The bittersweet news…

One of my favorite TV commercials shows a pair of concerned parents.
They look at each other worried. “What shall we do? Our son isn’t getting enough fiber.”
The answer comes in the form of a cereal that has – shhh – don’t tell their son: fiber.
It is also low in saturated fat. The parents are delighted.
But wait – now comes the real test – will their son notice?
He doesn’t! Aren’t they in luck!

What these commercials fail to disclose to us is how much sugar each serving packs.
In order to disguise the taste – our spoiled kids forgot what real food tastes like and so it needs to be covered with more familiar flavor; cereal and other such “healthy” foods are packed with sweeteners.
Sugar in its various forms, let me enlighten those not yet familiar with the concept, is a killer, much like cigarette smoking. It’s addictive and it has far worst effects on the body than most of us realize.

Yet, I need to applaud the food manufacturers and their armies of advertising agencies and PR consultants.
What they achieved is making us, the parents, a secret allied in the war against our kids.
We, as parents, want our kids to eat well. If we can only hide from our kids the fact that they are eating a healthy component, we win. And what is a little (or not so little) amount of sugar to sweeten the bitter news?
Next time you buy anything marketed as “healthy”, especially when it’s for your kids, first look at the sugar content.
20, 15 and even 10 grams of sugar per serving is a LOT! (not to mention that most of us consume much more than the recommended serving size per meal).

Watch out. You are being tricked into an alliance you don’t really want to be part of.
Educate your kids as to what sugar does to them and then get them used to eat healthy without sugarcoating it.
It’s good for them and much better for you. They will thank you in the long run.

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What do you see?

When you take a look at the photo on the right, what do you see?

Earlier today I was out and about, running errands and this and that. When I tilted my head up, I suddenly noticed this dark cloud in the otherwise fairly bright sky. Moments later it doomed on me that here is the vast sky and all I am noticing is one dark cloud… Has this ever occurred to you?

Ring, Ring…

And then, when you least expect it

Just another meditation session

Something happens

An opening

In the heart

A flow

You smile

And everything around you smiles back

It’s an experience most frustrating for writers

As it’s beyond the realm of words

Put a description to an experience

And you cage it forever

In your readers’ minds

And worse – in your mind

But back to the flow

There is no time

I want to stay like this forever

Forever…

And then the phone rings

A call I was expecting

Ring, ring…

Shall I pick it?

How to quit quitting

Have you ever quit? Quit your diet, quit your exercise routine, quit studying a topic you like, quit playing music, quit being smoke-free or alcohol-free?
Sooner or later we all quit. Life’s humdrum gets in the way, and we cannot find the time to do what we know we should be doing; what we really love.
Yet, if practicing yoga would have been your daily job, would you that easily quit the practice? If an important business client would have insisted you play your flute for an hour a day or else you stand to lose their business (which is by itself not music-related,) would you? It seems that it’s easier quitting if you have to report to no one but yourself.

One could imagine that quitting is a no-brainer when it comes to things most of us we don’t like doing, such as working out. But truth of the matter is that we also quit things we like to do, yet don’t view these as “critical.”
I will leave the discussion of what is critical and the criteria for it for another time as I would like to focus on what happens after we quit.

It is interesting that people who drop out of a habit have such a hard time coming back to it. There may be some guilt involved e.g. a vegetarian of 20 years who, for one reason or another, had a little meat to eat, may decide to get off their vegetarian diet all together; not because they fancy meat again, but because they would view the onetime tasting of meat as a fallout without redemption. To that point, I had a friend years ago who used to say that every holly cow should be butchers on occasion, just to prove to the believers there is nothing that holly about it.

Let’s look closer at how we quit: we come up with a theory, a practice, a habit, and make it into our new way of life. We stick to it and allow it to become who we are. I am a vegetarian, a Yogi, a musician, a businessman, a guy who can satisfy a woman for three hours without a break… It becomes our identity. And then one day, we lose our erection during love-making and our identity is shuttered. What do we do now?

I have known a vegetarian who ate a hotdog at a picnic, believing it’s a veggie-dog and when she found out some time later it was real meat, she went to the toilets and threw out. She suffered so much guilt that she quit being a vegetarian. Why? Her identification with being a vegetarian was all too complete.

The solution? Much easier than we want to believe. You just write it off and move on. Our mind tends to play tricks on us and go back into the fallout, using it to generate guilt and excuses. STOP. Recognize it for what it is. An event. Not good nor bad. An event. Observe it without involvement and move on. Go back on a diet that is right for you, start exercising again, make that cigarette you took when you felt weak, the last one, make time to play music and practice yoga. So you went off the trail for a little while, so what? Use it as a good experience. Did eating bacon was really that orgasmic for you? And if it was, maybe you should not be a vegetarian anymore. If it wasn’t, it’s a none-issue. No one judges you but yourself. And we tend to be the harshest judges out there when it comes to us.
Starting again is really so much easier than you want to believe.

Just over a split of a second

ImageAttending a professional business event one morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee. A moment later I found myself staring at a plate of croissants. Yummm…. croissants and coffee go so well together. In any other day I may have just reached over and grab that pastry. But this particular morning it didn’t happened. That split of a second between my typical automated response to the temptation presented to me, and my physical reaction, was occupied by observation. I observed the craving, my mind’s reasoning for the craving; I foresaw the transformation the croissant’s dough will make into sugar in my blood and, in turn, my body’s response to it; I became aware of the longer term ramifications of this action, while also noting the satisfaction of not reacting in an automated manner; the inner quarrel whether not having a croissant is a form of deprivation or whether self-control would be the real achievement here. It all happen very quickly, yet it was all playing out very clearly in my mind; a sort of meditation, all happening while being fully awake and engaged in a lively unrelated conversation with fellow professionals standing by the snacks table.

I didn’t reach for the croissant that morning. And that moment I realized that this split of a second is how I want to live my entire life.

Rain

No one appreciates rain more than someone who had been through a drought.
No one appreciate dry weather more than someone who had been through a flood.
Weather is weather;
It’s our relationship to it that changes.