More fruit? Pass the tin.

Even paragons of virtue like me forget to eat enough fruit and vegetables sometimes. My problem with fruit is not so much the preparation, but the fact that I almost always buy too much and end up having to chuck it away because it’s been forgotten in the back of the fridge for two months. This is frustrating and I react by buying no fruit at all for a few weeks. Then I feel bad and buy too much – and around we go again…

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This week I’ve started buying tinned fruit – pears, mandarins, pineapple, grapefruit, cherries, prunes – with reckless abandon, and I’m feeling pretty damn good for it. Yes, I recycle my cans. Is it less nutritious than fresh fruit? You probably lose some vitamin C in the canning process, and there’s lots of empty calories if you eat the syrup it might be tinned in. On the other hand, if I’m getting my five a day, every day (less than a third of British adults manage this, and only one in ten kids) then I’m doing alright. It’s also cheaper than a chocolate bar and just as easy a convenience food, though it won’t fit in your pocket as easily 😉

I’ve also bought some frozen berries and vegetables, although I think a lot more people do this anyway so it’s not much to shout about.

How do you get your five a day?

Did you remember to floss?

Does this seem familar? I’m ashamed to say it does for me… It’s not that my oral hygiene isn’t generally good – no fillings! – but flossing is one of those oh-so-forgettable little things that it’s just too easy to skip when you’re tired and don’t want to muster the coordination to get in under your gums. It takes a haemorrhage in your dentist’s surgery to remind you that yes, your gums need love too.

It’s such a tiny, seemingly inconsequential task, which is why it’s perfect for a new year’s resolution. And let’s face it, if you can’t instill a daily flossing habit, what hope do you have of developing habits that will lead you to losing weight, writing that novel, or winning an Oscar?

My hygienist appointment is way overdue. If I recall, I had ten bleeds on that part where they stab your gums with a bit of blunt metal. It ought to be something like four. My flossing has certainly been better since then, but by no means perfect. We’ll see what happens when I book an appointment!

Call it day one today, forty days to form a habit… February 12th? Photos or I’m lying!

Save the NHS… with judo

I’m serious. We all know being physically active keeps personal healthcare costs down, but I’m talking about a specific skill of judoka.

Watch a judo match and see the thousand and one ways they get dumped on their back, on their head, on their arse… and get back up. BREAKFALLING. It should be on the PE curriculum.

Think how many people get admitted to A&E for tripping over the kid’s toys, or how many slow declines of older people start with a hip break that might have been avoided if they had lots of experience falling over.

Keiko Fukuda. Judo kept her going for 99 years. RIP.

I’ve not had a judo lesson since I was 5, but that little bit of judo practice (and a smattering of wrestling and BJJ afterwards) has probably saved me from killing myself with a broken neck more than once.

I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down!