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Posts tagged “New perspectives”

Calories – and calorie counting – have been the mainstay of weight loss regimes for many years, regardless of how they’re packaged or marketed. Or which celebrity is endorsing them (!). 
 
The logic is quite simple. We all know it by heart, it goes like this: 
 
Excess calories = weight gain. 
 
Therefore fewer calories = weight loss. 
 
Which naturally leads on to the “more is better” approach. Or, more accurately, “less is better” one (!). 
 
In other words, the more controlled and restricted the diet is, the fewer calories are consumed and the greater – and quicker – the weight loss. Well, in theory (!). Which means we can then go back to eating the foods we really want to. 
It’s something we all do automatically – and unconsciously – from time to time. Usually when one of our buttons are being pressed or our emotions threaten to overwhelm us, both positively and less so (!). Often a couple of deep breaths – or counting to 10 – are all that’s needed. A potential downward spiral is averted and everyone concerned lives to fight another day. Well, hopefully, not fight but you know what we mean… 
 
So why are deep breaths so powerful and often save the day? 
Go into any shop selling food – or, more often, food like products rather than real food (!) – and you’re virtually guaranteed to go past a shelf of energy drinks on your way to the till. Or, all too often, conveniently placed within easy reach along with other sugary snacks as you wait for your turn to pay. 
 
Marketed as a quick and easy way to boost energy levels, sales have rocketed in the last few years, with no end in sight. Along with a take away coffee and sugary snack, they’re used by many people to kick start their day instead of breakfast. Or, in the evening, with alcohol to keep going late into the night. And, while we’ve all seen the short term effects of both approaches – although, hopefully, not directly from personal experience (!) – very little thought seems to be given to the long term consequences… 
With the relentless pace of modern life, it’s easy to lose track of ourselves. To be so focussed on the physical world “out there”, we forget who we really are “in here.” 
 
So, this week, a little reminder we’re so much more than what’s “out there.”  
We have a very good friend to thank for the inspiration for this week’s blog post – she knows who she is (!). She has a great gift for making seemingly innocuous statements – or asking simple questions – which are then guaranteed to get you thinking. And this is a great example of one of them. 
 
It all started with her making a very simple observation. That people seem to be very good at saying “no” but seem to find it much harder to say “yes”. And it doesn’t seem to matter what it is. For some reason, our automatic reflex response seems to be “no.” Why is this? 
 
Well, we’d say there are many reasons for this – probably as many as there are people (!) – but a big one is that we prefer to stick with the routine and predictable. Know what’s likely to happen rather than stepping outside our comfort zone. 
With the recent bout of warm weather, we were very tempted to write about one of our pet subjects this week. And there are no prizes for guessing what it is. Water and the importance of keeping properly hydrated all year round (!). Not just when the weather is hot, although it’s much easier to take the hint at this time of year… 
 
To us it’s very obvious but, from the calls we get from Clients, it seems the message still isn’t getting through. If you need a quick reminder about the importance of water, as well as the signs you may be dehydrated, click here
 
Following on from this is a very common sign of dehydration which also features regularly in calls from Clients at this time of year. Cramp, particularly those excruciating leg cramps which always seem to come on in the middle of the night. Again, if you need a quick reminder, click here
 
Which neatly brings us on to what we’d like to talk about today. True, it’s another of our pet subjects but, as always, there is method in our madness. Yes, really! 
We all do it at times and, before you ask, that includes us too (!).  
 
Find ourselves reaching for our favourite little treat or comfort food, before we’ve realised what we’re doing. 
 
Often, it’s something sweet or chocolate related – or both (!) – although it doesn’t have to be. Something savoury, crisps or a sneaky sausage roll, seem to be just as popular. 
 
Whatever it is, we easily convince ourselves that it’s what we need RIGHT NOW – and it’s all too easy to have just one more or for it to become a regular part of our day… 
 
Now, despite what some people might think (!), we’re not complete killjoys and saying you can’t have a treat from time to time. But BEFORE your hand reaches the packet (!) just pause for a moment. Notice how you’re really feeling RIGHT NOW. Why you feel you need a treat RIGHT NOW. 
Food diets and crazes may come and go but some mantras seem to stand the test of time. Having your five a day is a great example – although this is only a starting point and not nearly enough (!) – which leads us neatly on to what we’d like to talk about today. Fibre, also known as “roughage”. 
 
It may not be the most exciting of subjects, but fibre is universally seen as a “good thing”. An important part of a healthy diet. Interestingly, we tend to focus on its ability to fill us up – so stopping us reaching for sugary snacks between meals – as well as slowing down the rate that food is broken down and absorbed. In other words, it helps stop the “sugar high” following sugar laden meals or snacks. At the same time, it’s important for – as it’s rather euphemistically called – “regular movements” and we’ll leave the rest to your imagination… 
 
However, there’s another aspect to fibre we’d like to talk about today, which tends to get overlooked. In fact, we can almost guarantee you won’t have thought of it in these terms before (!). 
It’s been a while since we’ve written about the cycles that play out in our lives. Some are easy to see, particularly at this time of year, when we can feel the slow – very slow, this year (!) – quickening from Spring into Summer. Having said that, the signs are definitely there if you spend a few minutes outside. The cuckoo is busy in the woods near our home, swallows and house martins have finally arrived – hurrah (!) – and the lovely frothy sheep’s parsley is festooning the verges. Everyone has their own particular signs that Summer is here, so we’ll leave you to include your own particular favourites… 
 
Then there are the cycles that aren’t so obvious, but still affect our lives, even if it’s just at the “something feels different” level we can’t quite put our finger on. And it’s one of these we’d like to talk about today. It takes us into the realm of astrology – and, “yes”, we know the mere mention of it can get some people going (!) – but, please, bear with us before you dismiss it out of hand…. 
We have a standing joke in our family that everything is multi functional. And if you know anyone who uses a walking stick, you’ll know exactly what we mean! Not only is the stick used for its intended purpose, but many others too, with an incredible amount of ingenuity thrown in for good measure… 
 
However, this adage applies equally to all those “treasures” found at the back of our kitchen cupboards and it’s one of these we’d like to talk about today. We can virtually guarantee it’s in most homes, even if it hasn’t seen the light of day for a while… 
 
What are we talking about?  
 
Bicarb of Soda or, if you’d prefer its full name, Sodium Bicarbonate. You may also know it as Baking Soda or Baking Powder. Although we should say that, strictly, these are a little different to Bicarb of Soda, with additional substances being added to them to make them more stable; so giving more consistent results as well as a longer shelf life. 
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