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Lifestyle and ideal body weight
May 26, 2024

Lifestyle and ideal body weight

Lifestyle and ideal body weight are massively challenging subjects for most of us. Need it be so?

I have been pondering why it is that I find it easier than most of my patients to keep to an ideal body weight. Mind you, it wasn't always so; I was once 11kg heavier than I am now.

"This website is dedicated to those who desire to live long in the land, who are anxious to evade pain and if at all possible want to avoid taking chronic medication; and leaving a pristine planet to their offspring."

That means hard words need to be said and time must be spent in contemplation. If that's not where you are, this is the moment to unsubscribe.

If it is where you are, then would you forward this newsletter to any like-minded friends?

I don't like pain

At the coalface I have so many people consulting me with massive amounts of pain; at least a half of it has to do with lifestyle and ideal body weight.

When I personally was so heavy I started having regular severe episodes of lower back pain. Finally the penny dropped and I decided to do something about it; before the spinal operation.

The first step was a committed, disciplined programme of back exercises done before arising from bed; every single morning without fail. It takes only two minutes so it was not that difficult to get into the groove; others seem less fearful of pain, refuse to follow the regime and often end up under the knife.

I don't like pain; and I am ready to adjust my lifestyle to evade it.

I love the taste of good nutritious food

I'll admit to it, I am a foodie. I absolutely love the taste of unspoiled meals that have no need of "flavour-enhancers." They still contain the inherent natural phytochemicals that give that heady sensation to both our taste buds and our sense of smell.

The fragrance that comes, for example when roasting cumin seeds, the taste of real sauerkraut and the divine scent as I walk through the apiary all goad me into action.

These are just three examples of the kinds of foods that have enabled me to attain an ideal body weight. Cumin is one of the spices that will turn dull legumes like chickpeas into hummus so that it will be interesting enough to enjoy daily.

Sauerkraut and kefir have enabled me to conquer the severe indigestion and chronic constipation that made me so miserable for the first fifty years. I don't like pain; and I am willing to modify my lifestyle to escape it.

And raw honey with its low glycemic index has enabled me to give up sugar for ever.

These foods and many others like them give the glorious taste to our meals that one will never get from grocery stores and most restaurants.

Sourdough pizza baked with 100% wholemeal flour.

I don't like medication

The third most common illness on the planet is called "iatrogenic disease." Google the term so you will believe me; a quarter of a million deaths every year in the USA alone. And most of them are caused by medication.

I don't like medication. Life is good and I have no desire to have it cut short from drugs; so I am willing to grasp that prickly nettle called lifestyle and an ideal body weight.

We have no desire for two of these on our dining-room table; his and hers.

I believe the body is something holy

It is my profound belief that God does not dwell in churches, temples and shrines. It is my understanding of the Christian faith at least that when we open the door to Him, He comes to live within us. Our bodies become holy places.

And so it behooves us to care for the dwelling place of Almighty God; our human frames. This has huge implications for our lifestyles and yes, for ideal body weight too.

Caring for ourselves and not desecrating our bodies is part of our religious observance; in not dissimilar vein to church attendance, scripture reading and prayer. I realise that others will have a different opinion.

The virtual experience does not appeal to me

There are two ways to fly a glider. You can do it using an app on your computer; or you can drive out to a nearby airfield, climb into an man-made aeroplane with wings but no engine and soar on a thermal into the heavenlies. They are as distant as chalk is to cheese.

Some of my most unforgettable life experiences were whilst in a glider; soaring in the same thermal with about 200 storks and flying through what seemed like the stratosphere at 14,000 feet above sea level on a 150km journey.

Memories like those can never be achieved on a computer; the virtual experience does not appeal to me. I'd rather have fun playing golf than watching the pros on television. But I do enjoy some sport on TV; a little.

Lifestyle choices like these have a profound influence on our wellness; spending much of our time out of doors helps us to achieve an ideal body weight.

I find peace and relaxation in gardening

It took some thirty years before I began to experience for myself the wisdom hidden in the words of my mother's favourite poem.

"When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there's always the garden."

That is where we now escape to when the pressures start to build; we call it the Garden Cathedral. I have not seen any fairies down there but I do find God whilst weeding, planting seeds and turning the compost heap. It's the place where my spirit stills and I am able to contemplate the meaning of life.

I shrug off the inertia

John Bunyan in his immortal book, Pilgrim's Progress called it sloth; that weight that seems to hang around our necks keeping us from experiencing the full life. It still affects me but I make a determined effort to shrug it off and get busy.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Today I must make a determined effort to complete the repair of my solar beeswax extractor, pry the black-fly loose from my broad bean flowers with soapy water and tidy my workshop; it's become shambolic.

More Than A Billion Sedentary Lives

The World Health Organisation has released shocking news that more than 1.4 billion people are not getting enough exercise. That is a lifestyle choice; yes let's admit that it does not just happen, we choose it. And it has a profound effect on our ideal body weights.

It also makes us miserable; we are constantly on this or that diet. None of them work.

And most of these people live in the developed world; that means you and me.

We can argue long into the night about which is the best way of getting fitter; it's truly an exercise in futility. What is certainly valid is that every single person should try to spend more time being physically active. Whether you walk, swim or cycle is irrelevant.

Perhaps start by taking the stairs instead of the lift; parking your car at the far end of the lot when going to the grocery store.

One recommendation stands out.

Be active for at least 10 mins after any starchy meal.

How is sedentary defined?

Going straight from breakfast to the car, from lunch to the computer and after dinner to the TV is the recipe that will make it hundreds of times more difficult to achieve and keep an ideal body weight. Starch turns to sugars which are then deposited in all the wrong places; or if you are prediabetic raise your blood glucose alarmingly.

Scientists are in agreement however that a short brisk walk after every meal is the ideal lifestyle; ten minutes or perhaps only five but don't head straight for the couch.

Instead that blood glucose is turned into glycogen. You will grow your muscles, may even put on a little weight and your bones will be stronger.

The WHO does set the bar quite high; 20 minutes a day of "moderate-intensity" physical activity. The following are suggested.

* A brisk walk

* Cycling or swimming

* Mowing the grass

* Climbing the stairs

They do give an alternative; 10 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical exercise.

* Running faster than 8 kph

* Skipping

* Trampoline

* Shoveling snow or turning a compost heap


Lifestyle and ideal body weight

This is the lifestyle for an ideal body weight.

Incidentally you cannot lose weight by exercise alone. To get a significant number of pounds off you have to address the refined carbs in your life; permanently. Quitting commercial bread or sugar say for a month is a complete, total waste of time; don't bother, it will only depress you.

Only make changes that are sustainable; that's why all diets fail. Can you give up the staff of life for ever? Should you in fact?

I have no hesitation in recommending 100% wholemeal sourdough bread; but you will have to bake it yourself. It's all about the choices we make.

It takes only five minutes, by the way, including milling the flour. We don't need to give up bread; true whole grains are very healthy. The flavour of sourdough is divine.


Alzheimer's Disease

Shocking statistics reveal that 11% of adults over the age of 65 are now living with Alzheimer's Disease; and the numbers are rocketing.

The proof is only in the early stages but neurologist Dr Richard Isaacson has come up with a programme that is proving extremely interesting[2]. The key parts of this complete reversal of the levels of amyloid and tau proteins in the brain are as follows.

1. Start walking daily; a lot.

2. Get blood glucose under control; that means refined carbs.

3. Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners and ultra-processed foods; and commercial alcohol.

4. Not vegetarian necessarily but follow a plant-based diet.

5. Get the cholesterol numbers right.

6. More omega-3 fats.

7. Control elevated homocysteine levels with B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.

Within 14 months all signs of Alzheimer's Disease have been reversed. Much was done with medication but it is possible to do all of the above by dietary changes alone.

At our Green Home

At our Green Home we follow a similar programme but based on diet alone; without the use of medicines to get the figures right. In many ways it is stronger than that of Dr Isaacson but in others weaker; we don't walk nearly as much as he recommends and I do drink natural alcohol that we believe is quite different to that from the bottle store. We would also like to consume more fatty fish but it is difficult to get where we live.

We get our B vitamins from true whole grains rather than supplements; magnesium and zinc from green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.

We have proved that raised blood glucose can be completely reversed by natural means; raw honey instead of sugar for sweetening, high fibre food and walking after starchy meals.

Cholesterol levels are completely normal on a diet rich in whole grains, legumes and zero ultra-refined carbs.

I am now able to recall my cellphone number without the slightest difficulty; something I have not been able to do since a life-threatening drop of blood pressure during a general anaesthetic many years ago.

"Meat has always been man’s chief food. For all that faddists may say, animal protein, wine and oil make a diet that can sustain the human body in perfect health; and wheat too.

For this reason meat has always been ranked first among the available foodstuffs in both civilised and barbarian communities."

- C. Louis Leipoldt, MD, famous South African poet

Alas he got it so wrong; and died long before his time. I will leave you to pick holes in his belief about food.


The take home is that better health can be achieved by a change of lifestyle. We start with baby steps; choosing our own way since to be meaningful they have to be sustained for the rest of our lives.

Rome wasn't built in a day; nor was this lifestyle. It has taken us years to get here.

Choosing to walk more for a month or two is an utter waste of time.

And an ideal body weight can be achieved; if we are willing to ring in certain lifestyle changes.

An obese patient this week phoned to tell me that finally he has taken to heart what I've been telling him. What eventually motivated him was the message from his doctor. "You have type 2 diabetes and must immediately go onto medication."

He started walking daily and cut out all refined carbs; and even some healthy ones. He has lost 20kg in three months, his A1c dropped from 6.5 to 4.3 and his cholesterol is close to normal.

It can be done. Good luck!

Create your own Cyan Zone

Care for the planet in whatever way you can. Look after yourself and the family in every possible manner; not only other people get these preventable diseases.

Start walking daily; for the rest of your life.

Till next month,


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1. Investing in Long-Term Health

2. Signs of Alzheimer’s were everywhere. Then his brain improved.

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1. Bernard Preston Homepage.

2. Back Issues for Create a Cyan Zone at your home.

x Lifestyle and ideal body weight

x Investing in long-term health

x Diseases from plastic exposure

x A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease

x The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer

x There's a hole in the bucket

x Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs

x Pull the sweet tooth

x If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu

x Refined maize meal and stunting

x Should agriculture and industry get priority for electricity and water?

x Nature is calling

x Mill your own flour

x Bake your own sourdough bread

x Alternative types of water storage

x Wear your clothes out

x Comfort foods

x Create a bee-friendly environment

x Go to bed slightly hungry

x Keep bees

x Blue zone folk are religious

x Reduce plastic waste

x Family is important

x What can go in compost?

x Grow broad beans for longevity

x Harvest and store sunshine

x Blue zone exercise

x Harvest and store your rainwater

x Create a cyan zone at your home

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