November 2018


Healthy times are here – minus the vitamin pills

One “health” blogger and adviser’s daily intake of vitamins

Now here’s some food for thought.

Real food, too. Which probably makes quite a change for many of us in these vitamin-fuelled times.

At least you can now count me out of the millions here and worldwide who are buying vitamin supplements in ever-increasing numbers in the hope, and even belief, that they will improve  their health, both physical and mental.

A couple of months ago I went cold turkey.

No tapering, no slow withdrawal. I simply stopped, and the blister packs and bottles have sat on the kitchen bench untouched ever since.

And here’s the punchline: it’s been a long time since I have felt as good as I feel now.  The proof – and the bonus – has been in the unsolicited comments made by friends and family about my healthy glow and my steady display of  a newfound energy.

The initial decision to curtail my daily vitamin intake was a true spur of the moment action. There was no pre-thinking. No reasoning behind it.

It was only after some days/weeks of feeling less lethargic, of sleeping far better, of being more active that I began to ponder the reason for this return to normality.

There had been no change in my daily routine, no reduction in work-related activity and the diet (i.e. my intake of food and nothing to do with any weight loss or body changing plan) remained as it has always been.

Only one thing was different: the total absence of any vitamin intake. It was the only possible answer.

The absence of iron capsules (I was told I am anaemic), D3 (sunlight for someone who makes a point of getting outdoors every day?), turmeric (because the full-page ads seduced me), probiotics (to improve the digestive health of one who is a stranger to gut problems?) and valerian (a sleep aid for someone who is in Dreamland within minutes of turning out the light?) has made not the slightest difference.

The sub-text to this is to wonder whether, as I felt so much better without them, was it possible that they had actually been having a negative effect rather than the huge benefits that are claimed by this multi-million pound industry?  An industry that commands an ever-growing allegiance from an estimated 40 per cent of the UK population?

After all, its sales of some £445 million a year are largely built on claims (read the labels) rather than scientifically tried and tested research.

Most simply state they are a food supplement.  And anyone who is getting their five-a-day and avoiding excessive levels of fat, salt and sugars doesn’t really need to “supplement” their food intake.

So, as we troop unceasingly into our high street “health” stores or click their online equivalents, maybe we are shelling out our hard-earned on pills, potions and powders that are nothing more than placebos.

It’s just a thought.

I’ll leave it with you while I nip out for a run … got a couple of testing races coming up.

 

 

 

 

 

Garfield found; where to now?

My first tentative venture into crime fiction occurred many years, even decades, ago. As tends to be my way of doing things, I started writing and let the characters lead me.

Chief among them was a mild and insignificant denizen of suburban life, Garfield Parks.

Why he was called that, I have no idea; that back story had yet to be discovered and written.

Then other things intervened: work, business, life and love among them. Garfield and his troubles were set aside for another time – one that never arrived.

Fortunately I did at least transcribe this hand-written tale from exercise book to computer. But that was many PCs and laptops ago and Garfield became lost among the many updates and data transfers.

His wife, so we are told, had also disappeared. She had not returned from what Garfield maintained was a visit to her sister. By now the police have arrived … and that is where I left him, being grilled by two highly suspicious detectives.

Searches of old CDs and memory sticks failed to find him. The passwords to three external drives where he could possibly be hiding have been forgotten and cannot be reset.

Poor old Garfield, lost and gone forever with never a change of removing the taint of guilt hanging over him.

Until today!

More much-needed sorting and decluttering revealed three memory sticks used for backing up files and storing pictures.

And there among them was the yet-to-be titled nascent story of Garfield and his missing wife. Well, at least the opening chapters – a total of a mere 4000 words.

In all modesty, I always thought it was a pretty good effort for a would-be author.  That opinion remains unchanged after re-reading it today after the many years of tuition, study and honing my craft that have occurred in the intervening years.

All I ask for now is that Garfield does a Rip Van Winkle and soon awakes from his slumbers to lead me through whatever dilemmas, dramas, dangers and detours beset him as he fights to clear his name.

I fear there were sinister forces at work; that there was much more to the innocuous Mr Parks than has so far been revealed.

Maybe the police were right to have suspicions, especially as he seemed so unworried and vague.

And then there’s his wife’s bossy sister who has never hidden her antagonism to their marriage.

Come on, Garfield. What happened? Where to now? Where is the body – if there is a body – and who put it there?

Watch this space …..