Monday, February 28, 2011

Want to loose weight? Don't diet, THINK

My personal philosophy: Don’t diet – THINK (and eat like someone who loves himself)

With that in mind I lean toward agreeing with the sceptics questioning whether this product really works or whether it merely messes with your mind, motivating the action of eating less and causing the consequent weight loss.

Hunger is controlled by the brain, not the stomach. SENSA is designed to activate the hormones that trigger the sense of fullness. That way you feel full sooner resulting in your eating less and consequently losing weight.

It is not a pill or a diet. SENSA is a fine, tasteless crystal substance like salt that is sprinkled on everything you eat. Each shaker has a lid for sweet and savoury and the program consists of 6 different shakers – one each month. The fine print recommends that you stick to a sensible diet and regular exercise, but the main attraction is that you eat what you want and still lose weight.

Whether it works or not, I have learned a few things about keeping in shape and today I’m sharing a few of them. Interestingly enough a lot of it is how you think and the big D-word of course: DISCIPLINE.

1. Keeping in shape is a lifestyle. It is not a special occasion. It affects how you plan your time, your money and your energy.

2. Eat breakfast. Breakfast wakes up your metabolism and provides you with much needed energy to get you going with your day. Once it gets to work it digests much more effective throughout the day as you eat causing more of what you eat to be consumed as energy as and when you need it. Energy that pitches when the party is already over gets stored as fat and the address forgotten.

3. A healthy metabolism will cause you to feel hungry more often – watch what you snack on – chips/crisps, sweets and chocolates, junk food, etc won’t do. Find healthy snacks that tastes good, e.g. yoghurt, fruit, provitas with cheese, raw vegetables with dip, etc. The more you snack what is good for you, the more you will like it, the more you will prefer it, instead of feeling obligated.

4. Drink lots of water. People often eat because they think they’re hungry when, in fact, they are dehydrated – thirsty. Drinking lots of water is not just good to keep you hydrated, but it also fills your stomach, leaving less room for eating just for the sake of it. NOTE: Not just any liquids qualify as “8 glasses of water a day”. Drinks such as coffee, tea with caffeine and carbonated drinks might be liquid, but it Dehydrates your body, plus it contains excessive refined sugars not ideal for weight control. In my experience I found that once I’ve drank my quota water for the day I simply don’t have room for tea, coffee, etc. Not a bad thing, I think.

5. Limit your red meat intake to roughly 3 times a week and increase your eating fish, chicken or pork instead. If you don’t like it too much, find a recipe that you DO like and get to like it.

6. Keep a watchful eye on how you prepare your food. Watch the amount of oil and butter – too much grease is not good for you. And if you had to close your eyes and bite on a carrot, does it still taste like a carrot, or has it been reduced to a mouth full of orange mush? If you can’t identify it, it is a good indication that you’ve lost all the nutrients. In this way steaming or grilling veggies is a healthy idea.

7. So what if you are used to eating large portions? Be clever – use a small plate instead of a regular dinner size plate. That way you don’t have a plate with less food on, and it seeming empty. Neither will you have to push your plate away with food still on it. Your mind will see a full plate, but in fact you would have eaten less than usual. Mission accomplished.

8. Eat slower. It takes time for your brain to receive the message from your stomach that it is full. If you eat fast, you will often find that your brain recognized it only once you’ve already had too much, leaving you feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. Eating slower allows for your brain to receive the message before you’ve had too much. This way you don’t have to deny yourself food while still feeling hungry. Having had your fill you won’t want to continue stuffing your face.

Combine all this with some exercise of course. Just 30 min, 3 – 4 times a week will already make a difference. It doesn’t have to be 4 MILES. The secret is to enjoy it. I like to ride my bike and enjoy walking. I love looking at people’s gardens and listening to the birds chirp and I love sunsets. So while I’m out enjoying all of these, I’m exercising almost without exercising. The moment I feel more obligation than enjoyment, I focus everything on getting back to ENJOYING it. It doesn’t have to be punishment. You can even do it with your family – quality time and doing something together, maybe even teaching your child a love for it – gives you time to talk with each other too without tv, computer (games), noisy malls / shops, etc. Find ways to make it fun for yourself so that it is not punishment.

One last note: research shows that habits are formed by repeating behaviour for 21 consecutive days. So if you do the same thing for 21 days you would have formed a new habit. The crucial time is those 21 days; not 6 months. Less overwhelming that way, huh? I know everyone is different, but I love ticking off a list. So when it has been really hard for me to do something (or NOT do), I would make a little calender for myself and cross off every day I’ve been successful. There had been days that I would do (or not do) just so that I could tick that little box. Sounds ridiculous, but it got me to where I needed to be. What motivates you? Use it to your advantage.

In the process I’m saving all the money I would have had to spend on SENSA...

Don’t diet – THINK!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Plains. Trains. Cars. Busses.

Either preparing to be in transit, being in transit or recovering from being in transit has caused for immense lack of imagination or energy to sustain a fleeting moment of creativity long enough to put it in writing. I thought it congenial to let "ya all" know - my dedicated following *wink* - that I can't wait to write my next post - just one more deadline to meet within the next day or two. Looking forward to it! :)

In the meantime, why don't you let me what you've been up to :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One man's trash is another man's treasure

How delightful! A friend of mine came by the house today to show me the literary gems that she found at the landfill. The LANDFILL?! Why yes; they recycle the books. If you are lucky you get to select your favourites before they are shredded. In her box she had a few that she thought I might like, and she was quite right.

I picked out Keep It Simple, Stupid by Judge Judy Sheindlin, The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing by Ramage, Bean and Johnson, Steven King’s Cujo and Creative Crafts and Stitchery from Better Homes and Gardens.

When I saw Judge Judy I was sold! I’ve seen her television court a few times and I love her simplistic, no-nonsense approach. It might not always seem kind, but she’s probably the best thing that has happened to many of those who have appeared before her. I think we all need a Judge Judy sometimes. Here is her ten rules for family harmony; each one the title to a chapter.

1 Living without benefit: If you call this commitment, you should be committed.
2 Tying the knot: Ten times measure, one time knot.
3 Married bliss: If life were fair, men would have stretch marks.
4 Kids happen: Having a baby is easy; being a parent is hard.
5 After the ball is over: Don’t get mad. Get out. Move on.
6 Tug of wars: Love your kids more than you hate each other.
7 The second time around: For better or forget about it.
8 The family bond: Honor your parents.
9 Till death do us in: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
10 Keep it simple, stupid: You’re smarter than you look.

I think I’m going to enjoy this one! (And probably be reminded of all the times when I have over complicated matter s for myself, I’m sure.)

Guide to writing caused me to not have to think twice. This looks like it is a text book. I’m not really one for self study, so I would read it a book as any other. It covers the topics of rhetoric, composing and revising, research, special writing and speaking occasions and a guide to editing. Then it has writing projects for each chapter. I’m really hoping to learn something.

All work and no play makes for a dull boy (or girl should I say), so for fictional entertainment I’ve chosen Cujo by Stephen King. I’ve recently finished my first Stephen King novel. Although he is world famous I can’t say that it is a good enough reason for me to read someone’s work. I expected something high and lofty, but it was very creatively, imaginatively written in plain English. What a pleasure to discover. I think King’s imagination is what makes him such a renowned writer.

I love creating things with my hands, hence my choice of Creative Crafts and Stitchery. I crochet blankets and scarves. I’ve knitted a few scarves too. I like to make them as gifts. I would steer clear of the fashion statements though; they probably date back to nineteen voertsek. I can’t read a pattern to save my life, but the pictures are really good!

Thanks for the delightful gift, ol buddy, ol pal! Better be off then; have a bit of reading to do.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day and the colourful messages of the flowers you send

5 days and counting! Ok! Ok! I know I’m early, but did you know that luck is when preparation and opportunity meets? Well the 14th February - Valentine's Day - might just be an opportunity that you have been waiting for. We can’t let you miss it, now can we?! Especially if many around the world will be aiming at the exact same opportunity ;)

Roses are red, violets are blue... what colour flowers will I be buying you? Well, I suppose it depends on the message that you want to send, but I thought to give you a few tips *wink* Hopefully it will be helpful all year long! – for those who believe that you should express your love every day, and not just once a year.

RED roses – Aah *sigh* Love, romance – Whether it be an established relationship, a budding romance or simply “just because” nothing says I love you quite like red. As a timeless and immeasurable source of inspiration red roses are often used in art (painting, music, poetry, etc.). It is said to have frequently appeared as political or religious symbols. Hmm... can’t say it makes me think of politics, but anyway. I’m sure I’m not the only one, however, it definitely proves a popular choice on Valentine’s Day, so don’t say you have not been warned *wink*

PINK roses – Love, gratitude, appreciation – Pink is one of the oldest roses known to us and holds a gentler meaning than red roses, but will surely make the recipient feel special. Pink roses gracefully and elegantly express gratitude, admiration, appreciation, sympathy (light pink) and also love. Pink roses are popular for the strong fragrance associated with roses in general.

YELLOW roses – Friendship, joy, get well – Yellow evokes feelings of happiness and warmth. Yellow being the colour of the sun this truly gives new meaning to the expression warm and fuzzy. This rose is also known for its sweet fragrance. This rose if often shared with a true friend, and suitably so, as friendship should be warm and bring a sweet fragrance to your life. Hard to believe that this rose was once associated with jealousy or a dying love but luckily not anymore, so if you want to brighten someone’s day, just do it!

WHITE roses – Purity, innocence, sympathy, spirituality – One of my personal favourites! Think wedding, new beginnings – untainted love. Every beginning has an end – remembrance, honour and respect at the departure of a loved one. Whether you are celebrating a new beginning, paying tribute at the end or expressing love, respect, friendship or hope, the underlying complexity of simple beauty remains purity of heart.

ORANGE roses – Desire, enthusiasm, passion – Ooh... fervent romance *wink*. A warm sunset, sweet citrus, a bridge between friendship (yellow) and romance (red); Orange come in many shades, from bright orange to a softer pastel – considered a popular one amongst rose enthusiasts. The orange rose was cultivated near the turn of the 20th century using advanced hybridization techniques with wild yellow roses. A halloween flower? Hmm... who sends flowers at halloween, I wonder, but a love message that rival the red rose... now that I can believe.

PURPLE roses – Enchantment, majesty, love at first sight – Enchantment I can well believe, but more because I have not seen this one that often – visually stunning, but rare. A whole bunch should say it beautifully, I think! Strikingly distinctive! (Maybe not so much as a fragrance for me, but as a colour... it could work well.) Purple is also a colour of majestic splendour and because of its uniqueness can make for an unforgettable experience for the one lucky enough to get a purple bouquet.

Blue roses do not exist, but oh! Just imagine if it did!

So maybe there is some psychology to the colour of the roses you choose, but maybe there is more to it than that. Maybe buying someone yellow roses because that is their personal favourite can say I love you as much as what red roses do.

Personally, I love red and white roses, but – if you ask me - just sending flowers says something in itself. Either way, flowers – not just roses – is a heart warming gesture, and almost always a wonderful surprise! So if you do plan on surprising someone on this specific day be sure to not leave it for the last minute!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Simply yada yada

If your drain is being naughty call 444-4040”.

This tune played over and over in my mind today and I just smiled. Our drain is in need of a serious hiding, if you ask me! I’m running out of clean clothing, cleaning dishes has been on a ‘need-to-wash' basis and taking a shower has become “do what you normally do – just faster” – the “wash and go” cycle *chuckle* We are getting there though; slowly but surely. During my shower tonight the ‘puddle’ was only a quarter of what I’ve stood in the past week or so. If I wore flip flops I could ski... whee! or float rather... hmm. Hope we get it resolved soon or we’d have to start turning ‘em inside out, if you know what I mean *wink*

I read this prophetic newsletter today; a call for prayer for the situation in Egypt. In all honesty I expected to see comments below either of those in agreement, or maybe appreciation from those for whom it is close to home – in more ways than one. Instead, there they were: two ‘christians’ having an argument back and forth as to who is the cause of the situation and who is supposed to clean up the mess, who should be grateful to whom for tax money and whose saving/destroying whose economy, etc. – complete with swear words! Way to go, fellows! So does that mean they’ll be praying or not? Let alone fast for three days; I don't suppose so by the sound of things.

I finished my book today – The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson. Interesting... I think I should write a separate post about that.

I think about flying back to Johannesburg, South Africa every day now. It is like a clock ticking in my mind. I can’t decide whether I’m excited or sad. One thing I do know is that I don't desire to replicate the life I used to have. I want a new adventure. I want to do something I enjoy and be paid for it, and I would love to travel. I'm not the same person I was when I left. What does the future hold? I can’t answer that, but here are a few things I would like to do:

I want to keep on writing, I want to travel (and if I can do both, and be paid for it somehow - why not?), I want to learn. I would like to see the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, the Eifel Tower, Disneyland, the palm trees of Miami Beach and maybe an exotic island, Greece – there where the buildings are all white and the ocean cobalt blue, Germany’s castles, Switzerland’s mountains (and their chocolate of course)... Never have had much of a fascination with the East though. And I want to take beautiful pictures along the way. I want to meet interesting people – and sometimes the best part is that you don’t have to know them for the rest of your life. I still want to scuba dive and sky dive (yet I have no desire to bungee jump – figure that). I’d like to learn to ski.

Maybe I’ve just started a bucket list of sorts...

I would definitely like to be more adventurous and less afraid; less afraid of an unknown future, but to have the courage to believe that it will be good, and it is.

But for now I’m off to bed; have a new book to snuggle with.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blizzard in the USA - Jan / Feb 2011

All the locals seem to agree on one thing: it is not at all a cold winter compared to previous ones. Some jokingly add that it must be especially for me. We don’t have near this kind of winters in sunny South Africa. However, even though a tame winter compared to before the single digit Fahrenheit temperatures and below zero wind chill is just fine by me, thank you very much. (0 *F equals -18 *C)

Looking at the news bulletins many places in the US are experiencing their worst snow storms in many years. They must be getting all the excess snow and cold that we’re not getting. Of Chicago it is said to be of “historic proportions”. On Lakeshore drive hundreds of vehicles have been snowed in and eventually many commuters, who were still inside their vehicles and waiting to be rescued, were forced to abandon their vehicles to be taken to places of safety. Chicago has experienced wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour and in excess of 19 inches of snow in a matter of a day or two – so far.

In Pennsylvania they have a lot of ice and this one woman is out scraping the windshield of her car with – get this! – NO GLOVES ON!! I almost wanted to reach into the screen and hand her a pair of mine... maybe two.

The all time record of snow fall in Boston is 107 inches (2.7 meters). This season so far it is at 60 inches (expecting to be at 70 after this blizzard) (1.5 to 1.8 meters). In New England Mississippi snow farms are running out of space for all the snow with piles as high as five storeys already. That is a lot of snow and will be a lot of water to get rid of once all of this starts to melt.

One news station invited people on Facebook to say what they hated about the weather. The one I liked best is “complaining”. The one thing about humans is that they never seem to be satisfied. When it is hot they want cold, when it is cold they want hot. When it rains they complain and when it is dry they beg for rain. I like what the one man had to say: “It is what it is. We must deal with it.” If complaining doesn't change anything, what's the point, right?

Thousands of flights have been delayed – literally. I wonder how many cars have been smashed due to the slippery roads. Best place to be right now might very well be home.

But if you are driving in the snow, here are a few driving tips compliments of Mark Cox (Driving Coach, Bridgestone Winter Driving School – I wouldn’t mind doing a driving course with these guys :)

• Main 3 elements are breaking, steering and acceleration.

• Consider these things: traffic, whether it’s day or night, the kind of car you drive, the kind of tyres you have on it and your ability as a driver.

• 2 kinds of skids – front wheel and rear wheel skid

- Front wheel (turn the steering wheel and the car doesn’t respond): Take foot of breaks and gas and allow vehicle to coast while you slightly ease on steering (wheels toward straight), allowing front wheels to roll a bit more freely and regain grip.
- Rear wheel (car tends to spin): need to steer into the skid, accelerating just enough to transfer weight to the rear wheels to regain their grip.

• Sun glasses are good – give you better perception of depth with snow – where’s the road and where not because snow can make it all look the same.

• If your vehicle is stuck but it can still rock back and forth you can use your car floor mats by turning it upside down and it will give you just enough traction for the wheels to get unstuck.

For those encountering these weather conditions be safe and keep warm, guys!

I hope - for their sake - the guy sees the sign... ;)

Pics compliments of Yahoo news sites.