The Irish Health Foundation – a bridge to ‘healthy-living’ for Ireland. Bringing knowledge and understanding of health and wellness and building the infrastructure across Ireland to deliver it.
Who is doing anything positive and powerful on a national scale about promoting health and well-being deeply in Ireland?
The Irish Health Foundation (IHF) is a non-profit organisation with a mission to promote ‘healthy-living’ in Ireland. The results of this mission will make Ireland the most health-conscious nation in the world and create an underlying nationwide infrastructure that gives all the Irish people easy access to ‘healthy-living’.
There are so many organisations out there who are focused on specific diseases or health challenges but to me they are missing the bigger picture. All the big players (for-profit and not-for-profit) allocate funding and investment towards finding a ‘cure’. So by their nature they are largely reactive to existing problems. On the proactive side, there is always the token mention of healthy lifestyle, get some exercise, eat your vegetables – but this is more of an after-thought than a guiding principle.
My understanding is that most of the money ever invested in health in Ireland has focused on almost exclusively helping people who are already suffering and sick versus investing in actually preventing the disease from developing in the first place. If we took all the organisations in Ireland (public/private/non-profit) that aim to tackle health problems/diseases and calculated how much they spent on finding ‘cures’ over the past 10 years, I’m sure it would total hundreds of millions of euro. By contrast, how many national organisations (public/private/non-profit) have invested deeply in ‘healthy-living’ (as opposed to investing deeply in ‘disease-curing’). I have not come across any that have done anything of note. I’m sure they probably exist but they are largely unknown and small in comparison to the big ‘disease-tackling’ organisations. I say it is time to change this focus!
Stop waiting to get sick. Live to be well. Understand why you get sick and take preventative action. Add to that, the fact that the human body can actually become super-human and super-charged when you introduce lifestyles like non-meat, vegetarian, vegan, raw whole foods, organic foods, exercise, breathing, meditating and so on. This is what the Irish Health Foundation is supporting and promoting. We are that organisation that will stand for ‘healthy living’. We will promote it and support it up and down the country. Our work is only just beginning, please support us if you believe you can help in any way.
The Irish Health Foundation is giving the gift of great health back to the Irish people.
Learn more by following the link.
Written by Jonathan Comerford – Founder of The Irish Health Foundation
The boys havin da craic, chatting about the best ways to grow food in your home and garden. In the world of today we have somehow become brainwashed to think that it is okay to eat large amounts of rubbish, processed, dead food that travels half way across the world to our local supermarket and then we buy it and eat it. Most of this food is covered in pesticides, herbicides and who knows what else before it reaches your local store. They are often sprayed with chemicals to preserve them, keep their colour and prevent them rotting too fast. This is madness and so far from our natural state of being. This approach to food makes us sick and keeps us sick. Growing your own food leads to a range of benefits from health to money, to lifestyle and positivity, this is a must-consider for anyone looking to live a better life. Running through the super-importance of soil and what to plant in. How to plant. What to plant. When to plant. The best tips for quick learning. Plus of course a Bollox Alert that may surprise you, a Hot Topic that is curing cancer and plenty of banter….
Also available as a video where you can see Shooz and Dug in the studio – available on YouTube at the link below.
Podcast Main Site – https://thisirishlife.podbean.com/
Facebook – @thisirishlifepodcast
Twitter – @thisirishlifepc
Instragram – @thisirishlifepc
Health Now is an easy, enjoyable way to better health and well-being. The book is a compilation of the many different approaches to health that I have considered and applied in my life over the past few years all available in one place. Integrate what you find useful into your life, and understand how to live well.
It is written to empower the reader with information and motivate you to research more of what you find useful. If you use the techniques and follow just some of the suggestions you will see very positive results. By following some simple steps like drinking the optimum amount of water, consuming natural vitamins, minerals, herbs and oils; and understanding what substances to avoid and minimize, you can dramatically enhance your health and well-being in a very short period of time.
Download a complimentary copy of my ebook below for free.
You will get the following files:
For the past few years I have been driven to improve myself everyday because that is how I decided to reach my life goals. Not a day goes by without me thinking – ‘I must quit this, or I must start that’. Today I sighed to myself and for a split second I wondered if it is all worth it or would I be better off tucked away in a nice safe comfort zone.
In that split second much of what I have worked towards and achieved in my life so far flashed through my mind. My health, my fitness, my family, my career, my writing, my relationship, and of course the lofty goals of my future. Does this quest for personal greatness make me happy. The answer is of course a resounding YES – but nevertheless the thoughts of giving-in to an easier, more comfortable life does creep into my mind from time to time. Whenever I am striving to reach a goal and the goal is in the distance, I tend to sometimes forget how much I have achieved so far. As I said, my goals are lofty but it is the same goal we all harbour inside – my goal is to be the best I can be in all aspects of myself and to live a happy and contented life where I enjoy each day for the unique opportunities it brings. I constantly challenge myself to improve in all areas, physically and mentally, and I consciously avoid situations and people that can poison my progress. So little by little, day by day I remind myself to make small improvements and visualise the person that I want to be and experience the feelings that I want to feel. Even when sometimes I am tempted to fall back into old ways and old habits and the longing for those creature comforts that let me connect to the person I used to be – I still move forward with passion and purpose.
It’s funny looking back, because as the years have been passing I have often felt like I haven’t done enough, or I could be farther along when I think about the journey left to travel. Almost like, I shouldn’t have taken that pit-stop on a long car journey, I’d be there by now if I hadn’t. But realistically we need to enjoy the journey and not race to the destination. It is not that easy to change the habits of a lifetime. We are programmed from birth to accept certain ways of living as ‘normal’ and those behaviours are reinforced by our peers and elders until it becomes very difficult to change direction and develop new habits and new beliefs. The road is not long but it meanders, twists and turns all the way and there are many breaks to be had and experiences to learn from. There is no switch that flicks and you can say ‘that’s it, no more old me, I am 100% changing the very fibre of my being’. Slow and steady wins the race, there is no short cut to being the best you can be, especially when you have spent the majority of your life going in the opposite direction. More often than not it is journey just to get back to zero, not to mind excelling further and progressing to a level of achievement that is fulfilling. Reaching the level where you can say I am the best version of myself that I aspire to be.
Take a snapshot of my life three years ago. Looking back (even as I write this now I am actually thinking – ‘whoa, I am a very different animal now’) I have improved exceptionally and three years is not really that much time. That short time ago I smoked cigarettes, ate plenty of processed foods, plenty of sugar, a few beers once a week, and didn’t drink much water. I did exercise sporadically on off for a few years up to then, practised some yoga here and there and I did know a lot about health but wasn’t really living a healthy life. I was ready for a change and that change came three years ago, almost to the day when I made a life-changing decision.
Change of Direction & Focus
I decided that after 6 years of working for myself it was time to get a secure job, with a secure wage. I had enjoyed (for the most part) being my own boss, master of my days, answering to no one except myself. The freedom is wonderful when you work for yourself, but the money is not always as wonderful. Many nights I worried about paying rent and bills until the time came where I understood that if I wanted to be the person I knew I could be it was essential to change directions and remove myself from what was essentially a ‘survival situation’producing survival responses. The opportunity to evolve and progress was limited and all my energy, my time and my thoughts were constantly dealing with making it from day to day, struggling to maintain balance and rarely moving forward. Whilst this may be fine for a single man with no children and no responsibilities, I had a wife and 2 children to support so my immediate priority became the security of my family, without this I could never reach my destination. As such, I took the detour and got a job – it was the best decision I ever made.
I say ‘best decision’, not because I love my job (it’s pretty okay as jobs go – I sell computer software and make good money) but because it has allowed me to pursue all the things that were not reachable before that. My money worries immediately evaporated, I had more money than I ever had before. My tax worries disappeared. My lust for life accelerated and my passions began to strongly bubble up to the surface and suddenly and immediately became realisable. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the things I am doing now are a direct result of where I have come from already and how I could allocate my time. So the six years of self-employment were more than necessary to enable the past three years of improvement not to mention the total future of progression of what is yet to come. Since I made this move though, I transformed my habits, not overnight but bit by bit….this time always moving forward on what has become a very enlightening and enjoyable journey.
I have highlighted below the changes and incremental improvements that I made year by year for the past three years. I did this with a family and two (then three) young children, from a place in my life where at one point it was nothing but a dream for me to live this way. It was my dream. I always knew it would happen because I was going to make it happen. It is challenging and it takes planning and preparation with a strong commitment to improve something about yourself always, even when it becomes tough. It is possible and it can be done.
Year 1 – was about getting comfortable with the idea that I could now start to follow this dream of a healthy body and mind. Looking back, there was a lot of mental baggage to be shed and I began to build more self-belief in myself and my dreams. I really made the effort to drink 2 litres of water a day; I quit smoking, I got back to the gym a few days a week because there was a gym in work, I started running again; I restarted my daily affirmations, began practising yoga again regularly and I finally began to see the path opening up in front of me.
Year 2 – this is where things really took off. I invested in filtering my water to remove toxins and impurities; I did some natural flushes and cleanses for my body; I started drinking 2 pints of fresh organic fruit and veg juices 5 days a week; I introduced organic nuts into my diet and I quit smoking cigarettes (again!). All this progress added to Year 1 and I was now feeling like I finally am getting places.
Year 3 – this was a year of fine tuning and optimisation from a health perspective coupled with a growth in my own desire to follow my passions a bit more. I continued everything I mentioned above, at this stage I am a healthy machine. I feel great, I look great and my outlook on life is super-positive. One of my affirmations up to then had been ‘I am happier, healthier and wiser than ever’ – this most certainly was the reality. I had indeed transformed myself and my habits in the preceding two years. This year was also the year where I began to seriously look at where I was going with my career and how I could follow my passions. At the end of the day, my job is fine, but it is not what I want long-term. It serves a purpose for now, but long-term, when you have worked for yourself, you can never be truly fulfilled and contented working for somebody else.
My passion in life for a long time has been to understand what it is to be happy and healthy and to take that understanding and apply it to life. How to do it for myself and how I can share what I know with others. I had began to follow this passion a few years earlier. During the unhealthy years when I learned a lot about health I wrote an ebook called Health Now. The book was essentially a motivational guide to health that gave the reader different avenues of research so that they could empower themselves to understand their health in simple terms and thereby have a chance of improving it, boost their immunity and prevent or improve disease. The catalyst for putting it all on paper was that my Dad had cancer and I wanted to give him a few tools to help himself. He wasn’t that interested in this approach to health at the time, being a bit old-school that way, but for me I had at least shared the knowledge (in the end he had chemo and a few bits removed, he survived, recovered exceptionally and has since improved his lifestyle significantly). Happy endings all round thankfully. Anyway, this book was sitting on the laptop in an unfinished, unpolished state for a few years and I had always wanted to get it professionally finished and put it out there for others to read. Year 3 was the year I did it. Motivated by the fact that a new baby girl was on the way, I knew it was time to tick this off the list while I had the time. I did it last year and it is now available for anyone interested to download for free download for free here. There is plenty of new information I have come across since then which is not included but I must say that there is some real gold in there for anyone looking to have a quick-start, simple guide to better health and happiness.
Year 4 – has just begun (as of April) and the next leg of the journey surprised me. The vegetarian/vegan question pushed to the front of my mind and the understanding that I should be limiting and removing animal-based foods from my diet. The reason for this initially was as a way to maximise my nutrition in a more healthy way. The truth of the matter is that these foods are more harmful than beneficial, especially considering the circumstances of their production and the rubbish they are being fed and vaccines they’re pumped with. Then, quite quickly, as I let myself learn more about how these animal products made their way onto my plate I really started to feel sympathy and empathy for the plight of these animals. It no longer feels right for me to support the mass killing and enslavement of animals and the thieving of milk from their new-born off-spring. I can’t justify eating these foods any longer so I am compelled to cut a lot of them out completely. Bit by bit, I will replace these animal-based foods by creating new meals to eat based on nutritional content and keeping it simple. It’s certainly not a change to be making overnight and not one to be taken lightly when accounting for how to maintain the correct amounts of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Just one example of this new direction is my post workout meal – what was once processed packets of meat in year 3 or worse yet, the whey protein shake of year 2, is now a nutritionally-loaded quinoa and lentil salad – recipe here.
On the other side of the coin then, I am even more motivated to remove all things poisonous and toxic from my life (bye bye sugars, trans-fats, artificial flavourings and stress) and really get to living clean. I can’t even eat these foods anymore without getting stomach cramps! Add to that the goal of sharing my passion with those who need it and this year will shape up to being quite the momentum-builder.
That is my story so far to demonstrate the remarkable impact that daily improvements have had on my success. All those small regular improvements add up and one day you find yourself living out your dreams and loving it.
My journey to better health has finally placed me face to face with the elephant in my room – eating the flesh of dead animals and drinking the milk that has been taken away from new born calves.
I never really paid too much attention to it before. In the past, I had seen the videos and watched the conditions within which our our meat is raised and killed. Whilst I have no doubt that the barbaric clips and pictures that circulate the internet, shared by passionate vegans and animal rights activists may not be the norm (or maybe they are) it still didn’t push me to stop eating meat. Only recently did I come face to face with it again and this time it did get my attention.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was the dairy industry and how the cows are constantly impregnated to keep the milk flowing and that their newborns are constantly taken from them and denied the milk and the love of their mothers time and time again. I think the reason it hit hard this time was because my daughter (our 3rd child) was born 9 months ago and I watched as my wife breast-fed her and bonded in the early days. The comfort it provided and love that emerged is a powerful thing. Flash over then to the millions and millions of confused and afraid new-born calves, born every day into slavery. They are treated like nothing but emotionless machines by the world but behind it all we cannot deny that they crave that love and bond that should be their birthright to share with their mother. Yet we look on unmoved by the injustice. We put the milk in our tea, in our cereal, we enjoy cheese and butter and we even feed our own young with the milk that was denied to these vulnerable new born animals. The days of hunting wild animals for survival have gone. The need to eat meat and drink milk to survive are gone. This is not survival in the wild, this is mass slaughter and mistreatment of those who cannot protect themselves. We have enslaved, tortured and disrespected the natural order by what we have done and for me the time has come to accept my part in it. Every time we consume animal products we condone this this treatment that takes place behind closed doors. We are brainwashed to think it is our right to do it, we shut our eyes and open our mouths, always pretending that the food we eat isn’t what it really is.
The ridiculous fact of the matter is that this suffering is unnecessary and unjustified, animal products are not healthy; plant based foods are what the human body is designed to be eating and they can provide us a full profile of nutrients, vitamins and minerals (with the exception possibly of adequate plant based sources of vitamin B12 from what I have read to date). Today this is widely understood and accepted and we now have the platform to cultivate this approach for future generations. It will be healthier for us, for the animals, and the planet.
For me, the fact that plant based foods could provide me with my full daily nutrition is what originally lead me to increase the amount of these foods in my diet and it encouraged me to find replacement sources of protein to substitute for the meat and dairy I was consuming (particular for protein after a workout). Now, in the cold light of day I am even more encouraged to eliminate animal products because it will positively impact on the level of suffering that is inflicted upon the animal world. We condone a world of death and deprivation whist looking the other way. We then eat the dead and steal the food of their babies for ourselves, I for one have decided to no longer participate in the madness.
It may not be easy to eliminate it completely but it is a process. As long as I am trying, my conscience is clear. As I said, I have been trying for a while to replace meat with plant-based sources for nutritional and health reasons so right now my animal product food consumption is limited to my dinner and 2 organic free-range eggs in the morning. The eggs may need to stay for vitamin B12 but the meat in the dinners will be replaced with lentils and legumes. Milk is limited to my daily cappuccino but this will have to change too.
The time has come for the madness to end. In an age where scientific fact proves unequivocally that a meat-free and dairy-free diet is most healthy we must each do our individual parts to put an end to the suffering that lurks around every corner. Time to wake up.
Protein-packed, nutritionally-loaded salad ideal for post workout refuel. Recipe is below for 5 large portions.
Prep time – 30 minutes
500 grams of organic quinoa
1 x Punnet of organic cherry tomatoes
2 x large organic red onions
3 x cloves of organic garlic
7 x teaspoons of cayenne pepper
7 x teaspoons of turmeric
7 x tablespoons of olive oil
400 grams of organic chopped tomatoes
Plenty of sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
How to make it-
Rinse the quinoa in cold water.
Put into a large saucepan and add 1 litre of boiled water.
Bring back to the boil and simmer until the water has soaked in – about 15 minutes.
Chop up tomatoes, thinly dice the onions and the garlic.
Put the quinoa in a colinder and rinse again with boiled water. Put in a large bowl and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
Once the quinoa is cooled a bit add the olive oil, turmeric and cayenne pepper. You could add in other herbs and spices as you wish, I just stuck with these to begin with but the reason they are included is as much for nutrition and health benefits as they are for taste. Be careful with the cayenne, I like it hot, you may not like it that hot. Mix it up!
Add the chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper. Mix again.
Add the fresh cherry tomatoes, onion and garlic. Mix it up and you are ready to serve.
A protein-packed, nutritionally-loaded and tasty vegan salad that will fill you up and deliver fantastic health benefits.