GUEST BLOG: Nutritional Based Medicine, by Bec Connolly

This is a great thought-provoking Guest Blog, by Bec Connolly: Boxer, Personal Trainer, Nutritional Coach, Runner, writer & Mother of Four with a passion for sport, good food & positive people. 

Full details of Bec’s services can be found at http://www.allornothingfitness.co.uk/

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Nutritional based medicine….time to listen yet??!

Right, so been writing a lot on nutrition lately and have been having a number of interesting discussions on the subject in relation to both medicine-Prevention, treatment and cure, and general wellbeing. So thought i would add a blog in (i know so many people are asking for video blogs-i tried and failed ha! Guess im just an old-fashioned girl really).

Now this is a subject mater im fiercely passionate about and i believe, if we whole heartedly awaken our people to fully comprehend the impact of proper nutrition and its place in medicine, no one would or even could consciously go back into the dark.

Now when i talk about ‘Our Doctors’ and ‘hospitals ‘etc in this piece, i am in no way being detrimental to the effort or the service and the work they do. With what im sure, are 100% good intentions. Also when i talk of combining Eastern influences with our Western treatments i am not in any way implying our hospitals are not second to none. I truly think that the medicine we do well in this country , that is sought after the world over, is ’emergency medicine’ . Our ‘life saving interventions’ are simply the best. They are the most forward thinking, advanced and impressive the globe has to offer. What im saying is, let’s do this, lets free up our hospitals to provide emergency treatment and start tackling disease (largest killers in this country are Heart disease and cancers) on the home front. GPs are not even trained in nutrition, as a sole subject unit, in the 6 years they study! WTH??! This truly shocks me, when a diet rich in an assortment of vitamins and minerals, not only keeps you mentally and physically performing at an optimal level but prevents a large number of common illnesses and complaints that GPS are inundated with daily. It makes no sense to me why a government would spend millions of tax pounds on a campaign (we have all seen the posters ‘anti biotic won’t work on a cold’) to deter people booking appointments wanting a ‘quick fix’ medicine for a common cold virus, but the same government wont spend significantly less handing out Vitamin C. Why deal with the problem when you could mostly prevent it?

I think i will start by talking about food with families, as our children, the next generation, are the ones we need to get this sorted for really. Plus im a firm believer that education really does start at home and you do need to lead by example.

Thats not to say, before you roll your eyes at me with frustration… that i don’t ‘get it’, i do! Im as guilty as the next mum at popping a pack of 22p biscuits in my toddlers hand to get him to stop kicking off, bored at the supermarket….. or just for ten mins peace while i do the ironing! My kids have begged for A Macdonald’s milkshake and won! I’ve got in from work, tired out, nothing fresh in and put smily faces and spaghetti in front of them. I get it! I’m not saying its 100% 100% of the time, its moderation, BUT proper moderation, like a 95% 5% split. You, if your anything like me, need a guilty pleasure every now and then-christ, a few of you would have seen what a slice of carrot cake can reduce me to hahahahaha (inhaled in seconds flat) and a vody and coke barely settles in the glass hahahah !Its all about ‘real’ moderation.

Also its portion sizes, an average child needs only 35 kcal to each pound of ‘ideal’ body weight, that means that no child under 7 is ever likely to be going to need more than a 1000kcal a day. Anybody that’s ever been on a weight loss diet will know that a 1000kcal isn’t all that much. So basically stop stuffing them up!!

A child “learns” to like food, if you keep giving a healthy balanced diet, your child will, with no alternatives, eat a healthy balanced diet. It’s that simple.

Teach your children about where food is from, go vegetarian if you think you can (vegetarians a no brainer for me, i cant get my head round why anyone would want to eat a dead thing, much less kill something to feed yourself when it’s not necessary to survival. Live by ‘first do no harm’…but from talking to friends i do understand that some people just will not give up meat or fish. And with the exception of the excuse ‘what difference will i make, they will still all be killed?’ this being the only reason that i just can not abide.) (Pathetic reason to eat something, if everyone thought like this no change would or could ever happen, one quiet voice is always better than no voice-but that’s a whole other blog!) I do understand some wish to get their protein mainly from animals so, make it lean white meats. Serve your families fresh fruit and vegetables ( now im not saying, as i will get to later, that our veg is up to much, but the calorie content, saturated fat content, sugar content etc is natures perfect balance) so load um up! Get the oats, the acai berries, the spirilium, the nuts… all the power foods into them-we are the generation lucky enough to have the research done for us already , now lets apply it.

Whilst i agree that its close to impossible in modern-day Britain to get every nutrient needed for optimal functioning, i do think that this calorie controlled, low fat (still incorporating good fats), wholegrain, low sugar, no white/refined carbohydrate, vegetarian diet is the best thing you can do for both yours and your children’s health.

Basically it’s getting rid of processed foods, its simplifying your food! If it comes straight from the ground its better for you! It’s not difficult or expensive (though im totally with you on the ridiculous comparison prices of vegetables and wholegrain food, make’s me so angry-but once you portion correctly i think most people find generally their bill goes down). A simple, cheap but brilliant breakfast will always be porridge-filling, boosts metabolism and is slow release energy, make it with water to avoid adding unnecessary calories and if you must sweeten it, chuck in a handful of raisins-job done, family fed! Don’t be afraid to challenge your children’s schools either. A lot of people prefer to send in a lunch box now anyway, which is great as you have total nutritional control. The schools all have a ‘healthy schools’ policies to adhere to now, which is a great step in the right direction, parents are asked not to put crisps or chocolate bars etc. in boxes….great, but what else is going in?! I’ve seen boxes packed to the brim with white sandwiches, yogurt, plastic cheese strings, cheese dippers, go ahead bars, jelly, strawberry mouse, mini bits of meat with biscuits and cheese, cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, pork pies! Stop and think! This meal needs to be around 300 kcal of their allowance! They really do not need any high sugar foods or heavily processed things that are going to make them lethargic or crash at some point, especially in school time (make the connection between food and good behaviour here too please, the more schools and parents recognize this, the less trouble and behavioural problems our children and young people will face). Don’t let others almost ‘pressure’ you-i know this happens because it’s happened to me! The teachers and other parents making snide comments and remarks about lunch box content. My children on a typical day take in water, yep that’s right, shocking parent, water…ha…a large whole meal peanut butter sandwich and one piece or a portion of fruit salad and one portion of either raw veg sticks or a yogurt. That’s it, that’s all they need, they get a glass of milk and piece of fruit at break time too. that lunch box has approx. 300-350 kcals in it . It’s that easy. Get them used to eating correct portion sizes now, they will thank you for it later i promise you.

Anyway that follows on nicely to the next topic i wanted to discuss, as i said earlier, i don’t think much of the nutritional content of a lot of our foods now anyway. We are the benefactors of the third generation of super markets and massive commercial availability of foods. Great, cheaper, convenient and vast variety. What’s the cost of this though? The pay off is simply that our food is nutritionally raped before we get to it. Unless you are buying (truly) organic or growing your own food, it’s very likely, that because all of our soil has been worked and used so much, had fertilizers and other chemicals pumped into it for so many many years now, it lacks all the vital minerals , (there’s literally no magnesium left to be found in British soil now let alone the other 100’s needed) to grow well-balanced produce so the produce is substandard nutritionally. So then, by the time it’s harvested, treated, packed, sat in the store for 5 days, taken home by us, cooked (sapping any goodness it might have had left out…) we are left with a vastly inferior food product.

However, this doesn’t have to be ‘throw in the towel time’ ! We are the generation lucky enough to be able to benefit from modern science and all the research done, as we can find vitamin supplements readily available to us. Now this is where i have countless debates with my co-workers and such like, as some people are vehemently against this.

The belief is firmly that you should be able to get everything you need from a balanced diet, well i have just explained my reasons why i don’t thing this is happening anymore.

Also its about breaking down the misconceptions that are placed in people’s minds that these are ‘tablets’ or ‘drugs’ or something, they absolutely are not. I’m all for a natural diet (and against taking prescription drugs at all costs obviously ) but if i can swallow, in one mouthful, enough iron, vitamin A,B,C and D for my day before i even eat, then brilliant! If i had a penny for every joke that i get in the mornings at work “you’ll start rattling soon Bec” etc etc id be rich! Yep, i shoot wheatgrass and vitamins like they are sambucca and i make sure i get above and beyond my fair share of B3′ and 12’s to aid my vegetarian diet. But like with anything there is a side to be weary of, do your research, RDA are not always right for one (shocking, the government being wrong eh?! ;)…;), certain things you can get cause negative side effects by having too much of ….but things like Vitamin C, you really cant get too much of a good thing! 100mg a day RDA WTH?? I make sure i get a minimum of 1000mg daily at least. This is where media stories and propaganda shuffles through hazy memories, have you not heard that too much can damage your liver some where before, or was it Kidneys?? Yep, you probably did read that somewhere but it’s absolutely unfounded and in fact completely discredited by the research since carried out. …..

So you think you have decided to get on to the optimal health train, want to wake up feeling refreshed and rested, mind and memory sharp from all those rich Omega oils your feeding your body, hair and nails glossy from the biotin, cells regenerating and energy from all the B vitamins and extra Iron?? Then you get faced with the next major hurdle in this battle to overcome. This too, like the prescription drug empire, is a multi billion pound business and with that comes all the hard sell pitfalls to avoid. It’s not as easy as walking into Tescos and buying your generic multivitamin! Sadly, if you actually look at the quantities in these, they might be at the “government recommended” mg pitch, but nowhere near what you would need to actually feel different and boost your body. There are however some great, reputable internet sites and sports nutritionist are the best folk to speak to here for some great recommendations.

So this sounds like i got a bit side tract from my original topic of its place in Medicine. But i thought id put a bit of background in first. The thing that i oppose so strongly in our medical system is its heavy reliance on pharmaceutical companies and drugs . Firstly i don’t trust multi billion pound corporations that happen to have control over what information is added….. and conveniently, edited out of our medical journals!

Money really does and always will talk loudly in the minds of the corrupt or the money needy (our government!!).

The truth, however, if shouted loudly by anyone fierce enough to oppose what is happening, will always, in my eyes, be not only the more worthy but the leading voice into the next movement. With death, obesity and disease rates so high and medication side effect reports becoming more concerning and at times horrifying, can we afford to be the generation that doesn’t stand up?? Is this the last chance we have to fight and to speak out for our children’s generation not to live in a world where coronary heart disease, diabetes and 1 in 2 people developing a cancer of some variety is the norm??!! Lets stand up and make our words heard then!!

pharmaceutical companies have screwed us over for a profit …..and as a country we have let them!

We, in western medicine and culture like to have a drug that does just one thing, to coin a famous phrase “a pill for every ill”.

It seems too unlikely or too difficult to comprehend when someone says a certain food or herb or nettle ect will treat several ailments etc !! We need to start giving medical weight to these things though. If you look to the East and their statistics on disease, its absolutely nothing like ours-food really does matter! However these drugs companies are powerful and their money keeps them in our governments pockets. They are not going to relinquish any ruling over our medical practices any time soon -and please don’t think im saying all drugs are bad, like i said earlier our ’emergency medicine” is second to none the world over. Drugs are part of that success story, but long-term medication, no, absolutely not, not how our bodies were designed. There has to be and is another way.

There are people campaigning tirelessly across the globe that are being silenced as we speak. Its called the ‘forgotten research” It’s basically the stuff left out of our medical journals because it doesn’t make money. With risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, even cancer has become a billion pound industry for America and Britain. There are doctors that have had to move their families into Mexico just to practice their Medical techniques-that have had success rates far higher than we are used to in the treatment of cancer..because its illegal to practice these (un costly) things in western medicine! The founder of alcoholics anonymous, also used niacin in his recovery program and wanted to include vitamin therapy into his program but the medical board would only allow it to go ahead as a completely ‘spiritual’ group. How controlling?!!! Money!!

The research has been done, we are not in the dark. We have just been silenced and manipulated into believing we are getting the best when in fact we are playing in to a business strategy. 38 degrees and many others have done blinding work going head to head with Abbie v drug company (to get transparent date-these people were hiding side effects (legally!!!) with no concern for the devastating life effects on people…just concerned with selling more ) It’s a start but only a start.

Lets be the generation that stands up and shouts, no! 1 in 4 are the stats now…..that’s 1 of my kids! Impossible………don’t keep quiet, don’t meekly except what’s available to you! enquire, be curious, ask questions….demand answers. Do it for the next generation, a brighter legacy.

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