Thursday, 25 December 2014

Winter Wind Down/ Repair 10 easy steps

Normally at this time of year we all sit down on our sofas and breath a huge sigh of relief that the jobs are done for the year.

If your like me though I often get run down at this time of year and catch colds and flus.
I've been working flat out up to now so as I sit here and type, I'm feeling particularly knackered and ill!
But I've also got my 1 year old asleep on me, she is awful cute. I've really enjoyed my day with her. Any way I digress!
I've compiled a bullet point list of what to do if your feeling burnt out or under the weather at this time of year. Some of them are common sense and other ones might not be so.

So get yourself ready for Go again with these few tips


  • If your feeling drained or unwell acknowledge the feeling. Too many times we feel this way but pass it off or push ourselves through it with Caffeine or other stimulants. You might just need a few days of not doing much to repair and recover your strength. Handful of rest better than hard work?
  • In order to repair yourself your going to have to get some quality sleep. This time of year the evenings are getting darker and for good reason. It's the time of year for our bodies to rest from the hard labour of the year and get some needed sleep. To get good sleep you need to get down to bed early, and before you go to bed avoid bright lights, caffeine and alcohol. Yes avoid the drink. You may think that you are sleeping soundly after a drink but your not. Not in the deep repair stage of sleep anyway. Try to get a minimum of 8 hours at this time.
  • Get some sun when you can. You might be off of work for a few days, and you may stay indoors for most of the time. But the second that you see some sunshine, however brief it is these days, go out and grab some in a hurry. Even ten minutes can be enough for you to get your daily quota of Vitamin D.This is essential for repair!
  • Focus on the quality of your food. Sure enough fast food and sweets are all the rage over the holidays but really they do you no favors. You may even feel that you need that extra boost of the sweets. But avoid if you can, sugar is a known anti-nutrient, the same as grains. Try to have extra servings of vegetables with your meals.
  • Ditch the soft drinks that only add to inflammation and instead drink tons of water. This will help clean and renew your blood and your system.
  • IF you know of something that your allergic to, whether that is gluten or eggs or something of the like, avoid these strictly if your looking to repair yourself. The last thing that your immune system needs is to fight another "infection". 
  • Remember those expensive vitamins and even magnesium tablets that you have in the kitchen that you've not taken for a month or two? Start on them again. This will help give your immune system the help it needs. Even better if you can get it all from your food but most of us can't these days and that's why it can be important to supplement.
  • Get some gentle exercise. Try some walking for even half an hour and see how the cobwebs are shaken away and you can get a Dopamine hit from your exercise. As this is a repair guide Id recommend only light exercise at this stage. We want you stronger and not weaker. 
  • Have a good laugh. Whether that's with friends of family try to have a good time. Scientists have found huge benefits to this.
  • Use some of your quiet time for some deep relaxing. Whether this be mindfulness or some other practise. Enjoy the quiet times and don;t fill it with distractions

I hope that you can use some of these tips to the road to recovery. This time of year really is for this repair, before the evenings get longer and we start getting busy again. 

Good health to you!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Our Tap Water? Reverse Osmosis and Spring Water

I've been drinking a lot of tap water in this last year. You might of seen the entry I made showing you all my glass drinking bottle rather than the horrible plastic drinking bottles that I had been using before. This is because of the dangerous BPA's that leach from plastic. That can never be good right!

But the issue is very important as 90% of our blood is water. The quality of the water we ingest has an outcome of the quality of our bodies.


But I digress. I've been doing some research into the tap water that we drink.
I know that you should never really do research into things like that because it will scare you!
But here are a few of the things about tap water that is bad for you...

  • Chlorine - Thank goodness we don't have plagues and water born diseases in our water today. Chlorine does a great job at killing all the pathogens in our water making it safe for us. But it is a antibiotic, and thus has the same result on our bodies when we drink it. Studies have found lots of harmful side effects to Chlorine including Cancer
  • Fluoride - This is to do the same job as well as look after our teeth, however it is highly toxic
  • Toxins and chemicals - Who knows exactly - well WHO has a good idea, but we don't know what is in our water. There is bound to be Lead from broken pipes, sewerage and contaminants as well as other nasty plastics and lots of vices in our water. 

What can we do about it? Buy bottled water?


Well lots of people do that, but then you have the leaching of the plastic and also the consideration of how bad it is for the environment...
The best water that is available today without a Shadow of a doubt is natural spring water. This can be hard to find though... but if you can find one it can provide such rich nutrient dense water that is great for your health. 


Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse Osmosis or RO water systems are getting more and more popular though these days.
These systems only let the smallest of particles through their filters. As a result only pure H2O is able to fit through the filter and not any of the nasties that are too big to fit through.
There are a few problems with RO systems though

  • Expensive
  • Totally remove the good as well as the bad
  • As a result the water is Lab quality H2O - Dead water
  • Require the water to be rematerialised
RO systems are like antibiotics in that they remove the good as well as the bad. 
They remove magnesium, Calcium and many other natural elements that we get and need from our water.


It can't be harmful though?

This dead water has been linked by some scientists to poor thyroid operation as well as other health consequences. In fact the WHO have published an article denouncing RO water and warning of the health consequences that it has. There is an explanation here of the findings of that report.

What can I do I have a RO system already?

Well you can purchase after filter units that reintroduce natural elements. These are quite expensive and need changing annually. 
There are available Ionic drops that you can place in the clean water that can help reintroduce minerals.
Or you can add some Himalayean sea Salt into the mix as it has 84 or the natural trace elements that the water is missing.


What ever your choice is though it's best to be educated about the water you drink. And if you are drinking RO water a few easy steps can help 

Finally, if you can find a pure clean natural spring then your way to finding the best water that is out there! 
I'm on the look out for a great spring, but until then I'm adding some of this lovely pink salt to my RO drinking water!

Monday, 1 December 2014

The old ways are best

It's not really something that we think about often, but the life that we live today is totally different to the way that we have lived for thousands of years.

We can fly around the planet, communicate instantly to the most remote places and google any answer to a question we might have. The rate of advancement truly beggars belief.

Even though we have become so knowledgeable in so many areas though, we also have left some of the good behind, on a personal level.

We no longer all work outside on the land, out in the sun, but instead work inside getting very little sunlight.
This has knock on effects too. We are like plants that walk around in that we too take so much energy from the sun. We perform our own type of photosynthesis when we use the light from the sun to transform cholesterol into Vitamin D. A detailed explaination can be found here.
The light hitting our eyes also sets our circadian rhythm, our internal hour clock. This helps our body know when we should sleep and when we should wake up.

Instead of eating nutrient dense foods from nutrient dense soils, we are eating processed laboratory food that is high in grains and sugar. Something that is completely new to the human body.
We are spraying our food with all kinds of pesticides and weedkillers in order to have bumper crops that are the most profitable. This is all before we genetically modify food into the biggest and strongest crop that we can. Some food isn't even grown in soil anymore but instead is grown in nutrient rich water.

Have we come a long way as a human race? We sure have, but in doing so we have also left some of the old ways that are truly best for us.

Why not try and combine the best of both worlds?

I try to take a few simple steps to live ancestrally but in the modern world.
Here's just a sample of some of the things that I try to do:


  • Get as much sun as is safe. I don't use any sun cream that can block the good effects of the sun, instead I welcome the sun, but cover up at dangerous parts of the day.
  • Especially during winter time try to capture as much energy from the sun as possible. This can mean taking time outside when the sun does appear, and show as much of your skin to the sun as possible.
  • I don't wear sun glasses in winter time. Do you ever drive to work as the sun is coming over the horizon? Instead of putting on a pair of shades I try to use the time to let the sun get into my eyes, it's morning time brain!!!
  • Organic food is everywhere. We are fortunate enough to have our own tunnel and raised beds where we are able to grow some of our own vegetables. When our seasons supply is used up though we purchase organic foods where possible. 
  • Minimalise the amount of fake carbage food that is available today. Instead try to spend more time ci=cooking dinners from scratch using good natural ingredients. It's quick, easy and leaves you feeling far more healthy.
  • Avoid the screens late into the night. Screens completely confuse our brains about the time of day. Avoid them near bed time if possible.
  • Get an early night if possible. 
  • Get some healthy exercise. This doesn't have to be anything to strenuous, but at least be moving as much as possible. This is probably the first time in human history where we sit down all day! Even if it's as simple as taking the stairs rather than the lift.
  • Try to get dirty! We live in a world that is far too clean. We like our homes to be neat and tidy of course, but why not put aside some time where you can get dirty outside in the soil. Let those minerals in. In fact it can be good for your immune system to have those small low doses of bacteria. You'll be far better prepared for when one of those nasty winter colds come along!
  • Get some fresh air. Rather than recirculated stale air get some good fresh unpolluted air into your lungs!
All these steps can help us to get the best out of both worlds. There's many many more, these are just a few. 
The old ways were best in so many ways, let's not forget them. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

This Chocolate Cannot be beaten, if you think it can... you're wrong



As you may know we get most of our vegetables from our poly tunnel but when it's out of season we go to our local Organics shop called 'kineden organics' in Drumod. This is their website where you can see some of the products they sell. It's the only true organic shop for miles and is such a lovely place to shop, safe in the knowledge that everything is organic. There's great coffee there too!

That's where I first found the best chocolate ever. It's 100% raw cacao and is made in such a way to keep all the goodness of cocoa.

Here is an extract from their website explaining about the goodness of cocoa and their processes.


RAW CHOCOLATE

    In the regular chocolate production process, the cacao beans are roasted and ground at very high temperatures whereby much of the cacao's beneficial qualities are destroyed. But raw chocolate is differrent:  The raw cacao beans are not roasted but cold ground, many of the beautiful cacao substances remain intact, namely antioxidants (flavonoids) and "love chemicals".
    In the Lovechock process, from the cacao bean through to the end product, the temperature is kept below 49ÂșC. Respect for the natural ingredients and passion for chocolate assure the high quality of Lovechock.
     
    WHAT IS RAW?
    Raw food is a diet in which only fresh, unheated vegetable foods are consumed (so lots of juices, smoothies, salades, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds). Because foods are eaten raw, the vitamin, minerals and enzymes remain intact. These are more easily absorbed into the body than when a foodstuff has been processed and cooked.
    Raw, unroasted nuts are full of enzymes. By soaking them in water, the enzymes come to life and can be planted to produce new trees. This is also true of the cacao bean, which is the seed of the cacao fruit.

    QUALITY
    Lovechock uses only the best, natural and organic ingredients. After a long search our choice fell upon the Arriba Nacionale, which is a superior cacao bean from Ecuador. A 'cacao fino de aroma', that is to say a speciality cacao. Speciality cacao makes up only 4% of the total world cacao trade, the rest is bulk cacao. Arriba Nacionale is a rare cacao sort which requires careful and dedicated cultivation.
    The Arriba Nacionale has a full and intense flavour with tones of exotic fruits and spicy, flowery accents.
    The cacao Lovechock uses is organically grown on a small scale by small farmers who also often cultivate other fruits. This assures a high biodiversity. Organic quality is particularly important for chocolate. Cacao grows in a tropical climate and normally cacao trees are sprayed with lots of pesticides. Lovechock uses cacao which has not been sprayed with pesticides (SKAL025561).
    Lovechock buys her chocolate directly at the cacaocorperation. You'll find here more information about this subject.



    This chocolate is the perfect blend, it tastes so good and yet you know that it has been made organically and by being raw it has preserved the goodness of cocoa. 
    Cocoa is great for the body, it has magnesium, iron, and antioxidants to keep us strong and healthy. It also has Flavinoids, and research points to its help in preventing Alzheimer's and Cancer.
    So now you truly have an excuse for eating chocolate!

    You need to try some!

    Wednesday, 12 November 2014

    The Paleo Diet! What Is it? 10 Reasons to try it!

    What is the Paleo Diet?

    The Paleo Diet gets it's name from the Paleolithic era when "early man" lived off the land, ate the fruit of the land and hunted and ate whole animals. It is also called the caveman diet.
    This is all before organised farming and grains were widely used.

    Today though, we live in a totally different world, but the paleo diet, the paleo way of eating, attempts to mimic what early man ate.
    This means eating nutrient dense foods that have virtually no processing, organic, not genetically modified and whole animals including organ meats. The health benefits are huge from eating such nutrient rich foods.

    The diet is focused on giving its nutrients from Organic meats, fish, vegtables, dairy, fruit, seeds and nuts.

    It's not the easiest diet to eat though as everywhere you look there is processing, sugar and grains.
    I suppose at this point it's good to mention what is not part of a paleo lifestyle.

    All Grains, sugar, fruit juices, soft drinks, Legumes, Artificial Sweeteners, Starchy vegetables and for some paleo people Dairy.
    An exhaustive list can be found on this website of things that "are and aren't allowed".
    As grains are not allowed on the diet, nor are sunflower oils or the likes, nearly all modern convenience fast food and ready meals are removed. It can mean more healthy home cooking.


    The subject of dairy though is very divisory in the Paleo world. Some like leading Paleo figure Dr. Loren Cordain is against dairy and the effects of dairy, whereas others find that they have a tolerance for dairy and have no problem eating high quality diary such as butter, ghee and full fat Greek style yogurt that is natural and organic.
    It's summed up fantastically here.

    The Benefits from eating Paleo

    At the moment I don't know which is right and wrong, I think it's important not to replicate the past but to use real whole foods of Paleo-like eating for the best health results.
    Eating a real food diet and avoiding the modern diet has the following benefits:


    • Better weight control as Paleo foods are generally low in carbohydrate and thus does not over store fat in the body. Paleo living also allows for easier weight loss.
    • Helps fight against auto-immune disease and other intolerances to the modern food diet, often of which we are unable to tolerate effectively. Which in turn can cause stomach aches, skin conditions such as Exzema and other problems
    • Reduced inflammatory foods reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.
    • Mood stabilisation from the lack of sugar highs and lows.
    • Prevents and can cure metabolic disease such as Diabetes Type 2.
    • More energy that is sustainable and not reliant on constant sugar top ups.
    • Gives our amazing body the tools it needs to grow and fight infection.
    • Clean eating may prove to be a turn around point from more modern diseases.

    Paleo - It's not about the laws, but the principles

    Rather than getting bogged down in Low Carb/ Paleo / Primal / Caveman stereo types I think it's best to focus on the principles rather than the laws of each of the diets.

    One good principle is "if it doesn't swim, run or fly or isn't green and grow in the ground, don't eat it." Jack Lalanne.

    Paleo/ Primal or whatever you want to call it is about an education. It's about knowing where your food came from, what are the ingredients, what are it's benefits. 
    It's not a diet with a list of do's and don't.

     Live clean, eat clean, be healthy.

    Why not try Paleo for 30 days and see how you feel?


    Friday, 7 November 2014

    live your life to the mag-nesium! 10 important facts: 7 deficiency Symptoms: What to do!





    For a start here is magnesium's fact sheet:

    • 80% of people are deficient
    • Activates muscle and nerve function
    • Helps your body produce energy in your cells (ATP)
    • Needed to counterbalance the Magnesium/ Calcium ratio in the body to prevent strokes and other heart problems
    • Needs to work synergistically with other nutrients in order to be absorbed properly.
    • Helps you sleep by regulating the hormone Melatonin. It also balances the stress hormones which can also prevent good sleep
    • Deficiency can cause a unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva which damages teeth
    • Rehydrates
    • Helps to relieve constipation
    • Relieves Restless Leg Syndrome


    Symptoms of Magnesium deficiency

    • Calcium deficiency
    • Weakness
    • Muscle cramps
    • Anxiety
    • High blood pressure
    • Poor Memory
    • RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome)

    As you can see magnesium does an amazing job in our body,
    If you have any of the above problems or feel generally low on energy it's worth taking a months course of Magnesium to see if it could be something as simple as a Magnesium deficiency.

    I've had first hand experience of the benefits of magnesium...


    For as long as I can remember I've had RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). It comes on in the evening time and gets worse at night. Often I'd wake up with a aching/pain/ awkwardness in my knees and legs that would give me the urge to get up and walk.
    Getting up and walking does help but it's a pain to have to deal with. It disrupts my sleep, in that I can half wake up with the constant niggles, and toss and turn for an hour until I wake up enough, become conscious and realise what's going on. I've read many articles that say to reduce your Alcohol intake as well as your caffeine.

    But on doing some research I found a new study that showed the benefits that magnesium does for the muscle and nerves. It also showed that it helped RLS sufferers.

    I take magnesium almost everyday now. I take magnesium citrate which is better absorbable than some of the other cheaper magnesium supplements. If I forget or am away for a couple of days my RLS reappears! But the day that I start on the magnesium again, my RLS disappears just as quick. I've tested this over and over again and I can anecdotally prove that Magnesium cures my RLS and as a result improves my sleep to no end.

    Magnesium has so many benefits as is shown above. It's worth putting it into your daily routine, especially if you suffer from any RLS or muscle/ poor sleep.

    There are also foods that you can eat to give you a natural source of magnesium.

    • Leafy greens such as spinach
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
    • Fish 











    It can be difficult to get enough magnesium in our modern diet. Our food is only as good as the ground that it comes out of. It is best to try to eat a nutrient dense diet but in the case of magnesium it's also best to add a good magnesium supplement.

    Start off small with the doses as some people find it to be a laxative.


    Live your life to the Mag-nesium!

    Sunday, 26 October 2014

    Sleep the magic cure

    Here is another episode in the 'its a sleepy story' series!

    Sleep - The Magic Cure

    We all know that sleep is very important to our overall well being and our mood, as our families will attest too! 
    But what a lot of people do not realise is the effect that sleep has chemically on our body, and how important that is if we are looking to lose weight or to be optimally healthy.

    Sleep is underestimated, it effects everything that we are doing.

    You cannot lose weight and be sleep deprived. 
    There's a great sleep project that tested insulin sensitivity on a group of young people. They depleted their sleep for a number of days and the results were amazing. 
    They had the metabolic profile of someone with diabetes and severe metabolic problems. When this happens you leave yourself open for weight gain and for pre-diabetes. Trying to lose weight in this state is barely possible. 

    If you are sleep deprived the leptin and grelin hormones are effected and as a result you are hungrier and eat far more. I've totally had this, when I've had poor sleep my hunger levels and carbohydrate cravings have gone through the roof!

    Here is what another study has found.
    They took people and all they changed was the amount of sleep they were getting. They gave them 6 hours per night for 11 consecutive nights. They did cognitive testing on them before and after. When they were sleep deprived they had the same cognitive level as if they were legally drunk.

    Other studies have shown that a lack of sleep results in Inflammation in the brain, a long the same lines as from traumatic brain damage.
    Shift work has also been named as carcinogenic and leads to increased inflammation in all the body, not just the brain, but in other hormonal functions such as Thyroid function.

    So it's clear from the science how bad a lack of sleep is for us.
    We don't often deplete ourselves of sleep deliberately, but we are busy and want to pack our lives full of  looking after our families, homes and jobs. 
    We might even say that we are too busy to go to bed early and to get a good sleep.
    But if we truly value our productivity and our health, we will make sure that we value our sleep.

    So what is sleeping adequately?
    The number is generally 7.5 hours - give or take 30 mins.

    There's also been great research about sleep debt, scientists have found that we do indeed have sleep debt, and that we need to catch up on a lack of sleep. So if we have a night of reduced sleep we need to try to catch up on that sleep - either in a daytime nap or increased sleep the following night.


    What about sleeping tablets?
    They increase the sleep time but you don't get any deep sleep. Your not getting to the repairing sleep stage - REM sleep is also reduced by 80% - which is brain repair and helps us make sense of the world.

    Brain scans have shown (EEG) that the brain looks like its been knocked unconscious rather than restorative sleep when we take sleeping pills. People then feel worse and worse and can become addicted to them. Often this is noticed by people needing sleep tablets, and feeling no refreshment from a nights sleep.
    Instead there are far better ways of getting a better night sleep.
    If you can, avoid sleep tablets!

    Bright Light Therapy.
    We've discussed here a number a methods of getting a good sleep.
    Bright light therapy means using light to code your circadian rhythm.
    One of the queues for our body to wake up is blue light. So if you get good sun light in the start of the day your adrenal function ramps up and starts your body for the day.

    By putting more light in your eyes it can improve your adrenal functions.
    But then the opposite is true, you need to avoid blue light after the sun has gone down. Especially one hour before sleep.
    One thing that lets out huge amounts of blue light are televisions and screens.
    If we look at screens right up to sleep time, then our body is being told chemically that its still day time. Melotonin - the sleepy hormone isn't made as much in your body, and you'll have problems dropping off and staying asleep.

    Value sleep.
    If you get enough sleep, everything will be better with your day. Your productivity will be better and your mood will be better.

    Remember the above statistic that 6 hours of sleep for 11 consecutive has the same results as being legally drunk.
    Would you make life changing decisions in that state? Would you say that your mood is stable?
    I know that if I've had an interrupted night sleep (Probably the baby!!) that the next day my hunger and mood is drastically effected.
    I know myself well enough that I stop myself from planning my work for future weeks or from making any important decisions. That's because my mood would always be far more pessimistic, and my decisions would be far less rational.

    Please value your sleep - It's the magic cure...

    Saturday, 18 October 2014

    Food as a chemical reaction.

    The same as the rest of you I've lost weight by counting calories. To be honest with you it was torture, I had a app on my phone and I used it to calculate the total calories of what I was eating.
    This meant using the packaging of goods to get the calorific content and using a digital weighing scales to see what the calorie quota was. I aimed for 1690 calories from a daily usage estimate of 2600.
    This is quite hard to do and took a lot of time and motivation. But I did manage to lose 15 pounds over a few months.

    But what I didn't realise at the time was that measuring calories and eating a quota under your expenditure does work, but it's not very smart. In fact it's very black and white...too black and white.
    It's also very inaccurate because the calories in food and the calories burned can never be calculated accurately. Foods differ from the calories on the label, and when a app says we burned 100 calories it is also a best guess.

    Even though calories do matter, there is a much smarter way of doing business.
    If we recognize that one calorie is not always have the same impact on the body as another type of calorie.

    The Science bit!!!
    As you know food is broken down into its three macro nutrients.
    Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates.

    A calorie of each of these macros behaves differently in our body.

    Carbohydrate
    When we consume a carbohydrate our body breaks it down into glucose for our body to burn. But our body can't handle too much sugar in the system. So it makes Insulin in the pancreas. The Insulin then transports the sugar, if not burned off, and turns it into fat in our body. It is stored here until we next need it.
    But Insulin can also be described as the gate keeper to our fat stores. If Insulin levels are high, then it is impossible for us to access the fat storage. Instead we simply keep burning the carbohydrates that we eat.
    If we eat more carbohydrates than we are able to burn off then we will put on fat.
    The worst carbohydrates for this are the refined sugars. Other carbs, such as found in fruit and vegetables have fibre and thus are metabolised slower in the body. That doesn't spike the Insulin so high, and we don't get the blood sugar highs and lows.
    Because of the highs and lows of blood sugar from spiking, hunger and cravings also come hand in hand.
    A lot of fruit and vegetables actually ripens in the late summer / Autumn time, in the natural world that would help us to store some fat for the winter months where there may be a scarcity of food. Just like in the animal kingdom.

    Protein
    Repairs our cells and helps us to build new tissue. Without protein we would die. Adequate protein is necessary for health bones and muscle growth. Not forgetting a sharp mind!
    If we have lots of protein our body can convert some of it by the process of Neoglucogenesis into fuel for our body - into glucose.
    Protein is also acknowledged for being good at satisfying our hunger and keeping us fuller for longer.
    As with all foods it is important to eat as high of quality protein as possible. This includes organically produced meats and organ meats.

    Fat
    Like protein, it is needed in order for our bodies to function. We need it to makes cells and for our health.
    Fat can be used also as a energy source. Remember that our bodies store fat for burning at times of food shortage. For our bodies to be able to burn fat as a fuel though we need to be fat adapted. We have to have time periods where we solely feed ourselves on fat, or times where we do not eat at all.
    When we fast or do not eat for an extended period- say skipping breakfast after not eating for the night, then our bodies naturally shift over to utilizing fat for energy.
    When we have the ability of burning fat we can then open the doors to the fat closet and burn our stored energy. When we use body fat for fuel we also do not have the same sugar highs and lows, and can often go for far longer without feeling hungry.
    A lack of blood sugar highs and lows also prevents diabetes (type2), because Insulin production is minimalised and as a result we do not become insensitive to vast amounts of insulin.


    Calories aren't really just calories, there's a far deeper story behind them than that.
    The amount of food that we eat matters, the quality of the food matters, but also the ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrates in our food.

    Monday, 13 October 2014

    Live in the moment, grateful and distraction free

    Well the sofa that I'm sitting on isn't quite long enough to stretch out fully but it's comfy and it's only three foot away from a nice roaring fire. The stove is putting a lovely red/ orange hue across the Kitchen. Its also 2am. Our daughter is asleep in my arms too. She has a lot of allergy problems at the moment, shes also teething. So there isn't too much unbroken sleep in our house at the moment.
    I was in bed at half eight and so Ive managed to get in some hours sleep and I'll do so in another while.
    As I've mentioned before sleep is an essential part of our being. it's where we repair ourselves, We regulate ourselves and our genetic expressions, we reset ourselves.

    But I'm not writing to you about any of that really. What I'm writing about today is something i have been working on. Its something I think the new technology generation has to be conscious of.

    One way of describing it is living in the moment.
    Being grateful of the moment, and avoidance of multi tasking.
    Wait just let me put some more on the fire...

    We all have smart phones that give us 24/7 access to our emails, Facebook, forums and eBay.

    All these things though can be noise, they can prevent us being truly productive but more importantly they can take away the moment of reflection.

    We don't have a minute just to stop and be in that minute. We fill it with catching up on the latest news and events. You may feel that the latest thing on facebook or forum is important or engaging, but is it really?

    If you keep filling every single little void minute in the day with random and unimportant internet searching then you'll leave yourself tired and disconnected from your family and whats going on around you. Put it all down.

    Those things though useful in their place are there to serve you, perform tasks for you. You are the master over them, and they could be taking more from you than you think. They don't add to your quality of life...

    Try this:
    Live in the moment-

    • Enjoy the quiet times in your day. You don't have to fill them, but instead use them as time for the most important thing of all - yourself.
    • What can I be grateful for in this moment? Right now I'm grateful that I have a comfy sofa to sit on, I'm lovely and warm beside the fire. My daughter is sleeping soundly...(for now). This, even though a unfortunate time is a chance for me to bond with her and build that attachment. I can enjoy the lovely glow of a fire on a frosty night. I'm healthy and feel good in myself. I'm grateful I have this way of communicating what I'm learning. There's so much good for us to see. We just have to stop distracting ourselves
    • By being grateful of the moment avoid all negative thoughts. Better yet, realise they are only thoughts and rewrite the law in your own head. For example - Why am I not in bed right now - this sucks. Why does it have to be MY daughter that cant sleep. But why go down a negative path like that?
    • Realise and acknowledge what you use as a pacifier/ distracter in your life. What will eBay shopping or facebook give me right now in comparison to enjoying this moment with family/ children/ or a hobby.

    Finally, another thing that I'm trying not to do and yet so many are trying to learn is to multi task. I'm actually quite good at it too, in comparison to my wife who cant do it at all, which can be a good thing!

    If you multi task instead of doing two things at once ( or more), you are instead doing two things badly. Your not giving things 50/50 percent attention your giving them 25/25 percent attention because so much energy is wasted in stop start tasking and not giving your full thought to a task.


    Live in the moment, cherish and be grateful for each moment, you're more important than the distractions.

    Monday, 6 October 2014

    Sarah Ballintyne Review Notes on Ancestral Health 14

    Sarah Ballintyne Review Notes on Ancestral Health 14


    Ancestral Health for Women
    The full video of the speech can be seen here:
    But here are some of my notes and conclusions from listening numerous times to Sarah and from watching her at AHS14
    Medical research is typically performed on men and not women. We know far more about Men’s bodies and not the hormone systems of women. We then tend to infer those results onto women but this is not always an accurate or proper procedure.
    Hormones in the body are controlled by the hypothalamus who sends signals to the adrenal glands where the hormone is made and released. The HPA axis is the fight or flight but also all the other hormones. For example if something scary happens we send the message that It’s time to be stressed so it sends signal to pituitary glands.
    As the brain sends the signal that we are in fear and need to release a rush of hormones, how does the brain know when the hormones have done their job?
    Cortisol is released and the brain says oh my signals have been working and I can shut that off now.

    The same with the thyroid gland, they signal back to the brain letting it know that they have made the necessary hormone gland.
    The same with making estrogen and progesterone in the body. But here there is positive and negative feedback.
    Stress can affect all these things Stress inhibits the T4 to T3 production.
    It’s not just what’s happening with cortisol but how these axis effect other systems. Such as stress causing a problem with sex hormones and thyroid. These all work together. Stress prevents the relevant signals from getting to the brain and interrupts a woman’s hormones.

    They are then impacted by diet.
    Blood sugar regulation
    Leptin Level and sensitivity
    There’s an effect where there is too high of insulin and too low of insulin. It helps us store energy after feeding. When we have high insulin from high carb then we can end up with insulin resistance also
    Insulin being too high suppresses the thyroid as well as when it’s too low. So being careful of your sugar regulation is needed to ensure proper thyroid function.
    Having too low of Insulin can also happen with prolonged fasting and very low carb. But in women there are some detrimental effects.
    Leptin is a hormone that we want the proper amount, we can throw our production out of balance from eating refined carbohydrates, over eating but also from very low carb diet.
    All these hormones are effected by our diet.
    It’s down to the quality of the carbohydrates and if they are eaten in conjunction with other macro nutrients.

    What regulates Insulin and Leptin?

    ·         Carbohydrate intake – Amount, Quality and other Macro nutrients
    ·         Meal timing and size
    ·         Amount of Adipose tissue
    ·         Activity
    ·         Sleep
    ·         Stress
    ·         Nutrient status. Rich in micro nutrients.
    These all affect both amount of insulin and leptin produced and sensitivity and resistance.
    Women are more sensitive to changes in macro nutrient

    Intermittent Fasting

    This is when someone doesn’t eat for 16-24 hours, this normally includes a period when you are asleep. There seems to be a different effect that the result on men.
    Why does it not always work well for women?
    Ramadan fasting seems to show decrease in all hormones through that time. However the study was not done on paleo people so would not be fat adapted.
    Study in Rats show significant changes in body weight, blood glucose, estrous cycle and serum estradiol. Testosterone and LH level indicated the negative role of intermittent fasting regimen on reproduction in these young animals. Leptin plays a mechanistic role in suppressing hypothalamus axis.

    Intermittent fasting negatively affects the Leptin and thus all the hormones. When chronically under eat then they can be infertile.

    Ketosis as we know is from a very low carbohydrate diet.
    Under 30g of carbohydrate in a day and high fat diet.
    Proposed to help with weight loss, improve energy and manage health conditions and extended life
    Ketogenic research mainly into men but research shows women should be careful into a ketogenic diet. The studies were done for epileptic patients.
    But results from a study with women show the following results
    • ·         Amenorrhea occurred in 21%
    • ·         All women described menstrual irregularities
    • ·         Menstrual dysfunction 45%

    A better solution for women 

    • ·         Moderate carbohydrates
    • ·         Maintain insulin sensitivity with activity, sleep and stress management
    • ·         75g plus in a day
    • ·         Nutrient Density
    • ·         Many adverse effects may be linked to deficiencies
    • ·         Focus on eating organ meat, plenty of vegetables, high quality dairy if tolerated
    • ·         Adequate protein intake especially at breakfast
    • ·         Regularly spaced meals, limited smacking
    • ·         Weight bearing activity and strength training.
    • ·         7-10 hours sleep.
    • ·         Reduce the stress in your life
    • ·         Increase activities
    • ·         Walking. Yoga. Fun activities
    • ·         Meditation.
    • ·         Laughing and Play




    Are all carbs created equal?

    • ·         Low and moderate GI food are best choices.
    • ·         Starchy carbs are a slow burn
    • ·         Blood sugar is better regulated when consumed with protein, fat and fiber.
    • ·         Experiment with timing of carbohydrates, perhaps low carb until when you exercise. 



    Summary
    Women seem to have varied responses to changes in macro nutrient ratios than men
    The reason is likely the complex interplay between the hormone systems
    Female responses to ketogenic diets, very low carb diets and IT likely depends on stress level, sleep, nutrient status and preexisting imbalances in hormone and thyroid dysfunction.

    Does that mean that keto diets don’t work? It means caution is required when experimenting with them.


    What Do I Think?

    Well I've always known that men and women lose weight at different rates and that a certain amount of that is down to hormonal differences. 
    Women seem to suffer from Thyroid problems far more than us men as well.
    It makes total sense that women have to be careful with very low carbohydrate conditions. It is beneficial to keep them lower and to get them from healthy sources.

    There was one point though that I agree with "Chris" an audience member. He asked about the study of women who fasted for 24 hours for the Ramadan festival. They would no doubt eat a high carbohydrate diet and thus not be fat adapted. So when no carbohydrates are available to them they would indeed have poor blood sugar regulation as well as other health problems.

    Saying that I'm delighted that Sarah was on Jimmy Moore's podcast recently. Jimmy is a Ketogenic advocate and she explained her argument respectfully to his audience. Jimmy though is a total gentleman and is open to honest debates.

    Weighting up all the evidence though I think that low carbohydrate could be tried by women but on a careful basis. Slowly reduce the carbs and experiment with how your body is reacting. 
    Try to notice if your extremities are getting colder than they had been, thus showing a poorer thyroid function. 
    But more importantly, the same as the rest of the population, make sure to get your carbohydrates from natural sources such as vegetables and perhaps some rice. Avoid refined carbohydrates.
    (Especially grains- but that's a story for another day)

    Thank you Sarah Ballintyne and AHS14!!!

    There'll be more great AHS14 lectures reviewed soon so stay tuned!

    Saturday, 4 October 2014

    Skin blistering and Rash/ Dry Skin from food intolerance

    For years and years I had skin problems as you can see below.
    I went to the doctor and he saw me for a matter of minutes and said that my cure was to use a steroid cream and then moisturise in between times. This was clearly not the answer to my problem, but he had my 50 bucks in a few minutes and he was onto his next customer.

    I've always been against using medicines though and especially steroid creams. So i used the steroid creams once or twice but I knew that I didn't want to go through my life like that. It did improve my skin but at what cost.
    I visited my local health food store and the owner saw my hands and said that most skin conditions are from gut problems and food intolerances.

    I bought a natural ointment and left the shop. I knew that I could go and get tested but I didn't know where or how. I tried eliminating several things from my diet and to no effect. Where do you start? For how long? It could be anything?!!!

    As mentioned in another post my daughter got tested not long after that and one of her allergies was to wheat and eggs. With that head start I removed them from my diet and all of my skin problems improved. My digestion improved and my headaches became less. I also haven't had a cold or flu in over a year which is very unusual for me.

    Here's how my hands used to look:

    You can't imagine how sore it used to be. What was happening was that toxins were trying to escape the body, and they would do by means of the skin instead of the digestive tract, mainly because of the inflammation caused by the intolerance.

    If you have skin conditions its worth getting allergy testing done and even try an elimination diet. If you don't want to get a test done try eliminating things starting with wheat, dairy, eggs and nuts. They are the most common problem causers. Add each back after a couple of weeks and see what reaction you get. 
    If I eat wheat in a meal, the next day I have digestion problems, rashes and blisters forming on my skin. It's very obvious when I've eaten wheat, but less obvious is when I've eaten eggs. It takes perhaps a week for the rash to come up on the back of my knees. 

    The long term solution, as always, is to get to the route of the problem.

    I've not looked back and I know you wont...

    Friday, 3 October 2014

    What food can I give my baby?

    We have two adorable little girls, 41/2 and 9 months, so it's a busy little house!
    Im afraid I pass on some amazing DNA to my offspring, they are truely gifted in every way. (tongue in cheek).

    But I also pass on food intolerances and allergies.
    Both of our girls have been allergy tested and have been identified to be allergic to a whole host of things. The four year old handles her intolerances far better now, but the test came back saying she was allergic to nuts, wheat, eggs and dairy.

    Our baby has been showing signs of intollerances too with severe skin rashes.
    So its an ongoing challenge to find foods that contain non of the above. It can be quite limiting and can leave you feeling- what can I feed the baby today?!!!

    We are very fortunate that we are able to grow most of our own vegetables. We endevour to feed our family organic and natural foods that have as little processing as possible. Still it can be a challenge.
    But I came accross these little packages in Tesco:



    As you can see from the ingredients they are organic and contain no nasties.

    The little one loves them smothered over her meat and vegetables.

    So if your a bit bemused about what to give your baby, whether its for food intolerances or for a Paleo lifestyle. Check out these pouches!

    beginners guide - what should I eat???

    What should I eat?


    Food makes us happy, gives us energy and can make us healthy and strong. Food can also be a comfort, a companion and something to share with friends.

    Most people that go to the effort of reading this material though are either looking for an improvement in one of the above aspects in life.
    Food has the ability to add so much positive into our lives, but only if we are smart enough to use it in the way that humans have for thousands of years: naturally. Organically. Whole foods.

    Years ago there wasn't the obesity or diabetes that we see today. Humans have advanced so far, and yet we have so much to learn from the past.

    Years ago your great grand parents ate off the land, often food that they grew with their own hands.
    There wasn't chemicals, pesticides or other nasties in their food. Nor was their food filled with E numbers or copious amounts of sugar.
    As a result they worked hard physically, and often didn't suffer from being over weight and sick.
    Of course there were terrible diseases that killed millions, and anti biotics have been one of those great inventions that humankind has brought about.

    Would you like to lose weight? Would you like to have more energy and less colds and flus?
    I sure would, add along to that the prevention of diabetes and other diseases and its a easy yes!
    All we have to do is to go back and copy the diet of our ancestors, the way we were meant to eat.
    Because the science backs it up.

    I've found great success with this way of eating. I know that if I hadn't educated myself about the science in ancestral eating that I would of continued to pile on the weight, and I know that in the end I would of had diabetes and other health problems. This has indeed saved me from a poor fate.
    Once you have this down it can be one of the most empowering things in your life. You can then be able to focus on what is important in life.

    Some of these blog posts may not be interesting to you, but I will try to add beginners guides to this page. So go on and give it a try. Let food be thy medicine.





    Wednesday, 17 September 2014

    Your Motivations and Habits - What do you believe?

    That's it, I'm going to follow this plan and lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks...
    I'm going to run a mini marathon in 2 months time...
    Before the wedding in 2 months time, I'm going to have lost this 20 pounds...
    I'm going to be a better (fill in the blank)...

    Do any of these sound familiar? These goals will get some people results, the goal or reward is there at the end. But what happens if you get to the end? What happens next? What if you fall short, will you be totally demoralised and give up?

    There is a better way...

    Create The Belief

    You can modify your behavior, like the examples above, I'm going to do X and Y different.
    Or you can change your core belief about yourself. Here are 2 examples that show the power of belief over the power of behavior.

    If you want to start running and do mini marathons you could have the two above cognitive tools.
    Goal driven: I'm going to run 3 times a week, I'm going to force myself to do it because I want to get to X.
    Belief driven: I'm now a runner who runs 3 or so times a week. That is my identity. I'm networking with other runners, doing research about running and in general have the core belief that I am runner.
    What will have better success?

    Example 2.
    I'm going to eat less sugar and focus on food quality and lower carbohydrates.
    Goal Driven: I'm going to get lean and healthier, perhaps for a holiday or event
    Belief Driven: I'm a healthy person and I don't eat junk. I'm continually improving my health.
    What happens when you have a bump in the road and eat some treat?
    The goal driven person may give up and view themselves as a failure. The Belief driven person views it as a hick up on the road and continues to go back to eating healthy, because that's who they are.

    Having a strong belief system and strong self identification is essential. Its a far stronger tool than any scheme or fad, its an amazing internal furnace.

    What do you believe about yourself? What does your self talk say? 

    Write it down, especially the negative self talk, and analyse them after a week.
    What negative things do you believe about yourself? You might be shocked!

    Then whenever you hear yourself beating yourself down, or saying something negative such as - your a failure- catch yourself and change it.
    No I'm not a failure, this action didn't work, and its best not to go down that path, instead I'll learn the best way to do X or Y because I know that I'm a intelligent person. I failed because I tried something, we all have to fail on the way to success.

    If deep down you believe negative things about yourself your going to fail in your goals. Henry Ford once said - whether you think you can or you can't, your right.
    If we believe deep down that we will give up or that we aren't of high value, then we will become that self fulfilling prophecy.


    The power of the habit

    Scientists at Duke university concluded that 40% of the tasks we perform are by habit. How powerful is that! The fact that we do so much by rote can be turned to our advantage!

    Once you have the correct belief system you can now create successful habits.
    Successful habits are things that stay true to your belief system.
    This doesn't have to be huge massive occupations, but instead small baby steps.

    When you have the correct belief system about yourself you can then ask yourself what you should be doing on a day by day basis to be true to your true core beliefs.
    As I am a (insert your own belief here) person, then to stay true to my identity I have these daily actions. Instead of watching TV or some other activity I will do x, because that's who I am.
    Then when, and its not if, but when you go through a rough spell, instead of thinking oh well I've failed, instead we can think, I've been going through a rough time recently, I've not stayed true, or my behaviour and actions havent stayed true to who I am as a person. As a result I feel disappointed, but now I must try harder to stay true to myself and follow my belief system. Who I truely am.

    Imagine how far you can progress by using a positive belief system. Its not easy, but its a powerful tool.




    So...


    What do you believe?




    Saturday, 30 August 2014

    It's a sleepy story - F.Lux / Good sleep for Android

    As I'm writing to you now my screen is a sort of reddy colour.
    As I have mentioned a couple of times now, our bodies naturally reduce the amount of Cortisol that we produce in the evening time.

    Instead we produce a hormone called Melatonin. This is the hormone that is responsible for making us feel sleepy and thus falling asleep. (And staying there).

    But these days so many of us stay up late looking at screens and sitting under bright lights. The worse kind of bright light for our hormones is blue light which I'd emitted from screens mainly. Studies have shown that after exposure to blue light in the evening, that participants have higher levels of drowsiness and lower levels of energy metabolism in comparison to those who did not.

    In nature, and in man's history, when it got dark, we either huddled around a fie or went to sleep. Now though at midnight we have sun flooded homes and an array or bright screens. We prevent our bodies making Melatonin and thus we sleep poorer and take longer to nod off.

    Like the mobile phone blog, I'm not advocating going to bed at 8am, but a long with tinted glasses there are a few easy steps to help.

    One of them is called f.lux and is a program on your computer which turns down your screen and changes the colour spectrum to soft reds rather than intense bright white. Not only is it softer on the eyes, but easier on the hormones.
    No doubt not using a screen would be best, but its a small great step. Try it!

    I use Windows and Android, and on my tablet I use a App called "good sleep". It's so easy to set up and use and is free on the play store.

    It's a sleepy story!

    Thursday, 28 August 2014

    Cyclical/ Seasonal Eating Habits - Ketosis / Low carb all the time?

    I consider my diet to be real food based, nutrient rich and relatively low carbohydrate.
    I've lost a couple of stone eating a ketogenic diet but these days I don't eat low enough carbohydrate to be in Ketosis. I am still fat adapted though because I find Intermittent fasting easy, and in general don't feel hungry when doing a 15 hour fast. I no longer need to lose any weight either really, just a bit of vanity weight perhaps but that's only a few pounds.

    However, even though Ketogenic diets are indeed a great tool for losing weight.
    But when I was eating a Ketogenic diet I was in deep Ketosis, and I know I wasn't eating enough vegetables. I was eating no fruit at all, which I know isn't a problem as I was getting my nutrients elsewhere.

    However, in nature we see that animals eat in a cyclical or seasonal manner. They don't eat the same all year round, and have different stages of fat storage throughout the year.
    In essence they fatten themselves throughout the summer and Autumn in preparation for the winter. We know that fruit, and it's Fructose can aid in putting on weight because of the Insulin response.

    If your not obese, have diabetes or any other metabolic disease (included are some of the neuro degenerative diseases) I'm not sure that the best thing for you is to be Ketosis or very low Carbohydrate during the summer/ winter months.
    If you do have any of the above problems, probably because of years of the standard diet, then I would stay on the Ketogenic or Low Carbohydrate diet, as the results are more beneficial.

    But if you are of good weight and health, I think that during the summer / autumn you should increase your carbohydrate intake. This isn't by Mars bars of course, but with healthy whole food options.

    Perhaps you could include seasonal things into your diet such as potatoes ( I prefer mine mashed in plenty of butter - hashtag - more butter than potatoes), some blackberries or other berries. These have antioxidants and have so many nutrients that help our body. By adding a fat such as butter you decrease the sugar spike too remember.

    Our body knows how to fix itself. It knows how to stay in a state of homoeostasis.
    All we have to do is to get out of its way. I believe that those natural foods even though higher in carbohydrates, give us more than they take away.
    I believe that we should live cyclically. In the summer time we need less sleep, it gets dark later and the amount of sunlight we get increases. But we don't live like that all year long.
    We are designed to live according to the seasons and I think that having a flat annual diet is wrong.

    So I'm eating potatoes on a number of occasions per week, I'm also eating berries, higher carbohydrate vegetables and other fruits natural to my country. I won't be eating this way though in the dead of winter. I'll get my nutrients then from fats. I'll also reintroduce more organ meats such as liver.


    In conclusion, a low carbohydrate diet is beneficial for health and longevity. If your sick, then stay low carbohydrate. But if your a fit and healthy person, I think you can benefit to being close to your natural environment and the foods that it provides.
    I'm very lucky in that we have room for a polytunnel where we grow organic vegetables, where we never use any chemicals or products. I must take a picture of it to show you!

    Its a sleepy story- Uvex 9176 Review

    Well my Uvex amber tinted glasses have come in the post. Here's how I look!
    Geeky huh?!!!




    So what do I think of them? Well they are blocking out some of the blue light. If you wear them and tip them up above your eyes, you can see how the blue glare of the screen is so much stronger without them.

    However for extra tint I'd be tempted to go for the more orange lens as the amber is quite a light tint. I suppose having a light tint means you can wear them easily without the world being distorted. In fact I've worn them for the last couple of evenings and I've forgotten I was was wearing them.

    Another plus point is that they have a good wrap around lenses so that light isn't let in very easily. This is probably because they are actually safety glasses. They are also advertised as being UV blockers.

    They are also cheap. I paid €7 or $10 including delivery.

    The only disappointment with them is that the arms grip the sides of your head quite firmly, which is  great feature in a safety glass, but if your wearing them every evening all evening long, they can start to become A bit sore.

    But are they a great cheap option in comparison to $80 blueblockers™?
    Yes they sure are! I might move onto a set of blue blockers once I'm in the routine and sure I'll use them. But for now I'm happy with my Uvex 9176 020x amber safety glasses!

    Wednesday, 27 August 2014

    Food Intolerances Dairy - Eggs

    Hello everyone,
    You might recall that I did this blog post about the bad skin rashes that I was getting from a dairy intolerance.

    If you eat a high fat and lower carbohydrate diet there is a good chance that you are eating a large proportion of your fat intake from dairy products. I'm no different, I love my full fat Glenisk Yogurt seen below. It has a high fat content and low carbohydrate, yet it has important pro biotic cultures.
    But even more important its seriously delicious!

    Well, as it happens I've not had the bad skin reactions lately. The back of my legs no longer have the rash and my skin conditions have improved.
    I've also not had eggs recently. It hasn't been a deliberate act, but more of a boredom thing. I had over done them for a while so I hadn't had them for a few weeks.

    When I did have eggs the other week sure enough my skin flared up with a vengeance.
    I'm not saying I don't have a small intolerance to dairy as well, but my flare up to eggs has shown that I've a sure fire problem there.

    If you have skin problems, be sure that its coming from a gut problem or from an intolerance.
    There are many things that can cause intolerances, but some of the most common foods include dairy, gluten, wheat, eggs and nuts.

    Try eliminating those from your diet for a few weeks and slowly add them back in one by one. Then see which one effects you the most.

    My daughters are allergic (blood test analysis) to eggs, dairy and wheat. So in a way I had a head start in knowing what my short list is.

    Just because you have an intolerance though doesn't mean that you will always be allergic to those things though. My research shows that by repairing inflammation in the gut and leaky gut, then you may tolerate these things in the future...


    Friday, 22 August 2014

    My 1 year Anniversary is soon!

    I'm planning my blog post on the anniversary of my new found wisdom (nutritional and healthy living revolution). This is in a weeks time.

    You see a year ago I knew nothing of nutrition or how the body works, I didn't know why I couldn't lose weight or why I'd out it back on,not really.
    Nor did I realise the longterm damage so many people are doing to themselves.

    Was I a likely candidate for a complete turnaround? Not at all!!! The fact that I have really does mean that everybody can.
    Now im really turning into a health nut- in the nicest way possible.

    So keep an eye out for my 1 year review blog post that'll be out in a week or so.
    In it I'll catalogue my transformation and show that there's no one answer and instead, its a gradual learning process. A process where you change your mind on things as you grow and learn.

    My diet - No - My diet!!!!


    Hash tag real food
    Hash tag low carb
    Hash tag fuel for life

    Monday, 18 August 2014

    You and Your Mobile Phone - 7 easy steps to lower radiation

    This is sort of off the beaten track for me, after all this is normally a diet blog. However, I've made a few changes recently in my cell phone usage on the back of some information I've heard.


    We all know that mobile phones probably aren't that good for us.
    That's a fact, we all know that they do us no good, but in reality it's been hard to put a figure on how bad they are for us. As a result things have gone quiet on the front, and as we are all busy we soon forget about the issue.

    But the WHO have recently come out with some new research. A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries looked at peer-reviewed studies on the safety of mobile phones.
    They categorised the mobile phone exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans". They did not say that exposure was carcinogenic.

    The type of radiation that comes from a mobile phone is called non-ionising, which works on the same principle as a microwave oven. Ever have a long conversation and feel that the phone side of your head is warm or hot? I have!

    Manufacturers of many popular mobile phones already warn consumers to keep their device away from their body.
    Apple Iphone safety document as well as the blackberry equivalent advise users to keep devices an inch away from your head when making voice calls or transmitting data.
    The further the phone is from the body the less radiation is absorbed.

    Am I giving up my mobile / Cell phone then? Not a chance!!

    So with that all said and done, I'm sure that my Iphone is probably causing me some damage. I need my phone for my business though, and like everyone else in the western world I'm addicted to it.
    But here are some steps that I've taken that are quite simple, and yet reduce the risks.


    • My mobile is no longer in the bedroom with me at night time. My Iphone was always used for the alarm clock feature. But the alarm only works if the phone is left on. So my Iphone would sleep on the bed beside me, on charge for the night. Even though I wasn't making any calls, the phone periodically still talks to the tower and emits radiation. Now I have a regular alarm clock and the phone charges in the kitchen over night. Another benefit is that I don't check my phone or randomly google something while I'm supposed to be getting some sleep or rest!
    • When I'm home or in the car, I don't keep the phone in my pocket for hours on end. Instead, leave it down somewhere, in the same room, but away from your body. When I'm in the car, I put the phone on the passenger seat or even further away, I take it out of my pocket.
    • Talk with the phone on speaker if possible. As I mentioned above it will decrease the radiation if the phone is away from your body.
    • I also use the Iphone headphone set which has a built in microphone. In this way I can be on the phone and have the phone away from my body or at least not near my head! (brain). This is so easy to do and does not sacrifice any call quality. Perhaps then leave the phone down beside you so that the radiation is as far away as possible. 
    • Text instead of call. If you don't have to make that call, don't make it. Would a simple text message suffice?
    • Be careful of mobile phone usage around your children, their skulls are thinner and more lightly to be damaged by the radiation that you.
    • If you are on the move and have a backpack or some other handbag, put the phone in there (secure of course) rather than having it on your person. 


    You might feel that the research is inconclusive at the moment on the damaging effects of mobile phone usage. But if that doubt is there why take the risk?
    The steps above are easy and pain free, why not give them a go...




    Saturday, 9 August 2014

    uvex 9176 020 x amber safety glasses- protect your sleep!!!


    These are the safety glasses that I've just bought off eBay for £6.99. 
    Uvex are a big name in the safety glass world, and they make top quality safety glasses that are wrap around and 100% UV resistant.

    But I've not bought them to wear while doing any dangerous works, I'm buying them to wear in the evening times around my house! I know I'll look rediculous but at least I'll only be visible to my family. I'll have to take a picture of myself with them on.


    The fact of the matter though is that amber tinted glasses remove blue light. There are some seriously expensive versions on the market, you can pay £70 for some blue light removers that are also amber. But these although not as good are still supposed to be effective. If they aren't, I'll just have some trendy safety glasses!

    So what does blue light do!??
    As the sun goes down the colour of the sky and of our world has a direct impact on the body. When the lights go dim and the darkness comes, our body reduces the stress hormone called cortisol. Our bodies then produce a hormone called melotonin. This aides our feeling drousy and helps us to sleep better and longer.

    No doubt as humans we are supposed to receive all these queues from nature, but modern technology means we have beaming light all evening and sometimes all night. We sit and look at televisions or electronic devices that emit huge amounts of light, and especially blue light. Thus we often don't drop off to sleep as we should, or this fake blue light can delay the sleep signals that our body gives us.
    This can result in poor night sleeps even when we think we sleep relatively well.

    Best practice is to go to bed soon after the soon goes down, but in our modern life that would be quite difficult. So by wearing blue blocking glasses you can greatly reduce the damage that electronic light will do to your hormones.

    I'll let you know how I find them!

    Wednesday, 6 August 2014

    Food as medicine/ repair.

    I've not blogged for a while and this is because things have been mad busy around here.
    I've been flat out with work and outside projects till late every evening. As a result I've been feeling physically tired and achy. Add to that a baby teething at nighttime and you've got a recipy for real fatigue and exhaustion!

    I'm the only one in our home that eats a paleo/ whole food sort of diet. The rest of my family eat very well by comparison to the general population but they do eat wholegrain wheat and spelt pasta.

    So there's always plenty of junk food to eat if the need takes you! The time that I'm most tempted to eat carbs and junk is when I'm tired and achy.
    That's how I've felt this week and yet I've been able to fight the desire for rubbish.

    First of all its important to achnoledge that you want the bad food of choice. I want a sandwich and chrisps followed by a bit of chocolate cake!

    But then you have to get passed that desire, yes I want those things, but how would I feel in 30 mins? Hungry, bloated and in poor mood?
    Because I know how I'll feel shortly afterwards I've been able to make good choices.
    This is especially tough when your tired and have less mental strength.

    Finally, what can you eat? Below is a picture of what I made for myself.
    Food can be a cure and help the body to recover from tiredness and damage, or it can add to stomach problems and inflammation. Have you ever loved a McDonalds or Chinese takeaway only to feel like rubbish an hour later?

    So instead I made this dinner, homegrown onion, some mushrooms, pepper,herbs, chicken breast, garlic, a small touch of ginger and some broccoli.
    All cooked in some butter and then some butter on top afterwards for good measure.

    Afterwards I felt better and safe in the knowledge that I'm helping my body to repair itself and to fuel itself without relying on damaging sugar rushes. Saying that,sugar really does react badly these days as I'm not used to it. To treat myself I enjoy some 85% cocoa chocolate. That, and some Greek style yogurt from Glenisk!!

    Food is medicine, with a bit of mental strength and the right mental tools you can make the right decisions that will help you to perform your best and repair any damage.

    Now for some rest!!






    Monday, 14 July 2014

    I'm trying to use as little chemicals as possible

    You may of read my post about my new water bottle a couple of months ago. Well I haven't broken it yet and I'm loving drinking from it everyday. Water tastes great from it, and it's good to know that my water bottle isn't leaching chemicals into my drinking water.

    Even though my friends may refer to me as a caveman, I must admit that I'm starting to get there! :)
    As the title of today's post would indicate I'm using as little chemicals as possible.
    My wife happens to make organic soaps and body products which is a huge help of course. You can see her fine products at www.madeinlucyskitchen.com. Some people call their products natural or organic but still have natural nasties, whereas these are products and moisturisers that we use ourselves and for our 6 month old, that are completely free from chemicals and just contain butters and oils such as organic coconut oil.

    Natural soaps like this that have no chemicals in what so ever are more expensive than the store bought equivalent, but I get to use odds and ends and soap bars that didn't make the cut!

    But in general I only use this soap, I don't use hair shampoo, the ingredients list on them are really horrible. What I've been using for months is actually the same soap bar that I was the rest of myself with.

    I also like getting my hands dirty outside every now and again, and while I don't mind getting soil and grass on my hands, if I'm doing something that has chemicals in it I try not to get it on my skin.
    For example I like doing some DIY (destroy it yourself!!) on our cars, and that includes changing out the oil, beforehand I would of gotten oil on my skin and not worried about it, whereas now I am conscious that chemicals on the skin can get into our blood stream and do a lot of damage.
    Of course there's no need to be OCD about it all, but at the same time why not be conscious about it?

    I'm not saying though to always stay away from dirt, as recent research has shown how important it is for us, and especially our immune system to get a measure of dirt and bacteria on our skin and then into our bodies.
    We live in the most cleanliest time ever. Everyone has alcohol wipes and fluid ready to clean their hands right away. But the focus should be on avoiding germs but not eliminating all forms of bacteria.

    So that's just another step that I've taken. Not to be too brutal but I use deodorant as little as possible (here come another ribbing from friends), as my wife is currently making a natural option.
    Again the same as my water bottle, you won't see the result straight away, but this is a long term lifestyle rather than a fad diet.
    Chemicals are very new in our history, and manufacturers use them to make our products last a long time, look and feel the way that we want and expect, and to keep costs low. But no time is being spent thinking of the dangers that it can do. I live a very normal life, and I'm not saying to lose sleep about chemicals, but perhaps be aware of them, and make some wise choices.

    Right...where did I leave my cave...