Healthy Tips from Australia

The newspapers have been full of stories of the weather…. There have also been some shocking stories about our diet.


On our way home from a wonderful trip to Sydney. It’s going to be tough adjusting from long sunny days to the extreme cold that all of the UK seems to be suffering at the moment. The newspapers have been full of stories of the weather…. There have also been some shocking stories about our diet.

First ‘British have worst diet in Europe’. Apparently we eat four times as much junk food as France, Greece or Italy.

Next – The Guardian – Half of all food bought in the UK is ultra processed.

They seem shocking statistics, but I suppose if you look at how the floor space is divided up in a big supermarket it seems credible.

These were swiftly followed by a headline in the ‘I’ Stroke Warning for over 40’s’. Taking into account weight, drinking and lack of exercise 1 in 6, 40-69 yr olds will suffer a stroke…..

These statistics are potentially reversible by making small changes. Education is key. I believe in looking around the world and seeing what healthy customs other cultures have and learning from them.

I love traditional British fish and chips – I eat the fish and leave the batter. However Australian fish and chip shops are something else!

Choose your fish and how you want it cooked, plain grilled or deep fried, salt, no salt, which type of salad would you like, with or without chips? How good to have healthy options! So you can have a takeaway that’s healthy! The picture is of one of our favourites, in Cronulla.

Another statistic that I’ve already mentioned is that 5 out of 6, 60 yr olds already have a degenerative disease. I worry that we think this is normal for your age. We accept ill health, but it’s always worth making changes and seeing what can be achieved- it’s never too late. Removing processed sugar from your diet can have countless benefits, from weight loss to joints feeling better, headaches improving….. Simple changes bring big rewards.

Positive story to share – I had a message today from a young man who 3 months ago found that his cholesterol was 8.2. ( I don’t know his age but mid 30’s ). He declined drugs and went for a 3 month review last week. He did his research, dramatically changed his diet, no processed food or refined sugar. I believe he also had his first meal at lunchtime. He lost 2 stone, and his cholesterol is now 6.9. Whilst this is still high it is definitely moving in the right direction! I love to hear examples of people making positive changes and getting results!

So my message today is don’t get downhearted by all the gloomy statistics, we can all make changes. As the shampoo advert says – you are worth it!

Blog #6 What is the best way to lose weight?

The best way to lose weight is ……

Today I read a report arguing that in fact it’s a myth that we can be fat and fit. Apparently a movement started a few years ago claiming that it’s OK to be 200lbs as long as you’re active…… I’m pleased to read this because I think it’s wrong to give false hope to people who are carrying so much extra fat. In my opinion it’s wrong to be politically correct about a serious health issue.

People are overweight for lots of complicated reasons which is why I don’t believe a ‘diet’ is very helpful. Wouldn’t it be better to try to examine and address the cause? Low self esteem, confidence, stress, multiple reasons why people reach for food as the answer to problems. They are all very personal, and the answers and solutions will be different.

As I say, honesty is always the best policy. Confront the fact that a person has a health problem, I/ you need to lose 10lbs or 30lbs to prevent and relieve serious issues like Type 2 Diabetes, joint pain, raised blood pressure etc etc.

Now you can make a plan on how to tackle it. The goal is to make healthy changes for life. Calorie restriction and diet plans will work if you stick to the instructions…..
Slimming clubs work for a lot of people, maybe it’s the idea of the weekly public weigh in?

I have a concern that if we become fixated on restricting calories for weight loss we can lose sight of the original mission – to be healthy and stay healthy. We all need variety and vitamins and minerals.

Preprepared calorie controlled meals are useful for one thing, you know exactly how many calories you have eaten, if you are counting calories. However for optimum health as well as slimness you should avoid all processed food. The diet industry is huge and offers us lots of options, too numerous to mention here. It is in their interest to keep us trying more systems…..

Let’s go back to our original mantra – keep it simple – no processed food – if it’s been anywhere near a machine or a factory floor don’t eat it. No refined sugar/sweetener. Easy! Of course I’m including bread products here, the chemicals used to extend the life of a loaf haven’t yet been proven to extend yours…..

Listen to your body and eat what suits you. We are all different, I prefer not to eat meat, but love fish and dairy. If you love a steak check the source, grass fed organic is best.
I’m very keen not to give instructions, I have no right to do that. Also when we think about a problem and make our own plan we stick to our decisions in a much more positive way. This is a project we can actually enjoy, the rewards quickly become obvious. A slimmer, fitter, healthier you!