London Marathon 2017

Reflecting on my time in South America, I mentioned that the unhealthy diet and scorching heat would probably end any hopes of beating my marathon PB this year. Despite my best efforts of catching up on return to the UK, this proved to be the case, although I was still chuffed to come in at 2h 53m, just a couple of minutes over last year’s time. Most people are familiar with the phrase ‘carb-loading’, and I always take this pursuit almost as seriously as the training itself, particularly in the days leading up to the race. Food basically becomes just fuel during […]

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Blue Monday

Once upon a time, ‘Blue Monday’ was just a legendary 80s dance track (the highest selling 12 inch single of all time, no less). These days, however, it has come to mean the point in January that apparently marks the most depressing day of the year. Originally coined by Sky Travel as part of a PR campaign, the ‘formula’ for Blue Monday factors in debt, weather, time since Christmas, motivation levels (or lack of) and failing new year’s resolutions, with the perfect storm deemed to be the Monday of the last full week in January. However, clearly it is just […]

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Dry January

Many of you may be enjoying / enduring your very own ‘Dry January’ right now, so I just thought I would pen a few thoughts on this, as it seems to be attract more media attention every year – both positive and negative. What? Dry January seems to have originated as a concept by Alcohol Concern, but has a couple of other guises too, perhaps most notably ‘Dryathlon’, by Cancer Research. As far as I am aware, the challenge involves first abstaining from alcohol for the whole of the month of January, and then trying not to bore your friends and colleagues […]

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Merry Christmas!

Another week, another public health event. This time it is the turn of the increasingly popular ‘Christmas’, where the general message seems to revolve around consuming all food groups, in vast quantities, at all times. I jest. I have noted, celebrated and explained many of the most important health events and milestones of the year, so I don’t mean to be flippant. But at this time of year, I think it’s important to accept that, for a very brief period, it is ok for nutrition to take a back seat, and to let family, friends, charity and celebrations drive proceedings. […]

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Brussels sprouts: five facts

We’re just entering that phase of the year of the fateful office Christmas party – that hazy afternoon spent awkwardly conversing with Stu from HR and Paula from finance. But while you may wake up on Saturday morning (or afternoon) regretting discussing your personal life with your boss in quite so much detail, you can at least reflect on the fact that you probably enjoyed your first of several Christmas dinners this year. But did you have your Brussels sprouts? Here are five facts about these much-maligned brassicas: 1. Why the weird name? The ‘Brussels’ thing comes from the fact […]

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It’s Halloween! Five fun facts about pumpkins

Yep, it’s Halloween on Friday. Much as I dislike the aggressive commercialisation of all these festivals (I could not believe my eyes when I saw Oxford Street already lined with christmas lights on a warm day at the start of October), there is much to enjoy about Halloween’s traditions. When I think Halloween, I think pumpkins. Here are five fun facts for these familiar festive friends. Try saying that with your mouth open.  1.  The main reason the shops are stacked with pumpkins at this time of year (aside from it being the end of their normal growing season), is of […]

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