The Rise of the Unqualified. 

As a school teacher I know we encourage the students to consider the pathway they will pursue after they leave school in order to gain the qualifications that they will need to achieve whatever it is they dream to be. Whether that be a nurse, engineer, hairdresser, vet or pilot. Every career pathway determines a specific skill set and qualification list. We all KNOW this. We all take for granted that the mechanic looking after our family car is qualified to change the break discs. We assume the doctor we saw who prescribed us antibiotics for a viral infection that made us feel shocking and unable to get out of bed is qualified to know what will make us better. We’d never dream of leaving our beloved pet dog, Alfie with an unqualified groomer to snip, shave and blow dry his nuts away would we? Yet when it comes to personal training and nutrition we are all out for the quickest, cheapest solution and often turn to cranks who haven’t the required qualification or experience in order to train or give advice. But what do we care? They have a huge photo album of their ass and abs on Instagram to prove they’re a proper fitness professional right? WRONG! This is the human body, the same body you wouldn’t trust an unqualified doctor to make a judgement about in order to medicate…

With the rise of the ‘PT’ in the fitness industry every other page on Instagram is filled with so called success stories of Clients this or that PT has whipped into shape. The Body Coach has inspired millions to jump on the ‘lean in (however long it takes but I’m still spending money to some PT)’ bandwagon. Now every other Tom, Dick and Harry working on the gym floor with a level 2 qualifications (gym instructor) now posts about nutrition, training and claims to be an ‘Insta fitness model’. The public fall for this sucked in by the filtered to the max, tensed up  washboard image of a six pack and picture of an almost bare bottom in a cheese string and not much else. Do they check their qualifications? Do they ensure that that person they put their life, wellbeing and safety into their hands is insured? No. So now we have ‘ten a penny’ PTs and ‘Nutrition Advisors’. We also have a rising number of court cases from people who feel they have been exploited, harmed or injured by misleading, unqualified practitioners who have no insurance to cover themselves.

My advice here? The price of a PT doesn’t reflect that persons ability nor qualification. You need to ask for proof of that. Reputable gyms will only employ qualified and insured staff. Do some research and don’t put yourself at risk.

To those practitioners, in a world full of ‘Louise’ from MIC be Joe Wicks. Get the right training, qualification, insurance and then dish out the advice to make money spin. Don’t be a fraud, don’t rip people off with your ‘copies and pasted’ diet plans from and don’t prey on the vulnerable. That’s on a par with the slimming world ‘experts’ of this world and we have enough of those. Peace. ✌️


One on the sweet stuff.

I was asked by a pal to write a blog about honey. Sounds boring, right? Just like sugar, right? Bees make it, so what, no big deal, right? Hmm well not quite.

Bees are like natures magical alchemists. It takes hundreds sometimes thousands of bees all working together with their individual roles to collect pollen from flowers, gathering enough nectar to make up a honeycomb that can consist of the pollen from over 2 million flowers in its entirety. If we consider how bees ‘make’ nectar from pollen it’s enough to put us off for life. They start sucking it up and swallowing it into their ‘extra’ stomach where it combines with bee enzymes before being regurgitated into another bees mouth and passed on. This goes on for quite some time. swallow, enzymes mix, regurgitate and pass along until it eventually becomes partially digested and finally deposited into a honeycomb. Then other bees take over fannying the honeycomb with their wings until the liquid nectar is solidified and the water evaporated. Disgusting I know. But here’s the good bit… honey is what if left.

Now onto reasons why it really is natures nectar (nectar meaning ‘The drink of the Gods’ in both Roman and Green mythology) and it really is something quite special. Honey is rich in vital minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium. It also fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free. It is a natural energy source, unprocessed, and without unnecessary chemical additives this sweet formula provides the body with a form of glucose readily absorbed and utilised and helps to stabilise blood sugar levels, it has also been known to improve athletic performance and boost immunity.

It is the antioxidants that are in honey that are re-known for their medicinal qualities but honey has also been used for its antibacterial properties too throughout the years. Not only does it boost immunity and help fight off illnesses and diseases it has been used to treat coughs, colds, wounds and burns. These antioxidants also help prevent against heart disease as they are absorbed so easily into the blood. Honey also has the healing powers of such strength that it can help the worst hangover, speeding up the metabolism of alcohol and thus speeding up recovery after a good night.

If this isn’t a list full of reason enough to ditch the white stuff (sugar) for the honeycomb then maybe the fact that it can also treat dandruff, skin conditions, act as a conditioner and as a natural anti histamine might sway you? Local honey consumption over a period of time can help build up a resistance to allergens in pollen as it desensitizes the body to the pollen produced in the area and in theory reduces the chance of suffering from hayfever in peak season.

And we’re not quite done yet. If consumed before bed the body burns more fat during sleep and it can actually facilitate a better night’s sleep due to it enhancing the release of serotonin (neurotransmitter that improves mood and emotion) which then converts into melatonin which aids sleep. If every spoon of sugar was replaced with honey the natural properties that it contains helps to rebalance the signal in the brain triggering the need for sugar whilst stabilising the body’s blood sugar levels so that the person doesn’t feel the dramatic effects of a sugar high and dip.

Local honey for folks in Barnsley/Sheffield can be found in many farm shops, or




A big fat lie – Why fats aren’t all bad.

Fat has had some bad press in the last couple of decades since the Jayne Fonda’s Lycra clad fitness days where fat free and low fat was the new rage. The initial understanding was that fat causes fat and that to become streamlined and ‘fat free’ you had to eat this way too. However, no one at this point addressed the fact that low fat and fat free products were being pumped full of artificial sweeteners and sugars that have a far more devastating effect on the body.

However, I’ll address that shortly. Let’s deal with the biggest lie ever told to a health conscious population where women strived to be ‘skinny’ and men strived to gain muscle. Fat free is not the way to do it. There are several categories of fat to start with. Saturated fat is the obvious one. The one that is solid at room temperature and the one that comes attached as a white streak to meat that you buy (e.g bacon or steak). This is the visceral fat of animals and is of no nutritional benefit at all. In fact the human body doesn’t digest this fat easily at all and it is usually stored until the liver can deal with it through the increase of LDL Cholesterol (the bad one).

Unsaturated fats are the ones found in oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and so forth. These are liquid at room temperature. These fats are split into polyunsaturated varieties and monounsaturated varieties but it is acknowledged that all unsaturated fats can help cut the bad cholesterol in the body and in fact cut the risk of heart disease significantly. Omega 3 oils and Omega 6 oils found in fish, eggs, seeds, avocados are essential for healthy neurological functioning (aka brain foods) and cell repair as well as maintaining healthy joints, bones, skin and hair and metabolism. So needless to say it’s not rocket science. These fats help you use fats.

Trans fats are the new concern. These are the fats those that are heated above a specific temperature making them ‘hydrogenated’ in nature. These fats are often found in processed and fast foods but in the UK supermarkets have to state clearly whether a food contains hydrogenated vegetable oils as these fats have been linked to certain diseases and conditions. These fats help prolong the shelf life of food but when consumed they solidify within arteries and veins, obstructing blood flow and literally clogging us up from the inside.

So now we are left with a couple of generations that are afraid of full fat varieties of food. With the Body Coach, Clean Eating Alice, Fearne Cotton and so many more big names trying to encourage people to eat clean and opt for full fat it’s a few decades of scaremongering that they have to overcome. There is still a big demand for low fat and fat free alternatives perpetuated by the likes of Slimming World and Weight Watchers. What they fail to tell their ‘customers’ (not clients as they fail on so many fronts when it comes to health and fitness knowledge – losing weight doesn’t qualify anyone to label themselves a ‘Health and Nutrition EXPERT’! Yet it appears that these chocolate certificates or identities are being handed out like party bags at these so called ‘fat camp’ establishments). Now back to Full fat/low fat and fat free. There’s a range of fat free yogurts out there with a huge name, endorsed on every meal plan by slimming world. It’s ingredients contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, colourings, additives to prolong it’s best by date and guess what they taste watery and sweet but that doesn’t matter when you can consume these in ‘unlimited’ quantities right? In actual fact the sugars and sweeteners just result in your body releasing insulin and thus in effect storing the sugars as fat especially when not used as energy and then you experience that feeling of a sugar crash later reaching for yet another low fat, or fat free manufactured product that will monopolise on this cycle of a dependency on these highly processed, manufactured, nutritionally inept goods. On the other hand if a portion of full fat Greek yogurt was consumed with a few berries, a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of nuts the nutritional benefits are amazing! Calcium, protein and probiotics in the yogurt as well as fats that can be digested and utilised by the body. Vitamins and minerals in the berries and honey, the honey especially protecting against allergens and inflammations. Nuts prove a source of Omega 3 and protein and all of them combined will keep you much fuller for longer regulating insulin production and metabolism so that you are less likely to feel a sugar dip or reach for the biscuit tin.

Changing the way you eat is never easy, we have developed as a species to have an emotional attachment to our food. It is the way we socialise, it is what we view as part of our home,, our family, our relationships. It’s hard when for years you have been brain washed into believing certain scare stories such as heart disease and cancer as being linked to consuming fat. It is hard to accept that fat actually beats fat and that it can in fact help you lose fat. But after years of fat free and low fat unsuccessfully treating a western world where illnesses such a diabetes and weight related diseases are still on the increase year on year but is time to stop feeling frightened of full fat and start nourishing our bodies the way we were always intended to.