Bad Decisions Are Made On An Empty Stomach: Part 1

Dream big, Set goals, Take Action

A goal without a plan is only a dream – Recently I have been dwelling on the meaning of this statement and the impact it has when it enters the forefront of my mind.  At 27 I realise that although life is still in front of me, the decisions made now will determine the circumstances we will find ourselves in the future. Everybody has a goal, either conscientiously or subconsciously, individually or collectively there is something out there that is keeping you on your current trajectory in search of something better. Goals may be different but the behaviors such as sacrifice, willpower, discipline, determination and motivation remain constant.

From my own experience setting the goal involves visualizing the end result  and working back towards the current moment in time. See in your minds eye what the end result will look like, figure out how to get there and how long it will take. Achieving a goal is a tough assignment, each year I write down what it is I want to achieve in that given year (usually consists of eating, training, income) then break it down into medium and short term mini goals. Even then there is no guarantee that I will see them through to the end. Of course succeeding at your goals will give you the confidence to set more challenging targets.

One of my main long term goals is to finish college with at least a 2.1 grade. Break that down into smaller targets such as attending classes; even the most life draining, soul destroying lectures are important, submitting assignments on time and studying for exams. Go even further and make it a priority that when going to lectures you have the proper materials (pens, paper, calculators) study for exams by reading the right books and taking notes and get enough sleep so as not to pass out mid way through the day you get the picture right? Since January, I have been working towards completing an (unpaid) Internship as it is a mandatory requirement of the college. Again, showing up on time, making a good impression and buying into the organisational culture for the sake of 15 weeks just to get to where I want.

All of these little things make up the bigger picture. Again, the decisions we make now determines our future. Along the way remember failure is inevitable, it will more than likely happen but don’t worry because failing plays a huge part in understanding the approaches that do & do not work. It teaches us in the form of experience and creates lasting knowledge that will be beneficial on our future endeavors. Once you have established what simply isn’t working let common sense prevail and move on, try something a new approach.

Play to your strengths! but don’t forget your weaknesses, learn not to avoid them but rather learn how to deal with them and use it to your advantage until eventually it becomes no longer a weakness. Overcome the limitations that only you set!!

Food Goals

Food is the fuel of the body & mind so therefore it can be said that the better the quality the food then the more of a positive impact it will have on your physical and mental health – in long term at least. Highly processed, sugar laced, hydrogenated fat, chemical based lab creations have the same positive effect, but only in the short term and usually the endorphin’s released last longer than the time it takes for the body to digest this so called food. Nevertheless I will admit they can be delicious on the palate because they are loaded with all the winning combinations at once – fat, sugar, salt etc.

What you don’t know about food these days will hurt you. Many people are unaware of what the majority of the items in there press contain claiming to be ingredients. To quote Jamie Oliver “food should not contain ingredients, food is ingredients”.  I think the more we become detached with food the easier it is to make poor choices. This why I believe in cooking from a 36o degree perspective (knowing what is good for you, sourcing/buying fresh food and cooking it yourself) because it allows you to become more engaged and consciousness about what you’re actually eating. Fortunately cooking is a skill that can be learned by anyone. Unfortunately cooking can be very time consuming and costly which is the reason people make the wrong choices.

Also I should mention at this time that I am all in favor when it come to eating at Cafes and Restaurants and do not believe that “everything” we consume should be homemade. However, I will say that if you decide do eat out, do some research and find out if your favorite seafood & steakhouse are serving locally caught fish, is the beef imported or brought in from frozen halfway round the world.

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avoiding temptation by preparing meals in advance for a busy week ahead

Have a Mantra & Shout it out

Getting back to the statement at the beginning ” a goal without a plan is only a dream” sounds good but doesn’t provide any real context on how to get there. To give substance to a goal, you need to actually develop a practical meaning around it. My own way of doing this is like many others. Think of the reasons of ‘why’ this goal is important to you in the first place ‘how’ it can be achieved.

“Bad decisions are made on an empty stomach” is a sort of mantra I live by. The underlying meaning behind it suggests that food is my weakness and I  am very likely to fall off the wagon at anytime. It reminds me of the benefits of training and preparing meals in advance and staying on track. In PART 2 of this post I want to go deeper into preparing meals in advance and what means to stay on the right course in search of that little bit better. It is this statement that time and time again I refer to that reminds of what I need to do to get to where I want to be. Knowing that bad decisions are likely to happen if I don’t prepare food for the week reminds me that by not doing so I am not achieving my goal.

One thing I have learned is to give yourself the best possible chance both physically and mentally to have any success in other parts of life. Physically I am prone to slipped discs in my lower back and mentally I tend to become very bogged down in finer details of certain circumstances which leads stress and failing to acknowledge the bigger picture of the event. Personally exercise is an excellent tool for eliminating negative self doubt and allows me to retain a clear head. As for food, well you are what you eat basically. As previously mentioned I am prone to falling off the wagon in many areas of my life. Eating proper food and training regularly really been extremely beneficial both  physically and mentally so therefore I try to keep it balanced.

Given my background as a chef with an interest in the gym, keeping active and all round performance improvement the purpose of this blog page is to show how easy it is to create mouth watering food at home and provide information on how to make better food choices and decisions in the kitchen.

The second part will discuss the basics such as planning meals in advance, the benefits of this and how to stay on course. Along with sourcing fresh ingredients including what to buy and where are the best places to shop especially on a budget.

Shane.

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