IT ALL STARTS WITH CHICKEN DINNERS

 

When young gymnast, Ben Goodall got in touch to thank us for developing Fori, we were intrigued to know more. In just 19 years Ben has grasped more about nutrition than many manage in a lifetime. Here's, Ben's story about how he got in control of his diet and his journey to represent team GB.

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OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD

With obesity statistics and "overweight Britain" appearing in headline news most days, there is a constant reminder to shape up our diets and move to living a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, on the other hand with social media dominating most of our lives, young millennials are facing increasing pressure to have a perfect body.

Ben was a 15 year old, trying to juggle friends, GCSE revision and devoting 90% of his time to gymnastics. As with most 15 years olds, Ben was poorly informed about nutrition and adopted a typical Western diet, which unfortunately led to bloating and gut issues. Combined with the pressures of stereo-typical images, Ben felt insecure and developed body issues, eventually becoming clinically underweight. Unaware of the impact Ben, went to the British Championships which sadly finished in a disaster.

"I was unable to complete any of my routines and missed out on the finals"

Left very disheartened, he sat down with his National Coach to hear the words -

"You need to eat more chicken dinners"

Of course, this wasn't easy for Ben to hear, but it was the light bulb moment Ben needed. Ben realised he wasn't treating his body the way it deserved and nourishing it with the right nutrients needed to preform gymnastics to this level. Therefore, Ben got back to a healthy body weight and went back to the British championships the following year to prove to himself he could do it and not only did he prove to himself, he also tumbled his way to a silver medal in the 2015 British championships.

ONE STEP FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK

Even though Ben had overcome his nutrition problems, injuries sometimes are inevitable. The stress of training for bigger moves left Ben struggling with his spine and was unable to compete for the whole of 2016 and losing his spot on the British team. Ben was gutted, but true to his spirit he stayed upbeat and wouldn't let his injury define him, he would come back and this time stronger.

Ben did just that, securing his place back in the British 2017 championships coming home with another silver. This meant he could now finally go to the World's in Bulgaria, in which he did earning himself a PB and 8th place!

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REFLECTIONS

Learning 1

"Sorting out my nutrition was one of the most important steps in getting me to where I am today; it boosted my performance and helped me recover from my injury"

Now that Ben understands the importance of nutrition and furthering his knowledge on what diet is optimal for him, Ben has decided to adopt a Paleo inspired diet. However, one problem Ben faces on a daily basis is trying to maintain good nutrition whilst being on the go.

"Portable, clean, tasty and ambient nutrition is hard to find"

As even though Ben is a fan of sardines, they are not the most convenient and very smelly to take on a plane. Therefore, this quest led Ben to our bars which is music to our ears as our one mission when creating Fori was to make the ultimate snack without compromise.

Learning 2

"Life is not a journey that happens to you, you have to get out there! Play an active role in shaping the way you want your life to be. Take the bad with the good and keep going. But most importantly have fun and enjoy it"

The admiration we have for this young Foriger is up there and it has been a pleasure to help him on his quest to eat clean and punch above his weight!

#DEVOUR&CONQUER

 

The Adventurous Path

 

What leads people down the adventurous path? Is it nature, nurture or is it just fate. In January Tania Noakes will set-out to complete the “Norge På Langs” which is roughly translated from Norwegian as “Norway from end to end”. It is a journey of approximately 2500km extending from Lindesnes the most southerly tip of Norway to Nordkapp in the extreme north. In order to complete this winter journey in 80-90 days, Tania will have to ski an average 30-40km each day. If successful Tania will be the first British woman to complete “Norge På Langs”, solo and in a single winter. More information click here.

So what makes someone want to undertake such a feat?  Here is Tania's tale.

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This summer I lost my father to brain cancer. It has been one of the most difficult and soul-searching periods of my life. It has been hard to see the good things, the happiness and the hope behind the depth of sadness that losing a parent brings. My father always loved hearing about my adventures. He encouraged me forward with a belief and love that lit up my life from my first tentative steps into the mountains through to qualifying as a Mountain Guide and beyond.

The Challenge: Norge På Langs

It is wonderful when someone else is inspired by your dream and I am grateful for Fori’s belief and support. They have agreed to sponsor me with their savoury snack bars to help keep me going through the dark, cold winter months ahead. In return, Fori invited me to share with you some of the reasons why I take on challenges like this. It’s a good question… so here goes!

In January I will set out to ski the classic Norge På Langs. This is a journey of over 2500km that will take me from one end of Norway to the other through some of Europe’s’ most wild and remote mountainous areas whilst they are locked in the grip of winter. Alone and without mechanized transportation I aim to complete my traverse in around 80-90days.

As I write these words a mixed swirl of emotions rises within me, bubbling up and expanding in pace with my imagination; curiosity, excitement, hope, love, happiness, nervousness, doubt, disappointment and sadness. A kaleidoscope of feelings that wash over me and cause me to take a deep breath and reflect for a moment.

Nuggets of truth

Life contains many challenges. We can only ever control how we respond to them.

I’ve just got in from a run up high on the Chamonix valley trails. It’s a bright sunny day, vibrant with autumn colours. There’s a crisp chill in the air that breathes a freshness and clarity into you. Days like these wake you up and make you feel truly alive. I find time and space to think whilst out running. I can sift out the sand from my cluttered thoughts and discover shiny nuggets of truth.

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What an adventurous path has taught me

I live in Chamonix, in the France Alps, and I work as a professional IFMGA Mountain Guide and Ski Instructor. I grew up in Essex, which is one of the flattest counties in the UK and far removed from the world I’m immersed in now. A life of taking on challenges has helped me develop the courage and self-belief that I needed to qualify as a Mountain Guide and to create the life I dreamt of whilst growing up.

This is what adventure has to offer us, the opportunity for personal growth.

The outcome of an adventure is never certain; there are always unknowns and often difficulties. The physical journey is matched every step of the way by an even tougher mental journey. In terms of how you respond to the unexpected and how you manage your emotions. I look ahead to this winter and the up swell of emotion forces me to look directly at my fears and recognise them for what they are; reminders that nothing is permanent, and that our lives are changing around us whether we want them to or not.

Each of us will face difficulties at some point in our lives, set-backs, frustrations, and disappointments. How we respond goes a long way to defining our character and our future. Significant events; an unexpected failure in school or in your career, the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a loved one often shake us to the core, and force us to look inside ourselves for answers, for a way forward, for strength and hope.

By choosing the adventurous path I have encountered many set-backs. I have risked failure, been frustrated and disappointed many times and I have learnt to pick myself up again, and again. I have learnt to look again from a different perspective, to save the grain of gold, and move forward into life, not withdraw from it.

My adventures remind me to embrace life to the full, for it is fragile and too short. To value each day I share with family and friends, to focus on the things I can do rather than regret the things I can’t, to be grateful for the rich wonders of the world, and the depth of kindness and compassion that others often show us in times of need.

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My life in the mountains, learning to respond appropriately to a constantly changing environment with real and immediate consequences, has helped me to better understand and stay calm in the face of my most challenging fear; that despite all our efforts there will come a time when we must let go of everything. Even those things that we hold most dear, even the things that define who we are.

I have wanted to ski the length of Norway for many years. This year I started planning to make it happen. So that I could have a bright star of hope on the horizon, something positive that my father and I could share and talk about during our last months together; something that would extend forward into an unknown future.

I know that he would have loved to have shared this journey with me in person. I also know that he would want me to let go of my sadness, to stay open and curious about the world, to keep learning, to keep adventuring and above all to be happy. For me this journey is special, and I will not be alone.

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Tania is a writer, adventurer and IFMGA Mountain guide. She is a mentor and role model for young athletes and mountaineers, particularly young women and aims to inspire and develop them through both her writing and speaking engagements.

Alongside her journey she is raising money for the “The Ulysses Trust”. This is a charity that provides a source of funding for young people in the UK Cadet Forces to enable them to undertake adventurous outdoor experiences and expeditions aimed at personal development. To help the engagement and development of young people in society, individually, and as effective contributors to their communities and as citizens. To help Tania with a donation click here.

 

DISCOVER YOUR HIDDEN GEMS

 

We're always looking for new places to explore. So we thought we'd ask expedition expert, Rebecca Coles for her hidden gems, in the hope that she would lead us to some uncharted territories. Unfortunately, Rebecca wasn't as obliging as we'd hoped!

The first thing I’m going to tell you is that I’m NOT going to tell you about my hidden gems. If I were to tell you, to publish them here, allow search engines to pick them up, they may quickly no longer be hidden gems, and that defeats the point. Sorry to disappoint you.

FIND YOUR OWN GEMS

Instead, I’m going to tell you something much better; how to find your very own hidden gems, that you can keep just for you, your own secret to revisit any time you wish. Here are my tips on how to discover your own hidden gems.

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To begin you’ll need to think creatively, harness your inner inquisitiveness and be prepared to be unsuccessful. For every hidden gem you find they’ll be ten failed missions, but I guarantee that those failures will have been fun nonetheless, and you’ll be recounting stories of how you got the bramble scratches on your legs and went up to your waist in bog.

GET A MAP OUT

If you’re a visual person and love maps, like myself, try getting hold of a map of your local area and looking for intriguing places. It may be a strange place name, a lake that you didn’t know existed or hidden cove that catches your eye. The next step is to go on a mission to find it.

Get a map out

People are drawn to the highest, biggest, longest. Everyone knows the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales but do you know the second and third highest? What I can tell you is they have a tenth the amount of people on them and are magnificent in their own right. But don’t listen to me go and discover them for yourself.

What about long distance paths? How about making up your own long-distance walk? Or linking peaks by train, or bike, or packraft? It’s often by approaching something in a different way, both physically and metaphorically, that we discover hidden gems along the way.

IT'S ABOUT THE JOURNEY

Finally, remember to keep your wits about you when trying to find hidden gems. Sometimes it’s not what’s there that is the hidden gem but a feeling we get, someone we meet or a shaft of light through a glade that creates a special moment. Remember these, keep them close, as they can’t be recreated, instead they become a precarious memory. Keeping all your senses alert will give you best the chance to experience these moments, which could be the smell of the Autumn leaves, the sight of an otter print in the mud of the river bank, the sound of the first cuckoo of the year, the apple fresh taste of wood sorrel leaves, or the feeling of cool, wet sand on the soles of your feet.

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To find hidden gems, you must explore, get outside and experience. A hidden gem could be right on your doorstep, waiting to be discovered.