Self Sabotage & Why You Self Destruct

I’ll be the first to admit, I am not an expert on health. I am an ordinary guy, a dad, a husband, a friend, a son on an extraordinary journey to achieve better health and longevity. I’ve learned alot but I am not an expert on nutrition nor do I claim to be. But I have learned that good nutrition starts way before anything lands on your plate. It starts with your hormones, your mood, your days experience and your reactions to the events that happen around you and to you.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and I am no exception. In a last few days, I made a pact with my wife that we will jointly try and both lose a few pounds that have crept on during the winter months. The days are getting longer and brighter here so our thoughts are probably turning towards summer holidays – better lose the bellies. So off we went, made the food plan for the week, did the shop and all set. While my wife has been very steady and doing really well on the plan, I seem to have gone completely the other way. I started well – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday all good (ish). Thursday & Friday – a complete disaster. Burgers, chips, fizzy drinks, battered fish, chocolate, jellies, beer, crisps, nuts – you get the picture. To top it all off, now I need to take some pills to help with the stomach pains and cramps that I am experiencing literally as I write this.

So I sit here asking myself – why have I very deliberately sabotaged my own efforts to succeed on this plan? Why am I using food as a weapon to inflict harm on myself and my body and make myself sick? Why does it feel like I just want to eat everything and anything in my path until the point where I do get sick?

I know that the foods I have eaten in the last 48 hours cause huge inflammation in the body, they promote disease and illness, they cause huge pressure on my digestive system which I can literally feel is in pain right now as it tries to deal with all the toxins and chemicals in these artifical and fattening foods. Worst of all, I know that these are the exact foods I should be avoiding if I want to lose excess weight. Weight loss and gain is far more rooted in the mind and the mood than it is with what’s on the plate.

Deep down here’s what I think is going on.

  1. I know my wife will be better at this plan so I am failing fast on purpose so not to even really compete – even though I know, at least intellectually, this is not a competition. Ridiculous male ego stuff, I know.
  2. I am not owning it. I am not taking responsibility for my choices and actions.

I am going to bed now with a renewed sense of purpose. Tomorrow is a new day and I will start over. I am forgiving myself now for abusing my body with these dead artificial junk foods. I vow to be kinder to myself and to nourish my body and mind.

Mood follows action so if you want a better mood, take more deliberate action. Better mood = better choices = better health.

Here’s to fresh starts and forgiveness.

Yours in health & happiness,

JP

The Circle of Life

What is the current state of your finances? Your financial health so to speak. I’m guessing, if you are like most people, you have no idea.

What about your career – what state is that in?

Do you have a spiritual practice?

How are the relationships in your life?

What do you do for fun?

All big questions right. These are all very important facets to our overall health.

Our health is much more than just what is on our plates. Food can act as a portal to start improving your health and indeed, it is the first place alot of us start with but if you consider your holistic health, you have to see the bigger picture and see how things are connected.

It doesn’t matter how much kale you have on your plate, if you are desperately lonely with no fun in your life or are in a job that you hate, you are much more likely to make poor food choices that negatively impact your health.

The circumstances of our lives affect our choices every day – what we do, what we eat, what exercise we do or don’t do, who we like, where we work.

How many of us objectively assess how we are doing across these key areas of our lives regularly just to see how we are doing. This is where the circle of life tool comes in.

When things are not going well for you, it can be really hard to see where the issues really reside. This is why it can be really helpful to use a simple tool like this to see where your life is off balance.

Step 1

For each segment of the circle, place a dot on the line to indicate your level of satisfaction in each area. A dot towards the center indicates dissatisfaction and a dot towards the periphery indicates satisfaction. For example, if your social life is really abundant, place a dot on the line somewhere towards the outside of the circle.

Step 2

Connect the dots to see your Circle of Life.

Step 3

Identify imbalances and determine where to spend more time and energy to create more balance.

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Yours in health and happiness,

JP

Chickpea & Carrot Stew

This is a chunky monkey of a stew that will fill you up, not fill you out. Get stuck in.

You will need:

  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 5 carrots
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 400g tin of organic chickpeas (I like the Bunalun brand)
  • 1 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 200g green or brown lentils
  • 100g brown rice
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp cinnamon • 2 tsp paprika • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tblsp cumin • 2 tsp coriander • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5lt veg stock
  • Some chopped herbs like coriander or parsely

To make this:

  1. Chop the onions, garlic and carrots
  2. Add all to the pan with some salt and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to the pan
  4. Add the lentils, rice, tomatoes, lemon zest and juice and all the spices to the pan
  5. Add the stock and bring to the boil
  6. Then simmer gently for 30 minutes

Enjoy!

Yours in health and happiness,

JP

Indian Dahl

Super filling lentil based dish inspired by both Indian cooking and the Happy Pear boys, I always make a double batch of this and it lasts all week. I tend to either eat a whole bowl of this on it’s own for a meal or add a small portion of it to another dish. It’s a great, quick and basic meal to have in your recipe toolbox.

You will need:

  • 500g red lentils
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Thumb size piece of ginger
  • 1 courgette
  • 4 ripe tomatoes or a tin of chopped tomatoes will do
  • Spices – 2 tsp cumin | pinch of cayenne pepper | 1 tsp tumeric | 3 tsp curry medium powder | 1 tsp black pepper | 1 tsp cajun | 1 tsp harissa (for extra kick)
  • 3 tblsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 can of coconut milk if you want to make it a bit more luxurious
  • Some herbs like coriander or mint (optional)

To make this:

  1. Soak the lentils in cold water for a few hours if you can. If you can’t that’s fine too
  2. Chop the onions, garlic and ginger and saute in a hot pan for 5 minutes
  3. Add the chopped courgette, tomatoes and 1 tsp salt and stir well
  4. Cover and cook gently on a low heat for about 10 minutes
  5. Add the lentils, spices, soy sauce, lime juice and rest of the salt and about 1.5 lts of water
  6. If you want to keep this super low fat, skip the coconut milk, otherwise add it now
  7. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes
  8. Add some green herbs to pimp it up

Enjoy!

Yours in health & happiness,

JP

 

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