many miles you covered, how you felt that day during exercise and how it affected you afterwards, both moods and physically, any ahces and pains you felt and if you really want to add your weight (if this is relevant). It'll help keep you on track and excited about your goal, and can even head off injury.

Food intake is so useful as eating the right foods can affect most of the above; afterall we eat for energy, and physical and metnal repair, all of which are needed to reach ANY goal.

You can also record any ideas you come up with during exercise. I don't know about you but I have some real 'light bulb' moments when I'm whizzing through the countryside on my bike, and also when 'zoning out' whilst pounding up and down the pool. This all kind of reinforces how exercise can and does enrich peoples lives.

So todays top tip if you're lacking motivation it to focus on a goal. It doesnt have to be a major challenge, it can be as small or as big as YOU want it to be, but DO write it down and keep it in an obvious place. Tell people you're doing it too, then you can lean on them for encouragement when you feel like giving up!

Even better sign up to do challenges with friends, then you are way more likley to stick to your plan, and have the added advantage (if you want it) of some company, which can make exercise so much more fun!

Would love to hear about your goal setting, please add comments if you've recently planned something to boost your motivation.