There are 2 types of men in this world...

I was recently reminded of something one of my senior officers said to me when I was a young mechanic in the military. Dressed in my dirty coveralls, I was washing my oil covered hands in the workshop bathroom when the officer came in to use the toilet. Due to his seniority and his rank he wore smart uniform and was long past the 'getting dirty' days of his career. He said to me; "Son, there are two types of men in this world, those that wash their hands before they use the toilet and those that wash their hands afterwards - be proud of who you are..." I muttered my; "yes sir" as, without another word he walked out!

That comment resonated with me and sunk in to this day; with my manual job I would always be the type of guy who washed his hands before using the bathroom! Fast forward 30 years and the topic of hand washing comes up in the pub where a few of us, (men) are contentedly putting the world to rights over a beer or two! I don't want to get crude here, (you don't have to read it all!) but what are we saying about our bodily hygiene if we feel compelled to wash our hands after touching ourselves yet not before? I'm not talking about people in food preparation, medical or other sterile type professions here; I'm talking about normal day to day life and what we touch as we go about our day.

To use the day in question as an example my hours leading up to the evening were like this; We were on a motorcycling trip and were all staying in a motel so after the day's ride was over I showered to go out for dinner. I put fresh clean clothes onto my fresh clean body and left the motel room. On the way out I opened and closed at least three public doors used by hundreds daily, operated the buttons of the elevator, opened the taxi's outside door handle, opened the taxi's inside door handle, paid the driver with used notes previously handled by thousands and gone into the pub - using the door handle again! I drank from two glasses handled by at least two people, ate off a plate and used cutlery also handled by at least two other people who were, in the course of their day, handling dozens of other glasses, plates, cutlery and whatever else they have to clear up from tables. I then went to the bathroom using, yes you guessed it, the door handle. I did what I needed to do and returned to my friends...

Using common sense and logic; at what point was it more important that I should have washed my hands - before or after???

What's in a name?

A colleague recently asked me where the name 'InSpiral Coaching' came from, so I thought I'd spill the beans here;
It's really quite a simple play on words - 'inspire' and 'spiral'. When I first started life coaching my mission was to inspire people to become the best possible versions of themselves. Clients almost always inspire me too in many different ways so the word inspire really is a double edged sword. I also see that we as humans tend to spend a lot of time in our lives in a spiral of one sort or another. We can have a bad day where everything seems to spiral downward and out of control, or we can have a good day where we just keep reaching onward and upward. 

I also believe that we choose our direction and once we start spiralling up it is easy to keep going; whereas if we start to spiral down, it can be hard to regain lost ground. I like to use the landing of a spiral staircase as an example of where we are when it comes to making almost every life decision we make - will this decision take you up and toward your goals or will it bring you down.

As it turns out, there are a lot of important spirals in life; in fact our very DNA are spiral and a growing fetus can be seen to be spiral shaped. Our finger prints are spiral as is the crown of our head as our hair grows. Think of the power of tornadoes - also spiral...

Spirals - What Do They Mean?
  • Spirals are expressions of creativity. They are often found in the natural growth pattern of many organisms and suggest the process of growth and evolution. Spirals convey ideas of fertility, birth, death, expansion, and transformation. They are cycles of time, life and the seasons and are a common shape in religious and mystical symbolism.
  • Spirals move in either direction and represent returning to the same point on life's journey with new levels of understanding. They represent trust during change, the release of energy and maintaining flexibility through transformation. Clockwise spirals represent projection of an intention and counterclockwise spirals the fulfillment of an intention. Double spirals can be used to symbolize opposing forces.
So now you know - thanks for the question Shana :-)

Cooking with Wine Recipe Round-up

Let's talk Wine!

The benefits of red wine have been bandied around for a long time now and I for one, love it! But of course like many things, we should consume any type of alcohol in moderation. So here's an idea; put it in your food! A perfect way to get a healthy dose of red wine without feeling like you're hitting the bottle every night. Here are four reasons why sensible quantities can be good for us...
  1. Red Wine is Good for Your Heart - Red wine contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant compound. Resveratrol also protects your heart and arteries against the effects of saturated fat in your diet, so drinking one or two glasses of red wine a day can help protect your heart and prevent cardiovascular disease. The flavonoids and sapponins in red wine also help to protect your heart against cardiovascular disease. The alcohol in red wine, when consumed in moderation, raises your levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, helps prevent the formation of blood clots and can help to protect your arteries from the damage caused by "bad" LDL cholesterol. 
  2. Red Wine Contains Antioxidants - In addition to resveratrol, red wine contains a number of other antioxidants, which can slow the signs of aging and prevent a number of degenerative illnesses like type 2 diabetes. Drinking one or two glasses of red wine each day can help protect you from many of the diseases of the elderly, such as osteoporosis.
  3. Red Wine Prevents Cancer - Mounting evidence suggests that drinking red wine in moderation can help prevent cancer. The many antioxidants in red wine can help prevent the oxidative damage responsible for the process of aging and for many degenerative conditions like Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Guercetin, one of the many antioxidants in red wine, may help prevent lung cancer. Research has shown that resveratrol, the same red wine antioxidant that helps protect your heart, can also kill cancerous cells. Scientists have found that resveratrol, when used in conjunction with radiation therapy, can penetrate cancerous cells and induce apoptosis. Apoptosis is a type of cell death that occurs when the cell dies, dissolves and is removed by the white cells of your immune system. Cancer researchers have been looking for a way to induce apoptosis in cancerous cells, because it's the safest way to remove unwanted cells from the body. Resveratrol also inhibits cancerous cells' ability to remove irradiated particles, making radiation therapy more effective against cancer. Resveratrol also attacks cancerous cells and inhibits their ability to function. 
  4. Red Wine Prevents Tooth Decay - Red wine, even non alcoholic red wine, hardens your enamel to prevent tooth decay. Hardened enamel is more resistant to Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria which lives on your teeth and is responsible for tooth decay. The polyphenols in red wine can also prevent gum disease, and even help to treat it by reducing inflammation in the gums.
And just to make life even easier; here are some awesome healthy recipes that include our favourite elixir...

Red Wine Risotto with Sun-dried tomatoes by Susan & Nicole from Flavors by Four
Coq au Vin by Mellissa from A Fit and Spicy Life
Red Wine Marinara Sauce by Julie from Mommie Cooks

Crockpot Italian Turkey Meatballs by Helen from What Happened Next...
Chipotle Braised Short Ribs by the Husband from One Couple's Kitchen
Red Wine Berry Spritzer by Aggie from Aggie's Kitchen
Red Wine Pasta by Emma from A Beautiful Mess

Pumpkin Spiced Hot Red Wine by Katja from Gallo Pinto & Mole
Red Wine Poached Pears by The Buttery Beancounter
Red Wine Cupcakes by Christina from De La Casa
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble by Heidi from 101 Cookbooks

Life in the old dog! 10K race result!

Back in my early 30s I used to run a lot; I was lean, light, strong and fast. Having a job that involved jumping from allegedly 'perfectly serviceable' aircraft, (although I don't believe there is such a thing as a perfectly serviceable aircraft myself!) laden down with the equivalent of my own body weight must have helped my fitness. However, as I got older and my career took on more of a sedentary nature, coupled with my go-to favourite, 'worn out knees' excuse, my running became virtually non existent. When I did get the urge to join in a fun run it would usually be a last minute affair with very little if any training.

So this year when my wife, herself a marathon runner, suggested I might actually put some effort in, in the hope of getting a half decent time in my regular, once a year 10k road race, I decided she was right! (Damn I hate admitting that!!!) So did I train? Well, not really train, however I did run the Whistler 10k this spring as I promised a client if he could do it, I'd run it with him. I also ran probably once a week once the summer heat had eased off. But I don't enjoy running like I used to, instead choosing to hike harder with my pup and even treat her to a bit of 'speed' when I'd head out on my mountain bike into the woods and hills with her egging me on!

The BMO Kelowna marathon is an excellent event and is hugely supported with both full and half marathons and also a 10k race. The route is flat and fast and finishes on the shore of the stunning Lake Okanagan. There is a lot of sponsor support with a huge marquee style tent to keep warm in before heading out to the start line. And the food at the end was tremendous; lots of perfectly healthy bananas and local apples, but also the type of treats most runners enjoy after working hard; granola bars, chips, cookies, juice, coffee, hot chocolate and a whole host of stuff I didn't even get to...

This year for the first time I was in the 50 - 59 age group so I had higher hopes due purely to the size of the group and I wasn't disappointed with my result. The training obviously helped, but even with that and knowing my pace lately, I was expecting and would have been pleased with a time of around 48 minutes. So imagine my delight when I came second in my age group, 33rd overall out of 850 runners and posted my best time in 15 years of 44:27! Without wanting to sound all 'salesman' on you I really believe that what helped my time was the detox I'd just finished three days before, during which I'd lost 4lbs and more than 1 percent of my body fat in just over a week of eating nothing but clean whole foods! If that's not proof I don't know what is?!! (some extra evidence to support this theory was my wife's Half Marathon PR after completing my Spring Detox, and then another PR for her this weekend after doing the Fall detox with me!) So if you want to shed weight from toxins, fuel your body cleanly and healthily, and maybe even gain energy and vitality you might consider joining my last detox this season (its starts on Monday!), check it out here!

I ran as part of my friend Rhonda's Results 4 Life Fitness team where we ALL took home medals in our respective age groups! What a Result!

Decadent Mint Chocolate Balls

These are the perfect cure for a chocolate craving!

Like most normal people I do like my chocolate fix, especially when that mix includes coconut. I also have a thing for peppermint and, as I wanted these 'treats' to have some purpose other than indulgence, (nothing wrong with that of course!) I've added some hemp hearts for a dose of protein, magnesium, iron, zinc and manganese depending on the proportions you use. And that's the point of this snack; you try, adapt and modify to suit your own taste in the knowledge that what you're eating has all been chosen by you - no additives, preservatives or other processed crap :-)

So 'the' recipe as I made it;
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 4 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 15 g hemp hearts (5g protein)
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil (don't be fooled by 'extra virgin' as it only applies to olive oil)
  • A couple of pinches Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp organic peppermint extract
Mix the lot together in a bowl, scoop out and scrunch into bite size balls; I find whatever size I make them they are always bite size! Place on a plate and put into the fridge for as long as your will power holds out and enjoy! Tip: if you're impatient try them in the freezer for less time... :-) And I'd love to hear of any adaptations to this recipe - the sky's the limit!

This recipe was inspired by my friend Anna and her 'Sea Salt Macaroons'. I decided to alter her recipe to suit my own, slightly less sweet taste to come up with these demon treats - and that's the perfect thing with these treats; just alter the ingredients, change the quantities and make them yours!!

Fire your boss, follow your dreams!

Doesn't everyone dream of quitting the 9 - 5 drudgery to find the perfect career? Well, I did it and if I can, so can you. Based on experience, here are my top tips to successfully and happily changing your career...
  1. Know why you're doing this. Make plans, (and don't forget to include enjoying the free time!) list the things you want to do but can't because of work - and do them! As obvious as it sounds, make sure you know what you’re doing with yourself that first Monday morning. But do NOT feel guilty about enjoying the time out, you deserve it and the only person to give you a hard time about it is you!  
  2. Get used to the idea in your own time. Don’t make rash decisions, they can freak you out. Decide to leave, get used to the idea, tell your partner if applicable, then when you’re more comfortable about the idea tell your boss - politely. 
  3. Budget - get rid of debts before you leave, consider taking a mortgage gap if you need to, ditch the cable TV – the last thing you want to do is spend your day watching garbage. Reconsider life’s luxuries, do you need them all? Start meal planning and shopping carefully, you’ll have the time now. 
  4. Don't forget why - write it down while it's fresh. Reasons for leaving and expectations of what is to come. Keep the list and revisit it on those days when you start to wonder if you made the right decision  
  5. Quit while you're ahead. Try not to change your career when things are bad, all jobs have their bad times. If it’s still not fulfilling when things are as good as they get, then make the move. 
  6. Don't switch off in your final days - go out on a high! Make sure they miss you – you never know when you might need them...  
  7. Create a routine. We all need an element of routine and discipline in our lives to give us direction; work gives us that so now you’ll need to make your own. Set the alarm and start the day - every day, with something specific. Whether it be a walk to get the paper, a workout or just an hour’s housework – set a time and stick to it, the rest of the day will flow.  
  8. Enjoy the down time – alone if necessary. Do the things you enjoy and not just the things you, as part of a couple, enjoys. 
  9. Don't waste time pretending to be busy; you're not at work anymore, if you're not busy then enjoy the down time – remember books???
  10. Monitor and reassess. Every month or so, reassess how your plans are going; are you on track, are you wasting too much time with trivia, is it what you hoped for? If not, change something, anything – just keep moving forward.

Why you should pay your friends!

Ok I'm serious about this, (to a point) and it's all to do with the 'karmic flow of money'!

A yoga instructor friend of mine recently asked me if I would be joining her 'Yoga By The Beach' class and told me; "come on down, it's on me". She was a little surprised when I said I'd join in but I only if she'd let me pay. "If I don't pay you it'll mean you're paying me to join your class!"

And so I explained why I thought friends with small businesses should look after each other's interests as well as their own. Everybody wants something for free and many people 'expect' free services of their friends, but how does that help the friend and their business? Most of us have lots of friends and when we start off in business we quickly make more friends and acquaintances through networking. Naturally we want to show off our products or services and we want people to like what we do and spread the good word, but we wouldn't last long if we gave everyone we know a 'freebie'.

If you have a product worth $50 and I give you $50 for it, I have $50 less and a new product, and you have one less product but $50 more - and that's the way it should be for your business to survive. If you give me that product for free, you have one product less and you miss out on $50. So in effect, you are paying me to take your product. And just because a service isn't necessarily a physical thing, the practice still works just the same! After all, if I don't pay you, how are you going to be able to pay it forward, and how will it ever come back to me?

I'm not saying you shouldn't accept a discount or some kind of referral fee; in fact if you bring them more business then a referral fee is a perfect example of the karmic flow of money. This very practice when accepted as fair and proper will help to create a ripple effect that will eventually come back to us and we'll all benefit.

So next time a friend who may be struggling with a small business offers you something for nothing, consider yourself a real friend and think twice before accepting it...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...