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  1. rissoto

    There are a number of reasons why people give up meat. 

    The most publicised currently is probably the animal rights activitists who don't want to eat meat for ethical reasons and as the meat industry has now become just that then they have good points about the disrespect with which some animals are treated on their way to providing us with fodder.  Most people certainly wouldn't want to witness what some animals went through in order to provide their cheap supermarket meat.

    Some people ar enticed into a meat free lifestyle by health concerns

     One other reason for people beginning to  eat less meat is the enironmental issues surrounding  cattle farming.  Remember the fuss over 'selfish' people who took holidays that required a plane journey.  The effect of cattle rearing on the environment makes a plane journey seem like a walk in the park. Check it our on line.


    We've been vegetarian in our family now for almost 40 Years and we did it because we didn't like the thought of eating animals, birds or fish.

    It wasn't easy then, to access substitute food and it involved replacing meat with lentils and/or beans or relying heavily on dairy products. Unfortunately that is what we tended to do.   Soya products were also available but whatever you did with them they tasted like cardboard so not a regular choice. I even had a go at making our own soya milk from the dried beans.  Everythiing that had a chance of being healthy was very time consuming.

    'Not just a load of lentils' was a cook book I used a lot - my first and Sarah Browns 'Vegetarian Kitchen' was a valued Christmas present that got well used too.  I became a bit of a receipe book freak.

    Funnily enough developing a greater awareness of healthy eating and balanced diets was a natural benefit of looking for alternative to meat.

    Then along came the soya products that had a bit more umph and that made it easier to substitute a not so healthy alternative to the meat we were not using.  The variety available continued to grow until it  easier to slip into relying on soya products in a busy life.

    Now there is a whole range of ready meals and fast foods available that have been developed from pea protein,  fungus and much more.

    When we gave up meat the norm was meat and two veg.  Now its more like burgers, pasta and lots more foods that have been introduced from other countries and not neccessarily that healthy.

    It is now so much easier to make a delicious and healthy meat free meal ... and it is also easier to slip into  a ready meal fast food lifestyle.

    Unfortunately just because it is meat free doesn't follow that it is healthy,  Take a look at the ingredients and if you don't know what they are then take the trouble to find out.  You will often find for instance  products made more appealing with the addition of fats, sugars, salt and other chemical additives.

    If your reason for not eating meat are purely because you don't want to eat flesh then that will be okay for you to substiute unhealthy veggie/vegan burgers and chips (cooked in veg. oil)etc.  for the more traditional burger and chips from fast food take aways.  Of course making your own allows you to keep a check on the ingredients.

    As we have progressed through our lives as non meat eaters, we have become more health conscious too. Some years ago Barry qualified as a nutritional therapist then we became more aware of the health detriments of our diet and started to be more careful about what we ate.

    We began to notice how the food we ate was actually changing our lives, moods and energy.  It is not easy to always eat what is healthy when thousands of pounds are being spent on making the tempting 'treats; and sugar laced confectionery that is out there. And no doubt it will always be a work in progress.

    On the other hand some people give up meat because they want to improve their health.  There is no doubt about it, that meat you buy now is not the meat it was.  With all the antibiotics, and products that are fed to animals to make then as profitable and fleshy as possible there is bound to be an effect.  If you do eat meat and you are not buying organic then take a good look at what if happening to your meat before it gets to your pan.

    If you must eat meat then eat less and make it organic.  Make your choice a healthy one if a little more expensive.

    One thing I can say is that stopping the traditional meat and veg meals has made our cuisine a lot more exciting using more herbs and spices and bringing taste  tantalising treats  to the table.  It is not a limited choice there is a whole range of foods out there that we haven't even tried yet,

    And when you make a point of eating healthy you really do feel healthier too.

    Some of the other benefits I have noticed from not eating meat

    • not wondering what that slimy fat is blocking the plughole when washing up.
    • not worrying about which fridge shelf to use
    • not worrying about cooking things thoroughly and being able to enjoy al dente without worrying about salmonella etc.
    • Taking less time to prepare and cook
    • Enjoying playing with colours and flavours
    • Using more herbs and spices

    I'm sure there will be more.

    Andrea Lowe







  2. thinking

    To say JUST a thought is probably the biggest undersell going.  Your thoughts are the most powerful influence you will ever encounter and most of your random thoughts tend to be negative and repetitive.

    A thought is the only thing separating you from who you want to be!

    And that's ambiguous because you can change the limitations that are holding you back or you can change the thoughts about who you want to be or in fact who are currently are.

    Your thoughts come in layers.  At the deepest level it is estimated that up to 80% are negative.  These are mainly thoughts that you are not really that aware of, the mental chatter that is constant  and of a subtle drip, drip nature so that you do not consciously listen.  Even at this level where the thoughts do not necessarily intrude into your consciousness you can begin to understand how very powerful your thoughts are. 

    One level up or therabouts and your thoughts are a little more accessible but still pretty subtle and random.  These are the thoughts you use to' big you' up.  Even if you are lacking in self confidence these thoughts bring you some superiority.  My hair is better than hers (even though shes more confident than me), my kids would never do that (even though that family seems more together than mine), I'm more likeable than them(even though they're more popular) etc etc  This type of thought is your defence talk like the corner man in the boxing ring, championing you on as you get pushed back out there to face your world. 

    You're not terribly aware of these thoughts either but when you do catch yourself thinking that way it reinforces any negative feelings you have about yourself and you feel a subtle shame or guilt - but also safe in the knowledge that only you know.

    Other thoughts you are more aware of:-  Making plans for the day, I must do's included.  Frustrating thoughts about being unresourceful and unmotivated.  Pleasant thoughts about a planned day/meeting/event.  Thoughts about what you could wear and the impression you want to make.  These kind of thoughts are  much more in your consciousness and you have more conscious control over them.

    For those who are working on themselves there may also be another layer.  This is the positive thinking, self-affirmation, self talk in the mirror thinking.  It's the  force feeding of thoughts, stuffing in what you think is good for you.  You need to be sure you are giving yourself the correct message and you have to do it regularly.

    Guess which of your thoughts are the most powerful?  And remember we are talking about the most powerful things you will ever encounter.

    You might think it would be the positive thinking affirmations that would be the most powerful would be very convenient and empowering if it were that way.  How fantastic would that be - to be in control of your own thoughts.

    But no, think again.  It is the drip drip 80% negative thought that are the most powerful and influencial.  So to compete with them you would need to  invest 80% of your waken time consciously thinking positive thoughts.

    Positive thinking can't do anything other than help providing you are thinking the right thoughts.  Your unconscious thought have a way of masking what you could be thinking and setting you up with a less ideal alternative.  So t's a good idea to spend a little time relaxing and being aware of your thoughts and your reactions to them. 

    If a thought makes you fell a bit wobbly then sit with it for a while and examine what  the wobbly feeling is about.  There may be something else you need to address first.  Allow your deeper thought room at the surface and see what messages you are getting.  Don't be afraid of your thoughts.

    Determine also to stretch your comfort zone every day by doing something a liitle challenging physically at first if you need to take it slowly then psychologically like smiling at a stranger or saying boo to a goose..  It helps to also influence and expand the comfort zone in your thoughts.

    Next time you think it's JUST a thought, think again.

  3. Hey it's holiday time soon and for most of us the holiday starts when you are planning your destination ... and that often includes flying.  For some the destinations are somewhat limited because of an unrealistic fear. 

    The Fear of Flying!

    family holiday


    Others do it for the boys, or in this case for the family, regretting the decision as soon as it has been firmed up.

    Whilst some are happily counting the days and enjoying buying holiday essentials - like new clothes - the FOFs are reluctantly buying a few things and trying not to be aware of the horror creeping nearer day by day.

    For the FOFs holiday are just no fun.

    FOFs are thinking about the horror of getting there well before you get the chance to be excited about landing and they don't really enjoy the holiday because lurking there in the back of their mind is the fear of coming back.  Not because they don't want to come back of course, they really, really do.  It's the thought of the journey that is filling them with dread.

    It is estimated that at least one in 10 people have a FOF.  How many seats are on a plane.  Just thinking that 10% of those people are grinning and bearing it puts the whole thing into perspective.

    So what can you do about it if you have a fear?

    Firstly let's get real.  You are not fearful of flying.  I imagine that if you suddenly discovered you could fly like a bird you would be ecstatic ok maybe at first a little scared.

    So it's good if you can define precisely what it is that you are frightened of.

    It will be different for everyone.  Fear of flying is a symptom of an underlying anxiety.  So to understand more, what you are anxious about may help you overcome the fear a little.

    For some they are:

    Frightened of being so far away from home
    Frightened of being in shut in
    Frightened of trusting the Captain to be competent
    Frightened of sabotage
    Frightened of being out of control
    Frightened of the plane falling (especially during turbulence)

    There will be others but if you look at the list NONE of the examples are actually a fear of flying.



    So if you can define which is the example that is most scary for you - there may be a number - then at least you can stop saying that you are fearful of flying stop being a FOF and start working on your actual fear.

    Once you are clear about the actual fear and have shed the FOF label then you can beging to work on enjoying your holiday.

    There are a number of ways in which  you can approach this.  here's one:

    world in hands

    I know that the fear can be debilitating and we already know that you are very good at imagining yourself into a future fear.

    Let's see if you can imagine yourself in a situation that you are very comfortable in. Imagine you are in your favourite place and feeling great.  Check that this is how you would like to feel if you were on holiday. 

    When you know how you wish you could feel on holiday start to imagine what it would be like on holiday if you were happy and relaxed, enjoying your break.  Now, you have to put all your emotions into really experiencing it - just like you did when you were a FOF..

    Repeat that process until you are very comfortable with it.

    Now begin to imagine how you would like to feel on the journey to the destination paying particular attention to your identified fear.  Repeat the process as above.

    The more you repeat the process with feeling the more embedded it becomes so that when you finally are ready for your holiday you have more than one choice about how to feel.

    Have a great time

    Let readers know how it worked for you.

    Andrea Lowe Senior Hypnotherapist and Trainer


  4. 5258859

    The recent referendum on the EU seems to have thrown our nation into turmoil.

    Whatever the outcome and whatever the path we go down as a nation in the coming weeks, months and even years there will be for the time being a measure of uncertainty.

    The types of things we might have to anticipate are: change, conflict, obstacles, worries and the threat of regional and community isolation.

    So how can yoga be of help with all this?

    Yoga can help support our comfort, health and happiness in this increasingly stressful world.

    In addition to what yoga can do for us individually the main concepts of yoga provide us with a mechanism for stemming the effects of social despair. We currently seem to be at a loss in our world discarding former values and hoping to construct new ones. In this scenario yoga can give us the means to discover our own true self or personal reality through self enquiry and self reflection. The strengths gained from this can enable us to come to terms with the wider realities of our world and environment.

    Dealing with Change

    One of the prominent techniques we use in yoga is asana or posture. Asana is the most prominent technique in yoga probably because it is the first thing many of us are introduced to when we take up the practice. Yoga is really more about the mind but we start indirectly with the body to get to the mind through the back door because it is more responsive to our commands than the mind.

    Having said that a lot of good work can be achieved through the body.

    If we use asana carefully over time and learn about gradual improvement rather than fast track excellence we learn that we have to be patient with change. We learn not to get too anxious about being right and perfect all the time and allow for development and evolution.

    Yoga breathing in asana helps us to cultivate this patience with change and over time this patience is translated into our day to day life. We begin to react differently to circumstances we find ourselves in. It does not mean that we have to end up being passive and oblivious to what is going on around us and we can still be proactive in the change process. However, our reaction is more considered and from a position of greater calmness and harmony.

    Dealing with Conflict


    On the issue of conflict there is a great concept in yoga known as non-dualism. Dualism is where we tend to see everything as this or that, black or white, us and them, either or....

    Non-Dualism is often a difficult concept to grasp because it is so easy to see things in a dualistic way:

    soft/hard, cold/hot, pain/comfort, high/low, light/dark etc but if we look closer we often see that things are not always quite as they seem. Bit like yin and yang there are often bits of yin in yang and visa versa.

    In our yoga practice we attempt to apply non-dualism by embracing both ends of the spectrum.

    One of the prominent practices is to use our breath to lower tensions. Here's how we do it. Whenever we move or put our body parts into a yoga position there is a potential tension somewhere in our dimensional structure. We feel this as a sensation. The more momentary or prolonged tension we introduce the more energy we use and the resulting experience can be one of tiredness and even stress that could lead to anxiety or headaches. By applying the breath to the posture we help to alleviate or soften the feeling of tension. We attempt to incorporate a degree of relaxation or calmness into the process.

    There is a similar embracing of stillness with movement in yoga. Remember the well known phrase “moving into stillness”. This can have a number of interpretations and I have always thought of it as moving in such a way that the movement has its own element of stillness. The great Yoga Sage Patanjali said that all asana must be effortless. To do this we have to blend effort with calmness.

    There is a kind of merging of these opposites.

    We attempt to make “challenge” more comfortable - movement more still - tension more relaxed.

    Pain more painless or tolerable - Still being aware of the qualities of both.

    Dealing with Obstacles

    It follows from this thinking that in our practice we strive to allow ourselves more access to new experiences learning to embrace things that are open to more than one interpretation. This is in fact one of the things we learn after a while of studying yoga. Many concepts are open to our interpretation but we still have to make room for other meanings and explanations. In this process we can learn more about ourselves. We learn to be more calm and deal better with uncertainty. Be less reactionary. Eventually, we move to solve issues without stress, participating more fully in life by removing obstacles like anxiety, inertia, doubt and lack of focus.

    Dealing with Isolation

    Even though yoga practice can often be in the privacy of our own homes it is still community based in that our choice of postures can be what we have picked up from attending classes. Many students of yoga after attending classes for a while could just as easily practice alone but they attend classes often for the community it brings, for the commitment it gives them. They are more able to share experiences and ensure their continued practice.

    As human beings we cannot help having a deep connection with others. Isolation can all too often lead to physical and mental problems. We have all experienced this in our lifetime in our own communities when lonely reclusive people can end up mentally withdrawn and in physical decline.

    Yoga class association allows us to link our calmness and challenges with others and share our human condition. As with all other yoga methods this strength of fellowship can translate into the wider community where we can bring our skills of physical, mental and emotional flexibility, strength, composure, poise and balance, calmness, compassion, understanding, friendliness and contentment all of which helps us greatly in our relations with others.

    Barry Todd (Hatha Yoga Trainer)

  5. Peace, light and love
    Lets all show some respect for each other.
    Times of uncertainty and change can bring out the worst in people.  Why?, Well they have fixed ideas about how they see things and how they want things and they think they know best.

    It is good to be confident in your opinions but just like in  a lot of other situation it is also good to respect that others have their opinions too and allow them room for that.

    Until we find out that there is a digital cloud system  scoring our behaviour and choices the result of which will send us up to heaven or down to hell, though we may have great faith in our judgement, we will never truly know which choice/opinion/belief is actually right - if any.  Somehow I don't think that's gonna happen .. but I could be wrong!

    We live in a democracy and some people don't seem to know the meaning of that.  Democracy means that the choice goes with the majority opinion and even if that is only greater by a fraction  - that's democracy.

    I personally believe that whatever happens, it has happened for a reason.  Whether that is a political vote that goes the wrong way for me, or a potentially life changing vote that could make a big difference to how we live in Great Britain.  Now that we have left the EU there will be a period of disruption and resettlement and things will settle into some sort of order.

    In my humble and non judgemental opinion i think that there have been voices crying out to be heard for the last 20 years or so and maybe the vote reflects that - I could be wrong of course.
    There are those in the EU who are being led at the moment by their emotional responses whereas if they have a bit of breathing space they will begin to look at the situation a little more logically and put their professional heads back on. (if they have any)

    It's not just politically that this rationalisation is important.
    I also believe that every time I break my ankle or get a virus or illness of some kind it is a time for me to reflect on the message I am getting.  I believe it happens for a reason.  You can either take the time to reflect and think about what the message is telling you or you can get grumpy - why is this happening to me kind of attitude.

    People seem to only consider themselves when they are so adamant about their beliefs.  Is it not time that we started to respect one another and allow people freedom to think their own way without being subject to  denigration we get enough of that with some bickering politicians.

    Lets learn to give each other respect even though we might think differently to them, let's not expect them to think like us and trust that we will do the best that we can for each other.

    We have been running a business on Bolton Street now for many years and have come across all sorts of back stabbing and dirty dealings.

    You may recall that we used to run Mind Body Spoirit fairs in the Drill Hall (Castle Armoury) for a few years.  Now you would have thought, at least I thought, that everyone  who took a stall would be considerate and fair and non judgemental,  Although we met some lovely people and some who we still have contact with now, there were an awful lot who were hard-nosed business people with little regard for others.  I was actually blamed at one point for someone being stuck in the snow in the street outside as they were queuing to unload.  This attitude by the majority was a great shock to me at the time.

    We have had several attempts to sabotage and disrupt our business by others in the area although we have made many friends.

    Rachael from Gronn only wrote last week about waiting for an appointment in a salon and overhearing bitchy comments amongst the staff  about her business.

    We have had people from other centres and cafes  coming into ours  just to see what is going on and on the menu so that we find them copying  dishes.  What is wrong with letting us know that they are just popping in to have a nosy and would we mind if they took a menu. That's more respectful.

    The worst is when people come in on the pretext of asking about a services then without a by your leave start mingling with the guests (without even buying a drink) promoting another event elsewhere.  What's wrong with asking if they can let people know about the event?  That's showing a little respect to us and our business.

    Its all just so underhand and disrespectful.  However, I am tolerant of their behaviour.  I really don't care to sneak into other establishments and see how they are operating.  I'm not saying I wouldn't pick up ideas whilst I am out and about, that is just unavoidable in an active and creative mind, but I wouldn't go out and deliberately make a point of it.

    I believe in Karma and trust in serendipity so those who don't,  carry on with your sneaky and disrespectful ways and hopefully you will come to understand eventually.  - That is if I am right.

    Peace love and light to all - lets spread it.

  6. Little Boxes, Little Boxes
    Wonder what's inside?

    We all have little boxes that we keep the lid on.  Why?  'Cos we're too scared to find out what's inside.  And what is inside is misguided fears and liberation from the ties to them.

    Imagine landing on another planet far away in an altogether new galaxy.  Imagine exploring and planning how you would like to live.  What things you would change and how your new planet life would be.  All sounds fantastic so far doesn't it.

    There you are busy discovering what new materials you can use to build your shelter, what you can eat and how you may need to form some kind of cultivation so that you never run out of food,  Imagine this great adventure as you become familiar with the new weather, new gravity, new sky and pretty much new everything. 

    It truly could be a new beginning.
    However, when you first arrived on the planet there was an area marked out and labelled as very dangerous, you were advised not to go there.  it was just a pile of old boxes.  occasionally there would be the odd weird noise coming from the boxes or a bit of a rattle and shake

    Many people would be tempted to explore the boxes and to see what all the fuss was about.

    Now imagine you decided to take a closer look and on each box was an old tatty label that said property of ......looking closer you discover it is YOU.... your name on the boxes.  How do you feel now?

    Well if they're  yours, then presumably you can do what you want with them, including open them - no?

    So are you going to open the boxes?

    What will happen if you open the boxes?

    What will happen if you don't?

    There's the dilemma that we all face when we find little boxes in unexpected places.  And we all have them.  Those moments when a simple word of phrase can make you feel vulnerable or frightened.

    Those topics that you just don't want to face.  Those attitudes that you want to hang on to even though, if you do take the time to think, you know they don't make sense.

    Those things that so annoy you about yourself - limitations, inhibitions, fears.....  but you just don't want to know what's inside the box.

    It is always worth the effort of taking that brave step into the unknown and finding your liberation from these inhibiting, limiting beliefs.

    That is what hypnoanalysis can do for you - set you free.

    Hypnoanalysis finds the boxes, the limiting beliefs that you have created at a time when they were useful to you, a time when your life was awkward and limiting your behaviour kept you safe - that could be the simplest thing like not being disapproved of by a strict aunt etc.
    You learned that way of thinking and decided that it was a safe way to behave.  it istill is safe but it is also locking you in  a cage where your freedom of choice for behaviour is limited.
    Finding the reasons for these behaviours is so freeing - everyone should do it.
    Andrea lowe

    Senior Therapist and Trainer.