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Showing posts from July, 2011

Simple common sense nutrition tips

I'm not a nutritionist but here's what helps me feel a little bit perkier and it also helped me to lose two stone in weight over a few short months.

- Avoid sugar. This will smooth out sudden drops in energy level once the benefit of sugar has passed.It's generally considered to be a bad guy by those who know.

- Avoid wheat. It interferes with digestion and absorption of food. Also, you'll eat less bread (very salty) and commercial cakes as a result.

- Avoid caffeine. It messes with my system big time. Let your body perk itself up naturally.

- Avoid alcohol. It has its place but not when you're looking after your body.

- Buy a blender / smoothy maker. This has increased my vegetable intake considerably - especially beetroot.

- Plan all your meals. This will make it easier to stick to a healthy diet.

- Eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Turn yourself into a goat (basically). I try to have a balanced meal with protein and starch for food combining reasons.C…

Have some alternative thought sequences ready

Mindfulness is the big pyjamas when it comes to observing the mind and trying to steer it in a different direction. However, seeing your own relentless thought patterns is one thing and changing them is another; it's not easy and requires dedication and effort. It's good to come well prepared with some alternative thought sequences to help salve the annoying, contracted, obsessive thoughts that roam through our heads. Here's a few I like to try:

1. Go neutral. You see someone, you judge them, the mind revs up, your mindfulness notices, you introduce some neutral statements. I am breathing, the car is red, the sun is warm, the wall is full of bricks; that kind of thing.

2. Let go. You're driving along, someone cuts you up, pushes in, you want instant revenge, your mindfulness reminds you that it never does you any good, you let it go. Say 'yes', 'it's OK', 'I forgive you', 'this is the way it is'.

3. Be unconditional and expansive. A fam…

The mountain pass

We can't always see what lies ahead. Sometimes we have to trust.

We are never more than one thought away from happiness

If you buy into the fact that our minds go round in endless loops driven by sense contact and thoughts, then it's only a short step to believe that one thought (or sense contact) can change the whole shape of our minds in an instant. (Indeed, it seems that the consumer world is driven by this desire to find pleasure in an instant). We might like to try this "pleasure in an instant" experiment for ourselves:

1. We are feeling glum.
2. Everything looks glum. It's cloudy, we're chronically ill, we have nothing to do.
3. We go to the shop. Someone smiles at us, we smile back. Things are looking up. There's a change.
4. We walk down the street. We meet a friend and they are generally nice to us. The change gathers momentum.

And so on. Nothing changes in the world but some pleasant interactions have done something to our mood.

Now, the trouble is, that random chance for mood enhancement is a bit random, but if we go looking for it or try to force pleasant sense contact t…

Chronic fatigue - the going backwards state of mind

Chronic fatigue is an up and down illness, probably because something is wrong with the body - like a broken car, we can drive it around if we are careful but then at some point smoke starts pouring out of the bonnet and we know it's time to stop. One of the psychological difficulties I find hard is when it all starts going backwards after a sustained spell of seeming progress. When this combines with some other difficulty in your life, it can feel quite challenging to maintain a compassionate perspective on things. All the demons come out; all the regrets, the guilt, the remorse, the 'what could have beens', like an endless litany of demoralising home truths - this is what I call the going backwards state of mind. Couple this with feeling like poo and it's a fairly challenging set of conditions.

I find I have two options - I can face the gruelathon until the storm blows out - going backwards feels like this, but it's nothing personal. Or, I can hope I have enough e…