Blog - Health & Fitness
The New Year New You hype is in full effect, so it's time for some "health news". Or dare I say blatant lies? As we're living in a post-truth era many folks are used to turning a blind eye to bogus info but I say ENOUGH with the BS!
I’m talking about an article published by Independent a few days ago which has already had over 2000 shares - “Sugar-free diet drinks do not aid weight loss and are no healthier than alternatives, research suggests”.
It sometimes really pisses me off how mainstream media spreads false information purely for clickbait reasons. If someone named John von Radowitz also writes articles such as “Stop telling children Santa is real, experts urge”, would you trust this person to give you health advice?
Sure, I understand that the fella is simply doing his job. And I’m just doing my job, which is the quest for truth and beauty while connecting the dots between training, nutrition, movement and mindset.
Anyway, enough ranting, here are my two cents on this article.
Think About The Bigger Picture
The thumbnail with the fat guy holding a burger and a DIET Coke should say it all. Yes, it will be better to opt for a sugar-free drink if you're overweight, because you wouldn't want to compromise your already poor insulin sensitivity with all that sugar, nevertheless, your WHOLE daily nutrition needs to be considered.
Research Is Often Biased
"The researchers pointed out that research supported by food or beverage companies was more likely to find no evidence of links between sugary drink consumption and obesity than non-industry sponsored research." No shit, Sherlock!! In this small disclaimer they just discredited this whole article. Good job Independent.
Simply, mindfulness is awareness of the present or the ability to be present in all aspects of our lives. It's a honing of the mind to focus on what is happening right now. You're more productive when you're mindful. But more importantly, being present is undoubtedly the only way to enjoy life to the fullest. By being mindful, you enjoy your food more, you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy exercise, you enjoy anything you're doing more.
There are a few simple steps that can lead us to the experience of profound attention and a direct experience of the moment that we're in.
Take A Breath
Breath, along with change, is the only constant, and being present starts with the breath. Simply draw a deep breath and let it out through your nose. When we breathe through our mouth it triggers a subtle anxiety response, which increases heart rate and redirects blood flow. A slow release of breath through the nose has the opposite effect of mouth-breathing, and draws a relaxation response. Nevertheless, if done correctly, breathing through your mouth can be very powerful when used as part of a breath-hold technique such as the Wim Hof method.
Do One Thing At A Time
Contrary to popular belief, human beings cannot multitask. What we are capable of is handling a number of serial tasks in rapid succession, or mixing automatic tasks with those that are not so automatic. That's one of the reasons that the National Transportation Safety Board in the US reports that texting while driving is the functional equivalent of driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.
Bryan Larkin is an actor born in Glasgow, Scotland. At a young age he started lifting weights and became a competitive junior Scottish bodybuilder, winning several championships in his late teens. After severe illness derailed his bodybuilding success, he was struggling to find his purpose until he got into acting. Today you can see him in movies such as "London Has Fallen" alongside Gerard Butler. He also enjoys making his own short films, notable "Scene" for which he won his first BAFTA award. Bryan shared some great funny and serious stories, including his experience acting alongside Gerard Butler, and his impromptu interaction with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 25th episode of Shredded Brainiac podcast - finding balance between fitness and the rest of your life.
People will always tell you that you can't have your cake and eat it... that you shouldn't want more than you can't handle... that you can't have it both ways.
It's not always true. When it comes to fitness, you already know that seeing results will require some sacrifices. Nevertheless, the common view is that you have to give up your life just to look good / be healthy.
In reality it's just a self-limiting belief - a convenient excuse to stay on the couch.
Yes, you can very much enjoy your life (including the foods you like), handle your work and relationships, and still be on track to a fitter and healthier YOU.
Last weekend I was booked for an acting job in Zurich, Switzerland. Yes, apart from helping people improve their health & physique, that's what I do. And I sure as hell enjoyed myself while I was away, while still keeping fit, and being productive.
I've just uploaded an action packed travel vlog on my YouTube channel. There's some cake, swan-feeding, sightseeing, shadowboxing, and even singing in the shower :D
I'll massively appreciate it if you give it a like! And if you need any advice on how to incorporate some more cake in your own lifestyle, feel free to give me a shout.
In other news, I have recorded and published a new episode of Shredded Brainiac podcast. Andrea Domenichini & Jon Waterlow are the hosts of their own podcast Voices In The Dark where at the moment they're focusing on Robert Greene's 48 Laws Of Power. It's about the human experience, exploring philosophy and psychology and trying to find the best ways to navigate life and improve your performance.
Here’s what you need…
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 (6oz) salmon steaks
- In a large re-sealable plastic bag combine the first six ingredients; mix well.
- Set aside 1/2 cup of marinade and refrigerate.
- Add salmon to remaining marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours, turning once. Drain and discard marinade.
- Place the salmon on a broiler pan. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 5 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade; turn and broil for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Brush with remaining marinade.
I climbed Kili before it killed me.
High altitude is no joke. I really started to feel the effects from 4000 metres and above.
When your lungs feel like they've been tied in a knot...
When headache feels like your head is going to explode...
When every step is a struggle...
When the blisters on your toes feel like torture...
When every cell in your body is telling you to turn back...
What do you do?
Do you give in to the pain?
Do you crumble?
Do you retreat and go lick your wounds...
Or do you keep climbing until you reach the summit or collapse?
Only you can make this decision. No one is going to carry you. Make it happen or accept the defeat. Either way, you’re responsible.
If it's important, you will persevere. If it's not, you will resign.
The choice is yours.
Now go get it... if you REALLY want it.
What ever it is that you want from 2016 is not going to just come to you. You’ll have to get dirty. You’ll have to pour some sweat. You’ll have to deal with stress, pain and disappointment. You may just have to die and be reborn in some way. This, as I feel, is what happened to me on my Kilimanjaro adventure.
Just remember one thing… No pressure, no diamonds :)
We can only discover our true potential if we make the effort to go over our pre-conceived limits. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
The biggest challenge for me this year is the charity fundraising project Kilimanjaro Dreams. I’ve never climbed a mountain before, and I’m inexperienced at fundraising, nevertheless, I’ve committed to take part in this just two months from now.
The Red Rubber Ball Foundation philosophy is to educate and inspire people to become leaders and break free from the situation they find themselves in, and in turn inspire others to do the same, especially in Kenya. Currently Red Rubber Ball has 62 students in education that would not be without private funding. The 62 are from different communities in Kenya, some are from the well known (perhaps for the wrong reasons) Kibera slums.
RRB is embarking on a new leadership programme. Out of the 62 students, 15 have been selected to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with 15 adults from UK, including me. We’re departing on 27th December 2015. There is nothing special about the 15 of us from UK except that we are all passionate about The Red Rubber Ball cause. We have little climbing/walking/camping/roughing it experience between us.
The objective for the selected 15 students is that they will lead and inspire others in their community, and will often lead the way on the mountain I am sure. Following this, they will be encouraged and resourced to lead other leadership programmes in their communities.
Sadly, none of this comes cheap. I am asking for sponsorship specifically for the Kilimanjaro initiative. Your contribution helps to pay for the youngsters to do the climb, and in turn inspire their communities to create positive change. If we raise more than is targeted, it could help pay for other initiatives in the future.
If you’d like to contribute, please follow the link below:
Eating healthy does not need to be boring! This Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry with Mango will wake up your taste buds, feed your muscles and satisfy your fiber needs, all in one delicious bowl! Meals like this, built around lean protein and veggies, are the way to eat in order to get your best fitness results possible. Enjoy! Servings: 4
Here’s what you need…
- 0.5 kg , boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 heads broccoli, chopped
- 2 carrots, cut in half and then into 2 inch segments
- 2 heads baby pak choy, chopped
- 1 courgette, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 3/4 cup chicken broth (divided)
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
- 1 ripe, organic mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
- Rinse the chicken and cut into 1 inch cubes.
- Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, sauté for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the broccoli, carrots and chicken and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add the pak choy and courgette. After 5 minutes add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, cover, and cook an additional 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, arrowroot, sesame oil, vinegar and dessiccated coconut. Add the seasoned mixture to the skillet, along with the chopped mango, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 365 calories, 16g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 28g protein.
Adjust the portion size according to your weight, metabolism and fitness goals.
Here’s a delicious high protein spinach salad that is bursting with flavor and nutrients. Try the simple homemade salad dressing – it’s much healthier than store bought dressings, doesn’t contain refined sugar, and still lends lots of flavor. Servings: 2
Here’s what you need…
- 6 cups organic baby spinach
- 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 6 pieces bacon, crumbled
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- juice from one lime
- dash of pepper
- Combine the spinach, eggs, bacon and tomatoes in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lime juice and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, mix and serve.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 340 calories, 20g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 26g protein
The 2nd episode of Shredded Brainiac podcast - finding balance between fitness and the rest of your life. This time my guest is dancer, choreographer and poet Paradigmz.
If you like what you hear, support the Shredded Brainiac podcast: