It’s okay to just sit there and not do anything, I think they’re daily moments of bliss to just lose track of time, and our duties. Most days, I don’t know what day of the month or week it is. Some people call it unorganised. Some people tell me I should get up and do something. But you don’t always have to be doing something. Sometimes it’s just good to day dream, re-charge, think, and relax. It’s good to just be in the present moment, and not think about what happened yesterday or plan what’s going to happen tomorrow.
In the past month, since my birthday, I’ve experienced the deepest, most contrasting emotions of my life. I experienced real friendship, love in its purest form, heart ache, helplessness, unity, gain, loss, being forgiven, forgiving, empathy, companionship, guilt, honesty, obsession, feeling trapped in my body and thoughts, eating so much, not eating at all, shock, pain, I felt like I didn’t want to be any more, fragile, ecstatic, smiling so much my face hurts, laughing so much my abs hurt, breathless because I was crying so much, heart beating so hard I feel it in every cell of my body, wanting to be a mother, loneliness, strength, weakness, feeling controlled, being turned on, off, pure freedom, loved, adored, shaken… Just everything, and I can’t even put them all into words.
Yet, nothing major in my life happened, I’m still living in the same way and talking to the same people. I just feel so much, and I’ve never been that sensitive before in my life. I feel like I’m so opened up to the world, I’m feeling everything. As much as I like it, and feel emotionally free because I’m sensing everything, I also feel vulnerable because I don’t know what’s coming. I don’t know what to expect, but I shouldn’t expect anything, because everything’s possible. And when you expect something, you are actually more vulnerable since you might not get it. It feels so comfortable to just live and feel.
We don’t need supplements to build muscles, but because our bodies does not absorb or take in all the nutrients it needs, taking multi-vitamins, fish oils and protein supplements may be beneficial to ensure optimum performance and results. It’s an on-going debate on whether protein supplements are really necessary and the truth is, they’re not. However, protein powders are easily absorbed by the body after working out, so they can reach your muscles quicker compared to, for example, steak which needs a lot more time to be digested. In addition, they help escalating your total protein intake to efficiently build muscles.
When and how much should I consume protein shakes?
Protein shakes should be consumed within 20 minutes of your workout so your muscles can absorb them. Make sure to read the instructions on the pack to ensure you are getting the right amount of protein (should be around 25g). They can be added as part of your daily diet for extra protein, but they should never be used to replace real food like eggs, meat, chicken, fish, etc.
Below I will explain the pros and cons of different types of protein powders.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein is the most commonly used type of protein powder, and it’s made from the clear liquid that’s left over from cheese-making, which gets dried up to form a powder. There are 3 types: concentrate, isolate,and hydrolysate. The main difference between them is simply how they’re processed and what they offer e.g. faster absorption rate, less fat/carbs. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what type you consume, unless you have specific requirements.
- Quickly absorbed by the body
- Can be easily blended in a drink
- Tastes great, with a variety of flavours
- High in protein (around 25g per portion)
- Contains all necessary amino acids
- May cause stomach upsets in certain individuals or bloating – hydrolysate protein is the most recommended for these symptoms
- May cause acne for some individuals, if combined with a high-dairy diet
- Not suitable for vegans or individuals who are lactose-intolerant
Casein is similar to whey, as it’s another compound found in cow’s milk. The main difference is that casein digests slower than whey, making it a better option when you need a slow release of protein (usually before bed as you will go several hours without food). However, I would not recommend it for beginners as it’s not really essential.
Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp protein is my favourite as it always makes me feel more refreshed, and funnily enough, it’s a derivative of cannabis but it’s completely safe to consume.
- Helps ease muscle pain for quick recovery
- Suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant
- High in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
- Easy on stomach and doesn’t cause bloating
- Contains all necessary amino acids
- Doesn’t taste good
- Less protein per portion, so you often need more scoops to have 25g of protein
- May be expensive, specifically in the US since it’s illegal to grow, so it has to be imported
Pea Protein Powder
Pea protein usually comes from, yes, peas…
- High in protein per portion
- Suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant
- Does not contain cystine (essential amino acid)
Soy Protein comes from soy beans, which are legumes native to East Asia
- Contains all the essential amino acids
- Suitable for vegans
- High in protein
- Suitable for individuals who are lactose-intolerant
- Studies say that soy can interfere with hormones if taken in large quantities, potentially lowering testosterone levels and increasing oestrogen levels
While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere and become someone, only to leave it all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light and empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going – Shams Tabrizi
This quote makes me feel like we’re similar to the big bang – born or created from a point of singularity, and as we grow, we expand into a sea of universes, worlds, colours, and shades (our false egos), only to forget that point of nothingness/singularity of peace, quiet, and humbleness. Doesn’t that show how the universe is a manifestation of ourselves? Everything is so interconnected…
Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That is the hardest part and that is what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Don’t go with the flow. Be the flow.” – Shams Tabrizi
I feel so blessed as I honestly have everything I want. Sometimes it strikes an inner fear of losing what I have. I could have been located in war zones, unsafe, hostile places with hardly any human rights. Do we ever forget that we’re actually so blessed? Yet, I just want to be really humble and when I think that I’m so blessed and get these little butterflies from inside, I think “it’s too much for me” and I start to feel guilty as there is so much power in my hands.
Then, I get people who think I’m waaaay too lucky, a girl with a nice house, rich, beautiful, has cool, young looking parents and no siblings (always a plus). And I’m like wait… Half these things are not even true. They say “your life is so perfect, I wish I had a mum or dad like you” “I can’t believe you wear make-up, you make me feel so ugly because you’re already beautiful” “I want your life, I want your body”. All these comments make me feel so guilty and I’m constantly being labelled upon how I superficially look like. You should actually be me to really know what my life is like, but then I think, wait, maybe they’re right. My life really is perfect, and if anyone looks in it, they wouldn’t find a flaw. In fact, the only flaw in any life is the person, because the person is the one who chooses how to see their own life.
Everyone on earth gets something if they actually seek something. We all come to this life with a certain amount of gifts and blessings, whether it’s a piece of bread or a giant palace. Don’t look at what others have, not because you can’t properly judge their lives, but because you should be busy enough with yours. No matter how much you compare yourself to someone, nothing will change, but the time that passes away in which YOU could have changed something in your life. Time is not just money, time is energy, time is growing, and time is learning. It’s all about the actions you take, if you want money, Google ‘how to start my own business’ NOW, if you want to change the way your body looks, stop researching and start moving your body. If you want to become an inspiration, live genuinely and honestly and seek to improve yourself, not others. Because the truth is, everyone’s an inspiration, and I learn something from every single person I’ve met and always will.
I didn’t make this blog so I can be labelled as an ‘inspiration’, or to ‘change lives’, I made it to express my inner feelings as I grow. I am a normal person who isn’t perfect, who makes mistakes, and can be mean (sometimes). So in no way should me or my life be labelled as ‘perfect’. Yet, I am thankful for myself and everything I have.
I find it surprising that whenever I look for something, I find it. I wrote about it before as it all relies on intention and your intention is exactly what you find. Like one day I’m thinking about the significance of our eyes and why they are labeled “the window of our souls” and the next day, my mum was watching a short documentary on specifically that topic. It happens to me all the time, it’s crazy. I think it’s the type of focus and clarity you give something, it gives you focus and clarity back.
In addition, if you have aims you want to reach, having the intention of ‘what I seek is also seeking me’ will inevitably get you closer to your goal. Whether it’s an academic desire to get better, get fitter, or become the strongest version of yourself.
What are you thinking of, and simultaneously find around you?
I’m alright, but I feel empty, I feel like something’s missing. I had a tough time at school during exams, exam after exam, I’d go home, empty my mind and input new information in it. But after it’s all finished – I kind of miss it. I miss actually doing something or taking over a task, and going to school for the right reason. After it’s over, I actually feel cold as everyone who’s close to me is somehow far away. My bonding with people I love isn’t as strong as it usually is. I feel vulnerable but in the safest place on Earth. I watch the news and cry at innocent people suffering, who are so strong and experience the toughest of memories and I think “I could have been born there”. Why am I so lucky? I have everything yet I feel empty. A lot of things are kind of at the same time – ultimate decision making on what I’d like to study next year and I have no idea what I want to do in the future. Everyone’s telling me something different, “take English”, “maths is too hard”, and all I want to do is be like the good old days, where I just leave school, work, and rise up. But now, I have to have qualifications. But what? I have aims. I want to help people and make a positive impact on people’s lives, sounds so cliche, I know. But, I seriously, believe more than anything that I will do something highly successful. Not because I’m so self indulgent, but because I have a real, powerful drive to do so. My emotions drive me like a rocket, they enable me to succeed, be strong and ensures that nothing gets in my way. Persistence, but also stubbornness is the most powerful tool for success, the most successful people in history ‘failed’, yet their success came out of stubbornness and an inner passion to achieve. Since the World Cup is on, in my eyes, the difference between a great player and a normal player is one that can dribble the ball from one end of the pitch to the other and score a goal due to their aims being energetically aligned with their body and inner power that makes them unstoppable.
What, if anything, makes you so persistent, or stubborn that you’re so unstoppable?
I don’t know what to call it, but I want to almost ‘politically’ change the system of food available for us to buy. The government always tells people to eat more fruit and vegetables for our health, but fruit and vegetables filled with artificial sprays, fertilisers, pesticides, and a load of other ‘stuff’. So when you turn to organic foods, because logically, you want the natural stuff God made, without any addition, it’s expensive. So if the government spent a little more on the quality of the food we eat (promoting more organic foods), they may gradually spend less on health care because people will have more quality health. In fact, I think that if developed countries spent less on military services, and more on people’s well being through good food, it could drastically change the health of individuals. For example, the US spend $663 billion on the military, according to the Department of Defence and apparently one week of US military spending can get rid of world hunger. What I’m trying to say is money is not a problem, but where we put our money is.
Some people don’t think it’s too important to consume organic. I’m sorry, but artificial additions to the food nature provided us is creepy. It’s not only creepy, but it may spike certain allergies to people or be the cause of health issues that may show up later in their lives.
I started reading about raw milk because apparently the milk we drink is ‘dead’, due to the pasteurisation that kills all the good nutrients, that makes it essentially a liquid with sugar dissolved in it. Raw milk also has soooo many benefits, (I put a link about it below) and it’s illegal in some places. Really? What’s going on with governments? But then I read that raw milk is safer when it’s organic and from jersey cows because they are the older breeds who don’t have a certain mutation in their cells that most new breeds have. So I searched online for organic, raw jersey milk and it was £3 a litre plus a delivery charge. That’s crazy, I can’t afford that. At the same time, milk is one of the most consumed substances on the planet, so investing in some good milk is important.
Benefits of raw milk:
Lately I have also been researching indigenous foods because back in the day, indigenous tribes had health that enabled them to bath in cold water in winter and they had amazing physical strength all because they depended on nature. Their knowledge was able to sustain ecological food systems and take care of their family 7 generations ahead. As colonisation came along, their health started to decline because they were introduced to overly processed and refined foods and the produce of healthy indigenous foods that could benefit the whole world dropped. For example, millet (a hign protein grain that helps to lower cholesterol) growing by the Kondh tribe in India has dropped 63%, from 500,000 hectares to 200,000 hectares in 2008 for a government subsidised rice programme offering refined white rice. As far as I know, that would happen because developed countries want white rice, why on earth would they want the healthy millet?! Now the Kondh community suffers from even more malnutrition. It’s not their fault, they want the food they relied on for thousands of years. Ironically, while the modern, Western diet is being inflicted on indigenous tribes, the indigenous foods and diets are being recommended by dieticians.
Now, I’m not totally healthy like it seems, but I strongly want us to reconnect to the foods we used to eat thousands of years ago before industrialisation, colonisation or modernisation came because at that time, people were more focused on their health rather than money. That’s a personal opinion. I think that in the modern world, people want to climb this ladder of ‘success’, meaning go to university, get out, find a job, get money, get more money and get a big house, forgetting all about health. It’s all part of the bland, ordinary, constant, and repetitive system.
- Do you allow sufficient recovery time? For weight training, you need to rest every body part for at least 24 hours. This is so the muscle fibres repair and come back even stronger and bigger!
- Are you putting your mind into the muscles you are working? The brain-muscle connection is key to really target a specific body part and for quicker results.
- Do you create a challenge? Each time you do the workout, add extra reps or weights. This is absolutely crucial to getting results.
- Do you change your workouts every 4-6 weeks? Muscles get bored too (just like us!) and do not respond efficiently if they are used to the routine. You must surprise your muscles and hit them at different angles.
- Concentrate on good form. It’s not about the time you take, the amount you can lift or the number of sets you do. Focus on quality, not quantity.
- Do not be afraid to lift heavy. If you think that the heaviest thing you can lift is a handbag, time will prove you wrong. You can carry beyond what you think if you give it time. In addition, lifting heavy is what really makes a difference to your physique.
- Do you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night? Sleep is the time when your body starts recovering, building muscle mass and releasing growth hormones.
- Remember that it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise. Food is what makes the exercise sculpt you in a specific way. You need to provide enough energy for your muscles by eating healthy carbs, plenty of protein and healthy fats. In addition, eating every 2-3 hours.
- I recommend that after your workout, you take a good quality protein shake and 1 or 2 bananas so you have quick proteins and quick carbs.
Challenge: How about you don’t ‘check yourself out’ in the mirror for another week or two? Just do what you got to do, and don’t worry about the results yet! It’s a psychological thing, as when you look at yourself everyday, your eyes will try and look for little details and you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. If you completely forgot the mirror for another month, and you finally look in it, you will be surprised. Your eyes will notice the real new changes because you haven’t refreshed your memory for a long time.
Remember: Muscle fibres are like jigsaws. Every workout you do, inserts a new jigsaw over your existing muscles, to form a bigger picture. You don’t form a jigsaw in one second, but you gradually do it by time, adding more and more muscles to your body. So every little helps!