While I like the occasional treat or convenience item (plantain chips – 90p/bag in my local supermarket, 60p/bag in my local African food shop), the overwhelming majority of my calories and budget go on lots of veg, some fruit, oily fish, red meat and eggs.
I want to talk about money. Yes, dirty filthy money. When it comes to the topics of health and lifestyle, money, or the lack of it, either tends to get dismissed as a feeble excuse of the unwilling or thrust in the face as an unsurmountable obstacle.
Now we need to remember that the origin of the movements like Paleo are among the upper middle class University-educated elite. I am not saying it’s a good thing or that this is how it should be. This fact becomes quite apparent when the advice given out by some nutrition gurus out there misses the mark for everyone who has an under-6-figure household income.
This does not just apply to Paleo but also to the whole range of labels associated with New Nutritionism: vegan, free range, organic, gluten free, sugar free. If you doubt that Paleo or Gluten free is a premium label…
How is it already almost halfway through January?!
I had a little ponder after my last post and decided on some actions….
Go on 1 hike per month I’m defining a hike quite loosely – it has to be more than 5 miles and it has to be outside London (OK, maybe one of those ghost zones like 6 would do). This is by far the best thing I did for myself and my health last year.
Progress so far: Arranged for 17th January – just need to pick a location. Update! We did this one and it was excellent.
Grow some food I have a small garden, but big enough to grow a fair few veggies, which I was very diligent about for the first few year after I moved in 2007 (time flies!), but last year particularly, making the most of my garden meant flavouring everything from the rampant rosemary bush, rather than going to the immense effort of planting some lettuce seeds.
Progress so far: Walked round garden staring at clover-filled lawn. Tried to convince myself that digging would be great GPP. Went indoors and had a cuppa.
What was your biggest (health) triumph in 2014?
Starting strength training.
What was the smartest (health) decision you made in 2014?
Every single time I went on a hike.
What one word best sums up and describes your 2014 (health) experience? Learning.
What was the greatest lesson (about health) you learned in 2014? I thought my alignment was OK, because I had no pain, but when challenged by the barbell, turns out I have several kinds of musculo-skeletal nonsense which need my love and attention to become… sensible. Continue reading →
Giving my feet (more of) what they deserve. Last week, I trotted into the Vivo shop in Covent Garden (a mecca for minimalist footwear shops) thinking I might have a quick look at this season’s shoes. (I’d tried shopping for minimalist gym shoes before and not found anything better than the like-Converse-but-wider shoes I’d been wearing.) Seven minutes and a few quid later, I had these babies – I’ve worn them to squat heavy, go for a run on grass and amble to the shops to buy veggies. They feel fabulous. I even apologised to Katy Bowman on twitter that I ever thought they were overpriced.
I also recently bought some alignment socks (in red) . I haven’t worked up to sleeping in them yet (currently that would feel as weird to me as sleeping in my bra), but I love how relaxed my legs feel after wearing them. Continue reading →
I quit my Whole30. Despite sailing through a couple of social occasions ealier in the fortnight, when I easily could have had a ‘worth it’ moment, I stayed on track. But for the 15 days I ate Whole30 style, I continued to sleep poorly, I visibly lost weight, my sinuses felt the same and, worst, I had insufficient energy to go to the gym at all. Plus I was so damn hungry ALL THE TIME. I have no idea why. I was eating even more than normal* – and not low carb, low calorie, or low fat. In fairness, my joints did feel slightly looser – but not as good as when I regularly eat oily fish (which I haven’t been doing over the last few weeks).
When you have that kind of data, it’s time to do something else.
This is one of the AHS14 presentations I’m really looking forward to watching this weekend, along with Daryll Edwards on primal movement and play, Steph Gaudreau and Stacy Toth on strength training for women and Stacy again, with podcast partner Sarah Ballentyne on ancestral lifestyles for women. Other things to do this weekend: deadlifts, sleep a lot, stay Whole30 at a friend’s birthday party.
The Ancestry Foundation has done a superb job of getting all the AHS14 presentations, held at UCLA – Berkeley, mixed and uploaded. There is a tonne of great material from this conference. I highly recommend taking some time to work through them all.
Last year I had a go at a Whole 30, except it was a bit shorter and only moderately successful. As an experiment (which is how I approached it at the time, rather than setting a firm intention to complete it), it yielded some valuable data: I really do need to get most of my carbs from starch and not fruit; putting food restrictions in place when I’m not 100% happy with my weight/body composition is (still) a terrible idea for my mental health; anyone trying to tell me what to eat when I’m ill had better get out of my way.
Why try again? As a result of taking up heavy lifting this year, I’ve lost a some body fat and don’t want to lose any more. At all. In fact if I do, I will alter my eating somehow (start mainlining coconut milk?) to maintain it where it is.