The real food guidelines

It’s a food fight. The time has finally come where a deep and important line needs to be drawn in the sand.  No more throwing bad science and bad advice around.  Stop! The “food pyramid” guidelines are still alive (and well?) in New Zealand (see here). They are outdated, old school and quite simply wrong. Recently they were up for review… Unfortunately, they came back more or less the same – saturated fat and fats in general are bad for us ….blah blah blah. So our team felt we had to put… Read More

Schofield’s hormetic theory of wellbeing

I had a few things click into place in the last week or two, around how to conceptualize and manage our well-being, especially considering all the biology involved. Without being grandiose and egotistically naming a theory after myself, I think what I have come up with has some novel concepts. I do acknowledge the inspiration from a scientific paper, which lays out the (some) diet and exercise components of the hormesis of wellbeing (see here). So here’s a summary of the theory (or at least the bringing together of a few different… Read More

Why dogs are good for you

I’ve had three family dogs – all border collies. The one in the picture is Bluey, a 15 month old red/white border collie. He’s a friendly and active fellow, on a whole food meat and other stuff based diet. I wanted the smartest, most active dog because my view was that they would need exercise and that would force me and the family to do more exercise.  So is that likely to work, or is the dog more trouble than he’s worth and you just spend more money and can’t holiday when… Read More

How happy are New Zealanders?

How happy are you?  How well are you doing in your life?  How happy are New Zealanders, and how do they compare with other countries? All big questions. You can find out how you compare with the average New Zealander of your age and sex here.  You can access the Sovereign New Zealand Wellbeing Index here.  You can view TVNZ’s Sunday episode aired on the topic here. I am very proud to announce the public release of this Sovereign New Zealand Wellbeing Index. It’s the first survey point in a six-year research… Read More

Is exercise damaging my heart?

Recent high profile athlete cases of heart problems, especially arrhythmias, has had many of us asking several questions about the endurance exercise we do on a regular basis. These include: What’s the risk? Is it linked to the actual exercise or something else? What might you do to mitigate the risk, but still get the benefits of being fit? It really seems that the evidence is starting to stack up from case studies, to epidemiology, to mechanisms. Let’s explore the issues. 1. What’s the risk? A recent study published in the European… Read More

Eating in the right state of mind

Guest blogger Christian Thoma from the Physical Activity & Exercise Research Group  and MoveLab, Newcastle University Medical School looks at how your state of mind affects your body when eating. Christian makes a very important point in his email to me about this blog: “Even though I work in a team which includes health psychologists, the behaviour around the act of eating rather than the choice of what to eat never enters the conversation. The same held true when I worked mostly with nutritionists.” I absolutely agree with you Christian, this is a massive point….our… Read More

Be the best you can be

(pic: the entrance to AUT Millenium where I work) I’ve wanted to start a blog for quite some time now. The trick is to get the technical skills together well enough to actually know how to run one and do it regularly. Well, I’m just about there. What will I blog about? I am really interested in the science of how we can be the best we can be. This crosses disciplines such as biology, medicine, pubic health, and productivity management. The cornerstones are nutrition, exercise, sleep, neuroscience, psychology and well-being. I’ll… Read More