Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index is not the name of some new bio-stock mutual fund, but a measurement of how fast a particular type of food releases glucose into your blood stream. Low GI food tends to do it slowly, which keeps your energy levels balanced. Further more, Low GI diets
  • increase the body's sensitivity to insulin
  • improve diabetes control
  • reduce the risk of heart disease
  • reduce blood cholesterol levels
  • prolong physical endurance
Sounds good, doesn't it? But how do I get my hands on some delicious low GI food? Fear not, you can find out with web sites like this one.

Or, follow some general guidance:
  • Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
  • Use breads with wholegrains, stone-ground flour, sour dough
  • Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
  • Enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables
  • Use Basmati or Doongara rice
  • Enjoy pasta, noodles, quinoa
  • Eat plenty of salad vegetables with a vinaigrette dressing
But how can I give up white rice? I am Chinese!


"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans." - John Lennon

Too often I lose sight of what's happening in the current moment because I am too busy anticipating the end, planning for the future, or worrying about hitting the goal. I move on, lost to the experience of the moment that is full of opportunities and sensations waiting for my presence and acknowledgment. I can feel that even as I sit here write this entry. Too often our focus is given to beginnings and endings and the in-betweens go unnoticed. How many moments have we lost in our lives because we failed to fully engage them?

Presence is that quality that arises from the awareness we bring to our actions.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stop on Yellow

I used to never wait on the Yellow traffic light - Yellow almost signaled for speeding up back then. I was always in a rush to get somewhere, and stopping at Yellow seemed to be such a waste of time. As a result, I ran a few red lights, and got caught a few times. Now thinking back, I think it was just stupid. What is the rush? It is so not worth it to save a couple of minutes by taking the risk of getting a ticket, or worse, get into an accident. Life is too precious to take that risk. Now I make a conscious effort to stop at every yellow light, regardless how much a hurry I am in. Before you know it, stopping becomes second nature.

And if you are really in a hurry, leave a few minutes earlier.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Power Shower

I learned this trick from Tim Taylor - author, rocket man, entrepreneur, family man; he is quite a character. Tim believes that it is important to remember just how lucky we are every and each day, so he suggests that every time when you take a shower, you count your blessings, literally. In that ten to fifteen minutes, he could usually come up with eight to ten things, even on the days he feels like crap. This tiny investment sets his perspective right, and changes his outlook for the entire day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two Ways to Wash Dishes

There are two ways to wash dishes - First, you wash the dishes so you can have clean dishes for your next meal; Second, you wash dishes to wash dishes. In the first case, you are thinking about the meal afterwards, and hurrying to get the dishes out the way; you are never present in the moment, and therefore not really "alive". When you do wash the dishes to wash the dishes, then the entire activity becomes alive with possibilities, which makes you capable of realizing the miracles of life while standing at the sink.

I won't pretend that I understand any of this. But I do want to write it down so I can reflect on it. Because I think, this might very well be, the very thing I am missing in my life right now.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Relax your shoulders

This might be one of the most effective "techniques" I learned last year. When you feel tense, pressured or just stressed out, relax your shoulders. Throughout the day, make frequent mental checks of how tight your shoulders are, and relax them. It works!

Here is a tip, use telephone ring as a trigger - every time when you hear an incoming call, relax your shoulders. Do this a couple of times you'll find yourself do it automatically, without effort.

Once your shoulders are relaxed, you are more focused, calmer, and better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you. Try it and you'll see what I mean.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Think C.A.L.M

Calm represents a peaceful state of mind. A calm mind is not easily distracted - it is resilient and effective. It's reassuring to be around someone who has a calm mind because they exude a sense of quiet confidence.

C - Centered
A - Alive and Attentive
L - Lighthearted
M - Magical

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Your mind is what you read

With the help of RSS readers (e.g., Google Reader), it is very convenient to keep track of the Blogs you read. Take some time and select one with a good writer, read it consistently, and you'll find its benefits are tremendous. Don't go with the trashy ones though - they are just a waste of your time.

Remember, your mind is what you read. :)

Personally, I love this one.

Read a poem

Poem is one of those things that can tickle your brain in a funny way. Sometimes when I am stressed out, tired, or frustrated, a good poem can bring me comfort, inspiration, and clarity. Unlike a book, reading a poem is not so time consuming, but its impact can linger on your mind for days, months, or years. Good poem is like high-grade chocolate - best in small doses. Try this one on for size:

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
Wallace Stevens


Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.