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With it being a shiny new year – we’re not even half way through January yet (!) – we’d like to give a completely different perspective on the world around us. The one we take for granted and think we know. 
 
As so often is the case, we have a recent conversation to thank for giving us the inspiration for this post. It’s one of those things that’s obvious when someone points it out and we can’t quite understand how we’ve never noticed it before. And there’s a very simple reason for this, it requires the joining up of several dots, which then give a completely different perspective on something we all take for granted. 
 
Have we hyped it up enough yet?!? Then here we go. 
First things first, a very happy and health New year. 
 
As Clients and regular readers of this blog know, we’re not fans of new year’s resolutions, for lots of different reasons (!) and so, each year, we suggest a lower key – and kinder – start to the new year. If you’d like a quick reminder why, click here and here
 
While it may seem like a bit of a cop out – after all who doesn’t like big, BIG gestures – small and steady usually wins the day. Just think of the hare and tortoise… 
 
So, what are we going to talk about this year? 
 
Well, we’ve come across another approach that can be started at any time of year and is a great alternative to new year’s resolutions. Even better, it’s very simple and easy to do. Easily becomes part of your life. 
With “that time of year” rapidly approaching – have you put the brussel sprouts on yet?!? – it’s time for our customary reality check. Or, dare we say it, dose of common sense… 
 
With last year’s festivities being somewhat curtailed – to put it mildly – many people are going into overdrive this year to try and make up for it. And, if the warning bells aren’t already ringing loud and clear, you haven’t been listening. Adding even more pressure and stress to an already – potentially (!) – stressful event is never a good recipe for a positive outcome. 
 
We’ve talked about the madness of the season many times before. The stress. Desire to make it “perfect”, whatever that may be. Trying to do it all single handed, with all too predictable results. And that’s just the start. 
It’s all too easy to spend our lives dashing around from one thing to another, permanently distracted, with our heads full of “stuff”. Hardly noticing what’s going on around us. Let alone how we’re feeling. 
 
So, today, why not slow down and take a moment to notice all the good things going on in your life, as well as around you? Savour life’s little treasures. All the things that help ease our lives along but are easy to miss. 
 
To help get you going, here are a few things we’ve noticed over the last couple of days: 
Supplements are big business these days and much more than the traditional multi vitamins and minerals. Just about every vitamin and mineral is available along with herbal extracts and proprietary formulas for every possible health concern. Here in the UK, it’s estimated that £1.3 billion will be spent on them this year – 2021 – with the market growing every year. 
 
However, from conversations with Clients, it’s clear there’s still a huge amount of confusion about them. It’s a subject we’ve touched on before but one well worth revisiting. 
 
The first question which comes up is obvious and guaranteed to polarise people into two opposing – and usually vociferous (!) – camps. 
You may have come across these words of wisdom before and, perhaps, like us thought they came from a song. Well, no, they come from an American author Stanley Gordon West whose books revolved around life in rural America. So, once again, in writing a blog post we’ve learnt something new – perhaps you have too!?! 
 
However, this isn’t where the inspiration for this week’s post came from. Instead, it came from one of those slightly random discussions about whether it takes more muscles to frown or smile. Modern folklore says it does, so why not smile instead? Or, to use another piece of conventional wisdom, “turn that frown upside down.” 
In recent years the consumption of vegetable oils has increased dramatically while that of butter, lard and other animal products have shown a marked decline. As so often is the case, no single factor is responsible for this change, although the popularity of the Mediterranean Diet in the 1960’s and 1970’s probably helped kickstart this trend. 
 
The logic behind the diet was simple, trying to emulate the health benefits from the diet of those living in and around the Mediterranean. In other words, a wholefood and locally sourced diet centring around fresh produce. Fresh vegetables, salad, fruit, nuts, beans and grains with smaller amounts of protein, predominately fish, along with unsaturated fats, such as Olive Oil. And it’s these last two foods which are key to what we’re talking about today, as you’ll see in a moment. Fish and Olive Oil. Other meat and dairy products were only occasionally eaten. Oh, and don’t forget plenty of red wine (!). 
You may have come across these words of wisdom before and, perhaps, like us thought they came from a song. Well, no, they come from an American author, Stanley Gordon West, whose books revolved around life in rural America. 
 
However, this isn’t where the inspiration for this week’s post came from. Rather it came from one of those slightly random discussions about whether it takes more muscles to frown or smile. Modern folklore says it does, so why not smile instead? Or, to use another piece of conventional wisdom, “turn that frown upside down.” 
Leaving aside the ongoing madness – deep calming breaths all round – this is the time of year when the annual Coughs and Colds season really gets underway. With it come the usual deluge of catarrh related calls and e mails or, as most people say, “I’m full of snot, can you help me?” 
 
And, if you’re remotely squeamish, you may want to stop reading this post right now. Why? 
 
Well, for the simple reason that the first question we ask often makes people squirm. Despite this, it’s a quick and easy indicator of what may be going on, as well as narrowing down the follow up questions we need to ask.  
 
So, if you’re ready, here it is: 
 
It’s so easy to dismiss the power of making small changes, with many people preferring to focus on the big – potentially transformative – changes in their lives. The really BIG things. THE BIGGER THE BETTER! 
 
However, this overlooks the simple fact that every BIG thing is made up of lots of small things. All the tiny steps along the way which come together to magically produce the BIG end result. 
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