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!!