There is a warrior’s path to the end of suffering.
In my life I have been lost, often alone, and sometimes in pain. I have been down and disappointed, I have been beaten by misfortune, I’ve been so tired and despairing I could not eat or sleep, I’ve been crushed by unrequited love, I wanted things that were always out of reach, and I was so lonely I cried bitter tears. Then I found a guiding star to wish to, and that bright star led me to a good place of freedom from pain and suffering. Now I can cross broad oceans, climb tall mountains, see the far horizons.
Now I can experience true friendship and real love.
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards, and leads us from this world to another. ~ Plato
You too can find your star to wish upon and to follow, if only you are prepared to search both the heavens and deep within yourself.
In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a supercomputer reveals that the ultimate answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything is 42.
The answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe, and Everything… Is… Forty-Two. ~ Deep Thought
This was meant as a joke, 42 was just a random number picked out of thin air by Douglas Adams, the author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Allegedly. However it turns out that the number forty-two has symbolism and special meanings in a whole raft of philosophies, religions, and magical convictions. Forty-two is a highly symbolic number slipped into a work of fiction, seemingly by accident, or coincidence.
However, despite what some may say, there is an answer, a simple answer to Life.
If we are to believe numerology then 42 is an Angel Number, and the energies of this number bring us an inner-wisdom to help us pursue our Life Purpose. To pursue your Life Purpose, then first you must realise that the true purpose of your life is to live and to grow ~ to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, in health and happiness. That may be a long, long way from where you find yourself right now.
In order to get to where you want to go, you first have to know two things;
- Exactly where you are right now.
- Exactly where it is you want to get to.
You don’t need to know the road in-between, that will become only too apparent on your journey to your ultimate truth.
If you are anything like I used to be, then where you are right now could be unhealthy, unsatisfying, and depressing. There may be no real joy and happiness in your life. You may see no way out, even though you have sought relief and escape through religion, inspirational books, motivational speakers, support groups, counsellors, psychologists, doctors, medication, booze, street drugs, gambling, casual sex…
None of those escape routes will work for long, and the consequences of some methods of escape from hard reality just make things much worse. I know, before I found my own ultimate truth, my own warrior’s path, I tried just about every quick fix there is.
There are more false prophets than there are those inspired by an ultimate truth.
Taking the wrong road through self-destructive behaviour leads to one rock-bottom after another, and each new rock-bottom is worse than the one before.
There are no quick fixes in Life, and nobody can fix you but you.
The Ultimate Truth is this; Life is Difficult and Painful.
Once you are prepared to recognise that truth, once you are prepared to accept, appreciate, and understand that Life is Difficult and Painful, then you can transcend all pain and suffering. You can take your first step on the warrior’s path to freedom from desolation and misery.
The first step in any journey is always the hardest. It will mean uncertainty, leaving your comfort zone, doing things that seem unnatural, and at first it may seem just as painful as the misery you’re trying to leave behind. But, you have to know this ~ follow the warrior’s path and things will get better. Your life will become even better than you could ever have imagined it could be.
The first step is to recognise and accept that you are the cause of your own unhappiness. Whatever the proximate cause of your misery and unhappiness, be it alcoholism, gambling, an abusive relationship, or whatever is your personal purgatory, the ultimate cause of your pain is your own need for instant gratification. We must to accept that the causes of all our problems and unhappiness are our own cravings, desires, wants, lusts, needs, and our blaming of others when things don’t go the way we want them to.
Self-discipline is hard, it means not taking that next drink, not having that next cigarette, not overeating, not placing our happiness in the hands of another. Self-discipline means turning up for work on time, getting enough good quality sleep, getting enough fresh air and exercise. Self-discipline means not blaming others for our misfortunes, not spending money we don’t have, not allowing ourselves to become infatuated with someone who will never truly return our affections. Self-discipline is what will free you from pain, misery, and the teachings of false prophets.
You don’t need the hurt anymore, and you don’t need the pain in your life. I promise you that if you accept and understand that you can’t ever change what happens to you, but you can change what you do, then your shadows will turn into warm sunlight. Don’t ever allow yourself to give in to your craving for instant gratification, have the patience to appreciate, accept,and understand yourself, trust in yourself and not in others, and your life will get better. Your whole life will improve very fast, and it will be better than you have ever dreamed possible.
Night Sweats, Night Terrors, Nightmares, Sleep Terrors.
Night Terrors are not Nightmares ~ typically a nightmare happens when you’re in deep dream sleep, whereas night terrors wake you up, so the experience of a night terror is one of wakefulness. Night terrors are also different from Sleep Terrors, because a night terror will wake you up, whereas with a sleep terror you will have all the symptoms of extreme fear, but you will stay asleep. If you are awake, or partially awake, and terrified in the night, then the chances are you are suffering from night terrors, (which are a recognised psychological disorder).
Nightmares usually occur in the early morning during REM sleep when our dreams are at their most vivid. More often than not we can remember all the cinematographic details of a long, scary nightmarish dream when we first wake. On the other hand, night terrors usually happen during the first part of the night, aren’t part of REM sleep, and we won’t remember anything much other than waking up / being awake in a terrified state.
Typically, night terrors are caused by a previous psychological trauma, (such as an abusive childhood), or by stress, or by substance abuse, (such as drinking too much just before bedtime). However, as one of the causes of drinking too much before bedtime is a mental illness like Borderline Personality Disorder, which is itself probably caused by a previous psychological trauma, it’s fair to say that if you suffer from night terrors you’re probably drinking too much and suffered some severe disturbance / abuse / trauma in your past. Chances are if you’re in that situation you’re also feeling very pressured right now, and suffering from the symptoms of undue stress. It’s an illogical Catch-22 situation.
If you suffer from night terrors it’s likely that you wake very suddenly with an intense fear of something unknown / a nameless dread. Your heart will be beating fast, you will be breathing hard and fast, your blood pressure will be elevated, your eyes will be wide and staring, and you will be sweating. This is different from night sweats, which is severe and excessive sweating, without the associated terror. The common causes of night sweats are medical, and some of them are very nasty, such as cancer. However, one other cause of night sweats is drinking too much.
What night terrors will do to you is prevent you from getting the 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep that most adults need every night. As well as making you feel tired, lethargic, and irritable, not getting enough sleep can cause lots of nasty illnesses such as; high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease.
The most likely advice if you have night terrors when you get beyond your teens is that you should see a doctor. Good luck with that one, because the only real cure for night terrors is to treat the underlying problem(s). That will mean doing something about the effects of any psychological trauma in your past, and cutting out whatever drug you’re taking too much of late at night ~ including coffee, booze, prescription drugs, street drugs…
There are some very common-sense things you can do if you suffer from night terrors, sleep terror, nightmares, and / or night sweats ~ without resorting to medication and a long period of talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy. None of these are easy, or likely to give you a quick fix, but you should consider;
- Giving up booze completely, or cutting down a lot, and never drinking late at night.
- Quitting smoking ~ and if you smoke do not have a cigarette last thing at night.
- Stop using street drugs, and talk to your doctor about any prescription medication you are on.
- Late at night don’t drink coffee, and don’t eat a meal within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime.
- Stay hydrated. The average person needs 3 litres / 6 pints of water a day ~ but tea, coffee, wine, and beer don’t really help you to stay properly hydrated.
- Do not take a nap during the day, especially don’t take an afternoon nap.
- Go to bed at the same reasonable time every night, (if you need to be up at 7 am you need to be in bed at 10 pm), and get up at the same reasonable time each morning. Stick to this sleep schedule, even at weekends. Changing the time you go to bed, and the time you get out of bed, wrecks your internal body clock.
- Wind down in the evenings. Don’t use social media late at night or first thing in the morning. Instead practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as meditation and listening to relaxing, classical music.
- During the day get at least an hour of fresh air and moderate / vigorous / strenuous exercise.
- Make sure your bedroom is right for sleep. Your bedroom should be clean, tidy, quiet, very dark, still, and fairly cool, (between 60 and 67 degrees F). You really do need to sleep in total darkness and quiet.
- Make certain your mattress and pillows are comfortable for you. If your mattress is good quality it should last 10 years, after that, get a new one.
- Keep a sleep diary.
An episode of night terror can be brought on by worry, stress, emotional tension, fatigue, conflict, and especially too much alcohol late at night, (or more likely a combination of factors, including booze). How much is too much alcohol? Actually, too much booze is however many drinks puts your health and well-being at risk. For me, one drink is one too many.
After suffering night terrors you are likely to be utterly inconsolable, grown women, (and men), may cry, and the event may be so disturbing that your mind will wipe most of it from your memory. The next morning you won’t be able to remember what terrified you.
In adults, it is most likely that night terrors, sleep terrors, and nightmares have an underlying cause of previous severe stress, trauma, mental and / or physical abuse, and subsequent mental disorders and generalised anxiety. In fact, the underlying causes of sleep problems can be very similar to the underlying causes of addiction.
Not getting enough good quality sleep is a serious matter. The consequences are severe, up to and including death. If you’re suffering from night terrors, sleep terrors, nightmares, night sweats, then you really do need to take action right away. Start with the tips I’ve given above, but if you have to, go and see your doctor.
Ultimately, food is the most satisfying form of comfort.
Even though spring has arrived in more southerly parts of the world, it’s still cold and wintry here in Northern England. Trust me, there’s still a need for comfort food here in the colder parts of the world.
First for you this week, from Joanne at No Plate Like Home is a great English staple ~ shepherds pie. Usually made with ground beef, but sometimes with ground lamb, this 45 minute dish is a fantastic midweek dinner.
And next, from English Foodie abroad at Chez le Rêve Français, we have another savoury pie, this time a chicken and leek pie. This looks a fabulous dish, which should take you around an hour to make.
Chicken and Leek Pie
Now for something easier and quicker from Chungah at Damn Delicious, there’s this great sheet pan steak and fries. I really like dishes we can make in just one pan.
Sheet Pan Steak and Fries
Soup is also a wonderful winter comfort food, and from Canadian girl Heather at the flourishing foodie I can offer you this cauliflower, leek, and carrot soup. Would be great with some crusty bread and fresh butter.
Cauliflower Leek and Carrot Soup
Something that isn’t a savoury pie, but kind of ticks all the pie boxes. From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, there’s this great looking Irishman’s beef brisket burrito. I’m not usually a fan of burritos, but I really like the look of this dish.
Irishman’s Beef Brisket Burrito
Another Irish Beef dish, this time Irish Beef Stew from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes. You know what? In England we really like Irish Beef, but St. Patrick’s Day does nothing for most of us ~ maybe the English history with Ireland is just too long and chequered ~ and likely to more so as Brexit plays out..
Irish Beef Stew
Finally for this week, from Heather Christo, some real late-night comfort food. This rich, but vegan and gluten free brown sugar spiced banana rum cake. So, what’s not to like?
Brown Sugar Spiced Banana Rum Cake
A big thank you to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday
all men are equal before fish
It’s possible to make some very boring, and even quite nasty meals with fish ~ stargazy pie for one ~ but there are some great recipes out there ~ just don’t make it over-complicated. For this week’s Food on Friday we have some fantastic fish dishes from some fabulous cooks. There will be no pieces of salmon among these recipes ~ sometimes salmon is just a cop out, and sometimes farmed salmon isn’t so healthy.
Since most fish dishes cook really quickly, a nice piece of fish makes a great midweek dinner as well as something special for when you have more time. Choose your fresh fish with care.
Fist up this week; crispy miso cod from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français. This is an easy dish, but you have to give the fish long enough in the marinade to let it really absorb the flavours ~ it’s worth it. If you’ve never cooked with miso before, give yourself a treat, buy a jar, try a miso recipe, I hope you’ll love it.
Crispy Miso Cod
Cod is such a great fish ~ cod and chips is a great English dish ~ that I make no excuse for more dishes featuring this white fish. Here we have roast cod and cherry tomatoes from Heather Christo. If you haven’t tried it before, fish and tomato is a magical combination.
Roast Cod and Cherry Tomatoes
From Petra at Food Eat Love we have a very quick, very easy, and very interesting dish; quick cured,pan fried cod with sauce verte. Really, this is a 20 minute recipe you could serve as a starter or a light meal. I love the colours in this dish.
Quick Cured, Pan Fried Cod with Sauce Verte
As a change from cod, we have another white fish, sea bass. This recipe for crisp skillet sea bass with pistachio butter is from Jessica Merchant, at How Sweet It Is, and it should take you about 40 minute from start to plate ~ looks fabulous. And for good measure, from BBC Good Food, here’s another 27 sea bass recipes. You know what? Unless you’re a fisherman, and have caught the bass yourself, I wouldn’t necessarily choose sea bass over cod.
Crisp Skillet Sea Bass with Pistachio Butter
For those of you in California we have another really colourful sea bass recipe, this time from Averie Sunshine; orange glazed Chilean sea bass with dill, cucumber, and orange champagne relish. Trust me ~ there’s no champagne in this, and if you have cider vinegar you’ll do just fine.
Orange Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Dill, Cucumber, and Champagne Relish
Finally for this week we have a recipe collection from The Huffington Post Canada; 23 cod recipes you’ll want to cook tonight…. Among the great dishes is this simple black cod, black radish, and turmeric, which I’d serve with rice and a side salad. It’s a simple dish from a simple guy at Six Course Dinner ~ and trust me, the fish isn’t actually black.
Black Cod, Black Radish and Turmeric
many thanks to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday
Eggs ~ so what can you do with the humble egg?
Eggs are incredibly nutritious ~ a real superfood, filled with all the good stuff you need for a healthy immune system. And, eggs are cheap, easy to cook, and don’t have to be boring ~ as this week’s recipes will show.
For anyone pressed for time, or someone who wants a hot lunch at work, Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has this omelette in a mug. It’s cooked in the microwave. I’ve tried to cook eggs in the microwave before, and had an egg explosion most times. Elise says the secret is to add liquid to the eggs ~ and use a large enough mug. I’ve tried her method, and it works brilliantly, (I buttered the bottom of my mug first). Good Food doesn’t get easier than this.
Omelette in a Mug
Simple Baked Eggs are almost as easy as the omelette in a mug, except you need an oven and not a microwave. Even Cosmopolitan Magazine has a collection of 12 baked eggs recipes worth getting out of bed for. But anyone, even the most ineptly boring guy can make a good, delicious, healthy hot meal in 10 minutes by baking eggs. There are a stack of recipes for baked eggs, but this one is from Cooking Without Limits.
Right, listen up, this is another dead easy dish for you very busy folk and healthy eaters. Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It Is has this great recipe for a 15 minute spinach burrata omelette with avocado salad. Look, anybody can make a great meal in 20 minutes with this recipe, even really inept boring guys.
15 Minute Spinach Burrata Omelette with Avocado Salad
Dana from Portland, Oregon, (aka Minimalist Baker) has an easy recipe for a simple vegan omelette, and OK I don’t even pretend to understand the various types on non-carnivores, but I like the look of this easy dish. The secret is this omelette uses tofu, and not eggs. I guess you can make exactly the same recipe with eggs, and I guess you can make a lot of egg-based dishes with tofu. hmmmmm.
Simple Vegan Omelette ~ (tofu)
Tiegan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest always has some interesting and good-looking recipes ~ this grilled pineapple caprese eggs Benedict with coconut-almond hollandaise certainly caught my eye and whetted my appetite. Look, the only even remotely hard part of this dish is the Hollandaise, and the’s dead easy in the food processor. Try it, you’ll like it. Also from Tieghan in Food on Friday #43 we have a grilled potato salad with almond-basil chimichurri and 7 minute eggs.
Grilled Pineapple Caprese Eggs Benedict with Coconut-almond Hollandaise
This is a totally fantastic recipe from Erica at Honestly Yum; Turkish Eggs, also called Çilbir. I’ve eaten this tasty little dish all over the Mediterranean, just don’t call it Turkish Eggs in Greece. I think my friend in Orange County will like this because of the yogurt, cilantro, garlic, and pepper in there along with the eggs.
Çilbir ~ Turkish Eggs
Finally for this week we have a collection from the meticulously gluten and allergen free Heather Christo; 10 egg-celent ways to spice up your breakfast eggs. Among the fantastic dishes here we have this beautiful chive and brie frittata. This looks so very, very good.
Chive and Brie Frittata
thanks for all the recipes shown to us by some great cooks in this week’s Food on Friday
Our Bodies Are Our Gardens
Busy people who have aspirations towards being fit and healthy in body, mind, and spirit have a problem. Eating well, eating clean and healthy, almost always means one should cook for oneself because buying ready-made meals, buying takeout, eating out, or eating out of cans almost always means you’re eating a fair degree of unhealthy junk. And, cooking for yourself takes up time and energy, which might be in short supply at the end of a busy day.
Ergo, busy people need fairly quick, easy, and healthy recipes. In last week’s Food on Friday we were talking about healthy salmon, which lends itself to eating well, and this week we’re doing chicken, which is also a good healthy staple. But, buy decent fresh, uncooked, healthy chicken, (and salmon), not the cheapest crap your supermarket has on special offer.
I know some of you like links to recipe collections, (some of you even pay good money to have people send you recipe collections and shopping lists), so from Cooking Light we have 50 healthy chicken breast recipes, including this sauteed chicken with sage browned butter.
Sautéed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter
And, from Chungah Rhee at Damn Delicious I can offer you 10 weeknight chicken breast recipes to use up all those nice pieces of chicken you have languishing in your refrigerator and freezer. I like the look of this easy grilled chicken, especially as our chef says we’ll never need another grilled chicken recipe after this 25 minute dish.
Easy Grilled Chicken
If all those ideas weren’t enough, Country Living has 64 of the most delicious things you can do with chicken for dinner. Wow! Originally from Jaclyn at Cooking Classy, one of the 64 dishes is this avocado caprese skillet chicken ~ so easy, and avocado is supposed to be very good for you.
Avocado Caprese Skillet Chicken
Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has some interesting dishes in her 5 easy chicken recipes for a weeknight dinner. I especially like her honey chipotle shredded chicken, because even though it takes a while to prepare, once it’s dome you can save the prepared chicken and use it in so many cool ways.
Honey Chipotle Shredded Chicken
I have to remind myself that not everywhere in the world is suffering from an English winter. Not everyone is feeling cold, grey, and miserable and in need of winter comfort food. In that case Heather Christo offers us this gluten free fried chicken cobb salad ~ I may forget the drizzle and make this tonight.
Gluten Free Fried Chicken Cobb Salad
Francophile English lady, Amanda, of Chez le Rêve Français has a recipe for a wonderfully warming chicken and broccoli pasta bake. This looks quick, (30 minutes), easy, healthy, (broccoli is good). And, I like a good pasta bake.
Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake
You probably won’t remember, (why should you?), but in Food on Friday #33 we had a whole lot of cool and sexy chicken dishes, among which was Thai Larb Chicken Lettuce Cups from the White on Rice Couple. As a slight change on the healthy lettuce cups theme, I can give you a recipe video for easy chicken lettuce cups from the Best Recipe Box.
Easy Chicken Lettuce Cups
thanks so much to all the great chefs featured in this week’s Food on Friday
enjoy your cooking and healthy eating
email ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Let Food Be Thy Medicine ~ Hippocrates.
Maybe because it’s winter here in England, but I don’t feel that I am eating a healthy diet. Maybe it’s because I’m in England in winter that I have a stinking head cold… Whatever it is, I have not enjoyed food over the last few days so let’s try something completely different.
Something is telling me I should eat more fish, and I don’t mean traditional English fish, chips, and mushy peas, thousands of calories and lots of carbs… Ergo, let me start off my new diet with some easy salmon recipes.
With healthy eating in mind we have a fabulous looking dish of Paleo red curry braised salmon with sweet potatoes from Heather Christo. Paleo is good, I think. This 45 minute recipe not only uses coconut oil and coconut milk, it also has enough garlic. Nice.
Paleo Red Curry Braised Salmon with Sweet Potatoes
This is a fabulous 30 minute entree from Jessica Merchant at how sweet it is; winter citrus butter salmon. Depending on who you like to read, butter is actually very good for you ~ like all things if not taken to excess. I love the look and sound of this dish. This Saturday I will try the taste test.
Winter Citrus Butter Salmon
Next, a fabulous recipe from Molly in Hawaii, beet cured gravlax. As well as salmon and the more traditional ingredients, Molly has added a few of her own, including beets. OK, this dish takes 3 days to cure, (at least), but being originally from Maine, I’m guessing Molly knows her fish. I’m looking forward to trying this.
Beet Cured Gravlax
Here’s a collection with a difference for you, from Jess at Paleo Grubs, 43 Paleo salmon recipes everyone will love ~ including this simple dish of roasted beets with salmon, broccoli and avocado. All good ingredients.
Roasted Beets with Salmon Broccoli and Avocado
Chungah Rhee at Damn Delicious has a fantastic recipe for Asian salmon cooked in foil ~ and trust me, this is a brilliant way to cook salmon. This dish uses fresh ginger and lots or garlic, as well as honey ~ all on the superfoods list.
Asian Salmon in Foil
Angeleno Girl Karen from Honestly Yum has an interesting winter salmon salad. I like this because, as well as salmon, it’s got some really cool ingredients; avocado, grapefruit, radishes, and fennel. Really cool medicinal food is your basic fennel ~ I need to do a post about that.
Winter Salmon Salad
Most of my meals are cooked in less than 20 minutes in my small wok. So here’s a dish from The Woks of Life, (cooked in a skillet… ha ha ha). This is an easy 30 minute dish, and I know my friend in Orange County will adore these salmon teriyaki bowls.
Salmon Teriyaki Bowls
Here’s another collection for you, from Real Simple Magazine, 10 healthy salmon fillet recipes, including this spicy salmon with bok choy and rice. This dish is quick, easy, and very healthy ~ at least I believe it’s a very healthy meal.
Spicy Salmon with Bok Choy and Rice
And finally for this week ~ I was idly wondering if one could make a decent salmon soup, it turns out there is a shed-load of brilliant salmon soup recipes around on the internet. From Yummly I can offer you a collection of the 10 best salmon soup recipes, (trust me there are a lot more than 10 salmon soup recipes on this site). Looking through Yummly’s recipes I found a super salmon chowder from Andrea Beaman at Further Food, (which is another cool site). Who knew you could make a healthy chowder?
Super Salmon Chowder
Thanks ever so to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday