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Making Nutrition Simple

Today I want to tell you a story.

It’s a nice story that is all about nutrition/food/eating.

I told it yesterday to one of my clients who is just baffled by the whole topic. She loved it.

So get comfy and join me on this journey.

Your body needs nutrition. It needs a load of different stuff going in for it to run properly.

I use the analogy that your body is a house.


To build and maintain a house you will need:

Bricks, mortar, glass, wood, tiles, nails, screws, light bulbs and so on.

Every so often a lightbulb blows, or a hinge wears out, or a window gets broken, the chimney needs repointed. Maybe you want to change the curtains.

So you write a shopping list and head out to the hardwear shop.

You buy all the relevant stuff, bring it home and get it installed, do the repairs and the house carries on.

Simple eh?

Now your body runs the same way.

It needs vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, fats etc.

And it gets these from food.

So you exercise. Your body now needs repair.

Each of the cells in the body write a list. Can we please have some Vitamin K, some magnesium, protein and some fats please.

These lists get sent out to the stomach.

The stomach shouts out, “Oi, hungry!” to the brain.


The brain  says “OK!” and send the hand out to grab food and shove it into the face.

The stomach says thanks, digests the grub and sends the broken down nutrients to the cells.

The cells then check off against the list they sent out.

Protein – check Sodium – damn, wanted magnesium Fat – oh, come on! I only needed a wee bit, don’t worry, I’ll send the excess off to the stores (fat cells) And where’s the rest?

So it sends out a revised list to the stomach.

The stomach shouts out, “Oi, hungry!” to the brain.

The brain  says “OK!” and send the hand out to grab food and shove it into the face.

The stomach says thanks, digests the grub and sends the broken down nutrients to the cells.

The cells then check off against the list they sent out.

And if the list isn’t satisfied the process keeps on going.

This is why it’s hard to over eat good food, but you can pile an almost unlimited amount of biscuits, cake, ice cream etc into your face.

it’s like going to the hardwear shop to purchase the stuff you need to put up a shelf and coming home with wallpaper and lightbulbs instead. You went to the shop and bought stuff (ie you ate food) but you didn’t get the stuff you need.

So you keep going to the shop and buying more stuff (ie eating) until either you can no longer be bothered shopping or you get the stuff you need.

Get it?

So how do you make sure you get what you need?

Other than studying nutrition and learning all about everything, you need to either learn to listen to your body or ensure you get as much variety into your diet and possible.

And I’ve got suggestions for both those.

I’m a huge proponent of learning to listen to your body. And for that the simplest way to achieve this, in my mind, is via intermittent fasting.

The fitness world has been abuzz with debate over this topic for some time, and more recently it made it’s ay into mainstream media with that silly 5:2 diet. As with all things mainstream, it’s almost right but also misses the point entirely.

The original and by far the best work on the subject comes from a nutritionist named Brad Pilon. He wrote the awesome Eat Stop Eat which became an instant classic.

Click the image to get your copy

Click the image to get your copy

It’s pretty much the basis for all popular mainstream media information on the subject of intermittent fasting. So pretty much read it, even if you never apply it, read it.

Next is from Ori Hoffmekler who wrote Warrior Diet. This is another classic. There’s a lot more fluff, filler and bullshit in this book, but he does try to create a story and legend around his methods.

warrior diet

click the image to get your copy

After that though, his proper info is solid. I can personally vouch for this as I used it for about a year as i trained for kettlebell lifting competitions. During that period I leaned out tremendously while also putting on a couple of kilo’s of muscle.

(Full disclosure here, the links to the two products are affiliate links, and I will earn a couple of quid should you choose to buy them. But you’ll thank me in the long run!)

Now, fasting helps you tune into your body and actually learn that being hungry isn’t so terrible.

The next thing is variety.

A few years ago I read an article on a thing called the rotation diet. I think it was from Paul Chek.

Now, I don’t value this as a “diet” but I think the concept is sound. It’s this simple, whatever you eat today, you’re not allowed tomorrow.

SO if you have chicken, eggs, spinach, spuds and carrots today. Tomorrow you can’t have any of those foods, so you may have Pork, Kale, sweet potato and sticky toffee pudding.

You can rotate on whatever routine you like. Every 2 days, 3 days, weekly, whatever.

After a few weeks of this you should notice that the variety of foods your getting has skyrocketed, especially if you’re rotating on a 3days or more.

Imagine not being allowed eggs, spinach and bread for the next two days? That’s my usual breakfast.

So maybe I’d have Mackerel, peppers and onions instead.

You’ll be forced to break habits, try different foods and food combinations and are far more likely to get the whole array of nutrients into your body. Now give it a go.

Eating shouldn’t be complicated.

Between the fasting (taking a break the odd time and allowing yourself be hungry) and rotation (forcing variety into your diet) you should learn a lot about yourself and your eating habits.

Then you can make better and more informed decisions on what you put in your body for the future.

It’s not hard.


Dave Hedges

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