How can we Help our environment?

Our planet is entering our 6th mass extinction, and according to scientists overpopulation and over consumption is to blame. They also warn us that in order to resolve this crisis we have only a short window to act.

All the recent studies show that we have lost more than 50% of the vertebrate species in the last 50 years and that the insect mass is falling by 2,5% per year.

I am 54 years old, and I feel ashamed of myself and my generation for not taking action sooner, for having to be taught by this amazing upcoming and  younger generation and especially by my daughter on how to look after our planet, for not seeing all the warning signs, and mostly for thinking that this does not apply to me…

taking action for the environment
The younger generations are taking action…

I still remember when I was 10 years old watching the underwater documentaries from this famous French explorer.  One of his quotes “ For most of history, man has had to fight nature in order to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it. “ Jacques -Yves Cousteau

 Almost 35 years ago he was already warning the world of the lack of fish and the increasing levels of pollution, in all the oceans of the world and particularly in the Mediterranean sea. Of course at that age I did not pay attention to these words.

10 years later I was working as a diving instructor diving those oceans all over the world and still I did nothing. 

 Matilda my daughter only 21 at the  time, opened my eyes to the magnitude of this environmental catastrophe and taught me that all the little changes I can implement will make a difference in the long run. After becoming Vegan, she embarked on a step by step process to make her day to day more ecologically friendly and her aim is to achieve a zero waste lifestyle.

So if this resonates with you, carry on reading and  let me share with you what I have learnt.

These changes are simple and easy, they require very little effort or financial investment and most importantly they contribute to reducing your personal greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the GreenHouse Effect?

The greenhouse gases such as water vapour, carbon dioxide CO2, Methane, Nitrous oxide and ozone have an influence over the energy balance of the earth.  Without them the earth’s temperature would be unbearably cold around -18ºC, instead of a pleasant average of 15ºC. They let the sun’s heat through and trap a certain amount in the earth’s atmosphere. But in the last century the production of all these gases has increased and resulted in a rise in temperature and a more pronounced greenhouse effect.

Nuclear plant
Nuclear plant…

What is Climate change?

As the earth’s temperature rises, it starts affecting our climate, our local weather, our food source and our health.

The polar ice caps and Greenland are rapidly melting, causing a rise in sea levels, flooding coastal regions and this could have long term consequences on the  ocean’s currents circulation, like the gulf stream for example. Warmer temperatures and heat waves have a bigger impact on our global weather, which means more hurricanes, bigger storms, colder weather, extreme floods and longer droughts.

Flooding
Floods are becoming more and more frequent ….

All our agriculture would be affected by this weather and many farming lands could not be used again.

Finally, it affects our health, especially in urban areas with increasing smog over our cities. This can cause asthma, cardiovascular and lung diseases.

What can we do to help?

Reduce your shopping; 

1- Reduce Meat and dairy! Beef results in up to 105kg of greenhouse gas per 100g of protein while tofu produces less than 3-5kg. So avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way you can help the environment. Without meat and dairy consumption, the entire farmland use could be reduced 75%, and this would stop the current deforestation and  mass extinction of wildlife. Furthermore the meat and dairy industry produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. So in this point in time “A vegan diet is probably the biggest contribution and impact you can have on planet earth”. I have considerably reduced my meat and dairy by 60%, and aiming to reduce it even more.

Meat and dairy industry
It’s time to reduce the meat and dairy industry.

2- Buy less processed food! Avoid buying food that is packaged in plastic or processed food. Instead buy fresh fruit and greens, vegetables locally produced so their carbon footprint is low. Always bring your own reusable bags, glass jars, or water bottle.

3- Carry out you cups! We all seem to be obsessed with coffee, it must be the buzz we get from caffeine, whatever it is, carry your own cup to your preferred coffee shop. 

4- Produce your own water at home! It’s worth investing in a reverse osmosis unit, it’s relatively inexpensive nowadays, and you will no longer buy bottled water therefore less plastic to dispose of.

5- Stop wasting food! Plan your meals, don’t throw leftovers, freeze food, eat less, reduce your daily portions.  Start fasting or intermittent fasting, it’s economical, healthy, saves your time, and is good for the environment. I alternate between intermittent fasting ( at least 16 hours) and 24 hours fasting , 2 to 3 times a week. So find your own formula, the one that works best for you.

6- Buy less Clothing! This one is an easy one for me…I am not a fashion Guru and not interested in shopping so my carbon footprint related to shopping in very low already.  Our excessive consumerism has become a huge problem for the environment. The “make do and mend “culture is back… So buy less and wear more, that’s the quickest action you can take, right now. Recycle or donate the clothes you no longer wear and/or buy vintage or recycled garments. In 2017, in the UK alone , 11000 charity shops saved 330000 metric tons of textiles ending up in a landfill .

7- Read the label! Avoid leather and although polyester requires less water and land than cotton but emit more greenhouse gases per kilogram; they also shed off micro fibers that increase the levels of plastics in our oceans. However synthetic polymers made from renewable crops like corn and sugarcane release up to 60% less carbon emission.

All these 7 points are easy to implement, and only involve you, your diet and your habits!!!

-Reduce CO2 emissions!

Electric car
Long term electric cars will considerably reduce CO2 emissions.

8- Drive less! If you already own a car, drive less, carpool, or car share, drive if absolutely necessary; walk more, cycle to your destination whenever possible. If you have to buy a car, consider Electric cars or hybrid. The production of some electric cars will have initially a higher carbon footprint than others but they do make up for it in three years.

Buy second hand! When you consider that the average usage of a car is only 5 to 10% of the time, it’s hardly worth buying new!  So if you buy second hand you are saving on the production of yet another new car and on its parking for 90% of the time.

9- Use alternate mode of transport! Electric scooters, electric bikes, bicycles, if you live in a city a foldable bicycle is very useful as you can take it on other various modes of transport. Take the public transport to work, walk whenever possible.

10- Use clean energy! We need to reduce our CO2 emission, so whenever possible replace fossil fuels, by a more renewable source of energy solar or wind power as they don’t produce CO2 or use biofuel. Get your electricity from a clean energy provider and hopefully we can get rid of our old power and nuclear plants.

11- Air travel;   The aviation sector currently accounts for about 2% of global emissions. On average flying from London to New York and back generates about 986 kg of CO2 per passenger. And a short flight from London to Rome carries a carbon footprint of 234 kg of CO2 per passenger.  Just to put this into perspective this represent more than the average annual emission of CO2 per person, in 56 countries of the world. So if it’s for work or for pleasure flying is probably responsible for the largest part of your carbon footprint. So avoid flying and if at all possible, take the train, or even your car would significantly emit less greenhouse gases.. If you must fly, then fly economy class, as business class is responsible for 3 times as many gas emissions than economy and first class is easily 7 times higher, fly nonstop as taking off and landing produce more emissions.

Air travel
Take off and landing produce the highest CO2 emissions.

12- At Home! This is where all the little changes come into place. Your lighting for example, if you switch from incandescent to LED you reduce your energy consumption by a quarter and they last 25 times more..

Switch lights off and unplug all electronic devices when you are not using them.

When your mobile devices are charged, unplug them, as leaving them recharging all night will consume more electricity.

Turn off your Wi-Fi box at night or during the day when you are at work.

I also did unplug my water heater as i have decided to shower cold all year round, but if you are not too enamored with that thought you could reduce the thermostat, and/or unplug it during the hours it’s not being used.  Same with your aircon, lower it in the winter and raising it in the summer so your unit is not working 24/7 to maintain an extremely low or high temperature. If possible open your windows let some air in and only use your air conditioning unit when absolutely necessary. It’s a much healthier option and will save you money in the long run..

Change your mentality!

Nowadays information is so readily and easily available that there are no more excuses .. but information alone is not enough, the facts are there, we all have concrete evidence of all the climatic changes…so this is the time for taking action, one individual at a time, and one change at a time.  Living to 100, is about optimizing many areas of your life, health, mindset, income, life purpose, etc. Very recently I have come to realize that the environment we live in, our planet’s future, is one of the most important ingredients in this “ Centenarian’s recipe “

 Optimistically I believe that ultimately if our generation joins forces with the younger ones and start taking daily action,  we will change our climate and avoid a major environmental catastrophe.

What do you think? Please leave down below your suggestions. Thanks.


Amazing Underwater Workout!

Here is an example of how I keep fit and healthy, as this underwater workout works on my stamina, my cardio, my breath holding capacity, my adaptation to the cold and my mental focus. I do this workout once a week. Please leave your comments and suggestions down below.

Myth or reality!!! Does the Wim Hof Method work?

ALL THE BENEFITS I HAVE NOTICED FROM MY DAILY PRACTICE OF THE WIM HOF METHOD.

I embarked on this amazing journey 2 years ago when I saw an article in a local newspaper about The Iceman, Wim Hof and his method.  So intrigued at first I checked his website, listened to his interview on the “Joe Rogan podcast” and was immediately hooked. I started practicing with his guided breathing and this was  swiftly followed by a full 10 weeks Fundamental course.

Two  years down the line I am still practising daily and want to share the benefits I am experiencing.

CONSCIOUS BREATHING- I have become aware of my breathing!

I can still remember my first guided breathing, I lay on the sofa, listen to Wim hof’s instruction,…deeply in…and let it go, for 30 breaths and then held my breath. It was all a bit odd at first, not at all familiar. The second round felt better. Now the third round was such a memorable experience that it is still very vivid in my mind. It felt like I was experiencing an internal revolution, my hands were tingling, I could see flashing multicolored lights coming and going behind my eyes and mini lightning bolts going through my brain, I noticed also that my entire body and especially my cells were gently electrified, finally I experienced a pleasant light headed floating sensation as if my mind was leaving my body and gliding above me. I did not panic at the time as I had been warned that I would experience some very unusual sensations, so I went along with it.. 

Also on my first rounds my breath holding time was of 1, maximum 2 mins, but after a few sessions I could easily reach 3 mins.

Breathing Deep
Learn to breathe deep….and feel good.

After the first week of regular breathing practice  I realized the importance of breathing, especially deep breathing, has on my levels of energy, on my attention span, on my endurance and my overall well being.  This method is simple and efficient and the more you repeat it, the more you encode it in your neurology and the more aware you become of your breathing. So you become conscious of it and delight of all its benefits.  This means you are going to teach your body to breath deep, be more and more aware of the importance of reaching deep into the lungs and to be able to fully reoxygenate your body on demand.

  If you haven’t practised this WH breathing method, the best next step is to go to his website, www.wimhofmethod.com to try one of his courses.

Here is a succinct description
Breathe in deep and let it go.
Do this 30/40/50 times.
 Then hold your breath for as long as is comfortable for you.  At this stage you have raised your PH levels, so you can easily stay 1 min or more without air in your lungs.
When you feel the need to breathe
Take a deep breath in and hold it for 10 seconds. Then let go.
This is your first round!!   Repeat this for 2 more rounds.
Good luck!!

I NO LONGER FEAR THE COLD!

Cold exposure
I don’t know why I am wearing this scarf???

By regular cold exposure (cold baths, cold showers, cold air, etc) you increase your  tolerance to the cold. This is a slow and gradual process where you teach your mind to let go, not think of the cold and to place your attention on your body and what it is supposed to do…  which is to warm you up!


You also train your vascular system to contract and react to a cold exposure.  The more you repeat this experience with daily cold showers (or baths), the more efficient your cardiovascular system will be at pumping the blood around.  Considering that cardiovascular diseases are the number 1 killer in our modern society, it is of the utmost importance to start the cold water training as soon as possible.

This cold exposure also produces brown fat  which is immediately used to warm your body up.  As a new born baby we have lots of this brown fat to protect us from hypothermia.   As we grow up in our modern societies we progressively lose the ability to produce this amazing substance to refuel our heating system because of our excessive clothing, heating or air conditioning,   As Wim Hof says “ A cold shower a day keeps the doctor away”.

So start the training at home, after a warm shower always finish with 30 seconds of cold water and over time gradually increase until you start enjoying it and look forward to turning the dial to cold…   I promise you, this will happen !! Then you are ready to go directly into a cold shower…. It took me about six weeks of daily practice to start enjoying the cold shower and now I can step into cold water or even an  icy bath without a thought. So this cold training gave me more control over my mind.

 Last year I even participated in a charity swim on boxing day in Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland.  The water was approximately 6 degrees Celsius. This became a family event as my son, my daughter and her boyfriend, joined me for this invigorating experience.

carlingford swim
All the family ready for the Carlingford swim….


SAY BYE, BYE, TO FEELING STRESSED!

Just after starting this method I got offered a job in a private school as an assistant PE for their primary section. I  accepted the position and started my teaching, not realising how demanding 25 screaming little kids would be. During my first days I could feel the stress mounting up as the day went along, until I realised I was not breathing deep enough. So that’s what I did, as I walked through the corridors of the school, I would silently murmur in my mind, “ Deeply in,…and let it go”, and actually take a few deep breaths before welcoming my new lot of 25 new children all eager to run and jump and have fun. This worked a treat as  I was able to control my stress just by breathing alone.

With daily WH practise, you learn to follow your breath and control your stress. This deep breathing and super oxygenation process makes you control  all the stress hormones, adrenaline, cortisol, epinephrine, and that’s how you gain control over your body and mind. So when you are exposed to cold , heat,  any emotional or physical stress, you are able to move your attention away from the prefrontal cortex to the insula ( which is the deep part of the brain that you engage during deep meditation) and this shift usually leaves you with a pleasant floaty feeling.  This is often accompanied by a release of opiods thanks to the periaqueductal gray hemisphere originating from your reptilian brain. These opiods help in making you feel good,and experiencing this familiar euphoric sensation not dissimilar to the one you experience during exercising or running (Runner’s high!!). And after this I sleep like a baby.

NEVER  GET SICK AGAIN…


I was brought up to fear cold, to never go out without a jacket, or with wet hair  or barefoot and so on. All these rules which I am sure are familiar to you, did not prevent me from catching a cold, the flu, having a stomach ache or headaches, developing light eczema or many other little annoyances.  So needless to say that, when I saw this Dutchman swimming in icy water I thought at first that he was totally mad. In starting the cold shower progressive training I immediately felt different and was almost looking forward to this challenge.  Once I realized that I was gradually changing my mindset from fearing the cold to liking it, there was no stopping me, I was gone like a rocket…. I literally understood that I had changed my perception of the cold and this all happened with the power of my  mind.

Now 2 years down the line, no aches or pains, no flu or colds, no more allergies or eczema, no more fatigue.  All in fine working order and I have exceptional levels of energy.



In the last 10 years I have also suffered from old sports induced injuries that kept dragging on and on.  Well, surprise surprise… with the cold exposure and the breathing techniques these old pains and aches have subsided tremendously and no longer stop me from any physical activity.

When you feel  the cold or the heat and get out of your comfort zone with the Wim Hof method (WHM) you learn to tap into that mind/body connection and regain control over it.  So by breathing deep and changing your focus you can willfully influence the bone marrow to activate T cell and B cell production and these, in turn, will fight any inflammation that is taking place in your body.

With this breathing method not only do you bring in more oxygen to your tissues to subside inflammation, but  you also increase your adrenaline production which in turn will suppress inflammatory markers in your body.

THE MOST ENERGY AND STAMINA I’VE EVER HAD!

endurance
Increase your endurance to physical activity.

I love working out, and I get to slip into the gym every day at 6 am before work. I am 54, and over the last 15 years I have noticed a slow and steady decline in my performance. I was told this is normal …doctors said that this is age catching up with you….or after 50 it’s all downhill from there… Somehow I did not believe them …so I decided to change my mindset and believe that age is only a number.  So when I read Wim Hof’s method, life story and philosophy I said to myself, “ at last there is a man that doesn’t talk about aging, and feeling ill, and limiting beliefs”. Instead his message was that we all have the innate capacity to thrive on life, to be energized and be strong, happy and healthy.

Ever since I started  the WH guided breathing I can go on and on during my workouts.  I oxygenate myself before, during and after physical exercise. The result is that any physical activity becomes more enjoyable, I can push myself a bit more whilst I am engaging in it, and the next day have no muscle pain.  It’s a win win situation. What happens is that this deep breathing floods the muscle tissues with surplus O2, makes them more alkaline and in such an environment they perform more efficiently. At a cellular level the mitochondria is also surrounded by this excess of oxygen and does what it does best … produces more  energy for you to use. It has literally increased my sports performance by a mile.

Check my underwater workout here.

CREATIVE AND CONNECTED LIKE A CHILD.

Creative and connected like a child.


We all start life with a deep breath in and we all end it by releasing a last breath.  As if our breath is our life force, capable of giving life but also removing it. I am more aware of my breathing and beyond the pure chemistry of the breath, I often contemplate this air moving throughout my entire body and giving me life.  During my daily breathing exercises I visualize this life force gently moving from place to place and awakening all the creative centers of my brain. It’s almost as if it has allowed me to tap into my innate creativity, the one we have as a child, where you are so happy to draw, play an instrument, repeat a word in a foreign language or apply yourself to any new skill. 

In the past year I have felt so creative, that I finally gathered the courage to start my own online business along with my website and connecting in  all the major social media platforms. At the age of 54, with no previous computer or business background this was a big challenge. But I go through my day one deep breath at a time and after it all feels, looks and sounds good.

With the WHM and especially the breathing technique, I am able to make my internal chemistry more alkaline, accessing deep  into the lymphatic system and cleaning it and releasing the bad chemistry and all negative feelings. It’s like cleaning the garbage from your house, you are left with a clean and inspiring place to start creating.

FEELING HAPPY AND HEALTHY ALL THE TIME.

The three pillars to the WHM are breath work, cold exposure and commitment. So  following the tutorials of the WH fundamental 10 week course, I engaged daily in a WH guided breathing session, plus a cold exposure routine and some sort of meditation  practise. The first and most obvious outcome is that I developed a profound mind & body connection. I have felt a sense of well being that starts in my brain and fills my entire  body.. I am now able to tap into my autonomic nervous system and produce my own feel good hormones. This is free and always readily available… I love it !! All you need is to lie down in a safe and comfortable place and do the breathing.  To quote The Iceman , “ Get high on your own supply”!!

I am no doctor and not a  scientist either, but many studies show that this method could help people suffering from depression or anxiety.

LIFE PURPOSE…

Life purpose
Ultimately we are all seeking what’s the best path in life.

This amazing technique has opened my understanding of the  huge power that resides in my mind (and yours) It has given me a life long wish to discover and work on the mind  body connection. So exploring and pushing the limits of my mind, removing limiting beliefs and helping others is now my life mission.  I have embarked on this wonderful journey, I am learning on a daily basis and enjoying every single day. I feel grateful and privileged to be able to take yet another breath.  So, it has made me so aware that breathing is our own and unique gift that we carry with us every single moment of our life. I am only 54 and as you know I will live to 100 and I haven’t counted them yet, but that’s many breaths left…  so join me on this trip of a lifetime.

Follow me on this journey to 100: 

https://smartlivingto100.com

www.instagram.com/smartlivingto.100

www.facebook.com/smartlivingto100 

DISCLAIMER; The material on this post is for informational purposes only. As each individual situation is unique, you should use proper discretion, in consultation with a health care practitioner, before undertaking the protocols, diet, exercises, techniques, training methods, or otherwise described herein. The author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the information contained herein. 

This wim hof breathing should be done laying down or sitting in a safe environment, not in water or close to water or whilst driving.

https://www.wimhofmethod.com/


50 Reasons to Live to 100

100 year birthday

These are my 50 Reasons to Live to 100:

1. To enjoy the magic of nature at sunrise and sunset.

2. To hear a child’s uncontrollable giggle

3. To feel the crunch of snow underfoot

4. To be woken by the early morning blackbird alarm.

5. To listen to someone deliver a passionate speech.

6. To work online whilst travelling the globe.

7. To relish the feel of soft sand between my toes.

8. To tilt my face to the first warming rays of the spring sunshine.

9. To explore the oceans of the world.

 

Travel the world and sail the oceans

10. To hug and be hugged by a loved one

11. To be invigorated by a cold water shower.

12. To walk in wonderful nature.

13. To be inspired by my unique and fascinating life mentors

14. To feel that unparalleled post workout endorphin glow.

15. To melt in a sauna after that workout !

16. To smile and receive one back.

17. To laugh.

18. To follow my purpose in life.

19. To see the genuine joy on my wife’s face as she decorates a huge Christmas tree.

20. To sail in a fair wind.

21. To anchor in a deserted bay.

22. To discover remarkable new music.

23. To compliment and praise… and to be complimented and praised.

24. To feel love and pride in my heart when I think of my son and daughter.

25. To meditate everyday and aim for absolute connection to my higher being.

26. To participate for as long as possible in the circle of life.

27. To meet my future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

28. To love and be loved.

29. To learn from the past, reflect on it and to move forward.

 

Completing a challenge

30. To achieve new goals.

31. To feel the freshness of the rain.

32. To help those whom I can.

33. To plan ahead, there is so much exciting adventure to be had.

34. To complete difficult challenges and always attempt to stretch myself.

35. To watch my adored wife dance to the sensational tones of Earth, Wind & Fire.

36. To sit down for a meal with my three favourite people.

37. To exchange valuable thoughts and ideas with family and friends.

38. To celebrate.. birthdays and special occasions, just celebrate !!

39. To forgive and be forgiven.

40. To enjoy every single moment of every single day .

41. To be thankful.

42. To become a better person.

43. To be non-judgmental.

44. To discover new places and meet new people.

45. To hold my wife´s hand.

46. To cultivate a plastic free home.

47. To take care of my health.

48. To savour that perfect glass of wine after a productive day.

49. To be an active participant in saving our wonderful, diverse planet.

50. To see the world become a better place.

Travel the world with your business

………..and many more ……..what are your 50 reasons to live to 100 ……….

Click here to know how I started my online journey