Category

Health

Category

If you forgot to pack sunblock, there is nothing to worry about. It’s readily available here in Qatar. But perhaps a little more pricey than back home.

Available in nearly all pharmacies and large supermarkets, a decent sunblock will cost around QAR 57 (GBP 11, USD 15, EUR 13, 818 Peso).  And please, please, please make sure you put it on. Or your vacation may be a painful one.

 

I was afraid that by now my motivation to keep fit by walking would be diminishing, and the fitness watch bought for me by my son would be just another piece of tech gathering dust. But here is the thing, not only am I still motivated, the watch is actually pushing me harder and harder.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 and I love it. My son has an Apple Watch and he loves it. I am not promoting one brand or the other as these days they all have similar functionality and features. Also it doesn’t matter if like me you just need something to get you moving again, or if you are a fitness freak like my son, these watches really do help at all levels.

Because of the data being fed to me by the watch, I am able to plan my walks better. TheScreenshot_20170614-191216 maps help me refine routes that give me the distances I need and that are interesting and enjoyable to walk.

The live announcements coming from the watch through my Bluetooth headphones while I am walking, help me to decide if I’m going to speed up or slowdown to avoid over doing it before getting back home.

And even on days that I am supposed to be resting, I still try and meet the minimum activity required to keep the watch happy.

In just 2 weeks I can see that my heart rate stays a little lower during workout and recovers a little faster afterwards, and that my speed has increased from 4.5 km/h to 5.3 km/h. This information is what helps me to see benefit from effort. This is what helps me to want to do better. This is why even on days where I don’t feel like going out, I push myself out the door because I don’t want my inactivity being recorded. And once out the door I am always glad that I made the effort.

Also because the watch has all the sensors required built in (including GPS), I no longer take my phone with me. When walking fast the phone bouncing around in my pocket became very annoying. So I popped some good music onto my watch and paired my Bluetooth headphones to the watch instead of my phone and started leaving the phone behind. Which is quite liberating in itself, as this is now the only time when you cannot contact me in any way whatsoever. Before I was always 100% available as I never turn my phone off, and always had it with me.

This is one of the best pieces of tech I have had in a long time. I will continue to blog my relationship with my watch in the coming weeks.

 

Actually it’s an early birthday present as my birthday is not until the end of the month. But he wanted me to have it early to try and prevent me dying before the 29th June.

Now here is the thing; My son is a fully qualified personal trainer. He is a dietitan and a complete health and fitness freak. He trains some of Qatar’s elite in a gym appropriately named Q Gym Elite here in Doha. And that gym has very kindly given me completely free use of their facilities. But I don’t go to the gym, and my son is afraid that his constant nagging about my health will stress me to the point where the stress actually kills me.

So he cunningly bought me this watch to try and get me moving again. He knows I love data and information, and figured the watch would motivate me to at least walk.

It worked. I love the watch. And it is indeed motivating me to walk regularly and vigorously.

At present I am walking 4km a day at a fast pace. I am capable of more, but don’t want to pick up an injury from over doing it. So I am being sensible. I know if I push, something will get strained or torn or worse. And I don’t want to have to rest because of injury and never start again. Which is what happened when I injured my ankle back in 2014: 3 months after injuring my foot it’s still agony and now it’s starting to go numb in places, so off to @HMC_Qatar I go

I’m loving the data/feed back from the watch. I love the maps, the graphs and the motivating messages. And apart from my poor aching legs, I’m loving getting out there.

One of the nice things about the Samsung Health APP, is it encourages you to grab a photo of your workout. So recently while out walking I have used my phone to grab shots of stuff that will help me remember the route I was taking.

Soon enough you will learn from me if this latest fitness effort is just a fad or a long term commitment. Obviously my son wants it to be long term to try and keep me alive as long as he can. And I hope the technology keeps me motivated by showing me improvements as they happen. I will report back again in a month.

On the very day that my juicer arrived I had a health scare, the symptoms I’m experiencing make me believe I could have possibly have had a minor stroke.

I started feeling ill at 5 o’clock in the morning, I was dizzy to the point of not being able to walk. I decided to take the day off work, and hopped the dizziness would subside. Which it did. But not completely. As the day progressed my dizziness reduced enough to allow me to walk and function normally but with a light headed fatigued cloudiness around everything I did.

I so wanted my juicer to arrive. I so wish it had arrived the day before. Perhaps if I had started my detox the day before I would not have fallen ill. In the last couple of weeks stress at work (that’s my excuse anyway) had me smoking like a chimney, and comfort eating to excess, oh and a couple of drinking sessions were in there as well. All this self-abuse was in my mind what had caused me to fall ill. And now I was counting on my juice diet to get me back on track.

My juicer arrived at 6 o’clock that evening. My new toy had arrived but I was feeling too unwell to play with it very much. Nonetheless something was going to get juiced. The apple juice, carrot juice and tomato juice were absolutely amazing. Celery juice and cucumber juice were shall we say interesting. But as I was feeling unwell the fun didn’t last for long before I went to bed with a belly full of random juices.

The next day I woke feeling no better. But I got up and made my first real green juice made First Juicewith apples cucumber celery and some parsley with a small cube of ginger. Today was the start of my 60 day juice diet. It had begun!

Whilst not tasting particularly amazing it was palatable. And having drunk a pint of green stuff I did at least feel full. I kept thinking that hopefully a couple of days drinking all these amazing nutrients and I would start to feel better again. However I still felt very unwell and those around me bullied me into going to hospital for some tests.

I was in hospital from 10 in the morning till six at night. I had all the tests you would expect for the symptoms I was showing, and unfortunately they all came back as normal. This was exceedingly good news! I cannot tell you how relieved and happy I was. Even today I’m still dizzy but the knowledge that I have not had a stroke has made me so much happier. And although I regret wasting the hospitals valuable time for an entire day, I’m so glad I went. And the peace of mind I have now was well worth the day of discomfort. When I got home from hospital I made another green juice, stuck a straw in a young coconut, and drank the two before going to bed.

Today I feel no better. I’m still dizzy, fatigued, tired, and miserable. And all I want to do is nothing. But this morning I made another green juice with celery, cucumber, spinach leaves and apple with a small piece of ginger. And having drunk that, once again at least I feel full. My body is getting more nutrients than it has been in a very long very long time. And I just hope that in the coming days all these nutrients are going to make me start to feel better.

Oh and yes I have cut out the cigarettes and booz. So let’s hope tomorrow morning I wake and start to feel the benefits.

 

 

 

Having given the matter a great deal of thought, and having looked at all the juicers available in Qatar, I have chosen the ‘Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Nutri Juicer Pro, 1500 Watt‘. This is because it’s the one Joe Cross uses in his films and books. I couldn’t find anything else as good. And I have a feeling the juicer is going to be one of the key ingredients for me completing this diet successfully.

I have ordered it from Amazon UK as I was unable to source it here. It cost £259 (QR 1,380) and I am going to ship it using Q Post’s news Connected service as they have a 30% off offer for your first delivery, which this will be.

UPDATE

Well it turns out the 30% discount offered on your first order with Connected is only on the QR 60 Base charge. So the saving is only QR 18. Total shipping cost was QR 450.20 and delivery is being estimated as 2nd to 7th June. Aramex is in my opinion the better shipper, they would have been faster and would not have misled me with a 30% discount worth only QR 18.

Connected Invoice

So total cost of my juicer including shipping is QR 1,830.20

D Day (Diet Day) is getting close now. Once this juicer arrives I am going to be one hungry, ill tempered, irritable and sad man for quite some time. No Iftar Buffets for me, no more drinking beer and if I can tolerate it, no more smoking as well.

Sage Juicer Ordered

 

Good news for those going on a Juice Diet. I have found Kale in Carrefour Dar Al Salam @ QR 35.50 per KG.

Joes Mean Green

Actually I found all of the ingredients for Joe’s Mean Green Juice Recipe in the same branch of Carrefour. I was in a bit of a rush so I haven’t priced everything yet, but once I am ready to start juicing I will buy everything and post on this blog how much one serving actually costs.

Kale

The Reboot Book CoverSo I bought the book. And I have read the book. There are a couple of interesting sections in it, but to be honest, I can’t justify the £8.99 (QR 47) I spent on it. The film was amazing ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead‘ and I recommend that everyone watches that. But the book was a bit of a let down 🙁

Firstly there are no plans included in the book. Sure you can download 2 free plans from his website http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/ but I was hoping that for £8.99 I was buying everything I needed to get going. Instead it would seem that this book is what it says on the cover, a recipe book. My mistake I should have bought a different book of his. Am I going to… NOPE! He has had my money and he’s not getting anymore. These are short books. Just stick them all Rebooting 101together and charge the £8.99 I paid for this one please. That would represent good value. I understand Joe needs to make money as he is a business. But his books and his websites are too much about making him money, and not so much about doing the good work his original film portrayed. This book lacked photos and illustrations and had the feeling of a budget publication.

Frustratingly I found his free PDF magazine Rebooting 101 far more informative, easy to read and it had some nice pictures as well. Much better than the book.

Here in Qatar it’s not going to be too easy to locate all of the ingredients listed in his recipes. No problem because he has a substitution guide at the beginning of the book. But when I looked up Kale it gives you possible replacements but not replacement quantities.

Substitution Guide Clip

So in his recipe Joe’s Mean Green he lists the difficult to source here in Qatar kale as needing 6-8 leaves.I can replace Kale with green cabbage but that’s not available all the time, or spinach, but I think that is going to have to be frozen as I can’t regularly find fresh spinach leaves here either. And I’m going to have to play around Joes Mean Greenwith the quantities myself as there is no indication as to how much spinach is required to replace 6-8 kale leaves. Anyway I will at some point play with Joe’s Mean Green and let you know what my Qatar version turns out to be once I have decided which juicer to purchase.

In summary ƒ8.99 could have been saved by simply downloading his FREE Rebooting 101 PDF available from his website. The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Recipe Book is a premium priced book with poor content in my opinion.

So here I am in Qatar, Fat, Sick and yup quite possibly nearly dead. So if I’m going to continue to be around from those who seem to want me to be around still, I had better do something about it.

Inspired by the Joe Cross film ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead‘, I have decided to give it a try for myself. First things first, I have just bought his book. I’m going to give this a good read, then decide if I should buy a juicer here in Qatar, or order the one from the book (not available here in Qatar) from the UK at great shipping expense.

I will keep you updated with my progress on this exciting project as I test my will power to the maximum.

The Reboot Book Cover

I have been so, so busy since Sunday, and as such unable to sit down and write my report on my visit to the Podiatry Clinic (foot clinic) in Hamad until now.

Hamad General Hospital Entrance
Hamad General Hospital Entrance

I cannot do anything but praise HMC for the quality of service I received. From arrival to departure I felt welcome and well looked after. The consultation seemed to confirm my thoughts, that I have a muscle injury not an orthopaedic problem. An MRI scan has been booked to confirm this, following which the best course of treatment can be established. The doctor seemed knowledgeable and he gave me complete confidence in his expertise.

A nice big stockpile of painkillers was prescribed, and I am now looking forward to my MRI to get to the bottom of this issue.

Thank you HMC for providing a fast, courteous and productive service. Drawing parallels with the UK’s NHS I would prefer HMC by far. For a start I didn’t have to mortgage my house to pay for hospital parking, for a second I was seen well within my expectations which I doubt would be the case with the NHS.

If you read some of my older posts you will know I am very capable of moaning. But this is a happy content and grateful post, and I hope HMC can continue with their excellent work.

Having damaged my foot some 6 weeks ago, I have finally decided to go and get it checked out. I love walking for exercise in the early mornings (normally an hour a day), but walking to the bathroom is a challenge at the moment. I need my exercise especially after Eid.

This isn’t going to heal itself, time to seek professional advice.