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?

A Simple Effective Training Program

One of the important elements to becoming successful in any direction we have chosen is our focus.

There are many things we can do to occupy our activities and time as we try to move forward. Sometimes it’s something we find interesting, Sometimes, some of the jobs are boring but may be necessary to get done.

After the bare bones are in place, it may be the fluff on top that pads it out and makes it really enjoyable to the visitor to our site.

As I write this, the cat has come to tell me whatever I am doing just now, is way down her priority list . So viewpoint also has something to do with it too.

One of the ways of simplifying the choice to limit yourself to your market, at least at first. That way it’s possible to retain you focus and not get dispersed

That way, you can get very familiar with this market, and develop more ways to reach it, offer more services and products to it, more ways to contact it as you understand the people in it and what they need and want.

With success in this area, you can build on your past success by adding in one new thing at a time.

One of the best programs I have come across to date is Income Steps Academy by Sara Young.

Sara was a busy stay at home mum with 7 children so her time and resources at the beginning were very limited. However, she gradually built herself a 6 figure on-line income starting with little steps in short time slots around her busy family life and free resources. As she made progress and added on more things using the above formula, her range and volume expanded.

In Income Steps Academy she teaches you what she has learned so that you can also build an online income. Using a simple step by step approach arranged in short time slots using mostly free resources, she shows others how to build a profitable and interesting business in potentially any niche.

Home Business – Writing

One of the easiest ways to get started on a home business is by writing.

The economics of it require minimal outlay in the beginning. You don’t need to buy stock, pay for storage, transport, postage or worry about selling. You can pick it up and put it down around your ongoing activities, while you build up a network of connections and contacts and make yourself known.

What to write about depends on what you are interested in and what you can research from scratch. For example, some people are interested in fashion, beauty, skin care, cosmetics and hair care, perfume and accessories.

Whereas another person might be interested in cars, their engines and specifications, makes and models, vintage and classic cars versus prototypes andthe latest model with this years must-have show room gadget.

If you are a lover of boats, or cookery and kitchens, fishing or dogs, medieval painting or photography, write about your passion with all the passion and flair you can muster.

One lady in the wilds of Canada was building a log cabin. She worked in the day time and wrote about her activities in the evening, putting on line the information about how she and her husband had built their home, their plans, the pitfualls, drawing and diagrams of what worked and what didn’t. It started out as something relaxing and personal and turned into a go-to site visited by people from all over the world, and became worth millions.

From little acorns big oak trees can grow.

Prioritising Your Focus

While it is one of the most commonly repeated points I’ve come across, that is the guru’s tell you, you need to focus. Recent events have made me look this over from another point of view. What should I be focusing on?

It’s not a one size fits all type of a proposition.

A recent death of a close family member has brought certain things into focus that were not central before but have become so now. Other things faded away.

It’s important to review your priorities from time to time. What you think is important might have changed or might need to change as your point of view changes with life’s sudden events.

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