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Let's get physical with Tufton

CANDIECE KNIGHT

Monday, January 11, 2021

 

GET some club soda, pour in a little lime or lemon juice, and add a splash of Angostura bitters. Just like that you have yourself a Tufton shot. This drink, the minister says, is the perfect hangover-free vodka imitation, and one that he plans to have a lot more of this year. He shared this drink recipe with All Woman as a small part of his overall effort to continued personal health and wellness for 2021.

“The idea of my journey is not so much about just physical fitness as it is about overall wellness,” Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton shared after his morning run on the weekend. “The wellness journey is really about a desired state of mind, and how to enhance that state of mind. There are several components to that. So that non-alcoholic drink, which will be my favourite drink this year, is a part of my diet. Diet, as you know, is one aspect of wellness.”

As he continues to encourage the nation to reduce its intake of sugary drinks through policies and public education campaigns, the minister tries as much as possible to practise what he preaches, and he stays hydrated throughout the days with water and no-sugar-added fruit juices.

“Also, for about the last two years, I have cut back significantly on meat in my diet, and have chosen a more plant-based diet,” he divulged, adding quickly that he is not advising the public to go meatless. “I'm neither a vegetarian nor a pescatarian. I just try to minimise meat intake and maximise plant intake.”

He confessed that he hasn't had much beef, pork or chicken in the last two years. “I mainly get my protein from fish… and curried goat,” he said contently. His favourite meal, he said, is fish (preferably straight from the ocean), or local mutton, with complex carbs such as a piece of yam or sweet potato, with a large serving of vegetables. “I also try to avoid the heavily processed foods, because those can be deleterious to health,” he added.

“Of course, physical fitness is also a part of it, and my favourite activities are walk-running, cycling and hiking,” he said. “Beyond the experience of the activity is the place that it puts you, in terms of your mindset. It allows for relaxation, and it allows for thoughtfulness, or mindfulness, and reflection. We all need that to help overcome or neutralise some of the daily stresses that we have to confront for one reason or another.”

He gets moving between five and six-thirty most mornings, and saves his longer journeys on the more scenic routes for the weekends.

“On the weekends I enjoy going for a hike in the hills or along a river trail,” the Member of Parliament for the expansive West Central St Catherine said. “I'm not an athlete. I don't time my runs. I'm not trying to be the fastest man in my running club. I set my own pace, and take my time and enjoy the surroundings. When I hike, I walk at my own pace. It is a personal experience that promotes a particular state of mind.”

The only area of weakness that he hopes he will soon be able to correct is in the sleep department. “I get about five to six hours of sleep on average per day, and that's not healthy, because it is advised that everyone gets a bare minimum of about seven hours, and sleep is important for optimal functioning during waking hours,” he said.

Beyond his energy intake and output, however, the minister tries earnestly to manage his mental and emotional health.

“I think I have attempted a transformation of my own mindset, and that is accompanied by both diet and my physical activity,” the State of Mind author said. “I try to not harbour bitterness. The worst thing you can do to yourself is harbour bitterness or hatred in your heart. Stress is the great killer. When you harbour resentment, hate or bitterness, you're really killing yourself. You're not hurting the other person who you have those feelings towards. I have learnt to be more forgiving and just pursue my goals.”

He shared that he has also learnt to be more patient and forgiving with himself.

“I have also learnt to accept my faults, and recognise that people will make mistakes as they go along, and I have made my fair share of them,” he said solemnly. “To the extent that I can correct, I try to correct mine, never thinking that I am always right, and I try to do that in earnest. I try to be a better person in whatever I do.”