Daily Mobility Exercises to Relieve Neck and Back Pain

Here are a couple of videos that show exactly how I help my clients become more mobile and reduce painful joints, especially when they are suffering from neck and/or lower back pain.

The first set focuses on opening up the hip flexors and glutes, both key contributors to lower back pain when they become over tight. Each set can last between 5-10 minutes depending on how long/many you do of each one. Turn the sound up as it has useful cues to follow whilst doing these ones.

I get prepared before most workouts with some form of mobility and depending on what I have planned out. These videos are an easy and quick way to shortcut to the most important joints in the body.

This second video focuses on the shoulder girdle, you need a bar or broom handle to do this one. Keep the arms straight in all 3 exercises and please make sure that you move from the the shoulders. This can be such an easy and quick way to prepare for any upper body work in the gym – even after a day sitting all crunched up at the desk.

Good luck with these and comment below with any questions. Thanks

“NOTHING WORTH HAVING EVER CAME EASY”

By Suzi Moore-Jones

Actually…I disagree. Sure, this is a very generalised statement, but I take a particular objection to this when it comes to food. Eating healthily doesn’t have to be laborious and time-consuming.

There is a very, very lazy person that lives inside of me. There are times when I have a lot of energy and want to put lots of time into creating something in the kitchen, but there are a LOT of other times where all I want is to make the quickest, easiest, least washing-up-heavy meal I can make so that I can get back to my excessive Netflix consumption.

So, with that in mind, here are a few tips to help appease that lazy person that lives inside of you…

USE A NUTRIBULLET (£50) FOR MAKING SAUCES

This is one of my best hacks. Whether you’re knocking together a stir fry, putting some pasta on to boil or wanting something to pour over veggies to roast, using a nutribullet for a quick sauce is the best idea. It means that you can chuck all the ingredients in to blend, without the need to finely chop and stir together on the hob first. Key ways this saves time:

  • Less chopping involved by chucking ingredients in whole (e.g. garlic cloves and ginger)
  • You can add in peas, frozen or fresh greens for a nutritional boost, which doesn’t really affect the flavour and can still be whizzed into a smooth texture
  • Less washing up in using one container to blast everything in before topping the food.

BUY YOURSELF A MINI FOOD PROCESSOR (£17)

Ok, so you may not love the idea of purchasing yet another kitchen appliance, but these babies are very small and inexpensive and honestly save you a load of work when prepping meals. I HATE chopping onions, probably because I have no patience, but it can really add to your cooking time if you need to chop onions and garlic finely by hand. If you have a mini chopper, you can easily just chop onions into quarters, chuck whole garlic cloves in (plus you can do this with other ingredients like ginger for example) and whizz it up. This device will also make really quick dips like guacamole, in an instant. Thumbs up from this lazy cook right here!

RECRUIT SOME KITCHEN CUPBOARD HEROES

There are a few staple ingredients that are my go-to guys for quick, tasty and time-saving recipes. These are:

  • Garlic and onion granules. Just adding a teaspoon of each of these can give your food the flavour it needs without needing to freshly prep garlic and onion, or that can help you out if you don’t have them to hand.
  • Marigold vegetable stock powder. We keep a huge tube of this next to the cooker, it goes in a lot of the dishes I make and can be a good shortcut to adding bit of extra flavour and seasoning to a dish.
  • Tomato paste. Having a tube of tomato paste in the fridge is always a good idea. One of my easiest breakfast recipes is pretty much combining all of these three kitchen cupboard heroes (the garlic and onion granules, veggie stock, tomato paste) with some hot water in a saucepan, optional dashes of chipotle sauce for a sweet and smokey kick, and adding some beans (black, pinto or haricot work well) for a tasty and healthy beans-on-toast brekkie. Proper recipe to follow for those who like a step-by-step…

I hope this has been helpful, stay tuned for more posts, thoughts and recipes! Comment below if you have any of your own time-saving hacks that you’d like to share!


How to stay calmer, for longer.

Let me first make it clear that what I am going to speak about today is just my opinion that has been developed through my own personal experiences.

Between the ages of 12-14 I experienced anxiety attacks. They manifested in the form of terrible stomach pains that lasted hours and often had no trigger or explanation. It was a difficult one to diagnose as there was no physical issue with my digestion that doctors could pinpoint.

One day my GP recommended I see a local councillor. After just one session with a lovely woman my stomach pains began to subside and after a while I realised one day that I hadn’t had one for months.

It’s important to note that I had a typically normal childhood, nothing extreme, two loving parents, I wasn’t bullied more than any other kid is and I had a pretty good diet (considering what other kids my age where eating!)

But, I was under quite a bit of stress. Anxiety releases the main stress hormone, which is called cortisol. This hormone causes your stomach to produce excess levels of stomach acid which can be problematic when you eat or drink triggering foods, can cause distress to your stomach lining and change the hunger satiety levels.

Because the concentration of acid in the stomach changes the way you digest food it can be quite destabilising for your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. The cascade of effects add up, and it can effect your body in a fairly powerful way.

Why is this important to know?

Because without this experience I would never have got into the stress reducing habits I did start doing from a very young age. This is the purpose of this post, to help people realise that stress is not something that you can stop from entering your environment. In fact, stress levels need to increase in order of your body to adapt in training exercises, and they help you stimulate your focus in conditions that require a heightened state of alertness.

But, how can we prepare ourselves for dealing with the small stressors that don’t mean so much to us but seem to ‘tip us over the edge’ into rage, fear, anxiety and suffering?

Practice Meditation – this has been rebranded recently as ‘mind-full-ness’. In my opinion what we are actually trying to achieve is a reduced state of mind awareness, so I don’t exactly agree with the term. But, if it gets people sitting still and focusing their minds then I’ll let that one go!

This is a state where we simply slow our minds, remove the constant train of thought flowing without control in our mind and attempt to “rest” our brain. I started off with reciting Tibetan mantra’s, one specifically ‘Om-A-Rap-A-Sana-Di’ (spelt phonetically) for 108 beads on a bead-mala 3 or 4 times every morning. This practice evolved into full-on visualisations of imagery with my eye’s closed, breathing exercises and visual focus exercises.

If you want to find out more about these, I will be happy to talk about it with you so send me a direct message, but on this occasion I can’t delve too deep into it, that needs a whole other post!

All of them are a way of doing the same thing; getting your mind to focus on one thing and one thing only, when it drifts – because it will – you have to gently bring it back, don’t worry if you get sidetracked. Everybody does it. Just be a little more understanding of yourself.

Exercise the cardiovascular system – taking your time to exercise your body without it being overly challenging on your breath is a fantastic way to reduce stress. The physical exertion will far outweigh the emotional stress you’ve built up in your mind and the endorphin release will make you feel contentment and pride for taking the time to do something positive for your mind and body.

Try doing a really low-level run, swim or bike ride when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’ll immediately feel better prepared for what the world has to throw at you.

Go natural cold water swimming – this has no be proven and backed up by science to boost the immune system and relieve symptoms of depression. Whilst anecdotally improving participants perspective of their problems and environmental stressors.

Many people will have heard about Wim Hof, an eccentric man from Holland who does incredible feats of human resistance to extreme cold. For the past 14 months I’ve been using his breathing exercises, cold water therapy immersion techniques and life advice to help me build up tolerance for stress in my everyday life. Like the first two (mentioned above), this practice has been a huge catalyst in improving my resistance to stress.

What I would like to recommend today is for you to comment below or message me directly if you’re interested about any of these practices and begin doing just one of them every day.

You can rotate the type, change the way you do them and adjust it to suit your lifestyle. But a plan and a simple piece of guidance (from me) might be exactly what you need to kickstart your stress busting healthy habits.

Speak soon, Patrick

How Do I Ensure I Become Better Every Day? Follow this Simple Rule…

Rule: Read or listen to people who have been there and done it for 30 minutes a day.

I’m going to keep this simple. You need to read or listen to the right content every day if you want to become the best version of yourself. You can’t possibly learn without this practice. Continue to read on if your interested in what I’ve read and listened to help me get better on a daily basis.

People often ask me about what can they do to get into a routine that will help them become calmer, happier and/or more productive.

Reading or listening covers all of these bases.

Audible changed the scene, get a free 30 day trial here. It’s worth it.

Or buy the hard copy (links below) and begin your journey as soon as it arrives. I personally found that the 20 min drive to work was the perfect time of day to start my learning – so I listen through audible or podcasts.

Rather than listening to the general garbage on the radio you can fill your ears with insight, inspiration and knowledge. It’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned.

Book 1: The End to Upside Down Thinking

This is a bit of a ‘far out’ read but gave me the understanding that our limitations and understanding of whats possible is not restricted to the boundaries we’ve been led to believe. We can create the right environment around us if we harness the power of our minds with the positive intention to do something good.

Book 2: The Chimp Paradox

This is a bit more ‘normal’ but a powerful self-help book that had a great effect on me. Understand the two parts (or three depending on how you look at it) of your brain. How to control the ‘monkey’ part of it and give you a powerful sense of control in our mad world.

Book 3: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

This book is about understanding what fear is, why we experience it and how fear holds us back from making good decisions for ourselves.

Book 4: The Power of Now

This book is a must-read. For anyone. In any situation. Ekhart Tolle is a genius.

Book 5: Get Things Done

This is what it says on the tin. Want to be more productive? Read this.

There is plenty there to get stuck into, if you want more information or advice on podcasts and music to help your brain please ask and ill find out in what context you mean and can advice accordingly.

Have a great day

#mooresimple

 

Do You Have A Nutritional Deficiency?

How do we find out if we have a nutritional deficiency?

A complete blood profile test can be done by your doctor. It will asses your overall blood and cellular health as well as your risk of disease. But, as most of you roll your eyes at the thought of having another thing to add to the list of things to do, I do have an alternative suggestion…

(You’re welcome to get in touch if you do want to get blood tests, I have a comprehensive list that you can ask your doctor to do for you – if your interested)

The reality is; dietary deficiencies are very common so the chances are…yes, you’ve got one! (No matter how good you think your diet is)

This is a problem because when you’re deficient in key nutrients, your physiology doesn’t work properly. And when your physiology doesn’t work as it should, you feel low on energy. How can you expect to smash a workout, go for a run or complete a great day at work if you don’t feel energized?

Here’s some stats…

deficiencies

I’d like to point out that I believe that RDA is a particularly underwhelming estimation for what’s needed to maintain a “healthy individual”. Nevertheless, it’s a start….

What are the common nutritional ‘red flags’ to look out for?

  • water (low-level dehydration)
  • vitamins and minerals (much lower levels in non-organic fruits and veg)
  • protein (particularly in women/men with low appetites)
  • essential fatty acids (95% of the population is deficient!)

That’s the power of removing nutrient deficiencies. When our bodies don’t have the nutrients they need to carry out their daily functions, we all suffer. But as soon as we get these nutrients, we begin to thrive.

GOOD NEWS IS…You can practically remove the chances of having a nutritional deficiency in an easy, natural way; super green powders.

plantforcegreens

I use Third Wave Nutrition’s ‘Plantforce Greens’ blend, it has no artificial ingredients or additives and it is 100% organic. Packed full of green leafy vegetables, plants, grasses and algae’s it provides you with a wide spectrum of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals essential for all you’re daily bodily functions.

I don’t gain anything by referring people to this company other than the knowledge you’re getting a perfect product for its use.

Furthermore, you can use code ‘Mojo’ at checkout for 20% off your basket!

Of course, many of you may ignore this advice (to buy a short-cut to nutritional efficiency) as it wasn’t even in your paradigm for a health conscious decision to make, and will continue to hope that your covering your bases through your diet – especially as the ‘short-cut’ costs yet more money. I totally understand and I’ve had the same conversation in my own head many times before.

The most frequent truth I encounter as a personal trainer is that the basics are often the hardest things to put into place. This is why I recommend this, it’s a short-cut, it’s natural, it’s real-food based and there are absolutely no side-effects, issues with production or chemicals.

We can all improve areas of our diet. If you feel like this would be a good addition to a smoothie or juice in the morning..great! Do it! If this sounds a bit outlandish and impossible to introduce, I get it.

The idea of this post is to share, learn, understand, apply new ideas how you see fit and get on with your life. I’m just grateful your even taking an interest in your health.

Thanks for reading and if you think it was a helpful piece, please give it a share with someone who you know might gain some benefit from reading it too.

Merry Chritsmas and Happy New Year, Patrick

 

 

The Highlights – ‘The 5 Ways of Wellbeing’

I’ve been on a journey since I was a skinny teenager at 17 years old working on a gym floor cleaning machines, giving inductions and helping to sell products (an old-fashioned gym instructor).

It’s 2019, I’m a Personal Trainer in North London with over 12 years industry experience and 9 years running my own PT business, MoJo Wellbeing Ltd.

The longer I’ve been in the job the less motivated I’ve been in being a glorified exercise babysitter. My motivation has been to become the best ‘functional health coach’ I can be. This is someone who helps people change their lives for the long-term. That person should spend their later years thriving, free of disease and chronic inflammation. Looking good while you’re doing it is just the bonus you get while you’re at it.

In order for this to happen, you need to have 5 key ‘ways’ in place in your daily routine. I’ve outlined these for you below. This is level 1, so if you’re already a level up I can set you up with the next steps you need to take. Let’s open a discussion about it..

WAY 1

Exercise

You need to have a basic level of activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

The combination of increases in a sedentary lifestyle (for most) and constant food availability has had a huge effect on ancient metabolic processes that govern our bodies. This has led to a huge outbreak of type 2 diabetes and obesity led by excessive storage of energy as fat and increasing insulin resistance. Being active for 30 minutes a day, even if broken up into six 5 minutes intervals can help slow the negative effects of that.

For most of you that will mean walking up the escalators in the tube station rather than standing still, or taking the stairs instead of the lift at work…what I’m getting at is; you have to find every opportunity to move possible throughout the day. Just the stairs and escalator tips won’t be even close enough.

You must find ways of getting on your feet regularly around the office or work space, arrange special meetings and/or set a recurring alarm on your phone. You can monitor this on your phone easily with health apps. Take pictures and send them to your accountability partner (way 5).

Way 2

Nutrition

A vegan/plant-based diet that’s got adequate plant protein and keeps you healthy is not as hard as some people think. I’ve managed it for over 19 months. I keep a low body fat percentage, I’m stronger and I’ve not yet been sick or injured.

In a randomized trial by the journal of Nutrition & diabetes this year they found that, ‘plant protein intake significantly decreased fat mass, improved insulin resistance markers and improved body composition in overweight individuals in comparison to the control diet group’ (1). Furthemore, there are countless studies not only showing the benefits on fat mass but also of a vegan/plant-based diet in reducing the chances of almost every chronic health problem.

Yet, people care more about what they need to eat to help them stay fit, healthy and lean. That’s why I’ve built a plant protein list and what foods are best to combine them with for my clients.

Way 3

Hydration

The importance of hydration has been a big topic in helping my clients achieve results for years. In 2015, a study by researchers at Loughborough University found that, ‘that mild hypohydration, produced a significant increase in minor driving errors…the magnitude of decrement reported, was similar to that observed following the ingestion of an alcoholic beverage’ (2).

To put it simply – mild dehydration can have a big effect on your ability to exercise, on the functionality of your brain, on your ability to remember, on your pain threshold and on your basic motor skill function. Getting the right amount for you is vital for wellbeing and there are considerations to take into account like body size, activity level and gender.

Here’s a calculation to get a rough idea of how much you should be drinking.

Drink half an ounce for every one pound of bodyweight.

If you need help doing this please get in touch and I’ll help you calculate yours.

Way 4

Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep has become ‘the hack’ for successful, wealthy individuals who are concerned with their optimum health in the fast-paced western working world. Yet, this rule applies more importantly to the unemployed, mentally unwell, public sector worker’s and children. The research is flooding out stating it could have a significant effect on health issues ranging from age related diseases (dementia and Parkinson’s) to mental health (anxiety, depression and ADHD.

Let’s understand one thing first, getting below 7 hours or above 8 hours for the majority of the population is going to hinder you rather than help you. Research conducted in Korea found that too much or too little sleep increases the risk of depressive symptoms in people who suffer hypertension/high blood pressure (3). Furthermore, a Harvard Medical Health letter published it analysis of multiple studies which found that poor ‘sleep-hygiene’ could increase the likelihood of triggering a bi-polar episode, contribute to anxiety, disrupt the routines of people with ADHD and cause a development of depressive feelings (4).

I have a huge list tips to help maximise your sleep and a blog post for my 5 essentials for a better nights sleep. But the best first practice you can implement today is this…make your bedroom a place that is your sanctuary, you should only be doing two or three things in there; sleep, make love and maybe light reading of an actual book. No TV’s, no working or catching up with e-mail’s and definitely no eating!

Way 5

Mindset

This ‘way’ is what I’ve experienced to be the most important of them all. It’s the goal setting practices and adherence aspect to the four other ‘way’s’. How you manage your time, how you plan your day and how you prioritize your daily activities will determine whether your life with become the happier and healthier life you deserve. In essence, that is all we are striving for; happiness and health. Earning money is all about having “time” to do the things that make you happy.

That’s why I have a 3 stage process to help program your day so you can adhere to the tasks you need to achieve your goals.

  1. Accountability
  2. Sharing your goals
  3. Giving your goals a deadline.

These are the keys to your success – and by success I mean wellbeing!

Let’s Get It

#mymojomatters

References:

(1) Kahleova.H et al, Nutrition & Diabetes, A plant-based diet in overweight individuals in a 16-week randomized clinical trial: metabolic benefits of plant protein, 2018 Nov 2;8(1):58.

(2) Watson P, Whale A, Mears SA, Reyner LA, Maughan RJ. Mild hypohydration increases the frequency of driver errors during a prolonged, monotonous driving task, Physiology & Behaviour, Volume 147, 1 Aug.15, Pages 313-318

(3) Son YJ, Park C, Won MH. Impact of Physical Activity and Sleep Duration on Depressive Symptoms in Hypertensive Patients: Results from a Nationally Representative Korean Sample, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018 Nov 22;15(12)

(4) Harvard Mental Health Letter, Sleep and Mental Health. July 2009. Accessed April 29, 2018.

 

What’s The Big Deal About Staying Hydrated?

What is it about hydration that has got personal trainers, yogis, health coaches and sports team managers questioning, ‘how much water do I need to drink?’

clear drinking glass filled with clear liquid and sliced of kiwi

How important is it?

Firstly, DEHYDRATIONWhat is it?

Defined as; “a harmful reduction in the amount of water in the body.”

Harmful being the key word to listen to here. As dehydration gets worse, so does the harmful effect it has on the body.

One of the first facts I learnt about dehydration was about sports performance in my A-level Physical Education (PE) studies – yes, I did PE for A-level…

A review of research conducted into dehydration in sports performance found that losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids could significantly reduce measurable aspects of performance such as endurance and mental focus.

This is because roughly 65-70% of your body is water, and the majority of that is in your blood. If your blood thickens, as it does when you get dehydrated, oxygen will be transported around the body more slowly. Therefore, the delivery of oxygen needed to contract muscles and help the brain to make decisions is delayed. Given that athletes can sweat out 6% to 10% of their body weight during competition, you can begin to understand why the importance of rehydrating/hydrating cannot be overemphasised.

Furthermore, when you are dehydrated, the body is forced to draw water from the intestines and bowels, this causes constipation. It also forces the liver to help the kidneys remove waste as they will not have enough water to do this job themseves. Normally the liver’s function is to metabolize stored fat. However, when the liver has to help the kidneys function, fat metabolism will not be completed and this contributes to fat storage.

Finally, water is a natural appetite suppressant. Cravings are often misinterpreted as food cravings, when they are really thirst cravings. If you are not drinking enough water over an extended period of time your thirst mechanism shuts down, especially as you grow older. As you increase your regular water intake this thirst signal reactivates and lets you know the difference between a water and a food craving.

Drinking more water will prove to be the simplest, least expensive, most powerful and longest lasting key to long-term fat reduction, better sports performance and optimum functioning of your organs.

GOOD LUCK!

What is the Right Diet FOR YOU!?

I’ve decideed to give a sneak peak into my first eBook – ‘What is the right diet for you!?’

Below is the first chapter; a simple analysis of what your options are going forward when choosing a diet. If you like what you see, please ‘follow’ the blog and when I release the eBook anyone already following will recieve a FREE copy as a gift for your support. Thank you and enjoy!

Chapter 1 – What are your options?

What is the most frequent question I am asked about diet?

“Patrick, what is the best diet to follow?” or “Patrick, what should I eat after our session?”

The most frustrating thing about this question is, I wish I could give you a straight answer! It would be easy to say; ‘chicken and veg/salad’ or ‘turkey burgers with sweet potato mash’. But, it is not that my decision to follow a plant-based diet is the reason behind why I can’t give you this answer; it’s far more complicated than that.

The annoying but truthful answer to this is…

THERE IS NO ‘ONE-SIZE FITS ALL’ APPROACH.

Unfortunately this answer is also the most frustrating for my client’s to hear.

I can hear you saying it in your head right now; “Surely there is one diet that is better than most…can’t you just tell me what that one is? I haven’t got time to research and read everything and you seem to know what you’re talking about!”

Here’s why I can’t give you a concrete, or a pre-written, diet plan that has been shipped out on a mass-scale. It will not account for the diversity of the people that are following it. You need to think about your diet with a broader perspective. You’ve heard too much mumbo jumbo and your head may be in a bit of a muddle.

Think about this:

  1. Would a diet that works for “all” take into account a persons body type/shape?
  2. Would it take into account how affluent you are (budget)?
  3. Would it take into account the amount of time you have?
  4. Would it suit people from different cultures?
  5. Would it (you see where I’m going with this) take into account someone’s age?
  6. Would it take into account someone’s ethical beliefs?
  7. Would it take into account someone’s gender?
  8. Would it take into account previous experience of undertaking diets?
  9. Would it take into account the cooking facilities available to them?
  10. Would it take into account the size of their fridge/freezer?

This list goes on, and on, and on. I’m not even going to get into the discussion about whether that person in question lives close to a health food shop or farmers market…

To make matters more confusing are, your options for ‘diets’ are ENDLESS.

Paleo, vegan (my choice), vegetarian, atkins, intermittent fasting, 24hour fasting, 5-2 fasting, low-fat, high-carb, regular small meals, irregular big meals, gluten-free, dairy free, macro’s measured, juice cleanses and that list goes on and on…

Now you can see the issue I have with just giving an ‘off-the-cuff’ answer to the simple question I’m asked now, right?

I’m going to use myself as a good example as to why you cannot discount or support any one approach.

I’ve followed low-carb – seen results, intermittent fasting – seen results, high-carb – seen results, dairy-free – seen result’s. Just because it worked for me, and my particular set of circumstances, at that age, with the time I had, doesn’t mean I can ‘cookie cut’ that approach and just give it and say, “use that”. That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?

FURTHERMORE, THAT WOULD NOT MAKE ME A RESPONSIBLE COACH EITHER!

The pro’s reading this are saying right now, “Patrick, you’re making this difficult, in order to lose weight you need to exercise more and eat less – it’s pretty simple!”

SIGH….

Well actually diets are actually very similar to other aspects of life; you may succeed in the short-term, but actual success long-term is where everyone falls down.

In order to succeed we need to follow these 3 steps:

  1. Implement behaviors based on knowledge we’ve learnt through other people’s experiences.
  2. Assess whether those behaviors work for you.
  3. Adjust those behaviors to suit you until we get the result we set out to achieve.

Let me make this VERY clear, all diets follow a similar pattern; they get you to focus on what types of food you’re putting in your mouth and how much, they get you to focus on the quality of the food your eating and they get you to control your apatite through the speed at which you eat or frequency.

What I prefer is a nutritional progression model (the ‘Precision Nutrition Model’) versus asking people to “follow a diet”. Because that is what ‘real’ coaches actually do!

Key Understanding 1 –

Understand the word ‘diet’ and what it means. There is no ‘end date’ to your diet, there is no ‘Quick! Fix! Blitz!’ Your diet is carefully selected and implemented after an assessment of your circumstances related to you.

Lets explore this more in the next chapter.

5 Essential Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Hey Sleepy Heads!

Being a personal trainer who focuses on all aspects of your wellbeing, I’ve noticed how people in Hampstead and Highgate seem to sleep a lot less than I do!

I’ve been ‘in the ear’ to all my clients about sleep for a while so it’s only right I get ‘in the ear’ about sleep to my friends and followers digitally too! What I find quite strange is that I shouldn’t even have to be doing this; we all know sleep is vital, so why do so many people neglect it so much?

I’ve heard it all before; “I’ve got too much to do/I only need 5 hours/I’ll catch up at the weekend” to know that people actually believe that this is an option AND think they are living a healthy lifestyle. The truth is, if you don’t sleep enough, you’re more likely to be obese, you’re more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, you’re more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s and you’re more likely to suffer cardiovascular health issues – to name just a few. What is pretty clear from the research I have done is that, you will definitely have a poorer quality of life, if you disregard your sleep quality. I want to tackle this, so I’ve put together 5 essential tips that you can act on TODAY to help you make the right decisions to get a better night’s sleep.

Let’s jump right in!

Tip 1: GET MAGNESIUM – this is the natural ‘anti-stress’ mineral (– I know right? We all need this anyway). Research has shown that diets high in magnesium result in deeper and less interrupted sleep cycles.

The best food sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables (surprise surprise), spirulina, chlorella and 100% raw cacao. Sadly, the average person is magnesium-deficient and deficiency has been shown to increase the likelihood of insomnia. So, it is absolutely key you get this mineral in your diet. An important note to make is that organic food contains much more magnesium than large scale, ‘conventionally’ produced food, which is almost totally devoid of magnesium.

Alternatively, you can supplement magnesium easily without even having to take it orally. I use third wave nutrition (www.thirdwavenutrition.com) MAG OSTEO which includes K2, Zinc and B vitamins for added benefits. If you use the link above you will get a 20% discount on your entire order – not just the magnesium! I take it using their powder because magnesium tablets or pills draw water into your gut that can cause poor digestion and diarrhoea.

If that’s not for you, another way to supplement magnesium is to absorb it through your skin; you can get body sprays and magnesium bath salts that are both incredibly efficient at absorbing magnesium, and are a great excuse to have a bath or massage ;-). 

Tip 2: GET BLACKOUT BLINDS – clinically proven to help you get the best sleep ever! This one has been a big one for my wife and I; we’ve noticed an amazing difference when sleeping ‘blacked out’. If your skin and eyes absorb light from your window, it stimulates the body, therefore moving your sleep cycle away from the deep DELTA waves that flow in the most relaxing and regenerative sleep cycles. Instead your sleep becomes restless and disturbed.

Tip 3: GET A SLEEP ROUTINE – the body thrives on rituals and patterns. By setting a specific time to get ready for bed every day, you’re giving your body the message it needs to prepare for a good night’s sleep. If you’re up watching telly late, blue light from the screen stimulates your eyes and hormones are released to activate functions you need when awake. Poor sleep ensues, then the next night you try and ‘catch up’ on sleep by going to bed at 9:30pm. Your body has no idea what’s going on and you will lie there awake, thinking about what you need to do tomorrow rather than falling asleep peacefully today. A often hear of people waking up with an alarm set for 6:30am, and then hitting ‘snooze’ (sometimes multiple times!). This is the most stressful and ineffective way to start the day. You’ll feel more tired, more frustrated and you’ll have a poorer night’s sleep the following night.

Tip 4: GET A BEDTIME TEA – 20 minutes before getting ready for bed, make a tea proven to improve sleep quality and sleep latency.

First tip is to find a quality Reishi medicinal mushroom extract; this has been scientifically proven to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and improve the time spent in deep sleep.

Second tip is to find a good quality Valerian root tea; a natural sedative and proven to be as effective as synthetic sleeping pills. This root can be so powerful that if you take too much, it could make you feel so well rested that you could feel overly drowsy the next morning!

Finally, the ‘grandmother’s favourite’ tip: Chamomile – not only good for helping you ease into sleep, but also for improving digestion and expelling unwanted gases from your colon. Give these tips a try – and let me (and others) know how you found them!

Tip 5: GET A HIGH PROTEIN/HIGH FAT/LOW CARB SNACK ONE HOUR BEFORE BED – It’s been a big day at work…you’ve spent the day constantly making important decisions – and tiredness has finally kicked in. The last thing you want to do is cook a big meal, so what do you do? 1) Order Deliveroo, 2) make something quick (usually a pasta dish) or 3) head straight for the ice cream in the freezer! My most valuable tip will get you out of this sticky situation…don’t bother ordering, cooking OR binging.

Stay calm and eat something low in carbs, high in fat and high in protein – you’re more likely to sleep like a baby. Low carbs reduce the likelihood of an insulin spike while sleeping and high protein and fat fuels healthy regeneration of muscle tissues, providing fuel for the functioning of your cells during restorative sleep.

MY BEST OPTIONS FOR THIS? Almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, hulled hemp seeds! Crack some sea salt over them (or have the ‘nut butter’ versions with some raw veggies) and I promise you, you will feel more rested, more rejuvenated and better prepared for the tasks you need to complete the next day.

So there are my 5 essential tips for a good nights sleep! Plenty of information to get your teeth into and even if you only use one of them, it could greatly change the quality of your sleep and general wellbeing. Please share with anyone who has problems sleeping or you think might benefit from this information…Thank you and see you next time.

Patrick Moore Jones

10 reasons to Juice Beets, Carrot and Cucumber Together…

Hey curious minds!

Ok, so I keep mentioning on my social media (insta@mojowellbeing) about my favourite juice combo – beets, carrots and cucumber. I understand that people on social media wont spend longer than about 10 seconds to actually read a caption before ‘double-tapping’ and moving on…so here we are!

I’ve decided one of my first blog posts will concentrate on the amazing qualities of this juice and why people should try this specific combination. I’ve used the book ‘The Tao of health, sex and longevity’ by Daniel Reid as my source. I hope you find it useful!

Carrots (10oz), Beets (3oz) and Cucumber (3oz) is the perfect ratio; this can be up scaled easily and the ingredients can be found in almost every half decent veg shop. You should try to always use organic produce and give it a light brush under the tap before juicing.

I’m going to lay out 10 reasons why you should juice this combo specifically by naming the ailments first, describing what causes it second, and finally offering an explanation as to WHY this combination can help you.

1.Colic and Gastritis – both issues are caused by gas due to fermentation and putrefaction of poorly combined foods in the gut.

WHY? This juice blend is rich in sodium, potassium and phosphorous – which all neutralise acids, help to expel gas and promote peristalsis (the pushing of foods through our digestive tract).

2.Obesity – an excess of adipose tissue due to excessive consumption of starch, sugar and poor food combinations.

WHY? A symptom of obesity is severe acidosis in the blood, this juice blend has alkaline properties that can assist the kidneys in promoting excretion of waste.

3.Cystitis – a condition of excess acidity in the bladder due to incomplete digestion of meats and starches which cause uric acid crystals to irritate the lining of the bladder.

WHY? This juice blend neutralizes the excess uric acid that inflames the kidneys and bladder.

4.Gout – inflammation of bones and ligaments in joints, owing to formation of acid crystals. Caused mainly by too much fatty meat, salt and alcohol.

WHY? The juice has pH balancing qualities that can help to dissolve the acid crystals in the joints and ligaments.

5.Rheumatism – related to gout, but applied in the muscles rather than bones and joints. Rheumatism can be enhances by further consumption of cooked animal proteins, which cannot be digested when the system is saturated with uric acid.

WHY? This juice has pH balancing qualities that help to dissolve the acid crystals in the muscles.

6.Toxemia – ‘general’ toxicity throughout the system. This condition is due to a huge accumulation of toxic waste in the intestines characterised by, chronic fatigue, depression, skin eruptions, body odour, bad breath and poor digestion.

WHY? This combination of veggies when juiced cleanses the bowels and builds stronger blood plasma.

7.Headaches – most are caused by excess pressure in the tiny capillaries that feed the brain; this pressure is caused by the impurities in the bloodstream, which not only block the tiny capillaries but also deprive the brain of glucose and oxygen.

WHY? Improvements in the ability of the kidneys to cleanse the blood of the impurities that often cause headaches are observed with this juice. It also contributes to increasing haemoglobin levels in blood that enhances oxygen supplies to the brain.

8.Heart Disease – the clogging of blood vessels that deprive the heart, muscles and valves of oxygen. The excessive strain on the pump leads to heart exhaustion and disease, the primary source of this ‘clogging’ is a diet composed of denatured and cooked foods.

WHY? This juice is the most potent blend of juices for potassium, which quickly restores blood pH and helps remove deposits for blood vessels and builds blood haemoglobin levels.

9.Hypertension – an irritation of various nerves centres in the body, this is owing to nutritional deficiency, retention of toxic wastes and a lack of organic alkaline elements.

WHY? Beet, carrot and cucumber juice helps to eliminate excess acidity and provides essential organic minerals and enzymes which enhance the nervous system functions.

10.Impotence – a condition of male sexual dysfunction, contributing factors are nervous exhaustion, depletion of sexual glands, insufficient nutrition for the reproductive organs and excess toxicity in the blood.

WHY? Clean the urogenital canal, bladder, prostate, suprarenal glands and other parts directly affected by excess acid toxicity with beet, carrot and cucumber juice. Furthermore, it provides vital nutrients for the repair and maintenance of those parts.

I hope you found this helpful, please leave a comment or review and share with anyone who you might think will benefit from reading this article. I will continue to try and provide help to people who suffer from these (and other) issues with the best natural remedies. Thanks for listening and hope to see you soon