In The Pursuit Of Happiness.

Are you happy?


What constitutes happiness? Is the acquisition of money considered happiness? Or does one find greater happiness the higher they climb a social ladder, an educational ladder, an employment ladder? The illusive concept of love and eternal happiness it brings?


As we tally our achievements across a score board, and the dashes representing our successes in life increase, one must think, for every success I have achieved, what burdens have I also accumulated in the process while pursuing said achievement? At what cost have I reached this stage of grandeur?


A success tally board is a double-edged sword. While we choose to ignore the negative, we forget that the positive ultimately only brings negative along with it. Without the negative, we will never know the true value of the positive.


With every achievement, comes responsibility. Come expectations of you. Come your expectations of society. In an ideal world, expectations are met with the greatest ease. But this is not an ideal world. What does that say of us as human beings? The realisation that we are less than perfect, and yes, that is a fact, can come crashing down hard on you, when you have only kept your eye on the positive side of the tally score board. Keeping the negative in mind simultaneously keeps one grounded, reminding them that no matter what greatness they achieve, at the end of the day, they are nothing more than human beings, nothing more than flesh and blood, nothing more than carbon. And at the end of the day, when we return to the ashes, and to our basic, most simple atomic component, we will be united as one. What we have accumulated through this journey called life will be of no significance.


But one achievement that does not carry a parallel negative charge is contentedness. And with that skill mastered, one finds the meaning of true happiness.




There is no difference between you, or me.






For Dotty, who has been urging me to make a "comeback".



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iPhone 3GS


So I hear that the factory unlocked iPhone 3GS is selling for a ridiculous amount of money in Kuwait, something like KD400 for the 16GB and KD450 for the 32GB.


I got a better deal. Since I live in Australia, and the 3GS is factory unlocked here, I'm willing to ship (via Aramex) at the following prices:

iPhone 3GS 16GB + shipping= KD 275
iPhone 3GS 32GB + shipping= KD 325


Leave me a comment if you're interested, or email me at rocka.byebye@gmail.com




UPDATE Guys I'm sorry I no longer sell iphones as I don't have the time any more. It was fun while it lasted, and I'll probably be back when the next iphones come out, so don't forget to check back here!


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Beautiful, Loved and Blessed

I have a mother that loves me, a dog that worships me, food in my belly, a roof over and a pillow under my head. I have my health, I have strength and will and determination and a family I know I can trust to rely on, my nearest and dearest to lean on, whose wisdom I can draw strength and patience from when times are hard and my faith in myself fails me. I have an education and more privileges in life than many. Men will come and go, as will money and New Years eves. I am blessed to have been leant a few sympathetic ears, shoulders to cry on, and friends to share heartfelt smiles and laughter with, my joys as well as my sorrows. For everything I have yet to accomplish, for all my hearts' sincerest hopes, dreams and desires, for all goals and ambitions I was unable to achieve, the world doesn't stop here. There's always, always next year.

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The Bread For Life Diet - Update

Today is day 13 of 14. Successful 2 weeks? Absolutely! On what basis? Well I have to admit I sorta, kinda cheated. My initial weight was 80+ odd kg. A few weeks prior, I did the lemonade diet for a few days, on and off, stuck to the Wii fit religiously for a few days (about 2 weeks), until I got my weight down to 75 kg. 


Then I received my Bread for Life Diet book, and ditched everything else. Now, from previous experience, once I get off the lemonade diet my weight would balloon to horrific proportions in no time flat. The Bread for Life Diet not only stopped me from putting back on the 5 kg that I had lost, but also made me lose an extra 2 kg in 2 weeks. So that puts me at a nice 72 kg. I think an average weight loss of 1 kg every week is not only healthy, but that weight is more likely to stay off than a quick-fix weight loss plan such as the lemonade diet.

Cons? Bread isn't cheap these days. And finding 35-45 calorie bread is pretty much impossible. I had to cut down from 12 slices to 6, substituting the low calorie bread for regular (average 95 calorie) whole grain. Same amount of calories in my day, just different portions. This slight change in portions was just as filling.

I did my grocery shopping for Stage 2 yesterday. Stage 2 is a little bit more fun but not much different and you can maintain it for as long as you like. Difference is, you can now substitute your bread allotments for other carb foods that are equal to the bread allotment in terms of composition and quantity.

You can substitute 2 slices of light bread, or one slice of regular bread, for :

  • Legumes (1 cup cooked). This includes lentils, white or black beans, broad beans, chick peas, and so on.
  • Rice (2/3 - 1 cup cooked) - Anything except white rice. This includes basmati rice, wild rice, and whole-grain rice. 
  • Pasta (1 cup cooked) - Pasta made from durum wheat (most pasta is) and whole wheat is preferred to white pasta. Careful with the sauces though, none of that fat cheesy heavy stuff! Sauces recommended include tomato, soy, and olive oil, all with or without herbs.
  • Grains (2/3 - 1 cup cooked) - These include pearl barley, millet, buckwheat, oats, or any other type of whole grain.
  • Sweet potato (1 medium-sized) - These can be boiled, oven-baked or microwave-nuked, or sauteed in a small amount of olive or canola oil.
  • Potato (1 medium sized) - These can be eaten OCCASIONALLY, boiled, oven-baked or cooked. Mashed potatoes and fries are not recommended.
  • Corn - (1 ear, 2/3 cup kernels, or 2 cups popped).
  • Breakfast cereals - (4-5 tablespoons) - Cereals can be substituted for bread on occasion but are not recommended because most cereals contain an insane amount of sugar etc. Even the ones that do not contain sugar still have a very high glycemic index, and thus should be avoided if possible.
  • Muesli and granola (1-2 tablespoons) - You may occasionally have muesli or granola, but the less, the better.
  • Crackers, pretzels, rice cakes, and other snacks (2-3 pieces) - Look for whole-wheat and oat crackers. Since there is a large variety of these products on the market, be careful when reading labels. As a rule of thumb, every 35-45 calories is equivalent to 1 slice of light bread, or 1/2 regular bread.
  • Veggies are to be eaten in unlimited amounts, except the ones mentioned above.
  • Meat, poultry and fish - Eat lean meat, poultry or fish 3 times a week, as a separate meal without carbs, but veggies can be eaten freely.
  • Fruit - 1 serving a day.
  • Eggs- 1 egg 2-3 times a week
  • Dairy - Same as Stage 1, keep it as low fat as possible
  • Oil and sauces - As in Stage 1, you MUST have 2-3 tablespoons of either olive or canola oil per day
  • Treat yourself - We did say that meat, poultry and fish should not be eaten with carbs in the same meal, but you can relax this rule on occasion. If you're craving that burger on a bun, go ahead, but don't make it a habit.
So there you have it. If anyone does decide to go on this diet, please be sure to update me on your progress, it should be interesting to see how others are handling it.

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The Bread for Life Diet

...is basically the anti-christ to the Atkins and South Beach diets. Invented on the surmise that bread is a staple in everyone's diet, and should therefore be a cheap commodity available to all, the diet consists of 2 stages. 


In my never-ending quest to lower my weight, and actually maintain that weight loss, I have tried almost everything you can wag a stick at, from the infamous lemonade diet (which worked just fine, albeit being boring and extremely difficult to stick to, plus the ballooning which is inevitable once you're back to eating "like normal") to the Chemical Diet, to prescribed weekly schedules from nutritionists. The demise of these diets was that they consisted of foods I wouldn't eat had I not been on that specific diet. I had to force myself to eat chicken, drink coffee, gorge on chocolate, things I wouldn't dream of doing in an average day.


The Bread for Life Diet was an answered prayer of sorts. Who doesn't love bread? Who doesn't love cheese and spreads? Who doesn't love sandwiches? Besides the fact that we would all readily help ourselves to carbs, sandwiches are easy to prepare, provide an interesting array of options to choose from so you would never get bored, and you can also eat them anywhere, be it at work, in school, at home, on the bus, in the car, at a friends, yada yada yada.


Back to the steps..


In Stage 1, one is to eat 8-12 slices of low-calorie (35-45 per slice) bread a day if you are a woman, and 12- 16 slices for men. The title of the diet is deceiving, as the term "The Sandwich Diet" would have been more fitting. During Stage 1, you may add an assortment of spreads, from low fat cheese, to caviar, turkey, ketchup, mustard, low fat mayonnaise, the works. The key is to garnish your bread as thinly as possible, with only one type of low fat spread, then freely layer on, or should I say, heap on the veggies. An alternative would be to have a side of salad or veggie soup. 


You are also allowed 3 eggs a week, cooked whichever way you want. Yes that includes omelet's and fried and boiled and poached... any way you can prepare an egg. You can eat it with your toast, alone, whatever!


You are also allowed 3 protein meals a week, but you should never mix your carbs with them. Salads and veggie soups on the other hand, are for you to gorge your little hearts out with.


Stage 1 lasts between 1-2 weeks, not more, and one is to eat every 3-4 hours, making sure they eat their entire days allotment. Doesn't that sound divine?


So here's a summary:


8-12 slices low-calorie (35-45) bread per day for the ladies, 12-16 slices for the gents.

  • A thin layer of spread or garnish. These include, but are not limited to:

Mustard

Ketchup, low-fat/fat-free mayo, low-fat/fat-free salad dressing, butter substitute made of vegetables, that does not contain trans-fatty acids

Hummus

Tahini

Mashed avocados

Salsa

Garlic paste

Anchovy

Sugar-free peanut butter

Caviar

Eggplant in tahini or mayonnaise

Soy spreads

Natural tofu

Canned or smoked tuna or sardines (remove excess oil)

A slice of smoked fish, like salmon

A thin slice of lean, low-fat meat like turkey or chicken

Low-fat cheese

  • Pile on the veggies(except corn, potatoes and other starchy foods, use your brain)
  • One fruit serving a day
  • Meat, poultry or fish 3 times a week, as a separate meal without bread
  • Eggs in any style
  • Oils are a must! 3 tablespoons of olive or canola oil per day
  • Eat every 3-4 hours. YOU HAVE TO
  • Eat at night, up to 45 minutes before you go to sleep
  • DRINK WATER
  • Caffeine is ok. Sugar and milk are not.
  • Artificial sweeteners are ok
  • Condiments are allowed, in very small amounts
  • Take a multivitamin and a calcium supplement every night
  • DONT GO BELOW YOUR DAILY ALLOTMENT


Now that the basics are out of the way, here's an example of what your day could look like:


  • Meal 1: 8:00-10:00 am

A sandwich made with 2 slices of toasted bread with a thin layer of low-fat cottage cheese and slices of tomatoes and peppers.

Coffee with artificial sweetener and a tiny bit of milk (no more than 2% fat)


  • Meal 2: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

A sandwich made with 2 slices of bread, 1-2 slices of turkey, mustard, lettuce and tomatoes


  • Meal 3: 2:00-4:00 pm

Bowl of vegetable soup

2 slices of bread


  • Meal 4: 5:00-7:00 pm

A sandwich made with 2 slices of bread and 1-2 slices of low-fat swiss cheese

A dish of raw or steamed veggies


  • Meal 5: 8:00-10:00 pm

Sandwich made with 2 slices of bread with a scrambled egg and piled high with vegetables


  • Meal 6: 11:00 pm and later

1 cup of artificially sweetened yoghurt

OR

1 serving of fruit or 1 slice of bread with a thin spread of choice.



Other meal ideas:

2 slices o bread with a thin layer of fat-free cream cheese, a piece of smoked salmon, lettuce and tomatoes.


A 1-egg omelet with mushrooms and onions, cucumbers and tomato salad, and a slice of bread


1 cup of low-fat plain yoghurt with pieces of cucumbers and spices.



I am currently on day 1 of what I plan to be a 2-week long Stage 1. Therefore I will not give you the details of Stage 2 just yet. In the meantime, I will test-drive this stage and will let you know how it goes. If anyone is interested in more details or if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Alternatively buy the book The Bread for Life Diet by Olga Raz, or look it up online.


Wishing you all a delicious, fat-free, low-calorie holiday. 

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Dear English ladies living outside the Kingdom;

What alternatives do you use for recipes that require Bramley apples?

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The Baby Stork Is Visiting

I'm expecting a baby in a few weeks time.
Come on, help me say it. All together now, loud and proud:

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

Aren't pugs the most adorable thing ever?

So I've been straining my brain trying to come up with a name. I thought of "Pugsley Addams", as in the boy in The Addams Family. Still, doesn't feel creative or unique enough. Help please, I'm looking for something original! Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!


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