My doctor is a vegetable

My doctor is a vegetable

It takes a lot of courage to heal ourselves despite what the doctors have told us. Some of us do not want to take drugs for the rest of our existence so what is the alternative?

Change or die

Throughout my experience struggling with my health and well being, I have come to the conclusion that I am the only one in charge of my own health. The Western approach to illness, whether physical or mental, is to prescribe a quick fix – that’s probably because when we don’t feel well we immediately want to be healthy again without understanding that illness is just an alarm telling us that there is something which urgently needs our attention.

Every disease is a blessing in disguise

Step out of your comfort zone

Of course, it’s much easier to pop a pill and forget about the pain but believe me, numbing down the pain, whether physical or emotional, it’s not going to solve anything, as a matter of fact, it’s very likely to make the situation worse.

Getting high to forget about the pain may also give you the illusion of an instant relief from the discomfort but in actual fact, you are just adding fuel to a fire. The only way to extinguish a fire is with the opposite element: water!

As human beings, we get used to almost anything until certain patterns become established habits. Now, while forming a habit may be relatively easy, getting rid of it may require a huge amount of will power, especially if you are dealing with highly addictive substances such as drugs, alcohol and nicotine.

However, if you really want to make the first step towards a thousand mile journey, start by getting rid of your addictions, one at the time.

In my case, I decided to quit smoking and go vegan without transitioning to a vegetarian diet first. Actually, being vegan helps your body cleanse yourself more quickly and you become more sensitive to chemicals (nicotine included). However, alcohol and coffee are triggers to nicotine so if you can, you should also try to avoid drinking alcohol and coffee but as I said earlier, one step at the time. Don’t be to harsh on yourself, if you relapse then you just need to try everything again from step one. Love yourself don’t judge yourself.

The Healing crisis

The healing crisis may last for years so don’t listen to those people who say you’ll be alright in a few months – that’s simply no possible. As it took you a very long time to develop a chronic condition, it will also take you a long time to heal – there are no shortcuts unless you meet Jesus in a good mood!

One step at the time

Learn to put yourself first, your healing process must be priority number one for you no matter what. Don’t work as hard, learn to nurture and cuddle yourself, if possible, learn to meditate or Taichi or Yoga if you prefer. Basically, teach yourself how to slow down: life was never meant to be a race.

You were born to be happy and healthy

Don’t worry about what other people think, take care of yourself and if the people around you cannot understand what you are doing do not attempt to explain, just let them go – they are not ready to hear it.

Drink plenty of water

Water is the base element of the human body (70%). Make sure to drink plenty of water every day and avoid any other drink unless it is freshly made vegetable or fruit juice. Stay away from canned or preserved products. Do everything yourself!

You are not dying

Sometimes the healing crisis is so strong that you may think that you won’t be able to make it but you will. Have faith and if you believe in it, pray!

Do only what is pleasant

Forget your culture of good manners, if something is too much for you to handle don’t do it. You were not born to please others especially when you are ill, if they love you they will understand.

Rest plenty

A good method to fall asleep without any chemical help is the use of pranayama (breathing meditation), there are different methods available which you can easily find online for free.

Forget the past

The best way to start anew is to get rid of the past by creating a new you. What were the activities that you really enjoyed doing when you were a child? Be a child again; spontaneous and curious. Try to distance yourself from negative people and surround yourself with positive energy such as Nature, animals and friendly people. Teach yourself something new to keep yourself focused and stimulated.

Healing Time

You do your part and Mother Nature will do the rest. Don’t put pressure on yourself and let Nature do what’s necessary . One day you will be completely healed before you know it.

Be Grateful

Some of us didn’t make it. Some of us were too tired or too sick to undergo this process. My dedication is to them, departed and beloved angels, in the hope that they will be a light for those of us who are still here struggling to evolve. Be grateful for the food in your plate, for your kids and animals, for the air and the plants, for life itself: be grateful!

 

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In Vegan We Trust

In Vegan We Trust

I have called this dish “Linguine alla vegana innamorata”; see the recipe below.

Ingredients 

  • Pasta (fettucine). Normally calculate about gr 100 per person
  • Fresh tomatoes, better if in season (consider about 2/3 tomatoes per person)
  • Onion or garlic – that’s entirely up to you. (1 whole onion or three cloves of garlic)
  • Potatoes (it depends on how big they are but roughly 1 potato per person)
  • Fresh coriander or parsley
  • Fresh tofu (if available)
  • Fresh spring onions
  • Fresh hot chili pepper (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (optional)

 

Instructions

  • Fill a big pot with water and turn on the heater to medium
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into little cubes of 1 cm
  • Put the potatoes in the pot with water
  • Wash the tomatoes and cut them into pieces
  • Peel the onion or the garlic and cut it into small pieces too
  • Slice the chili pepper
  • Put the tomatoes, the chili and the onion or garlic in a blender with a little water and blend until creamy and rather liquid
  • Preheat a big pan or, if you don’t have it a pot would be alright, to low heat
  • Put the tomato sauce in the pot and let it cook at very low heat until it becomes very creamy
  • Cut the tofu in small cubes – just like the potatoes – and add it to the tomato sauce
  • When the potatoes are almost done, take the fettuccine and put them in the big pot together with the potatoes.
  • Wash and cut up the coriander or parseley and the spring onions
  • When the fettuccine are ready (taste them to make sure they are right), drain the water and mix the fettuccine and the potatoes to the tomato sauce which by now should be ready
  • Put everything in a big serving container and garnish with coriander and spring onions
  • Add extra virgin olive oil if you wish

 

Hints

The traditional way to make the tomato sauce in Italy is to lightly cook the onion or garlic in a little seed oil (not olive) and then add the rest. However, if you want this dish to be as healthy as possible, I advise you to use little or no oil while cooking and just add a few drops of raw good quality extra virgin olive oil once the pasta is ready.

To make it even more interesting and nutritious,  add crushed peanuts on top or, if you enjoy the taste, you can sprinkle the fettuccine with seaweed such as nori.

Buon Appetito

 

fettuccine2

What makes a HOPA (Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure) game great

What makes a HOPA (Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure) game great

As a 49 year old female player I get a bit offended when I see websites advertising games for girls: there is no such thing!

I started playing computer games in the 1980’s and basically I’ve never stopped. In my experience as a gamer, I have played a bit of everything from Doom to Devil May Cry. However, my favorite games had always been RPGs  such as The Elder Scrolls, Baldur’s Gate, Gothic and so on until I played my first HOPA game in 2012 (a coincidence? ).

Some gamers believe that HOPA games are an evolution of classical adventure games which appeared in the 1990’s. I personally never liked those games which I found terribly boring. I want to explain here why I got hooked on HOPA games and what are the most important features a game should have to be a great HOPA game. That is from my point of view as an experienced gamer.

What does it take for an HOPA game to become a great game?

Storyline:

The storyline is the backbone of the entire game and must be really intriguing to keep the player stuck to the screen. But of course, there wouldn’t be any point in having a great storyline without presenting it properly with appropriate cutscenes.

Cutscenes:

Cutscenes, whether in 2d or 3d, are the joints of the storyline; they help the gamer understand the development of the storyline as well as keeping the suspense high. The best cutscenes are those which contain beautiful art, whether 2d or 3d, skilled voice overs acting and appropriate music and sound. Cheap and bad cutscenes are those where real people are filmed instead of using 2d or 3d characters – they break the magic of the game immersion experience.

Voice Overs:

Some voice over actors are so good they manage to give the game a complete distinct characteristic. They are fundamental for a great game in both cutscenes and during game play.

Music:

Believe it or not I actually quit a few games because the background music was so annoying. Keeping one theme for the entire game is absolutely deleterious for the gamer’s health. Great games have fantastic music made by real musicians and the music change for each chapter of the story and it is appropriate for the game content.

SFX (Special Sound Effects):

Now, some of you might think that this is an obvious aspect of the game but it isn’t necessarily so. In fact, I played a few games which had one music track for the entire game and the SFX were limited to squeaking doors and footsteps. The rain in the background, the wind and other SFX are indispensable to help the player get fully immersed in the scene. Of course, such games are no longer “casual” because there are hours and hours of work behind them but in the end the result is a masterpiece and the players will play it more than once!

Artistic Illustrations:

Some games are made with outstanding artistic illustrations that they may as well be considered masterpieces. The visual experience is  the strongest for the gamer so a great game contains lots of beautiful art even for ho (hidden object) scenes. On the contrary, cheap and boring games contain photos which have been manipulated with some digital software.

Mini Games (Puzzles):

Mini games are fundamental for game immersion; HOPA are first person games so it’s really important that you feel as if you were in charge of the situation. The best mini games are those who make you think and solve problems such as connecting conductors, move objects from one point to another through a maze and so on. The most boring puzzles are those which have been used too many times in games such as reassembling pictures or reordering something which don’t require any particular skills at all.

Hidden Object:

If it were for me I would have eliminated those a long time ago. However, the recent development of ho (hidden object) scenes in more interactive game play  has made them more interesting than usual and at times even enjoyable. The worst and cheapest ho scenes are those which contain a long list of completely unrelated objects (a duck, a wrench, a noose, etc..). In my view though, ho scenes are not necessary for a great game, a standing example is the Nancy Drew series where their game immersion experience is one of the best for its genre.

Next time, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite HOPA games and why I liked them so much, basically a sort of game review. Feel free to contribute if you are a HOPA game lover.

Playability:

Is the GUI user friendly? Can players intuitively understand how to navigate through the game? This part can be very tricky because people get bored easily and want to play straight away without having to understand how to play first. Playability includes maps, almanacs, hints, skipping buttons, game mode (difficulty level), tutorials and the inventory. Make it too fancy and people will be overwhelmed, too simple and it might impact the aesthetics of the game. Keeping to the standard view I think it’s the best choice (hints and skip buttons on the bottom right, inventory in the bottom centre and maps and others on the bottom left). I actually appreciate when the inventory disappears during play time and reappears only if I hover my mouse over it.

That’s all for now, stay tuned and stay playful!

(Picture above: Artifex Mundi, Enigmatist 3, The Shadow of Karkhala)

Unbiased

Unbiased

I have to admit that it’s taking me a long time to finally understand that judging others is wrong. Most of us are brought up with the dual concept of good and evil thus it is very difficult to discern the truth from the overwhelming amount of information we are exposed to on a daily basis.

Of course, everything becomes much easier when we use our feelings instead of our brains but it takes a very long time to get it because most  educational systems are structured in a hierarchical way so that you have to compete to get to the top.  When you compete you have to “eliminate” others and that’s more easily done if you can justify your actions by blaming them with labels such as “inferior” or “lazy”.

Modern society is based on a standard which is completely inhuman. You have to be very intelligent but not spontaneously intelligent, you are expected to store as much information as possible in your brain and memorize it (current educational system). Then you have to be as beautiful as the fashion models presented by the media, it doesn’t matter if they are cocaine addict or if they are starving themselves to death.  There are also other parameters as well but I don’t need to remind you, it’s enough for each one of us to have a look around to understand that we don’t like ourselves.

Modern society is cruel and competitive because we don’t accept ourselves the way we are.

We would love to be who we are not or perhaps we would like to reflect those really high standards set by someone else. Perhaps ,we are good but never good enough and the list goes on and on.

It’s time to stop thinking and start feeling.

We can only stop judging others when we can stop judging ourselves.

Life is a mirror, everything that you give to others will find its way back to you.

We walk through this life blindfolded by our convictions, only love and courage can set us free and make us able to see again  where we really are: we are in Heaven!