Category Archives: Health

You can’t outrun a poor diet: Calories Matter

About 70% of calorie consumption is accounted for by metabolism though the absolute number varies little for people of different metabolic rates. So, if you’re an average male whose calorie burn is 2,000 a day (can be 1,500 – 2,500 depending on height), about 1,400 are consumed just being you (brain, breathing etc). For females whose calorie burn rate is 1,600, that would be 1,200 calories. Another 400 (320 for females) or so are consumed by digestion (can be 100-800). And then there’s movin’ and shakin’ aka exercise.

The shape of things to come (already here).Standing instead of sitting can burn an extra 50 calories an hour (10-80). So if you stand instead of sit at the desk you’ll burn maybe an extra 300 calories a day. Jogging for an hour can burn 700 calories. And running burns about twice te calories per minute of walking. Simply fidgeting will raise your metabolic rate and make a difference. If you have a physically demanding day, like cleaning, digging, building etc, you’ll be burning more calories than a desk-worker, but that doesn’t mean a bit of a workout isn’t going to help the parts of your body the daily routine doesn’t reach, like your tummy! And it’s good to breathe.

Continue reading You can’t outrun a poor diet: Calories Matter

How to change the world: Change your mind, body and spirit.

Joe Dispenza has been elucidating the science of mind for decades.  In this talk (embedded below) he gives a clear, easy to follow description of how the mind works and how a person can change themselves by, literally, changing their mind.

To summarise: The brain is constantly changing – the growth, decay, connection and disconnection of neurons is the electro-chemical, physical manifestation of mind.  Recognising one’s own thoughts allows you to manage them in a positive way, rather than allowing them to propagate chaotically.  (This is why cognitive behavioural therapy works, even to the extent of being a go to treatment for clinical depression.) So, when faced with stress or challenge, you pause, take a breath, consider the situation and look for positive aspects, which includes taking a different approach.  Taking a positive approach lowers stress (good), and allows the mind to think more critically to find solutions (good) instead of resorting to primitive, knee-jerk responses.

People who are seeking change in the world or themselves will appreciate the scientific foundation of these ideas, which have been practices for centuries by yogis, monks and ascetics.  The technique is also used, whether consciously or not, by successful people who control their behaviour – this includes academics,  athletes and sportspeople, musicians, thespians, entrepreneurs and organisation leaders.

As well as using your mind as a simple tool for changing yourself, recognising your biological nature allows you to choose a path which yields happiness and health.  This happens when you manage stress to allow your physical body to move to equanimity.

These ideas are very relevant for those of us who are seeking  system change.  Often our efforts are blocked by intransigence in  incumbent institutions, systems and leaders – and that is frustrating and exhausting.  Getting stressed is not a solution.  Stepping back, letting go and moving forward in the right way is the only way to effect positive change.  We are changing the system by changing ourselves.  To change the world, we must change ourselves.  It is not easy because the system is designed for dysfunction, but changing for good works, gets easier as you do it more and yields a fulfilling life.  Think about it!  And be the change you want to see in the world.

Enjoy the show:

Three things parents must teach children: money, food, autos

The following piece by Leah Holstein on Funderstanding is a simple, fun admonition with some helpful links.  Enjoy the read or just note the message:

Teach children about finances, cooking and cars because they are essential skills for life which are not taught at school

Continue reading Three things parents must teach children: money, food, autos

Exercise body and mind to keep them fit; or lose you wits and fade away.

exerciseoldman-thinkstockphotosIn case you still find it a challenge to get off the couch or do mental arithmetic (when shopping for example) this week more evidence was published  showing the dramatic difference between people engaged in life and those waiting to die.

A study showing that elderly people who exercise ‘live five years longer’ was published the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

While earlier in the week, a BBC journalist reported being trounced by a brain-training octogenarian!

brain-lit-up-While at first you might think that walking and thinking are bygone arts of a pre-modern age when we didn’t have cars, phones, computers and media devices, in fact they are core to your happiness and well-being.

Exercising makes you feel good.  It’s a fact.  Endorphins stimulate the happy parts of your brain.  And you don’t need to be a champ, you just need to move, everyday.  Simply standing is nearly twice as good as sitting.  The study publicised today recommends only 3 hours of exercise a week.  C’mon everyone can do that!

And as for thinking, well isn’t it sad that we’d rather slide a finger across a screen than do the thinking that the human brain was built for?  That we can’t add up a few groceries in a bag or even guesstimate the change we expect from a purchase?  No wonder we’re defrauded by bankers, politicians and big business when we can’t be bothered to read a label.  Thinking can be fun too, because, here again, an active mind releases its own happy chemicals.

Vitruvian_MansmallIf the positive encouragement is not sufficient, ask yourself if you want the machines to take over.  It’s happening.  The futuristic scenario of The Terminator is becoming reality as artificial intelligence and android engineering advances.  We already have self driving cars and robochefs.  It won’t be long before rich people can get rid of the rest of us because all production will be automated.  And then the machines might decide to get rid of humankind, after all we’re not looking after the biosphere.

So, getup, think and choose to live.

BBC:  People who exercise ‘live five years longer

BBC: Ttounced by a brain-training octogenarian

The Economist: Robochef gets cooking

BBC: Google purpose-built robot cars tested on public roads

Don’t watch “Earthlings”. You can’t handle it.

Three stages of TRUTH:
Ridicule.
Violent opposition.
Acceptance.

Earthlings is a docudrama drawing attention to vile, uncivilised behaviour in which we all play a role.  It focuses on the torture of animals which modern society condones and from which we distance ourselves, covering five aspects: pets, food, clothing, entertainment, science.

earthlings4Be warned.  It is graphic.  You might have a pet which you rescued, you might eat only organic produce, you might avoid leather and fur, you might not go to the races and you might not wear make-up, but the atrocities shown in the film still go on today, in your community and are endorsed by governments, leaders and “everyone”.

The point is: Just say NO.  Humanity can not survive if it does not extend the rationale of justice to nature.  That means treating animals with care, even if you are going to eat them, though plainly that in itself is far from necessary.  In fact, a simple fix for climate change is veganism/vegetarianism because the livestock industry in the number one cause of greenhouse gases and a major contributor to biodiversity loss and environmental contamination. (See “The Facts” about sustainability, the environment and your future.)earthlings9

I watched the movie last night (mostly with my eyes closed) because Ellen said “Food Inc is “Disney compared to Earthlings”.  She wasn’t kidding.

I used to make fun of vegetarians and tofu.  One day I realised I didn’t like killing animals.  (Duh!)  So I stopped killing them and became vegetarian.  That was nearly two decades ago.  I’m still alive, a little overweight in fact.  And now it is science that a plant based diet is healthier and the meat industry is killing the planet.   It should be that we can eat a bit of meat, but the impact on the biosphere of a meat focused food industry  has become so violent, that a simple avoidance policy is really the only option.

You don’t have to watch Earthlings, but humankind must slow down and drastically reduce its consumption of the biosphere (our habitat which we need for life) and that includes consuming fewer animals.

syria-christian-massacre-3Is it going to happen?  Well, this is today’s headline: Syria conflict: Aleppo civilians suffer ‘unthinkable atrocities’, in which accounts of civilian torture and massacre are reported.  Not a hopeful datapoint …

Earthlings Website

Watch Earthlings online here.

Yoga In Ireland – groundbreaking analysis of market and practitioner behaviour.

Check out Pam’s article,  The Irish Yoga Market, published in Yoga Therapy Ireland Magazine, Spring 2015.

Pam’s ground breaking research acquired raw data on the yoga market in Ireland which was previously unavailable and focuses on why people do yoga.

The research included lengthy interviews with a number of teachers and leading yoga entrepreneurs, plus a wide ranging questionnaire filled in by hundreds of practitioners around the country.

As a yoga practitioner, teacher and entrepreneur herself she wanted to consider assumptions about why people do yoga, such as: “Is it for health or self-esteem or social fun?”

Her work explored  questions fundamental to an effective marketing plan:

  • Who is the target client?

  • How can the client be helped?

  • What attracts the target customer?

  • What new market segments can be developed?

These are not the first questions that pop into mind when you think of “yoga”, but they are important to sustainable business success.  The article offers insights in to how to grow your yoga business.

Please download the article from pambutleryoga.com here.

You can’t outrun a bad diet!

The message is getting through.  Sugar is bad.  Bad for your body.  Bad for your mind.  Maybe even bad for your soul.

In an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, three international experts said it was time to “bust the myth” about exercise.

They said while activity was a key part of staving off diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia, its impact on obesity was minimal.

If you want to loose weight jogging isn’t going to help.  You must say NO.  You have to reduce the calories.  You burn about the same whether you’re walking or running and that’s about the same as standing too.  Yes sitting all the time will burn far fewer calories than standing, but if you want to lose the tub, reduce your intake.

Rules of thumb: 2,000 calories per day.  Carbohydrate (potatoes, pasta, bread etc) and protein (beans and meat)  ~ 400 calories per 100 grammes.  Fat – 900 calories per 100 grammes.  So you max out around 500 grammes or half a kilo.  In a day not a meal …

There’s more.  Sugar is more addictive than cocaine.  (Watch Fed Up.)  So it clearly messes with your mind and saying NO to cakes, cookies, biscuits, bars, chocolate, soda pop, etc becomes harder as you enjoy it more regularly.  It doesn’t just rot your teeth.  It rots your blood vessels and organs.  Cut back o sugar and you’ll feel better.

I’m  no saint, so I know it’s not easy.  But the best time to say NO is in the shop because if you don’t buy the cake, chocolate or soda pop, you don’t have to resist later – it’s just not there.  Good luck! 🙂

BBC: Exercise ‘not key to obesity fight’

 

Hearing loss in rich countries – another decadent crack in the system.

Last year it was reported that for 4 decades global development had followed the pessimistic scenario projected in 1972 in Limits to Growth.  2015 was projected as the start of the outward signs of decay.  And here’s one of them:

World Health Organisation data shows increasing hearing damage in developed economies from partying, and other stuff.  It says 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of permanently damaging their hearing by listening to “too much, too loudly”.

So the media device is helping us corrupt social behaviour – people don’t talk to each other, they text etc.  And is helping us make ourselves deaf too.

The louder the noise (measured in decibels), the faster it damages the ear.  The WHO’s safe listening times are:

  • 85 dB – the level of noise inside a car – eight hours
  • 90 dB – lawn mower – two hours 30 minutes
  • 95 dB – an average motorcycle – 47 minutes
  • 100 dB – car horn or underground train – 15 minutes
  • 105 dB – mp3 player at maximum volume – four minutes
  • 115 dB – loud rock concert – 28 seconds
  • 120 dB – vuvuzela or sirens – nine seconds

BBC: Cut music to an hour a day – WHO

The foxes have taken over the hen house!

Big business is secretly lobbying government to pass laws that give the rights to determine what we eat, irrespective of health or environment, as long as it makes money for them!

Maybe that sounds too fantastic to be true, but it’s happening.  Maybe you’re in big business and you think it can’t be that bad and it’s OK, but then ask yourself if you have any influence on the morality of the business that pays you or if they tell you what is ethical and how to behave.

The biggest problem today is corruption in business and politics.  It gets more vile as you ascend the hierarchy.  It shouldn’t be like that, because we’re all good people.  But turning a blind eye to small things has become ignoring big things and now the world is blind to our own failings …

Say no to TIPP here.

Drinking cow poo! Or not? Cleaning Up after Big Ag

Here’s the essay of the week from OCA.  It’s short and sweet and to the point.  The point is not so sweet – big food producers are breaking laws, poisoning consumers and getting away with it because of corrupted legislation and process …

Cleaning Up after Big Ag
Factory Farms Pollute Water

A “Cow Palace” in Washington State that threatens public health with its acres of untreated animal waste. A city in Iowa spending $1 million a year to keep illness-causing nitrates from farm runoff out of public drinking water.

And who can forget the plight of Toledo, Ohio, residents whose water last summer was so contaminated by farm runoff that they couldn’t even bathe in it, much less drink it?

For decades, America’s chemical-intensive, industrial farming operations have spewed nitrates and other toxic chemicals, animal waste, ammonia, antibiotics, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane gases into public air, waterways and communities.

How do they get away with it? Largely because lobbyists have seen to it that Big Ag is exempt from many of the rules and regulations that other industries, and even municipalities, are required to follow under laws such as the Clean Air Act (comments on exemptions here), the Clean Water Act (comments on exemptions here) and the Resource and Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA).

Concerned about the growing threat to public health, and tired of picking up the tab for cleaning up the mess, citizens and local and state governments are turning to the courts for help.

In some cases, they’re winning. But the real win will come when the conversation turns from mitigating pollution, to preventing it, by transitioning to pesticide-free, chemical-free, non-GMO organic regenerative agriculture.

Read the essay