Saturday, 26 January 2013

Losing Your Pounds of Pain and The Secret

Well I have finished two of my books for this year - the Horse Boy and Losing Your Pounds of Pain and am feeling rather pleased with myself.  This blog entry is about the second book (I may return to the Horse Boy some other time.)  It is a book I bought a long time ago and only realised when I added it to my list of books to read that was written by my favourite Oracle card producer Dorren Virtue.  As you an see to the left I have 10 packs of her cards as opposed to 3 that aren't and even one of those was produced by her husband and so is sort of the same.

They are beautiful cards though all of them as you can see here.  These cards are from my favourite pack Mermaids and Dolphin Oracle Cards.  Anyway if you want to see more of her stuff go and see her Amazon page here.

Anyway back to the book.  It is about breaking the link between abuse, stress and overeating.  It was a really interesting read even though it concentrates a lot on binge eaters which I don't really class myself as.  It still had lots of helpful hints for losing weight and why we carry the weight we do.  The basic premise is that when you release emotional pain from your formative years, your appetite normalises because you aren't filling an emotional void with food.  We are designed to be light in body and spirit and food is meant to be fuel for daily energy and nothing more.  If we are searching for a sense of self, peace of mind and self-acceptance and cannot find them because of past pain then this can lead to over-eating or other unhealthy habits e.g. addictive behaviours or depression.  There is the need to transform FATS - fear, angers, tension and shame (leading to over-eating), into FATS - forgiveness, acceptance, trust of self (nice acronym.)

A very interesting idea she same up with was when we dismiss any childhood pain as not really a big deal, put your own child in the same situation and see how you feel about them being treated the same way you were.  This acknowledges that intellectually remembering someone (or remembering something from an adult perspective) is not the same as emotionally remembering something.   I have done this in the past and when I replaced me with Indie at the same age my 'not a big deal' became a much bigger deal than I thought.  This type of visualisation really works.

When you acknowledge that there are reasons for your addictive behaviour it then becomes easier to take control and realise that the childhood pain needs to be felt and let go of.  There is talk of dream journals, meditation, affirmations, taking note of any memory that keeps recurring as something that needs looking at, stopping before engaging in the unhealthy behaviour, exercising every day even if only for 15 minutes.

"Treat your body and soul with compassion and kindness.  Love that little child inside of you and be understanding when she occasionally falters."  - you cannot argue with that as an idea.  Anyway because of this book I have added a whole load of affirmations to my computer screen and because of watching The Secret I have added a wish-list screen saver as well high-lighting some of the things I want in the world.  Neither the affirmations nor the screen are very clear although you can see the gorgeous feet circle picture at the top of the screen which always reminds me of the ubuntu story.  Unfortunately I believe the ubuntu story is an urban myth but I will repeat it here anyway because it is such a lovely idea.

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe   He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that whoever got there first won the fruits   When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together  then sat together enjoying the fruit.  When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said "ubuntu."  In Xhosa culture ubuntu means "I am because we are."

For me this picture therefore signifies world peace and the desire that we all have compassion for ourselves and all other beings.  The other pictures are all things I would like in my life.  I will see if any of this makes any difference and let you know.  

I know there are many people out there who think that films and books like 'The Secret' are codswallop but I like some of the ideas in it and it has already helped my dd be more positive and see that it makes a difference so that makes it all worthwhile.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Watercress or lamb's lettuce soup

I love this recipe but cocked up the other day and didn't realise a bag of what I thought was watercress was actually lamb's lettuce so I substituted that in instead and it was rather nice so either seems to work in this recipe (adapted from The Detox Cook recipe book.)

Serves 4

Heat 500ml vegetable stock in a pan.

Add 6-8 spring onions or an onion (sliced) to pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add 2 medium potatoes (peeled and sliced) and 900ml vegetable stock to the pan and simmer until the potato is cooked (20 minutes-ish.)

Add 4 bunches of watercress or a similar amount of lamb's lettuce (I used a bag) to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes

Turn off the heat and add 400ml soya or rice milk.  Stir well and leave to stand before blending the soup, reheating and eating.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Tetrapak wallets, upcycled tea-bag wallets and fireplace destruction

At last Dave started demolishing the fireplace in the front room in a frenzy of activity.  It takes a lot of space and although we do not want to remove the chimney totally, getting rid of the fireplace and having an extra little alcove to put stuff in will be brill.  At some point the slabs will be coming out too.  This is all in preparation for the electrics being done and the kitchen being moved.  When that work all starts in March we are going to re-do all the flooring downstairs and so the fireplace had to come out before that.
I did some upcycling with the kids using tetrapaks to make wallets (see above).

 There are loads of websites out there explaining how you make these wallets out of tetrapaks but I thought I would quickly explain here rather than directing you elsewhere.
Wash out any tetrapak juice carton, cut off the top and bottom sections and fold in the sides (as seen to the left.)  Then fold the carton into three sections.
Two of the sections are going to be the main body of the wallet and the other section is going to be the flap that goes over the top.  You need to cut off the front and side sections of the flap so that only the back of the tetrapak is left to fold over the wallet body (see to the right above.)  You then fold the remaining two sections together and staple them together (as can be seen in the picture at the top on the left hand wallet.)  The punch a hole in the flap and feed a rubber band through to use to close the wallet (see below.)

We finished the wallets above and then one of the kids decided to try and find other things that could be made into wallets of various different sizes.  To the left you can see exactly the same technique used on a cereal box to make a small document folder with the finished product below.

Then my favourite which is using tea packets to make tea bag holders that you can take with you in your bag to you always have your favourite tea with you.  I love these almost as much as the wallets.  And all you need is a staple or two and a rubber band.
I have finished the Horse Boy book and really enjoyed it.  Might add some quotes later.  I am taking the Total Immersion book with me to Center Parcs next week hoping that I will get some time to practice the next set of techniques.  I found finding my 'sweet spot' not too difficult so am now wondering whether I was doing it wrong.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Bagels, boots, books and bathing

Bathing doesn't really cover the swimming stuff I am going to be trying to do over the next few weeks but I liked the alliteration of it all.  So I will start with the Total Immersion (TI) book - 3rd book down in the photo (link to Amazon for a copy at the side).  I have read the first 3 chapters of the book and have looked at the first few drills to start my total immersion swimming practice.  Here is a video that shows what I am heading for in the first few basic drills but here is the one that shows the 'sweet spot' which I will be trying to find on Monday when I go swimming.  I will be trying to practice it on both sides.
So the theory behind why I need to be doing all this is basically we need to reshape our bodies to be able to swim better.  It seems the 80/20 principle can be used here where the mechanisms of the stroke bring 80% of the performance whereas only 20% comes from the fitness of the swimmer.  TI advocates that your arm stroke has very limited impact on how fast you move through the water due to the fact that water is 1000 times denser than air thereby throwing a huge drag force against anyone who doesn't know the tricks of becoming 'slippery' or streamlined.  Cutting drag by improving body position is therefore the most important thing to do (as nautical engineers try to do with boats.)  This can be achieved by learning to glide as far as possible after each stroke by balancing your body correctly in the water, making your body longer in the water and learning to swim on your side (hence the sweet spot drill to learn to balance on both sides in the water.)  I'll try and let you know how it goes!!!  I am very happy however that I have read a third of the book already.
I have also nearly finished the Horse Boy (2nd book down and link to Amazon at the side) and it is a brilliant book which I would highly recommend.  It is about an autistic boy called Rowan who has an affinity for horses and how his Dad takes him to see some shamans in Mongolia to try and help with his autistic behaviours.  They filmed the whole trip so I am going to try and watch the film once I have finished the book.  There is a trailer here if you are interested.  So I am pleased that I have nearly finished this book and will be carrying on reading the Harville Hendrix one "Getting the Love You want" once I have finished.

I have finished my first craft project which I am very happy about.  I adapted a pattern I found on Etsy by Holland Designs and made these feet warmer/sock/crochet shoe things.  They are very comfy and warm and I am very pleased with them even if I do say so myself!!!  Follow this link to see some of Holland Designs here.  I have bought most of the shoe patterns and will definitely be crocheting some more soon.

And lastly but not least-ly bagels.  Dave made some bagels yesterday and I had to share how amazing they were.  So much nicer than the bagels you get in the shop so much so that I ate 3 last night for tea!! Here are my lovely children modelling said bagels for you.  I think Indie might have a career in comedy modelling!!!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

books, exercise - oh dear I have too much stuff to read and links to watch!!!

 After posting my last blog entry on facebook a discussion started about the movnat and other such movement stuff.  I thought I would therefore compose another blog entry with all the videos and stuff that I have found over the years about exercise, wild swimming, barefoot running, etc.  This prompted me to go and track down all the books I have about all these things.  However I realised that I had too many books so I just gathered together a few that I have purchased and never read (or started reading but never got very far!!)  Here are the main ones which are relevant to the links I am going to put here and are ones that are probably going to stay off the shelf and get read sometime soon (maybe!)

Whilst looking for the above books I found these other books that are going to be added to my books-I-need-to-read pile which has now gone beyond the 12 I said I was going to read this year - oh dear!!  Here are the ones I had already put on the list:
1. the moneyless manifesto - can be read here for free
2. the moneyless man
3. adapt: why success always starts with failure - read a review here
4. mindfulness for life - read about it here
5. six weeks to superhealth - see here
6. receiving love: letting yourself be loved will transform your relationship - would recommend any of his books - read about Harville Hendrix here
7. how to be an adult in relationship: the five keys to mindful loving - read about the author here

Anyway here are some links to the various physical things that I have found over the years:
Movnat is a physical education and fitness system based on training the full range of natural human movement abilities.  Here is the movnat youtube channel where there are lots of videos about movnat movements.  Here is a 48 minute talk by the founder of movnat and there are lots of other videos on you tube about this like this one or this one or this list.  Just search and you will find more.

A similar methodology is primal movement which is an approach to human movement that prioritises basic, natural movement.  Here are four workouts: workout 1 - the warm up, workout 2 - mobility and crawling, workout 3 - mirroring and interaction and workout 4 - putting it all together.  

And again here is an article about similar "our bodies have forgotten the movements we used to do" type idea.  Here is a list of the seven primal movements we don't do enough of any more - squat, lunge, push, pull, bend, twist and gait - with associated workout advice.

If you like kettlebells here is a primal movement kettlebell workout.  Here is a primal outdoor circuit done by a man with no top on to show off his abs!!

The Ready, Set, Go! book pictured above talks about a sprint 8 idea and the research behind it but basically  as mentioned here, Sprint 8 cardio exercise creates the maximal release of exercise-induced growth hormone by doing 20 minutes of exercise in a certain way three times a week.   This 20-minute protocol consists of a 3-minute walking warm up and a 2-minute walking cool down. The rest is 90 seconds of "active recovery" walking in between eight hard and fast 30-second cardio sprints.  The key is that the 30-sec cardio sprints have to be flat out otherwise you aren't doing it right.  If you can keep going after those 30 seconds at the same pace you need to be going faster.  This sprint 8 protocol can be done using any cardio exercise eg. swimming, rowing, knee-highs, you name it.

The Total Immersion is about learning a new way of swimming especially useful for outdoor swimming but also invaluable for any freestyle swimmer.  See a good description of what it is about here where you get to see a good example of the total immersion technique alongside a traditional freestyle swimming stroke.  I haven't read this book so will get back to you when I have!!  I do need to improve my freestyle stroke so definitely on my list of books to read.  [how many am I up to now? 16?]  There are other decent videos here and here and here that explain more and from other's perspectives.  It seems that these are well worth looking at if you are interested in swimming and you might be able to glean enough from the total immersion you tube channel to really help if this is your thing.  The trick seems to be to disturb the water less and a similar thing with Chi Running is to use gravity rather than battle against it.

The Chi Running book is something I bought before I bought my vibram barefoot running shoes.  Again I haven't read it other than skimming the pages although I did watch the following videos and try and implement some of the techniques in normal trainers.  Here is an interview with the Chi Running book Danny Dreyer and here is a video explaining the chi running technique and here is another one with diagrams.  There are other videos about barefoot running out there as well.  Like this one that gives you a brilliant illustration of changing foot fall to ball rather than heel and then changing posture.  There are some good drills in that video and some other ones in this video around the 2 minute mark.
So there is a bit about the stuff I have looked at over the years to do with improving the way my body works.  I think this has given me a kick start to look again at the sprint 8 as part of the movnat and primal body stuff.  Those different techniques seem to compliment each other as does the barefoot running and total immersion swimming.  So here's to a more natural body moving 2013.  [two posts in two days - who knew I could manage that!!!!]