First post! I thought I’d just run through my intentions for the blog part of my website (*To subscribe, please submit your email in the ‘subscribe to blog’ box to the right of the page if viewed on a computer, or at the bottom of the post if viewed on a phone/tablet).
Firstly, I am not a health and fitness saint who is going to give you recipes for salads every other day, or the top 10 ways to cook with quinoa.
I love to eat pretty much everything and I don’t believe in completely cutting things out of your diet (unless you are allergic or intolerant of course). I eat healthily because I eat a varied and balanced diet, involving all the elements of the food plate. I cook most of my meals from scratch so I know what I’m eating and can control the amount of fat, salt, sugar etc. that I use.
I also really love to exercise because I’ve managed to find sports that work for me and keep me interested, which I believe is the key. I was not always an exercise lover and it’s taken many years to get here. But now, I enjoy swimming, cycling and running and try to take part in one or two triathlons per year. I wasn’t great at any of them when I first started out but I’ve slowly improved over the years and recently completed my first half ironman distance. I’ve also taken up boxing in order to learn a new skill and improve my strength and coordination. I’m terrible at it, but it’s a great work out and hopefully I’ll improve with time.
There is an endless amount of research on health and nutrition, and it is just getting better and better as time progresses. However, it can often be difficult to follow the latest recommendations and it’s easy to get confused by contradictory headlines on the latest health ‘breakthroughs’. So I will try to translate the research for you and separate fact from tabloid fiction.
So through this blog, I would like to cover three areas:
- Exercise and fitness
- Recipes and cooking tips
- Breaking down the scientific research
Exercise and fitness
I think it’s very easy these days for people to get intimidated by the thought of exercise. You just have to look on social media, in magazines or at the packs of lycra clad men speeding down the road on their bikes on a Sunday morning, and think – “they’re made of different stuff – that could never be me”.
But, they all started somewhere. It’s just about finding something you think you might like and giving it a go. Maybe you’re not looking to dedicate your life to a sport or to become a pro athlete. Rather you just want to keep fit enough that running for the bus doesn’t kill you and you can feel good in your skinny jeans. In which case, it doesn’t necessarily mean paying £!*%$ a month to sweat it out in a gym or buying tons of kit and getting up at 5am for training. It can just mean walking more, taking the stairs, going for a lunch time jog or a morning swim or taking the dog for a long walk. Having said that, you may find a gym environment a great motivator. Trying different classes with friends for example can add a great sense of routine and give that extra push to make sure you show up when you’re not really in the mood. Sometimes there is nothing better than using all the fun equipment for a hard core workout in a fancy gym, followed by a steam, some posh shampoo and a complimentary towel. Do what works for you!
Exercise shouldn’t be a chore that you dread doing – if it’s something you enjoy doing every day, then it’s easy to motivate yourself to do it every day.
People often find it difficult to fit exercise in to their daily routine – and it can be hard! But there are ways to incorporate it more easily in to your day to day life.
Recipes and cooking tips
Food is a huge part of my life; I love to cook, almost as much as I love to eat. I read a lot of food magazines and blogs and search online regularly for new recipes to discover new cooking methods and flavour combinations. So I would like to share my favourites with you.
I don’t believe that healthy eating means quinoa and kale.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve slated it a couple of times now, but I love a bit of quinoa and kale (and no doubt will post a few tips on cooking them as I go on with this blog). But healthy eating to me doesn’t mean subscribing to the latest food trend, drinking shakes every day or counting every last calorie.
In future posts, I will try my best to clarify why these trends start, what they mean for our diets and our health, and how they can be adapted in a healthy way in your every day cooking. Then you can make an informed decision as to whether you feel it is best for you. When you’re cooking food from scratch and not using pre-made sauces or ready meals, you know exactly what’s going in to your food, and even better, you can control it. I understand why these can be appealing, but I promise that delicious and nutritious results can be achieved quickly and easily once you have a few tricks up your sleeve.
Anyone can cook – it’s just adding ingredients together until it tastes good.
I’ll post ideas, recipes and the raw ingredients you need for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, puddings and snacks. Hopefully I’ll demonstrate that you can eat anything you want so long as you control the ingredients and eat a balanced diet.
<these are all the raw ingredients I use to create a home made lasagna>
Breaking down the scientific research
There is an enormous amount of research being published every day on health, nutrition and exercise. Some of this is picked up by the media, and more often than not, choice statistics are taken from these studies and manipulated or misquoted in order to make a headline. There is also a lot of bad science out there – studies that are poorly conducted (and should probably be dismissed), but that offer results that the media love to shout about (The book and website ‘Bad Science’ by Ben Goldacre is a fantastic read if you’re interested in this).
One purpose of this blog will be for me to read the research and translate it from academic/scientific language in to something more easy to digest (pun intended), so that you as readers can take away the facts and use them as you will.
So, that is the plan going forward. I hope that it is of interest to a few of you out there and if you know anyone who could benefit from my Health & Wellbeing Consultation, please recommend!
Ciao for now,