A View on Brexit

As we move forward in time, having wavered from the group of countries known as the European Union, there may be some circumstances we will need to suffer through in order to move onwards and upwards. The British people feel strongly about control, in particular being controlled by others. And the urge to Freedom is universal. So with that in mind, the majority of Brits decided that we should leave the European Union.

At the end of the day, it is trade that makes the world go round. The Romans founded an empire on trade around the Mediterranean. The Vikings travelled and traded all around the Baltic, the Middle East, the Atlantic sea board and the North Sea, even into the Middle East.

Marco Polo made his way to the East and back, bringing tales of fabulous wealth, of new materials and spices and exotically different cultures all the way to China through Persia and the other lands of the Silk Road. And with this trade in silks and china, spices and precious jewels, came back ideas from the philosophers of Greece recorded by the Arabic thinkers and knowledge developed by mathematicians of the Middle East creating what became known as the Renaissance in Italy and the rest of Europe.

Great Britain in past centuries traded by sea all over the known world from 1600′s onward and explored and discovered other unknown worlds, along with Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese explorers who found sea routes to the Americas, both north and south, to the West Indies, to Africa, India, to Australia and New Zealand and the many different lands and islands of the Far East.

Whatever happens, people will still need and want to do business and trade whatever services and products they can produce and deliver, and want to exchange them with other nations and cultures in other parts of the world. Sane people will come to agreements that permit this. Sane governments and politicians will work it out so this can still occur as we still depend on each other buying and selling our goods and services — for our future survival is mutual and interdependent.

Foods and Flavours to Help Diabetes

This information comes to you courtesy of Natural News. It may be that you know someone it could help. It is so important that it is being passed on here to make it more widely known and used.

According to the most recent American Diabetes Association report, 29.1 million Americans are diabetic. Additionally, the disease still held the rank of being the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Over 8 million of that 29.1 are undiagnosed, unaware that they have the condition.(1)

Therefore, it’s wise for everyone to take a closer look at their dietary lifestyle and eat foods that help fight diabetes.

Fight diabetes with these 17 herbs and spices

Several kinds of herbs and spices exist that keep the disease at bay. Here’s a look at what Dr. Alexa Fleckenstein, author of The Diabetes Cure, swears by.(2)
The list of herbs, spices and information below are derived from her
book. Supporting details and their sources are noted, if used.

1. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

In a small study involving 40 type 2 diabetics, it was found that those consuming this herb were able to reduce their fasting blood glucose levels by approximately 17.6 percent. Additionally, their blood glucose levels after eating a meal were lowered by 7.3 percent.

Why not add their earthy yet semi-sweet leaves to more meals?

2. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

Bilberries’ blue color, which exists on the inside as well as the outside, has antioxidants called anthocyanins. They’re known to help fight diabetes and lower inflammation. In fact, an Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition study found that regular ingestion of them led to improvements in glucose tolerance.

3. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Chamomile has the ability to help lower blood sugar levels and properly remove sugar from blood and store it in the liver, making it a smart choice in addition to the other herbs and spices mentioned in this article.

4. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)

This aromatic treat is one that won’t wreak havoc on glucose levels. Quite the contrary.

One 2003 study found that after just 40 days, a type of cinnamon called Cinnamomum aromaticum, or cassia (typically in grocery stores) was found to lower blood glucose levels nearly 30 percent.(3)

5. Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)

The spicy, smoky flavor of cumin is another taste that can be enjoyed by diabetics or those at risk. Not only does it lower cholesterol and blood sugar, but it manages advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which can be of concern for those with the disease.

6. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

This bitter leafy green is a diabetic’s dream: It’s said to help heal the liver, produce a cleansing action in the body and boost weight loss.

7. Dill (Anethum graveolens)

A versatile herb, dill was used during the middle ages to boost everything from meals to health.

Today, it’s noted that dill has about 70 beneficial chemicals that specifically work to combat diabetes. Talk about packing a significant health punch!

8. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Described as having an “elegant” taste with a distinct anise flavor, fennel contains a phytochemical called anethole, which fights inflammation. Its seeds and the vegetable play a role in warding off diabetes complications.

9. Garlic (Allium sativum)

Eating more garlic means preventing your cytokines from becoming unruly.

10. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger has been shown to improve many conditions that are concerning for diabetics. It has the ability to lower cholesterol levels, blood fats and blood glucose.

11. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

It’s brimming with diabetes-fighting antioxidants that make it well worth adding to meals.

12. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Effective in warding off inflammation, it’s active phytochemical, carnosol, helps those with metabolic syndrome.

13. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Not only does sage play a role in fighting germs and offering soothing qualities when enjoyed as a tea, but its powerful antioxidants are known to fight diabetes.

14. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)

For those with a sweet tooth, rejoice! This sweetener has been found to be safe for diabetics while also providing them with helpful postprandial blood sugar and insulin levels.

15. Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)

This herb has been found to produce a hypoglycemic effect, decrease overeating and reduce insulin resistance.

16. Thyme (Thymus spp.)

With approximately 75 active phytochemicals that work to fight diabetes, this flavorful herb is a must when it comes to staying healthy.

17. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

This spice provides some serious kick when it comes to taste as well as heath. A study in the journal Diabetes Care found that prediabetics who took a placebo instead of curcumin capsules developed type 2 diabetes. Those taking the capsules did not.

Book of Kells Pigments

One of the things that has puzzled researchers for years is how did the artists achieve the glorious colours that we see in The Book of Kells.

This kind of art, which was done by Medieval monks and scribes, is known as Illumination. This is because the gold and silver used in the paintings reflected light and shone brightly when the light landed on the pages. And to further enhance the effect, the metal was often burnished till it it was smooth and shone even more brightly. However, what makes this book more remarkable is the fact that it achieves its brilliant luminosity without the use of any gold or silver.

It is believed that the book was produced around the year 800 by the monks of St Columba, possibly in Iona, an island off the coast of western Scotland where he founded a monastery, or in Kells, in Meath in Ireland where the monks moved to after a Viking raid on Iona.

It was produced on vellum, a kind of parchment.

But what about the actual paints themselves?

For years, it was assumed what the colours were without scientific tests being done to find out and verify these assumptions. The results, when this was done, produced some unexpected surprises.

At the time, there were a number of pigments in common use and readily available, and these turned out to be as expected.

For example:
Red/Orange shades – came from red lead
Yellow – was provided by ochre and orpiment
Black – was provided by carbon from lamp black or burned bones,
Brown – came from iron gall ink.

Iron gall ink was a staple of scribes, being regularly used to write documents on parchment as far back as the Magna Carta and earlier. It is one of the reasons we have preserved historical archives that go back for hundreds of years. So this would have been readily available and known to the monks.

In the Book of Kells, white was produced from gypsum. White lead was more common in other medieval paintings of the same time period.

It was thought that the blue was lapis lazuli.

This colour was a very costly pigment, being mined in Afghanistan or Persia, and travelling across huge distances to reach Britain. It was a hard stone and required much pounding and grinding to yield its beautiful dark blue. And it required skill and familiarity to successfully produce the colour — too little work left impurities in the powdered pigment, on the other hand, too much grinding and it would change and lose its colour. Imagine, all doing that work for nothing!

It was so costly that the use of the colour was reserved usually for the Virgin Mary, a point where the sacred joined up with economics of production. Or in the case of a wealthy patron, the lavish use of this colour proclaimed his prestige boldy for all to see and admire.

To great surprise, it was found that blue was supplied by indigo, a plant, though the source of the indigo itself is not currently clear.

Indigo in Britain at the time could have come locally from a plant called woad, which is native to northern Europe. Woad was used as a blue dye for cloth as well as for body paint by the Celts as far back as Roman times. Remember the stories about Boudicca.

However, indigo was also produced from Indigofera tinctoria plant and imported from South East Asia via Syria and Alexandria to the western Europe, making it the most expensive pigment in the Medieval world at the time. We don’t know which kind of indigo was used,

What we do know is that the Vikings and the Celts did have amazing trade routes established with the Baltic and the Middle East and Mediterranean area.

From the combination of indigo and orpiment, greens were produced, as well by using verdigris, a colour based on copper.

And the delicate purples were another plant derived pigment, produced by orecin obtained from a lichen called rosella tinctoria.

It is from this restricted palette of colours and pigment that the the artist monks had to work to create their stunning effects, using a combination of pure colours and simple mixtures.

By considered and careful juxtaposition and simple layering, very striking contrasts could be built up making colour combinations that sing with variety and luminosity. By adding 3 or more layers over a base layer, subtle gradations of colour and texture could be built up from only a few starting colours.

The diverse and delicate elaborate designs of The Book of Kells are amongst the most famous and well loved Celtic art work in the world. And the skillful use of mineral pigments has preserved the art work brightly for more than 1300 years.


A great many of us enjoy the Great British Bake Off.

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are well known public figures with celebrity status, and the program has done much to popularize baking with people up and down the country. In fact not just inside the British Isles. The BBC exports the program around the world. Mary with her wonderful cakes and pies and pastries and Paul who is a master bread baker. Who could

And not just Mary and Paul.

There are lots of other programs, with James Martin doing Saturday in my Kitchen, the stratospheric Masterchef, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay showing their different takes on life in the restaurant kitchen and the family home, not to mention the Hairy Bikers travelling around the world sampling world cuisine.

Most cakes, breads and pastries start with flour, white flour to be precise. Easily available, cheap, light and fluffy powder, versatile, adaptable and multi-purposed. There are different strengths and types, each more suited to a specific purpose depending on the type of wheat it’s produced from. But all white, refined and standardized to be consistent from packet to packet, brand to brand so our cakes and pancakes are mouthwatering, our pies and pastries delicious and filling, our sauces smooth and creamy.

And look good.

That beautiful white flour so appreciated in our modern, western way of modern life as one of the best comforts and most pleasantly useful, versatile kitchen ingredients has a deadly secret.

Those of us who count calories and watch our weight might be shocked to know there is more.
In the USA, 140 million tons of white flour is produced DAILY according to the North American Millers Association. That’s a lot of flour.

To speed up the process of preparing the flour for sale, it is treated with chlorine gas which whitens it. It also produces a chemical called alloxan when the chlorine reacts with proteins in the flour. Alloxan doesn’t have to be declared on the food labels as an ingredient because it’s not been added to the flour.

What’s the big deal?

Alloxan is toxic to humans and destroys the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. Diabetes is the result.

This is so well known and reliable that research scientists feed alloxan to rats and laboratory animals to produce diabetic animals to use for experimental research.

Something to think about next time you order a Danish pastry with your cappuccino for breakfast. Or pop out to buy a bag of bleached white flour for a spot of healthy home baking.

Auld Lang Syne

Funny how a Scottish song could travel round the world and commemorate the passing of one year into the next in different time zones and cultures.

Scottish values of hospitality and friendship combined together into a custom known as first footing.

After midnight on the last day of the year, folks used to go out and visit their friends, bringing a gift of a lump of coal. This was to bring them warmth for the coming year.

And the guest was treated to a wee dram of whisky and shortbread, to comfort him in the cold of the night and on into the coming year.

The best, most luckiest visitor to be the first foot over your doorstep was a tall, dark, handsome man.

A bonny dream.

May your coming year be full, too.

Dr Eric Berg is an endocrinologist as well as a chiropracter. He has a unique viewpoint when it comes to looking at and resolving medical issues based on his particular experience, training and expertise.

For example people get an ache or a pain and go to the chiropracter and get it fixed. Then it comes back and they go back again….. and again and again, because it just keeps coming back. This is typical of pain in the back and right shoulder for example.

Could it be there is another issue that causes these muscles and bones to go out of place in the first place? And if you could find out what that is, would that make a difference if you dealt with that issue?

Well that is how Dr Berg came to look and find answers to deeper questions and deeper issues.

Would you like to know more?

What Works for Your Body and Your Life

As our bodies grow older, there are many changes that take place, to meet the different stages of our lives. Bones grew while we were children, until we reached full height. Then different hormones came along and influenced how we looked and felt and how we acted.

What we can do in later years changes as we move through the seasons of our lives.

How many of us can eat — or drink– what we used to in our teens and twenties?

How many of us used to look at older generations and swear that we would never let ourselves end up like that? So what happened to them?

There is a lot of information out there. It can be very confusing to know what to believe, who to trust?
And there isn’t a lot of time to spend sorting it out.

There are a lot of supplements and books, authorities and methods to lose weight, to look younger, to have more energy, more libido, handle your knees, your back, your ….. You can fill in just about any thing in the blank.
So, one way is to look for people who get results and who have been around for a while getting consistent results.

One such person is Dr Eric Berg. He is a medical practitioner in America, with an extensive practice. He focuses on helping people get healthy. By doing this, they lose weight, lose the symptoms of various conditions and diseases and become free of unwanted medications with their side effects, not to mention expensive costs.

Many people are told they need to take one medication to normalize their blood pressure, another for the heart, something to handle their cholesterol, and along with another pill for their blood sugar, not to mention things to help you sleep, and others to wake you up, and something to keep your mood swings from going up and down in between.

Stress can interfere with the usual functions of the body and interfere with our hormones.

What if there are other ways to handle the stress? To get healthier naturally, without side effects.

There are techniques and information at DrBerg.com that might just change your health and your life for the better.

Malala Speaks Out

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, Malala Yousafzai described her experience at the hands of the Taliban, in Swat Valley. She and her some of her school friends were targeted and shot by terrorists. Malala was shot in the head. Malala was targeted because she spoke out for education, in particular for the education of girls.

“They thought the bullet would silence us. But they failed. Out of that silence came thousands of voices. Terrorists thought they could change our aims and our ambitions. Nothing changed, but this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, courage and fervour was born.”

She went on to speak about her feelings and how she was not seeking revenge,

“They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them.”

“Education is the only solution.”

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

What she says is so true and so important, that I felt moved to forward her message.

As we stand on the eve of the announcement of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners, I wanted to reflect on Malala’s words. She is a young girl, yet she is a leader and inspiration to us all. She demonstrates her courage and conviction for all to see.

Her weapon is the pen, and it is truly mightier than the sword.

History Repeats Itself

Talking to a new person the other day, the conversation came round to Bannockburn. For some people, it is unknown, and yet for Scotland, it is a place of historic significance– the place where Scotland came together to be a nation and rise up, united by a common purpose, to face and to fight against an external suppression and tyranny from another, neighbouring country. At that time, it was a battle against England.

Now, at that time, it was a tough and important turning point in the lives of the Scottish people. The story is much glamourised in the Hollywood film of “Braveheart”. Yet the important essentials of the story are still true. And it is a story which captured the imaginations of people all around the world when the film version was released.

Yet today, we have our battles against tyranny and oppression. Perhaps less physically violent than the Battle of Bannockburn was in 1314.

Now, it is a war of ideas fought in the media and the minds of men for the ownership or freedom of the internet.

Habits of Successful People

This was in a blog by Thomas Corley. He made a study of Rich People and their habits.

I found it very helpful and very interesting. Recently I came across and again, it resonated with me. I hope it will light a spark for you.

Here is what Thomas wrote:
“Perhaps the most significant self-improvement Rich Habit I uncovered in my five-year study on the daily habits of the rich and poor concerned reading. Wealthy, successful people are voracious readers. They devote significant time every day to reading for self-improvement. Here are some statistics on reading from my study:
86% of the wealthy love to read. 74% of the poor do not love to read.
85% of the wealthy read two or more educational books every month. Only 15% of the poor have this Rich Habit.
88% of the wealthy read thirty minutes or more each day vs. 2% of the poor.
63% of the wealthy listen to audio books during their commute to work. Only 5% of the poor share this Rich Habit.

The reasons the wealthy read so much included:
To increase their knowledge-base for their job in order to uncover opportunities to make more money or to make themselves more valuable to their employer, customers or clients.
To learn more about success.
To stay current with events.
To exercise their mind.
To learn new things.

But what do the wealthy read? What is the reading material of the rich?
51% read about history.
55% read about self-help.
58% read biographies of successful people.
79% read educational material.
94% read about current events.
45% read financial material such as the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Kiplingers etc.”

Do you read? What do you read?

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