Ok, something different.  I’ve been wanting to get started on this for so long and have so much information in my head in various stages of understanding, I didn’t know where to begin.  “somewhere” was the conclusion.

My blog here was intended for photography only.  Now re-igniting it I’m intending it to be photography, nutrition, and general stuff as well.  Lets see if I keep it going..

I suppose a quick thing about nutrition and me.  I’ve been interested in training and nutrition for years but like many, it came in waves and I never really had progress.  Actually I did, the weight I added was around my waist and that’s about it.  Then again, several pints of Guinness each week at football will do that, no matter how much I try to deny it.  I can see that now, but at the time? not so much.

Having children helped.  I seemed to become attuned to my own mortality but also, in honesty (and I really need to be here, food, weight, fat etc can be very emotive and there’s no point me having any BS about it) I wanted my kids to be as proud of me as I am them.  I wanted to be the Dad who is fit and healthy enough as I age to join in with them doing stuff.  I didn’t want my kids to be picked on because their Dad was overweight or whatever.  That was my “WHY”.  More on that later, maybe in another post (search the web for “what’s your why” if interested.

Anyway, I grabbed a personal trainer, grabbed books, read articles in depth, pulled research from all over and listened to podcasts.  3-4 years later and I went from knocking on 16 stone back down to just under 13 stone and now back up at a comfortable 13 1/2 stone.  But as many know, weight isn’t all that important.  Well it is, but it isn’t.  Hmm.  Body composition is important.  Being happy with yourself is important.  Being confident, having vitality, having a constant energy and generally embracing life as a whole, is important.  Easy to say and for many not so easy to do.  Not their fault either.

After hitting 13 stone and being in a much happier place my mindset shifted.  I had to shake off where I was, which I did.  But then I shifted from re-composition towards vitality and wellness.  My nutrition shifted from being macro nutrient based to that of real food.  I wasn’t eating anymore to shed fat and gain lean mass.  I was eating for overall health and ideally, longevity of life.  This also fit in very well with my overall love of nature and natural.  Instead of packing in 180-200g protein per day, I was now looking for grass fed beef, pasture raised chickens, non GMO grains and so on.  This was kick started by my horror and realising what was in my pre-cooked chicken.  Well, chicken right?  Well no, not just chicken at all.  Far from it in fact.

So, mix this in with raising children and not wanting to feed them with absurdly advertised food products full of chemicals and non food stuffs, wanting to improve my overall well being, you start you see the picture.  This hasn’t happened overnight, its been a slow shift.  It’s been constantly tweaking what I do, what I eat and how I train.  It’s been slowly learning about supplementation and how much of that industry alone is a scam and misinformation.

So, with the government, food industry and so on not having a clue. With food companies just wanting you to buy their product, no matter what it is.  With supplement companies feeding on your desire for a quick fix.  With social media telling you what you should be.  Really, what chance do you stand? I’m asked often in conversation about some things, so hopefully I can save some time here and just scribble about what I’ve learned.

I should add, I guess, it’s just me and my findings about my body.  I don’t profess to be any kind of expert and can only base suggestions on what I’ve read and discovered, right or wrong.

 

 


Chicken.  Something I can eat an awful lot of, or have in the past.  These days I mix my protein sources as much as I can but this point remains.  I should thank them, this is what pushed me over the edge.  This, and the well fair of the chickens involved. Now, I’m a hypocrite.  I eat meat and have no intention of stopping but I’m strongly against cruelty to animals and the mistreatment of animals so we can squeeze every last gram of meat and every penny from them.  Yeah, I like the slaughtered animal I’m eating to at least have had a good life.  

So, chicken.  Understand that when you read ingredients on a packet they are in order of most to least.  Hows this for what is in chicken.

Chicken Breast, Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Cornflour, Salt, Stabiliser: Sodium Triphosphate; Rapeseed Oil. 

But I only want to eat chicken?

So what is that stuff added any why, also should I be eating it?

Chicken Breast,
Rice Flour – used as a thickening agent (also helps retain moisture)
Potato Starch – Again to retain moisture and binding (also in wallpaper paste!)
Cornflour – Thickening agent
Salt – Salt!
Stabiliser: Sodium Triphosphate – preservative (you want that shelf life dont you!)
Rapeseed Oil – basically a vegetable oil and not one I would choose to cook with.

Much you might see as harmless though Im also interested in what is in the actual chicken breast.  I know its certainly not just slices of chicken breast that’s for sure!

So what to do? Buy chicken breasts, ideally from a farm.  Buy them from a reasonable source, pasture raised.  Cooked them yourself ideally in something like coconut oil.  That’s it, real chicken and coconut oil. 

As for what’s in stuff like McD’s chicken, you don’t want to know.

Further reading:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/06/supermarket-frozen-chicken-breasts-water

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-181626/The-plastic-chicken-thats-51-meat.html


Worked with this fella on a recent Macro workshop (with http://www.kaleelzibe.com/ ).  Fantastic little frogs, very calm and happy to sit around while you poke a camera at them.  Just need to make sure they are constantly kept wet (else they can burn in the sun), so don’t need much handling at all.

Milking It


Hasn’t it.

While I’m retaining by photo blog over at dbphoto.me.uk (Im changing that to allow photo comments and Facebook integration etc), I still used to like this place.  As well as that, I’m looking to add thoughts and perceptions here about a few other things.  Some music, likely a lot of health / nutrition stuff.

But for now, coffee…


Third time I have now done this walk.  Third time it has been wet.  For much of the walk visibility was poor as the cloud and mist was our guide.  Spirits were low as we were constantly battered by wind and rain as we tried to walk across peat and heather.  Ah the great outdoors!

You may find the photos here reflected the mood on the day!


Yes that time has come.  I am moving my photo blog over to a flashier home (still powered by WordPress I must add).  I’ll likely still post in this blog for its original intention which was about fell/hill walking.

So, for all those that fall here now and again, please look over to http://www.dbphoto.me.uk/ and subscribe to the RSS there.

Cheers
Darrel


When I leave home and go to town, My wife always says to me ” Keep your eyelids up and see what you can see”

All the long way down that road and the way back,
Ive looked and Ive looked and Ive kept careful track
But all that I’ve noticed, except my own feet
Was a guy in a hat on Northumberland St.

 

Thats nothing to tell of, that wont do of course.  Just a man in a hat drinking some kind of sauce.
That cant be my story, thats not all there was to see.
Ill say I saw someone reading a book in front of me
And thats a story that no one can beat, when I say that I saw it on Northumberland St.

Yes the book is fine, but I think it’s a shame.  Such a wonderful book but no sounds to his name.
The story would really be better to hear, if also near him was a musician with beard!

 

But thats not enough toys, we needed more noise!
A drummer is better in fact two is quite neat! Now they would fit in on old Northumberland St

 

But hold on a minute, there’s something wrong!
Bass is whats needed to go with their song.
A groove and a blues feel that you can go greet
Something to travel with you down Northumberland St.

 

But you know theres somethings that are not right for all.  The bustling crowds and music or the mall.
There’s a time to relax, sit and take it all in.
For Northumberland St can be quite a din.

 

 

A bit of fun.  Influenced by the Dr Seuss book “Mulberry St”.  That said, Northumberland St is a very lively place these days and somewhere I do enjoy sitting with a coffee and people watching.


You know when something seems a good idea and reality cracks you in the nuts?

The idea was this.  Get up sharp, get down the quayside and capture the Newcastle Quayside waking up.  The people grasping their take away coffee to keep warm and the reflections in the tyne plus the waking sky.  The end results were satisfying but not only didnt I get a coffee myself, but my hands were freezing by the time I was done!

Thought for the day – someone needs to invent a tripod with heated legs…

I’m planning another trip down, this time when the sun has broken.  There is a lot of glass on the Quayside and I’m planning some reflection work as well.

 


So another trip to Beamish wild and another attempt to capture birds of prey.  Ideally in flight but some of them are such fantastic creatures that you have to take shots as they bask in their glory.  For that I’d say check out the Sea Eagle.  Capturing any bird in flight is a task.  I have such admiration for those who seem to do this effortlessly.  In general I am shooting on continuous focus and spot.  The trouble usually seems to be that as they move so quick, the camera struggles to keep up.  I have also tried to manually focus on one spot and shoot in burst mode in the hope that as the bird passes through my spot I will capture it.  Other struggles are things like wanting to shoot with an aperture of around f/5.6 or less to blur out the background but that given even less room for error.  So, I’ve tried shooting at around f/11 for the increased depth.  It’s an ongoing battle but I’m slowly getting there!

Here are my picks from the visit (by the way, if you are from the north east I’d really suggest visiting Beamish Wild if you havent.  It’s a great day out, especially for kids where they can interact with the birds and learn about them).

Stellar Sea Eagle

 

Snowy Owl

Stellar Sea Eagle

Short Eared Owl

 

 

White Backed Vulture

Common Buzzard


Yes its that time again.  In December? Yep, in December.  I’d not done Great Gable before but I had heard it was slightly challenging compared to some.  Well, if you are going to push yourself, why not do it with snow in your face?

The walk took us up Green Gable, across Windy Gap (though it was windier on Green Gable than Windy Gap below it) and then up to Great Gable.  I have to say, when you reach Green Gable and stand looking down over Windy Gap and then the formidable sight of Great Gable stands above you, it’s quite humbling.  I’ll not write the exact phrase that went through my head, but it was a more abrupt version of “Oh my that looks an interesting climb”.

As ever, when the rock is 6″ from your face rather than a few hundred feet, it’s not quite as bad.  But the wind, hail and snow did add some extra interest.

If you are thinking of doing this walk, I would certainly recommend it.  It does involve an upward scramble from this direction but it’s not too difficult.  Something akin to climbing up a 30ft pile of oversized lego?