Category Archives: Psychology

Food on Friday ~ Menu Planning

For some people meal planning is like a chess puzzle.

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Planning what we are going to eat for a whole week is a pretty easy thing to do, but it does mean sitting down and writing a list or two.  It might also mean looking at some recipes, and then checking what one has in the larder, refrigerator, freezer, and garden.  That leads to making a shopping list ~ (and one should never go into a supermarket without a shopping list) ~ and a menu list for the week.

Get one thing straight, a recipe, a menu list, and a shopping list aren’t rules ~ these things are just guidelines to help us get organised without wasting lots and lots of time.

So, before I post some recipe collections, let me feature something about menu planning.  From Hali Bey Ramdene at The Kitchn I can give you The Beginners Guide to Meal Planning: What to Know, How to Succeed, and What to Skip.  Remember, when you plan your meals to allow enough quantity so that you have leftovers for another day, or to take to work for lunch.  Also, when you plan your meals try to follow some healthy eating guidelines.

The Beginners Guide to Meal Planning

Some more on the basics of meal planning and we have Common Meal-Planning Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid from Greatist, and The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning from the Wellness Mama.

Winter Meal Plan

My own preferred menus lean towards Mediterranean food, and Heidi at Foodie Crush has a great post of 50 Favorite Mediterranean Diet Recipes, which also includes a Mediterranean diet plan and this recipe for Mediterranean Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Olive Tapenade.  I love the fresh herbs in this dish.

Mediterranean Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Olive Tapenade

It’s the heart of the apple season here, and I really do prefer eating organic foods in season.  But what to do with apples?  Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest found this post by Katherine Power at Clique Brands ~ 4 apple recipes she’s looking forward to baking this month.  I particularly like the look to this Honeycrisp Apple Pandowdy, (what a great name).

Honeycrisp Apple Pandowdy

Last up this week, from Alanna Taylor Tobin at The Bojon Gourmet we have Savoring Winter with 40 Vibrant Citrus Recipes. This is all so colourful, but I especially like the look of these gluten-free black sesame kumquat financiers, (except I’d call them tea-cakes).

Savoring Winter with 40 Vibrant Citrus Recipes

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you can buy packet sauces, they make meal planning easy

Healthier Food and Drink

The more you eat, the less flavour.  The less you eat, the more flavour.

There are literally thousands of diets out there, from the 5:2 diet, the Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, the Sushi diet, and even the simple calorie controlled diet.  These diets can get quite complicated and the professional aficionados would love us to buy their books explaining the benefits of these diets and giving us lots of recipes that we’re probably never going to cook.  As it happens I try to follow the tenants of a Mediterranean diet, simply because I like Mediterranean food.  Conversely I would never follow a Sushi diet because I hate sushi and I firmly believe that raw fish is inherently unhealthy, to the point of being dangerous.

honey salmon in foil

There is one basic truth about losing weight ~ eat less.  The average female office worker only needs about 2,000 calories a day, and the average male about 2,500.  A weight loss diet probably means a woman eating 1,500 calories a day, and a man about 2,000.  There are a myriad of calorie calculators on the internet.

However, after some study of diets, nutrition, and health, I can give you some basic guidelines about what you should include and avoid in all those calories.

  • Drink 3 pints of fresh clean water every day.
  • Eating a little every couple of hours avoids and cures adrenal fatigue.
  • Wild foods are good ~ especially healthy grains such as wild rice.  Eat organic food whenever you can.
  • Try not to eat processed and canned foods.
  • Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is vital to our health.  Apples, Banana, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Celery, Grapes, Leeks, Pears, Potato (especially potato skins), Spinach, & etc..  Avoid too much citrus fruit, it messes with the acid balance of our gut.
  • Adding herbs and spices adds important phytochemicals to our food.  Fresh parsley, basil, and rosemary are especially good.
  • Eat grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, lamb, wild salmon, net caught ocean fish, shrimp, crab, and lobster.  Avoid too much pork, (and if you eat pork make damn certain it’s properly cooked).  Avoid farmed fish, (especially tilapia which is cheap whitefish), cheap chicken, bacon, and turkey.  Eat shellfish at your peril.
  • Don’t drink a lot of fresh milk, don’t put cream or half-and-half in your coffee, and don’t eat a lot of yogurt or cheese.
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements; B4, B12, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, (and if you are a menstruating woman take Iron supplements).
  • Do not ever eat anything made with modern wheat; bread, cake, cookies, pasta, tortillas…..
  • Avoid too much; complex carbohydrates, caffeine, sugar, and salt.
  • Don’t drink too much coffee or ordinary tea, try green tea instead.
  • Don’t drink diet sodas, or use artificial sweeteners.  In fact really cut down on drinking any soda at all.
  • Really, really avoid too much alcohol.  One bottle of red wine a week is a good limit, (or if you can’t live with that, two bottles a week).  Do not regularly get buzzed, and regularly would be once a month.

You may think that’s all too damn difficult, and probably expensive.  Well, it takes effort to follow any guidelines,  and good organic food carries a price premium, but really, how much is a healthier and longer life worth to you?

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

cauliflower is a surprisingly versatile vegetable

 

Gain Self-Belief

Each time we face our fears we gain confidence, self-belief, and freedom.

People have a strong tendency to sabotage themselves when things are going really well in their lives.

It doesn’t really matter how smart you are, how grounded you are, or how much money you have, one of these days you will probably get to a place where everything is cool and fine, and then you’ll fuck foul it up with drink, drugs, prescription and over the counter medication, smoking, gambling, binge eating, casual sex…..  It seems as though we have an in-built belief that we are not really worthy, or good enough, or nice enough to have all that success and all those good feelings.  We aren’t comfortable with standing out among our family, friends, and peers ~ and this belief that we don’t deserve our own success is something that we learn in early childhood, before we are seven years old.  Our parents, care-givers, and siblings are to blame for that.

Also, very early on in life, many of us learn to believe that we are unworthy of love.  We learn that we don’t deserve to be loved by others, we learn how not to love ourselves, we learn to believe that we don’t deserve to get all the good stuff that life has to offer.  We continually judge ourselves, criticise ourselves, and fall prey to negative thinking and negative beliefs.

In the extreme these negative feelings and beliefs lead to something called Borderline Personality Disorder, and that creates no end of troubles; paranoia, fear of abandonment, addiction, boozing, reckless behaviours, depression, bi-polar disorder…..

It takes real genius, strong will, self-honesty, openness, and willingness to escape from these dark negative places.

First of all we need to understand love and what it means.  The belief that stops us from fully embracing the love of others and accepting self-love is the negative expectation that it’s all going to turn to crap eventually, and whoever offers love to us is going to abandon us anyway.  Usually that means we will push others away from us, and the denial of love becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The same things happen with anything and everything else we want, need, and desire; money, health, enlightenment, friendships, personal growth, freedom to do what we really want to do…..

And all of these negative beliefs and thought patterns are imposed upon our subconscious minds in childhood, which of course means we learn to believe all this crap from our parents, the rest of our families, other care-givers, teachers, older children…..

To escape from an unsuccessful, unfulfilled, ultimately unhappy life we need to be willing to throw aside our past and instead build a future which truly reflects the unique, lovable, loving person we are.  If you talk about your past you are just reliving all the negative crap, no matter what gloss your subconscious mind tries to put on all the shit you used to do.

Most people aren’t truly willing to take that monumental leap ~ in fact I don’t know anyone who is.

Do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you always got.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you may believe all this smoking, drinking, and sitting at the bar is cool

 

Tunes on Tuesday ~ Roxy Music

jealousy is just love and hate at the same time

John Lennon could easily have written this song for every real man who has ever lived, up to and including me.  Luckily I’m much, much better now.

Please listen responsibly.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

jealousy is not cool

seize the day

do every act of your life as though it was the very last act of your life  ~  Marcus Aurelius

January in England and nature is at its lowest ebb of the year.  The ground is hard, the sea is damn cold, everything and everyone seems to be moving in slow motion.

Even I’ve been feeling lethargic this afternoon, and considering doing nothing more productive than dozing while the TV plays in the background.

That just isn’t good enough for me.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.  Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land.  There is no other land, there is no life but this.  ~  Henry David Thoreau.

Feeling bored, listless, lethargic, and filled with ennui is just a state of mind, and if I’ve learned anything in recent months is that you can change your mind, even your state of mind.

Instead of dozing, bored in front of the TV, I’m going to go out into the cold and take another walk.  At least that will damn well wake me up.

Some say that boredom the natural state of being for mature guys.  And, that most men don’t have the energy, brains, or motivation to find anything better to do than watch sports on TV.  All I know if that I’m not like most men; I’m a cool guy living a great life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

a desert, a Mustang, who can be bored?

Monochrome Monday ~ BDSM

the edge of fear is where love and trust grows

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

erotic, but pretty mild

Scenes on Sunday ~ Seascapes

I must go down to the sea again ~ to the lonely sea and the sky

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Santa Monica

The end of the old Route 66

grasp your own future

Dreams do not have deadlines nor commitments…..

Hardly anyone is really in control of their own life.  This is doubly true if you happen to be an ‘average person’, who has a job, mortgage, and normal financial commitments ~ face it you have to turn up for work every day, whether you like it or not.  Add in a family, who undoubtedly will have expectations of you, and your time is not hardly ever your own.  (And, I wasn’t even thinking about the ‘average person’ who is married with children.)

The ‘average person’ can’t really have dreams and desires, unless their dreams and desires happen to fit in with what others expect of you.

Just supposing you want to take a year off, buy an old school bus, turn into a camper van, and see as much of backroads America / Europe, as you possibly can in that year.  What do you think your partner / family / friends / employer / neighbours are going to say about that?

I’ll tell you that the likelihood is that their views and words will range from incredulity to negativity, to downright hostility.  That is if you are an ‘average person’ living a ‘normal life’.  Ergo, to protect yourself you would probably not ever have that kind of empowering dream and desire.

Instead your mind will be filled with things such as; ‘what can I do about my partner / sister / brother…..?’ or ‘how can I afford to pay my bills’, or ‘how can I get a better job?’ or ‘what can I have for lunch / dinner / supper?’

None of us can do anything about our past, except reframe the way we think about it.

Most ‘normal’ and ‘average’ people can do very little about what’s happening to them in the present.  The chances are that, for them, today will be pretty much like yesterday.  If they have to work for a living the chances are that any working day will be exactly like the working day before.  Even their thoughts and conversations will have a mind-numbing repetitious banality.

However, and this is fucking damned important, we can all do something about our futures.

NOBODY has to settle for the status quo.  If there is something or someone in your life that’s sucking the life out of you, then get rid of it / them.  If your marriage is crap / abusive / boring, then get out of it.  If your job is horrible and badly paid, then leave and get another job ~ there’s nothing like being out of work to put a real edge on job hunting.

There is only one problem ~ most people will never leave their ‘comfort zone’.  If that’s you, then it’s time you grew up and grasped your own future with both hands ~ carpe diem.

As for me?  I’m a really cool guy, living a great life.  I can do just about whatever I want, just about whenever I want ~ within my own pretty rigid code of ethics, and the fact that I don’t ever want to get arrested again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

That van was in Palm Springs

Blogging Success?

It is only through our losses, failures, and hardships that we learn true growth and enlightenment.

How does one measure success in blogging?

Some would say that success on this platform can only be measured by how much money you have been able to make from your blog.  As I don’t actually need any more money than I already have, then monetizing this thing has never appealed to me.

There are some very raw statistics that might tell me that the blog is a success;

  • Number of followers;         2003
  • Number of posts;               1024  (but that does not include the posts I’ve published and subsequently trashed)
  • Number of views;          138,600
  • Number of comments;      5,658  (not including the half-dozen comments I’ve received and trashed ~ for the benefit of whoever had sent a perhaps unsuitable few words)

Although I prefer to think that true success is measured by quality, and not quantity.

However it must be true that I am writing things that people want to read ~ else how would this ordinary English guy have had followers who stuck with me over the 4 years I’ve been writing this thing.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

A very big thank you to you all

to have loved and lost

Only when it’s almost gone will you know what a gift love is.

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the world carries on without me

but nothing remains the same

yet I’ll go on without you

until the end of days

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

dance until the end of love

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