Thursday, February 18, 2016

Why Lessons Repeat Themselves.
Repetition is the way of life.
  • In learning, repetition enforces understanding and then application.
  • In behaviour, repetition reveals strengths and weaknesses
  • In relationships, repetition provides opportunities to grow 
  • In life repetition deals with character and attitude

The one constant in life is change and the pivotal point in change is our response to it.
Life has a way of repeating lessons until our response in mastering it becomes second nature.
In fact, it has been said that life is the only classroom where the test is given before the lesson. We learn primarily through testing; how often we take that test, depends on how quickly we learn the lesson.
The hallmark of maturity is whether we "respond" or "react". Life events, have a way of building us up or tearing us down, the way we respond, (and what we learn from the situation) determines how often we need to take the lesson again.
  • If you want to understand how a person remains so patient in adversity, take a snap-shot of their life. I guarantee they will have faced trial upon trial, suffered majour disappointments and loss.
  • If you want to understand why a person is so content, consider they're past losses, lack of privilege, possessions or times of lack.
  • If you want to understand why a person is compassionate towards the terminally ill and suffering; ask about their personal losses, bereaved loved ones and personal suffering.
Some of the greatest lessons learned in life, have been revealed in times of extreme hardship and personal loss. Those lessons which often repeat themselves, do so, not to inflict further pain, but to create in us a greater capacity to help those yet to be tested in a similar way.
I can't recall just how many funerals, casualty wards, hospices, or bereavement centres I have attended. I often ask myself why? but have learned some fundamental factors in such testing times:
1. Unlike taking a test in college, in life; there isn't always an answer to the question
2. Passing the test of life, does not exclude one from sitting it again and again!
3. The one test which we all re-sit daily; is ATTITUDE....
4. The test is never the problem, its our response to it
5. If you think you've passed a particular subject, get ready for the new revised version, it's currently under review, and on its way to you, in plain brown packaging.
The one sure permanency in life is change. Are you ready for life 101?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Nearly Paleo


"Diets don't work"

A paleo lifestyle is only as effective as the application and daily maintenance of the philosophy. If there isn’t a comprehensive grasp (revelation) in the cost benefits of eating healthy, a long term (lifetime) benefit is unlikely.

It starts with WHY the lifestyle is necessary, and finishes with WHAT we DO about it?

All this culminates in the items we purchase and consume on a daily basis:

· Whole raw organic fruits

· Tree nuts

· Vegetables

· Meats

· Fish and Shellfish

So what are the benefits of increasing raw fruits and vegetables into our diet?

  • Cooking depletes vitamin and mineral contents significantly, particularly enzymes which are destroyed. Hence raw foods are better quality, and more nutritionally enriched. 
  • Cooking also damages proteins and fats, and enzymes which aid digestion. 
  • Raw foods increases satisfaction, improves energy needs and provides our daily fiber needs.
  • Raw foods are packed full of natural sugars, salts and flavonoids, which minimise artificial additives. One of the reasons processed foods are packed full of additives, is due to the destruction of natural flavours, and keeping qualities. Our body is designed to deal with natural by-products, not chemically induced products. 
  • The time saved in long drawn out cooking processes, is a precious advantage in eating raw. As a trained chef, I have spent years in complicated and skilfull techniques. These days, I appreciate the skill, but have adopted a more reasonable and enlightened approach, and my body appreciates my change by healing itself.
  • Prior to adopting this philosophy, my rubbish bin would spill over on weekly collection, whereas now, I need collection once every 2-3 weeks, and even then the bin isn’t full. Why? I use less packaging, less containers, less waste, less processed foods, therefore less garbage to recycle.
  • The weekly shopping bill has reduced significantly whilst the quality of diet has increased. Also, a reduction in power bills, cooking oils, sauces, and a more informed attitude to the products that I choose at the store. Also less trips to the store, saves on fuel and stress. What’s more, the use of the compost bin has declined as almost the entire product is used, fresh daily
  • Perhaps the greatest benefit is noticeable in my health:

 I have seen a reversal of type 2 diabetes

 Attained my goal weight in under a year

 Maintain my goal weight on a daily basis

 Have no desire for supplementary or binge eating

 My general health and appearance has improved

 All blood levels are normal and well balanced

 Medical intervention and doctors’ visits are on a need basis only

An increased use of raw foods in one’s diet, reduces the risk of diseases, colds and flu, as well as improving the body’s ability to deal with stress and pollutants.

Life is all about balance, and as long as you use the appropriate rules of hygiene during storage and preparation, your body will appreciate the way you nurture it. Keep a diary of the foods you eat and any noticeable effects the changes have on you, a simple adjustment in your daily routine will reap all the rewards.

FINALLY - Paleo is FREE, although there are people who profit from the lifestyle, YOU are in control of what, when, where and how you purchase your foods! No sign up fees, no branded clothing, expensive commercials or subscriptions (unless you choose). Paleo is a lifestyle choice.

Sign up for my face book page NEARLY paleo and get some great ideas, recipes and helpful links

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Men Have Sheds.....and women go shopping

Why Men Have Sheds – and woman go shopping!

I hate generalizations or profile and gender fixing, as we may share the same sex, but we are all different aren’t we? But are we?

Most men that I know have a systematic way of dealing with things. It’s a process that allows us to deal with things in the order they need to be dealt with. It may not fulfill the protocols that the opposite sex may have chosen; neither are we necessarily as tidy or organised (I said maybe), as our counterparts, but to us, it makes clear sense and fulfills our understanding of logic and procedure.

Men are by and large practical and motivated by sight and taste; this is not the case with woman. A woman is motivated by what she hears and feels. 

This is why woman wear make-up and men tell lies.

A woman will walk into a store and engages with the stock, by touch, feel, smell, hold up, spin it round, stretch it, try on, put back and start the process all over again, until the store closes. A man will, walk strait to the shirt or trouser rack, spot a  colour, size, price and head to the check out and pay. He will rarely try it on (as it wastes good time). He will then go home to his shed (or den).

Men are hunter gatherers, who are wired to bag a bargain and move onto the next. We are on “an expedition”, with a clearly defined target, and once we have bagged it, we are done! 

During the expedition, we are not being rude or ignoring people along the journey, as in truth, we don’t see them due to our single focus. Occasionally, something will grab our attention for a fleeting moment, but normal service soon resumes.

Within our potential (apparent) dis-organised state, we are comfortable. Move something from where it belongs (even if it is on a table top, behind a door or piled high), our process is thwarted and frustration sets in, as we try to organise and prioritise our cave. 

Comments such as, “OK then, I’ll just leave your stuff where I find it” and “It looks a mess” or “I’ll put it back where I found it” even "Well I wont bother again" are wielded like a baton, as if somehow and some way it will punish us! 

By leaving things the way they were? 

Seriously, that’s all we ever want!

As a youngster, I was raised in a pit village where miners would work all manner of ungodly hours and shifts. I was always fascinated by how many of them would have pigeon lofts, in which they would keep racing pigeons. Others would have rickety sheds, knocked together with corrugated sheeting, coal conveyor belts, plywood and other odds and ends.

The “shed” would always be built at the bottom of the garden, or in an “allotment” (a rented space usually away from the housing in the woods).
I could never understand why the men would forgo the pleasures of a warm home, with electricity and all the mod cons for an easy life, but they did.

I recall visiting some of these “sheds” and there were no attempts to make it homely! They had a converted oil drum on which to burn wood and boil a kettle. A rickety chair, piles of horse racing chronicles, a biscuit tin, radio and hobby materials. They often had compacted earth floors which smelled of tobacco and damp, yet they were a refuge for solace, a special retreat, a safe tower.  

We all need a shed! 

A place where things just are and yet don’t have to be.