The River Tyne – A Big River




Great North Run: Million – The iconic Tyne Bridge – like the Sydney harbour bridge only smaller!


The Great North Run (GNR) has been, come, & gone for yet another year.  Starting with humble beginnings, this year the GNR clocked up a remarkable historic milestone – the first ever running event to reach it’s millionth finisher!


And with the iconic Tyne Bridge defining the starting point of this half-marathon, i thought, what better time to announce expanding my Nutritional Therapy practice to both sides of the river!


…but before i do, i thought i’d share my personal story as one of those million finishers!


Great North Run T-shirt Designs

Great North Run T-shirt Designs over the Years – can you spot your year?


The year was 1994 and i still have my T-shirt ( pictured above) … I was 17yrs old, and the Great North Run was the first organised race i’d entered outside of school.  I knew very little about the race other than people got very excited about it.  I’m pretty sure i didn’t even know what a half-marathon was, but i used to run to school everyday so how hard could it be!

I couldn’t believe the sheer amount of people, it seemed to take 10minutes before i’d even crossed the start line!  It wasn’t easy to settle into my own pace with all the frenzy and i remember spending the first few miles avoiding tripping over other runners until the course spread out a little.  


Fast forward to the finish line and i noticed the official clock….1hr44 -from memory – i had no reference point wether this time was good or bad (still don’t!), so it was a meaningless number really, but i took a mental note of it anyway.


As i looked around at all the smiling, exhausted faces, my sense of pride turned to bemusement as i realised that i was at the seaside…hmmm…did i mention i knew nothing about the run!  At no point over the last 13miles had i wondered where i was going to end up!  All the runs i’d done before had started and finished at the same place, and here i was some 13 miles from home, with know one to pick me up, and  no money for public transport!  It was also an era before the ubiquitous mobile phone – hard to imagine i know!!


I would have to come up with a plan quickly…my running vest and shorts were damp with sweat, and i was starting to shiver as my muscles cooled, the North East coastal winds were whipping in…there was only one thing to do…


Run home!!!


The first mile home was pleasing enough as my temperature picked back up, but the pleasantness didn’t last too long as my muscles hadn’t taken too kindly to stopping and then staring again.  Now running the opposite way, I recall the odd looks by the clean-up team – the good folks you don’t normally see who’s job it is to pick up the countless plastic drinks cups and bottles thrown on the ground, before the roads could be opened again. “Let’s get home before this road opens back up i thought!”


Home was conveniently, or inconveniently – depending on how you looked at it 13.4miles from the South Shields finish line….which meant all told, my first half-marathon attempt, bizarrely resulted in a complete marathon distance!  


My parents abiding memory of the aftermath of the run is of me essentially camping in bed for a week ,whilst they ferried food up to me – Thanks mum! :*  Personally, my blisters soon healed and all i was left with was a funny story, and  a tiny regret that i didn’t technically qualify for 2 t-shirts! ;)



Back to my original announcement….


Jesmond Natural Health & Fertility

As i mentioned at the start of the blog-post, I’m very excited to announce expanding my practice.  Joining Laura Bicker and her amazing team on Osbourne Road – Jesmond Natural Health & Fertility which will allow me to conveniently  reach people on both sides of the river.


Even in the car, i still get a nervous s twitch whenever i cross the Tyne Bridge but it can’t match the excitement i’m feeling for this brand new venture!!


It’s all about the Adventure!!


Manos :)

Fast Forward – one mans 10 day journey without food

Sunday 25 May 2014

Following my ignoble false-start, I had to pick myself up, dust myself down, and start Day 1 of my 10 day fast with renewed vigour!

The previous 2 days of no dairy, no meat, no processed food, was plain sailing on a sea of steamed vegetables and kale soups.

I start the day as I will do everyday for the next 10days with 500ml of water, 4 tablets of Essential Amino Acids, and 20 tabs of Cracked Cell Chlorella.

‘Essential’ means they can’t be manufactured by the body, – and there’s no calories in them so nothing to digest – so it seems sensible to include a supplement.

2 hours later I’ll have more aminos in the form of spirulina and wheat grass powder which I’ll mix into 500ml of water.

That green drink is accompanied by 15 drops of what tastes like battery acid but which I’m informed is a very concentrated mix of sea and plant minerals – largely magnesium.

Actually I’m informed that it’s ‘Supercharged activated fulvic acid; ocean and plant derived magnesium with over 72 ionic trace minerals’ but I prefer my description!

I do this water/aminos/minerals ritual 3x per day in all, and each night I have a tablespoon of powdered fibre blend – I don’t want the bacteria in my gut going hungry – they haven’t signed up for this!

And finally the cherry on top night-cap -literally- is 2 tablespoons of super concentrated sour/tart cherries in 200ml of water.

There is about 70calories in this powerful hit of antioxidants but I feel important to include for a couple of reasons…

One, the surprising levels of melatonin will give me a good nights sleep each night which may or may not be a factor when trying to sleep on an empty stomach. Two, and perhaps more importantly it will assist with uric acid metabolism – serum uric acid will has been shown to be elevated during prolonged therapeutic fasting.

We’re getting into technical waters but uric acid has a main role of protecting high-oxygen tissues such as the brain from damage (fairly important then!).

Hopefully the nitty-gritty above is useful information for anyone attempting their own fast (although it doesn’t need to be technical, plenty of people do water only fasts), but for me the important thing is remaining mindful over the 10 days.

Mindful of why I’m on this journey of self discovery and mindful of any shifts that may come my way whilst I’m on it.

Not so Fast! – The mini-blog of a man going without food for 10 days

DAY ONE (Thurs 22 May 2014)



Day one rolled around for the start of my 10 day fast – super excited to start, i dove straight in and didn’t have breakfast!  That’s the funny thing about a fast – all dressed up and know-where to go…or at least all fired up and nothing to do!


You’ll be pleased to note, my excitement didn’t last too long. 


It seemed all was not well at Parcel Delivery-towers and key supplements didn’t arrive on time.  When they eventually came i realised i should’ve taken some in the morning, then again at mid-day…so it’s about 5pm i haven’t eaten since yesterday, I’m staring down the barrel of 10 days without food but in my heart i know that #i’mdoingitwrong!


At this point, I also notice i should’ve done a two day lead-in – 48hrs of no dairy, no meat and no processed foods…doh, doh and doh!!


So ignoring the fact i was so under-prepared for such an exciting undertaking i considered my options… 1) ignore the fact I’d missed part of the protocol and carry on not eating,or 2) feel like a failure and quit …please don’t make me quit on day one!!


Actually there was a third option, let go of my ego (at least for a while) and do the damn protocol as it was meant to be done and forgot about the very notion of success and failure!  They’re imaginary concepts anyway!


That’s what i would’ve advised any of my clients to do, but it’s hard to see wood for the trees when your self-directed…note to self, get a life coach.  I also can’t judge the protocol if I’ve tinkered with it or modified it around me – so let’s do this properly!


OK so drama averted! Today gets scratched.  Tomorrow no dairy, no meat and no processed foods and Saturday likewise.  Then, come Sunday its on like Donkey KonG!!!!


Choose Life


This year is THE year you take control of your health/fitness. So you’ve got some BIG choices to make!


If I could give you one tip before you race off on whatever eating/exercise plan you feel is right for you – it would be to make your next diet a learning opportunity.


Most people start the Year ready to do battle…


In the Red corner…will-power/good intentions and discipline…in the blue corner, the reigning, undefeated heavyweight champion of the World…weighing in at 200lbs …cake/ice-cream and the couch.


You may be able to go 10 or 20 rounds but if you haven’t learnt anything about yourself along the way it’s back to square one with a bloody nose and two black eyes!


You need a system


Here’s a system that works for me…

1) Pull Carbs out of my diet for 6 days

2) Sensitise the gut  -no grains, no dairy, no beans, lentils or legumes for a further 3 weeks

3) Reintroduce carbs – start with 50g/day see how i look, perform, and feel, and adjust accordingly


At the end of this month I can tell you which foods make me bloated or give me a runny nose – and thus overwhelm my digestive capability – and how much carbohydrate I need to fuel my day before i’m back riding the Sugar roller-coaster of death!


Don’t worry, it’s a lot more straightforward than it sounds – and I’ll be running with it here (in real time) on the second or third week in January- depends when I get back from Oman.


If you’re itching to start right away – and why wouldn’t you be – these guys have healed more people than I’ve had hot dinners!


Choose Life –  Choose Lessons – Choose Love


Yours in Health & Healing,

Magic & Mirth,










Chew Your Food II – The Eagerly Anticipated Sequel

Chewbacca dandruff

Chewie had terrible dandruff before we cleaned up his diet.


If you haven’t read, ‘Chew Your Food’ (find it below) , then please read that first.

If you have read it, and haven’t slept since Christmas waiting for the sequel, then fear not, here it is!!!

Here’s the inside scoop… my correspondence with Chewie’s distressed owner – she’s graciously let me share it here so we can heal doggies all over the World one tummy at a time!

Hi C

Hope you’re well! :)


Dogs are essentially wolves – They prize organ meats, and they actually get a lot of their energy from undigested grass and plants in the tummy of their prey.  They are great survivors and not afraid of a bit of scavenging -berries, herbs, grasses, plants and the odd worm!

Whilst farmers have historically shot wolves to protect their sheep I’ve yet to find one who was worried about wolves decimating their wheat fields.

And yet wheat, along with oats and corn (cereals), are the main ingredients in commercial dog foods. It’s not hard to see why – cheap to produce, easy to store and transport &  bulky, they look good value for money!

To that end, lets remove the grains, and replace with organ meats and plant material (vegetables)  – which we’ll need to cook as Chewie’s never been exposed to raw food – and see how he’s doing in a months time.

Remember to consult with your vet, but here’s what I feed my two beauties!


2lbs LIVER
2lbs HEART
1lbs CATERING MINCE (the fattier the better!)

Find your largest pan. Fry the mince before adding the other ingredients. Add 1-2 cloves of garlic (helps with digestion, fleas & ticks – too much is toxic), and a tablespoon of dried parsley (anti-inflammatory) or mint (doggy breath!).

Mix everything together as it’s cooking. Cover and cook for a further 45mins. Stir periodically to stop sticking.


4 CARROTS – top & tail
1 SWEDE – peeled
2 APPLES – Cored

Keep things simple – peel if you need to, chop everything the same size, place in large pan and cover with water. Boil and simmer until soft.  Drain water and blend with hand blender (wand type) or similar food processor.

This little lot will pack your pup with fibre (soluble – the good kind!) and keep a spring in his step.

Look for a glossy coat and an extra bounce (I’m serious!) in a few weeks!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Yours in healing

Manos Venus


Chewie’s owner followed the guidelines above to the letter and guess what?




Chewie made a complete recovery…YAY!!!


2013-12-08 13.31.39

Chewie with an extra spring in his step shows his pall a clean set of paws as he races away!


This recovery didn’t surprise me if I’m’ honest.


However the speed of recovery was remarkable – within a week Chewie’s welts had all but dissipated and, he’d stopped scratching his ears.


Luckily Chewie had youth on his side, and so was able to demonstrate an astonishing ability to self-heal – A few more years on commercial dog food and it would’ve been a different story!


If you have, or know, a dog with similar ailments, at least consider the dogs diet before pumping the poor thing with drugs – consult a  holistic veterinarian for professional advice.


Yours in Hound Health



Chew Your Food

Meet Chewie…AKA Mr Choo, Choo-baroo, or to give him his full title …*Chewbacca.

Sad Chewie Chooster

Chewie – 3yr old Border Terrier

Chewbacca is an adorable 3yr old Border Terrier with a wonderfully calm, yet playful temperament.

His owner explained how that playful spirit had all but disappeared lately.

Welts and bald patches plagued his back, and his ears were red-raw from constant scratching.  Despite a cocktail – of expensive – drugs and numerous  trips to the vets, he was clearly still in a great deal of distress.  Frustrated, worried, and tired from middle of the night bathing and ointment sessions, the owner didn’t know who else to turn to.

Now I’m no vet, but – thanks to ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates - i knew one thing…

All disease begins in the gut.

- Hippocrates

I also new that, as a small dog, it wouldn’t take much to overwhelm the tiny surface area of Chewie’s gut.

The most rudimentary Google search reveals the main cause of psoriasis in dogs is T-cells that divide too rapidly -essentially they build up before they can be shed, causing the itchy rash. There are genetic factors to consider, but mostly it’s caused by an allergy that compromises the dog’s immune system – sounds like leaky gut to me!

With allergies, human or animal, you essentially have two choices.

  • Option 1: Expensive allergy tests …the vet/doctor will then advise you to avoid allergens.


  • Option 2: Remove allergens and see how you get on

Most vets know that dogs with psoriasis are allergic to ingredients in commercial dog food but recommending a change in diet doesn’t generate them any income.  So they treat the symptoms – with creams and tablets – and never address the underlying cause...hmmm now where have i heard this story before?

Chewie and Manos at ruin

Chewie I can see your future from up here…yeah it looks cool mate!

I had a clear plan of how to fix Chewie and knew his future was bright!

Watch this space to see which option we went down, what changes we made…and if Chewie’s ears ever stopped itching!








*Bonus fact for the Star Wars Geeks out there-  George Lucas’s created Chewbacca after seeing his dog sit up in the passenger seat of his car – his name derives from the russian word for dog, ‘собака’ pronounced something like suh-BAH-ku. 



Secret Superhero

For a lot of people – me included- exercise involves donning an elaborate and well thought out costume. Lycra leggings, compression-tops, running shorts, weightlifting shoes, running shoes, cross-training shoes, even my socks are hand-picked athletic apparel.

Personally, I like dressing up in my Superhero workout costumes – I don’t take them too seriously and they make me feel good.

However, I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t need special clothes – or a special building (a gym) for that matter – in order to move.

20131218-100012.jpgYou’re a human animal and movement is in your DNA. When a bus stop is a place to do pull-ups, or a tree, the perfect handstand partner, you will never worry about missing a gym session again.

Squat whilst brushing your teeth – make every moment an opportunity to train and express who you are.

Yours in movement

Magic Manos :)

Detox from Detox

20131208-213851.jpgYou know the holiday drill by now…eat, eat, drink, eat, be merry, eat, drink, eat, eat, be merry some more, eat, get sick of eating, drink, get sick of drinking, eat some more, feel terrible… January D E T O X

Come the New Year you’ve eaten so much crap that paying someone £75 to wrap you in cling-film, and tell you to eat nothing but lemon & maple syrup for a month seems like good advice.

Detoxes have been described as pseudoscience and, whilst I agree that there’s a lot of quackery out there, a detox is simply screening what we eat and having faith that our bodies have an innate ability to heal themselves given half a chance.

If done correctly, a decent detox reminds us that it’s normal to have lots of energy, and that it’s not natural to feel bloated, sluggish, or suffer brain-fog on a day-to-day basis.

Why don’t you join me here in January to see how I fine-tune my system ready for the New Year ahead.

Yours in Mystical Magic and plain science,


I Should Cocoa!

20131206-000400.jpgIt’s cold out, and it’s the Season to be jolly, but I definitely think we can do better than mass-produced sugary chocolate drinks.

20131206-000235.jpgIt’s time to get busy in the kitchen, but don’t worry kitchenphobes… if you can make a cup of tea then you’re qualified to take on this simple recipe…

1 can organic coconut milk (400 ml)
1 date, pitted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (2 ml)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (30 mll)

Add a dollop of unsweetened whipping cream for fun!

Instructions (credit)
Bring the coconut milk and chopped date to a boil in a small pot over medium-high heat.
Gently boil the coconut milk for a few minutes then turn off the heat. Let the date soak in the milk for ten minutes to soften.
Pour the coconut milk and date into a blender and blend at medium or high speed for twenty-five seconds or more until the date pieces completely dissolve in the milk.
Add vanilla and cocoa powder.
Blend again until combined and frothy.
Heat gently on the stove
Pour into your favourite festive mug and delight in the warm chocolate glow!


Here’s some trivia to go with your hot drink of dreams…

One British study estimated that since 1940 the copper content of dairy products has declined by 90%, veg by 76% and meats by 55%!

30g of dark chocolate (85%cocoa) will provide 1 milligram of copper.

You could meet your copper quota with 115g of chicken/duck/goose liver per week together with a daily 30g dark chocolate helping.

#chocolateeverydamnday!!! 😁😁😁


So we go to the gym and somewhere between the thrashing, the sweat, and the grunting lies fitness. If we push harder, go longer, and lift stronger, we WILL get fitter!

We think this is fitness – we call this fitness – but this is not fitness, this is stress.

Don’t get me wrong…without stress, there is no adaptation…and adaptation (to an ever increasing demand) is fitness.

Embrace stress as a beautiful opportunity to grow – but recognise the power. Too much stress will kill you – and you’re far too pretty to die just yet!

Also remember this – stress is stress…unpaid bills, rush-hour traffic, your boss on a bad day, your boss on a good day, your kids poor school report, YOUR poor work report, family disputes, family get-togethers, family disputes following family get-togethers, deadlines, dead-ends, split-ends, you name it, it’s probably raising your blood pressure just reading about it!

If this sounds like your week – or you’re just in a deep hole of sleep deprivation and overwork – how sensible would it be to go to the gym for an extra dose of stress this week?

I’ll give you a clue…


It doesn’t matter that its a very different form of stress – your primeval lizard system only has ‘on & off’ …it’s designed to get you out of the way of sabre-tooth tigers in a hurry, but it really doesn’t care what you’re up against, it just dumps a load of hormones and lets you figure the rest out.

Cortisol, is known as the stress hormone – anabolic (building) for fat tissue and catabolic (destroying) for muscle tissue. Exactly the opposite of what you want if your goal is fat-loss and lean muscle.

Do your hormones a favour and take the foot off the gas…go find a skilled yoga instructor in your area, and/or use your scheduled gym time to meditate instead (Forest Yoga is my practise of choice).


And if your meditation simply means a walk through the woods or along the coast – GREAT! Any activity which is restorative in any way – where you have more energy at the end than you did at the beginning – will help you move forward in leaps and bounds. At the very least it’ll stop you digging yourself even deeper into that hole!

Yours in this scary, confusing, modern world.


Manos Modern Methods
Ancient Restorative System of Movement and Nutrition incorporated for today’s Modern World.