What is a Paleo diet?

Most often, when people hear the word ‘diet’, they usually think of food deprivation and weight loss.  But this new fad is more than that.  Rather, Paleo diet calls for us to go back to healthy living like what people of the ancient times did.

A Paleo diet is rooted in what constitutes healthy lifestyle.  It is far from requiring you to starve or shy away from good food.  Advocates of this new craze advise us to emulate the eating patterns of the Pleistocene, the people that existed more than two million years ago and lived before the emergence of agriculture. Staunch believers of this new fad even go so far as to engage in strenuous exercise and fasting to adopt the way our early ancestors did.

But you are not obliged to observe the same practice, though, if you don’t feel like doing it anyway. The basic requirement of a Paleo diet is that you maintain good health by staying away from genetically-modified foods, now widespread in almost every other food available in the market.  The diet consists of meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables that are devoid of chemical content.

Paleo meal plan

It also urges you to consume whole, nutrient-rich and unprocessed food by opting for grass-fed and pastured products, instead of patronizing laboratory-invented food items.

Health benefits of a Paleo diet

Those who have tried, and are still following, the Paleo diet claim of significant results in their body.  Here are some of their observations:

  • sustained weight loss and better absorption of nutrients from food
  • improved blood lipids and increased immune function
  • more stable energy levels and improved fitness
  • improved sleep, mood, and attitude
  • mental clarity
  • clearer complexion and healthier hair
  • reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
  • reduced insulin secretion and higher insulin sensitivity
  • increased glucose tolerance
  • less allergies

Paleo beef

Mixed reactions from people

Since the Paleo concept is new, people have varied reactions to it.  While there are those who are satisfied with its effects, there are also those who remain skeptical of the new trend.  Among their arguments include:

  • it is expensive
  • eliminating grains and other nutrient-dense foods from the diet without finding suitable replacements can create a nutrient imbalance
  • the diet can be difficult for vegetarians since it eliminates beans
  • athletes may also find Paleo diet difficult to sustain because they require around 3 to 6 grams of carbohydrates per pound of their body weight each day.
The importance of ‘sorry’

The importance of ‘sorry’

Most of us, adults, feel guilty and ashamed when we have done wrong to the person we care about.  And this sense of guilt or shame can eat us away: the longer we carry this guilt the worse it gets at us.  We can only be relieved of this burden when we admit our wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness from the person to whom we have done wrong.

Not only do we feel relieved, but we also feel better ourselves for having had the courage to say sorry.

Sadly, though, the word “sorry” is the most difficult to utter, especially among many adults. While we would readily teach our children to apologize, we find it difficult to apply the same teaching to ourselves.

NZ - save marriageWhy is it so?

I believe pride has so much to do with it.  Look closely at the word PRIDE.  Isn’t ‘I’ at the center of it?

Yes, as we grow older, we tend to develop that sense of self-centeredness for some reasons or another.

For some, apologizing is equivalent to admitting their wrongdoing, which they translate into giving up their power. Studies show that by refusing to apologize, non-apologists maintain a greater sense of power and greater level of self-esteem over those who had made an apology.  For them, to apologize means to set aside pride.

It’s not easy to tell anyone, be it your best friend, family member, or spouse, to set aside his or her pride and apologize.  Change has to come from the individual person.

NZ - broken heart

At some points in our lives, we find it inevitable to commit mistakes and create misunderstandings with others, including those we care about the most.  But, even as we acknowledge that there are issues that cannot be repaired by just saying you are sorry, we should also admit that many injuries can be healed by sincere apology.

In marriage, it is important for husband and wife to keep their communication line open to keep their relationship work and so that repair can immediately be done should injuries occur. Because of this, writer Brooke Ryan recommends some tips from which spouses may learn how to say ‘sorry’ and really mean it.

Where to find good restaurants in Christchurch

When you’re in Christchurch, whether only for a couple of days or for long vacations, make sure to visit the different wonderful dining places in the city.  And discover good food from various international cuisines in this one beautiful place. Here are some of them.  All these restaurants are recipients of Certificate of Excellence 2014 issued by TripAdvisor.

Pedro's roast lamb leg

Pedro’s roast lamb leg

Pedro’s House of Lamb Restaurant

If you crave for succulent lamb dishes, visit Pedro’s House of Lamb Restaurant at 17 Papanui Road, Merivale.  A favourite dining place for both locals and tourists, Pedro’s boasts of its choice New Zealand lamb, cooked the Spanish way.

Aside from its regular daytime service, Pedro’s also welcomes late night dining and table reservations.  And its hospitable staff makes your visit even more comfortable.

Nobanno Restaurant

Don’t miss the authentic Bengali cuisine of Nobanno Restaurant.  It’s the first and only Bangladeshi restaurant in New Zealand that offers home style cooking without preservatives and MSG.  Here you can find excellent and flavourful dishes of fish, vegetables, and lentils.

Located at 1060 Ferry Road, Nobanno serves lunch, dinner, late night, take out, and desserts.  You may also call the restaurant for reservations.

The Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant

The Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant (interior)

The Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant (interior)

As the name implies, the Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant serves delicious meals out of fresh and locally grown ingredients, pure vegetable oils, and vegetarian cheese.  It also offers dishes for vegan, gluten-free meals, and raw food diets.

The Lotus-Heart serves breakfast, brunch, and dinner in a serene and calm ambience at 363 St. Asaph Street.

Costas Taverna Greek Restaurant and Ouzo Bar

At Costas Taverna, you get more than great food.  You also experience great music as you dine.  Among the restaurant’s specialties is its succulent Drunken Tiger Prawns, Evros “Sun-Kissed” Chicken Fillet, and the Costas Souvlaki Platters.

Kenji Japanese Restaurant

If you’re looking for authentic Japanese cuisine, come to Kenji Japanese Restaurant (Sushi Dining Kinji) at 279b Greers Road.  Be pampered with the freshest seafood of your choice, locally grown organic vegetables, tofu, best quality beef from locally raised cattle, and free ranged eggs.

Kenji is open from 5:30pm to 10:00pm Monday through to Saturday.

Which is better – eBay or Amazon for selling online?

Not sure which is the best marketplace for you to sell on: eBay or Amazon? Then keep reading, because I’m going to go over the advantages and disadvantages of both. You might find after reading this article that you want to sell on both. And that is fine! You can sell your items on both. Or, you might find that you want to focus on one marketplace. That is fine, you can choose just one.

Not sure what to do? Then read on to find help to make your decision.

eBay is the biggest online marketplace in the english-speaking-world

If you want to appeal to the most buyers, then eBay is the largest marketplace in the english-speaking-world. This makes it appealing if you want to target as many people as possible. Amazon is smaller. It is still very, very big – but it is smaller.

Amazon has no upfront fees

When you list an item on Amazon you do not have to pay upfront fees with a personal seller account. You only pay fees after you’ve sold an item. This is really good if you aren’t sure if an item is going to sell. On the other hand, if you sell on eBay, you have to pay a fee to list your item.

Both are very easy websites to use

The good news is that both websites are very easy to sell your items on. Even if you aren’t very “techy” minded, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to be web savvy to sell on eBay or Amazon. In fact, most people have listed something on eBay at least once in their life, even if it is just some random junk you had lying around the house. Amazon is just as easy.

As you can see, both have their advantages or disadvantages. It is up to you to pick the one that is best for you.

Christchurch Antarctic Centre

New Zealand is famed for its fine summers and chilly winters, but in winter it can get a little beyond just ‘chilly’. However, the real frozen zones are south of New Zealand, to the Antarctica. Long seen as one of the most amazing parts of the world, where animals not seen in most locations of the world enjoy freedom and live in abundance.

However, not everybody is quite so keen to go on a scientific expedition to research penguins or the ice caps, are they? This is where the beauty of the Antarctic Centre comes in. known to be one of the most visited tourist attractions in New Zealand, it goes a little beyond that. Home to many of the Antarctic missions undertaken by foreign countries, it is about as close as you can get to the Antarctic without actually going in there.

The visitors center is a true wonder to behold – the Antarctic itself is extremely difficult to navigate and roads are constantly having to be formed by scientists as they go, and seeing just how vast the area is coupled with how little roads there actually are, it makes you see just how hard at work these scientists are.

You can visit Captain Scott’s diary, who was the famous South Pole explorer who first left notes about his findings here. You are taken into a massive complex which depicts his findings and gives you a pretty excellent mockup of what you can expect out there on the Antarctic, if you were to ever go deep enough. This is a real tourist trap – being able to stand in a pretty outstanding replica of the Antarctic is as close as you will get to going out into the real thing.

However, the real highlight is the Antarctic Storm, which gives you a real taster of the biting temperatures out there. You move into a huge glass paneled room with shelter to give you cover from the “brrrr” inducing -5 degrees temperatures within.

You are given full snow attire to try and keep you as warm as possible, but with the authentic wind generators keeping it as cold as it actually is out there, it can go as low as a frightening a -18.7 degrees! This may not quite be the -48 degrees that some Russian scientists endure in Vostok, but it’s still freezing!

The Christchurch Antarctic Centre provides a real opportunity to see what it is like out there for the scientists and what they have to endure and go through, as well as giving you further explanations and facts about how one of the most interesting parts of the world is being explored and researched every single day.

Things I like the most about living in New Zealand

I thought I’d just share with you today some of the reasons I really like living in New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud. Read along, and if you have your own reasons, please share them: I love to get to know my readers.

The weather: four seasons in one day and year

Yep – the weather in New Zealand sure changes. That is because we are so close to the sea. I live in Christchurch and you are never within 1 hour of the sea, it is fantastic. The furtherest you would normally be in New Zealand from the ocean would be a couple of hours, maximum. The consequence is that our weather is heavily regulated by the ocean: which means it doesn’t get too hot, but it doesn’t get too cold. While here, you’ll discover the it can goes through all four seasons in a single day, especially in Auckland where rain is very common. The variety means you get to have a lot of different experiences.

The scenery: it is absolutely gorgeous

Of course I was going to mention this! Everyone knows New Zealand is beautiful. If you don’t, I really don’t know where you have been living all of these years. But let me tell you now: no where in the world compares to New Zealand. Now I know there are lots of countries with natural beauty. Yes, if you go to Canada, you’ll find lots of different places that have great, fantastic scenery. But here is something: you have to drive out to experience it. Not so here. In Christchurch, a breath-taking view is just 20 minutes away. A stunning mountain view is just half an hours drive. No matter where you drive to, once you live the (small) cities, you uncover wonder. Our roads are narrow and bumpy, but that is because they aren’t just concrete. It is driving through paradise.

The people: everyone knows everyone

Yep – we all know each other here. I guess that is what happens when you live in a place as small and tight-knit as New Zealand, people get to know one another. In Christchurch, it doesn’t take that much to discover a link to someone through your high school friends. One of the phrases I’ve been saying a lot is “its a small world after all” because it really is when you live here. And best of all, everyone is friendly and nice – if you need directions, be sure to ask for help, everyone is happy to talk with you.

So there you go! I’m a bit biased, but these are my personal reasons why I love our country.

Christchurch life, buildings and storage post earthquakes

Christchurch storage unitsOn September 4th, Christchurch was struck by a fierce earthquake. When the dust cleared, everyone was amazed – and relieved. No one had died, and there were not even any serious injuries as a result of it. Besides a few heritage buildings, life returned to relatively normal, and the streets were opened once again. Even a boxing day earthquake wasn’t enough to bring the city down.

But all of that changed on February 22. On that fateful day, at about 1pm, a second – and more vicious – earthquake struck the city. It was technically smaller than the first earthquake. But unlike the first, it was much, much closer. It was extremely shallow, and the type of shaking was very unusual. The result is that at the end of the day, the city lay in shreds. Buildings crumbled to the ground, and houses were abandoned. People in Christchurch were using storage units to keep their items together, because they couldn’t keep them safely in their houses.

But that was not all there was to be. In June 2011, the city was struck by another dagger as a huge earthquake rippled the city. Because of that, the opening of the CBD red zone was put off, and more buildings were deemed unsafe. More storage containers were seen littered around the city, and storage containers even began to be used to hold up buildings. The liquifaction came back in full-force. In the February earthquake, the student volunteer army had been strong and vibrant. People registered and gave their support. Life was hard, but everyone would recover. But the June earthquake sucked the life out of the population. That was 3 major earthquakes. Who is to say there wouldn’t be another one – and we would have to clean up all over again?

And then it struck. There were several months of calm, and people began to suspect – and hope – that the earthquakes had finished. But December 23rd was set to hit, and rattle the city to its core again. It struck during the bussiest shopping day, throwing businesses in the lurch. Millions of dollars were lost, as consumers fled the malls.

But something was different about that day. Christchurch residents had been through so much. They had weathered many quakes and shakes. They had come together to support each other, and then they had all crumbled in the face of fear. But that day, everyone carried about their lives. They picked themselves up and, when the malls re-opened, they went shopping. No matter what, they decided, they weren’t going to put their lives on hold. Life was too short.

Today the city stands strong. No major earthquakes have hit it in over 18 months. As Christchurch rebuilds, we will stand with it, and make it as great as it used to be.