The heart and soul of a Renaissance Man is creativity.
Creativity, curiosity, honesty, openness, kindness, understanding ~ these things and honour are what separates a truly superior Renaissance Man from the common herd. There are a couple of other important attributes a superior man should possess in abundance; confidence and self-control ~ a Renaissance Man does not want, desire, nor need instant gratification to bolster his self-confidence. The confidence of a Renaissance Man is assured and will brook no criticisms.
A superior man is creative and innovative, and creativity means to actually create something, if there is no physical end-product then all you are doing is daydreaming. Almost everyone can daydream and come up with an idea or two, but few will go on to get those ideas down on paper, make a plan, and go on to create / build / make whatever it is the plan calls for, be it writing a book, creating a work of art, a boat, car, a tiny trailer, a kitchen, bathroom, or even a whole home. Almost everyone goes no further than having an idea, they never follow through and do something tangible. They are held back by a lack of confidence in themselves, laziness, fear, and the pressures of coping with a partner, family, friends, and coworkers. These are excuses, not reasons.
Other reasons for not actually doing something real, for going no further than daydreaming, are; lack of money, time pressures, lack of space, not knowing how to do whatever it is they think they want to do….. All of these are also just
fucking pathetic excuses. And then there are some other reasons people don’t do creative stuff; they drink too much, smoke too much, smoke pot, do street drugs, take too many unnecessary prescription and over-the-counter medications, gamble, spend too much time looking for cheap sex in bars……
Perhaps to be truly creative you first have to put your life in order. It’s a fallacy that booze and drugs will help your creativity ~ all those things will do is help you daydream, right up to the point where you pass out.
Creative living and creativity is available to all of us But how do we energise our creative abilities?
- Do something, even if it’s just baby steps. Make a start on your project, even if it’s just writing down your ideas. Get out of your comfort zone. Pick up whatever tools you need to work on your project, from a hammer, to a brush, to a tablet.
- Mindfullness. Be aware of ourselves, be aware of our environment, be in the moment.
- Fresh air, exercise, sunshine, movement in nature. Get off your ass and take some physical activity to energise your body. Most office workers do not move nearly enough during the day, and then they go home, sit on the sofa, and drink some booze in front of the TV.
- Stop taking yourself too seriously. Reawaken the inner child. Be prepared to make mistakes. Be playful.
Some say that serious people don’t have time to waste on being creative. And, that being mindful is just a ‘new-age’ gimmick. All I know is that a really cool Renaissance Man creates his own reality.
get out into nature
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.
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?
What the New Year brings to our tables will depend on what we bring to the New Year.
Next Year I will have a new focus for each week’s food on Friday ~ concentrating on recipes, foods, and dishes to enhance our wellbeing, health, and happiness. I have no doubt whatsoever that the great cooks I have featured thus far in this series of blog posts will be more than up to the challenge of our creating a healthier lifestyle, while still retaining each of their unique signature styles.
But, for this last Food on Friday of 2018, I want to show you some recipes and dishes which will be great to offer your guests at whatever New Year’s get-together or wild party you are hosting.
No part would be complete without a great cheese board, so from San Diego cook Averie Sunshine we have ideas on just how to make the best cheese board. I really like that Averie uses prosciutto on her cheese boards! Me, I like to have a soft blue cheese, or maybe just a good old English Stilton. There are as many wines to drink with cheese as there are cheeses, but with Stilton it should be a good warm port.
The Very Best Cheese Board
Should you want to drink beer at New Year, then what about having these spinach and artichoke stuffed soft pretzels to go with your brew? From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. Of course, what we English call beer and the fizzy pop the rest of the world drinks are two very different ales.
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Soft Pretzels
So, if you live by the sea, then you should serve a dish that reflects that. I guess none of you live on the Chesapeake, but from Dianes Kitchen I offer you this Chesapeake Crab Strata. Serve it like slices of pizza. Here in the North East of England we get some really great crab from the cold North Sea. Some say you should drink a Pinot Grigo with crab, but I would always prefer a cold Verdicchio.
Chesapeake Crab Strata
After my recent trip to Albuquerque I said that I would never eat meatloaf again ~ but brought to us by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipies here’s an idea for bbq meatloaf bites. Now I know that the chef, Nick Evans, intended these to be part of a meal for kids ~ but after a few drinks all men are just kids anyhow. As far as I’m concerned you can drink whatever the
fuck hell you like with meatloaf….. personally I would choose a red Cotes du Rhone Villages.
BBQ Meatloaf Bites
From Chungah at Damn Delicious there’s this new recipe collection; 15 best quick and easy New Year’s Eve appetisers….. My favourite dish here is this really clean-looking dish of lemon garlic shrimp kabobs ~ try these with a really cold vodka martini.
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs
And finanally for 2018, from Country Living Magazine, we have a collection of 40 unbelievably easy New Year’s Eve appetisers. From this collection I like the look of these smoked salmon and cream cheese cucumber bites. Just how easy is that? If you want to show some real class, then you drink single malt whisky with smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber Bites
not many are man enough to drink Laphroaig
So set ’em up Joe, there’s no one in the place, ‘cept you and me.
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
These days ancient English City of York is full of bicycles, churches, tourists, and pubs ~ mostly pubs. And mostly not a lot of Shakespeare.
unless you are a very attractive American woman, don’t ask to taste a load of different beers before you buy a pint.
Booze, Prescription Drugs, Street Drugs, Excessive Speed, Failing to Stop, Using A Cell Phone, Reading, Unroadworthy Vehicle, No Insurance, No Licence….
I firmly believe that almost all drivers have driven while they shouldn’t, or in cars that they shouldn’t be driving, or without the proper documentation, or done something they shouldn’t be doing while they were driving. (oral sex, or searching for a pack of cigarettes in your purse, for example )
The most common really stupid thing drivers do is use their cell / mobile to talk / text / surf the internet / watch sports while they are driving. And, don’t try to tell me you’ve never done that, because I won’t believe you.
Texting while driving increases the risk of accident 23.2 times over unimpaired driving. ~ Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
But, and without a shadow of a doubt, the worst road crime is driving while intoxicated. A hell of a lot of other illegal stuff can be put down to people drinking and driving ~ excessive speed for example. And, driving under the influence of booze is not just dumb, it’s amoral, criminal, and dangerous.
I really don’t believe anyone who says they have never driven while intoxicated, or under the influence of prescription / illegal drugs. Everyone who drives and who also sometimes drinks booze, or sometimes takes some form of mind-altering drugs, (including prescription painkillers), has driven when they shouldn’t.
There’s no question that we need tougher drunk-driving laws. We need to take a lesson from European countries where driving isn’t a right but a privilege. ~ Jesse Ventura.
Back in the day I knew an alcoholic who had been a very senior police officer in charge of road traffic accidents. He shared that almost all really bad accidents involved a drunk driver. He also shared that it wasn’t seeing so many deaths, or even the dead and horribly maimed children, that had pushed him over the edge into depression and booze. What really destroyed him was the decapitations, bodies without heads and heads without bodies.
If you are involved in a road traffic accident and you suspect / know the other driver has been breaking the law ~ texting while he rear-ended your car for example ~ then call the police, and take a shed-load of pictures. You may get lucky, and the police might
shoot arrest the miscreant,
If you are the guilty driver, then don’t expect any sympathy whatsoever, from anyone except another dumb criminal
Think about this ~ do you want to be the one to run down a child, destroying her life and the lives of her family in the process?