Last updated on May 2nd, 2023 at 05:53 PM
A brave 68-year-old is attempting one of the biggest challenges of his life – a six-month 3,400km trek across Europe.
Phil Pelling, a retired designer, has taken on the gruelling challenge to test his fitness despite numerous health challenges and to carry out research into the benefits of a super soup called SmarterNaturally.
The announcement comes after it was revealed that a diet of soups and shakes was being made available on the NHS after it was shown to reverse diabetes.
Phil, from Gosport, Hampshire, is not your average 68-year-old. A lover of travelling and hiking which has taken him across the world on some incredible journeys, including hiking the famous Caminos to Santiago de Compostela, the rugged GR20 in Corsica and the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand.
Now he’s taking on another huge challenge trekking 3,400km across Europe, setting out from the far Eastern border of Germany, across the country to France and then on until the Fisterre, the most westerly part of mainland Spain.
Phil has a secret weapon up his sleeve to keep him going through this mammoth journey. Rather than energy drinks or Kendal Mint Cake,
Phil has put his faith in a weekly bowl of a very special broccoli soup to keep him at his best when things get tough. He will also record his fitness and health using the soup in an innovative six-month-long experiment to show the health benefits of SmarterNaturally.
SmarterNaturally – ‘Super-Soup’ – is made using a unique strain of broccoli called GRextra, which is naturally rich in a powerful anti-ageing compound called glucoraphanin.
Glucoraphanin is supported by decades of scientific research and over 3,000 published papers evidencing that glucoraphanin-rich diets can help keep our metabolism working well as we age.
A healthy metabolism is associated with a reduced risk of developing a wide range of health conditions often associated with ageing, such as type 2 diabetes, various cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and heart disease.
Despite his best efforts to stay healthy, including eating well, staying very active and keeping his weight down, Phil has struggled with a number of significant health challenges over the years, including extreme prostate hyperplasia and high blood pressure, as well as high blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
Phil said: “In 2014, while on a trek, I was diagnosed with prostate hyperplasia along with its sometimes very challenging symptoms. After several years of blood tests with PSA rising to 65, scans and biopsies as well as occasional self-catheterisation,
I have had robotic surgery to help reduce its size. Happily, the post-op pathology gave a ‘benign’ result, but I still have to have regular checks and blood tests as cancer is still a possibility.”
“Then during covid, my GP rather forcefully told me that my blood sugar and cholesterol levels were dangerously high. I was observing a decent diet, staying very active and am actually quite slim but something needed to change.
I don’t like taking medications if I can avoid it and I always look at ‘natural’ options when it comes to health, so it was lucky I found SmarterNaturally Soup.”
Preferring to look at ‘natural options’ when it comes to his health, Phil decided to give SmarterNaturally soup a try. Now he’s taking a stock of the soup along as his trusted companion to help keep his health at its optimum level throughout the trek.
For Phil, SmarterNaturally Soup is exactly what he needs to keep him going through his gruelling trek. He added: “When I’m hiking, I can’t be too choosy about what I eat but I still want to ensure I maintain a good, healthy diet.
There is so much evidence available to indicate that I need to consume more of these types of vegetables – but I can’t fill my backpack with them, can I?
“So, it only made sense to bring my subscription of SmarterNaturally soup along with me to ensure that I continue to get a good dose of the good stuff – and the best part is I only need to eat it once a week.”
Phil was born a fighter and is determined not to let his health complications get in the way of life, seeing this as his next challenge, and he will win.
He said: “I seem to be a complete conundrum to many people, even the medics. I have a long list of ailments and broken bits – a much more complex medical history than any of my six siblings do, but none of them seem to have the energy or positive health attributes that I have.
“There is serious thought and research behind this soup and its positive effects, which makes me think that I should definitely continue with it even while I’m away.
To me this soup is an eminently sensible component of my lifestyle which keeps me on the trail – I would indeed recommend it to those looking to stay fit and healthy as they get older.
“My motivation is simply a love of the great outdoors, walking, seeing new places and perhaps most importantly, meeting new people. I have been lucky in that I have travelled to a fair number of countries, particularly from middle age onwards.
I have seen the Himalayas, the lakes in Saskatchewan, the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand. Nothing tops the making of a new friend in another place.
The biggest mountains and the most beautiful scenery are fabulous memories. A kindly person offering friendship and a helping hand is the best memory of all in my opinion.”
Phil, a widower with two daughters, is a dedicated walker having a decent amount of experience of long-distance hiking over the last 16 years in particular. Covid ruined things for a couple of years but now he is making up for it along with friends.
On July 7 he will set out from the far border of East Germany, across the country to France on an on until the very North West of Spain. About 3400k and up to 6 months hiking.
A spokesperson for SmarterNaturally said: “There’s a growing body of research suggesting that eating high levels of glucoraphanin in your diet could have a range of health benefits beyond reducing elevated blood sugar too – such as contributing to reducing cholesterol, helping to prevent heart disease and even helping slow or prevent the growth of some cancers.
And since one bowl of SmarterNaturally soup contains much more than any other product on the market – the same as 1kg of raw broccoli! – it’s the best and easiest way to add this powerful nutrient to your diet.”