Punch your way to happiness:
This week I turned to London’s only evening newspaper, the Evening Standard for inspiration and health news. The Standard is no heavyweight newspaper, but when I got to the Health & Fitness section I found myself reading and readingŠ

The leading article in the section was by the novelist, Santa Montifiore. Her body, somewhat battered and bruised by having 2 children, she came across a boxing instructor. In a very short period, she had ‘fought her way to fitness’. But not only fitness; she found that she had become more confident, opinionated and assertive. She writes: ‘Boxing is a return to the primitive, the cure to modernism. That’s just what Mohamed Ali was thinking when he recovered the heavyweight crown by knocking out George Foreman in The Rumble in the Jungle: ‘ I’ve just cured modernism!’

Anyway this woman has certainly benefited from learning to box. And there’s also that advertisement with Ali and his daughter on the television that seems to be all for women getting in the ring and laying into each other. There’s a lot to be angry about these days and boxing seems to be a safe and healthy way to let out all that aggression and get fit in the process. Seconds out, round number one!

Packaged Foods: The Bad and the Ugly
If I was somewhat taken back by that article, I was really impressed by the one on the next page of Tuesday’s Evening Standard. The paper investigated packaged foods and was shocked with what it found. Conscious of the present obsession with the ‘obesity crisis’, the paper employed nutritionist Natalie Savona (author of The Kitchen Shrink) to compile a list of foods that ‘should carry health warnings on their content label’. With food companies under pressure to reduce fat, sugar and salt in their products the Standard had the guts to publish the names of 30 foods with unacceptably high levels of some or all of these three. The article correctly points out that fat is what really gives food flavour. If you cut down on that, you need to add salt or sugar to make the food tasty. Anyway in case you missed this hit list, here are the ‘dirty thirty’:

Pot Noodle Fun Pots;
Melton Mowbray Pork Pie;
Dairylea Lunchables;
Sunny D;
Tamar Foods’ Deep Filled Cornish Pie;
Coca Cola (the normal non-diet type);
Ribena (apparently only 6% blackcurrant juice);
Kellogg’s Pop Tarts;
Kellog’s Ricicles;
Nestles Cookie Crisp cereal;
Bernard Matthews Dinosaur-shaped turkey nuggets;
Fruit Winders;
Muller Yogz;
Screamin’ fruit spurters;
Tweenies pasta;
Hellema’s Chocolate Peanut Cookies;
McCoy’s crisps;
Jumbo sausage roll;
Cocktail sausages;
Jordan’ Muesli Break;
Nesquik Cereal Bar;
Milky Way spread;
Sainsbury’s Deep and Loaded pepperoni pizza;
Vodka Caramel Mudshake;
Weightwatchers Chocolate Brownies;
School Bars;
King-sized Snickers bar;
Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup in microwaveable cup;
McVities “Go Ahead” Crispy apple & sultana slices.

So before you buy any of the above, or any other packaged food for that matter, remember to check the content of FAT, SUGAR and SALT. The recommended daily intake of these for adults is:

  • Fat: Men- 95g Women-70g
  • Salt: 6g (one heaped teaspoon)
  • Sugar: no specific guidelines, it does depend on how physically active you are. Best to take your sugar as part of unrefined carbohydrates such as fruit rather than as added sugar or in the form of confectionary which is nothing more than empty calories.

My recommendation: The best snack in the world is fruit. An apple is perfectly balanced in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals as is most fruit. In addition it contains live plant enzymes that help us digest it. Why we need to buy garbage in packages instead of fruit is one of life’s mysteries.

Homeopathic Tip of the Week: Contact Sports
For people that get involved in contact sports such as boxing and rugby, homeopathic Arnica, is a great medicine. It’s worthwhile having it in tablet form (I recommend strength 30c) and cream. If you come off the pitch a little more bruised than usual or take a few good shots in the ring, take a single dose of Arnica 30c and rub some cream into the area that hurts – you might just be surprised at how quickly you recover.