Going Dairy Free

I’ve done a lot of self-experiments over the years – gluten free, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo, 365 days alcohol free, standing vs seating desks, smartphone vs dumb phone, caffeine free, 30 day fitness challenges. I have learnt a lot from doing these trials and testing out what works or doesn’t work for me. A human guinea pig if you will. 

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The Gift in the Pause

I haven’t written in nearly 6 weeks which is a record for me. Why is this? Well the last 6 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind haven’t they?

  • I have been adjusting to working from home full time
  • In a house with 3 small loud playful kids and 1 amazing wife
  • My kids are now experts at video conferencing
  • We are restricted to movement within a 2km radius of home
  • No social gatherings
  • Physical distancing from everybody
  • Food shopping has become very strange
  • I am never washing my hands again after all of this 🙂
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A Letter from Father to Son

This letter is dedicated to my son, Jacob.

When you change from being a man to being a Dad, something slowly turns inside of you. Things are very different. You see life through an altogether different lens. It is incredibly rewarding and you sense that this is really what life is all about, it’s what is meant to happen.

So this is a letter from me to you Jacob, just in case, for some crazy reason, we get separated somewhere along life’s path and I am no longer there to hold your hand, to tell you it’ll be ok, to smother you in my love. This letter can be your blueprint for living a good life and I hope you find it useful as you experience everything this beautiful life has to offer.

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Why I Love Living Without Alcohol

I am writing this post as I return home from a week long work trip that I attended with about 120 other colleagues from all over the globe. I’ve been on these trips many times before; the formula is familiar. Long days in a fancy hotel, numerous workshops on different topics, breakout sessions, team building activities, dinners in posh restaurants and if you are lucky, maybe some free time somewhere in the packed agenda.

Don’t get me wrong, you can be spoilt on these trips, they are nearly always in great locations, nearly everything is paid for or can be expensed, you get to spend a lot of time with colleagues you may never have met face to face and some new ones also. They also help to broaden your network and product knowledge within companies. These are the upsides.

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The Happy Pear, Dublin Airport

Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of the Happy Pear lads, Steven and David Flynn and their chain of plant based food cafes and outlets so when I heard that they were opening another outlet in Dublin airport, I was super excited as now I can finally get fuss free wholefood plant based grub on the go before flying. 

They have 3 other stores – the 1st is in their hometown of Greystones in Co. Wicklow, another in Shoreline in Bray and a relatively new one in Clondalkin in West Dublin. I’ve been to all three cafes and they are great. The food is great, the staff are great and there is an energy to these shops that is missing from traditional conventional cafes. An energy that says this is something different and that energy seems to resonate from the staff in all three of these locations. It’s good and different. 

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To Test or Not To Test

Nutritional therapy often involves diagnostic testing to help us figure out what’s going wrong with our clients. Diagnostics may include stool tests, adrenal stress tests, hormone tests like thyroid, urine, bone resorption…the list goes on. They are a very useful component to any NT protocol.

I have been reviewing and studying the GI-MAP stool based test from Invivo Healthcare in the UK recently.

Here’s a quick overview.

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So What Exactly is Functional Medicine?

The area of functional medicine is an emerging area. It is probably in the storming or forming stages of establishment and development as it rubs up against conventional medicine and it remains to be seen how the two can co-exist.

I like this definition:

Functional Medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.

ifm.org

This approach makes much more sense to me in terms of trying to avoid disease rather than waiting to be affected and then trying to deal with the disease once it has taken hold.

But how is if different to conventional medicine?

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Finding the Truth in Nutrition

My interest in nutrition started with a single question.

Did diet and lifestyle choices have any bearing on my Dad’s heart disease and ultimate passing in 2011?

I watched my Dad goes through 4 (yes 4) quadruple bypass surgeries where they moved healthy veins from his legs and transplanted them into his chest to restore blood flow to his heart that was being negatively impacted by blockages in his arteries. It is a deeply invasive but life saving surgery that arguably kept him alive for another 10 or so years.

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The Hardest Part … is the Start

We nearly have January in the rear view mirror and this is the first time I have sat down to write. A sin! The truth is January has been insane for me so far with college assignments and releasing a new product to market in work, there hasn’t been much slack for writing thus far.

February is also shaping up to be super busy with alot of work related travel, yet more college assignments due, 3 family birthdays to celebrate and a trip away with my Mum and brothers. It’s all feels a bit relentless right now but without the sludge of the alcohol in my system, it’s doesn’t feel like it used to be. It feels doable and less stressful than in previous years.

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When Others Are Being Greedy, Be Cautious

From a look at the data for the Christmas period in Ireland this year and observing how people are behaving, speaking and generally listening to the way people are feeling and thinking, I believe we are currently in a time of greed.

People have become conditioned to believe that their role in society is that of a “consumer” and their default behaviour should be to buy things where at all possible, and it is always possible. With online marketplaces like Amazon open all year around 24/7, while the bricks and mortar shops sleep on Christmas day, you can always buy online, it never closes.

This famous phrase from Warren Buffett has been ringing around in my head for the last few weeks as I drive around Dublin city and in general observing society.

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200 Days Alcohol Free

Tomorrow marks my 200th day since giving up the booze. 200 days. It is hard to believe, I can still remember 10 days and thinking that was amazing. Now 20x times later, here I am.

There is no doubt in my mind that the last 200 days investment in my health is paying off big time. I had 2 health checks this year, one in February and again at the start of December. I have moved the needle on some important biomarkers this year and giving up the booze has played a major role in this.

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