Healthy Eating- 3 Principles

This blog will discuss some basic principles into my nutrition lifestyle. It will include some basic strategies that I use that have helped me with my lifestyle and health and I hope can be of help to you. I am not a doctor just someone who has learnt through experience.

“When diet is wrong medicine is of no use; When diet is correct medicine is of no need” – Ayurvedic Proverb

“The food you eat can be the safest form and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of posion” Ann Wigmore

 

Healthy eating is a massive aspect of my life and a big contributory factor to my health. I always look to nutrition before medication. I believe my health is 70% because of nutrition and 30% because of physical activity. This is attributed to the right mindset which I spoke about in the previous blog. Without the mind we cannot achieve anything. The reason I give the 70/30% stat is because I have trained all my life but my health at times was still not good when I was training and not eating well. When I do both I am at my peak for health. Even when I am injured and have needed to take 6/8 weeks off but have maintained my healthy eating I have stayed healthy.

 

Nutrition v Medication

Tablets and medication has got rid of symptoms I have been suffering but sometimes given me other negative health problems. Looking to nutrition has got rid of symptoms for good and provided other positive health aspects for my body. It’s easy to take the medication and get that quick fix but I believe instead of treating the symptoms try and fix the cause. Sometimes medication leads to more medication. Certain pills are toxic and cause other health related problems down the line. We are seeing as people with Cystic Fibrosis are living longer they are suffering other problems when they are older caused by medication they have taken earlier down the line. For me pills and chemicals are a last resort. I am not advising you not to take you medication. I am advising you to always look into the medication and see if there are alternatives first that can work better. Treat the cause and not the symptom and weigh up the pros and cons to taking a certain tablet.

 

Eat as much Organic food as possible

Although they are more expensive your health is defiantly worth the price. Organic foods are higher in nutrients and don’t contain chemicals which are harmful to the body. It is important to read the ingredients list when purchasing food and not the calorie content. By eating organic you are making sure you stay away from GMO foods.

hemp protein

The ingredients on this package label are one, nothing other than hemp protein. Therefore no chemicals or extras have been added to the food.

The ingredients on this label however contains over 10 ingredients hardly any of which are real food most are harmful. This is a food I would stay away from. Not because of the calories or amount of carbohydrates, fat etc but because of the ingredients.

crap ingrediants

Organic foods contain 1/3 as many pesticides as non-organic foods. By taking medication you already are putting toxins and chemicals into your body. Organic food will allow you to put no more chemicals into your body.

Genetically modified Organisms (GMO) are foods that have been modified in a lab adding other chemicals and organisms to them. These will be labelled in your foods as ingredients such as, canola oil, soy lecithin, corn syrup along with other ingredients. The best way to avoid GMO foods are stay organic and get Non GMO labelled food.

Organic food is also more nutrient dense. They have a higher level of Vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants. Why would you restrict these important aspects of health from your body? If you are trying to lose or gain weight you want to contain all the food nutrients possible for your nutrition and your health.  The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine conducted a review of 41 published studies comparing the nutritional value of organically grown and conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains and concluded that there are significantly more of several nutrients in organic foods crops. The same study also showed that organic grown vegetables contain vitamin C where conventional grown vegetables don’t. On average the study also showed they provide 21% more iron, 27% more vitamin C and 29 % more Iron. Therefore it makes complete sense to eat Organic and get these minerals into your system.

Animal Protein and Dairy Products

With a condition that gets prescribed a lot of medication and drugs anyway I do not want gain any more from food. Animal protein is high in hormones, drugs and antibiotics. If the animal you are eating has been eating toxins that also means that you are eating them. Drugs, antibiotics and growth hormones are directly passed into meat and dairy products. These hormones found in meat and dairy have been shown to increase the risk of cancer along with other effects on your health. They are also hard to digest and this is something Cystic Fibrosis patients already suffer with.

I consume a lot of fish, and it is important to try and source wild caught fish over farm fed. Farmed fish is more contaminated and have a much higher level of chemicals from the way they are looked after and fed. Wild caught fish is more natural and contains less chemicals and real nutrition.

Same with most animal protein; just because you are eating chicken it does not mean it is healthy if the chicken has been pumped with chemicals and steroids. I try to gain a lot of protein from other sources than animal protein such as hemp seeds, avocados, quinoa, lentils etc. I consume animal protein on a rotational basis looking to eat wild caught fish, organic chicken, turkey and eggs.

Dairy products are a big no no. The fact they are recommended in any diet never mind a cystic fibrosis diet baffles me. I have no dairy in my diet what so ever. My calcium levels are well above average and I have never broken a bone ever. This is pretty remarkable you would seem as I have Cystic Fibrosis and compete as a professional fighter. Dr Willet who studied the consumption on dairy products found that. Dairy products increase the risk of bone fractures and actually vitamin D is shown to improve bone strength more than calcium. Consumption of dairy products increases your risk of cancer. Calcium products reduce the risk of colon cancer but dairy products do not. It has also been shown to cause digestive problems and type 1 diabetes. When we drink milk we don’t absorb the calcium from the product. There is more calcium in real foods such as spinach, kale, nuts, fruits and fish which I eat a lot of.

foods-with-calcium

Water Consumption

All living things need water to survive. Roughly 60% of your body is water. If we are de-hydrated our bodies cannot work properly. How are we meant to live, function, stay healthy without water. Being hydrated makes you perform better. Water is not an enjoyable drink to consume however it has many health benefits’. I consume a minimum of three litres per day + 1 litre extra per training session. The amount you should drink varies on individual but I recommend a minimum of 2 litres per day and the heavier you are the more you should drink. You can drink the water hot or room temperature and add some lemons, fruit or anything else into to help the taste. Lemons are great for alkalising your system. You don’t need these high sugar drinks or any other drink for that matter. Water, teas and the odd coffee are all you need. High water amount will help flush out your toxins and bacteria, boost your immune system and help aid digestion something which a lot of people with Cystic Fibrosis struggle with. It even helps give me a clear throat. Studies have shown water to help fight off infections and colds as it helps clear the airways. Our muscles are roughly 75% water, blood is 83% and joints are 22%. Why would we not drink water? If we are dehydrated our blood thickens which can put pressure on the heart. Therefore even our heart needs water. It is an easy step to change with so many benefits’.

31st-may-2012-drink-water

Overview

3 principles that you can add into your lifestyle to help improve your health. If your body and mind is healthy you have a greater chance of a happier lifestyle.

Eat Organic real food as much as possible

Animal Protein and Dairy product consumption rules

Drink Water

These are three principles which have greatly improved my health and quality of lifestyle. Since I had a blocked colon and 12 inches of it removed I really focused on my nutrition. Since focusing on my nutrition my health and quality of life improved. I hope these principles can do the same for you. You should feel better, be able to do more physically and mentally. By improving your nutrition it will help have a knock on effect by improving other areas of your life.

A Positive Mindset

This blog will discuss a positive mindset and the benefits it can have on your health. Having a positive mindset has helped me with my condition and my life. The mind is such a big contributor to your health.

“A man is what he thinks, everything is a state of mind”- Bruce Lee

The mindset I have built has come from a sporting background but I have applied it to dealing with Cystic Fibrosis. Positive perspectives inspire us and help give our lives meaning and joy. They allow us to be free. We can control our mindset but positive thoughts must come from within. The brain cannot distinguish what is real and what is visualisation.  Visualisation and a positive mindset can have a powerful effect on the body.

Negative emotions are fuel for your own destruction. When I moved to the adult’s clinic I was told about all the negative effects of growing old with Cystic Fibrosis. I then started believing they would all happen to me. I started viewing myself as a sick person. This resulted in my lung function decreasing and led to two hospital stays. I started to believe I belonged in the hospital. I had this constant burden on my mind that this is what my life would be like forever. It was only when my lung function and health actually started to get worse while I was in hospital I started to realise I needed out and did not belong there. I needed to be in the gym training and with my friends who did not view me as a sick person. Being in the gym and with my friends was fun as being in hospital was like prison for me. I have not had a hospital stay since I changed my mindset and I am looking to carry on that way for as long as possible. I am not saying a healthy body is all about a healthy mind but it is a big contributing factor. They both relate and impact each other.

Creating positive images and thoughts can help us create the life we want. 

You have to believe you can be healthy and want to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself. Don’t accept being constantly ill, in and out if hospital as your lifestyle. My parents never accepted that lifestyle for me and brought me up to want the best from life and health. Don’t have a fixed mindset and believe you cannot change. Instead have a growth mindset open to new ideas which can help you develop more. Do not look at “What is” look at “What should be”.

A study in Denmark which looked at 607 patients that had heart disease found that patients who had a positive outlook had 58% more chance of living an extra 5 years than the negative ones. The people with a more positive outlook also exercised regularly.

This study is great as it shows a change in mindset can improve the quality of your life which is something everyone wants. This does not have to just be about health but any area in your life. Physical activity is proven to enhance your mood and having a positive outlook can help motivate you into other healthy habits. That might mean improving your nutrition, going for walks, meditating or even taking care of your sleep. Setting goals can help you improve your life and your health. I have a goals board on my bedroom door full of yellow sticky stamps. Every day I read my goals and once completed I rip them off and replace them with a greater goal. This way I can constantly grow.

Unfortunately your Doctor cannot give you a drug for a positive mindset. It has to come from within. Some of things I recommend are spending time with happy positive people. This can give you some positive energy. Don’t spend time talking about negative things with negative people. Positive people help you feel good and give you positive thoughts and feelings. Do things that make you happy and at times be selfish and don’t do things you don’t enjoy or be with people you don’t like. Help other people which can help you. Helping someone and giving people compliments can help with you feel better. It is constantly spreading positive energy.  Try having no bad thoughts just positive ones. Every time something negative comes into your head change it for a positive one. It is tough not to have negative thoughts but when you do have them always correct them. Let one negative thought that comes into your mind be replaced with 5 positive ones. You have to work on a positive mindset and train your mind to be this way.

See Cystic Fibrosis as a challenge. Compete against it; always believe you can be better, healthier. Embrace the things that are important to you. Enjoy every moment as only that second is real. If you want to move in a positive direction you must choose to go that way. Make positive focused choices.

Embrace a Positive perspective:

Make being positive a habit

Rejoice in all the good in your life

Focus on what you can do

Overview:

Set daily goals and start being successful on a daily basis by achieving them. This will bring more good habits into your life and will help make you feel good.

Being positive and having the right mindset is proven to help you with your health and life. At times situations get tough but negative thoughts are no help to you at all. They just enlarge the problem

.Be happy and positive and it can give you a greater chance of the life you want.

Post positive thoughts with sticky notes in your bedroom. Read them daily when you wake up and before you leave your room.

As the early quote from Bruce Lee stated  “A man is what he thinks, everything is a state of mind”.

These principles can be related to your health, job, business, sport or any aspect of your life.

headstand

Introduction

First Blog:

Cystic Fibrosis is also called “65 roses” because that is how children say Cystic Fibrosis.

Blog:

This blog is an introduction to my background and story which lead me to where I am today. It will include why I am blogging and what you can expect from my blog page.

Born with Cystic Fibrosis this led to a passion into health, nutrition and sports.

moel famaueHere i am chasing my mum up Moel Famau in North Wales on a run I went on with IPC (Inspire Performance Centre) gym.

My Story

As a school kid growing up I was always into sports.  Any sport you would see me taking part and having fun doing so. I loved the physical activity and the competitiveness it brought. In my younger years up until my teens football was my main sport. I wanted to become a professional footballer. I played for Shrewsbury Town for four years and in this time represented Wales at under 15, 16 and 17s level. I played with the players like of Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Gareth Bale and Neil Taylor. My family would travel around Europe to watch me play and support me. The physical exercise combined with the mental benefits of competition and socialising with others helped me grow as a person. The trips helped me become independent with my medication ad how I dealt with Cystic Fibrosis. I was a successful youth player.

shrewsbury

Playing For Shrewsbury Town and captaining them to Champions of the Ian Rush International Tournament.

When it came to giving out full time contracts I did not receive one basically due to the club not wanting to take a risk on my health (Cystic Fibrosis). I left the club with a standing ovation from players, parents and previous coaches. This was my life and it had been taken away from me because of something I was born with. I was upset but willing to bounce back. Wrexham allowed me to go there for pre-season. I signed for Wrexham on a one year part time deal which allowed me to go to college and study sport science.

Transition to MMA:

During this time in college my Uncle Julian Aby started a Mixed martial-arts (MMA) class with all proceeds going to Cystic Fibrosis. Julian had travelled the world studying MMA and wanted to combine his interest with raising funds for CF. I started off once a week, then twice a week and then before I knew it I was asking my Uncle to take me on my own for extra training. I was doing this along with football and college. I started picking it up very fast and became addictive to learning about all the techniques.

bradley mma josh mc

Here I am drilling with one of my good friends Josh Mcloed.

After one year at Wrexham I went to play in the Welsh Premier league but football was just not the same for me anymore. I would play every week and train in both sports. When I started competing in MMA it was here I decided to go down the route full time and dedicate myself to the sport. I had 4 amateur fights and 3 semi professional fights by this time all which I had won. It was then I decided I needed to go find a full time gym where I could train and this is where I found the MMA Academy in Liverpool.

The MMA Academy:

This became my second home. I would train here in the days I did not have university and back home in Wrexham at night with Julian. The people I met here have become family. Jason Tan UFC veteran and Peter Davies have created a great team. I have met some great people within the team and have developed dramatically in the sport. I have grown in the sport and as a person and the active lifestyle and focus on nutrition lead to improvements in my health. I am now a professional fighter. I train most days of the week and manage my condition carefully. The team at the MMA Academy is constantly growing and I am proud to be part of it.

mma acadamy team

With Peter Davies, Jason Tan and Mike Wootten after a victory on FCC

Coaching:

When I went full time as an amateur I was also studying a degree at Glyndwr University in Sports Coaching. I was learning about sport science, sports coaching, training principles, nutrition and sport psychology. The degree was not tough because I had been brought up with a dad with great knowledge in these fields and was always involved in high level sport. It was all second nature to me now the only thing I had to learn was my assignment writing skills. While doing this I started coaching at my uncles classes. I would train most days, study, travel to Liverpool and train and coach at night.

Inspire Performance Centre (IPC)

IPC was something me and my dad had always discussed. He was always interested in scientific training. He had great knowledge in this field as well as nutrition. He made me a deal if I got my degree I could help run the facility. My dad had coached in Rugby for 15 years after playing professionally at Sale. So we made our dream come true and opened up the performance centre. The facility has brought me great joy and motivation. I witness people change their lives for the better in IPC and it really does motivate me. Here I get to use my coaching degree, train and coach an MMA team along with my Uncle and other coaches. I work with professional athletes and every day people who just want to train. I have seen people change their lives in this facility, come back from injuries they were told they cannot and progress in their chosen fields. My friends all train here and I have met some great people in this facility.

battle ropesmuay thai

Some pictures from the facility.

Overall Health and work for CF Trust:

So by my background story in brief detail you can see my interest in physical activity, nutrition, health and psychology. I believe these aspects I have picked up from areas of my life along with Cystic Fibrosis have lead me to where I am today. I hope to be an example to other people with the condition and can help inspire them to do good things with their lives. My life involves my passion and this makes me happy.

Why I have decided to start blogging:

The CF trust have used me to give talks in schools, and meet with other parents with new born babies with Cystic Fibrosis. I and the family have risen over £20,000 for the CF trust and IPC takes parts in events to help raise money for the trust. I want to help and share information so people can make changes for the better in their lives. People have always mentioned to me about blogging, writing a book and sharing information so people can change their lives. I hope the information I share in my blogs can have a positive influence on your lives.

What my blogs will involve:

My blogs will vary on articles based around, health, nutrition, training and psychological mindset. I will look into all the aspects that I feel people can change to improve their lives. I will look to share my experiences and knowledge with you through the blog. Some blog topics you don’t feel relevant to your life you don’t have to read. If you have Cystic Fibrosis or know anybody that does I defiantly recommend you follow this blog.

Future Blog Posts:

Please feel free to comment with any topics that you will like me to discuss in future blogs and leave any feedback positive and negative.

Motivational Quote:

“To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise we cannot keep our body and mind strong”

Buddha