Fructaholics Anonymous – Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Thanks to a reference from Jonathan Gittos (many thanks Jonathan), I have just watched this video. It really is worth watching the whole 1.5 hours – you will NEVER look at sugar the same way again. I had heard of much of this stuff before, but the missing bit for me was just how dangerous fructose is to your health. I, for one, used to drink gallons of orange juice thinking I was doing myself a lot of good – nope  – real damage!

Incredibly enlightening – if you want to do one really meaningful thing today, this week, this month, this year – watch this video!


Standing Desk – Giving My Back Half a Chance

Gardening Peril

Spring was in the air and I managed to do my annual trick of pulling my back while gardening. It happens most years and it’s not only annoying but very inconvenient and embarrassing.

On My Knees

I had a trouble-shooting workshop up in London that I had to keep, so had to conduct half the meeting on my knees. Thankfully that was with some lovely clients that I know well.

Need to Change

I have virtually no problems throughout the year – just the first foray into the garden when my body hasn’t got used to extending the way gardening requires. Apart from banging my head on the wall while chanting, “I will exercise first before I do gardening”, I’m putting some other changes into place. I’ll be doing some remedial yoga and I’ve changed my office desk system around.

£600 – No!

There are  plenty of standing desks available online, but I couldn’t bring myself to part with upwards of £600 for one.

My wife had a great idea. Why didn’t I plonk the top of my desk onto a waist high bookshelf?

Standing Desk Come Bookshelf

The result is a lot more than impressive, it’s highly functional, very stable, doesn’t look half bad and cost me the sum-total of about an hour of my time to get in place including clearing off my old desk. See what you think.



Fats not Carbs

A lot of people, myself included, turn to carbs or sugars when we feel we are running out of energy. There is an alternative point-of-view that seems to be gaining a lot of ground: fats are good for you – carbs, less so. In particular, athletes can benefit from more sustained energy from shifting from a carb based metabolism to a fat focused one. The biggest problems I’ve found with this are established habits and taste. Slowly but surely though, shifting away from carbs is getting easier and easier – the effects are noticeable and the new recipes are generally interesting and inspiring.

Here are a few select statements from an article on the subject:

  • From a biological perspective, the body’s requirement for dietary derived glucose–which is in fact only needed by the brain–is absolutely zero because our livers can actually manufacture glucose.
  • When we consume a diet primarily composed of sugars and carbs we can begin to rely on glucose metabolism for energy.
  • This can lead to a number of problems including becoming resistant to important hormones that regulate blood sugar and hunger levels, and possibly even losing our ability to burn excess body fat at all.
  • When we become fat-burning machines we will have more energy, we will need to eat less and we won’t crave food any longer.
  • By switching to foods that are high in healthy fats–and potentially incorporating eating strategies such as intermittent fasting–we can actually retrain our bodies to be fat burning powerhouses, giving us longer lasting, more predictable energy levels and allowing us to shed unwanted pounds effortlessly.


Fats not Carbs (2).jpeg

From Foraging to Feeling Connected


It was just last autumn that I met Julian and was introduced to the fascinating subject of Threnergy. Julian and I share a common interest in foraging wild food and fungi and met to explore the woodlands in search of some tasty finds. During the day the conversation turned to the subjects of mindfulness and Threnergy. Julian guided us through some basic exercises that we could use as we walked.

I’d not heard about Threnergy before, but have tried various mindfulness techniques in the past. Often I struggle to engage in the exercises and find it hard to feel a benefit, but this new concept I was being shown felt very different. The simplicity but power of the techniques was immediately noticeable and I was keen to find out more, so I was very excited to read his book. Julian uses his knowledge and experience throughout his book to guide you through the principles of Threnergy in an easy to follow manner. I’ve found these principles easy to incorporate into my day to day life in a way I’ve not been able to do before. These exercisers have been great in helping me to refocus and reflect no matter where I am, whether at home, at my desk or walking in the woods where this journey began for me.

Steve Thornton

Eating Weeds

Given my deep interest in foraging and Mindful Connectivity it came as no surprise to me that this course looked very interesting: Waking Up To Plants: Sensory Practices to Deepen Your Connection to Nature

I booked myself on the course run by Robin Harford and Olya Maiboroda in Exeter – and I was not disappointed. The topics, the presenters and the people it attracted were all first rate.


We started the first session with a brief introduction and then headed swiftly out into the local area, calming ourselves down in a small park before coming across and enjoying the delights of red valerian, daisies and elderberry flowers. After a short walk, we ended up in Belle Isle Park and looked at, sniffed and chewed a few plants ranging from mustard to sticky willy and Himalayan Balsam. Looking at the principles behind knowing these plants rather than the normal morphological approach to identifying them was fascinating.


As was the afternoon session, where Olya focused on our senses of smell and taste, linking drinking a freshly made dandelion tea with feelings within our bodies. A very nice way of understanding our innate abilities to taste, smell and feel the herbal effects with our minds and bodies. We tasted the tea blind and it was extremely interesting to hear what we all thought the tea was: there was a remarkable convergence of descriptions of smell, taste and feelings from all on the course.

Excellent Mindful Connectivity with taste, smell and herbal effects.

What’s Growing Well

I find this topic fascinating myself, so I thought I’d add my bit of information on what is growing well around Guildford, UK, now (end of April).

Ground Elder 

In my last posts, I detailed Ground Elder which is in full swing and, I believe, best eaten as young shoots and leaves and raw.



Then there is naturalised Oregano i.e. it’s done the plant equivalent of going feral – we have tons of the stuff so I’m going to try and make some pesto with it:


Lemon Balm

And we also have some Lemon Balm that’s just kicking off and will be carpeting the place within a few weeks.


There will be so much of this stiff growing here that I will have to use it for multiple things. The good bit is, it smells wonderful just cut, bunched up and hung around the place. It helps keep mossies at bay. Also good to add to bar-b-ques, but we’ll have to wait a little longer for those!