Monday, August 3, 2009

The Nutritional Value diet

No doubt you've heard it all before from someone you know or in a movie say, "I'm going on a diet!" Perhaps you've even tried to go on a diet yourself with no luck or only short term luck?

I believe a diet shouldn't really be a diet if it doesn't become part of your lifestyle, as a diet shouldn't be seen as a short term lifestyle change, but rather something you should endeavour to undertake throughout your life.

That being said, it can be quite challenging at times for people to resist the temptation to get those packets of tim tams, chips etc. I agree, personally, I too feel the urge to dig into those. But having these in moderation and within a controlled manner is the key to what I have come to believe as the best way to consume it and be in 'control'.

Should I go cold turkey?

It's hard going 'cold turkey', i.e. going without those comfort foods completely, as it has most likely become a part of our lifestyle and is part of our daily 'habits'. It is this habit that needs to be changed and this can't be changed like an on and off switch, but rather as a gradual change - as habits are hard to get out of.

If going cold turkey is not going to work, then what do I suggest? I suggest going cold turkey but towards a 5-6 days a week of healthy eating and then allowing that extra day or two to be able to deviate from that. It will be an outlet and a guiltfree day where you can enjoy some of those foods you enjoy, but at least it won't be on an everyday basis. You can start small and build your way up, it just depends on what you aim to achieve ulitmately. You should however try have smaller portions and have those foods in moderation, though I know that may be tricky at the start, and this is how often you should stick to this lifestyle change, but what do I eat?

What you should eat?

These are so many different foods you can eat, from Chinese to Indian, to Japanese, to Italian... But what should you be eating?

I'll say, use your commonsense and try to choose foods which are generally steamed rather than fried and not cooked in too much oil. But is that too general?

Think about the nutritional value of the food you eat

Think also about the nutritional benefits, i.e. the potential vitamins and minerals that you are likely to gain from eating the choosen meal. It may take time to understand what foods are best for which vitamins and minerals and that will come with time (I'll cover that later on). As one can only really eat so much during each meal before you get full, so you need to choose wisely otherwise you'll be filling yourself up with low nutritional foods that won't leave you feeling as energetic and lively as you would like!

The nutritional value diet

So think about the nutritional value you can achieve from each meal and what best suits what you aim to achieve from changing your eating habits.

Wants vs needs

Society is always telling us that we should have this and that and most of us have come to believe, to desire, and to want all those things that they market to us. But how much of it do we really need?

Surprising not much. If you look back at how caveman used to live their only focus was on the core human needs for survival. Yet we are each here today, wanting this new car, new house, new technology, new clothes and more, so when you think about it, how much of it do you really 'need'?

They're probably more 'wants' than anything. You only will find that you may want the new car, house, or technology for the short term satisfaction that it brings you - that short term happiness. Just think about that new toy that a kid gets, after a while he/she gets bored with it and demands another new toy. We do the same whether consciously and unconsciously with all the other things in our lives.

Sometimes society through the media and peer pressure that encourages us to always 'want' rather than really getting something that we 'need'. So there's something that I generally try do whenever I seek to purchase something that I know that is probably more on the wants than needs side than anything is ask that question to myself - "do I really 'need' this or am I just 'want' this?"

One other way of putting things into perspective for our core needs in our day and age is constrast yourself against what would be found in a developing country, as often when you travel to these cities and towns you find that they focus on some of the true aspects of life. They can even happier too as they have not lost themselves in the materialistic elements of our society. Instead they focus on what is important which is food, shelter, warm for survival and than there is the social/ tribal needs such as family and friends.

Here's a nice quote that may help you think about wants and needs:

“Material blessings, when they pay beyond the category of need, are weirdly fruitful of headache”
 -Philip Wylie

So next time you looking to purchase that new goods and/or services ask yourself? Do I really 'need' or 'want' this? As you'll often find it's the 'wants' that can appear more frequently that you realise...

Be happy

Be Happy

Life has it's ups and downs, as you've probably heard before, it has it's challenges, it's joyfulness and it's sorrows. But even in times of despair one should always hope to see that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, that there is hope out there, no matter how far it may seem. That may sound quite cliche, but it's true.

Think about it. What has happened? You've lost your wallet? Your house? Your keys? Your job? Sure, they are all tragic and unfortunate events, but what one should realise is that these are all the 'westernised' lifestyle items that we have come to believe can mean the end of the world for us. As it has been so engrained into us that these things are so important, so precious that without it our life is no good. That isn't true though is it?

I'm sure you still have your loving family, friends, food to eat, a place to stay, and the core elements of human life that ensures your survival. I know it is hard, but if you stay positive and reflect on life as life, i.e. without all these processions and materials that have been accummulated and look at the core parts of your life. Always strive to be grateful and happy for what you have, as at the end of the day, if you do take everything the western world has given you and keep only the core elements of your life (i.e. your family, friends, a home, shelter etc.) then you will find that there is hope and that your worries are only those that society has put forward onto you. Ultimately, you have everything you truly need and that is where true happiness lies - so be happy :)

Seeing gifts for its true intrinsic value

It is easy in today’s society to take the face value for everything around us, given the ‘materialistic’, ‘consumer driven’ society that we live in. It’s easy to get bogged down in this mindset, as this is simply how we’ve been taught to live, it is how we’ve been raised and with the bombardment of advertisements and marketing campaigns, it is no wonder that we have come to value materials so dearly. We are encouraged to buy this, buy that and that we must have this and that, that we must only buy something simply because of the brand or the face value that it may hold or we have come to believe it holds.

Yet, as you should never judge a book by its cover, if we were to look at all the things from what you see directly rather than what its true value might hold, i.e. the true hidden value of the object, item, thing, and organism, you will see that there is more than meets the eye. One only needs to you look carefully and deeply enough to explore and discover this true value, or ‘true intrinsic value’ as I like to call it.

When you view the world in this perspective, you can see things for what it is, and the hidden efforts and intentions surrounding it. Just as the saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts”. That is where the true value lies. I believe this should be valued even more than the gift itself, as if it was something that you did purchase yourself, then its value could be never provide or have the same value as if it was given as a gift. It is the hidden value that is added to something which can make something ordinary turn into something priceless and make it into a ‘sentimental’ item.

This intrinsic value, i.e. the true value of things is often hidden, overlooked value that can often get lost in our everyday lives. So I would encourage you to look for the true meanings/ intentions behind a gift. As although a gift does have value in itself, the true intentions, meanings and thoughts that went behind choosing it forms part of the ‘true intrinsic value’ of the gift, and that offers more value than the gift itself.