The medical establishment has of late been trying to trash the idea that coconut oil is good for you.
Worse than butter for your heart, they say.
About the same as eating beef fat, they say.
The usual arrogance and ignorance.
So you’ll be pleased and reassured to read this article and see that an independent test comparing extra virgin coconut oil with extra virgin olive oil and unsalted butter proved the value of coconut oil in keeping ‘good’ HDL cholesterol up and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol down.
And with Christmas fast approaching, we will all have another opportunity very soon to taste the unfortunate truth of this.
Some people – a small minority, I think – have supportive families, but for many of us, this is not the case.
So here’s a small suggestion.
Before you go back to see your parents or your parents-in-law, or your sisters and brothers or your cousins or whoever, take a moment to decide what you are willing to discuss and what you are not willing to discuss.
Maybe, but you’ll thank me for it.
It’s a question of survival, of self-care.
You don’t have to tell Mummy everything.
I’ll say it again.
You don’t have to tell Mummy everything.
This might come as a shock to some of you.
Perhaps you’ve always communicated everything with your parents, siblings etc.
This is perfectly ok if said parents are supportive and do not judge you.
If, however, you are secretly dreading another bout of sarcastic and belittling remarks, not to mention more arguments, then you owe yourself protection.
And the best way to do this is to decide what and what not to talk about.
If you are in a couple, then you must spend time with your other half making sure that you are on the same wavelength about this.
It’s no good not talking about that wonderful but expensive holiday you had in October that you haven’t told your parents about because they always complain that you go on holiday too much and anyway where do you get the money? – if your girlfriend blurts out what a wonderful time you both had in Botswana.
Get your stories straight and stick to them.
Believe me, this is a vital step towards self-preservation and if you’ve never tried it, then I urge you to do so.
It’s not a question of lying to people.
It’s a question of setting limits.
Are there things that you’d rather keep to yourself?
Then do so.
For example, perhaps you’ve recently become unemployed and need some time to get things sorted out without having confusing and unwanted careers advice from the whole family.
You don’t need to talk about it if you don’t want to.
Just be very clear about what you are going to say if Daddy asks you about work.
In my experience, many people and unfortunately many parents, take information given to them and use it to hurt you either instantly or later on.
Don’t ask me why.
I don’t have children.
And I can’t understand the point of having them if all you are going to do is judge and belittle them. It doesn’t make sense to me.
Shouldn’t you all be playing on the same team?
Instead, some parents are toxic.
So change the parameters.
Learn to say to yourself,’I don’t want to talk about that and I’m not going to.’
If you just talk about the things you feel reasonably comfortable with, then this Christmas might actually turn out to be the simplest and least fraught with friction for a long long time.
I was talking to my mother on the phone this morning.
She’s just returned from a two night stay in hospital after collapsing in town.
Fortunately, after undergoing a barrage of tests, there doesn’t seem to be any serious fundamental problem.
But she was talking about the hospital staff and how she couldn’t fault them and what long shifts they have and this has prompted me to write this post.
Because there’s something I can never understand about healthcare.
I think we can all agree that healthcare is one of the most important services available, if not the most important.
If you can think of a more important service, let me know.
So explain to me why, when it’s vital for workers in this field to be at their sharpest, as they are often making life or death decisions, and at their physical best in order to guarantee precision in surgery for example, do doctors and nurses often work ten hour shifts?
Your garagist doesn’t work a ten hour shift, so does that mean that repairing cars is more taxing than repairing humans?
In no other profession are there such long shifts, and yet in none of these professions is it so important not to make a mistake.
This is something I’ve never understood.
It’s an indication of the absurdity and mixed-up values of our modern world.
It seems to me that doctors’ and nurses’ hours ought to be shorter than other people’s in order to ensure that they can provide the best service possible, not longer than for anyone else.
After all, if you have to go to hospital, wouldn’t you like to know that the people overseeing your health are properly rested and in a fit mental and physical state to look after you properly?
I know I would.
But then, as Bob Dylan put it, “People are crazy and times are strange.”
The idea that taking pictures of the brain’s activity might actually help us to understand why people behave as they do and be an invaluable aid in deciding on the best psychiatric treatment…… Who knew?
Why does it take supposedly learned and experienced scientists so long to reach the obvious conclusion – one that as Daniel Amen points out in his passionate talk, any reasonably aware 9 year old would be capable of reaching?
Personally, I’d like to see more places that are wi-fi, laptop and mobile phone free.
It really is time that people reclaimed their lives and started returning to the real world.
The mobile phone is a tool over which many people have no control whatsoever.
If you do not master a tool, then you become its slave.
Other tools that people are often enslaved to are money and TV.
Same thing applies.
Ask yourself honestly:
Do I have control over my mobile phone/money/TV or does it have control over me?
And if your answer is that you don’t have control over these things:
TV and mobile phone:
Discover the off button and practise using it.
Start real conversations with real people in front of you.
Do not reply to the phone when you are already in a conversation with a real person.
Try looking at the world around you. It’s full of beauty.
Try being thankful for the money that you already have.
Try sitting down and working out how much money you really need.
Try evaluating the real cost of obtaining the money you earn.
Try giving some away and see how it feels.
Take freezing into ice cubes for dropping into your favorite drinks, for example, or as a remedy for swimmer’s ear, which resonated with me because I do a lot of swimming in the lakes here in Switzerland.
Anyway, if you love this natural solution as much as we do or have yet to discover its potential, do check out the article:
Wikipedia définition: “Paraphernalia most commonly refers to a group of apparatus, equipment, or furnishing used for a particular activity.”
When I was a kid, I had a bike.
Whenever I wanted, I leapt on my bike and went for a ride.
It was that simple.
Now it seems you can’t go for a ride unless you’ve got the right shoes and togs, preferably smeared with advertising so you look like you’re on a pro team.
And don’t forget the gel-padded gloves, the water bottle, the pump, the tinted protective glasses and the indispensable crash helmet.
Bicycle clips on your ordinary trousers are passé.
You need a special low friction, ultra high-speed, no wind-resistant pair of tights.
Whatever happened to simple?
Whatever happened to inexpensive?
Let’s take another example: fitness.
All the advertising suggests that you need an expensive gym membership to stay fit or at least have a few costly machines at home.
Even if you have no exercise ideas of your own, the internet abounds in excellent exercise suggestions that require nothing more than willpower and a functional body to perform without any equipment whatsoever (see list at end of post).
So why are we constantly cluttering up our lives with all this unnecessary equipment and expense?
Perhaps we’re trying to convince ourselves that if we don’t have the equipment we can’t do the activity.
Perhaps we’re afraid that if there is no one to look at us, then we won’t exercise.
Ultimately, though, it’s between you and you.
The rest is just distraction.
All that equipment, all that clutter – it’s a hindrance rather than a help.
Keep it simple.
Do what you can.
Go slowly – you’ll quickly become disgusted if you overdo it.
Here are a few YouTube exercise channels that I particularly like:
Although this company makes fitness equipment, the workouts without any equipment at all are very interesting. The link I’ve given will take you to a series of standing abdo exercises that I’ve tried out myself, but the are plenty more videos like that. It’s a little macho with the man giving the orders and the girls doing all the work, but my goodness those girls are beautiful!
These guys are into parkour but their exercise suggestions without equipment are really interesting and useful for anybody.
Targeted at people over fifty, the lady presenter may be a little less flamboyant but her suggestions are good.
K’s Perfect Fitness
The girl has the obligatory stunning looks of a standard get fit channel, but she actually has some good exercise tips without equipment as well as with. The poor sound is a minor irritation (microphone on camera so no presence).
Very important – don’t get depressed if you don’t look like the presenters in these videos!