Last week the Great NEWS blog shared Costa Rica – Problems in Paradise and today we discuss England – The Great and Gross Part 1.

After a recent trip to London, England and many to the United Kingdom (UK) over the last nineteen years it felt like a great time to write about my perceptions of the country and people. As you read Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the posts notice the examples and warnings from England to learn which ones apply to you and your country. Identify the habits helping you or robbing you of your health and longevity. Enjoy my opinions of the England – The Great and Gross Part 1.

London People

The people and buildings of London.

England is definitely a vibrant cultural, financial and historical center. Like many great cities and countries it has many great and gross issues the communities and people must deal with. This article will offer some valuable life lessons learned while traveling to London recently for business and pleasure which may apply to your health and longevity regardless of where you live and travel.

Centuries of assimilation from conquest, colonization, cultural exchange, naval dominance, trade and war has influenced the evolution of Britain. What can the rest of us learn from the trials and tribulations of England and her people?  As you notice the trends in England what valuable lessons will you notice about your country and lifestyle.

In honor of balance and fair play it is important for me to start with what is great about a country, culture or community first before discussing what is gross and not yet as great about them.

These are my observations during my recent trip and previous trips to Britain.

“What is Great about England”

There are frequent rains to help cleanse the air of pollution and provide positive ions. Rain is great for supplying water for animals, people and plants to keep things healthy. The abundant rain is a blessing in disguise.

People usually carry backpacks, bags and groceries so they are getting healthy upper body and lower body workout many days of the week.

London's Tower Bridge

London’s Tower Bridge.

A large portion of the countryside is preserved for small farms and villages to maintain a close connection to the land and nature. These small family farms produce an abundance of great products for people in the cities. This is a big benefit compared to mega mania mono crop agriculture farms in the US. It appears that less agriculture chemicals are used especially less toxic herbicides.

The food ingredient labels provide extensive information that is easy to read and understand regarding what is in the food. They use fairly standard language among many different countries which makes comparison of food products much easier.

The country of origin is clearly labeled on foods. This is a big challenge with many foods in the US.

Packages have very clear price and weight labels so you know what you are getting and the cost per unit. Many labels in the US are confusing and lack details to make an easy comparison of similar items.

Most people, restaurants and store packages maintain fairly reasonable portion servings. There appear to be very few all you can eat buffets where people tend to over eat.

Well rounded children’s education appears to be a high priority for parents and the school system. Children seem to be well educated in the cultural history of the UK, EU and global countries more so than most children in the US. It was great to see young children wearing safety vests while on museum outings and school tours and accessing the pubic mass transit system.

Children are taught very early to be very self sufficient and safe when it comes to travel and transportation. As a point of comparison they are seem to be better traveled and comfortable with the cultures, people and traditions of other countries.

Riding bicycles is a major means of transportation in London and surrounding communities. This is great for the ecology and fitness of residents.

Playing soccer (football) is a national focus and obsession which helps to keep the children active and fit.

People and companies seem to avoid foods make with GMO’s possibly due to clear labeling and greater general awareness. Most people seem to have more concerns about food health and safety issues than those in the US.

Consuming tea and herbal teas is a terrific tradition in England. This is a great way to enjoy the benefits of both antioxidants and consuming warm water for hydration. Taking a nice tea break is a long standing tradition and obviously better that drinking a soda or synthetic sweetened beverage. It is also nice for social reasons and taking a little break to reduce stress.

Wide selections of International foods are easily available from markets, restaurants and stores. Many areas of the world are well represented with people and business from Africa, Caribbean, China, European Union (EU), Eastern Europe, India, Japan, Mediterranean, Middle East, Thailand and many others.

Low cost Museli and oats are plentiful in most stores. These are natural whole foods that can provide a high fiber and low sugar option for breakfast.

Busy Train Station

Busy commute for people of England.

Standing while waiting to board and while riding on the public transportation systems (bus, train and tube) helps keep people more active while maintaining there balance, strength and stamina.

Using stairs is very common in England and most people will walk on some stairs almost every day. Most buildings three or even four stories high do not have a lift and therefore people must walk down and up stairs to get where they are going. Carrying various items both up and down also helps keep people extra firm and fit.

Herbs and spices from around the world are plentiful in England so it is easy to access a large selection of delicious and nutritious herbs and spices. Many people grow herbs and spices in their gardens and in pots so they can use fresh ones with ease. Many have medicinal benefits.

There is an abundance of fresh sea foods available in England.

It is easy to find multigrain brown breads, rye, spelt and sourdough breads made with whole grains. Due to labeling laws they seem to use less additives and preservatives. Ethnic stores carry a large variety of great food choices.

Smart people use eco-friendly mass transit

A fantastic mass transit system is available for everyone to access to move about the country. The systems are well thought out and designed to easily connect different transportation centers, hubs and types. You can easily go almost anywhere you want with the mass transit system and then ride a cab or walk to the connection points and destinations. This system greatly reduces the need for people to own cars and contribute to more pollution and traffic.

Two People in Park

Couple walking through a London park.

Walking is a primary means of personal mobility and transportation to access the bus, rail and tube stations. People of all ages walk quite a bit compared to their counterparts in most US cities.

People are quite acclimated to the cold, rainy and windy weather and are accustomed to dealing with it and go easily about their day. Nothing stops them from getting out and about on their daily routines and they do not waste a lot of energy and time complaining about it. People just seem to deal with it and move on.

Many people in Britain have a dry sense of humor and say what is on their minds including what they are feeling and thinking about you. It is refreshing to have people speak their minds and come right out with their opinion versus being vague and wishy washy. Open, honest and direct communications has many advantages.

Kids seem to be a bit tougher in Britain than the US when it comes to being outdoors and when going to school. They seem to be more independent, use public transportation easily and walk longer distances to get where they need to go. Kids in the US seem to be pampered and chauffeured way too much in buses and cars.

Stores in Britain seem to be easy to access via transit services, smaller and more geographically dispersed rather than fewer mega monster stores with jumbo parking lots.

Whether you have visited England before or not yet had the opportunity now you have a fairly good overview of many of the advantages and benefits that England offers to residents and tourists alike.

England is well known as a cultural, financial and historical hub offering many benefits, distinctions and insights for this article on England – The Great and Gross. Traveling to England is a great opportunity to visit a vibrant international hub offering many diverse insights from a colonial, commonwealth, culinary, cultural, historical and maritime perspective. England – The Great and Gross will help you more easily notice what is currently happening to many people and countries around the world.

Mastery Action Plan

How can you apply the best aspects of what is great in England to your life?

Call to Action

What comments, commitments or questions do you have regarding healthy lifestyle choices you think are great?

Next week the Great NEWS blog post will share: England – The Great and Gross – Part 2