There’s a common conception among people that hockey players are wild party animals. To an extent we are. You might’ve heard the stories of the Bruins’ epic Stanley Cup party bar tap, or other legendary tales from within the game. Or just recently how the NHL has a rising number of players allegedly using cocaine. For me, having a good time is part of the game, but for me, the parties are more or less a thing of the past.  Boring old fart? Let me explain this

I’m not saying I’m teetotal, or that I don’t drink at all during the season. I usually have a beer after the game in the pub, but I very rarely get to a stage where I would be classed as drunk. For me, hockey is about setting guidelines and being disciplined in your day-to-day life, both in-season and off-season. Perhaps that is what fascinates me in the game so much – the personal discipline that is required. I usually schedule four times into the year when I allow myself to let loose a little bit; Cup Final (providing we win), Conference championship, Play-off championship (Providing we win) and end of season party. Last season I let loose three times out of the four. Anything else to me is excess and one thing I’m trying to cut out is excess. Of any kind. If we don’t achieve any of the big wins, then there’s no partying either. 

I’m all for blowing out a little steam. We all need to do it and it is a very human thing to do. Some people like to go out, some people like to relax at home, go to the cinema and so forth. For me, going out during the season, or the reason why I go out so rarely is a conscious decision that has reasons behind it.  

blog1The first one is that if I go out, I know I will miss a workout that I have scheduled for that day and invariably, the day after will be a total write off too. If we didn’t take into account the above criterion when I allow myself to let loose and assuming that you go out every week it would mean that I would miss 104 workouts per year. That is 104 chances of making yourself a better player and a better person through hard work. In those 104 days, someone else will be pounding the streets and lifting the weight that I should be lifting to get better, stronger and faster. I would cheat myself and my team if I allowed myself to slack that much during the year.

Second reason is that I enjoy having clarity of thought. When I was straight edge, it was one of the things that I really enjoyed was that my thinking wasn’t cloudy (or impaired) and that I could rationalise all my actions to myself and be accountable for what I did and didn’t do. Now, if I for some reason skip a workout, that is on me and trust me, it will eat away at me like it does when we lose a game. No matter how well I reason the decision to myself, be it an injury or if I just need to sleep. Being hungover or drunk is a piss poor excuse to me. Sure you could train hungover, but the quality of your work output would be so diminished you might as well not do it.

Thirdly, like I mentioned, I’m trying to cut out excess and drinking would – in my mind – ruin the work that I have already done Blog2during the week. Hangover is a state, where effectively, your body eats itself as it is trying to get rid of all the toxins. That’s not to say that I only eat kale and that my body is chiselled from stone. Far fucking from it. I’m a human being, not an antique Greek god statue.

Fourth reason being – and I’m going to be showing my age here – I just do not see the point of going out. When I was a teenager and through university, I partied… I partied hard. I think I got all the ‘crazy’ out of my system.


Photo courtesy of Flyfifer Photography.

Fifth reason is that I simply cannot cope with my hangovers. They are brutal and they last for days. After the end of season party, it took me three days to feel ‘normal’ again.

Hockey is a sport where nothing is given to you. You need to take everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. You need to be able to take possession of the puck by checking opponents, you need to create space for yourself and your line mates, you need to be able to take space away from opponents, you need to take your place in the roster and so on. The only way to do that is to be in good enough condition strength and fitness wise that you are able to take everything that is needed. Nothing is given to you and it is therefore so important that you are able to put in the work off the ice, so that life on the ice is that much easier.

This is in no way saying that everyone should adhere to my school of thought. Because that is what it is. It is my school of thought and I’m not going to be pressing my views on anyone else to say that “this is the way you should do things”. I’m not judging guys who go out (except if they turn up drunk or hungover for a game). It is a way that works for me and what I have found gives me the greatest focus. It is frustrating as hell sometimes and there are times that I just want to grab the bottle and drink it all away, but then, I tell myself that I’m being a fucking idiot.

Your shelf life as an athlete – and especially as a hockey player – is limited. Your career could end every time you step on the ice. The way I look at it, I want to enjoy every minute of the game and when – inevitably – the time comes to walk away from the game, I can look back and look at myself in the mirror that I did everything I could. I pushed myself above and beyond my limits and I left it all on the ice. No compromises.

I only wish that I would’ve realised all of this when I was younger, but I am happy that I HAVE realised it. This journey in hockey, fitness and self discovery has been truly amazing and long may it continue.

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Review: TRUE X-Core 9 stick

Posted: September 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

Xcore4It is no secret that when we tested the TRUE Hockey (True) A 6.0 and A 5.2 sticks that we absolutely fell in love with them. Everyone we have since showed the stick to and let them – begrudgingly – have a go with them has been equally impressed. Further testament to True’s capability within the stick market came recently when the True A 6.0 won stick of the year award from Modsquad Hockey.

So what then of the new X-Core 9? It would be unfair to do a direct comparison with the top-of-the-range A-series sticks as the X-Core 9 is a beast of its own. While it still uses a lot of the same manufacturing methods and technologies as the A-series of sticks, we place the X-Core in a category of its own.

Out of the wrappers the X-Core  9 has had a bit of a ‘facelift’ when it comes to branding. The True branding is more visible than on the A-series, but the stick still retains its rather minimalistic, but cool, design. The stick is mainly carbon black with cool little design touches in the grip coating and the electric blue elements of the stick definitely add to the cool exterior design of the twig.

The real beauty of the X-Core 9 is in the manufacturing of the stick and in the technology. The biggest change is in the blade of the X-Core. The blade now includes a urethane insert, which has been designed to reduce puck wobble when shooting, but in truth it does so much more for the overall performance of the stick, but more on that later.

First impressions:

Out of the wrappers the X-Core 9 gives you a stick that is equal to the build quality of the A series. It is light weight and despite a urethane insert in the blade, the stick does not feel too ‘bottom heavy’. It is equally balanced and more than holds its own against Xcore3other manufacturers who have made a big play about the perfectly balanced stick.

When used with a stick handling ball, the stick is really responsive and you can feel how each touch of the ball is fed through from the blade to the hands. With this in mind we were excited to be taking the stick to the ice for the first time. The feel for the puck is on-par, if not slightly better than on the top end A-series sticks, but it is in shooting and passing that the Xcore 9 really shows what it is made of.

In terms of puck feel True sticks are in the same category with Sher-Wood. These two manufacturer’s have the best feeling composite sticks in the market at the moment.


We have all had it happen and we laugh at our teammates when the puck just wobbles off the blade after what looks like an otherwise strong shot. This is due to the puck bouncing on and off of the blade of a stick during a shot. This causes less spin on the puck and as a result the puck wobbles and the shooter makes the goalie look really hot. Basically, the more spin you are able to get on the puck, the crisper and harder the shot.

As mentioned, the X-core features a urethane insert, placed strategically along the area of the blade that generates the most spin and where True found that most on-and-off contact with the puck occurred. This means the blade is dampened that True claims produces 30% more spin on the shots compared to other sticks on the market.

The blade doesn’t just feature the urethane insert, but a wholly new rib pattern as well to boost durability and stiffness to the blade. As already mentioned, the changes made to the blade have not sacrificed the puck feel that we fell in love with in the A-series.

When we first took a couple of shots with the X-core, we thought that it had to be some kind of a fluke. All the shots came off really crisp and headed for the upper areas of the net. The shots seemed ‘harder’ than before as well. However, after consistently testing it, the stick really does make a huge difference in your shots. It is quite simply, the best stick we have ever shot a puck with.

What of the passes then? Similar to shooting. The X-core provides an un-matched level of crispness to your passes. Not that we would ever do this in a game, as the coach would have us riding the pine, but you can comfortably make rink wide passes with the X-core and make it look and feel easy. Receiving passes has been easier as well with the X-core in comparison with some of the other big names out there. The puck doesn’t seem to bounce off the blade as much and the stick is a joy to use in give-and-go situations and in front of the net when you need a quick touch and quick release.


Xcore1True to True’s A-series sticks, the X-core features True’s SmartFlex flex profile, even if the X-core comes with a slightly higher kick-point than the A6.0. The SmartFlex makes the stick easy to load for wrist, snap and slapshots. The stick really lets you know where the puck is on the blade and it is so essential to have this feedback when taking shots. Additionally, we have noticed that the stick performs really well in-close situations in front of the net, or when you are going to bury that give-and-go pass.

The X-Core 9 really does perform well on every type of shot and gives you that crisp feel for each of them. In a sentence: This stick is simply damn good!

The bad:

Now that we’ve told you what is good about the stick, then there’s  the bad: Literally, the only thing that we can cite as bad is that the X-Core will set you back by approximately $300, which makes it one of the more expensive sticks on the market. BUT you do get a lot of stick for that money. And from a quality point of view, you can be sure that you are making a sound investment into a stick that has been manufactured well. 

However, we’re sure that the clever guys at TRUE will be making the X-Core technology into a wider series of sticks.


If you are serious about your hockey and want the best performing stick in the market, the True X-core 9 is the way to go. The stick Xcore2brings together some of the most innovative technologies in the market today and the performance is second to none. We would not be the least bit surprised if the X-core walked away with few other “Stick of the Year” awards from various hockey boards and bodies. Simply put, the True X-core 9 is the best stick that we have ever tested and played with. True has raised the bar significantly over the A-Series of sticks and we are confident that the X-core will establish True as one of the premier stick manufacturers in the hockey market this year and would be willing to bet that loyalists to other brands would be making the shift to X-core once they have tried it out.

Why we play?

Posted: August 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


Please click on the image to visit our sponsors at Cross Check Clothing

I think that I have touched on this topic several times across several posts. I have tried to think about what drives me to still play the game and what it is that keeps me so enthralled with it, to the point that it consumes vast amounts of my time.

When you think about the reason why hockey players anywhere play the game, the answer could be a simple “for the love of the game”, but for me the reason I play and why hockey is such an amazing sport comes down to,  yes the love of the game, but also to what goes into it.

On the surface, hockey might seem like a simple game to the seasoned fan, but underneath the surface there is so much more to it. There’s the conditioning, the games, the positional play, the different roles, the physicality and most importantly, how a group of guys come together to play for the crest on their jerseys.

I often thought that I could get by in hockey with just my (limited) skills and that would be that. It wasn’t until I got older that I understood the importance of conditioning and started to take the summers more seriously, as opposed to go into total R&R mode and drinking beer till the early hours of the morning. Nowadays, it is a miracle if I get drunk once during the summer (I usually allow myself to go all out for the end of season party, after that, it is all business). I constantly try and look for ways to improve my physique that allows me to be a better player.

We all know that hockey is a time consuming sport and it is expensive. I may not play in the highest echelons of the game, but I play in a competitive league that keeps getting better and better. After my wedding in 2008, I made the decision that I wanted to give hockey another go. I had been playing recreational hockey and university leagues, but I wanted more. I wanted to compete and win championships in a league that was established. To do that I had to make huge financial sacrifices. I paid out my International Transfer out of my own pocket and that wasn’t cheap, but I wanted to do it because it would show a team that I was committed to playing for them and that I was there to take it seriously. Also, at the time, I had been out of league hockey for good number of years, so a lot of teams weren’t necessarily impressed with my numbers from rec or university. Plus I missed a lot of try-outs and such because I had knee surgery about 8 weeks before the season started.

I was out there to prove that I could play. I travelled a 120 mile round trip to trainings and home games and I never thought it was a chore or too much. I was, after all, chasing my dream. I didn’t mind the fact that usually on a Friday I was beat or that after a weekend of games, my body ached. I knew that after the games I couldn’t sit still and on Mondays, I was down at the gym trying to get better and push myself.

I have lost count on the money spent on petrol, food, equipment, supplements etc. To be honest, that amount probably could’ve paid for a nice holiday somewhere exotic. To be honest, I have far better memories from the game than I would do from the holiday. Hockey, to me, is all about the journey and no holiday in Australia or a round the world cruise, could give me as much as hockey does. With hockey, there are new memories created every time you hit the ice or get into the locker room. And then there are the lessons.

The other reason why I play is because hockey teaches you lessons you will not learn anywhere else. Or you do, but not as quickly as you do in hockey. The game teaches you to be humble. If you get too flashy or cocky, there will be a guy in the game to put you back in your place. You learn about teamwork and how you put your differences aside to pursue a joint dream. There are the lessons learnt from tough losing streaks, personal droughts, wins and what you need to do to maintain momentum. It teaches you so much of life and that’s not even as a pro in the NHL. These values and lessons are engrained in you as a junior. It teaches you work ethic. You want to be the best in the game and in the locker room. You want to show that you are the guy that works his bags off every single shift. It can inspire other guys to push themselves in similar ways.

Most importantly, hockey teaches you hard work. If you want to succeed, you need to work hard. My coach says that just like in a day-job, if you want to succeed, you have to put the work in. Same in hockey. You can’t get by on the ice by slacking, you need to work hard on and off the ice to really make a difference. That same work ethic is instilled into any profession that you do outside of the game.

Hockey also teaches you about respect. You need to respect your opponents, coaches and teammates. Sure you might not see eye-to-eye with people, but you respect their views and you work with them for the betterment of the team and yourself as a person.

So why do I play? Yes for the love of the game, but also because you can’t experience anything like the hockey

Photo courtesy of Pete Fears

Photo courtesy of Pete Fears

camaraderie anywhere else. Having the success and winning the title is the single most amazing thing that you can experience. No matter what league you play in, the thought of being a champion is amazing and yet something that very few get to experience. I’m humbled to have experienced it, not once, not twice, but three times in my career. Each of them is special and I cherish those memories. It is for memories like that, that make all the financial, personal and physical sacrifices worth it.

Summer is a state of mind. On holiday in Finland

Summer is a state of mind. On holiday in Finland

What a manic couple of weeks. I’ve finally had a chance to relax and unwind a little bit whilst holidaying in Finland and then next week somewhere in the South of France.

So, a couple of updates:

In case you hadn’t seen on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram, I have signed for the Bristol Pitbulls for another season, which will be my sixth with the team. Additionally, I have a sponsorship agreement in place with the guys from Cross Check Clothing, so I thought that it would be pertinent for me to give a little bit of insight into my decision and the sponsorship agreement.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I had toyed with the idea of going out on the top and after winning, but after a week of resting on my laurels and getting on the ice relatively early, I felt that I still had loads to give and plenty of miles left in the engine. I think physically, I am way ahead of where I was last year, or even the year before, so the base carrying on was definitely there. Even if I had those thoughts, rest assured, my decision to carry on playing is not going to be for just giggles. I still want to compete and most of all I still want to win. If I wanted to play for fun, I wouldn’t have signed at this level.

When I got word from Richie asking me about my plans, it was an easy decision in at the end. I think my words were “I’m in..”

Back for more with the Pitbulls, this time in partnership with Cross Check Clothing

Back for more with the Pitbulls, this time in partnership with Cross Check Clothing

The Pitbulls have given me a lot in this game and I consider myself fortunate to be playing for the same team that gave me a shot for the sixth season. Usually players move around and drop off the map, but I feel lucky to carry on playing for the team I signed way back when. There’ s a further back story to this, but I will let you know about that if that goal is reached

One of the main reasons why I wanted to sign with the Pitbulls again was the atmosphere in the club. I’m not talking about the locker room atmosphere, but the way the fans interact with us and the invaluable work all the people working behind the scenes to make the team possible. Given the circumstances that we play under, there is this underlying ‘punk DIY’ feel to it, which is cool. The easy option for the owners would have been to fold, but they’ve kept going and together, we have some amazing memories and stories to share in the years to come.

The second reason, I was that I keep getting challenged by the coaches. I think since joining the team, I have developed as a player and as a result I’ve become a more versatile on the ice. I know I’m not the flashiest guy out there, but when I get something that I need to do, I’ll go and do it. To me, it’s all about making sure that we succeed as a team and that everything I do on the ice helps us win games.

In the years I’ve been with the team, I’ve obviously made friends in and outside the locker room, and so has my family. The team has embraced my family in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined. I feel fortunate that I got to share some of the most amazing moments of my career with them. But it’s not just my family. I feel that the whole team and the fans are part of one big family and seeing the amount of support we have, no matter where we turn up to play, it’s just indescribable. Like I said in the post where I was looking at the game from the fans’ point of view. To see how the fans live with the team vicariously through every triumph and through every low is truly special.

What of my own personal goals? I said that to me, the number of goals I score don’t really matter. Where yes, I love to score goals and I’d love to be able to be a point per game type of player, to me it is more important that the team succeeds and that everything I do, helps us push for the titles again and bring home more silverware. Eveything that I do on and off the ice must help the team and help us succeed.

The only ‘goal’ I’ve set, is to push to become a top-6 forward on the team. I’ve trained hard the summer and feel like I’ve got the fitness and the stamina to log big minutes.

Holiday leg day action in Finland. #TEAMCROSSCHECK

Holiday leg day action in Finland. #TEAMCROSSCHECK

The partnership with Cross Check Clothing: I’ve been a fan of Cross Check Clothing for a few years and have their shirts in my wardrobe already. The guys have created a brand of clothing that really encapsulates the hockey lifestyle, whether you’re a fan or a player. Where there are maybe a few brands that do a similar thing, but Cross Check Clothing have taken a different stance to it and I’m proud to be able to spread the word further this season. I like to call it a partnership as I really want to help expose the brand to a wider audience. For me, it is important to work with people and products I believe in, and I believe in what Cross Check Clothing are doing and what they are creating.

You can take a look at the gear from Cross Check Clothing at:

Off-Season Update 1

Posted: June 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

Offseason4With the off-season in full swing, I thought it’d be a good time to do a bit of reflection on the five-six weeks that I’ve already put into it.

First off, I need to start with an omission; After winning the league titles and in the aftermath, I wasn’t a 100% sure if I had the fire in me to go through the rigors of the off season and fully commit myself to training. However, after about a week off, I started to really miss the gym and the work that goes into getting ready for the hockey season. After the first workout, I didn’t need to ask any more questions about my dedication or if I still had something to give. The fire still burns.

I have also been on the ice already and plan on starting skating much, MUCH, earlier than previously. I have sets some things to improve on, in terms of stuff going on the ice and the best way to practice those is to make use of as much ice time as I can get. Ideally, I’d like to hire out a rink for myself for an hour or two per week, but I don’t have deep pockets to do that.

Offseason1I had originally feared that I’d be turning into Teemu Selanne, in that I’d mull my decision for months, but the fact is that I’m still relatively young and managed to get through last season pretty much injury free –  well I didn’t miss any games due to injury – so I felt that I had a good base to start building on. Sure the season went on for a bit longer than for some other teams, but in the end I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

In terms of workouts, this off-season has been a total polar opposite from last season. This time last year I was just about getting my arm out of the sling following my shoulder operation. Something that has aided me a lot in the off season is the work that I put in from January on-wards to really get into game shape. While we had a break at December, I evaluated where I was fitness wise and had to devise a plan to get into better game shape. This decision was borne out of a few drills and game situations, particularly in the corners and face-offs, I just didn’t have enough – or any – upper body strength to really make a difference. Where I found that where my stamina and endurance were OK, I lacked strength and I didn’t start to get that back until March-April time, when it all really mattered.

So that work has given me a good base to build on. Given that in September/October I was starting from square one, I have managed to come in leaps and bounds. I have found that I am now able to push more weight and really test the boundaries of what I can do. I think that up-until recently I still had this mind set that “I need to watch out for the shoulder”, but the more I’ve been working out, the more I realise that I have nothing to worry about.

One of my key areas of focus is to get my shot stronger this season – and as always, speed – so I have been doing a lot of work for muscle groups that you use when shooting. Additionally, I wanted to be more explosive to improve the power that goes into the first two or three strides, so there is a lot of jumping on boxes and stuff taking place and a lot of lifting bars off of the ground and then putting them down again.

Offseason2Additionally, I’ve made a couple of lifestyle changes recently, which have held and I hope will become permanent fixtures in my overall look on life. I’ve often said that I’m the worst person on the planet when it comes to energy drinks. Well, I’ve decided to cut them out entirely and so far, I’ve managed a month without an energy drink. Additionally, I have significantly cut down the amount of other fizzy drinks as well, with the overall goal to cut them out completely as well. In terms of diet, it’s still the same. A lot of experimenting on what works for me and trying to eat like an adult and sensibly. Except for the occasional donut. I’m a sucker when it comes to donuts.

Why do all this? Well, where I said I’m still young, the fact is that I can’t get away with youthful exuberance anymore, in fact I haven’t done in years. I can’t sit on my backside and turn up to find that an 18-year old will skate circles around me. Also, I have this goal in the back of my mind that wherever I will play, I will be in shape to log big minutes and keep that going consistently throughout the season.Offseason3

So that’s about it for the moment. There are some exciting updates and announcements in the pipeline as well, so that should keep things fresh and exciting going forward.

Monkey Nutrition was a relatively unknown commodity to me. I had not heard of the company before and hadn’t seen it on the shelves of the typical supplement stores you might expect to find on the high-street.

About the product:

The product I have been testing is Monkey Nutrition’s Moodulator. It has been designed to calm pre-event, or in our case, pre-game jitters. Usually, in a hockey situation, the pre-game jitters are a good thing and can be used for extra energy and adrenaline on the ice, but there are cases where they can get so bad that the jitters and the anxiety actually hampers your performance.

Moodulator contains natural ingredients, including Chamomile, calcium, vitamins B1, B2 and B6. It comes in a capsule form and it is easily added to your morning supplementation/vitamin intake. I have been taking it in the mornings with our other supplements and our morning water in-take.

Side effects:

I did notice a slight side effect from taking the Moodulator, in that I experienced a very slight case of vertigo for about two days after taking the product, but this soon subsided and it wasn’t something that debilitated or affected day-to-day life.

Other than that, there were no negative side effects from taking the product.


After about a week or so of taking the product, I noticed that our sleeping patterns were getting more pronounced and the quality of sleep was a lot better and deeper, which was a positive sign as rest was in a key role during the test.

Moodulator has been effective in calming nerves both in a semi-professional athlete life as in life at home. The product has been more than beneficial to personal life as well. My mood has been calmer at home and in the office and I have found additional confidence in all aspects of day-to-day life. It has also effectively reduce other anxieties, apart from sports related anxieties.


Overall, I have been positively impressed with the results of the Moodulator. I have been more relaxed at training and on the ice and have not experienced pre-game jitters. Prior to trying Moodulator, during a big game, I was a complete nervous wreck, but after that I was able to exert myself better and not worry about nerves.

The Moodulator has had a positive impact on other aspects as well. As mentioned, sleeping patterns and sleep quality has gotten better and having woken up more energised in the mornings has been a positive. Additionally, the effects have been seen elsewhere. In an office environment the Moodulator has calmed nerves to the point where delivering presentations has not been affected and the confidence in speaking in-front of chief executives has felt natural.

At the gym, I haven’t noticed the Moodulator having much of an impact on weight lifting. This is down to the training programme I was undertaking during the review period. The programme was a maintenance one that also focussed on explosive strength for play-offs.  Also during this time I was rehabbing a sports related injury, so I wasn’t going after big lifts.


Moodulator does an effective job of calming any pre-game nerves. It is, however, recommended that you start using the supplement well before a competition for it to have an effect. I did experience slight vertigo at the start of using the product, but this subsided in a few days. It effectively calmed nerves for big games. Where the Moodulator has a positive impact on your mood as well, I would recommend that you do not use it to treat burgeoning symptoms of depression, if you suffer from those. Additionally the packaging states that you should not use the product if you are on anti-depressants or medication that treats Bipolar disorder.

I would recommend Moodulator to anyone who suffers from pre-event jitters and to those who are about to deliver a presentation or any other work related stressors that cause anxiety. So, if you are a hockey player who struggles with pre-game anxiety, I would recommend you try Moodulator as you will be positively impressed with the results. As long as you start taking it in advance of a game and not start it on a game day. As always, before embarking on any fitness journey and supplementation you are thinking of using, if in doubt, speak to your practitioner.

For more information about Monkey Nutrition and the Moodulator, check out

The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently published a story to say that unhealthy eating is a key cause to obesity. I’m surprised that it has taken this long for doctors to come out and say it. The study dispels the fact that as long as you exercise you can eat whatever you want, which to be honest sounded like total bullshit when it was first announced. The main gripe I have with the study, or rather the way it was reported, was that the headlines lead you to believe that  just by eating healthy, you could get away with doing no exercise.

The eating habits of people in general are bad and are too marketing driven. It is every day that we are bombarded with different marketing messages from producers that proclaim that their product is the healthiest thing going, or some athlete peddling overpriced sugar water to us, with the promise that if you drink it, you will be a shit hot athlete.

Where I actually welcome the findings of this study, the scientific community has to take some blame in the way that we are eating, simply because we have been exposed to a number of ‘scientific’ reports to say that you should eat XYZ foods, whilst the studies are often sponsored by parties with a vested interest in their outcomes.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post where I was venting about the crap that we eat, I don’t claim to be a nutritionist, but I pay more attention to what I put in my body and try to avoid processed foods as much as I can. My main weakness is energy drinks, which in honesty are probably the worst things to hit the shelves of the supermarket and in my honest opinion should carry a health warning the same as cigarettes. (Then again all fast food should as well. I’m looking at you McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC etc).

The only thing I disagree with the study is that I think that healthy diet and exercise are core fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle. Just eating healthy doesn’t mean that you are going to be able to shed weight as fast as you can if you exercise AND eat healthy.

Eating healthy is sometimes challenging, well it isn’t if you’re willing to make small adjustments, but given the modern lifestyle, it is easier to go to the nearest store /café to get your lunch. Where I do want to support smaller, independent businesses and café owners, the fact of the matter is that the lunch options at supermarkets are inherently bad for you. You have sandwiches filled with sugar laden sauces and with a meal deal you get a fizzy sugary drink, a bag of crisps and/or a Mars/Snickers bar. If you work in a sedentary environment where the only physical exercise you get is the walk to the store, or worse yet, you drive. Do this for a full year, with all the vending machine snacks, the pounds are bound to start piling on. Then if you rely on your lunch from places like Costa or one of the other million Starbucks stores, your choices of a decent meal are pretty slim. There are advertised ‘healthy options’ such as salads, which on their own are fine, but add in the sauce that is included with the salad, and hey presto, you’ve got yourself another sugary meal. Also, the sandwich options often leave something to be desired for.

Like I said in my previous post about food, I’m not a nutritionist and everything I know about it is purely trial and error and finding what works for me. Due to the sport that I play, I try and eat a high protein and low carb diet during the off season and then increase the amount of carbs for game days during the season. From my personal view, I try and make sure I eat plenty of greens, lean meats and try and avoid the bad things in life, but I am only human and I do allow myself a treat every now and again.

I think what the food industry has done over the years is that it has lobbed us to eat wrong. Not a day goes by that we aren’t reading about this and that food being bad for you or increasing your risk of serious diseases. We’re being told on one hand that green tea is good for you and then on the other that it can increase your risk of cancer. What is often left out in the reports such as these is the amounts you would need to consume for it to have effect, but a headline of “FOOD X GIVES YOU CANCER” will drive more clicks to your website than a reasonable “Consuming too much of food X is bad for you” headline.

I feel that supermarkets are not in it to promote the healthy lifestyle as much as they should and still too often promote products that should not be part of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, a lot of the ‘healthy’ range of products are something that I wouldn’t put in my mouth. If you look at it from a political point of view, it being the election and all, there’s even greater threat to the food supply if the powers that be push through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would potentially allow genetically modified foods to enter the supermarket shelves.

In either case, what I guess I’m trying to say is, eat healthy. Cut down on the sugary foods you have at home. Make sure you teach your kids about food and involve them in cooking. Do the exercise. Yes I know the gym isn’t for everyone, but you don’t have to necessarily go to the gym to be healthy as there are other ways to get fit.