Your Health And Hospitality

On the 27th of November 2016, I suffered a cardiac arrest at the finish line of the Penrith Half Ironman. ( NSW Australia ) . I was lucky enough that I collapsed in front of the paramedics. If not, I would not be writing this. I would, as Monty Python would say “I’d be pining for the fjords.”

Firstly, what happened? Well on the outside I looked fit. Run 10kms in 40 mins, do an hour workout in the gym, hit the boxing bag and swim forty laps every second day. And because of this, I would reward myself with a beer or several; sugary sweets. Myself, like, I know a lot of people; once I have one chocolate I will have the lot. One chocolate bullet I’ll have the packet. One sausage I will have more, one ice- cream I’ll have two. Addictive personality I believe. I would then tell myself and others I will work it off. That’s BS and just an excuse to give the perception you are fit and healthy.

Yes, you will work some of it off BUT not all. And that gets stored in your liver and arteries, hence the problems will surface at some time and they won’t be nice problems.

So what happened to me? Basically, I had an older car (not old) but an older car and I thrashed it to a point that the water hose leading to the radiator got a large hole in it so the car stopped. It was overheated. Newer cars you can run hard, Older cars one should take for a nice drive and look at the scenery. Me I blew the gasket or several trying to do the last 3 kms of 21kms under 14 mins. At 21 30 or 40 years of age maybe BUT at 58 something had to give and it did.

Did I get regular heart check-ups previously? No. Should you get regular full heart check ups? , Male or female? Yes .

If I did and stop thinking I was bullet proof maybe I wouldn’t have had the paramedics paddles on me, causing them and others angst to say the least. The “others? ” Daughter and niece were there to see this all and I would not wish this on anyone.

Your health directly affects you and others around you.

Secondly: The efforts of Triathlon Australia was brilliant and could not do enough. My hat off to you. Nothing was too much of a problem. Nothing .

Thirdly: The Paramedics, well they saved my life what more can I say. An amazing group of people indeed.

Fourth: Australia’s public health system is in a good state.Over-burdened ? Yes,  but I’ll touch on that later as to why. But the doctors and nurses were simply excellent in every facet. They are worth more than their weight in gold. Caring, funny empathetic, professional and patient.
If you do not have your health you have absolutely nothing.

Fifth: Even though I was unaware for some time of what had happened and of my surroundings, the family, friends, clients, candidates were. So look after your health as it not only affects you but it does have an emotional adverse affect on the people around you. The people you know and care for you.

  1. They are the ones looking down at you with pipes protruding from your body.
  2. They are the ones that see the use of the “ paddles”
  3. They are the ones talking to the doctors.
  4. They are the ones ringing around.
  5. They are the ones that suffer emotionally, as you are not aware.
  6. And you may be the most annoying negative arse hole around BUT there is always someone that cares for you.

So do them a favour and get healthy.
Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.
Anne Wilson Schaefe.

The Revolving Door/Hospital stay and after care.

Most notable was the cuisine and beverages served whilst in the hospital bed and downstairs in the public eatery section. The first thing I thought was of the fat ladened sugary “foods” and I use that term lightly that put most people in the hospital in the first place. This was readily available and being served. Coffee, Coke and Cakes all there and readily available.

To me? A revolving door and hence our health system is bulging at the seams. The same as most western countries and we continue to consume so-called “ food “ that keeps this bulge getting bigger.

The 3 other patients in my room or ward were nice enough fellas to chat to BUT all were very overweight, all had purple ankles, rashes but still eating sweets family would bring into them and all the time asking, when will they get out?

Well if you keep giving them sugary sweets you may be at their funeral soon enough.

What was most notable was an elderly, very overweight couple with a walking frame coming out of Starbucks. The café was in the foyer of the hospital, They walked out, both with creamed top Frappes.

What put them in the hospital in the first place is there in the hospital waiting for them as they come out only to send them back in again. A win-win situation?

To find healthy food or a freshly squeezed juice was, in most part non-existence. But a hell of a lot of sugary drink and processed food, much like the middle aisles of any supermarket.

A healthy lifestyle not only changes your body it changes your mind your attitude and your mood .

Processed food is not there for your health benefit, it is there for the massive profits processed food companies make worldwide. Your health and well-being has nothing to do with it. Addiction has.

Since my stint in hospital I’ve noticed everyone has an opinion, some mean well and some just espouse what the food and pharmaceutical companies doctors or Govt Health sites say. Nearly word for word.

The best one, “the cop out”, Everything in Moderation.

This is an absolute cop out, as processed food , caffeine and sugar laden drinks, fat ladened food / chips hamburgers + salt laden foods, nicotine and additives are all overwhelmingly addictive substances that have you wanting to come back for more and more. You are hooked , so moderation is impossible.

Give up sugar, caffeine, salt, nicotine, fat laden foods and alcohol today and see how long would you last before the body overwhelmingly craves these processed foods or sugary drinks.
Not long and the withdrawal symptoms immense. Even taking out caffeine that’s hard enough.

Legal Drug addiction?

As a nation are we getting healthier? 2 out of 3 Australians (USA and UK would be the same) are overweight of obese i.e. in 2014-2015, a staggering 63.4 percent of Australian adults were overweight or obese — well over half of our nation’s population. That’s almost two in three adults. This is an increase from 1995, which was 56.3 percent, illustrating that the problem is getting worse.
AND diabetes now entering into the much younger years and is endemic. The cost to our health system is mammoth

Is this moderation?

Imagine the world if there was no processed food or drink, lots of greens and food straight from the earth?
I certainly am not perfect but I have cut out meats, cut right down on sugar to nearly zero; most processed food gone. Weight down by 4 kgs, energy levels up, glasses for reading gone. Juiced vegetable several times a day and I’m back jogging a little. AND taking a liking to Falafel; Yes Falafel

You cannot eat in moderation if the processed food and drink is addictive, and it is.

A significant number of research studies have documented that heart disease is easily and almost completely preventable through a diet rich in plant produce and lower in processed foods and animal products.

A significant number of research studies have documented that heart disease is easily and almost completely preventable through a diet rich in plant produce and lower in processed foods and animal products.
Joel Fuhrman

Old wives tale. They are overweight as they are big boned. Bollocks . I’ve have never seen an excavated grave where they have dug up a big boned human. Never. No one is big boned; you just eat way too much.


My mother and father were overweight hence that’s why I’m overweight. Bollocks.

My mother and father were overweight hence that’s why I’m overweight. Bollocks.
Again you are eating too much processed food. I’ll stick you in a health camp for a month. You WILL lose weight.
The hospitals are full of overweight people and the solution is there right in front of us all . But profit speaks volumes and the hospital wards and doctors surgeries become more crowded .

Do your due diligence and look at the medication you are taking : Do not take your doctors word as gospel. Some write a script before you open your mouth. Some doctors over prescribe. Some misdiagnose and some are in the arms of the pharmaceutical companies , who are very powerful.
I was prescribed statins to lower my cholesterol and blood pressure even though they were fine. Reason is, I feel was the doctor covered their butt to say they did every thing possible if things went wrong.

As the statins caused me great harm. I got off the medication in 3 days but the aftermath lasted months.
My due diligence on statins was incredibly negative and comments from other running doctor friends “Get off them, period “

We all go to a doctor for check ups, which is positive BUT if something doesn’t sit right let your intuition click in and do your due diligence, and don’t listen to the nay Sayers and their will be many.
Listen to you. You know best.

Hospitality and your Heath:

The year 2016 I saw 4 heart attacks of Hotel Resort Managers that led to the death and 3 and 3 bypasses. Those 7 Managers I knew or know well. It isn’t nice to email someone only for the wife to call you to say they have passed.

Health is like money; we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.
Josh Billings

In hospitality, more than any other employment, we are surround by “ treats “ constantly. Resorts, Hotels, Cafes, Restaurants. We are surrounded by the best coffees, teas, cakes, and more, all presented well. All very enticing .

This is also complemented by an array of Chefs experimenting with new cuisine that needs tasting.

Plus the myriad of functions and entertaining that one must attend where the cuisine offered is also very enticing. NOT to mention alcohol. This comes at you from all directions.

Addiction becomes a problem in this industry when surrounded by this cuisine and drinks all the time.

Many have seen this addiction in the industry in the shape of alcohol consumption drug abuse or obesity. It’s hard to say no when surrounded by addiction, very hard.
It’s hard to work well into the afternoon when laddened with sugar and caffeine and its hard when back at home not to fly off the handle after a hard days at work. Your family don’t deserve that.

I saw this addiction first hand at the resorts I worked at over the years, especially at the staff bar and canteen. The addiction was rife. For some of the names I knew over those years quite a few are now written on Granite or Sandstone most of the demise was due to cancer and heart attack .

The addiction in our industry takes many shapes.

One I would say is sugar and the other caffeine, as all workers in hospitality are completely surrounded by it. It is hard to ignore. So be aware.
If you have put on the weight and have many sugary snacks and more than enough coffees to give you a boost seek help, seek advice.

Withdrawal is hard but worth it.

You do not want to end up in hospital and your life style taken away.
Or given away due to unhealthy eating
Your life spent on medication that may prolong your life but does not give you quality of life. Healthy Food from the earth will.

In hospitality we are under stress constantly, know this, BUT do not self medicate to alleviate the stress through copious amounts of coffee, glasses of wine, sugary snacks.
They may give you a lift for the short term but then the crash comes. So we go for more of the same to get the fix and the cycle goes on but bigger and you get bigger and slower.
Know what is happening and change and ask for help. If you do not have a naturopath get one.
You know best, you know yourself better than anyone.

And if you don like what is staring back in the mirror then that is a start and change.

But please: Do not let a cardiac arrest wake you up because in a majority of cases it doesn’t give you that chance to do so.