My 30 Day Challenge

So here it is. I'm doing a trial for Alison's 30 Days to Change 1 Thing program that starts early next year.

My challenge is, I've been bouncing backwards and forwards between Italy & the UK now for a couple of years. I've done some computing freelance work but basically I haven't earnt a proper living over that time or the year previous… So over the next 30 days I'm going to start bringing more money in than is going out, right here in Italy!

I have the following skills:

Qualified Yoga Teacher – Yeah I swore I'd never teach again but I can teach 1to1s in silence if I have to (& I might 'cos my Italian falters whenever I try so talk about anything more complicated than the weather/Berlusconi )

Musician – Actually my music career's going well atm. I'm talking with a record label, getting fans/like on facebook every day for my various projects and have nearly finished an album… But money is not going to coming in quickly enough to rescue me. So perhaps some guitar/piano tuition is on the cards…

Computing – You'd think a Computing Masters from Imperial College would be of use but the language barrier & the length of time since I've worked anything other than freelance in computing seriously limits that. On the plus side I have website development & online marketing experience that's cutting edge so we'll see…

I'm already on day 3 here 'cos I spent the last couple of days investigating/discussing a website/online marketing project with a language school. This would be great 'cos it's pretty similar work to what I'm doing already for my music & for Alison's projects – plus they all speak better English than I do:).

I'll tweet about this every day 'cos if I tell everyone then it'll be too embarrassing to even consider failiure!


Published in: on November 23, 2011 at 7:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Three Sacred Principal's of Food #diet #health

If you've done any research at all on the subject you'll have heard a lot of conflicting advice on diet. One expert will tell you meat is bad because it's toxic, another grains because they don't digest, another fat in general because it messes with your ability to process sugar, another fruit because it's too sugary…To misquote an old saying: 'for every 3 nutritionists you'll get twelve different opinions!' They're usually wrong but this article is different! Here, at long last, you will finally hear the truth!

Principal number 1 – Individual Responsibility For Your Own Unique Body

The responsibility for eating correctly rests firmly with your good self. This is not something you can just hand to someone else (like a doctor for example…). True, doctors can provide you with information via blood tests etc. Also, a nutritionist will have far more information on which foods commonly have which effects on people.
But ultimately, only *you* get detailed feedback every time you eat something and every day as you feel the long term effects of a diet. So *you* have to make the decisions. And the solutions will be unique because your genetics and past eating habits will determine the weak points in your body that you have to be gentle with. For me it's complex carbs. I abused my digestion when I was young and have to be careful with them. Still I value them for the slow release of carbohydrate energy they give – and with a lower water content than fruit.
You have individual needs and you are the best placed observer to figure out what they are!

Principal 2: It's Not What You Got, It's What You Do With It!

Some will tell you that particular foods are intrinsically bad – like grains or animal products or fruit or cooked food n general… This is not so. Whatever your opinions on the science or your observations on your own body, the fact is that humans have been surviving in all sorts of environments and all sorts of diets for hundreds of thousands of years and often in far better health than the average burger munching (or even health conscious) westerner. However, they did it by growing and preparing the food properly. Meat was wild or naturally reared, often eaten raw but not always. Grains and nuts were always soaked/fermented. Seriously, proper preparation makes all the difference between nutritious food and poison.

The thing about preparation is it's not so important how much of it you do. However, it *is* important the reason *why* you are doing it. Eating fruit/veggies raw and in their natural state is great but not if you're doing it out of laziness to avoid cooking. Similarly, cooking or juicing or whatever to increase nutrient availability or make something more digestible or even more palatable is great… …preparation to titillate and addict the consumer is definitely not.
Source food properly and prepare it intelligently and you won't go far wrong. However, principal 2 is superseded by principal 1. Your individuality is more important.

Principal 3: Eat like it's a Sunday afternoon on a three day weekend!

There's no hurry! You can't eat properly if you're depressed, anxious, stressed, over excited etc. In this way, your whole quality of life effects the quality of your digestion. A peaceful, fulfilling life leads to a peaceful, fulfilled tummy. Meanwhile, try to be as peaceful and gentle as you can with your food and it will pay you handsomely in return. Principal 3 is supeseded by the two previous rules although I'd point out that if you're calm and rational and peaceful all the time you'll probably be implementing the first two anyhow!

Notice I haven't given you anything prescriptive here that says 'eat this' or 'don't eat that'. That's because proper eating is a journey. You'll rarely fix anything overnight – just learn and improve as you grow as a person! Happy eating folks!

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Take off your shoes and smile #barefoot

If someone offered to give you a free foot massage anytime you wanted, you'd be pretty made up right? What if you could have your feet carressed and pressed and invigorated to your heart's content for free anytime you want?


Yes it really is that simple, just take off your shoes! You'll be amazed and delighted at the different textures and sensations you'll experience. Damp sand moulds to your foot like putty while grass is beautifully soft and tingly. Concrete gives you a really good scratching for those itches you didn't know you had! (seriously)


The next thing you'll notice is that like reflexology, it awakens nerve pathways and pleasantly fires up the rest of your body too when. The bland inner surface of your shoes/socks never did this for you.


Then you realise the circulation in your feet is improving from the massage you get. In fact, you'll be surprised how warm they stay. In my experience and that of a few other barefooters I've spoken with, it helps to make sure you keep your body nice and warm, then your improved circulation will get that warmth to your feet. Obviously everyone has their limit but prepare to be pleasantly surprised at yours.


Then next and not so joyfully you'll notice you can't get about as easily as when you were shod. This is usually because your walking technique has deteriorated from wearing shoes all those years. Think about it: for the vast majority of our evolution we've been barefoot and for the vast majority of human history we've been either barefoot or in simple shoes. Nike trainers are a recent (and I would argue lamentable) invention. Most shoes have heels that change the angle of your foot to the ground and many soles are thick enough that you can bash your feet clumsily into the ground and get away with it (sort of). Suddenly with no padding you have to walk softly – not lazily or grumpily – otherwise it'll hurt. In this way, barefooting not only improves your posture but also your demeanor. You simply have to be in a peaceful cheery state of mind or you're gonna bash up your feet!


OK so some places/people won't accept you barefoot and some ground is too rough or mucky for you and yes, sometimes it does get cold… But right now I'm in the process of exploring those boundaries (also with the aid of minimal footware such as vibrams/vivos/huararches) because the more I take off my shoes, the more I think it's difficult to be at my best without fresh air and a nice massage for my feet every single day!

Published in: on November 4, 2011 at 8:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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