Tag Archives: Health and Fitness

My Demons and Darkness

let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in mindfulness 

The dawn of a new life

Now that I am recovering from the illness which I suffered over the Holidays my mind is beginning to work again.  That is both a good and a bad thing.  It’s good because existing in a depressive semi-vegetative state is not living at all.  It’s bad because my demons are coming out of the darkness deep inside my mind to torment me again.

I’m not going to let that happen.  This the the dawn of a different life for me, not the beginning of another dark night.

I am not going to dwell on the past, nor regret anything that happened there.  I am not going to think much about the future, nor be afraid of anything that might happen in that far-off country.  Rather I will be mindful of today.  I will use today to begin to discover my own inner nature.

A spiritual journey is to uncover my own inner nature.  It’s already there.  ~  Billy Corgan.

I have realised that I need to discover who I really am, and what I can do to become the better man.  The only person I need to measure myself against is who I am today, and then be a better man tomorrow.

It’s a new dawn.  Please be optimistic for me.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

A new dawn for me

Recovery from Addiction

I understood myself only after I destroyed myself.

It used to be thought by many doctors, and those in 12-step recovery programs, that addiction was a disease in its own right.  Conversely many people believed that alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive gambling, and other addictions were due to personal weakness.  That it was all down to the search for instant self-gratification, and that addicts were just unwilling to stop ~ or perhaps unable to stop drinking, using, gambling…..

However, medical science no longer believes that pleasure-seeking alone drives addicts into their own personal hell.  Doctors and scientists now think that most engage in addictive behaviour not so much to attain euphoria as to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual pain and distress.

This is certainly true in my own case.  From time to time I drink far too much, not because I like booze or it makes me feel good.  I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is characterised by extreme emotions, and from time to time negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, paranoia, anxiety, and suicidal depression cause me so much physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that I escape into alcohol.  And you know what?  Drinking doesn’t really work.

In the USA 15.7 million people seriously abuse alcohol, and 2.6 million of those also suffer from a drug abuse disorder.  In all some 7.7 million people in all use illicit drugs in the USA, and / or abuse prescription drugs.  About 8% of the total population of the USA have a substance abuse problem.  Many of these have multiple addictions ~ gambling, excessive use of pornography, and promiscuity also ruin lives.    Doctors also believe that the type of addiction doesn’t matter at all; whether it be alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, whatever…..  all addictions are the same, addicts are people who try to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual distress.

Some 47,000 people a year die directly from an overdose of opiod drugs, and alcohol claims the lives of some 90,000 people a year.  I know what that feels like, people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder have a 10% likelihood of committing suicide, which is over 1,000 times more than in the general population.

Some days I can barely breathe, I can’t eat and I can’t sleep.  Some days I blame others for my pain and problems.  Some days I am barely hanging on.  And, some days life is pretty good.

The good news is that there are a number of effective treatments for addiction; including self-help strategies, psychotherapy, rehabilitation programs, and in some cases medication.  (As it goes medication doesn’t work, and is actually dangerous for anyone with Borderline Personality Disorder.)  But, I can protect myself from addiction by having meaningful and mindful interests in my life, together with supportive friendships.  My problems and pain are very transient.  And life isn’t always supposed to be fun and filled with pleasure, into every life a little rain must fall.  Shit Happens

Some say that addiction only affects weak and pathetic people.  And that there is no chance of recovery from any addiction.  All I know is that I have many more good days than the bad days on which I hit the bottle.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

recovery doesn’t work for those who need it

recovery works for those who want it

Eat and Drink Well

take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live

appetising, but not healthy at all

All is not well on the dietary front, all around us we see evidence of eating and drinking problems.  Until recently, I myself was suffering with a binge drinking problem.  In the West, alcoholism, eating disorders, obesity, and diabetes are all on the increase.  Cheap drink fills our supermarkets, and fast food outlets are on almost every street corner.  It’s disingenuous to say you’re living a great life when you’re ill with diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, or cancers.

There are always going to be people seeking the instant gratification to be gained from alcohol and the carefree consumption of fast food and takeout meals.  But usually, delayed gratification and the careful choice of what we eat and drink will lead to a longer and healthier life ~ and if you’re still young and beautiful, then does it matter?  Actually it does, and choose carefully because there are few second chances.

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.  ~  Mark Twain.

Assuming that eating and drinking only healthy and organic produce, and always staying totally sober is out of the question, then the secret is everything in moderation.  If possible, avoid food and drinks that are obviously unhealthy, stay away from alcohol, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and very fatty foods.  These things increase your risk of; fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes, cancers, harmful inflammations, and contain no essential nutrients whatsoever.

Try and develop some new healthy habits;

  • drink plenty of water, about 6 pints a day, (US).
  • Always eat something for breakfast.
  • Have your 5 portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Cut out wheat and dairy products, (no cheese and crackers, no milk, no bread).
  • Never, ever, buy a sandwich or a wrap.
  • Only eat good quality meats, and no processed meats at all.
  • Never, ever, have second helpings.
  • Never, ever, eat late at night.

Whatever you eat and drink, avoid too much of one thing, cut out fast foods, stay away from high fructose corn syrup, and don’t drink more than about a bottle of red wine a week.

Some say that we are what we eat.  And that a little booze never did anyone any harm at all.  All I know is that most people in the West treat their bodies like trash cans.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

simple tomato and avocado salad

 

 

Brain Health

with perseverance and endurance you can survive any storm

Nobody sane wants to suffer a doddering old age when you can’t remember anything or anyone.  And certainly nobody wants to become an early victim of Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

Maybe most of us have had a parent or elderly relative who has suffered from memory loss, disorientation, poor judgement, mood swings, and a complete inability to live an independently normal life.  To a certain extent maybe that can be expected and accepted when the sufferer in in their 80s or so, but why should it be?  And why should anyone expect or accept the early onset of what should be a disease of the elderly such as Alzheimer’s Disease?

The fact is we can take steps to protect and, if necessary, repair our cognitive abilities.  It’s not rocket science, look any website such as cognitive vitality and you will see that the things that we need to do to protect ourselves against things like dementia are exactly the same things we should be doing to live a healthy life.  In order, and without even checking my information, these are;

  • Stop smoking completely, (and vaping is even worse than smoking).  Smoking will kill you in so many ways, but if you last long enough it will kill your brain.
  • Don’t ever use drugs like pot, cocaine, heroin, (and don’t kid yourself that once in a while is OK). Don’t abuse prescription drugs, in fact as far as possible stop taking prescription drugs.
  • Stop drinking, get sober, give up the booze, (and don’t even try to tell me that you can control your drinking).  Drinking will also kill you in so many ways, but if you last long enough it will kill your brain.
  • Eat for your brain.  There is strong evidence that the right kind of diet will promote brain health.  To begin with, stop eating canned food, processed food, and fast foods.  Check out websites like Purple Almond Wellness.
  • Get enough good quality sleep.  Keep a regular bedtime 365 days a year, do not sleep in at weekends.  Do not take sleeping medication, you should never need it.
  • Take lots of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine.  You know that you need to walk for your circulation to work properly?  If you try the 10,000 steps a day thing you will sleep alright.
  • Lose whatever causes you stress.  You know that too much stress could kill you?  It will certainly shorten your life expectancy and make you prone to nasty diseases such as cancer.
  • Be active in mind and spirit.  Keep learning, meet new people, get a hobby, do stuff.  If you sit there drinking beer and watching sports TV your body weight is going to balloon and your IQ is going to plummet.
  • Get really, really physically healthy.  This is a big topic, so learn how to do it, start with a website like seven fitness tips for improved physical health.  And don’t just sit there, get up and do things.

Some say that their lifestyle is fine.  And that it’s OK to always drive the mile to the store and back.  All I know is that the average American is killing themselves, and if they’re unlucky they’ll live long enough to kill their brain first.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

being upset is no reason to;

drink, use drugs, smoke…

 

ILLNESS

only in the darkness can you see the moon and stars

~

when I was ill and I didn’t want to be

I didn’t know what was wrong with me

yet there was a Iight I just couldn’t see

for when I walked down near the sea

the moon and stars were shining on me

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

when you’re going through the darkness

keep on going

 

Beer is Bad for You

Lots of beer, now there’s a temporary solution.

English Pubs Exist to Sell Beer

Despite what some would like to believe, beer is just as bad for you as any other alcohol, and depending how much of the brown falling-down-water you drink, beer is possibly worse that your other regular tipples.  All booze has some very deleterious effects on your health, and the more your regularly drink the faster these bad things will happen to you.

Alcohol causes accidents in the home, on the road, and everywhere else you might find yourself after one too many drinks.  Most people who commit suicide have been drinking heavily.  Booze is also the direct cause of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases, liver failure, fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis, sundry gastrointestinal disorders, pneumonia and other respiratory tract diseases, various cancers, pancreatitis, and diseases of malnutrition such as Wernicke’s encephalopathy, Korsakoff’s psychosis, amblyopia, and polyneuropathy.  Without treatment you could die from all of these alcohol related dangers.  Even with treatment some of the above will still kill you.  If you don’t stop drinking, then you will die, horribly and before your time, from one or more of the nasty alcohol related killer diseases.

But, isn’t drinking beer safer?  Isn’t it OK to have a few beers, every now and again.

Mostly, the answer to those questions is no.  In a healthy adult, moderate drinking doesn’t cause too much damage, and by moderate I mean 1 pint of beer a day, or one standard size glass of wine a day ~ any more than that is quite damaging to your health.  And you can’t save up your weekly quota and safely drink it all at the weekend either.  Nor can you stay sober for a month and then get good and drunk to make up for all that boring sobriety ~ try that and you’ll most likely end up in vomiting your guts up, or in hospital, or dead.

So what about only ever drinking beer?  Beer is made from water, a grain such as wheat or barley, and is usually flavoured with hops.  Beer is usually between 4% and 12% alcohol by volume, (ABV).  Your liver will take 1 hour to process a bottle of a weaker beer, and maybe 3 hours to process a pint of strong beer.  While your liver is processing alcohol it isn’t doing anything else.

In comparison, wine usually has an ABV of 10% to 18%. Drinking an average size glass of wine is the equivalent of drinking a pint of strong beer.  The ABV of spirits varies from between 35% to 60%, (sometimes more).  A standard measure of spirits, (one shot), is about equivalent to drinking a bottle of strong beer.

The reasons beer is so bad for you is that there’s a lot of it by sheer quantity, which puts strain on your kidneys dealing with all that urine.  Beer is full of grains which are packed with gluten and generally very bad for your digestion, there’s lots of calories in beer, and it’s got hops in it which is a soporific and also promotes the creation of estrogen in the body.  Why do you think most beer drinkers are fat, have overhanging bellies, and guys who drink a lot of beer get man-boobs?  Beer will kill you just as fast as any other alcohol, and it will make you very unattractive in the process.

Some say that beer is good for you.  And that real men always have a few beers when they meet with the guys, or have a BBQ, or watch sports TV…..  All I know is that people who drink beer become fat and unattractive, and then they die, before their time.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if the bottom falls out of your world,

drink Guinness and have the world fall out of your bottom.

The Physical Benefits of Yoga

Be where you are, not where you think you should be.

My post earlier today was about rain ~ sort of.  Doing yoga in the warm summer rain is uplifting.  Yoga in the foothills of the Himalayas must be even more so.

Yoga is a 5,000 years old form of exercise that is focused on strength, flexibility, breathing, and mindfulness to boost physical and mental health and wellness.  Yoga is safe, effective, and beneficial ~ especially when it comes to increasing your strength, flexibility, balance, and inner peace.  Yoga tends to improve posture, and far too many people slouch these days, up to and including me, at times.  There is strong evidence that regular yoga has a positive impact on people who suffer with high blood pressure, cardio-vascular diseases, arthritis, migraines, IBS, fibromyalgia, sundry aches and pains, lack of mobility, depression, and anxieties.  I just find that spending time every day doing a little man-type yoga makes me feel better.

Scientific studies on the physical benefits of yoga show that it helps to alleviate the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis, but, the symptoms of arthritis can make some yoga positions difficult and painful in themselves.  However, whatever yoga one can do helps improve the arthritis sufferer’s range of movement, and strengthens the muscles around painful joints.  Those with the autoimmune disease of rheumatoid arthritis also benefit from yoga ~ there will be improvements in overall physical health, walking, energy levels, mood, and reduced pain.

The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body.  ~  Natalie Nevins, M.D.

The physical benefits of yoga include:

  • increased flexibility
  • increased muscle strength and tone
  • much improved posture
  • prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
  • improved bone density
  • helps the lymphatic system and boosts immunity
  • helps to fight cancer
  • better breathing, energy, and vitality
  • better balanced metabolism
  • better weight control
  • improved cardio-vascular health
  • reduces high blood pressure
  • improved athletic and sexual performance
  • protection from injury

There is also strong evidence that shows regular yoga practice leads to an increase in serotonin, and a natural decrease in monoamine oxidase.  What this means is that we feel happier, more positive, more energised, and are less likely to suffer from depression.  For me, happier is good.

Some say that yoga is just for girls and metrosexual guys.  And, that we should all get a grip and concentrate on everyday life.  All I know is that everyday life isn’t everything.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

how long to capture that shot?

it doesn’t really matter,

in meditative Yoga time is immaterial.

Food on Friday ~ Mostly Chicken

I will respect this liver.  After all it’s not mine. ~ George Best

So, I’m working on this healthier eating plan, with the avowed aim of being fitter, healthier, and detoxing my body ~ especially detoxing my liver, which is the body’s chemical factory.

The most important thing for most of us to do if we want to be fitter, healthier, and have a cleaner liver is to give up booze.  If you take a drink the liver will stop whatever it’s doing and start to process alcohol, and your liver will do bugger-all else until all the booze has been flushed from your system.  George Best, was one of the greatest soccer players of all time, he died in 2005 of alcoholism after having a liver  transplant.

As well as giving up booze I’m also not going to eat dairy, including eggs, and I won’t touch anything at all containing wheat flour, or high-fructose corn syrup.  I don’t want to consume  the weedkiller that’s routinely sprayed on those crops and persists right up to the point we take the glyphosate into our bodies.

First this week we have a very healthy looking dish from Simply Recipes; green bean salad with lemon and dill by Summer Miller.  I guess for most of us this would be a side-dish, but I’d be pleased to have just this for lunch, (maybe with some cherry tomatoes).

Green Bean Salad with Lemon and Dill

From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats how about this cool looking crispy baked Parmesan chicken with lemon arugula.  I know I said I wasn’t eating dairy, but a little Parmesan is more than just OK, it makes this dish.  Chicken is a very low-fat meat, and I’m trying for a low-fat diet.

Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Arugula

Another brilliant chicken dish, this time from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb.  This one pan garlic herb chicken and asparagus looks brilliant, and if I’m so minded I guess I would use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter.  I love one pan meals, so easy to clean up afterwards.

One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken and Asparagus

Heidi at Foodie Crush has posted this Thai basil chicken, (Pad Krapow Gai).  I must try this, Heidi says it’s easy and I really like all the ingredients she’s listed.  Especially I want to try cooking with coconut milk.  I think I’d serve this with wild rice and quinoa, which I can get at my favourite supermarket.

Thai Basil Chicken

Dana Shultz, the Minimalist Baker, has these ultra-healthy sounding crispy miso chickpea bowls with garlic sesame dressing.  It seems this is a 10 ingredient bowl ~ I can cope with that.

Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing

And, finally for this week, Teigan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest offers us these weeknight 30 minute coconut curry chicken meatballs.  Never mind weeknight, these would be great to serve when you have friends around.

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

healthy eating needs oily fish

foil pack grilled salmon with lemony asparagus

 

 

Monochrome Monday ~ Sexy Guys

There is nothing as dangerous than a man with looks and charm.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

lots of hours in the gym

and more hours in front of a camera

Cardio Vascular Screening

I went for some cardio-vascular tests today.

Physical activity ~ even if you don’t lose an ounce, you’ll live longer, feel healthier, and be less likely to get cancer, heart disease, stroke, or arthritis.  It’s the closes thing we have to a wonder drug.  ~  Tom Frieden.

This morning I was checked for a potential aortic aneurysm, and I have to admit to being very nervous beforehand.  What if they actually found something?  It was an ultrasound scan, and they covered from my neck to just above my groin.  The cold gell was a bit yucky in places.  But, the good news is that I’m utterly, totally, completely clean and fine.  No nasty crap in my arteries.

If they had found something it would have meant treatment, up to an operation and strong drugs.  It may have also precluded me from overseas travel, and stopped me from driving.

So, the good news just came rolling in, and life is grand again.

The testing doctor even said that I seemed very fit…..  Which re-motivates me to take more physical exercise.  I may even go back to the tai chi and yoga classes.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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