This Modern Life

Today’s modern life is different isn’t it. It’s different to how our predecessors lived and almost certainly is different to how the next generation will live. Change is inevitable but the pace of that change has significantly increased over the last 10-15 years. Let’s reflect on some of the key changes.

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One Year. No Beer.

Yesterday I went out in the afternoon to watch a football match. I wasn’t even that interested in it (I had to google who was actually playing – I know) but it was more to meet a friend of mine and relax in a pub. I had been pretty bad at meeting up with my friends in recent months and this was the excuse I was telling myself to justify me going out to meet up with him. Anyway a good afternoon was had but in the end, I was a mess.

Here’s the breakdown (from what I can recollect):

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Genofit Research Study

If you live in Dublin, you should take part in this study: https://genofit.ie/

This aims to be one of the largest studies ever conducted in Ireland and is examining the role of genetics, lifestyle factors and fitness in our overall health. Their initial goal is to get 40,000 people to take part and based on the availability in their clinics (or lack thereof), I think they are not far off their target. 40,000 people is not a limit, the more the better.

I have never seen or taken part in a study that was as well designed and executed as this one. After discussing this study with my nutrition classmates a few weekends ago, I signed up at genofit.ie and booked a slot.

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Reconnecting With Your Senses

We all intellectually know that we are quietly nurturing addictions to all kinds of stuff – certain foods, coffee and certain apps or technology.

I recently had a strong urge to decouple, disconnect, untether myself and my family from all technology for one whole day. Imagine that! So last Sunday, we as a family of 5 decided, we are not going to use any smartphones, tablets, games consoles, tv, netflix – nothing, just for one whole day and see how we felt about it.

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Coming Off Anti-Depressants

Around 2 years ago, I was in a bad place mentally and physically. I had been burning the candle at both ends, very stressed, eating poorly, exhausted yet always wanting to do more, more, more. I had started a new job and for the first 6 months, was on probation whereby you have very little job security and your performance is constantly being assessed for company fit.

I had reached a point of complete despair, mentally and physically, where I just did not want to continue. I tried to explain it to my wife but all that came out was actually garbage. I couldn’t even summon the ability to articulate what was wrong.

I just felt completely broken, mentally and physically.

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How to Build Resilience to Stress

We live in a very different world today than our parents inhabited. Today, both parents work, things are far more expensive including childcare and housing, jobs are more stressful, the rate of change in industries and companies is unprecedented, there is no such thing as a permanent job, social media pressures are everywhere, technology is changing how we live our lives, uncertainty is everywhere and rates of depression and anxiety are at levels never before witnessed in our world.

The level of stress that people are experiencing on a daily basis is increasing, so it is super important that you have some tools in your toolbox that you can use when you do experience this stress.

Here are my top 3 ways of dealing with stress.

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The Muddy Waters of Nutrition

I first started studying nutrition and health coaching back in 2016 when I got an unexpected redundancy from a company and found myself with a few months time out from the normal 9-5 grind. I signed up to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) to qualify as a health coach (a relatively unheard of term back then). I completed that course and really enjoyed it but did not feel in anyway ready to start taking on coaching clients.

My interest in the area of nutrition, performance and self improvement continued to grow and in 2018 I decided to undertake a Diploma in Nutritional Science to qualify as a nutritionist from the Irish Institute of Nutrition and Health (IINH). Why they all call themselves institutes I do not know but anyway…

I am in the middle of Year 2 currently and this weekend just past we were focused on Cardiovascular health, a topic that is very dear to my heart (boom boom!) with my own dads history in mind. We studied the entire anatomy and physiology of the heart and cardiovascular system and the dysfunctions and disorders that can arise in this area and how to treat clients with these issues.

Now to the muddy waters…

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Morrocan Stew

Inspired by the Happy Pears harira soup, I think this dish is actually more of a rocking dinner. It is so hearty and meaty (without the meat) it is particularly suited to the colder months but good as a healthy lunch when the sun is up too. It is loaded with fiber and protein to keep you feeling full until your next meal.

I like to serve this with some baked naan bread or wholemeal pittas and some sliced avocado on the side.

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