The Mediterranean Diet: It’s Not Just the Food

While the exact mechanisms by which the components of this diet may improve cardiovascular health does require further research, the cumulative effects of higher fibre intake, antioxidants, healthy fats including the essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, protein and complex carbohydrates all appear to contribute to an overall reduction in inflammatory markers (hs-CRP, IL-6,7,18), oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, blood pressure, insulin resistance, blood glucose dysregulation, LDL, HDL, total cholesterol levels and body weight (3, 4, 6, 7).

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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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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.

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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.

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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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