Whilst boxers at Brendan Ingle’s gym in Wincobank near where I grew up in Sheffield, attempted to show me some moves inside the old school ring which stood at the back of the modest church building where champion boxers would train with world-renowned Brendan Ingle. It was Ingle who shared with me as a budding grassroots sports reporter his knock-out tip for training which has stuck with me. I am sure this and even more life lessons from the trainer will have stuck with the likes of Kid Galahad who has finally been crowned featherweight world champion, the last of Ingle’s proteges.
It didn’t matter to him what disruptive background you came from as long as his boxers would do community service, from local litter picking to sweeping the streets
Boxing is fundamentally about service, discipline and focused striking of the red leather bags which hung from the hall in which he would train world-class champions who would have otherwise been fighting on the streets.
Returning to a minimalistic mindset, the late Ingle’s approach is something currently driving the wellbeing warriors who are shaking up our fitness fad style industry.
Beginning with wellness from the inside which maybe less aesthetically-pleasing and instantaneous. Yet it packs more profound punches than manufactured meal replacement shakes.
Better still you can shop smart, eco-friendly and save money with these nutritious tips
Which will help make deep health accessible for all, not just for the wealthy:
Starting with the gut, where 70 per cent of your immune system is based. Nutritionist Liberty Mills suggests adding fibre through fresh fruit and vegetables to promote healthy bacteria.
Whilst fresh produce can come at a cost, I love shopping at Leeds Market or better still ordering a Vegan food box from The Real Junk Food Project reducing food waste which would otherwise have a detrimental impact on the environment.
Added sugar and salt can impact our gut and overall health too, disrupting our endocrine system which comprises of hormones and adrenal glands where refined sugar can trigger cortisol (stress hormone) responses.
Smart swaps can really help too, so how about replacing a takeaway with a home-made pizza from complex cauliflower bases to simple dough methods? Not only is it fun, healthier and cheaper, but for us it is quicker than faffing with a delivery app. If you’re a stone-baked pizza-lover like I have been after living in Naples, the home of Margherita (which incidentally is a lot healthier over there through it’s use of simple ingredients), you could always âinvest in a second-hand pizza oven which I spotted at my local charity shop or there’s plenty for sale online from eBay to marketplace. Again this saves excess packaging, added salt and sugar, and I find it’s much easier to live consciously and to eat intuitively.
Another neglected aspect of our health is our skin, our body’s largest organ, which acts as a barrier to some of our body’s vital organs. Sea vegetables such as Wakame and Nori which is used to wrap sushi or added to many South Asian dishes are great for the skin as they have so many skin-boosting nutrients and minerals such as Vitamin B.
Eating sushi out in the UK can be costly, so why not make it at home? I joined a a sea-plant-based Clearspring online cookery class at Hyper Japan recently to utilise seaweed to recreate our own dishes, which was enjoyable and encouraged the kids to experiment, eat and create their own.
Another South Asian popular method is face yoga to improve circulation and facial muscles.
An easy way to consume collagen is to sip a drink such as FYX, which is sugar free and contains skin boosting Marine Collagen alongside infused Moringa Tea or berries to naturally boost energy.
As the founder says: Once we reach 20 years of age our body’s natural production of collagen slows down at a rate of 1% every year. This can impact our health if we are unable to give our body additional collagen or the nutrients it needs to synthesize new collagen.
My Chinese ancestors also mentioned to me, to eat Chicken’s Feet! But if you’re Vegan like me
A core support in your boosting your immunity, gut and skin health is hydration by drinking at least 2 litres of water daily. Hot drinks such as tea or warm water is brilliant too. Hot lemon in the morning to detoxify or green tea for a healthy caffeine kick and cleanse. Lemon tea maintains a balanced PH level in your body, which keeps digestion on track -and even blood pressure levels. Or if you prefer a black tea rather than a coffee.
Whatever you’re consuming or creating it’s worth trying mindful eating or even meditation.
For example, monks and some of us Yogis swear by tea meditation, which involves focusing on preparing the tea as a ritual and carefully drinking it.
You can do this whilst eating Chocolate too, if you prefer, as dark chocolate with 70 per cent cacao or higher is packed with the antioxidant properties of plant chemicals aka phytonutrients called flavonoids (apparently more so than green tea or red wine!). It’s said to support heart health and assist with weight loss if consumed slowly and in small quantities, that is.
My ultimate tip for all is to practice intuitive eating where you eat whatever food you enjoy, slowly and mindfully as you learn to listen to your body’s hunger signals, your mood and what nourishes you body inside out. From what we consume through food and drink to our daily habits which evoke our senses.