“What is ‘living a real life? Surely my life is pretty real?”

‘Real life’ is my catch-all term for living a simpler, more healthy and contented lifestyle in whatever way possible according to your situation. It’s living the way the human being was evolved to live. That means eating, as much as possible, non-processed whole food, doing exercise that you enjoy, reducing stress, having fewer ‘things’, and gradually developing a lifestyle that is sustainable (in all senses of the word) and meaningful. Real, in this sense, means authentic, rather than what is actually in front of our noses (think credit crunch, Brexit, etc.).

So do I need to do everything you suggest in order to have a happy and healthy life?

Not at all. This is not a ‘must do’ blog: we all have different circumstances and means, but hopefully the posts here will inspire and motivate you to do what you can to get the most out of life as it should be lived. So you will find great recipes (all tried and tested by me), ideas for keeping your body fit, ways to reconnect with nature and yourself, craft projects, and also some posts about the research I’ve read on what works!! I don’t have all the answers, but I look upon this as a journey for me and for you, to make things better in a world that sometimes seems as if it has gone mad.

What is living simply?

Living simply is, at its most basic, de-cluttering your life. This doesn’t just mean clearing up your wardrobe, or that pile of paper on the table, it also includes looking at how you spend your time, money and energy. Sometimes we seem to be running in circles going nowhere – working all hours to buy things that we truly don’t actually need – or things that will have broken or become unfashionable in a couple of months. Nine out of ten times, these things don’t even make us happy in the long term – and ‘stuff’ isn’t just a burden on us, it’s a burden on the environment as well. For a longer look at this issue, click here.

Is this healthy eating lark just another fad diet?

No! Fad diets come and go, and while they might create weight loss in the short-term, they often are unsustainable and lead to ‘yo-yo’ dieting. What I’m talking about here is a way of eating based on decades of research rather than what you will be recommended to eat by your doctor. Yes, really! For several reasons, you are not being given correct advice about carbs and fats. This way of eating closely follows the Low Carb/ High Fat and Keto diets (I use that word to mean way of eating in this context), although I also recommend dairy and limited amounts of whole-grains (as long as you are not intolerant). It’s a healthy, well-researched, enjoyable and sustainable diet and it’s already lowered my blood glucose and weight, and made me feel better both in my stomach and my mental functioning. Oh, and all my recipes are tried and tested! You can read a longer piece here.

Does this mean I have to become a vegetarian or a vegan?

No, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with being either. Plant-based diets are certainly a healthy alternative and help very much to lessen the destruction being done to the earth. However, eating meat and animal products is very much part of the low carb/high fat or Keto lifestyle, so most of the recipes here will contain, at the very least butter and eggs. I do, however, highly recommend buying organic, free-range, preferably local products (if you can afford them).

I suffer from depression. Can this blog help me?

I truly hope so. I have suffered from depression as part of my cyclothymia (mild bipolar), and I know how devastating it can be. Medication and talking therapies can be useful (and life-saving), but there are also other things that you can do to help yourself on the days that you feel able to. Check out this post here.

Why the big emphasis on reconnecting with nature?

I firmly believe that most of us have become totally disconnected from something that has been with the human species for around 99% of our time on earth. Since the big shift away from living close to the natural environment into big cities, our general physical and mental health has declined, and we have started to destroy the planet in the name of greed. Without healthy soil, water, rain forests and biodiversity, the human race will soon find itself on a sticky wicket. Most people wont be able to name a species of tree, or what it does for us. The same with plants – how do we know if a certain leaf might contain a cure for cancer? And often what we don’t know, we screen out. What we screen out, we don’t care about. What we don’t care about often gets trashed. In this case that isn’t any good for anybody. A longer post on this topic can be found here.

But I don’t have the time and/or money to change my life.

You’d be surprised. You really don’t have to be rich or live on a smallholding to make some changes for the better. I am certainly lacking in the financial department and I live in a small town/suburb in a small house with a small garden. Of course organic food is the best choice, but it can also be more expensive, so sometimes you may have to compromise and buy the best that you can afford. Although you can still avoid sugar and processed foods. As for time – if you look at your TV watching or social media browsing habits, you may be able to find an extra hour here and there. I have found that if you are determined enough, you will always manage to find a solution. For a longer post on this, click here.

Why do I see (AL) after some books or products?

To keep this site going, I still need to make a bit of money. To do this I use affiliate links. The way this works is that, if you click on the link from this site and buy the product/book, I earn a tiny bit of commission at absolutely no cost to you.  It is an easy way for you to help support the work and research that I do. And I can absolutely guarantee that I will only recommend things that I have used or read (and liked) myself.

If I sign up to your newsletter, will you sell my information on to any third parties?

No. Apart from being totally unethical, it is also illegal under  GDPR. Any information held by Living a Real Life is kept securely, with your permission, and will de deleted when no longer necessary.