Return To Roots: My Favorite Paleo Recipes

September 4th, 2013 | by | lifestyle

Sep
04

paleo-meatballs
In my attempts to return to our hunter gatherer roots, I’ve been a devoted follower of the paleo diet over recent years.

The logic behind it makes perfect sense to me – take what our ancestors ate over millions of years of evolution, and ignore the products of our agrarian societies that have only existed for less than 10,000 years.

Here are some of my favorite paleo recipes:

For those that aren’t so big on going full on paleo, my wife has been sticking to the gluten free diet, and I find there’s a lot of cross-over with gluten free eating and paleo. If you’re on a strict paleo diet like myself you might not want to try these, but they are nonetheless delicious.

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3 Tips to Get Those Creative Juices Flowing

June 24th, 2013 | by | creativity

Jun
24

Stuck for ideas? It happens to us all, is it writing songs, books or just simply trying to find something to do. We all have those times when we get a ‘block’ and just can’t get started or finish what we have already started.

I have 3 great tips to help you get your creative juices flowing:

1. You don’t have to be completely original!
I know it sounds weird, but actually, most great artists in any field steal (borrow?) ideas from others all the time. They might call it a ‘clever reference’ in a book but actually they just stole a line from a film or a name for their character.

Steve Jobs said “Creativity is just connecting things“. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things’. As his technological holiness said, it’s about the way you use these ideas not where they came from. I especially like how he describes the way an idea becomes obvious to us even though it seems genius to others as we have connected two ideas.

2. Take a break from what you are doing, and don’t try to think as it is impossible.
True inspiration happens when you let your mind wander; it’s the subconscious that comes up with great ideas. I promise that if you do something else then eventually you will be struck by an idea and be motivated to finish/start what you were stuck with. This quote from Ray Bradbury sums it up: ‘Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.’

3. When you are unsure whether or not something is going to work, just do it.
How bad can it be and you can always try that bit again. I’m sure that when top music artists like Eminem are composing, they don’t always get it right first time. It takes mistakes and I was inspired by the way Scott Adams put it: ‘Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.’

When I’m stuck for ideasm sometimes I also like to read creativity quotes (here are some I really like). They seem to sum up what I need to do in a really succinct way.

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Creative DIY Beauty Ideas

June 23rd, 2013 | by | random musings

Jun
23

Have you been wanting to achieve a look that is all your own? It can be hard finding the perfect shade of lipstick at the beauty store, or that unique temporary tattoo for that festival.

diy-beautySometimes, you can’t actually find the kind of beauty products that you want in stores, and that’s when you may just have to take matters into your own hands. Here are some creative DIY beauty ideas that will have heads turning in no time.

One of the first things that the average cosmetologist will learn while studying in beauty school is how to create their own lipstick shades. For this, all you need is some chapstick and some blush or eyeshadow that you want to have as your lipstick shade. (Note: You can mix eyeshadows and blushes in order to get that perfect shade.) Take a small slice of chapstick, and crush up the eyeshadow that you want to use as pigmentation. Mix the chapstick and eyeshadow together until the mixture has a nice, even color. You can store this DIY lipstick in a small tub container for future use, too.

Another common beauty school tip that people who aren’t licensed hairstylists often don’t know is that you can mix hair dyes together in order to get a shade that is 100% unique to you! This often works best with alternative color hair dyes, such as the ones that you would find with Manic Panic. This is because the colors that you would find with alternative hair dyes are brighter and more noticeable, and the effect of mixing two or three of these colors tends to be much more extreme. Still, it can be done with almost any hair dye.

Yet another favorite DIY beauty tip that a good stylist will be able to tell you is that you can create your own spa products using common kitchen ingredients. For example, mashing up a kiwi fruit and using it as a facial cleanser is a quick way to exfoliate dry skin. A masque made out of raw honey can help you moisturize dry spots. Even using a paste of nutmeg and honey can improve your skin tone and even fade acne scars. If you keep looking up new ways to get your DIY beauty fix, chances are that you will be able to get a lot of benefit from your cosmetics.

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Choosing A Name For Your Kid

January 7th, 2013 | by | random musings

Jan
07

Why is it that society insists on limiting name selection to a certain selection of a few hundred common names?  Why are Mikes, Johns, Lisas, and Jennifers so common?  Are people simply afraid to stand out from the pack, or are these names somehow intrinsically more appealing?

More interestingly, what is it about celebrities that makes them name their babies “Apple” or “Shiloh”?  And those aren’t even especially weird on the spectrum of truly weird names.  What about Moxie Crimefighter or Pilot Inspektor?  Is it because celebrities are highly driven people who want to stand out from the pack?  Or is it simply a matter of keeping up with the Joneses, in the quest to come up with a truly unique name?  Is it following trendsetting celebrities who started picking outrageous names?  What drives celebrities to seek out names that cause most of us to laugh or even shudder?

If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear about it.

 

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Fueling Your Creativity Through Substance Abuse

November 28th, 2012 | by | creativity

Nov
28

I can’t help but think that the title of this blog post makes it seem like I’m preparing a tutorial on how to abuse alcohol. That’s not really the point. My main intention was to simply draw attention to a common problem amongst creative types – alcohol and drug abuse.

For whatever reason, there is an unusually high % of addicts in the artist population. If you think about it, how many famous writers, artists, and musicians didn’t push their drinking/drug use to the extreme? It would probably be quicker to list the names of those who didn’t than those who did!

If you’re starting out in an artistic field, whether its something more commercial like web design or copywriting, or more “pure” art like painting, fiction writing, or sculpting, don’t think for a second that you need to abuse substances in order to maximize your creativity. Sadly, its a belief that’s shared by many aspiring artists.

Don’t believe me? Well, how about you take Stephen King’s word for it? King has stated that even though he once thought he needed his drink and drugs to do his best work, he’s had no problem continuing his massive success after getting sober. Living a life of sobriety doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be just as creative.

Why Are So Many Creative People Alcoholics?

At first glance, one might draw the conclusion that being an alcoholic gets the creative juices flowing. On the contrary, it might be that people with a predisposition towards alcoholism tend to be more creative and impulsive.  In other words, alcoholism is a disease that afflicts creative types. The same personality traits that might make someone more likely to be an alcoholic also tend to produce highly creative people.

This by no means mean that all alcoholics are creative, or that all creative people are destined to stumble through life in a drunken stupor. But it certainly explains a lot.

What it does mean is that there’s no need to get into a drunken haze in order to create your best work. If you enjoy a nice glass of red wine while you write/paint/scult/design, then by all means, enjoy. But don’t make the mistake of turning to alcohol or drugs as a crutch for creativity. If you’re doing this, by all means, quit while you’re ahead! You can enjoy creative success without severely compromising your health, you relationships, and your life.

If someone you care about has an alcohol problem, don’t be afraid to confront them about it.  You could save their life.  If you’re not sure how to go about it, you can find some tips here.

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Threats Against Ancient Rome – Cambri & Teutons Pt 1

September 29th, 2012 | by | history

Sep
29

When we modern people discover a new group of individuals that have somehow managed to escape our attention, we chase them down and harass them. Lost tribe? Bring in the news cameras! Even if we don’t do it deliberately, we eat away at the habitat – the rain forest that these tribes and peoples live in.

Imagine a time when you didn’t know about peoples that existed beyond a few hundred miles from where you live, and they could come over the horizon in huge numbers. This is how things were until the last few hundred years.

In Ancient Rome, in the time of Caius Marius, that’s what they faced, as recorded by Plutarch. They were used to facing barbarians – Celts and Gauls. But at one time 300,000 fighting men from unknown origins appeared over the horizon. Rome was threatened by two unknown tribes – the cimbri and Teutons. Imagine not knowing these people exist, and by the time you find out they exist, they’re descending upon you with their army. Even nowadays, historians argue over the origins of these two mysterious tribes who threatened rome.

The Romans sent their armies to face these people and lost their men in droves. They were not accustomed to this at the time, yet these new people that they had never perceived before smashed them. Again, and again. And again and again, and again – 5 times. Each of these battles had their own nightmares attached to it – in one of them, the barbarian tribes left a Roman consul dead in the field of battle. In another they’re said to have killed 80,000 roman legionnaires, and another 40,000 camp servants. These numbers may have been inflated somewhat, but they were still extremely high.

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