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Posts tagged “Diet”

Supplements are big business these days and much more than the traditional multi vitamins and minerals. Just about every vitamin and mineral is available along with herbal extracts and proprietary formulas for every possible health concern. Here in the UK, it’s estimated that £1.3 billion will be spent on them this year – 2021 – with the market growing every year. 
 
However, from conversations with Clients, it’s clear there’s still a huge amount of confusion about them. It’s a subject we’ve touched on before but one well worth revisiting. 
 
The first question which comes up is obvious and guaranteed to polarise people into two opposing – and usually vociferous (!) – camps. 
In recent years the consumption of vegetable oils has increased dramatically while that of butter, lard and other animal products have shown a marked decline. As so often is the case, no single factor is responsible for this change, although the popularity of the Mediterranean Diet in the 1960’s and 1970’s probably helped kickstart this trend. 
 
The logic behind the diet was simple, trying to emulate the health benefits from the diet of those living in and around the Mediterranean. In other words, a wholefood and locally sourced diet centring around fresh produce. Fresh vegetables, salad, fruit, nuts, beans and grains with smaller amounts of protein, predominately fish, along with unsaturated fats, such as Olive Oil. And it’s these last two foods which are key to what we’re talking about today, as you’ll see in a moment. Fish and Olive Oil. Other meat and dairy products were only occasionally eaten. Oh, and don’t forget plenty of red wine (!). 
Traditionally, Osteoporosis was thought of as a “woman’s disease”, affecting ladies of a certain age (!), with little that could be done about it. Whether proactively or reactively. Not an encouraging picture and one which is now proving far from true on both counts. 
 
Sadly, Osteoporosis is now affecting many more people. Not only younger women, but children and men too. At the same time, research has found that it’s not simply a hormonal issue but, once again, lifestyle factors play a large part. 
Having had similar conversations with a number of Clients recently – which is always a gentle hint that it’ll make a good topic for a blog post (!) – it seemed like a good time to share our rather different perspective on illness. One most people have never considered. And that is the amount of energy it takes to be ill. 
 
Confused? Then read on, it’ll all make sense in a minute. Yes, it will! 
 
If you’ve been unlucky enough to have Flu – or something similar (!) – the one thing you’re likely to remember above all others, was how exhausted you felt. As one Client so eloquently put it, if someone had offered him a £50 note to get out of bed and go downstairs, he wouldn’t have been able to do it. 
 
Why is that? 
There are some things which never seem to change. The schools go back and, right on cue, Summer finally arrives. Or, at least, an Indian Summer. Which, after the very traditional English Summer we’ve “enjoyed” this year, seems even more poignant than usual. Then, quick on their heels, come a spate of calls and emails from Clients looking ahead to the colder months of the year. 
 
Each year, our advice is basically the same. To focus on the small things you do every day; the majority of which, dare we say, are down to good old fashioned common sense. These help support both your long term health AND that over the coming Winter. Then, having got the basics right, add any necessary top ups. Supplements, tinctures and the like. 
A couple of weeks ago we wrote about Type II Diabetes and the recent change in focus that’s aimed at trying to diagnose potential problems at a much earlier stage. Unfortunately, rather than encouraging people to address the issue earlier, it seems to be having completely the opposite effect. Causing complete confusion, coupled with a feeling of inevitability, meaning that a golden opportunity to take early action is wasted. If you missed it, you can find the post here
With soaring levels of Type II Diabetes over recent years, it’s not surprising we’ve written about Diabetes several times before in this blog. You can find our posts here, here and here
 
The good – and potentially bad (!) – news about Type II Diabetes is that it’s a Lifestyle Condition. In other words, it’s the result of poor lifestyle choices being made over a long period of time. And we would emphasise the last few words. Over a long period of time. The effects of poor lifestyle choices cast a very long shadow, with the seeds usually being sown many years – or decades – before… 
Calories – and calorie counting – have been the mainstay of weight loss regimes for many years, regardless of how they’re packaged or marketed. Or which celebrity is endorsing them (!). 
 
The logic is quite simple. We all know it by heart, it goes like this: 
 
Excess calories = weight gain. 
 
Therefore fewer calories = weight loss. 
 
Which naturally leads on to the “more is better” approach. Or, more accurately, “less is better” one (!). 
 
In other words, the more controlled and restricted the diet is, the fewer calories are consumed and the greater – and quicker – the weight loss. Well, in theory (!). Which means we can then go back to eating the foods we really want to. 
Go into any shop selling food – or, more often, food like products rather than real food (!) – and you’re virtually guaranteed to go past a shelf of energy drinks on your way to the till. Or, all too often, conveniently placed within easy reach along with other sugary snacks as you wait for your turn to pay. 
 
Marketed as a quick and easy way to boost energy levels, sales have rocketed in the last few years, with no end in sight. Along with a take away coffee and sugary snack, they’re used by many people to kick start their day instead of breakfast. Or, in the evening, with alcohol to keep going late into the night. And, while we’ve all seen the short term effects of both approaches – although, hopefully, not directly from personal experience (!) – very little thought seems to be given to the long term consequences… 
A couple of weeks ago we waxed lyrical about the joys – and simplicity – of eating with the seasons. Even better, how easy it is to grow things at home, to enjoy straight from your garden or kitchen windowsill. Yes really! If you missed it, click here
 
While people tend to think about all things salad, particularly at this time of year, herbs are just as easy to grow. Even better, you’ll often find pots of them at your local supermarket, if you don’t want to wait (!) or grow your own from seed. Not only do they taste great – and are nothing like their dried counterparts – but have a host of health benefits too. 
 
So, this week, we’re going to take a quick look at three herbs which are used in most kitchens – at some time at least – and are easy to grow. Parsley. Mint. Basil. 
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