When I first started doing some research for this article I was fairly sure I was going to confirm what I thought I knew;

Fibre from fruit and veg is good for you, and, fibre from cereals and grains doesn’t aid health and can cause intestinal problems. 

So is that what I found out? Yes, and no!


What I found out, I shouldn’t have been surprised about. But what was that, and why? What I found out was that the original work showing fibre being beneficial was only attributed to fruit and veg, not to grains. Does this sound a little dissimilar to the usual advice? It sure does. But what I also found was that some studies also show benefits to eating fibre from grains. So what’s happening in both cases, and why is there a difference? Read More »

Nearly everyone knows, by now, that we should be getting more omega 3 oils in our diets. But what happens when we get too much, and how easy is it to eat too much?

The answers are:


It’s probably easy to eat too much fish oil


Too much omega 3 oils will make you ill and make you sluggish!


Really? Come on George, how can this be? Read More »

 “do you know what your perfect fuel blend is?”

perfect fuel blend for fat lossThis article is about context. Context is about how you find something, where you find it, and how it fits in. When I talk about food, I find that there are lots of ways, contexts, to talk about it. Here I’ll present three ways of thinking about food.

What is food?

1 it’s energy. But what sort do you want for optimal health and vitality?
2 it’s building blocks, so what do you want to build?
3 it’s gene modifying stuff. So how do you want your genes to be expressed?

Before we look into those points, perhaps we should consider why this is important, after all, if food is just something we eat, and our thoughts end there, there’s nothing to talk about. But if food can have purpose, or it can have positive or negative effects, and that by talking about it, thinking about it, and experimenting with your body we increase the health, vitality and quality of your life, then food is very much worth talking about.   Let’s look at that first one, as it’s probably the one that most of us associate with food. Read More »

My Weight Loss Journey – A Client Speaks Out!

7 stone weight loss with paleo ketogenic diet and exercise

My weight loss journey started, or should I say re-started a little more than a year ago (December 2011).  Over the preceding 7 years, I had gone from having a regular training/exercising routine and making sensible choices around food, to having huge gaps in my exercise routine of anything from a couple of weeks right through to 9 months and dropping into a cycle of absolving myself of all responsibility for choosing “good foods” to eat, and finding myself getting caught in the trap of one “naughty” meal turning into a “naughty” day, and before I knew it finding myself in the middle of a “naughty” week or month.

Read More »

Below you’ll find a translated version of a letter published on a Dutch website. Google provided the initial translation, and I’ve gone through it and cleaned it up somewhat. The message that comes through is this:

Sugar IS Addictive & People Need Help Getting Off It!

Who: Aart Jan van der Lelij, professor of endocrinology (Erasmus MC).

Idea: fat people have a calorie problem but suffering from an addiction issue.

Expected: addiction therapy to combat the obesity epidemic.

‘In our brains is a thermostat that regulates our metabolism so that we remain at a constant weight. This system is based on the energy balance: if we need energy then we eat, when there is enough energy we stop. That basically means we should especially make use of proteins and fats. Imagine getting hungry and I give you a bowl of boiled eggs, then you eat a few. Then you are full.

“That changes when I replace the eggs with cookies. Sugar activates the hedonic system, it is food that gives a taste in the brains reward centres. That hedonic eating behaviour has no way to promote satiety: it wants to send impulses to the reward centre and has barely any stop signal. The problem is that the reward and the ‘I’m-so-happy’ feelings are linked together. Result: you eat all the cookies, even if your stomach hurts.

“Whether you’re a cigarette addict or eat a sweet dessert, it still uses the same reward system. It’s just as hard to get rid of the craving for sweet foods as to quit smoking. Now much of the food eaten is fast food, and fast food intentionally includes ingredients that maintain addiction, this means that for 99 percent of overweight people this is a lost cause [to try and lose weight without also trying to deal with the addiction]. They have become sugar junkies. Diets are useless for them, but they benefit from addiction therapy. They must learn how to deal with those enticing emotions/thoughts/feelings.

“Why do people find the American Skippy peanut butter better than the Fair Trade offering? The answer is found in the amount of added carbohydrates. Which are secretly pushed/added. The fast sugars immediately turn on the reward centres, then you only want more. Food manufacturers know that sales gimmick. Cigarettes also have the same addictive substances added to them as foods.

“And beware, because artificial sweeteners are not innocent. Diet Coke is really worse than water, we have been deceived for a long time. Once you eat something sweet – whether natural or artificial sugars – it goes through to the taste receptors on your tongue and sends a signal to the reward centres and then slowly the brakes come off. You’re going to end up eating more if you drink diet coke.sugar addiction cartoon image

“Moreover, these receptors on the tongue and down in the duodenum are stimulated by sweetness, and these receptors stimulate the production of hormones. One of which is insulin, which removes sugar from the blood. But, Insulin is addictive. If you have too much insulin in your blood, tissues and organs become dependent on it. Even the brain has more than necessary. Normally you will get hungry when the glucose in your blood becomes too low, but if your body is addicted to sugar, you get hungry as the sugar begins to drop. After this drop you eat earlier than necessary. This creates a vicious cycle.

“With overweight people, the reward centres are more active in the brain when compared to lean and healthy people. This is partly hereditary, partly the result of learned behaviour. If, for whatever reason, you have linked eating to dealing with emotions you’ll end up eating when you need to solve a problem or feel happy. It’s like the sweets that kids get when they fall and hurt their knee, except this behaviour goes on into adulthood, when we’re supposed to have better solutions to such problems.

“Even if fat people lose weight, they continue to suffer from their addiction for years. It may be that their brains are permanently changed. The thermostat that regulates the natural appetite is too long ignored. This thermostat must be reset. The question is whether this is possible. Therefore diets always work but temporary. As the addiction takes over again.

“Behavioural therapy is better. Give someone a diet and proper therapy plan, so that it works for the long term.

For the past 50 years or so, we’ve been fighting a war against bulging waistlines and ‘diseases of civilisation’. Have we been winning?

A quick look around the streets of most towns or cities will tell you just how far we are from winning. This short article will highlight one area where, I believe, we’ve missed our target. And missed it with disastrous consequences.


Why is this question even relevant? Surely fat is simply ‘bad for you’.

low carb or low fat

Let’s Start The Debate

That’s where we’ve been going so, so wrong. Our focus has been on getting our diets lower and lower in fat (at least that’s the official recommendation, and that’s what I’m aiming at), and avoiding thinking about pretty much every other aspect of our diets. It’s as if the authorities are saying, ‘if you get your fat intake low enough, everything will be okay’.

What this has lead us to is the understanding that we all ‘know’ that we’re ‘supposed’ to eat a low-fat diet, eat ‘heart healthy’ low fat, high fibre whole grains and get some exercise a few times each week. And I don’t doubt that some people even manage this, but do they actually benefit? And if not, why not?

What I propose, based on some pretty darn convincing evidence, is that this advice is simply wrong, and that it causes more damage than good. I propose that instead of focusing our efforts on lowering our dietary fat, we should be aiming to massively decrease our sugar consumption, and from there lower our consumption of all foods that have processed carbs in them. Read More »

Does Eating Less Saturated Fat & More Polyunsaturated Fat Reduce Heart Disease Risk?

In the light of the post I popped on facebook earlier in the day, I thought it would be worth mentioning something about the scientific process.

It would be nice to think that science was filled with people that are totally honest, and are just there to get to the truth. And I’m sure that, for the vast majority, this is true.

But I’m also sure that there are some who are more likely to show only those results that fit in with their ideas (Ancel Keys and T Colin Campbell come to mind), and I’m also sure good scientists have administrators and bosses that don’t care about the truth, but about getting higher up the promotion ladder and keeping their jobs.

So it came as no surprise to read about the Minnesota Coronary Survery (full pdf here) in Gary Taubes’ ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’. This was a study designed to prove that lowering saturated fat in the diet would reduce deaths by heart disease.

Here’s what it says in Taubes’ book:

gary taubes good calories bad calories excerpt Read More »

So here I am at home, siting safely in front of the fire, writing a blog post about my adventures in the outdoors today. Where to start?


panoramic view around hartington

A panorama of the hills around Hartington courtesy of my iphone 5

Well, this is the description on the Large Outdoors Website for the walk we had planned today: Read More »

Highlights of the Web


In the world of George and his people, here’s what’s caught our attention:


For some reason it’s been a time of jollity, so today’s email finds us with some things to make us smile….


Taylor Swift and a Goat?

When I was sent this I almost fell off my chair laughing, never has ROTFLMHO been so true (and of course there are a good many of these now…)



(got one of these that you think is funnier? Send it my way) Read More »