Inflammation Detox…

An accidental experiment yesterday revealed the true power of inflammation and the fundamental reason why as a race, humanity is so ill from the inside out.

I’ve been known in the past for being self-righteous and it’s a trait I’d like to think I no longer have, but last nights meal out with some old friends hit home just how much what we consume wreaks havoc on our often quite fragile internal mechanics, so this post is a guide to all on the evils of certain food and drinks, not me being a smug bastard or a paragon of health.

I’ve been off the “inflammatories” for the best part of two months now and during that time, I have seen my weight come down to my target, my BMI likewise following suit, and the general lethargy and bloated feelings disappear completely.

Whilst Wim Hof (not that I’ve read thus far) doesn’t share any real nutrition advice to his acolytes, other than to eat a more plant-based diet, he does hit home on the impact inflammation has on the body, and the amount of deaths that are directly (actually covertly) attributed to inflammation. Think about that for a second, there are over sixty million deaths per year associated to inflammation, the main causes are heart attacks, stokes, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, all of which account for the number one cause of death in the West.

Perhaps controversially, put that against the one million Covid deaths, and to paraphrase the late and great Bill Hicks “where is my commercial, where is my war on food and alcohol, where is my lockdown”.

It’s also clear that those with high levels of inflammation have perhaps passed away more often from Covid than those without, and I have friends and colleagues who have seen this pattern and have gone on to develop dietary and exercise plans to reduce the risk of severe illness or even death.

As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, Dr Jacob Bronowski first brought inflammation to my attention with his book and series The Ascent of Man. During his life, he studied the evolution of Homo Sapiens closely, and shared the stark fact that our bodies are not built to withstand the barrage of inflammatory foods we gorge on each day. Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers for a reason, what they could grab, kill and eat sustained their bodies, and that happened rather well for hundreds of thousands of years, until a chance interbreeding of grasses in the Middle East created the first wheats, the first breads, the first crops, the first farms, the first towns, the list goes on and on until we get to where we are today, technologically advanced yet evolutionally retarded.

The Wim Hof Method teaches us to reduce the inflammation in our bodies via breath work, increasing oxygen levels and supercharging our system reduce the acidity and increase the alkalinity of the body, the key to a more healthy lifestyle. The cold therapy (via cold showers or ice baths) also helps to flush out inflammatory toxins from the internal organs. If we go beyond the practice and reduce or omit the amount of inflammatory food and drink in our diet, then not only does that put us closer to the lifestyle of our ancient ancestors, but it gives us all a better chance of longevity, and with that, as Wim says, we become “happier, stronger, healthier”.

So just what are the things we should avoid, what are the things we should include.

Well for me, there is no better article than the one I found via a random Duck search (to Duck Duck Go is to Google, without the sharing of personal data to Big Tech!).

The missive on Dr Jockers website clearly articulates what inflammation is and the why and the how we should avoid it.

Without asking for permission (the link to his website and an acknowledgement of how awesome the article is here should avoid any litigation), I’ve included the great “info-graphics” from the article here, as an at-a-glance guide on the dangers of inflammation and what we can do to avoid it.

Like I said, this is not me being self-righteous because I do most of these things already, it is simply a guide for others to consider because I am really seeing the benefits of this approach.

Last night I fell off the inflammation wagon. I went for a meal with two old friends, our table was a vast sharing platter, a communal smorgasbord of Western loveliness. Still avoiding meat, I took bread, I took grains, I took fried potatoes and tempura vegetables, all washed down with alcohol-free beer (which still contains hops). I left the bar so bloated that by the time I “fork-lifted” myself into bed a couple of hours later, I felt awful. I woke up this morning feeling crap, my stomach distended still from last nights overload.

OK I had a great night catching up with my old buddies, but today my system is screaming at me, telling me stay on the right path and ditch the bad stuff. I told it in no uncertain terms to pipe down a little as we still need to have fun, right?!

It’s not an easy path to take either, our brains have been hard-wired to crave sugar, to crave advertised fast-food, to opt for the brightly coloured and wonderfully packaged processed supermarket foods over the grey, boring and time consuming preparations from our vegetable racks, but if we can gain the power back over our minds and turn off the razzmatazz generated by highly-paid marketing consultants who want us to buy more and consume more, then maybe we can truly be happy, healthy and strong…

Wim Hof Method: The Trials…

The simplicity of the Wim Hof Method and it’s accessibility to all, is, as I have found out, the secret to its success.

I took it upon myself to dive straight in to several experiments (not all that are offered), namely breathing (including retention and meditation), cold therapy (twenty day challenge to take cold showers for three minutes per day, culminating in my first ice bath this morning), and certain physical exercises (push-ups, stretching, inversions and horse stance).

As already mentioned, I have tried a lot of eastern-based practices over the years, yet this western variant (no not Covid related) seems to resonate with me more, allowing me to stick rigidly to it, compared to the other methods.

I found the breath work to be both invigorating and serene at the same time, the supercharging of my body through increased oxygen surging through veins, arteries and capillaries, waking them up and working them to provide a natural high and the ability to hold my breath for four minutes, and it is during that time that I experience a real peace, and all for free. I recall in desperation paying a not too insignificant amount to partake in a transcendental meditation course which never really worked for me.

The cold showers shocked my body into life after the breath work, and even though the temperature was only a cool nineteen degrees centigrade, it was still cold enough to make a difference, to calmly withstand room temperature water, which is quite odd. I can walk around the house naked (what a horrible thought) for hours and not be affected by nineteen degrees centigrade, but turn that same temperature into water and you feel the immediate difference.

Might as well start on the most difficult level, no time to lose…
Mr Flibble says four minutes WOO (With Out Oxygen)…
Cold shower challenge complete…

That’s biology at work. The reason the water feels colder than air is because water is the better conductor of the two. When you plunge into a nineteen degrees centigrade shower or pool, heat escapes your body much more easily across the entire surface area, than it would if you were simply standing in nineteen degrees centigrade air, as the water takes more heat from your body, and quicker, it feels colder.

Naturally, I wanted to experience an ice bath to take it to the next level, and after some serious contemplation and lack of opportunities in buying a large wooden barrel, I acquired a portable bath (yes it’s a thing), prepared zip-lock ice bricks and took my first ten minute plunge today. At fifteen degrees centigrade (which is just cold enough for the magic to start working according to The Hoffer), it didn’t take my breath away, probably down to the cold shower preparation each day. I’ll need more bricks to get the temperatures down to below ten degrees centigrade (when the real magic happens), I just need to broker a freezer space deal with the wife!

It’s a start…
Maybe my Chewbacca legs are keeping me too warm…
Done…

The horse stance and “tai-chi-esque”manoeuvres do seem to raise the body temperatures to counter the less-than arctic blast of cold to the system, and these are much needed, as simply towelling of doesn’t seem to increase the temperatures rapidly enough before the chills set in.

My wife and I also took it upon ourselves to take the practice to the beach early one morning this week, where I found a perfectly flat rock to do my breath work and horse stance on, sandwiched between a dip in the sea, which again was a relatively warm eighteen degrees centigrade.

Just breathe m*therf*cker…

My plan is to do the breath work in the garden before my tribe rises each day and take a plunge, to set my intention for whatever the day should bring, giving me more power in the mind to succeed, at whatever it is I need to do.

One thing I have noticed, is that the method certainly gives me that grounding and stable platform for the day, but within a few hours of getting back on the corporate treadmill, the same old duhkha reappears, so I may have to carve out a “WHM siesta” at lunchtime to see me through.

One thing is for certain, the method helps, but it can’t change everything. Over time, I hope that I will have that power over the mind, and with that find the courage to make a real change in my life, to ditch the stressful job, live with the financial consequences of that decision and find more a meaningful venture and peaceful existence.

In August, I am booked on a one-day WHM course with a qualified instructor over in North Wales, with a view to seeing if I too could embrace the method more deeply and see if there is an opportunity to become qualified, to learn the deeper levels of the practice so I could teach others of the benefits that are clearly there, and with that take a bold and brave step into the unknown world of financial insecurity yet corporate liberation, and with that, a freedom from the bondage of a system that doesn’t work for me.

Fully in. Letting go….

Detox complete…

I started a science experiment last week to remove all processed sugars from my diet to see whether it was my food intake that was causing me several problems (including broken sleep, inflammation, fatigue, irritability and of course weight gain).

Little did I realise the truly negative impact processed foods and sugars has on ones overall well-being (mind, body and soul).

I ended up cutting short this two week test period, as by the end of Day Ten (yesterday), all of my goals were complete, my hypothesis validated.

As my (rather lengthy) last post detailed, I wanted to regain control of me, by shopping at the local farm, dairy and butchers in an effort to lose a little weight, get my BMI back into the green zone, give myself an energy boost and restore my ailing cognitive abilities, especially at work.

The Green Zone…

So by the end of Day Ten, I had lost 3.1kg, got to my green zone target of 24.9 BMI (any lower than that and I start to look skinny), felt great throughout each day, and came up with some really inspiring and innovative thinking in work.

Eating the healthy and more plant-based options really helped. After the inevitable body crash, things got better very quickly, I stopped getting hungry and got to the stage where I no longer opened the treat drawer to see what was inside (which I used to do several times a day).

Detox Food…

My mindset has also changed due to the sugar detox. Boycotting the supermarket and their exploitative marketing of bad-for-you products helps. Buying local produce helps from a sustainability perspective and keeps family businesses afloat, diverting funds away from big farmer and food corporations. Getting out to exercise everyday, even if it’s just a walk (with or without the pooch), allows body parts to move for this office-worker and gives the mind a chance to wander, ponder and reflect on things, a meditation if you will.

So I can’t recommend highly enough to experiment yourselves to see if a sugar detox works for you, clearly it has for me…

Sugar: A cereal killer…

It may or may not be a surprise to some that the biggest killer on the planet may actually be sugar.

The vast majority of people have a good understanding that those processed and great tasting foods are generally quite bad for us and as a result, too much of them can attribute to weight gain. We have all been there.

A Convenience Truth…

My recent experiment in an effort to reduce my raging tinnitus by stacking several “mushroom-based supplements” (not including psilocybin!) and juicing celery every morning failed. After one whole month of fastidiously sticking to my early morning regime, I came to a few conclusions.

Firstly, it didn’t work. Secondly, if it didn’t work, the outcome and especially the cost made no sense in carrying on. Lastly, and probably most importantly, my general dietary intake hadn’t changed. I had fallen back into old ways of convenience eating and snacking, eating processed / sugary foods, drinking booze too often and having many take-aways. I of course blame boredom and the Covid lockdown, and there is some truth in that.

As a result I felt bloated, my weight had escalated back up to unacceptable digits as had my BMI, and the overhang of the belly made it a bit more difficult to see my “lovebone” when I looked straight down in the shower.

With the advent of the allotment and thinking more seriously about my organic future, I came to the conclusion that it could well be the influence of sugar that was the root cause of my problems.

A brief sojourn through YouTube last weekend gave me the reaffirmation that refined sugar was bad for us, and the two videos below, a science one and an influencer one gave me the extra kick to kick sugar.

The Science…
The Experiment…

It’s not through a lack of education that piles on the pounds, it’s a lack of focus. My brain has been conditioned over the years that in times of melancholy or stress, the resolution to that temporary negative state of mind is either sugar or alcohol. The serotonin /dopamine hit it gives me boosts my mood and makes me forget, albeit for a fleeting moment and the reason why I reached into the cookie jar / beer fridge in the first place. Gets me every time. That very behaviour is the dictionary definition of addiction and sugar is the drug.

There is no argument in my mind that sugar is the biggest cause of death on Planet Earth. If we take a look at the UK and the USA, then the obesity and diabetes rates (amongst the major nations) are right up their at the top of the league tables. Map those two counties against the Covid death rates and there is a similar view. There is also a link between obesity, diabetes and dementia / Alzheimer’s. It appears that if heart disease through ones lifestyle choices doesn’t get you, then your twilight years may not be worth living anyway (sadly my father in law suffered the latter, a decade of dementia purgatory).

The case for healthy living is a strong one, the real difficulties, as the influencer video above calls out, advertising, convenience and the ubiquity of sugar-powered food, you can’t get away from it. Go into the supermarket and just look at the labels. I was surprised (but not shocked) to find that even “Free From”, “Low Cal” and “Fat Free” are saturated with sugars. Shockingly so. Subliminal food advertising is a real scandal, but that’s what make the big bucks for “Big Farmer” (and I was interested to see the billionaires Bezos and Gates are buying up vast expanses of land in the US, I wonder why)…

Shocking advertising, always read the label (which sugars)…

So with that information in mind, it was time for real and direct action.

I wanted to remove all processed sugar from my diet, not overly concerned by whether it’s plant-based, meat-based or that nutrients are delivered via paleo or keto methodologies.

I wanted to test scientifically whether in just one week, I could notice the difference. Well, that’s an understatement!

I set up a non-calorie-counting routine, boring perhaps for some to follow and maybe more difficult in the long term, but I wanted to see what effects and outcomes having zero processed sugars had.

Day One was fine, eager to go and regimented.

Day Two was a kick in the testicles, I felt like a Trainspotting Ewan McGregor lying in his crack den bed whilst a baby crawled across the ceiling, a migraine literally splitting my brain into a further two hemispheres.

Day Three was much better, as if my headache had purged all of the badness in one awful twenty four hour cold turkey period.

Day Four I felt lighter and less bloated, and noticed I had a full nights sleep and felt better for it.

Day Five and I felt my cognitive ability improve in work by quite some way, and my mind, body and soul sang a common chorus.

Day Six was the dreaded weekend but surprisingly, there was no “reach-in” to the snack store, just a reach-up to my secret stack of no-processed-sugar fruit bars (my saviour throughout the week!).

Day Seven was again plain sailing, helped mostly by my tornado tear-out of all sugared products in the cupboards and fridge.

During the seven days, I lost 1.7kg and 0.5 BMI, improved my sleep, energy levels and cognitive abilities, and due to the lack of stress, my tinnitus didn’t seem as bad.

My wife knows all of the above and is now sold on the idea of sugar-free living. She admits she is totally addicted to sugar and I will do all that I can to free her from those deeply ingrained hooks she has. That will be a challenge, as will migrating my thirteen year old daughter to our new processed-free-pantry.

Weekly tracker below:

Day 1

Sleep = Full 🟢

Weight = 86.5kg 🟢

Vitamins: Taken 🟢

Breakfast = Banana/Apple 🟢

Lunch = Egg/Salmon/Asparagus 🟢

Dinner = Venison/Shrooms 🟢

Drinks = Coffee/Tea/Water 🟢

Snacks = Fruit Bar 🟢

Exercise = Dog Walk 🟢

Mind = Genius IQ 🟢

Body = Moderate Pain 🟠

Soul = Heaven 🟢

Day 2

Sleep = Broken 🟠

Weight = N/A 🟢

Vitamins: Taken 🟢

Breakfast = Banana/Apple 🟢

Lunch = Egg/Salmon/Asparagus 🟢

Dinner = Venison/Shrooms 🟢

Drinks = Coffee/Tea/Water 🟢

Snacks = Fruit Bar 🟢

Exercise = None 🔴

Mind = Average IQ 🟠

Body = Chronic Pain 🔴

Soul = Purgatory 🟠

Day 3

Sleep = Full 🟢

Weight = N/A 🟢

Vitamins: Taken 🟢

Breakfast = Banana/Satsuma 🟢

Lunch = Egg/Salmon/Asparagus 🟢

Dinner = Venison/Broccoli 🟢

Drinks = Coffee/Tea/Water 🟢

Snacks = Fruit Bar 🟢

Exercise = Dog Walk 🟢

Mind = Genius IQ 🟢

Body = Pain-Free 🟢

Soul = Heaven 🟢

Day 4

Sleep = Full 🟢

Weight = N/A 🟢

Vitamins: Taken 🟢

Breakfast = Banana/Satsuma 🟢

Lunch = Carrot Soup 🟢

Dinner = Vegetable/Nut Stir Fry 🟢

Drinks = Coffee/Tea/Water 🟢

Snacks = Fruit Bar 🟢

Exercise = None 🔴

Mind = Genius IQ 🟢

Body = Pain-Free 🟢

Soul = Heaven 🟢

Day 5

Sleep = Full 🟢

Weight = N/A 🟢

Vitamins: Taken 🟢

Breakfast = Paleo Bar 🟢

Lunch = Carrot Soup 🟢

Dinner = Vegetable Fajitas 🟢

Drinks = Coffee/Tea/Water 🟢

Snacks = None 🟢

Exercise = Gardening 🟢

Mind = Genius IQ 🟢

Body = Pain-Free 🟢

Soul = Heaven 🟢

Day 6

Sleep = Full 🟢

Weight = N/A 🟢

Vitamins: Taken 🟢

Breakfast = Home Fruit Juice 🟢

Lunch = Roast Chicken Breast 🟢

Dinner = Low Carb Lamb Roast 🟢

Drinks = Coffee/Tea/Water 🟢

Snacks = Fruit Bar 🟢

Exercise = Dog Walk 🟢

Mind = Genius IQ 🟢

Body = Pain-Free 🟢

Soul = Heaven 🟢

Day 7

Sleep = Full 🟢

Weight = 84.9kg 🟢

Vitamins: Taken 🟢

Breakfast = Home Fruit Juice 🟢

Lunch = Home Broccoli Soup 🟢

Dinner = Venison/Shrooms 🟢

Drinks = Coffee/Tea/Water 🟢

Snacks = Fruit Bar 🟢

Exercise = Dog Walk 🟢

Mind = Genius IQ 🟢

Body = Pain-Free 🟢

Soul = Heaven 🟢

On reflection, I think the real problem we have here is convenience-store-capitalism, we all need food to live and on that basis if big companies can make that food look better, smell better, taste better, feel better and sound better (via advertising), then they attack all five senses at once, not many things in life have that ability.

We sow the seed, nature grows the seed, and then we eat the seed…

We received our first organic farm produce today, and have already welcomed back our old milkmen with open arms after he delivered his first pint of fresh milk this morning. So it’s up yours Morrisons

Stay strong. Stay focused. Stay away from sugar…

Watts, amps and volts…

This week was a big step forward in grasping the basics of both electronics and off-grid living.

I took ownership of the first in a series of devices that will accompany my journey into the technical world of electronic experimentation, with a view to understand what (or should I say watt?) works, what doesn’t, what our basic needs are and what luxury items one can still use whilst being isolated from the grid.

Dokio 100w Portable Solar Panel
Beaudens Portable Power Station

So the sustainable energy basics are already acquired, this week saw two exciting deliveries; the first a 100w portable solar panel, the second an entry-level 240wh power station.

I intend to review both items in time, but what it has already allowed me to do is to think in a different way. Us on-gridders invariably don’t think about how devices work, how much electricity they consume and how much it costs to run them, one typically plugs, plays, enjoys and pays the hefty energy bills at the end of the month.

With the start of the build of my “Cabin In The Yard” (the prototype for the build of over a dozen ecolodges at our retreat in Wales), only weeks away, I wanted to fully explore and understand the art of what’s possible without drawing any resources from the house.

Thankfully, my son is an electrical engineer and he gave me an electricity 101 to explain what watts, amps and volts are, how to find out the inputs and outputs of devices, and by doing the maths, I could work out the drain from each appliance on the limited power reserves I have.

What’s a watt?

I’ll admit the 101 didn’t make much sense until I started to do some research on which devices and appliances are powered by 12v batteries, USB or AA / AAA rechargeable batteries.

Once I found out the watts for each device, the penny dropped. By documenting the watts of each device, I knew exactly how much each one would drain from the 240 watt hours I had to play with on my power station.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the sheer volume of devices out there that could continue (somewhat) a life of luxury, totally cost free (besides the initial investment of course), as long as the sun was shining (the fundamental flaw in my plan of living in the monochromatic grey realm of North West England).

Here is the list of devices I found, not exhaustive by any means and somewhat primordial when compared to those in the house for the likes of heating, cooking and lighting, but still an impressive list nonetheless (those marked green I already possess):

12v Appliances

🟢 Portable Showers (15w)

🟢 Cooler Boxes/Fridges (58w)

🔴 Heating Stoves (40w)

🔴 Travel Kettles (120w)

🔴 Hair Straighteners (20w)

🔴 Hair Dryers (150w)

🔴 Toastie Makers (120w)

🔴 Heater Fans (120w)

🔴 Travel Hoovers (12.5w)

🔴 Electric Blankets (55w)

🔴 TVs (40w)

🔴 Air Pumps (120w)

🔴 Water Pumps (60w)

USB Appliances

🟢 Desk Fans (1w)

🟢 Desk Lamps (5w)

🟢 Bluetooth Speakers (5w)

🟢 iPhones (5w)

🟢 iPads (10w)

🟢 Surface Pro (60w)

🟢 Nintendo Switch (25w)

🟢 Logitech Web Cams (5w)

🟢 USB C Computer Monitors (25w)

🟢 Mavic Mini Drones (15w)

🟢 Sony XM3 Headphones (15w)

🟢 Apple Watches (2w)

🟢 Portable Power Banks (15w)

🟢 Recyclable Battery Chargers (15w)

🟢 Oculus Quest VR Headsets (15w)

🟢 Portable Shower (15w)

🔴 Portable Projectors (15w)

🔴 Mini Blenders (65w)

🔴 LED Lights (45w)

Rechargeable Battery Appliances

🟢 Radios

🟢 Portable Speakers

🟢 Clocks

🟢 Nose Trimmers

🔴 LED Lights

Yes, I’m at the stage of my life now where nose trimmers have become an essential item!

The beauty of buying the items above is that they are all 100% portable, so not only can I use them in the soon-to-be-erected cabin, but I can take them camping with me later in the year, and if the zombie apocalypse does turn up some point soon, I’m sorted.

All systems working!

Clearly to stay connected, I’ll need to tether my phone to the internet-based devices I have, so not everything is free, but it’s a good start, and does go to show that the art of what is possible is both sustainable and achievable if you want it…

Days of Futures Past…

Communing with nature. Living off the land. Mind, body and soul cleansing. Community spirit and oneness. Consciousness expansion. Peace and love.

Deep down many of us want the ideals above but are either unable, unwilling or lack the courage to do those things that we know will be better for us and better for the planet.

This week saw my eagerly awaited trip to Lammas Eco-Village in South Wales, an expedition into the uncharted territory of off-grid living., a fact finding mission for our band of neophyte hippies to sequester information from the founders, Mr and Mrs Wimbush, in order for us to gain insights into their ten year journey from a barren greenfield plot of land, to a fully functional and self-sufficient settlement.

As a guy who has worked in and around IT projects for most of his life, I bring to the table my decades of structure, organisation and planning, so I took the responsibility to plan out our trip in advance, including timelines, itineraries and a large set of questions, the output of which would give us enough answers and direction to kick-start the build of our eco-retreat project in North Wales.

This is a work project not one of pleasure (although no doubt the journey and end result will no doubt be a joyous thing), and as such the trip was “allowed” under the strict “essential travel only” guidelines. Even still, I had a bad feeling before setting off that at some point over the four hour journey south, our collars would be felt at least once by the boys in blue, and in preparation for that eventuality I printed off all materials (Covid travel guidelines, agenda, emails etc) as a form of proof to plod that our trip was legitimate. As it turned out, the trip was “copper-free” and we arrived safely at Lammas, collars unfelt.

As we drove into the village, the first thing that struck us was the size. Each of the plots sized between six and seven acres and there were plenty of them (totalling seventy seven acres in all).

Our destination for the day however was Maes Melangell, the home of both the Wimbush family (pioneers of Lammas) and a newly-constructed and yet-to-be completed Lammas Earth Centre.

I had done some research on Lammas over the previous nights (reading the One Planet Life book as well as watching several YouTube videos) to provide at least some background knowledge on what the set up was like and what their journey had been like thus far.

But like a great many things in life, reading about something is one thing, experiencing it is markedly different, the whole day was testament to that.

We were greeted (after a few wrong turns) on the tracks by Hoppi (aka Mrs Wimbush), who welcomed the group warmly and invited us in to the main house for a socially distanced and hand-sanitised chat, so that we could get to know each other a little and our posse could set out its expectations for the day.

One thing that did strike me on the way in was how impressive their homestead looked, it was clear that the well-built dwelling house, the super-impressive Lammas Earth Centre, the animal barn and all of the cultivation areas had taken years to achieve and a ridiculous amount of dedication and hard graft (both physically and meta-physically).

With a hot cup of Bengal Spice Tea in hand, Hoppi walked us through their ambitious journey so far, all of us playing silent witness and in awe in what they had achieved to date and how they had done it. Their home was warm not only in temperature (from the amazing wood-burner and impressively insulated walls), but in feeling too, clearly the house was also wrapped in the warmth of love, of oneness with each other, with nature and the universe at large.

It became apparent early on that what we saw before us had taken an Herculean effort, not only in planning, designing, developing and constructing, but in terms of pressure and stress too. Here we had a small family (children were six and nine at the time) living in a small touring caravan on an empty landscape, with huge plans for off-grid living in their heads and one hell of a journey in front of them.

We shared our own plans for the eco-treat which were met warmly too, but it was becoming apparent (to me at least) that our embryonic project was very different than what was in front of us in terms of components, requirements and end-state.

The five of us involved thus far all have day commitments that we don’t foresee giving up any time soon, and at this point we don’t envision any of us living at the eco-retreat permanently. So it dawned on us that going down the One Planet Development route for our project was likely to be a dead end and overcomplicated from a planning and local authority permission perspective. Ours would be a different path than the one Lammas has taken, but it would have the same ethos are drive for sustainability.

After a warm exchange, Hoppi then took us on a tour of the site, explaining the exact functions of each building and zone, safe to say that we were all in total awe of what we were viewing.

Many hands make light work…

Their plans were not only realised by their own hands, but by those of volunteers too. Through the use of an entire tribe of volunteers (over seventy in total) they were able to morph their barren landscape into something truly remarkable.

And it’s is the essence of that very approach which has left a spiritual and collective resonance around the place, almost like a mycelium layer of positivity and love, woven into the very fabric of every component on site, borne from the many hands of like-minded individuals.

The beating heart of Maes Melangell…
The Owl Sanctuary…
The composting toilets…
The Solar Kiln…
The Eco-Retreat…
The Eco-Shower…
The Innovative Waterproofing…
The Renewable Energy Supply…
The Earth Centre…
The Interstellar Roof…
The Barn…
The Kids…

After the staggeringly impressive show and tell, we had the opportunity to wander the site on our own, I took the time to fly my drone over the site to get a birds eye view whilst my comrades meandered through various muddy pathways on foot, the site as impressive from the air as on the ground.

Bird’s Eye view of Maes Melangell (Lammas Eco-Village)

We finished our trek as the door to the main house opened and for the first time we met Tao (Mr Wimbush) for the first time. Set and setting are always important and the lunch of Pumpkin and Parsnip Soup with home made bread and goats butter transformed a basic meal to the best lunch of all time, ever.

It came across well on the videos I had seen, but in person, Tao’s calming nature juxtaposed against Hoppi’s effervescence made it a perfect partnership, and I saw the deep, loving and spiritual connection they both had for each other on a couple of occasions. Beautiful.

We shared our vision and hope for the eco-retreat with Tao and based on the components we wanted to develop (very different to Lammas), Tao advised that the One Planet Development wasn’t the best way to go for our venture and he suggested an alternative approach to achieve the desired outcome, to which we all agreed.

I was truly blown away by Tao, to be surrounded by such an amazing feat of construction and sustainable cleverness was one thing, but his calming, warming, nurturing, inspiring and guiding words (and well as long hair and beard), felt to me like I was in the presence of a modern day Jesus (affirmed by “L” on the way back home who thought the same).

As the darkness drew in and thoughts turned to the arduous long journey home in poor driving conditions, with a genuine sadness and gratitude, we bade farewell to our hosts for the day and headed back north to on-grid living, resigned and melancholic in the knowledge that workers boots and corporate laptops would called upon within just a few hours of returning.

Like my Robin Williams blog from a few years ago stated (Life Is Experience Not Knowledge – https://infinitybeckons.wordpress.com/2016/10/18/life-is-experience-not-knowledge) there is nothing quite like experiencing things first hand as opposed to reading them in a book.

We had so many take-aways from our trip to Lammas, hints, tips and nudges in the right direction we simply would not have hot had we not visited. We agreed that when we returned home we would double-down on our efforts to get things moving, albeit in a slightly different direction to our initial plans.

After visiting Lammas, Hoppi and Tao, it’s now very clear to me that one can live in the fruitfully in the future like we lived in the past, it just takes courage to detach oneself from what is, quite frankly, a broken and totally meaningless capitalist society.

That courage is within us all, we just need to do, there is no try…

Detox…

As with most other Earthly inhabitants, and as with most years, January is always a month of reflection, reflecting on the events of last year and the plans and anticipation for the year to come, along with the perennial screaming pleas from the weighing machine to “get the f*ck off me!”

I spent sixteen days off over the Yuletide period with the family, with good quality time alongside everyone that was allowed to be around the table, around the table. As is customary, we ate too much, drank in moderation but often and put on the inevitable hip inches. It’s allowed.

Now that the festivities are well and truly behind me, I instantly turned to my rack of well-being books, naturally gravitating to the paleo and meat-free tomes as a way to start shredding the excess pounds. As I did that though, my higher-self seemed to stop me dead in my tracks, as my lower-self was sending a very loud and clear message that other things needed to be considered this time.

My material body is in pain, as penned my times before over the years and in my last post, my tinnitus is absolutely raging at the moment and my recent venture into “mushroom stacking” wasn’t the only thing required to abate my invisible and subjective malady.

As the first few days in January are quiet, I took to the internet and discussions with my hippy friends to see whether other things may be needed. Commence Operation Detox!

Research and chatter has revealed that tinnitus is thought to be an inflammation of the inner ear (among other things) so a diet avoiding items that inflame to body (wheat being a classic example, our ancestral DNA was never meant to take it from the beginning, the agricultural revolution really does have a lot to answer for!) and to take items that are rich in anti-oxidants was the way to go. Not only that, but sodium also has a part to play in the downfall of our well oiled meat machine, too much salt can also play unwanted tin whistle tunes inside the head it seems.

Why didn’t I take the blue pill…

Not only am I now taking a variety of supplements as outlined above (left stack of Lion’s Mane and Niacin for tinnitus – right stack of vitamin D3 and zinc for Covid prevention – yes it’s a thing!), my mind-body-soul coach “L” suggested that I get onto Anthony William (aka the Medical Medium), who has an interesting backstory of contacting “the other side” to provide nutritional advice to his clients and the general public. One of the main approaches in the morning is to kick start the detox process by consuming a flagon of celery juice. Let’s see what state the guts are in over the coming weeks, clean and gurgle-free I hope.

Juice Dalek…

So here we are at the start of the New Year, regressing to a well established, free to all (no subscription required) and age old lifestyle and optimized way of life. Ladies and gentlemen, let me re-introduce you to The Mediterranean Diet!

Before launching into what that entails, two things spring to mind. Firstly, my wife lived in Sicily for a number of years before we met and recalled this morning that her diet / lifestyle whilst there was great and her joie de vive was never better (youth playing its part of course!). Secondly, I reminded myself to watch the video below, which was a Ted Talk I saw a few years back which gave some insights into several studies completed from various parts of the world, including Sardinia which for the geographically challenged is an island slap bang in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Whether we actually want to live to one hundred is a moot point, the take-aways from the talk are well worth taking note of:

The Mediterranean Lifestyle

Whilst the focus on the below is a scientific approach to food and drink, lifestyle choices do go beyond diet. As Dan mentions above, exercise (especially the use of natural techniques and not putting the body under too much strain/pressure), mindfulness (in whatever form of that suits) and community (traditional ways of exchanging ideas and information via verbal dialogue and body language, not via technology) all play their part too in the enjoyment and fulfillment of life as a whole.

Live well, live longer…

The Mediterranean Diet:

A diet that is high in healthy plant foods and relatively low in animal foods (although eating fish and seafood is recommended at least twice a week) is a good rule of thumb to bring optimized nutrition. The following outlines the basic principles of what to eat and what to avoid:

Eat Often: Vegetables (tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots,, sprouts, cucumbers, fruits (apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches), nuts & seeds (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds), legumes (beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas), tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams), whole grains (Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain bread and pasta), herbs & spices (garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper), fish & seafood (salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels), healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados and avocado oil), water & wine (red wine – one glass maximum per day) and tea (herbal or black tea without milk or sugar).

Eat Moderately: Poultry (chicken, duck, turkey), eggs (chicken, quail and duck eggs), cheese & yogurt (cheese, Greek yogurt).

Eat Rarely: Red meat (beef, pork, lamb, venison).

Never Eat: Sugar-sweetened food and beverages (incl. table sugar), processed meats (sausages, hot dogs), refined grains (white bread, pasta made with refined wheat), refined oils (Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others) and other highly processed foods (incl. those marked “low-fat” or “diet”, butter/margarine and various processed foods.

Low-Sodium Diet

A low-sodium diet limits foods that are high in sodium (salt). Following a low-sodium diet will reduce the likelihood of high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart failure and hopefully in my case, tinnitus. We still need sodium in our diets for the salts lost during exercises and trips to the toilet, but moderating our in take is something to consider.

Salt – not worth its – well salt…

The recommended daily limit of sodium will vary depend on factors like gender and age, but generally speaking the daily recommendation is between 1.5g – 2g per day.

Nowadays, food labels tend to display the sodium they contain and a quick walk down the aisles at Morrison’s this morning revealed the same so it does become easier to calculate and regulate should you wish to be scientific about it.

Foods that have less than 5% of the daily limit of sodium are considered low in salt. Foods that have 20% or more of the daily limit of sodium are considered high in salt, and the following lists which food to avoid:

Processed Foods: Mixes for bread, biscuits, cake, and pudding, ready meals.

Instant Foods: Packet mash, cereals, noodles, and rice.

Packaged Foods: Stuffing, rice and pasta mixes, snack dip mixes, and macaroni and cheese.

Canned Foods: Canned vegetables, soups, broths, sauces, and vegetable or tomato juice.

Snack Food: Potato chips, popcorn, pretzels, pork scratchings, salted crackers, and salted nuts

Frozen Food: Ready meals, entrees, vegetables with sauces, and breaded meats
Meats / Cheeses: Smoked or cured meat, such as corned beef, bacon, ham, hot dogs, and sausage, canned meats or spreads, such as potted meats, sardines, anchovies, and imitation seafood, delicatessen or lunch meats, such as bologna, ham, turkey, and roast beef, processed cheese spreads

Condiments & Seasonings: Limit use of salt, such as such as garlic salt, celery salt, onion salt, and table salt salt. Regular soy sauce, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, flavored vinegars, ketchiup and especially monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Bread and cereal: Choose breads with less than 80 mg of sodium per serving.

To keep the flavours up during cooking, replace salt with herbs and spices to foods instead of salt during cooking. No one wants to eat bland food, else the mind will wander quite easily over to the cookie jar (though if the above is put in practice, then it would be fine as it will be empty!).

Time will of course tell whether the above actions yield the positive outcomes and planned noise reductions inside my noggin, if at first you don’t succeed…

Paleo Trials…

I’m a gemini, a true gemini, and as such there are multiple me’s living inside my head. Angels and daemons, Jekyll and Hyde, Dumb and Dumber. Friends and family have always said of me that I am always so passionate about everything I do, for about nine days…

The last few months, the first me thought it was a great idea to revert back to pescatarianism, the second me agreed. So both me’s felt better, less bloated more eco-friendly and generally happier with the diet element. After a while though, the second me (who had been doing a lot of research into off-grid living and pre-historic Britain) told the first me that it wasn’t enough, that the root of all evil was the agricultural revolution and that we should go back to basics, hunter-gatherer. The first me thought this was a most excellent idea (yes he just watched the new Bill & Teds film, sadly), tied up his woven shoelaces and stomped right in.

What they found was quite something. Clearly as a pair of idiots, they needed some guidelines to follow to see what food types and lifestyle changes they must follow in order to earn their Caveman badge, so it was only natural to purchase Living Paleo for Dummies.

The book itself is great, really easy to read and understand, gives the background to what paleo is and its origins from over 2.5 million years ago (when monkeys ate some funky mushrooms, saw Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and spawned the first truly cosmically conscious being), the do’s and don’ts of what one can and can’t eat and a remedial understanding of the science behind paleo and allegedly why it works so well as a lifestyle – not a diet.

Armed with some rudimentary knowledge, we set off on our week-long paleo trial to see what all the fuss was about. We kept a diary (as instructed in the book) to see what went well, not so well and how we felt before, during and after the process.

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Day 1

Weight = 87.5kg
Breakfast = Banana, Apple
Lunch = Eggs, Salmon Slices, Asparagus
Dinner = Venison Steak, Mushrooms
Drinks = Coffee, Lime Water
Snacks = Pistachios, Peanuts
Exercise = None
Mood = Indifferent all day
Fatigue = High

Notes = First day was a struggle, it didn’t help that we were on hangover day 2 after our trip away with the older kids camping trip Wales. Need to prioritise exercise and prepare / eat breakfast every day, no fail. Really enjoyed the venison again (same steaks that we cooked over the fire-pit on Saturday after the sun had descended behind the Clwydian hills), and the garlic mushrooms, although we need a better accompaniment than the crappy box salad from the supermarket, possibly cauliflower rice or greens. Coffee without sugar/stevia wasn’t too bad.

Day 2

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Fruit and Spinach Smoothie
Lunch = Eggs, Salmon Slices, Spinach
Dinner = Venison Steak, Mushrooms, Cauliflower Rice
Drinks = Coffee, Lime Water
Snacks = Pumpkin seeds
Exercise = Cross Trainer x 30 mins
Mood = Good to Bad
Fatigue = Medium

Notes = Loved the cross training session. Felt a bit full and sickly after eggs and salmon for lunch for the second day running, need to vary dinners as we’ll become bored of the same every day. Looked at soup recipes tonight. Felt like we wanted something sweet to drink most of the day, even cordials, but more like pop. Got tired in the evening but that was due to number crunching all day at work. Would have been nice to eat with the family but the missus threw a hissy fit when we wanted to also use the kitchen to cook cauliflower rice. That’s always the real struggle, not missing the food types, just the resistance of others. We get that we change our diet/lifestyle often (searching for methods and techniques that will provide better health, well-being and longevity), but constant criticism in what we choose to put in our own body is a real drag. Rounded the evening off nicely with a nostalgic trip down memory lane by playing Age of Empires, starting off as a stone age hunter-gatherer. A true paleo day!

Day 3

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Fruit and Spinach Smoothie
Lunch = Sweet Potato, Fennel and Coriander Soup
Dinner = Huevos Gambas Rancheros
Drinks = Coffee, Lime Water, Red Wine (small mouthful)
Snacks = Nuts
Exercise = None
Mood = Good
Fatigue = Medium

Notes = Woke up early and contemplated cross trainer again but legs still a little stiff so walked the dog instead. Worked out how to use the new soup maker and prepared breakfast and lunch. Very happy the way in which soup turned out, will be a paleo pal for sure! Gave us a mood boost, especially after a conflict in work. Soup was amazing, perhaps a little too spicy for the wife (chipotle chilli flakes) but we adored it. Felt like our insides are cleaner, two months of being a pescatarian has helped for sure. Have not felt bloated in a long time now (other than when on/after the beers). Probably need to eat more protein/meat, as we want to start pumping iron soon to put weight on our arms and shoulders. Dinner wasn’t that nice, added cocoa to it as per the recipe, too rich. Lot of post-meal gurgling. Gah. Got real tired in the evening, another “difference of opinion” with the wife over us eating something different even though after a full day in the office and us also cooking lunch and evening meal for everyone. Did pour ourselves a glass of red wine but only had a mouthful before pouring the rest down the sink.

Day 4

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Eggs, Spinach, Tomatoes, Halloumi, Mushrooms, Guacamole
Lunch = Sweet Potato, Fennel and Coriander Soup
Dinner = Vegetable Stir Fry with Ginger, Cashews and Venison Strips
Drinks = Honeydew/Rooibos Tea, Coffee
Snacks = None
Exercise = Cross Trainer x 30 mins
Mood = Good
Fatigue = Medium

Notes = Pee no longer smells of Sugar Puffs in the morning, but did have some minor cramping. Tinnitus is raging at the moment, no real root cause uncovered, not related to diet or kundalini yoga we think. Took the wife for breakfast (first paid trip out as a hunter-gatherer), we had a plate of vegetables but did have a slice of grilled halloumi (hangs heads in shame), we wondered if there was any paleo cheese, no. Cashew dip and paleo Doritos look nice though. Soup from yesterday still a resounding success. Same can’t be said for the blueberry muffins. Not a big fan of coconut and the coconut flour flavour we bought really came through, not to mention the lack of height and density of the “cakie”. Bin enjoyed it though. Had a wobble at dinner time, with the wife out with friends and our usual Thursday fatigue resorted in getting pizzas for the kids, sorely tempted to tuck in but didn’t, as we couldn’t cope with the laughter and sly remarks from the missus. We will be strong, we have willpower! Did read that some paleo folks do the 80/20 rule and allow non-paleo days which is something we may gravitate to (but still avoid anything processed).

Day 5

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Fruit Smoothie
Lunch = Broccoli and Fennel Soup
Dinner = Broccoli and Fennel Soup, Almond Bread
Drinks = Raspberry Tea, Coffee, Water
Snacks = Veggie Sticks (Tomato & Kale)
Exercise = Outdoor Run x20 mins
Mood = Good
Fatigue = Medium

Notes = Up early making Broccoli soup (rock n roll!). Another masterpiece, adore our “stolen” soup maker, makes it so easy, we say stolen (not as a nod to our Scouse lineage – but to explain before anyone calls the rozzers – during the lockdown, a kind Hermes delivery man (or woman) left a package on our doorstep with an address we’d never heard of. So we kept it in the hallway for 28 days to see if anyone would rightfully claim it, they didn’t so we acquired it for free, so not stolen, more “rehomed”). Another argument with the wife over evening meal, bored now, we may end up sticking to the paleo life just to spite her! Feel so cleansed inside and out, this is working. Tinnitus is still raging, keeping background sounds higher than normal to mask it, only just working. Went to Holland & Barrett for some provisions (almond flour mainly as the coconut flour isn’t good). Picked up some better soaps at a quarter of the price of Lush which should last four times as long by looking at the density. Came to the conclusion that there are so many amazing recipes out there one would never get bored of paleo, the only downside is the preparation and cooking time. As busy home office workers, we’ll need to get up earlier to prepare breakfast and lunch (but a vegetable soup should last us 2-3 days). Snacks are fine with fruit, biltong, nuts and seeds. May be that we use some weekend time to prepare food for the week ahead. Of course if we didn’t work we would have more time to invest, but we have six years to get this stuff off to a fine art. Picked up some cup measures so we don’t get caught out with US recipes as yesterday’s “muffins” were a disaster. Afternoon headache, so logged off early and caught some zeds. The Paleo for Dummies book did say that may happen with cutting out all sugar so it could be that. Made our first almond loaf with poppy seeds and it turned out great. A little dense and moist in the middle but we suspect we over-whisked and should have folded it instead. Will toast it lightly and that should do the trick. Could not be bothered cooking an evening meal so took the “bread” and soup. The bread was awful, just too sweet. Bread is meant to savory not sweet, but the coconut and almond flour cannot replace wheat flour for taste and consistency. On the basis that these are really the only big ingredients in paleo, baking really is off the menu for us. We guess if one was to live off the land in the UK, these items would not be available anyways so it’s no real loss. We do need to eat more though, one reflection on paleo is that it’s an easy lifestyle when working in the corporate domain, having a wife, three kids, energetic dog and having to cook everything from raw materials. Physical and mental fatigue is kicking in and we are in bed at 7:30pm on Friday night exhausted. One other thing is for sure, it ain’t cheap to live like a caveman either. We’ve also decided to hang up our running boots for good now. Few weeks back a brisk 5km left us with leg and joint pains for days, same already this afternoon, we’ll have to swap to the cross trainer and bike permanently now to avoid the impact damage. This week has been a challenge on many fronts both physically and mentally but will stick it out for the full week. We may have a blended diet/lifestyle going forward, taking the best bits from what we have learned over the seven days (which at the moment are fruit shakes for breakfast, vegetable soups for lunch, biltong, nuts and veggies sticks for snacks, plenty of water throughout the day, sugar free coffee, an evening meal that consists of meat/fish and two veg (all vegetables being on the menu not just some), the odd glass of red wine and avoiding all processed foods and sugars. On the physical front, walking, cycling, cross training, kayaking, weights and kundalini yoga will keep us on the straight and narrow, and meditation, meeting friends and blogging will keep our mind right. We’d say that would equate to around an 80% paleo lifestyle which is good enough to maintain a healthy mind, body and soul which ultimately promotes longevity which is why we really started this thing in the first place. Our aim is to set up a small holding in five years time, living as much off-grid as we can, so acquiring the right lifestyle diet and associated skills now is essential.

Day 6

Weight = N/A
Breakfast = Fruit Smoothie
Lunch = Tuna & Egg Salad “Sandwiches”
Dinner = Venison Burgers (Mushroom Buns)
Drinks = Coffee, Red Wine (small)
Snacks = Biltong
Exercise = 10km Walk
Mood = Great
Fatigue = Low

Notes = Woke up at 5:30, no surprises going to bed so early. Took the pooch out early as he’s in a bad shape himself (flea infestation) and he enjoyed his early morning bimble on the beach. Long soak on the bath to unstiff the dead leg which worked. Morning trip to the grocery store for today’s paleo purchases. Tuna, egg sandwiches (Romain lettuce instead of bread) went down a treat, good change to the soup. Took the daughter around town for her birthday present run and found an amazing alternative food store in Liverpool, vegan and paleo heaven. Got some alternative pasta (vegetable-based penne and spaghetti) and crisps. The mushroom double decker venison burgers for evening meal were great, very full after eating two of them. Most food we’ve eaten in one day so far. Earned my small glass of red wine, and as Saturdays go this was a lean one. My eyesight was poor in the evening, probably to do with too much number crunching this week at work and the fact I haven’t had an eye test for a while. Checkup needed next week, don’t think it’s diet related. Excited for tomorrow – foraging course!

Day 7

Weight = 84.5kg
Breakfast = Fruit Smoothie
Lunch = Tomato Soup, Veggie Straws, Biltong
Dinner = Fried Chicken
Drinks = Diet Coke, Fanta
Snacks = Biltong
Exercise = 10km Walking / Foraging
Mood = Great
Fatigue = Low

Notes = After our “morning manoeuvres”, we weighed in at 84.5kg, dropping exactly 3kg since the start of the week, putting us at our ideal weight. We didn’t start paleo to lose weight but it’s nice that it’s nudged us to our target quickly, which was probably down to the lack of processed crap we normally put into to our body and the increased and varied exercise regimes, which must now be maintained going forward. As our calorie intake has gone down, we need to boost it up to maintain our current weight. We love biltong and found an ethical producer in Sussex who purvey venison biltong so ordered a trial pack to see what they are like. Best biltong we’ve ever had was at a vineyard in Constantia, South Africa’s wine region just out side of Cape Town. A friend an us took the open-topped “red bus” and meandered our way through the many splendid vistas; Table Mountain, Cape Town’s marina/bay area, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Groot Constantia vineyard. Each vineyard had its own food stalls and market area, and the biltong was amazing. We bought a huge bag full and planned to eat a little for the remainder of our trip. Needless to say after a few wines and an awesome bus trip home through the scenic Hout Bay and Camps Bay, the bag was empty by the time we got back. Those memories fired up our long lost love of biltong, so naturally as it’s so expensive, our thoughts turned to making our own. A 45g packet in Morrisons cost £3. That’s roughly £120 for 2kgs if our maths are right. As one can buy a 2kg joint of topside or silverside beef (grass-fed of course) for around £10-£15, it makes total sense to make ones own in bulk. After reviewing some of the expensive purpose-built drying machines on Amazon and the free make-your-own drying box on Wikihow (https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Biltong), we’ll get building next week (probably a wooden version) and store it in the “office” once our son buggers off back to University and we’ve had Rentokil in to defumigate his room. After watching the artsy animation movie Away with our daughter, we headed off to the beautiful Welsh countryside, just outside Ruthin, for our foraging course (full blog to follow) and munched our way through flora, fauna and fungi for four hours, collecting some fayre along the way for next weeks meals (Hen of the Woods and Pocini mushrooms look a delight!), the most enjoyable day out we’ve had for quite a while, very educational and inspiring. As we were late getting back and had to time to cook we had to go to the drive through and get fried chicken, not entirely paleo but we’re not going to beat ourselves up about it.

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All in all we found the trial week very positive and educational. It gave us an insight into what our hunter-gatherer ancestors would consume which was of course easier for us due to technological advancement.

We’ve tried a great many diet over the years and have tried to select the best bits to keep the mind, body and soul maintained, falling foul as one does from time to time. One thing is for sure, we will continue to juice every morning and soup most afternoons and our evening meals will consist of mostly meat or fish and two veg. Most importantly, we will stay away from processed food as much as we can (including breads, pastries, sugar, rice and wheat products) and eat ethically. We will reintroduce all vegetables (potatoes, legumes etc) as if we do manage to set up an off-grid small holding in the future, we will be able to cultivate our own produce (we just wont set up our own fiscal-based community so that Humanity 2.0 doesn’t go the same way 1.0 went!). We will also make sure that we exercise every day, even if some days are lighter than others. We will maintain our course too for spiritual enlightenment, continuing our quest for knowledge and peace via yoga, meditation and cosmic discussions with like-minded individuals.

Pros

Reduced body weight
Reduced bloating
Reduced alcohol intake
Reduced sugar intake
Reduced toxicity
Reduced fatigue
Reduced cravings
Reduced profits of “Big Corpa”
Improved sustainability
Improved culinary skills
Improved exercise regimes
Improved mental stability
Improved willpower
Improved vigour to live life differently
Improved likelihood to live off-grid

Cons

Increased expenses
Increased food preparation time
Reduced food choices
Negative attitude of others

Conclusion

The pros of paleo far outweigh the cons in our opinion and on that basis we would highly recommend paleo or paleo-lite (80/20 rule). Even if one did it for one or two weeks per month, the benefits are there in abundance. In the immortal words of Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys “Suck it and see, you never know”…