THE DAD BLOGGER - Mental and physical health for the man behind the Dad.+Add.Feed Info1000FOLLOWERS
I’m Daniel and the Dad Blogger is my blog. I offer my opinion on how to keep Dads healthy and happy and how to look after themselves. I share videos and photos of my experience as a Dad of 3 and a dog.
I watched Anthony Bourdain The Layover Dublin and wanted to visit the Restaurants and Bars he visits. I’m from Dublin so I was surprised to see new places as well as some established favourites. Anthony Bourdain finds that Dublin’s food scene is keeping up with its famed drinking scene. From sweetbreads and lamb to a home-cooked bowl of pork stew, Tony covers all of what Dublin does best in a few short hours.
I tried to get my friend to come along to a BJJ class and his reply was that he didn’t like people in his personal space. I get it. In BJJ there is next to zero personal space. I think of it akin to something like salsa dancing where people get quite close. But with salsa dancing your partner is not trying to hurt you. Well not intentionally anyway. There are some side effects that come with the physical closeness aspect of BJJ. Here is my short list of things that have happened and are an integral part of training BJJ.
You will sweat. If you don’t like to sweat them BJJ is probably not for you. I leave every class with a Gi that is saturated with sweat. Worse than not liking sweat is not liking other people’s sweat. Trying to grab sweaty arms and legs is a struggle. Especially in No-Gi. That’s common but at least once this year I have had someone drip sweat into my eye and, even worse, into my mouth. Now that is gross. I must remember to keep it shut but it’s hard when you are struggling to breathe. A subcategory here is the wearing of a rash vest under the Gi. Please wear one!
You may fart or break wind. You don’t need to suffer from some embarrassing flatulence disorder. It’s only natural that if someone inverts you, stacks you on your back with your legs over your head, there is a possibility that gas will escape. It will also be accompanied by the noise and odour which is quite gross.
Someone might sit on your face. One of my favourite submissions is to move from Side Control to North-South and clamp their head between your legs while putting a kimura on the arm. If it goes well you are sitting on the side of their head. If they wriggle to try to escape, you could end up sitting on their face.
You will spar with someone that has questionable hygiene. It’s a rule of the gym that is the hardest to enforce. Everyone should be clean and their Gi should be washed and fresh for the mat. Some go over and above what is required with disinfectant, laundry detergent and softener after each class. Some just don’t and it’s gross.
Blood. It’s amazing how much of a mess a small amount of blood can make. An open wound can end the sparing session but in most cases, it goes unnoticed until someone else points it out to you. Finger and toenails must be kept short. Blood from a small nick can spread over the skin and be absorbed into a Gi. If you are carrying scabs from mat burn then it might be a good idea to tape them up just as a courtesy.
If there is anything I have missed, please drop me an email and I’ll update the list.
I’ve no idea how it happened exactly. I think my partner was going for a triangle or something that involves kicking your legs up high from your back on the mat. I suspect that at the same time he made his move, I made mine too and we clashed in an unfortunate way. His knee coming up as my face was coming down. But it wasn’t painful. It didn’t stop me continuing the roll either but after showering and heading home my eyebrow was starting to swell.
Following morning the bruising was unmistakable. I couldn’t hide the shiner. A black eye that looked like I was wearing eye makeup. It’s not a bad injury because it didn’t keep me off the mats and away from training but it certainly is noticeable.
The medical term for a black eye is periorbital hematoma. I always thought that it came from an injury to the eye but it is commonly due to an injury to the face rather than to the eye. It is caused by bleeding beneath the skin and around the eye.
Two weeks later and there is still discolouration but I’ve gotten used to the ribbing from the guys at the club, the curiosity of work colleagues and the stares from strangers as I went about my day.
As time marches on the hair on my head is changing. It’s receding, thinning and losing colour every time I look in the mirror. But I don’t let it get me down. I can’t reverse the changes and diet, stress and hydration are all issues that affect the look of your hair. If you want to take a bit more control of your hair then use a rejuvenating shampoo.
If you want to develop more youthful, stronger, smoother hair then RPR Rejuvenate My Hair Shampoo is for you. Enriched with a signature blend of Rosehip, Baobab and Biotin, fragile lifeless or damaged hair will transform into lustrous healthy looking hair with body, bounce and shine.
When hair gets dry your scalp suffers too and you get dry, flaky skin. Not a good look. Especially as the dead skin falls on your shoulders. RPR Rejuvenate My Hair Shampoo hydrates a dry scalp leaving it smooth and clear of flakes.
So to summarise the key benefits:
How does it do this? I hear you ask.
“RPR products are enriched with health-giving Botanical Actives, advanced Proteins, Aminos, Vitamins, and fresh fragrances. Carob Aminos, Sunflower and Spirulina have been infused to nourish, strengthen and give shine. Argan, Abyssinian, Amaranth and Certified Organic Jojoba Oils for shine and elasticity. Aloe Vera, Ginseng and Goji Berry to repair and nourish. Keratin, Rosehip and Baobab to reconstruct and protect hair. New multi-functional ingredients such as Baipexil Botanical Complex were created for thicker, fuller, stronger hair.”
A bit of a mouthful but it boils down to making your hair look, feel and smell great. Not your bog standard Sodium Laureth Sulphate and the price reflects that. But a worthwhile investment, if you ask me.
In 2010, a report from The European Food Safety Authority suggested that the minimum levels of water consumption should be 2 litres for men and 1.6 litres for women. This is equivalent to the measures in the table below.
Over three and a half pints
Four 1/2 litre bottles of water
Just under three pints
Just over three 1/2 litre bottles of water
To me, that is a lot and this is without spending an hour or two on the mats. BJJ is physically demanding and from the pools of sweat on the mats at the end of class, it’s obvious that you are losing a lot of fluid through sweat.
For me, there is a major leap from sitting in an office all day at work and then hitting the mats in the evening. I don’t drink nearly enough water through the day and then I try to compensate for this before class. Luckily Google has pointed me to some great posts about sports drinks and sports hydration.
Armed with some basic information about isotonic, hypertonic and hypotonic drinks, I started to experiment. With varying success, I’ve now landed on a simple homemade drink that works for me. About an hour before class I take a glass tumbler, put a pinch of salt and some squash (a non-alcoholic fruit drink concentrate) then fill it with water and stir to dissolve the salt. I can usually down this much in one. It doesn’t taste great but it’s not completely undrinkable and taking on too much water can leave me bloated and feeling like I’m going to throw up.
Since starting to experiment I have felt mentally aware of my position, I felt like I had energy in reserve but most of all I’ve really enjoyed rolling. Even if it was 5 mins being completely destroyed by a higher belt I can still smile, tighten my belt and go again.
So my homemade sports drink is not for everyday consumption. I train BJJ three times a week so before each class, if I remember, I down this simple concoction. I might even start taking the drink with me to sip during class but for now, it’s working well. Give it a try yourself and let me know what your think.
Modern British men will spend almost ONE YEAR (315 days to be exact) of their lifetime in the bathroom, according to new research.
Researchers have revealed the extent to which the nation’s WCs are being taken over by males – with the typical bloke now spending TWO HOURS a week hogging the family bathroom for their maintenance routine.
According to the poll of 1,000 males by Just for Men Control GX, the average man will spend a whopping 3.5 MONTHS simply sitting on the loo.
But when it comes to what men ACTUALLY get up to when locked in the loo – a quarter confessed to leisurely checking Facebook and Instagram, while one in five prefers to catch up on work emails.
Aside from personal hygiene, one in 12 men reckon some of their best ideas have come from when they were mulling things over in the toilet, while one in seven men said they came up with an ingenious, money-making scheme whilst in the shower.
Perhaps not surprisingly, one in 15 men admitted to spending too much time in the bathroom, the research reveals. A cringe-worthy one in five likes to sit back and read a newspaper or magazine while relaxing on the toilet.
To help uncover the truth about men’s bathroom time, the survey asked respondents what they use their time in the bathroom to do (apart from the obvious!).
TOP 10 BATHROOM ACTIVITIES
Surfing the internet (26%)
Check emails (21%)
Read magazine/paper/ book (19%)
Listen to the radio (13%)
Posting on social media (11%)
Posing/ looking in the mirror (9%)
Watch TV (8%)
Hide from my children for peace and quiet (5%)
Hide from partner/ family for peace and quiet (5%)
Taking selfies (3%)
It seems that everyone is busy these days. Mums, dads, and even kids have their schedules packed! We need all the help we can get navigating our busy lives, which is why I’ve put together this list of time-saving hacks for busy dads. It’s nothing game-changing, only a few small things that I’ve noticed are making a difference. Things that have helped me clear my head, as well as my schedule, so I can have more time to spend with my family.
Do Away with to Do Lists
I’ve been a fan of to-do lists all my life. It’s great to have all your tasks laid out in front of you. Not to mention the satisfaction you feel when you get to tick one off! But in time, I’ve noting that they only add more time to my already busy schedule and they also, at times, are cause for frustration and feelings of failure. Whenever I wouldn’t complete a task, it would frustrate me to no end, and it would weigh heavy on my shoulders. Even if the task wasn’t that important. Also, in a list of 15 things to do, you will naturally gravitate towards those that take up less time and leave the “bigger” tasks last. There is also such as thing called the tyranny of choice, that proved that an abundance of choice often causes misery. Which is why I found that updating my calendar or simply making a mental list of the most important tasks of the day, is much more helpful.
Sign Up to a Laundry Service
Doing the laundry is probably one of the most adult tasks there are. There’s little to no pleasure to be gained from doing the laundry and if someone could come and take the dirty clothes off my hands and bring them over to me clean, that would get me a little closer to my own personal heaven. But wait, that kind of stuff exists! A laundry service that picks up, washes and delivers your laundry will give back to you some of your precious time to use as you see fit. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
Another great way to save time when you don’t really have all that much to begin with is to covert some of the family favourite recipes to one-pot recipes. Let’s say that your family love Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca, but you don’t have time to lightly brown the onions, and add each ingredient at a time. Well, then adapt it! Find a one-pot recipe that looks the most appealing and you’re good to go. A slow cooker will also help achieve delicious results with little preparation time.
Packing cubes are great for travel, especially if you haven’t got too much time on your hands. These cubes will help you compartmentalize your suitcase so that everything is easy to access. When I’m travelling for a couple of days, I prefer to use a cube for pants and socks, one for shirts and t-shirts, and one for jeans and trousers. And your little ones will want to imitate you, which is always nice, as it’s good to get some organizational skills into them at a young age.
Do Away with Multitasking
While multitasking may seem like a great idea for a busy person like yourself, it’s actually been proven, again and again, that it simply doesn’t work as well as it is supposed to. Sure, you can watch the news, do a bit of work on your laptop, and also have a conversation with your kid. But are you really doing any of these? According to some studies, it appears that only 2.5% of people are able to do this multitasking thing successfully. If you think you’re one of them, kudos to you, but most likely you’re not and you’re just fooling yourself. Instead, I would suggest practising mindfulness.
Mindfulness is having a bit of a moment right now, and for good reasons. Its goal is to bring one’s attention to the experiences that are happing at the present moment and its benefits are many. You’ll feel the results almost immediately!
Streamline Your Morning Routine
Mornings are almost always hectic when you have little ones on your hands. Whether it’s cooking breakfast, cleaning up, asking if they’ve brushed their teeth or done their homework, and then checking said teeth and homework, mornings are not peaceful, nor calm. Which is why I think that streamlining your morning routine can help save you some time, and make some sense of what’s happening. Maybe read the morning news in the subway, instead of at breakfast. Or don’t stay in line for your coffee, make it at home. Analyze your morning routine carefully and you will know what can go and what should stay.
Meal prep is something that will save you time, help you and your family eat right, and also introduce your child to cooking. You could prep for breakfast and dinner, but I suggest you start with dinner. Make a list of foods you and your family would like to eat in the evening, and then start prepping. Do the shopping, chopping, cutting, and freezing, and then when the time comes, you’ll only spend about 10 minutes on dinner. There are countless videos on YouTube on the subject of meal preps, and those would be a great place to start. Have fun!
If you’ve got any time-saving hacks that you’d like to share with me and my readers, drop a line in the comment section below!
Have you ever found yourself having a tiny, but slightly annoying, “first world problem” that has developed from a niggle to be really inconvenient? I had one such problem where I let Buddy, my dog, out for his last toilet break of the day. He likes to wander off around the garden sniffing in the darkness. But I need to be sure that he has actually relieved himself and is not saving it for the middle of the night or that he hasn’t vaulted the fence for a late liaison with another dog. A high power torch is exactly what I need.
I did my research and found that the VARTA High Optics 5 Watt LED 3D torch flashlight met my needs perfectly. It’s encased in aircraft grade anodized aluminium so is extremely durable and scratch, water and drop resistant. It combines high performance and energy efficiency with a sleek design. It’s startling to see how effective the 5W LED is. With an impressive beam range of up to 270m and a total light output of up to 440 lumens, the kids love aiming it at the sky like the floodlights of a Hollywood premiere.
It features a slidable head that changes the beam from spot-to-flood so it’s perfect for finding a hidden Buddy in a garden of sheds, climbing frames and composters.
Beam range: up to 270m
Runtime: up to 115h
Total light output: up to 440lm
The High Optics range includes:
3 Watt LED High Optics Light 3AAA, ARP £24.99, available at Amazon
3 Watt LED High Optics Light 2AA, ARP £28.99, available at Amazon
4 Watt LED High Optics 3C, ARP £39.99, available at Amazon
5 Watt LED High Optics 3D, ARP £49.99, available at Amazon
I’ve been trying to take more intermediate classes than fundamentals classes as sometimes the fundamental classes cover stuff I have been taught before. While it is a great idea to go back to basics over and over again reinforcing your knowledge, it’s quite refreshing to have something completely new sprung upon you. When this happens, I like to write it down. Either the same day or the following morning I write it in my journal.
Sometimes I use stickman figures, sometimes with shorthand, for example, Left hand (LH), Right Foot (RF) but I try to capture my interpretation of the move and all the details before they slip from my memory.
If the move is covered again in a later class, I find the page in my journal when I initially jotted down my ideas and I add anything new or those small details that I missed out on the first time around. It’s all about fine-tuning.
But it’s not just a record of skills. It’s nice to keep a record of sparring too. If something went well, jot that down. If you were caught more than twice with the same submission, then write it down and with the help of your buddies on the mat, your coach and youtube, try to figure out what you should have done so you can counter it next time.
A journal can be extended in so many ways. Any injuries. When they occurred and how you treated it. How long were you off the mat? I also like to include general notes about my fitness. Workouts off the mat, running or long walks with the dog are adding to my Jiu Jitsu journey and have a place in my journal.