Posts categorized "Food and Drink"

Energy

Attitude, action, and perception are all greatly influenced by your physical state...your health. For your life to be great, your health and energy have to be optimized. Here's some advice that will change everything about your life.

Eliminate all simple carbs (sugar, flour, wheat, bread, pasta, potatoes, etc) except for one day a week. No fruit either. Every Saturday, go absolutely nuts with junk food! Then that's it for the rest of the week. This is easy. Without simple carbs, you feel better and don't get hungry as often. I've been low-carb for over a decade, but I never did it consistently until I added the cheat day. This is the diet I have been on for three years now.  Eat enough so you aren't really ever hungry. Follow this diet and it is a matter of time until you get to your ideal weight and stay there.

It is ok to have up to two glasses of dry red wine every night. This doesn't hurt anything. But no more (this is where I'm most likely to break the diet). :-)

Drink huge amounts of water. 3 liters per day.

Eat 3-5 cloves of raw garlic every day. Crush it, put it in your mouth, immediately wash it down with a huge glass of water without chewing it. You won't taste it and this will keep you healthy, pain-free, and free from illnesses cause by bacteria or viruses. If you do start to get a cold, eat even more garlic and drink 1-3 cartons of orange juice each day until it is gone. My last three colds, I cured in one day as the other members of my family two weeks.

Take 1,500 mg of L-Carnitine with flax seed oil and cold water as soon as you wake up each morning. Go to the supplement store and make this investment right away. read about the benefits (they are all true and very noticeable). This will completely change your life. You will feel excited about life, positive, never depressed. Take another dose in the afternoon.

Work out hard 3x per week. Take 5-10 grams of BCAA supplements 30 minutes before going to the gym. Have a black coffee with it. Choose 6-8 weightlifting exercises and perform the each, one set of 10 - 18 reps, to the point of failure...to where you can't move the weight. Your first set should be kettlebell swings. Look it up and learn it. Do 70-100 kettlebell reps until it kills you. Then do abs and the rest of your weights, waiting 3 minutes between sets to recover. When you are finished with weights, run for 25 minutes. The whole workout should take less than 1 hour 3x per week. In a month you will be a new person (if you also follow the diet). This Fall, I completely changed my body with this workout after just 3-4 weeks (12 - 15 workouts).

Eat 2-3 eggs each morning within 30 minutes of waking up. I also eat black beans and spinach with them to fill up.

Eat as much meat as you can. Avoid all dairy if possible because it spikes blood sugar just like carbs. No fruit. No sugar. No simple carbs. Veggies, meat, nuts, black coffee, water, 2 glasses wine at night. That's your life. First, break the carb addiction. Next, Learn how to cook and good food becomes delicious. Have Thai, Indian, Sashimi, whatever you want...just no rice, bread, potatoes.

Try this for a month...all of it....100% of what I'm saying....and let me know how much better your life is. :-). You will have much more energy, look better and younger, and you will THINK differently. Research all of this first if you don't believe me. But you have to do all of it or you will undermine the other parts.

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

The Abscondo Podcast

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The Abscondo Podcast is available for free on  iTunes.  It is also accessible via this direct feed or wherever you normally get podcasts.  You can also receive an email alert whenever a new   episode is available by submitting your email address here:

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The Abscondo Podcast includes conversations between people who are exploring new ideas and seeking truth.  The show is hosted by Mark Manney, an American writer, recording artist, and social comentator who lives in Eastern Europe with his wife Sofia (the show's co-host).  The podcast features interviews with inspiring people, intense conversation, and original music.

Take part in the conversation by leaving us a message at (206) 905-1386.  Write to us at abscondomusic@gmail.com.  We'll respond to your message on the next episode or even invite you onto the show as a guest.

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Absconding from commercial-cool

I've been reading Naomi Klein's "No Logo" these days, which has me thinking about branding and the idea of "cool".  For the past several decades, it seems as though notions of coolness have become almost inseparable from corporate branding.  I remember, in middle school and high school, when I felt pretty cool wearing my Nike sneakers and Levi's jeans.  In the 80's and 90's, successful corporations, in their constant quest for growth, learned to extend themselves beyond simply advertising.  The idea is to create a brand experience.  The names and logos of the most successful brands have almost come to symbolize something and mean something.  When we attach ourselves to these brands, we are told, we too become cool.

But what is coolness?  Cool is new.  Cool is rebellious.  Cool is anti-establishment.  Cool is bold, daring, smart, self-confident, dangerous...and for these reasons it is so very sexy.  Cool is what humans do, not institutions or corporations.  But in order for corporations to sell more product, they've actually attempted to become cool.  In order to become cool, they relentlessly try to move into that "human space" where coolness exists -- the clubs, the concerts, the city streets, the urban basketball courts...they had to metaphorically and literally get their logos on the behinds of the coolest women in order to become sexy.  And so they did.  Wherever cool was, corporations infiltrated that space, branded it, and exploited it.  This wasn't very difficult, as the icons of cool (the celebrities) have been quite willing to sell out for the right price.

With the success of companies like Nike and Apple, more and more corporations have pushed further and further into what was authentic cultural space to establish themselves as cool and culturally relevant.  Interestingly, as the beer companies sponsored and bought out concert festivals, artists such as Madonna, P. Diddy, Britney Spears, and dozens of others essentially were willing to essentially become brands, themselves (with sponsorships, cross-marketed product lines, etc.).  In other words, as corporations learned to act more like cool people, celebrities learned to act more like corporations.  And right up to the present moment, this approach would seem to be working.

But the problem is...nothing feels cool anymore.  While, on the surface, the symbols of cool are pervasive...the essence of cool evaporates the moment it becomes that which it is not.  When cool is sold out for a profit, it is no longer cool.  The symbols of cool are masks hiding something else.  Corporate-cool is lipstick on a pig.

Corporations are never truly anti-establishment, smart, rebellious, or independent.  Corporations are, and always will be, the opposite of cool; mainstream.  In fact, branding is only good at ruining cool in order to sell product.  Branding is a lie.  Rather than having to understand cool, having to live cool and embody cool, we are told that all we need to do is buy it.  As a result, we have a society of posers.  We have a society of thoughtless dorks masquerading as hipsters...and not even doing it well enough to fool each other.

All of this is obvious to me, on an intuitive level, as a musician.  I feel that my sounds and my ideas only have value to the extent that they are kept completely seperate from the commercial world.  Regardless of what happens in my future, my music will always be completely seperate from business.  I will never attempt to profit from my music and will never allow others to ride on the back of my inspiration in order to do so.  That's because what flows through my music cannot be understood within the context of the commercial world.  The extent to which my music is good is the extent to which it is authentic at a deep, human level.   I would never consider playing a corporate-sponsored event because such events are deflated of their meaning at the moment they are conceived.  I would never allow my music to be used to sell products, even if it meant massive exposure.  What good is exposure when all meaning and understanding is lost?

My inspiration comes from the spaces I have created between me and other people.  My ideas come to me in moments of silence...when I am looking inside myself and not at the world outside.  My music works when it finds...when it frees this same place inside the listener. 

I know I'm not alone in this.  I know that what is really cool has never changed.  Cool is not caring what people think.  Cool is uniqueness, not fitting-in.  Cool is perceiving others deeply and not being afraid to express it.  Cool is being too busy perceiving beauty to go out shopping for it.  Cool is a cup of coffee in the liveliest part of town.  Cool is a body free of corporate logos.  Cool is who you are, not what you have. Cool is that connection between two people so powerful that it creates an entirely new universe.  Cool is the idea that what is doesn't have to be that way.  Cool is being completely misunderstood by normal people.  Cool is being perceived by those very few, very special people.  Cool is an original idea.  Cool is acting on an original idea.   Cool is reading.  Cool is listening to music that nobody else knows.  Cool is truth-seeking.  Cool is creating.  Cool is doing all of this while staying strong enough to live a healthy, reasonably successful life.

In some ways cool has become harder to find, and in other ways it is easier than ever.  Abscond from commercial-cool.

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Diet tip: eat great food all you want, lose weight and live longer

How can one even write about dieting or weight loss without sounding like a salesman or a schmuck?  You can't.  So for at least this one post I'm going to sound like a schmuck.

Here's diet advice you've never heard from the mass-media or from diet promotions...but I've found it to be common knowledge among the well educated and well-off: People who enjoy food the most aren't fat

The best way to achieve your ideal weight without dieting is to go on a quest to find better and better food.  Get snobby about it.  Constantly try new things.  Good food certainly isn't going to be found in chain restaurants, so try some local ethnic food: Thai, Greek, French, Italian...try sushi!   No excellent restaurants in your town?  Go on-line for recipes from the well-known chefs.  Search every corner of your grocery store shelves and find things you've never tried.  Don't buy what is cheap, buy what is high-quality and best-tasting.  Indulge in rich foods, sophisticated flavors, good wine, cheese, dark chocolate...include those ingredients in recipes that you've never bothered to search for and try to taste the difference. For god's sake, buy a bunch of spices and use them...no, overuse them until your friends complain about how spicy your food is!  Go on a never-ending food quest and evolve into a food snob.

That's how I spent the past several years, and I know this works for a few reasons.  Now I'm a hopeless snob who turns my nose at anything that doesn't meet a certain standard.  That means I'm unable and unwilling to throw garbage down the hatch.  If great food can't be found, I don't really eat...or eat just enough so that I'm not starving.  When people are willing to eat just to get full...when they aren't in touch with flavors, textures...the beauty of dining...the only reason for eating is to get full.  Eating to get full isn't satisfying, so you eat more and more on a quest to become satisfied.

Aside from looking good and feeling healthy, of course food snobs live longer.  That's because our bodies were designed to crave and enjoy food that is good for us.  Corporations spend millions in R&D to fool our taste buds into liking cheep and low-quality ingredients...best to avoid name-brand junk food altogether and just buy the most natural, freshest food you can find and can afford.  Good food can always be found and always be made if you try hard enough.  And once you know better, you can't go back.

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Living in harmony with the biosphere

Life...everything it is and everything it does...is governed by a loose, but inescapable force.  It always has and always will.  This force exists whether or not the life forms that are its creations have become conscious of it.   Life...everything it is and everything it does...is governed by the force of evolution.

Evolution only became aware of itself nearly 150 years ago when it’s most perceptive and sensitive creation, the human being, became advanced enough to sense what was there all along.  And even today, relatively few are sensitive to it.  It seems to me that scientists, with their overly specialized and fractionalized focuses, have done nearly as much to confuse our thinking on evolution as the simple-minded preachers have.  But to understand evolution is to understand life and the meaning of life.  With a conceptual understanding of evolution, no made-up belief system is needed to live a full and rich life.  And it isn't that complicated.

The biosphere is a finite space upon which the conditions for life exist.  Life must confront the existence of both constant change and unavoidable scarcity.  When life forms are unable to adapt to change, they do not survive.  When life forms are no longer able to compete effectively to get what they need for survival, they no longer exist. 

Every life form wants to thrive so that it has the best possible chance at survival.  Life forms thrive when their characteristics enable them to meet their needs in a particular landscape (landscapes are microcosms within the biosphere).  The characteristics of some organisms are more specialized (a mushroom which grows on dead wood in a damp forest), and some are more diversified (birds, which can move from place to place and consume a variety of food). 

Viewing nature as a whole, all appears to fit so nicely.  Nature appears to operate as though it were created by some master planner.  But, of course, what we observe is nothing more than billions of years of trial and error.  A walk through a forest gives us a snapshot of what has resulted from a history of life's beautiful successes and devastating failures.  Constant flux comes from changing conditions in the biosphere (temperature fluctuations, water table changes, etc.) and mutations (new traits and new ideas which life introduces into the biosphere).  When the right mutations are suitable for the right conditions, they are carried forward.  When mutations do not help a life form thrive, they are discarded along with that life form.

Humans are no exception.  We, too, depend upon the conditions of the biosphere and the life forms within that biosphere for survival.  Of all the known life forms which have existed, we have taken the art of "thrival" to new levels.  We dominate life on earth because our characteristics, our skills and abilities, have taken us far beyond simple survival.

Many humans incorrectly see themselves as abstracted from nature.  Yet everything we do is still part of evolution itself.  Our man-made creations (governments, businesses, institutions, even cultures) are all microcosms of evolution.  They are sort of virtual "landscapes" in which we compete for scarce resources.  Businesses are organisms within the landscape of the market.  Think about the software industry, or the music industry.  You can see evolution unfolding on a daily basis.  New songs are new mutations.  Product features are mutations.  Ideas on weblogs are also mutations.  Some of those ideas are adopted by an audience, some aren’t.  Some of those ideas help that audience thrive, some don't.  To provide a thorough set of examples would be to describe everything that life is and life does.  I’ve provided these examples to demonstrate that a correct view of evolution is the lens through which reality makes sense.  How beautiful it is when reality makes sense.

Now let's look at morality.  Morality ought to be a consideration of consequences.  Morality devoid of the consideration of consequences is, more likely, manipulation.  So let's look at consequences.  That which undermines our thrival over the long term is wrong.  Driving an SUV is wrong because it pollutes the air and destroys the conditions in which life thrives.  Dumping toxic waste into our water supply is also wrong because it destroys life.  Anything that destroys life today or threatens life tomorrow is wrong.  Why?  When we tamper too much with the conditions that support life, we actually undermine our own chances for long-term survival.  We need life to survive.  We need the conditions which support life to survive.  Aggressive war is also wrong.  That's because, when we start a war, we are more likely to be attacked and killed in return.  Violence is wrong because it kills life.  Killing always undermines our own survival, and for that reason (if for no other) it is wrong.

When one believes he is abstracted from nature, he searches in vain for meaning.  But when we become sensitive to evolution...when we become reverent toward life...then we can live in grace and beauty.  Only then can we live wisely and in harmony with the biosphere.

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).