Time for a change


It’s been a long time since I used this site for a general ‘blog’ post, but every now and again something happens that I feel should be recorded as a new journey is triggered and a recording of progress is called for

Last week I had a personal health assessment through work.  I was in two minds whether to bother attending, as I believe I eat sensibly and exercise well and have generally good visibility of my overall health, but it’s part of our new staff wellbeing initiative which is a great idea and something I want to support so thought why not give it a go.

You know the kind of thing – you fill in a self assessment of diet, fitness, personal and family health and attend a session where a well meaning advisor picks up on the slightest deviation from the perfect healthy baseline and beats you up with it.  She did have quite a tough time with me – despite the recipes I post on this site it’s not all  chocolate cakes and biscuits, and it did help that I’d given up the booze for October so she couldn’t home in the excessive alcohol consumption but apparently I’m eating too much fruit (a bit of a surprise there – I didn’t see that one coming), I need to cut out that 1 can of pop and bag of crisps at lunch time – (OK, that was an easy target) and I’m eating too much cheese.  Overall I was quite pleased with the assessment – let’s face it, despite how conscientious you are, there is always room for improvement.  I’m probably not going to follow her advice on no pop of crisps, but more wholegrain and a better breakfast is something I can take forward.

On to the physical exam – after a very stressful couple of weeks I expected my blood pressure to be through the roof, but it had remained remarkably low which was a big surprise.  Equally surprising was the fact that my cholesterol levels were seriously high.  I didn’t see that one coming either, and although this doesn’t account for the proportion of good vs bad cholesterol, and that a month of the red wine will have had a detrimental impact here, I’ll be off to my GP for a more accurate test.  Other than that it was green flags across the board so generally a good outcome.

Taking all of this together got me thinking about something I had considered at the start of the season.  Like many gardeners, I’m often frustrated at peak points in the year by having far more veg than I can realistically cope with.  Over the years I’ve got around this by freezing and dehydrating as well as giving stuff away but I explored the idea of juicing and benefits it has on health and diet.  It didn’t get beyond the analysis stage – I really liked the idea but it needs yet more good quality kit and a constant commitment throughout the year if you’re going to stick with it, and I knew that this had the opportunity to turn into another kitchen gadget which would be gathering dust for 11 months of the year so decided I’d assess the levels of waste I was seeing in the garden this season and reconsider later in the year.

Now that time is here, a quick refresh of my earlier investigations draws the same conclusions but I have new goals to pursue and an incentive to make this work, so I’ve taken the decision to replace my breakfast with a daily smoothie.  Smoothies were also part of my original assessment – without a clear objective I couldn’t see any advantage over juicing, they involved more ingredients and more volume where a single shot of juice would do the job but now things have changed.  I can see that smoothies could give me a varied and satisfying breakfast without the need to fork out on an expensive cold press masticating juicer, so I dive head-first into the sub-culture which is healthy smoothie making…

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