Tag Archives: Self-Improvement

Keto Diet Myths

Jack Spratt could eat no fat
his wife could eat no lean

apple, butter, and sage pork chops

Some confuse the Keto diet with the Paleo diet, and while there are some similarities, in reality they are radically different, and you will be on one or the other for completely different reasons.  The Paleo diet is all about a healthy way of eating that should normalise your weight.  Other benefits of the Paleo diet are improved heart and circulatory health, less inflammation, and it also helps people with type 2 diabetes, and / or staves off diabetes.

The Ketogenic Diet is something else all together.  It’s also a low / zero carb way of eating, (less than 50 grams of carbs per day), but the key thing is that it’s a very, very high fat diet.  Among the principal benefits claimed for the Keto Diet are that it helps with diabetes, polycystic ovaries, and it also staves of cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, drug-resistant epilepsy and acne.  But mainly, the Keto diet is about weight loss.

I have read that one should not begin a proper Ketogenic Diet unless you have proper medical supervision, because the whole point of the keto diet is to completely change the metabolism of your body, especially the way the liver works.  Instead of turning carbohydrates into glucose, your liver must turn fat into ketones.  Thereby your body will become incredibly efficient at burning fat.  You will see a massive reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels.  Once you start this diet it will take your body 3 to 5 days to reach the point where it switches from using sugar to using ketones.

One danger of the keto diet is ketoacidocis, where excessive ketone bodies accumulate and you will get a dangerously toxic level of acid in your blood.

On the keto diet you don’t eat carbohydrates, (less than 50g a day, say a bagel), and only 10% to 20% of your daily food intake should be protein.  The rest of what you consume is fat.

Eat; high fat meat like bacon and a good steak, cocoa butter, lard, goose fat, olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, almond oil, avocado, coconut meat, fat-rich nuts and seeds, green low-carb vegetables, butter, hard cheeses, wild caught oily fish, liver, eggs, dark chocolate, hard liquor without a sweetened mixer…..

Do not eat; any grains or anything made from flour, like bread, refined sugars, mayonnaise and the like, starchy root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes, corn, squash, fruits, fruit juices, peas, beans, peanuts, anything marked ‘low fat’, beer, wine, flavoured and sweet booze….

The keto diet can be dangerous causing; low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies, Beri Beri, heart and circulatory disease, dizziness, low energy, mood swings, upset stomach.  The keto diet is very antisocial.  The keto diet is utterly unsafe for anyone who has problems with their pancreas, liver, thyroid, or gallbladder.

Some say the keto diet is a great way to lose weight fast.  And that it helped with their diabetes.  All I know is I wouldn’t try this without consulting my doctor and a dietitian.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you can drink this with a little spring water

 

 

 

Why I’m Still Alive

when all that’s left are the empty promises

the sun was going down on my life

Christmas had come and gone.  I couldn’t remember the New Years’s at all, time had slipped from 2019 to 2020 completely unnoticed by me.  It was January 7th 2020 and I had been smashed and broken to another low rock bottom.  My life was a slow-motion freight train wreck at the end of the line in a place called Hell.  My mind was numb and empty, my soul was tortured by demons of my own making, my body was suffering from a lack of food and too much booze.  Part of me wanted to die, part of me hoped I would die, and a small part of me entertained dark thoughts of painless suicide.  Walking into the cold North Sea would kill me, but that would mean I had to get out of bed, leave the garret, and walk the hundred or so yards to the beach.  That was never going to happen.

But something happened.  Call it sheer bloody mindedness, call it being protected by a guardian angel, call it the universal unconscious helping me, but I did something positive.  It took a while.

First I got myself out of bed, went to the kitchen counter and poured a half-full bottle of vodka down the drain.  Thought about coffee, but I knew I’d throw up.  Drank some water, threw up.

Bathroom and alcoholic constipation hurts.  Stood under the shower in my filthy clothes and stripped naked there, soaped up some.  No chance of my risking a wet shave.

Got dry and left the wet towels in the middle of the garret, on the floor, discarded at random.

Combed my hair, got dressed in clean clothes, even clean socks.  Looked at the clock, it was just on half-past-six, and I didn’t know if it was morning or evening, nor did I know what day it was.

Collapsed into my armchair, exhausted and shaking.  Sat there for a long time staring at the wall, my mind empty, my soul in pain.  I could see scuttling things out of the corner of my eye I knew weren’t real, weren’t there at all.  Electric shave.

After a long long while I made myself a coffee, felt like throwing up but didn’t.  I knew that somewhere out there someone or something was sending me all good wishes.

My thoughts and feelings were being led by demons down a dark road that only led to bad things, so I picked up my tablet as a distraction.  Tried to play solitaire, not enough concentration.  Instead I read some posts by the very special people I follow.  I read a post by Rhapsody Boheme about The Wolf Moon, and the special things that could happen then ~ transformation, renewal, rebirth…..  And here, The Wolf Moon was at 19:21 hrs on January 10th, 2020.  I resolved to stay sober until then.  Before then I would clean the garret, only demons will enter a place that looks like a pig-sty.

At around 19:15 on January 10th I darkened the garret, lit some scented candles, and put some soothing music on the record player.

19:21 on Friday January 20th, 2020 a sense of peace I had not known ever before in my tortured existence, the music playing was The Memory Of Trees by Enya; the simple vocal refrain on that instrumental track is Be Yourself.  It was a profound message, and I knew exactly what it meant.

My life hasn’t been the same since.  My life is different and better, and improving day by day, hour by hour, and something or someone is still guiding me.  If you are suffering as I was, I know that you can have that too.  Nobody with even an ounce of goodness in their soul is abandoned forever.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

infinity came for me and lifted me up

Who am I?

change your thoughts and beliefs, change your whole life

After The Wolf Moon I took all the negativity, shame, and inferiority my parents had given me and let it all go into the mists of the past.  I took all the hurt of my life, the bullying, the failures, the lost loves, the toxic love affairs and let all that go into the mists of the past.  And then I took all of those false versions of myself, all of the chimera I had created to cope with life, all of the players I used to deal with different people in different situations and let all of those vanish into the mists of the past too.  And what was left was just myself ~ the person I had never been allowed to be, the man I’d never dared to be.

Unless you are an insane sociopath, then each and everyone of us has a subconscious filled with negative, poisonous, unhelpful memories, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs.  We did not create these demons all on our own, we had a lot of help.  Before we were seven years of age our parents, older siblings, aunts, uncles and older cousins, teachers, and every other fucking person in authority we came across planted all of these poisons in our innocent minds.  Since then, every negative situation we endured, especially when it comes to love and sex, fed and strengthened those demons.  And then the demons ruled our lives.

I can look back now, dispassionately, honestly, openly, and fully recognise what my demons did to my life, how they destroyed everything that could have been good and fine, and led me down a darker road.  I did my best to walk the warrior’s path with honour and chivalry, but I was doomed to failure as long as the demons of my past ruled my every thought, belief, behaviours, words, and deeds.

And so I tried to escape the pain through some very impulsive and stupid things, especially I retreated into booze.  If life got too hard for me to bear I would get drunk, and I don’t mean just a little bit tipsy, I mean lost weekend drunk.  You know what?  If you drink a lot then your body, brain, mind, heart, and soul come to expect and need alcohol in your bloodstream ~ which is why alcoholics can almost never, ever get sober.  I was in severe danger of drinking myself to death, and I didn’t fucking care.

And then there was The Wolf Moon, a time of renewal, redemption and rebirth, when the very fortunate may just receive some kind of message, and the message I got from my Goddess was Be Yourself.

And that leaves me with a question, just who am I?

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

my demons are locked away

Card of the Day ~ Death

endings and beginnings, birth and rebirth, change and transformation

~

It’s been a while since I touched the tarot, and yet today I was moved to take out the deck and draw a card ~ my card for today.  I was expecting something from the minor arcana.  Completely at random, from 78 cards I drew Death.

The Death card heralds the ending of one phase of life to make way for a new one.  It represents major change and transformation.  The Death card can release me from people, places, things, thoughts, and beliefs that are no longer useful in my life, but which I have been hanging on to because I feared change, I feared the unknown.  Another symbol which goes alongside the Death card is The Phoenix.

Given everything that’s happened to me already in 2020, and in years past, I’m now more than ready to be honest, open, sincere, and caring of myself and others.  I am looking forward to taking a new path towards a new distant horizon.

I have been given the opportunity for major growth and learning.  I intend to grasp that opportunity with both hands, and all of my heart and soul.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Dawn, the end of night, a new beginning

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

Fucked Up Life

recovery is something you have to work at every hour of every day

recovery from a fucked up life is a long road

As I begin to recover from my disastrous and stupid behaviour over the holidays I have been thinking about my life.  In truth I am so ill that I can’t do much else than sit and think.  If you’re very sick then everything is either difficult or impossible.  Add to that crushing depression and you might understand that it’s an achievement for me to be out of bed, washed, shaved, and wearing clean clothes.

My thoughts are slow and faltering, but I believe they are clear, honest, and unafraid to accept the truth.  And the truth is I have fucked up, big time, for years and years.  I have done almost everything bad you can think of that wasn’t illegal.  I haven’t stolen, taken drugs, been physically violent, gotten arrested, lived on the street…..

I have entered into several unsuitable, dysfunctional, and dishonest relationships, all of which ended very badly.  I have destroyed some good and honest relationships, hurting the women involved.  I did put my stupid high-flying career before relationships, friendships, and real life.  I allowed my ego, my wants, needs, and my expectations to rule my life.  And for a lot of the time I was drinking far too much.

How do I come back from that?

All I know is that, one day at a time, one hour at a time, I will be sober, honest, open, and avoid any conflicts.  I will not build castles in the clouds dedicated to my own ego.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

building this now would only be satisfying my need for instant gratification

How to Live in Harmony

from discord, find harmony

When you are in harmony with yourself, four things are aligned: what you do, what you say, what you think, and what you feel.  In those mindful moments, things flow without any sense of stress, tension, or negativity.  Your senses, feelings, and emotions fit together and your life has less anxiety, depression, guilt, upset, and stress.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.  ~  Gandhi

Being in harmony with yourself and others is all about being authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, reliable, and at peace with yourself.  It is hard to be at peace with the people, places, and creatures around you when you yourself are not at peace.  It is impossible to be at one with nature when you are not at one with yourself.  Your heart and your brain should be in harmony.

He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.  ~  Marcus Aurelius

Sadly, most people never experience long-lasting harmony in their lives.  Most chase after material gain, instant gratification, and transitory relationships.

To be in harmony is to do the simple things right, and to the very best of your ability, energy, and strength;

  • If you want to stay sober, then stop drinking booze ~ don’t think you can ever take just one drink once in a while because you can’t.
  • If you want to stop smoking, then stop going through the motions and get serious about never, ever, smoking another cigarette.
  • If you want to lose weight and be fitter and healthier, then eat and drink well, and get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
  • If you promise to help someone, then remember to be there for them and do the things you promised.
  • If you think someone is being unkind and toxic, then stop pretending that all is well between the two of you.  Share what you truly think and feel, and then do something about that relationship.
  • If you feel anxious, depressed, and sad, then recognise and accept the emotions ~ in fact whatever emotions you feel, recognise and accept them.  But, if you want to feel better, then start acting as if you are 100%

If you want the grace to live your own life, in your own time, then be strong enough to live in harmony with yourself and others and all of nature.  Be authentic, honest, and open.  Some toxic and untrustworthy people will pull away from you, but if you do all this you can expect to have more authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, and peaceful friendships and relationships.

Some say one thing while they are thinking and feeling the opposite.  And most people lie, cheat, and steal.  All I know is we compose our own harmonies in our lives.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

to enjoy the scent of a rose

you must first brave the thorns

Taming Expectations

if you expect nothing then you can never be disappointed

the sun doesn’t always shine

Yesterday, once upon a time, my life was complicated.  So many things were on my mind and I had so many extreme and conflicted feelings that I struggled to find peace and balance.  I was impulsive yet indecisive.  I had bursts of intense energy followed by doubt, lethargy, and procrastination.  Although I didn’t know it everything was leading to better outcomes for me.  It was alien to me, but all I needed was a little patience, and the insight to take a couple of simple steps to get me onto a better life path.

The first step I needed to take was to use my charm and diplomacy as much as possible ~ no matter how bad, negative, and angry I felt inside.  No matter how defensive and threatened I felt by people close to me I had to avoid saying and doing things that would come back to haunt me later.  I had to learn to compromise my black and white thinking, especially with those closest to me and whom I cared for.

Black and white thinking took me down the path of wanting and needing 100% of my desires and expectations.  Yet when if I could but find a way to compromise greater harmony and contentment was there for me.  My heart may have strong desires, but oft-times I needed to tame my expectations.  I was demanding affection, admiration, love, and respect from people who were resistant to giving it to me ~ because of the way I was.

I also needed to uncover and nurture my deeper internal wisdom, to learn how to face my demons and extreme psychological conflict, to resolve the constant confrontations between the different parts of my psyche.  I am not bipolar, but I do suffer from violent, vicious, and fast mood swings.  If you’ve ever been there you know how hard that makes even the simplest things in life ~ like holding a normal conversation.

I needed to learn to pause before I reacted to my extreme feelings, and before I acted upon my negative thoughts.  I knew I had to always weigh up all the options and come to some sensible next step in my life.  I needed always to act coolly and unhurriedly with care and consideration for others.

In my life there have been heartaches and pain, and sometimes I didn’t know if I could face the unfriendly day again.  Yet, I have been able to change myself, and in changing myself the rest of the world has changed around me.

Some say that I have to be true to myself.  And that I have to learn to love myself before I can possibly love another.  All I know is that being a really cool and self-confident guy doesn’t work for me every single damn day.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

sometimes it even snows in New Mexico

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 ~ Healthier Eating

It’s not a short term diet ~ it’s a long term lifestyle change

I’ve been spending a little time thinking about leading a healthier life ~ well you do when you get to a certain age.  Fresh air, sunshine, exercise, meditation, reading self-improvement books, listening to inspirational podcasts, and eating the ‘right’ foods.  The snag is there are as many ideas about what constitutes a healthy diet as there are diets.

However, for me eating better means cutting out a lot of fat, being as gluten-free as I can manage, and not eating dairy ~ I’m slightly lactose intolerant anyway.  Instead of those things I’m not going to eat I’m planning on a lot more organic fruits and vegetables.  Ergo, today’s recipes are kind of leaning towards the long term lifestyle change I’m working on.

One benefit of the healthy eating plan I’m working towards is that, in general, the recipes are very easy.

First up this week, from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have this easy cucumber salad, and you can’t get a simpler recipe than this one.

Easy Cucumber Salad

Next, from Heidi at Foodie Crush we have this great recipe for the best BBQ chicken ~ chicken is firmly part of my healthier lifestyle.

The Best BBQ Chicken

There’s gluten-free, and there’s not eating anything made from wheat, and then there’s the fact that sometimes you’ve just got to have pasta.  This slow roasted tomato basil pasta is as healthy as pasta can get ~ from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats.  Personally, I will be using gluten-free pasta ~ gluten is nasty stuff.

Slow Roasted Tomato Basil Pasta

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has this cool recipe for a corn, tomato, and avocado pasta salad ~ this is such a quick recipe, and as I said sometimes one just has to have pasta.

Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Pasta Salad

This is a fabulous dish from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb; one pan garlic herb chicken and asparagus ~ and it doesn’t get any better than that.

One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken and Asparagus

Oily fish is an important part of a healthy eating lifestyle, and from Delish we have 45 healthy salmon recipes, including this brilliant foil pack grilled salmon with lemony asparagus ~ it seems that lemon is good for you.

Foil Pack Grilled Salmon with Lemony Asparagus

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

canned and processed food is not part of a healthier lifestyle

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